Monthly Archives: May 2018

mUnRAm thiruvandhAdhi – 80 – ninRu edhirAya

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avathArikai

AzhwAr mercifully mentions as to how his heart got involved with emperumAn ahead of him. He says that his heart, without waiting for instructions, meditating on the quality of emperumAn by which he annihilates enemies, won over his [AzhwAr’s] five senses, got rid of attachment towards worldly matters and tries to meditate on emperumAn.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

ninRedhirAya niraimaNiththEr vANan thOL
onRiya IraingyURudan thuNiya venRilangum
ArpaduvAn nEmi aravaNaiyAn sEvadikkE
nErpaduvAn  thAn muyalum nenju

Word by Word Meanings

ninRu – standing in front (without any shame)
edhir Aya – one who fought as an enemy
nirai maNi thEr – one who came riding on a chariot which had gemstones studded properly
vANan onRiya IraigygyURu thOL – the thousand shoulders of the demon bANa
udan – simultaneously
thuNiya – ensuring that they [1000 shoulders] got severed
venRu – becoming victorious
ilangum – (on account of that victory) being radiant
Arpadu – having sharpness
vAn – being strong
nEmi – having the divine disc
aravu aNaiyAn – emperumAn who reclines on AdhiSEshan
sE adikkE – at the reddish divine feet
nErpaduvAN – to approach
nenju – (my) heart
thAn – on its own
muyalum – will attempt

vyAkyanam

ninRu edhirAya – one who came as an enemy and stood. Since the demon bANAsuran had attained the thAmasa (ignorant) deity Siva as his protector, not knowing that kaNNan is the supreme being, he came to fight him.

nirai maNith thEr vANan – the demon came on a chariot which was studded with rows of gemstones.

thOL onRiya IraingyURu udan thuNiya – ensuring that all the 1000 shoulders got severed simultaneously. It is implied here that the 1000 shoulders were not equal to even one shoulder. The 1000 shoulders appeared to be similar to a tree which has one root and many branches.

udan thuNiya – severing them such that all 1000 shoulders fell at the same time. This implies that emperumAn alone, who did like this, is fit to be attained and other deities (such as Siva et al who came to protect vANa) are unfit to be attained.

venRu ilangum ArpaduvAn nEmi – emperumAn who has the divine disc which, being victorious, had the resultant radiance and was also sharp (the term Arpadugai (which is the root for ArpaduvAn) would mean sharpness or having spokes).

aravaNaiyAn sEvadikkE – at the divine feet of emperumAn who is reclining on AdhiSEshan

nErpaduvAn thAn muyalum nenju – the heart, on its own, is joyously trying to attain.

We will move on to the 81st pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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mUnRAm thiruvandhAdhi – 79 – Orththa manaththinarAy

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avathArikai

In order to get rid of the sins that we have accumulated from time immemorial, don’t we need a long time? AzhwAr says that it is not needed. He says that if we meditate on emperumAn and develop hatred towards worldly pursuits, the sins will disappear at once. He says that if the people of the world carry out what he had said, they can rid themselves of their births.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

Orththa manaththarAy aindhadakki ArAyndhu
pErththAl piRappEzhum pErkkalAm kArththa
viraiyAr naRundhuzhAy vIngOdhamEni
niraiyAra mArvanaiyE ninRu

Word by Word Meanings

kArththa – having verdant colour
virai Ar – being fragrant
naRum thuzhAy – having garland of fresh thuLasi
vIngu Odha mEni – having the complexion of a full ocean
nirai Aram mArvanaiyE – only emperumAn who has donned ornaments in an orderly way
ninRu – standing firmly
Orththa manaththarAy – having a meditating mind
aindhu adakki – winning over the five senses
ArAyndhu – analysing the lowliness of samsAram (materialistic realm)
pErththAl – if one were to turn his face away [from samsAram]
piRappu Ezhum – the long line of births which keep coming one after another
pErkkalAm – one can get rid of

vyAkyanam

Orththa manaththarAy – having a mind which keeps constantly meditating on the auspicious qualities of emperumAn

aindhadakki – controlling the five senses so that they do not engage with worldly matters

ArAyndhu – then thinking about the shortcomings in worldly pursuits

pErththAl piRappu Ezhum pErkkalAm – if one could redeem the heart [from worldly pursuits] one could escape from the chain of births. If one could turn one’s mind away from worldly matters, one could easily get rid of the series of births. Reference to seven births implies the full chain of births. In other words, one can get rid of all the births. One can get rid of the series of births.

kArththa viraiyAr naRundhuzhAy vIngOdha mEni – What is to be done to get rid of the series of births? One should attain emperumAn. AzhwAr says that he is not recommending such bitter water of margosa bark for ridding oneself of all births. Should one not attain emperumAn who has verdant complexioned, fresh thuLasi garland and a beautiful form with the colour of a full ocean! Isn’t this the difficult-to-perform task!

nirai Ara mArvanaiyE ninRu – if one meditates constantly on emperumAn who has ornaments donned in an orderly way. These words describe the natural beauty and the beauty which came from decorations. This emphasises the beauty which he has and which will enable one to attain him, leaving aside the worldly pursuits.

We will move on to the 80th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruvAimozhi – 6.9 – nIrAy

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Full series >> Sixth Centum

<< Previous decad

Audio

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

See nampiLLai’s introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

See nampiLLai’s introduction.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

In the ninth decad – Seeing AzhwAr‘s great urge to unite with emperumAn through a messenger, emperumAn tries to pacify AzhwAr with his sarvAthma bhAvam (omnipresence); but since that is not visible to AzhwAr, desiring to see emperumAn with his distinguished form like arjuna who desired to see the viSvarUpam (universal form), he highlights the following aspects:

  1. his being with enjoyable symbols, which is the cause for AzhwAr’s desire to see him
  2. his great ability to manifest his beauty and make one exist totally for him
  3. his absolute protectiveness
  4. his ability to eliminate even the strongest enemies
  5. his five different states starting with param (supreme form in paramapadham)
  6. his union with all entities
  7. his all pervading nature
  8. his having divine form
  9. his ability to control the enemies
  10. his greatly distinguished nature

Meditating upon these aspects, AzhwAr, due to great desire, calls out with great urge “You who have such qualities, should mercifully manifest your form so that I can see it”. For one who is set out to surrender [to emperumAn], this urge triggered by the desire in the goal, is the qualification.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nampiLLai‘s introduction.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s introduction

AzhwAr requested the birds to go as his messenger in “enguch chenRAgilum kaNdu” (wherever you see him) and in “vAnavar kOnaik kaNdu” (seeing the leader of residents of paramapadham); he made them melt and not go (as messenger) by his sorrowful cry; when it is said that the achEthanas (insentient entities) will feel sorry as in thiruvAimozhi 6.5.9marangaLum irangum“, there is no question of birds who have a little bit of consciousness, not melting; when AzhwAr said in thiruvAimozhi 6.8.11URRinkaN nuN maNal pOl urugA niRpar nIrAyE“, that did not exclude the birds who were ready to go as messengers. Now, there is no one to carry his message in his close proximity. Seeing “as the achEthanas are also melting, would paramachEthanan (supreme lord) not melt?’, AzhwAr tries to bring emperumAn by crying out loud. While he has the sorrowful cry, does he need anyone else to go as messenger? He is crying out so loud that emperumAn cannot sustain himself in paramapadham which is said as “kalangAp perunagaram” (the great town where there is disturbance) and will rush towards him. For the messengers, there are limitations in their feet or wings; but there is no limitation for his throat! Just as sIthAp pirAtti’s prison time [in lankA] cannot be cited a reason, AzhwAr’s suffering also cannot be cited with a reason. Just as sIthAp pirAtti’s stay in lankA is for the benefit of others, his suffering is also for the benefit of others. As SrI vAlmIkI bhagavAn documented sIthAp pirAtti’s prison time in lankA for the uplifting of the world today, though AzhwAr suffered, his prabandhams are like a water-booth in summer time for the world. Just as krishNa tormented the gOpikAs of gOkulam  with music from his divine flute, AzhwAr torments emperumAn with his voice.

emperumAn feels in his divine heart “Come on! Why are you troubling me such that I cannot remain peacefully here! Did I move away from you? I have manifested my jagathAkarathai (having universe as my body) which means that whatever you hold on implies that you are holding on to me”; AzhwAr says “What is surprising about that? Do I not have the knowledge that you have the universe as your body? It is only this knowledge which makes me desire to see your distinguished form”; AzhwAr says when there is one which is apt for me, if you show me something else, it is useless. Since that (universe, universal form) is also not outside the purview of your wealth, I will accept that; by that, my bewilderment of considering your wealth as mine, is eliminated. arjuna too, after seeing the viSvarUpam, requested krishNa to manifest his distinguished form as in SrI bhagavath gIthA 11.46thEnaiva rUpENa chathurbhujEna” (please assume your four shouldered form as before). AzhwAr says “even if you don’t come taking pity on hearing my sorrowful cry, you should come here so that your wealth does not melt away”. AzhwAr’s sorrowful cry makes it difficult for emperumAn to remain peacefully in both spiritual and material realms.

Each pAsuram is discussed subsequently.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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thiruvAimozhi – 6.8.11 – mARRangaL

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Full series >> Sixth Centum >> Eighth decad

Previous pAsuram

Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In the end, AzhwAr says “Those who meditate upon my sorrow in this decad, will melt like tiny sand particles in a spring (ground water source)”.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

Subsequently, AzhwAr explains the result of this decad “Those who recite this decad, due to having great love towards its meanings, will have the nature of fluid”.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s introduction as documented by vadakkuth thiruvIdhip piLLai

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

pAsuram

mARRangaL Ayndhu koNdu madhusUdha pirAn adi mEl
nARRangoL pUmpozhil sUzh kurugUrchchatakOpan sonna
thORRangaL AyiraththuL ivaiyum Or paththum vallAr
URRin kaN nuN maNal pOl urugA niRpar nIrAyE

Listen

Word-by-Word meanings (based on vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s 12000 padi)

mARRangaL – distinguished words
Ayndhu koNdu – analysing
madhusUdhan – one who destroyed madhu who robbed the vEdham which is the cause for knowledge
pirAn – benefactor’s
adi mEl – on the divine feet
nARRam koL – with fragrance
pU – having flower
pozhil – gardens
sUzh – surrounded by
kurugUr – leader of AzhwArthirunagari
satakOpan – AzhwAr who won over bAhya (those who reject vEdham) and kudhrushti (those who misinterpret vEdham) philosophers
sonna – mercifully spoke
thORRangaL – incarnation of vEdham like bhagavAn’s incarnations
AyiraththuL – among the thousand pAsurams
oru – unique
ivai – these
paththum – ten pAsurams
vallAr – those who can recite with meditation
URRinkaN – in a spring
nuN – tiny
maNal pOl – like sand particles (which will get sucked in due to the water)
nIrAy urugA niRpar – (with overwhelming emotions) will melt

Simple translation (based on vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s 12000 padi)

AzhwAr, the leader of AzhwArthirunagari, which is surrounded by fragrant flower filled gardens, who won over bAhya and kudhrushti philosophers, analysing with distinguished words, mercifully spoke these ten pAsurams among the thousand pAsurams which are incarnation of vEdham like bhagavAn’s incarnations, on the divine feet of the benefactor who destroyed madhu who robbed the vEdham which is the cause for knowledge; those who can recite with meditation, will melt like tiny sand particles in a spring.

vyAkyAnams (commentaries)

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s vyAkyAnam

See vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s translation.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s vyAkyAnam

See nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s vyAkyAnam

See nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam as documented by vadakkuth thiruvIdhip piLLai

  • mARRangaL Ayndhu koNdu – For those who are drenched in devotion, like for those who are climbing hills, cannot speak/sing coherently; the words themselves become aligned properly; through noble words.
  • madhusUdha pirAn adi mEl – On the divine feet of the one who has virOdhi nirasanam (elimination of enemies) as a natural attribute.
  • nARRam koL … – The gardens too became evergreen as AzhwAr sustained himself thinking “We will surely succeed as we have sent a messenger to his private quarters”. AzhwArthirunagari surrounded by gardens filled with fragrant flowers.
  • thORRangaL Ayiram – They are not spoken as said in “mana:pUrvO vAguththara:” (first in mind, then in speech) [they were spontaneously spoken by the grace of emperumAn]. Though he spoke with bewilderment, they appeared like bhagavAn’s incarnations. thORRam – AvirbhAvam (incarnation). Just as rishis will see the manthrams [through their internal vision]. As said in thiruvAimozhi 1.10.11sol paNi sey Ayiram” (the thousand pAsurams served by words), entering AzhwAr‘s speech, words thought “let me enter AzhwAr’s speech, be born there, serve AzhwAr purely”, request AzhwAr saying “accept me! accept me!”. The blemish of entering the speeches of avaidhikas is removed only now. As they have now been used by AzhwAr, past and future blemishes for the words will be eliminated as said in thiruppAvai 5pOya pizhaiyum pugutharuvAn ninRanavum thIyinil thUsAgum” (previous sins and future sins will be eliminated just as cotton is burnt down to ashes by fire),
  • URRinkaN … – These pAsurams have not been learnt before [AzhwAr only revealed them]. That is, AzhwAr is saying “with my sorrowful cry, I have melted the whole world”. [Explaining the present tense in “urugA niRpar”] AzhwAr’s sorrow will end when emperumAn appears in front of him; but since these pAsurams are eternal, those who hear them, will not be able sustain themselves; they will melt like tiny sand particles in a spring, and become broken-hearted. What is the result of this? As melting on hearing the words of great devotees of bhagavAn is also part of the goal, this itself (melting) is the result [for this decad].

In the next article we will enjoy the next decad.

AzhwAr thiruvadigaLE SaraNam
emperumAnAr thiruvadigaLE SaraNam
piLLAn thiruvadigaLE SaraNam
nanjIyar thiruvadigaLE SaraNam
nampiLLai thiruvadigaLE SaraNam
vadakkuth thiruvIdhip piLLai thiruvadigaLE SaraNam
periyavAchchAn piLLai thiruvadigaLE SaraNam
vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar thiruvadigaLE SaraNam
jIyar thiruvadigaLE SaraNam

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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mUnRAm thiruvandhAdhi – 78 – araNam namakku enRum

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avathArikai

AzhwAr tell his heart that emperumAn alone, who has the characteristic of annihilating enemies, is our protector. Hence think of him as the refuge. Even though he is the protector for everyone, should we not think of our lowly characteristics such as our knowledge, birth, activities etc? AzhwAr says that there is no need; he will shower his grace on lowly persons too.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

araNAm namakkenRum Azhi valavan
muraNAL valam suzhindha moymban saraNAmEl
Edhu gadhi Edhu nilai Edhu piRappu ennAdhE
Odhu gadhi mAyanaiyE Orththu

Word by Word Meanings

Azhi – the divine disc
valavan –one who has on his right divine hand
muran – the demon muran
nAL – caused by the lengthy life
valam – strength
suzhindha – one who removed
moymban – emperumAn who is strong
saraN Am El – if he becomes the protector
gadhi Edhu nilai Edhu piRappu Edhu ennAdhE – instead of despising “What is our knowledge? What is our status? What is our birth?” (Instead of looking at the lowliness of these)
namakku enRum araN Am – one who is our protector at all times
mAyanaiyE – (Oh heart!) that emperumAn alone, who has amazing auspicious qualities and activities
gadhi – as means
Orththu – being steadfast
Odhu – recite his divine names.

vyAkyanam

araNAm namaku enRum Azhi valavanemperumAn who has the divine disc on his divine right hand is always our protector. During times when we face difficulties when we are looking for protection, it is only he who removes our difficulties and protects us. He alone, who is omnipotent, is the protector. Isn’t the one who has disc on his divine hand, the protector! Did he not say in SrI bhagavath gIthA 18.66 “aham thvA sarva pApEbhyO mOkshayishyAmi” (I will redeem you from all sins) by pointing to himself! AzhwAr says that his (the sentient entity’s) ego causes troubles and emperumAn’s ego removes those difficulties.

muran nAL valam suzhindha moymban – his ability to destroy enemies is mentioned here. emperumAn has the strength to negate the strength of the demon muran who obtained it as a result of his long life.

saraNAm mEl – if he becomes the protector

Azhivalavan – he will protect with his divine disc. periya thiruvandhAdhi 87 says “eppOdhum kai kazhalA nEmiyAn” (emperumAn always has the disc which will not go out of his hand)

Edhu gadhi Edhu nilai Edhu piRappu ennAdhE araNAm – emperumAn protects irrespective of the knowledge, the status, the birth etc of the chEthana, by being born in any type of birth and by carrying out any type of activity. nammAzhwAr too has mercifully mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 1-3-2nilai varambila pala piRappAy oLivaru muzhunalam” (emperumAn incarnates without looking at the status, boundary etc). We can also construe the meaning for this as AzhwAr saying – after knowing that he removes our enemies, you try and think about him instead of looking at your birth, activities, knowledge etc. Has it not been mentioned in SrI bhagavath gIthA 9-29samOham sarvabhUthEshu na mE dhvEshyOsthi na priya:” (I am equanimous to all creatures; there is none who I like nor anyone who I do not like) and “yEpi syu: pApayOnaya:” (even those who commit sins attain mOksham). nammAzhwAr too has mercifully mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 3-7-9eththanai nalandhAnillAdha chaNdALa chaNdALargaLAgilum” (even if they are lowliest among the lowliest…).

Odhu gadhi mAyanaiyE Orththu – praise him after analysing that he, who has amazing auspicious qualities and activities, is fit to be attained. Think of his divine feet as the refuge. If the text is Odhu gadhi mAdhavanai Orththu we should construe the meaning as – recite his divine names considering emperumAn who is the consort of mahAlakshmi as the means.

We will move on to the 79th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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mUnRAm thiruvandhAdhi – 77 – Ayndha aru maRaiyOn

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avathArikai

In the earlier pAsuram, AzhwAr had said that our sins will disappear once we attain him. In this pAsuram he says that not only the ordinary chEthanas (sentient persons), even when very knowledgeable ones, not knowing what is going to happen in the days to come, try to self-destroy themselves, it is he who does them good and protects them. In the earlier pAsuram, AzhwAr said that we do not know what is good for us, apart from him. In this pAsuram he says that not only we, even brahmA et al do not know. It is only emperumAn who knows what is good for them, AzhwAr says in this pAsuram.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

AyndhavarumaRaiyOn nAnmugaththOn nanguRangil
vAyndha kuzhaviyAy vALarakkan Eyndha
mudippOdhu mUnREzhenReNNinAn Arndha
adippOdhu nangatkaraN

Word by Word Meanings

Ayndhu – analysing well and learning
arumaRaiyOn – having the great vEdhas (sacred texts)
nAnmugaththOn – brahmA, who has four faces; his
nanguRangil – beautiful lap
vAyndha – being seen
kuzhaviyAy – being an infant
vAl arakkan – armoured rAvaNa’s
Eyndha – fit (to be severed)
pOdhu mudi – garlanded heads
mUnru Ezh enRu eNNinAn – one who showed by counting with his divine feet that three plus seven equals ten
adi pOdhu – lotus like divine feet
nangatku – for us
Arndha araN – faultless means

vyAkyanam

Ayndha arumaRaiyOn nAnmugaththOn – the four faced brahmA, who analysed the vEdhas (sacred texts)  taught to him by emperumAn and is capable of understanding the meanings of vEdhas and vEdhAnthas (upanishaths)

nan kuRangil – on his beautiful lap

vAyndha kuzhaviyAy – as an infant, who was seen; as a beautiful child. rAvaNa approached brahmA for getting boons; at that time, in order to protect his identity, he hid his ten heads and bowed down to brahmA. brahmA, lacking in natural leadership qualities, became vain on seeing someone bowing to him, wanted to grant the boons asked for by rAvaNa, without thinking of the difficulties that they (celestial entities) would face. emperumAn, knowing that these people will come to him for succour when troubled by rAvaNa, came as an infant on the lap of brahmA and conveyed the meaning “” if you give him excessive boons, your country will be ruined; you will lose your dwelling; understand that the one who has come is the cruel rAvaNa” by scratching the ten heads of rAvaNa with his divine foot and disappeared.

vAL arakkan – rAvaNa who was armed with sword

Eyndha mudippOdhu – just as animals such as goat etc are garlanded before being decapitated, rAvaNa too had decorated his head fit to be severed, with garland.

mUnRu Ezh enRu eNNinAn – just as the act of a child, he counted the heads of rAvaNa with his divine foot.

mUnRu Ezhu– instead of counting as seven plus three, he counted as three plus seven, as an ignorant child.

Arndha adippOdhu nangatku araN – his divine feet, with unlimited sweetness, is our protection. The divine feet, which help in fulfilling what emperumAn thinks of, will be helpful like a fort for people like us who have nowhere else to go and who do not have any ulterior benefit to seek.

Arndha adippOdhu – the flower like divine feet of emperumAn which are full of sweetness.

We will take up the 78th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruvAimozhi – 6.8.10 – vandhirundhu

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Full series >> Sixth Centum >> Eighth decad

Previous pAsuram

Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In the tenth pAsuram, parAnguSa nAyaki says to swan couples which move around her “You go to the abode where emperumAn and pirAtti are privately enjoying, explain my situation and bring me a message”.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

Subsequently, parAnguSa nAyaki prays to some swans “Go to emperumAn who is having Sriya:pathithvam (being the lord of SrImahAlakshmi) which is the cause for his supremacy and simplicity, tell him privately my situation, and bring me his message”.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s introduction as documented by vadakkuth thiruvIdhip piLLai

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

pAsuram

vandhirundhu ummudaiya maNich chEvalum nIrum ellAm
andharam onRuminRi alar mEl asaiyum annangAL!
en thirumArvaRku ennai innavARivaL kANmin enRu
mandhiraththonRuNarththi uraiyIr maRu mARRangaLE

Listen

Word-by-Word meanings (based on vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s 12000 padi)

vandhu – coming here (without any expectation)
irundhu – remaining here (with full focus)
ummudaiya – your pleasant
maNi – best
sEvalum – pairs
nIrum – you all
ellAm – all the relatives

(for the togetherness)
onRum – any
andharam – hurdle
inRi – without
alar mEl – on top of the flowers
asaiyum – moving around
annangAL – Oh swans!
em – lord for those girls like me
thiru – lakshmi
mArvaRku – having in his chest
ennai – me
ivaL – she
innavARu – in this manner
AnAL – has become
kANmin – see
enRu – saying that
mandhiriththu – in his (and her) private abode
onRu – a word
uNarththi – informing him
maRu mARRangaL – reply (he mercifully gives)
uraiyIr – tell me

Simple translation (based on vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s 12000 padi)

Oh swans coming here and remaining here who are coming along with your pleasant, best pairs and relatives, and moving around atop the flowers without any hurdle! Go to the private abode of emperumAn who is the lord for those girls like me, who is having lakshmi in his divine chest and tell him a word about me “see her situation and what she has become” and tell me his reply.

vyAkyAnams (commentaries)

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s vyAkyAnam

See vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s translation.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s vyAkyAnam

See nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s vyAkyAnam

See nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam as documented by vadakkuth thiruvIdhip piLLai

  • vandhirundhu – What a help in need! How kind-hearted you are! You did not have to be forcefully invited through iLaiya perumAL [as he angrily drew the attention of sugrIva].
  • vandhirundhu – Just as SrI rAma voluntarily went to sugrIva mahArAja, enquired his situation and provided a solution, you remained together during these sorrowful times.
  • ummudaiya maNich chEvalum nIrum ellAm – Though AthmAs assume different masculine and feminine forms in paramapadham, all of those forms are meant for service to lord [not just for physical distinction]; similarly, she considers these varieties [swans, their pairs, relatives etc] to be present to accomplish her task.
  • maNich chEval – What a beautiful [male] spouse! Her beautiful spouse [emperumAn] is staying away from her, making her become pale and still remains without any sorrow.
  • ellAm – As said in SrI rAmAyaNam bAla kANdam 1.99 “sa puthra pauthras sagaNa:” (with children, grandchildren and relatives); like those who set out to help others along with wife, children et al.
  • andharam onRum inRi – Unlike me who is having separation after union; not even having separation which leads to union.
  • alar mEl asaiyun annangAL – You who are couples, are able to move atop flowers too. Your pride is such that you can step on flowers too. This is how you remain without any shortcoming.
  • en thirumArvaRku – Am I suffering due to lack of support for me there? As said in SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 15.6 “sIthA samaksham kAkuthstham” (He spoke to SrI rAma in the presence of sIthAp pirAtti), you inform him where your words will become worthy; you approach him like I did.
  • ennai innavARu ivaL kANmin enRu – Her situation is beyond the scope of speech.
  • ennai – me who desired to serve that divine couple. nanjIyar would mercifully explain “they can show her pale complexion in their body highlighting her pathetic situation”. Alternatively – tell him “Is she your privately worshippable deity! isn’t she an associate [of periya pirAtti] in your private quarters?”. [dhEvAram] archchai (deity at home) – is she totally dependent like worshippable deity at home?
  • mandhiraththu onRu uNarththi – Don’t inform him in the grand assembly; there would be those who would say as in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 17-29 “vadhyathAm” (let vibhIshaNan be killed). You inform him where her words will have value [that is while emperumAn and pirAtti are enjoying together].
  • uraiyIr mARRangaLE – When he replies without the same urge [like me], you, not being satisfied with that, inform in front of the one [pirAtti] who tells as in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 116-44 “na kaSchinnAparAdhyathi” (There is none who has not committed a sin).
  • mandhiram – praNavam.
  • onRu – the middle portion in it [ukAram]; informing my ananyArhathai (not existing for anyone else).
  • uraiyIr maRu mARRangaLE – Hearing the words speak seeing my previous offenses, and the words she speak on seeing our relationship and my situation, and inform them to me.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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mUnRAm thiruvandhAdhi – 76 – poruppidaiyE ninRum

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avathArikai

After emperumAn has taken residence at various divine abodes, one can go to such divine abodes and get salvation. People need not torture their physical forms in order to attain what they desire. AzhwAr tells the people of the world that emperumAn has taken residence in these places without bothering about his well being and is carrying out tasks for us and hence you do not have to carry out penance by harming your physical forms.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

poruppidaiyE ninRum punal kuLiththum aindhu
neruppidaiyE niRkavum nIr vENdA viruppudaiya
vehkAvE sErndhAnai meymmalar thUyk kai thozhudhAl
ahkAvE thI vinaigaL Ayndhu

Word by Word Meanings

nIr – you all (Oh people of the world!)
poruppu idaiyE – amidst the mountains
ninRum – standing
punal – in the waterways
kuLiththum – immersing in them
aindhu neruppidaiyE – amidst panchAgni (five fires)
niRkavum – doing penance, standing
vENdA – there is no need
viruppu udaiya – being desired (by all)
vehkA – at thiruvehkA (a divine abode in present day kAnchIpuram)
sErndhAnai – emperumAn who has come there and is reclining
mey – without expecting any benefit
malar thUy kai thozhudhAl – if one offers flowers and worships
thI vinaigaL – bad deeds  (sins, results of such bad deeds)
Ayndhu – analysing (that there is no place for us here) and knowing
ahkAvE – won’t they shrink? (implies that they will run away)

vyAkyanam

poruppidaiyE ninRum punal kuLiththum – standing amidst mountains during snowing winter time and taking bath in holy rivers during winter months

aindhu neruppidaiyE niRkavum nIr vENdA – lighting fires on all four sides and standing amidst them, with the sun in the sky burning down, during hot summer months (thus standing amidst five fires); there is no need to carry out any penance like this and suffer. AzhwAr is asking whether we have to get rid of our sins by suffering like this. Instead, he tells us to follow the simple method given below and get rid of our sorrows.

viruppudaiya vehkAvE sErndhAnai – going to thiruvehkA, which emperumAn and others like, where he has taken residence.

mey malar thUy kai thozhudhAl – instead of mixing up with the falsity of desiring other benefits, if we truly consider the benefit of desiring only emperumAn, offer flowers  and worship him, and attain him

ahkAvE thIvinaigaL Ayndhu – bad deeds, analysing that this is not the correct place for us, will run away. Will they stay there a moment longer? Sins will analyse that this is not the correct place for us and will flee the place. Do sins have knowledge to analyse? An old saying goes like this “vrushti prathIkshASchalAya:” (paddy field is expecting rain). In the same way we should consider this too. periyAzhwAr too has divinely mentioned in his periyAzhwAr thirumozhi  5.4.3 “summenAdhE kaivittOdith thURugaL pAyndhanavE” ((the sins) without even breathing, ran and hid themselves in the bushes).

vehkAvE sErndhAnai – while he has come to thiruvehkA as if he is carrying out a deed in order to attain you all, do you also have to perform a deed in order to attain him?  Is there need for two people to undertake two tasks for attaining the same benefit?

meymmalar thUvi Ayndhu – we can construe the meaning for this as – if we analyse his auspicious qualities, meditate on those and worship him with our hands, sins will not come anywhere near us. If the text is taken as men malar thUvi, the meaning will become – worshipping him with soft flowers.

We will take up the 77th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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siRiya thirumadal – Introduction

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thirumangai AzhwAr’s chronological sequence of works is periya thirumozhi, thirukuRuNthANdakam, thiruvezhukURRirukkai, siRiya thirumadal, periya thirumadal and thiruneduNthAndakam. In thirukuRuNthANdakam, thirumangai AzhwAr saw parama purushan (supreme being) SrIman nArAyaNan in his heart through his internal senses, as revealed by pAsurams such as thirukkuRuNdhANdagam 1 “en manaththu vandha vidhiyinaik kaNdukoNda thoNdanEn vidugilEnE” (I, the servitor of emperumAn, having seen him when he came, with compassion, on his own volition into my mind, will never let go of him). In thiruvezhukURRirukkai, he yearned for SrIman nArAyaNan and expressed his desire to enjoy him with his external senses as well. He performed SaraNAgathi (act of surrendering) at the lotus feet of the lord at thirukkudandhai. This could be seen in verses such as “selvam malgu thenthirukkudandhai aNdhaNar mandhira mozhiyudan vaNanga, AdaravamaLiyil aRithuyilamarndha parama ninadiyiNaip paNivan” (Oh supreme being! You are reclining on the bed of AdhiSAEshan with his expanded hood in the southern town of thirukkudandhai which is full of opulence and where brAhmaNas are worshipping you, reciting vEdhic scriptures. I surrender to your twin divine feet in order to get rid of the difficulties in this materialistic world). Even after this SaraNAgathi, since his desire was not fulfilled.  thirumangai AzhwAr started to explore the reason for the futility of his SaraNAgathi. parama purushan SrIman nArAyaNan is not someone who does not know the situation which thirumangai AzhwAr is confronted with. He is not someone who does not have the power to reach the place where thirumangai AzhwAr is. He is not someone who is not wanted by thirumangai AzhwAr and so all these aforementioned reasons could not be valid. thirumangai AzhwAr had just then performed SaraNAgathi and so that would  mean that there is nothing that thirumangai AzhwAr needs to do more. Hence, that is also not a reason for the delay in showing himself. The reason for the delay on the part of SrIman nArAyaNan, is neither because of thirumangai AzhwAr’s efforts nor SrIman nArAyaNan’s lack of power and knowledge. The real reason is that SrIman nArAyaNan did not have in his heart, the desire to mingle with thirumangai AzhwAr at that point in time. Therefore, thirumangai AzhwAr decides that he is going to do whatever it takes even if it means to destroy his essential nature of pAranthanthriyam (total dependence on SrIman nArAyaNan). When emperumAn incarnated as krishNa and danced with pots, a pirAtti (lady) gets deeply involved with that. Not being able to attain him otherwise, she decides to engage with madal. thirumangai AzhwAr manifests his situation through the madal of that pirAtti, in this dhivya prabandham.

What is “madal”? Just as the SrI rAmAyaNam SlOkam sundhara kANdam 16-5 says “thulyaSeela vayOvruththAm thulyAbhijanalakshaNam I rAghavOrhathi vaidhEhIm thamsEyam asithEkshaNA II ” (for sIthAppirAtti who had matching auspicious qualities, age, discipline, clan and beauty, SrI rAma is the most apt person. For SrI rAma too, only sIthAp pirAtti who has black eyes, is the most apt person) both nAyaka (male lead of a play or story) and nAyaki (female lead of the play or story) should be of matching age with the nAyaka being complete in having the (masculine) qualities of knowledge, pride, inquisitiveness and firmness and the nAyaki being complete having the (feminine) qualities of shyness, obedience, fear, paleness of skin in separation. The nAyaki goes to a garden with her friends to pluck flowers. The nAyaka also goes to the same garden for hunting. Due to the act of destiny, the nAyaki’s best friend is engaged in some other work, leaving the nAyaki alone at that point of time. nAyaka and nAyaki look at each other at first and that leads to their union. Since continued union between them, if not checked, would lead to their end ultimately, just like crop would be destroyed by excessive inundation, providence decided to separate them so that they could enjoy for a long time, with patience, in future. Their respective relatives too noticed changes in their forms subsequently, just as it is mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 9-8-5 pAsuram  “punai izhaigaLaNivum Adaiyudayum pudhukkaNippum ninaiyum nIrmaiyadhanRu” (even if we try to enjoy her greatness in the way that she is wearing her previously worn ornaments (with added beauty now), the beauty of her clothes and her freshness, it is beyond our thoughts). The relatives kept the two in their respective custody so that they could not meet. However, the separation increased their distress a hundred, thousand times more. At this juncture, the nAyaka or nAyaki, unable to get to attain the other, indulges in a daring act which is referred to as madal.

The daring act is to destroy the beloved’s characteristics such svarUpa (basic nature), rUpa (physical beauty), guNa (qualities) and vibhUthi (wealth). The person draws a picture of his or her beloved, keeps staring incessantly at the picture without eating ghee and drinking milk. He or she does not take bath either nor decorates himself (or herself). He or she would sit on top of a horse made of palm leaves and pretend that he or she is travelling on the horse all over the place with disheveled hair. He or she would cry out saying “this person has estranged from me. He or she does not have any mercy towards me. He or she is a hard-hearted and cruel person. There is no limit to the harmful acts that he or she can indulge in”. Such an act, in which the person goes all over the streets, with those who hear such laments taking pity on him or her, is termed as engaging in madal. Isn’t the act of negating the innate nature, beauty, qualities and wealth of the beloved, equivalent to destroying that person?

What is the purpose of this cruel act of engaging in madal?  The relatives of the two lovers could try to unite them. It is also possible that the king of that country could help in uniting the two. If the friends and relatives of the two give up on them, the two could unite and sustain each other, like a heap of weapons where each weapon sustains the other weapons. If none of the above happens, then there will be the pride that the nAyaka or nAyaki ended his or her life because he or she could not get his or her beloved.

Just as nammAzhwAr had mentioned In his thiruvAimozhi 1-5 “vaLavEzh ulagil” decad, the AzhwArs are of the nature who would, thinking of their lowliness, say “If I go to such a great person (emperumAn), I would bring him lowly stature” and move away from him.  Given this nature of AzhwArs, could they be involved in engaging in madal which is a cruel act on emperumAn? They are not the ones who are going to destroy the qualities of SrIman nArAyaNan by engaging in madal till the end.  Just as namAzhwAr had threatened that he would engage in madal as said in his thiruVaimozhi 5-3-9 “ANaiyen thOzhi ulagu thOru alarthURRi, Am kONaigaL seydhu kudhiriyAi madalUrdhumE)” (Oh dear friend! We will certainly engage in madal, ridiculing emperumAn at every place, carrying out tough acts, as an uncontrollable girl) and in thiruvAimozhi 5-3-10 “yAm madalUrndhum em AzhiyangaippirAnudai, thUmadal thaNNandhuzhAi malar koNdu sUduvOm” (even if we have to engage in madal, we will do that and wear the garland of thuLasi which has sacred leaves and which is cool, offered to us by emperumAn who has the divine disc in his beautiful divine hand), this AzhwAr too threatens SrIman nArAyaNan that he would perform madal so that he would come to AzhwAr, as mentioned in siRiya thirumadal “UrAdhozhiyEn nAn vArAr pUm peNNai madal” (I will not stop from engaging in madal with the long, beautiful palm leaf) and in periya thirumadal “ulagaRiya Urvan nAn manniya pUm peNNai madal” (I will engage in madal with the great, beautiful palm leaf, with the entire world knowing about it) but did not fulfil the act of engaging in madal.

The act of performing madal is similar to what SrI rAma had said in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 21-22 “chApamAnaya saumithrE! SarAmSchAshIvishOpamAn I sAgaram SOshayishyAmi“. (“Hey lakshmaNa! Get me the bow and arrows which are venomous. I will dry up the ocean). SrI rAmA threatened the ocean [just as thirumangai AzhwAr threatened emperumAn that he will engage in madal]. AzhwArs think that if they indicate their steadfastness, SrIman nArAyaNan will come running to them. They are not the ones who will complete the task of performing a madal. The reason for their running away from SrIman nArAyaNan after thinking of their lowliness is because of the greatness of bhagavath vishayam (matters related to emperumAn). It is because they are unable to tolerate their separation from emperumAn after meditating on the greatness of his qualities and the significance of the entity [emperumAn] that they indulge in activities such as observing nOnbu (penance, religious austerities etc) and engaging in madal which are against their svarUpam (basic nature).

Is the greatness of emperumAn the only reason for their attaining him and separating from him? When they look at the significance of emperumAn and think about their lowliness, they will separate themselves from emperumAn saying “We should not attain him”. When they keep thinking of his greatness, they will attempt to enjoy him, without thinking of their lowliness. When they are enjoying ArAmudhan (insatiable nectar) their lowliness will not appear to them. Hence they fall head over heels in enjoying him.

Even then, why do AzhwArs not speak in their own nature [as a male] but speak in the nature of a pirAtti (consort of emperumAn)? Since the AthmA’s svarUpa nirUpaka dharmas (basic defining qualities) manifest themselves radiantly like the extraordinary qualities of women, especially the qualities of a pathivrathA (a female who is totally dedicated to her husband) such as (a) ananyArhaSEshathvam (the quality of not being subservient to anyone other than SrIman nArAyaNan (b) ananyaSaraNathvam (the quality of not surrendering to anyone other than SrIman nArAyaNan) and (c) ananyabhOgyathvam (the quality of not being an enjoyable object to anyone other than SrIman nArAyaNan) which the AthmA has towards emperumAn, since great people like AzhwArs can sustain themselves only if they are with emperumAN and cannot sustain themselves in separation from him, since during the moment of liberation [from the material world] their knowledge blossoms and matches that of emperumAn’s consorts, since these AzhwArs have been granted faultless knowledge and devotion even when they are in the materialistic world and are on an equal footing with the consorts of emperumAn, the AzhwArs speak in the nature of the consorts of emperumAn.

Well known thamizh literature thirukkuRaL says “kadalanna kAmaththarAgilum mAdhar madalUrAr maRRaiyAr mEl” (even if their lust is as deep as the ocean, women will not engage in madal) and “kadalanna kAmamuzhandhum madalErAp peNNir perundhakkadhil” ( no birth is considered greater than that of those women who do not engage in madal even if they are troubled by lust). When it is clearly mentioned in such thamizh scriptures that it is the hallmark of women not to engage in madal, is it proper on the part of AzhwAr to assume the mood of a pirAtti and engage in madal?  If it happens that between men and women, only males have unabated love towards their beloved and that the women’s love towards their beloved is within limits, then what has been said in thamizh literature could be correct. However, in reality it does not seem to be the case as we see instances where the love towards their beloved is unabated for both men and women.  Thus, in line with samskrutham scriptures, which say that anyone can engage in madal if their love crosses boundaries, this pirAtti (AzhwAr in feminine mood) engages in madal.

While it is natural for both men and women to have uninhibited and unconstrained love towards their beloved, why did in thamizh literature such as tholkAppiyam (earliest known thamizh literature, composed more than 5000 years ago) thamizhas draw a line against madal? We do not know the reason for this restriction, just as we do not know the reason for a king’s order restraining manifestation of one’s desire. Since this AzhwAr himself has said in periya thirumadal “mAnOkkin anna nadaiyAr alarEsa Adavar mEl, mannu madalUrAr enbadhOr vAsagamum thennuraiyil kEttaRivadhuNdu, adhanai nAm theLiyOm mannum vadaneRiyE vENdinOm” (we have heard in thamizh scriptures that women, with the look of a doe and the gait of a swan, will not engage in madal over their beloved, as they would be abused; we not consider that to be apt; we would follow the method prescribed in the great samskrutham scriptures) we should consider that restriction imposed by thamizhas on women expressing their love has been done without knowing the nature of love (that it is unabated). 

These AzhwArs who have been blessed by SrIman nArAyaNan with knowledge and devotion (towards emperumAn) without any trace of ignorance will not follow the path of lust, if they have such knowledge. How is it that they are following lust which has been proscribed by the wise people? It is not the prAkruthakAmam (lust as seen in this materialistic world) that they preach in their prabandhams. It is rather the devotion towards bhagavAn as prescribed in upanishadhs such as bhruhadhAraNya upanishadh 4-4-5 “AthmA vA arE dhashtavya: SrOthravyO manthavyO nidhidhyAsithavya: (the supreme entity who is apt to be listened about and thought about, is the one who is to be meditated upon and is verily the one who is to be seen) which is referred to as lust here.

To the relatives of parakAla nAyaki (thirumangai AzvhAr in feminine mood) who tell her “The act of performing madal does not suit your feminine character that is made of total dependence towards SrIman nArAyaNan. Nor does it complement his supreme masculine qualities. What is apt for your feminine character is to wait for him to come on his own” parakAla nAyaki replies “I lost out my heart by getting engaged with the activities of that supreme entity which are attractive towards the heart. I had even remained steadfast saying ‘Let him come on his own. I will not engage in prohibited activities such as madal which will bring disrepute to his auspicious qualities’. Even then, he is not coming. I am unable to sustain myself in separation. Unless I engage in madal and attain him, I cannot sustain my life”. madal is stating one’s resolve like this. 

Instead of actually performing a madal, why should she express her resolve in performing the madal and procrastinate thereby?  It is because parakAla nAyaki has to (a) list out the reasons for engaging in madal, (b) make her relatives to agree to her action, (c) ensure that she does not destroy him who has great, auspicious qualities in a hurry and (d) allow time for him to come.

We will see the first part of this prabandham in the next article.

adiyen santhAna rAmAnuja dhAsan

 

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mUnRAm thiruvandhAdhi – 75 – sArndhu agadu thEyppa

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avathArikai

AzhwAr enjoys an event that takes place in thirumalai where kaNNapirAn (emperumAn) who has the characteristic of annihilating enemies, dwells.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

sarndhagadu thEyppath thadAviya kOttuchchi vAy
Urndhiyangum veNmadhiyin oNmuyalai sErndhu
sinavEngai pArkkum thirumalaiyE Ayan
punavEngai nARum poruppu

Word by Word Meanings

thadAviya – expansive
kOdu – peaks
uchchi vAy – on top
agadu thEyppa – rubbing the lower part of the stomach
sArndhu – approaching
Urndhu iyangum – moving slowly
veN madhiyin – on the white coloured moon’s
oN muyalai – beautiful rabbit
sinam vEngai – an angry tiger
sErndhu – approaching
pArkkum – will keep looking at the rabbit (without catching it or leaving it)
thirumalaiyE – only thirumalai
Ayan – kaNNapirAn’s (krishNa’s)
punam vEngai nARum – with the sweet fragrance of vEngai trees (a type of tropical tree) which grow well on its land
veRpu – mountain

vyAkyanam

sArndhu agadu thEyppath thadAviya kOttuchchi vAy – approaching the top of the expansive peaks and rubbing its lower stomach

Urndhu iyangum veN madhiyin – moon which is slowly moving. Since it is rubbing against the peak, due to the sharpness gained, the light emitted by the moon is bright (this implies that the peaks of thiruvEngadam rise up to the moon)

Urndhu iyangum – the white coloured moon is looking for a resting place to rid of its tiredness and is moving slowly.

oN muyalai – the beautiful rabbit which is on moon (the craters on the moon appear like rabbit and hence it used to be said that there are rabbits on moon).

sErndhu sina vEngai pArkkum – an angry tiger, looking at the rabbit will approach the moon in order to eat the rabbit, and will keep looking at it constantly. Since rabbit is a natural prey for tiger, it will keep looking at it. Since it is not real rabbit and since it cannot approach it easily, the tiger cannot catch it. It cannot leave it either, since it has a great desire for the meat. Hence it will keep looking at it.

Ayan puna vEngai nARum poruppu – it is the place which kaNNapirAn, the cowherd, determines to be his and where the tropical vEngai trees will emit a sweet fragrance since they are growing on their lands.

Ayan – he becomes very happy if he sees forests and mountains. For the cowherds who live in forests, the sweet fragrance of trees in the forest will be very dear. Hence, will not the sweet fragrance emitted by the trees in thirumalai be liked by the one who has taken residence there!

We will take up the 76th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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