Daily Archives: June 18, 2018

thiruvAimozhi – 6.10.4 – AvA ennAdhu

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SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

Full series >> Sixth Centum >> Tenth decad

Previous pAsuram

Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In the fourth pAsuram, AzhwAr says “I don’t have any means in me which will lead to you; hence you should find out a means and mercifully bestow that to me”. Also explained as AzhwAr saying “You who eliminate everyone’s hurdles and protect them without any restriction, should mercifully ensure that I reach your divine feet”.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

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.


AvA! ennAdhu ulagaththai alaikkum asurar vANAL mEl
thIvAy vALi mazhai pozhindha silaiyA! thirumA magaL kELvA
dhEvA! surargaL munik kaNangaL virumbum thiruvEngadaththAnE!
pUvAr kazhalgaL aruvinaiyEn porundhumARu puNarAyE


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

ulagaththai – world
A A – alas! alas! [taking pity]
ennAdhu – not showing mercy
alaikkum – those who torment
asurar – demons
vANAL mEl – on life
thIvAy – fire-faced
vALi – arrows
mazhai – like rain
pozhindha – shooting
silaiyA – oh one who is having SrI SArnga bow
thiru mA magaL – for lakshmi who is being the valourous consort and who is pleased after his eliminating such enemies
kELvA – being the aptly beautiful consort
dhEvA – shining due to that

(due to such quality of eliminating the enemies)
surargaL – dhEvas (celestial beings)
muni – rishis (sages)
kaNangaL – groups
virumbum – to be desired
thiruvEngadaththAnE – Oh one who resides in thirumalA!
pU – by flowers (offered by groups of celestial beings and sages)
Ar – filled
kazhalgaL – divine feet

(while I am qualified to enjoy them)
aru – unconquerable
vinaiyEn – I, who am having sins
porundhum – to reach
ARu – means
puNarAy – mercifully teach me.

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

Oh emperumAn who is having SrI SArnga bow which is shooting fire-faced arrows like rain targeting the lives of demons who torment the world instead of showing mercy, taking pity on it! Oh one who is the aptly beautiful consort for lakshmi who is being the valourous consort and who is pleased after his eliminating such enemies, and is shining due to that! Oh one who resides in thirumalA to be desired by groups of dhEvas and rishis! I am having unconquerable sins which stop me from reaching your divine feet filled with flowers; mercifully teach me the means to reach them.

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

[karma yOga, gyAna yOga, bhakthi yOga and prapaththi/SaraNAgathi are explained as the first four means. It is generally considered that bhagavAn [SaraNAgathi to him] is the ultimate means. But AchArya abhimAnam (mercy of AchArya) is explained as the fifth means in SrIvaishNava sampradhAyam. As AchArya is considered as the divine feet of bhagavAn, this AchArya abhimAnam is considered as the extension of the fourth upAyam. A conversation between nanjIyar and nampiLLai is highlighted by vadakkuth thiruvIdhip piLLai in relation to AchArya abhimAnam which is also known as panchamOpAyam (fifth upAyam)]

Once nampiLLai mercifully asked nanjIyar “It is said that there is a panchamOpAyam; is it seen in this world?”. nanjIyar mercifully replied “I don’t know; as bhagavAn is the fourth upAyam, talking about the fifth upAyam is similar to some people talking about vyOmAthItha [vyOmAthItha is a claim made by pASupatha followers; they say that rudhra is the antharyAmi for bhagavAn SrIman nArAyaNa, which is unfounded in SAsthram]; I have not heard about this” [The principle here is, nanjIyar did not want to reveal about the secretive fifth upAyam in public].

But while he was mercifully explaining this pAsuram, nampiLLai again asked “It appears that AzhwAr is asking emperumAn to present a separate means to him”, and nanjIyar mercifully responded “Oh! You have misunderstood the concept here; the meaning for AzhwAr’s words is – while you (emperumAn) are present, why I am still not attaining my goal” [nanjIyar is categorically saying that there is no scope for any upAyam other than bhagavAn in this case, as AzhwAr is simply lamenting about the delay]. mahAbhAratham “sAham kESagraham prAptha – thvayijIvathyapiprabhO” – [dhraupadhi said] While you (krishNa) were present, I was insulted by someone who dragged me by my hair!  Where is the match for your existence and my insult? prabhO – I could remain relaxed if you too were a woman like me; while you are capable of eliminating the insults, was I not still insulted!

[The role of prapaththi, our surrender is clarified through another conversation. Here it is explained that though emperumAn is always present as the means, in the initial stages, our surrender acts as the qualification for the result and in the end, it becomes part of the result/goal]

A disciple of nanjIyar asked him “While emperumAn is the means, I am not seeing what we accomplish through our prapaththi”, nanjIyar, closing his ears [in anguish], replied to him “The most confidential principle, which was explained by our AchAryas starting from nAthamunigaL through succeeding disciples, has to be explained by me who is a great sinner, to you who do not understand its greatness!”, beating on his head [again in anguish] and brought him into the sanctum of emperumAn.

Just as emperumAn‘s divine form, the qualities of such divine form and the qualities of his true nature, are part of the goal for the nithyasUris and mukthAthmAs, for a qualified mumukshu (one who is desirous of liberation), the dhvayam [which emphasises on surrender] itself is part of the goal.

  • A A ennAdhu – To please ISvara means to show compassion towards his world. nanjIyar mercifully says “If one cannot tolerate the suffering of others, one can oneself determine ‘I have connection with bhagavAn‘; but if one considers ‘it is alright for others to suffer’, then one can withdraw saying ‘I have no connection with bhagavAn’ “.  Here, others means everyone other than self. But should we show compassion towards the unfavourable? Yes, that is the opinion of AzhwArs/AchAryas. We should remain [concerned for them too] thinking “Oh they have not lost their evil interests and become favourable”. When emperumAn himself says in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 18.34 “yadhi vA rAvaNa svayam” (Even if rAvaNa had come [bring him along, he too is given refuge]), should those who live in his world not have the same attitude? But how does it align with what is said in thiruvAimozhi 10.7.5 “naNNA asurar naliveydha” (emperumAn appears to destroy the demons who show hatred)? Well, when the hatred is deeply imprinted in them, he slays them. Just as the sacrifices done in yagyas such as agnIshOmIya are good for the animal that is sacrificed, this killing of demoniac persons is also good for them, since he rids the soul of the body which facilitates hatred and leads the soul into the path of goodness.
  • A A ennAdhu (ulagaththai alaikkum) – While the demons should take pity [on the sufferers], they will further torment them. It cannot be thought “they are fighting for wealth and lust; both are desirable [and so are fighting]”; instead of that, they are just tormenting the world. They would torment others just as they eat, wear clothes etc., i.e. as a natural activity.
  • asurar – The reason for this is they are demoniac by nature.
  • vANAL mEl – While their valourous decorations remain intact, emperumAn attacked their life. That is, eliminating their life span.
  • thIvAy vALi – When perumAL (SrI rAma) launches, it can be said as arrow. But once it reaches the target, it will be like fire ball piercing through. When the arrow leaves the string of SrI SArnga bow, it will travel like a branch of fire growing out. This is how it is when his qualities are subdued [also said as, when the arrow leaves the string]. SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 16.22 [vibhIshaNa tells rAvaNa] “dhIptha pAvaka sankASai:” (resembling blazing fire) – this is how it feels when the arrow hits someone. Sithai: (Sharp) – Before realising being hit, it will pierce through and fall down on the other side of the body. kAnchana bhUshaNai: (adorned with gold) – they have two different manifestations (being ornament as well as weapon). As said in periya thirumozhi 7.3.4 “sarangaLANda thaNdAmaraik kaNNanukkanRi en manam thAzhndhu nillAdhu” (My heart will not wait for anyone but SrI rAma who has reddish lotus like eyes and who controls the arrows), it is his bow and arrow which help capture the favourable ones too. na thvAm ichchAmi (do not wish to see you killed) – while one can live being the target of such beauty, I do not wish to see you being killed. I don’t know what you are thinking. When I see him standing with the firm bow and the arrow, he looks so beautiful to me; just as one will drown in a lake which was dug to quench the thirst, I can’t see you fight with him and get killed instead of enjoying his beauty. He is known as a lake as said in thiruvAimozhi 10.1.8 “dhayaradhan peRRa maragadha maNith thadam” (the green-gem like pond who is born to dhaSaratha).
  • vALi mazhai pozhindha silaiyA – As said in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 94.18 “Saravarsham vavarshaha” (did he not pour down a rain of arrows?), he poured down arrows heavily.
  • thiru mA magaL kELvA – Here AzhwAr is speaking about the one who joyfully embraces after seeing him defeat the enemies. One who does as in SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 30.39 “barthAram parishasvajE” (embraced her husband).
    • tham dhrushtvA – She saw emperumAn, who should be warded off evil eyes even normally, in his valourous form after defeating the enemies.
    • SathruhanthAram – Not only he slaughtered them without any impact for his own body, he also cut them into pieces. Previously when they were in SrI ayOdhyA, she would hear from the relatives about his hunting trips “when he went for hunting, he fought like this; he stabbed a tiger, he stabbed a lion”. She witnessed all such acts when he started fighting.
    • maharshINAm sukAvaham – one who eliminated the enemies of the sages and let them live there peacefully. For those who knew their true nature – while they could have defeated the demons using the power of their penances, they depended fully on SrI rAma. SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 1.21 “garbabhUthAs thapOdhanA:” – those who fully depend on emperumAn even when they lost their prime wealth. While they had the wealth of their penance, they were also like foetus in the womb (fully dependent). While the foetus can try on its own, when it is in the womb, only the mother will have to protect it; similarly these sages were also fully dependent on emperumAn for his protection. emperumAn protects the favourable ones and annihilates the unfavourable ones, only for pirAtti’s pleasure.
    • babhUva – On seeing his lone battle with the fourteen thousand powerful demons, she remained frightened and lifeless thinking “what will happen now?”, but now she regained her life. bhU saththAyAm – The root of the word bhUtha, that which exists.
    • hrushtA – As she regained her life, the bliss which naturally exists there also manifested.
    • vaidhEhi – Just as the daughters of the teachers who teach vEdham would have memorized vEdham just by hearing their fathers teach the students, sIthA (vaidhEhi) is born in the vidhEha clan/dynasty which knows the nature of valour; how will my father, who gave me in marriage to him just for breaking a bow, feel when he sees his victory over fourteen thousand demons on his own!
    • barthAram – Previously, as SrI rAma was tender-hearted, she considered him to be immature and embraced him thinking “I am subservient to him since my father gave me in marriage to him”; only now, she embraced him thinking to be a true man;
    • parishasvajE – Fourteen thousand demons who were equivalent to rAvaNa in strength and were respected by him, shot arrows on SrI rAma and hence his body was full of scars of war; she pressed all those spots with her divine bosom to comfort him.
  • thiru mA magaL kELvA – Am I losing you due to your lack of strength? Or is it due to lack of purushakAram (recommendation from pirAtti)?
  • dhEvA – The radiance which he acquired after her embrace [dhivu – radiance]. Alternatively, it could highlight the radiance acquired on eliminating the enemies. (The divine abode thirumalA which is considered and glorified by the dhEvas and rishis thinking “This is the abode where the slayer of our enemies resides” and hoping that their desires too will be fulfilled).
  • surargaL … – The divine abode where all the favourable ones wait for him patiently.
  • pU Ar kazhalgaL – Explained as the divine feet which cannot sustain without the flowers. Also explained as divine feet which are similar to flowers.
  • aruvinaiyEn – He is capable of eliminating the hurdles; I have unlimited desire; his divine feet are infinitely enjoyable; still, I am having sin to not reach there and enjoy the same.
  • porundhumARu puNarAyEAzhwAr is considering himself to be similar to sIthA in aSOka vanam.
  • puNarAyE – AzhwAr says “you should create the means to make me reach your divine feet” or “you should ensure that I reach your divine feet”.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 2 – thErungAl dhEvan

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After AzhwAr mentioned in the previous pAsuram that brahmA, rudhra et al were created by nArAyaNa, he was asked by some samsAris “It is well known in the world that brahmA, vishNu and Siva are the three deities for creation, protection and annihilation respectively; thus, while it is apt to accept that all three are supreme beings, could you say that only nArAyaNa is the supreme being?”. AzhwAr responds in this pAsuram through the path of ithihAsams (epics).

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

thErungAl dhEvan oruvanE enRuraippar
Arum aRiyAr avan perumai Orum
poruL mudivum iththanaiyE eththavam seydhArkkum
aruL mudivadhu AzhiyAn pAl

Word for Word Meanings

thErungAl – if one were to analyse
dhEvan – supreme being
oruvanE enRu uraippar – (wise men) will say that there is only one
avan perumai – the greatness of that sarvESvaran
Arum aRiyAr – no one knows
Orum poruL mudivum iththanaiyE – the meaning established by analysing (vEdhas and ithihAsas) is only this much
eththavam seydhArkkum – for all who have carried out penance to whatever extent
aruL mudivadhu – the final benefit of mercy
AzhiyAn pAl – from emperumAn who has divine disc


therungAl dhEvan oruvanE enRu uraippar – if one were to analyse with the assistance of pramAnas (authentic texts) the wise sages will say that the supreme being is only one and that he is SrIman nArAyaNa. The wise sages established that “thathvam jigyAsamAnAnAm hEthubis sarvathOmukhai: I thathvamEkO mahAyOgI harir nArAyaNa smrutha: II” (those who desire to know the supreme being think that it is only nArAyaNa who is a mahA yOgi and is known by the name hari, who is the only supreme being, for a variety of reasons). Thus AzhwAr says that the claim of samsAris that there are three supreme beings is incorrect.

Arum aRiyAr avan perumai – no one can estimate his greatness

Orum poruL mudivum iththanaiyE – the established meaning of all that has been mentioned in Sruthis (vEdhas or sacred texts) and smruthis (ithihAsas and purANas or epics and ancient histories) is only this much. Many quotations have been given to establish this statement, as detailed below:

vEdha vAkyas: (quotations from sacred texts)

  • dhivyO dhEva EkO nArAyaNa – nArAyaNa is the only divine dhEva
  • ISathE dhEva Eka: – dhEva alone controls chith (sentient) and achith (insentient) entities
  • EkO dhEvas sarvabhUthEshu gUda: – there is only one dhEva who is hidden in all creations
  • Eka svathanthrO jagathO babhUva: – there is only one independent lord for the entire universe
  • bhUthasya jAtha: pathirEka AsIth – he was the only lord for all creations
  • EkO ha vai nArAyaNa AsIth – only nArAyaNa was there at the beginning

smruthi vAkyas (quotations from ithihAsas and purANas)

  • Eka SAsthA na dhvithIyO’sthi kaSchith – there is only one lord; no one else
  • Ekas thishtathi viSvAthmA sa cha nArAyaNa: – only nArAyaNa who is the AthmA for the entire universe, remains at the end
  • Eka Eva janArdhana: – it is only janArdhana who carries out all the three primary functions

Arum aRiyAr avan perumai Orum poruL mudivum iththanaiyE – Has it not been mentioned that the greatness of supreme being is not known to brahmA, rudhra, great sages such as sanaka et al and to himself [emperumAn] who is the controller of all, in various authentic texts!

 vEdhas (sacred texts) say:

  • ka iththA vEdha yathra sa: – who knows his basic nature and qualities
  • sO anga vEdha yadhi vA na vEdha – does he know or not know (his own greatness)
  • yasyAmatham thasya matham – one who does not know brahmam (supreme being) knows brahmam
  • yathO vAchO nivarththanthE – after not attaining whom, the words returned
  • I thE vishNO jAyamAnO na jAthO dhEva mahimna: paramanthamApa – Oh vishNu!  No one among those who is taking birth, who has been born (and who is going to be born) knows the limit of your greatness
  • EthAvA nasya mahimA athO jyAyAmScha pUrusha: – is this all his greatness? Is that supreme being not greater than these!

SrI rAmAyaNam

  • thvam hi lOka gathirdhEva na thvAm kEsana jAnathE – Oh dhEva! You are the refuge for the world,; none knows you

mahAbhAratham mOksha dharmam

  • prajApathincha rudhranchApyahamEva srujAmi vai I thau cha mAm na vijAnIthO mama mAyAprahamOthau – only I create brahmA and rudhra. They too, who are bewildered by my mAyA (prakruthi or primordial matter) do not know me
  • na sa Sakyas thvayA dhrashtum mayAnyair vApi saththama I sarvEshAm sAkshibhUthO’sau na grAhya: kEnachith kvachith – Oh child rudhra! That supreme being is not apt to be known by you or by me (brahmA) or by anyone else. He knows everything, being the witness to everything. This supreme being is not capable of being known by anyone at any point of time.

vishNusdharmam says “na yasya rUpam na balaprabhAvau na cha svabhAva: paramasya pumsa: I vigyAyathE sarvapithAmahAdhyais tham vAsudhEvam praNamAmyachinthyam” – I salute that vAsudhEva whose divine form and basic nature are not known to brahmA, rudhra et al and who cannot be known.

vishNu purANam

  • yannAyam bhagavAn brahmA jAnAthi paramam padham thannathA: sma jagadhdhAma thava sarvagathAchyutha II – Oh achyutha! We salute that divine form of yours, being the final refuge and sustenance for the entire universe, which bhagavAn brahmA doesn’t know.
  • yan na dhEvA na munayO nachAham na cha Sankara:jAnanthi paramESasya thadh vishNOr paramam padham II – we salute that vishNu who, being the final refuge and supreme lord, who is not known by dhEvas (celestial entities), sages, me (brahmA) and Sankara.

varAha purANam says “adhyApi mAm na jAnanthi rudhrEndhrAs sapithAmahA:” (brahmA, rudhra, indhra et al do not know me even today)

SrI bhagavath gIthA

  • nAham prkASas sarvasya yOgamAyAsamAvrutha:mUdO’yam nAbi jAnAthi lOkO mAmajamavyayam II – I, covered by the yOgamAyA (primordial matter), will not be visible to all. This ignorant world will not know me, the birthless and indelible entity)
  • mAm thu vEdha na kaSchana – no one knows me

AzhwAr was asked “We hear that brahmA, rudhra et al grant great benefits to those who carry out penance towards them; hence, can we not take it that they are also supreme beings?” He responds..

eththavam seydhArkkum aruL mudivadhu AzhiyAn pAl – irrespective of the extent of penance carried out by anyone, the final benefit is granted by the one who carries the divine disc. AzhwAr says that even if one carries out penance towards brahmA, rudhra et al, the benefit is granted by SrIman nArAyaNa, as the indwelling soul of brahmA, rudhra et al.

aruL mudivu adhu – those benefits which are accrued through (emperumAn’s) mercy.

eththavam …. Orum poruL mudivum iththanaiyE – if one were to examine the vEdhas and smruthis, it would be clear that for those who carry out means (for attaining emperumAn) the benefit is attained through nArAyaNa only. In bhavrucha Sruthi it is said “asya dhEvasya mIdushO vayA vishNOrEsha pravruthE  havirbhI: vidhEhi rudhrOrudhriyam mahaththvam” (rudhra attained his greatness only after carrying out penance towards vishNu). The same meaning has been quoted in mahAbhAratha which says “mayA srushta: purA brahmA math yagyamayajath svayam I thathas thasmai varAn prIthO thadhAMyahamanuththamAn II mathputhrathvancha kalpAdhau lOkAdhyakshathvamEva cha II ” (once upon a time, brahmA, who was created by me, carried out a ritual relating to me. Being pleased by that, I granted him the superior boons of being my son and being the head of universe) and “mahAdhEvas sarvamEdhE mahAthmA hUthvAthmAnam dhEvadhEvO babhUva” (in the sarvamEdha yagya (ritual), mahAdhEva (rudhra) offered himself as the sacrificial material and became dhEvadhEva)

Thus, AzhwAr, in this pAsuram, established that nArAyaNa is the supreme lord and brahmA, rudhra et al get their benefits granted by nArAyaNa only.

We will take up the 3rd pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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