nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 1 – nAnmuganai

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avathArikai

In the first pAsuram, AzhwAr instructs others (samsAris or dwellers in materialistic realm) that brahmA and Siva were described by vEdhas (spiritual texts) as  created entities and that just as they were primary entities for the expansion of samsAram (materialistic realm), he (AzhwAr) is determined to instruct the samsAris the rare meanings, asking them to uplift themselves through this instruction.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

nAnmuganai nArAyaNan padaiththAn nAnmuganum
thAnmugamAy sankaranaiththAn padaiththAn yANmugamAy
andhAdhi mElittu aRiviththEn AzhporuLai
sindhAmal koNminIr thErndhu

Word for Word Meanings

nArAyaNan – SrIman nArAyaNa (nArAyaNa, consort of SrI mahAlakshmi)
nAnmuganai padaiththAn – created brahmA who has four faces
nAnmuganum – that brahmA too
thAN mugamAy – keeping himself as the primary entity
sankaranai – rudhra
thAn padaiththAn – created himself
yAn mugamAy – I, keeping myself as primary entity
Azh poruLai – these meanings which are difficult to know
andhAdhi mElittu – in the form of andhAdhi (antha + Adhi – a form of poetry wherein the last letter/word/line of one verse becomes the first letter/word/line of next verse)
aRiviththEn – instructed
nIr – you (who are listening to this)
thErndhu – analysing
sindhAmal – ensuring that these meanings do not slip out
koLmin – retain in your mind

vyAkyAnam

nAnmuganai nAyAyaNan padaiththAnsarvESvaran (supreme being) is called by the unique name of nArAyaNa since he is the refuge for the nAra samUha (nArA: – collection of all the jIvAthmAs and achEthana objects) and has the nArA: as his refuge; also, he is the means as well as the end benefit for the jIvAthmAs. Such nArAyaNa created nAnmugan (brahmA) with four heads to pervade in all four directions and carry out creation and to keep reciting simultaneously the four vEdhas which aid in the creation.

nArAyaNan – this is the unique name for supreme being which manifests his all pervading quality, his being the sustenance for all, his being the means for SrIvaikuNtam and his being the final benefit for those who attain him.

nAnmuganai – this is the name for the one who has creation alone as his responsibility and who is controlled by his senses.

padaiththAn – created all the primary entities of universe as well as the creator [brahmA]. nArAyaNOpanishath says “nArAyaNAdh brahmA jAyathE” (brahmA was born out of nArAyaNa); subhAlOpanishath says “thathra brahmA chathurmukhOjAyathE” (there, brahmA, with four faces, was born); nArAyaNavalli says “yO brahmANam vidhadhAdhipUrvam” (…one who created brahmA earlier…); muNdakOpanishath says “brahmA dhEvAnAm prathamas sambhabhUva” (bhramA was born ahead of all dhEvas); mahOpanishath says “yannAbhipadhmAdhabhavan mahAthmA prajApathi:” (from whose navel like lotus the great AthmA brahmA was born); at the end of vEdhas it says “sa prajApathirEka: pushkaraparNE sambhavath” (prajApathi [brahmA] was born on a lotus). AzhwAr mercifully mentions about such brahmA as having been created by nArAyaNa.

nAnmuganum thAn mugamAy sankaranaiththAn padaiththAn – that brahmA, keeping himself as the primary entity, created Siva. AzhwAr reminisces the words mentioned in vEdhas such as “virUpAkshAya brahmaNa: puthrAya jyEshtAya” (to virUpAksha [rudhra] who is the first son of brahmA), “thryaksha: SUlabhANi: purushO’jAyatha” (having trident, the purusha (jIvAthmA) with three eyes was born), “samvathsarE kumArO’jAyatha” (in a year (at one point of time) rudhra was born as a son to brahmA) etc.

thAnmugamAyp padaiththAn – after receiving instruction about vEdhas from emperumAn, without having the need to approach emperumAn for any clarification, brahmA made himself as the primary entity and created Siva. We can also construe this as “lalAtAth krOdhajO rudhra:” (rudhra was born out of the forehead of brahmA).

yAn mugamAy andhAdhi mElittu aRiviththEn AzhporuLai – just as brahmA, as the primary entity, created for the expansion of samsAram, AzhwAr says that he is going to instruct these difficult-to-know meanings for its annihilation, on his own, without  the jIvAthmAs asking his for it.

andhAdhi mElittu aRiviththEn – just as one engraves on copper plate and stones, AzhwAr says that he is writing these meanings in the form of an andhAdhi (a classification of poems).

AzhporuLai aRiviththEn – AzhwAr says that he magnanimously gave these meanings which are similar to gemstones in the ocean of Sruthi (vEdhas) and smruthi (purANas and ithihAsas), being unable to bear the sorrows of samsAris.

AzhporuLai andhAdhi mElittu aRiviththEn – this is like embedding ruby stones in gold.

AzhporuLai – from the fact that brahmA, Siva et al were created, it is clear that they will get destroyed one day. AzhporuL refers to the fact that they get destroyed. AzhwAr says that he is mentioning that brahmA, Siva et al are entities who get destroyed and it is this meaning that he wants to convey.

nIr thErndhu sidnhAmal koNmin – AzhwAr tells samsAris to analyse the lowliness of samsAram and the greatness of what he is saying, and being intelligent, think about which is more apt for themselves, without getting distracted.

sindhAmal koNmin – do not let go of the gemstone that I have donated and hold it firmly! He is praying to samsAris in a way which is similar to one falling at the feet of another to take milk.

An interesting meaning is given by vaikuNtavAsi SrI prathivAdhi bhayankaram aNNangarAchAryar swAmy for the usage of the past tense in AzhwAr’s last line: aRiviththEn AzhporuLai – AzhwAr says that he has announced the inner meanings even before he starts conveying them. This is because he feels that emperumAn, being sathya sankalpan (one who fulfils what he sets out to do), wants to convey the meanings through him and also because he is firm in his mind that through his pAsurams (hymns) he is going to establish the supremacy of emperumAn and hence he has decided that he has already conveyed the meanings. In thamizh grammar, this is referred to as kAlavazhuvamaidhi (due to one’s clarity of mind, conveying what is going to happen as having already happened).

We will go on to the 2nd pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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