nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 4 – ARu sadaikkarandhAn

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In the first pAsuram, AzhwAr ascertained that it is nArAyaNa who is the cause for the birth of brahmA, rudhra et al. In the second pAsuram he said that since there is only one supreme being, three cannot become causative factor for the worlds. In the third pAsuram he said that only he knows the greatness as well as the simplicity of emperumAn. At this point of time, devotees of Siva asked him:

  • EkO hi rudhrO na dhvIthIyAya thasthu: – rudhra is only one; there is no one else
  • yO dhEvAnAm prabavaS chOdhbhayaScha viSvAdhikO rudhrO maharshi: I hiraNyagarbham janayAmAsa pUrvam sa nObhudhdhyA SubayA samyunakthu II – let that rudhra who is the causative factor for all dhEvas (celestial entities), who is the cause for their development, who is the lord for the universe, who is omniscient and who initially gave birth to brahmA, grant us good knowledge
  • thasmAth sarva gatha: Siva: – thus Siva is the refuge for all
  • sarvasya prabhum ISAnam – Siva who is the lord of all…
  • mAyinam thu mahESvaram – know that mahESvaran is amazing
  • gyAthvA Sivam SAnthimadhyanthamEthi – he attains peace after knowing Siva
  • Sivamsarva bhUthEshu gUdam – Siva who is hidden in all creations…
  • Siva Eva kEvala: – only Siva was there
  • ISas sarvAdhipathyam kuruthE – ISan is the master of all
  • bhAvAbhAvakaram Sivam – Siva who carries out creation and destruction…
  • thamISvarANAm paramam mahESvaram – he who is the mahESvara (great controller) of all ISvaras..
  • Siva EkO dhyEya: – Siva alone is apt to be meditated upon
  • ahamEka prathamamAsam varththAmi cha bhavishyAmi cha nAnya: kaSchin maththO vyathiriktha: – (I, Siva alone, was there at the beginning; am present now; will be there in future. There is no one other than myself)

These followers of Siva asked AzhwAr “While vEdhas, at many instances, proclaim loudly that Siva is the causative factor for all the worlds and that he is the indwelling soul for all, could you say that nArAyaNa alone is the causative factor for all the worlds? Since nArAyaNa has been proclaimed in the vEdhas in a few instances as the causative factor for the worlds and since all the above mentioned instances, quoted from vEdhas, mention that Siva is the supreme being, it will be apt to consider that both are supreme beings. This being the case, how can your words ‘only I know his (nArAyaNa’s) supremacy’ be taken at face value?”. AzhwAr tells them in this pAsuram the way by which he knew that nArAyaNa is the supreme being.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

ARu sadaik karandhAn aNdarkOn thannOdum
kURudaiyan enbadhuvum koLgaiththE vERoruvan
illAmai ninRAnai emmAnai epporutkum
sollAnaich chonnEn thoguththu

Word for Word Meanings

ARu – the river gangA (Ganges)
sadai – in his matted hair
karandhAn – rudhra is bearing it (gangA) in a hidden fashion
aNdar kOn thannOdum – with bhagavAn who is the lord of all dhEvas
kURu udaiyan enbadhuvum – the words spoken (by ignorant people) that he is equal
koLgaiththE – could it be approved? (No)
vERu oruvar illAmai ninRAnai – one who excels in not having anyone to compare with
epporutkum sollAnai – one who has every word used for referring to all the things as referring to himself (this is called as sarvaSabdha vAchyan – all sounds referring to him)
emmAnai – emperumAn
thoguththuch chonnEn – I mentioned briefly


AzhwAr says while that there are authentic proofs in vEdhas that Siva is the causative factor, he is asking the followers of Siva as to why they are not analysing whether this word Siva refers to the one on whom they have lot of affection.

ARu sadaikkarandhAn – Siva bore the river gangA, when brahmA washed the divine feet of emperumAn [during thrivikrama avathAram] with it, in order to remove the impurities in himself. It is apt to recall what brahmA had said in ISvara samhithai “dhravibhUthas thadhA dharmO haribhakthyA mahAmunE I gruhIthvA dharma pAnIyam padham nAthasya thushtayE II kshAlitham parayA bhakthyA pAdhyArghyAdhibhir Architham I thadhambu pathitham dhrushtvA dhadhAra SirasA hara:  II pAvanArththam jatA madhyE yOgyOsmIthya vadhAraNAth I varshAyuthAnyatha bahUn na mumOcha thadhA hara: II” (Oh the great rishi!  During that time (when emperumAn measured the worlds) dharmam (righteousness) out of devotion to hari (emperumAn) became a flowing water. Using that divine water, which is dharma, in order to make jagannAtha (lord of the worlds, emperumAn) happy, his divine feet were washed by me (brahmA).  He was worshipped with pAdhyam (washing the divine feet), argyam (washing the divine hands) etc. Looking at the water which was falling off emperumAn’s divine feet, Siva determined that he is apt (to be purified) and bore that water on his head in order to purify himself. After that, for ten thousand years, rudhra did not let go of that water).

ARu sadaikkarandhAnAzhwAr is asking whether it is not proper to enquire whether rudhra had the purity which is denoted by the word Siva.

sadai – the word sadai (matted hair) denotes a person who is observing penance towards a goal and hence it clearly points out that rudhra is not the supreme entity.

sadaik karandhAn – he bore the water from (emperumAn’s) divine feet on his matted hair.

karandhAn – just as people hide huge treasure inside trunks, Siva hid the water from emperumAn’s divine feet in his matted hair.

aNdarkOn thannOdum – along with nArAyaNa who stood as the lord of dhEvas due to this act of measuring the worlds.

kURudaiyan enbadhuvum koLgaiththE – is it apt to accept that gangAdhara (one who bore gangA) is equivalent to kESava in terms of qualities such as being a SEshi (one who accepts services from his followers), being the causative factor for all the worlds, having the ability to pervade all entities, having the ability to grant mOksham (liberating souls from samsAram and enabling them to ascend to SrIvaikuNtam) etc? Did not vEdha say “Eka: prAsIsarath pAdham Eka: prAchIkshalan mudhA I aparO’pyadharan mUrdhnA kOdhikas thEshugaNyathAm  II” (one raised his divine feet to high levels; one washed he divine feet; one bore the water falling from the divine feet on his head; you think and decide on who, among these three, is supreme).

When asked as to what is the reason for emphasising that Siva is not equivalent to emperumAn on qualities such as being the lord etc, AzhwAr says…

vERoruvar illAmai ninRAnai – isn’t he (emperumAn) one who does not have anyone equal or superior to him? emperumAn himself says in SrI bhagavath gIthA 7.6aham kruthsnasya jagatha: prabhava: praLayas thathA I maththa: paratharam nAnyath kinchithasthi dhanajaya: II” (I stand as the causative factor for the creation and destruction of the worlds; there is none superior to me) and SrI bhagavath gIthA 15.18yasmAth ksharamathIthO’hamaksharAdhapi chOththama: I athO’smi lOkE vEdhE cha prathitha: purushOththama: II” (being superior to kshara purusha (insentient entities) and akshara purusha (sentient entities) I am proclaimed as purushOththama (best among all entities) in vEdhas, epics and ancient histories). rishis (sages) say “na dhaivam kESavAth param” (there is none superior to kESava) and “na param puNdarIkAkshAth” (there is none superior to puNdarIksha (one with lotus like eyes)). vEdhas say “paramam prabhum nArAyaNam” (nArAyaNa who is without anyone superior to him) and “na thath samaSchAbhyadhigaScha dhruSyathE” (there is none who is seen to be equivalent or superior to him).When asked who is such an entity, AzhwAr responds …

emmAnai – one who is my lord. This is in keeping with thirumazhisai AzhwAr’s nature of not worshipping any other deity even by mistake. We can consider this as “one who made me, who is very lowly, as his servitor”

When AzhwAr was asked “While it is mentioned in different places [in vEdhas] that paramAthmA is denoted by the sounds “Siva, rudhra, ISan, ISvaran, mahESvaran et al” how is it that you are saying that only nArAyaNa is the supreme being?” he responds saying

epporutkum sollAnai – one who is denoted by all the sounds (words). AzhwAr says “Isn’t he referred to in vEdhas as the supreme being with words such as AkASam, jyOthi, indhra, rudhra, Siva, Esa, ISvara, mahESvara, purusha, purushOththama, uththama purusha, vishNu, hari, achyutha, anantha, nArAyana, thrivikrama, vAmana et al?”

epporutkum sollAnai – he is the direct reference for all sounds and the in dwelling soul for the meanings of all such sounds.  Let us consider the sound Siva. Since the purity which is referred to by this word is naturally present in nArAyaNa, in words such as Siva Eva kEvala: (only Siva was there), nArAyaNa is directly indicated by the word Siva. In upanishaths such as atharvaSiras, in identities which are related to rudhra, the word Siva refers to rudhra and to his antharyAmi (indwelling soul) nArAyaNa. Thus, in both ways (directly and through the status of being antharyAmi) nArAyaNa is the meaning for all sounds.

epporutkum sollAnai – similar to sounds such as rudhra, Siva etc, emperumAn is also referred to by sounds such as AkASa, prANa, indhra etc. If one were to make Siva as supreme based on the sound Siva, one has to make AkASa etc as supreme based on the sound AkASa etc. If one were to say that sounds such as AkASa etc have impurities in them, the same has to be said of ARu sadaikkarandhAn also. Hence it will be correct to identify names such as AkASa along with names such as Siva without any distinction with nArAyaNa. If one were to ask as to why sounds such as nArAyaNa cannot be imputed to Siva, the reason will be that names such as nArAyaNa are more famous than Siva, both in terms of sound and meaning. In other words, vEdhas mention Siva, well known in the world, as having been born, as having his sins not removed and having several lowliness in him. Hence, names such as nArAyaNa cannot be imputed for Siva. Only names such as Siva are to be ascribed to nArAyaNa. Thus in vEdhas we have verses such as “SAsvatham Sivam achyutham”, “viSvAksham viSva Sambhuvam”, “UrdhvarEtham virUpAksham” “ya: paras sa mahESvara:” and in SrI vishNu sahasranAmam verses such as “ISAna prANadha: prANa:”, “sarva Sarva Siva: sthANu:”, “Adi dhEvO mahAdhEva:”, “rudhrO bahu SirA bhabhru:” to substantiate that names of Siva are imputed to nArAyaNa. Hence only nArAyaNa can be taken as being referred to as sarvaSabdha vAchya (being referred to by all sounds)

thoguththuch chonnEn – I condensed his greatness and simplicity and said it in a simple way. If one desires to see the expanded way, one could see that in the pAsurams to come as well as in AzhwAr’s other work, thiruchchandha viruththam.

We will take up the 5th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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