SrI: SrImathE SatakOpAya nama: SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama: SrImath varavaramunayE nama:
agalagillEn iRaiyum enRu alar mEl mangai uRai mArbA!
nigaril pugazhAy! ulagam mUnRudaiyAy! ennai ALvAnE!
nigaril amarar munik kaNangaL virumbum thiruvEngadaththAnE!
pugal onRillA adiyEn un adik kIzh amarndhu pugundhEnE.
Highlights from nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam as documented by vadakkuth thiruvIdhip piLLai (Continuation)
[nampiLLai explains the pAsuram in greater detail, in this second explanation]
agalagillEn … – While this pAsuram explains the upAyam (means – SaraNAgathi), it also reveals the upEyam (goal – bhagavAn). This is explained further.
One [i.e. a qualified person] desires to perform kainkaryam to both emperumAn and pirAtti; he pursues both of them together as the means too. With this, their being the eternal goal is explained. Only that which is eternally fresh/new, can be the eternal goal.
- agalagillEn iRaiyum enRu – This is not spoken in separation. While there is no reason for her to be separated from him, considering the enjoyability there [divine chest of emperumAn], she declares that she does not have the strength to remain separated from him. This is spoken while she is being called inseparable as in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 21.15 “ananyA rAghavENAham” (I am inseparable from SrI rAma) and in SrIvishNu purANam “vishNor SrIranapAyinIm” (lakshmi is inseparable from vishNu)! She is saying that she cannot be separated from him even for a moment.
- alar mEl mangai – When we see who is speaking like this – it is lakshmi who is the desirable entity even for emperumAn due to her beauty and age; she who makes him say in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 66.10 “na jIvEyam kshaNamapi” (SrI rAma says – I will not survive even for a moment without seeing sIthA). This is not the same emotion as that of worldly people; because their separation [from their beloved ones] is based on karma [bondage]; but there is no such karma for her and he goes head-over-heels towards her; hence, there is no separation either due to him or her; so, what is the reason for her saying like this? It came up because her interest is on emperumAn [who is distinguished]. The desires of worldly people are based on the bondage, but her desire is caused by emperumAn himself.
- uRai mArbA – nithya yOgam (eternal togetherness) which is highlighted in the “math” in the first phrase in dhvayam is explained here; that is, her purushakAram is always there. The purpose of their togetherness is that we don’t need to retract [from surrendering] considering his svAthanthriyam (independent attitude) and one’s own samsArithvam (bondage in this material realm). One need not fear considering his sarvagyathvam (omniscience) and one’s sAparAdhathvam (having faults). That is – emperumAn does not have the scope to see the AthmA‘s faults and act accordingly, due to her presence. While their offence towards pirAtti was similar for both the crow and rAvaNa, the crow’s head was saved due to her presence and rAvaNa lost his head due to her absence. Such is the difference between her presence and absence. Even if father himself has become an enemy for a son, the father will not kill his son in his mother’s presence. While he first shot the brahmAsthram for the offence he committed, and as it chased him around and finally he fell at the divine feet of SrI rAma due to not having any other refuge, seeing her, he let him go, giving an alternate reason for the brahmAsthram. Both of their dispositions [crow’s and rAvaNa’s] towards SrI rAma such as in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 38.33 “thamEva SaraNamgatha:” (the crow surrendered to SrI rAma) and SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 36-11 “na namEyam” (I will not worship him) are irrelevant. Why so? Even the crow had the same thoughts in its heart, otherwise he would not have returned home saying as in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 38.38 “svakamAlayam jagAma” (Let me return home [after worshipping SrI rAma]); he only fell down at the divine feet due to his helpless state. rAvaNa too had the same helpless state, but it did not work in his favour, due to her absence. All these principles explained here relate to the first word of dhvayam [SrIman].
Subsequently, next word “nArAyaNa” is explained, starting from “nigaril” to “thiruvEngadaththAnE“.
- nigaril pugazhAy – His great quality [vAthsalyam – motherly forbearance] which makes him argue in favour of the devotee when such pirAtti [who unites them in first place] herself finds fault in the devotee. That is, as said in periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 4.9.2 “thAmaraiyALAgilum sidhaguraikkumEl en adiyAr adhu seyyAr seydhArEl nanRu seydhAr enbar” (even if SrI mahAlakshmi complains about followers to emperumAn, he will deny that), he would deny any faults in his devotee. Even if she pinpoints saying “No, now I am finding this fault in him”, he would say “So what? Are they rejecting virtues and saying that there is no paramapadham? They remain confident that I will take care off their accidental mistakes”. When we can highlight a cause for her greatness, we can relate that to him; but there is no other cause for his greatness. This is how the truth is [When it comes to their loving relationship, it is the reverse though]! With this, it is explained that – she would consider his svAthanthriyam and think “what would happen to these souls?” and would consider her tenderness and adolescent age and think “how caring is she for them?” Hence, they both doubt each other to protect others and both the realms (spiritual and material) depend upon their [comfortable] shadow.
- ulagam mUnRu udaiyAy – His aptness which forces one to not leave him even if he is devoid of any good qualities. While saying “sidhagurikkumEl“, it is to be understood that only when she lacks the qualities which match her nature [such as compassion towards others, total dependence towards emperumAn etc], would she say something like that; similarly, even if he is devoid of any good qualities, he has natural relationship with everyone which makes one not to leave him. The relationship between bhagavAn and AthmA is such that even when bhagavAn discards someone, the AthmA is of the nature that one can wear kAshAya vasthram (saffron coloured cloth indicating a mendicant’s state) and request/pray to him; this also indicates bhagavAn’s right to imprison someone who worships him rarely and yet moves away from him.
- ennai ALvAnE – One who practically engages me in service. To be not content in saying “if you [referring to nammAzhwAr] are talking about normal servitude [of everyone’s towards me], you also have that”; you [emperumAn] bestowed me [nammAzhwAr] unblemished knowledge and devotion; can you abandon me now?
- nigaril amarar … – Even those who reside there in paramapadham, are eagerly serving you here in thirumalA only. As said in thiruvAimozhi 10.9.9 “vaigundhaththamararum munivarum“, in paramapadham, there are two types of devotees – kainkarya nishtar [amarar – who constantly engage in service] and guNa nishtar [munivar – who constantly meditate upon his qualities].
- thiruvEngadaththAnE – The ultimate meaning of the word “nArAyaNa” is his saulabhyam (simplicity); for the word nArAyaNa, many meanings such as being with qualities, lordship, special mercy and simplicity are all applicable. “nArAyaNa” implies that he would reside as the antharyAmi (in-dwelling super soul) to bestow all benefits to him; since that simplicity is eternally manifested here [in thirumalA] in thiruvEngamudaiyAn. How does this saulabhyam become the means? When he said in SrI bhagavath gIthA 18.66 “mAmEkam“, he specifically pointed to his form of the charioteer. Here it is much greater than that; that simplicity (as charioteer) was neither manifested previously nor subsequently [by krishNa]; this [thirumalA] is where such simplicity is eternally manifested. There he placed a pre-requisite in SrI bhagavath gIthA 7.1 “mayyAsakthamanA: pArtha” (Oh son of kunthI! having a very attached mind in me …); even that is not here.
Now, AzhwAr starts speaking about his own nature.
- pugal onRu illA adiyEn – Previously he repeatedly said “adiyEn” and “aruvinaiyEn“, identifying his SEshathvam (servitude) and Akinchanyam (lack of anything in self) respectively; now, these two are the qualities required for surrender; he is highlighting them here too. Why should he highlight it [surrender] here? Just as being the means is emperumAn‘s nature, being surrendered is AthmA‘s nature. When this (such surrender) is absent, that will lead to sarvamukthi prasangam (i.e. Why did emperumAn not liberate everyone if he is the natural means for liberation?).
- adiyEn – The only difference [between dhvayam and this pAsuram] is, “aham” (I) which is understood implicitly there [from the word prapadhyE], is spelt out explicitly as adiyEn.
- un adik kIzh – This explains “charaNau” (the two divine feet). It should be expressed as in SrI rAmayaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 31.2 “sa:bhrAthu:charaNau” (my elder brother’s divine feet);
- amarndhu pugundhEnE – Only if he needs some assistance or if I consider my surrender as the means, is there scope for hurdle or delay.
- pugundhEnE – we can only enter if he left somewhere; forever emperumAn is with us as the antharyAmi. The AthmA was only misunderstanding his true nature; the removal of such misunderstanding is the only aspect which is required. [So] AzhwAr says “I now have the firm faith [that you are the means]” [i.e. it is not a physical act of surrender, but conviction in the mind]; the present tense in dhvayam [i.e. prapadhyE – I am surrendering] does not mean the same as in bhakthi yOgam where the practice must be carried on forever; but as it is derived based on the enjoyability of the act [surrender], it is performed until the goal is attained [Here, pugundhEnE is in past tense to indicate that the surrender must be performed only once].
nampiLLai’s second explanation is complete. We will see the final explanation in the next article.
adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan
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