Daily Archives: July 9, 2018

thiruvAimozhi – 7.1.1 – uNNilAviya

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Full series >> Seventh Centum >> First decad

Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In the first pAsuram, AzhwAr becomes upset saying “Why are you tormenting me with the senses even after I have surrendered unto your divine feet, being unable to sustain myself without you”.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

Subsequently, AzhwAr says “You who are having the relationship [with me] to eliminate my hurdles, are tormenting me with the senses and making me not reach your divine feet”.

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.


uNNilAviya aivarAl kumai thIRRi ennai un pAdha pangayam
naNNilA vagaiyE nalivAn innam eNNuginRAy
eNNilAp peru mAyanE! imaiyOrgaL Eththum ulagamUnRudai
aNNalE! amudhE! appanE! ennai ALvAnE!


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

uL – inside
nilAviya – being the internal enemy due to residing permanently
aivarAl – with the senses
kumai thIRRi – torture
ennai – me (who surrendered unto you fearing them)
un – you who are apt, enjoyable
pAdha pangayam – divine feet
naNNilA vagaiyE – to not reach
innam – even after having acquired the urge (as said in thiruvAimozhi 6.9.9kAttip paduppAyO” (are you planning to finish me by revealing varieties of pleasures?))
nalivAn – torment (by placing in samsAram)
eNNuginRAy – you are thinking;
eNNilA – countless
peru – unlimited
mAyanE – having the amazing prakruthi thathvam (matter) as prakAram (form)
imaiyOrgaL – by nithyasUris (who are untouched by samsAram and have unfailing knowledge)
Eththum – praised
mUnRu ulagam – three types of chEthanas (sentient beings) and achEthanas (insentient entities)
udai – having them as subservient entities
aNNalE – being the lord
amudhE – naturally having eternal enjoyability
appanE – being a benefactor right from the beginning
ennai – me
ALvAnE – one who controls in all of these aspects!

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

Oh one who is having the countless, unlimited, amazing prakruthi thathvam as your form, who is praised by nithyasUris, who is having the three types of chEthanas and achEthanas as subservient entities! Oh lord who is naturally having eternal enjoyability! Oh one who is a benefactor right from the beginning and who controls me in all of these aspects! You who are apt and enjoyable, are thinking to torture me with the senses which are internal enemy due to residing inside permanently and are stopping me from reaching your divine feet. AzhwAr is blaming emperumAn who is the benefactor, out of his relationship with emperumAn. The senses are addressed as sentient entities, due to their ability to act. eNNilAp peru mAyanE could also mean one with countless, unlimited, amazing qualities.

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

  • uNNilAviya … – Instead of having the presence of the saviour I am having the presence of the tormentor. Is your highness thinking that you have placed my enemies outside?
  • nilAviya – Though they are inside, if they travel outside and return, we can fight with them at the right time.
  • nilAviya – Residing. The tormentors are remaining in close proximity and hurting. AzhwAr is not realising “there is AthmA (soul) which is different from dhEham (body)”; he is thinking that the senses are only residing.
  • aivarAl – Even if being tormented, we can remedy the situation if it is just one or two persons. But we have four of them [eyes, ears, nose, tongue] tormenting together and one [skin] is present all over the body. While the saviour is one, tormentors are five in number. While the senses are insentient, AzhwAr uses the term “aivar” (five persons) instead of “anju” (five objects), due to their resembling chEthanas (sentient beings) in tormenting. AzhwAr is not realising that there is an AthmA (self), that the mind is the gateway for the self’s knowledge and that these senses are subservient to them.
  • kumai thIRRi – tormenting [being consumed]. Just as the one who insists those who tied a slingshot loosely to tighten it up, AzhwAr is thinking that emperumAn is not letting the senses relax and is making them torment him heavily. Based on the way they torment, if we address them like addressing sentient beings, is there any fault in them? Even when they are tormenting, he [emperumAn] is not absent. Nor are they uncontrollable by him. Is he not known as hrushIkESa (one who controls everyone’s senses)?
  • ennai – Me who will be finished in their [senses’] presence as said in thiruvAimozhi 6.9.9pala kAttip paduppAyO” (are you planning to finish me by revealing varieties of pleasures?) and , thiruvAimozhi 6.9.8innam keduppAyO” (will you torment me further?).
  • un pAdha pangayam – Your divine feet which are said as in thiruvAimozhi 6.9.9 “thAvi vaiyam koNda thadam thAmaraigaL” (The expansive divine feet which measured the world) and thiruvAimozhi 6.10.4 “pUvAr kazhalgaL” (divine feet filled with flowers).
  • un pAdha pangayam – Should I not highlight my helpless state? You don’t know your own greatness [i.e. enjoyability of your divine feet]! Are you pushing me away without knowing about you! [Your divine feet] periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 1.2.1 “pEdhaik kuzhavi pidiththuch chuvaiththuNNum pAdhak kamalam” (The divine foot which is joyfully suckled by the ignorant toddler (krishNa)). The enjoyable divine feet which cannot be discarded by even those who have not given up the inclination towards samsAra. The divine feet are said as in thiruvAimozhi 1.5.5thEnE malarum thiruppAdham” (the divine foot which is the origin for honey).
  • naNNilA vagaiyE – Not just occassionally to stay away, but doing that [staying away] as natural act. AzhwAr thinks “Can I ever reach emperumAn ?”.
  • nalivAn – For AzhwAr, “not reaching him” and “being tormented” are not two separate aspects; they both are the same; not reaching emperumAn‘s divine feet is the real torture for AthmA. This is what is torture.
  • innam – Even after saying in thiruvAimozhi 6.10.10 “agalagillEn iRaiyum enRu alarmEl mangai uRai mArbA … un adik kIzh amarndhu pugundhEn“.
  • eNNuginRAyAzhwAr thinks “ISvara has nothing else to do [other than torturing me]”. As he cared for pANdavas as said in mahAbhAratham rAjasUya parvam “yasya manthrI cha gOpthA cha suhruchchaiva janArdhana:” (janArdhana who is the lord of all the worlds and is the minister, protector and friend of arjuna), he is thinking about tormenting me while I am actually being tormented as well. AzhwAr thinks “emperumAn is thinking how to push AzhwAr away”.
  • eNNilAp peru mAyanE – Oh you who are able to perform many activities as said in upanishath “asmAn mAyI srujathE viSvamEthath” (ISvara creates the universe from the primordial matter) and in SrI bhagavath gIthA 7-13mama mAyA dhurathyayA” (it is difficult to crossover my primordial matter), are having the prakruthi (material realm) as the prison to torment those whom you don’t like! Alternative explanation – pILLAn used to explain it as “Oh one who is having countless, amazing qualities!”. How does it fit your having such qualities and tormenting me? [Why is he praising emperumAn who is tormenting him] While someone is tormented using slings, in between they would be offered water, similarly, AzhwAr is praising emperumAn’s qualities here [while blaming him].
  • imaiyOrgaL Eththum – Is the nithya vibhUthi present to praise emperumAn saying “Oh here is someone [emperumAn] who has abandoned one [AzhwAr] who cannot sustain without him”? AzhwAr is thinking “Because of their [nithyasUris] favourable attitude towards empeurmAn, he has not arrived here”. Had his grand assembly protested like thrisangu’s assembly did, could he stay away from me? [thrisangu reached svarga (heaven) on the order of viSvAmithra eventually to be pushed down and a new heaven was constructed by viSvAmithra for him in the sky]
  • ulagam mUnRu udaiya aNNalEemperumAn manifested his greatness thinking that AzhwAr would remain patiently knowing “emperumAn will act when he wishes to”; AzhwAr thinks “He manifested his greatness to make me think ‘would such saviour torment me?’ and then tormented me”.
  • amudhE – AzhwAr thinks “He did not manifest his enjoyability to let me enjoy him, but to make me suffer not liking anything else”.
  • appanE – AzhwAr thinks “Making me believe ‘such benefactor will not torment me’ and then caused me suffering”.
  • ennai ALvAnEAzhwAr thinks “He manifested his lordship to prove that he previously helped me. He did those to make me think ‘Did he rule over me previously based on any of my effort/act? [No – he voluntarily did] Similarly, he will care for me’; but his actual intent is different”.
  • ennai ALvAnE – [Alternative explanation based on piLLai thirunaRaiyUr araiyar’s view which was explained in the pravESam] Being my lord, why are you thinking to torment me?

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 23 – viththumida

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After AzhwAr mentioned in the previous pAsuram “pazhagiyAn thALE paNimim” (the way to get rid of samsAram (materialistic realm) is to attain the divine feet of the supreme entity who has the complexion of gem stones and who stands like a physician to cure us of samsAram), he was asked by some people “One has to toil hard even to obtain small benefits. When such is the case, is it enough if one were to bow down at the divine feet of emperumAn in order to attain mOksham”, AzhwAr says “is anything expected from the chEthana (sentient entity) when emperumAn protects all by incarnating as lion or fish when the chEthana takes a birth in this world and by keeping all the entities in his stomach during deluge when the chEthana has no name or form?”. He says that if the chEthana develops a desire to attain emperumAn through his natural knowledge, emperumAn will take care of all the activities which are required to be carried out to attain him. What is there to be done by the chEthana beyond having that desire?

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

viththum ida vENdungolO vidaiyadarththa
paththi uzhavan panam puzhaththu moyththezhundha
kAr mEgam anna karumAl thirumEni
nIr vAnam kAttum nigazhndhu

Word for Word Meanings

vidai adarththa – one who controlled the bulls (for winning the hand of nappinnaip pirAtti)
paththi uzhavan – emperumAn who takes all the efforts for the chEthana to develop devotion towards him
pazham punaththu – in this land (samsAram, the materialistic realm) which is very old
viththum ida vENdunm kolO – is it required to sow the seed (of making one’s own efforts to attain emperumAn)? [No, it is not required]

[In that case, how does one spend the rest of his life?]
moyththu ezhundha – rising together
kAr mEgam anna – like rain bearing clouds
karu mAl – the dark coloured thirumAl’s (emperumAn’s)
thirumEni – divine form
nIr vAnam – the clouds with plenty of water
nigazhndhu – standing right in front
kAttum – will show
(by looking at this simile for emperumAn, we can sustain ourselves)


paththiyuzhavan pazhampunaththu viththumida vEndungolO – is it required of us to sow the seed of puNya (virtuous deeds) on this old land (world) of paramapurusha (supreme being, emperumAn) who is toiling to raise the produce of bhakthi (devotion) in the chEthana (sentient entity)?

paththiyuzhavan – are the efforts put in by this farmer (emperumAn) in order to germinate the plant of bhakthi in the mind of chEthana, only a little bit? Just as a farmer ploughs the land, waters it, plants the seeds, germinates them, removes the weed, applies manure to the plants etc, the efforts put in by emperumAn to cultivate the plant of bhakthi (in the samsAris) cannot be contained in any measure. While thripAdh vibhUthi  (SrIvaikuNtam which is three times the size of samsAram) is very fertile, emperumAn is unable to bear the barrenness of leelA vibhUthi  (samsAram). Thus he creates the worlds, the chEthanas (sentient entities), gives them body and sensory perceptions, remains as their antharyAmi (indwelling soul) and protects them constantly. AzhwAr reminisces such activities with these words. Hasn’t nammAzhwAr too spoken of him as the farmer in his thiruvAimozhi 5.3.4uRavar kavvai eruvittu annai sol nIr maduththu Ira nel viththi muLaiththa nenjapperunjeyyuL pEramar kAdhal kadal puraiya viLaiviththa kAramar mEni nam kaNNan” (emperumAn is the farmer who planted the seed of deep love in the mind of parAngusa nAyaki (nammAzhwAr) and nurtured it by watering it with the words of her mother and applied manure for it with the words of the townspeople)!

pazhampunaththu – it is not a new field where emperumAn is carrying out farming activities. This world is the old land of emperumAn’s who has been repeatedly ploughing, sowing and reaping (the produce of chEthanas). This world has been in existence for a very long time, as a continuous flow of action [like flood].

pazhampunaththu viththumida vEndungolO – just as in a fertile land, even if the seeds are not sown in a proper way but strewn in a haphazard way, they will germinate properly and grow, in this old land of the farmer emperumAn, the chEthanas do not need anything in them more than a mere desire (to be with emperumAn). He takes care of all the activities of farming.

pazhampunaththu viththumida vEndungolO – in the land sown by farmer, should anyone else sow the seed? Just as manu has said in his manusmruthi 8-92 “thEna chEdhavivAdhasthE mA gangAm mA kurUn gama:” (if there is no argument with emperumAn, there is no need to go to holy rivers such as gangA or holy places such as kurukshEthram), AzhwAr forbids any action from us for our benevolence.

What are the activities of the farmer emperumAn for nurturing the land?

vidaiyadarththa paththiyuzhavan – the incarnations carried out by emperumAn are the activities for nurturing the field of bhakthi (devotion). His action of killing seven bulls to win the hands of nappinnaip pirAtti is superficially meant for marrying her but the real intention is to win over the hearts of followers and grow bhakthi in them.

Just as krishNa has mercifully mentioned in SrI bhagavath gIthA 3-5na hi kaSchith kshaNamapi jAthu thishtathyakarmakruth” (no one remains in this world even for a moment without carrying out any activity), how will the chEthana pass his time? AzhwAr responds saying ….

moyththezhundha kArmEgamanna karumAl thirumEni nIrvAnam kAttum nigazhndhu – the rain bearing clouds will show the black complexion of kaNNan (krishNa) which is like closely held monsoon clouds which rise together. AzhwAr says that after developing affection towards emperumAn with the activities of emperumAn, one can pass time until one attains emperumAn by sustaining himself looking at such similes of emperumAn and developing further taste for him. Here, the term nIrvAnam (water bearing cloud) is quoted as an example of various similes for emperumAn.

nigazhndhu kAttum – emperumAn will reveal to us his divine form, which he does not reveal even to brahmA et al.

We will move on to the 24th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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