Monthly Archives: July 2018

thiruvAimozhi – 7.1.2 – ennai ALum

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Full series >> Seventh Centum >> First decad

Previous pAsuram

Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In the second pAsuram, AzhwAr says “You are tormenting me who is weak, with the senses throughout the day and night to stop me from reaching you and you are not even present to be informed about my suffering”.

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.

pAsuram

ennai ALum vankO Oraindhivai peydhu irAp pagal mOdhuviththittu
unnai nAn aNugA vagai seydhu pOdhi kaNdAy
kannalE! amudhE! kAr mugil vaNNanE! kadal gyAlam kAkkinRa
minnu nEmiyinAy! vinaiyEnudai vEdhiyanE!

Listen

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

kannalE – having complete sweetness
amudhE – not just that, but being the sustainer, and with enjoyability

(while being enjoyable like this)
kAr mugil vaNNanE – having the generosity without any restriction like dark clouds which help everyone

(while helping)
kadal – surrounded by ocean
gyAlam – world
minnu – radiant
nEmiyinAy – having divine chakra
kAkkinRa – being the protector, nourisher
vinayEnudai – to be heard by me who is having the sin which stops me from attaining you
vEdhiyanE – oh one who is revealed by vEdham only!
ennai – me (who is your servitor)
ALum – to be ruled over by them to be obedient

(being my senses)
van – very strong
kO – having independence
Or – distinguished
ivai – these
aindhu – five senses
peydhu – using them against me to harm me
irAp pagal – continuously throughout day and night
mOdhuviththittu – to be affected
unnai – you who are apt and enjoyable
nAn – I (who know your greatness)
aNugAvagai – to not reach
seydhu – do
pOdhi kaNdAy – gone away from me

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

Oh one who is having complete sweetness, not just that, but being the sustainer, and with enjoyability, who is having the generosity without any restriction like dark clouds which help everyone, who is having divine chakra which is radiant in the world surrounded by ocean, who is being the protector and nourisher, who is revealed by vEdham only, to be heard by me who is having the sin which stops me from attaining you! You are using these distinguished, very strong, independent five senses against me to harm me continuously throughout day and night and to be ruled over by them, to be obedient towards them; being affected by them, you who are apt and enjoyable, have affected me and stopped me from reaching you and have gone away from me.

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

  • ennai ALum van kO – While you care for my sustenance, there are others who are using my service. While the fact is, there is ISvara, AthmA is subservient to such ISvara, manas (mind) is a confidential instrument for the AthmA, and indhriyas are subservient to the mind, here the senses are ruling over me as it happens during chaotic scenarios.
  • van kO – I am disgusted having served the very strong senses who are unnatural inhabitants on my body. vanmai – forceful. periya thirumozhi 7.7.9 “kOvAy aivar en mey kudiyERik kURai sORivai thAvenRu kumaiththup pOgAr” (these five senses occupied my body as rulers, and pestered me for clothing, food etc). Why is emperumAn who has good qualities, avoiding to be the SEshi (master)! vanmai – hard-hearted. Instead of emperumAn who is with all auspicious qualities being the master, these cruel senses became the masters.
  • Or aindhu – Instead of each sense individually tormenting based on its own nature, they are together tormenting me. The state of being the servitor of the apt lord is gone. emperumAn who is said in nArAyaNa sUktham as “pathim viSvasya” (the lord of the universe) and thiruvAimozhi 6.7.10anaiththulagum udaiya aravindhalOchanan” (the lotus-eyed lord who owns all the worlds) is not the master.
  • aindhu – That we are servitors to one single master is no longer true.
  • ivai peydhu – How can we blame the senses? Aren’t you the one who is tormenting us with them? Just as hiraNya sent the snakes to torment SrI prahlAdha, you are tormenting me with these senses.
  • irAp pagal mOdhuviththittu – What a [bad] way to spend my time! I desired to serve you as said in thiruvAimozhi 3.3.1 “ozhivil kAlam ellAm” (at all times, without a break). I prayed in thiruvAimozhi – 2.3.10adiyArgaL kuzhAngaLai udan kUduvadhu enRu kolO” (When will I be amidst the nithyasUris?), but now I have been united with these senses!
  • unnai nAn – You who are to be attained to survive, and I who cannot survive without reaching you. You who are infinitely enjoyable and I who cannot sustain without enjoying you.
  • aNugA vagai seydhu – Stopping me from reaching you.
  • pOdhi kaNdAy – This is similar to how you separated sIthAp pirAtti, who was fully inclined to enjoy you, from you by showing her the mystical deer, and led her to the EkAkshi (one-eyed rAkshasi), EkakarNikA (one-eared rAkshasi) et al.
  • kannalE amudhE – Am I satisfied with just some sort of enjoyability? He is said in “sarvagandha: sarvarasa:” (root of all fragrance and taste), being unlimited as in thiruvAimozhi 4.7.2koLLa mALA inba veLLam” (flood of bliss which cannot be easily held). kannal – block of sugar. amudhu – enjoyable and that which leads to immortality.
  • kAr mugil vaNNanE – He bestows such enjoyability for his own sake [without any other expectation]. He is said to be most generous. Alternative explanation – saying “like clouds in rainy season, oh one who is having an attractive form!”.
  • kadal gyAlam … – Now you are away – but did you protect the worlds on anyone’s request! Did anyone pray to you saying “we are tormented by the senses” to have you protect them! Would you not protect even those who don’t know that you are enjoyable? Are you not having the nature of protecting the world which is surrounded by ocean, under your watchful eyes?
  • kAkkinRa – Is protecting others an occasional activity for you?
  • minnu nEmiyinAy – As you have the ability, would you simply protect using your vow? Don’t your protect with your hand readily holding the weapon! It is said in thiruviruththam 33 “aruLAr thiruchcharaththAl agal visumbum nilanum iruLAr vinai kedach chengOl nadAvudhir” (With your merciful divine chakra, you are conducting the vast sky and earth by removing the ignorance and thus having your sceptre ruling over everything). Would you not protect by not placing the sword in it’s sheath? The shining divine chakra.
  • vinaiyEnudai vEdhiyanE – While you are equally placed towards everyone as said in jithanthE sthOthram 2 “dhEvAnAm dhAnavAm cha sAmAnyamadhidhaivatham” (emperumAn is equal toward dhEvas [celestial persons] and demons) and mUnRAm thiruvandhAdhi 88podhu ninRa ponnam kazhal” (the divine feet which are equal towards everyone), when it comes to me, you are being vEdhaikasamadhigamyan (known through vEdham only), and I am being sinful to hear about you only through the scriptures [and not having your dharSan].

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 24 – nigazhndhAy pAl pon

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avathArikai

AzhwAr mercifully describes the efforts put in by the paththiyuzhavan (farmer emperumAn) in this as well as the next pAsuram. In this pAsuram, he melts while describing how emperumAn transforms himself for the sake of his followers.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

nigazhndhAy pAl pon pasuppuk kAr vaNNam nAngum
igazhndhAy iruvaraiyum vIyap pugazhndhAy
sinappOrch chuvEdhanaich chEnApathiyAy
manappOr mudikkum vagai

Word for Word Meanings

pAl pon pasuppu kAr nAngu vaNNamum – having the four colours of white, red, green and black
nigazhndhAy – glittered (in the four yugas) [yuga is a period of time]
iruvaraiyum – the two demons madhu and kaitabha
vIya – to be destroyed
igazhndhAy – you removed
sEnApathiyAy – being the protector of arjuna’s army
manam – having the desire (to enable dhraupadhi to plait her hair)
pOr – the mahAbhAratha war
mudikkum vagai – the way by which it will be ended
sinappOr suvEdhanai – arjuna, who has white horse as his vehicle and who fought furiously in the war
pugazhndhAy – you praised

vyAkyAnam

nigazhndhAy pAl pon pasuppu kAr vaNNam nAngum – SAsthras say that emperumAn changes his dark complexion (which normally is similar to rain bearing clouds), in each yuga (a period of time) based on the quality of the people living in that yuga. Since it is through his divine form that he develops bhakthi (devotion) among his followers, as brought by nammAzhwAr’s saying “kAdhal kadal puraiya viLaiviththa kAramarmEni” (emperumAn’s form is such that it creates affection in his devotees equalling the great ocean), emperumAn involves in changing his complexion in line with the qualities of his followers.

niganzhdhAy pAl vaNNam – As mentioned in the pramANam “kruthE SuklaSchadhurbhAhu” people living in krutha yugam (the first of four yugams) are full of sathva guNa (purely good qualities), they will have pure hearts and would desire white complexion in emperumAn too. Thus emperumAn displays white complexion for them. The word white refers not only to the complexion of the divine form but also to the qualities.

nigazhndhAy pon vaNNam – As mentioned in the pramANam “thrEthAyAm raktha varNOsau”, since people in thrEthA yugam have rajO guNa (quality of passion and aggressiveness) mixed with sathva guNa, emperumAn displays a complexion of red mixed with white, a hue of golden colour.

nigazhndhAy pasuppu vaNNam – As mentioned in the pramANam “dhvAparE SyAma:” people in dhvApara yugam have rajasthamO guNa (mixture of rajas and thamas qualities; we have already seen rajas  quality; thamas gives rise to laziness, ignorance, bewilderment etc in a person) along with sathva guNa. emperumAn thus displays a combination of white, red and black, a kind of greenish tinge similar to that of algae.

nigazhndhAy kAr vaNNam – As seen in the pramANam “kalau krishNam thvishA krishNam” since no one attains emperumAn in kali yuga, he displays his natural colour of black clouds.

Thus, apart from displaying different complexions at different ages in time based on the qualities of the people in the different ages, AzhwAr next mentions about the efforts that emperumAn puts in, to remove the enemies of his followers, thus paving the way for the irrigation of bhakthi in his followers. ….

igazhndhAy iruvariyum vIya – you took a vow to destroy two demons madhu and kaitabha, who were enemies of your follower brahmA, from whom they stole vEdhas (sacred texts). Alternatively, this can be construed to refer to the egoistic kings who were on the two sides of pANdavas and kauravas when the two sides engaged in the mahAbhAratha war and how emperumAn, as krishNa, destroyed all such egoistic kings.

AzhwAr now cites another example of how emperumAn transforms himself in order to complete the task for his followers ….

pugazhndhAY sinappOr suvEthanai – you praised arjuna, who has the chariot drawn by white coloured horses as his vehicle and who can fight furiously.

pugazhndhAy – not paying heed to arjuna’s addressing him (emperumAn) as “hE krishNa, hE yAdhava” (Oh krishNa! Oh cowherd!), you called him as “paranthapa” (one who singes his enemies in the battlefield), “anagha” (one who is faultless) and in different such ways. Isn’t it amazing that one who is praised constantly by vEdhas, rishis, AzhwArs et al, praises another entity!

sinappOr suvEthanai – (praising) arjuna, who is a warrior in the battlefield and not a coward who runs away from it. Among the many names for arjuna is suvEthan (SvEtha). This refers to his chariot being drawn by white coloured horses.

sEnApathiyAy – as the charioteer for arjuna, it was krishNa who was for all practical purposes, the head of pANdavas’ army. He conducted many amazing activities during the war and brought it to a close. Didn’t sanjaya (charioteer of King dhrutharAshtra and who was giving constant updates on the happenings in the battlefield to the King) say in SrI bhagavath gIthA SlOka 18-78yathra yOgESvara: krishNa: yathra pArthO dhanurdhara: thathra SrIr vijayObhUthir… ”, (where krishNa and where arjuna with his bow are present, wealth and victory will go only there) giving prominence to krishNa by referring to him first and only then, arjuna!  While referring to pANdavas, it used to be said “krishNASraya: krishNa balA: krishNa nAthAScha pANdavA:” (for the pANdavas, krishNa is the final goal to be attained, krishNa is their strength and krishNa is their Lord). Is it required to be said that he is the head of their army!

What is the purpose behind praising arjuna and engaging him in the war? ….

manappOr mudikkum vagai – in order to bring to an end, the war that he had vowed to fight in his divine mind. The meaning implied is that he wanted to bring the war to an end to enable dhraupadhi to plait her dishevelled hair, to enable her husband yudhishtra to ascend the throne, and to destroy dhuryOdhana and others  who had insulted her. But why carry out so much for her? Did she not call out to him when she was being disrobed by dhuryOdhana’s brother duSSASana “gOvindhEthi yathA grandhath krishNa mAm dhUravAsiNam I ruNam pravaruththamiva mE hrydhayAn nApasarppathy II” (dhraupadhi’s calling out to me when I was in a far-off land has not left my heart, just as interest keeps building up on a loan taken).  Thus, to ensure that the war is brought to a close, he praised arjuna. The war had to be brought to an end for the sake of dharupadhi who had surrendered to him earlier. All his activities are centred around his followers.

We will take up the 25th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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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.

pAsuram

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

Listen

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

archived in http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 23 – viththumida

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avathArikai

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)

vyAkyAnam

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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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 22 – azhagiyAn thAnE

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avathArikai

With the joy of experiencing the beauty of narasimha, AzhwAr thinks that some people are missing out on this great experience and instructs them “uplift yourselves by worshipping this beautiful form of emperumAn”.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

azhagiyAn thAnE ari uruvan thAnE
pazhagiyAn thALE  paNimin kuzhaviyAyth
thAnEzh ulagukkum thanmaikkum thanmaiyanE
mInAy uyiraLikkum viththu

Word for Word Meanings

viththu thAn – he is the cause for the entire universe
Ezh ulagukkum – for the seven worlds
thanmaikkum – qualities (such as rUpa, rasa, gandha etc (form, taste, smell etc) of the five senses)
thanmaiyan – being the repository
kuzhavi Ay – being in the form of an infant (during praLaya, deluge)
mIn Ay – being in the form of fish (at some point of time)
uyir aLikkum – one who protects the souls
thAnE – emperumAn himself
ari uruvan – has the form of narasimha (lion face and human body)
thAnE azhagiyAn – he himself is the boundary for beauty
pazhagiyAn – that emperumAn, who is there from time immemorial, his
thALE – divine feet
paNimin – attain

vyAkyAnam

azhagiyAn thAnE . . . . – the narrative on narasimha avathAram (incarnation as Lord narasimha) which AzhwAr enjoyed in the previous pAsuram, continues in this pAsuram.

azhagiyAn thAnE – he (emperumAn) is the only one with beauty in him. When asked whether it is paramapadhanAthan (the Lord of SrIvaikuNtam) who is beautiful, AzhwAr responds …

ariyuruvan thAnE – it is only he who took incarnation as narasimha mUrthi (in the form of lion head and human body) who is beautiful. If emperumAn’s beauty in paramapadham is similar to lighting a lamp in daylight , his beauty in the form of narasimha is like lighting a lamp in darkness. There (in parapadham) one can only see his mercy. Here (on earth) once can see his mercy along with his fury. There he shows his beauty to those who are as knowledgeable as he is while here he shows his beauty to the ignorant. That beauty is something that we only hear while this beauty is something which as periyAzhwAr has mercifully said in his periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 4.1.1 “iraNiyanadhAgam piLandhariyAy udhiram aLaindha kaiyOdirundhAnai uLLavA kaNdAr uLar” (there are people who have seen emperumAn truly, splitting the chest of the demon iraNiya and with blood stained hands, rubbing his hands on iraNiyan’s chest).

azhagiyAn thAnE ariyuruvan thAnE – isn’t he the one who has been praised the world over as azhagiya singar (the beautiful lion)!

azhagiyAn thAnE ariyuruvan thAnE – these words appear to be the translation for the verse in SrI vishNu sahasranAman “nArasimhavapu: SrImAn” .

azhagiyAn thAnE …..paNimin – once a person looks at this beauty of emperumAn, shouldn’t he bow down to his divine feet?

Is it only beauty? Is there no valour?

ariyuruvan thAnE …. paNimin – shouldn’t one worship him who is the boundary for valour? When one, who is the refuge in times of danger, is himself beautiful, could one let go of him?

Even though he may be the refuge during times of danger and may be beautiful,  shouldn’t he also have known our disease and our desire?

pazhagiyAnthALE paNimin – he is the purANa purusha (an entity who could be termed as ancient) who knows that the disease for you people is this body (physical form) which should be got rid of and that the desire is getting an aprAkrutha SarIra (a body which is not made of the primordial matter), which you may be not be aware of, yourselves. Attain such an entity.

pazhagiyAnthALE paNimin – if you bow down to his divine feet, holding them as your means as well as object of attainment, then he, who knows that it is your past deeds which make you keep getting this physical form for a long time and that the antidote for it is only his mercy, will protect you.

pazhagiyAnthALE paNimin – just as people would hold on to a physician who is renowned for a long time and who knows the nature of the body as well as of the medicines, attain emperumAn who is variously said as in periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 5-3-6 “maruththuvanAy ninRa mAmaNivaNNA ” (Oh one with the glitter of gemstones and who is like a physician!), as in vEdham “vaidhyO nArAyaNO hari:” (SrIman nArAyaNa, who is the physician), as in SrI vishNu sahasranAmam “bhEshajam bhishak” (he is both the medicine and the physician) instead of attaining other deities.

How can it be said that he knows this body which is apt to be given up and the body which is apt to be taken up [to attain SrIvaikuNtam]?

thAnEzhulagukkum thanmaikkum thanmaiyanE – he is the indwelling soul for all the worlds. Who else, apart from him, would know the disease, the patient and the medicine?

thAnEzhulagukkum thanmaikkum thanmaiyanEemperumAn who is prakruthi SarIra viSishtabhUthan (one who is conjoined with primordial matter, he being its indwelling soul and the primordial matter forming a part of his body), is the repository for mahAn (great matter), ahankAram (ego matter) and panchabhUtham (five elements of ether, wind, fire, water and earth); thus he is the causative entity for the seven resultant factors. He is also the repository for the five causative factors for these five elements, namely Sabdha, sparSa, rUpa, rasa and gandha (sound, feel, form, taste and smell respectively). thanmai is ‘thanmAthrai’ viz. subtle element. In other words, the previous state for each of the five elements, which is the respective subtle or rudimentary element. Thus, for example, for sky, the subtle element is sound and the quality of sky will be implicitly held in sound; the same is true for the other four elements too. There are huge differences between the quality and subtle element. The subtle elements will be matter and be the causative factors for each of the five elements. Quality is not like this. The meaning for thAnEzhulagukkum ….. thanmaiyanE is that he is the causative entity for all the mutually causative and effective (resultant) entities. The word Ezhulagu refers to the resultant factors of five elements, mahAn and ahankAram.

Alternatively, thAnEzhulugakkum thanmaikkum thanmaiyanEEzhulagu would mean the seven upper worlds of bhU:, bhuva:, suva: etc up to sathya lOkam and the seven lower worlds of athala, vithala, suthala etc down to pAthAla lOkam with all the sentient and insentient entities living in these worlds. The word thanmaikkum would refer to the qualities of the insentient entities such as Sabdha, sparSa etc [seen previously] and the qualities of sentient entities. Thus, emperumAn is the substrate for all the sentient and insentient entities and their qualities. When they (the worlds and the entities living in them) are his attributes, there is no difference between the guNa (qualities) and the guNi (one who or which has the qualities). If the text is than vaikkum thanmaiyanE it would mean that he has the seven worlds within himself as a natural phenomenon.

If asked whether emperumAn protects us ……

kuzhaviyAy mInAy uyiraLikkum viththu – is there any protection that he has not given us? During deluge, he kept us in his stomach and protected us. As mercifully mentioned by parASara bhattar (son of kUraththAzhwAn and disciple of embAr) in SrI rangarAja sthavam 2-60 “mInathanus thvam nAvi nidhAya sthiracharaparikaramanu manubhagavAn I vEdhasanAbi svOkthi vinOdhai ragalithalaya bhayalavamamumavaha: II” (Oh emperumAn! Taking the form of a fish, you kept representatives of animal and plant species in a boat, near manu (a King) and with the strange words of vEdhas you protected them without any danger from deluge), during deluge, emperumAn took representatives of animal and plant species along with their leader manu on a boat with his will and, taking the form of a fish, navigated the boat to safety from deluge and protected them. In the same way, he returned the vEdhas which are like eyes for brahmA, to brahmA and aided him in the act of creation. In this manner, he acted like a fish and gave life to species.

viththu – apart from these, as mentioned by chAndhOgya upanishath 6-2-1 “sadhEva sOmya” he remained as the causative, materialistic and accessorial reason for all of us.

We will take up the 23rd pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 21 – ivaiyA pilavAy

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After hearing the sweetened words of AzhwAr, emperumAn became very happy. His divine mouth, divine eyes and divine form blossomed and became radiant. AzhwAr became wondrous at the change in the form of emperumAn, a change that emperumAn brought on himself for the sake of his follower (AzhwAr) even though vEdhas (sacred texts) refer to him as one who is unchanged in his form (avikArAya). Immediately emperumAn’s form as narasimha, a combination of human head with lion’s body, which he took when his devotee prahlAdha was tortured, came to his mind. AzhwAr engages with this form of narasimha, wondering as to how emperumAn transformed himself for the sake of a follower.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

ivaiyA pilavAy thiRandherikANRa
ivaiyA eri vattak kaNgaL ivaiyA
eri pongik kAttum imaiyOr perumAn
ari pongik kAttum azhagu

Word for Word Meanings

thiRandhu – spread out
eri kANRa – spitting fire
pilavAy – mouth as huge as a cave
ivaiyA – is it this?
erivatta – like a huge ball of fire, being round and glowing
kaNgaL – divine eyes
ivaiyA – are these?
eri – like fire
pongi – tumultuous
kAttum – having a divine form
imaiyOr perumAn – lord of nithyasUris, who controls them
ari – as lion faced
pongi – tumultuous
kAttum – shown
azhagu – beauty
iviayA – is it this?

vyAkyAnam

ivaiyA pilavAy – Could one sing in a pAsuram how an entity, who is spoken of as in chAndhOgya upanishath 3-6 “avAkyanAthara:” (he will not engage in conversation with anyone and he does not have any likes or dislikes) and as in muNdanIka upanishaths 1-1-7  “vruksha iva sthabdhO dhivi thishtathi” (he stands like an unbending tree in paramapadha), suffers for the sake of his followers?

ivaiyA pilavAy thiRandheri kAnRaemperumAn’s divine mouth is described by thiruppANAzhwAr in his amalanAdhipirAn 7 as “mAyanAr seyya vAy aiyO ennaich chindhai kavarndhadhuvE”  (the divine, reddish mouth of the amazing entity engaged my mind. How is this?) and by nammAzhwAr in his thiruvAimozhi 7-7-3 “vAliyadhOr kanikol vinaiyAttiyEn valvinaikol kOlaththiraL pavaLath thuNdangolO aRiyEn neelanedumugil pOl thirumEniyammAn thoNdai vAy” (emperumAn’s divine mouth appears like a ripened fruit fit to be enjoyed, but AzhwAr, in the guise of parAngusa nAyaki, is sorrowful that her cruel sins have taken a form to prevent her from enjoying that). How amazing that such a divine, beautiful mouth could spit fire after opening out like a cave!

ivaiyA – this could be construed as ivai Ah – here,  Ah would mean that this is very wondrous. Alternatively, this could be taken as one word ivaiyA which would mean is this (same as the other one)? [in other words, such a divine, fruit like mouth of emperumAn is spitting fire after opening out like a cave; are the two, the same or are they different?] AzhwAr is wondering whether the mouth that he is seeing, looked different during emperumAn’s incarnation as narasimha by opening out like the mouth of a cave and spitting fire from it.

ivaiyA erivattak kaNgaL – would the divine eyes, which were sung about by AzhwArs (1) as in periya thirumozhi 7-1-9 “sudar mAmadhi pOl uyirkkellAm thAyAyaLikkinRa thaNdAmaraikkaNNA” (Oh one with cool, comforting lotus eyes! Your eyes are like the bright, huge moon looking at the people of this world like a mother), (2) as in thiruvAimozhi 7-7-1 “sUzhavum thAmarai nANmalar poL vandhu thOnRum kaNdIr” (emperumAn’s eyes will appear from all four sides like lotus which has just then blossomed) and (3) as in amalanAdhippirAn 8 “kariyavAgip pudai parandhu miLirndhu sevvariyOdi nINda apperiyavAya kaNgaL ennaip pEdhamai seydhanavE” (those black, expansive, bright, with reddish lines, long eyes made me lose my control), which attract his followers and engage with them, become inimical in the case of the enemies of followers and spit fire? How amazing that these eyes have become balls of fire and are spitting fire?

ivaiyA eripongik kAttum imaiyOr perumAn ari pongik kAttum azhagu – emperumAn, whose divine form is radiant and who is the lord of nithyasUris, transformed himself, for the sake of his follower, into a lion and how beautiful is this!

eri pongik kAttumemperumAn’s divine form will outwit all the radiant, glowing objects. His divine form is described in muNdakOpanishath 2-2-11 as “na thathra sUryO bhAthi na chandhrathArakam nEmA vidhyuthO bhAthi kuthO’yamagni” (in the presence of that paramAthmA (supreme being) sun and moon will not shine; lightning too will not look bright; is there a need to talk about agni (fire)?)

imaiyOr perumAn – It is implied that since he is the lord of celestial entities, he carried out this task (of transforming himself into a lion, spitting fire) for  their sake.  It also implies that they wilfully became his servitors after seeing this beauty and losing out to it.

ari pongik kAttum azhagu – even though he is the supreme being, his beauty in the form of a furious narasimha was superior to that of his original form (as emperumAn). Wasn’t it to experience and enjoy this beauty of narasimha, which was like sugar mixed well with milk, that thirumangai AzhwAr mercifully composed a whole decad in periya thirumozhi 1.7 “angaN gyAlam”!

AzhwAr thus mercifully mentioned as to how an entity [emperumAn], who does not change at all, transforms himself for the same of its followers.

We will take up the 22nd pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruvAimozhi – 7.1 – uNNilAviya

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Audio

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

See nampiLLai’s introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

See nampiLLai’s introduction.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

In the first decad – AzhwAr surrendered unto emperumAn previously with an eye on the goal; emperumAn manifested the severity of the hurdles in order to eliminate them; AzhwAr who was already frightened as in thiruvAimozhi 6.9.9kAttip paduppAyO” (are you planning to finish me by revealing varieties of pleasures?), thiruvAimozhi 6.9.8innam keduppAyO” (will you torment me further?), on seeing the severity of the hurdles such as body, senses etc as said in “samsAra Srama parithApa thaptha chEthA:“, becomes even more sorrowful and highlights the following aspects:

  1. the completeness of the relationship with emperumAn who is the eliminator of the hurdles and emperumAn’s other qualities
  2. his great enjoyability
  3. his acts for the protection [of others]
  4. his ability to accomplish impossible tasks
  5. eliminating hurdles as his nature
  6. his presence in all forms
  7. his engagement in great tasks to fulfil the needs of his devotees
  8. his being with distinguished symbols
  9. his being the creator, etc of all worlds
  10. his ability to absorb everything

Meditating upon these aspects, AzhwAr calls out with great sorrow due to his relationship with emperumAn saying  “You who are of such nature, even after seeing the torture given by the senses etc which are at your disposal, are not eliminating them”.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nampiLLai‘s introduction.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s introduction

AzhwAr pursued emperumAn as much as it was possible for him  [i.e. properly surrendered to him] saying “amarndhu pugundhEn“.  But he did not see that the hurdles were eliminated and the goal was attained. He thinks “he is planning to abandon me”. falling on the ground and staying there, calls out for him. When one pursues the means (emperumAn) where there is no scope for delay, he would call out until the goal is attained. What he did previously was – he highlighted his own Akinchanyam (lack of anything in self), surrendered unto the divine feet of thiruvEngadamudaiyAn in the presence of periya pirAttiyAr. But, he did not see that surrender leading him to the result as said in SrI bhagavath gIthA 7.14mAm Eva yE prapadhyanthE mAyAm EthAm tharanthi thE” (Only those who surrender unto me, will cross over this material nature/realm [by my grace]). Now, he becomes upset thinking “he may be planning to abandon me”. After pondering upon the nature of samsAram (material realm) and feeling helpless, and even after surrendering unto the divine feet of emperumAn, as his desire was not fulfilled, AzhwAr, being scared, considers emperumAn as a cruel person who would send his armed servants to torture those who surrender unto him.  To have ISvara bestowing his mercy, one needs to have a) realisation of the defects of the samsAram (material realm) and b) meditation of the distinguished nature of emperumAn. There is nothing further needed than surrendering unto him. Since even after doing all of these, his desire is not accomplished, AzhwAr calls out thinking “even my best option is exhausted”. Now there are only two options as said in SrI bhagavath gIthA 16.19kshipAmi” (I push them [in demoniac births]) and SrI bhagavath gIthA 10.10dhadhAmi” (I bestow [the knowledge]); AzhwAr thought “let us not become the target of kshipAmi”. Why is this? Hasn’t emperumAn already given him the budhdhi yOgam (knowledge) which is [part of] “dhadhAmi“? AzhwAr is feeling “emperumAn gave me such knowledge only to torment me”. He is neither aiming to fulfil his desire based on his own strength; nor is he willing to lose it based on the lack of strength in emperumAn; whatever is required for the goal, was already performed by him; so, there is no reason for him to lose it. But why has he not attained the goal? emperumAn thought “Only if there is some fault in AzhwAr, the ultimate goal is said to be not attained; as he exists for my sake, it is better if he remains here for now”. emperumAn had something in his mind to have it accomplished by AzhwAr. Further, since this is AzhwAr‘s final body [birth in this material realm], though he has surrendered, due to his great love for AzhwAr’s divine form, he has not liberated it. It is his attachment towards AzhwAr’s divine form, which made AzhwAr fall at his feet and say in thiruvAimozhi 10.7.10 “mangavottu” (you should agree to relieve me). With true love [of emperumAn towards AzhwAr], there cannot be any other reason. Isn’t this [AzhwAr’s body] his body too; but AzhwAr is thinking “if he has something to be accomplished through me, could he not get it done by those who would comfortably live here”. emperumAn thought that the knowledge he bestowed will help AzhwAr sustain himself; but the same knowledge became the reason for his urge towards emperumAn. emperumAn thought “let me act in proper order”; AzhwAr considered “he is planning to abandon me” due to emperumAn‘s such attitude. For AzhwAr who has visualised nithya vibhUthi (paramapadham) and emperumAn’s auspicious divine form and who is having the urge to go and enjoy emperumAn there, it is impossible to sustain with the knowledge “samsAram is also a form of his wealth”. He remains as said in thiruvAimozhi 8.1.9 “yAnum nIdhAnAyth theLithoRum nanRum anjuvan naragam nAnadaidhal” (As I realise my servitude towards you, I become fearful about reaching the hellish material realm). AzhwAr meditated upon his own state as mentioned here, emperumAn having many persons to protect, being a protector being his nature, self having the aptness to be protected, self’s own lack of interest in these [protecting self, and worldly matters], the qualities such as sathvam (goodness), rajas (passion) and thamas (ignorance) and the cause for these qualities viz virtues, body, senses etc, and the cause for these such as mUla prakruthi (primordial matter), mahAn, ahankAram etc and the result of which such as avidhyA (ignorance), karma (deeds), vAsanA (impressions), ruchi (inclination) etc all of these being at the disposal of emperumAn; he then determined “He placed me in this samsAram where sensual pleasures and senses are present, only to abandon me after I become a prey for them; now we have entered the group which is the target of ‘kshipAmi‘. In this his instruments were seen, to abandon me. In that, his presence in the grand assembly in paramapadham is to laugh along with the residents there, at my sufferings. He has the samsAram as a prison for me. He bestowed unblemished knowledge/devotion to make me tremble and suffer unlike others [who joyfully live in ignorance]”, placed his head at emperumAn’s divine feet, and wailed from there to be shown pity by all those who heard him.

In thiruvAimozhi 6.2minnidai madavAr” – AzhwAr assumed a feminine form and spoke in romantic anger. But since it felt like speaking through someone else’s mouth, AzhwAr in his own mood, attained a state where he was upset. He is totally comparable to sIthAp pirAtti, the divine daughter of SrI janakarAja. That is, instead of blaming anyone else, he would say “My own sin is the cause for all of these”. But why is such a person, blaming emperumAn now? When one realises the aptness [of the relationship], one can ascertain the aspects which are on himself to be on emperumAn. When a child falls in a well, it can be said “the mother pushed him in”. The reason for that is “If the mother carefully looked after the child, would he fall into the well? It is her carelessness which caused the disaster” and hence the mother could be blamed. udhanga came to krishNa and told him “When both the groups are related to you in the same manner, why did you protect pANdavas and let dhuryOdhana et al to be destroyed; can you act like this with partiality?”, krishNa highlighted their faults and said “they didn’t have the inclination towards dharma (virtues)”. And udhanga asked “Why didn’t you instill that inclination in them?”.

But, AzhwAr hates the worldly pleasures so much to as say in thiruvAimozhi 6.9.9pala nI kAttip paduppAyO” (are you planning to finish me by revealing varieties of pleasures?), thiruvAimozhi 6.9.8kiRi seydhennaip puRaththittu innam keduppAyO” (will you trick me into placing me away and torment me further?) and even without his knowledge his senses are attracted towards bhagavAn as seen in thiruvAimozhi 3.8mudiyAnE“. Wouldn’t it be contrary to say such AzhwAr is under the clutches of his own senses? When the neighbouring house is on fire, one would naturally fear for one’s own house; when one sees a rope near an anthill, one would confuse it with a snake naturally. AzhwAr saw that the worldly people and self are having similar bodies; he saw that everyone is under the clutches of his/her senses and is suffering; he becomes frightened thinking “what if we also suffer?” and calls out.

[Three examples are cited for surrendering in distress]

[Example 1 – SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 59.45 is explained here – Monkey warriors surrendered to SrI rAma on seeing rAvaNa’s valour]

  • SAkAmrugA: – Even after entering the battle, not having the focus there. Aren’t they just jumping from one branch to another?
  • rAvaNa sAya kArthA: – The arrows in the hands of rAvaNa who even frightened the protectors of various directions.
  • jagmuS SaraNyam SaraNam smarAmam – They surrendered to the one who can relieve them from their danger.

[Example 2] As seen in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 94.17 “rAkshasair vadhyamAnAnAm vAnarANAm mahachamU: | SaraNyam SaraNam yAthA rAmam dhaSarathAthmajam ||” (The great army of monkey warriors who were tormented by the army of demons, surrendered unto SrI rAma, the son of dhaSaratha), just as the monkey elders who were tormented by the demons, surrendered unto perumAL, AzhwAr too feared his senses which are explained in periya thiruvandhAdhi 51 “manamALum Or aivar van kuRumbar” (the cruel, five senses which dominate the mind), and is calling out to emperumAn.

[Example 3] She is going through the same suffering as sIthAp pirAtti, the divine daughter of SrI janakarAja as said in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 15.24 “priyam janam apaSyanthIm paSyanthIm rAkshasIgaNam svagaNEna mrugIm hInAm SvagaNai: AvruthAmiva” (One who is not seeing any of her dear ones, and who is seeing the demoniac people, and one who resembles a baby deer who was caught in a herd of wolves).

piLLai thirunaRaiyUr araiyar used to explain “in these ten pAsurams, the first half indicates how a child who was caught by a tiger [in the dream] would suffer when woken up in the hands of the mother”. As said in SrIvishNu purANam “thAvadhArthi” SlOkam [explained already in thiruvAimozhi 6.10 pravESam], after surrendering one cannot be upset with self; one can only be upset with emperumAn. Even surrendering unto emperumAn in thirumalA caused him to cry out instead of getting him the goal accomplished.

Each pAsuram is discussed subsequently.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 20 – nIyE ulagellAm

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avathArikai

After AzhwAr had said “kAppAy nI kAppadhanai AvAy nI vaikundham IppAyum evvuyirkkum nI” [as in the previous pAsuram], emperumAn became very happy. Just as it is said “kim mrushtam suthavachanam” (Which is the sweetest to hear? It is hearing one’s child speaking) emperumAn, desirous of hearing more sweet words from AzhwAr, tells AzhwAr “AzhwIr! Your pAsurams are very sweet to hear. Compose one more pAsuram”. AzhwAr immediately composes another pAsuram (this) dipping the all pervading quality of emperumAn in his mellifluous words and offers to emperumAn.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

nIyE ulagellAm ninnaruLE niRpanavum
nIyE thavaththEva dhEvanum nIyE
erisudarum mAl varaiyum endhisaiyum aNdaththu
irusudarum Aya ivai

Word for Word Meanings

ulagu ellAm nIyE – you are the controller of all the worlds
niRpanavum – the stable, purushArtham (end benefit) of mOksham (liberation / SrIvaikuNtam)
nin aruLE – due to your mercy alone
thavam dhEvar dhEvanum  nIyE – you are the head of celestial entities such as brahmA et al who became celestial entities after carrying out penance.
eri sudarum – the splendorous agni (fire)
mAl varaiyum – the huge mountains which sustain earth
eN dhisaiyum – all the entities present in the eight directions
aNdaththu – present in the universe
iru sudarum – chandhra sUrya (moon and sun)
Aya ivai – all these
nIyE – are only you

vyAkyAnam

nIyE ulagellAm – many pramANams (authentic sources of information) have been given to substantiate that emperumAn is all pervading.

nArAyaNa anuvAkam – “viSvam nArAyaNam harim” (he is the indwelling soul of all the worlds)

SrI bhagavath gIthA 11-40: “sarvam samApnOshi thathO’Si sarva:” (since you pervade everything you are everything)

mahAbhAratham – “thathsthathvAdhanupaSyanthi hyEka EvEthi sAdhava:” (since emperumAn has pervaded the jIvAthmA, sAdhus (ascetics) see them [emperumAn and jIvAthmA] as one)

brahma sUthram – “avasthithErithi kAsakruthsna

Since no creation can exist if separated from him and since such a separated state cannot be seen, there is nothing wrong in saying that emperumAn is the world.

ninnaruLE niRpanavum – the prurushArtham mOksham (liberation or SrIvaikuNtam), which is stable and permanent, happens due to your mercy. This can also be construed as – all creations exist in a stable way, due to your mercy. But since this meaning is conveyed by the previous verse nIyE ulagellAm periyavAchchAn piLLai, the vyAkyAthA (commentator) for this prabandham supported the meaning relating to purushArtham. Since the goal in paramapadham is unlimited, plural number niRpana has been used.

nIyE thavaththEva dhEvanum – you are the lord of those who became deities after carrying out penance. svEthasvathara upanishath says “tham dhEvanAm paramancha dhaivatham” (emperumAn is the supreme deity for all those deities). mahAbhAratham sabA parvam 14-8 says “yugakOti sahasrANi vishNumArAdhya padhmabhU: I punas thrailOkyadhAthruthvam prApathavAnithi SuSruma: II ” (we hear that by carrying out penance towards vishNu for thousands of crores of yugas, brahmA attained the position of being the head of the three worlds once again). nArasimha purANam says “brahmAdhayas surAs sarvE vishNumAradhya thE purA I svam svam padhamanuprApthA: kESavasya prasAdhatha: II ” (dhEvas such as brahmA et al worshipped vishNu and with his mercy attained their respective position). mahAbhAratham says “mahAdhEvas sarvamEdhE mahAthmA huthvA’thmAnam dhEvadhEvO babhUva” (by sacrificing himself in the sarvamEdha yAgam (a ritual), the great soul mahAdhEva (rudhra) became a deity). Thus in all these cases, it is clearly established that emperumAn is the supreme deity for all those who became deities after carrying out penance towards him.

nIyE erisudarum mAl varaiyum … – is it required to say these separately? You are the burning fire, the huge mountains which sustain earth, the eight directions, sUrya and chandhra (sun and moon) which are within the universe. All these are under your control. This is in line with the SrI vishNu purANa SlOkam 2-12-38 “jyOthimshi vishNur bhuvanAni vishNur vanAni vishNur girayO dhiSaScha” (all the radiant objects are vishNu; all the worlds are vishNu; all the forests are vishNu; all the mountains and directions are vishNu).

We will move on to the 21st pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 19 – thavam seydhu

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avathArikai

AzhwAr asks emperumAn to fulfil his desires too just as he protects the celestial entities such as brahmA et al, who have limited knowledge. While brahmA et al become devotees of emperumAn when the quality of sathvam (goodness) becomes predominant in them, they think that they are the lords when they are under the control of rajas (emotional; aggressive) and thamas (lazy; ignorant) qualities and grant boons to demons such as hiraNya kashyap, only to suffer later. Such people are not apt to be attained ever. AzhwAr requests emperumAn to become his protector too just as he saves brahmA et al from various dangers. One can consider from this pAsuram until the 26th as a dialogue between emperumAn and AzhwAr as well as experiencing of emperumAn’s auspicious qualities by AzhwAr.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

thavam seydhu nAnmuganAl peRRa varaththai
avam seydha AzhiyAn anRe uvandhemmaik
kAppAy nI kAppadhanai AvAy nI vaikundham
IppAyum evvuyirkkum nI

Word for Word Meanings

thavam seydhu – carrying out penance
nAnmuganAl – from brahmA
peRRa – (those entities such as hiraNyakashyap who) obtained
varaththai – boons
avam seydha – one who ruined them
AzhiyAn anRE – aren’t you the emperumAn with divine disc in your divine hand!
emmai – us
uvandhu – with a happy divine mind
kAppAy nI – you are the only one who protects
kAppadhanai AvAy nI – the vow to protect is also yours only
evvuyirkkum – for all chEthanas (who attained you)
vaikundham – paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam)
ippAyum – one who grants
nI – it  is only you

vyAkyAnam

thavam seydhu nAnmuganAl peRRa varaththai avam seydha AzhiyAn anRE – considering himself as the creator of worlds, brahmA, while being born from your navel, out of vanity, wanted to be a grantor of boons, without analysing the results of granting such boons. Is he the entity to be attained or are you [emperumAn] who, without making such boons ineffective, transformed yourself as half-lion, half human, and killed the demon hiraNya at dusk with your finger nails, the entity to be attained? Only you have to respond, says AzhwAr.

thavam seydhu – this could be construed as referring to rAvaNa. brahmA et al granted boons to rAvaNa and suffered. Are such entities apt to be attained or are you, in order to fulfil their boons, took the form of a human, and killed rAvaNa et al and gave back their residences, the apt entity to be attained?

AzhiyAnanRE – the implied meaning is that entities such as brahmA et al who cannot protect themselves are unfit to be attained while emperumAn, who constantly has the divine disc in his hand in order to protect his followers, is the protector. When protecting, emperumAn does not consider that he is carrying out something for the sake of his followers; he feels elated that he is carrying out something for his sake. Did not vAlmIki mention in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam “abhishichya cha lankAyAm rAkshasEndhram vibhIshaNam I kruthakruthyas thadhA rAmO vijvara: pramumOdha:  II ” (after performing the coronation of vibhIshaNa, the head of demons, in lankA, SrI rAma felt as if he had carried out a task for himself and felt joyous)!

uvandhemmaik kAppAy nI ….. thavam seydhu nAnmuganAl peRRa – is it required to spell out as to whether entities such as brahmA et al who granted boons which will get destroyed, after carrying out hard penance, are apt to be attained or emperumAn who carries out tasks for his followers as his own and feels happy about it?

kAppadhanaiAvAy nI – you [emperumAn] are the protector; the sankalpa (vow) to protect is also yours. This implies that on a few occasions when brahmA et al protect their followers, it is emperumAn who, as their antharyAmi (indwelling soul) protects them.  Hasn’t emperumAn himself mercifully said this in SrI bhagavath gIthA 7-21, 22yO yO yAm yAm thanum bhakthi: SradhdhayArchchidhum ichchathi I ……labhAthE cha thatha kAmAn mayaiva vihithAn hi thAn II” (whoever earnestly worships whichever deities, who are all part of my physical form, obtain whatever they had asked for from those deities, which are given to those deities by me)!

kAppadhanaiyAvAy nI – could one expect the rakshaNa dharma (the duty to protect) from anyone else? parASara maharishi in vishNu purANam SlOkam 1-22-21  says “na hi pAlana sAmarthyam ruthE sarvESvaram harim I sthithau sthitham mahAbhAga bhavathyanyasya kasyachith II” (is there anyone other than the supreme being hari, who is fully engaged in protecting, who has the capacity to protect others?)

vaikuNdham ippAyum evvuyirkkum nI – let the other capabilities remain. Is there anyone who has the capability to grant mOksham (SrIvaikuNtam) so that one need not return to earth and suffer again?  Haven’t SAsthras loudly proclaimed, as in purusha sUktham, nArAyaNa sUktham etc “uthAmruthathvasyESAna: ” (only he is the supreme lord for paramapadham too); “thamEvam vidhvAnamrutha iha bhavathi nAnya: panthA ayanAya vidhyathE  “ (only he who knows emperumAn like this attains mOksham; there is no other way); “amruthasyaishya sEthu:” (he is the bridge to reach mOksham); “mOkshamichchEth janArdhanAth” (mOksham should be desired only from janArdhana (emperumAn)).

Thus in this pAsuram, AzhwAr has mercifully stated that brahmA et al, who are  not capable of protecting themselves, are not the apt entities to be attained and it is only emperumAn, who protects every creature, who is apt to be attained.

We will take up the 20th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruvAimozhi – 7th centum

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Focus of this centum – Sakthathva – bhagavAn being able to do anything

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

AzhwAr mercifully highlighted the nature of the means (bhagavAn) and pursuit of that means in the previous two centums; he subsequently speaks about the nature of the hurdles which are removed by bhagavAn in the seventh centum and the manner in which the hurdles are removed in the eighth centum. In this seventh centum which speaks about the nature of the hurdles, the following aspects are highlighted:

  1. the body, senses etc which are the hurdles to be removed, are at the disposal of ISvara who is the eliminator of these hurdles
  2. when the hurdle is not removed, the desire to attain the goal will lead to anguish
  3. the anguish will be subdued when one reaches the divine abode of ISvara who is determined to accept his servitors
  4. the hurdles which cause anguish, can only be eliminated by the omnipotent emperumAn who has victorious acts of protecting the universe
  5. it is agreeable to all that there is no rakshaka (saviour) other than emperumAn
  6. one should surrender unto the divine feet of the creator of all, to eliminate one’s hurdles
  7. while one is having virtual experience of emperumAn, the anguish caused by not attaining emperumAn truly will itself lead to hurdles
  8. only emperumAn who is with variegated opulences and abilities, can eliminate the variegated hurdles
  9. the bliss of turning the hurdles to be helpless by the great joy of being accepted [by emperumAn] to perform service by speech (pAsurams) even while being with the hurdles
  10. when the desire to attain the goal becomes manifold, emperumAn who is the means, will eliminate the hurdles

With these aspects, AzhwAr mercifully examines the nature of the hurdles.

We will see each thiruvAimozhi (decad) in detail.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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