nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 47 – nanmaNi vaNNanUr

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avathArikai

In the previous pAsuram, AzhwAr spoke about an elephant. In this pAsuram, he mentions about many different types of materials which have no knowledge at all, getting knowledge similar to nithyasUris and carrying out service to emperumAn.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

nanmaNi vaNNanUr ALiyum kOLariyum
ponmaNiyum muththamum pUmaramum
panmaNi nIrodu porudhuruLum kAnamum vAnaramum
vEdumudai vEngadam

Word for Word Meanings

ALiyum – yALis (an extinct animal which is like a lion, with an additional trunk)
kOL ariyum – the powerful lions
pon – gold
maNi – carbuncles
muththamum – pearls
pU maaramum – trees with blossomed flowers
pal maNi nIrodu porudhu uruLum kAnamum – forests with streams wherein many different types of gemstones will mix together and roll down
vAnaramum – monkeys
vEdum – hunters’ tribes
udai – having (all the aforementioned entities)
vEngadam – thirumalai
nal maNivaNNan Ur – residing place of sarvESvaran (lord of all) who has the form of a blue coloured good gemstone

vyAkyAnam

nanmaNi vaNNanUr –  residential place of one who has a complexion and basic nature similar to a good, blue gemstone. vaNNamcomplexion; basic nature. In terms of his complexion, he is invaluable like a gemstone. emperumAn has a simplicity which is similar to folding the gemstone in a piece of cloth and putting it inside a pocket. If it is lost, life will be worthless and if it is present, one can sustain oneself. Since emperumAn has qualities seeing which everyone will fall at his divine feet, he is compared to the gemstone and hence is called as maNivaNNan.

nanmaNivaNNan – actually, the gemstones which are seen in samsAram are not even a patch on emperumAn. Hence AzhwAr calls him as nanmaNivaNNan thus qualifying the gemstone; emperumAn doesn’t have the faults of gemstones such as being hard, being small etc.

Ur – When AzhwAr is subsequently going to say “kAnamum vAnaramum vEdum udai vEngadam”, is it apt to refer to thirumalai as Ur (town)? Isn’t it apt to be referred to as mountain or forest? Ur is defined as one which is fit for protection by the king. SrI rAma left ayOdhyA and went to the forest only because the sages living in the forest were to be saved from the fear of demons. Thus forest became country. sumithrA tells lakshmaNa even as he is leaving for the forest along with SrI rAma and sIthAppirAtti, as in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 40-8 “ayOdhyA adavIm vidhdhi” (know the forest as ayOdhyA). Thus whatever is to be protected becomes Ur. As per this description, thirumalai which welcomes lowly people too and gives them protection is fit to be called as Ur.

The pAsuram talks now about those who are protected . . .

ALiyum kOLariyum – yALis and lions, which are always inimical to each other, forget their enmity and carry out service to emperumAn together at thirumalai.

ponnum maNiyum muththamum pUmaramum panmaNi nIrodu porudhuruLum kAnamum vAnaramum vEdum udai vEngadam – even achEthana (insentient) entities such as gold, carbuncles etc which have no knowledge, acquire knowledge due to the greatness of emperumAn and carry out service to him. The pride of this place is that even those with knowledge pray that they would like to be born as a stork in the pond at thiruvEngadam or as a fish in the river there or a flower or a pillar there (reference here is to kulaSEkara AzhwAr).

ponnum ….vEdumudai vEngadam nanmaNi vaNNanUr – This is the place which welcomes even those who have lower levels of knowledge and protects them, where emperumAn resides with joy. Isn’t this place, which makes even samsAris to become nithyasUris, better than paramapadham where he protects nithyasUris (eternal residents of paramapadham) and mukthas (liberated souls who have attained paramapadham)!

ALiyUm …. – periyavAchchAn piLLai, the commentator for this dhivyaprabandham, has written “thirumalaiyil varththikkum nithyasUrigaLaich chollugiRadhu” ((ALiyum) refers to nithyasUris who dwell in thirumalai). There are two ways in which this could be interpreted. One is that the animals etc which live in thirumalai, after getting an interest in emperumAn related matters, carry out service to emperumAn similar to the way nithyasUris carry out. Another is that nithyasUris, in order to enjoy the simplicity of emperumAn at thirumalai, take the forms of achEthana as well as chEthana entities (insentient and sentient) such as gold, carbuncles, yALis, lions etc and carry out service to him here. This second interpretation is based on SrI parASara bhattar’s SrI rangarAja sthavam 1-33 SlOkam “ahruthasahajagAsyAs sUraya: srasthabandhA: vimalacharamadhEhA ithyamI rangadhAma:  I mahitha manujathiryak sthAvarathvA: SrayanthE sunIyathamithi ha sma prAhUrEbyO nama: sthAth II ” (elders have said that nithyasUris who do not ever let go of their basic nature of carrying out service to emperumAn, mukthas who have severed their connection with samsAram and mumukshus who have got rid of their sins and are having their final physical form , willingly take the forms of human species, animal species such as cows and birds and botanical species and attain SrIrangam always. My salutations to them!)

We will go on to the 48th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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