nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 68 – thiRambEnmin kaNdIr

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AzhwAr had said that worshipping of emperumAn and avoidance of other deities are acceptable even if they give troubles. To state the fact correctly, in SrIvishNu purANam, SlOkam 3-7-14 states clearly that connection with emperumAn alone will give all the benefits, during the course of a conversation between yama and his messenger. “svapurusham abhivIkshya pASahastham vadhathi yama kila thasya karNa mUlE I parihara madhusUdhanapprapannAn prabhur ahamanyanruNAm na vaishNavAnAm  II” (yama (the dhEvathA for righteousness), looking at his messenger, who has a rope in his hand (with which to fetch souls),tells him  “Messenger! Go away from those who have surrendered to madhusUdhana (emperumAn). I am the lord for others but not for vaishNavas”. This 68th pAsuram is the translation and vyAkyAnam (commentary) for this SrIvishNu purANa SlOkam.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

thiRambEnmin kaNdIr thiruvadi than nAmam
maRandhum puRam thozhA mAndhar iRainjiyum
sAdhuvarAyppOmingal enRAn namanum than
thUdhuvaraik kUvich chevikku

Word for Word Meanings

namanum – yama
than thUdhuvarai – his servitors
kUvi – calling
sevikku – (in their) ears
thiRambElmin kaNdIr – Do not miss (the order that I am going to issue you now)
thiruvadithan – sarvESvara’s (supreme being’s)
nAmam – divine names
maRandhum – even if they forget
puRam thozhA mAndhar – (if you see) people who do not worship other deities
iRainji – bowing (to them)
sAdhuvar Ay pOdhumingaL enRAn – he said to behave like an ascetic (avoiding any cruelty)


thiRambEnmin kaNdIr – do not cross the words which I am going to tell you now. Since yama is giving his order (to his messengers) with such a preface, it is clear that this order (which he is about to give) is more important than all his other orders. The hint here is that yama will not mind if they go against some of his other orders, but they should not go against this. If yama gives a note in writing to bring the soul of a person to his messenger, the messenger can refuse to obey it if the person happens to be a SrIvaishNava.

thiruvadi than nAmam maRandhum puRam thozhA mAndhar – AzhwAr is explaining clearly the meaning of the verse madhusUdhana prapannAn in SrI vishNu purANa SlOkam (seen in the introduction) without any fault of non-comprehension. AzhwAr explains the term which has been generally stated as “those who had surrendered to madhusUdhana” as “maRandhum puRam thozhA mAndhar” (followers of emperumAn, even if they forget the divine names of emperumAn, will not worship other deities), keeping in his divine mind the svabhAvam (the basic nature) of the person who surrenders.  Once a person surrenders to emperumAn, it will not be a grave mistake if he forgets emperumAn completely. It is enough if (s)he does not worship other deities. This is similar to a lady not having affection for her husband. Since affection will gradually creep back in her, no loss occurs to her pathnIthvam (the quality of being a chaste wife). However, will she not lose her basic nature and become ineligible for being taken by her husband if she goes to another person?  In the same way, even if they forget the divine names of emperumAn, his followers will remain as SrIvaishNavas if they do not worship other deities. yama’s messengers should be wary of them too is the meaning hinted here. thiruvadi –swAmy (lord).

mAndhar – people. Even if they do not have any distinguishing qualities of followers of emperumAn and are like normal people, it is acceptable. The only guiding principle to be observed strictly is that they should not worship any other deity.

iRainjiyum sAduvarAyp pOdhumingaL enRAn – this explains the term parihara in the SrI vishNu purANam SlOkam. Yama tells his messengers that it is not enough if you (messengers) say “We will not harm them”. You should discard the cruel form of pASahastham (having a rope in the hand to drag the soul away from its body), carry out anjali (salutation with cupped palms), bow to them and behave like an ascetic; sAdhuvar – ascetics.

namanum – yama is famous as being impartial as brought by the SrIvishNu purANa SlOkam 3-7-15 “ahamamaravarArchithEna dhAthrA sama ithi lOkahithAhithE niyuktha:” (I have been ordered by the paramapurusha who is worshipped by the head of dhEvas, to carry out good deeds to and remove the bad deeds from the worlds since I am equal to all (without showing any distinction between the superior and the lowl y people)). It is that yama who told his messengers not to disturb SrIvaishNavas. It is only towards other people, for whom he is prabhurahamanyanruNAm (I am head for other people), that he behaves as equal and yama. Can the king who hands down justice to his citizens carry out similar role towards his queen? AzhwAr says that in the same manner, yama, who is famous for being impartial, says a few words which seemingly appear partial. poygai AzhwAr also mercifully said in his mudhal thiruvandhAdhi 55 “avanthamar evvinaiyarAgilum engOn avan thamarE enRozhivadhallAl naman thamarAl ArAyappattaRiyAr kaNdIr aravaNai mEl pErAyarkku AtpattAr pEr” (you would see that the followers of emperumAn, irrespective of the deeds that they carry out, will not be questioned by the messengers of yama as they have been told by their leader yama that they are followers of his lord (emperumAn)).

than thUdhuvarai – this is translation for the world svapurusham in SrI vishNu purANam SlOkam. The opinion here is that these are his confidential servitors who have the capability to reject many of his messages.

kUvi – Calling them out aloud to show the importance of the task on hand. This word explains the meaning of abhivIkshya vadhathi in the SrIvishNu purANam SlOkam.

sevikku – meaning for the word karNa mUlE (within the ears).  If a person tells another person aloud ”don’t desire the Queen” and if this message reaches the King’s ears, the person who said this would get beheaded first. In the same way, even if yama has to tell something to his confidential messenger, considering the importance of the message, fearing the result that this would have if the secretive message gets leaked, with pounding heart, yama tells his messenger into his ears.

We will take up the 69th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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