nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 73 – ArE aRivAr

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In the previous pAsuram, AzhwAr mercifully mentioned the meaning of charama SlOkam. When asked as to what is the benefit for those who are deeply engaged with that, he says in this pAsuram the prAypya vaibhavam (distinctions of the goal – emperumAn). He says that even brahmA, rudhra et al do not know the greatness of emperumAn and the greatness of his position.

Alternatively, it can be said that AzhwAr is saying that it is not that only the samsAris do not know the distinguishing features of charama SlOkam. Even knowledgeable entities such as brahmA, rudhra et al do not know the greatness of charama SlOkam. periyavAchchAn piLLai, one of the commentators for this prabandham would say that bhattar (parASara bhattar, son of SrI kUraththAzhwAn) would give the meanings of both previous pAsuram, which are very difficult to know, and this pAsuram  with the quotation”bhattar aruLichcheyya nAn kEttEn” enRu (nam)piLLai aruLichcheyvar”  ((nam)piLLai would mercifully say that bhattar would mercifully state the meanings of these pAsurams).

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

ArE aRivAr anaiththulagum undhumizhndha
pErAzhiyAn than perumaiyai kAr seRindha
kaNdaththAn eNkaNNAn kANAn avan vaiththa
paNdaiththAnaththin padhi

Word for Word Meanings

anaiththu ulagum – all the worlds
uNdu umizhndha – swallowing (during deluge) and spitting out (later)
pEr AzhiyAn than – emperumAn who resembles a huge ocean
perumaiyai – greatness
aRivAr ArE – who will now (estimating it)? (There is none)
avan vaiththa – what that emperumAn had (earlier) kept
paNdaiththAnaththin padhi – charama SlOkam which is the age-old means
kAr seRindha kaNdaththAn – Siva with bluish coloured throat
eNkaNNAn – nAnmugan (brahmA) [with eight eyes]
kANAn – do not know


ArE aRivAr anaiththulagum uNdumizhndha pErAzhiyAn than perumaiyai – who will know the greatness of the one [emperumAn], who is like a great ocean which is referred to as in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 19-31 “apramEyO mahOdhadhi:” (the ocean whose greatness cannot be measured), who keeps all the worlds in his stomach during deluge so that they are not injured, and who lets them out later?

pEr AzhiyAn – one who is like a great ocean. Azhi – ocean. This is as per periyavAchchAn piLLai’s interpretation. appiLLai’s interpretation is different – “krishNa who is donning the great divine disc (sudharSan chakra, also known as Azhi in thamizh) in his divine hand”.

Would brahmA, rudhra et al know?  . . .

kAr seRindha . . . .  – Let their knowing his greatness remain on one side. AzhwAr is wondering whether they know where paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam) is.

kAr seRindha kaNdaththAnneelakaNta (Siva) who has the vanity of having protected the dhEvas by swallowing the AlahAla poison and having he power which is the base for that.

eN kaNNan – brahmA who has eight eyes in order carry out his activities in all eight directions simultaneously and who has lot of knowledge.

kANAn – do not see.

kAr seRindha kaNdaththAn kANAn – even if one possesses lot of power, is it possible to know the dwelling place of one who is omnipotent?

en kaNNan kANAn – even if one has lot of knowledge and is the head of the universe, is it possible to know paramapadham which is beyond the universe?

avan vaiththa paNdaith thAnaththin padhi – they do not know the dwelling place which emperumAn created with his eternal desire, long time back. SrI vishNu purANam 1-9-59 says “yan na dhEvA na munayO na chAham na Sankara: I jAnanthi paramESasya thath vishNO: paramam padham II” (that is vishNu’s supreme dwelling place which is not known to dhEvas, munis (sages), me (brahmA) and rudhra); SrI vishNu purANam 1-9-55 says “yannAyam bhagavAn brahmA jAnAthi paramam padhamI thannathA: sma jagadhdhAma thava sarvagadhAchyutha II” (Oh all pervading achyutha! We bow down to that supreme dwelling place of yours which even bhagavAn brahmA does not know and which is the sustaining entity for the universe); mahAbhAratham AraNya parvam 136-18 says “athyarkkAlanadhIptham thath sthAnam vishNOr mahAthmana:  I svayaiva prabhayA rAjan dhushprEksham dhEvadhAnavai:  II” (the resplendence of the dwelling place of that supreme AthmA vishNu is much greater than the radiance of sUrya and agni. Oh King! Due to such resplendence, it cannot be seen by dhEvas or demonic entities); mahAbhAratham SlOkam “dhivyam sthAnamajaram chApramEyam dhurvigyEyam chAgamair gamyamAdhyam I gachcha prabhO: raksha chAsmAn prapannAn kalpE kalpE jAyamAna: svamUrthyA II” (Oh my lord! Please reach that dwelling place which is aprAkrutha (not made of primordial matter), indelible, inestimable, unknowable, that which can be known only by vEdhas and which is ancient. During each kalpam (a period of time), please incarnate with your divine form and protect us, your servitors). Through all these authentic sources, it has been established firmly that paramapadham is not known to brahmA, rudhra et al.

paNdaiththAnaththin padhi – it is the dwelling place [of emperumAn] which is ancient.

The interpretation seen so far is based on prApya vaibhavam (glory of emperumAn as the goal). appiLLai has given a second interpretation for this pAsuram, based on charamaSlOka vaibhavam (glory of charama SlOkam). We will see it now.

ArE aRivAr anaiththulagaum uNdumizhndha pErAzhiyAn than perumaiyai – who will know the nirapEksha upAya (being means without any expectation) nature of emperumAn who protects all the worlds during deluge so that they are not destroyed, who lets them out during the next cycle of creation, and who is as profound as the ocean?

anaiththulagum uNdumizhndha pErAzhiyAN than perumaiyai – Was emperumAn’s act of protecting the worlds during deluge carried out with any expectation? Or, was his act of providing body and senses to sentient entities at the time of creation, done with any expectation?  nammAzhwAr mercifully mentions in his thiruvAimozhi 1-10-5kaNdAyE nenjE karumangaL vAykkinROr eNdhAnum inRIyE vandhiyalumARu uNdAnai ulagEzhum Or mUvadi koNdAnai kaNdukoNdanai nIyumE” (Oh heart! Have you seen that without any thoughts from us, things are happening as they should? Did you not get to see the emperumAn who protected all the worlds during deluge and who measured all the worlds with three steps?)

pErAzhiyAn than perumaiyai – is it due to any expectation that emperumAn is always with the divine disc in his divine hand, in order to protect those who are in danger? pErAzhiyAn – one who is donning divine disc which is great in protecting.

Wouldn’t brahmA, rudhra et al know?

kAr seRindha kaNdaththAn eN kaNNan avan kANAn avan vaitha paNdaiththAnanththin padhi – brahmA and rudhra, who have abundance of knowledge and power will not know charama SlOkam which is emperumAn’s ancient repository for nirapEksha upAyam (means which does not expect anything). emperumAn has kept this as a secret just as people gather wealth and keep it a secret. The meaning conveyed here is that they (brahmA, rudhra et al) do not know the greatness of the means of emperumAn which does not expect anything.

paNdaiththAnanththin padhipadhi – repository. Just as it is mentioned in SrI rangarAjasthavam 2-87 “upAyOpEyathva thadhiha thava thathvam” (means and goal are very important to you) and nammAzhwAr’s thiruvAimozhi 1-3-2vIdAm theLidharu nilaimaiyadhu ozhivilan muzhuvadhum iRaiyOn” (emperumAn who is the lord of all, who always gives the clarity of mOksham completely), being emperumAn’s svarUpam (basic nature), being ancient, being the refuge for all, and being known as sthAnam (position), charama SlOkam is called as his dwelling place as it signifies his means without expecting anything.

We will move on to the 74th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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