nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 83 – vEndharAy viNNavarAy

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AzhwAr mentioned about a benefit which had no equivalent. Is this all that emperumAn does for his followers? Till such time that they are here, without any regulations about what he does, emperumAn carries out all the protective actions; if the follower leaves this body, he gives him svarga (heaven); more distinguished than these, he also grants paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam); even after granting all these, isn’t he the entity who feels sad that he has not done anything for his follower? AzhwAr thus explains in this pAsuram, the meaning that he had given in the previous pAsuram.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

vEndharAy viNNavarAy viNNagaith thaNNaLiyAy
mAndharAy mAdhAy maRRellAmAy sArndhavarkkuth
than ARRAn nEmiyAn mAlvaNNan thAn kodukkum
pinnAl thAn seyyum pidhir

Word for Word Meanings

nEmiyAn – one who has the divine disc in his hand
mAl vaNNan – emperumAn who is the epitome of affection
sArndhavarkku – towards those who attain him
vEndhar Ay – being kings
viNNavar Ay – being dhEvas (celestial entities, who bestow rain)
viN Agi – being the svarga (heaven) which gives enjoyment
thaNNaLi Ay – being the one who grants his grace (in heaven)
mAndhar Ay – being relatives
mAdhA Ay – being the one who gives all the benefits given by a mother
maRRu ellAm Ay – being the one who carries out all the other types of benefits

(even after bestowing all these benefits)
than ARRAn – being not satisfied internally
thAn kodukkum – giving (everything) himself
pinnAl – despite giving all these
thAn seyyum pidhir – he will give the distinguished mOksham (SrIvaikuNtam)


vEndharAy – being like kings who will function such that the strong people do not harm the weaklings, so long as they are in this world. Has it not been said that kings are denomination of bhagavAn, as in the saying “nAvishNu: prithivIpathi:” (king is not different from vishNu) and in thiruvAimozhi 4-4-8thiruvudai mannaraik kANil thirumAlaik kaNdEnEyennum” (if she looks at the king, she will say that she has seen thirumAL (emperumAn))?

viNNavarAy – Is it not true that even if kings rule the land properly, if there is no water resource, there will not be any benefit to the people? Hence, (emperumAn functions as) being the celestial entities who are the cause for rain which provides water resources to people in the world. vyAsa said “sarva ijyAScha krishNa:” (all celestial entities are krishNa).

viNNAgi – being svarga (heaven) which is distinct from earth and which is the benefit for deeds carried out on earth such as jyOthishtOma (a type of ritual) etc. nammAzhwAr too mercifully said in thiruvAimozhi 3-10-7iniya nalvAn suvargangaLumAy” (being the sweet paramapadham and svarga)

thaNNaLiyAy – being the grace showered by indhra et al celestial entities. The opinion here is that it is only emperumAn who grants happiness through indhra et al in svarga. emperumAn said himself in SrI bhagavath gIthA 7-22labhathE cha thatha: kAmAn mayaiva vihithAn hi thAn” ((AthmA) attains all the desires which are granted only by me through celestial entities).

mAndharAy – being relatives and friends who provide help. subAlOpanishath says “suhruth gathir nArAyaNa:” (attain nArAyaNa who is good at heart).

mAdhAy – being the mother who gave birth to. This applies to father too. Just as it is mentioned in the saying “sahasram hi pithur mAthA” (being thousand times greater than father and mother) mentioning mother is also applicable to father. periya thiruvandhAdhi 5 says “peRRa thAy nIyE piRappiththa thandhai nI” (you are the mother who gave birth to and the father who was responsible for the birth) and subAlOpanishath “mAthA pithA nArAyaNa” (nArAyaNa is the mother and the father).

mAdhAy – also could  be construed as being beautiful. mAdhu – beauty. It is emperumAn’s beauty which the AthmA enjoys among all the beautiful things enjoyed.Hasn’t emperumAn himself said in bhagavath gIthA “yadh yadh vibhUthimath sathvam SrImadhUrgithamEva vA I thaththadhEvAgachcha thvam mama thEjOmSa sambhavam  II ” (know that all the materials which are full of opulence, which are beautiful, which are firm are born out of my radiance) and nammAzhwAr in thiruvAimozhi 1-2-7adangezhil sampaththu adangakkaNdu Isan adangezhil ahdhenRu adanguga uLLE”  (after looking at all the beautiful wealth of emperumAn, one should realise that he is also one among his wealth and become humble)!

maRRellAmAy – being other relatives, means and benefit as mentioned in “bhrAthA nivAsa: SaraNam” (surrendering to my elder brother) and periya thiruvandhAdhi 5 “maRRaiyArAvArum nI pEsil” (if I have to list out all the benefits that I have obtained from you, you are the AchArya (teacher) too)

For whom is emperumAn like these?

sArndhavarkku – he is like these for those who attain him.

than ARRAn – being dissatisfied with himself for not having done enough for his followers despite doing all these. Isn’t he the entity who says as in mahAbhAratham “gOvindhEthi yadhAgrandhath krUshNA mAm dhUravAsinam I ruNam pravrudhdhamiva mE hrudhayAnnApasappathi  II ” (the crying out of dhraupadhi who cried out gOvindhA when I was at a far away distance is not leaving my heart just like a loan which has kept accruing interest)!

nEmiyAn – one who manifests himself with his divine disc which removes enemies and which enables his followers to enjoy him.

mAl vaNNan thAn kodukkum – being the epitome of affection, one who keeps giving benefits like the above despite saying that he has not given anything.

pinnAl thAn seyyum pidhir – even after giving everything on earth as well in heaven etc, he gives paramapadham to his followers. pidhirremaining. In other words, he will give after he has enjoyed. After emperumAn has enjoyed the chEthana (sentient entity) and is deeply immersed in the ocean of nectar, the chEthana will be very joyous seeing the happiness of emperumAn and in turn will immerse himself in emperumAn’s ocean of nectar. Just as it is mentioned in thaiththirIya upanishaths “aham annam aham annam” ISvara enjoys chEthana  as his food and is joyous. Looking at that joy, chEthana will enjoy that joy as the SEshabhUtham (remaining food after partaking by emperumAn). vEdhAntha dhEsika said of this as “bhungkthE svabhOgamakhilam pathibhOga SEsham” (muktha (soul liberated from samsAram) enjoys as the remainder of emperumAn’s enjoyment)

It is proper for emperumAn to grant mOksham for his follower. But is it proper on his part to grant happiness in this world and svarga? Since he is sakalapalapradhan  (one who grants all benefits), it is not wrong on his part to grant other benefits too, based on the desire of his follower. For the sake of pirAtti (sIthAppirAtti) when jatAyu gave up his life, not knowing what he is doing, did SrI rAma not grant everything without any distinction between the pleasures on earth and mOksha as mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam SlOkam 68-30 “yA gathir yagya SeelAnAm AhithAgnEScha yA gathi: I aparAvarthinAm yA cha yA cha bhUmippradhAyinAm I mayA thvam samanuggyAthO gachcha lOkAnanuththamAn  II” (For those who observe rituals, for those who carry out rites with fire, for those who donate land and for those mukthas who do not return here ever, whatever great benefits are granted, you too, who are directed by me, will enjoy all those benefits in all those worlds )!

We will take up the 84th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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