nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 88 – uyir koNdu

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

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AzhwAr continues with the benefits that emperumAn carries out for his followers who are without any means, in  this pAasuram.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

uyir koNdu udalozhiya OdumpOdhOdi
ayarvenRa thIrppAn pEr pAdi seyal thIrach
chindhiththu vAzhvArE vAzhvAr siRu samayap
pandhanaiyAr vAzhvEl pazhudhu

Word for Word Meanings

udal ozhiya – leaving the body behind
uyir koNdu – taking the prANa (vital air)
Odum pOdhu – when (this AthmA) runs
Odi – (emperumAn himself) runs
ayarvu enRa – everything which is considered as a difficulty
thIrppAn – emperumAn who removes
pEr – divine names
pAdi – reciting heartily
seyal thIra – there is nothing that we need to do (pravruththi) as means
sindhiththu – understanding the basic nature
vAzhvArE – only those who comtemplate to live
vAzhvAr – will prosper
siRu samayam pandhanaiyAr – those who hold on to means which are lowly, which are conditional and which are the reason for being bound to samsAram (materialistic realm)
vAzhvu El – any prosperity that it may beget
pazhudhu – is useless


uyir koNdu udal azhiya OdumpOdhu – when this AthmA, propelled by the messengers of yama (deity of righteousness), runs with its vital airs, after shedding the body

Odi – there is an entity [emperumAn] who will be witnessing the troubles of his followers. Instead of sending his servitors to remove the troubles (just like a person appoints a representative to carry out deeds ordained by SAsthram such as sandhyAvandhanam etc), this entity will run to remove the troubles of his followers, himself.

Odi – his (that entity’s) deed will be one with which his followers will be involved, as mentioned by SrI paraSAra bhattar in SrI rangarAjasthavam 2-57 “bhagavathas thvarAyai nama:” (I salute the speed of emperumAn) [reference here is to the act of emperumAn who came running to save the life of his follower gajEndhra (an elephant) who was troubled by a crocodile].

ayarvenRa thIrppAn – he will remove all the troubles of his follower who is under the control of messengers of yama. He removes the trouble undergone by his follower when he is shivering at the mere sight of yama’s messengers, when he is dragged out of his body by yama’s messengers etc.

ayarvenRa – The opinion here is that , in reality, only that which is experienced by the follower at the hands of messengers of yama is apt to be termed as trouble. All the others are joyous experience only, when compared to this.

thIrppAn pEr pAdi – heartily reciting the divine names of the entity who removes the trouble.

seyal thIrach chidhiththu vAzhvArE vAzhvAr – only those who live considering emperumAn himself as the means [for attaining him], rejecting all other means which are to be carried out by them, will prosper.

seyal thIrach chindhiththu vAzhvAr – these are the people who think that there is nothing that they can do in order to get rid of their troubles and to experience utmost happiness. These are the people who think that only emperumAn, who comes running to protect them when they are at the hands of yama’s messengers, is the means. These are the people who have been referred to by thoNdaradippodi AzhwAr in his thirumAlai 38 as “kadaiththalaiyirundhu vAzhum sOmbar” (those who have given the responsibility of looking after them to emperumAn).

Till now, AzhwAr has been talking about the greatness of those who are without any means. Now he talks about the lowliness of those who attempt to attain emperumAn on their own.

siRu samayap pandhaniyAr vAzhvEl pazhudhu – there is no benefit to those who attempt to follow the lowly means of karma yOgam (path of carrying out ordained deeds), gyAna yOgam (path of knowledge leading to carrying out those deeds), bhakthi yOgam (path of devotion towards emperumAn) which are to be observed over very long periods of time, referred to as “janmAnthara sahasrEshu” (thousands of successive births) and which lead to cultivation of ego in the mind of samsAri. This is opposite of his svabhAvam (basic quality) of being a dependent servitor.

siRusamayam – lowly means unlike SrIman nArAyaNa as mentioned in nArAyaNa sUktham  “nArAyaNam pArAyaNam” (nArAyaNa who is the superior means).

samayap pandhanai – the opinion here is that these are means which bind the jIvAthmA (soul) to samsAram (materialistic realm) but which go in the name of being the means for attaining mOksham; in reality, these means take the jIvAthmA far away from matters relating to emperumAn for a very long time, just as nammAzhwAr mentioned in periya thiruvandhAdhi 6 “neRi kAtti nIkkudhiyO” (will you reject me by showing me other means?)

vAzhvEl pazhudhu – if one analyses, it would be clear that there is no benefit for these jIvAthmAs by following such means.

samayamAzhwAr refers to these means as samayam since they have been classified based on the interest of each jIvAthmA. It should be understood here that these jIvAthmAs, who are siRusamayap pandhanaiyAr, are firmly engaged with pravruththi mArgam (the path of carrying out deeds on one’s own efforts to attain emperumAn) as opposed to nivruththi mArgam (in which the jIvAthmA entrusts the responsibility of making him attain emperumAn with emperumAn himself) which is indicated by the words seyal thIrach chindhiththu vAzhvAr. It should not be taken here that AzhwAr is talking about jivAthmAs who are following other philosophies since AzhwAr has already corrected these jIvAthmAs who are following other philosophies through his instructions and there is no need to talk ill of them now. One of the vyAkyAthas for this prabandham, SrI appiLLai, says here that through the verse pandhanaiyAr vAzhvEl pazhudhu AzhwAr is rejecting the other means since even for those who follow karmayOgam etc, unless emperumAn is convinced, he will not grant mOksham and also due to the fact that many persons such as kshathrabandhu, gantAkarNan et al reached mOksham without carrying out any karmayOgam.

We will move on to the 89th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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