Daily Archives: October 22, 2018

thiruvAimozhi – 7.8.4 – kaLLavizh thAmarai

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Full series >> Seventh Centum >> Eighth decad

Previous pAsuram

Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In the fourth pAsuram, AzhwAr mercifully explains how emperumAn is having nithya (eternal) and anithya (transient) entities as his wealth.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

Subsequently, AzhwAr says “You are having lotus eyes which reveal your enjoyability in the form of supremacy and simplicity, and you are having eternal and transient entities as your wealth; how do you meditate about the protection of such entities?”

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s introduction as documented by vadakkuth thiruvIdhip piLLai

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.


kaL avizh thAmaraik kaN kaNNanE! enakkonRaruLAy
uLLadhum illadhumAy ulappillanavAy viyavAy
veLLath thadangadaluL vida nAgaNai mEl maruvi
uLLap pal yOgu seydhi ivai enna upAyangaLE!


Word-by-Word meanings (based on vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s 12000 padi)

kaL – honey
avizh – sprouting
athAmarai – like fresh lotus flower
kaN – having divine eyes
kaNNanE – Oh krishNa!
enakku – for me

(the means of protection which you are contemplating)
onRu – one
aruLAy – you should mercifully tell;
uLLadhum – being eternal (due to being nithyam) [chith (sentient beings)]
illadhumAy – being transient (due to having forms which keep changing) [achith (insentient objects)]
ulappillanavAy – being innumerable
viyavAy – having entities which have differences, as your prakAra (form)

(to protect all these chEthanas and achEthanas)
veLLam – fully
thadam – having space
kadal uL – in milk ocean
vidam – spitting out poison (being invincible by enemies)
nAgaNai mEl – on the mattress called thiruvananthAzhwAn
maruvi – fitting well
uLLam – in your divine heart
pal – many types
yOgu – thoughts for protection
seydhi – contemplating;
ivai – these
enna – what
upAyangaL – means!

Simple translation (based on vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s 12000 padi)

Oh krishNa who is having divine eyes which appear like fresh lotus flowers which sprout honey! you should mercifully tell me one thing; you are having innumerable eternal and transient entities which have differences, as your prakAra; you are contemplating many types of thoughts in your divine heart for the protection of such entities, while fitting well on the mattress called thiruvananthAzhwAn who is spitting out poison, in the fully, spacious milk ocean; what means are you contemplating! I am not sure about what is going on in your divine heart. Are you thinking to incarnate? Are you thinking about how to eliminate the hurdles? Are you thinking about how to fulfil the desires [of such entities]? Are you thinking about uniting with your devotees? Are you thinking to become victorious? You should firmly and mercifully explain which is the one that you are thinking about.

vyAkyAnams (commentaries)

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s vyAkyAnam

See vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s translation.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s vyAkyAnam

See nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s vyAkyAnam

See nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam as documented by vadakkuth thiruvIdhip piLLai

  • kaL avizh … – Oh one who is having divine eyes which resemble freshly blossomed lotus flower and who is obedient! emperumAn‘s wealth is attractive to AzhwAr just as his divine eyes. Alternative explanation – just as his divine eyes is hurting AzhwAr, experiencing his wealth too is causing hurt. What is causing hurt here? When one has a doubt due to lack of clarity on a particular subject, one will be distressed, and that would cause hurt. piLLAn explains “AzhwAr is reminiscing what he said in previous decad ‘sUzhavum thAmarai nAL malar pOl vandhu thOnRum‘ (They came and appeared like fresh lotus flower which is surrounding everywhere)”. Hearing this nanjIyar mercifully said “it will be nice if this too is similar to the experience AzhwAr had previously; but this being in a different taste, as the context here is AzhwAr being awakened from his previous bewilderment, that principle will not fit here”.
  • uLLadhum … – Being the controller for the innumerable AthmAs (souls) which are said as existing [sath] and the variegated achith (matter) which are said as non-existing [asath]. As said in SrIvishNu purANam 2.13.96 “yaththu kAlAntharENApi nAnya samgyAm upaithi vai | pariNAmAdhi sambhUthAm thath vasthu nrupathachcha kim ||” (Oh king! That which has no changes such as growth or shrinkage, is called vasthu; you analyse about that), since achith is transitory it can be said as non-existing; and since AthmA is always singular in form, it is said as existing.
  • veLLath thadam kadal uL … – In milk ocean, fitting well on thiruvananthAzhwAn who is spitting poison to stop unfavourable ones from getting close. AdhiSEsha would have his fear placed in inappropriate place [where there is no reason for fear] and spit poison as said in nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi 10AngAravaram adhu kEttu azhal umizhum – pUngAr aravaNaiyAn” (emperumAn has the furious AdhiSEshan as his mattress, who is spitting fire on hearing the praises of brahmA et al during thrivikrama avathAram, mistaking it to be an army of attackers).
  • uLLap pal yOgu seydhi – You are having many thoughts in your divine mind for our protection. Just as there are so many different chEthanas (AthmAs), his thoughts are also so variegated and vast. How is this fitting with the preceding and succeeding sections [this is related to emperumAn being upAyam, while rest of the pAsuram, decad is focussed on AzhwAr enjoying emperumAn’s wealth]? achith, being transitory, should be given up; AthmA [chith], being singular in nature, should be pursued; ISvara would be the controller for both achith and chith; such emperumAn thinks “This chEthana has karma which he performs and has his own desires; unless he develops desire to reach me, he will not have the means to reach me; as he does not have that, what shall be done” and is resting there, thinking about the means to uplift him thinking “what shall we do to make him reach me, while he does not have the desire and does not say as in thiruviruththam 1 ‘inninRa nIrmai ini yAm uRAmai’ (I cannot bear this lowly life)” as if he said that.
  • ivai enna upAyangaLE – As the chEthanas are many, their protection will also be in many forms; and since emperumAn is sarvagya (omniscient) he will know all such means; what [amazing] means are these!

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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periya thiruvandhAdhi – 16 – sIrAl piRandhu

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In the previous pAsuram, AzhwAr experienced the reclining posture of emperumAn in thiruppARkadal (milky ocean), wherein emperumAn was waiting expectantly for someone (his devotees) to approach and attain him. In this pAsuram, he says “Is it only expectation that he has? Did he not incarnate as a mendicant too, in order to retrieve his possession?”

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

sIrAl piRandhu siRappAl vaLarAdhu
pEr vAmanAgAkkAl pErALA mArbArap
pulgi nI uNdumizhndha bhUmi nIr ERparidhE
sollu nI yAmaRiyach chUzhndhu

Word by Word Meanings

pErALA – Oh supreme being!
sIrAl piRandhu – being born into a wealthy family
siRappAl vaLarAdhu – not growing up in a grand manner
pEr vAman AgAkkAl – even if you had not borne the name of vAman
nI – you
mArbu Ara pulgi – (during your incarnation as varAha, the great boar) embracing with  your chest
uNdu – swallowing (during the time of deluge)
umizhndha – spitting it out (during the time of creation)
bhUmi – this world
nIr ERpu aridhE – is not possible to take it in alms?
nI – you
sUzhndhu – analyse
yAm aRiya – such that we know
sollu – please tell


sIrAl piRandhu – Couldn’t you have been born similar to the divine son of chakravarthy (emperor) dhaSaratha who observed rituals such as puthra kAmEshti yAga using his wealth and his penance, as mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 66-3 “mahathA thapasA rAma mahathA chApi  karmaNA I rAjyA dhaSarathEnAsi labdhO’mruthamivAmarai:  II” (Oh SrI rAma! Just as dhEvas obtained nectar, you were obtained by emperor dhaSaratha through great penance and great deeds). Couldn’t you have been like kaNNa (krishNa) who was obtained by vasudhEva after observing anantha vratha  (anantha here could mean the name of a specific ritual or innumerable rituals)?

siRappAl vaLarAdhu – Couldn’t you have been brought up by the great gyAni (one with lot of knowledge) SrI sumanthra or vaSishta who nurtured you thoroughly? Couldn’t you have grown up like kaNNa who ate up all the butter saved by his favourite devotees and who killed the unfavourable entities such as pUthanA?

pEr vAman AgAkkAl – should you have assumed the most famous name of vAmana through which you made all the dwarfs, living then, to be referred to as thrivikrama? Couldn’t you have assumed a great name such as Sriya:pathi (consort of SrI mahAlakshmi)? It was inside the hut of athithi, the consort of sage kashyapa that you were born; you grew up without having anyone to nurture you with care; your name was vAmana (dwarf).

AzhwAr says further whether he couldn’t have obtained this earth from mAvali (mahAbali) if he had not lowered himself to such an extent.

pErALA – Oh one who has great affection! Just as this AzhwAr said “eththiRam” (in thiruvAimozhi 1-3-1) even before saying about his activity, he engages with the simplicity of emperumAn by saying pErALA. He says that he cannot see the limit to emperumAn’s partiality towards his followers.

mArbArappulgi nI uNdumizhndha bhUmi nIr ERparidhE – if you didn’t manifest such simplicity, is it impossible to obtain from mahAbali this earth, which underwent as many transformations as cotton undergoes (twelve transformations, from flower stage to cloth stage) by way of being embraced by you tightly when you dug it out during your incarnation as varAha, being swallowed by you during deluge, being spat out during next cycle of creation etc?

sollu nI yAmaRIyach chUzhndhu – you must analyse the reason for incarnating with such simplicity and explain to us, so that we will know. Since AzhwAr cannot estimate such simplicity, he is asking emperumAn himself to explain this. When emperumAn speaks about his incarnations as in SrI bhagavath gIthA 4-9janma karma cha mE dhivyam Evam yO vEththi thathvatha: I thyakthvA dhEham punarjanma naithi mAmEthi sO’rjuna II” (Oh arjuna! One who knows truthfully my aprAkrutha (not related to primordial matter) birth and my activities, will not take birth again after relinquishing his body; he attains me), he only called his incarnation as dhivyam (divine) but did not elaborate on it. vEdham (sacred texts) too , when speaking about the mystery of his incarnation as in purusha sUktham, mentioned that only intelligent people will know about it “ajAyamAnO bahudhA vijAyathE thasya dhIrA: parijAnanthi yOnim” (even though he (emperumAn)  is without any birth, he incarnates many times; only the knowledgeable ones know the mysteries of his incarnations) [Hence AzhwAr is requesting emperumAn to state the reasons himself].

We will go on to the 17th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – pUrva pItikA – Part 4

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The authority of all varNas for worship of the Lord :

The word ‘nAra:’ generally indicates the natural authority to worship the Supreme Godhead as they wish to have it. bhagavAn is the One who is worshipped without any fear even by those who possess condemnable qualities, actions and births, merely due to having the greatest quality of developing taste in devotion. Once such people start worshipping bhagavAn thus, they shall be freed from all sins and distastes and shall be transformed into the most righteous ones, just as the sins are washed away by the flooding waters of gangA by taking a holy dip.

In SrI bhagavath-gIthA, bhagavAn – while talking about the qualities – says thus: “I am equal to all the beings, and I have no love or hatred towards anyone”. In connection with actions, He says “even if the one practicing very bad things in life sings my glories with unwavering mind, he should be considered as a pious man”. About the births, bhagavAn also says, “Oh pArtha! All sinful people born of various births such as the females, vaiSyas and Sudhras also take refuge in me and attain the highest abode”.

The people who follow ill deeds are not liked by bhagavAn, The statements from the scriptures such as “the ones without perseverance, peace, and composition of mind, and the ones who practice ill deeds are never dear to the Lord”. Even the brahma sUthras have concluded that people of all ASramas (brahmacharya, grihastha, vanaprastha and sanyAsa) as well as the ones without ASramas (such as widowers, and the like) are equally eligible for the knowledge about the brahman, and also indicate that all such people should have their mind under control with both internal and external restraint.

There is no restriction for anyone in chanting the names of the Lord who is the natural friend and relative of one and all, who is also just like a mother who is most affectionate towards her child, under any circumstances. This freedom of chanting the Lord’s names can be seen among a multitude of prime personalities such as gajEndhra – the elephant, jatAyu – the eagle, vAyasa – the crow, vibhIshaNa – the sibling of the king of demons, the common populace of kOsala (subjects in the kingdom of SrI rAma), gOpikAs – the cowherd womenfolk, mAlAkAra – the florist at mathurA, and others.

The ‘apaSUdhrAdhikaraNa’ chapter of brahma sUthras denies the eligibility for knowledge about the Supreme Self from the vEdhas and upanishadhs to the athraivarNikas (Sudhras – not belonging to the three varNas namely brAhmana, kshathriya and vaiSya) due to non-prescription of their practicing the various purifying acts such as service unto the preceptor, and others, which in turn are the limbs to the knowledge about the various oblations. So the natural eligibility to take refuge of bhagavAn (to gain the same result as that of learning the vEdhas) has been with these people – the athraivarNikas. Thus, they also have the utmost eligibility for attaining the Supreme by the various paths such as listening to His glories, thinking about Him and the like, which are celebrated by the upanishadhs as the highways for gaining the knowledge about Him and finally attaining Him. Such people (the ones ineligible for study of vEdhas) would have desired for various fruits in the past due to the adulteration of their sAthvik qualities by rajas and thamas at some point in time, due to which they would be born in various births such as females, Sudhras, various birds and animals. Examples of such people
are vidhura, dharma vyAdha. Such people would be disgusted about the origin of their births that they have acquired due to their own actions (karma).  This is shown by SrI Saunaka as well, thus: “Even though people like dharma vyAdha are born into lower births due to their past karmas, yet they attain the Supreme abode due to their instincts of worshipping the Lord – just as sabari attained mOksham”.

A quote from the mahAbhAratha may be remembered: “Oh king of kings! dharma always purifies a person who listens about it, sees it, talks about it, practices it and approves of it”.

The bhagavath-dharma (duties performed to attain the Supreme Godhead) has the power to penetrate into the minds of its beneficiary, approver as well as its practitioner.

Some statements from various scriptures quote thus:

  • All sins are washed away when one chants His names aloud, worships Him, sees Him or prostrates before Him. Then who will not serve the Supreme Lord hari?
  • hari is the One who protects those who chant His names, think about Him, meditate on Him, worship Him, and serve Him. He protects them in all respects granting them immense benefits both in this world as well as the neither.
  • He protects all those who listen about Him, read about Him, and see Him etc.
    Apart from these, the ithihAsa and  purANas also permit even the lowliest dog-eaters to sing the glories of the Lord.
  • bhagavAn declares this in His own words in the vishnNu dharmam thus: “nAradha! If my devotee says ‘nama:’ unto me with all sincerity, he shall attain the supreme abode, even if he is a lowly dog-eater”.

Statements such as these, along with the various anecdotes, are verily the proofs that such practitioners of the bhagavath-dharma such as chanting His divine names shall gain all due respects in the society and also attain the supreme abode at the end. Since these are well established facts, there is no contradiction in these facts to what the scriptures have to say either.

Non-restriction in terms of time and place for meditation, worship, etc

The usage of the word ‘sadhA’ indicates non-restriction in terms of time. Similarly, it also tells us about the non-dependency on the place of chanting, physical and mental purity while chanting, etc. Thus, a person need not see the various time units such as ayana (half year), ruthu (season), mAsa (month), paksha (dark/bright fortnight), nakshathra (star of the day), muhUrtha (the time in a day) etc.

To this effect, we should see the various statements made by the sages, as given below:

  • One should always chant the holy names of the wielder of Chakra – the Supreme Lord – at every time and at every place. When this is done, the person would never be impure at anytime, since the Supreme Lord Hari Himself will purify that person.
  • When one wakes up early in the morning chanting the names of the Supreme Lord as dhEva, krishNa, and gOvindha, then he shall not see any bad things coming his way during the rest of the day.
  • Even if chanting the names of bhagavAn is small in nature, the fruits of such actions are humongous. This is illustrated by a quote from the SrI bhagavath-gIthA that says:
    “Even if such a dharma is followed in miniscule, it protects the practitioner from great fears”.
  • The one who chants the names of the Lord is well equipped to progress towards mOksha.
  • If one rests his mind in achyutha – the Supreme Lord, he shall not reach the hell. To such a person, even the thoughts about the lowly heavens are a great obstacle to reach bhagavAn. Even the brahma lOkam (the highest position in this creation) turns miniscule to him. The One who resides in the unadulterated minds of such pure souls shall Himself grant the highest position of salvation unto them. Given these facts, then, what is really surprising in the fact that a person is freed of all his sins if he just sings the glories of the Lord by chanting his various names?” bhagavan gets pleased with the length of detailed worship and yields the fruits, so also He will be equally pleased with a sincere devotee who takes up the lighter form of worship – namely “chanting His names” – with a pure thought.
  • Even if my devotee offers me a leaf, a flower, a fruit or even just water – with true devotion, I shall partake of it with the most pleased state of mind.
  • The vyAsa smrithi says, “If a person offers a flower or just water to bhagavan by chanting the purusha sUktha, then the whole of this world  (with all animate and inanimate objects) has been worshipped by him”.
  • The vishNu dharma says “Even if a person offers the entire Earth stuffed with precious pearls to krishNa, janArdhana is not easily attained by him if he is impure at heart.”
  • Penance is not faulty, studies are not faulty, natural prescriptions of vEdhas aren’t faulty. The action of restraining the mind from sensual pleasures is also not faulty. The real root of fault is at the heart, where the person lacks purity of thoughts.
  • Schools of fish reside in the sacred rivers such as gangA. Flocks of birds reside in many temples. But, since they lack the sacred thoughts, they do not attain the fruits of being in those sacred places. Thus, the real fruits of pilgrimages and visits to holy shrines are only dependant on our purity of thoughts.

Thus that which was attained in krutha yuga by severe penance, that which was attained in thrEtha yuga by extensive oblations and sacrificial rites, that which was attained during the dhvApara yuga by detailed worship, shall be attained by a seeker during this kali yugam just by singing the glorious names of kESava.

(to be continued…)

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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