periya thiruvandhAdhi – thaniyan

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avathArikai

This thaniyan, composed by bhagavadh SrI rAmAnujar, is considered by our preceptors as having been composed for the prabandham periya thiruvandhAdhi. Certain words, found in the first pAsuram of periya thiruvandhAdhi have been used in the thaniyan. muyaRRi sumandhu ezhundhu mundhuRRa nenjE [which are present in the first pAsuram of the prabandham] have been slightly rearranged  for the first line of the thaniyan to read mundhuRRa nenjE muyaRRi dhariththu uraiththu.

Let us go through the thaniyan and its meanings:

mundhuRRa nenjE muyaRRi dhariththuraiththu
vandhiththu vAyAra vAzhththi sandham
murugUrum sOlai sUzh moymbUm porunal
kurugUr mARan pEr kURu

Word by Word meaning:

mundhuRRa nenjE – Oh mind which is going ahead of me, (to attain AzhwAr)
muyaRRi – the dhivya prabandham (divine composition) which starts with the word muyaRRi
dhariththu – sustaining (in the mind)
uraiththu – reciting (through the mouth)
vandhiththu – worshipping (AzhwAr)
vAyAra vAzhththi – praising (AzhwAr) until the mouth hurts
murugu Urum – overflowing with honey
sandham sOlai – in the grove with sandalwood trees
sUzh – being surrounded by
moy – with water bodies
pU – being beautiful
porunal – having the river thAmirabaraNi
kurugUran – the lord of (AzhwAr) thirunagari
mARan pEr kURu – keep reciting the divine name of AzhwAr

vyAkyAnam

mundhuRRa nenjE – Oh mind, which is ahead of me in the matters related to AzhwAr! swAmy rAmAnujar has mercifully spoken about AzhwAr in the same way by which AzhwAr has mercifully spoken about emperumAn. Isn’t the divine mind of AzhwAr involved with the divine feet of emperumAn, more than AzhwAr himself! At several places, AzhwAr has mentioned about his mind/heart having gone ahead of him in matters relating to emperumAn. A few examples have been cited:

thiruvAimozhi 8-2-10 “ennenjennai ninnidaiyEnallEnenRu nIngi nANmalarp pAdham adaindhadhu

thiruvAimozhi 7-3-4ennenjinArum angE ozhindhAr

thiruviruththam 30 “ennenjinAraik kaNdAl ennaichcholli

periya thiruvandhAdhi 49 “kAruruvam kANdORum nenjOdum kaNNanAr pEruruvam enRemmaip pirindhu

periya thiruvandhAdhi 50 “thammudaiya pinnE thirundhuzhalum sindhanaiyAr

periya thiruvandhAdhi 7 “ennenjinAr thAme aNukkarAich chArndhozhindhAr

In the same way, the minds of mahAthmAs (distinguished souls) such as madhurakavi AzhwAr would have tried to go ahead of the mahAthmAs themselves in matters relating to AzhwAr.

muyaRRi dhariththu – having great enthusiasm as mentioned in kaNNinuN siRuththAmbu 10muyalginREn undhan moy kazhaRku anbaiyE” (I am making effort to have affection towards your great, divine feet). While AzhwAr has mercifully mentioned muyaRRi sumandhu, swAmy rAmAnuja has mercifully mentioned muyaRRi dhariththu. muyaRRienthusiasm.

muyaRRi dhariththu uraiththu – Alternatively, muyaRRI  could be taken to mean periya thiruvandhAdhi itself, which starts with the word muyaRRi. In this case, the meaning would change to – keeping the prabandham periya thiruvandhAdhi which starts with the word muyarri in the mind and then reciting it through the mouth. uraiththu – just as it is mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 6-8-1en nilaimai uraiththu” (revealing my state) and as mentioned by AzhwAr himself about his forlorn state in separation, this could be construed as speaking about his [reference here is to swAmy rAmAnujar’s] sorrow in separation.

vandhiththu – worshipping at the divine feet of AzhwAr.

muyaRRI dhariththu uraiththu vandhiththu – meditating upon the relationship of Lord and servitor which exists between AzhwAr and us and worshipping him.

vandhiththu – worshipping one who mercifully composed the divine prabandham periya thiruvandhAdhi.

muyaRRi . . . vandhiththu – initially worshipping the divine chest, the lotus like hands with the gyAna mudhrA (impression (sign) of knowledge), the divine feet of AzhwAr which are in padhmAsana (posture of lotus) just as AzhwAr himself had spoken of the divine limbs of emperumAn through various pAsurams such as thiruvAimozhi 6-1-7karuvaNNam seyya vAy, seyya kaN, seyya kai, seyya kAl seruvoN chakkaram sangu adaiyALam thirundhakkaNdE”, thiruvAimozhi 6-1-3iRangi nIr thozhudhu paNiyIr” and as he said of himself in thiruvAimozhi 4-10-11nAtkamazh magizh mAlai mArbinan”; then praising him [AzhwAr] handsomely, just as AzhwAr praised emperumAn in pAsurams such as periya thiruvandhAdhi 39 “avan pugazhE vAyupakAram koNda vAyppu”, periya thiruvandhAdhi 12 “kaNNan thAL vAzhththuvadhE kaNdAy vazhakku”, periya thiruvandhAdhi 84 “vAzhththi avan adiyai”, thiruvAimozhi 6-1-5adiyEnukkum pORRuminE”. Praising AzhwAr just as madhurakavi AzhwAr praised him in kaNNinuN siRuth thAmbu 2nAvinAl naviRRu inbam eydhinEn“  and in the pramANam “prathyakshE gurava: sthuthyA:”, justifying the benefit obtained by having mouth.

With the rest of the pAsuram, SrI rAmAnujar tells his heart to recite the divine name of nammAzhwAr, apart from praising him as mentioned above, either staying in the same place where he [SrI rAmAnuja] is presently staying or by going to AzhwAr thirunagari.

sandham murugUrum sOlai sUzh – the words could be rearranged to read as murugUrum sandham sOlai sUzh. murugu refers to honey and sandham to sandalwood. Thus, the meaning for this will be – surrounded by grove of sandalwood trees flooded by honey, just as it is mentioned in rAmAnusa nURRandhAdhi 20Arappozhil then kurugai” (AzhwAr thirunagari with sandalwood groves).

moypUm porunal – having the river thAmirabaraNi with copious amount of water and being beautiful.

moypUm porunal kurugUran mARan pEr kURu – recite the divine name of AzhwAr so that you can exist. How is kurugUr? It is on the banks of river thAmirabaraNi, which has copious amount of water which is clear and sweet.

kurugUr mARan pEr kURu – recite the name ‘kurugUr sadagOpan’ just as nammAzhwAr himself had mercifully mentioned in thiruviruththam 100 “nallAr navil kurugUr nagarAn thirumAL thiruppEr vallAr adikkaNNi sUdiya mARan” and in thiruvAimozhi 4-5-11paimpozhil sUzh kurugUr nagar kArimARan sadagOpan”.

kurugUran mARan pEr kURu – recite the names of nammAzhwAr just as he had referred to himself as “kurugUrch chadagOpan”  in thiruvAimozhi 2-5-11 and just as he recited the divine names of emperumAn in various pAsurams such as in periya thiruvandhAdhi 46 “nAn kURum kURRAvadhu iththanaiyE”, thiruvAimozhi 2-5-11kudakkUththa ammAnaik kURudhalE mEvi”, ending with thiruvAimozhi 5-9-11sadagOpan therindhuraiththa nAmangaL Ayiram ” and thiruvAimozhi 5-9-10nArAyaNan nAmangaLE”. Recite the names of nammAzhwAr just as the (thamizh sanga) poets had sung about him as “nAmam parAngusanO

If the text is kurugUr nam mARan the meaning will change as ‘our nammAzhwAr who is in thirukkurugUr’.

pEr kURu – recite the name of nammAzhwAr which he himself mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 5-4-5 “pEr ennai”. Recite the name “kurugUr sadagOpan” such that the entire place, on hearing this, will raise its hands (in other words, all the people living in the place will raise their hands) and salute nammAzhwAr. Recite his name as mentioned in kaNNInuN siRuth thAmbu 7eNdhisaiyum aRiya iyambugEn” such that his name will spread in all eight directions.

Through this thaniyan, it has been mentioned that prior to reciting AzhwAr’s divine prabandham, it is apt to recite his divine name as mentioned in prapanchasAram “gurupAdhAmbujam dhyAyEth gurOr nAma sadhA japEth I gurusEvAm sadhA kuryAth sO’mruthathvAya kalpathE  II ” (one should constantly meditate on the divine feet of AchArya (guru / teacher); one should constantly recite his divine name; one should constantly carry out kainkaryam (service) to him; one who does this is considered as fit for mOksham).

We will now move on to the avathArikai (introduction) for this prabandham.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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