Monthly Archives: November 2018

thiruvAimozhi – 7.9.2 – en solli niRpan?

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Full series >> Seventh Centum >> Ninth decad

Previous pAsuram

Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In the second pAsuram, AzhwAr says “He himself sings his praise and makes it popularly known in the world that I sang them” and becomes blissful seeing emperumAn‘s amazing ability thinking “How amazing his quality is”.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

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.

AzhwAr says “I have been totally lost, due to my ahankAram and mamakAram since time immemorial and was facing away from him; emperumAn pursued me without any reason and changed me to be favourable towards him; if I think about this act, how can I hold myself together?”


en solli niRpan? en in uyir inRonRAy
en sollAl yAn sonna in kavi enbiththuth
than sollAl thAn thannaik kIrththiththa mAyan en
mun sollum mU uruvAm mudhalvanE


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

en – my
in – attached to worldly pleasures
uyir – AthmA (soul)
inRu – today
onRAy – as his belonging
‘en – my
sollAl – words
yAn – I, as the author
sonna – spoke
in kavi – sweet poem’
enbiththu – making it popular in the world
than – his
sollAl – words
thAn – being the author
thannai – having him as the object of the poem
kIrththiththa – one who sang praises

(to show that I sang)
en – being inside me
mun sollum – reciting pAsurams before me [so that I can repeat them]
mAyan – amazing lord

(as an example for this)
mU uruvAy – having three forms
mudhalvan – the causal lord who is present as one
en solli niRpan – what will I tell to hold myself together?

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

Considering my AthmA which is attached to worldly pleasures as his belonging today, emperumAn made it popular in the world that this sweet poem has been spoken by me, and he himself, being the author, sang praises having him as the object of the poem; what will I tell about the causal lord who is present as one, having three forms, who is the amazing lord residing in me and reciting the pAsurams before me, to hold myself together? Implies that this pAsuram is no match for his favour.

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

  • en solli niRpan – Should I say his pursuit of me to be nirhEthukam (without any reason) or sahEthukam (due to some reason [action from my side])? When AzhwAr analyses the self, he does not see any reason; when he analyses emperumAn, he does not see any reason; [that is] he does not see any reason for emperumAn to abandon him since time immemorial; he does not see any reason for emperumAn to suddenly accept him today. Now, what could be the reason? Shall we say “since he is the owner, he could accept his belonging [AthmA], when he chooses to do so”? That cannot be said; not only emperumAn thinks he merely accepted his own belonging, but he made AzhwAr sing his praises, and hearing that, he considers himself and his wealth to come into existence; due to this reason, AzhwAr is not able to hold himself together.
  • in uyir – [AzhwAr is praising his own self] as per bhagavAn’s opinion ; he is saying in this manner due to being part of the cause to be accepted by bhagavAn; alternatively – he is condemning his own self using viparItha lakshaNA [using contradictory term to explain a principle].
  • inRu onRAy – He did not consider his own self to exist before this day [inRu – the day when he got unblemished knowledge and devotion from bhagavAn]; only on this day, his ‘self’ came to be counted as an entity.

When asked “What did he do with you after accepting you?”, AzhwAr says,

  • en sollAl … – He made it popular in the world that the words are mine, that I am the composer and that the poem is very sweet. Any word will only refer / belong to sarvESvara and not for the lowly samsAri (materialistic person). Now, a chEthana does not qualify to have his own independent action or inaction; since his true nature and existence are under the disposal of emperumAn. He made this thiruvAimozhi to be popular in the world as iniya kavi (sweet poem); as said in thiruvAimozhi 1.5.11pAlEy thamizhar isaikArar paththar paravum Ayiram” (sweet milk like pAsurams which are celebrated by those who are well-versed in thamizh, those who are well-versed in music and can sing this and those devotees who understand the meaning); just as krishNa won the war, but stood along with others and praised arjuna for the victory. periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 2.1.2 “malai purai thOL mannavarum …” (emperumAn stood in the chariot witnessing arjuna killing great warriors). sengaN alavalai (reddish eyed chattering krishNa) one who remains quiet and aloof in paramapadham as said in chAndhOgya upanishath “avAkyanAdhara:“, gave up such qualities and started praising arjuna continuously.

When asked “you said inkavi enbiththu, is it in this manner?”, AzhwAr says “No” and when asked “How”, he says,

  • than sollAl … – Words are his, they are spoken by him and he spoke about himself. Only if I am the object of the praise, I could have sung it.

When asked “If he sang on himself, how did he make it popular in the world that you sang about him”, AzhwAr says,

  • mAyan – Should I tell about it? Does he not have amazing abilities? He had me as a tool and sang himself.

When asked “How did he have you as a tool and sing?”, AzhwAr says,

  • en mun sollum – As he first recites, I would recite after him. If he directly spoke, it will end up like SrI bhagavath gIthA which is difficult to understand. nambi thiruvazhudhi nAdu dhAsar would mercifully say “If an expert in SrI bhagavath gIthA arrives in an assembly, after the recital/explanation, he will be given some rice and sent off; he would not be invited inside; but if an expert in thiruvAimozhi recital/discourse arrives, sarvESvaran himself and the villagers will welcome him themselves, present their own residences for his use and honour him”.

When asked “how did he do that?”, AzhwAr says,

  • mU uruvA mudhalvanE – Just as emperumAn created brahmA, taught him vEdham, and made him transfer the knowledge to dhEvas and would honour him saying “brahmA gave knowledge to dhEvas” and being antharAthmA (in-dwelling super soul) of rudhra, making him burn down the three towns and would honour him saying “rudhra is the thripurAnthaka”, emperumAn himself sang this prabandham, and then claimed that I did it and gave me the honour. Doing the work himself but honouring others is an ancient habit of his! svEthAsvathara upanishath “yO brahmANam vidhadhAthi pUrvam yO vai vEdhAmScha prahinOthi“ (emperumAn creates brahmA and imparts vEdham unto him initially) and mahAbhAratham karNa parvam “vishNurAthmA bhagavathO bhavasya amithathEjasa: thasmAth dhanurjyA samsparSam savishEhE mahESvara:” (The omnipresent vishNu is the antharyAmi for Siva who is infinitely valorous and worshippable; due to this fact, Siva was able to launch the arrow on the bow during the destruction of the three towns). When asked “Why did he himself do it?” AzhwAr says that just as he would directly engage in activities [as vishNu], he would also have brahmA, rudhra et al as his body and would engage in srushti (creation), samhAram (annihilation) etc and would give the honour to them. Similarly, he sang the prabandham himself and gave the authorship to me.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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periya thiruvandhAdhi – 26 – yAnum ennenjum

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In the previous pAsuram, AzhwAr said “van thunbaththai mARRinEn”, implying that he had done something on his own [to remove his sorrow]. In this pAsuram, he says “When emperumAn came to get hold of me, by falling head over heal, all that I did was not to reject him”.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

yAnum ennenjum isaindhozhindhOm valvinaiyaik
kAnum malaiyum pugak kadivAn thAnOr
iruLanna mAmEni emmiRaiyAr thandha
aruLennum thaNdAl adiththu

Word by Word Meanings

Or iruL thAn anna – it is as if darkness took a form
mAmEni – having a great divine form
em iRaiyAr – emperumAn
thandha – gave
aruL ennum thaNdAl – the stick of (that emperumAn’s) mercy
adiththu – beating
val vinaiyai – (our) cruel sins
kAnum malaiyum puga – to enter forest sand mountains
kadivAn – to drive away
yAnum en nenjum – my mind and I
isaindhu ozhindhOm – have agreed


yAnum en nunjum isaindhu ozhindhOm – We had to suffer all along only because my mind and I were not willing when emperumAn tried to enter my mind in order to take hold of us. Since we have agreed now [to have emperumAn], that shortcoming has disappeared. My mind and I, who were not harmonious to each other from time immemorial, have now become friendly to each other. When such is the case, do we need to talk about emperumAn who had been making efforts to bring us together, to take hold of us now?

When asked as to attain which benefit that they had agreed, AzhwAr says . . . .

valvainaiyaik kAnum malaiyum pugakkadivAn – AzhwAr says that he and his mind agreed to become harmonious in order to get the benefit of driving away their sins into the forests and mountains. We can consider that AzhwAr is referring to his being unsuitable to be with emperumAn and deciding to move away from him as his cruel sin.

When asked whether he had anything in his hand to achieve this, AzhwAr says . . .

thAnOr iruL anna mAmEni em iRaiyAr thandha aruL ennum thaNdAl adiththu – I did not have any implement in my hand [to drive away my sins]. There was no other means too, to get this benefit. He says that he drove away the cruel sins with the help of the grace which came in the form of stick from emperumAn, who has as his divine physical form, the epitome of darkness itself. The opinion implied here is that other than emperumAn’s mercy there is no means [for us].

Let us move on to the 27th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – pUrva pItikA – Part 6

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bhagavAn being the material and auxiliary cause for this creation

The material cause is also said to be the Supreme brahman Himself. Ultimately, at the end of all cycles of creation, all the creatures – sentient and insentient – get reabsorbed into the same brahman. vEdhas declare “From whom these creatures are born, by whose grace these born creatures live, into whom all these living creatures get absorbed at the end of creation, know that entity to be the Supreme brahman”.The brahma sUthra also says “from whom all are born”. Another statement “brahman was the forest, brahman was also the tree” shows the characteristic of brahman being all three types of causes. Quoting thus from all the vEdhas, the composer of brahma sUthras – vyAsa maharishi – has concluded that the Supreme brahman Himself is the cause of all creation.

Thus, it is against the vEdhas to say that bhagavAn is the material cause of this creation and Siva – the demigod – is the instrumental cause. Also, bhagavAn does not undergo any transformations due to His being the material cause of this creation. This is because all of the sentient and insentient entities are verily the body of the brahman. The vEdhas expound this nature of bhagavAn with the illustration of the spider, which creates a web out of its own saliva, and withdraws the web into itself when it feels it is no more needed.

Thus, when one seeks to determine that One Supreme Soul from the upanishadhs with all its characteristics, rank, worshipping modes, the fruits of attainment etc, who is denoted by inclusive tags such as ‘sentient’, ‘insentient’, ‘magnanimous’, ‘eternal’ etc, exclusive tags such as ‘Supreme’ etc, as well as common names such as ‘brahma’, ‘Hari’, ‘Siva’, then he learns about that entity from: (a) the statements such as “ nArAyaNa is the Supreme brahman, and  nArAyaNa is the Supreme Entity”, “That Supreme abode of Lord VishNu”, “Other than whom there is none who is Superior to all”, “There is none superior to the purusha”, “There is none or nothing superior to Me”, “the Supreme purusha is different” etc which talk about the creations in a very generic tone, (b) the other portions of vEdhas such as purusha sUktha, uththara nArAyaNa etc which expound the Supreme Entity in a much stronger way, (c) the declarations of myriad of upanishadhs such as subAla, maithrayanIya, mahOpanishath, chAndhOgya, thaiththirIya, aitharEya, katavalli etc, (d) the sAthvika purAnas that expound the Supreme Soul, (e) the preaching of learned scholars who know in completeness the nature of the Supreme brahman, such as parASara, vyAsa, vAlmeeki and other scholarly sages, and (f) the Agamas supported by the vEdhas themselves, which propound the various abilities of the Supreme Self such as the beauty, weapons, vehicles, special pastimes etc.

From all these sources of knowledge, the absolute supremacy of bhagavAn, and absolute servitude of all others is very easily understood by every intelligent soul. All our fore preceptors have already preached verily this absolute supremacy of bhagavAn with all the sources of knowledge such as dhahara, vaiSvAnara etc, as well as the first chapter of brahma sUthras namely ‘samanvaya adhikaraNa’. Thus, we shall not elaborate on this too much.

SrI kUraththAzhwAn has said thus:

“From all the hundreds of the Supreme vEdhic statements that glorify you, from all the statements in the smrithis and other scriptures that complement the vEdhas, from all the sAthvika purANas and ithihAsas, and from all the nectarine words of the most learned people, we only learn that you are the Supreme Entity” (SrIvaikuNta sthavam –17)

“From the extraordinary beauty and wealth that you possess, from your ownership of the Supreme Abode SrI vaikuNtam, from all the divine pastimes that you showed to your dear devotees during your incarnations,  and from some more particular signs that distinctly identify you – that cannot be refuted by anyone whatsoever, the learned scholars concur in identifying the natural supremacy in you.” (SrIvaikuNta sthavam – 28)

Thus, having well discussed about the most Supreme Entity (Sriman nArAyaNa)  and the various means to attain that supreme entity, and also having propounded the best of those means to attain the supreme entity (nAma sankIrthanam or chanting of His divine names), bhIshma proceeded to engage the listener – yudhishtra – in the discussion about the thousand names of the lord with the next slOka that begins with ‘thasya’.

तस्य लॊकप्रधानस्य जगन्नाथस्य भूपतॆ
विष्णॊर्नामसहस्रं मॆ श्रुणु पापभयापहम् ॥ १२ ॥

‘thasya’ – representing the Supreme Entity discussed till now; of that Supreme Soul
‘lOkapradhAnasya’ – of the master of all (ashESha-shEShi)
‘jagannAthasya’ – of the controller of all
‘vishNO: nAma sahasram pApa bhayApaham’ – of all the sacred means related to worship of the Supreme Lord Vishnu, other than surrendering at His lotus feet, the chanting of the thousand names of the Lord is certainly the only surest way to uproot all forms of sins and the fears caused thereof.
‘mE’ – ‘from me’, or ‘for my sake’
‘SruNu’ – listen; an express invitation to yudhishtra – who actually volunteered to
meet bhIshma to listen to all the dharmas – to listen to the thousand glorious names of the Lord.
‘bhUpathE’ – ‘Oh king’; this form of addressing yudhishtra indicates the appreciation of bhIshma towards him with the happiness of having obtained a suitable audience for the lofty discourse .

bhishma then began to explain the greatness of the thousand names of the Lord that he would sing shortly thereafter.

यानि नामानि गौणानि विख्यातानि महात्मनः
ऋषिभिः परिगीतानि तानि वक्ष्यामि भूतयॆ ॥ १३ ॥

‘vikhyAthAni’ – those names that are popularly used among the vEdhas and many scriptures in other languages as well; the names that are known to be popular due to their extraordinary nature; the names that are popularly known among the learned scholars; although prone to change in meanings as per the context, the names that are popularly known to connote a single entity called bhagavAn.

‘rishibhi:’ – by all the true seers of the endless vEdhas with all its purport, such as sanaka, sanathkumAra, nAradha et al.

‘parigIthAni’ – the names that are lovingly used to represent the various forms, divine attributes and connotations of bhagavAn, as affectionately as a cow feeding its calf.

‘yAni nAmAni’ – whichever names have been collected from various sources by vyAsa, just as bees collect honey from various flowers and gather all of it in one place, and strung into verses, and which have been coming down in the rich tradition until ourselves.

‘thAni vakshyAmi’ – I shall tell them to you. For what reason is this being told?

‘bhUthayE’ – the word ‘bhUthi’ originally means that which exists. It represents life.That means to say, all these thousand names of the Lord are being told in order to revive the soul from the bondage of samsAra in which he is bound from time immemorial and thus lost the sight to reach the right abode.

The vEdhas precisely expound these ‘life and non-life’ aspects (sath-asath-bhAvau) of the souls thus: “Those who think of the Supreme Entity as being lifeless, become lifeless themselves – and thus lose sight to reach the supreme abode. Whereas, those who consider the brahman to exist amongst us shall be considered as true scholars (and they are full of life)”.

Owing to the boundless supremacy and boundless knowledge of bhagavAn, with whatever little names that can be offered unto Him, the  souls attain the extraordinary result of the wellness of self (AthmalAbha). This is indicated by the word ‘mahAthmana:’ (meaning, of that great soul). This is also complemented in the scriptures thus: “I have heard of the various auspicious names of the Lord with their origins. As far as my knowledge goes, I can only say that kESava the Supreme Lord is not reached by words, and is not bound by any of the meanings of His names”.

Thus, as the thousand names of the Lord are purely born due to His various auspicious qualities and deeds, all such people eligible to learn these names should refrain from getting associated with those who try to steal those aspects from bhagavAn.

(to be continued…)

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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