periya thirumadal – 17 – munna nAn sonna

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munna nAn sonna aRaththin vazhi muyanRa

Word by word meaning

munnam nAn sonna aRaththin vazhi muyanRa annavar thAm – those who carried out their activities in the path of righteousness that I had mentioned earlier.


munnam nAn sonna aRaththin vahzi muyanRa annavar – At the very first instance when I had mentioned about the four purushArththams (end benefits) of aRam, poruL, vIdu and inbam (righteousness, wealth, mOksham and pleasure), when I had referred to the first purushArtham of aRam I had qualified it by saying mannum aRam (righteousness which is remaining firmly) considering that it is the readily available means as well as the means to be carried out for attaining SrIvaikuNtam. I had only compared it with the purushArtham of wealth that one could obtain in this world and said that it is well established. In reality, even that purushArtham is not firm. Not knowing this, some ignorant people might have thought that this is very firmly established. Not only is it infirm, but it will also create a fear of “When will I fall down?” SrIvishNu purANam 6-6-50 says “na kEvalam dhvijaSrEshta narakE dhu:kka pathdhathi: I svargE’pi pAtha bhIthasya kshayishNOr nAsthi nirvruthi: II” (Oh the head of brAhmaNas! Do not think that it is only in narakam that one undergoes a series of difficulties; for the person who is in svargam, since the count of his virtues is coming down, he will keep carrying the fear of ‘When will I be pushed down?’ and thus svargam is also not permanent). To emphasise this meaning, I will tell you this more lucidly. Listen to me.

munnam nAn sonna aRaththin vazhi muyanRa annavar – those who followed the dharma SAsthram (path of righteousness) and carried out their activities in that path. Since it is referred to as the path of righteousness, it reveals the severity of following activities such as jyOthishtOma yAgam etc (ritual of observing jyOthistOma, for reaching svargam). If one misses by a hair’s breadth, it will lead to death. If there is any mistake in pronouncing the manthras or if there is any shortcoming in observing the means, one would be later born as a brahmarakshas (a demon).

In the next article, we will discuss the next part of this prabandham.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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