Daily Archives: September 7, 2019

thiruvAimozhi – 9.9 – malligai

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Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

See nampiLLai’s introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

See nampiLLai’s introduction.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

In the ninth decad, AzhwAr who was engaged in the desire towards the goal, observed that though archAvathAram of emperumAn which is easily enjoyable is present in close proximity, ISvara who is the enjoyable entity was not in his reach, highlighted the following aspects of the enjoyable ISvara, due to his impatience in dealing with the delay in enjoying emperumAn:

  1. his pleasing nature
  2. his ways of protection
  3. his having pleasant limbs
  4. his having vehicle matching his form
  5. his easy approachability for his devotees
  6. his unbounded simplicity
  7. his having most generous forms
  8. his great union
  9. his intent glances etc
  10. his having amazing forms which is the reason for his separation being unbearable

Meditating upon these, due to the sorrow of not being able to enjoy such enjoyable emperumAn as desired, and due to breaking down as a result of seeing entities which remind him of emperumAn and his fondness, AzhwAr calls out being unable to bear the separation even for a fraction of a moment. He sings it in the mood of gOpikAs who were seeing the sunset and were unable to bear the delay in krishNa’s arrival in the evening time after tending the cows.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nampiLLai‘s introduction.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s introduction

sIthAp pirAtti who thought that she could enjoy with perumAL (SrI rAma) in privacy in the forest thinking “If we remain in the capital city [ayOdhyA], we will not be able freely interact with perumAL due to the presence of in-laws”, was made to call out saying as in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 28.2 “kAnthAra madhyE vijanE visrushtA bAlEva kanyA vilalApa sIthA” (That sIthA cried like a young girl who was left alone in an uninhabited forest). Similarly, AzhwAr who desired to enter and enjoy in thirunAvAy ended up calling out in fear of the enemies.

Once peRRi (an AchArya) asked nambi thiruvaranga nArAyaNa dhAsar who was returning after hearing thiruvAimozhi from me [nampiLLai] and reaching there [peRRi’s residence] “What is new with nampiLLai today?” nambi thiruvaranga nArAyaNa dhAsar said “We completed hearing nampiLLai’s lecture on aRukkum vinai [previous] decad”. peRRi said “So, you will be enjoying malligai kamazh thenRal (this decad) and mAlaip pUsal (romantic fights in the evening time)”

ALavandhAr would mercifully explain “AzhwAr desired the attainment of emperumAn in the previous decad; since he did not see that he was getting the result he was desiring for, he himself is undergoing the pain of all of the residents of thiruvAyppAdi (gOkulam) in separation of krishNa in one night”. [As this was explained by thirumAlai ANdAn] emperumAnAr mercifully heard this and said “Since AzhwAr is already very weakened due to the suffering, he cannot withstand such sorrow now; hence AzhwAr is going through suffering [of gOpikAs] in one evening time”.

What is it that AzhwAr did in this decad? Since AzhwAr did not leave the samsAra (material realm) which is the hurdle after one acquires knowledge, and since he has desire to reach paramapadham which is the ultimate destination, he was made to suffer at the hands of the hurdles. Even though AzhwAr prayed in thiruviruththam 1 “poynninRa gyAnam” when he acquired knowledge and prayed “Mercifully remove my connection with this samsAra which is the hurdle”, emperumAn did not fulfil that desire of AzhwAr thinking “we should get him to sing a few prabandhams”; this decad is explaining how his distaste for such hurdle has developed and become firm now.

How do AzhwAr‘s actions correlate to vEdhantha methods? [After acquiring knowledge about bhagavAn surviving in this material realm will be most unbearable] It is explaining the principle which is explained in chAndhOgya upanishath “thasya thAvadhEva chiram“. “thasya thAvadhEva chiram yAvanna vimOkshyE athasampathsyE” (After acquiring desire to be liberated, I am waiting for a very long time) [bhagavAn sees it as a short period, AzhwAr sees it as a very long period].

Subsequently, in thiruvAimozhi 3.8 “mudiyAnE”, AzhwAr explained the weakness attained by his senses; here – AzhwAr is explaining how along with the senses, he, who is the abode of those senses, is becoming destroyed. Azhwar is explaining how his gyAnEndhriyams (senses of knowledge) and karmEndhriyams (senses of action) are all getting destroyed together. For the cowhered girls in thiruvAyppAdi, one evening felt like the fourteen years [of separation] in rAmAvathAram. Since the separation there is with emperumAn who is abundant with auspicious qualities, even those feeling of fourteen years will pass; but since AzhwAr is immersed in emperumAn’s nIrmai (simplicity, his mischief), even one day will feel like many eons. [Will the mischief bind anyone?] The qualities do not bind one independently, but because of their presence on emperumAn. As in krishNAvathAram, emperumAn himself is very simple and his mischief is greatly relishable, it is difficult to handle the separation. The sensual pleasures which are considered as enjoyable by the worldly people are considered by AzhwAr as hurdles; such AzhwAr is suffering here without attaining emperumAn just as SrI bhIshma who is like a male tiger, was pierced by arjuna’s arrows and was suffering there after being knocked down.

This decad speaks about the sufferings of the residents of thiruvAyppAdi when krishNa would set out to tend the cows, until he returns. That is, just as sandhyAvandhanam (daily rituals) for brAhmaNas, for the cowherds, tending cows is a routine as per their jAthi (varNa); hence it cannot be avoided. In this manner, as krishNa would go behind the cows, the cowherd firls of thiruvAyppAdi would wait and eagerly look forward to the sunset time, when he returns. When he goes to tend the cows, if they spend the day time in anguish in one way, during the sunset time, if the first batch of cows returns and he is not seen with those cows, the cowherd girls cannot bear that sorrow. That is, he would not be present in the first batch and will be in the last batch, to see the anxiety of the cowherd girls. The sunset time when he arrives, has arrived; the cows which accompany him have also arrived; as his arrival is not seen, at that time, the fragrance of jasmine, favourable aspects such as beautiful kurinji tune, southerly breeze, moon, sound of the ocean, curlew and music from flute started causing pain. Even the music from flute will remind his qualities and cause pain. Previously many rAkshasis (demoniac ladies) such as EkAkshi (one eyed), EkakarNi (one eared) et al spoke harsh words to sIthAp pirAtti first and then thought of further tormenting her together; similarly these harmful entities individually and together torment the cowherd girls and called out krishNa; here AzhwAr himself is calling out with the collective tone of all of those cowherd girls.

Each pAsuram is discussed subsequently.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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periya thirumadal – 33 – chinna malarkkuzhalum

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chinna malarkkuzhalum algulum menmulaiyum                        45
inniLa vAdai thadavath thAm kaN thuyilum

Word by word meaning

chinnam malar kuzhalum – tresses, adorning themselves with flowers which had just then blossomed.
algulum – waist
mel mulaiyum – soft bosom
in iLa vAdai thadava – being stroked by the sweet, youthful northerly winds
kaN thuyilum – sleeping (happily)

vyAkyAnam

chinnam malarkkuzhalum – having tresses which have spread flowers. While they are not supposed to adorn their tresses with flowers unless the nAyaka himself strings it, as mentioned in thiruppAvai 2malarittu nAm mudiyOm” (we will not plat and adorn our hair with flowers) it is amazing that they have decorated their hair with flowers! chinnam – to spread out

kuzhalum algulum menmulaiyum inniLavAdai thadava – how they get the pleasures when touched by the northerly wind, just as they would get if stroked by their beloved on each and every limb separately!

inniLa vAdai – it is like an arrow with poison applied on its head.

iLa vAdai – the wind is becoming youthful by torturing others repeatedly.

thAm kaNthuyilum – can they, being separated from their beloved, sleep? Should they not be similar to what has been mentioned in nAchchiyAr thirumozhi 5-5 “porukayaRkaNNiNai thunjA” (my eyes which are similar to two fighting fish are not sleeping)? Since they are sleeping it is possible that these are not their eyes, but eyes borrowed from others!

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

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 9 (Names 81 to 90)

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81. anuththama:  (अनुत्तमः)

Thereafter, he  is only the ‘anuththama:’   – the one who has none superior than himself.

The scriptures declare thus:

  • “Behold! There’s none superior to him ”
  • “Who can ever compete with that supreme brahman  in supremacy?”
  • “Who can compete with him?”
  • “Oh arjuna, , there’s none superior to me”
  • “There’s none known to be superior to the supreme brahman  who is sporting this cosmic form (the viSvarUpam)”

Etymology: The one who has no one superior to himself  is called ‘anuththama:’

उत्तमॊ नास्ति यस्मात् सः अनुत्तम उदाहृतः |

82. dhurAdharsha:  (दुराधर्षः)

He is also ‘dhurAdharsha:’ – the unshakeable one or the one who owns the unintelligible abode of SrIvaikuNtam.

He is called dhurAdharsha: because he  is the most sacrosanct due to his extreme composure, just like the mighty ocean.

The scriptures say:

  • “He is accessed by the mind only; He is the life force; He is the most effulgent; He is the one with unfaltering and ever fulfilled desires; He is the embodiment of the sky; He is the power behind all actions; He is the one who is liked by everyone; He is the embodiment of all great essences; He is the one who owns all these entities! He does not talk, and remains silent! He doesn’t have another entity which he  ought to regard!”
  • “He is the most composed supreme brahman ”
  • “He is highly regarded like the mighty ocean”
  • “He is comparable to the vast ocean in his  composure” etc.

Several other contextual vEdhic  verses can be quoted, as below:

  • “That is the supreme  abode of lord vishNu”
  • “In that imperishable supreme sky…”
  • “That is verily the heaven”
  • “That is my supreme abode, arjuna!”
  • “…the most divine abode, which is eternal and imperceptible”
  • “…and return to your supreme abode after killing rAvaNa ”
  • “…and then he  entered his original abode of the Vaishnava  effulgence”
  • “…where the time of the form of kalA, kAshta, muhUrtha etc does not affect anything”
  • “That is the supreme abode of those nithyasUris ”, etc.

With all these statements and more, and also with the declarations that were quoted before, when there is a doubt raised with respect to uniqueness, limitlessness, as also in the eternity of his  supreme abode which is by nature transcending time, imperishable, unaffected, transcending thamas – the darkness, eternal, the world of no return, and being befitting of the divine qualities and nature of bhagavAn,  such a doubt is overcome by scriptural statements that say “He only existed, with none second to him ”, “at that time, neither the sentient entities existed, nor the insentient (in manifest form)”, et al. In such a divine abode SrIvaikuNtam , and particularly in the divine court of the thousand pillared hall mentioned in the kaushIthaki brAhmaNam part of the vEdhas, the divine association of bhagavAn with SrIdhEvi, bhUdhEvi and neeLAdhEvi as his divine consorts – while resting on the divine throne of AdhiSEsha, with His lotus feet being served eternally by His divine servants such as AdhiSEsha, garuda, viSvaksEna, et al in the ways explained earlier – is explained by the innumerable hidden vEdhic verses, as also his sole mastership over all wealth, his universal monarchy, his capabilities of being the monarch, and other divine qualities.

This is also clear from the words of vAyu,  quoted in the Siva purAna: “In that supreme abode SrIvaikuNtam,  the lord of all words – SrI vishNu who is imperceptible – rests with his  divine consort SrI mahAlakshmi, along with his innumerable devotees and their followers”.

The vishNu thathva says thus: “bhagavAn has a body composed of five powers (viz. time, knowledge, action, free will and life). He is the supreme controller of all worlds. He rests in the supreme  abode of SrIvaikuNtam enjoying himself”

Etymology: Since bhagavAn  is most composed and inviolable like the vast ocean, he  is called ‘dhurAdharsha:’. Alternately, since he  possesses the unintelligible supreme abode of SrIvaikuNtam,  he is called ‘dhurAdharsha:’.

अपां निधिवदक्षॊभ्यः दुराधर्ष इतीरितः |
दुर्विज्ञॆयगतिः यस्मात् दुराधर्षः प्रकीर्तितः ||

83. kruthagya:  (कृतज्ञः) (also repeated in 536)

Further, since bhagavAn  remembers even the smallest service done unto him  by the lower mortals in this material creation (samsAris), who are characterized by eternal and unconditional servitude to bhagavAn  and solely dependent on him by all means – and yet who are possessed with a feeling of independence that is imposed due to ignorance from time immemorial, he  is called ‘kruthagya:’ (read as kruthagya:  – the grateful one.

The adjunct ‘ka:’  (कः) is suffixed to the root, resulting in this divine name kruthagya:,   as per the grammatical aphorism ‘आतॊsनुपसर्गॆ कः’. Same is the case with other divine names such as ‘brahmagya:’  ब्रह्मज्ञः (674), ‘prANaha:’  प्राणदः (66, 323, 409, and 956), et al.

This is very clearly shown in bhagavAn’s  own words in the bhagavath gIthA, which says thus: “Even though he is of a very bad conduct before, if he sings my glory with a single mind, then he ought to be considered as a saint; for, he has a perfectly resolved mind now”.

In such cases, it is said that bhagavAn  fails to find a suitable favor to be returned to such single minded souls. This is very clear from the famous verse from mahAbhAratha, which says thus (just before Krishna departs to SrIvaikuNtam): “When I was away from dhraupadhi when she actually needed my help, she cried out my name ‘gOvindha’.  That now stands like a huge debt in my heart, which I can never pay back!”

Etymology: Since bhagavAn  remembers even the smallest of deeds done unto him  by all creatures and returns suitable fruits, and since he  gets satisfied even with just a leaf, or a flower or any small thing offered to him and grants verily the ‘mOksha’ in return of their small service, he is called ‘kruthagya:’

प्राणिभिः यत्कृतं कर्म तज्ज्ञात्वा फलदॊ यतः |
पत्रपुष्पादिना तुष्टः कृतज्ञॊ मॊक्षदानतः ||

84. kruthi:  (कृतिः)

Since he  only gets even such small services done unto him  from the creatures all by himself, he is called ‘kruthi:’   – the one who gets the righteous acts done.

The adjunct ‘kthin’  (क्तिन्) is suffixed to the root ‘kru’  (कृ) – meaning ‘to do’, as per the grammatical rules. The same rule is applied in other names such as ‘bhUthi:’  भूतिः (636), ‘sidhdhi:’  सिद्धिः (99), et al.

The scriptures also say thus: “He only gets the righteous acts done by those whom he  wishes to uplift from this material creation”.

Etymology: He – who gets the righteous acts done by those creatures and thus gets satisfied – is called ‘kruthi:’.   The effort or action of the doers is called ‘kruthi:’.

यस्मात् प्रसन्नात् सुकृतं तॆषां स कृतिरिष्यतॆ |
प्रयत्नॊ वा क्रिया वा अथ कृतिरुक्ता क्रियावताम् ||

85. AthmavAn  (आत्मवान्)

Although he  is the one who gets the right acts done, since he  solely owns all such creatures as his property – by their nature, deeds, et al, he  is called ‘AthmavAn’ – the one who owns such creatures.

Etymology: Since he  is resides in the individual souls as well as their bodies as their sole owner, he  is called AtmavAn. Alternately, since he is focused in his own greatness, he is called ‘AthmavAn’.

एषाम् आत्मशरीरादि-निवासात् अथवात्मवान् |
स्वॆ महिम्नि प्रतिष्ठानात् आत्मवान् अभिदीयतॆ ||

================================
सुरॆशः शरणं शर्म विश्वरॆता प्रजाभवः ।
अहः सम्वत्सरॊ व्यालः प्रत्ययः सर्वदर्शनः ॥ १० ॥
================================

86. surESa: (सुरॆशः)

The one who grants the wishes of even the mortals such as brahmA et al, who long for lower material pleasures such as the status of ‘dhEva’  etc, is called ‘surESa:’ – the king of devas.

brahmA himself declares thus:

“…with whose grace brahmA creats the various creatures in this world, with whose grace that rudhra gains the power to destroy the worlds with his anger, that achyutha himself is the protector of these worlds”, etc.

Etymology: The one who grants the wishes of brahmA and other ‘dhEvas’ – who long for lower material pleasures – is called as ‘surESa:’   by the knowledgeable men.

ब्रह्मादीनां फल्गुफललिप्सूनां त्रिदिवौकसाम् |
संविधाता सुरॆशश्च प्रॊच्यतॆ विबुधॊत्तमैः ||

87. SaraNam  (शरणम्)

The one who is equal to all individual souls in being the refuge is called ‘SaraNam’  – the sole refuge.

Since the root word ‘SRuNAthi’ is used to mean protection in this context, the ‘lyut’ (ल्युट्) form of the word is used, which results in suffixing the ‘ana’ (अन) adjunct to the root – resulting in this divine name ‘SaraNam’. The same rule is applied in other divine names such as ‘karaNam’ करणम् (380), ‘kAraNam’ कारणम् (381), ‘pramANam’ प्रमाणम् (430, 959), et al.

This name goes to indicate that he  is the causeless means of attaining him.

The scriptures say thus in this context:

  • “I, the seeker of salvation that I am, seek refuge in that ‘dhEva’,  with whose grace I gained the knowledge about self”
  • “nArAyaNa  is verily the abode, refuge, associate, and verily the destination of all individual souls”
  • “The divine sages of yore have extolled you as the sole refuge of all and sought refuge in you”, et al

Etymology: Since he  is the one who ends the distress of the afflicted souls, he  is called ‘SaraNam’  ‘sharaNam’. Worshipping whom the souls get rid of all their fears, sorrows, sins and bondages, and also gain utmost happiness, and knowledge, such a one is the ‘SaraNam’.

आर्तानाम् आर्तिहन्तृत्वात् शरणं परिकीर्तितः |
यदुपासं भयं दुःखं पापं बन्धॊ न बाधतॆ ||

प्रतिष्ठा च सुखं ज्ञानं भवॆत् शरणमित्यतः |

88. Sarma (शर्म)

The word ‘Sarma’   means ‘happiness’. Since he  is the most enjoyable goal of all souls, he  is called ‘Sarma’ – the blissful goal.

The ‘manin’ (मनिन्) adjunct is used to give the word ‘Sarma’  its meaning as ‘happiness’.

The scriptures say:

  • “He is the essence of everything; He is the fragrance of everything”
  • “The supreme brahman  is verily the happiness. He is only the supreme bliss”
  • “brahman  is verily the embodiment of bliss”, etc.

Etymology: Since he  is of the form of supreme bliss, and since he  wards off all violence, he is called ‘Sarma’.

परमानन्दरूपत्वात् शर्म हिंसादि मन्थनात् |

89. viSvarEthA:  (विश्वरॆताः)

This divine name ‘viSvarEthA:’   explains further the form of bhagavAn  as the sole refuge (the means of attaining salvation) as well as the most blissful goal. This divine name means to say ‘the whole world is his  creation’.

He only creates these various creatures with the innumerable individual souls and thus creates this whole world for the sake of his  own service, displaying his knowledge and supremacy.

The scriptures say thus in this regard:

  • “The life force called ‘prANa’, the mind, and all the senses are born out of him. . The basic elements of creation namely space, air, fire, water and earth that are born out of him  bear this whole creation”
  • “Seven life forces are born out of him”
  • “I am only the cause behind the varied characters in all these creatures”

The vishNu thathva  says thus:

“The wealth of ‘body’ is very special, and is created for the sake of dedicating it to the supreme soul.  Oh brahman, these bodies were made as before, with all limbs to serve the supreme godhead “, et al.

Etymology: Since this world is the offspring of bhagavAn,  that hari is called ‘viSvarEthA:’.   The one who gives knowledge and senses unto the individual souls in the form of a body – only for serving him  eternally – is called ‘viSvarEthA:’

विश्वं रॆतॊ भगवतॊ विश्वरॆताः हरिः स्मृतः |
ज्ञानॆन्द्रियादिकं विश्वं परिचर्यार्थमॆव हि |
यः प्रजानां करॊतीति विश्वरॆताश्च स स्मृतः ||

90. prajAbhava: (प्रजाभवः)

All creatures finally approach him  as their final goal and attain him using the tools (namely sense organs, mind, et al) given by him.  Thus, he is called ‘prajAbhava:’ – the one with whose tools the creatures attain him.

The ‘gha:’ (घः) adjunct is suffixed in this case, which results in the masculine form of the word, since the root is related to some tool in this case (the ‘gha:’   adjunct is usually related to a tool or a place).

The same rule of grammar is applied in other divine names as well, such as ‘ASrama:’ आश्रमः (856), ‘niyama:’  नियमः (163, 869), ‘yama:’  यमः (164, 870), etc.

Etymology: Since all the creatures utilize the tools given unto them by the supreme brahman  (such as body with all such faculties as mind, senses, et al) and approach him as their final goal, he  is called ‘prajAbhava:’.

तद्दत्तैरॆव करणैः तस्मिन्नभिमुखाः प्रजाः |
सर्वाश्चैव भवन्तीति प्रजाभव उदाहृतः ||

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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