Daily Archives: September 19, 2019

thiruvAimozhi – 9.10 – mAlainaNNi

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Previous decad


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 tenth decad, AzhwAr cried out due to the urge in attaining emperumAn; seeing that ISvara manifested his easily approachable presence in thirukkaNNapuram in archAvathAra form and pacified his urge; being satisfied with that, AzhwAr highlighted the following aspects of emperumAn:

  1. his great favour of resting on pipal leaf
  2. the greatness of his divine abode
  3. his being with distinguished wealth
  4. his great enjoyability
  5. his granting of paramapadham
  6. his eliminating the hurdles which block his experience for the devotees
  7. his being unconditionally, easily approachable
  8. his eliminating bondage for the devotees
  9. his being the cause
  10. his being the divine lord of SrI mahAlakshmi

Meditating upon these, and meditating upon how such emperumAn is mercifully standing as the recipient of kainkaryams and to accept the servitude, in the divine abode [of thirukkaNNapuram] where he can be approached, being very blissful, AzhwAr says “Being a bhaktha (devotee), a prapanna (surrendered person), through words (reciting his names etc), approach him, enjoy him, serve his divine feet and live with your sorrows of bondage being removed” and concludes highlighting his being the goal due to being the recipient of kinchithkAram (even a little bit of service).

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nampiLLai‘s introduction.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s introduction

In thiruvAimozhi 9.8 “aRukkum vinai“, AzhwAr greatly desired to attain emperumAn; since he did not attain emperumAn while he desired, he became very anguished and that was explained in thiruvAimozhi 9.9 “malligai kamazh thenRal“; that was anguish in the night. Seeing his suffering due to not having his desire fulfilled, ISvara pacified AzhwAr by saying “Should you desire for me and then feel anguished for not attaining me? Am I not the one who is desiring to attain you? Am I not the one who is anguished due to not having attained you? Do you have any shortcoming? Did I not arrive and have my presence in thirukkaNNapuram specifically for you while the assembly in the unshakeable paramapadham is in tact? I will fulfil your desire at the end of your present body” AzhwAr being pacified, becomes blissful; emperumAn’s nature/form is such that when he says “I will do something”, we will feel as if we have already attained it and become blissful.

In this manner, AzhwAr being blissful started instructing others saying “When this is his nature, sarvESvaran, being approachable by all, manifested his presence in thirukkaNNapuram; do bhakthi (devotion) at his divine feet; those who are unable to do bhakthi, do prapaththi (surrender); even if you don’t have full faith in such surrender, at least do it in speech; he will accept that and not abandon you; hence, everyone approach him”. Other than while being unconscious, AzhwAr cannot stop himself from giving good advice to others when he is conscious.

When asked “ISvara saying ‘at the end of this body, your desire [of ascending to paramapadham] will be fulfilled’ and AzhwAr becoming blissful does not make sense; is it not said in vEdhAntham that one gets liberated after one’s prArabdha (accumulated karma which has started yielding results) karma is exhausted?” – in this decad, AzhwAr says “do bhakthi” and “those who cannot do bhakthi, do prapaththi”. There [in vEdhAntha], it talks about the qualified person, upAsaka [bhakthi yOga follower]. Here [in this decad], AzhwAr is talking about prapanna [surrendered person]; this principle is explained in chAndhOgya upanishath “thasya thAvadhEva chiram yAvanna vimOkshyE athasampathsyE” (After acquiring desire to be liberated, I am waiting for a very long time). When asked “Isn’t this phrase in Sruthi (vEdham) analysed ‘whether it is talking about SarIrAvasAnam (end of the body) or karmAvasAnam (end of karma)’ and determined in our sidhdhAntham (philosophy) that it is speaking about karmAvasAnam? Will this (emperumAn giving mOksham to AzhwAr at the end of this body) not be contrary to that principle?” – only when a phrase is looked at contextually, it can be understood; for an upAsaka, since his results will fructify only after his means reach its ultimate state, in his case, he will be here until the end of karma; but, a prapanna, right in the beginning says “You are responsible for all my burdens” and performs bharanyAsam (placing his burden) on sarvESvara; [hence] there is no reason for [further] delay as in “there is something for him to still accomplish to bring his practice to the ultimate state, to have the results attained”! And ISvara to whom the individual has performed bharanyAsam, is not incapable and hence that is not a reason for the delay. Hence, as per these logic, there is no contradiction in such prapanna getting the result at the end of the present body.

Now, it is said that mAdhavi attained liberation as soon as she surrendered in gAruda purANam, SrIranga mAhAthmyam chapter 3 “bhagavatham prapannA sA bhagavantham avApasA” (she surrendered to bhagavAn; she reached him). In mudhgala upAkyAna (mudhgala’s incident), it is said that “those who were experiencing the results of their sin in naraka (hell) subsequently attained liberation, having heard the names of bhagavAn”; it is also said in SrI bhagavath gIthA 4.9 “one who has knowledge about the confidential aspects of emperumAn’s incarnations, will be liberated at the end of present life”; “thyakthvA dhEham punar janma naithi” (he does not acquire another birth, after the present body); it is also said in SrI bhagavath gIthA 18.66sarva pApEbhyO mOkshayishyAmi” (I will liberate you from all of your sins).

Should one not attain bhagavAn as soon as one performs surrender? Doesn’t one pray ‘you should eliminate this hurdle [body] and give me your divine feet’ [as nammAzhwAr prayed in thiruviruththam 1]? Even after this, if one remains with the material body which is not pleasing to him, is it because of remaining karma or is it because of ISvara placing him in such situation? If ISvara is placing a prapanna in such situation, then he will be blamed of some faults [that is, he is watching a prapanna suffer, hence he is being cruel, and so on]; it will also contradict his own words where he said that he will sever our hurdles and will carry us towards him; hence, isn’t it clear that he is remaining here due to his karma, and experiencing joy and sorrow just as any bound soul will experience? If there is still some karma remaining, why would he be in bondage until all the karma is exhausted [karmAvasAnam]? That is not required, since a prapanna is categorically different from others. If one falls dead and gets liberated immediately after his prapaththi, everyone will fear prapaththi thinking it to be a poisonous pond. Now, as he is kept here for some time [after prapaththi], just as people were given knowledge with SrI bhIshma [on his death bed], he will instruct others, others will see his conduct and be reformed and others will benefit in this manner. ISvara will not disregard this final body [of the invididual, though it is material body], thinking “this is the body which facilitated the AthmA to come to me”. For the [dhruptha] prapanna (one who is satisfied with getting liberated soon, but not immediately], it is not [generally] possible to have the urge “my hurdles should be removed immediately and I should reach your divine feet now”. Since the AthmA is used to material body, he will not immediately desire to give it up; [generally] he only gets the desire not to acquire another material body, not to enter a womb; hence as per “thath krathu nyAyam” (logic of results matching the efforts/desire), that is how he will get the result as well. Considering the prapanna’s desire too [on top of the previously explained reasons], ISvara thinks “if he has desire in this material body still, let him remain here for some time”.

In that short time, why is ISvara not avoiding sufferings and diseases for such prapanna and not making him live joyfully differentiating him from others? Just like worldly people, why is ISvara letting him feel anguished when losing something and feel joyful when attaining something? The prapanna is the one who prayed “You should eliminate this hurdle [body] and give me yourself”. But even after knowing that this body [and bodily pleasures] are lowly, the prapanna is not completely abandoning it. If such person were placed in the most joyful state, he will think “if this is filled with pleasure here, why not we enjoy it for some more time?” If the prapanna were placed according to his own desire, he may end up taking birth here in material world again; hence, ISvara, seeing the well-being of the prapanna, thinks “Let him remain like this”. Hence, as the familiar material body naturally goes away and before he desires for another material body, ISvara will fulfil the task of taking him to paramapadham. The familiar body will naturally go; since he does not know what is coming next, he does not have a taste for it. But he superficially knows that “this [materialistic body] is not good”. In the beginning [i.e. while surrendering], since he said a word “please eliminate this for me”, ISvara will not be blamed for giving him apurushArtham [purushArtham is what is desired by the purusha. emperumAn will only give what is desired by the AthmA. As the prapanna asked for elimination of bondage, ISvara will not be blamed for granting that which is not desired by the AthmA]. Now, in the final moments, the prapanna will be in the state of a wood or stone. Hence, ISvara will keep the previous request of the prapanna as the reason; thus, the prapanna cannot reject ISvara’s help, ISvara will grant liberation at that time. He himself declared [in varAha charama SlOkam] that “When one is in the state of matter [during last moments], I will not expect anything from him, and will deliver him myself”. It is said that “These two SlOkams [the two SlOkams recited by varAha emperumAn which are collectively called as varAha charama SlOkam] are said to be emperumAn’s sarvasvam (granting of everything)” These SlOkams are explained further in detail:

  • sthithE manasi – Even the mind which is said in periya thirumozhi 1.1.4  as “ninRavA nillA nenjum” (the restless mind) should remain fixed in one thing. For one who has a heart which is similar to a cow which roams around, it is difficult to engage in a single task; [should the heart be focussed on one task?] even while attaining the goal, one should engage with the heart; arjuna said in SrI bhagavath gIthA 6.34thasyAham nigraham manyE vAyOr iva sudhushkaram” (I think that it is very difficult to restrain it, like controlling a fierce storm). When the people of the world pursue great efforts to be with UrvaSI (well-known celestial woman), she voluntarily offered herself to arjuna. At that time arjuna said “Aren’t you my mother?”, offered obeisances and stayed away. arjuna who is such a renunciate said these words [that the mind is restless].
  • sussvasthE SarIrE – The body which is always changing, remains steady.
  • dhAthu sAmyE sthithE – For that, the dhAthus (constituents) in the body should be balanced instead of something being high and something else being low. The body should be at ease and when sathva guNam (goodness) is on the rise, if a person meditates upon me and thinks “Who are we? This body is made of matter; there is an AthmA which is beyond the body; he is a servitor for ISvara; attaining such bhagavAn is mOksham (liberation) for this AthmA”.
  • viSvarUpam cha mAm – Just as AthmA suffers when a thorn pierces the body, since I am the AthmA of every entity and I who feel for anything happening to every entity. Thinking about me.
  • ajam – Unlike the AthmA, I don’t have the bewilderment acquired through birth.
  • thathastham kAshta pAshANa sannibham mriyamANam aham smarAmi – While active, the AthmA is also conscious; even when he is in iunconscious state like matter, I will not expect anything from him saying “he is not thinking about me [in his last moments]”, and will remain thinking about him always.
  • math bhaktham – Did the prapanna surrender unto someone who promises to protect but abandons when required? Did the prapanna surrender unto someone who accepts service from him for a long time and when the time comes for delivery, abandons him pointing to the days when he did not serve?
  • nayAmi paramAm gathim – Just as emperumAn took away “kaLvan koL pirAtti” [parakAla nAyaki, thirumangai AzhwAr in feminine mood, was taken away by emperumAn as highlighted in periya thirumozhi 3.7] by covering her with his upper cloth, emperumAn will himself hold the prapanna’s hand and take him to paramapadham. Instead of sending AdhivAhika (those who usually take AthmAs to paramapadham) or sending periya thiruvadi (garudAzhwAr) and taking the AthmA, emperumAn who is the chief of AdhivAhikas will himself take him.

Each pAsuram is discussed subsequently.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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periya thirumadal – 45 – mannavan vANan

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mannavan vANan avuNarkku vAL vEndhan                                              60
thannudaiya pAvai ulagaththuth thannokkum
kanniyarai illAdha kAtchiyAL thannudaiya                                                61
innuyirth thOzhiyAl emperumAn InthuzhAy
mannu maNivaraiththOL mAyavan pAviyEn                                             62

Word by word meaning

mannavan – being the king among kings
avuNarkku vAL vEndhan – being a radiant leader among asuras [demonic entities]
vANan thannudaiya pAvai – as the daughter of bANAsura
ulagaththu than okkum kanniyarai illAdha kAtchiyALushai, who is so extremely beautiful, with none in the world equalling her in beauty
thannudaiya innuyir thOzhiyAl – with the help of her dear friend, chithralEkai
mannu maNi varai thOL mAyavan – one with amazing activities, having divine shoulders adorned with divine thuLasi garland and matching a mountain of gemstones


purandharanOdu Er okkum mannavan vANan – bANasura, the king among kings, who equalled the greatness of indhra [as mentioned in the previous verse]

avuNarkku vAL vEndhan – leader of demonic entities

thannudaiya pAvai – his daughter

ulagaththuth than okkum kanniyarai illAdha  kAtcvhiyAL – among girls of her age, there was none who could equal her in beauty

thannudaiya innuriyth thOzhiyAl – with the help of her friend, dearer than her life, chithralEkai, who was like her right hand

emperumAn InthuzhAy – azhagiya maNavALap perumAL nAyanAr, one of the commentators for this prabandham mercifully says “apart from confirming that emperumAn is full of auspicious qualities to counter those who say that the supreme entity is without any quality, just like emperumAnAr (bhagavath rAmAnujar) who gets deeply involved in the auspicious qualities of emperumAn, she too [thirumangai AzhwAr in feminine mood] gets deeply engaged with the material [sweet thuLasi] which will not allow her to go past and neither will it allow her to describe clearly.

emperumAn – one who made me his servitor by making me engage with him full and set out with madal [in order to attain him].

InthuzhAy mannu maNi varaiththOL mAyavan – amazing entity with shouders matching a mountain made of gem stones and having very sweet thuLasi, fitting well on those shoulders

mAyavan – even though AzhwAr is in a state where he despises emperumAn, the moment he thinks of emperumAn, due to the involvement, he calls him as an amazing entity. He says “What a wonder is this! Even when I am setting out to engage in madal, he is making me get engaged with him!”

pAviyEn – since she is unable to attain the shouders which had embraced her earlier, she is calling herself as pAviyEn (one who has sinned). Alternatively, this could be considered as – isn’t ushai a fortunate girl having a friend who brought her beloved person as soon as she [uhsai] got involved with him! What sort of sin have I committed that even when I wish to engage in madal, I have friends who are trying to dissuade me?”  Another interpretation – “What sins have I committed! All those who are going in the long street, where I am setting out with madal, are dissuading me from engaging in madal”. Yet another interpretation – “getting caught in the deep river of bhagavath kAmam (love for emperumAn), I am unable to extricate myself and reach the shore and engage in madal. What sin have I committed?”

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

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 21 (Names 201 to 210)

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201) sarvadhruk (सर्वदृक्)

bhagavAn sees all the creatures – that are supportive, opposing as well as neutral to him – befittingly in order to control them. Hence, he is called ‘sarvadhruk’ – the one who sees all entities. The root ‘dhruS’ (दृश्) gets the ‘kvin’ (क्विन्) adjunct and ‘ku’ (कु) substitutes the adjunct, resulting in the word ‘dhruk’ (दृक्).

This divine name corresponds to the addressing of bhagavAn as ‘sarvathOmukha:’ (the one who faces everyone in all directions) in the manthras.

Etymology: The one who himself sees every creature – whether they are in favor of him, opposing to him or unbiased – and controls them all befitting to their disposition is called sarvadhruk.

अनुकूलान् तटस्थांश्च प्रतिकूलानपि स्वयम् |
नियन्तुं च यथायॊग्यं यः पश्यति स सर्वदृक् ||

202) simha: (सिंहः) (also repeated in 489)

Who is that sarvadhruk? He is verily the one who is hailed as ‘simha:’ – the ferocious lion. He is the one who incarnated as the ferocious and mighty nArasimha – with a great divine body combining the human and lion forms.

Etymology: The one who fiercely pounces upon his enemies who are like mighty elephants and destroys them is called simha:.

रिपुद्विपानां निष्पॆषभीषणः सिंह उच्यतॆ |

203) sandhAthA (सन्धाता)

Although fierce in pouncing upon the enemies who are like mighty elephants, bhagavAn is called ‘sandhAthA’ since he is the one who lovingly unites his dear devotees such as prahlAdha and the like with himself.

Etymology: bhagavAn is called ‘sandhAthA’ since he unites his dear devotees such as PrahlAdha and the like with himself.

प्रह्लादाद्यैः सन्धाता संश्लॆषकरणाच्च सः |

204) sandhimAn (सन्धिमान्)

Once united thus, since bhagavAn’s union with such devotees remains eternal, he is called ‘sandhimAn’. The ‘mathup’ (मतुप्) adjunct is used in the context of eternity in this divine name.

Etymology: The one whose union with his dear devotees like prahlAdha et al (whom he united as ‘sandhAthA’) remains eternal is called ‘sandhimAn’.

प्रह्लादाद्यैः नित्यसन्धिः यस्य स्यात् सन्धिमान् स्मृतः |

205) sthira: (स्थिरः)

Once bhagavAn unites his dear devotees with himself as ‘sandhAthA’ and remains with them eternally as ‘sandhimAn’, since he doesn’t take notice of any of their offences anymore, he is called ‘sthira:’ – the one who is not moved by offences.

The ‘kirach’ (किरच्) adjunct is used (as in ajira:, shishira:, et al) with the root ‘sthA’ (स्था) and the ‘AkAra’ (आ) goes off, resulting in this divine name.

In the manthra varNas, he is hailed as ‘bhadhra:’ – the friendly one, which corresponds to this divine name.

Etymology: bhagavAn is called ‘sthira:’, since he is not moved by offences of his devotees after uniting with them.

अपचारॆsप्यचाल्यत्वात् सन्धानॆ स्थिर उच्यतॆ |

206) aja: (अजः) (also repeated in 96, 524)

Since bhagavAn sprang from the pillar, and was not born in a mother’s womb like other mortals, he is called ‘aja:’ – the one who is not born like others.

The scriptures hail bhagavAn as ‘aja:’ for two reasons: One, since he is not born in a mother’s womb like the lower mortals, and two – since he wins over many people.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn was born in a pillar, and not born like the other mortals, he is called ‘aja:’.

स्तम्भजत्वादितरवदजातत्वादजः स्मृतः |

207) dhurmarshaNa: (दुर्मर्षणः)

The one whose sight is not endured by his adversaries is called as ‘dhurmarshaNa:’ – the one who cannot be won over. The manthra varNa hails bhagavAn as ‘bhIshaNa:’ (‘that brahman who holds the discus and the conch in his hands is the most fierce’).

Etymology: The one whose mere sight cannot be endured by his opponents is called ‘dhurmarshaNa:’.

दुष्करं मर्षणं यस्य परैर्दुर्मषणः स्मृतः |

208) SAsthA (शास्ता)

bhagavAn is called ‘SAsthA’ since he lawfully punishes all the impeding bad elements. As the scriptures say:

  • “The demons were terrified just by his roar…”
  • “All the demons run at his mere sight…”, etc.

Etymology: bhagavAn punishes all impeding bad elements, which is why he is hailed as ‘SAsthA’.

समस्तान् कण्टकान् शास्तीत्यतः शास्तॆति कीर्त्यतॆ |

209) viSruthAthmA (विश्रुतात्मा)

bhagavAn is known with all admirations by everyone at all places and at all times for his noble character. Hence, he is called ‘viSruthAthmA’ – the famous one. The scriptures say thus, to show his fame: “Of all the kings among dhEvas, manushyas and others, only bhagavAn was the one who tore the chest of the infamous hiraNyakaSipu”.

Etymology: The one whose divine deeds are heard by the dhEvas with awe, and the one who is the abode of all noble characters is hailed by such dhEvas as ‘viSruthAthmA’. he is indeed the bestower of great fame.

विस्मयॆन श्रुतं दॆवैः सैहं यस्यापदानकम् |
शीलं तैर्विश्रुतात्मा सॊ महाकीर्तिप्रदॊ मनुः ||

210) surArihA (सुरारिहा)

Since bhagavAn tore the chest of hiranyakaSipu – who was the enemy of all dhEvas, he is called ‘surArihA’ – the slayer of the enemy of dhEvas. The dhyAna manthra of nArasimha hails bhagavAn thus: “he is the one who instills fear among the bad elements by showing the shining rows of his fierce nails in both the hands, while assuring fearlessness among his dear devotees at the same time with the same hands”

Etymology: The slayer of hiranyakaSipu is hailed as ‘surArihA’.

हिरण्यकशिपॊर्हन्ता कीर्त्यतॆ स सुरारिहा |

गुरुर्गुरुतमॊ धामः सत्यः सत्यपराक्रमः ।
निमिषॊsनिमिषः स्रग्वी वाचस्पतिरुदारधीः ॥ २३ ॥

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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