Daily Archives: October 2, 2019

thiruvAimozhi – 10.1 – thALathAmarai

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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 first decad, since the previously highlighted kainkarya prathi sambandhithvam (emperumAn being the recipient of kainkaryams) is complete in the special abode of paramapadham,  AzhwAr determined that he needs someone who would guide him in the journey to paramapadham, after eliminating his harmful hurdles in traveling there and highlights the following aspects of sarvESvaran who is residing in thirumOgUr:

  1. his having pleasantly enjoyable form
  2. his having complete names which help our eternal enjoyment of him
  3. his protection of all worlds
  4. his reclining on the AdhiSEsha for the purpose of such protection of the worlds
  5. his mingling with everyone
  6. his trustworthiness which is pleasing
  7. his being the creator of all worlds
  8. his simplicity and coolness which are seen in his incarnations
  9. his having distinguished limbs
  10. his pursuing forms with the desire to protect his devotees

Meditating upon these, he determines that only such sarvESvaran will be the best companion and mercifully holds on to the divine feet of such kALamEga emperumAn as the refuge.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nampiLLai‘s introduction.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s introduction

AzhwAr said in thiruvAimozhi 9.8.4 “nALEl aRiyEn enakkuLLana” (I don’t know the date fixed for me); ISvaran gave confirmation saying in thiruvAimozhi 9.10.5 “maraNam AnAl” (at the end of this body). If he says “done” and nods his head in acceptance, one can be confident of getting the result and act accordingly. Hence, AzhwAr started planning for the journey; in that journey, one is leaving his body which he is used to, he is leaving behind the relatives whom he is used to, and is going alone towards the abode which is never seen before, which is far away and there are lots of hurdles en route – there are endless hurdles such as avidhyA (ignorance), karma (deeds), vAsanA (impressions), ruchi (taste) etc; to eliminate all of these and to have a companion, one should have sarvESvaran as the companion. Why is that? Should the AthmA not have himself as the companion? [No] Until today, the AthmA engaged in acts that will bind him in samsAra (material realm); though he enquired about the well-being while being in this [final] body, if we observe his previous history of acts, he cannot be a good companion for himself. While guiding through the  journey, the companion should be sarvagya (omniscient) to know about the hurdles which will block AzhwAr; after knowing about them he should be sarvaSakthi (omnipotent) to eliminate them and carry him; as seen in pramANams (scriptures) such as muNdaka upanishath “yassarvagya: sarvavith” (one who knows the basic nature and basic qualities of all entities), sarvESvaran was explained as sarvagya and sarvaSakthi. Even if one is having the ability, if there is no apt relationship, the ability will not be of any use. He is explained as all types of relationship in subhAla upanishath as “mAthA pithA brAthA nivAsa: SaraNam suhrudh gathir nArAyaNa:” (nArAyaNa is mother, father, brother, residence, refuge, well-wisher, goal). As said in periya thirumozhi 7.2.3 “emmAnum emmanaiyum …” (my father and mother abandoned me) etc, worldly parents will beget a child due to their lust and abandon it considering it to be an enemy for their youthfulness; but emperumAn out of real love, will respond in female voice when the AthmA cries out “ammE!” (Oh mother!) and in a male voice when the AthmA cries out “appA!” (Oh father!). As the body becomes useless [after death], he should know the means to carry the soul to paramapadham by eliminating the hurdles which occur in the journey; he should also be capable of severing the enemies who come in the journey; he should also be trustworthy that one shows him as the refuge when one cannot protect the self. He is already well known as “sarvagya, saravaSaktha” as seen in pramANams; AzhwAr himself declared emperumAn as the refuge in thiruvAimozhi 3.6.9thanjamAgiya thandhai thAyodu thAnumAy” (emperumAn is the refuge, father and mother, along with them, the self). AzhwAr has personally seen emperumAn’s mercy in thiruvAimozhi 1.1.1 “mayarvaRa madhinalam aruLinan” (emperumAn blessed unblemished knowledge and devotion to me). Now, since he is the SEshi (lord), he is also aptly related. Hence, AzhwAr is determining firmly “kALamEgam emperumAn will eliminate our enemies, guide us up to paramapadham, the ultimate destination”. Just as those who travel through dangerous route will have strong confidantes for security, handover their precious belongings to such companions, and will get those belongings back after reaching safe areas, AzhwAr deposits himself in kALamEgam emperumAn at the time of shedding the body thinking “let me get it back on reaching paramapadham”. Even if emperumAn does not have any of the aforementioned qualities, he is so beautiful that if he starts walking, one will naturally follow him, with the only intent of walking behind him enjoying his beauty. While surrendering, one should surrender unto someone who is feared by the enemies as said in periya thirumozhi 8.10.8 “vaLLalE! un thamarkkenRum naman thamar kaLLar pOl” (Oh generous one! For your devotees, the servants of yama will feel like lowly persons who will stay away in fear). yama himself said in SrIvishNu purANam 3.7.4 “parihara madhusUdhana prapannAn prabhuraham anya nruNam na vaishNavAnAm” (do not approach those who have surrendered to madhusUdhana (emperumAn))

Each pAsuram is discussed subsequently.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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periya thirumadal – 57 – mannu maragadha

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mannu maragadhak kunRinmarungEyOr                                                             77
inniLa vanjikkodi onRu ninRadhudhAn
annamAy mAnAy aNimayilAy AngidaiyE                                                                78

Word by word meaning

mannu maragadhak kunRin marungE – near emperumAn who remains as a mountain of emerald, being the refuge for all.
Or in iLa vanji kodi onRu ninRadhu – pirAtti (SrI mahAlakshmi) who is distinguished, enjoyable (for emperumAn) and like a youthful creeper, stood
annam Ay – like a swan, in her gait
mAn Ay – like a deer, in her glance
aNi mayil Ay – like a beautiful peacock, in her tresses


mannu maragadhak kunRin marungEentire world would stand firmly, holding on to emperumAn who is like a bluish green mountain.

marungE – in his vicinity. Since emperumAn is like a huge tank, one cannot enter [due to the fear of drowning]. Thus, one can stay in his vicinity and enjoy. Since the nAyaki will not look directly at the nAyaka and since she cannot sustain herself if she does not look at him, pirAtti, the nAyaki here, is standing nearby emperumAn such that she could steal a few glances at him.

marungE – when one sees a huge flood, one cannot enter it; at the same time, one cannot go away from it too, because of its beauty. Hence, one has to remain nearby. In the same way, pirAtti is staying close to emperumAn, just as it is said in thiruvAimozhi 6-10-10agalagillEn iRaiyumenRu” (I cannot separate even for a moment)

Or inniLa vanjikkodiyonRu ninRadhudhAn – a youthful creeper, being unique and sweet, stood. The reason for calling her as a youthful creeper is because, in comparison with her, all the other women will have a streak of masculinity in them. She is the epitome of femininity. Just as emperumAn is described in Srimadh bhAgavatham 10-22-2 as “sAkshAth manmatha manmatha:” (bhagavAn is like a cupid for cupid himself; he is such handsome), pirAtti is the best among women and is similar to emperumAn. Since there is none who could be termed this way, AzhwAr, with the simile becoming very strong, is calling her as vanjikkodi itself [the term vanji has several meanings, one of which is a woman with a very slender waist].

Having described her overall beauty with the term inniLavanjikkodi, AzhwAr now describes the beauty of her inidivual limbs through similes.

annamAy – narrates the beauty of her gait.

mAnAy – narrates the beauty of her glance.

aNimayilAy – narrates the beauty of her tresses.

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

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 27 (Names 261 to 270)

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261) vrushOdhara: (वृषॊदरः)

bhagavAn fills his stomach with the oblations offered by his devotees. He is easily available to every soul who yearns for his service. He is thus the one who possesses a stomach of righteousness (a stomach filled with offerings of righteous devotees), and hence called ‘vrushOdhara:’.

Etymology: The one who excels by virtuously filling his stomach with offerings of his dear devotees is called ‘vrushOdhara:’.

भक्तैरुपाहृतां पूजामुपाहारांश्च धर्मतः |
कृत्वॊदरॆ यॊ जयति स वृषॊदर उच्यतॆ ||

262) vardhana: (वर्धनः)

bhagavAn is further called ‘vardhana:’ – the fosterer, since he fosters all the individual souls by placing them all in his own belly (at the time of destruction – naimiththika praLayam), just as a mother nourishes a child in her womb.

Etymology: Placing all of his dear devotees in his belly, since bhagavAn fosters them just as a mother fosters a child in her womb he is called ‘vardhana:’.

मातृवज्जठरॆ कृत्वा भक्तान् वर्धयति स्वयम् |
वर्धनः प्रॊच्यतॆ नित्यं सप्तार्णॊ वृद्धिदॊ मनुः ||

263) vardhamAna: (वर्धमानः)

Fostering his devotees, and looking at them grow, since bhagavAn himself feels elated and grows with them, he is called ‘vardhamAna:’. Alternately, he is the one who possesses such bountifulness that he fosters every individual soul infinitely. Hence also he is called ‘vardhamAna:’.

Etymology: Fostering his devotees, since bhagavAn also thrives with elation, he is called ‘vardhamAna:’.

वर्धयंस्तान् स्वयमपि वर्धमानश्च वर्धनः |

264) viviktha: (विविक्तः)

Thus, since bhagavAn displays supernatural feats and possesses qualities and actions that are unique to him, he is called ‘viviktha:’ – the distinct one.

Etymology: With all his supernatural feats and most auspicious qualities that distinctly qualify him, bhagavAn is popularly called ‘viviktha:’. This manthra bestows auspiciousness upon all chanters.

लॊकॊत्तरादिवृत्तान्तात् स्वैकान्तात् गुणबृंहितात् |
विविक्त इति विख्यातः पावनत्वप्रदॊ मनुः ||

265) SruthisAgara: (श्रुतिसागरः)

Just as all rivers must flow and eventually reach the ocean, so also all the vEdhas expounding the supreme qualities grandly culminate in the contemplation of that supreme soul – bhagavAn. Thus, he is like the ocean to the river of vEdhas, where they finally rest. Hence he is called ‘SruthisAgara:’.

Etymology: Just as ocean is the final residing place for all rivers, so also bhagavAn is the final resting place for all vEdhas that hail his supreme qualities. Thus, he is called ‘SruthisAgara:’.

नदीनां सागर इव स्वगुणॊक्तिविधाजुषाम् |
श्रुतीनामवसानत्वात् कथ्यतॆ श्रुतिसागरः ||

सुभुजॊ दुर्धरॊ वाग्मी महॆन्द्रॊ वसुदॊ वसुः ।
नैकरूपॊ बृहद्रूपः शिपिविष्टः प्रकाशनः ॥ २९ ॥

266) subhuja: (सुभुजः)

Since bhagavAn possesses mighty and auspicious shoulders that bear the burdens of all his dear devotees who have surrendered unto him, he is called ‘subhuja:’ – the one with beautiful shoulders.

Etymology: The one who possesses mighty shoulders that can bear the burdens of all his devotees who have surrendered unto him is called ‘subhuja:’.

प्रपन्नभरणॆ धुर्यभुजॊ यः सुभुजस्तु सः |

267) dhurdhara: (दुर्धरः) (also repeated in 720)

With such mighty shoulders, bhagavAn possesses immense force that none can oppose, just like the mighty waves in an ocean cannot be stopped by a sandy bridge on the shores built by playful kids. Hence, he is called ‘dhurdhara:’ – the one who cannot be restrained.

The dhu: (दुः) gets the ‘khal’ (खल्) adjunct per grammatical rules, resulting in this divine name. The same rule is applicable in other divine names such as ‘dhurlabha:’ दुर्लभः (783), ‘dhurgama:’ दुर्गमः (784), et al.

Etymology: The one whose force is unrestrained by others is called ‘dhurdhara:’.

परैर्दुर्वारवॆगॊ यॊ दुर्धरः स च कथ्यतॆ |

268) vAgmI (वाग्मी)

Similarly, since bhagavAn possesses commendable speech, he is called ‘vAgmI’ – the excellent orator. The adjunct ‘gmini’ (ग्मिनि) is suffixed to the word ‘vAk’ वाक् (speech), indicating praiseworthiness of such speech. This results in this divine name. bhagavAn’s speech is commendable since it is the gist of vEdhas, controlled, sweet, profound, loveable and favorable to everyone.

As the scriptures put it, bhagavAn’s speech is hailed thus:

  • “vEdhas are verily the words of bhagavAn”
  • “rAma is the one who can answer every question with utmost diligence, just like the celestial preceptor brihaspathi”
  • “Oh krishNa, your words are so nectarine that I am not being content with whatever I have listened till now. I request you, please speak again…”
  • “rAma is extremely intelligent and speaks up first, speaks softly, speaks sweetly and speaks lovingly”
  • “The lotus eyed krishNa spoke the most meaningful words to the assembled kings, which was unobjectionable and free from satire, fright and confusions with his thunderous voice”, etc.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn speaks sweet and favorable words whose forms are verily the vEdhas, he is called ‘vAgmI’.

वॆदलक्षणवक्तृत्वात् वाग्मी प्रियहितॊक्तितः |

269) mahEndhra: (महॆन्द्रः)

Since bhagavAn possesses venerable, supreme, infinite wealth spread all around, he is called ‘mahEndhra:’ – the wealthiest one.

The root ‘idhi’ (इदि) is used in the context to mean ‘extreme wealth’. This root gets the ‘ran’ (रन्) adjunct, resulting in the word ‘indhra:’ (इन्द्रः). The qualifier ‘mahA’ (महा) is prefixed to clearly show that bhagavAn’s wealth overthrows that of lower demigods such as indhra, kubEra, et al. It clearly shows the rulership of bhagavAn over all other entities.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn possesses supreme wealth, he is called ‘mahEndhra:’.

परमैश्वर्यवत्वॆन महॆन्द्र इति शब्दतॆ |

270) vasudha: (वसुदः)

Even in such a great disposition of being the wealthiest, bhagavAn never predominates over any entity. Instead, he bestows all wealth upon such individual souls who seek such lowly wealth from him. Thus, he is called ‘vasudha:’ – the one who bestows wealth.

The vishNu dharma clearly says “indhra obtained the rulership of three worlds, and kubEra got the ownership of wealth – all by the grace of bhagavAn”.

Etymology: bhagavAn is called ‘vasudha:’ since he bestows wealth, especially upon such seekers.

वसुदॊ धनदानाच्च धनायद्भ्यॊ विशॆषतः |

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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உபதேச ரத்தின மாலை – பாசுரம் 1

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உபதேச ரத்தின மாலை

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எந்தை திருவாய்மொழிப் பிள்ளை இன்னருளால்
வந்த உபதேச மார்க்கத்தைச் சிந்தை செய்து
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மன்னிய சீர் வெண்பாவில் வைத்து 

முதல் பாசுரம். இப்பாசுரத்தில் மாமுனிகள் தன்னுடைய ஆசார்யனை வணங்கி, தான் இந்த ப்ரபந்தத்தை அருளிச்செய்யும் குறிக்கோளைத் தெளிவாக வெளியிடுகிறார்.

என்னுடைய ஸ்வாமியான, ஞானத் தந்தையான திருவாய்மொழிப் பிள்ளையின் இனிய அருளாலே எனக்குக் கிடைத்த உபதேச க்ரமத்தை, நன்றாக ஆராய்ந்து, எனக்குக் காலத்தால் பிற்பட்டவர்களும் நன்றாகக் கற்றுத் தெளிவு பெறும்படிக்கு, பொருந்திய பெருமைகளைக் கொண்ட வெண்பா என்னும் கவியிலே வைத்து, உபதேசமாகப் பேசுகின்றேன்.

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periya thirumadal – 56 – minni oLi padaippa

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minni oLi padaippa vINANum thOL vaLaiyum
manniya kuNdalamum Aramum nINmudiyum                                                  76
thunnu veyil viriththa chULAmaNi imaippa

Word by word meaning

minni oLi padaippa – emitting radiance similar to lightning
vIzh nANum – the waist cord which is much desired
thOL vaLaiyum – the  ornaments worn on the shoulders
manniya kuNdalamum – the divine ear rings which are fitting well
Aramum – the chain (worn on the divine chest)
nIL mudiyum – the huge divine crown
thunnu veyil viriththa chULAmaNi imaippa – the lustrous ruby which is embedded on the radiant locks


min oLi padaippa – just as it is said in thiruvAimozhi 4-2-10minsey pUN mArvinan” (one whose divine chest is decorated with ornaments which are lustrous), having a radiance which will make it appear as if he is wearing lightning as an ornament.

vINANum – pirAtti is known as hiraNyaprAkArA (she is an attribute for emperumAn who is like gold). His divine cord worn on the waist appears like a hiraNya prAkAram (fort made of gold) for her. His waist cord is like a wave which has been lapped by a beautiful ocean.

thOL vaLaiyum – just like a valorous anklet for the divine feet, for the shoulders under which all the three worlds take refuge, he has armlet. These ornaments for the shoulder hide his shoulders to ward off evil eyes.

manniya kuNdalamum – the shiny, fish-shaped ear rings which appear as if they have blossomed on his ears, as a natural phenomenon.

Aramum – the chain which appears in a similar way, fitting well on his chest.

nIN mudiyum – the crown, which has been placed on his head to indicate that he is the head of thirunaRaiyUr, became the crown to indicate that he is the lord for both the vibhUthis (spriritual realm and materialistic realm). nammAzhwAr, in his thiruviruththam pAsuram 50 says “viN mudhal nAyagan nINmudi” (the long crown of emperumAn who is lord of paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam)).

thunnu veyil  viriththa chULAmaNi imaippa – the radiance of the jewel chUdAmaNi (a jewel worn on the crown) was far superior to all the other lustrous materials. thunnugai – being superior to. If an entity is very beautiful, people would cast evil eyes on it. To suppress the beauty [of emperumAn], the radiance from his jewel chULAmani shone far superior to all the other ornaments’ radiance, thus hiding his beauty.

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

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruvAimozhi – 10th centum

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Focus of this centum – Arthiharathvam (emperumAn being the remover of sorrows of devotees)

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

AzhwAr mercifully highlighted sarvESvaran being the palam (goal) previously and mercifully sets out to explain the acquirement of such goal in this centum, explaining his following aspects:

  1. his being trustworthy and helpful
  2. his having enjoyable names etc which pacified AzhwAr’s previous sorrows
  3. his great enjoyability where one will worry about his separation while he is together
  4. his being the goal for upAsakas (bhakthi yOga nishtar) just as he is for those who have only emperumAn as the means
  5. his being the only controller of eliminating unfavourable aspects and granting favourable aspects for such upAsakas also
  6. his being eager to grant the result for those who approached him through servitude towards his devotees, as per their desire
  7. his being desirous of the body etc of those who are greatly attached to him, and liberating them from those body etc based on their desire
  8. his being the grantor of enjoyment based on incidental good deeds
  9. his presenting the vision of pursuit by AdhivAhika [those who transport AthmAs to paramapadham] in archirAdhi mArgam (the path leading to paramapadham) which is an aid for the ultimate enjoyment
  10. his granting eternal togetherness to AzhwAr who is having ultimately great devotion, with him

Seeing these aspects, AzhwAr being greatly blissful, mercifully completes the prabandham having acquired the goal.

We will see each thiruvAimozhi (decad) in detail.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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pramEyam (goal) – http://koyil.org
pramANam (scriptures) – http://granthams.koyil.org
pramAthA (preceptors) – http://acharyas.koyil.org
SrIvaishNava education/kids portal – http://pillai.koyil.org