Monthly Archives: October 2019

thiruvAimozhi – 10.3.1 – vEy maru thOL iNai

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Full series >> Tenth Centum >> Third decad

Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In the first pAsuram, parAnguSa nAyaki is in pain of separation thinking that emperumAn is leaving and further becomes anguished by the sounds of birds such as cuckoo etc and by the glance of emperumAn; she informs this state to him as if informing it to her friends.

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.

pAsuram

vEy maru thOL iNai meliyumAlO! melivum thanimaiyum yAdhum nOkkAk
kAmaru kuyilgaLum kUvumAlO! kaNa mayil avai kalandhAlumAlO!
Amaru ina nirai mEykka nI pOkku oru pagal Ayiram UzhiyAlO!
thAmaraik kaNgaL koNdu IrdhiyAlO! thagavilai thagavilaiyE nI kaNNA!

Listen

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

(Unable to bear the sorrow of separation)
vEy maru – Like bamboo
thOL iNai – pair of shoulders
meliyum – became lean (to reveal the inside)

(not just that)
en melivum – the weakness of my body (which is the abode)
en thanimaiyum – my loneliness (where I cannot bear the separation)
yAdhum – anything
nOkkA – ignoring
kAmaru – attractive
kuyilgaLum – cuckoos

(instead of thinking “we should not torment those who are separated”)
kUvum – making sounds (to unite among themselves);
kaNa mayil avai – muster of peacocks
kalandhu – uniting (among themselves)
Alum – are dancing;
A – cows
maruvu inam – abundantly available matching their species
nirai – herds
mEykka – to tend them
nI – you
pOkku – going for a leelA (sport)
oru pagal – the day time
Ayiram Uzhi – felt like thousand yugas (as said in “thrudi yugAyathE“);

(further, to make me think that cuckoos, peacocks and your leaving are good)
thAmarai – attractive like lotus
kaNgaL koNdu – with the eyes
Irdhi – you are piercing me;
kaNNA – Oh krishNa (who is here to hurt the hearts of girls)!
nI thagavilai – You don’t have the common mercy not to torment (the girls);
thagavilai – Also, you don’t have the specific mercy (of not tormenting the already suffering ones).

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

Pair of shoulders which resemble bamboo, became lean; ignoring the weakness of my body and my loneliness, the attractive cuckoos are making sounds; the muster of peacocks is uniting and dancing; in the day time, when you go for the leelA of tending the herds of cows which are abundantly available matching their species, it feels like thousand yugas; you are piercing me with your eyes which are attractive like lotus. Oh krishNa! You neither have the common mercy not to torment the girls nor the specific mercy of not tormenting the already suffering ones. Implies that this cruelty has become a natural quality for him. She is saying “vEy maru thOL iNai” just as he would praise her beauty. kAmaru kuyil – beautiful cuckoo or cuckoo which is in the garden. “AlO” indicates the overwhelming sorrow.

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

  • vEy … – Due to having nice circumference and freshness, the shoulders can be compared to bamboo – such shoulders are becoming lean – says parAnguSa nAyaki, just as informing to a prideful prince “your garden is getting destroyed”. Her becoming weak is directly being witnessed by krishNa instead of hearing from others (like before), by looking at her shoulders. Thinking about her bewilderment, just as one would step into a flood, the shoulders became lean even while he was present there. Even his physical presence is of no use, when there is separation in the heart; the weakness which is a result of such separation, cannot be stopped from occurring. She is informing about the weakening of her shoulders as if saying “your shoulders are becoming weak”! This AthmA remains a prakAra (attribute) for bhagavAn to not differentiate between dhEvadhaththa (a jIvAthmA) and vAsudhEva (paramAthmA). When you unite with me where will you relax yourself? Usually he will rest on her shoulders and relax as said in thirunedundhaNdagam 13 “melliyal thOL thOyndhAy” (drowned in the shoulder of tender sIthA).
  • iNai – See the torment undergone by the pair of shoulders which are praised by your for their beautiful togetherness! She is of the nature of praising her own beauty; she is repeating what she heard from him. Now, they are as good as achit (matter) even if you arrive.
  • AlO! – The great sorrow is revealed by AlO.
  • melivum en thanimaiyum – My weakness and loneliness are unlike those of the worldly people. They are unlike your weakness and loneliness; this is the loneliness when you are with me and the weakness when we are together. This is much beyond what is explained in thiruvAimozhi 4.2.10pon sey pUN men mulaikkenRu meliyumE” (She desires such thuLasi to decorate her withered bosom which has pale complexion; since her desire is not fulfilled, she has become weak), thiruvAimozhi 9.7.10miga mEni meliveydhi” (body greatly wizened) and thiruvAimozhi 9.9.2thamiyamAlO” (lonely us). They were all felt in his absence; now, the sorrow is felt in his presence. For the one who says as in thiruvAimozhi 9.7.9thAm thammaik koNdagaldhal thagavanRu” (moving away from me does not match his mercy after knowing himself) that if he leaves he has to place himself there and leave [which is impossible], due to her loving attitude towards him, she can say that he has left, while he is present there with her. Neither has he left to return nor is he thinking to leave; it is not possible for him to leave her. Even he starts wondering “Have we really separated from her?” looking at her body truly becoming weak. As, both of them are crazy for each other as if eating UmaththangAy (a plant product, which causes hallucination), there is no scope for either of them to acquire clarity. This is his great fortune. He had not seen her sufferings previously; he has only heard from her friends and others; SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 5.6 “vAhivAtha …” (Oh wind!) etc; now he is seeing it with his own eyes. Now, she is telling whatever she would share with her friends usually.
  • yAdhum nOkkA – Not considering anything. Not seeing the weakness in the shoulders, her loneliness etc.
  • kAmaru kuyilgaLum – kAmarudhal – desire. Since their union will not lead to separation, such unions are desirous. They don’t have the fear of their union ending in separation.
  • kuyilgaLum – Not only you, even these cuckoos have become harmful. You seem good when compared to the entities you send to harm me.
  • kUvumAlO – Should they not shut their mouth seeing my state? Seeing my sorrow in separation, should they not avoid making sounds thinking “our sound will be like poison for her”? SrI rAmAyaNam kishkindhA kANdam 3.33 “kasya nArAdhayathE chiththam” (whose heart does not become enchanted) – her state is such that one will place the sword back in its pouch on seeing her.
  • kaNa mayil – Unlike those [like rAma] would remain alone in suffering and torment others by keeping them lonely, these peacocks are together.
  • avai – Since they appear like dhrushtivisham (like a snake’s poison which harms on being seen), she is saying “those” by keeping her face away, since she is not able to tolerate seeing them. They are tormenting her being in a group.
  • kalandhu – They are not retracting thinking “at this stage, if we unite that will kill that girl”.
  • AlumAlO – After physically observing the peacocks dancing as a result of the bliss of their union, she is turning her face away and saying “avai“. First part of SrI rAmAyaNam kishkindhA kANdam 1.40 is explained here. mayUrasya – AzhwAr is thinking that rAvaNa is separating anything seen in pairs. Did he not carry away the spouse of the peacock? vanE – He did not separate them in SrI ayOdhyA! He separated them in the secluded forest where they are meant to enjoy with each other. rakshasA na hruthA priyA – Only these were spared from separation by this cruel killer!
  • Amaruvu … – At this stage, he should have been thinking as in SrI rAmAyaNam kishkindhA kANdam 30.10 “katham EshA bhavishyathi” (how is she doing now), instead of doing that, he is setting out to protect his dependents. There are herds of cattle which move around with you – they are cows; to tend them. As said in periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 3.6.9 “mEyndha pullum kadaivAy vazhi sOra” (to let the gazed grass slip out of the mouth), the cattle sustain themselves by being with krishNa and nothing else.
  • inam – Even if we are in the group which is protected by him, he will only think about protecting everyone together; he protects only those who are in groups.
  • nI pOkku oru pagal – The daytime in which you go; or the daytime when you are away; another explanation – the daytime in which you stay away from me to go and protect the cows.

When asked “Isn’t it just one daytime!” she says,

  • Ayiram … – Don’t think about us to be like you. For those who are always craving for your togetherness, there is no separate desire for night time and day time. SrIvishNu purANam 5.13.59 “yathAbdha kOti prathima: kshaNasthEna vinAbavath” (When separated from krishNa, a moment will feel like millions of years).

emperumAn thought “We did not leave; we did not think about leaving as well; while we are here, she is thinking that I have left and is being tormented by these entities! What an amazing love she has for me?” and mercifully glanced at her. She says,

  • thAmaraik kaNgaL koNdIrdhiyAlO – It is better if you go to tend the cows rather than glancing at me like this. Some explain this as parAnkuSa nAyaki explaining emperumAn’s glance from previous occasions; but “Irdhi” (piercing, in present tense) indicates that she is talking about present only.

Even after parAnkuSa nAyaki says this, he does not take his eyes off her. She says,

  • thagavilai – You have no mercy towards the world; there is none who can stop his mercy. While emperumAn is tormenting us, why is she upset towards those who are inimical towards us? One has annadhOsham (defect in the food consumed) and the other has samsarga dhOsham (defect in friendship); hence, isn’t it natural that they will be inimical towards us? Peacock, being subrahmaNya’s vehicle, has defect in friendship; cuckoo, due to consuming crow’s food, has defect in its food.
  • nI thagavu ilai – You have no mercy. She who called him in thiruvAimozhi 2.4.6thagavudaiyavanE” (oh merciful one!), is now saying thagavilai in his presence. You are merciless. The first thagavilai says that he is merciless and the second indicates that he has mercy for worldly people; alternatively – both thagavilai mean he is merciless. The reason for the repetition is to indicate that she is working to establish that emperumAn is merciless as said in SrIvishNu purANam 5.18.30 “Evam ArthAsu yOshithsu krupA kasya na jAyathE” (If the girls are suffering like this, who will not have mercy?)

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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உபதேச ரத்தின மாலை – பாசுரம் – 27

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என்றையினும் இன்று இதனுக்கு ஏற்றம் என் தான் என்றவர்க்குச்

சாற்றுகின்றேன் கேண்மின் எதிராசர் தம் பிறப்பால்

நாற்றிசையும் கொண்டாடும் நாள் 

இருபத்தேழாம் பாசுரம். இனி ஆழ்வார்களுக்கு ஒப்பான பெருமையைப் பெற்ற, அவர்களுக்கு சேஷபூதரான, மற்றெல்லோருக்கும் நாதரான எம்பெருமானாரின் திருநக்ஷத்ர வைபவத்தை மூன்று பாசுரங்களில் அனுபவிக்கிறார்.  இப்பாசுரத்தில் எம்பெருமானார் அவதரித்த சித்திரையில் திருவாதிரைத் திருநாளின் ஏற்றத்தை உலகத்தாருக்கு நன்றாக அறிவிக்கிறார்.

உலகத்தவர்களே! இன்று சித்திரை மாதத்தில் சிறந்த நாளான திருவாதிரை நன்னாள். ஏனைய நாட்களைவிட இந்நாளுக்கு உண்டான ஏற்றம் என்ன என்று கேட்பர்களுக்கு நான் சொல்லுகிறேன், கேளுங்கள். யதிகட்கு இறைவனான எம்பெருமானார் திருவவதாரத்தாலே, நான்கு திசைகளிலும் இருக்கும் மக்களும் கொண்டாடும் ஏற்றத்தைப் பெற்ற நாள் இன்று.

மணவாள மாமுனிகள் தாமே ஆர்த்தி ப்ரபந்தத்தில் “அனைத்துலகும் வாழப் பிறந்த எதிராச மாமுனிவா” என்று எம்பெருமானாரை அழைக்கிறார். எம்பெருமானார் அவதாரத்தாலே உலகத்தில் உள்ளவர் எல்லோரும் எம்பெருமானார் மூலமாகவே எம்பெருமானை அடைந்து உஜ்ஜீவனத்தைப் பெறலாம் என்பது திண்ணமாயிற்று. இப்படிப்பட்ட பெருமையை இவர் பெற்றிருப்பதாலே, இவர் அவதரித்த நாள் உலகத்தில் உள்ள அனைவராலும் இன்றும் சிறப்பாகக் கொண்டாடப்படுகிறது.

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SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 43 (Names 421 to 430)

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421) parigraha: (परिग्रहः)

bhagavAn holds every soul both in this world as well as nether. Hence, he is called ‘parigraha:’. This trait of holding the souls and not letting them go is shown when rAma granted paramapadham to all of his relatives, denizens of ayOdhya, their relatives, the demigods that they worshipped, gardens, trees, grass, etc.

The scriptures say that bhagavAn grants paramapadham to every soul who is affectionate about him in all of his incarnations.

This fully shows rAma’s divine quality called sauSeelyam or affability.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn holds every soul with equanimity both here and hereafter, he is called ‘parigraha:’.

इहामुत्र समं सर्वग्रहणात् स्यात् परिग्रहः |

422) ugra: (उग्रः)

Thereafter, the divine names of kalki – who is dormant in pAthALa, and who is the destroyer of all bad elements with bad character and wrongful deeds – are hailed.

At the end of this yuga (kaliyuga), when people indulge heavily in committing sins, and when the varna-ASrama dharmas decline, bhagavAn appears as kalki with a fierce form. Hence he is called ‘ugra:’ – the fierce one.

The root ‘ucha’ उच (to collect) gets the ‘ran’ (रन्) adjunct per grammatical rules, resulting in this divine name.

The manthra varNas hailing kalki bhagavAn say thus: “…to that destroyer, and the blazing fire of time…”

The paushkara Samhitha says thus: “kalki is verily bhagavAn vishNu. He incarnates when the dharmas decline with an intention to eliminate the evil minded souls from the face of this earth in this kali yuga”

Etymology: He who appears in the form of kalki when the dharmas decline and slays the evil souls and thus protects this world is called as ‘ugra:’ by the learned men.

नष्टॆ धर्मॆ कल्किरूपॊ ह्यवतीर्य महीभृतः |
म्लॆच्छादीन् हतवान् यॊsसौ उग्र इत्युच्यतॆ बुधैः ||

423) samvathsara: (संवत्सरः) (also repeated in 92)

Since bhagavAn waits for the right time, resting on AdhiSEsha in the pAthALa lOka, he is called ‘samvathsara:’ – the one who rests.

The root word ‘vasathi’ वसति (to rest or to reside) gets the ‘saM=m’ (सम्) prefix and the ‘sara:’ (सरः) adjunct, resulting in this divine name.

All the scriptures hail bhagavAn thus in his meditative hymn:

  • “…him, who reclines on the serpent bed AdhiSEsha”
  • “…he who is surrounded by the embodiments of his divine weapons such as the chakra, etc”

Etymology: With all the tools for destruction, and waiting for the right time, since bhagavAn rests on AdhiSEsha in the pAthALa loka, he is called ‘samvathsara:’.

संहारस्यॊपकरणैः साकं कालप्रतीक्षया |
संवत्सरः स्यात् पातालॆsनन्तॆ संवसतीति सः ||

424) dhaksha: (दक्षः) (also repeated in 917)

As hailed mahAbhAratha that says “kalki shall roam around in this world continuously, slaying all evil minded souls”, since bhagavAn is dexterous and quick in slaying of enemies, he is called ‘dhaksha:’ – the dexterous one. In this context, the root ‘dhaksh’ (दक्ष्) is taken to mean ‘developing’ or ‘quick’.

The scriptures hail “janArdhana is quick in actions”

Etymology: Since the root ‘dhaksh’ means ‘swiftness’, and since all the evil souls are slain by bhagavAn within a moment, that swiftly acting bhagavAn is called as ‘dhaksha:’ by the learned men.

शीघ्रार्थत्वात् दक्षधातॊः निमॆषात् दस्यवॊ हताः |
यॆन सॊsयं शीघ्रकारी दक्ष इत्युच्यतॆ बुधैः ||

425) viSrAma: (विश्रामः)

bhagavAn is finally the resting place for all the distressed souls suffering from their sins. Hence, he is called ‘viSrAma:’ – the resting abode.

In the sabhA parva of SrI mahAbhAratha, it is said thus: “In order to establish dharma, and for the welfare of the learned men, he incarnates in this world”.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn is the resting place for all the distressed souls who are suffering by committing sins and enjoying their fruits, he is called ‘viSrAma:’.

पापानि तत्फलान्यॆवं श्रान्ता भॊक्तुं च यॆ जनाः |
तॆषां विश्रामभूमित्वात् विश्रामः परिकीर्तितः ||

426) viSvadhakshiNa: (विश्वदक्षिणः)

How can he be considered to be favoring even the evil souls? (In the previous divine name, he is shown to be the resting place for all distressed souls, and hence considered benevolent to all souls alike. How can this impartial benevolence be justified?) This question is answered in this divine name – viSvadhakshiNa:.

bhagavAn rules over all souls in this world alike, irrespective of whether they are favorable to him or otherwise. Hence, he is called ‘viSvadhakshiNa:’.

The root ‘dhakshi’ (दक्षि) gets the ‘inan’ (इनन्) adjunct, resulting in this divine name. The word ‘dhAkshiNyam’ (दाक्षिण्यम्) is itself understood as being tolerant towards even the offending souls, and thus the meaning of this divine name.

SrI mahAbhAratha says thus: “He graces all of these worlds and takes them into his fold”.

Alternately, bhagavAn also gets this divine name since he offered the entire world as a donation in the aSvamEdha yagyam. This is as shown in the AraNya parva of SrI mahAbhAratha thus: “After having slain all the robbers, bhagavAn conducts a grand aSvamEdha yajna and dutifully offers this entire world to the brAhmaNas as a donation”.

Etymology: The one who is extremely tolerant even towards his offenders is called ‘viSvadhakshiNa:’. Alternately, he who offered the entire world as a donation to the brAhmaNas in the aSvamEdha sacrifice is called ‘viSvadhakshiNa:’.

अपकारिष्वतिक्षान्तॊ विश्वदक्षिण उच्यतॆ |
यद्वाश्वमॆधॆ पृथिवीं दक्षिणात्वॆन दत्तवान् |
महीसुरॆभ्यः कृत्स्नां यः स स्मृतॊ विश्वदक्षिणः ||

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विस्तारः स्थावरः स्थाणुः प्रमाणं बीजमव्ययम् ।
अर्थॊsनर्थॊ महाकॊशॊ महाभॊगॊ महाधनः ॥ ४६ ॥
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427) visthAra: (विस्तारः)

bhagavAn (as kalki) completely destroys kali and establishes krutha yuga again, thereby extending the scope of vEdhas. Thus, he is called ‘visthAra:’.

The root ‘sthu’ स्तृ (to extend) gets the ‘ghanja’ (घञ) adjunct per grammatical rules, resulting in this divine name.

The scriptures hail thus: “Thereafter, oh scion of the bharatha clan, the unrighteousness or adharma shall be destroyed, and the righteousness or dharma shall be firmly established – all at the beginning of krutha yuga. Then, all the people become righteous in their minds and actions”

Etymology: Destroying the kali age completely and establishing krutha yuga thence, since bhagavAn extends the scope of vEdhas thereafter, he is called ‘visthAra:’.

प्रबलं यः कलिं हत्वा प्रवर्त्य च कृतं युगम् |
विस्तार्य वॆदमर्यादां स्थितॊ विस्तार उच्यतॆ ||

428) sthAvarasthANu: (स्थावरस्थाणुः)

After having established dharma thus, since bhagavAn becomes extremely peaceful, he is called ‘sthAvarasthANu:’.

This is hailed in the AraNya parva of SrI mahAbhAratha thus: “Having established dharma and having extended the scope of vEdhas, bhagavAn becomes peaceful”.

Etymology: He who firmly establishes dharma and becomes peaceful, and who cannot be moved from his pacific state whatsoever is called ‘sthAvarasthANu:’.

स्थावरीकृत्य धर्मान् यः शमॆ स्थास्यति नित्यशः |
यॆन कॆनाप्यचाल्यः सः स्थावरस्थाणुरुच्यतॆ ||

429) pramANam (प्रमाणम्) (also repeated in 959)

Thereafter, bhagavAn looks after the welfare of all people in krutha yuga by creating the necessary guidelines and promoting them. Thus he is called ‘pramANam’. Even the usual pramANas like prathyaksha, anumAna and Agama are established with his power only.

This is as shown in the mahAbhAratha thus: “All humans in this world follow the conduct of bhagavAn”.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn establishes the welfare of people in krutha yuga (by means of pramANas), he is called ‘pramANam’.

हिताहितस्थापकत्वात् प्रमाणं स्यात् कृतादिषु |

430) bIjamavyayam (बीजमव्ययम्)

Thus, since bhagavAn reestablishes dharma again and again – as and when dharma declines as in during the end of kali yuga and the like, he is called ‘bIjamavyayam’ – the seed of dharma who knows no extinction.

Etymology: He who reestablishes dharma at the end of kali yuga in order to protect his devotees is called as ‘bIjamavyayam’.

यॊ वै कलियुगस्यान्तॆ मुहुर्धर्मप्ररॊहणाम् |
करॊति भक्तरक्षार्थं स भवॆद्बीजमव्ययम् ||

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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periya thirumadal – 83 – mannum kadanmallai

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mannum kadanmallai mAyavanai vAnavartham
senni maNichchudaraith thaNkAL thiRalvaliyaith`                                            120
thannaip piRar aRiyAth thaththuvaththai muththinai
annaththai mInai ariyai arumaRaiyai                                                                  121

Word by word meaning

kadal mallai mannum mAyavanai – the amazing entity who has taken permanent residence at thirukkadanmallai (present day mahAbalipuram)
vAnavar tham senni maNi sudarai – one who is radiant as the prime jewel for nithyasUris
thaNkAl thiRalvaliyai – the hugely powerful entity who has taken residence at thiruththaNkAl
thannai piRar aRiyA thaththuvaththai – one whose nature cannot be known by others (who are not under the shadow of his divine mercy)
muththinai – one who is like a pearl
annaththai – one who incarnated as a swan
mInai – one who incarnated as a fish
ariyai – one who incarnated as hayagrIva (horse face, human body)
arumaRaiyai – one who has the vEdhas (sacred texts) as his form

vyAkyAnam

mannum kadal mallai mAyavanai – the amazing entity who is shining well at thirukkadal mallai since it is an abode which is very dear to his follower. emperumAn is reclining there on the floor, leaving aside the inseparable ananthAzhwAn (AdhiSEshan).

Who is the entity who is lying on the floor like this, as if he is without anyone?

vAnavar tham senni maNichchudarai – he is the head of nithyasUris who are tireless. He shines on their head as an ornament. Was he not referred to as “amarar sennippU” (the flower on the heads of nithyasUris)?

thaNkAl thiRalvaliyai – one who is shining with valour and strength which will enable him to win over everyone, at the divine abode thiruththaNkAl by shining brightly as the epitome of valour and strength.

thannaip piRar aRiyAth thaththuvaththai – the supreme being who cannot be known by anyone unless he manifests himself to such a person. vEdhas said of him “yamEvaisha vruNuthE thEna labhya:” (this supreme being can be attained only by one who he (the supreme being) has thought of in his mind). He is such that when he makes himself easily approachable and remains as a simple entity, people such as SiSupAla et al, without knowing his greatness, speak of him in low terms which will singe the ears of those who hear them, just as emperumAn himself said in bhagavath gIthA 9-11param bhAvamajAnantha:  avajAnanthi mAm mUdA:” (fools, not knowing my greatness, despise me).

muththinai – one who has a cool, comfortable divine form such that his followers can don him [as an ornament].

annaththai mInai ariyai – when brahmA lost vEdhas to the demons madhu and kaitaba, emperumAn incarnated as hayagrIva (horse face and human body), killed them, incarnated as fish, seized the vEdhas, and incarnated as swan and instructed the vEdhas [to brahmA]. ari – horse.

What is the reason for taking such efforts for vEdhas?

arumaRaiyai – he himself is the vEdhas. Just as he mercifully said in bhagavath gIthA 15-15vEdhaiScha sarvairahamEva vEdhya:” (only I am known through all the vEdhas).

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

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruvAimozhi – 10.3 – vEymaruthOL

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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 third decad, AzhwAr eagerly desired to perform kainkaryam in thiruvananthapuram, but did not get the chance to do it, without delay; though he (emperumAn) is residing in the heart to impress upon our intellect with his enjoyability, he being the apt goal, his eagerness in accepting service, since he is having the great fortune of being desired to serve due to our urge, AzhwAr highlights the following aspects about emperumAn:

  1. he being lotus-eyed
  2. he being humble towards devotees
  3. he having beautiful form
  4. he being the protector of devotees
  5. he being united with devotees which is requested by them
  6. his deep/profound nature
  7. his beautiful easy approachability
  8. he having attractive limbs
  9. his distinguished lordship
  10. he being enjoyable for devotees

Meditating upon these, unable to bear the delay, unnecessarily doubting about separation, desiring “You, such emperumAn, should not leave me”, he presented his situation in front of emperumAn; AzhwAr is mercifully explaining this in the mood of a gOpikA (cowherd girl) who united with krishNa and feared for his separation doubting about it during the dawn, telling “the harmful aspects will torment with their presence; you should remain here to pacify me; also, when you go out, I am fearing for your safety if demoniac elements come there” on behalf of all cowherd girls in thiruvAyppAdi (SrI gOkulam) to stop the exit of krishNa who is present for all the girls there.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nampiLLai‘s introduction.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s introduction

As AzhwAr could not perform service immediately in thiruvananthapuram, he ended up having to doubt unnecessarily.

AzhwAr was eager to serve along with SrIvaishNavas; but he did not get to go and serve in that abode as he desired. AzhwAr is highlighting his state of his mind through the words of a pirAtti (consort of emperumAn). due to

  • not being able to reach there
  • not being able to serve, matching his eagerness,
  • the impressions from lengthy separation from him and the fear acquired in thinking about the connection with achith (matter/body) since time immemorial,
  • the fear acquired in thinking about ISvara’s svAthanthriyam (freewill) – that is, his freewill of giving himself to SiSupAla but refusing to do so for SrI bharathAzhwAn, and
  • thinking that he does not have the bhakthi to have ISvara come and accept him,

The reasons (all of these listed here) for the removal of his fear previously, has now become the cause for his fear.

  • AzhwAr need not worry about not reaching there immediately. Since AzhwAr is of the nature as said in periya thiruvandhAdhi 34pAlAzhi nI kidakkum paNbai yAm kEttEyum kAlAzhum nenjazhiyum kaN suzhalum” (When I hear about the beauty with which you are reclining in the milk ocean, my legs become weak, my heart melts and my eyes spin around) when he meditates upon emperumAn, as he cannot even take one more step due to overwhelming devotion.
  • AzhwAr need not fear for not getting to serve emperumAn immediately since as said in thiruvAimozhi 3.4pugazhu nal oruvan“, as emperumAn is of the nature of considering anything said [by his devotees] as service rendered. He is of the nature that whatever we think or say, will consider them as service rendered unto him.
  • Now, prahlAdha who was treated inimically by his own father, was saved by bhagavAn who remained closer to him than his father, only to become inimical towards bhagavAn [and eventually realised his mistake and surrendered to bhagavAn again]. Thus, AzhwAr feared for prakruthi sambandham as said in thiruvAimozhi 2.9.10thEREl ennai” (not having faith in me), as in the case of knowledge acquired by one with body which is similar to clarity acquired by a bewildered person; but he need not fear like that since he is having his senses attached to bhagavAn as said in thiruvAimozhi 2.8mudiyAnE“.
  • AzhwAr need not fear for emperumAn‘s svAthanthriyam since he remains the means to get rid of the hurdles as well, as said in SrI bhagavath gIthA 18.66sarva pApEbhyO mOkshayishyAmi” (I will liberate you from all of your sins).
  • AzhwAr need not fear for not having bhakthi since he held prapaththi (surrender) [in turn bhagavAn himself] as the means.

Now, AzhwAr is in this state due to not having the physical vision which will make him forget this samsAra as said in chAndhOgya upanishath 8.12.3 “nOpajanam smaran idham SarIram” (AthmA will not contemplate about the material body after reaching the spiritual realm). AzhwAr’s lengthy separation from emperumAn makes him remain confused, to be separated even while being together [In previous decad, AzhwAr enjoyed thiruvananthapuram as if being in paramapadham], where emperumAn’s physical presence is of no use [This can also be seen as AzhwAr speaking in the mood of a gOpikA who is with emperumAn, but still fearing separation]. As the material body is present where there is scope for separation from emperumAn, AzhwAr is still tormented. This confusion in AzhwAr’s is due to being blessed by bhagavAn himself with unblemished knowledge and devotion, due to the mercy of bhagavAn himself, in the form of parabhakthi and which is a result of taste towards him. Now, AzhwAr’s confusion will be eliminated only if ISvara is placed with him in a place where he cannot move away.

A pirAtti (consort, a gOpikA) who united with krishNa and subsequently separated for a long time, reunited with him again; while he was with her, during the dawn time when he previously separated from her, she observed many signs matching that time (period) of the day such as blowing of high winds, cuckoos singing, peacocks dancing, as the cows and calves start going towards the forest for grazing and thought “he won’t stop leaving now; as he needs to protect the cows, he will not remain here with us; hence, he must have left” and determined that he has left while he was with her there; in his presence, she started feeling the pain which she previously endured in his absence in thiruvAimozhi 9.5innuyirch chEval” and thiruvAimozhi 9.9malligai kamazh thenRal” etc. This danger cannot be eliminated even by sarvaSakthi (omnipotent lord). That is – it is not that he is away and he can come and eliminate the danger; also it is not that he is planning to go and he drops that plan. Suffering in this manner, she says “You will certainly not avoid going to herd the cows; your separation is not to my liking; hence, I feel that I should stop you from leaving; my mouth is dry now; to remedy this situation, you should place your hand on my head; you should not go to herd the cows; I am fearing for you thinking ‘if you go to tend the cows in the dangerous forest, what will happen to you due to the asuras and rAkshasas (demoniac persons)?’ ” [Will a gOpikA have such motherly affection?] Now, as said in subhAla upanishath “mAthA pithA brAthA nivAsa: SaraNam suhrudh gathir nArAyaNa:” (nArAyaNa is mother, father, brother, residence, refuge, well-wisher, goal), since he remains as all types of relatives, when the AthmA acquires sambandha gyAnam (knowledge about the relationships with emperumAn), the AthmA will experience various types of separations as said in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 18.68 “yadhA yadhA hi” (kausalyA assumed various moods such as servitor, friend, wife etc with dhaSaratha at appropriate times). Thus, as she suffers saying “I will not survive if you leave me”, he contemplates all of these and says “Alright. I won’t go” and makes her understand that and sustains her and completes this decad.

With this, the ultimate stage of thAdharthyam (existing fully for bhagavAn) is explained. He determined the same in thiruvAimozhi 2.9emmA vIdu” saying in thiruvAimozhi 2.9.4thanakkEyAga enaikkoLLum IdhE” (to be fully dependent on him); this is even firmer than that. There, AzhwAr said “you should accept me [for your pleasure, not mine]”; but here AzhwAr is saying “you can be with me or you can be with others; all I need is your satisfaction”. There, when he said “enakku” (for me), it was said to make sure that it becomes purushArtham (which is desired by the individual). That is only to distinguish the self from achith (matter), emperumAn will not be the goal, if one does not desire for him and he too will not engage desirously with such person.

Each pAsuram is discussed subsequently.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 42 (Names 411 to 420)

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411) pruthu: (पृथुः)

bhagavAn is magnanimous even in terms of fame, and hence called ‘pruthu:’ – the famous one.

The root ‘pratha’ (प्रथ) comes in the context of fame and gets the ‘ku’ (कु) adjunct per grammatical rules, thus resulting in this divine name.

SrImath rAmAyana hails bhagavAn thus:

  • “He is the one with wealth of fame; He is the son of the ruler (dhaSaratha)”
  • “He is famous among the people by the name ‘rAma’”
  • “rAma is the most famous in this world”
  • “He is the sole entity eligible of popularity”, etc.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn’s fame is exceedingly high, he is called ‘pruthu:’ by the learned.

यशॊविस्तारवत्त्वाच्च पृथुरित्युच्यतॆ बुधैः |

412) hiraNyagarbha: (हिरण्यगर्भः) (also repeated in 71)

Even to the souls who are being born in this world after his lifetime on this earth, since rAma is easily accessible by other means such as meditation etc, he is called ‘hiraNyagarbha:’ – the one with a golden hue in the minds of people.

bhagavAn considers the minds of his devotees as the most beneficial and most desirable place for him to reside, and thus he resides there as the most auspicious object for their meditation. Alternately, he is well hidden from the view of common people, and is comparable to glittering gold due to his shining hue. Thus, he is aptly called ‘hiraNyagarbha:’.

The same purport is also shown in the manthra varNas thus: “That indweller of all souls is indeed to be meditated”

Etymology: bhagavAn rAma resides in the hearts of his devotees considering them to be the most beneficial and likeable place for him, and is indeed the most auspicious object for their meditation. Thus, he is called ‘hiraNyagarbha:’. Alternately, he is called thus since he can be likened to glittering gold due to his shining hue.

हितस्य रमणीयस्य ध्यातॄणां हृदयस्य हि |
हिरण्यगर्भस्वन्तस्थः स शुभाश्रयणः स्मृतः |
यद्वा हिरण्यगर्भॊsसौ हिरण्यनिधिसाम्यतः ||

413) Sathrughna: (शत्रुघ्नः)

bhagavAn prevents all such devotees who meditate upon him from falling into the coop of materialistic pursuits by controlling their senses that act like rAvana with his powerful bows called ‘intellect’. Thus, he is called ‘Sathrughna:’ – the slayer of enemies.

The root ‘han’ (हन्) means to kill, and it gets the ‘tak’ (टक्) adjunct, resulting in the word ‘ghna:’.

The sAthvatha samhithA says the same thing while meditating upon bhagavAn: “He is the one who controls and pacifies the rAkshasa with ten heads (rAvana) namely the ten sense organs with his bows of intellect”

Etymology: He who slays the enemies called ‘senses’ (of those who meditate upon him) is called ‘Sathrughna:’.

शत्रून् इन्द्रियवर्गान् यॊ हन्ति शत्रुघ्न उच्यतॆ |

414) vyAptha: (व्याप्तः)

bhagavAn displays his affection towards the innocent, aged, masters, servants, enemies, friends and everyone else alike. Hence, he is called ‘vyAptha:’ – the loving one.

This is as shown in the SrImath rAmAyana thus:

  • “rAma enquires about the well being of the residents of ayOdhyA, just as he would enquire his own kinsmen”
  • “rAma enquires the brAhmaNas about their children, their duties (agnikAryam, etc), their families, their disciples, et al, just as a loving father would enquire from his son”
  • “rAma is affectionate even about his enemies”, etc.

Etymology: The one who is highly revered by everyone alike (with no difference of high class, low class, et al) due to his unbiased affection towards them is called ‘vyAptha:’.

सर्वपूज्यॊsविशॆषॆण व्यापनाद्व्याप्त उच्यतॆ |

415) vAyu: (वायुः)

Further, bhagavAn is called ‘vAyu:’, since he only goes to every place in order to meet every individual soul.

The root ‘vA’ (वा) gets the ‘uN’ (उण्) adjunct as per grammatical rules, resulting in this divine name.

SrImath rAmAyana hails thus:

  • “That slayer of enemies and the one with extreme effulgence went to Sabari’s ASrama”
  • “…having reached the ASrama of bharadhvAja…”
  • “…having reached guha’s residence…”, et al.

Etymology: bhagavAn is called ‘vAyu:’ since he only goes to every place to meet all of his dear devotees such as bharadvAja, guha, Sabari, et al.

तत्र तत्र स्थितान् सर्वान् भरद्वाजगुहादिकान् |
गच्छति स्वयमॆवैतान् स वायुरिति शब्द्यतॆ ||

416) adhOkshaja: (अधॊक्षजः)

Although bhagavAn is being experienced by every individual soul continuously, yet he is like the ocean of nectar that never diminishes. Hence, he is called ‘adhOkshaja:’.

The same trait is shown in SrImath rAmAyana thus:

  • “I know you to be superior to dhEvas, the slayer of demon named ‘madhu’, and the one whose greatness never diminishes”
  • “rAma, your fame never diminishes”, etc.

Etymology: Although being experienced by everyone continuously, yet bhagavAn’s greatness never diminishes – just like the nectarine ocean, because of which he is called ‘adhOkshaja:’.

सदॊपभुज्यमानॊsपि सर्वैरमृतसिन्धुवत् |
अधॊ न क्षीयतॆ जातु यस्मात् तस्मादधॊक्षजः ||

================================
ऋतुः सुदर्शनः कालः परमॆष्ठी परिग्रहः ।
उग्रः संवत्सरॊ दक्षॊ विश्रामॊ विश्वदक्षिणः ॥ ४५ ॥
===============================

417) ruthu: (ऋतुः)

bhagavAn always moves his devotees with his ever growing delighting auspicious divine qualities. Hence, he is called ‘ruthu:’ – the one who moves.

The root ‘ru’ ऋ (to move) gets the ‘thu’ (तु) adjunct, resulting in this divine name. For the same reason, even the seasons like vasantha, shishira, etc get their name as ‘ruthu’.

SrImath rAmAyana glorifies this attribute of bhagavAn thus:

“The denizens of ayOdhya delighted in the presence of rAma just as much as the people suffering from the scorching heat of summer would cherish the rains”

Etymology: bhagavAn is called ‘Ruthu:’ since he moves his devotees with his ever delightful qualities.

ऋच्छतीति ऋतुः प्रॊक्तः सर्वॊल्लासकरैर्गुणैः |

418) sudharSana: (सुदर्शनः)

Even the ignorant souls who are not aware of the greatness of rAma’s divine qualities are attracted by the sheer beauty of rAma. Thus, bhagavAn is called ‘sudharSana:’ – the beautiful one.

SrImath rAmAyana hails bhagavAn beauty in all possible ways thus:

  • “He is as beautiful as the moon”
  • “He is the only one in this world who always appears very pleasing to the eyes”, etc

Etymology: He whose form is itself auspicious (and attractive) for the ignorant ones is called “sudharSana:”.

मन्दानां च शुभं यस्य दर्शनं स सुदर्शनः |

419) kAla: (कालः)

With such divine beauty and auspicious qualities, since bhagavAn attracts every single soul towards himself, he is called ‘kAla:’.

Etymology: bhagavAn is called ‘kAla:’ since he draws every single soul towards himself by displaying his divine qualities and form.

चराचराणां कलनात् कालः स्वस्मिन् गुणैरसौ |

420) paramEshtI (परमॆष्ठी)

Thus, after having hunted down the demons for the sake of protecting the world, since bhagavAn gets back to his supreme abode, he is called ‘paramEshtI’.

The word ‘parama:’ (परमः) refers to the supreme abode SrI vaikuNtam. The root ‘sthA’ स्था (to stand) is adjoined with ‘parama’, and gets the ‘ini’ (इनि) adjunct, resulting in this divine name. By grammatical rules, the ‘sthA’ (स्था) gets converted to ‘shta’ (ष्ठ).

SrImath rAmAyana says thus: “rAma, along with his divine body and followers, ascended to his supreme effulgence of SrI vaikuNtam”

The same feat is also hailed in mahAbhAratha thus: “Thus, oh king, the scion of the ikshvAku clan SrI rAma ascended to the supreme abode after having slain rAvana and all of his followers” (sabha parva)

Etymology: Since bhagavAn resides in paramapadham (after the end of incarnation as SrI  rAma), he is called ‘paramEshtI’.

परॆ पदॆ स्थितत्वाच्च परमॆष्ठी प्रकीर्तितः |

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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periya thirumadal – 82 – pinnaimaNALanai

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pinnai maNALanaip pEril piRappiliyai                                                      118
thonnIrk kadal kidandha thOLA maNichchudarai
en manaththu mAlai idavendhai Isanai                                                 119

Word by word meaning

pinnai maNALanai – being the consort of nappinnai pirAtti (nILA dhEvi)
pEril piRappu iliyai – dwelling at thiruppErnagar, being ready forever [to protect his followers]
thol nIr kadal kidandha – one who reclined on the ocean during the time of great deluge
thOLA maNi sudarai – being the radiance of gem which has not been pierced
en manaththu mAlai – one who has deep love for me and who never leaves my mind
idavendhai Isanai  – supreme being who has taken residence at thiruvidavendhai 

vyAkyAnam

vallavAzh pinnai maNALanai – one who is standing [taking residence] at thiruvallavAzh, manifesting the beauty after marrying nappinnaip pirAtti.

pEril piRappiliyai – one who is dwelling at thiruppEr nagar, with the desire to take thousands of incarnations, even though he has taken many incarnations earlier for the sake of his followers, considering them as not being  purposeful.

piRappili – this shows that the supreme being considers in his divine mind that in the incarnations that he had undertaken earlier, he has not done anything.

thol nIr kidandha thOLA maNichchudarai – even though he is constantly with nithyasUris in paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam), the supreme being thinks that he is alone and feels sorrowful, as mentioned in the sayin g “sa EkAkI na ramEtha” (that supreme being does not enjoy being alone); thus, he creates chEthanas (those with knowledge) and in order to uplift them, takes the first incarnation in thiruppARkadal (milky ocean), shining effulgently, like the radiance of a gemstone which had not been pierced.

thol nIr – this is the seedling for the crops of vibhava and archAvathAras (incarnations in thiruppARkadal and various divine abodes).

thOLA manichchudarai en manaththu mAlai – this would also mean one who has deep affection for me and took residence in my heart, as a result of which he became splendorous. For sarvESvara (the supreme entity), places such as thiruppARkadal are meant for carrying out certain tasks [for the sake of his followers] and are like bAlAlaya [temporary place where emperumAn is located when the sanctum sanctorum is under maintenance/repair] whereas the hearts of followers are the desired places to attain. thaiththirIya upanishath nArAyaNavalli says “viSvasyAyathanam mahath” (for sarvESwaran, heart is the huge temple); nammAzhwAr says in thiruvAimozhi 3-8-2nenjamE nINagarAga irundha en thanjanE” (Oh my companion, who considers my heart as a huge city!); there are also others who had prayed as in iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi 54iLam kOyil kaividEl” (just because you have taken residence in my heart, please do not give up your residence in places such as thiruppARkadal).

AzhwAr cites an example for the last mentioned . . . .

idavendhai Isanai – one who is shining at thiruvidavendhai since he is with his beloved, bhUmippirAtti (bhUdhEvi). Since he is the consort of bhUmippirAtti, he is dwelling there manifesting that he is the supreme being.

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

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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உபதேச ரத்தின மாலை – பாசுரம் – 26

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வாய்த்த திருமந்திரத்தின் மத்திமமாம் பதம் போல்

சீர்த்த மதுரகவி செய் கலையை ஆர்த்த புகழ்

ஆரியர்கள் தாங்கள் அருளிச்செயல் நடுவே 

சேர்வித்தார் தாற்பரியம் தேர்ந்து 

இருபத்தாறாம் பாசுரம். ஆழ்வார்களின் அருளிச்செயல்களுக்கு அர்த்தங்களை நிர்ணயமாகக் காட்டிக் கொடுத்த ஆசார்யர்கள் இவருடைய திவ்ய ப்ரபந்தத்தின் பெருமையை ஆராய்ந்து அருளிச்செயலின் மத்தியிலே இதைச் சேர்த்தார்கள் என்பதை ஒரு உதாரணத்துடன் விளக்குகிறார்.

சொற்களின் பூர்த்தியும் பொருளின் பூர்த்தியும் நிரம்பப் பெற்றதான பெரிய திருமந்த்ரம் என்று சொல்லப்படும் அஷ்டாக்ஷரத்தின் நடுவிலே காணப்படும் “நம:” பதத்துக்கு எவ்வளவு சிறப்போ, அதைப் போலவே சிறப்புடைத்தான, உயர்ந்தவரான மதுரகவி ஆழ்வாரின் அற்புதப் படைப்பான கண்ணிநுண் சிறுத்தாம்பை பெரு மதிப்பை உடையவர்களான ஆசார்யர்கள் இதன் தாத்பர்யத்தை உணர்ந்து ஆழ்வார்களின் அருளிச்செயல் நடுவே எப்பொழுதும் சேர்த்து அநுஸந்திக்கும்படி அமைத்தார்கள்.

நம:” பதம் பாகவத சேஷத்வத்தை, அதாவது அடியார்களுக்கு அடியாராக இருக்கும் நிலையைக் காட்டும். மதுரகவி ஆழ்வார் தாமே “தேவு மற்றறியேன்” என்று நம்மாழ்வாரையே தெய்வமாகக் கொண்டு இருந்தார். இந்த உயர்ந்த நிஷ்டையையே தன்னுடைய ப்ரபந்தத்தில் அருளிச்செய்தார். இந்தத் தாத்பர்யத்தை உணர்ந்த ஆசார்யர்கள் இதற்கு ஏற்ற கௌரவத்தைச் செய்தனர்.

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periya thirumadal – 81 – pannai maradhagaththai

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ponnai maradhagaththaip putkuzhi em pOrERRai                                           117
mannum arangaththem mAmaNiyai vallavAzh

Word by word meaning

ponnai – shining like gold
maradhagaththai – having a greenish form matching emerald
putkuzhi em pOr ERRai – dwelling in [the divine abode of] thirupputkuzhi, as my lord and as a bull ready to wage a war
arangaththu mannum – residing permanently at thiruvarangam
em mAmaNiyai – one who we can handle, like a blue gem
vallavAzh – one who has taken residence at thiruvallavAzh

vyAkyAnam

veLLaRaiyuL kallaRai mEl ponnai – one who is dwelling inside the sanctum sanctorum, made of stones, at thiruveLLaRai, apt to be desired.

kallaRai – azhagiya maNavALap perumAL nAyanAr, one of the commentators for this  prabandham, calls it as a room made of carbuncles.

ponnai – Similar to those who string an ornament of gems using gold and precious stones, AzhwAr  is stringing the divine abodes of emperumAn.

maradhagaththai – one who has a divine form similar to a huge mountain of greenish gem which will be soothing for those who see.

putkuzhi em pOrERRai – one who is dwelling in thirupputkuzhi, a divine abode near kAnchIpuram, like a bull ready to wage a war such that enemies would not even venture anywhere near.

em pOrERRai – this would also mean that he is one who defeated him (AzhwAr).

mannum arangaththu – thiruvarangam, the divine abode, where followers such as thoNdaradippodi AzhwAr would forget all the other divine abodes and dwell only here. Is this divine abode not spoken of as in thiruchchandha viruththam 52 “aRRapaRRar suRRi vAzhum andhaNIr arangam” () and as in nAchchiyAr thirumozhi 11-5 “nallArgaL vAzhum naLiraranga nAgaNaiyAn” (periya perumAL who is having the divine mattress of AdhiSEshan at thiruvarangam where great people are living)?

mannum arangaththu – Alternatively, this is the divine abode he chose to recline permanently, foregoing SrIvaikuNtam, thiruppARkadal and other divine abodes.

em mA maNiyai – Since this gem (emperumAn) is most invaluable and since it can be rolled into the corner of one’s dress, being that simple, he is much similar to a great bluish gem in terms of its colour and radiance.

arangaththu emmAmaNiyai – Even if he is the lord of the entire world, that he is my lord too, would equal his other lordship.

mA maNiyai – a huge gemstone; it could also be considered that he is a blackish gem. thoNdaradippodi AzhwAr called him in thirumalai 21 as “kOyil maNiyanAr” (one who is like a bluish gem in the temple); kulasEkarapperumAL referred to him in perumAL thirumozhi 1-1 as “theNNIrpponni thiraikkaiyAl adi varudap paLLikoLLum karumaNi” (the bluish gemstone whose divine feet are gently massaged by the waves in the river kAviri, whose water is very clear); this AzhwAr himself called him in periya thirumozhi 11-8-8 as “aNiyAr pozhil sUzh aranga nagarappA – maNiyE maNimANikkamE” (Oh my father who is dwelling in thiruvarangam which is surrounded by beautiful orchards!  Oh one who has the greatness of a gem such as ruby!).

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

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 41 (Names 401 to 410)

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401) anaya: (अनयः)

bhagavAn – who subordinates himself to his devotees (as seen in the divine name ‘nEya:’) – does not yield to the words of his oppressors.  Thus, he is called ‘anaya:’ – the one who cannot be ruled.

This is as experienced by rAvaNa in the battle field. In the yudhdha kANda of SrImath rAmAyaNam, rAvaNa exclaims thus: “Alas! I could lift the himalayas by hand. I could even lift the mighty mandhara mountain by hand! Why just that, I could even lift the three worlds with all dhEvas populating it. But now I am unable to lift this younger brother of bharatha (referring to lakshmaNa)!”

Alternately, the word ‘aya:’ (अयः) refers to the deeds or entities that confer auspiciousness. Thus, the word ‘anaya:’ also means that bhagavAn is the only one who can confer auspiciousness in this world. There is no other entity for it.

This is as confirmed by the sages in SrImath rAmAyanam thus: “We are all ruled by this SrI rAma, and thus we have attained bountiful fruits for all our auspicious desires”

Etymology: The one who cannot be lead by his oppressors is called ‘anaya:’. Alternately, the only one who is capable of conferring auspiciousness (with no alternate) is called ‘anaya:’.

असुहृद्भिर्नयॊ यस्य नास्तीत्यनय उच्यतॆ |
अथवा जगतामस्मादयॊ नान्यस्ततॊsनयः ||

402) vIra: (वीरः) (also repeated in 664)

bhagavAn causes commotion among the rAkshasas and chases them away by displaying his valor. Hence, he is called ‘vIra:’ – the valorous one.

The root ‘ajh’ (अज्) refers to movement, as well as chasing. By grammatical rules, it is replaced by the word ‘vI’ (वी), and also gets the ‘rak’ (रक्) adjunct, resulting in this divine name.

This is as said in the scriptures thus:

  • “The lord of rAkshasas – rAvaNa – shuddered at the thought of rAghava’s arrows that were shot at him, which appeared fierce like the brahma-dhaNda and shone like lightening”
  • “Just as an elephant is defeated by a lion, just as a snake is defeated by an eagle, so also the lord of lanka was defeated by the great rAma”
  • mArIcha also says thus: “I see rAma adorned in bark and deer skin in every tree (due to fear), holding his mighty bow, just like the dreaded yama holding his rope”, etc.

Etymology: bhagavAn is called ‘vIra:’ since he instills fear among rAkshasas (and causes them to shiver) due to his boundless valor.

वीरः कम्पनहॆतुत्वात् रक्षसामतिभीमतः |

403) SakthimathAm SrEshta: (शक्तिमतां श्रॆष्ठः)

bhagavAn is superior to dhEvas, who are all powerful. Hence, he is called ‘SakthimathAm SrEshta:’ – the best among the powerful ones.

paraSurAma hails SrI rAma thus: “I know you as the eternal godhead, who slew the demon named madhu. I know you as the lord of all dhEvas”

Even the four faced brahmA exclaims thus in the yudhdha kANda: “After all, you are superior to all dhEvas; yet how do you claim not to know yourself?”

hanuman, while glorifying his lord in front of rAvaNa, hails thus: “Oh lord of rAkshasas! Even if all demigods, demons, gandharvas, vidhyAdharas, nAgas, and yakshas come together to fight against rAma – who is the lord of three worlds – in the battle field, they would not even be able to stand in front of him”

The same sundara kANda also hails bhagavAn thus: “That rAma is capable of destroying all the worlds with his fiery arrows. Not just that, he is even capable of recreating all the worlds as before”

Etymology: The one who is known to be superior to dhEvas – who are powerful – is called ‘SakthimathAm SrEshta:’.

सुरादीनां शक्तिमतां यः प्रशस्यतमः स्मृतः |
तस्माच्छक्तिमतां श्रॆष्ठॊ दशार्णः श्रॆष्ठदॊ मनुः ||

404) dharma: (धर्मः)

bhagavAn himself is the means for attaining both materialistic as well as spiritual desires. Hence, he is himself called ‘dharma:’.

The root ‘dhru’ धृ (to bear) gets the ‘man’ (मन्) adjunct as per grammatical rule, resulting in this divine name. The same rule applies to other divine names such as ‘sOma:’ सॊमः (507), et al.

The four faced brahmA – the best among the knowledgeable men – also says the same thing in yudhdha kANda of Srimath rAmAyana thus: “You are the best ‘dharma’ in all the worlds”.

lakshmaNa, while shooting a last arrow at indhrajith, swears thus: “If it is true that rAma is verily the embodiment of dharma, a very honest person, and unparalleled in valor, then – oh arrow! kill that son of rAvana”

Even in SrI mahAbhAratha, it is said thus:

“The scholars who know the vEdhas and the pure devotees who are involved in spiritual pursuits utter in unison that verily the great soul krishNa is himself the embodiment of eternal dharma”

The same scripture also says thus in other places:

  • “That dhvArakA (dhvAravathi) is indeed the most sacred place, since madhusUdhana resides there”
  • “He is verily the supreme soul. He is verily the eternal godhead. He is verily the embodiment of eternal dharma”, etc.

Etymology: bhagavAn himself bestows the fruits for all material as well as spiritual pursuits and thus bears all the individual souls. Hence, he is called ‘dharma:’.

निःश्रॆयसाभ्युदयतॊ धर्मः सर्वस्य धारणात् |

405) dharmavidhuththama: (धर्मविदुत्तमः)

rAma is the best among those who know dharma (rishis), and hence superior to them. Thus, he is called ‘dharmavidhuththama:’. He is indeed the refuge to learn about dharma even for the sages of the rank of vaSishta, vAmadhEva, mArkaNdeya, et al, although he humbly claims to be their disciple.

The scriptures hail this quality of bhagavAn thus:

  • “Just as all rivers flow towards the seas, so also all the people always ran towards rAma out of their infinite love towards him”
  • “rAma clearly knows the dharmas and he is very honest”
  • “He is well adored by the scholars of vEdhas”
  • “He knows the vEdhas with their true purport, along with all their limbs (viz. SikshA vyAkaraNa, chandhas, niruktha, jyOthisha and kalpa)”
  • “Oh rAma, you are completely incomprehensible to our senses, and invincible to your opponents. You are the one who has completely restrained the senses, and the best among the practitioners of dharma. Your glories know no bounds, and you are highly intelligent. You are very forgiving and patient like the earth, and you are the supreme one who possesses beautiful eyes like the rising sun”, etc.

Etymology: The one who is sought as refuge by sages of the rank of vaSishta, et al. in order to know about dharma is called ‘dharmavidhuththama:’.

वसिष्ठाद्युपजीव्यॊ यॊ धर्मॆ धर्मविदुत्तमः |

===============================
वैकुण्ठः पुरुषः प्राणः प्राणदः प्रणमः पृथुः ।
हिरण्यगर्भः शत्रुघ्नॊ व्याप्तॊ वायुरधॊक्षजः ॥ ४४ ॥
===============================

406) vaikuNta: (वैकुण्ठः)

bhagavAn is called ‘vaikuNta:’ since he is ever united with every soul. The word ‘kuti’ (कुठि) means ‘obstruction’. The ‘obstruction’ in this context refers to the obstacles that stop everyone from uniting with SrI rAma. The souls who are ridden of such obstructions and united with bhagavAn are called ‘vikunta:’ (विकुण्ठाः). Since bhagavAn is the one who absolves such obstacles to those souls, he is called ‘vaikuNta:’.

In the mahAbhAratha, bhagavAn declares thus: “I am called ‘vaikuNta’ since I am the one who mixes earth with water, sky with air, air with fire, etc.”

The same characteristic is seen in his incarnation as SrI rAma as well. This is shown thus in SrImath rAmAyana:

  • “The citizens of ayOdhyA refrained from hurting one another, looking at SrI rAma”. This means they never enjoyed in the company of one another in the absence of SrI rAma. Instead, all their enjoyment was purely due to company of SrI rAma. This is explicitly stated in the following verses of SrImath rAmAyaNa:
  • “You must either follow rAma to the forest, or just get away to some unknown place; but you must never come back without rAma” (wives to their husbands when rAma leaves to the forest).
  • “The elephants forsook their food. The cows didn’t feed their calves. The denizens of ayOdhyA neither rejoiced upon getting back their lost wealth, nor rejoiced upon gaining hoards of wealth. The mothers never rejoiced even when they delivered their first baby. The wives with newborns, the husbands, the brothers – everyone forsook everyone and everything for the sake of rAma, and started following him to the forest”

Etymology: The meaning of root ‘kuti’ is said to be ‘obstacles to union’. Those who are ridden off such obstacles are called ‘vikuNta’s. Since bhagavAn is the one who rid such obstacles from them, he is called ‘vaikuNta:’.

संश्लॆषप्रतिघातश्च कुठिधात्वर्थ उच्यतॆ |
विगतः स च ऎषां तॆ विकुण्ठाः स्युरुदीरितः |
तॆषामॆवैष इति हि वैकुण्ठः परिकीर्तितः ||

407) purusha: (पुरुषः) (also repeated in 14)

The vEdhas declare “He who is eternal burns all our sins, and hence called ‘purusha:'”. bhagavAn purifies his devotees by burning out their sins. Hence, he is called ‘purusha:’ – the extremely pure one.

In SrImath rAmAyana, bhagavAn is hailed thus: “You are the most pure soul in all worlds, oh scion of raghu clan”

Even Sabari says thus: “Oh rAma, I am fully purified with your gentle glance”

Alternately, the root ‘pru’ पृ (to protect or to complete) acts as the source for this divine name. The word ‘pura:’ पुरः (ahead) gets the ‘kushan’ (कुषन्) adjunct, resulting in this divine name.

Thus, it is befitting to address rAma as ‘purusha’ in all senses. The SrImath rAmAyana hails bhagavAn thus:

“These six qualities (gynAna, bala, etc) adore SrI rAma, who is the best of all”

“The wielder of the ‘SArnga’ bow, the controller of all senses, and the one who is known as ‘purusha’ is indeed the best of all souls”, et al.

Etymology: As shown in the vEdhic statement ‘sa yathpUrvaM…’, it is evident that bhagavAn is called by the divine name ‘purusha’ due to his nature of purifying souls (by burning out their loads of sins). Alternately, the root word ‘pru’ is taken in the context of ‘protection’ and thus gets the ‘kushan’ adjunct. This means bhagavAn moves ahead of all souls and protects them. Thus, he is called ‘purusha:’ by the learned men.

स यत्पूर्वमिति श्रुत्या पुरुषः पावनत्वतः |
पृधातॊः पालनार्थाद्धि कुषन् प्रत्यययॊगतः |
सर्वपालकता लब्ध्या पुरुषः प्रॊच्यतॆ बुधैः ||

408) prANa: (प्राणः) (also repeated in 67, 322)

bhagavAn is the very life force in all entities. Hence he is called ‘prANa:’.

(Note: In the 67th divine name, bhagavAn was depicted as the very life force of all the nithyasUris in SrI vaikuNtam, and hence he was called ‘prANa:’. In the 322nd divine name, he was shown to be the very life force of all entities during the churning of milky ocean in his kUrma avathAram. Hence he was called ‘prANa:’. Here, rAma is said to be the very life force of his parents, brothers, all the denizens of ayOdhyA, as also to all the sages in the forests, the monkey troupes, the noble rAkshasas like vibhIshaNa et al. Not just that, he is indeed the life force of every single entity in this creation even today, and also at all times to come. Hence, he is called as ‘prANa:’ in this divine name.)

Etymology: bhagavAn is called ‘prANa:’ since he breathes life into every entity.

प्राणः सर्वप्राणनाद्धि |

409) prANadha: (प्राणदः) (also repeated in 66, 323, 956)

bhagavAn bestows upon every entity the very life force called ‘prANa’. Thus, he is called ‘prANadha:’.

That is why, the plight of entities in ayOdhyA are described thus in his absence:

“All trees with buds, flowers and shoots dried up completely. All the gardens and plantations in ayOdhyA were only filled with dried up leaves and branches that had fallen down”, etc.

(Note: In the 66th divine name, bhagavAn was called prANadha: since he bestows the life force upon the nithyasUris in SrI vaikuNtam for them to experience him. In the 323rd divine name, he is called prANadha: since he bestowed upon dhEvas the life force in order to support them during the churning of milky ocean. Here, bhagavAn rAma is called prANadha: since he is verily the bestower of life force upon every entity in ayOdhyA)

Etymology: Since bhagavAn bestows the very life force upon every entity, he is called ‘prANadha:’.

तद्दानात् प्राणदः स्मृतः |

410) praNama: (प्रणमः) (also repeated in 957)

As shown in the vEdhas and also by etymology, bhagavAn is called ‘praNama:’ since he makes all the sentient and insentient entities bow down to him for his qualities. In the Srimath rAmAyana, it is shown thus: “He churned the hearts of all subjects by displaying his divine qualities”.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn makes all entities bow down by displaying his divine qualities, he is called ‘praNama:’.

(NOTE: Some texts show this divine name to be ‘praNava:’. However, the etymology has it as ‘praNama:’ only)

गुणैश्चराचराणां हि नामनात् प्रणमः स्मृतः |

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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