SrI: SrImathE SatakOpAya nama: SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama: SrImath varavaramunayE nama:
Having mercifully decided in his divine mind to write the vyAkhyAnam (commentary) for thiruviruththam, periyavAchchAn piLLai starts to describe the greatness of nammAzhwAr who has composed this prabandham.
Some people call AzhwAr [whenever the term AzhwAr alone is mentioned, it usually refers to nammAzhwAr], as mukthar (one who had been liberated from samsAram (materialistic realm) and had attained SrIvaikuNtam). One follower of aruLALapperumAL emperumAnAr [a disciple of bhagavadh SrI rAmAnujar] would say that AzhwAr is a mukthaprAyar (one who is on par with mukthAthmAs and possibly living in SwEthadhwIpam (the land mass in which we live is called as jambudhwIpam; SwEthadhwIpam is another land mass, but in a different galaxy)). Some other people will say that emperumAn ordained someone there (in SrIvaikuNtam) to be born on earth. vangipuraththu nambi (a disciple of bhagavath SrI rAmAnujar) had said that emperumAn himself took the incarnation of nammAzhwAr. All these have been said in view of AzhwAr’s greatness.
If AzhwAr had been one among the mukthars who had been sent by emperumAn, he would have waited thinking “We (it was normal during those times to address the self in plural instead of in singular number) have been ordained to come to this earth; once our goal has been reached, we will return to SrIvaikuNtam. Hence why should we make a fuss for this?” However, since AzhwAr kept calling out to emperumAn, just as he had mercifully said (a) in thiruviruththam pAsuram 1 “inninRa nIrmai ini yAm uRamai” (We do not want to put up with this nature of being born repeatedly in this samsAram) (b) thiruvAimozhi 6-9-9 “pala nI kAttip paduppAyO” (will you display many types of worldly pursuits to me so that I get attached to them, and perish in the bargain?) (c) thiruvAimozhi 2-6-8 “mARi mARip pala piRappum piRandhu” (being born repeatedly in various births) (d) thiruvAimozhi 7-1-10 “mun paravai kadaindhu amudham koNda mUrththiyO” (Are you the one who in an earlier time churned the ocean and gave nectar to the celestial entities and helped them?) it is clear that he was one among the samsAris, having been born here repeatedly and suffered. In a country without a king, a person on whom the elephant places the garland becomes the new king. In the same way, emperumAn searched and located a samsAri on whom he showered his grace.
A question arises here. Could a person, who had been suffering for a long time in samsAram, change like this (gaining knowledge about matters related to emperumAn and becoming deeply devoted to him)? SrI vishNu purANam 5-6-28 says “brindhAvanam bhagavathA krushNEnAklishta karmaNA | SubhEna manasA dhyAtham gavAm vrudhdhim apIpsadha ||” (brindhAvan, which was like a forest of thorns got a facelift due to the incarnation of krishNa who is capable of carrying out great deeds; cows became healthy due to his divine mind). SrI vishNu purANam 5-6-37 says “uthpanna navachashbhAtyam” (Fresh grass sprouted). Thus a forest of thorns became converted into a verdant land mass due to emperumAn. In the same way, AzhwAr too got changed due to emperumAn’s grace.
In the next article, we will take up the first pAsuram.
adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan
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