Daily Archives: February 18, 2021

thiruviruththam – 54 – vIsum siRagAl

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avathArikai (Introduction)

In the previous pAsuram, a lady who was going that side said “fan her with any material [related to emperumAn] even if it is the soil [from which his divine thuLasi had sprouted]” However, there was no need to do anything like that. It appeared that from her words and activities, one would know that she is conscious. When a person is afflicted with deep hunger, he would be able to tolerate it if he were asleep. However, it is not possible to bear that hunger if he were awake. In the same way, since she was unconscious in the previous pAsuram, it appeared to be normal. She had forgotten him for sometime. Since she is awake now, she can sustain herself only if someone comes from there [from the nAyakan] or someone goes from her side as a messenger to him and to await his arrival. It did not appear that anyone would come from there. From her side, there was none who could walk to his place. She is sending beetles which are near her, to go as her messenger to him.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

vIsum siRagAl paRaththIr viNNAdu nungatkeLidhu
pEsumbadiyanna pEsiyum pOvadhu ney thodu uNdu
Esumbadiyanna seyyum emmIsar viNNOr piRAnAr
mAsinmalaradikkIzh emmaichchErvikkum vaNdugaLE

Word-by-Word Meanings

viNNOr – for nithyasUris
pirAnAr – being their lord
ney – ghee
thodu – stealing
uNdu – eating it
Esumbadi – such that (enemies) ridicule
anna – activities like that
seyyum – one who carries out
em Isar – being  our swAmy, his
mAsu il – without any fault
malar – like a soft flower
adikkIzh – under [his] divine feet
emmai – us
sErvikkum – having the ability to take us [there]
vaNdugaLE – Oh beetles!
vIsum –  spread out
siRagAl – with wings
paRaththIr – you are flying
nungatku – for you
viNNAdu – paramapadham which is in paramAkASam
eLidhu – will be easy (and natural)
pEsumbadi – whatever is to be spoken (there)
anna – those words
pEsiyum pOvadhu – should speak (in our presence)

Simple Translation

Oh beetles! You have the capability to take us under the faultless, flower-like soft divine feet of sarvESvaran who was spoken of derisively after he stole and ate butter from the houses of those who were in thiruvAyppAdi (SrI gOkulam) and who is the lord of nithyasUris. You are flying with widespread wings. It will be easy for you to reach paramapadham where he dwells. Please tell us the words which you are going to tell there.

vyAkyAnam

vIsum siRagAl – The term vIsugai refers to swaying, speed and being widespread.

siRagAl paRaththIr – she says that she has to walk since she does not have wings. That is why she swooned, thinking of him, as in thiruvAimozhi 7-2-4 “itta kAl itta kaiyaLAy” (legs and hands are immovable)

viNNAdu nungatku eLidhu – The moment they take to the skies she thinks that they can fly all the way to paramapadham. She is firm that paramapdham is above only, just as it has been mentioned in nAchchiyAr thirumozhi 10-2 “mElulagangaLin mIdhu pOy” (going beyond the worlds above).

nungatku eLidhu – paramapadham is easy for you to reach. It is difficult only for us! She feels that all those who could fly would be able to reach paramapadham.

pEsumbadi anna pEsiyum pOvadhu – please tell us what you are going to tell him and others who are there.

ney thodu . . . – despite being the lord of the inexhaustible nithyasUris, he incarnated on this earth. He felt that he could not sustain himself without materials such as milk, curd, butter etc which have had the touch of herd-girls who were very affectionate towards him. He had to steal them since they were not easily accessible to him and ate them; he was derided by people like SiSupAlan et al who were inimical to him, because of such acts.

emmIsar – he has the eminence of being the controller of nithyasUris; at the same time, he has the simplicity to consider that he could not sustain himself without materials connected with his followers; with these qualities, he made me to exist exclusively for him.

mAsin malaradi – his divine, soft feet which are without any fault. It is not that he goes to someone only after that person sends him a messenger since he had not gone to that person, saying “Oh, I forgot completely”. Even if someone were to send him a message, he would put the words in the messenger’s mouth.

The vyAkyAthA explains the SlOkam 40-3 in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam “yathA tham purusha vyAgram gAthrai: SOka abhikarSithai: | samspriSEyam sakAmA aham thathA kuru dhayAm mayi ||” (due to grief, my form has become very enervated. I wish to embrace that tiger among men, SrI rAma. Show mercy on me and fulfil my desire) [this SlOkam tells how sIthAppirAtti informs hanuman about her condition and her desire, so that he could take that message to SrI rAma]

yathA tham purusha vyAgram – I don’t have to think that time has passed and that I have to tell him something to make him do it. He is like a male tiger who is capable of carrying out whatever he thinks of, the moment he thinks about it.

gAthrai: – You could see that my physical form is becoming emaciated. It is not that I wish to get rid of this form, attain a new form and then go to him. I want to embrace him with this emaciated form itself.

sa kAmAham – I will not remain like him uttering words such as “If you come to the forest, I will not go; if you are lost, I will not search for you”

thathA kuru dhayAm mayi – even when there is no reduction in his power, I have not seen it coming up to me. With your mercy, you should make it happen for me

emmaich chErvikkum vaNdugaLE – Aren’t you the beetles who feel that you would realise your svarUpam (true nature) only if you unite me with him?

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning): AzhwAr is conveying his distress in separation to sarvESvaran’s divine heart through the mode of sending messengers.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 53 – vArAyina mulaiyAL

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avathArikai (Introduction)

Though the friend had said that it is not the rainy season, in the previous pAsuram, it was raining steadily like a true rainy season. Since the nAyakan who had promised to return before the rains had not returned, the nAyaki fell down unconsciously. Her relatives who had seen this were bewildered, not knowing the reason for her behaviour. They thought that this must be the act of a lowly deity and started engaging in activities to remedy the situation. An old, knowledgeable woman, who was passing that way and who knew her real condition, told them “The remedies which you are trying to carry out will not revive her. Carry out the remedy which I am going to tell you”

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

vArAyina mulaiyALivaL vAnOr thalaimaganAm
sIrAyina dheyva nal nOy idhu dheyvaththaNNandhuzhAyth
thArAyinum thazhaiyAyinum thaNkombadhAyinum kIzh
vErAyinum ninRa maNNAyinum koNdu vIsuminE

Word-by-Word Meanings

ivaL – this nAyaki
vAr Ayina – apt bodice with which to tie
mulayAL – having bosom
idhu – this disease
vAnOr – for nithyasUris
thalaimaganAm – being the lord
sIr Ayina – having auspicious qualities
dheyvam – caused due to the deity
nal – distinguished
nOy – resulted as disease
(Hence)
dheyvam – being related to that deity, SrIman nArAyaNan
thaN – being cool
am – being beautiful
thuzhAy – divine thuLasi’s
thAr Ayinum – whether it is a bunch of flowers
thazhaiyAyinum – whether it is the petals
thaN – cool
kombadhAyinum – whether it is the stem
kIzh – seen below it
vEr Ayinum – whether it is the root
ninRa –  from which that divine thuLasi plant sprouted
maNNAyium – whether it is the soil
koNdu – bringing that
vIsumin – blow it such that the wind from that [object] falls on her

Simple Translation

The nAyaki’s bosoms are apt to be tied with a bodice. The disease that she has is a distinguished one, caused by SrIman nArAyaNan, the lord of nithyasUris and the one who has auspicious qualities. Obtain the cool, beautiful flower of thuLasi plant or its petals or its stem or its root or the soil from which the plant sprouted and blow it on her such that the wind from that falls on her.

vyAkyAnam

vArAyina mulayAL ivaL – she is not in a position to accept the harsh remedies which you are carrying out towards a lowly deity. Isn’t her position such that without wasting time, you have to carry out a remedy immediately?

vArAyina mulayAL ivaL – bosom tied by a bodice; bosom sustained by a bodice. Her bosom could be sustained either by a bodice or by the nAyakan; it cannot be sustained by her. The vyAkyAthA explains a few verses from thirumangai AzhWar’s periya thirumadal “ennivai thAn vALA enakkE poRaiyAgi” (what is the use of these bosoms? They have become an unwanted load for me) starting with the verse

kal navilum kAttagaththu – in the forest which is full of stones

Or vallik kadi malarin – in a fragrant flower on a creeper

nal naRu vAsam – with great fragrance

maRRArAnum eydhAmE – without anyone enjoying that fragrance

mannum vaRu nilaththu vALAnguguththadhu pOl – withering on the ground from which it blossomed, without being of use to anyone; similar to that

ennudaiya peNmaiyum ennalanum enmulaiyum – my femininity, my qualities and my bosoms are [wasted] like those creeper, flowers and fragrance respectively.

mannu malar mangai maindhan – sarvESvaran who has been attained by periya pirAtti, who resides on a flower

kaNapuraththup ponmalai pOl ninRavan than – sarvESvaran should come to thirukkaNNapuram, instead of being in SrIvaikuNtam, along with periya pirAtti

ponnagalam thOyAvEl – if I am not embraced by his valorous chest and if my distress is not removed

ennivaidhAn vALA – should there not be a purpose for their [bosoms’] creation?

enakkE poRaiyAgi – when two people are required to sustain them, what is the purpose in my sustaining them alone? They become unbearable for me. Had they been on my back, I would not have to see them losing their beauty.

mUvAmaik kAppadhOr marundhu aRivIr illaiyE – there is none who can give a remedy to prevent them from aging and losing their beauty.

parASara bhattar, on hearing this, said “He is asking whether there is no AndharALikar in this land” (AndharALikar is one who is an intermediary, helping the nAyakan and the nAyaki in sorting out their love-quarrel. nanjIyar would say that piLLai thirunaRaiyUr araiyar and others who were listening to this explanation by bhattar would praise bhattar’s sharpness for four to five nAzhigais (about two hours), without speaking about any other subject. piLLai thirunaRaiyUr araiyar thought that when he is much older than bhattar and has more knowledge too, others may wonder whether it is apt to praise parASara bhattar like this. Hence he said “Oh child, earlier too AchAryars (teachers) have praised their Sishyars (disciples). In the thirunedundhANdagam pAsuram 14 vaLarththadhanAl payan peRREn for which you gave certain explanations, the nAyaki had nurtured a parrot, taught it the divine names  of emperumAn; when the parrot recited those divine names, did she not fall at its feet?” bhattar told him “Oh swAmy! You could praise me by keeping me in whatever position that you desire; but please do not deny us the opportunity of having you in our midst and enjoying your presence”.

The vyAkyAthA narrates another incident to show how sarvESvaran becomes elated when someone who is totally devoted to him is praised. Once emperumAnAr (rAmAnujar) was sitting near a punnai tree close to chandhira pushkaraNi inside SrIrangam temple. thirvarangan [SrI ranganAthan] had mercifully reached that place as a part of temple festivity. A few people who came there fell at the divine feet of emperumAnAr and worshipped him. An officer of the kingdom, udaiyAr subrahmaNya  bhattar, saw this incident. Given below is the conversation between this officer and emperumAnAr:

He asked emperumAnAr “I want to ask you a question. Can I?”

“What is it?”

“In the presence of SrI ranganAthar, a few persons fell at your feet. They were ignorant. But I did not hear you telling them not to do that. Why is it?”

“Others may ask this question. But your asking this question is not apt”

“What is the difference between others and me?”

“Are you not one who is carrying out service to the King? When someone comes to the court of the King to ask for some help, you would have seen him taking the sandals of the King and keeping them on his head. Would the sandals tell that man ‘Do not keep us on your head’? Is that man truly celebrating the sandals? No. Even if he praises the sandals, are they capable of helping that man? However, doesn’t the King, who is seeing this, feel happy and help the man?” [In the same way, SrI ranganAthan feels happy and helps the people who had fallen at emperumAnAr’s feet].

vArAyina mulayAL ivaL – her bosoms are such that the bodice, through its connection with them, realises its true nature. Even the nAyakan realises his nature through embracing them. The nAyaki too cannot sustain herself without him, just as it has been mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 6-10-10 “agalagillEn iRaiyum” (I cannot leave even for a moment) and in Sri rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 53-31 “na cha sIthA thvayA hinA” ((lakshmaNa tells SrI rAma) sithAppirAtti will not survive without you).

It is due to the connection between the cause of her disease [sarvESvaran] and her disease that AzhwAr says vAnOr thalaimaganAm sIrAyina.

sIr Ayina – widespread disease. It is such a rare disease that no one could say that (s)he will be able to cure her from the disease.

dheyva nOy – it is a disease which has not been caused by any entity in this world.

nal nOy – a disease which one has to accept by even making lot of efforts. Alternatively, a disease caused by the supreme entity who is the lord of nithyasUris, due to his greatness and auspicious qualities.

dheyvaththaNNandhuzhAy . . . – make sure that you find a remedy such that it is aligned with your nature as well as the nature of the disease which is afflicting her. Just as it is said “dhEvathAnthara katAksha kauleenA:” (grace from other dhEvathAs (deities) will create major fault for the clan), do not approach other deities.

dheyvam . . . – try to save her by bringing a material which, through its contact with the supreme entity, has his true nature, such as the leaves of thuLasi, or its stem or its root or the soil from which the thuLasi plant sprouted. With other medicines (obtained through the grace of other deities), only harm will result while medicines which are connected with sarvESvaran, even if they are far removed from sarvESvaran, will be the apt remedy. Just as it has been mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 3-7-9 “endhai pirAn thanakku adiyAr adiyAr tham adiyAr adiyAr….” it is enough if someone has direct contact with sarvESvaran or contact through several of his followers in a lineage. That alone will do.

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning): This pAsuram brings out AzhwAr’s belief that contact with other deities will be the cause of destruction of one’s existence and contact with any material which has even a remote connection with sarvESvaran will be the cause for one’s existence

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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periya thirumozhi – 1.3 – muRRa mUththu

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periya thirumozhi >> First Centum

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thirumangai AzhwAr instructed his divine heart saying “Approach thiruppiridhi”; it did not have the same urge as AzhwAr [fearing the distance and the difficult terrain]; AzhwAr then said “Oh fool! Can’t you see the sorrow in this samsAram? Quickly try to reach badharikASramam since it is a little bit closer”; previously AzhwAr spoke about thirumanthram; subsequently he spoke about the meaning of the manthram; now he is saying “Let us reach the abode where the manthra dhrashtA (the one who sees the manthram) is residing”. For those who recite thirumanthram, just as the principle which is revealed in the manthram, rishi (sage who reveals the manthram), chandhas (meter) and dhEvathA (the deity of the manthram), bIja (seed letters), Sakthi (strength) etc, SOshaNa (how it nurtures), dhAhanam (how it destroys) etc – also need to be meditated upon. Why all of those are required? As said in thiruppallANdu 12 “namO nArAyaNAya enRu – paramAthmanaich chUzhndhirundhEththuvar” (reciting ashtAksharam, nithyasUris will surround and glorify bhagavAn), since nithyasUris are the ones who meditate upon this manthram, their pastime is this only; such manthram is being attempted to be meditated upon by jIvAthmA who is bound by matter which has three qualities (sathvam, rajas and thamas); hence, he has to consider himself to be having a form similar to them, and hence SOshaNa and dhAhana are required. Now, the rishi, chandhas and dhEvathA are meditated upon due to overwhelming attachment towards the manthram; bIja and Sakthi are meditated upon for his faith in the manthram to develop, as it is the manthram which grants mOksham.

Previously, AzhwAr said “piridhi senRadai nenjE” (Go and reach thiruppiridhi); his heart thought “let me do it later”; AzhwAr said “Oh fool! For someone who is suffering in samsAra, can he say ‘I will do it later’? Only for those who have divine body, such attitude of ‘let me do it later’ can be present”; AzhwAr then instructed “You cannot remain lethargic that it can be done later” and highlighted the impermanent nature of prakruthi (matter), lowliness of worldly pleasures, the greatness of bhagavAn who is to be pursued, and mercifully tells his divine heart “Since this is the situation, even if you were to break your hand or feet while going to badharikASramam, considering that it is a little bit closer than thiruppiridhi, try to reach it”.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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