Daily Archives: February 20, 2021

thiruviruththam – 56 – viyalidam uNda

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avathArikai (Introduction)

The nAyakan, after being united with the nAyaki for some time, separated from her. The nAyaki’s friend realised that there was a delay in his returning and that the nAyaki was in distress because of that. The friend thought “Her sadness due to the separation is so harsh; there is no sign of his returning; she will decide that there is no reason for her to be alive anymore. Thus, will we lose her?” The nAyaki realised her friend’s predicament. At that time, by chance, the nAyaki felt that there was a connection with a material which had a connection with him. She tells her friend “Without your knowledge, a connection happened just now, with him. Hence, you do not have to feat about my position”. She narrates the connection that she got, to her friend.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

viyalidam uNda pirAnAr viduththa thiruvaruLAl
uyalidam peRRu uyndham anjalam thOzhi Or thaN thenRal vandhu
ayalidai yArum aRindhilar am pUndhuzhAyin in thEn
puyaludai nIrmaiyinAl thadaviRRu en pulan kalanE

Word-by-Word Meanings

am – beautiful
thOzhi – Oh friend!
viyal – amazing
idam – earth
uNda – one who ate
pirAnAr – sarvESvaran, the benefactor
viduththa – gave
thiru – praiseworthy
aruLAl – due to mercy
uyal – for being uplifted
idam peRRu – getting an opportunity
uyndham – we got our lives back
anjal – do not fear
Or – being unique
thaN – cool
thenRal – southern wind
vandhu – coming and blowing gently
am – beautiful
pU – having flowers
thuzhAyin – available in divine thuLasi
in – enjoyable
thEn – honey
puyaludai – cloud’s
nIrmaiyinAl – due to its nature
en – my
pulan – senses
kalan – ornaments
thadaviRRu – touched
ayalidai yArum – none in the vicinity
aRindhilar – knew (it)

Simple Translation

(The nAyaki tells her friend)

Oh beautiful friend! Due to a distinguished merciful act of sarvESvaran who is the benefactor of this amazing earth, I got an opportunity to uplift myself and live. Do not fear. The cool, southerly breeze, carrying honey from the flowers of divine thuLasi, and with the nature of clouds, came here and blew gently on my senses and my ornaments. None here knew it.

vyAkyAnam

The friend told nAyaki “If we have to get his mercy just as bhUmi (earth) had got, we should have something with us [which he likes]. But we do not know as to what it is” …

viyal idam uNda – whatever the earth had during deluge, we have with us now, says the nAyaki. It is enough if he thinks that we are in danger. This is the only requirement which he expects from us. During the time of deluge, he had kept earth inside his stomach and protected it. Did earth have any other recompense with her to receive his help? Whatever distressed condition that the earth was in then, is seen in the nAyaki too now.

pirAnAr – he has only the quality of bestowing benefit [to others]. All that is required of the recipient to receive his mercy is to be an apt entity for that. He does not offer a help, expecting anything in return.

The vyAkyAthA narrates an incident from the life of emperumAnAr (bhagavath rAmAnujar). Some SrIvaishNavas came to offer their obeisance to emperumAnAr at the place where he had mercifully come. After falling at his divine feet, they asked him “What should we think of as our refuge if we have to come out of this ocean of samsAram and reach its shore?” vangipuraththu nambi, one of rAmAnujar’s disciples, told them to think of the words of kshathrabandhu, just as it has been mentioned in vishNu dharmam SlOkam 98-35 “mUdOyam alpamathi alpaviSEshtithOyam kalishtAm manOsya vinayair namayi prasangi | iththam krupAm kuru mayi praNathE klESa thvAm sthOthum ambuja bhavOpi hi dhEvanESa || ” (Oh the lord of everyone and everything! I have a lowly knowledge, indulging in only lowly activities; this mind of mine is looking for wrongful activities alone. My mind is refusing to obey me. Hence, you have to help me who is coming to you for help. Even nAnmukhan (brahmA) does not have the knowledge to worship you completely). emperumAnAr, after listening to this, said “It is a difficult condition to attain. The word praNathE (for me who is worshipping you) indicates that only the one who thinks that he is nirmama (nothing belongs to me) should fall at the divine feet of the omniscient sarvESvaran. If we think that we attain a benefit only by carrying out some activity, engaging in that activity will create a sorrow in us and will prevent us from getting that benefit. If we think that we have a qualification with us, that qualification will only stop him from bestowing a benefit on us without any reason. That qualification will not be the means to receive his mercy. Even though we should necessarily have the thought ‘you should be our means’ even that thought should come only from him. Even if one gets to the stage of paramabhakthi (attaining sarvESvaran), that paramabhakthi will only end in his getting the taste to enjoy sarvESvaran, but it will not, on its own, have the capability to grant him what he desires”. The SrIvaishNavas then asked emperumAnAr “What else should we think of as our refuge?” He responded, saying “Only the words of kALiyan are apt to be considered as our refuge” [kALiyan is a snake who had troubled the herd and herdsfolk at SrI gOkulam by remaining in the river yamunA]. His prayer to krishNa, who had come to drive him away from yamunA is seen in SrI vishNu purANam SlOkam 5-7-10 “sOham thE dhEva dhEvESa nArchanAthau sthuthau na cha | sAmArthyavAn krupAmAthra manOvruththi prasIdhamE || ” (Oh the lord of dhEvathAs! I am incapable of praising or worshipping you. For such a person like me, you should yourself shower your mercy; your divine mind should feel happy and show mercy on me). This SlOkam is explained in detail here, by the vyAkyAthA:

sOham – I, who had coiled myself around your divine form and indulged in activities which are not to your liking and had not freed myself from such activities; such a lowly person

dhEva dhEvEsa: your quality is such that not indulging in activities which are not to your liking alone is sufficient to qualify for your mercy. You consider our saying the words “You should shower your mercy” as “renouncing the undesired”. Just as it has been mentioned in periya thirumozhi 5-6-4 “nanju sOrvadhOr venjina aravam veruvi vandhu nin Saran enach charaNA …” (the snake sumukhan which spits poison and which is fiery and angry, out of fear for garuda, took refuge under you saying “I am surrendering to you”) Though its anger was against it, since it surrendered by merely saying the words “SaraNam” it was granted that. veruvi vandhu – it came running to him out of fear [of garuda]. The fear towards its enemy alone was with the snake

nArchanAthau sthuthaunacha sAmArthyavAn – [kAliyan tells krishNa] I am capable of doing everything for myself but incapable if I have to do even a little bit for you [that is my nature]. You are such that you do not expect anything for yourself, from me; I am without any strength to do anything. krishNa tells kALiyan “If you are capable of doing anything for yourself and incapable of doing anything for me, what is it that you want me to do?”

krupA mAthra manOvruththi – You should show your mercy on me, says kALiyan. krishNa tells him “For that you need remorse” kALiyan responds saying “But I do  not have even that remorse. Whatever you want to do for me with my feeling of remorse, you should do with your mercy itself” vyAkyAthA cites the reference from SrIrangarAjasthavam 2-97 “balibhujiSiSupAlE” (kAkAsuran and SiSupAlan) [kAkAsuran was indhra’s son who took the form of a crow in order to trouble sIthAppirAtti when she was with SrI rAma in the forest and SiSupAlan was krishNa’s cousin, who poured scorn on krishNa all the time]. Just as it is mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 38-34 “sa tham nipathitham” (that crow fell on earth and sought refuge) the crow experienced sorrow and sought refuge by falling on the earth. SiSupAlan kept reciting your names [though his intention was to abuse krishNa, that he recited the names was sufficient] to get recognised by krishNa. kALiyan continues “Your mercy was refused for them because of the initial lowly thoughts that they had. However, since no such fault can be ascribed to me, your mercy can get manifested beautifully”.

viduththa thiruvaruLAl – through the mercy showered by him; without expecting anything from us, treating our benefit as his own, and showering his mercy.

viduththa – allowed to come; given

uyalidam peRRu uyndham – the friend thought “She has no scope to live; I will not be able to see her alive”. The nAyaki tells the friend “An opportunity arose for my being uplifted. Instead of waiting for it to happen, we got it immediately and got our lives back”. Since the friend had known the nAyakan too, she had thought that she had lost both of them. Now, everyone has got uplifted.

anjal – do not fear

am thOzhiyou are the person who considers my benefit as yours. We are similar to the friendship between SrI rAma and sugrIva as mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam kishkindhA kANdam 5-17 “Ekam dhu:kham sukham cha nau” (our mirth and misery are one). Is it not enough to say thOzhi (friend)? Why address her as am thOzhi (beautiful friend)? Some people would look for same benefits in both theirs and their friends’. However, this friend is such that she does not look for any benefit for herself. She considers whatever benefit that the nAyaki gets as her own. This is why she is addressed as am thOzhi. SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 18-16 says “suhrudhO vA bhavadhvidhA:” – SrI rAma tells sugrIva “Not all friends are like you”. SrI rAma further tells sugrIva “As soon as you saw me, you considered your elder brother [vAli] as your enemy, you had more confidence in me than in your brother and you tried to get answers to your confidential problems too. Such was your friendship with me” The nAyaki tells her friend “You considered my benefit as yours and my loss as yours; you were fearful of my loss; now, you do not have to fear”

Or thaN thenRal vandhu – earlier, the southern breeze was causing me harm; now a cool southern breeze came, tells the nAyaki. Breeze will be cool only when united; the nAyaki subtly hints that union did take place. The friend too accepts that and is worried as to what will happen if others around know about it. The nAyaki says . . .

ayalidai yArum aRindhilar – None in our vicinity knew about it.

The friend asks her as to what happened further? . . . .

am pUndhuzhAyin inthEn – the fine drops of honey collected from the flowers of cool, divine thuLasi

puyaludai nIrmaiyinAl – the southerly breeze assumed the quality of the cool clouds. This talks about the help rendered by the breeze when one had not expected it.

thadaviRRu en pulan kalanE – it gently touched all my sensory organs and all my ornaments. It touched my sensory organs as if to satisfy their thirst and the ornaments so that they do not slip out of my limbs. Thus the nAyaki tells her friend as to how the nAyakan united with her.

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning): AzhwAr describes that he survived due to the knowledge of sarvESvaran’s auspicious qualities. thaiththirIya upanishath Anandhavalli says Anandham brahmaNO vidhvAn nabibhEthi kuthaSchana – one who knows about the joyfulness of brahmam (sarvESvaran) does not fear anything.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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periya thirumozhi – 1.3.1 – muRRa mUththu

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periya thirumozhi >> First centum >> Third decad

Highlights from avathArikai (Introduction)

AzhwAr instructed his divine heart to go to thiruppiridhi in himavAn (Himalayan mountain range); but instead of matching the urge of AzhwAr, it remained prideful without approaching; as said in SrI vishNu purANam 6.7.28 “mana Eva manushyANAm” (mind is the main reason for a man’s bondage and liberation), it is the reason for bondage and liberation. The heart is not overenthusiastic about bhagavAn; now we are back to materialistic situation; but he has arrived in badharikASramam in this samsAram, to facilitate our reaching him with this body which is the hurdle to reach him; now this prakruthi (matter) which is a hurdle, is in the form of body, senses and worldly pleasures such as Sabdham (sound) etc; among the enjoyable aspects, the primary entity is women [context is about those women who intentionally promote themselves in this way to attract men] ; they would show themselves in an enjoyable way, but make it difficult to attain them, will grab all the wealth of the man who desires them, not present themselves to him, and even when they present themselves to him, the enjoyment will be insignificant, impermanent, will lead to disaster and will be difficult to maintain; now, as the body does not remain the same forever, the enjoyability lasts only for certain period of time, and subsequently will even lose such enjoyability; when we analyse the senses, as said in thaiththirIya upanishath “AnandhayAdhi” (bhagavAn is the one who gives enjoyment to AthmA), instead of being the cause to enjoy bhagavath vishayam which gives ultimate bliss for the AthmA, they will lead the AthmA to lowly enjoyment and cause sorrow, and subsequently while they are present, they will become useless to even engage in worldly pleasures; due to this reason, when the body is stable, one should surrender to bhagavAn and eliminate the body – there is a way for that; bhagavAn himself has arrived in SrIbadhari to be surrendered to by the AthmA; hence, thinking to surrender unto him when the body is favourable, and to eliminate the body, AzhwAr is engaging in that.

A merchant asked parASara bhattar “Some think that this body is insignificant and impermanent, and consider it to be abandoned; others consider that there is nothing beyond the body and consider it to be the enjoyable aspect; how is it possible to have two different views on the same body?” bhattar mercifully responded “emperumAn arranged it in such a way based on the individual’s karma, viz puNya (virtues) and pApa (sins), to see it with different perspective; a greatly fortunate person would see the defects of the body and abandon it; one who is unfortunate would see the enjoyability of the body and end up with disaster”.

As said in SrIvishNu purANam 1.17.75 “bAlyE krIdanakAsakthA:” (Engaging in playing during childhood), it is explained that, in childhood one would be engaged in playing with toys; while attaining a little bit of knowledge, one will be consumed by sensual pleasures; on becoming old, even those sensual pleasures could not be engaged; hence while the body is in good condition, as SrI badharikASramam is a little bit closer in comparison to thiruppiridhi, one should surrender to bhagavAn there.

pAsuram

muRRa mUththuk kOlthuNaiyA munnadi nOkki vaLaindhu
iRRa kAl pOl thaLLi meLLa irundhu angu iLaiyAmun
peRRa thAypOl vandha pEychchi perumulaiyUdu uyirai
vaRRavAngi uNda vAyAn vadhari vaNangudhumE

Word-by-Word meanings

muRRa mUththu – becoming very old
kOl – stick
thuNaiyA – having as help
mun adi – step to place forward
vaLaindhu nOkki – looking down by bowing the head
iRRa kAl pOl – like a broken leg
thaLLi – stumble
angu – in a place
meLLa – softly
irundhu – being seated
iLaiyAmun – before giving up on getting tired, in this manner,
peRRa thAy pOl vandha – one who came in the form of the mother
pEychchi – pUthanA’s
peru mulaiyUdu – through the large bosom
uyirai – her life
vaRRa – to become dry
vAngi – sucked
uNda – mercifully consumed
vAyAn – the abode of sarvESvaran who has such beautiful lips
vadhari – SrI badhari
vaNanguvOm – let us worship

Simple translation

Becoming very old, with the help of the stick, placing the step forward in a stumbling way, by bowing the head down and looking down, becoming seated softly and giving up on getting tired in this manner, let us worship SrI badhari which is the abode of sarvESvaran who has such beautiful lips with which he sucked the life of pUthanA who came in the form of his mother, to become dry through her large bosom, and mercifully consumed it.

Highlights from vyAkyAnam (Commentary)

  • muRRa mUththu – The [insentient] entity which changes, cannot avoid going through various transformation; now one has reached the peak of old-age, from where, it cannot get any worse.
  • kOl thuNaiyA – Previously this person would have thought himself to be the support/refuge for all. Now, he is not holding on to parama chEthana (supreme lord). When nanjIyar was accepting sanyAsASramam, he had to recite the manthram which is “sakA mE gOpAya” (Please be my companion and protect me), while accepting the thridhaNdam (the three sticks which are held by sanyAsis always). Hearing that, he mercifully would mercifully say “I said ‘After saying this towards sarvESvaran who is omniscient, omnipotent and supreme sentient, in the presence of an AchArya, what is with this sanyAsASramam where I have to say this to this thridhaNdam!’ while accepting sanyAsASramam”.
  • munnadi nOkki vaLaindhu – Earlier, the same person would pridefully walk without seeing the ground. chOLas (chOLa kings) would consume betel leaves on their own, without accepting the same from someone else [if they had some servants to give the betel leaves, they have to lean forward and accept that], due to their pride which makes them think “if we lean forward towards someone that will be equal to bowing to them”. When one has strength, one would say as in SrI rAmAyaNa yudhdha kANdam 36.117 “dhvidhA bhajyEyam apyEvan na namEyam thu kasyachith” (Even if I were to be split into two, I won’t fall at anyone’s feet); but when one becomes weak, nothing will be in his control.
  • iRRa kAl pOl thaLLi – Stumbling as if having a broken leg.
  • meLLa irundhu – Due to inability to stand for too long, he will try to sit. It will take the duration of mahAbhAratham for him to carefully sit once.
  • angu iLaiyA mun – Being unable to bear the fatigue of sitting, he will become weaker. Before reaching such sorrowful state.
  • peRRa thAy … – One who sucked the milk and life completely through the big bosom of pUthanA who came in the disguise of his mother – his. Alternative explanation – The one who has the divine mouth which sucked the life to wither pUthanA. [How can the life be sucked through the bosom?] Just as the milk was considered suitable for him to be consumed, the life could be sucked through the bosom.

With this, AzhwAr is saying – while trying to eliminate the prakruthi (matter – body) which looks favourable but really unfavourable, one should hold on to the divine feet of the one who destroyed pUthanA, who is an enemy who  came in the disguise of his mother who is favourable for him.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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thiruviruththam – 55 – vandugaLO vammin

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avathArikai (Introduction)

The nAyakan comes and unites with the nAyaki after she sends him her errand. Subsequently the time to separate from her came. In order to make her sustain herself even in separation, he praises her so that she thinks “Oh, such a person will not delay in returning”. This comes under the classification of nalam pArAttudhal (similar to pAsuram 14). SrI rAma too praised sIthAppirAtti as mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 26-20 “kulE mahathi sambhUthE” (Oh one who was born in a great clan!)

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

vaNdugaLO vammin nIrppU nilappU maraththiloNpU
uNdu kaLiththu uzhalvIrkku onRu uraikkiyam EnamonRAy
maNdugaLAdi vaigundham annAL kuzhalvAy virai pOl
viNdugaL vArum malar uLavO num viyalidaththE

Word-by-Word Meanings

vaNdugaLO – Oh beetles!
nIrppU – among the flowers in water
nilappU – among the flowers on land
maraththil – on trees
oN – beautiful
pU­ – flowers
uNdu – drinking (honey)
kaLiththu – becoming happy
uzhalvIrkku – you, who are roaming
onRu – a word
uraikkiyam – I will say
vammin – please come
oru – unique
EnamAy – as a varAham (wild boar)
maN – earth’s
thugaL – dust
Adi – one who took it throughout his divine form
vaigundhamannAL – on this nAyaki who is like paramapadham (being very much enjoyable), her
kuzhal vAy – on her locks
virai pOl – being very fragrant
viNdu – spread well
kaL – honey
vArum – flowing copiously
malar – flower
num – your
viyal – amazing
idaththu – places
uLadhO – is it there?

Simple Translation

(This has been told by the nAyakan to the beetles)

Oh beetles! I am going to tell you all, who are drinking honey from flowers which are present on water, on land and on trees and are roaming happily. Please come and listen to me. Among the places where you keep roaming, have you seen the sweet fragrance on flowers, which you are seeing on the locks of this nAyaki who is as enjoyable as the paramapadham of sarvESvaran who incarnated as a unique wild boar and took on all the dust which is present on this earth?

vyAkyAnam

vandugaLO vammin – Oh beetles! Please come here.

nIrppU . . . – some people would say that three types of flowers are referred to here while some others would say that there are four types of flowers. In the term nilappU (flowers on land), people would say that two types of flowers are included – those on plants and those on creepers. Added to the flowers on water and flowers on trees, there are four types of flowes, according to these people. There is an old saying nalla malarppozhil nAlum nuzhaivIrgAL (may you enter all the four types of good orchards). I will say something to you, who are going around to wherever flowers are seen, being happy by drinking honey from them and having that as your main work. Please come.

Enam . . . – he incarnated as the unique, great boar, trampling the earth. When that earth attained him, due to his pride, he took its dust all over his divine form.

vaigundham annAL – this nAyaki is very much concordant with his permanent abode of vaigundham, unlike this vibhUthi (samsAram) where he comes occasionally to protect. She will not let any other enjoyment to come to her heart. She is saying just as ALavandhAr had mercifully said in his sthOthra rathnam SlOkam 5 “sarvam yadhEva niyamEna” (by whomsoever everything is controlled…)

kuzhal vAy virai pOl – just like the sweet fragrance on her locks.

vindugaL . . . – Have you seen among the flowers on the wonderful earth where you roam around fully, any fragrance like this, such that you will not bother about passage of time?

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning): SrIvaishNavas enjoy the auspicious qualities of sarvESvaran in his para, vyUha, vibhava etc forms (sarvESvaran in paramapadham, in thiruppARkadal, in incarnations etc). They are asked “Among all the qualities which you enjoy there, have you seen any quality similar to the one that AzhwAr has?” In other words, the greatness of bhAgavatha (follower of sarvESvaran) is higher than that of bhagavAn (sarvESvaran). vyAkyAthA quotes from thaiththirIya upanishath nArAyaNavalli “ambasyapArE bhuvanasya madhyE nAkasya prushtE” wherein ambasya is taken as being equivalent to vyUham, bhuvanasya is taken as being equivalent to vibhavam and archchai, and nAkasya is taken as being equivalent to param. These are the three different types of flowers mentioned in the first line.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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