Monthly Archives: February 2021

thiruviruththam – 60 – mulaiyO muzhumuRRum

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avathArikai (Introduction)

In the previous pAsuram, she [the nAyaki] had said “thaLapperu nINmuRuval seyyavAya thadamulai vaLapperu nAdan madhusUdhan ennum”. Her mother says “What is surprising about her saying such words in her youthful state? Isn’t this how she has been thinking even in her childhood days?”

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

mulaiyO muzhumuRRum pOndhila moy pUnguzhal kuRiya
kalaiyO araiyillai nAvO kuzhaRum kadal maNNellAm
vilaiyO ena miLirum kaN ivaL paramE perumAn
malaiyO thiruvEngadam enRu kaRkinRa vAsagamE

Word-by-Word Meanings

mulaiyO – if one considers her bosom
muzhumuRRum –  even a little bit
pOndhila – have not sprouted
moy – being dense
pU – being beautiful
kuzhal – locks
kuRiya – are short
kalaiyO – if one considers her dress
araiyillai – has not been properly tied on the waist
nAvO – if one considers her tongue
kuzhaRum – will not be clear
kadal – surrounded by the ocean
maN ellAm – this entire earth
vilaiyO ena –  will it be the price (for the eyes)
kaN – the eye
miLirum – huge
perumAn – sarvESvaran’s
malaiyO – if one considers thirumalai
thiruvEngadam – it happens to be thiruvEngadam
enRu – saying so
kaRkinRa – learning
vAsagam – spoken word
ivaL paramE – is it apt for her in her state?

Simple Translation

The bosoms of this girl have not sprouted. Her locks which are dense and beautiful are short. The dress which she wears does not sit well on her waist. Her tongue has not grown out of her child-like gibberish way of speaking. However her eyes are sparkling such that one could say that even the earth, surrounded by ocean, is not equivalent in terms of compensation for them. Her words saying that sarvESvaran’s divine hill is thiruvEngadam is indeed surprising.

vyAkyAnam

mulaiyO . . . – these words are best said after reaching a certain stage [in the development of a girl’s life].

mulaiyO muzhu muRRum pOndhila – it is not that her bosoms have not grown properly; even the place from where they sprout has not been identified [she is such a young girl].

moy pUnguzhal kuRiya – the locks which are dense and beautiful.

kuRiya – they are so short that if the nAyakan wants to arrange the locks into a bun and she, not liking that arrangement, wishes to let the locks down, he will not [be able to] fall at her feet [to beg her to keep them as a bun].

kalaiyO araiyillai – she does not even know as to where to tie her dress.

nAvO kuzhaRum – if the mothers teach her a few words, she would pronounce them indistinctly, like gibberish. They would then teach her a few simple words such as “iyar {father), Achchi (mother)” Her indistinct words sound better than their clear pronunciation.

kadal . . . – when parASara bhattar was explaining this pAsuram, his disciple, nanjIyar told him “he (AzhwAr) says that all the other limbs have not developed well. But he has spoken about the greatness of eyes alone. This appears contradictory” to which bhattar responded saying “It is not that way. Even here, he has stated only the condition of under-development”. “How is that?” “At a small age, the eyes will see objects fully; at a youthful stage [adolescent age], the eyes will see through glance only. Hence, here too AzhwAr is speaking of very young age only” The splendour in her eyes is such that even if the entire earth, surrounded by ocean, is given as a compensation, it will not be a match.

miLirum – even if the waves keep pushing against the shore, they cannot cross it. This is similar to that. When united with nAyakan, a girl will look at him with tenderness and love. Unlike that, this girl would look at her mother and her beloved, equally.

ivaL paramE – Is it apt for her age? It is because of her friends, just as it has been mentioned in periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 3-7-2 “sAyvilAdha kuRundhalai” (even though they are young without any shyness or reverence, my girl is joining with a few girls and appears like one possessed).

perumAL malaiyO thiruvEngadamenRu – is it apt for her age to disregard para and vyUha forms of sarvESvaran and focus on archA form, and that too saying that thiruvEngadam is the divine hill for his residence? vEdhas set out to measure one quality, the joy of sarvESvaran, and returned empty handed. But the eminence of archAvathAram is not like that.

kaRkinRa vAsagam – the words spoken by her; alternatively, the words taught by her mothers so that they could hear them from her mouth. thiruvAimozhi 6-5-7 says “ivaL vAyanagaL thirundha” (to appear clearly from her mouth). The verse could be arranged as ivaL paramE perumAL malaiyO thiruvEngadamenRu kaRkinRa vAsagamE in which the meanings would be as given till now; alternatively, the words could be arranged as perumAL malai thiruvEngadamenRu kaRkinRa vAsagamE O ivaL paramE in which case, the sound O ivaL paramE would indicate astonishment.

svApadhEsam (distinguished meaning): Just as it has been mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam bAla kANdam 18-28 “bAlyAth prabhruthi susnigdha:” (amiable since childhood) and thiruvAimozhi 2-3-3 ”aRiyAkkAlaththuLLE” (at that age when I did not know about servitude), this pAsuram speaks about how AzhwAr’s engagement with matters relating to emperumAn has always been his sustaining force.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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periya thirumozhi – 1.3.5 – paNdu kAmar

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periya thirumozhi >> First centum >> Third decad

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Highlights from avathArikai (Introduction)

No specific introduction.

pAsuram

paNdu kAmarAnavARum pAvaiyar vAyamudham
uNdavArum vAzhndhavARum okkavuraiththirumi
thaNdu kAlA UnRivUnRith thaLLi nadavAmun
vaNdu pAdum thaNduzhAyAn vadhari vaNangudhumE

Word-by-Word meanings

paNdu – During adulthood
kAmarAna ARum – the way girls had a liking for him
pAvaiyar – those girls’
vAy  – in their mouth
amudham – nectar
uNda ARum – how he drank
vAzhndha ARum – how he enjoyed petty pleasures (and destroyed the self)
okka – in a singular manner
uraiththu – spoke (and due to that fatigue)
irumi – coughed (in between)
thaNdu – stick
kAlA – having as foot
UnRi UnRi – (due to weakness, in the same place) pressing it repeatedly
thaLLi – becoming weak
nadavAmun – before having to walk
vaNdu pAdum – beetles humming
thaN – cool
thuzhAyAn – sarvESvaran, who is adorning thiruththuzhAy (thuLasi) garland, his
vadhari – SrI badhari
vaNangudhum – let us worship

Simple translation

In a singular manner, he would speak about the way girls had a liking for him during adulthood, the way he drank the nectar from the mouth of those girls and how he enjoyed petty pleasures; in between he would cough due to fatigue, having the stick as foot, would press it repeatedly, and become weak; let us worship SrI badhari of sarvESvaran, who is adorning cool thiruththuzhAy (thuLasi) garland and where the beetles are humming, before reaching such situation.

Highlights from vyAkyAnam (Commentary)

  • paNdu kAmar – While having the qualification (i.e. youth), he would engage in forbidden activities only, without thinking about next step; subsequently, if he seeks to surrender to bhagavAn, that will lead to the well-being of the self as said in thiruvAimozhi 1.3.8vaNakkodu mALvadhu valam” (Even if we are able to surrender at the last moments of our life, it will be strong enough); but he will speak about his past experiences for the rest of his life and die.
  • paNdu … – He will speak about how he was liked by the girls and how he drank the nectar from their mouth. Alternative explanation – He will speak about how he remained greatly attractive for them.
  • vAzhndha ARum – Now he thinks about the same as destruction for the self as said in thiruvAimozhi 6-9-8innam keduppAyO” (Are you planning to torment me even now?)
  • okka uraiththu irumi – He will start speaking about those aspects; immediately he will start coughing; further, due to desire in speaking about it, he will continue speaking from where he left; thus, he will cough and speak repeatedly.
  • thaNdu kAlA – Whatever one does with the leg, he does with the stick.
  • UnRi UnRi – piLLai azhagiya maNavALa araiyar explains as mercifully explained by parASara bhattar for this – “He will be unable to firmly press the stick to steady his body, due to lack of strength in the hand, he will repeatedly press the stick”
  • thaLLi … – Before walking in this weakened/stumbled manner.
  • vaNdu … – The abode where there is continuous experience instead of having to say “there was nice experience back then, now there is only suffering”. One need not enjoy for some time and just speak about it subsequently [without any further enjoyment].

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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thiruviruththam – 59 – aLapparum thanmai

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avathArikai (Introduction)

In the previous pAsuram, AzhwAr was joyous, praising the incarnation of thrivikrama, by saying “sarvESvaran, who is difficult to attain in SrIvaikuNtam, incarnated here and made himself easily approachable”. While his separation from sarvESvaran when he was in SrIvaikuNtam did not trouble him much, AzhwAr felt very sad due to his separation from sarvESvaran despite his coming here and taking residence. He attained the state of a pirAtti (AzhwAr in feminine form). Though there was a connection with sarvESvaran, since he did not come to see the nAyaki (AzhwAr in feminine form) during night time, which is the apt time for being together, she was unable to bear the distress of being separated from him now, after being united with him earlier. Her cry of “This night is harmful to me” is recited by her mother, in this pAsuram.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

aLapparum thanmaiyavvUzhi angangul andhaNNandhuzhAyk
kuLapperum kAdhalil nILiyavAyuLa Ongu munnIr
vaLapperu nAdan madhusUdhanan ennum valvinaiyEn
thaLapperu nINmuRuval seyyavAya thadamulaiyE

Word-by-Word Meanings

val – being cruel
vinaiyEn – as my daughter, who has sins
thaLam – like jasmine buds
peru – having greatness
nIL – without limit (being enjoyable)
muRuval – having soft smile
seyya – reddish
vAy – having lips
thadam – expansive
mulai – she, who is having bosoms
aLappa – to measure
arum – difficult
thanmai – having nature
avvUzhi – more than that kalpam (a day of brahmA)
am – beautiful
thaNNam – being cool
thuzhAykku – for divine thuLasi
uLa – formed in (my) heart
peru – huge
kAdhalil – more than desire
nILiyavAy – being bigger
uLa – is present
(ennum – she will say so)
Ongu – being well grown
munnIr – made of three types of water
vaLam – having richness
peru – being expansive
nAdan – one who has land
madhusUdhanan – destroyer of demon madhu
ennum – she will say so

Simple Translation

(The mother is speaking with reference to the state of her daughter)

My daughter has cruel sins, greatness of a soft smile similar to jasmine buds, reddish lips and expansive bosoms. She says “The night times, which are more cruel than kalpams which are very difficult to measure, are longer and bigger than my desire which is present in my mind for the cool, divine thuLasi. madhusUdhanan has the expansive earth which is surrounded by ocean, which is formed from the three types of water and which is huge”.

vyAkyAnam

aLapparum thanmaiyavvUzhiyam kangul – night times, which are as long as praLayam (deluge) are difficult to measure even for sarvESvaran who measured with his divine feet the immeasurable entities too. If it is possible for him to measure them, wouldn’t he have appeared during the night? These nights have as their nature, the quality of being immeasurable.

Uzhiyam kangulUzhik kAlam (deluge) is the proof that this night is indeed of long duration.

vyAkyAthA raises a query: Is it not possible to recite a pAsuram on that which cannot be measured? He answers that himself, saying . . .

andhaNNandhuzhAy . . . . – Just as it has been mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 10-10-10 “adhaniR periya en avA” (you, with your desire, surrounded me who has a huge desire to attain you). AzhwAr’s desire pervaded even sarvESvaran. vEdham returned empty handed, after trying to measure the joy of sarvESvaran, as mentioned in thaiththirIya upanishath “yathO vAchO nivarthanthE”. The same is true of this [measuring the length of night] also. bruhadhAraNya upanishath could only say in the negative when trying to describe sarvESvaran, saying “nEthi nEthi” (he is not like this), but could not define clearly that he is like this. andhaNNandhuzhAy – the garland on his divine shoulders. Those divine garlands have the power to control over everything in my mind. These nights are larger than the affection that I have for those garlands.

Ongu munnIr vaLapperunAdan madhusUdhanan ennum – am I distressed because I am outside his boundaries of reign? Am I distressed because he is powerless? He is the lord of the opulent land which is surrounded by ocean which contains three types of water (water from rivers, water from springs and water from rains).

madhusUdhanan – he is the destroyer of demon madhu who was like a weed for the entities which were to be protected [sarvESvaran’s followers]. Am I suffering because I am not connected to sarvESvaran? Am I suffereing because he is incapable of destroying my enemies?

valvinaiyEn – if her beauty [these are the words of nAyaki’s mother] were to be considered, there is no need for being distressed like this. The reason for her suffering, when actually it should he who should be suffering for not being together with her when she is so beautiful, is only because of my sin. This is similar to bharathAzhwAn feeling distressed about what happened in ayOdhyA which resulted in SrI rAma leaving for the forest, said that this is “math pApam Eva” (only because of my sin).

What is the reason for the mother saying that it is her sin which is the reason for the nAyaki’s suffering?

thaLapperu . . . – Is there any deficiency in the nAyaki’s physical form? thaLappu has got shortened to thaLa. thaLappu denotes something similar to the buds of jasmine, something which is difficult to obtain. Just as it has been mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 64-77 “purEva mE chAru dhathim” (sIthAppirAtti who had a beautiful row of teeth), it is the smile which is desired by the nAyakan and which melts his heart wherever he goes.

nIL muRuval – it is not the boisterous laughter of narasimhap perumAL; it is the gentle smile of a lady. However, an entity must be available like this. The word nIL refers to the enjoyability of that smile.

seyya . . . – having reddish lips which will be suitable for that gentle smile. Alternatively, since the next word spoken about is thada mulai, referring to the hugeness of her bosoms, the word seyyavAy could be added to thadamulai to make it as seyyavAy thadamulai as a single word, in which case it would refer to the straightness of the bosom.

thadamulaiyE – due to the separation from sarvESvaran, the bosom appeared like the ear of corn which has drooped. It appeared that the time frame set by the nAyakan was insufficient.

svApadhESam (distinghished meaning) – this refers to the words of SrIvaishNavas who speak of the distress of separation caused by the incongruence of the connection and knowledge of true nature of AzhwAr with the time suitable for enjoyment.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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periya thirumozhi – 1.3.4 – pILai sOra

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periya thirumozhi >> First centum >> Third decad

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Highlights from avathArikai (Introduction)

No specific introduction.

pAsuram

pILai sOrak kaN idungip piththezha mUththirumi
thALgaL nOvath thammil muttith thaLLi nadavAmun
kALaiyAgik kanRu mEyththuk  kunReduththu anRu ninRAn
vALai pAyum thaN thadam sUzh vadhari vaNangudhumE

Word-by-Word meanings

kaN idungi – eyes shrinking
pILai – dirt in the eyes
sOra – to come out
piththu – bile
ezha – to rise
mUththu – having attained old-age
irumi – cough
thALgaL – feet
thammil mutti – hitting each other
nOva – to cause pain
thaLLi – stumble
nadavAmun – before walking
kALaiyAgi – being a youth
kanRu mEyththu – tending the calves
anRu – that day (when indhra showered hail storm)
kunRu – gOvardhana hill
eduththu – lifted as umbrella
ninRAn – stood holding it (for seven days) – his
vALai – fish
pAyum – jumping around
thaN – cool
thadam – ponds
sUzh – surrounded
vadhari – SrI badhari
vaNangudhum – let us worship

Simple translation

SrI badhari is surrounded by cool ponds where the [scabbard] fish are jumping around and is the abode of krishNa who as a youth, tended the calves and lifted the gOvardhana hill and stood holding it as an umbrella back then (when indhra showered hail storm) for seven days; let us worship such abode, before our eyes shrink and dirt from the eyes start coming out, before the bile rises, and having attained old-age, coughing and stumbling due to walking in a stumbled manner due to the feet hitting each other and causing pain.

Highlights from vyAkyAnam (Commentary)

  • pILai sOrak kaN idungi – Eyes becoming reduced in size [and power]; due to losing the wetness, dirt will accumulate.
  • piththu ezha – Becoming very old. To have the limbs being very weak.
  • thALgaL … – Instead of stumbling due to other tools/weapons or other aspects, one’s own feet will hit each other and cause pain. thALgaL thammil mutti – nOva – as the feet hit each other and cause pain. Still one would desirously try to walk; before walking in such stumbled manner.
  • kALaiyAgi – One who grants equality to those who surrender unto him; one can become an eternally youthful person by surrendering to bhagavAn.
  • kanRu mEyththu – One who protects without any hesitation/restriction to those who are to be protected.
  • kunRam eduththanRu ninRAn – He will protect by doing great activities.
  • vALai … – This is the abode where even those entities (fish) which have no qualification live joyfully.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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thiruviruththam – 58 – kazhaRalam onRE

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AzhwAr now narrates an incident carried out by sarvESvaran by which the different types of fatigue experienced earlier get negated. He kept his divine feet on the heads of everyone, without discriminating between those who are favourable to him (his followers) and those who are not favourable to him (his enemies). Through this, he said that there is none who he considers as an enemy. AzhwAr mercifully mentions that after doing all these activities, sarvESvaran remained as if he had not done anything.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

kazhaRalam onRE nilam muzhudhAyiRRu oru kazhal pOy
nizhaRara ellA visumbum niRaindhadhu nINda aNdaththu
uzhaRalar gyAnach chudar viLakkAy uyarndhOrai illA
azhaRalar thAmaraikkaNNan ennO ingu aLakkinRadhE

Word-by-Word Meanings

onRu – being single
kazhal thalamE – divine foot itself
nilam muzhudhu – entire earth
AyiRRu – pervaded
oru kazhal – the other divine foot
pOy – growing
nizhal thara – as it gave shade
ellA visumbum – entire sky
niRaindhadhu – pervaded completely
nINda – expansive
aNdaththu – in the oval shaped universe
uzhaRu – roaming fully
alar – blossomed
gyAnam – knowledge
sudar – having radiance
viLakkAy – being self illuminating like a lamp
uyarndhOrai illA – not having anyone superior
azhaRu – in mud
alar – blossomed
thAmarai – like a lotus
kaNNan – sarvESvaran who has divine eyes
ingu – at this place
aLakkinRadhu – measuring
ennO – what is it?

Simple Translation

One divine foot measured such that the entire world came under it. The other divine foot grew, went up the sky such that it pervaded all the words above and gave shadow to the ones below. What is krishNa, who keeps roaming all over the universe, who has a radiant, self-illuminating knowledge and who has eyes which are like lotus flowers which have blossomed in slush, measuring in my case?

vyAkyAnam

kazhaRalamonRE nilamuzhudAyiRRu – as soon as a drop of water [from mahAbali] fell on [sarvESvaran’s] divine hand, one divine foot spread out such that the entire earth came under it. kazhaRalam – kazhal thalam (foot)

onRE –  without waiting for his thoughts on what is to be done, the foot, on its own, spread out fully [and measured the earth].

oru kazhal . . . – the other divine foot

nizhaRara ellA visumbum niRaindhadhu – even as it entered its domain, with the confidence that he is there, it gave shade so that everyone can get under it; spread out everywhere.

nizhaRara – nizhal thara; to provide shade. Just as a flood would flow towards low lying regions, it [the divine foot] went to all open spaces and pervaded. vAsudhEva tharuchchAyA – shade of the tree vAsudhEvan (sarvESvaran). It became the shade of one tree which had pervaded everywhere. nAthiSIthA . . . – it will not be too cold; it will not be too warm; it will not allow the huge fire, naragam, hell, to come near. sAkimartham nasEvyathE – even if another shade which is an exact match for this is seen, is it proper to take shelter under the other shade? Could one say that this shade is not good? periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 5-3-4 “thirumAlirunjOlai endhAy un pAdha nizhalallAl maRROr iruppidam nAn engum kANginRilEn” (Oh the lord of thirumAlirum sOlai! Other than the shade of your divine foot, I do not see any shade elsewhere) – since you are the protector of your followers and eliminator of the enemies of your followers, I have not seen a shade where I could take refuge other than the shade of your divine feet.

The vyAkyAthA explains in detail, two SlOkams from SrI rAmAyaNam kishkindhA kANdam 15-19 and 15-20 to explain how sarvESvaran’s divine feet provide comforting shade and are the only refuge for all.  thArA tells vAli that she has heard from angadhan (their son) who had gone to play in the forest, that sugrIva has got some apt companions; on being questioned, angadhan had told her that it is perumAL who has come to sugrIva, along with his brother and that perumAL has given refuge to sugrIva. vAli asks her “Will he not give us refuge?” to which she recites SlOkam 15-19 “nivAsa vruksha: sAdhUnAm ApannAnAm parA gathi: | ArthAnAm samSraya: chaiva yaSasa: cha Eka bhAjanam ||”

nivAsa vrukshassAdhUnAm: thArA tells vAli “He [SrI rAma] is like a shade for those who desire to take refuge under him. He offers to others flowers, fruits, shade etc while taking sunlight on himself. For those who stand under his shade and wish to utilise him for gaining materials, he has the quality of offering even himself. vAli asks her “I have not caused any harm to him. Is there any objection in standing under his shade?” thArA replies . . .

ApannAnAm – it is not sufficient to think that we will take refuge under him. We should be under the grip of difficulties. vAli responds “But we are in difficult condition only. The brother born with me is himself my enemy” thArA responds, saying . . .

ArthAnAm – “It is not enough if we are in difficulties. We should also think that we need a refuge” vAli tells her “If SrI rAma is the refuge for sugrIva, we will find out another who will be our refuge” thArA tells him . . .

yaSasachchaikabhAjanam: “He is the only refuge. There is none like him”

The vyAkyAthA cites the reference of bhagavath gIthA 7-16 “Artha jigyAsu arthArthI gyAnI . . ” – one who is craving, one who is looking for knowledge, one who desires wealth and one who knows me – there are four types of people in the world. In the SrI rAmAyaNa SlOkam cited above, the term sAdhUnAm would refer to gyAni (as given above), the term ApannAnAm would refer to kaivalyArthi (one who wishes to enjoy his own AthmA) and the term ArthAnAm would refer to both types of arthArthi (one who is looking for lost wealth and one who is looking for wealth for the first time). The vyAkyAthA raises a query: Would the words of a lady (thArA) have such deep meaning? He answers this himself quoting SrI rAmAyaNam bAlakANdam 4-6 SlOkam “vEdhO’pabruhmaNArthAya” (capable of explaining the meanings of vEdhas (sacred texts)) Since SrI rAmAyaNam is capable of explaining the meanings of vEdhas, every word in it has deep meanings. bhagavath gIthA 7-17 “Eka bhakthir viSishyathE” (since he is deeply devoted to me, he attains eminence). Such a devotee is very much attached to me and I am attached to him, says krishNa. One should detest samsAram (life in the materialistic world) and break all ties with prakruthi (repeated cycle of birth and death). This holds true for AthmaprApthikAman (one who desires to attain sarvESvaran) and then to the one who is looking for lost wealth. This is true of the one who wishes to have wealth, for the first time, too.

nINda . . . – due to the reason of desiring to pervade the entire expansive universe, one who has a splendorous, well grown knowledge. He considered keeping his divine foot on the heads of all people as his benefit. The happiness which he obtained due to that act made his entire form to blossom.

uyarndhOrai illA – Since all the entities including brahmA were held under the divine feet, there was none to say “I” [he doesn’t have anyone superior to him].

azhaRalar thAmaraikkaNNan – one who has his divine eyes similar to blossomed lotus flowers standing in slush. Just as chAndOgya upanishath 1-6-7 says “thasya yathA kapyAsam puNdarIkam Evam akshiNI ” (having reddish eyes similar to inverted lotus flower)

ennO ingu aLakkinRadhE – We could not see the joy of having measured. There should be a time interval for saying that he measured. Even that time interval was not seen. Since he stood in the same place, can we say that he measured? Only if a step has been moved after keeping one step could it be said that something has been measured. Thus, none saw him measuring. Alternatively, it could be said that even as he kept his divine foot on the heads of everyone, without any reason, he stood as if he had done nothing. AzhwAr feels exhilarated in his divine mind, thinking as to what he cannot do.

ennO ingu aLakkinRadhE – Will anyone measure if the entity to be measured is extremely small and the entity, which is measuring it, is too large? Thus, the opinion here is that since the people to be protected are very small, he stood as if he has nothing to do.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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periya thirumozhi – 1.3.3 – uRigaLpOl

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periya thirumozhi >> First centum >> Third decad

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Highlights from avathArikai (Introduction)

No specific introduction.

pAsuram

uRigaL pOl meynnarambezhundhu Un thaLarndhuLLam eLgi
neRiyai nOkkik kaN suzhanRu ninRu nadungAmun
aRidhiyAgil nenjam! anbAy Ayira nAmam solli
veRikoL vaNdu paNgaL pAdum vadhari vaNangudhumE

Word-by-Word meanings

mey – in the body
narambu – nerves
uRigaL pOl – like rope
ezhundhu – becoming projected (well visible from outside)
Un – flesh
thaLarndhu – become loosened
uLLam – heart
eLgi – becoming broken (to go away)
neRiyai nOkki – seeing the route (due to the fatigue)
kaN suzhanRu – rolling the eyes
ninRu – remaining immovable
nadungAmun – before reaching the stage of shivering
nenjam – Oh mind!
aRidhi Agil – if you have knowledge
anbAy – having bhakthi (towards sarvESvaran)
Ayira nAmam – (his) thousand divine names
solli – reciting
veRi koL – very fragrant
vaNdu – beetles
paNgaL – musical songs
pAdum – humming
vadhari – SrI badhari
vaNangudhumE – let us worship

Simple translation

Oh mind! If you are knowledgeable, having bhakthi, reciting his thousand divine names, let us worship SrI badhari where very fragrant beetles are humming musical songs before the nerves in the body become projected like ropes, the flesh in the body becomes loosened, heart becoming broken seeing the route to travel and eyes start rolling in fatigue and before the body remains immovable and starts shivering.

Highlights from vyAkyAnam (Commentary)

  • uRigaL … – In the body, the nerves which were invisible during the youth, as the body became dry, would become projected further like a rope. For that,
  • Un thaLarndhu – the flesh becomes loosened.
  • uLLam eLgi – Due to that, the heart becomes weak.
  • neRiyai … – As one starts thinking about the route to travel, as the journey is very long, one will take a hard look at the route. Due to the fatigue in looking far, eyes will start rolling. Subsequently, being unable to place the next step, the body will start shivering.
  • aRidhiyAgil nenjam – If you (mind) are the entry point for knowledge; being devoted towards him, while being healthy, recite all the thousand divine names, instead of having to fail in the effort by reciting a few of the divine names.
  • veRi … – The beetles which appear to be made from fragrance, are humming the songs to let out their enjoyment just as the mukthAthmAs (liberated souls) will sing sAma gAnam.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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thiruviruththam – 57 – pulakkuNdala

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avathArikai (Introduction)

After being united with the nAyaki, when the nAyakan separated from her, his distress became more acute. Though he had to separate from her for a reason, just as it is mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 66-10 “na jIvEyam kshaNamapi” (I cannot live even for a moment without her), his distress in separation was very difficult for him. Looking at his distress in separation and a lack of liveliness in him, the nAyakan’s friend told him “The way you are distressed about one issue, without engaging with other matters, does not fit well with your leadership qualities” and tried to bring him back to normal situation. The nAyakan tells him “You are speaking like this since you do not know how those who have been the target of her glance have suffered. If you too experience her glance, you would not speak like this” denying his accusation.

Let us go thorugh the pAsuram and its meanings:

pulakkuNdalap puNdarIgaththa pOrkkeNdai valli onRAl
vilakkuNdu ulAginRu vEl vizhikkinRana kaNNan kaiyAl
malakkuNdu amudham surandha maRikadal pOnRavaRRAl
kalakkuNda nAnRu kaNdAr emmai yArum kazhaRalarE

Word-by-Word Meanings

pulam – visible
kuNdalam – having ear-rings
puNdarIgaththa – on the face which is like a lotus flower
pOr – engaged in a war
keNdai – eyes which are like fish
valli onRAl – with the nose which looks like a creeper
vilakkuNdu – being separated
ulAginRu – are roaming
vEl – cruel, like the weapon spear
vizhikkinRana – are looking
avaRRAl – through such activities
kaNNan – krishNa’s
kaiyAl – with divine hands
malakkuNdu – being agitated
amudham – nectar
surandha – secreted
maRi – throwing up waves
kadal pOnRu – like an ocean
kalakkuNda – agitated
nAnRu – during that time
kaNdAr – those who saw
yArum – whosoever
ennai – me
kazhaRalar – will not admonish

Simple Translation

The eyes of the nAyaki which appear to be battling each other, present on her lotus-like face having beautiful ear rings, are separated by the nose, which is like a creeper. The two eyes are moving around, looking in a cruel way, like a spear. Just like the ocean which was agitated by the divine hands of krishNa and secreted the nectar, I too am bewildered. Whosoever had seen me at that time, would not find fault with me.

vyAkyAnam

pulakkuNdala . . . – The nAyakan’s friend had spoken about the condition of nAyakan without knowing the facts. The nAyakan tells him about the eyes of the nAyaki so that he will realise as to what would happen if he were to undergo a similar experience. He would then say “Oh my bad! What all did he suffer? How did he manage?” The ear rings of the nAyaki are capable of stealing all the sensory organs. They are present on her face which looks like a lotus flower. The term kuNdalam would also refer to a circular shape. If the text is polakkuNdalam, it would refer to golden ear-rings.

puNdarigaththa pOrkkeNdai – the eyes look like carp fish which appear to be fighting. The face is capable of making a person to become immobile, more than any other limb. The eyes are the most prominent part, on such a face.

valli onRAl vilakkuNdu – Just like keeping a cross-bar between two rutting elephants which are fighting, her nose is present [between the two fighting eyes]

ulAginRu – since the nose is there between them, the two eyes, which are like fish, are unable to engage in direct combat with each other. Due to the limitation set by sarvESvaran, they are unable to cross the ears too. Hence they are roaming between these two boundaries.

vEl vizhikkinRana – their glance is like a sharp spear, capable of piercing through the other side.

kaNNan . . . – the milky ocean was churned by the divine hands of krishNa such that the sand at the bottom was brought to its surface; the ocean gave him its life saving amrutham (nectar). The nAyakan’s majesty was similar to that ocean’s. The term maRikadal pOnRu is to be considered as maRikadal pOnRavaRRAl, thus bringing a distinction to the eyes (the eyes are like an agitating ocean). Once she looks at him, he too looks at her. Being engaged with his glance, she manifests her engagement with him, both inside her heart and outside, in her eyes. The nAyakan now reminisces that.

avaRRAl – those eyes create a scar in him, even now, through their glance.

kalakkuNda nAnRu kaNdAr – those who saw me that day when I was bewildered [by her glance]

emmai yArum kazhaRalarE – apart from you, a friend who knows my nature well, even those who have not known me, will not speak a word ill of me.

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning): SrIvaishNavas were fully engaged with AzhwAr’s SrIvaishNavaSrI (wealth of AzhwAr’s service). They could not be retrieved even by showing them matters relating to sarvESvaran. This pAsuram depicts such a position of SrIvaishNavas, who remained just like madhurakavi AzhwAr who said as in kaNNinuN siRuththAmbu 2 “dhEvumaRRaRiyEn” (I do not know of any deity other than nammAzhwAr). They will take a liking to matters relating to sarvESvaran only because AzhwAr liked them, just like the saying bhavatha: paramOmatha:.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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periya thirumozhi – 1.3.2 – mudhugu paRRi

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periya thirumozhi >> First centum >> Third decad

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Highlights from avathArikai (Introduction)

No specific introduction.

pAsuram

mudhugu paRRik kaiththalaththAl munnoru kOl UnRi
vidhir vidhirththuk kaNsuzhanRu  mERkiLai koNdirumi
idhuvennappar mUththavARenRu iLaiyavarEsAmun
madhuvuN vaNdu paNgaL pAdum vadhari vaNangudhumE

Word-by-Word meanings

kaiththalaththAl – with hand
mudhugu paRRi – supporting the back
mun oru kOl – having a stick in the front
UnRi – placing it in the ground firmly
vidhirvidhirththu – have the body shaking
kaNsuzhanRu – eyes rolling [in fatigue]
mEl kiLai koNdu – with high tone
irumi – coughing
iLaiyavar – children
appar – elders
mUththa ARu – attained old-age
idhu en – how (being too old!)
enRu – saying this way
EsA mun – before they scold
madhu – honey in flowers
uN – drinking
vaNdu – beetles
paNgaL pAdum – humming tunes
vadhari – SrIbadhari
vaNangudhum – let us worship

Simple translation

Let us worship SrIbadhari where beetles are drinking honey from the flowers, before children say “How old have you become!” after seeing the man supporting his back with his one hand and having a stick in the front placed firmly, having his body shaking, his eyes rolling in fatigue and coughing in a high tone.

Highlights from vyAkyAnam (Commentary)

  • mudhugu paRRik kaiththalaththAl – Due to weakness, his back will ache, due to that, he will support his back with one hand.
  • mun oru kOl UnRi – To stop from falling down in front, he will hold a stick in his hand. Both the front and back side needs support – such is his physical condition.
  • vidhirvidhirththu – The whole body shakes too.
  • kaN suzhanRu – The changes which happen in every limb is identified [here, the eyes are rolling in fatigue].
  • mERkiLai – mERku – mEl (high), iLai – iLaippu – fatigue. Coughing due to high fatigue. Alternative explanation – mERkiLai – high tone. Coughing with high tone.
  • idhu ennappar mUththavARu enRu – Children would say “Everyone will become old. But this man’s old-age is unbelievable!” appar – aged person. This person looks too old when compared to an old person – that is how old he is!
  • iLaiyavar – The children would think that they will remain youthful ever and the old-age person will remain old forever, and scold the old-age persons.
  • madhu uN … – Instead of just humming one tune, having drunk the honey, the beetles will hum all tunes.
  • vadhari – Thus, this is the abode where, not only such sorrows will be removed, but also, one will get ultimate bliss to remain joyful.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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thiruviruththam – 56 – viyalidam uNda

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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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