Monthly Archives: March 2021

periya thirumozhi – 1.4.8 – mAn munindhu

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periya thirumozhi >> First centum >> Fourth decad

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Highlights from avathArikai (Introduction)

No specific introduction.

pAsuram

mAn munindhu oru kAl vari silai vaLaiththa
mannavan ponniRaththu uravOn
Un munindhu avanadhudal irupiLavA
ugir nudhi maduththu ayan aranaith
thAn munindhitta vendhiRal sAbam
thavirththavan thavam purindhuyarndha
mAmunikoNarndha gangaiyin karaimEl
vadhariyAchchirAmaththuLLAnE

Word-by-Word meanings

oru kAl – while remaining in panchavati
mAn – mArIcha who came in the form of a deer
munindhu – showing anger on
vari – beautiful
silai – bow
vaLaiththa – aimed (at him) by bending
mannavan – being the king
pon niRam – having golden hue
uravOn – strong hiraNya’s
Un – flesh
munindhu – showing anger
avanadhu – his
udal – body
iru piLavA – to split into two parts
ugir nudhi – the edge of his nails
maduththu – made to enter
avan thAn – brahmA himself
aranai – rudhra
munindhu – showing anger
itta – gave
vem thiRal – very cruel
sAbam – curse
thavirththavan – sarvESvaran who eliminated
thavam purindhu – performing penance
uyarndha – became brahmarishi (due to that)
mAmuni – viSvAmithran
koNarndha – (perumAL and iLaiyaperumAL) brought along
gangaiyin karai mEl – on the banks of gangA
vadhariyAchchiramaththuLLAnE – is residing in SrI badharIkASramam

Simple translation

Showing anger on mArIcha who came in the form of a deer, emperumAn while remaining in panchavati, being the king, aimed his beautiful bow at him by bending it; showing anger on the strong hiraNya, who was having a golden hue, made the edge of his nails enter his body to split it into two parts; sarvESvaran eliminated the very cruel curse of brahmA who showed anger on rudhra and cursed him; such sarvESvaran is residing in SrI badharIkASramam on the banks of gangA where viSvAmithran who became brahmarishi by performing penance, brought along SrI rAma and lakshmaNa.

Highlights from vyAkyAnam (Commentary)

  • mAn munindhu … – sIthAp pirAtti mercifully requested perumAL (SrI rAma) “Please catch and bring this deer to me”, and perumAL chased the deer. Since the deer was an illusory one (mArIchA came in disguise), it kept evading perumAL, and hence perumAL became angry on it and he, the strong one, aimed at the deer and bent his beautiful bow.
  • ponniRaththu uravOn … – One who was known as hiraNya, who had a golden hue and great strength; emperumAn showed anger on his bodily flesh which grew based on his evil pride, and placed the edge of his divine nails on his body which is abode for such flesh.
  • ayan … – emperumAn favoured the child, prahlAdha [who has much less love compared to pirAtti towards him], the same way he did for pirAtti; and he favoured the same way towards rudhra who is prideful. brahmA who could not tolerate the prideful attitude of rudhra, thought “we should make him commit a mistake and punish him”, and allowed rudhra to sever his head saying “you sever my head if you have the courage to do so” and then cursed him for that same reason as said in mAthsya purANam “kapAleethvam bhavishyasi” (you will have my skull attached to your hand). When one’s own father becomes an enemy, it is bhagavAn who remains even closer and helps such persons.
  • thavam … – viSvAmithra is identified as the one who became great by his penance and brought perumAL and iLaiya pertumAL Though he was a kshathriya he became a brahmarishi by the strength of his penance. Since he brought perumAL and iLaiya perumAL along the banks of gangA, AzhwAr could be talking about that. One who became great by performing thapas – viSvAmithran. Here, SrI parAnguSa dhAsar asks nampiLLai “jIyA (Oh great personality)! Instead of mAmuni koNarndha, can we not change it to mAmuni puganRa (the great sage spoke about) as an alternate text, and explain it as viSvAmithran explaining the greatness of gangA to perumAL and iLaiya perumAL. AzhwAr could be speaking about that”. nampiLLai mercifully responds “We don’t have the strength/ability to do so” [i.e. We don’t have the ability to change AzhwAr’s pAsurams]. Alternatively, mAmuni could mean bhagIratha himself [as he also did a great penance] and explain it as gangA which was brought down to earth by bhagIratha.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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thiruviruththam – 85 – mANikkangoNdu

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avathArikai (Introduction)

This pAsuram reveals the words of the nAyaki who is saddened by the appearance of night. This could also be treated as the words of the nAyaki’s mother who is lamenting the nAyaki’s position.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its words:

mANikkangoNdu kurangu eRivoththu iruLOdu mutti
ANipponnanna sudar padumAlai ulagaLandha
mANikkamE en maradhagamE maRRoppAraiyillA
ANipponnE adiyEn adi Avi adaikkalamE

Word-by-Word Meanings

kurangu – monkey
mANikkam – gem [carbuncle]
koNdu – taking it
eRivu oththu – equivalent to throwing
iruLOdu – with darkness
(coming)
mutti – getting close
ANipon anna – like a distinguished gold
sudar – radiant sUriyan ([sun]
padum – suffering
mAlai – dusk (appeared)
ulagu – worlds
aLandha – one who seized
mANikkamE – Oh one who is virtuous!
en – being my lord
maradhagamE – one who is invigorating like an emerald gem!
maRRu – over and above
oppArai – those who are equal
illA – ohe who does not have
ANipponnE – Oh one who is like distinguished gold!
adiyEn – this servitor, my
adi – being your servitor
Avi – vital air
adaikkalam – is to be protected (by you)

Simple Translation

Oh one who measured all the worlds! Oh one who is virtuous and is like an invigorating emerald gem to me! Oh one who is like distinguished gold, without anyone being your equal! Just like a monkey threw a carbuncle gem, the dusk time has thrown out sUriyan who is like eminent gold. This AthmA (soul) of mine, your servitor, has to be protected by you.

vyAkyAnam

mANikkam koNdu kurangu eRivoththu – Just like a monkey would throw a gemstone of carbuncle. A monkey, without knowing the great value of a gemstone, throws it out such that it reaches a place where it will be of no use to anyone. Alternatively, being an animal, it throws the gemstone where it cannot be used even by the monkey itself and the gem remains losing its shine.

iruLOdu . . . – coming with darkness. The evening time appeared, destroying sUriyan who is like an incomparable, eminent, reddish gold. Just like the carbuncle gem was destroyed by the monkey, sUriyan was destroyed by darkness.

Instead of merely speaking about evening, she now speaks about sarvESvaran’s great activities.

ulagaLandha mANikkamE – he is one who pushed aside entities such as mahAbali when indhra et al, who think that they are the protectors, withdrew, being unable to fight with such mahAbali. He is an entity who is virtuous, who measured the worlds which are full of forests and mountains.

mANikkamE – he transformed himself though he is priceless and inestimable [for the sake of indhra et al].

en maradhagamE – he is invigorating when embraced.

maRRoppAraiyillA ANipponnE – he is eminent without any simile to compare him with – like distinguished gold.

adiyEn – AzhwAr calls himself as adiyEn [servitor] manifesting his enjoyability [by sarvESvaran].

adiyAvi – If these are the nAyaki’s words, this would refer to the Athmavasthu (her soul) which is subservient to sarvESvaran. It is so much subservient to sarvESvaran that even offering it to him would tantamount to being an act in excess [it belongs to sarvESvaran; hence there is no need even to offer it to him]. It is to be offered as soon as one is bewildered; once offered, it would be so severed from him/her that it would make him/her shrink from thinking “I offered an entity of mine to him”. It will be similar to sthOthra rathnam 53 “athavA kinnu samarppayAmi thE” (What can I offer you?) and thiruvAimozhi 7-9-10 “uRReNNil adhuvum aRRu AngavanRannadhu” (if I wanted to call it as mine, even that Athmavasthu happened to be his). The vyAkyAthA (periyavAchchAn piLLai, commentator for this prabandham) narrates an incident when kUraththAzhwAn was sent by bhagavdh rAmAnujar to thirukkOttiyUr nambi (rAmAnujar’s AchAryan) to find out whether it is gyAthruthvam (being with knowledge about matters relating to sarvESvaran) or SEshathvam (being a servitor of sarvESvaran) which is AthmasvarUpam (the true nature of AthmA). nambi mercifully informed kUraththAzhwAn “Oh my child! Where he should have said ennuLLAn [within me] as in thiruvAimozhi 8-8-2 ‘adiyEnuLLAn udaluLLAn’ (he is within me), he had said adiyEnnuLLAn to signify that it is servitude which is the true identity for AthmA”

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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periya thirumozhi – 1.4.7 – vendhiRal kaLiRum

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periya thirumozhi >> First centum >> Fourth decad

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Highlights from avathArikai (Introduction)

No specific introduction.

pAsuram

vendhiRal kaLiRum vElai vAy amudhum
viNNodu viNNavarkkarasum
indhiraRkaruLi emakkum IndharuLum
endhai emmadigaL emperumAn
andharaththu amarar adiyiNai vaNanga
AyiramugaththinAl aruLi
mandharaththizhindha gangaiyin karaimEl
vadhariyAchchirAmaththuLLAnE

Word-by-Word meanings

vem thiRal – having great strength
kaLiRum – the elephant named airAvatham
vElai vAy – came out of thiruppARkadal (milk ocean)
amudham – amrutham (nectar)
viNNodu – with svargam (heaven)
viNNavarkku arasum – being the king of dhEvathAs
indhiraRku – for indhra
aruLi – bestowed
emakkum – for us (who are ananyaprayOjanar (without any expectations))
Indha aruLum – one who gives (himself)
endhai – being my father
em adigaL – being our lord
emperumAn – being my master
andharaththu – in svargam
amarar – dhEvathAs
adi iNai – divine feet
vaNanga – to worship
Ayiram mugaththinAl aruLi – as mercifully desired by the divine heart of sarvESvaran to flow in thousand tributaries
mandharaththu – from manthara mountain
izhindha – fell down
gangaiyin karai mEl  – on the banks of gangA
vadhariyAchchirAmaththuLLAnE – is residing in SrI badharIkASramam

Simple translation

emperumAn bestowed the very strong elephant named airAvatham, the nectar which came out of thiruppARkadal, the heaven and the position of being the king to dhEvathAs to indhra and mercifully gave himself to us who are ananyaprayOjanar; he is my father, our lord and master; such sarvESvaran mercifully desired in his  divine heart, to have gangA flow in thousand tributaries from manthara mountain and fall down; he is residing in SrI badharIkASramam on the banks of gangA to have his divine feet worshipped by the dhEvathAs of heaven.

Highlights from vyAkyAnam (Commentary)

  • vendhiRal … – emperumAn mercifully bestowed airAvatham, the nectar from the milk ocean, heaven, and the position of being the king of dhEvathAs to indhra and mercifully granted himself to me.
  • endhai … – My father, lord and who enslaved me by manifesting such relationships and actions.
  • andharaththu amarar … – sarvESvaran thought “if all the dhEvathAs of heaven come to surrender at my divine feet, at once, thiruppARkadal will not be sufficient” and divinely ordered gangA “split up yourself into thousand tributaries and reach earth”, gangA fell down from manthara mountain in that manner. Alternative explanation – as dhEvathAs prayed to gangA, it split itself into thousand tributaries and fell down.
  • Ayiram mugaththinAl – As gangA passes through mEru mountain, manthara mountain and himavAn (Himalaya) mountain, that could also be identified as thousand tributaries (ways), here.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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thiruviruththam – 84 – thaiyanallArgaL

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avathArikai (Introduction)

This pAsuram says how the nAyaki, in a state of bewilderment, runs here and there, calling out to sarvESvaran, since she is not able to see him. This is similar to the way SrI rAma wandered in the forest, looking for sIthAppirAtti, as mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 60-36, 37 “kvachith udhbhramathE vEgAth kvachith vibhramathE balAth || kvachith maththa iva AbhAthi kAnthA anvEshaNa thathpara: |” (somewhere by forcefulness of illusion and somewhere else by the powerfulness of allusion and elsewhere, due to the love for his impassioned ladylove, he was running like a madman).

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

thaiyanallArgaL kuzhAngaL kuzhiya kuzhivinuLLum
aiyanallArgaL kuzhiya vizhavinum angangellAm
kaiya ponnAzhi veNsangodum kANbAn avAvuvan nAn
maiyavaNNa maNiyE muththamE enRan mANikkamE

Word-by-Word Meanings

thaiyal naLLArgaL –  gems of women
kuzhAngaL – association
kuzhiya – huge
kuzhuvinuLLum – in gatherings
aiyanallArgaL – wise men
kuzhiya – huge
vizhavinum – in celebrations
angangellAm – at all those places
maiya – like black pigment
vaNNA – one who has a form (such that the eyes of the beholder would feel cool)
maNiyE – one who is easily approachable
muththamE – one who is cool like a pearl
en than – as a lord for me
mANikkamE – one who is eminent like a carbuncle
kaiya – in the divine hands
pon – radiant
Azhi – with divine disc
veN – whitish
sangodum – with SrI pAnchajanyam (divine conch)
nAn – I
kANbAn – to worship (you)
avAvuvan – desired

Simple Translation

Oh one who has a divine form like a black pigment which is comforting for the beholder! Oh one who is easily approachable! Oh one who has a cool nature similar to pearl’s! Oh one who is like a carbuncle and who is my lord! Among the huge gatherings of women who are like gems and among the festive gatherings of wise men, I desire to see your divine hands holding the radiant divine disc and the divine white conch.

vyAkyAnam

thiyanallAr . . . – there are women who are like gems; there are huge gatherings of such women. When AzhwAr sees such gatherings, he would presume that krishNa is amidst them, ready to begin the dance called as kuravai (a dance in which two people will hold their hands tightly together and spin around, holding their feet at the centre).

aiya nallAr . . . – just as the wise saying goes “aRavOr arundhavaththOr aiyar” (eminent are those who follow righteous path and who carry out deep penance). aiyanallAr are even better than such people.  avargaL kuzhiya vizhavinum – places where yagyams (ritualistic events) are held, where they will be present in large numbers. In such places as well as in places where people similar to dhaNdakAraNya rishis are gathered. Places such as the one mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 57-13 “samAjEshu mahathsucha” (great assembly of wise men).

angangellAm – in places similar to these

kaiya . . . – AzhwAr desires to see sarvESvaran without distinction between his incarnations where he had hidden his divine disc and conch (such as krishNAvathAram) and those where he had displayed them. He had hidden his divine weapons only from demonic entities. What is the hurdle for me to see him with such divine weapons? Didn’t arjunan tell him in bhagavath gIthai 11-46 “thEnaiva rUpENa chathurbhujEna” (I desire to see your form with four shoulders, as before)?

avAvuvan nAn – Does desire have eyes? I desire only “To see”. I do not wish to think “He is difficult to see” If he is difficult to be seen, did he create the desire in  you to see him and punish you?

maiya vaNNA . . . – he says that it is the eminence in the entity that created the desire in him. When someone loses an eminent entity, will that person wait to get it back?

maiya vaNNA . . . – the entity is capable of making the beholder’s eyes to be cool, as if black pigment has been applied.

maNiyE – even when the entity is like this, it has to be experienced fully.

muththamE – if the entity were embraced, all the thirst would evaporate.

enRan mANikkamE – absolutely inestimable.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 83 – viLarikkural anRil

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avathArikai (Introduction)

In the previous pAsuram, sarvESvaran’s divine eyes tormented the nAyaki. This pAsuram narrates her sadness at seeing two nightingale birds sitting on a palm tree in the frontyard of her house. The two birds had locked their beaks when the female bird leaves. The male calls out after her. Seeing this, the nAyaki goes into a state of stupor. Her mother, hearing the bird’s high pitched calls, says “The sound of the bird is like this. Her [the daughter’s] distress due to separation is like this. Her softness is like this. Will I see her happy with her desire fulfilled?” When parASara bhattar was narrating this, his disciple nanjIyar asked him “Could you please narrate an incident similar to this from SrI rAmAyaNam?” bhattar responded saying “When lakshmaNa left sIthAppirAtti alone in the forest [when she was pregnant] she let out a cry. Sage vAlmIki who heard her cry of distress had a mental makeup similar to the nAyaki’s mother”

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

viLarikkural anRil menpEdai mEginRa munRil peNNai
muLarik kurambai idhu idhuvAga mugil vaNNan pEr
kiLarikkiLarip pidhaRRum mellAviyum naivumellAm
thaLariRkolO aRiyEn uyyalAvadhu iththaiyalukkE

Word-by-Word Meanings

mel – having a soft nature
pedai – with female bird
mEginRa – being united together
viLari – in a high pitch
kural – voice
anRil – nightingale bird’s
munRil – in the frontyard
peNNai – on top of the palm tree
muLari – made of lotus flower
kurambai – nest
idhu idhuvAga – tormenting permanently
mugil – like cloud
vaNNan – sarvESvaran who has a form like that
pEr – divine name
kiLarik kiLari – taking it repatedly
pidhaRRum – babbling
mel – soft
Aviyum – vital air
naivum – (body) crumbling
ellAm – since all these happened
iththaiyalukku – for this girl
uyyalAvadhu – to be alive
thaLaril kolO – is it possible
ariyEn – I am not sure

Simple Translation

There is a palm tree in the frontyard of nAyakí’s house where a male nightingale bird, with a high pitch, is living with its female nightingale which has a soft nature, inside a nest made with lotus flowers. Her mother says that she is not sure if the nAyaki will survive since she keeps babbling the divine names of sarvESvaran, since she has a soft nature and since her form is crumbling [due to separation from sarvESvaran].

vyAkyAnam

viLarikkural anRil – the term viLari refers to a high pitched voice. The male nightingale bird calls with such a high pitched voice.

men pEdai – the softness of the female nightingale bird is such that when being united, touching it would appear to be similar to touching a flower. If there is separation in such a soft natured entity, the distress would be impossible to tolerate.

mEginRa – being permanently united, without any separation. It would remind one of anapAyini (SrI mahAlakshmi who will not separate from emperumAn even for a moment).

munRil peNNai – the term munRil would refer both to frontyard and entrance. Some people asked vangipuraththu nambi when this pAsuram was being recited “Will anyone have a palm tree in the frontyard of the house?”  nambi responded saying  “You are asking about that! Isn’t that the reason as to why her matters are like this, where even the tender leaves are snapping?” Just as it has been said in periya thirumozhi pAsuram 11-2-1 “munRil thani ninRa peNNai mEl kidandhIrginRa anRilin kUttaip pirikka kiRpavar yArkolo?” (who has the cleverness to remove the nest of the nightingales, which are always together, from the palm tree seen at the entrance?) wouldn’t her relatives be busy in bringing the nAyakan back? The nAyaki is not the type who goes around separating and uniting entities.

muLarik kurambai – the male nightingale will build the nest with lotus leaves and flowers, to be apt for the soft nature of the female bird. Alternatively, muLari would refer to thorns and the nest would be built with thorns to protect the birds from outside attack.

idhu idhuvAga – after building nest like this and not tormenting.

mugil vaNNan pEr kiLarik kiLarip pidhaRRum – repeatedly babbling the divine name of sarvESvaran.

mellAviyum – even though she was reciting the divine names, did it make her feel peaceful? That did not happen because of the tiredness caused in her heart.

naivum– her physical form too was crumbling

ellAm – since all these happened

thaLariRkolO (iththaiyalukku uyyalAvadhu) – survival for this girl

thaLariRkolO – without even this blabbering, the only way to survive is to perish. I do not know whether she can survive without perishing.

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning): those who saw AzhwAr found that his form was getting tormented a lot. They said “Would we see him sustain himself until he reaches his end goal of attaining sarvESvaran? It appears that there is hope only after he leaves this physical form”

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 82 – erikoL sennAyiRu

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avathArikai (Introduction)

jIyar [nanjIyar] would mercifully say that this pAsuram is not to his liking. This is because, just as it is mentioned in periya thirumozhi 7-1-9 “thAyAyaLikkinRa thaNdAmaraikkaNNA” (Oh one who has divine eyes similar to cool, reddish lotus flower and who showers mercy like a mother!), sarvESvaran’s eyes which are soft are described in this pAsuram as being fiery. We could experience what AzhwAr is saying only if we too are suffering in distress, just like AzhwAr.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

erikoL sennAyiRu iraNdudanE udhayam malaivAy
viriginRa vaNNaththu emperumAn kaNgaL mINdavaRRuL
erikoL sendhIvIzhasuraraippOla empOliyarkkum
virivasolleer idhuvO vaiyamuRRum viLariyadhE

Word-by-Word Meanings

emperumAn – sarvESvaran, who is my lord
kaNgaL – divine eyes
erikoL – having fire
udhayam malaivAy – in the mountains where it rises from
udanE – simultaneously
viriginRa – spreading
sem – having reddish rays
iraNdu nAyiRu – twin sUriyans’
vaNNanththa – having the true nature
erikoL – having flame
sem – reddish
thI – like fire
avaRRuL – in the splendour of the sUriyan
mINdu – again
vIzh – falling
asuraraippOla – like demons (known as mandhEhar)
empOliyarkkum – like us who are affectionate (in matters related to bhagavAn)
viriva – appeared before us
vaiyam muRRum – throughout the world
viLariyadhu – calling out
idhuvO – was it for this?
solleer – please tell

Simple Translation

The divine eyes of sarvESvaran appear like two sUriyans, spitting fire, which have risen at the same time over the mountains. Just like demons die in the splendour of sUriyan’s flames, sarvESvaran’s divine eyes are harmful for us who are devoted to him.  Please tell us whether it is for this that the world is calling out to that sarvESvaran.

vyAkyAnam

eri . . . – The divine eyes of sarvESvaran are similar to two reddish sUriyans which are spitting fire and spreading it when they rise over the mountains.

mINdu . . . – when the sUriyan rises, demons, known as mandhEhars, will hold on to his chariot, preventing him from going further. The divine water offered by brAhmaNAs when they offer argyam will provide a splendour to sUriyan. The demons will fall into and get destroyed in that fire. Similar to those demons who fall into that roaming sUriyan’s fire and get destroyed . . .

empOliyarkkum viriva – for those like me who desire him and become sorrowful, they cause harm just like they do for the demons.

solleer idhuvO vaiyam muRRum viLariyadhE – is this the result for the world calling out to him? Please tell. Is it to fall into that fire that the world is calling out to him? Isn’t she the one who had thought in thiruvAimozhi 2.1 decad vAyum thiraiyugaLum when she felt that the entire world was suffering from the same sorrows that she was suffering from?

Alternatively

mINdavaRRuL erikoL sendhIvIzhasuraraippOl empOliyarkkum – just like those demons who fall into that flame of sUriyan’s splendour and perish, these eyes are harmful for people like me.

viriva solleer – tell me a refuge. In this context, the term viriva refers to being expansive and thus implies a refuge.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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periya thirumozhi – 1.4.6 – thEraNangalgul

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periya thirumozhi >> First centum >> Fourth decad

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Highlights from avathArikai (Introduction)

No specific introduction.

pAsuram

thEraNangalgul sezhungaiyaRkaNNi
thiRaththu oru maRath thozhil purindhu
pAraNangimilEREzhum mun adarththa
panimugil vaNNan emperumAn
kAraNandhannAl kadum punal kayaththa
karuvarai piLavezhak kuththi
vAraNam koNarndha gangaiyin karaimEl
vadhariyAchchirAmaththuLLAnE

Word-by-Word meanings

mun – Previously
thEr – chariot wheel
aNangu – will be a match if tried very hard
algul – a girl having waist region
sezhu – beautiful
kayal – like a kayal fish
kaNNi thiRaththu – for nappinnaip pirAtti who is having eyes
maRam – angry
oru thozhil – an action
purindhu – did
pAr – residents of earth
aNangu – to suffer
imil – having humps
ERu Ezhum – the seven bulls
adarththa – one who killed
pani – cool
mugil – like a cloud
vaNNan – having divine complexion
emperumAn – my lord
kAraNam thannAl – due to bhagIratha’s penance
kadu – having great speed
punal kayaththa – stopping the water
karu varai – huge mountain
piLavu ezha – to blast
kuththi – piercing
vAraNam – the elephants (which are present there)
koNarndha – which brought along and falling
gangaiyin karai mEl – on the banks of gangA
vadhariyAchchirAmaththu uLLAnE – one who is residing in SrI badharikASramam

Simple translation

Previously, for the sake of nappinnaip pirAtti whose waist region will match a chariot wheel if it (the chariot) tried hard, and who is having beautiful eyes which resemble kayal fish, emperumAn performed an angry action to kill the seven bulls with humps which were making the residents of earth to suffer; he is my lord who is having a divine complexion like that of a cool cloud; such emperumAn is residing in SrI badharIkASramam on the banks of gangA which is having great speed due to bhagIratha’s penance, to blast by piercing the huge mountain which stopped it and which is bringing along the elephants and falling.

Highlights from vyAkyAnam (Commentary)

  • thEr … – One who is having waist region which is as broad as a chariot when it (chariot) tries hard; aNangu – suffering. The chariot wheel is usually explained as a simile for waist region. For the sake of nappinnaip pirAtti who is having eyes which resemble kayal fish, emperumAn performed an angry action, and killed the bulls which were having humps which tormented the whole earth; becoming pleased on having his hurdle eliminated, having a cool cloud like divine form, he enslaved me completely by showing such beautiful form.
  • kAraNam … – It is said that, when bhagIratha was bringing gangA to earth, on the way, a mountain blocked the flow, and gangA pierced the mountain to split into two and also gathered and brought along the elephants and fell on earth.

The reason for that is,

  • kAraNam thannAl – It is due to the strength derived by bhagIratha’s penance, where he performed the penance to bring back to life, his forefathers who were burnt down to ashes. Due to this reason, having water which is strong due to its ancient nature, piercing the mountain and splitting it into two, and bringing along the elephants. Alternative explanation – while bringing gangA to the earth, as a mountain blocks the way, bhagIratha performs a penance towards indhra; indhra sends his chathurdhanthi (elephant with four tusks) and it digs into the mountain to split it into two and that elephant brought the water down; there is a well-known account in this manner; AzhwAr could be speaking about this as well.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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thiruviruththam – 81 – uRuginRa kanmangaL

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avathArikai (Introduction)

Darkness had set in everywhere. The nAyaki has become unconscious, thinking about him. Even after seeing her position, her relatives do not seem worried about it; they say “We will do the appropriate remedy at the appropriate time”. An old, knowledgeable woman, seeing this, says “Her position is sinking; her eminence is so great; when such is the case, why are they so lackadaisical? Are they not her parents?”

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

uRuginRa kanmangaL mElana OrppilarAy ivaLaip
peRuginRa thAyar meynondhu peRArgol thuzhAy kuzhal vAyth
thuRuginRalar thollai vEngadamAttavum sUzhginRalar
iRuginRadhAl ivaLAgam mellAvi eri koLLavE

Word-by-Word Meanings

mel – being soft
Avi – (her) vital air
eri – the fire of separation
koLLa – is swallowing her
ivaL – this nAyaki’s
Agam – form
iRuginRadhu – is perishing
mElana – what is going to happen
uRuginRa – approaching closely
kanmangaL – deeds to be carried out
OrppilarAy – without enquiring about them
thuzhAy – divine thuLasi
kuzhal vAy – on her locks
thuRuginRinar – they are not applying
thollai – being ancient
vEngadam – in the pond of thiruvEngadam
Attavum – giving her a bath
sUzhginRilar – they are not attempting
ivaLai – this distinguished nAyaki
peRuginRa – those who begot
thAyar – mothers
mey nondhu – with the body in pain
peRAr kol – did they not give birth to?

Simple Translation

The fire of separation is slowly destroying the nAyaki’s soft life. Her mothers do not seem to know the distinguished activities which will remove her distress. They are not applying the divine thuLasi, worn by sarvESvaran. They are not giving her a bath in the pond at the ancient thiruvEngadam. It appears that her mothers did not give birth to her, after suffering severe pain in their bodies [implying that she is not born to them but probably adopted].

vyAkyAnam

uRuginRa –  The old lady is wondering whether there is no activity to be performed by them [relatives of nAyaki] considering the relationship between them and the nAyaki.

uruginRa kanmangaL mElana OrppilarAy –  the nAyaki is not well. They have to take some actions for that. Though the time has come now for taking those actions, they seem to be undecided about the actions.

ivaLaippeRuginRa thAyar – should her mothers not be worried about her situation? Do they have to think whether their actions would be beneficial or not? Is it not enough that she is the daughter that they had sired?

mey nondhu peRAr kol – didn’t her mothers give birth to her after suffering pangs of pain during labour? Or, did they adopt her from someone and bring her up?

What is the reason for the old lady to say like this?

thuzhAy kuzhalvAyth thuRuginRalar – The time for carrying out the action which had been mentioned in thiruviruththam pAsuram 53 maNNAyinum koNdu vIsuminE has passed. Now, it is not sufficient to blow divine thuLasi or any of its connected entities such as stem or root or soil. Now they have to decorate her locks with thuLasi such that it is fully covering her locks.

thollai . . . – they do not seem carry out any of the remedial measures which the people of their clan had done in the past.

vEngadam Attavum – the place which is full of stones and forests, appears to be a pond for the nAyaki. Just as it has been said in mahAbhAratham mOksha dharmam 4-50 Esha brahma pravishtOsmi – they are not immersing her in the pond of parabrahmam (sarvESvaran) to give her a bath.

sUzhginRalar – they may not do that. They are not taking the initial steps for that; they are not enquiring about what is to be done. Would enquiring about it be sufficient to improve her situation? Since it is a matter related to sarvESvaran, the minute they take the first steps, it would start yielding the benefits.

Should the disease as well as the remedy be fully analysed before doing anything?

iRuginRadhAl ivaL Agam – would her nature tolerate such a lengthy process? Her form is crumbling.

mellAvi eri koLLavE – is it proper to look at the process when her soft AthmA is getting burnt by the fire of separation?

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning): this pAsuram narrates the way AzhwAr is immersed in matters relating to bhagavAn such that it becomes difficult both for those who try to sustain him and for sarvESvaran [the protector].

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 80 – sIrarasANdu

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avathArikai (Introduction)

The sun had set and darkness engulfed fully. This pAsuram reflects the words of the nAyaki in distress due to that.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

sIrarasANdu than sengOl silanAL seleeikkazhindha
pArarasoththu maRaindhadhu nAyiRu pAraLandha
pErarasE em visumbarasE emmai nIththu vanjiththa
OrarasE aruLAy iruLAy vandhu uRuginRadhE

Word-by-Word Meanings

sIr – very well
arasu – kingdom
ANdu – governing
than – his
sengOl – rule
sila nAL – some time
seleei – conducting
kazhindha – after spending
pAr – on the earth
arasE – with the kings
oththu – being equal [to them]
nAyiRu – sUriyan (sun)
maRaindhadhu – set
iruLAy vandhu – darkness, with its true form, came
uRuginRadhu – is contacting
pAr – earth
aLandha – one who seized
pEr – having a great quality
arasE – oh lord!
em – being in close proximity to us
visumbu – for paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam)
arasE – oh one who is the lord!
emmai – us
nIththu – leaving
vanjiththu – through deceit
Or – being unique
arasE – oh one who became the king!
aruLAy – show your mercy

Simple Translation

The sUriyan (sun) set like kings who rule very well for some time and then leave. Darkness which followed that, engulfed me fully. Oh my lord who measured this earth! Oh the lord of paramapadham which is close to us! Oh the lord who deceitfully left me! You should show your mercy on me.

vyAkyAnam

sIrarasu ANdu – ruling the kingdom well. When the pANdava king dharman left the country for vanavAsam (to dwell in the forest), the people of the country followed him with all their ritualistic paraphernalia, saying “if dharmaputhran does not rule the country we too would not stay here”; ruling the kingdom in such a noble way.

than sengOl silanAL seleei – not ruling for an insignificant period but for a long time, in an eminent way.

kazhindha pAr arasu oththu – ruling like respectable kings such as mANdhAthA (one of the kings in the ikshvAku dynasty, a lineage to which SrI rAma belonged)

maRaindhadhu nAyiRu – when sUriyan is around, it would appear as if nAyakan is around, comforting her. However, with sUriyan setting and night approaching, the sensory organs are focussing only on her separation from the nAyakan and are frightening her. In the daytime, each sensory organ would be involved in matters related to it and distress due to separation would not be intensely felt.

maRaindhadhu – sUriyan is common to all people; however, to the nAyaki, he was more significant since she was looking at his disappearance just like she would keep looking at her nAyakan when he was leaving her.

pAraLandha pErarasE – if sUriyan, who has been caught in the web of darkness, has to be redeemed, it would require the presence of the same entity who had redeemed earth from the clutches of mahAbali.

aLandha – just as he had measured the entire expanse of earth with his divine feet, couldn’t he measure this darkness too? Just as it has been mentioned in thiruviruththam 33 “iruLAr vinai keda” (to annihilate the sins of darkness) wouldn’t he be ruling to get rid of darkness?

pErarasE – he is  not one who carries out lowly and simple acts; all his activities are great ones.

em visumbarasE – after acquiring knowledge about matters relating to sarvESvaran, paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam) appears to be much closer to AzhwAr than samsAram. Just as it has been mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 6-8-1 “ponnulagu ALIrO” (AzhwAr tells the birds that he would give them SrIvaikuNtam itself to rule), AzhwAr had gifted SrIvaikuNtam as the first gift to those who were to unite him with sarvESvaran.

emmai nIththu vanjiththa OrarasE – thirukkurugaippirAn piLLAn would explain this by saying “As if he had crowned himself separately for the two vibhUthis, it appears that he had taken over this vibhUthi only to separate me and to destroy me”. bhattar would explain this by saying “When he separated from me, he had said ‘I will not leave you’; once he separated me from him, he seemed to say ‘Who can equal me in this nature?’ It appeared as if he had coronated himself separately for this behaviour saying ‘There is none to equal me in dismissing those who will not separate’ ”

aruLAy – when nothing exists, there will be none asking for mercy to be showered. Those who are in paramapadham will not desire anything since they are deeply engaged with the qualities of sarvESvaran; those who are in samsAram will sustain themselves only through food, water etc. Could he not shower his mercy on someone who, staying here, is in the status of those who are in paramapadham? Those in paramapadham would be fully devoted to enjoying the auspicious qualities of sarvESvaran while those in samsAram would be fully devoted to SabdhAdhi vishayam (matters relating to sensory perceptions such as sound, touch etc). sarvESvaran has to shower his mercy on samsAris who have only knowledge about his auspicious qualities but not the experience with them.

What is the need to shower his mercy here, now?

iruLAy vandhu – instead of a tiger disguised as a cow, now the real tiger itself has come in the form of darkness. In other words, instead of fearing deluge, darkness has come to cause harm.   For regular samsAris, deluge would cause harm; for those in separation, darkness itself does that much of harm.

uRuginRadhE – darkness has come to envelop her fully. Before that, she wants to unite with sarvESvaran who is referred to in periya thiruvandhAdhi 26 as “iruLanna mAmEni” – the huge form of sarvESvaran which is dark.

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning): AzhwAr mercifully says that since the time of stay in samsAram creates ignorance, he wants sarvESvaran to redeem him soon from it.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 79 – vEdhanai veNpuri

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avathArikai (Introduction)

AzhwAr is mercifully speaking about those who are able to enjoy firmly all the matters related to bhagavAn, unlike himself who becomes faint on thinking about him.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

vEdhanai veNpurinUlanai viNNOr parava ninRa
nAdhanai gyAlam vizhungum anAdhanai gyAlandhaththum
pAdhanaip pARkadal pAmbaNai mEl paLLi koNdaruLum
sIdhanaiyE thozhuvAr viNNuLArilum sIriyarE

Word-by-Word Meanings

vEdhanai – one who is described by vEdhas (sacred texts)
veN – whitish
puri – having strands
nUlanai – having divine sacred thread
viNNOr – nithyasUris (permanent dwellers of SrIvaikuNtam)
parava ninRa – being worshipped by
nAdhanai – being the lord
gyAlam – leelAvibhUthi (materialistic realm) including earth
vizhungum – one  who swallows
anAdhanai – one who does not have a lord for him
gyAlam – earth
thaththum – one who brought under
pAdhanai – having divine feet
pARkadal – in thiruppARkadal (divine milky ocean)
pAmbu aNai mEl – on top of the divine bed of divine AdhiSEshan
paLLi koNdu aruLum – one who is reclining mercifully
sIdhanaiyE – sarvESvaran who has coolness as his natural quality
thozhuvAr – those who worship
viNNuLArilum – more than nithyasUris
sIriyarE – are eminent

Simple Translation

sarvESvaran is described by the vEdhas, he wears the divine sacred thread with white strands and is worshipped by nithyasUris. He swallows all the worlds, doesn’t have a lord for himself and measures all the worlds and keeps them under his divine feet. He reclines on the divine mattress of AdhiSEshan in the divine thiruppARkadal and has coolness as his true nature. Those who worship him are more eminent than the nithyasUris.

vyAkyAnam

vEdhanai – AzhwAr thinks of vEdhas which keep thinking, just like himself, only about sarvESvaran and which do not have a beginning or end.

veN puri nUlanai – just as it has been  seen in the previous pAsuram mai varai pOl poliyum uru, he  has a dark form; vEdhas too describe such divine form. He has a whitish divine thread which contrasts with that dark form.

viNNOr parava ninRa nAdhanai – even nithyasUris, in a disorderly way, keep calling out to such form

gyAlam vizhungum anAdhanai – he does not look at his eminence in being praised by those who have no shortcomings in them [nithyasUris]; he thinks constantly of samsAris (dwellers in materialistic realm) and protects them by keeping the world in which they live, in his divine stomach, during deluge. He has no one who can tell him “You are not supposed to do this” [he has none above him who can order him].

gyAlam . . . – instead of protecting once and letting go, like a worm making movements such that it forms an alphabet by accident, he has the divine feet which encircled the world fully, protecting them.

gyAlam . . . – even after carrying out all the activities for samsAris, including measuring their worlds and protecting them, he thinks “We have not done anything for them”

pARkadal . . . – he keeps reclining on thiruppARkadal (the divine milky ocean) thinking about the protection of the worlds; despite doing everything, he thinks “We have not done anything for them”; he retrieves the worlds which indhra [the lord of celestial entities] had lost out to demons,and reclines.

sIdhanai – if one were to think about his reclining on thiruppARkadal, all the heat [anguish] gets removed; he has such a cool nature. Just as it has been mentioned in narAyaNa sUktham thApArthO jalaSAyinam – he reclines on water in order to remove the heat of samsAris.

sIdhanaiyE thozhuvAr – those who worship him without expecting some other benefit [instead of himself]; those who worship him without becoming faint hearted on hearing his divine name.

viNNuLArilum sIriyarE – unlike those who are permanently enjoying sarvESvaran from that place [nithyavibhUthi], those who are in samsAram, which is the exact opposite of nithyavibhUthi, and having the activity of worshipping him as a constant behaviour, are more eminent than nithyasUris.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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