SrI: SrImathE SatakOpAya nama: SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama: SrImadh varavara munayE nama:
This thaniyan, composed by maNakkAl nambi (AchAryan of ALavandhAr), manifests his bias towards SrI vaishNavas
Aram kedap parananbar koLLArenRu avargaLukkE
vArangodu kudappAmbil kaiyittavan mARRalarai
vIrangeduththa sengOl kolli kAvalan villavar kOn
sEran kulaSEkharan mudivEndhar sigAmaNiyE
Aram keda– since the ruby necklace went missing (due to the conspiracy of ministers)
paran anbar koLLAr enRu – telling them that SrI vaishNavas will not touch others’ possession
avargaLukkE – in the matter of SrI vaishNavas (who were charged with the theft)
vAram kodu – showing bias
kudap pAmbil kai ittavan – one who thrust his hand inside a pot, containing a poisonous snake
mARRalarai – enemies’
vIram keduththa – one who destroyed their valour
sengOl – one who has the sceptre
kolli kAvalan – being the controller of the city of kolli
villavar kOn – being the leader of other kings
mudi vEndhar – for the kings who were crowned
sigAmaNiyE– one who is like a jewel in their crowns
sEran kulaSEkharan – it is kulaSEkhara AzhwAr, who is like a ruby for the clan of chEra kings
kulaSEkhara AzhwAr vowed to his ministers that SrI vaishNavas will not desire others’ possessions when they blamed the SrI vaishNavas for stealing a ruby necklace. To prove his confidence in them, he thrust his hand inside a pot containing a poisonous snake. He destroyed the valour of his enemies; he ruled over the town of kolli with a sceptre in his hand. He was a king among kings, being a jewel on their crowns. He was the ruby for the clan of chEra kings.
Aram keda – The ministers in kulaSEkharar’s council thought that the affection which kulaSEkharar had towards SrI vaishNavas was hindering his regal duties as a king. Hence, they decided to put an end to his affection towards SrI vaishNavas. They hid a ruby necklace of emperumAn’s and shifted the blame on SrI vaishNavas.
Hearing this ….
paran anbar koLLAr enRu – kulaSEkharar made a vow that SrI vaishNavas, who are deeply devoted to paravasthu (supreme entity, SrIman nArAyaNa) will not covet para vasthu (material, belonging to others). Only those who are not devoted to emperumAn will act similar to kaNNinuN siRuththAmbu pAsuram 5 “nambinEn piRar nanporuL thannaiyum” (I will covet AthmA, which belongs to emperumAn).
Due to this ….
avargaLukkE vAram kodu kudappAmbil kai ittavan – Not only did kulaSEkharar vow that SrI vaishNavas will not steal others’ belongings. He exhibited his bias towards them by putting his hand against the hood of a snake which was kept inside a pot, in line with the saying of nammAzhwAr as in periya thiruvandhAdhi pAsuram 14 “pAmbAr vAy kai neettal pArththi” (you are trying to put out your hand into the mouth of a snake (here, samsAram is referred to by the term snake)). The opinion here is that he undertook a frightening vow of putting his hand inside the mouth of a snake since he was of the firm belief that SrI vaishNavas will not at all steal anyone’s possession.
Was the person who carried out such an act, an ordinary, lowly person? No, he was an emperor who would disarm the valour of enemies …….
mARRalarai vIram keduththa – one who made the valour of enemies as useless.
How did he achieve this?
sengOl – Through his sceptre, with which he was ruling over his enemies too. Did not nammAzhwAr mercifully state in thiruviruththam 33 “iruLAr vinai kedach chengOl nadAvudhIr” (emperumAn rules over both spiritual realm and materialistic realm through his sceptre)!
kolli kAvalan – Just as nammAzhwAr is referred to as kurugaik kAvalan (ruler of kurugUr), kulaSEkharar is referred to as kolli kAvalan, ruler of chEranAdu (land of chEras), whose capital is kolli.
villavar kOn – we can construe this as – the king of those who are ruling other countries with their bows. Alternatively, since bow is the symbol for chEra kings, we can consider this term to refer to the king of chEras. kulaSEkharar himself had referred to the fact that he is the king of all three lands, chEra, chOzha and pANdiya, through his verse in perumAL thirumozhi 2-10 “kolli kAvalan kUdal nAyagan kOzhikkOn kulaSEkharan” – kolli refers to the capital city of chEras, kUdal refers to madhurai, the capital city of pANdiyas and kOzhi refers to uRaiyUr, the capital city of chOzhas. Hence, we can say that he is the head of all three lands.
sEran kulaSEkharan – though he is the head of all three lands, here he is referred to as the head of kings of chEras. kulaSEkharan is his divine name.
Since he is the most powerful king among all the kings, he is referred to as
mudivEndhar sigAmaNi – just as it has been said in periya thirumozhi 5-8-9 “thuLangu nINmudi arasar” (king with a splendorous long crown), since all the kings who wear long crowns on their heads bow down their heads at the divine feet of kulaSEkhara AzhwAr, he is referred to as mudivEndhar sigAmaNi. kulaSEkharar himself had mercifully stated in perumAL thirumozhi 7-11 “mAladi mudimEl kOlamAm kulaSEkharan” (kulaSEkharan who is bowing down his head at the divine feet of SrIman nArAyaNa). Just as his crown was decorating the divine feet of emperumAn, the crowns of all the other kings were decorating his divine feet. periya thirumozhi 9-5-4 says “perumaNi vAnavar uchchi vaiththa pEraruLALan” – emperumAn is the jewel for other celestial entities. Similarly, kulaSEkharar is the jewel on the crowns of other kings. “ISvarANAm SrImath kirIta thata bIditha pAdha pItam” – emperumAn has great divine feet which are bowed down to by the crowns of all the other celestial deities. In the same way is the greatness of this AzhwAr who is referred to as perumAL.
mudivEndhar sigAmaNiyE – we can construe this to say that his greatness is immeasurable, since he is like the jewel decorating the crowns of all the kings and is nonpareil. Alternatively, we can say that it is indeed wondrous that such kulaSEkhara AzhwAr, who is matchless, put his hand inside the pot containing poisonous snake, for the sake of followers of emperumAn. He had mercifully said in his perumAL thirumozhi 2-10 “arangan meyyadiyArgaL tham ellaiyil adimaith thiRaththinil enRu mEvu manaththananAm …. kulaSEkharan” (kulaSEkharan is always at the boundary of servitude, of carrying out service to the divine followers of SrI ranganAthan). We can say that in this thaniyan, he has manifested his bhaktha pArathanthriyam (being totally subservient to the followers of emperumAn).
In the next article, we will discuss the pravESam (introduction) for the first decad.
adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan
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