SrI: SrImathE SatakOpAya nama: SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama: SrImath varavaramunayE nama:
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The respected mother thought, “She (the daughter, parakAla nAyaki, that is, thirumangai AzhvAr), is able to say with her mouth the divine names (of Him); she is in a state of being able to tolerate singing His names”; furthermore, “If we brought and placed the parrot which is sad due to not hearing her words, and make it say the divine names, then that would bring solace to her” – thinking so she brought the parrot and placed it in front of her.
(Translator’s note: In the kAlakshEpams of both SrI u.vE. koil vidhvAn narasimhAchAriar swami and of SrI u.vE. vElukkudi krishNan swami that are available to adiyen, this is the meaning provided. In the ‘vivaraNam’ (detailed meanings) by SrI u.vE. S. krishNaswAmy iyengAr (sudarsanar) swamy, it is given as – [(If we brought and placed the parrot which is sad due to not hearing her words), then she (parakAla nAyaki) would teach the parrot the divine names, (and that would bring solace to her)]. End of Translator’s note).
But when the parrot stayed put without saying anything, the mother said ‘kindly say the divine name’ (addressing it in a respectable way as required to do for any one who recite divine names); since the parrot was sad due to seeing her state, and thinking “as her servant due to being her disciple, we shall not say it in front of her even though it is she who taught me”, it avoided saying any words. This shows the meaning of SAsthram “Even it is the words taught by AchAryan, one should not say those words in his presence [i.e.one should let the AchArya speak always and not boast one’s own oratory skills in front of the AchArya]”.
Seeing this, she said ‘It is okay for you to follow me and recite as I recite the divine name”. Since that is how it was taught by her in the beginning, the parrot agreed to this. As she said the divine name, it repeated; after it said the name, as the lady started thinking about the meaning of the divine name, rued – this emperumAn, who would help anyone in danger, is not helping me, and so became weak – says the divine mother in this pAsuram.
Is it possible for his divine name to help sustain life at one time, and the same name would weaken us at another state? At every different state, the divine name would influence a different effect. In one state the divine name would purify; in one state it would bring happiness; in one state it would remove the fear of living in this material world; in one state it would be the means for getting something; in one state it would help sustain the life in oneself; in one state it would be like a poison and make one lose one’s life (due to desperation of separation from Him),
We see this in the case of samsAris as related to food they eat. As said in ‘AhAra-SudhDhau saththva SudhDhi: saththva SudhDhau DhruvAsmRthi: | smRthi lamBhE sarvagranTheenAm vipramOksha: || [chAndhokyOpanishad 7-26-2] (mind is purified by pure food; if mind is purified then thoughtfulness will be established well; if that happens then all the knots like bad karmas would go away), food would make one pure, bring happiness, would be a means for some benefit as in the form of donating it etc., and if taken in excess that food would be poisonous as well. In the same manner, for one who is having the thought ‘This AthmA is a servant of emprumAn’, the divine name would be a purifier at first, then would give mOksham and save us, and since it is auspicious it would be a sweet one to be attainable;
This is as said in ‘pavithrANAm hi gOvindha: pavithram paramuchyathE | puNyAnAmapi puNyA(S)sau mangaLAnAncha mangaLam [mahAbhAratham – AraNya parvam – 86-23] ((Dhaumyar said to yuthishtra) – Among those that purify, gOvindha is said as the most purifier; He is the most virtuous among the virtues that elevate a human being; He is the most auspicious among all the auspiciousness);
As said in ‘yannAma sankeerthanathO mahABhayAth vimOkshamApnOthi na samSayam nara: | sa sarvalOkArththiharO nRukEsaree mamAsthu mAngaLya vivrudhDhayE hari: || [vishNu Dharmam 431-24] (Reciting the divine name of whom would let a person relieve from the fear of material world, that narasinga who removes sorrows of all the world shall grow auspiciousness for me), the divine name would help remove the sorrows of the material world. These are states talked about when it comes to the rishis.
Among the AzhvArs, the divine name is famously known as enjoyable, life sustaining, purifying, and, poisonous. They said about the divine name being sweet and enjoyable, in ‘achyuthA amararErE Ayar tham kozhundhE [thirumAlai – 2]’. They said about it being purifier in ‘nin nAmam kaRRa Avalippu [thirumAlai – 1]; they said about it as being life sustaining in ‘gOvindhan guNam pAdi Avi kAththiruppEnE [nAchchiyAr thirumozhi – 8.3]’; they also said about it being poisonous in ‘kaNNan nAmamE kuzhaRik konReer [thiruvAimozhi 9.5.8] and in ‘pizhaippil perum peyarE pEsi [iraNdAm thiruvanthAdhi – 50] (talking about the divine name which makes those who think about it be involved and then destroy them (due to separation))’.
kalleduththuk kalmAri kAththAy! enRum
kAmarupUngachchi UrakaththAy! enRum
villiRuththu melliyal thOL thOyndhAy! enRum
vehkAvil thuyilamarndha vEndhE! enRum
malladarththu mallarai anRattAy! enRum
mAkeeNda kaiththalaththu en myndhA enRum
solleduththuth than kiLiyaich chollE enRu
thuNai mulai mEl thuLi sOrach chOrkinRALE. 13
Word by word meaning
kAththAy – (This little girl is saying these -) Oh You who protected
kalmAri – from the rain that is hail (which was set to be poured by indhra)
kal eduththu – as you lifted and held a mountain
enRum – and,
kAmaru pU kachchi UrakaththAy enRum – Oh You who is having divine presence in thiru Uragam of kAncheepuram which is loveable and beautiful!, and,
vil iRuththu melliyal thOL thOyndhAy enRum – Oh You who broke the bow and got the hand of seethA pirAtti!, and,
vehkAvil thuyil amarndha vEndhE enRum – Oh You the King who is reclining in thiru vehkA!, and
anRu – that day (when you incarnated as kaNNan),
mal adarththu – restraining their strength
attAy – you destroyed
mallarai – the wrestlers,
enRum – and
en myndhA – Oh! my lord
kaiththalaththu – having beautiful divine hands that
mA keeNda – destroyed by tearing kEsi who came as a horse!
enRum – and
than kiLiyai – looking at her parrot
sol eduththu – and prompting it so with the first word of divine name,
sol enRu – ‘you say (the rest of the name) yourself’, saying so, (and after it started saying the divine name),
thuLi sOra – with tears rolling down
thuNai mulai mEl – upon both the divine breasts,
sOrginRAL – she is suffering.
kal eduththu, etc.- Since the girl is in the state of suffering due to separation from emperumAn, she prompts the divine names of emperumAn that would remove sufferings, and asks the parrot to recite those names.
kal etc. – This talks about how indhra, he who was placed to protect the worlds, himself became the harasser, and so those people of AyarpAdi the cows etc., who were to be protected by him had suffered in his hands, and were saved by Him who is a natural protector. As those in thiruvAyppAdi were set to worship indhra for rain, krishNan stopped that and said “Protection for us is the forest and the mountain; it would be appropriate to worship them”, and they followed suit and worshipped them, and He ate those food as the god in the form of the mountain.
He thought that those who were loved by Him doing this worship of someone else is like – giving own wife to someone else. That is how emperumAn (krishNAn) felt. At this point, indhra should have thought “He, instead of as antharyAmi, directly ate the food Himself which was offered to only me as part of worship; (He, with kindness, ate it) without thinking that the food was meant for me (lesser god)”, and so indhra should have given himself as a servant in writing; instead he was angry, and thought “These cowherds with the dependency towards krishNa nullified the festival meant for me!”, and called the group of clouds that can destroy the world and said “Destroy away this thiruvAyppAdi by pouring hail!”; and the people of thiruvAippAdi suffered due to the hail stones, as said in “thathasthath gOkulam sarvam gO gOpee jana sankulam | atheevArththam harir dhrushtvA maithrEyOchinthayath thadhA || [vishNu purANam 5-11-13] (Hey maithrEya! Then, krishNan saw the whole gOkulam filled with cows and gOpikAs was sad, and started thinking about it), at that time (after deciding to save them), emperumAn thought that they should not think ‘We worshipped the mountain (but) krishNan saved us’, and so he lifted the mountain itself that they worshipped, and saved them.
kalleduththu – As said in ‘sOlai sUzh kunRu eduththAy [mudhal thiruvanthAdhi – 69]’ (You lifted the mountain that is surrounded by gardens), it is such a mountain surrounded by gardens that he lifted, but she is using the simple word kal (rock) here, as if He lifted some insignificant piece – because she saw how playfully He lifted the SrI gOvardhana mountain, the strength of lifting such a mountain is what is deep seated in her heart. This girl is of the state ‘Getting Him to be near, enjoying Him, and getting Him is all due to the power of ESvaran’.
“This (prapaththi/surrendering to Him) is for those not having strength; those having strength should reach Him through other means” – such words cannot be heard in the camp of our AchAryas; this group is of the conclusion that ‘there is no difference between those having and lacking strength; for achieving Him it is His strength that we depend on”.
As said in ‘yadhi kinchidhanukrOSa: thasya mayyasthi Dheematha: | yadhi vA BhAKhyaSEshA mE SathO Bhava hanUmatha: || [SrI rAmAyaNam – sundhara kANdam – 53-27] (If there is even a little bit of kindness towards me for the learned charkravarththi thirumagan, if there is some fruit of good deeds left in me, then you be cold and comforting to hanUman (said seethA pirAtti to fire when it was lit on the tail of hanUman); whereas such power was present in Her, and
whereas as a support hanUman was present there who said ‘na rAvaNam sahasram mE yudhDhE prathibalam BhavEth | SilAbiScha praharatha: pAdhapaiScha sahasraSa: || [SrI rAmAyaNam – sundhara kANdam – 42-35] (To me, who destroy enemies by using thousands of rocks and trees, even a thousand rAvANas are not equal (said hanUman)),
she still said ‘Saraisthu sangulAm kruthvA lankAm parabalArthdhana: | mAm nayEdh yadhi kAkuthsTha: thath thasya sadhruSam BhavEth || [SrI rAmAyaNam – sundhara kANdam 30-30]’ (If chakravarththi thirumagan who can destroy the strength of enemies would agitate lankA with arrows and rescue and take me, then that only would be appropriate for Him), such was how She, the first in the series of AchAryas, depended on the power of emperumAn only.
SrI parASara bhattar would divine regarding this as “Since it was a rain of hail stones, He lifted the stone (mountain) and saved; if it was a rain of water, then, you see, He would have lifted the ocean to protect”. By this, it is clear that there is no limitation for the omnipotent that He can do only such things with such items.
(why does She talk about His lifting the mountain?) – Is there a rule that it is required to protect from the dangers caused only by others? Could you not protect (me) from the danger caused by You? Is it required to save only those who got caught in the hail stone rain? Is it not required to save those who get caught in the rain of sorrow as said in ‘avivEka GhanAnDha dhingmuKhE bhahuDhA santhatha duHKha-varshiNi | Bhagavan! BhavadhurthdhinE padha:skhalitham mAm avalOkayAchyutha || [SrI AlavandhAr’s sthOthra rathnam – 49] (Oh Who is having full of higher knowledge and power! Oh Who does not abandon the devotees! Please notice me who missed the good path amidst the darkness of rainy days that is this material world which is having the directions darkened by clouds that is lack of wisdom, and which pours sorrows that are of multiple types and is continuous)?
Is it required to protect only if the whole town is sorrowful? Is it not required to protect me who is suffering at the same level as the whole town? Is it required to lift a mountain to save me? Is it not enough to just show the shoulder that lifted the mountain?
kAmaru pUm, etc. – Is it not for those who are present (now) after the time of Your lifting the mountain, that You have come to thiru Uragam so that you can fully show Yourself to them? Why is She talking that krishNan has come to thiru Uragam, when it is thrivikraman who is standing there with the pose of spanning the worlds? Touching everyone without thinking about any differences among them, doing actions for devotees as if it is He who is honoured by it – are unique qualities of both the incarnations. So this is how she considers both as one.
kAmaru pUm kachchi – place that is liked and beautiful. The meaning is that it is the kancheepuram that is prosperous in (1) having enjoyable things and (2) having those (people) of enjoyable disposition. Since it is prosperous in having several dhivya dhESams, it is said as place where there are many things that let you enjoy emperumAn; since it is a big city it is rich with things that are used for enjoying emperumAn; greatness of paramapadham is these two aspects as well. Those divine feet that were easily available (when spanning the worlds as thrivikraman) even to those who did not care for it, are not available to me who is longing for it, says she.
When spanning the worlds if the divine feet had not touched everyone but only a few, then I may be able to stay calm; it wasn’t so. When You have come as thrivikraman (in thiru Uragam) for those of later times to see You, am I staying calm that I am present in the later times?
(This AzhvAr) does not experience in a series of lines in a pAsuram the feel of emperumAn of either vibhavAvathAram (incarnations) or archAvathAram (emperumAn of temples) – he experiences these two in alternating lines within a pAsuram (like in this pAsuram, sixteenth and some others), such is his ways;
Reason for this is – kings/princes, who are very tender and pampered, would add ghee to each handful of food they eat. This AzhvAr too, when enjoying vibhavAvathAram would include in alternate lines the archAvathArams because he cannot be without enjoying archAvathArams.
(But then why not sing only about archAvathArams?) – it is because archAvathArams are like a little pool of water that stays after the floods that are vibhavAthrams have gone, he includes vibhavAvathArams also which are the sources for archAvathAram, when singing about archAvathArams.
This is the difference between other AzhvArs and this thirumangai AzhvAr – they would talk about paramapadhanAthan when talking about His greatness; and they would talk about vibhavAvathAram when talking about his simplicity (affability); and for directly seeing that simplicity they would enjoy archAvathAram; (But), thirumangai AzhvAr experiences greatness in archAvathAram itself; experiences simplicity in archAvathAram itself; sees that directly in archAvathAram itself.
Continued in part 2
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Translation by raghurAm SrInivAsa dhAsan.
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