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siRiya thirumadal – Introduction

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

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<< thaniyan

thirumangai AzhvAr’s chronological sequence of works is periya thirumozhi, thirukuRuNthANdakam, thiruvezhukURRirukkai, siRiya thirumadal, periya thirumadal and thiruneduNthAndakam. In his second work namely thirukuRuNthANdakam, thirumangai AzhvAr saw parama purushan SrIman nArAyaNan in his heart via his internal senses, as revealed by pAsurams like “en manaththu vandha vidhiyinaik kaNdukoNda thoNdanEn vidugilEnE (thirukuRuNthANdakam 1)”. In his third work namely “thiruvezhukURRirukkai”, he yearned for SrIman nArAyaNan and expressed his desire to enjoy HIM with his exterior senses as well. He performed SaraNAgathi at the lotus feet of the lord at thirukkudandhai. This could be seen in verses like “selvam malgu thenthirukkudandhai aNdhaNar mandhira mozhiyudan vaNanga, AdaravamaLiyil aRithuyilamarndha parama ninadiyiNaip paNivan”. Even after this SaraNAgathi, his desire was not fulfilled.  thirumangai AzhvAr started to explore the reason for the futility of his SaraNAgathi. parama purushan SrIman nArAyaNan is not someone who does not know the situation in which thirumangai AzhvAr is confronted with. HE is not someone who does not have the power to reach the place where thirumangai AzhvAr is. HE is not someone who is not wanted by thirumangai AzhvAr and so all these aforementioned reasons could not be the reason. thirumangai AzhvAr had just then performed SaraNAgathi and so that would  mean that there is nothing that thirumangai AzhvAr needs to do more. So, that is also not a reason for HIS “no-show” or “late show”. The reason for the delay on the part of SrIman nArAyaNan, is neither because of thirumangai AzhvAr’s efforts nor SrIman nArAyaNan’s lack of power and knowledge. The real reason is that SrIman nArAyaNan did not have in HIS heart, the desire to mingle with thirumangai AzhvAr at that point in time. Therefore, thirumangai AzhvAr decided that he is going to do whatever it takes even if it means to destroy his essential nature of “pAranthanthriyam”. (Simple definition of “pArathanthiryam: The quality by which an entity is what the master SrIman nArAyaNan wants it to be”.  The entity (it can be a living or non-living) does not do anything on its own volition rather SrIman nArAyaNan chooses what it needs to be). thirumangai AzhvAr decided that he wanted to see his master SrIman nArAyaNan and for that he is going to go the distance, whatever that entails. He thought of SrIman nArAyaNan’s incarnation as krishNa. Specifically, he was reminded of a gOpikA who was thinking incessantly about the glorious pot dance of krishNa yet could not get to be united with HIM at that time. She started to lament her pangs of separation thereupon. In a similar vein, thirumangai AzhvAr laments in this dhivya prabandham.

We should understand what a “madal” is. Here is a brief background about it. There is a SrI rAmAyaNam SlOkam that goes “thulyaseela vayOvruththAm thulyAbhijanalakshaNam! rAghavOrhathi vaidhEhIm thamsEyam asithEkshaNA (suNdhara kANdam 16.5)”. The meaning of this SlOkam is that SrI rAma was the ideal match for sIthAp pirAtti in terms of everything including good character, age, discipline and beauty. sIthAp pirAtti who has black eyes, would find the ideal match in only SrI rAma who also has the exact same complexion as sIthAp pirAtti.  This SlOkam explains the qualities of a nAyakan (male lover) and a nAyaki (female lover). A true nAyakan is one replete with masculine qualities of intelligence, wisdom, respect, inquisitiveness, eagerness to learn and determination. A true nAyaki is one that is full of feminine qualities of nANam (shyness), madam (being humble and disciplined), achcham (fear) and payirppu (quality where her skin becomes pale due to inability to bear the separation from her nAyakan). Let us say that there exists a couple in the world with all these qualities. The nAyaki goes to garden with her friends to pluck flowers. The nAyakan starts to go hunting and ends up in this same garden where the nAyaki is currently. This meeting / arrangement is pre-determined by fate. nAyaki’s best friend  was also doing some other things when nAyakan and nAyaki met each other. Their eyes met first that ended up in unison.  God thought “if I let them be like this forever, because of excessive joy, they may end up risking their lives ultimately, just like how crops get destroyed by the onslaught of excessive floods. I should make sure that they get separated at a timely fashion and then make them unite again until the final moment where ‘nothing could separate them’ moment arrives. This is the only way out for them to live and be in a relationship”. God decided to separate these lovers and did it. Relatives of the lovers did observe a marked difference in their bodies as seen in “punai izhaigaLaNivum Adaiyudayum pudhukkaNippum ninaiyum nIrmaiyadhanRu (thiruvAimozhi 9.8.5)”. They maintained a tight vigil on the lovers so that they can be safe. However, it back fired and in fact increased the lover’s pangs of separation 100,000 times more. At this juncture, a lover who is not able to be with his or her lover, does something valiant known as “performing a madal”.

The valiant act is nothing but to destroy the lover’s characteristics like the basic innate qualities (svarUpam), beauty (rUpam), guNam (qualities) and wealth (vibhUthi). A lover draws a picture of his or her lover. He or she stares incessantly at the picture without eating ghee and drinking milk. He or she does not take bath either nor do they decorate themselves. There is a horse shaped toy called madal and the lover imagines himself or herself to travel the globe in that madal with shabby hair with shouts of “this person has estranged me. He or she does not have any soft corner towards me. He or she is a person who is so fast at the task in which he or she has a stake in it. If the task is accomplished, he or she forgets the other person and leaves just like that without having any feelings whatsoever towards the other lover. There is no bounds to the list of harm that this person can do”. The lover goes about all the streets trying to echo similar sentiments all the time. Any person who hears these lamentations would be greatly perturbed and would involve themselves in finding the person who had estranged his or her lover. This act is known as “performing a madal” that is literally nothing but negating all positive attributes of a lover that includes the likes of wealth, qualities, beauty and innate qualities.

What is the use of this cruel act of performing a madal?  The hope is that the friends and relatives of the lovers go in all directions in pursuit of the lover and try to unite them. It is also possible that the king in that area could help the lover in getting his or her separated soulmate. If the friends and family does not pay any heed in their cause, then the lovers could get united and be the source of sustenance. If nothing happens, then there is one final glory that awaits the lovers. The glory is nothing but the pride that the lover ended his or her life because he or she could not get their counterpart and so had to choose a tragic life eventually.

In his thiruvAimozhi, specifically “vazhavEl uzhagil”, nammAzhvAr compared and contrasted his lowliness with SrIman nArAyaNan’s loftiness. He thought to himself, “if I go to such a great person, will I not be casting a low image on HIM? Yes. It definitely would and hence I should not go towards HIM. I should stay away from HIM”. This is the character of AzhvArs.  Given this nature of AzhvArs, can they be involved in performing a madal? They are not the ones who are going to destroy the qualities of their lover who is none other than SrIman nArAyaNan.  namAzhvAr in his thiruVaimozhi 5.3 (mAsaru sOdhi), mentions “ANaiyen thOzhi ulagu thOru alarthURRi, Am kONaigaL seydhu kudhiriyAi madalUrdhumE (thiruvAimozhi 5.3.9)”. He also says “yAm madalUrndhum yem AzhiyangaippirAnudan, thUmadal thaNNanthuzhAi malar koNdu sUduvOm (thiruvAimozhi 5.3.10)”. In these, he just threatens SrIman nArAyaNan that he would perform a madal. Likewise, thirumangai AzhvAr, tries to threaten SrIman nArAyaNan that can be seen in phrases like “UrAdhozhiyEn nAn vArAr pUm peNNai madal (siRiya thirumadal conclusory note)”.

In SrI rAmAyaNam, SrI rAma said “chApamAnaya saumithrE! AshIvishOpamAn sAgaram SOshayishyAmi (SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 21-22). This translates into “hey lakshmaNa! Get me the bow and arrows that are powerful and venomous. I will empty this entire ocean”. SrI rAmA threaterned the ocean so that the latter comes running to help him.  The act of performing madal is also something similar to it. AzhvArs opine that if they show their steadfastness, SrIman nArAyaNan will come running unto them. They are not the ones who will perform a madal and will ever complete it, let alone finish themselves at the end of it. The reason they tried to run away from SrIman nArAyaNan in the first place is when they saw their lowliness and the former’s glorious qualities. When in separation, these AzhvAr’s always thought about the greatness and significance of SrIman nArAyaNan’s qualities. This thought made them to be with HIM again by hook or crook. This is exactly why they tried to perform acts such as madal.

Now there emerges another question. The reason for these AzhvArs to get estranged from SrIman nArAyaNan is the latter’s unparalleled greatness. Is this the only reason? If they thought so low about themselves, then what made them to want to be with SrIman nArAyaNan again? The answer is this. Initially, they got separated from SrIman nArAyaNan with the thought that “He is Supreme, great, omnipotent and the like”.  While they were separated, the very same aforementioned qualities made them to forget their lowliness and urged them to unite with HIM. HE is known by the name of “ArAvamudhan” or the one who cannot be enjoyed fully to satiety. While enjoying such ArAvamudhan, one’s lowliness never steps in.

There is another question that pops up. Why do AzhvArs not talk as themselves? Rather why do they sing in “nAyikA” bhAvam or imagine themselves to be the female lover for SrIman nArAyaNan and sing?  There are some defining qualities of a jIvAthmA (soul) that are similar to the defining qualities of a female. Specifically, there are three that includes (a) ananyArhaSEshathvam (the quality of not being subservient to anyone else except SrIman nArAyaNan (b) ananyaSaraNathvam (the quality of recognizing SrIman nArAyaNan as the sole refuge and protector and (c) ananyabhOgyathvam (the quality of being an enjoyable object to SrIman nArAyaNan and no one else). These three qualities are common for a female who is subservient to her husband, as well as to a jIvAthmA (soul) who is sub-servient to its eternal master in SrIman nArAyaNan.  When talking about a mortal husband and wife, the wife exhibits these three qualities towards her husband. While talking about the parama purushan SrIman nArAyaNan, a soul exhibits these three qualities. However, these three qualities are not expressed or revealed by all female towards their husbands nor by all souls towards SrIman nArAyaNan. It is only true that specially blessed souls like AzhvArs (mayaRvaRa madhinalam aruLappeRRavargal) exhibit these defining qualities of a soul in its true splendor. This manifests itself in them being able to sustain if they are with SrIman nArAyaNan and not able to live any longer should they be separated from HIM. At the time of liberation, these AzhvArs are akin to pirAttis.  Furthermore, it is because these AzhvArs who were specially blessed by none other than SrIman nArAyaNan, they were able to have all the qualities of pirAtti, while they were in this earth itself. This is why they speak in the tone of a female, true to the defining spirit of a soul.

Now that AzhvArs tried to perform madal, as a female has been established, there arises yet another question. According to thamizh scriptures, it is only appropriate that men can perform madal and not females. If that is so, what is the justification for AzvhvArs to perform madal with a feminine mood? There is a couple of lines in thirukkuraL that says “kadalanna kAmaththarAgilum mAdhar madalUrAr maRRaiyAr mEl” and “kadalanna kAmamuzhandhum madalErAp peNNir perunthakkanil (thirukkuraL 1137)”. The answer is below. If it is true that between male and female, only males have unabated love towards their female counterpart and that the female’s love towards her male lover is constrained and restricted, then the thamizh scripture’s thought that “only males can perform madal and not females” can be honoured. However, in reality it does not seem to be the case as we do see countless instances where the love towards their loves is unbounded and unconstrained for both genders and not just restricted to males. Therefore, AzhvArs adhere to the fact that “anyone who has uninhibited love towards their lover can perform madal”. This view is supported by the samskritham scriptures. Thirumangai AzvhAr performs madal as “parakAla nAyaki”.

It is only natural that both genders do have uninhibited and unconstrained love towards their lover. Another question surfaces now. Why did thamizh scriptures like tholkAppiyam restrict the love expressed by the females? The answer to this question is unknown as to what is the real reason for the thamizh scriptures to advocate exhibiting suppressed love for female towards their male counterpart. If a king orders that people should suppress their love, will the feelings of love obey his words, even though he is a king. Pure love feelings cannot be controlled by anyone. Hence, the answer is unknown. thirumangai AzhvAr himself has said in his periya thirumadal “mAnOkkin anna nadaiyAr alarEsa Adavar mEl, mannu madalUrAr enbadhOr vAsagamum thennurayil kEtaRivadhuNdu, adhanai yAm theLiyOm mannum vadaneRiyE vENdiNOm (periya thirumadal 38-39). In this pAsuram, thirumangai AzhvAr says that he is cognizant of the thamizh practice of prohibiting women from performing madal. However, this prohibition was done without knowing the real nature of love. He says “vENdAdhAr thennan podhiyil sezhunchandhanak kuzhambin annadhOr thanmai aRiyAdhAr (periya thirumadal 40). A lover who is estranged from his counterpart, during this time of separation, if he or she tries to apply sandalwood paste and thinks that the sandalwood paste is too comforting for their burning heat of separation, then they are to be deemed as people ignorant of the nature of true love. During the times of separation, even the coolest of the coolest things should have a burning sensation on the body, should the love and the

There is another question that pops in. All AzhvArs are blessed by SrIman nArAyaNan and so they should be full of wisdom. So they should not go behind “love” that is connoted with lust in this materialistic earth. Why are they running madly behind this love while it has condemned by all the intelligent people unanimously? This in fact is an easy question as the love that is being referenced in AzhvArs’ scriptures is not the earthly love and lust that is being prohibited by the intellectuals and wise. upanishadhs say “AthmA vA arE dhashtavya: SrOthravyO manthavyO nidhidhyAsithavya: (bruhudAraNya Upanishad 4-4-5)”. SrIman nArAyaNan who is the person who is to be listened to, who is to be thought of, is the one who is to be meditated upon and is verily the one who is to be seen with devout and pious heart. This pious love towards him is represented as love and not the earthly mundane love by any measure.

The relatives of parakAla nAyaki (who is none other than thirumangai AzvhAr in nAyaki bhAvam) tell her “The act of performing madal does not suit your womanly character that is made of total dependence towards SrIman nArAyaNan. Nor does it complement or reward HIS masculine qualities”. parakAla nAyaki replies, “Well! I lost my heart in all those pranks and acts that HE does that would make one to lose their heart. I thought to myself. “ok. Let HIM come on HIS own accord. Let me not do anything on my own and cause blasphemy to HIS fame. However HE did not show up. I could not live anymore and so I decided that I would perform madal and make HIM come unto me and subsequently would sustain because of that”. The bold act of saying that “I would perform madal” in order to be united with HIM is called “trying to perform a madal”.

There is a final question. parakAla nAyaki, instead of actually performing a madal, why should she express her boldness in performing a madal. Why does she procrastinate thereby?  It is because (a) parakAla nAyaki has to first list out the reasons for her madal (b) make her relatives to be in accord with her efforts (c) to defame HIM and HIS glorious qualities, via the act of madal, not so suddenly and finally to allow some time for HIM to come.

adiyen santhAna rAmAnuja dhAsan

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siRiya tirumadal – thaniyan

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

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muLLichezhumalarO(r) thArAn muLaimadhiyam
koLLikenuLLam kodhiyAmE – vaLLal
thiruvALan sIrkkaliyan kArkkaliyai vetti
maruvALan thandhAn madal

The thaniyan was composed by piLLai thirunaRaiyUr araiyar. The commentary to the thaniyan was written by piLLai lOkam jIyar. We will first see the preface to the thaniyan followed by the explanation of thaniyan itself.

Preface to thaniyan

The preface to the thaniyan can be interpreted in two different methods.

Method 1

This would be when the first phrase is treated as “muLLi chezhu malarOr thArAn”. There are five things that are collectively known as “SabdhAdhi vishayangaL”. They are Sabdha, sparSa, rUpa, rasa and gandham. Sabdham is sound; sparSa is touch; rUpa is form, rasa is taste and finally gandham is smell. These five are primarily responsible for controlling one’s heart. piLLAi thirunaRaiyUr araiyar celebrates thirumangai AzhvAr who gave us this work called “siriya thirumadal”. With the help of “siriya thirumadal”, piLLAi thirunarayiUr araiyar says that devotees who are at the service of the lotus feet of thirumangai azhvAr, are able to control the unwanted desires that emanate because of “SabdhAdhi vishayangaL” and consequentially they are able to focus their mind and heart towards SrIman nArAyaNan. In this method of interpretation, the purport is that the scripture called “siRiya thirumadal” acts as thing of sustenance for devotees who would otherwise finish themselves due to pain of separation from SrIman nArAyaNan.

Method 2

This would be when the first phrase is treated as “muLLi chezhu malarO thArAn”. There are devotees of thirumangai AzhvAr who cannot live by separating themselves from their beloved AzhvAr. thirumangai AzhvAr gave this work called “siRiya thirumadal” so that these devotees are able to sustain themselves and not indulge in materialistic pleasures that are controlled by “SabdhAdhi vishayangaL”. thirumangai AzvhAr used to wear a garland that was made of “muLLi” flowers. However, he did not give his devotees “muLLi” garland. Rather he gave them something that is even more spectacular that is nothing else than the garland of verses called “siRiya thirumadal”.

Word-by-Word Meanings

sIrkkaliyan – thirumangai AzhvAr who is also known as “kali kanRi” is full of auspicious qualities
thArAn – is someone who is seen decorated with
chezhum – fertile and
Or- unparalleled
muLLi malar – muLLi flowers
thiruvALan – He has enormous wealth called “service to SrIman nArAyaNan”.
vaLLal – and is very magnanimous
maruvALan – He, who has a sword in his hand, with which he
vetti – obliterated
kArkkaliyai – the black and evil effects of kali.
madal thandhAn – He gave us the dhivya prabandham called “siRiya thirumadal”.
enuLLam – (with which) my heart
kodhiyAmE – is without any suffering
muLai madhiyam koLLikku – from the wrath of a beautiful fire known as “moon”.

Explanation

muLLich chezhu malarO(r) thArAnthirumangai AzhvAr, the king of “thirumangai” , is one who is seen adorned with unparalleled muLLi flowers that seems to be have been born exclusively for him. Just like how nammAzhvAr is celebrated as “vaguLaththArAnai” (thiruviruththam thaniyan), thirumangai AzhvAr is referred to as “Or thArAn”. The reason for the word “unparalleled” is used as an adjective for the “muLLi” flowers is because these flowers are compared and contrasted against the thiruththuzhAy (thuLasi) flowers that adorn SrIman nArAyaNan. thiruththuzhAy flowers are adorned by SrIman nArAyaNan, who, now has separated from thirumangai AzhvAr. However, the muLLi flowers does not get separated from thirumangai AzhvAr. In this aspect, these muLLi flowers are unparalleled. Even the greatest thiruththuzhAy does not stand a match in this regard. The above description fits in line with the method 1 of preface to thaniyan. Now, we will explore the meanings of the second method to preface to thaniyan in which the phrase is “muLLi chezumalarO thArAn”. The difference is that there is no “Or” that meant unparalleled earlier. If we were to interpret this method, then the explanation is as follows. We are devotees of thirumangai AzhvAr. He did not give us the great muLLi flowers that he wears. What did he give instead? Since thirumangai AzhvAr considers himself to be a servant of us (because we are SrIvaishNavas), he gave us an even more spectacular gift – the garland of his verses that is known as “siRiya thirumadal”.

“muLaimadhiyam en koLLikkenuLLam kodhiyAmE” – Why does thirumangai AzhvAr had to bless us with his madal? The answer to this is in the next line “muLaimadhiyam en koLLikkenuLLam kodhiyAmE”. The moon that just started to glow will appear to scorch those people who are in love but are separated. So the moon that is usually connoted with coolness now is referred to as an object that scorches that is similar to “koLLik kattai” (wood lit with fire). thirumangai AzhvAr himself had used the phrase “pOndha veN thiNgaL kadhir suda meliyum (periya thirumozhi 2.7.3). In this phrase he says that the moon is similar to sun that in the sense that it scorches him throughout the night when he is separated from SrIman nArAyaNan. There is one more reference to this in the phrase “chandhras chaNda kArayathE” that means that the moon is similar to sun when it comes to scorch those separated worldly lovers.

SrIrAmApirAn Himself said “yAni sma ramaNIyAni thapA saha bhAvanthi mE! dhAnyEvAramaNIpAni jAyanthE mE dhayA vinA!!!”. This means that when HE is with HIS consort sIthA pirAtti, everything that was around at that time was beautiful. Those same things , when she is not with HIM, look anything but beautiful. There are two possible split ups here. First is “muLai madhiyam koLLi” and the second one is “muLai madhi am koLLi”. The first split “muLai madhiyam koLLi” would mean “koLLi that is like a moon that just dawned” as revealed by “muLai madhiyamAgiRa koLLi”. The second split “muLai madhi am koLLi”, however, could be broken down further in to “muLai madhiyamAgira am koLLi”. The word “am” means beautiful and so it means the “beautiful koLLI that is similar to the just dawned moon”. “madhiyam” is moon. There are five things that usually torment lovers who are separated. Those five include moon, jasmine flowers, poetry in kurunji rAgam, wind that blows towards north and finally a bed that is made of flowers. Jasmine flowers and poetry in kurunji rAgam is taken from nammAzhvAr’s thiruvAimozhi, “malligai kamazh thendRal IrumAlO, vaN kuRunji isai thavazhumAlO” (thiruvAimozhi 9.9.1). The other three namely north blowing wind, moon and bed of flowers are taken from the same work but from a different pAsuram that has “vAdai thaN vAdai vevvAdai AlO, mEvu thaN madhiyam vem madhiyamAlO, men malarppaLLi vempaLLyAlO” (thiruvAimozhi 9.9.4). Earlier, we saw that there are collectively five things that are known as “SabdhAdhi vishayangaL” that torture one’s heart. Similarly there is this another set of five that torment people who are separated from their beloved.

The phrase “muLai madhiyam koLLi ennuLLam kodhiyAme” is key to the two methods that were discussed in the preface to thaniyan. The above phrase is to be joined correctly as below to get the meanings that was explained earlier. Here is the summary of that.

Method 1

The phrase “muLai madhiyam koLLi ennuLLam kodhiyAme” should be joined with “muLLich chezhu malarO(r) thArAn and so should be read as “muLai madhiyam koLLikku en uLLam kodhiyAmE muLLich chezhu malarO thArAn”. This would mean, thirumangai AzhvAr gave “siRiya thirumadal” to us who are separated from SrIman nArAyaNan and are consequentially tormented and tortured by “SabdhAdhi vishayangaL”.

Method 2

The phrase “muLai madhiyam koLLi ennuLLam kodhiyAme” should be joined with “thandhAn madal” and so should be read as “muLAi madhiyam koLLikku ennuLLam kodhiyAmE thandhAn madal”. thirumangai AzhvAr gave “siRiya thirumadal” to us who are thirumangai AzhvAr’s devotees. He did not give the muLLi flowers that he decorated himself with. Instead he gave the garland of verses known as “siRiya thirumadal” with which we can continue to exist.

vaLLal thiruvALan – This refers to a person who is magnanimous. The author of the thaniyan namely piLLai thirunaRaiyUr araiyar says that thirumangai AzhvAr gave madal that made him peacefully exist without having to suffer the tortures of SabdhAdhi vishayangaL. Why is he a magnanimous person in this regard? This is because thirumangai AzhvAr helped piLLai thirunaRaiyUr araiyar to continue to live when the latter could have easily been done because of his separation from SrIman nArAyaNan. SrIman nArAyaNan did not help him survive. But it was only thirumangai AzhvAr that enabled him to live by giving him the great work called “siRiya thirumadal”.

vaLLal thiruvALan – The name “thiruvALan” refers to one who has the most significant wealth called as “service to SrIman nArAyaNan”. The adjective “vaLLal” here is used because no matter how much wealthy a person is, it shines only if he gives. thirumangai AzhvAr is one such person who has abundance of this wealth.

sIrkkaliyan – It refers to thirumangai AzhvAr who is also known as “kaliyan”, who has a lot of auspicious qualities starting from the likes of compassion etc.

kArkkaliyai vetti – How did thirumangai AzhvAr give the garland of verses called “siRiya thirumadal”. If we need to pluck flowers, we may need to remove the thorns in the plant before getting the flowers. Was there any thorn that thirumangai AzhvAr got rid of before giving us the “siRiya thirumadal”? The thorn that is being metaphorized here is nothing but the black kali rather the evil influences of it. kali is a yugam that is characterized by ignorance. thirumangai AzhvAr is also known as kalikanRi for he removed the effects of kali through his works.

maruvALan thandhAn madal – In order to remove the thorn in plant, there needs to be a sword. Did thirumangai AzhvAr have one? Yes. He did have a sword that fitted him perfectly. The word “vAL” (sword) metaphorically refers to knowledge and so it means that thirumangai AzhvAr cut asunder the ignorance (agyAnam) called thorn, using the true knowledge about SrIman nArAyaNan. The word “maru” refers to fragrance. So “maruvALan” means that thirumangai AzhvAr is a person who can be smelled using the pleasant fragrant smell of “bhagavadh anubhavam”. This fact is stated in the phrase “ivaL andhaNthuzhAy kamazhdhal” (thiruvAimozhi 8.9.10) as well. There is yet another meaning for “maruvALan”. The verb “maruvudhal” can mean “to attain”. thirumangai AzhvAr was a person who yearned to be with parama purushan “SrIman nArAyaNan”. There is one more explanation to “maruvALan”. “maruvi” could also mean “to transform or to change”. thirumangai AzhvAr changed the people with conscience (chEthanar), he went towards them out of his own volition and ruled them by correcting them. So it means that in order to correct the ignorant chEthanars and subsequently make them similar to him, who is with the muLLi garland, he gave the madal. In the second method discussed above, it means “muLLich chezhu malaraith thArAmal madalai thandhu vittAr”. The devotees of thirumangai AzhvAr are yearning for the muLLi flowers that he adorns. But thirumangai AzhvAr, as he himself says “annaiyum aththanum enRu adiyOmukku irangiRRilan” (periya thirumozhi 3.7.7), he regard him as the devotees of those devotees who were yearning for his muLLI garland. Hence, he gave a more special gift in the form of “siRiya thirumadal”.

adiyEn santhAna rAmAnuja dhAsan

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Arththi prabandham – 60

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

Introduction

mAmunigaL thinks to himself, “Why do we have to yearn for our goal/objective anymore? Everything that periya perumAL had bestowed emperumAnAr with, will automatically be applicable to us as well, as we are at the lotus feet of emperumAnAr. It automatically applies to us because we are the children of emperumAnAr”. Thus, in this final pAsuram, mAmunigAL is extremely gleeful as he is bestowed with all the things that emperumAnAr was given by periya perumAL.

maNavALa mAmunigAL thiruvadigaLE SaraNam!!!

pAsuram 60

indha arangaththu inidhu iru nIyenRu arangar
endhai ethirAsarkkIndha varam sindhai seyyil
nammadhanRO nenjame naRRAdhai sompudhalvar
thammadhanRO thAyamuRai thAn

Word-by-Word meanings

arangar – periya perumAL
indha arangaththu – in this kOyil (SrIrangam)
inidhu iru nIyenRu – told “SrIrangE sukhamAsva” (be happily settled in SrIrangam)
endhai ethirAsarkku – to my father emperumAnAr.
nenjamE – Hey my heart!!!
sindhai seyyil – If we were to thinking about this
indha varam – precious boon that was bestowed by periya perumAL to emperumAnAr
nammadhanRO – isn’t it true that the boon is actually ours too?
naRRAdhai – emperumAnAr is our causeless father.
thAyamuRai thAn – Because one’s parents’
sompudhalvar thammadhanRO – properties are automatically transferred to the sons.

(mAmunigaL says to his heart, “Hey! my dear heart. Hence, we do not have to do anything on our part. Everything is readily available by default. Our burden is not a burden anymore for us (implying that emperumAnAr will take care of the burden and that he in fact has taken care of mAmunigaL by granting him his wish).

Concluding Note

periya perumAL bestowed emperumAnAr with both HIS wealth namely nithya vibhUthi (paramapadham) and leelA vibhUthi (all the remaining places that are not paramapadham). Hence, emperumAnAr is celebrated as “SrI vishNu lOka maNi maNdapa mArgadhAyi” (dhAti panchakam 5). emperumAnAr is the leader of all prapannas. It is such emperumAnAr, that jIyar who is also known as “maNavALa mAmunigaL”, “yathIndra pravaNar”, surrendered himself totally. He performed prapaththi to emperumAnAr. He got the ultimate goal of going to paramapadham and doing eternal kainkaryam to bhagavAn (and bhAgavathAs). This would mean, this same result would be bestowed to everyone who has the abhimAnam of emperumAnAr. This effectively means that everyone who has surrendered unto the lotus feet of emperumAnAr would beget his love in the first place upon which they will be transcended to infinite bliss in paramapadham once and for all.

Simple Translation

In this final pAsuram, mAmunigaL is very happy because he knows that everything that he had asked for is readily available to him, thanks to his association with emperumAnAr. This was possible in the first place because periya perumAL had literally granted everything to emperumAnAr earlier as revealed by the verses in gadhya thrayam. As a child of emperumAnAr, mAmunigaL is very happy that all the boons (kainkaryam starting from the remainder of this life to doing kainkaryam at paramapdham) that periya perumAL bestowed emperumAnAr will be enjoyed by him (mAmunigaL) as well.

Explanation

mAmunigal tells his heart, “hey! My dear heart! Remember what periya perumAL told our father emperumAnAr! Remember HIS words from SaraNAgathi gadhyam. Firstly HE told, “dhvayam arthAnusandhAnEna sahasadhaivam vakthA yAvachcharIra pAdham aththraiva SrIrangE sukhamAsva”. After this, HE said something that starts from “SarIra pAdha samayEthu” and ending with “nithyakinkarO bhavishyasi mAthE bhUthathra samsaya: ithi mayayvahyuktham athasthvam thava thathvathO mathgyAna dharShanaprApthishU nissamsaya: sukhamAsva”. periya perumAL clearly bestowed our father emperumAnAr with everything needed to continue the reminder of his journey of life in this world as well as what he would get once he leaves this earth (which is nothing but kainkaryam in paramapadham). periya perumAL HIMSELF gave all these boon to emperumAnAr. If we were to closely examine this boon, we, the children of emperumAnAr, will automatically be entitled to these boons. This is because, all the properties of parents is automatically inherited by their children. Hence, my dear heart! We do not have to strive for anything on our own any longer. Everything is available readily to us, thanks to emperumAnAr. periya perumAL bestowed emperumAnAr with both HIS wealth namely nithya vibhUthi (paramapadham) and leelA vibhUthi (all the remaining places that are not paramapadham). Hence, emperumAnAr is celebrated as “SrI vishNu lOka maNi maNdapa mArgadhAyi” (dhAti panchakam 5). emperumAnAr is the leader of all prapannas. Towards such emperumAnAr, jIyar who is also known as “maNavALa mAmunigaL”, “yathIndra pravaNar”, surrendered himself totally. He performed prapaththi to emperumAnAr. He got the ultimate thing of going to paramapadham and doing eternal kainkaryam to bhagavAn (and bhAgavathas). This would mean, this same result would be bestowed to everyone who has the abhimAnam of emperumAnAr. This effectively means that everyone who has surrendered unto the lotus feet of emperumAnAr would beget his love as a starting point, upon which they will be transcended to infinite bliss in paramapadham once and for all.

There are lots of times when mAmunigaL exclaims “ethirAsA! ethirAsA!”. mAmunigaL sends the message that emperumAnAr is the leader of yathis. All his Sishyas heap praises on their leader “yathirAja” by chanting his names constantly. mAmunigaL feels that he is also one among the Sishyas and hence he is also entitled to chant his names constantly as per “yadhyassudhasathvA:”. Hence, mAmunigal always advocates to tell his name “ethirAsa! ethirAsA”.

jIyar thiruvadigaLE SaraNam

adiyEn santhAnam ramanuja dasan

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Arththi prabandham – 59

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

Introduction

mAmunigaL says “I understood the relationship between me and your lotus feet (thanks to my AchAryan thiruvAimozhip piLLai). When will you destroy this mortal coil of mine, after which periya perumAL (who does things that is the best for the soul) comes on garudan and displays HIS face to me? emperumAnArE, please tell me when you will do that?”

pAsuram 59

endhai thiruvarangar ErAr garudan mEl
vandhu mugam kAtti vazhi nadaththach chindhai seydhu
ippollA udambuthanai pOkkuvadhu ennALkolo?
sollAy ethirAsA! sUzhndhu!!!

Word-by-Word Meanings:

endhai – (During the time when this soul leaves the body) my mother and father
thiruvarangar – i.e., periya perumAL, who is known through his dwelling place of kOyil (SrIrangam)
mugam kAtti –, will show my favorite aspects that include HIS kasthUri thilakam, smiling face etc.
vandhu – by coming unto me
ErAr garudan mEl – on top of HIS beautiful garudan.
vazhi nadaththa – and usher me into the glorious path known as “archirAdhi mArgam”
ethirAsA! – emperumAnArE
sollAy – please tell me
ippollA udambuthanai pOkkuvadhu ennALkolo? – When is the day that this despicable body of mine will get destroyed and the soul will be deemed for you?
chindhai seydhu – Please think about
sUzhndhu – and elucidate me on that so that I will be happy about the concreteness of it. Please think about it.

Simple Translation

mAmunigaL asks for the exact day when SrI rAmAnuja will take his body and liberate his soul, to be dedicated exclusively to him. He asks when has he decided for that to happen. He also describes what will happen during his final moments. He says that periya perumAL, who is at SrIrangam, will come on top of HIS beautiful garudan and usher him to HIS paramapadham via “archirAdhi mArgam”.

Explanation

mAmunigaL asks, “hey! SrI rAmAnuja! When is the day that you are going to destroy this body of mine that is the sole determinant to be liberated? During the time the soul leaves the body, I will see my mother and father periya perumAL whose sheer existence is revealed by his dwelling in “kOyil” or “SrIrangam”. HE will come on top of HIS extremely beautiful garudan that is described as “am chirai puL pAgan (thirunedunthANdagam 6)”. HE will show me my favorite aspects that include the likes of HIS kasthUri thilakam, HIS beautiful smile that is described as “nal kadhir muththa veNNagaich cheyavAy (periya thirumozhi 4.4.5) and HIS moon like face. HE, who is described as “the lovable companion at SrIrangam” or “arangathuRaiyum inthuNaivanAna thAm (periya thirumozhi 3.7.6)”, will usher me to paramapadham as in “nayAmi paramAm gatham (varAha charama SlOlam) via the path known as “archirAdhi mArgam”. As nammAzhvAr said “un charaNam thandhu en sanmam kaLaiyAyE (thiruvAimozhi 5.8.7)”, emperumAnArE!!! When are you going to offer your lotus feet to me and put a full stop to my cycle of birth and deaths forever? When are you going to take my body and make this soul exclusively for you? In SrI rAmAyaNam, SrI rAma was given a clear cut time of 14 years to come back to HIS kingdom of ayOdhya in the phrase “pUrNE chathurdhasE varshE”. bharatha was consoled by this as he had a definitive time frame as to when SrI rAma would be back. As per the phrase “ArurOharatham hrushta:” he was able to get some happiness because of the light at the end of a tunnel. However, I am not able to bear any more of these consolatory times. So, please tell an answer that will make me happy. The word “sUzhndhu” here has the same connotation when it was used in the phrase “avAvarach chUzh” (thiruvAimozhi 10.10.11) and “sollu nIyAm aRiyach chUzndhu (periya thiruvandhAdhi 16)”.

adiyEn santhAnam ramanuja dasan

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Arththi prabandham – 58

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

Introduction

mAmunigaL in his last pAsuram said “thiruvAimozhip piLLai vAsamalarth thAL adaindha vaththu”. mAmunigaL celebrated himself as a “vasthu” (an entity in the first place) that sought the lotus feet of thiruvAimozhip piLLai. He says that there is more to it. It is because of his association with thiruvAimozhip piLLai (AchAryan – Sishya relationship), he was able to recognize, appreciate and understand the significance of the relationship with SrI rAmAnujA.

pAsuram 58

endhai thiruvAimozhip piLLai innaruLAl
undhan uRavai uNarththiya pin indha uyirkku
ellA uRavum nI enRE ethirAsA
nillAdhadhu uNdO en nenju

Word-by-Word Meanings

endhai – (mAmunigaL says) “There is a popular phrase that goes like “thirumanthram mAthAvum, pithA AchAryanum enRu aruLich cheyvargaL”. Based on that my father thiruVaimozhip piLLai.
thiruvAimozhip piLLai – his
innaruLAl – causeless mercy
undhan uRavai – (made me understand) all kinds of relations at your (SrI rAmAnuja’s) lotus feet
indha uyirkku – that this soul shares.
uNarththiya pin – After protecting me by making me realize my ignorance in the first place,
ethirAsA – emperumAnArE!!!
nI enRE – Isn’t it you?
ellA uRavum – who is referred in all the possible relationships that are implicit in thirumanthram?
en nenju  nillAdhadhu uNdO – (Having said that) Will there ever be a condition when, my  heart will be wavering? (The answer is an obvious no). It behooves us to take cognizance of the opportune phrases in “thandhai naRRAi thAram thanayar perunjelvam endhanakku nIyE” and “allAdha suRRamumAgi

Simple Translation

mAmunigaL says that it is because of his AchAryan and spiritual father thiruvAimozhip piLLai’s grace that he was able to realize all the different relationship that his soul shares with SrI rAmAnuja. His grace removed all the ignorance he had hitherto and thereby protecting him. After this, mAmunigaL questions will there ever be a condition when his heart would be wavering? The answer is a clear no.

Explanation

mAmunigaL says, “There is a popular phrase that goes like “thirumanthram mAthAvum, pithA AchAryanum enRu aruLich cheyvargaL”. Based on that my spiritual father thiruvAimozhip piLLai’s causeless mercy made me understand, all kinds of relations at your (SrI rAmAnuja’s) lotus feet that this soul shares. Hey emperumAnArE!!! After protecting me by making me realize my ignorance in the first place, isn’t it you who is referred in all the possible relationships that are implicit in thirumanthram? Having said that, will there ever be a condition when, my  heart will be wavering? (The answer is an obvious no). It behooves us to take cognizance of the opportune phrases in “thandhai naRRAi thAran thanayar perunjelvam endhanakku nIyE (Arththi prabandham 3)” and “allAdha suRRamumAgi (Arththi prabandham 54)”.

adiyEn santhAnam ramanuja dasan

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Arththi prabandham – 57

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

Introduction

mAmunigaL in this pAsuram, assumes that SrI rAmAnuja has a question in his mind and answers him in this pAsuram. The imaginary question that mAmunigaL thinks is running in SrI rAmAnuja’s head is as follows. SrI rAmAnuja asks, “hey mAmunigaL! I have heard your requests. You ask me to do a list of things. Can I ask you something? On what basis/recommendation do you ask me? Do you have any strong background / recommendation for your claims? Is there anyone?”. To this question mAmunigaL answers, “Yes. I deemed myself as a thing in the first place after having surrendered to my AchAryan ‘thiruvAimozhip piLLai’. That is my greatest qualification. Please consider that sole diamond I have. Hey emperumAnAre! You do not look at my flaws. As they say, ‘yathIsvara SruNu Sriman krupayA parayA thava’, please lend your ears toward my low words”.

pAsuram 57

dhEsigargaL pORRum thiruvAimozhip piLLai
vAsamalar thAL adaindha vaththuvenRu
nEsaththAl en pizhaigaL kANA ethirAsarE
adiyEn punpagarvai kELum poRuththu

Word-by-Word Meanings:

vAsamalar thAL adaindha vaththuvenRu – I am a thing (vasthu) who surrendered at the divinely fragrant and soft lotus feet of
dhEsigargaL pORRum thiruvAimozhip piLLai – thiruvAimozhip piLLai, who is celebrated by ancestors as “senthamizh vEdhath thirumalaiyAzhvAr vAzhi”. HE is the person who expressed deep and unshakable servitude to nammAzhvAr and his scriptures. He spent his livelihood dwelling on nammAzhvAr’s nectarine pAsurams.
nEsaththAl – Because of this association
ethirAsarE – emperumAnArE!!!
kELum – please listen to
adiyEn – my
punpagarvai – lowly words
en pizhaigaL kANA – without seeing my flaws and not focusing about it at all
poRuththu – and without bursting out

Simple Translation

mAmunigaL requests SrI rAmAnuja to look at the great association the former has with thiruvAimozhip piLLai (his AchAryan). He asks SrI rAmAnuja to ignore his flaws, and listen to his lowly words without expressing any burst of anger.

Explanation

mAmunigal says to SrI rAmAnuja, “I am a thing (vasthu) who surrendered at the divinely fragrant and soft lotus feet of thiruvAimozhip piLLai, who is celebrated by ancestors as “senthamizh vEdhath thirumalayAzhvAr vAzhi”. HE is the person who expressed deep and unshakeable servitude to nammAzhvAr and his scriptures. He spent his livelihood dwelling on nammAzhvAr’s nectarine pAsurams.

emperumAnArE!!! Because of this association, please listen to my lowly words without seeing my flaws and not focusing about it at all and without bursting out.

adiyEn santhAnam ramanuja dasan

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Arththi prabandham – 56

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

Introduction

In the previous pAsuram, mAmunigaL said “madhurakavi sorppadiyE nilayAgap peRROm”. In relation to that and as a logical next step to it, in this pAsuram, he requests for eternal service at the lotus feet of emperumAnAr.

pAsuram 56

undhan abhimAnamE uththArakam enRu
sindhai theLindhirukka cheydha nI
andhO yathirAsA! nOygaLal ennai nalakkAmal
sadhirAga nin thiruththAL thA

Word-by-Word Meanings

ethirAsA! – hey the leader of yathis (ascetics)!!!
undhan abhimAnamE uththArakam enRu – As piLLai lOkAchAryar says “AchArya abhimAnamE uththArakam (SrI vachana bhUshaNam 447), the devotion and care that you (emperumAnAr) have towards me is the sole determining factor for a soul’s upliftment.
sindhai theLindhirukka cheydha nI – This point has been etched in my mind forever. As they say, “theLivuRRa sindhaiyar (thiruvAimozhi 7.5.11)”, you (emperumAnAr) had blessed my heart to be pure (without any dirt) forever.
andhO – Alas!!!
thA – You have to bestow
ennai – me
sadhirAga – intelligently
nin thiruththAL – (with service) to your lotus feet
nalakkAmal – without being affected
nOygaLal – with sufferings

Simple Translation

mAmunigaL requests kainkaryam at the lotus feet of emperumAnAr. This is following to what he said in the previous pAsuram “madhurakavi sorppadiyE nilayAgap peRROm”. He says that it was emperumAnAr who bestowed him with the knowledge about “what AchAryan thinks about you and how much devotes he is about you is what matters”. Even this knowledge is able to live in my mind and heart through his grace. Alas! He requests all his sufferings to end and requests emperumAnAr to smartly make a move and take him unto his lotus feet.

Explanation

mAmunigaL says “hey! the leader of yathis. You are the person who preached and bestowed me with the knowledge of the phrase “AchArya abhimAnamE uththArakam (srivachanabhUshaNam 447). Based on that, your love and devotion towards me counts as everything for me. This philosophy has been so rooted in me as described in “theLivuRRa sindhaiyar (thiruvAimozhi 7.5.11)”. With your blessings, I am living by it. Alas! Please do not make me suffer more with pains in this world. As you said in SaraNAgathi gadhyam, “sukhEnEmAm prakruthim sthUla sUkshma rUpAm visrujya”, you should take me intelligently to your lotus feet and bless me with eternal service to them as per “un padha yugamAm yEr koNda vIdu (rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi 83).

adiyEn santhAnam ramanuja dasan

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Arththi prabandham – 55

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

Introduction

As a true Sishya and an ardent follower, one needs to be cognizant of two things viz.,

(a) thinking about all the benefits one’s AchAryan has done unto him and

(b) interest towards any deed that the AchAryan will do to him in the future.

This pAsuram specifically talks about the former. mAmunigAL celebrates the glorious qualities that emperumAnAr gave him. He lists them and eventually says that it is because of emperumAnAr’s grace that he was able to get these qualities.

pAsuram 55

thennarangar sIr aruLukku ilakkAgap peRROm
thiruvarangam thirupadhiyE iruppAgap peRROm
manniya sIr mARankalai uNavAgap peRROm
madhurakavi soRpadiyE nilaiyAgap peRROm
munnavarAm kuravar mozhigaLuLLap peRROm
muzhudhu namakkavai pozhudhupOkkAgap peRROm
pinnai onRu thanil nenju pErAmaRpeROm
piRar minukkam poRAmayillAp perumaiyum peRROmE!!!

Word-by-Word Meanings

ilakkAgap peRROm – (We) became the target of
sIr aruLukku – causeless mercy of
thennarangar – periya perumAL, who is reclining south facing in the direction of SrIlankA, in a place that is very pleasing to the eyes and is known by the name of “kOyil”, where HE captivated HIS devotees by blessing them (“aruL koduthittu adiyavarai AtkkoLvAn amarum Ur (periyAzhvAr thirumozhi 4.9.3))
iruppAgap peRROm – (We) got the glorious opportunity of being permanent residents of
thiruvarangam thirupadhiyE – SrIrangam that is described as “thennAdum vadanAdum thozha ninRa thiruvarangam thiruppadhi (periyAzhvAr thirumozhi 4.9.11)”, “ArAmam sUzhndha arangam (siRiya thirumadal 71)”, “thalaiyarangam (iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi 70)”. It is the chief of all the 108 dhivyadhEsams.
uNavAgap peRROm – (We) Our food is
kalai – the nectarine pAsurams of (nectarine for devotees that serves as garland for the Lord)
mARan – nammAzhvAr
manniya sIr – who is full of auspicious qualities starting with parabhakti etc
nilaiyAgap peRROm – (We) attained the last frontier of “charama parva nishtai”, that is celebrated as “yathIndhramEva nIrandhram hishEvE dhaivathambaram” etc. Myself and my associates started to talk about it “unnayozhiya oru dheyvam maRRaRiyA mannupugazh sEr vaduganambi thannilaiyai (Arththi prabandham 11)”).
soRpadiyE – (This tenet of charama parva nishtai (regarding one’s AchAryan as everything) is derived from the) divine words of
madhurakavi – madhurakavi AzhvAr who said “thEvu maRRaRiyEn (kaNNinun chiRuth thAmbu 2)”. (We got to live and abide by the tenets of the great madhurakavi AzhvAr).
munnavarAm kuravar mozhigaLuLLap peRROm – We got to live, breathe and explore our ancestors’ works, their divine and esoteric purports. These are the works of AchAryas who lived by the way shown by AzhvArs.
muzhudhu namakkavai pozhudhupOkkAgap peRROm – (We) spent our times dwelling on that (works). Our minds does not go to anything that is not these divine works of our ancestors.
pinnai nenju pErAmaRpeROm – Our hearts and minds were so grounded to these works our ancestors that it never went behind
onRu thanil – any of the other works apart from our ancestors’ works.
piRar minukkam poRAmaiyillA – If the aforementioned qualities of ours that we got by the grace of emperumAnAr is placed on one side of a balance, then this one that am going to say would equal or weigh more than all of the above together. If such a rare SrIvaishnava is found with all of the aforementioned qualities, as described by “ippadi irukkum  SrIvaishNavargaL ERRam aRindhu ugandhu irukkaiyum (mumukshupadi dhvaya prakaNam 116)”, then we never become jealous seeing them. Such is our glory that was bestowed upon us by emperumAnAr.
perumaiyum peRROmE – We got this! Alas! What a great fortune to have gotten this , thanks to emperumAnAr’s causeless mercy.

Simple Translation

In this pAsuram, mAmunigaL celebrates the mercy of emperumAnAr. He adds that it is because of his (emperumAnAr’s) infinite mercy towards him that he got some treasured qualities in him. mAmunigaL starts by saying that they (himself and his SrIvaishNava associates) was chosen as the target of periya perumAL’s infinite blessings. They got the glorious opportunity of being in SrIrangam, the chief of all 108 dhivya dhESams. They got the rare blessings to eat, drink, breathe nammAzhvAr’s works day in and day out. They got the choicest blessings to live by the tenets propounded by madhurakavi Azhvar, i.e,. charama parva nishtai (regarding one’s AchAryan as everything). This happens to the rarest of the rarest cases. They got to explore and live by the words of their ancestors who in fact lived by the words of AzhvArs. They also did not go anywhere else apart from SrIvaishNava scriptures. They spent their lives living by it. Lastly, but most importantly, if they were to meet such a SrIvaishNava with all these aforementioned qualities, they would never get an iota of jealousy in them. They would be very happy about them. mAmunigaL says that all these fortunes that they got is solely due to the blessings of emperumAnAr.

Explanation

mAmunigaL says, “We became the target of the causeless mercy of periya perumAL, who is reclining south facing in the direction of Sri Lanka, in a place that is very pleasing to the eyes and is known by the name of “kOyil”, where HE captivated HIS devotees by blessing them (“aruL koduthittu adiyavarai AtkkoLvAn amarum Ur (periyAzhvAr thirumozhi 4.9.3). We got the glorious opportunity of being permanent residents of SrIrangam that is described as “thennAdum vadanAdum thozha ninRa thiruvarangam thiruppadhi (periyAzhvAr thirumozhi 4.9.11)”, “ArAmam sUzhndha arangam (siriya thirumadal 71)”, “thalaiyarangam (iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi 70)”. It is the chief of all the 108 dhivyadhESams. Our food is the nectarine pAsurams of (nectarine for devotees that serves as garland for the Lord) nammAzhvAr, who is full of auspicious qualities starting with parabhakthi etc. We attained the last frontier of “charama parva nishtai”, that is celebrated as “yathIndhramEva nIrandhram hishEvE dhaivathambaram” etc. Myself and my associates started to talk about it “unnaiyozhiya oru dheyvam maRRaRiyA mannupugazh sEr vaduganambi thannilaiyai (Arththi prabandham 11”). This tenet of charama parva nishtai (regarding one’ AchAryan as everything) is derived from the) divine words of madhurakavi who said “thEvu maRRaRiyEn (kaNNinun chiruth thAmbu 2)”. We got to live and abide by the tenets of the great madhurakavi AzhvAr, who is described as “avargaLaich chiriththiruppAr oruvar uNdirE (SrIvachana bhUshaNam 409) referring to madhurakavi AzhvAr (He is a person who would laugh at the 10 AzhvArs because of lack of reliability in their approach towards reaching perumAL. Their approach is via perumAL himself whereas in the case of madhurakavi AzhvAr everything is nammAzhvAr for him). We got to live, breathe and explore our ancestors’s works, their divine and esoteric purports. These are the works of AchAryas who lived by the way shown by AzhvArs. We spent our times dwelling on those (works). Our minds do not go to anything that is not these divine works of our ancestors. Our hearts and minds were so grounded to these works of our ancestors that it never went behind any of the other works apart from our ancestors’ works.

If the aforementioned qualities of ours that we got by the grace of emperumAnAr is placed on one side of a balance, then this one that I am going to say would equal or weigh more than all of the above together. If such a rare SrIvaishnava is found with all of the aforementioned qualities thus far in this pAsuram, as described by “ippadi irukkum SrIvaishNavargaL ERRam aRindhu ugandhu irukkaiyum (mumukshupadi dwayaprakaNam 116)”, then we never get any jealous seeing them. Such is our glory that was bestowed upon us by emperumAnAr. We got this! Alas! What a great fortune to have gotten this, thanks to emperumAnAr’s causeless mercy.

adiyEn santhAnam ramanuja dasan

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Arththi prabandham – 54

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

Introduction

mAmunigaL continued to plead with SrI rAmAnuja in the earlier pAsuram and request him to uplift from this world and get him liberated. mAmunigaL knew that SrI rAmAnuja would yield to his requests. However, that does not suffice for mAmunigaL. It is because, as they say “oru pagal Ayiram UzhiyAy (thiruvAimozhi 10.3.1)”, each passing moment for mAmunigaL in this world feels like eons. mAmunigaL requests SrI rAmAnuja, “You are my relative of all sorts. You should not let me go through this suffering with this body in this world. I do not know when will you liberate me from this place and transport me to the place where there is infinite bliss (paramapadham)”.

pAsuram 54

innam eththanai nAL ivvudambudan
irundhu nOvu padakkadavEn aiyO
ennai idhininRum viduviththu nIr
enRu thAn thirunAttinuL yERRuvIr
annaiyum aththanum allAdha suRRamum Agi
ennai aLiththaruL nAdhanE
en idhaththai irAppagal inRiyE
EgameNNum ethirAsa vaLLalE !!! 

Word-by-Word Meanings

nAdhanE – Hey!!! my master
aLiththaruL – (You) bless
ennai – me
Agi – by being my
annaiyum – mother who shows priyam,
aththanum – (by being) a father who does hitham and
allAdha suRRamum – (by being) all those desirable and closely knit relations.
ethirAsa vaLLalE – the magnanimous leader of all yathis (ascetics), one who is known as “emperumAnAr”!!!
irAppagal inRiyE EgameNNum – (One who) thinks day and night with undivided attention about
en – my
idhaththai – wish (only thost that  proves good for me)
(Even after falling at your lotus feet)
eththanai nAL – how much
innam – longer
nOvu padakkadavEn – I have to suffer
ivvudambudanE irundhu – in (with) this body?
aiyO – alas!!!
viduviththu – Please liberate
ennai – me
idhininRum – from this body that serves as the obstacle!!!
enRu thAn – when will
nIr – you
ERRuvIr – carry me to
thirunAttinuL – paramapadham?

Simple Translation

In this pAsuram, mAmunigaL says that emperumAnAr is his mother, father and his every kind of good relative. He always thinks about the well being of mAmunigaL. Hence, mAmunigaL asks him when he will be liberated from this bondage and grant him paramapadham, the place of infinite bliss? How long should he suffer with this body in this world.

Explanation

mAmunigaL says, “As madhurakavi AzhvAr said ‘annaiyAy aththanAy ennai ANdidum thanmaiyAn (kaNNinun chiruth thAmbu 4)’, emperumAnArE! You are my mother who showers a lot of love to her child. You are my father who wishes for all good things for his child. You are my closely knit relative who leads a life of high valued principles. You are the leader of the yathis! As they say, “en manamEgamennum irAppagalinRiyE (thiruvAimozhi 9.3.7)”, you think about my well being day and night with undivided attention. Even after surrendering unto your lotus feet as described in “unakkAtppattum adiyEn innum uzhalvEnO (thiruvAimozhi 5.8.10)”, how much longer am I supposed to suffer with this mortal coil of mine in this world? Alas!!! When will you liberate me from this obstacle called “body” and liberate me to paramapadham, the place of infinite bliss? That day will be one unparalleled day. vaLLal would mean – a magnanimous person to whom one cannot reciprocate anything for the good deeds he did.

adiyEn santhAnam ramanuja dasan

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Arththi Prabandham – 53

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

Introduction

In the previous pAsuram, mAmunigaL described how periya perumAL would come unto him during his final moments of leaving his mortal coil in this world. He said that periya perumAL would in fact come on HIS transport viz periya thiruvadi. This raises the questions “OK. What will mAmunigaL do in the mean time until his final moments come where periya perumaL would be present?”. mAmunigaL says “for that ultimate moment to happen, this body of mine, that is the source of all sins and subsequent sufferings in this world, has to fall. I cannot forever be suffering the pains caused by the sins which is in turn triggered by the very existence of this physical body. So, hey SrI rAmAnuja!!!, You give me what is needed and best. You should liberate me from this world that is so filled with troubles and pain”.

pAsuram 53

idhaththAlE thennarangar seygiRadhu enRaRindhE
irundhAlum thaRkAla vEdhanaiyin kanaththAl
padhaiththu AvO ennum indhap pAva udambudanE
pala nOvum anubaviththu ippavaththu irukkappOmO?
madhaththAlE valvinaiyin vazhi uzhanRu thirindha
valvinaiyEn thannai unakku ALAkkik koNda
idhath thAyum thandhaiyumAm ethirAsA! Ennai
inik kaduga ippavaththininRu eduththaruLE!!!

Word-by-Word Meanings

idhaththAlE – Because of “hitham” (quality of always thinking and doing that which is good towards a person)
thennarangar – periya perumAL (SrI ranganAthan)
seygiRadhu enRaRindhE irundhAlum – out of his mercy, is letting me suffer the wrath of my karma. Though I know that HE is doing this for my good,
thaRkAla vEdhanaiyin kanaththAl – the sufferings that I had to undergo at that point in time (momentary pain), makes me
padhaiththu – writhed with pain and
AvO ennum – utter exclamations like “hA”, “Oh” that are clearly representative sounds of sufferings and pain.
irukkappOmO? – will I be able to live
ippavaththu – in this samsAram (mundane world)?
indhap pAva udambudanE – with this body that is a sin by itself
pala nOvum anubaviththu – and continue to suffer a multitude of sufferings?
madhaththAlE – Due to the association with this body
valvinaiyin vazhi uzhanRu thirindha – (I have) wandered in the path set by my karmAs and continued that endless journey.
valvinaiyEn thannai – Me, the most cruel sinner of all
ALAkkik koNda – was made your servant by you (emperumAnAr)
unakku – who is the base for all souls.
idhath thAyum – (You did this as) my mother who does “hitham” and also as my
thandhaiyumAm – father.
ethirAsA! – hey! emperumAnArE!!!
ini – here after
kaduga – quickly
eduththaruLE – uplift and liberate
ennai – me
ippavaththininRu – from this samsAram

Simple Meanings

mAmunigaL continues to plead to SrI rAmAnuja to get him liberated. He realizes that his sufferings are because periya perumAL, out of his good nature, wants the effects of his karma to be finished and so is letting him suffer. mAmunigaL says that though he is able to understand why periya perumAL is doing that, he says at the time of suffering the wrath of karma, it is unbearable. It is because of his association with the body that he is into this endless journey filled with thorns of pain. Hence, he requests SrI rAmAnuja, who is his  mother as well as the father, to get him liberated from this sinful world as quickly as possible.

Explanation

mAmunigaL says – As mentioned in the pAsuram “ArapperunthuyarE seydhidinum (gyAna sAram 21)” and similar pAsurams, I do understand that it is because of HIS “hitham” (the quality of always thinking and doing only what is good towards a person), and his blessing that I am suffering a lot (that is because the karmas need to be gone somehow and so one has to undergo the suffering). Even though I realize this and understand it, when it comes to that time of suffering, it pains me a lot. It pains me so much that I exclaim words like “hA” and “Oh” that clearly shows how frustrating it is. I am uttering these words with this body that is the verily the source of all sins. I am suffering like this in this world for a long time. Is it appropriate for me to be like this forever? As thirumangai AzhvAr says “pAvamE seydhu pAvi AnEn (periya thirumozhi 1.9.9)”, I am committing nothing but sins. I am doing that because of my association with this body. I am being pulled into the path in which my body pulls, which unfortunately is filled with sins. As a result, I am reaping the effects of my incessant sins and am writhing each and every moment of this journey. However emperumAnArE!!! You my father and mother who does things for me for my overall betterment out of your “hitham” quality, you have blessed me and approved me. Hence, I request you to uplift me from my incessant sufferings and get me liberated from the shackles of this samsAram.

adiyEn santhAnam ramanuja dasan

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