Author Archives: T N Krishnan

iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 77 – uRum kaNdAy

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avathArikai

Since AzhwAr who thought of attaining emperumAn in the proper way, found that the way was very nice, tells his heart mercifully that more than getting the experience born out of attaining emperumAn, the  experience obtained in observing the activity for attaining him is in itself sufficient for him.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

uRum kaNdAy nannenjE uththaman naRpAdham
uRum kaNdAy oNkamalam thannAl uRum kaNdAy
Eththip paNindhavan pEr IraigyURu eppozhudhum
sARRi uraiththal thavam

Word by Word Meaning

nannenjE – Oh good heart!
uththaman – the purushOththaman [emperumAn]
nal pAdham – the great divine feet
(paNivadhu) – to attain
uRum kaNdAy – it is very apt, see for yourself.

(those divine feet)
oN kamalam thannAl – with beautiful lotus flowers
(sARRip paNivadhu) – to decorate and to pay obeisance
uRum kaNdAy – is very apt for us, see for yourself
sARRi – offering (those lotus flowers with our hands)
paNindhu – bowing (with our heads)
Eththi – praising him handsomely with the mouth
avan pEr IraigyURu – his thousand divine names
eppozhudhum – at all times
uraiththal – the act of reciting them
thavam –  penance
uRum kaNdAy – is apt, see for yourself.

vyAkyAnam

uRum kaNdAy – the word uRudhum has been shortened as uRum, throughout this verse. We can construe the meaning for this as taking the materials mentioned in the previous pAsuram (76) and attaining him. Alternatively, this could be construed as AzhwAr telling his heart to think of this (being explained in subsequent words) as a great act, instead of treating it similar to other benefits.

uRum kaNdAy – for one who has been used to looking for lowly benefits, attaining the divine feet of emperumAn is the most apt act [AzhwAr tells his heart]. You know very well how we had suffered in lowly things from time immemorial.

nannenjE – Oh heart, who is suitable for me! Alternatively, it can be taken as the heart which comes ahead of AzhwAr, with excitement, with lot of involvement in this matter.

uththamanemperumAn who considers the form, that he takes to protect us, as being for his own benefit. Even during the time when we shunned him, he came behind us.

naRpAdham – His divine feet are superior to him to the same extent by which he is superior to us. pEyAzhwAr, in his mUnRAm thiruvandhAdhi 88 has mercifully stated “podhu ninRa ponnangazhal” (his divine, golden, beautiful feet are there for all of us in common). As prayed by kALiyan (the serpent which troubled people and cattle in yamunA nadhi during krishNa’s time in gOkulam), as mentioned in SrI vishNu purANam 5-7-10 “sOham thE dhEvadhEvESa nArchanAthau sthuthau na cha sAmarthyavAn krupAmAthra manOvruththi: prasIdha mE” (Oh Lord of dhEvas! I am not proficient in praising and worshipping you. For such a person as I am, only you have to shower mercy on me and grace me with your divine mind), the divine feet come on their own and rest on our heads.

uththaman naRpAdham uRum kaNdAy oNkamalam thannAl – one can attain his divine feet with a beautiful lotus flower. Thus we do not have to carry out any great deed. There is no need to look for an aprAkrutha (extraordinary) flower which is apt for him. A normal lotus flower will do.

uRum kaNdAy Eththip paNindhu avan pEr IraigyURu eppozhudhum sARRi uraiththal thavam – the penance of worshipping him and reciting his thousand divine names always is apt. This implies that more than attaining him, the activity undertaken to attain him is very sweet. The period spent in trying to attain purushArtham (the benefit) is sweeter than the period when we attain purushArtham. AzhwAr tells his heart to see for itself the benefit of reciting emperumAn’s divine names which is similar to carrying out penance. Would reciting his divine names be a penance? Since emperumAn considers this as penance, in empeurmAn’s opinion this will be taken as carrying out penance.

We shall move on to the 78th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 76 – varaich chandhana kuzhambum

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avathArikai

AzhwAr says that just as the song was sweet for him, collecting the materials for his worship and falling at the divine feet of emperumAn, who has taken residence near us and who is the ordained Lord for us, is the act which will bring benefit to the AthmA.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

varaich chandhanak kuzhambum vAn kalanum pattum
viraippolindha veN malligaiyum niraiththukkoNdu
AdhikkaN ninRa aRivan adiyiNaiyE
Odhip paNivadhu uRum

Word by Word Meaning

varaich chandhanak kuzhambum – sandalwood paste made from sandalwood trees in mountains
vAn kalanum – great jewels
pattum – silken clothes
virai polindha – full of fragrance
veN malligaiyum – garlands of white jasmine flower
niraiththukkoNdu – gathering these materials
AdhikkaN ninRa aRivan – the omniscient emperumAn who has been there from time immemorial as the causative factor for the worlds
adi iNaiyE – the two divine feet
Odhi – praising him handsomely with the mouth
paNivadhu – bowing down to him with the head
uRum – will be apt (for the nature of chEthana, the sentient entity)

vyAkyAnam

varaich chandhanak kuzhambum – sandal paste taken from a good place (mountain). Sandal paste which has no shortage in fragrance. thirumangai AzhwAr, in his periya thirumadal, has mercifully stated “thennan podhiyil sezhum sandhanak kuzhambum” (the high quality sandal paste prepared from the sandalwood trees in the podhiyamalai range of mountains in the kingdom of pANdiyas).

vAn kalanum – highly valued, divine jewels which are apt for emperumAn. nammAzhwAr too has mercifully mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 4-3-2thEsamAna aNikalanum” (radiant jewels).

pattum – good silken clothes suitable for emperumAn’s divine waist and appropriate to his softness.

viraip polindha veN malligaiyum – jasmine flower, full of fragrance and being white in colour; being sweet to merely look at, not even needing to be worn.

niRaiththukkoNdu – all these materials [mentioned thus far] should be such that even as emperumAn sees them, they create an involvement for him towards us. periyAzhwAr, considering himself as yaSOdhAppirAtti, says in his periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 2-4-4 “anjanamum koNdu vaiththEn” (I kept the decorative black coloured pigment for applying to the eyes), with lot of affection. We should also exhibit similar affection for emperumAn when taking the materials [mentioned earlier for worshipping him]. Taking the materials in the order in which they should be taken, as mentioned by nammAzhwAr in thiruviruththam 21 “sUttu nanmAlaigaL thUyana Endhi” (carrying the beautiful, pure, garlands appropriate for emperumAn).

AdhikkaN ninRa – emperumAn who has been standing from time immemorial [waiting for the AthmAs to reach him]. emperumAn was existing even when the AthmAs did not have a physical form or sensory perceptions [during deluge]. Before that, being the causative factor for all these AthmAs. When asked which entity should be worshipped, upanishath said “kAraNam thu dhyEya:” (meditate on the that entity who is the cause for everything).

aRivan – the omniscient. If the chEthana does a favourable act towards emperumAn who is apt to be worshipped, he will always remember that, being the omniscient, as he himself mentioned in mahAbhAratham udhyOga parvam 47-22 “gOvindhEthi yadhAgrandhath krishNA mAm dhUravAsinam ruNam pravrudhdhamiva mE hrudhayAnnApasarpayathi” (when dhraupadhi called out to me from a far away distance, it did not leave my heart, similar to the interest on interest for a loan given). He will wonder whether the chEthana has to do anything more towards him.

adiyiNaiyE – his two divine feet which are comparable only to each other.

Odhip paNivadhu uRum – it is apt to praise and worship him. AzhwAr says that praising emperumAn with the mouth and bowing with the head would be apt for this AthmA.

uRum – this [praising and worshipping] would be of a very high order, be sweet at that moment and forever too. AzhwAr says that praising and worshipping emperumAn would be similar to being offered sugar candy as a wage for eating a piece of jaggery [adding sweet to sweetness]. He says that to worship emperumAn who is aprAkrutham (extraordinary; not related to materialistic world) one need not take aprAkrutha materials. Materials from this world such as sandal paste, jewels, silk cloth, jasmine etc are sufficient.

We shall take up the 77th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 75 – perugu madha vEzham

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avathArikai

After AzhwAr said that he is great, emperumAn asked him to sing a poem on him and this pAsuram is the poem that AzhwAr sang then. Just as SrI rAmAyanam came out of vAlmIki’s poems, details about thiruvEngadam come out of this AzhwAr’s poem.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

perugu madha vEzham mAppidikku mun ninRu
iru kaN iLa mUngil vAngi arugirundha
thEn kalandhu nIttum thiruvEngadam kaNdIr
vAn kalandha vaNNan varai

Word by Word Meaning

perugum – flowing copiously
madham – the liquid that comes out during periods of exultation
vEzham – (male) elephant
mA pidikku mun ninRu – standing in front of its great female elephant
iru kaN iLa mUngil vAngi – plucking a bamboo sprout with two nodes
arugu irundha thEn kalandhu – dipping (that bamboo sprout) in honey available nearby
nIttum – when it offered (to the female elephant, with its trunk)
thiruvEngadam kaNdIr – is that not thiruvEngadam!
vAn kalandha vaNNan varai – it is the hill which is the residence for emperumAn who has the complexion of cloud

vyAkyAnam

perugum madha vEzham – elephant which secretes the liquid during its period of exultation, in overflowing manner like a river. Unlike the way periyAzhwAr mentioned in his thirumozhi 1-7-1 “mummadhappunal” instead of secreting from three places in its body, the liquid was flowing from various places, like a flood, for this elephant, by looking at which even the lions will be scared. When the flow of liquid stops, the elephant will be able to gain some sense. But when it is in exultation, the elephant cannot be controlled in any way.

mAppidikku mun ninRu – it will stand in front of of its proud female elephant. The pride for the female elephant is that it is able to control the male elephant which is otherwise uncontrollable when it is in exultation.

mAppidi – the female elephant is capable of making the male elephant to starve for several days for its sake.

mun ninRu – Just as lakshmaNa told SrI rAma in SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 15-7 “kriyathAmithi mAm vadha” (please command me that this [activity] should be carried out), the male elephant, when in exultation, would stand humbly before the female elephant. It would carry out any task at the command of the female elephant. All the activities of the male elephant would be under the control of the female. Just as emperumAn, who controls everyone, was under the control of pANdavas (the five sons of king pANdu), the male elephant would be under the control of its female.

mAppidikku mun ninRu – the reason for chEthana not being afraid of emperumAn’s svAthanthriyam (independence) is pirAtti (SrI mahAlakshmi). While his svAthanthriyam in itself is the cause for his forgiving  and accepting us, the real reason for this is pirAtti’s purushakAram (recommendatory role). SrI rAmAyaNa SlOkam 30-39 in AraNya kANdam says “tham dhrushtvA SathruhanthAram maharshINAm sukhAvaham | babhUva hrushtA vaidhEhi bharthAram parishasvajE ||” (after seeing SrI rAmapirAn who destroyed the enemies and comforted the sages, sIthA realised that she existed and embraced her husband tightly).

iru kaN iLa mUngil vAngi – in the same way, the female elephant is present here. Even though the male elephant is not under its own control, it would strive to keep the female elephant happy. It will pluck a bamboo sprout with two nodes and offer it to the female.

iru kaN – Even if the bamboo is so long that it will reach until the nether world, it has only two nodes.

vAngi – Even though the male elephant is so strong that it can bring down a mountain, when it comes to doing anything for its female, it will be very gentle with whatever it handles for the female. This verse refers to the gentleness of the bamboo and the care exhibited by the male elephant. It handled the bamboo shoot as if it were butter. The male will think that even if there is any shortcoming in its greatness, the female will not accept it.

arugirundha thEn kalandhu – just as inside the sannidhi (sanctum sanctorum) of emperumAn, various materials used in emperumAn’s thirumanjanam (divine bath) will be kept in their places without any fault, there too (in the forest) sweet materials such as honey will be available at various places without any shortcoming. Honey will be present inside the mountainous caves. The male elephant will dip the bamboo shoot in that honey and offer it to the female. Since AzhwAr has used the word kalandhu (mixed) this implies that bamboo and honey will be like two liquid materials [such soft bamboo].

nIttum – even if the female turns its face away not accepting it from the male, the male will continue to offer it. It will consider its offering [the bamboo] itself as the benefit. The female will be indifferent to its offering, saying “give it to those you like” and the male will beg the female to accept it.

nIttum – just as SrI rAma offered to sIthA as mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 96-2 “idham mEdhyam idham svAdhu” (this is pure; this is sweet), the male elephant will offer [the honey dipped bamboo shoot] to the female.

thiruvEngadam kaNdIr – isn’t it such thirumalai!

vAn kalandha vaNNan varai – it is the mountain of emperumAn, who is having the complexion of cloud. Just as the bamboo shoot and honey mixed well together with the same taste, the colour of cloud and that of emperumAn are the same here. It will be difficult to distinguish between the colour of cloud and the form of emperumAn.  Both the subject and the object of comparison are equal in all aspects.

We shall take up the 76th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 74 – yAnE thavam seydhEn

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avathArikai

AzhwAr says that with the happiness derived out of carrying out kainkaryam for emperumAn,  he was blessed to be qualified to sing paeans on him. Just as nammAzhwAr mercifully spoke in thiruvAimozhi 4-5-9vAnavar kOnaik kavi solla vallERku ini mARuNdE” (is there any enemy for one who is capable of singing paeans on the lord of nithyasUris?), bhUdhaththAzhwAr also mercifully speaks in this pAsuram.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

yAnE thavam seydhEn EzhpiRappum eppozhudhum
yAnE thavam udaiyEn emperumAn yAnE
irum thamizh nanmAlai iNaiyadikkE sonnEn
perum thamizhan nallEn peridhu

Word by Word Meaning

emperumAn – Oh my swAmy (Lord)!
Ezh piRappum – in all births
eppozhudhum – in all states
thavam seydhEn – carried out penance
yAnE – only I
thavam udaiyan yAnE – it is I who reaped the benefit of carrying out that penance
irum thamizh nal mAlai – beautiful garlands of words strung in great thamizh
iNai adikkE – (to your) two divine feet
sonnEn – I offered
perum thamizhan – being an expert in great thamizh arts
peridhu – to a great extent
nallEn – being great
yAnE – only I

vyAkyAnam

yAnE thavam seydhEn – only I had carried out penance. This is the difference between me and the people of this world.

Ezh piRappum eppozhudhum – It was I who carried out the penance, the benefit of which was to sing paeans about attaining emperumAn, in all births and in all states. sIthAppirAtti said  “IdhruSam puNyapApam” (puNyapApam (virtue and vice) are like this) – pirAtti said that there is reason for her unlimited sorrow. The sin (vice) for her is SrI rAma’s anger. In the same way, this AzhwAr says that there is a reason for the benefit that accrued to him (in other words, he says that the reason is emperumAn’s mercy). He affirms the reason based on the benefit that he obtained. nammAzhwAr too has mercifully stated in thiruvAimozhi 2-7-6enakkE aruLgaL seyya vidhi sUzhndhadhAl” (emperumAn had to shower his mercy only for my sake).

yAnE thavam udaiyEn – it was I who attained the benefit of carrying out this penance.

emperumAn  – the reason for this is that he is my Lord. Hence, both his penance and the benefit are emperumAn only. thirumangai AzhwAr in his thirumozhi 6-3-4 calls emperumAn as “pOndhEn puNNiyanE”, saying that emperumAn is his virtue. AzhwAr asks whether there is anything for him to lose after emperumAn becomes his Lord. Only I have both the penance and the benefit of that penance, says the AzhwAr. The reason for this is that ….

yAnE irundhamizh nanmAlai – there is a major difference between the garland of vEdha (sacred text) and the garland of thamizh words [dhivya prabandham] that AzhwAr had strung. The garland of vEdha could be learnt only by limited people [male members in the first three varNas) while the garland of thamizh that AzhwAr had strung could be learnt by everyone.

yAnE thavam uadiyEn yAnE irum thamizh nanmAlai iNai adikkE sonnEn –  only I had carried out the penance. As a result of that penance, only I had the fortune of offering to your divine feet, a great thamizh garland, made with superior words without any fault in either the grammar or the poetic metrics, and which could be learnt by everyone.

perum thamizhan – there is none who has immersed in the dhrAvida SAsthram (the sacred text in thamizh) as much as I have. Is it only that there is none to equal me in this?

peridhu nallEn – it is not because of egoistic bent of mind that AzhwAr is calling himself as great. Just as nammAzhwAr had sung in thiruvAimozhi 7-9-4 “ennAgiyE thappudhalinRith thanaik kavi thAn solli”, AzhwAr says that emperumAn, through AzhwAr, composed paeans without any faults, on himself.

nallEn peridhu –Just as nammAzhwAr said in thiruvAimozhi 4-5-8yAvar nigar agal vAnaththE”, this AzhwAr says that there is none who is his equal. He says “nithyamukthars (the permanent dwellers of SrIvaikuNtam and those who reached SrIvaikuNtam after being liberated from samsAram) will worship emperumAn without any procedure and I too worshipped without following any rule or order. But that my prabandham is without any fault is my special greatness over them (nithyamukthars).  They are worshipping him from the apt place of paramapadham singing, as mentioned in thaiththirIya upanishath “Ethath sAmagAyannAsthE” (singing sAma vEdham like this) whereas I am worshipping him from the inapt samsAram (this materialistic world); hence I am greater than they”.

We shall move on to the 75th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 73 – Ayndhuraippan

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avathArikai

AzhwAr mercifully states in this pAsuram that thinking about how emperumAn remains attainable by everyone, he became sure that he will carry out kainkaryam permanently at his divine feet.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

Ayndhuraippan Ayiram pEr Adhi nadu andhivAy
vAyndha malar thUvi vaigalum  Eyndha
piRaikkOttuch chengaN kari viduththa pemmAn
iRakkAdpadath thuNindha yAn

Word by Word Meaning

piRai Eyndha kOdu – having crescent shaped tusks
sem kAn – having reddish eyes
kari – the elephant gajEndhrAzhwAn
viduththa – one who released it from the jaws of crocodile
pemmAn – the supreme being
iRaikku – to SrIman nArAyaNa
AL pada – to be his servitor
thuNindha yAn – I became firm
Adhi nadu andhivAy vaigalum – during all times in the morning, noon and night
vAyndha malar – flowers that I could get my hands on
thUvi – strew them haphazardly
Ayiram pEr – the thousand divine names
Ayndhu uraippan – I will meditate in my heart

vyAkyAnam

Ayndhu uraippan – I will be constantly meditating on his divine names

Ayiram pEr – When meditating on emperumAn’s divine names, we would not have any rule that we will recite only such and such divine names and will leave out such and such divine names. We will recite all the divine names. Should one look for a proper time and place for mentioning one’s mother’s name? Only for those who desire only wealth are there rules that only such and such divine names are to be recited. For those who are not looking for any such benefit, there is no such rule. Just as one will swallow a chip of candy that one gets to lay his hands on, we will recite the divine names.

Adi nadu andhi vAy – during beginning, middle and end periods of the day. There is no rule with regard to time for reciting the divine names of emperumAn. One can recite during morning, noon and night, at all times.

vAyndha malar – even among flowers, there is no rule about which flowers are to be offered to emperumAn. With any flower that one could get his hands on.

thUvi – there is no rule in the way the flowers are offered. Scattering them without following any procedure

vaigalum – we will attain him at all times. Just as we eat everyday, we will recite his names everyday.

Eyndha piRaikkOttuch chengaN kari viduththa pemmAn – elephant with crescent shaped tusks and reddish eyes. The elephant could be considered as either referring to kuvalayApIdam which was incited by kamsa to kill krishNa or to SrI gajEndhrAzhwAn which was protected by emperumAn from crocodile. If it refers to kuvalayApIdam, we can construe it as referring to emperumAn removing the hurdles for his followers. If it refers to SrI gajEndrAzhwAn, we can construe it as referring to emperumAn’s affection towards those who approach him.

kari viduththu – unable to let go of the one flower that gajEndhran wanted to offer, releasing that gajEndhran from the jaws of crocodile.

pemmAn – to my swAmy (master); to my Lord who is the supreme entity. The knowledge that he is a servitor to emperumAn gives the confidence to AzhwAr to attain him.

iRaikku – emperumAn, the ordained lord.

Atpadath thuNindha yAn – I, who became sure that I will carry out service to emperumAn; I who became sure in the servitorship which is the benefit of attaining him. AzhwAr says that he carried out service, as emperumAn removed the hurdles; I who became sure that I will carry out service to emperumAn who is capable of destroying enemies.

We shall take up the 74th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 72 – pOdhaRindhu

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avathArikai

AzhwAr’s divine mind took a step back saying that if this is the position of the great nithyasUris with regard to emperumAn, do I have the qualification to approach him? AzhwAr tells his divine mind “you need not fear like that. emperumAn is such a person of easy access that even animals approach him. Hence stay focussed on that”.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

pOdhaRindhu vAnarangaL pUnjunai pukku Angalarndha
pOdharindhu koNdu EththumbOdhu uLLam pOdhu
maNivEngadavan malar adikkE sella
aNivEngadavan pEr Ayndhu

Word by Word Meaning

vAnarangaL – monkeys
pOdhu aRindhu – waking up early in the morning (and getting up)
pU sunai pukku – entering ponds with flowers (and having a bath)
Angu alarndha – just then blossomed
pOdhu – flowers
arindhu koNdu – plucking and offering them
Eththum – will worship
uLLam – Oh mind!
pOdhu – you too start (to carry out like that)
maNi vEngadavan – thiruvEngadavan who is like a blue coloured gem
pEr – divine names
Ayndhu – meditating on
vEngadavan malar adikkE sella – ensuring that they reach the lotus-like divine feet of
emperumAn
pOdhu aNi – offer the flowers

vyAkyAnam

pOdhu aRindhu – just as sages get rid of their rajO guNam (being passionate) and thamO guNam (being ignorant) and have only sAthvika guNam (being noble) knowing that it is brahma muhUrtham (the time span between 4 and 6 in the morning), the monkeys also become aware of the time and do not get sleep during this time frame, like EkAgis (solitary people).

vAnarangaL – monkeys worship at the thirumalai hills where nithyasUris come and worship with affection.

pUnjunai pukku – entering ponds which have flowers. Just as sages take a dip in the water unmindful of the chillness, the monkeys too have a bath.

Angu – in that place

alarndha pOdhu – beautiful flowers which are neither buds nor fully blossomed.

arindhu – plucking them, they will worship. They will approach emperumAn with these.

uLLam pOdhu – Oh my mind! Step out! Do not step back in the time available.

What are we going to do? You also, like those monkeys, with beautiful flowers …..

maNi vEngadavan malaradikkE sella – ensuring that the flowers reach the beautiful divine feet of thiruvEngadavan who has the complexion of a blue gem

aNi – while doing that

vEngadavan pEr Ayndhu koNdu – meditating on the divine names of thiruvEngadavan, wondering at his simplicity, we shall ensure that we offer the flowers to his divine feet. We shall surrender to him with flowers.

If the text is taken as aNi vEngadavan instead of maNi vEngadavan, the meaning will change to: thiruvEngadamudaiyAn who is like a decorative jewel to the world. We can also interpret this as – even when going towards thiruvEngadavan’s flower-like divine feet, offer (offer such that they reach thirvEngadavan’s divine feet).

We shall take up the 73rd pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 71 – idangai valampuri

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avathArikai

In this pAsuram, how nithyasUris (permanent dwellers of SrIvaikuNtam), thinking of the activities undertaken by emperumAn during his avathArams (incarnations), fear for his safety out of affection for him and suffer, is told. Isn’t emperumAn, who is having many people who have deep affection for him, taking residence in places where there is none having affection for him, wonders AzhwAr. In the earlier pAsuram, it was mentioned as to how emperumAn came of his own volition to various divine abodes. This pAsuram mentions the nature of nithyasUris who desire only emperumAn. Even if emperumAn incarnates here, only nithyasUris have affection for him and there is none in this world who has affection for him. AzhwAr is asking as to for whose knowledge the nithyasUris are remaining there, having affection for emperumAn. In the earlier pAsuram, he mentioned as to how he comes as a simple person to various divine abodes. In this pAsuram he mentions emperumAn’s nature as an easily approachable person.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

idangai valampuri ninRArppa erigAnRu
adangAr odunguviththadhu Azhi vidangAlum
thIvAy aravaNaimEl thOnRal dhisaiyaLappAn
pUvAr adi nimirththa pOdhu

Word by Word Meaning

vidam kAlum – spitting poison
thI vAy – having frightening mouth
aravu – ananthAzhwAn (AdhiSEshan)
aNai mEl – (reclining) on his bed
thOnRal – the supreme being
dhisai – all the worlds
aLappAn – to measure
pU Ar adi – the soft divine feet, which are like flowers
nimirththapOdhu – during the time when [emperumAn] lifted and made them grow
valampuri – his conch
idangai – on his left hand
ninRu – standing firmly
Arppa – blew vociferously
Azhi – divine disc [sudharSana]
eri kAnRu – spat fire
adangAr – enemies such as namuchi
odunguviththadhu – made them incapacitated

vyAkyAnam

idangai valampuri ninRArppa – In order to express its happiness when emperumAn measured the worlds, the conch pAnchajanya, on his left hand, blew loudly. It blew in such a way that enemies, who heard it, fell onto the ground in defeat.

erikAnRu adangAr odunguviththadhu Azhi – the divine disc, not being able to blow like the conch, spat fire on enemies such as namuchi (son of king mahAbali) and frightened them.

vidam kAlum thIvAy aravaNai mEl thOnRal – even as emperumAn is reclining on him, due to his affection for emperumAn, thiruvananthAzhwAn (AdhiSEshan) wants to kill the enemies. Accordingly, in the same position (being a bed for emperumAn) he spat poison. emperumAn has such a soft body that his followers [nithyasUris] fear as to what will befall his divine form, even as he is lying on thiruvananthAzhwAn who has such a frightening mouth.

dhisai aLappAn – to measure the directions which had forests and ridges

pU Ar adi nimirththa pOdhu – when he spread out his soft, divine legs. At that time, the divine conch in his left had blew loudly; the divine disc on his right had spat fire; AdhiSEhan spat our poison from his place. Thus all these followers suffered like this.

pU Ar adi – even if he had remained quiet without measuring the worlds, his divine feet were so soft that even his consorts would worry themselves out of affection for him, as to what will happen to his divine fieet. nammAzhwAr too mercifully stated in his thiruvAimozhi 9-2-10 “malarmagaL maRRum nilamagaL pidikkum melladi” (both SrIdhEvi and bhUdhEvi would gently stroke his soft, divine feet). His divine feet were so soft that even SrIdhEvi, who is fragrance personified and bhUdhEvi, who is patience personified, would fear touching them! The divine feet are so soft that they would turn red even if his consorts think about stroking them, even before they touch them! They are like flowers which have been spread out; they are so soft.

We shall move on to the 72nd pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 70 – thamaruLLam thanjai

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avathArikai

AzhwAr says that if such people are favourable to him (emperumAn) he will not see any distinction between their hearts and the divine abodes where he has taken residence with happiness. Alternatively it could be said that AzhwAr is mercifully mentioning the abodes where emperumAn has taken residence for the sake of his followers. This pAsuram describes the infatuation that emperumAn has for his followers. Thus, in the 68th pAsuram, the way he gave nectar to those who desired it was mentioned. In the 69th pAsuram, the way he gave kingdoms to those who desired them was mentioned. In this pAsuram, the way he gave himself to those who desired him is mentioned.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

thamaruLLam thanjai thalaiyarangam thaNkAl
thamaruLLum thaN poruppu vElai thamaruLLum
mAmallai kOval madhiL kudandhai enbarE
Evalla endhaikku idam

Word by Word Meaning

thamar uLLam – devotees’ heart
thanjai – thanjai mAmaNik kOyil [a divine abode in thanjAvUr]
thalai arangam – (among all divine places) most special thiruvarangam
thaNkAl – thiruththaNkAl [a  divine abode near present day sivakAsi]
thamar uLLum – what the followers have thought of (as everything for them)
thaN poruppu – the cool thirumalai (thiruvEngadam)
vElai – thiruppARkadal (milky ocean)
thamar uLLum – places meditated upon by followers
mAmallai – thirukkadal mallai [mahAbalipuram]
kOval – thirukkOvalUr
madhiL kudandhai – kudandhai [kumbakONam] with divine fortified walls

thus, all these abodes
E valla endhaikku idam enbar – [his followers] will say are the residences for chakravarthy thirumagan (SrI rAma) who is an expert at shooting arrows.

vyAkyAnam

thamar uLLam – AzhwAr is referring first to the hearts of followers since these are the most important among all the abodes where emperumAn has taken residence. Thus, AzhwAr says that unlike other divine abodes, emperumAn will give prominence to his followers’ hearts.

thanjai – the divine abode thanjai mAmaNikkOyil, in thanjAvUr.

thalai arangam –  the periyakOyil (huge temple) at thiruvarangam, considered to be the first among all divine abodes of emperumAn and one that could be thought of to be on a par with paramapadham. thirumangai AzhwAr has mercifully spoken of this abode in his thirunedundhANdagam 14 as “appAl mudhalAy ninRa aLappariya Aramudhai arangamEya andhaNanai” (one who is in paramapadham took residence in thiruvarangam, as the primary cause of existence for both nithyavibhUthi (SrivaikuNtam) and leelA vibhUthi (samsAram) with his wonderful form which will remove all faults); nammAzhwAr too has mercifully mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 7-2-3 as “katkilee … thitkodi madhiL sUzh thiruvarangaththAy” (Oh one who is invisible to our eyes! …who lies inside thiruvarangam surrounded by huge walls with firm creepers on them).

thaNkAl – this divine abode of thiruththaNkAl is the one which removed thirumangai AzhwAr’s infatuation. thirumagai AzhwAr has mercifully spoken of this abode in his periya thirumozhi as “thaNkAl thiRalvaliyai” (the powerful entity at thiruththaNkAl).

thamar uLLum thaN poruppu –   thiruvEngdamalai (the hills at thiruvEngadam) which is considered by followers as a treasure and which is spoken of by nammAzhwAr in thiruvAimozhi 9-3-8 as “ninRa vEngadam nINilatthu uLLadhu” (the abode thiruvEngadam where emperumAn stood awaiting his followers is on the expansive earth). This abode is everything to SrIvaishNavas.

vElai – the abode thiruppARkadal (milky ocean) which is the cause for emperumAn to take residence in all these dhivyadhESams (divine abodes). Since this abode is approached only by entities such as brahmA et al, AzhwAr is not qualifying this abode with any specific adjective and mentions it merely as vElai.

thamar uLLum mAmallai – the abode  thirukkadal mallai [present day mahAbalipuram] where emperumAn took a lying posture on the ground in order to shower his mercy on his follower puNdarIka muni.

kOval – the divine place thirukkOvalUr where emperumAn jostled with poygai AzhwAr, bhUdhaththAzhwAr and pEyAzhwAr. Isn’t it the place which exulted after making the three of them jostle with each other!

madhiL kudandhai – the divine abode thirukkudandhai [present day kumbakONam] which is surrounded by well fortified walls. An abode which was very dear to thirumazhisai AzhwAr.

enbarE Evalla endhaikku idam – people say that these are the abodes which are the dwelling places for chakravarthy thirumagan (son of emperor) [SrI rAma] who is capable of uprooting the enemies. He is the one who destroyed his enemies and made his followers as his servitors. AzhwAr says that these are all abodes where emperumAn took residence in order to redeem his followers from samsAram.

We shall take up the 71st pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 69 – kOvAgi mAnilam kAththu

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avathArikai

AzhwAr says that it is not only dhEvas who approach emperumAn and get their needs fulfilled, but even the kings, who are seen by us protecting the world, approach the divine feet of emperumAn who is the cause for the world and these kings obtain their positions through emperumAn only.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

kOvAgi mAnilam kAththu nangaN mugappE
mAvEgich chelginRa mannavarum pUmEvum
sengalanAbiyAn sEvadikkE EzhpiRappum
thaN kamalam EyndhAr thamar

Word by Word Meaning

kO Agi – being king of kings
mA nilam kAththu – ruling over the expansive earth
nam kaN mugappE – in front of our eyes
mA Egi selginRa – riding atop horses
mannavarum – kings
sem kamalappU mEvum – one with the reddish lotus flower adorning
nAbiyAn – emperumAn with divine navel
sE adikkE – to the divine feet
Ezh piRappum – over many births
thaN kamalam – cool lotus flowers
EyndhAr – offered
thamar – followers

vyAkyAnam

kOvAgi – being the leaders of the world; since they are ruling the world, they will be very egoistic. They will think that they are also like emperumAn and will be very conceited. They will be egoistic like pouNdra vAsudhEvan, who thought that he was like emperumAn. vishNu dharmam 43-47 says “dhEvEndhras thribhuavanam arthamEka pinga: sarvardhitham thribhuvanagAm cha kArthavIrya:, vaidhEha: paramapadham prasAdhya vishNum samprAptha: sakalapalapradhO hi vishNu:” (worshipping vishNu, dhEvendhra obtained the three worlds, kubEra obtained wealth, kArthavIrya obtained greatness in the three worlds and janaka attained paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam). Isn’t vishNu bhagavAn the magnanimous person who gives what we ask of him!)

mAnilam kAththu – protecting the expansive earth

nam kaN mugappE mA Egich chelginRa mannavarum – the kings who mount elephants, horses etc even as we are seeing them

pUvEgum sengamala nAbiyAn sEvadikkE – other flowers, when they look at the beauty of the lotus flower shooting from the divine navel of emperumAn, being unable to compete with that, lose out and get pushed over. On the divine feet of such emperumAn who has such a divine navel with beautiful lotus flower…

pU mEvum – sweet lotus; if the text is taken as pU Egum the meaning will change to: the divine navel of emperumAn,  like a lotus, never changing  its beauty. Since the other flowers will lose their beauty in a moment, they cannot compete with emperumAn’s divine lotus like navel and will get pushed over.

Ezh piRappum thaN kamalam EyndhAr thamar – they (the kings) would have offered cool flowers at the divine feet of emperumAn throughout their multitudinous births. Alternatively, this can be construed as: they would be the followers of those who had offered cool flowers at the divine feet of emperumAn over many births. Thus, AzhwAr says that those who had become followers of emperumAn have become kings in this birth, going atop horses.

We shall move on to the 70th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 68 – vali mikka

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avathArikai

AzhwAr says that emperumAn is such that if someone comes to pray to him asking for other benefits instead of himself, he cannot keep quiet; even if he has to strain himself, he will carry out tasks for his followers. Instead of getting rid of the scent of samsAram from them with the help of such an entity, the celestial people (dhEvas) obtained nectar, which is like salt water, from him. Thus he speaks about the activities of emperumAn by which he grants what each person wants from that persons’ position and how he avoids giving what is not required. AzhwAr says that people lose him on their own [by not asking for him] and that there is no shortcoming in emperumAn.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

vali mikka vAL eyiRRu vALavuNar mALa
vali mikka vAL varai maththAga valimikka
vANAgam suRRi maRugak kadal kadaindhAn
kONAgam kombu osiththa kO

Word by Word Meaning

vali mikka – being mightily strong
vAL eyiRu – having canine teeth resembling swords
vAL – having an army of swords
avuNar – demons
mALa – to be destroyed
vali mikka vAL varai maththAga – having manthara mountain, which is very strong and radiant, as the churning staff
vali mikka vAL nAgam – the serpent vAsuki, which is very strong and radiant
suRRi – using it as a rope around the churning staff
kadal maRuga kadaindhAn – one who churned the ocean such that it became a slimey mass

Who is that?
kOL nAgam – the exulting elephant called as kuvalayApIdam, which is very strong
kombu – its tusks
osiththa – one who broke it (playfully)
kO – the Lord

vyAkyAnam

vali mikka vAL avuNar mALa – making the demons, who are strong, who have radiant canine teeth and who have weapons, to get destroyed. In other worlds, emperumAn made the strength of demons to get destroyed and that of dhEvas (celestial entities) to grow.

vali mikka vAL varai maththAga – when the omnipotent emperumAn himself churned the ocean, he used the manthara mountain which is very strong and which would not decay under the impact, and which is radiant. He made it very strong to use it as churning staff.

vali mikka vAL nAgam suRRi – when he used manthara mountain as a churning staff, he used the serpent vAsuki  as the rope for coiling around the staff since vAsuki would not rupture during the churning process, being very strong and was as radiant as the mountain. In order to ensure that vAsuki would not tear off during the churning process, emperumAn gave it additional strength.

maRugak kadal kadaindhAn – he churned the ocean such that the bottom layers of the ocean came on top. The ocean was agitated like curd is agitated in a vessel and suffered the same pain that the curd in the small vessel suffered.

Who churned the ocean like that?

kOL nAgam kombu osiththa kO – one who is like an anchor for all of us. emperumAn is the leader who broke the tusks of the elephant kuvalayApIdam [the royal elephant of King kamsan] which came to harm him. He got rid of his enemy and made us as his servitors through the exhibition of such valour. After destroying his enemy and protecting himself, emperumAn offered himself as the leader of the world. Through this act, he made us all as his servitors. Did not such an emperumAn churn the ocean during that time, in the bargain suffering pain in his divine form!

We shall move on to the 69th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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