Author Archives: T N Krishnan

nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 60 – AL pArththu

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avathArikai

AzhwAr tells emperumAn to ensure that he (AzhwAr) retains the quality of being a servitor always.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

AL pArththu uzhitharuvAy kaNdukoL enRu nin
thAL pArththu uzhitharuvEn thanmaiyai kEtpArkku
arum poruLAy ninRa aranganE unnai
virumbuvadhE viLLEn manam

Word for Word Meanings

kEtpArkku – for those who would like to know (with their own efforts)
aru poruLAy ninRa aranganE – Oh thiruvarangA who became impossible to know supreme entity!
AL pArththu uzhi tharuvAy – one who goes searching “will I get anyone who will be under my control?”
nin thAL pArththu uzhi tharuvEn thanmaiyai – my basic nature of seeking out your divine feet
enRum kaNdukoL – you should mercifully shower your glance on me so that this lasts forever
unnai virumbuvadhE – my nature of desiring you
manam – in my heart
viLLEn – I am unable to avoid

vyAkyAnam

AtpArththu uzhitharuvAy – Oh one who is going out, searching “Is there anyone who is willing to be my servitor?”

kaNdukoL enRum thAtpArththu uzhi tharuvEn thanmaiyai – make sure that my quality of moving around with the desire of attaining your divine feet is always present. The duty of stabilising my quality of being under your control is yours.

kEtpArkku arum poruLAy – For those who desire to attain through their efforts of listening (to SAsthrams), memorising them and meditating on them, you are impossible to attain, except through your mercy. The word kEtparkku referring to listening is applicable equally to memorising and meditating. Has it not been said in kata upanishath 3-23 “nAyamAthmA pravachanEna labhyO na mEdhayA na bahunA SruthEna” (he is difficult to attain through different modes of listening, memorising and meditating)!

ninRa aranganE – Just as it is mentioned in kata upanishaths 3-23 “yamEvaisha vruNuthE thEna labhyas thasyaisha AthmA vivruNuthE thanUm svAm” (whoever this supreme entity desires, such person attains this supreme entity through him. This supreme entity shows such person his divine form), oh thiruvarangA, you have come and reclined here in order to become simple to those of your devotees to whom you wish to show yourself!

unnai virumbuvadhE viLLEn manam – Even if I do, my mind will not stop desiring you who would go in search of servitors. The opinion here is that you should ensure that I always remain with this quality [of desiring to be your servitor].

We will move on to the 61st pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 59 – anbAvAy

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Adhi kESavap perumAL with ubhaya nAchchiyArs (SrIperumbUthUr)

avathArikai

achyuthan (emperumAn), seeing the affection of AzhwAr who said AkkinEn anbu, was readying to serve AzhwAr by massaging his hands and legs. AzhwAr indicates to him in this pAsuram, the proper order.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

anbAvAy AramudhamAvAy adiyEnukku
inbAvAy ellAmum nIyAvAy pon pAvai
kELvA kiLaroLi en kEsavanE kEdinRi
ALvAyk kadiyEn nAn AL

Word for Word Meanings

anbu AvAy – one who is the epitome of affection (towards me)!
Ar amudham AvAy – One who is like complete nectar!
adiyEnukku inbu AvAy – one who created for me (the experiencing of your) enjoyment!
ellAmum nI AvAy – one who is all other enjoyment for me!
pon pAvai kELvA – Oh the consort of mahAlakshmi!
kiLar oLi – (due to the union with mahAlakshmi) having radiant splendour
en kEsavanE – Oh emperumAn (my Lord)!
kEdu inRi – without any fault
ALvAykku – for you who would take in a servitor
adiyEn nAn – I, the servitor,
AL – am a servitor

vyAkyAnam

anbAvAy – you are the epitome of affection. Starting from “nAnmuganai” (1st pAsuram), AzhwAr had been emphasising on emperumAn’s supremacy. Once he starts expressing his experience, he concludes that affection is emperumAn’s form. This is similar to those who said nArAyaNanE namakkE paRai tharuvAn (he will provide us with kainkaryam towards him) in the beginning, called him as mAlE (one who is affectionate) when they approached him. Alternatively, this could be construed as AzhwAr who told earlier AkkinEn anbu (making his as well as others’ affection towards emperumAn) realises that it is emperumAn who created affection in him, and hence calls him ennudaiya anbAgavum AnavanE (one who became by affection). Thus this could be interpreted as AzhwAr saying (1) one who created your love towards me and (2) one who created affection in me towards you.

AramudhamAvAy – you are the supremely enjoyable entity for me. As epitome of affection, only you are the most complete nectar for me. Apart from creating affection in me, you offered me yourself as an outlet for that affection.

Ar amudhamAvAy – Complete nectar. This is nectar which does not have any admixture with salt, which was earlier given to the celestial entities!

adiyEnukku inbAvAy – For me, who is your servitor and a unique entity of enjoyment for you, you offered me the scope of enjoying brahmAnandham (supreme bliss), which is enjoyment in your matter. The word inbu refers to the supreme bliss of enjoying emperumAn.

ellAmum nI AvAy – this refers to emperumAn granting nithyamukthAnubhavam (enjoyment of nithyasUris and mukthars) and ubhayavibhUthi anubhavam (enjoyment of both spiritual realm and materialistic realm). Just as SrI bhagavath gIthA SlOkam 7.19 says “vAsudhEvas sarvam” (everything is vAsudhEvan) and nammAzhwAr’s thiruvAimozhi pAsuram 6-7-1uNNum sORu parugu nIr thinnum veRRilaiyum ellAm kaNNan” it is emperumAn who is the sustaining, nourishing and enjoying entities for AzhwAr.

pon pAvaik kELvA – Oh the consort of lakhsmi who is of golden complexion! The implied meaning here is that emperumAn bestowed all the above because of the proximity of mahAlakshmi.

anbAvAy – pon pAvai kELvAemperumAn who normally says as in SrI bhagavath gIthA 16.19kshipAmi” (I push them (into demonic births)) and as in varAha purANam “na kshamAmi” (I do not forgive them), and who is hot similar to fire, became the epitome of affection due to connection with mahAlakshmi, just as hot water with cold water. Did not nammAzhwAr too mercifully say in thiruvAimozhi 10-10-7 “kOlamalarpAvaikku anbAgiya en anbEyO” (Oh one, who is the love of mahAlakshmi who sits on a beautiful flower,  who became affection personified for me!)

AramudhamAvAy  – pon pAvai kELvA – just as thirumangai AzhwAr says in periya thirumozhi 6-1-2 “amudhil varum peNNamudhu uNda emperumAnE”  (Oh my emperumAn who took the nectar of woman who came from the nectar of thiruppARkadal!) emperumAn became Aramudhu (complete nectar) after consuming mahAlakshmi who is the epitome of the essence of nectar.

adiyEnukku inbAvAy – pon pAvai kELvA – it is her nearness which gives him his own experience. Hasn’t nammAzhwAr too mercifully declared in thiruvAimozhi 1-6-9tharuma varum payanAya thirumagaLAr kELvan” (emperumAn bestows the supreme benefit as the consort of periya pirAttiyAr (SrI mahAlakshmi))!

adiyEnukku inbAvAy – pon pAvai kELvA – it won’t appear to be appealing if given by brahmachAri (bachelor) nArAyaNa! The meaning conveyed here is that emperumAn is sweet to AzhwAr just as he is to periya pirAttiyAr. nammAzhwAr too mercifully mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 4-5-8namakkum pUvinmisai nangaikkum inbanai”(the entity who is sweet to us and to SrI mahAlakshmi who resides on a flower).

ellAmum nIyAvAy – pon pAvai kELvA – AzhwAr implies that emperumAn’s ability to sustain, nurture and to be an enjoyable entity for us is due to her connection. pAvai – the best among women as mentioned in the saying “nArINAm uththamAvadhU:kELvan – one who is sweet to her.

pon pAvai kELvA kiLar oLi – due to his union with periya pirAtti, emperumAn attained resplendent radiance. vEdhas said “SradhdhayA dhEvO dhEvathvamaSnuthE ” (due to pirAtti, the supreme entity attains radiance). vAlmIki said in SrI rAmAyaNam “athIva rAma: SuSubhE’dhikAmayA vibhu: SriyA vishNuriva ” (just as the all-pervading vishNu is manifested by SrIdhEvi, SrI rAma is manifested by pirAtti). AzhwArs’ pAsurams also bring out the same meaning, such as in thiruppallANdu 2vadivAy nin valamArbinil vAzhginRa mangai” and thiruvAimozhi 10-6-9  “thigazhginRa thirumArbil thirumangai thannOdum thigazhginRa thirumAlAr”.

kiLar oLi en kEsavanE – attaining radiance from SrI mahAlakshmi and being my Lord. One who has the bunch of locks which she likes and which is mentioned by vEdham as “hiraNya kESa” (one with golden coloured locks). kEsavan one who has excellent locks – the locks which are praised by vEdhas and by those who follow vEdhas.

kEdinRi ALvAykku adiyEn nAn AL – one who makes me as a servitor without any hurdle for kainkaryam (service) and experience. adiyEn, who is a servitor, has to carry out service. The implied meaning is that you do not have to massage my limbs and carry out service (to me).

Wouldn’t punarukthi (the fault of repeating a word) be mentioned for adiyEn and AL since both refer to the same person (AzhwAr)? The word adiyEn refers to SEshathvasvarUpam (the basic nature of being a servitor) while AL refers to being the entity for whom servitorship is the refuge. Hence there is no fault of repetition. Is it required of him to indicate this to the omnisicient emperumAn? AzhwAr is indicating to him that it is not proper on the part of emperumAn who is the epitome of love, to bring himself to a lowly level and carry out service to him [AzhwAr].

We will take up the 60th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 58 – ennenjamEyAn

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avathArikai

After AzhwAr chastised those who were arguing for oneness between emperumAn and other deities, they became followers of emperumAn. Looking at this, AzhwAr is elated and says “to emperumAn who granted me benefits in many ways, I made the world to show its affection”. With the previous pAsuram, the parOpadhESam (instructing others) of this AzhwAr has ended. The pAsurams from here onwards will reflect AzhwAr’s experience, his instruction to those who have corrected themselves and have become followers of emperumAn, on how to spend their time purposefully and his dejection on seeing how some people are still losing this experience.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

ennenjamEyAn iruL nIkki empirAn
mannanja munnorunAL maNNaLandhAn ennenja
mEyAnai illA vidai ERRAn vevvinai thIrththu
AyAnukkAkkinEn anbu

Word for Word Meanings

en nenjamEyAn – one who resides permanently in my heart
iruL nIkki empirAn – one who bestowed a favour on me by removing the darkness of ignorance (from my heart)
man anja – for the kings to be terrified
mun oru nAL – once upon a time
maN aLandhAn – measuring the earth
en nenjam mEyAnai – emperumAn who(with that divine form) does not ever leave my heart
illA – one who did not take emperumAn in the heart
vidai ERRAn – rudhra, who has bull as his vehicle
vem vinai – the huge sin
thIththu – making it disappear
AyAnukku – emperumAn who existed (due to that)
anbu AkkinEn – created affection (in the world)

vyAkyAnam

en nenjamEyAnemperumAn remained aptly in my heart. After attaining AzhwAr’s heart, even paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam) was not apt for him. The same meaning has been conveyed  by several AzhwArs, including this AzhwAr who has sung in thiruchchandhaviruththam 65 “niRpadhum Or veRpagaththu” (emperumAn stood in the distinguished thiruvEngadamalai ) and in thiruchchandhaviruththam 64 “ninRadhendhai Uragaththu” (stood in thiru Uragam), and by nammAzhwAr in periya thiruvandhAdhi 68 “kallum kanaikadalum vaikundhavAnAdum pullenRozhindhanakol EpAvam vella nediyAn niRam kariyAn uLpugundhu nIngAn adiyEnadhuLLaththagam” (emperumAn left thiruvEngadam, thiruppARkadal and SrIvaikuNtam due to which these places lost their grandeour and grass started sprouting in these places due to want of attention. emperumAn, who is tall and dark, entered my mind and will never leave it) and in thiruvAimozhi 3-8-2nenjamE neeLnagarAga irundha en thanjanE” (Oh emperumAn, my refuge, who remained in my heart, considering it as a huge town) and by periyAzhwAr in periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 5-4-9 “panikkadalil paLLigOLaippazhagavittu Odivandhen manakkadalil vAzhavalla mAyamaNALa nambi”(Oh the consort of SrI mahAlakshmi , who is with amazing activities and who is  complete in all aspects! You left your mattress in thiruppARkadal and resided in the ocean of my mind).

What is the reason for taking roots in AzhwAr’s heart?

iruL nIkkiemperumAn had taken residence in AzhwAr’s heart in order to remove the darkness of  ignorance, initially in AzhwAr’s mind and later on, from the minds of other people.

ennenjamEyAn iruL nIkki – if he stays in paramapadham where there is no darkness, he cannot remove any darkness. Hence he decided to enter my heart which was full of darkness and got the famous name of iruLnIkki (one who removes darkness).

iruL nIkki empirAn – he favoured me by removing my ignorance and ignorance of other people.

Who is this entity? AzhwAr explains further . . . .

man anja munnorunAL maNNaLandhAn – it was emperumAn who measured the worlds with his feet when the egoistic kings on earth were terrified looking at the status of mahAbali who was ruling all the three worlds.

iruLnIkki empirAn maNNaLandhAnAzhwAr says that the purpose of emperumAn’s measuring the worlds was only to occupy AzhwAr’s mind and remove his ignorance.

maNNaLandhAn en nenjamEyAnai – since emperumAn was not satisfied even after measuring and seizing the three worlds, he entered the mind of AzhwAr with lot of affection.

en nenjamEyAnai illA vidai ERRAn – Siva, who has bull as his vehicle, did not have emperumAn in his heart. On a few occasions when his sathva guNa (purely good quality) is at its peak, Siva will tell emperumAn “ahamapi thE dhAsa:” (I too am your servitor) but otherwise he will oppose emperumAn, being prominent with thamas and rajas guNa (passion and ignorance).

vidai ERRAn vevvinai thiriththu – even though Siva did not take emperumAn in his heart due to his bad qualities, when he was cursed by brahmA and started roaming all over the world to get rid of the curse, emperumAn took pity on him and removed his curse.

vevvinai thIrththu AyAnukku – did not emperumAn think that he had lost his existence when Siva roamed all over the place to get rid of the brahmakapAla (severed cranium of brahmA) and that he regained his existence only after removing the curse with his own hands by filling up that cranium! AzhwAr wonders at emperumAn’s simplicity.

AyAnukku AkkinEn anbu – For such an entity who became a benefactor even for one who opposed him, apart from rendering him affection, I made the others in the world to render affection. Isn’t keeping me in such a position the greatest benefit that emperumAn endowed on me!

We will move on to the 59th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 57 – orungirundha nalvinaiyum

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avathArikai

Starting with the first pAsuram, until the previous pAsuram those who had spoken of supremacy to brahmA and rudhra as well as those who said that these two entities are equal to emperumAn were rejected. People who argued that all the three deities (brahmA, vishNu and rudhra) are one and the same, now started the argument, giving the following strategy: vEdhas (nArAyaNOpanishath etc ) say “sa brahmA sa Siva:” and “brahmA nArAyaNa: SivaScha nArAyaNa:” (brahmA is nArAyaNa; Siva is nArAyaNa). Hence brahmA, rudhra and nArAyaNa are the same entity. When such is the case, arguing whether this entity is superior or that entity is superior is against vEdhas.

AzhwAr rubbishes this argument in this pAsuram. He tells them “you will go to horrible ways! Along with “brahmA nArAyaNa: SivaScha nArAyaNa” there are also other verses such as “SakraScha nArAyaNa:, kAlaScha nArAyaNa:, dhiSaScha nArAyaNa:, vidhiSaScha nArAyaNa:, Urdhvancha nArAyaNa:, adhaScha nArAyaNa:, antharbahiScha nArAyaNa:, nArAyaNa EvEdham sarvam yadhbhUtham yachcha bhavyam” (indhra is nArAyaNa, time is nArAyaNa, directions are nArAyaNa, intermediate regions are nArAyaNa, above (upper world) is nArAyaNa, below (lower world) is nArAyaNa, inside and outside are nArAyaNa, what was in the past, what is there now and what will be are all nArAyaNa ) which will tell you that apart from sentient entities such as indhra et al, insentient entities such as directions, time etc are also referred to in the same breath. Will you then bring about equality between the supreme entity and insentient entity? Understand that all these entities are emperumAn’s wealth, physical body, effect, being sustained, being controlled, being servitors, being attribute etc. Thus, one can say that everything is him and in the same breath, vEdhas say that brahmA and rudhra are also him. Is there any entity which does not have him [as indwelling soul]? Thus, with the help of vEdhas, AzhwAr rejects those who try to establish thrimUrthi (oneness among three forms) philosophy.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

orungirundha nalvinaiyum thIvinaiyum AvAn
perungurundham sAyththavanE pEsil marungirundha
vAnavardhAm dhAnavardhAm thAragaidhAn ennenjam
AnavardhAn allAdhadhen

Word for Word Meanings

pEsil – if one were to talk the truth
peru kurundham sAyththavanE – Oh kaNNapirAn who uprooted the kurundha tree (a type of  wildlime)!
orungirundha nalvinaiyum thIvinaiyum AvAn – he is the executor for the puNya (virtues) and pApa (vices) which are with jIvas (souls).
marungu irundha – staying close-by
vAnavardhAm – celestial entities
dhAnavardhAm – demonic entities
thAragaidhAn – earth
en nenjam AnavardhAm – the sarvESvaran who stays in my heart
allAdhadhu en – what entity is there without that sarvESvaran?

vyAkyAnam

pEsil – if one were to talk with vEdha vAkyams (verses from sacred texts) such as “brahmA nArAyaNa:  SivaScha nArAyaNa:

orungirundha nalvinaiyum thIvinaiyum AvAn – he himself is the pApa and puNya which are always with us. Just as the vEdha vAkyam says “Esha Eva sAdhu karma kArayathi I Esha Eva asAdhu karma kArayathi II” (this paramapurusha (supreme being) makes the jIva to carry out good deeds; this paramapurusha instigates the jIva to carry out bad deeds too), since it is emperumAn who executes the virtues and vices, he is mentioned in the vEdhas as virtues and vices themselves. Is it correct, because of this, to equate karmas, which exist for a transient time, with him?

orungirundha nalvainaiyum thIvinaiyum – just as it is mentioned in brahmavaivarththam prakruthi kaNdam 26-90 “avaSyanubhOkthavyam krutham karma SubhASubham  I nA bhuktham kshIyathE karma kalpakOtiSathairapi II”(the [results of] good and deed bad deeds carried out (by jIvAthmAs) have to be necessarily experienced. Even if it takes hundreds of crores of kalpams (a very long period related to the life cycle of brahmA), these cannot be got rid of unless experienced), the puNya and pApa that we earn will not leave us unless we experience them compulsorily.

perungurundham sAiththavanE nalvinaiyum thIvinaiyum AvAn – when emperumAn incarnated as krishNa, kamsa had set upon krishNa many demons in order to kill him. One of them entered a kurundham tree on which krishNa used to climb often. krishNa broke that tree, killing that demon, thus eliminating one of the enemies of the herdsmen. Just as he effortlessly eliminated the enemy of herdsmen, emperumAn will remove our enemies too (our sins) through his vow as he had mentioned in SrI bhagavath gIthA 18-66sarva pApEbhyO mOkshayishyAmi”. Since karma is controlled by him, he is referred to as virtuous and viceful deeds.

Is this all?

marungirundha vAnavardhAm – (AzhwAr tells samsAris that) since brahmA, rudhra et al are at a far away distance, there may be a bewilderment in your minds that they are one with emperumAn. But in SAsthras, aren’t celestial entities such as indhra, agni (deity for fire), vAyu (deity for wind), sUrya (sun) et al, who are chEthanas like us and are near us, also mentioned as emperumAn? Do not vEdhams say “SakraScha nArAyaNa” “thathEvAgnis thadh vAyu: thadh sUryas thadhu chandhramA:” (that brahmam itself is agni, that itself is vAyu, that itself is sUrya and that itself is chandhra (moon)). Can we say svarUpaikyam (oneness with emperumAn) for these celestial entities?

AzhwAr further mercifully says, when told “what if we say that they have svarUpaikyam?”

dhAnavar thAm – isn’t it said that emperumAn is also the sinful demons? Can we say oneness for these demons with him?

When told “What if we say that there is svarUpaikyam between emperumAn and chEthanas (sentient entities)?”  AzhwAr responds saying . . . .

thAragaidhAn – even insentient entity earth is nArAyaNa. Do not vEdhas proclaim that insentient entities are also nArAyaNa as in “dhiSaScha nArAyaNa: vidhiSaScha nArAyaNa: nArAyaNa EvEdham sarvam ” (directions are nArAyaNa, intermediate regions are nArAyaNa, all these are nArAyaNa)! Can one say oneness for achEthana (insentient) entities which are full of faults with the supreme entity who is the opposite of any fault?

Who is that entity who is all of these?

 en nenjam AnavardhAn – just as it is mentioned in subAlOpanishath “manaScha nArAyaNa” (mind is nArAyaNa), AzhwAr says that the one who is in his heart is all of these too.

Is this all? AzhwAr further clarifies . . .

allAdhadhen – what entity is there among those mentioned in SAsthras which is not nArAyaNa? vEdhas say “nArAyaNa idham sarvam” (nArAyaNa is all these), “sarvam kalvidham brahma thajjalAn” (since all these (entities) appear, live and fade away in brahmam, these are all brahmam only). Thus, if the argument that brahmA, rudhra et al are to be considered as one with nArAyaNa is to be accepted as valid, then svarUpaikyam (oneness in form) has to be accepted for all sentient and insentient entities which is totally faulty. Since all entities such as brahmA, rudhra et al cannot sustain if separated from him and sustain themselves due to him, we have to consider that everything is emperumAn himself. Thus the opinion is that concepts such as Athmaikyam, dhEvaikyam, thrimUrthyaikyam (oneness with all sentient entities, oneness with all celestial entities, oneness with the three mUrthis) will not be valid.

We will take up the 58th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 56 – avar ivar enRillai

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krishna-banasura

avathArikai

After AzhwAr, with tears in his eyes, withdrew from parOpadhESam (instructing others) by telling emperumAn “nedumAlE ninnadiyai yArOdhavallAr avar” some devotees of rudhra asked him “It is alright that you are praising bhagavAn’s greatness. But rudhra should be considered on a par with vishNu. During the time of amruthamadhanam (churning of ocean for nectar) was it not Siva who swallowed the AlahAla poison which would, otherwise, have killed the dhEvas, thus protecting them?” AzhwAr responds in this pAsuram saying “would you consider as protector someone like Siva who, after having solemnly vowed to bANAsura when he approached Siva to protect him, ran away from the battlefield when war broke out with krishNa?” and brings clarity in them.

Let us go thorugh the pAsuram and its meanings:

avar ivar enRillai anangavEL thAdhaikku
evarum edhirillai kaNdIr uvarik
kadal nanjamuNdAn kadanenRu vANaRku
udaninRu thORRAn orungu

Word for Word Meanings

avar ivar enRu illai – there is no distinction between knowledgeable and ignorant people
anangavEL thAdhaikku – kaNNapirAn (krishNa), the father of manmatha (cupid)
evarum – no one
edhir illai kaNdIr – see, no capability to oppose him
uvarikkadal nanjam uNdAn – Siva, who swallowed the poison which emanated from salty ocean
vANaRku – to bANAsura
kadan enRu – saying “it is my duty to protect you”
udan ninRu – standing together with him in the battle (against emperumAn)
orungu thORRAn – lost and fled

vyAkyAnam

anangavEL thAdhaikku avar ivar enRillai evarum edhirillai kaNdIr – Have you seen that there is none, among both the knowledgeable and the ignorant without any distinction, who can be called as comparable to sarvESvaran who is praised as sAkshAth manmatha manmatha: (he is the most beautiful among all the beautiful persons) and who is the father of manmatha who is considered as the most beautiful?

anagavEL thAdhaikku evarum edhirillai – just as there is none comparable to emperumAn in beauty, have you noticed that there is none comparable to him in maniliness too?

avar ivar – the terms avar and ivar are normally used to refer to someone who is at a distance and who is closeby, respectively. Here, the term avar refers to brahmA, rudhra et al who are at a great distance compared to the ordinary chEthanas (sentient entities) in terms of knowledge and ivar refers to normal chEthanas. The meaning implied is that just as the normal chEthanas cannot be compared to emperumAn in terms of gyAna, Sakthi etc (knowledge, ability etc), in the same way brahmA, rudhra et al who have abundance of these qualities cannot be compared to emperumAn.

evarum edhirillai kaNdIr – rudhra, who you consider to be superior, as well as other deities who are under him, cannot match emperumAn, have you seen this? The implied opinion here is that in case they have not seen, they can see, even as AzhwAr shows them.

When they (the devotees of Siva) ask him “How can you say that there is none? During the churning of ocean for extracting nectar, Siva had consumed the AlahAla poison and thus protected the dhEvas; wouldn’t he be comparable?” AzhwAr mercifully explains further . . . .

uvarikkadal nanjam uNdAn – SAsthras say that it was because  of emperumAn’s significant presence at that time (as antharyAmi of Siva), that Siva was able to consume that poison.

kadan enRu vANaRku – in front of all the people in the court assembly, Siva had solemnly told bANAsura  “protecting you is my duty”

udan ninRu – standing together with bANAsura and engaging in battle against emperumAn.

udan ninRu thORRAn –  Siva lost the war, in the presence of bANAsura as the witness.

orungu thORRAn – he lost without any distinction between himself and bANAsura. Just as mentioned by thirumazhisai AzhwAr himself in thiruchchandha viruththam 53 “mOdiyOdu ilachchaiyAya sAbameydhi mukkaNAn kUdu sEnai makkaLOdu koNdu maNdi venjamaththu Oda” (rudhra ,who had a curse which wil make him feel ashamed, along with kALi (dhurgA), his children and the huge army, ran away from the battlefield) and in pAsuram 71 of thiruchchandha viruththam “muNdan nIRan makkaL veppumOdi angi Odida” (mundan nIRan – Siva; veppu – fever; mOdi – kALi; angi – agni (deity for fire); all these deities ran away from the battlefield) and as mentioned by nammAzhwAr in  thiruvAimozhi 3-10-4parivinRi vANanaikkAththumenRu anRu padiyodum vandherindha thiripuram seRRavanum maganum pinnum angiyum pOr tholaiya ” (putting Siva, who had burnt the three towns and who had taken a vow that he would protect bANAsura  without any effort, along with his son ARumugan (skandha), and agni to shame in the battlefiled), Siva lost in the battle with emperumAn, along with his family members.

We will take up the 57th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 55 – kadai ninRu amarar

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avathArikai

AzhwAr, finding that no one corrected himself even after his parOpadhESam (instructions to others), turns to emperumAn and complains to him “Oh benefactor! In this world where people fall at the feet of other deities for lowly pleasures, who is there to worship your divine feet?” In the 52nd pAsuram of this prabandham, he felt sad seeing samsAris searching for comfort in samsAram (vilaikkAtpaduvar). In this pAsuram he feels sad for those who neither engage with the readily available superior comforts in samsAram (worshipping emperumAn at various divine abodes) nor with mOksham, which even though has to be attained through some means, is a very great goal to attain but instead engage with svarga (heaven) etc which are to be attained for comforts by observing yagya (rituals) etc and falling at the feet of other deities.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

kadai ninRu amarar kazhal thozhudhu nALum
idai ninRa inbaththarAvar pudai ninRa
nIrOdha mEni nedumAlE nin adiyai
yArOdha vallAr avar

Word for Word Meanings

amarar kadai ninRu – standing at the doorsteps of other deities
nALum – everyday
kazhal thozhudhu – falling at (their) feet
idai ninRa inbaththar Avar – attaining lowly comforts  (such as svarga etc) which come in the middle (between samsAram and mOksham)
pudai ninRa nIr Odham mEni nedumAlE – Oh lord of all, who has a divine form similar to the ocean which is surrounding (earth)
nin adiyai – your divine feet
Odha vallAr avar yAr – is there anyone who will meditate? (there is none)

vyAkyAnam

amarar kadai ninRu – standing at the gates of those deities who are difficult to worship. Those deities are not like emperumAn who  is easy to worship with some flower, some water, some fragrance and some lamp [in other words, emperumAn is very easy to worship while those other deities are not]

kazhal thozhudhu nALum – falling at their feet every day. Those deities are not like emperumAn who will come running head over heels on hearing the words gOvindhA as if a great weight has been placed on his chest or seeing the anjali (worshipping with cupped palms) as if it is also a great weight on him.

kazhal thozhudhu nALum – carrying out deeds at the feet of the other deities, deeds which are to be done at emperumAn’s feet without thinking of them as means to attain him but as goals in themselves.

What is the benefit of carrying out such activities?

idai ninRa inbaththar Avar – they will attain insignificant, temporary comforts such as svarga etc which are neither like the readily available comforts in samsAram (divine abodes of emperumAn where one can worship him) nor the great mOksham which is attained through observing certain means. These people will suffer a great deal in attaining even such lowly comforts.

pudai ninRa nIrOdha mEni nedumAlE –  Oh emperumAn who has a divine form similar to the ocean surrounding earth! The implied meaning is that emperumAn’s divine form is easy to see since (1) it is neither like the lowly and temporary comforts of samsAram nor invisible like svarga and mOksha but visible to the followers since emperumAn is in archA (idol) form; (2) like the ocean it removes all types of heat from samsAram and gives great comfort.

nIrOdha mEni nedumAlE ninnadiyai yArOdhavallAr avar – who is there in this world who praises your divine form, a form which is such great that it is apt to be praised even if that praising does not yield any benefit? Are the samsAris who sell themselves for lowly comforts capable of praising you? Or, are those who attain lowly goals such as svarga etc capable of praising you?

We will take up the 56th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 54 – dhEvarAy niRkum

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avathArikai

Some people asked AzhwAr “You are abusing rudhra and other celestial entities by calling them as pollAdha dhEvarai. But SAsthras consider your emperumAn also as a dhEva, upEndhra, the brother of indhra and as one among brahmA, vishNu and rudhra, again as a dhEva among the other two primary dhEvas and as being controlled by other dhEvas. Wouldn’t these faults encumber him?” AzhwAr ridicules them saying “All the SAsthras which you people learnt are a waste since you do not know that the one who is in the form of upEndhra and as vishNu is none other than SrIman nArAyaNa who pervades everyone and everything as sarvAntharyAmi”.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

dhEvarAy niRkum aththEvum aththEvaril
mUvarAy niRkum mudhupuNarppum yAvarAy
niRkinRadhellAm nedumAl enROrAdhAr
kaRkinRadhellAm kadai

Word for Word Meanings

dhEvarAy niRkum aththEvum – among (Adhithya, indhra et al) dhEvathAs (celestial entities) standing as vishNu and as upEndhra
aththEvaril – among those dhEvas
mUvar Ay niRkum – standing as one among the three mUrthi (forms)
mudhu puNarppum – the first incarnation
yAvar Ay niRkinRadhu ellAm – standing as all chith (sentient) and achith (insentient) entities such as dhEvas et al
nedumAl enRu OrAdhAr – those who do not analyse and know that he is nArAyaNa alone
kaRkinRadhu ellAm kadai – all the education that they have had is very lowly.

vyAkyAnam

dhEvarAy niRkum aththEvum – Making the people of this world astonished saying “He (emperumAn) is one among the twelve Adhithyas and indhra”, he remained as one among the Adhithyas and as upEndhra, the younger brother of indhra (lord of celestial entities), also with the name of vAmana (dwarf). AzhwAr reminisces the way emperumAn incarnated as one among dhEvas. There are also those who construe the meaning for this as “Being the antharyAmi (indwelling soul) of dhEvas”. However, since later in the pAsuram AzhwAr is going to say “yAvarAy niRkinRadhellAm” and since mentioning about upEndhra ahead of vishNu as in the line “mUvarAy niRkum mudhupuNarppum” is more apt, and since the flow is better this way, it is better to construe this as referring to upEndhra.

aththEvaril mUvarAy niRkum mudhupuNarppum – Among the dhEvas, standing along with brahmA and rudhra, giving the impression to the people of the world that he is equal to the other two so as to be addressed as mummUrthi (the three forms) thus taking the first incarnation as vishNu.

mUvarAy niRkum – standing as one among the three. Alternatively it could be construed as – standing as three. Even though he stands between brahmA and rudhra to be thought of as one among them, did not knowledgeable people affirm, as mentioned in SrIvishNu purANam 1-2-66 “srushti sthithyanthakaraNIm brahmavishNuSivAthmikAm I sa samgyAm yAthi bhagavAnEka Eva janArdhana:  II” (it is nArAyaNa who is also known as janArdhana who creates, sustains and annihilates, attaining the names of brahmA, vishNu and Siva respectively )!

mudhu puNarppum – the ancient incarnation with the name vishNu. mudhumai – ancient; puNarppusankalpa (will or vow). (Here) It refers to the incarnation which came about out of emperumAn’s vow. Just as emperumAn had mentioned in SrI bhagavath gIthA 4.6sambhavAmyAthmamAyayA” (I am born out of the knowledge of my vow), doesn’t his birth take place out of his will rather than out of karma?  Since his birth is not lowly, AzhwAr refers to it with the word puNarppu (incarnation out of his vow).

mudhu puNarppum – Just as it is mentioned in purusha sUktham “pAdhOsyEhAbhavAth puna:” (one of his incarnations anirudhdha incarnated himself again as vishNu), since the incarnation of vishNu is the first incarnation in this world, AzhwAr refers to this as mudhupuNarppu.

mUvarAy niRkum mudhu puNarppum – just as parASara bhattar had mercifully mentioned in SrI rangarAja sthavam 2-5 “madhyE virinchagiriSam prathamAvathAra: thath sAmyatha: sthagayithum thava chEth svarUpam I kim thE parathva piSunairapi rangadhAman sathvapravarthana krupAparipAlanAdhyai:  II” (Oh SrIranga! If the purpose of taking incarnation as vishNu and standing amidst brahmA and rudhra is to show equality with them and to hide your basic nature, why did you carry out the deeds of(1) exhibiting your sathva guNa (purely auspicious qualities) which manifests your supreme nature and (2) protecting brahmA and rudhra in that same incarnation?) Is it not well known that he (vishNu) is the incarnation of the supreme purusha?

Is it that he only remained as vishNu, controlling brahmA and rudhra as well as their physical forms? AzhwAr says next that he also controls all entities which are sentient . . .

yAvarAy niRkinRadhu ellAm – controlling the physical forms of dhEva (celestial), manushya (human), thiryak (animal) and sthAvara (botanical) species and all the sentients who control these forms. It is implied here that there is no insentient entity which is not controlled by a sentient entity. Has it not been mentioned in SrI bhagavath gIthA 2-17avinASi thu thath vidhdhi yEna sarvamidham thatham” (know that those AthmAs which control all these insentient entities are indestructible)!

dhEvarAy . . . . ellAm nedumAl – one of the commentators for this prabandham, SrI appiLLai construed this to mean that all the sentients such as dhEvas who are totally devoted to karma yOga, brahmA and rudhra who are considered as primary amongst them, other species such as manushya (human) etc are all the attributes of emperumAn and they are all his servitors.

yAvarAy niRkinRadhellAm nedumAl enRu OrAdhAr – those who do not know that it is only SrIman nArAyaNa, who pervades all the entities which are different from himself through sentient entities giving them physical forms and names, incarnates as upEndhra and vishNu and remains as one among dhEvas and as one among the three primary deities.

niRkinRadhellAm nedumAl – it is only nArAyaNa who stands as all entities and who stands amongs dhEvas and with brahmA and rudhra.

nedumAl enRu OrAdhAr kaRkinRadheLLam kadai – it is not only that whatever people learn goes as wasted if they do not know that it is only the supreme being who incarnates amongst dhEvas and between brahmA and rudhra; it becomes the cause for their continuing to struggle in samsAram. It is similar to what has been mentioned in SrI vishNu purANam “vidhyA’nyA SilpanaipuNam” (all learning other than about emperumAn is equivalent to repairing one’s sandals).

We will move on to the 55th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 53 – kallAdhavar ilangai

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avathArikai

Some samsAris asked AzhwAr “What is the reason for your position in saying enakkAvAr Ar oruvarE and our position vilaikkAtpaduvar? Also, please mercifully tell us the way in which we can redeem ourselves”. AzhwAr responds saying “being not connected with other deities is the reason for my greatness and the same is the reason for your lowliness. If you wish to redeem yourselves, sever your connection with other deities”.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

kallAdhavar ilangai kattazhiththa kAguththan
allAl oru dheyvam yAnilEn pollAdha
dhEvaraith thEvarallAraith thiruvillAth
thEvarai thERElmin dhEvu

Word for Word Meanings

kallAdhavar ilangai – the country of lankA populated by the ignorant demons
kattu azhiththa – destroying its fortress
kAguththan allAl – other than SrI rAma
oru dheyvam – another deity
yAn ilEn – I will not accept as a deity
pollAdha dhEvarai – deities with deformities
dhEvar allArai – (in truth) lacking in the qualities of being a deity
thiru illA dhEvarai – without having any connection with pirAtti (SrI mahAlakshmi), those who bear the name as deity
dhEvu – as deities
thERElmin – please do not think of

vyAkyAnam

kallAdhavar ilangai – lankA which is polulated like the hive of wasps, with ignorant demons. Just as sIthAppirAtti  doubted, as in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 21-9 “iha santhO na vA santhi” (does this place not have learned people?) It is the habitat of ignorant people who could not tolerate the presence of the only intelligent person vibhIshaNa and drove him out of the country. Here, the term kalvi refers to knowledge relating to mOksham as mentioned in SrIvishNu purANam 1-19-41 “sA vidhyA yA vimukthayE” (learning is that which is used for attaining mOksham). Isn’t it well known that those in lankA lack that learning!

kattazhiththa kAguththan – the divine son of emperor dhaSaratha who destroyed the fortress of lankA.

kAguththanallAl oru dheyvam yAnilEn – I will not think of  anyone other than that benefactor who is totally devoted to the huge yAgam (a ritual with agni, fire) for protection through surrendering, as being fit enough for being attained. AzhwAr implies that this is the reason for his greatness.

yAn ilEn – AzhwAr tells samsAris that not having this quality of not worshipping other deities, even through forgetfulness, is the reason for their lowliness. This AzhwAr is similar to hanuman who said as in SrI rAmAyaNam uththara kANdam 40-15 “snEhO mE paramO rAjan thvayi nithyam prathitishtitha: bhakthiScha niyathA vIra bhAvO nAnyathra gachchathi II” (Oh emperumAn! The affection that I have towards you is huge. This affection is firmly established in you).

When asked by the samsAris as to the way by which they can redeem themselves, AzhwAr tells them the nature of other deities and tells the samsAris to sever their connection with such deities…..

pollAdha dhevarai – unlike emperumAn who attracts the heart and eyes of his followers through his divine form, nature, qualities and activities, these other deities do not have the kind of form to see or fame which is sweet to hear or do not have the capability to grant boons which will be everlasting. Their forms will be crude and grotesque with deformed eyes, eyes which emit fire and with matted hair, with powdered ash applied all over the body, unlike the lotus like eyes of emperumAn who is like a mother to the world. Their activities too will be crude such as plucking the head of one’s own father, begging all over the world in order to remove the curse that got stuck on removing the head of father, destroying holy rituals, running away out of fear from a demon called basmAsura and helping another demon bANAsura and getting defeated in the battle in the bargain etc. These are in direct contrast to the sweet activities of emperumAn who killed the wicked ones, protected the good ones, redeemed dead sons and granted mOksham to bird, demon and pot. Instead of asking for pathram pushpam … (SrI bhagavath gIthA 9.26) for worshipping, these deities will ask for the flesh of devotee’s son. Thus their qualities will also be crude. Since they are crude in various ways, AzhwAr calls them as crude deities.

Next AzhwAr realises that he has called them as dhEva by mistake….

dhEvarallArai –  if one were to disregard such cruelties in them and analyse their basic nature in order to worship them they will be such that they will look up to emperumAn for alms for their sustenance and be without any greatness. In other words, they will not be apt to be worshipped.

dhEvarallArai – just as it is mentioned in nAchchiyAr thirumozhi “ayanmudhalAththandha naLirmA malarundhi vIttaippaNNi viLaiyAdum vimalan”, is it correct to call those who were created by emperumAn for his pastime, as deities? Is it apt to call those who run away from battlefield (in the war with bANAsura which they indulged in and lost) or those who borrow radiance and decorate themselves or those who learn vEdhas from emperumAn or those who carry a skull in their hands in order to get rid of a curse or those who run away when troubled by demons? With what feature or quality in them can they be called as dhEvas?

What is the reason for their not being dhEvas? …

thiruvillAththEvarai – since they do not have the grace of SrI mahAlakshmi, they are not dhEvas. Since they do not have the connection with periya pirAtti (SrI mahAlakshmi) who even the vEdhas praised by saying “SradhdhayA dhEvO dhEvathvamaSnuthE” (only due to periya pirAtti, even SrIman nArAyaNa qualifies to be a dhEva), they do not qualify to be dhEvas.

thiruvaillAththEvarai – when referring to lowly persons in the world, they are called as thiruvilAr (lacking in wealth).

thiruvillAththEvarai – did not purusha sUktham which spoke about emperumAn “uthAmruthathvasya ISAna:” as the one who grants mOksham, say “hrIScha thE lakshmIScha pathnyau… sarvam manishANa” (SrIdhEvi and bhUdhEvi are your consorts… we will obtain everything from you) concluding that it is due to his being SrImAn that he grants mOksham!

pollAdhadhEvarai dhEvarallArai thiruvillAththEvarai – since they do not have any connection with pirAtti, even though they are not really dhEvas, they are called as dhEvas as they carry the name dhEvas. Hence AzhwAr is calling them as pollAdha dhEvar and thiruvillAththEvar.

thEREnmin dhEvu – AzhwAr tells us not to respect them as deities. If you follow this [instruction] you can also say “enakkAvAr Ar oruvarE” (who is equal to me, as AzhwAr had sung in the earlier pAsuram).

thEREnmin dhEvu – since these deities also grant materials such as son, cow, food etc they may be called as deities. Hence you may also think that these deities are fit to be attained. Since the materials which they give are transient (they do not last long), are lowly and are granted ultimately by emperumAn as mentioned in SrI bhagavath gIthA 7.22mayaiva vihithAn hi thAn” through these deities, AzhwAr tells us not to think of them as deities.

We will take up the 54th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 52 – vilaikkAtpaduvar

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avathArikai

AzhwAr was asked “Could you say that there is none who is equal to you in this world?” he responds in this pAsuram that world is full of these types of people (as explained in the vyAkyAnam).

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

vilaikkAtpaduvar visAdhiyERRuNbar
thalaikkAtbali thirivar thakkOr mulaikkAl
vidamuNda vEndhanaiyE vERA EththAdhAr
kadamuNdAr kallAdhavar

Word for Word Meanings

thakkOr – lowly people
vilaikku AL paduvar – they will become slaves in order to eke out a living
visAdhi ERRu uNbar – willingly take on others diseases and enjoy them (as part of accepting mruthyudhAn (donation of death)
thalaiiku AL bali thirivar – they will roam around offering their heads for someone else to live, indulging in human sacrifice.
mulaikkAl vidam uNda vEndhanaiyE – kaNNan (krishNa who drank the poisonous milk from pUthanA’s bosom
vERu A EththAdhAr – not worshipping pointedly
kallAdhavar – being without knowledge
kadam uNdAr – enjoying only sins

vyAkyAnam

vilaikkAtpaduvar – people who will sell their souls to others for very low values. Their souls are expected to be servitors only to emperumAn, which are only his possession and which are sweet to him like SrI kausthubam [SrI kausthubam is a divine jewel decorating the divine chest of emperumAn and is said to represent all AthmAs (souls)]

viSadhiyERRuNbar – when an affluent person suffers from a disease, for the sake of money that he offers, these people will not hesitate to take on his disease and will be willing to enjoy that too. visAdhi – vyAdhi (disease)

uNbar – while they enjoy the money that the affluent person offers, these people will be willing to enjoy his disease too.

Is it only this much?  …..

thalaikkAt bali thirivar – when a person who is suffering from terminal disease escapes from it, these people will be willing to offer their heads as a sacrifice to lowly deities; they will go around town, looking for such ‘diseased’ people.

thakkOr – very intelligent people [mentioned with sarcasm]. What sort of knowledge do these people have that they will be willing to sell themselves or take up someone else’s disease or offer their heads, all for the sake of money, without realising that one can but paint only if the canvas is there!

What is the reason for their knowledge to get blunted like this?

mulaikkAl vidamuNda vEndhanaiyE vERA EththEdhAr kallAdhavar – not worshipping with their intelligence, emperumAn, who drank not  only the poison that the demon pUthanA who came in the guise of yaSOdhA had applied on her bosom, but also the poison of her deceit and killed her. The implied meaning is that since they are not knowingly worshipping emperumAn, who removes enemies of his followers as his profession, their enemy of ignorance is still around.

vEndhanaiyE vERA EththAdhAr – those who do not worship emperumAn specifically. Since they are people who will do anything for money, there will be no shortcoming in their praising the dogs and ghosts of this word as indhra and chandhra (i.e. as great people). But they seem to have taken a vow that they will not worship emperumAn even once, due to their ignorance.

vERA EththEdhArvERA  would mean pointing out specifically. There are some who would construe the meaning of vERA EththEdhAr as those who do not worship in a special way.

kadamuNdAr – they swallow their sins, just as it has been mentioned in SrI bhagavath gIthA SlOkam 3-13thE thvagham bhunjathe pApA:” (those sinners eat their sins). kadam – sin.

vEndhanaiyE vERA EththEdhAr kadamuNdAr kallAdhavar – this follows the meaning expressed in SrI bhagavath gIthA SlOkam 7-15na mAm dhukrithinO mUdA: prapadhyanthE narAdhamA: I mAyayA’pahrutha gyAnA: Asuram bhAvamASrithA: II” (fools, lowest among men, those with their knowledge blunted by illusion and demonic people do not attain me as they are all sinners). If the text is taken as kadanuNdAr the meaning will be that those who keep borrowing in order to sustain themselves.

kallAdhavar – even after knowing that they cannot repay, these people will go on borrowing due to their blunted knowledge.

We will move on to the 53rd pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 51 – enakkAvAr Ar oruvarE

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

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avathArikai

In the previous pAsuram AzhwAr said that he has no ills. In this pAsuram he says that he has no equal.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

enakkAvAr Ar oruvarE emperumAn
thanakkAvAn thAnE maRRallAl punakkAyA
vaNNanE unnaip piRar aRiyAr enmadhikku
viNNellAm uNdo vilai

Word for Word Meanings

punam – growing on its own land
kAyA – the flower kAyAmpU’s (a purple coloured flower from the plant kAyA)
vaNNanE – Oh emperumAn who has the same complexion!
enakku – for me who remains that you are the only protector
AvAr Ar oruvarE – is there anyone who is an equal? (There is none)
emperumAn – the sarvESvaran (lord of all)
thAnE thankkAvAn allAl – will be equivalent to himself. There is nothing else.
maRRu – will you be my equal?
unnai piRar aRiyAr – other than me, no one else knows about you
en madhikku – for my intellect (which knows you fully)
vinnellAm uNdO vilai – even if all entities in SrIvaikuNtam get together, can they compare with me?

vyAkyAnam

enakkAvAr Ar oruvarE – Oh benefactor! In both vibhUthis (nithyavibhUthi – SrIvaikuNtam and leelA vibhUthi – materialistic realm) is there anyone who is comparable to me?

All the vEdhas and those who follow these vEdhas uniformly say that he (emperumAn) is the most superior and that there is none anywhere near him, as brought out by (1)  svEthasvathara upanishath “na thvathsamaSchApyadhigaScha dhruSyathE” (there is none who is equivalent or superior to that paramapurusha (superior entity)) 2) SrI bhagavath gIthA 11.43na thvathsamOsthyabhyadhika kuthOnyO lOkathrayE’pyaprathimaprabhAva” (Oh the incomparable entity! There is none in the three worlds who is your equivalent. Could there be one who is superior to you?) sarvESvaran says “When such is the case, why are you proclaiming about yourself?”

emperumAn thanakkAvAn thAnE maRRallAl – you, the sarvESvaran, are equivalent to yourself. Even you cannot be my equivalent. Just as yourself, I am also without anyone comparable to me. Just as there is none who is your equivalent in protecting others, there is none who is my equivalent among those who are protected. You, who would say “there is none who protects me”, cannot be compared to me who would say “only emperumAn is the protector”

Let it be so. There are others in this world who are in your state, who consider only me as the protector. Will those people not be comparable to you?

punakkAyA vaNNanE unnaip piRar aRiyAr – there is none who knows you other than me, who will not leave your beautiful divine form even if you turn out to be one who tortures instead of one who protects.

punakkAyAvaNNanE – Oh one who has the complexion of kAyAmpU (a type of flower with purple colour) which blossoms in its own land and who has its qualities of softness, coolness, fragrance etc!

punakkAyAvaNNanE! unnaip piRar aRiyAr – will those who consider their physical forms as their souls, know you? Will those who feel that they are totally independent, know you? Will those who worship other deities, know you? Will those who worship you for obtaining other benefits, know you? Will those who observe other means to attain you, know you? Or will rishis, who meditate on your basic nature, know you?

emperumAn then asks him “in nithyavibhUthi, there are great entities such as vishvaksEnar, ananthAzhwAn, garudan et al who know me. Will they, at the least, be comparable to you?”

en madhikku viNNellAl uNdO vilai – in this samsAram where everyone puts in his efforts to attain anything, I am worshipping your divine feet as the means for attaining you. Do all the entities in SrIvaikuNtam (vishvasksEnar et al) have the total belief that my intellect has in you? The implied meaning here is that since they (entities in SrIvaikuNtam) have already attained the goal, the firmness that AzhwAr has in emperumAn as the means will be lacking in them. AzhwAr says “I have no objection to the fact that they will know your svarUpam, rUpam etc (basic nature, divine form etc). But even if they all get together, they cannot equal me. They dwell in a place where enemy (karma, deeds from past) is non-existent whereas I am staying in samsAram where karma rules in a cruel way with the firm belief that ‘you are the protector’. Will they be comparable to me? Could the lotus in pond be compared to one which blossoms from a clay oven? Could daylight be comparaed to lamp in the night?” Hasn’t nammAzhwAr too mercifully mentioned in thiruviruththam 79 “sIdhanaiyE thozhuvAr viNNuLArilum sIriyarE” (those who worship the cool emperumAn without any break are superior to those in SrIvaikuNtam)!

enakkAvAr Ar oruvarE – thus, since there is no one in both vibhUthis who could be compared to me, who is there who could be compared to me? Since this pride comes not out of ahankAram (vanity) but due to connection with emperumAn, this is not considered as a fault but is acceptable completely.

We will take up the 52nd pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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