Author Archives: T N Krishnan

thiruviruththam – 30 – annam selveerum

Published by:

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

Full Series

Previous

avathArikai (Introduction)

When we send messengers, until they return, we may engage in some pastime activities such as gambling, chess etc. In the case of nAyaki, however, since the entity to whom she had sent the messengers is a great one, she keeps sending all those whom she sees, as messengers. SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam SlOkam 30-3 says “yAm kapInAm sahasrAni subahUni ayUthAni cha dhikshu sarvAsu mArganthE sA iyam AsAdhithA mayA” (that sIthAppirAtti, who was searched out by thousands of monkeys in many directions, was found out by me). Thus there is precedence for sending many messengers towards one entity. In the referred instance, hanuman feels that while all the monkeys who had set out to locate sIthAppirAtti should have seen her, he alone was able to see her. The happiness which would not have been sufficient had all the monkeys experienced it, was left to him, to enjoy alone. However, he did share his happiness with the rest of the monkeys. While returning from lankA, on entering kishkindhA, he let the monkeys to enter the private garden of sugrIva maharaja, known as madhuvanam, which was guarded by sugrIva’s uncle dhadhimukhan and his army. When dhadhimukhan tried to resist the invasion, hanuman told the monkeys, as in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 62-1 “ahamAvArAyishyAmi yushmAkam paripanthina” (you enjoy the honey in the garden. I will take care of those who oppose you). On hearing about this incident, sugrIva told lakshmaNa as in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam SlOkam 63-17 “dhrushtA dhEvI na sandhEhO na cha anyEna hanUmathA” (there is no doubt that sIthAppirAtti has been seen by none other than hanumAn himself). The happiness which sugrIva felt on hearing about the destruction to his favourite garden made his tail to grow to such an extent that it reached the peak of rushyamukha hill. bhattar, the son of kUraththAzhwAn, would explain this sequence by saying “Had that madhuvanam not been there, SrI rAma’s and lakshmaNa’s backs would have taken a beating from the monkeys (by their patting) who were celebrating their happiness”.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

annam selveerum vaNdAnam selveerum thozhudhirandhEn
munnam selveergaL maRavElminO kaNNan vaigundhanOdu
ennenjinAraik kaNdAl ennaich cholli avaridai nIr
innam solleerO idhuvO thagavu enRu isaimingaLE

Word-by-Word Meanings

annam selveerum – those who are going [as my messengers] as swans
vaNdAnam selveerum – those who are going as storks
thozhudhu – seeking refuge
irandhEn – I beseeched
munnam – ahead
selveergaL – those who are going
maRavElminO – keep (in your mind) without forgetting
kaNNan – being simple
vaigundhanOdu – with sarvESvaran who is residing in paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam)
(going around with him)
en nenjinArai – my mind
kaNdAl – if you see
ennai – me (who has reached this state)
solli – inform about
avaridai – with that mind
innnam – further
selleerO – will you not go?
idhuvO thagavu – is this (your) nature?
enRu isaimingaL – please say

Simple Translation

I took refuge under and beseeched the swans and storks who are going (as my messengers). Those (among you) who are going ahead, should keep in your minds, without forgetting. When you are flying, if you see my mind who is roaming around with vaikuNtanAthan who incarnated as krishNa, please inform my anguished state and tell further “Will you not return to that nAyaki after all these days? Is this your nature?”

vyAkyAnam

annam selveerum vaNdAnam selveerum – those who are going as swans and as storks.

thozhudhu irandhEn – it is my pitiable position, due to which I am beseeching you to go as messengers, when the learned wise man such as hanumAn and the omniscient krishNa went as messengers without feeling lowly about it. Instead of sending such people, I have to send you. While saying “I request you to go as my messenger” itself would appear to be excessive, she tells these birds, “I seek refuge and beseech you to go’. mahAbhAratham udhyOga parvam SlOkam 86-17 is quoted by vyAkyAthA periyavAchchAn piLLai in  his vyAkyAnam – anyath pUrNathapAm kumbhAth anyath pAdhAvanEjanAth anyath kuchala sampraSnAnnachEchadhi janArdhana: – that krishNa is complete in all aspects; he does not expect anything other than pUrNa kumbham (a filled pot of water) with which to wash his divine feet; that alone is sufficient. While discussing this with kidAmbi AchchAn (one of the disciples of bhagavath rAmAnujar), nambi thiruvazhudhinAdu dhAsar and other AchAryas asked him “Should we keep things like pUrNa kumbham?” kidAmbi AchchAn said “We do not have to think that we are keeping this for krishNa; if we keep it in order to wash one’s feet when entering the house from outside, he would think that it has been kept specially for him. When we wash our feet from that pot and a few droplets of water fall on his divine feet, he would consider that we have washed his divine feet with dedication”. The reason for her beseeching birds to go on her errand is because she thinks “It is my fault that I am sending such distinguished entities such as you on my errand”. When sugrIva was enjoying his life in his palace, forgetting about SrI rAma and lakshmaNa [and his word that he will send his monkeys to search for sIthApirAtti once the monsoon is over], lakshmaNa came to his palace with fury and called out to him. sugrIva trembled on hearing this, realising his mistake. hanuman offering him counsel, told him that bowing down to lakshmaNa alone will calm him down. This could be seen in SrI rAmAyaNam kishkindhA kANdam SlOkam 32-17 “krutha aparAdhasya hi thE na anyath paSyAmi aham kshamam | antharENa anjalim baddhvA lakshmaNasya prasAdhanAth ||” (I do not foresee any other appropriate means for you, as a blunder has been committed by you, except seeking lakshmaNa’s pardon by duly adjoining your palms). Just as hanuman had told sugrIva that there is nothing to equal anjali (adjoining palms), the nAyaki too requests these birds by beseeching them, apart from performing anjali as an expiation for asking them to on her errand. The vyAkyAthA quotes from SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 17-11 as an example for beseeching apart from performing anjalisa uvAcha cha – (vibhIshaNa) also told (SrI rAma).  While it was sufficient for SrI rAma that vibhIshaNa came to him to surrender, that he started speaking a few words too, came as a surprise for SrI rAma.

munnam selveergaL maRavElminO – those who are going in the front, keep what I said, in your mind, without forgetting. After reaching that place [paramapadham], as said in thaiththirIya upanishath “aham annam” (I am your food), do not forget my message. Looking at the eagerness with which he would come [to meet them since they have been sent by her], would they remember even if they are told not to forget? This is the reason she had worshipped them and beseeched them. Is it that only those who went in the front rows would forget? The commentator says that even sarvESvaran and her heart forgot her. The one who said piriyEn piriyil dhariyEn – I will not separate, and were I to separate, I cannot sustain myself, separated from her. periya thirumozhi pAsuram 9-3-3 says pEdhai ninnai – the term pEdhai refers to the innocent stage in a girl’s life cycle at which she treats both union and separation as the same. The term ninnai conveys the meaning that he is indeed a sentient entity to separate from her. Even when he said piriyEn she felt as if he had separated. The heart which went looking for him, also forgot about her. Thus, when such is the situation, she is doubting whether the birds who are going in the front rows would remember. She thinks that sarvESvaran, who went like this [in separation from her] would be wandering around with his dress in dishevelled condition as there would be none to take pity on him. Several SlOkams from SrI rAmAyaNam are cited here by the commentator in this context [whether there are people to take pity on sarvESvfaran]. SrI rAma took rest for a night in SrI guhapperumAL’s place, SrI rAmAyaNam SlOkam ayOdhyA kANdam 87-22 ”niSAmathishtath parithO asya kEvalam” (lakshmaNa walked alone [going around SrI rAma] in that night). Looking at lakshmaNa walking alone during the night, guha tells him, as in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 51-2 “iyam thAth sukhA SayyA thavadh artham upakalpithA” (I have made a comfortable bed for you, my friend), I had made a comfortable bed with green leaves, befitting you, and asked SrI rAma to sleep comfortably on it, hence you too take rest; lakshmaNa responds to this through SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 51-9 “katham dhASarathau bhUmau sayAnE saha sIthayA” (when the son of emperor dhaSarathan is sleeping on the ground). lakshmaNa says that he cannot sleep after seeing SrI rAma, who was born to emperor dhaSarathan after sixty thousand years to rid him of the stigma of being without progeny, sleeping on the ground, along with his wife sIthAppirAtti. He says saha sIthaya – implying that SrI rAma, having been the disciple of sage vaSishta, could have hardened his body and mind so that he could sleep on a hard surface too; however, here, sIthAppirAtti, who had not stepped out of her house and who is the dear daughter of King janaka, is sleeping on the floor. After seeing this, how could I sleep? Hence he says in the same SlOkam sakyA nidhrA mayA labhdhum – how is it possible for me to sleep? guhapperumAL says as in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 87-23 and 87-24 “mahath dhanu: sajyam upOhya laksmaNau……. sa yathra lakshmaNa athanthrabhir gyAthibhir Aththa kArmukhair …” when lakshmaNa went around the bed on which SrI rAma and sIthAppirAtti were sleeping, guarding them with a huge bow, I too went around, like that lakshmaNa, along with my kinsmen who were free from lassitude, carrying bows. Through all these references, the nAyaki implies that she too cares for sarvESvaran, just as guhan had shown in SrI rAmAyaNam.

kaNNan . . . . – my heart went to paramapadham meditating on the amazing, auspicious qualities of krishNa.

ennenjinAr – she recounts how her heart was praised by emperumAn. In other words, he enticed her heart to follow him so that she could become more anguished in separation from him.

kaNdAl – she hints that it is very difficult to see her heart which followed krishNa. Just as thaiththirIya upanishath says sadhA paSyanthi – he would be constantly seen by nithyasUris, it is possible to see sarvESvaran; however it is well nigh impossible to see her heart. Even if you see it per chance, it will not ask about me “How is she?” manifesting love in its tongue and teeth.

ennaich cholli – approach that heart which is like this and tell it “She is like this; would you know about it?” Isn’t she, who was spoken of in SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 37-18 “apramEyam hi thaththEja:” (she, who is with inestimable resplendence), now speaking like this?

avar idai – to that heart, which has been lying like this from then

nIr – don’t you know now that I am expectantly waiting with tears in my eyes, so that you would say “I will bring that heart immediately”

innam selleerO – I had sent messengers to you who had gone as my messenger [she is now addressing her heart which she had originally sent as her messenger behind sarvESvaran]. Did you delay returning to me thinking that time is not an entity there, just as it has been mentioned in mahAbhAratham SAnthi parvam mOksha dharmam 25-9 “na kAlasthathravai prabhu:” (time is not the lord there)? There are sequences for time there, just as it has been mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 10.3.1 “oru pagal Ayiram UzhiyAlO” (a noon is similar to thousand kalpams).

idhuvO thagavu – agreed that you may not have much of involvement with me. But should you not have a mind to show pity on a person even if (s)he were an enemy, just as it has been said in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 38-41 “AnruSamsyam parOdharmamsthvaththa Eva mayASrutha:” (I have heard from you alone that kindness is the best righteousness)?

isaimingaLE – tell that heart, she informs the birds. She tells them to speak boldly and with pride in such a way that it destroys his [her heart] svarUpam (true nature). She is not sure whether to address the heart as a masculine gender or as a feminine gender.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

archived in http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org

pramEyam (goal) – http://koyil.org
pramANam (scriptures) – http://granthams.koyil.org
pramAthA (preceptors) – http://acharyas.koyil.org
SrIvaishNava education/kids portal – http://pillai.koyil.org

thiruviruththam – 29 – innanna thUdhu

Published by:

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

Full Series

Previous

avathArikai (Introduction)

In the previous pAsuram, she had submitted to periya perumAL saying porunIrththiruvarangA aruLAy. As a response to this, thiruvarangan did not say either “I will shower my mercy” or “I will not shower my mercy”. Hence, she sends a few swans as messenger to him.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

innanna thUdhu emmai ALaRRappattu irandhAL enRu
annanna sollAp pedaiyodum pOyvarum neelamuNda
minnanna mEnip perumAn ulagiR peN thUdhu sellA
annanna nIrmai kolO kudichchIrmaiyil annangaLE

Word-by-Word Meanings

kudi – arising out of being born in a clan
sIrmai – quality
il – not having
annangaLE – Oh swans!
ivaL – this girl
ALaRRappattu – being without any other person
emmai – us
innanna – of this type
thUdhu – need as messenger
irandhAL – beseeched
enRu – thinking this way
annanna – words like those
sollA – not saying
pedaiyodum – with your female swans
pOy varum – you are going
neelam – bluish cloud
uNda – one who swallowed
minnanna – similar to lightning
mEni – having divine form
perumAn – sarvESvaran’s
ulagil – his world of paramapadham
peN thUdhu – messenger sent by a girl
sellA – will not fructify
(saying so)
annanna – like that
nIrmai kolO – do you have such a nature?

Simple Translation

Oh swans who do not have the distinction of having been born in a distinguished clan! You are roaming with your female swans, thinking in your mind “This girl is beseeching us to go as messengers since she could not get anyone else” and are not carrying her message. Is it your nature not to carry such message to paramapadham which is the residence of sarvESvaran who has a complexion similar to dark bluish clouds and who has a divine form which is similar to effulgent lightning?

vyAkyAnam

innanna thUdhu – sending an errand like this is not carried out when one is living in happy times; it is not sent for one’s pleasure; it is sent as a sustenance for oneself. Just as sithAppirAtti tells hanuman in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 39-22 “gathEhi harisArdhUla puna: AgamanAyathu praNAnAmapi sandhEhO mama syAn na athra samSaya:” (Oh warrior of the monkey clan! If after this there is any doubt about your return, then there will be a doubt about my survival too. There is  no doubt about this matter), here too a similar narrative is mentioned.

emmai – my status is very much similar to the way I am sending my errand. Just as sithAppirAtti sent an expert in grammar [so that he could recount the status very clearly, without any degree of ambiguity], I too should have sent one [says the nAyaki]. But my present state is such that I have to send you [the swans] only.

ALaRRappattu – since there is none else to send errand. Her greatness is such that even sarvESvaran, the lord of both vibhUthis (spiritual and materialistic) has to send her a messenger; however, she, who is like sIthAppirAtti, who had about ten crore people who could be sent as messengers even if most of her people go to various corners in mithilA and kOsala countries, is now in a position where she has none to be sent as messenger.

irandhAL – she is doing what he should be doing. While he should be sending a messenger to her, she is sending him one.

ivaL – she is similar to sIthAppirAtti who was spoken of as in SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 37-18 “apramEyamhi thaththEja:” (that rAma, whose wife is janaka’s daughter, is with inestimable resplendence)

annanna sollA – they did not say anything like that. Those who go on errand should say what the person, who had sent them, told them to say,  as well as say a few words of their own, in order to add strength to the message given. This is termed in thamizh language as Olai pAdhi-thUdhu pAdhi (what is seen in the letter sent through the messenger is 50% and what the messenger adds of his own, is 50%). But these [swans] did not do that, but made a mockery of that proverb in thamizh. Some people will not desire anything. But shouldn’t they help those who desire something and carry on in that state?

pedaiyodum pOy varum – when they carry out such errands, when they go to sarvESvaran, they will meditate on his auspicious qualities and when they return, they will meditate on the experience gained through their service. Those who carry out service to sarvESvaran do so as a pair. We could see this in the cases of sEnai mudhaliyAr- sUthravathi, garudan-sukIrthi, athri-anasUyai et al. Will meditating on his auspicious qualities be the basis for their sustenance? The commentator quotes the verse pAdhEyam puNdarIkAksha nAma sankIrthanAmrutham – meditating on the divine names of the one with lotus-like eyes is the nectar which sustains one.

neelamuNda . . .   – he is everything to those who are in SrIvaikuNtam. Just as it is said in vEdham neelathOyathamadhyasthA vidhyullEkEva bhAskarA:, he keeps pirAtti always on his splendorous chest, like lightning across bluish, dark clouds. The situation during separation will be as mentioned in thirunedundhANdagam 25 minnilangu thiruvuruvu – his divine form will be like lightning and when united with him, the situation will be as mentioned in thirunedundhANdagam 24 karumugiloppar – he will resemble dark clouds.

peN thUdhu sellA – would you go as a messenger only if sent by a man? Would you not go on errand for a lady? Did you think that none other than sarvESvaran will send someone as a messenger? There is no point in blaming either you [swans] or him [sarvESvaran]. All the blame is mine only.

kudichchIrmaiyil annangaLEkudichchIrmai is the knowledge about the distress caused by separation. It is not your fault that you do not have this knowledge. Since he was not born in a great clan, he did not have this quality. Due to this, he would have reached a stage where he could not listen to me or to you.

neelamuNda minnanna mEnip perumAn – he keeps his divine form not for his sake but for keeping periya pirAtti in his divine chest. Since you have come in a clan which does not have kudichchIrmai it appears that you are not listening to me.

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning) – AzhwAr is in distress due to separation from emperumAn. This pAsuram speaks about his state where even those who are helping him to attain emperumAn are not to his liking.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

archived in http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org

pramEyam (goal) – http://koyil.org
pramANam (scriptures) – http://granthams.koyil.org
pramAthA (preceptors) – http://acharyas.koyil.org
SrIvaishNava education/kids portal – http://pillai.koyil.org

thiruviruththam – 28 – thaNNandhuzhAy

Published by:

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

Full Series

Previous

avathArikai (Introduction)

Due to the greatness of the entity which is lying at thiruvehkA (sarvESvaran) and due to knowing about that entity in the mind, the desire for that entity grew a lot. As a result of that desire, there was a need to unite with that entity. Since that union did not fructify, that led to separation from the entity. All those which were helping the nAyaki (leading lady) so far turned into her foes and started distressing her. When the King gets angry with a person, wouldn’t the other citizens too show their anger on that person? Northerly wind, which was cool until it carried the fragrance of thuLasi, now started blowing fire on her. Just as food which had been cooked could not be eaten due to a lack of opportunity, despite getting thuLasi etc from thiruvehkA, the nAyaki could not get the opportunity to embrace sarvESvaran who is lying inside thiruvehkA, and that led to separation.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

thaNNandhuzhAy vaLai koLvadhu yAm izhappOm naduvE
vaNNandhuzhAvi Or vAdai ulAvum valvAy alagAl
puNNandhuzhAmE porunIrth thiruvarangA aruLAy
eNNandhuzhAvum idaththu uLavO paNdum innannavE

Word-by-Word Meanings

thaN – being cool
am – being beautiful
thuzhAy – the divine thuLasi
vaLai – bangles
koLvadhu – stealing (is apt)
yAm – we
izhappOm – losing is also apt
naduvE – in between
Or – unique
vAdai – northerly wind
vaNNam – the body
thuzhAvi – stealing it
ulAvum – will wander
puL – bird
val – curved
vAy alagAl – with its beak
nandhu – conch [here, this term refers to snail which carries the protective shell, conch, on its back]
uzhAmE – without troubling
poru – fighting
nIr – having water
thiruvarangA – oh one who is the lord of SrIrangam!
aruLAy – you should show mercy
eNNam – mind
thuzhAvumidaththu – during the time of being troubled
innanna – the nature of not showing mercy
paNdum – earlier too
uLavO – was it there?

Simple Translation

With the help of their bent beaks, birds are trying to peck and take away the snails which are inside the river kAviri. However, kAviri is pushing away the birds with its waves and protecting the snails. Oh thiruvarangA who is reclining on that kAviri river! The thuLasi garland which is donning your broad shoulders is making my bangles to slip out [since I am thinning]. This is apt only, since we are willing to lose them for your sake. However, a northerly wind, with which we have no connection, is coming in between and making my complexion become pale, due to which my mind is saddened. You are not coming to my rescue in these circumstances. Please tell me whether in the past too, there have been instances like this when you had not shown your mercy

vyAkyAnam

thaNNandhuzhAy . . . . – there is no embargo on thuLasi. thuLasi can cause me pain any number of times. There is nothing wrong in it. The nAyaki says these since there is a connection of ‘harming’ and ‘being harmed’ between them (thuLasi is harming her and she is being harmed). thuLasi is a very distinguished and superior entity for sarvESvaran. She [nAyaki] has a connection with his divine feet always. Thus, even if thuLasi were to harm her indirectly, considering the circumstances, she is willing to accept it since this is the reason for her having a connection with thuLasi. If the King becomes angry with someone, the King’s army too will become angry with that person and look at him as an enemy. Hence, since sarvESvaran is causing her distress, thuLasi, which is his great entity, is also causing her distress.

naduvE – It is alright if thuLasi, which is connected to her, causes her harm. Why does the northerly wind, which has no connection with her, cause her harm? We can say that it is harming her because it is in this world. But we [nAyaki and her friends/clan] are not any ordinary citizens. Aren’t we in his andhappuram (private quarters)? Reference to wind is equivalent to referring to the other four elements too.

vaNNam thuzhAvi – on its way [the wind is] troubling everyone like this and destroying their complexion.

Or vAdai – there in no second entity to destroy like this. It is like a unique soldier.

ulAvum – the wind is like an elephant which has pushed aside its controller and which roams around since there is none to control it. It [wind] desires to snatch the body too, not only the complexion and splendour. Looking at the pitiable condition of her daughter, the mother lays her at the divine feet of periya perumAL (the presiding deity at SrIrangam) and asks him whether there is any connection between his taking residence in SrIrangam and her distressed condition.

vaLvAy . . . .  – Two instances are narrated in the commentary: (1) once a few persons brought a lady to parASara bhattar (son of kUraththAzhwAn) and told him “She has committed a crime; you should mete out punishment to her” He mercifully responded saying “She has given up everything related to worldly matters and taken refuge in SrIrangam. How do we punish her?” (2) There was some misunderstanding between embAr (rAmAnujar’s cousin) and one vIrasundharan. A person who was vIrasundharan’s enemy and living in his village, took refuge under embAr out of fear for vIrasundharan. embAr’s disciples told embAr “There is already a misunderstanding with vIrasundharan; at this juncture, is it apt to accept this person?” embAr mercifully told them “If we accept a person who takes refuge under us saying ‘I am surrendering to you’ the SaraNAgathi dharmam (the principles of surrendering) would protect everyone”. kAviri is protecting the snails which are lying in her water so that they are not troubled by birds which have curved beaks. Oh thiruvarangA (Lord of SrIrangam) who is reclining on that kAviri which is protecting the snails by fighting with the birds through its waves which are like its hands!

porunIr – bird with curved beak is waiting expectantly for snatching its prey from kAviri. Snail, unaware of the presence of the bird, is not asking kAviri to protect it from the bird. Yet, since the snail has taken residence inside it, kAviri is engaging in warfare with the bird through its waves and at the same time it is pushing the snail deep inside it so that it will not be snatched by the bird. If an insentient entity such as river could help those who are with it, oh thiruvarangA, what should you not do to protect her? Are you not reclining here in order to protect the Sudhdhasathva (purely good) entity of AthmA so that it is not harmed by the insentient samsAram (materialistic realm)?

thiruvarangA aruLAy – since she is requesting him to shower his mercy, it is evident that he is not showering it until that moment. Why is he not showering his mercy? emperumAn says “I have given you physical form, all the senses to know about me, the path of devotion to attain me and SAsthras which tell you that these are the means for attaining me” AzhwAr says “You are the omniscient and omnipotent entity who has created all these. But how will I, with ignorance and with no strength, attain you? You have not created svarUpagyAnam (true knowledge about self) in me” Why is AzhwAr, who is immersed in bhagavath vishayam (matters relating to emperumAn) afraid like this? Since he has attained knowledge with emperumAn’s mercy, he has given up all which needed to be given up and the knowledge has shown him the goal too. He has developed the required desire too, to attain sarvESvaran. Yet he has not attained him. The reason for this is the inimical samsAram and he is afraid of that only. One should be fearful of samsAram and that fear should disappear on seeing sarvESvaran. If one has not lost fear of samsAram even after seeing emperumAn, it reflects that one has not understood the greatness of emperumAn. If one is not afraid of samsAram (to start with) it means that one has not understood the nature of samsAram. Only those who preach lowly narratives such as “samsAram is an illusion; jIvan will attain liberation on realising this” will not be afraid of samsAram. sarvESvaran can tell a jIvAthmA as in bhagavath gIthA 18-6 “mA Sucha:” (do not grieve) only if the jIvAthmA knows the greatness of sarvESvaran and is afraid of samsAram. Only then could the jIvAthmA say as in bhagavath gIthA 18-73 “sthithOsmi” (I will stand firmly).

thiruvarangA – what for are you reclining here? Is it to experience the result of your karma (deeds from past)? Is it in search of an enjoyable abode? Is it because there is none with any shortcomings? Is it because there is none with taste in liberation? Why are you not showering your mercy?

aruLAy – if emperumAn has mercifully granted “mayarvaRa madhinalam” as in thiruvAimozhi 1-1-1 (knowledge and devotion without any shortcoming), should not the result be “sudaradi thozhudhezhu” (worship his splendorous divine feet and rise)? Has it been your practice not to shower grace on those who are in turmoil and bewilderment? Or is it being done only now?

uLavO paNdum innannavE – is it not famously known that “emperumAn has showered his mercy on those who had cried to him in distress”? Has this not been seen in the cases of dhraupadhi, SrI gajEndhrAzhwAn, SrI prahlAdhan, SrI vibhIshaNan, kAkAsuran et al?

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

archived in http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org

pramEyam (goal) – http://koyil.org
pramANam (scriptures) – http://granthams.koyil.org
pramAthA (preceptors) – http://acharyas.koyil.org
SrIvaishNava education/kids portal – http://pillai.koyil.org

thiruviruththam – 27 – sEmam sengOn

Published by:

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

Full Series

Previous

avathArikai (Introduction)

The mercy of emperumAn, who is our lord and who helps us as his nature, without any reason, is the apt protector for AthmAs (all living creatures). When he looks at us with mercy, all the hindrances change themselves so that they become our helpful entities. This is similar to those who had ostracised a prince when he was imprisoned, falling head over heels in welcoming him when he ascends the throne. When sIthAppirAtti was in aSOka vanam, having been imprisoned by rAvaNa, she was tortured by demons some of whom had single eye or single ear. When they came to know that SrI rAma was very much present in lankA [to fight with rAvaNa] they became favourable to her.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

sEmam sengOn aruLE seruvArum natpAguvar enRu
Emam peRa vaiyam sollum meyyE paNdellAm aRai kUy
yAmangaL dhORu eri vIsum nam kaNNan thaNNam thuzhAyth
thAmam punaiya avvAdai IdhO vandhu thaN enRadhE

Word-by-Word Meanings

paNdu ellAm – before (this)
aRai kUy – making war cry (like a soldier)
yAmangaL dhORu – during every jAmam (a time-period of three hours)
eri – fire
vIsum­ – throwing up
avvAdai – that northerly wind
nam – our
kaNNan – mercifully donned by krishNa
thaN – cool
thuzhAy – strung with divine thuLasi
thAmam – garland
punaiya – since he donned
IdhO – here
vandhu – coming
thaN enRadhu – is very cool
sem – beautiful (and ordained)
kOn – SrIya: pathi (consort of SrI mahAlakshmi), who is the lord, his
aruLE – mercy alone
sEmam – protection
seruvArum – even enemies
natpAguvar – will become friends
enRu – saying
Emam peRa – such that protection occurs
vaiyam – people of the world
sollum – words
meyyE – are true

Simple Translation

Oh the mercy of the beautiful emperumAn who is the lord for all! During the time that I was separated from sarvESvaran, my lord, the northerly wind was blowing fire on me every hour, just like a soldier would make a war-cry against his enemies in the battlefield. However, that northerly wind is now blowing the fragrant smell from thuLasi garland, worn by krishNa who is dear to us, and it appears cool. Thus, the words of the people of the world that even enemies would become friendly at some point of time, ring true.

vyAkyAnam

sEmam sengOn aruLE – only the mercy of emperumAn, who is the lord and who is apt for the AthmA, is the apt protector for AthmA. Even though sarvESvaran is the protector, the jIvAthmA acts in ways which make him undeserving of sarvESvaran’s mercy. sarvESvaran creates the worlds, gives body and senses to the jIvAthmAs, creates paths for them such as bhakthiyOgam (path of devotion) etc to attain him and takes residence in divine abodes such as thirumalai etc so that they could approach him easily. However, the jIvAthmas discard all these and act as if dhEham (physical body) is AthmA. The horrendous knowledge of AthmA is such that he would destroy himself while sarvESvaran’s wisdom will be just like as it is mentioned in mudhal thiruvandhAdhi 69 “uLan kaNdAy nannenjE” (Oh heart! emperumAn exists only to protect us) – willing to take the jIvAthmA into himself.

sengOn – beautiful and capable administrator. Just as it is mentioned in thaiththirIya upanishath nArAyaNavalli pathim viSvasya, he is the lord of the entire universe.

aruLE – there is nothing apart from his divine mercy, just as it has been mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 9-9-6 “avvaruL allana aruLum alla” (anything other than his mercy is not mercy at all). There is no need for any intervening devotion etc.

seruvArum natpAguvarenRu – even enemies will become friends; here, the body itself is referred to as enemy, as per the explanatory notes given in the commentary. In other words, enemies will act in a way which is appropriate for us. This physical form, which is fit to be given up, will, with the mercy of sarvESvaran, assist us in attaining him. At the apt time, it would leave us too.

Emam peRa – to get protection

vaiyam sollum meyyE – whatever has been said by the people of the world from time immemorial, is true only. Just as it is mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 34-6 “kalyANI batha gAthEyam laukikI prathibhAthi mA | Ethi jIvanthamAnandhO naram barshaSathAdhapi ||” (the adage that joy comes to a living being even though it may be at the end of a hundred years is true – sIthAppirAtti tells hanumAn that she wanted to put an end to her suffering by perishing; however she wanted to see SrI rAma just once before dying and hence delayed her decision; that turned out to be a happy one since it was at that time that hanumAn appeared there, singing SrI rAma’s praise), it is true that the fiery wind too would be cool one day, justifying the adage “If one who is in distress does not end his life, he would become happy one day”.

paNdellAm – just as one had been born and brought up only in prison, separation has become the norm. In this situation, being distressed by the northerly wind too has become the norm.

aRai kUy – just as sugrIva had let out a war-cry when challenging vAli for a fight, with SrI rAma as his support, the northerly wind was letting out a war cry, all on its own, as a single soldier.

yAmangaL dhORu eri vIsum – due to its engagement in causing harm, the wind is coming hard at her, like a tiger which has disguised itself like a cow.

vIsum – the fire of separation is blowing from all sides. The fire of hell is more cruel than the fire of samsAram (materialistic realm). But this fire of separation makes the fire of hell look like cool water.

nam kaNNan thaNNandhuzhAy . . . . – just as it has been mentioned in thirunendundhANdagam 13 “vehkAvil thuyilamarndha . . ” (one who is mercifully reclining in the divine abode thiruvehkA), the northerly wind embraced the divine thuLasi garland which is decorating sarvESvaran there and which is capable of invigorating anyone. It is enough if that wind gently contacts the thuLasi garland; there is no need to embrace it completely.

avvAdai – she [the nAyaki who is saying all these] changes her countenance – in other words, it is the same northerly wind which caused her harm.

IdhO vandhu thaN enRadhE – now it is blowing with a comforting coolness. Thus it proves the words of the people of the world “Those who carry out harmful deeds towards us will do us beneficial acts once we get sarvESvaran’s mercy”

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

archived in http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org

pramEyam (goal) – http://koyil.org
pramANam (scriptures) – http://granthams.koyil.org
pramAthA (preceptors) – http://acharyas.koyil.org
SrIvaishNava education/kids portal – http://pillai.koyil.org

thiruviruththam – 26 – nAnilam vAykkoNdu

Published by:

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

Full Series

Previous

avathArikai (Introduction)

This pAsuram comes under the classification of puNarndhudan pOkku or nagarkkAttal (the nAyakan (leading man) guides the nAyaki (leading lady) to his dwelling place by foot. The distance is fairly long and the nAyaki could get tired. In order to keep her spirits up, the nAyakan encouragingly tells her ‘my house is very near’ so that she gets consoled). As they cross an arid land (desert) he tells her “Once we cross the arid land, we will reach the cool place which is green”

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

nAnilam vAykkoNdu nannIraRa menRu kOdhu koNda
vEnilanjelvan suvaiththumizh pAlai kadandha ponnE
kAnilandhOyndhu viNNOr thozhum kaNNan vehkA udhu am pUm
thEnalanjOlai appAl adhu eppAlaikkum sEmaththadhE

Word-by-Word Meanings

ponnE – oh one who looks like lustrous gold!
vEnil – having hot rays
am – beautiful
selvan – sUriyan (sUrya)
nAl nilam – earth, which is classified into four types [of lands]
vAykkoNdu – taking in his mouth well
nal – the essence
nIr – water
aRa – to be removed
menRu – chewing
kOdhu – residual matter
koNda – taking it (again), in the mouth
suvaiththu – sucking on it fully
umizh – spitting it out
pAlai – desert land
kadandha – has been crossed
viNNOr – celestial entities
nilam – on the earth
kAl thOyndhu – standing on their feet firmly
thozhum – worshipping
kaNNan – the noble place where kaNNan has mercifully taken residence
vehkA – thiruvehkA (a noble place in present day kAnchIpuram)
udhu – is nearby
appAladhu – what is seen after that
am – beautiful
pU – having flowers
thEn – with honey dripping
nalam – beautiful
sOlai – orchard
eppAlaikkum – in all states
sEmaththadhu – will be good

Simple Translation

Oh one with the complexion of gold! sUriyan, who is beautiful and who has fiery rays, started chewing this earth with the help of his hot rays, in his mouth, drank up all the water on earth and spat out the residue which is called as desert land. We have crossed that desert land. The divine land of thiruvehkA, in which kaNNan has taken residence mercifully and which is worshipped by celestial entities with their feet placed firmly on earth, is nearby. After that is the beautiful orchard which is full of beautiful flowers and honey, which will remove all sorrows and give happiness.

vyAkyAnam

nAnilam vAykkoNdu – sUriyan takes earth which is classified into four types, through his fiery rays which are like his mouth. The four types are – kuRinji (mountainous region), mullai (forest region), marudham (agricultural region) and neydhal (oceans with their shores). thamizhars (people living in the land where thamizh is spoken) will add a fifth region, pAlai (desert region) and AzhwAr recognises this.

nannIr . . . . – sUriyan chews these four types of lands and removes water, which is the sustaining force in these lands, from them, thus rendering them as useless residue. This residue became desert land, devoid of any water. The heat of this desert land was so high that even sUriyan could not keep that residue in his mouth and spat it out.

kadandha – crossing samsAram (materialistic realm). In other words, crossing desert is similar to crossing samsAram.

ponnE – the nAyakan tells the nAyaki that he cannot feel the desert when she is with him. He addresses her as ponnE to remove her fear and to emphasise his presence to support her. She became fearful looking at the desert land since she thought that it will seize her life.

kAl nilam . . . .  – when residents of earth perform yagyams (ritual conducted where food is offered to celestial entities in the form of havis), the celestial entities will come to earth to accept the havis. However, being scared of earth, they will not come inside earth fully. Instead, they will stand at some distance away and accept the havis. However, thiruvehkA is such a noble land that even such celestial entities will come full inside, stand with their feet firmly on the ground. It is the place where nithyasUris will circum-ambulate and salute their most desired entity, sarvESvaran.

kaNNan – sarvESvaran. Where there is affection, shortcomings will not be evident. Shortcomings of earth will not be minded by nithyasUris since their most desired entity has taken residence here, mercifully.

vehkAvudhu – this is thiruvehkA. The term udhu refers to a place which is neither too far nor too close.  It is nearby. Is there an instance when a similar incident had occurred? SrI rAma shows ayOdhya to sIthAppirAtti when they were returning from lankA saying as in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 123-55 “EshA sAdhruSyathE ayOdhyA rAjadhAnI pithurmama | ayOdhyAn kuru vaidhEhi praNAmAm punarAgathA ||” (Oh sIthA! Here is seen the capital city ayOdhyA, of my father. Oh the princess of vidhEha territory! Having duly returned, offer your salutation to ayOdhyA).

appUndhEnalanjOlai appAladhu – it is a place which has orchards having beautiful flowers and honey. It is composed of several divine lands.

eppAlaikkum sEmaththadhE – it will remove all the sorrows created by the desert land and offer the protection that we need.

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning) – nammAzhwAr knows that samsAram is to be given up and bhagavath vishayam (matters relating to emperumAn) is to be attained. Since the attainment [of SrIvaikuNtam] is getting delayed, he feels distressed. SrIvaishNavas, who look at him, comfort him saying “It shouldn’t matter that samsAram has still not left; since divine lands are nearby, you are standing in SrivaikuNtam only”

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

archived in http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org

pramEyam (goal) – http://koyil.org
pramANam (scriptures) – http://granthams.koyil.org
pramAthA (preceptors) – http://acharyas.koyil.org
SrIvaishNava education/kids portal – http://pillai.koyil.org

thiruviruththam – 25 – engOlvaLai mudhalA

Published by:

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

Full Series

Previous

avathArikai (Introduction)

The nAyaki’s (leading lady’s) mother wonders whether among those who had been engaged with bhagavath vishayam (matters relating to emperumAn) and who had taken refuge only under him, anyone else had suffered this much. The commentator refers to the 27th pAsuram in mUnRAm thiruvandhAdhi “ArE thuyaruzhandhAr . . .” (who has suffered even for one day after attaining emperumAn? Who has experienced sorrow like that?”

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

engOlvaLai mudhalAk kaNNan maNNum viNNum aLikkum
sengOl vaLaivu viLaivikkum mAl thiRal sEr amarar
thangOnudaiya thangOn umbar ellAyavarkkum thangOn
nangOn ugakkum thuzhAy enseyyAdhu ini nAnilaththE

Word-by-Word Meanings

thiRralsEr – being strong
amarar thangOnudaiya – brahmA who is the lord of dhEvas (indhra et al), his
thangOn – being the distinguished lord
umbar – being great
ellAyavarkkum – other nithyasUris (permanent dwellers of SrIvaikuNtam)
thangOn – being the distinguished lord
nam kOn – being our lord, sarvESvaran
ugakkum – pleased with
thuzhAy – divine thuLasi
kaNNan – kaNNan’s
maNNum – bhUmi (earth)
viNNum – upper worlds
aLikkum – protecting
sengOl – for the order
em – our girl
kOl – being beautiful
vaLai mudhalA – for her bangles
vaLaivu – salutations
viLaivikkum – did not offer
ini – hereafter
nAnilaththu – on the earth, which is of four types [of lands]
enseyyAdhu – what will it not do?
Al – how amazing!

Simple Translation

He is the lord of brahmA who is the lord of all the dhEvas who are more powerful than human beings; he is the lord of nithyasUris who dwell in paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam); he is the lord of people like us. What is the divine garland of thuLasi, which is worn with pleasure by such sarvESvaran, doing? It is not offering salutations to my daughter who is wearing beautiful bangles, and who is under the protection of sarvESvaran’s orders, which rule both this world (earth) and upper worlds. What else will this divine thuLasi not do on this earth which is of four types?

vyAkyAnam

engOl vaLai mudhala – it is said that this pAsuram has been sung by the nAyaki. Some others will say that it is the nAyaki’s friend who had sung while yet others will say that it is the nAyaki’s mother who had sung it. Since the pAsuram starts with the words engOlvaLai (my bangles) nayaki becomes the subject. Elsewhere in the vyAkyAnam the words “If one attains such a helpless woman in samsAram” are seen, indicating that the nAyaki’s friend who has sung the pAsuram. The previous pAsuram has been sung by the nAyaki’s mother and hence it could be taken that she has sung this pAsuram too. If the pAsuram is taken as the words of the nAyaki, the meaning for this term will be “Should the nAyakan manifest his independent nature by destroying my soul?” If it is taken as the words of the mother, the meaning will be “To kill my daughter”

kaNNan – The sceptre of emperumAn is conducting both this world and the upper worlds properly, protecting them. However, the divine thuLasi is causing harm to such righteous conduct of the sceptre. What is causing the harm? . . . .

nam kOn ugakkum thuzhAy – the divine thuLasi, which is much liked by sarvESvaran, is doing this. If one gets this helpless girl in samsAram . . . .

en seyyAdhu – sarvESvaran is there to protect both this world and the upper worlds. But instead of protecting, if he himself issues orders contrary to that, who is there to protect my girl?

thiRal sEr . . . . – he is the lord of brahmA who in turn is the lord of dhEvas such as the mighty indhra.

umbar . . .  – the distinguished dhEvas who are spoken of as ayarvaRum amarargaL – nithyasUris who do not have any bewilderment at all. Through these two terms, that emperumAn is the lord of both vibhUthis (leelA and nithya) is established.

nangOn – he is the lord of not only the two vibhUthis; he is my lord too.

ugakkum thuzhAy – thuLasi is such that it is desired by even such a lord, as mentioned in thiruvAimozhi pAsuram 1-9-7 thOLiNai mElum nanmArbin mElum (the garland of divine thuLasi is in contact with his divine shoulders and divine and distinguished chest).

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

archived in http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org

pramEyam (goal) – http://koyil.org
pramANam (scriptures) – http://granthams.koyil.org
pramAthA (preceptors) – http://acharyas.koyil.org
SrIvaishNava education/kids portal – http://pillai.koyil.org

thiruviruththam – 24 – iyalvAyina vanjanOy

Published by:

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

Full Series

Previous

avathArikai (Introduction)

Looking at the uncontrolled engagement and unflinching love which the nAyaki (leading lady) had for the nAyakan (leading man), her mother gets worried as to what will happen to the nAyaki.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

iyalvAyina vanjanOy koNdu ulAvum OrO kudangai
kayalpAyvana perunIrkkaNgaL thammodum kunRam onRAl
puyalvAyina niraikAththa puLLUrdhi kaLLUrum thuzhAyk
koyalvAy malar mEl manaththodu ennAngol em kOl vaLaikkE

Word-by-Word Meanings

iyalvAyina – being of one’s nature
vanjam – caused by (emperumAn’s) deception
nOy – disease
koNdu – having
ulAvum – moving about
perunIr – in huge water body
pAyvana – those which dart
kayal – being like fish
OrO kudangai – size of one’s palm
kaNgaL thammodum – being with such eyes
oru kunRAl – with a (gOvardhana) hill
puyalvAy – in rains
inanirai – clan of herds
kAththa – one who protected
puL – garuda
Urdhi – the rider, that is, SrIya:pathi, consort of SrI mahAlakshmi
kaL – honey
Urum – generating abundantly
koyalvAy – round in shape
thuzhAy malar mEl – on the garland strung with thuLasi
manaththodu – with (desirous) mind
em – as our daughter
kOl – one who is beautiful
vaLaikku – for her who is having bangles
ennAngol – what will happen?

Simple Translation

Her eyes are darting here and there due to the disease of love which occurs naturally and which is difficult to be seen by others. Each of her eyes is the size of a palm and is like a fish darting in water. The eyes seem to hold plenty of water. What will happen to my daughter who has such eyes and who desires the thuLasi garland, dripping with honey, and which belongs to krishNa who had protected from rain, the herd and herd-people in an earlier time with gOvardhana hill and who conducts garuda?

vyAkyAnam

iyalvAyina – something that is natural, and not assumed. Just as it has been mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 2-3-3 “aRiyAkkAlaththuLLE adimaikkaN anbu seyviththu” (you engaged me in servitude towards you at an age when I did not know anything) and in SrI rAmAyaNam bAlakANdam SlOkam “bAlyath prabhruthi susnigdha:” (lakshmaNa was affectionate towards SrI rAma from very young age itself), this too has been there from the beginning and did not come up in between.

vanja nOy – by manifesting his beautiful divine form to her, sarvESvaran deceitfully removed her engagement with worldly pursuits and created the disease called as bhakthi (devotion). Just as it has been mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 6-7-2 “Urum nAdum ulagamum thannippOl” (making everyone in the town, country and world, like herself) and in thiruvAimozhi 6-5-9 “marangaLum irangum vagai” (even the trees grieved for her), he deceitfully made everyone who saw him to be like himself.

nOy koNdu ulAvum – she behaved the way the disease made her to. SrI rAmAyam AraNya kANdam SlOkam 16-29 says “vrutha: prakruthibhir nithyam prayAthi sarayUm nadhIm” – lakshmaNa tells SrI rAma that bharatha would go every day to the river sarayu, surrounded by the ministers, to take a bath. Unable to tolerate the separation from SrI rAma, bharatha was going to the river to take bath in the cold water. Would he go with others when separated from SrI rAma? The opinion here is that he did not walk on his own, but due to the disease of separation, they carried him to the river. Being deceived by sarvESvaran would mean being united with him initially and then being separated from him. In the next SlOkam 16-30, lakshmaNa tells SrI rAma “athyantha sukham samvrudhdha sukumArO himArdhitha: | katham thu apara rAthrEshu sarayUm avagAhathE ||” (how bharatha, who grew up in comfort and who had a delicate form, became very distressed towards the last part of the night  to take a bath in the cold waters of the river sarayu?) The commentator explains here the meaning of this SlOkam: athyantha sukham – After dhaSaratha had completed sixty thousand years, you, rAma, were born to him so that he could rid himself of the stigma of being without a progeny. Thus, you were brought up in total comfort by the emperor. bharatha derived the same comfort with which you were brought up. sukumAra: – how delicate was his form? Even if you were to look at his form intently, his form would wither; it was that delicate. sukhOchitha: – he was apt to live, being united with you and not in separation from you. kathannu – lakshmaNa thinks that bharatha too would feel the water to be cold, just as he had felt. Since lakshmaNa was always with SrI rAma, he had not suffered due to separation from him. He thought that the water, which was very cold for him while having a bath in the early hours of the morning, would have been cold for bharatha too. However, since bharatha was suffering in separation from SrI rAma, the water felt hot for him [separation brings about excessive heat in the body] and lakshmaNa was not aware of this. apararAthrEshu – early hours of the morning. Why did bharatha go to the river in the early hours? Just as a newly widowed lady would go for her bath very early in the morning so that other people in the place would not see her, bharatha felt that if he went for his bath in daylight, others would scoff at him saying “He is the son of kaikEyi; did not SrI rAma have to go the forest, only because of him?”; hence he went for his bath while it was still very dark. sarayUm avagAhathE – if he were drowned in the river sarayU, people would have to feel for him in the water to bring him out [since it was very dark].

OrO kudangai – this does not imply that the eyes were small, just sufficient to fill out one’s palm. The eyes were large enough to be enjoyed fully by the nAyakan.

kayal pAyvana – they were beautiful and motionless.

pAyvana perunIr – her eyes were such that it appeared as if the water of entire ocean had entered them.

kayal pAyvana perunIr – just like fish would dart from one place to another in the ocean, foraging for food.

kangaL thammodum – along with the eyes, the mind and other senses too went

kunRamonRAl – he [sarvESvaran as krishNa] wanted to protect the herd and herd-folk. He lifted what was near his hand so that they could take shelter under it. It so happened that what was near his hand was a hill and hence he lifted it.

puyalvAy – in the hurricane. It was not any ordinary rain. Just as it is mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 7-4-10 “thImazhai”(rain which caused disaster), it was torrential rain.

inanirai kAththa – while protecting, one should have the determination to protect, come what may. One should not distinguish between the sentient and insentient entities at that time. Everyone and everything has to be protected. This word only talks about protecting the cows. Were the cowherds not protected? Since the herd-folk are identified only through their cows, the term cow would include the cowherd too. Hence the herd-people were protected too.

puLLUrdhi – one who controls everything.

kaLLUrum thuzhAy – thuLasi from which honey is dripping. The thuLasi garland is reaching down from sarvESvaran’s shoulders to garuda. She [nAyaki] wants to embrace him with that garland. It is the garland desired by sarvESvaran too! Is there any precedence for him to offer the garland to someone who desires it? The commentator quotes from SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 16-21 “pathi sammAnithA sIthA” (sIthA, who has black eyes and who was given a happy message by her husband). Emperor dhaSaratha’s minister sumanthran had come to fetch SrI rAma as he was called by his father. Before leaving, SrI rAma adorned sIthA with the garland which he was wearing Our preceptors would say that Sri rAma was telling her “until I return keep remembering about our beauty”; SrI parAsara bhattar would say that SrI rAma felt ashamed that he was giving her the garland which he was wearing and caught hold of her legs while getting up, to indicate that he felt sorry. asithEkshaNa – while SrI rAma offered her his thuLasi garland, SithA garlanded him with her eyes.

koyal vAy malar mEl – the mind went after the beautiful, circular garland.

engOlvaLaikkE – I do not know as to what will happen to her [nAyaki], who is wearing beautiful bangles.

malar mEl manaththodu – along with her eyes, her mind to went to him, obediently.

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning): SrIvaishNavas took comfort with the presence of nammAzhwAr in samsAram; however, on seeing his excessive involvement with matters related to emperumAn, they were worried as to what will happen to him.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

archived in http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org

pramEyam (goal) – http://koyil.org
pramANam (scriptures) – http://granthams.koyil.org
pramAthA (preceptors) – http://acharyas.koyil.org
SrIvaishNava education/kids portal – http://pillai.koyil.org

thiruviruththam – 23 – punamO punaththayalE

Published by:

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

Full Series

Previous

avathArikai (Introduction)

In the previous pAsuram, the nAyaki (leading lady) and her friends had posed a few questions to the nAyakan (leading man). In this pAsuram, the nAyakan poses a few questions to them.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

punamO punaththayalE vazhi pOgum aruvinaiyEn
manamO magaLir num kAval solleer puNdarIgaththangEzh
vanamOranaiya kaNNan kaNNan vAnAdamurum dheyvaththu
inamOranaiyIrgaLAy ivaiyO num iyalvugaLE

Word-by-Word Meanings

am – beautiful
kEzh – having complexion
puNadarIkam – lotus flower’s
Or – being distinguished
vanam – with forest
anaiya – being similar
kaNNAn – having eyes
kaNNan – krishNa’s
vAn – being enjoyable
nAdu – in paramapadham
amarum – dwelling
dheyvaththu – nithyasUris’
inam – with their clan
Or anayIrgaLAy – being similar in a way
magaLir – Oh girls!
num kAval – to be kept under your protection
punamO – are they, the fields?
punaththu – fields’
ayal – near
vazhi – in the path
pOgum – one who is going
aruvinaiyEn – one who has cruel sins, my
manamO – is it the mind?
solleer – please tell me
num iyalvu – your nature
ivaiyO – is it this?

Simple Translation

Oh girls who are in a way similar to nithyasUris who live in the enjoyable paramapadham of krishNa, who has eyes similar to the colour of a forest of lotus flowers! Should the fields be kept under your protection or should it be the mind belonging to me, who has cruel sins and who is going in the path near the fields? Please tell me.

vyAkhyAnam

punamO – why is the nAyakan calling himself as a sinner [this comes later in the pAsuram]? He feels that had he been that field itself, he would have had the fortune of being looked at by the girls continuously (since they are standing guard over the fields). Instead of that, he is a human being, a sentient entity. A doubt arises here: it was only in the previous pAsuram that the nAyaki had fully seen him holding foliage in his hand. Why then is he wailing that he would have been looked at by the nAyaki had he been the field? The reason perhaps is that the nAyakan is longing for her side-glance instead of a straight forward look at him.

punaththayalE vazhipOgum – Did I come inside your field? Is there no fence for your field? I had merely passed by the path near your field. It seems that whichever place he has to go to, he has to pass through the path near the fields which they are guarding.

vazhi pOgum – are we not going in our path? Should people go through forests and thorns? It appears that for him, places other than the place where they are present, are forests, full of thorns.

aruvinaiyEn manamO – I have sinned so much that wherever I go, the path has to be through the fields. piLLai thirunaRaiyUr araiyar, one of our preceptors, had once said “While all the dhivyadhESams are there, why should one incur a sin of having to go through thirunagari?” The meaning of this is that if people engage with matters relating to bhAgavathas and that is deemed as a sin, then the remedy is to engage with an act of virtue, which is engaging with matters relating to bhagavAn. Instead of that, if they were to engage fully with bhAgavathas, they will immerse in it and find it difficult to extricate themselves and this will be like a sin to them.

num kAval – are you guarding the fields or are you guarding my mind?

magaLir – the reason for addressing them in the plural is that they are all similar in making him [nAyakan] feel distressed. Their thoughts gel together.

solleer – even when they are not responding, he is imploring them to respond to his questions. If one were imprisoned, woudn’t those who had imprisoned him serve food to sustain that person?

puNdarIgaththangEzh . . . . – just as it is mentioned in chAndhOgya upanishath “thasyayathA kapyAsam puNdarIkam Evam akshiNI” (emperumAn’s eyes are like lotus flowers which blossom under sunlight).

angEzh – eyes are like a forest of beautifully complexioned lotus flowers. Or refers to the fact that the eyes are unique, distinguished. Even the forest of lotus will to an extent only equal the eyes and not fully. Or would also refer to a limb.

kaNNan – this term refers to simplicity. Through terms such as puNdarIkam, the beauty of emperumAn’s divine form was narrated.

vAnAdu amarum arum dheyvaththu inam Or anaiyIrgaLAy – rig vEdham says “sadhA paSyanthi sUraya:” (nithyasUris keep having dharSan [vision] of emperumAn constantly in SrIvaikuNtam). Even if all the nithyasUris get together, they will equal these girls only to an extent. In other words, if all the happiness of the nithyasUris, who enjoy emperumAn constantly in SrIvaikuNtam, gets added, it would not equal the happiness of these girls. The reason for this is that if one were to enjoy samsAram, it cannot offer sufficiently for that one person to become fulfilled while if all the nithyasUris were to enjoy the happiness in paramapadham, the entity which they enjoy is such great that more people will be needed to partake of that happiness.

anayIrgaLAy ivaiyO . . . . – is this your true nature? You enslave me somehow but do not offer anything for my sustenance. Is this your nature? Even after laying siege on my mind, you are not uttering a word. Is this your nature?

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning): Looking at the affection of nammAzhwAr towards nithyavibhUthi, these are the words spoken by SrIvaishNavas.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

archived in http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org

pramEyam (goal) – http://koyil.org
pramANam (scriptures) – http://granthams.koyil.org
pramAthA (preceptors) – http://acharyas.koyil.org
SrIvaishNava education/kids portal – http://pillai.koyil.org

thiruviruththam – 22 – kombAr thazahikai

Published by:

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

Full Series

Previous

avathArikai (Introduction)

The nAyakan (leading man) asks the nAyaki (leading lady) and her friend as to who are the people who had put them in charge of guarding the fields. Just as one goes to a place where those who are dear to that person are assembled, asking for water (in order to start a conversation), the nAyakan goes to the fields where these girls are guarding with some foliage in his hand and asks them “Have  you seen an elephant here?” in order to strike a conversation with them. They respond asking in return “Are we here to guard these fields or are we here to answer your queries?” When the nAyakan went there, why did he break the shoot of a tree? This was to tell them [especially the nAyaki] that just as the tree shoot has started withering after being separated from the tree which is its sustaining force, he too is withering in separation from the nAyaki. However, the shoot appeared to have become fresh due to its contact with sarvESvaran (supreme entity) who is the nAyakan. The friend, thinking that her friend, the nAyaki, has not become rejuvenated like the shoot after coming in contact with the nAyakan, tells him “You have brought this foliage in order to express your anguish in separation. However, the foliage appears to be as fresh as it would have been had it been on the tree”. The nAyakan responds “Any entity which is in your presence will not get withered. Won’t the entities show signs of drooping only when they are in their respective place, being separated from you?”

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

kombAr thazhaikai siRu nAN eRivilam vEttai koNdAttu
ambAr kaLiRu vinavuvadhu aiyar puLLUrum kaLvar
tham pAragaththenRum AdAdhana thammiR kUdAdhana
vambAr vinAchchollavO emmai vaiththadhu ivvAn punaththE

Word-by-Word Meanings

kombu – stick
Ar – full of
thazhai – foliage
kai – was in the hand
siRu – small
nAN – bow’s
eRivu – scar
ilam – we are not seeing
aiyar – a respectable person such as you
koNdAttu – celebrating
vEttai – hunting
vinavuvadhu – asking
ambu – with arrow
Ar – being complete
kaLiRu – elephant
puL – garuda
Urum – one who conducts
kaLvar tham – sarvESvaran who is deceptive, his
pAragaththu – leelAvibhUthi (our world)
enRum – at any time
AdAdhana – (these activities) did not happen
thammil – amongst them
kUdAdhana – will not gel
i – this
vAn – expansive
punaththE – fields
emmai – us
vaiththadhu – appointed
vambAr – complete with oddities
vinA – query
sollavO – is it to answer?

Simple Translation

It is only foliage which is held by this respectable person in his hands. There is no mark of any scar which would have occurred had he held a bow in his hand. It is only to talk to us that he is saying that he has come hunting [an elephant] This sort of incident has never taken place in this world, belonging to sarvESvaran who conducts garuda. His words are contradicting one another other. Is it to respond to his odd queries that we have been appointed here?

vyAkhyAnam

kombAr thazhai kai – at a place where one can gain [sympathy] by standing with a forlorn face, why should that person carry a bow and show his valour?

siRu nAN eRivilam – we are unable to see the scar on your hand which forms due to constantly holding the bow. For a bow, the presence of arrow is characteristic. The arrow will never leave its owner, the bow. But there is no bow in your hand, say the friends. Immediately, the nAyakan shows them the foliage and tells them “Here is the bow”

vEttai koNdAttu – they are amused that the shoot is bow and the place that he entered [where they are standing guard over their fields] is his hunting ground, and are amazed at the strange combination. Even if we assume that the shoot in your hand is the bow, where is the arrow? He says “The arrow was shot at the elephant and is stuck in it”

ambAr kaLiRu vinavuvadhu aiyar – they make fun of his words which are contradictory [since he has foliage in his hand and tells them that he was hunting elephant]. Using a respectable word aiyar [a respectable person], they tell him “You are saying words which are not gelling with one another. You seem to be a great chief!”

puLLUrum kaLvar – one who controls everything; the supreme entity

tham pAr agaththu enRum AdAdhana – in this world which is under the control of emperumAn, the supreme entity, we have not come across such words or deeds which are contradictory. We do not know whether such events take place in paramapadham.

thammil kUdAdhana – though it has not happened before either at paramapadham or here, why cannot such contradictions be taken as the normal from now onwards, asks the nAyakan. They say “It is not possible to consider it that way. There is no congruence between your words and you. An entity should either be existing or non-existing. It cannot be said to be outside these two, as propagated by the mAyavAdhis (those who claim that everything in this world is illusory). Where did you learn to say such words which are not seen either in this world or in paramapadham?”

vambAr vinAchchollavO emmai vaiththadhu – They ask him “Have we been kept here by our parents in order to ask counter questions to your novel queries?” It could also be taken that they are asking him “Have we been kept here by our parents to ask questions on the novel words which you are using?”

ivvAn punaththE – We do not have the time to respond to your queries. We do not have the time even to guard these huge fields.

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning): these are words mentioned by nammAzhwAr to SrIvaiNavas who were engaged with the svarUpam (true nature), rUpam (form) and gUnam (qualities) of AzhwAr who himself is fully engaged with the svarUpam, rUpam and guNam of emperumAn.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

archived in http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org

pramEyam (goal) – http://koyil.org
pramANam (scriptures) – http://granthams.koyil.org
pramAthA (preceptors) – http://acharyas.koyil.org
SrIvaishNava education/kids portal – http://pillai.koyil.org

thiruviruththam – 21 – sUttu nanmAlaigaL

Published by:

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

Full Series

Previous

avathArikai (Introduction)

In the previous pAsuram, it should be said that both mother and friend (of the nAyaki) did not know the greatness of emperumAn. While the mother was in bewilderment, the friend told the mothers to adorn her with the divine thuLasi garland which had earlier adorned the divine shoulders of emperumAn. On hearing this, the nAyaki woke up. In other words, the mere mention of the word thuLasi was sufficient for the nAyaki to come to her senses and wake up. There was no need for adorning her with the garland made of thuLasi. Such was the greatness of emperumAn. How would we know that on waking up, the nAyaki engaged with krishNa’s incarnation? On waking up, she did not speak about thiruvAimozhi 1-1-1 “uyarvaRa uyar nalam udaiyavan” (one who had greatness nonpareil) but spoke about 1-3-1 “uralinOdu iNaindhirundhu Engiya eLivu eththiRam” (What simplicity did emperumAn have that he remained tied to a mortar!) The opinion is that followers of emperumAn, when they wake up after being in bewilderment for a long time, would engage with his incarnation as krishNa which only is apt for them [this pAsuram, which follows the earlier one, talks about krishNavathAram].

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

sUttu nanmAlaigaL thUyanavEndhi viNNOrgaL nannIr
Atti andhUbam tharA niRkavE angu Or mAyaiyinAl
Ittiya veNNey thodu uNNappoNdhumilERRuvan kUn
kOttidaiyAdinai kUththu adalAyar tham kombinukkE

Word-by-Word Meanings

angu – in that nithya vibhUthi (spiritual realm)
thUyana – being sacred
sUttu – apt to be adorned as an ornament on the divine crown
nal – distinguished
mAlaigaL – garlands
Endhi – holding them
viNNOrgaL – nithyasUris (permanent dwellers of nithyavibhUthi)
nal – sacred
nIr – with water
Atti – giving a divine bath
am – beautiful
dhUbam – fragrant smoke
tharAniRkavE – even as they were offering
Or – unique
mAyaiyinAl – with his solemn vow
Ittiya – gathered
veNNey – butter
thodu – stealing
uNNa – to eat
pOndhu – mercifully reached
imil – very strong
ERu – bulls’
val – powerful
kUn – curved
kOdu – horns’
idai – in-between
adal – strong
Ayar tham – the cowherd boys’
kombinukku – for nappinnai pirAtti
kUththAdinai – you had danced

Simple Translation

nithyasUris, who are the permanent dwellers of the spiritual realm, are holding ornaments and divine thuLasi garland, which are apt to be adorned on your divine crown, to submit to you, after divinely bathing you with sacred water. Even as they were waiting to offer you the divine fragrant smoke, you, with your incomparable divine vow, took birth in the clan of herdsmen in order to steal and eat butter which had been gathered by them. You danced in between the curved horns of the strong bulls in order to marry nappinnai pirAtti, who was also born in that clan.

vyAkhyAnam

sUttu – distinguished materials which are apt to be decorated on the head. If emperumAn’s followers wish to offer something to his divine feet, just as mentioned in the words “gruhNAthi SirasA svayam” he would lower his head and accept the offering on his head. When ponnAchchiyAr asked her husband piLLai uRangAvillidhAsar (a disciple of SrI rAmAnuja) as to why emperumAn accepts on his head what had been proffered to his divine feet, he responded by quoting SrI bhagavath gIthA SlOkam 9-26pathram palam pushpam thOyam yO mE bhakthyA prayachchathi | thadhaham bhakthyUpahrutham aSnAmi prayathAthmana: ||” (if one offers me a leaf, a flower, a fruit or water with devotion, I partake of that article with pure consciousness). When he [emperumAn] is like that, should we even say that he would accept with his head any material which has been proffered to his divine feet?

nanmAlaigaL – these are not flowers of erukkam or thumbai (shrubs such as Indian madder plant or dead white nettle) plants which are offered to him because he is willing to accept any leaf or any flower; these are distinguished flowers which are apt and most appropriate for him. When krishNa was going along with balarAma to mathurA for participating in the bow-festival, he came across a washerman who refused to give the clothes which krishNa asked for; krishNa dealt him a blow which killed the washerman. Next he went to a garland vendor and got himself the beautiful garlands which he desired and donned them on his divine crown. Then he saw a kUni (grotesque woman) who was selling sandalwood paste. He asked for sandalwood paste to apply on his form. Thinking that these lads are cowherd boys who do not know the value of sandalwood, she gave him a watery paste; he smelt it and said “sugandham Ethath” (the smell of this paste is not appealing) and wanted a better paste. When she offered a better paste, he said “rAjArham” (it is fit to be applied to kings); I need better than this. She then gave him an even better paste; he said “ruchiram” – its colour alone is beautiful. On hearing this, the affection which the kUni had in her mind, for krishNa, spread to her face too. She was amazed, thinking “We thought that the herdsmen do not know about the differences in sandalwood paste, but these boys seem to know!” She then proceeded to offer him the sandalwood paste which she had kept for kamsan (the king of mathurA). krishNa told her “AvayOrgAthrasadhruSam dhIyathAm anulEpanam” (You are capable of offering the most distinguished type of sandalwood paste) Don’t you know which type of sandalwood would suit which type of person? You decide which type of sandalwood would suit my brother’s divine form and my form and offer that.

thUyana – garland, sandalwood paste etc which are offered by those who do not expect any benefit for their offering.

Endhi – just as offering these to him in itself is a benefit, waiting with these materials for him is a benefit for the nithyasUris. Just as periyAzhwAr had mentioned in periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 2-4-4 “manjaLum sengazhunIrum vAsigaiyum” (turmeric, reddish water-lily, string of flowers), they will hold distinguished garlands and give him thirumanjanam (a divine bath) so that they could adorn him with these garlands.

viNNOrgaL . . .  – he is one who accepts materials offered by people in this world. Should we even speak about his accepting such materials from nithyasUris in paramapadham? The thirumanjanam which those who are there [paramapadham] carry out is not in expectation of any benefit. It is carried out for the welfare of world.

andhUbam tharA niRkavE angu – he remains as the source of sustenance, nourishment and enjoyment for them there. While they are waiting to perform dhUpa hArathi (offer the fragrant smoke), he carried out an amazing act. Sage nAradha et al told him “In thiruvAyppAdi (SrI gOkulam) there is lot of butter available with those who are favourable to you”. Immediately he hid himself from nithyasUris who are referred to in rig vEdham as “sadhA paSyanthi sUraya:” (the nithyasUris keep looking at him constantly) when they offered him the fragrant smoke and went to thiruvAyppAdi.

mAyai – just as it is mentioned in the phrase “mAyAvayunam gyAnam” (mAyA, vayunm, gyAnam etc mean knowledge) he left for gOkulam on his desire.

Ittiya veNNey thodu uNNappOndhu – eating mischievously, the butter earned over a long period of time. He would not relish if someone offered him butter in his hand. He has to steal it and eat.  It was through this manner that he showed both his supremacy and simplicity to AzhwAr [for one moment he was in paramapadham, accepting thirumanjanam etc from nithyasUris, a mark of his supremacy; the next moment, he was in thiruvAyppAdi eating butter by stealing it, showing his simplicity].

Just as it has been mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 14-1 “atha panchavatIm gachchan” (SrI rAma came across jatAyu, the king of eagles, as he was proceeding towards panchavati), while his primary purpose in reaching thiruvAyppAdi was to steal and eat butter, he attained the gem among women, nappinnaip pirAtti (neeLA dhEvi) when he was there. It is similar to attaining a carbuncle while going to buy firewood.

imilERRi . . .  – he pounced on the strong bulls which had powerful, curved horns, in order to embrace nappinnaip pirAtti next. Since it was appropriate for him, AzhwAr calls it as kUththu (dance).

adalAyar tham kombinukkE – just as it has been said “krishNASrayA: krishNabalA: krishNanAthAScha: pANdavA:” (krishNa was the refuge, strength and lord for the pANdavas), after krishNa was born amidst them in the clan of herdsmen, the herdspeople looked upon him as their strength and did not respect their enemies. Why was nappinnaip pirAtti not offered to him immediately after he came to gOkulam by pouring water on his hands as symbolic of offering her, but bulls were lined up for him to fight with? If he had to embrace nappinnai who was like a kombu (she had waist as thin as a stick; the term kombu would refer both to thinness of the waist of a lady and to the horns of a bull), he had to fight with the bulls which had kombu (horns). The term tham refers to his identification with the clan of herdsmen, just as it has been mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam bAla kANdam 67-22 “janakAnAm kulE kIrthim Aharishyathi mE suthA” (king janaka tells of his daughter “My daughter sIthA will bring celebrity to the clan of janakas”)

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

archived in http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org

pramEyam (goal) – http://koyil.org
pramANam (scriptures) – http://granthams.koyil.org
pramAthA (preceptors) – http://acharyas.koyil.org
SrIvaishNava education/kids portal – http://pillai.koyil.org