Category Archives: iyaRpA

iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 62 – pERonRum munnaRiyEn

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avathArikai

AzhwAr says that meditating on emperumAn who is devoted to his followers and being firm that emperumAn will remove all his hurdles and grant him what he needs, he attained emperumAn. He says that just as he removed the bulls which were a hurdle in his attaining nappinnaip pirAtti, and made her his own, he would remove the hurdles for him too.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

pERonRum munnaRiyEn peRRaRiyEn pEdhaimaiyAl
mARenRu solli vaNanginEn ERin
peruththeruththam kOdu osiyap peNNasaiyin pin pOy
eruththiRuththa nal Ayar ERu

Word by Word Meaning

peN nasaiyin pin pOy – possessed by the desire in the matter relating to nappinnaip pirAtti
ERin – (the seven) bulls’
peruththa eruththam – the huge necks
kOdu – and horns
osiya – such that they are broken
eruththu – the necks (of those bulls)
iRuththa – broke
nal Ayar ERu – krishNa, the head of the great cowherds
mARu – being the enemy (of our sins)
enRu solli – thinking this way
vaNanginEn – attained him
mun – before this
pERu onRum aRiyEn – I had not known of such an incomparable purushArtham (end benefit)
pEdhaimaiyAl – due to ignorance
peRRu aRiyEn – (until now) I had not attained it and thus lost

vyAkyAnam

pERu onRum mun aRiyEn – before this, I had not known of any benefit like this.

peRRu aRiyEn – I had lost it due to my ignorance. This benefit would have accrued to those who had known its existence. However, I had not even known its existence.

AzhwAr gives the reason for not knowing it and not attaining it…..

pEdhamaiyAl – Oh my! What will ignorance not do! Isn’t only this ignorance, the cause for everything!

mARu enRu solli vaNanginEn – I attained him because he is the hurdle for the results of my deeds from reaching me. It is not that I attained him in the proper way. I attained him because he is capable of destroying my enemies.

AzhwAr gives an example to show that emperumAn is inimical to his enemies…

ERin peruththeruththam kOdu osiya – breaking the huge necks and horns of the bulls

pen nasaiyin pin pOy – this implies that being possessed by his desire for nappinnaip pirAtti, and in anticipation of attaining her, unmindful of his own safety, he clashed with the bulls.

eruththu iRuththa – breaking the necks of bulls. He will be affectionate towards his followers just as he is affectionate towards his consorts. He will destroy their enemies.

nal Ayar ERu – he is greater than all the cowherds who are of his age. AzhwAr says that he attained such an entity who would be inimical to his enemies (his sins). As result, just as he removed the seven bulls which were hurdles to his getting nappinnaip pirAtti, AzhwAr says that he would remove AzhwAr’s hurdles too and offer himself to AzhwAr.

We shall take up the 63rd pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 61 – ninRadhOr pAdham

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avathArikai

AzhwAr narrates how emperumAn showed that he is devoted to his followers. He says that not only his form, even his activities are devoted to his followers only.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

ninRadhOr pAdham nilam pudhaippa nINda thOL
senRu aLandhadhenbar dhisaiyellAm anRu
karumANiyAy irandha kaLvanE unnaip
piramANiththAr peRRa pERu

Word by Word Meaning

anRu – long ago
karumANi Ay – as a bachelor with black complexion
irandha – asking for alms (from mahAbali for 3 steps of earth)
kaLvanE – Oh cunning emperumAn!
ninRadhu Or pAdham – one divine foot which stood (to measure the earth)
nilam – the entire earth
pudhaippa – hiding it
nINda thOL – the huge divine shoulder which grew
dhisai ellAm senRu – permeating through all directions
aLandhadhu enbar – (knowledgeable people) say that  it measured (the upper worlds)

Such an activity that you carried out
unnai piramANiththAr peRRa pERu – is the great benefit that all those who believed you, got

vyAkyAnam

ninRadhOr pAdham nilam pudhaippa – when nobody had even thought of, a divine foot suddenly hid the entire earth.

Or pAdham – AzhwAr is not one who would say things in a mathematical way such ‘as one time one is one’ just as we would when one mentions about one divine foot, we would immediately say that the other divine foot did this. Hence, having mentioned about divine foot, immediately he talks about what the divine shoulder did.

nINda thOL senRu aLandhadhu enbar dhisai ellAm – those with knowledge would say that once he obtained the alms he had asked for, his shoulders spread out in all directions and permeated everywhere. They would say that the moment mahAbali poured water on his hand as a symbol of having acceded to vAmana’s request for alms, the shoulders became extremely joyful as if they had got something which they could never get and grew in all directions and measured.

enbar – AzhwAr feels distressed that he is listening to this through his ears today, and is not seeing the incident! Where did I get lost on that day!

anRu karumANiyAy irandha kaLvanE –  Oh one who has the divine form which removes  the ennui [of followers], one who wouldn’t go until he obtained what he had asked for in alms, one who made himself as an expert in asking for alms!

mANiyAy – wasn’t it the disguise of the great emperumAn! If someone calls the great thirumalai hills as a ‘stone’ wouldn’t his mouth be torn asunder?

irandha – when mahAbali was arrogant to claim the worlds of emperumAn as his own, did not emperumAn go to him and ask his own worlds from him as alms!

kaLvanE – he showed such a [deceitful] divine form to mahAbali and seized everything from mahAbali.

kaLvanE – did he cheat mahAbali? Was it not AzhwAr that he attracted with his beauty! Those who appropriate AthmA, which is actually emperumAn’s, as their own are called AthmApahAris (abductors of AthmA). Since emperumAn abducts such people also, he can be called the AthmApahAri of AthmApahAris (abductor of abductors). However, when he had to take back his possession [from mahAbali], instead of taking it directly, he had to obtain it through alms. The reason for that is ….

unnaip piramANiththAr peRRa pERu – the purpose of redeeming earth from mahAbali was not for helping indhra alone. Was it not to enable those who had given you the responsibility of taking care of themselves, to sleep in peace since there is nothing for them to do [you would be doing everything for them] after they think of this act of yours! swAmy ALavandhAr says in sthOthra rathnam 25thvadhagrE SaraNAgathAnAm parAbhava: nathEnu rUpa:” (it is not proper for you if those who surrendered to you suffer); just as he included everyone instead of talking about only him, if people obtain a benefit it will be for everyone and not for just one person. nammAzhwAr too has mentioned in his thiruvAimozhi 8-1-4 “enganam thERuvar umarE” (how will people believe that you are the protector?), talking in the plural instead of only about himself. It is said that bhattar was asking of himself one day “these SrIvaishNavas, after hearing one person say ‘I will take care of your responsibilities’ (gIthAchAryan/emperumAn), do not carry out any activity themselves for their lives. Yet they live in comfort, without any shortcoming. What is the reason for this? ”. Later he mercifully said “I have understood the reason. Since they have given their responsibility to an entity, they will be without any worry. Since that person will carry out everything for them, including going as a messenger, driving their chariots, taking alms on their behalf etc, they will be peaceful without any shortcoming”

We shall take up the 62nd pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 60 – Oruruvan allai

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avathArikai

Does not AzhwAr, who said this (please refer to the previous pAsuram), know that it is emperumAn’s quality to do at the bidding of his devotees more than aiSvaryam! AzhwAr says that emperumAn will always protect his worlds and that he is very simple in his (AzhwAr’s) matter.

Let us look at the pAsuram and its meanings:

Oruruvan allai oLi uruvam nin uruvam
Iruruvan enbar irunilaththOr Oruruvam
AdhiyAm vaNNam aRindhAr avar kaNdIr
nIdhiyAl maN kAppAr ninRu

Word by Word Meaning

Or uruvan allai – (Oh emperumAn!) you are not the one with unique divine form
oLi uruvam – the radiant form (with which you are subservient to your followers)
nin uruvam – is your form

(the form with which you are subservient to your followers)
irunilaththOr – those who are on this earth
Ir uruvan enbar – say that you have a huge form (of being the supreme lord)
Or uruvam – the incomparable form (of being subservient to followers)
Adhi Am vaNNam – being the cause for the salvation of all
aRindhAr avar kaNdIr – only those who know (this)
nIdhiyAl – in the fair way
ninRu – standing firmly
maN kAppAr – have the ability to protect this world

vyAkyAnam

Or uruvan allai – you are the one with the form which is independent. While kata upanishath 13 says “nithyO nithyAnAm ” (supreme being has the quality of being permanent and being  of the same manner) and chAndhOgya upanishath 6-2-1 says “EkamEva adhvithIyam” (there is only one; there is no second), your form is not the one which is different from everyone/everything else and which controls everyone/everything else.

oLi uruvan nin uruvam – it is existing only for the sake of your followers, which is your quality. Just as it is mentioned in jithanthE SlOkam 1-5 “na thE rUpam nachAkArO nAyudhAni na chAspadham, thathApi purushAkArO bhakthAnAm thvam prakASasE” (there is no quality, form, weapon or dwelling place exclusively for you; however, you are having all these qualities only for the sake of your followers) this is your true quality [of existing for your followers]. Your quality is not of the type mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 1-1-1uyarvaRa uyarnalam udaiyavan” (one who has auspicious qualities superior to those of everyone else). Rather, it is as mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 1-3-2eLivarum iyalvinan” (having simplicity as his nature).

You, who are like this ….

Ir iruvan enbar irunilaththOr – those who think you have qualities beyond one’s capabilities to measure, are the ignorant ones. They would think that emperumAn, the great supreme being, has only supreme qualities. An alternative meaning for Or uruvan allai is that he does not have the same type of form always. In other words, as mentioned in SrI bhagavath gIthA 4-5bahUni mE vyathIthAni janmAni” (many births have passed for me) and in thiruvAimozhi 2-9-5piRappil palpiRavip perumAL” (emperumAn who has had many births of his own volition, unlike we chEthanas who were born due to our deeds), he has had many incarnations and divine names. oLi uruvam nin uruvam – even when you were born like that [with many incarnations], your divine form was more and more of Sudhdha sathvam type (pure good state) and with unlimited radiance. Just as it is mentioned in yajur ashtakam 3-6 3-9 “sa u SrEyAn bhavathi jAyamAna:” (he becomes great just by being born), he has the quality as mentioned in these pramANams. Ir uruvan enbar iru nilaththOr – We can construe this as saying that the people of the world say that emperumAn has one divine form as his basic form and another which he takes on whenever he incarnates.

Or uruvam – the divine form which is radiant, since he incarnates for the sake of his followers.

AdhiyAm vaNNam aRindhAr avar kaNdIr – those who know that it [as mentioned in the previous verse] is the one which is the cause for all the worlds. In other worlds

AdhiyAm vaNNam aRindhAr – the vaishNavas who know that others’ existence is only because of him (emperumAn) who is like this.

Adhi – one who is responsible for the salvation of his followers

nIdhiyAl maN kAppAr ninRu – they are the ones who stand firmly and protect the world, as mentioned in perumAL thirumozhi 3-3 “thIdhil nanneRi kAtti engum thirindhu” (going to all the places, showing the correct path without any defect) and in iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi 14thIrththakararAmin thirindhu” (going to various places and purifying them). If emperumAn is termed as svathanthran (independent) the world will go astray and only if he is termed as parathanthran (dependent on his followers) will it remain in the correct way. Hence, AzhwAr is correcting those people who say that he is difficult to attain. Earlier he gave up because of agyAnam (ignorance); now he is trying to give up due to gyAnam (knowledge)

We shall take up the 61st pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 59 – aruL purindha sindhai

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avathArikai

AzhwAr mentions about the first time that he received the grace from emperumAn which was the cause for his benefits such as these.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

aruL purindha sindhai adiyAr mEl vaiththu
poruL therindhu kANguRRa appOdhu iruL thirindhu
nOkkinEn nOkki ninaindhEn adhoNkamalam
OkkinEn ennaiyum angu Orndhu

Word by Word Meaning

aruL purindha sindhai – the divine mind focussed on mercy
adiyAr mEl vaiththu – keeping on us, his followers
poruL therindhu – considering us as entities when we weren’t
kANguRRa appOdhu – during that time when he showered his grace on us
iruL thirundhu – getting rid of the darkness of ignorance
nOkkinEn – I analysed the nature of jIvAthmA and paramAthmA
nOkki – after analysing
oN kamalam adhu – those divine feet [of emperumAn] which are like beautiful lotus flowers
ninaindhEn – meditated on them (as the goal to be attained)
Orndhu – analysing (that there is no refuge for me other than these divine feet)
ennaiyum – the AthmA
angu – at those divine feet
OkkinEn – I offered

vyAkyAnam

arul purindha sindhai – as mentioned in SrI bhagavath gIthA 16-19 “thAnaham dhvishatha: krUrAn samsArEshu narAdhamAn kshipAmi ajasram aSubAn AsurIshvEva yOnishu” (I push those who hate me, those who are cruel, those who are the lowliest among humans and those who have inauspicious qualities, always into samsAram (materialistic realm) and that too in the clan of demons), instead of pushing me into such a clan, he showers his grace on me through his divine mind as said in SrI bhagavath gIthA 10-10dhadhAmi bhudhdhiyOgam tham yEna mAmupayANthi thE” (I give them intelligence with which they can reach me).

aruL purindha sindhai – he has such a divine mind that he cannot sustain himself without showering grace. This implies that the faults present in the chEthanas are hidden from him by his grace.

adiyAr mEl vaiththu – he showers such grace on his followers like us. Showering his grace without looking at anything other than the criterion that we are his followers.  Here, the term adiyAr (followers) can be construed to refer to followers in general or to the AzhwAr who was standing in the corridor [of mrigaNdu maharishi in thirukkOvalUr] along with the other two AzhwArs when emperumAn started crowding around them with his consort [he could be referring to the first three AzhwArs as adiyAr].

adiyAr mEl vaiththu – emperumAn cannot exist without showering his grace on his followers. Hence, he showers the grace so that he does not lose himself; AzhwAr terms this as causeless mercy.

poruL therindhu kANguRRa appOdhu – at that point of time when he showered his grace on us, so that we would know things as they are. Alternatively, this can be construed as: that point of time when emperumAn considered them too as entities and showered his grace. nammAzhwAr too has mercifully stated in thiruvAimozhi 5-7-3poruL allAdha ennaip poruLAkki adimai koNdAy” (you recognised me as a sentient entity when I was lying as an insentient being and made me a servitor).

Since he became qualified to receive his grace …..

iruL thirindhu nOkkinEn – I found that I lost my ignorance which was a hurdle for me to get knowledge. Once I saw this ….

nOkki – I received the true knowledge that emperumAn is the Lord and I am a servitor.  Hence …

ninaindhEn adhoN kamalam – I thought of your divine feet which are like lotus flower. I realised that I have to attain only your divine feet. I ascertained that this is my goal.

Orndhu – analysing that I, who am subservient to emperumAn, have no connection with myself and that I am the possession of emperumAn. Feeling sad that he had mistaken emperumAn’s possession (the soul) as his own.

ennaiyum angu OkkinEn – I submitted myself to his divine feet. I ascertained that he is the means [to attain him].

We shall take up the 60th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 57 – thirumangai ninRaruLum

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avathArikai

AzhwAr says that emperumAn, who is united with pirAtti, is the one to be attained by all.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

thirumangai ninRaLum dheyvam nA vAzhththum
karumam kadaippidimin kaNdIr urimaiyAl
EththinOm pAdham irum thadakkai endhai pEr
nAl dhisaiyum kEttIrE nAm

Word by Word Meaning

thirumangai – periya pirAttiyAr (SrI mahAlakshmi)
ninRu aruLum dheyvam – emperumAn, in whose chest she stays permanently
nA vAzhththum karumam – the deed of praising with tongue
kadaippidimin kaNdIr – hold on, surely
nAm – we
irum thadakkai endhai – emperumAn who has two long divine hands
padham – [his] divine feet
pEr – with his divine names
urimaiyAl – as per our nature
EththinOm – praised

(this matter)
nAl dhisaiyum – those in the four directions
kEttIrE – did you listen?

vyAkyAnam

thirumangai ninRu aruLum dheyvamemperumAn, in whose divine chest periya pirAtti is dwelling permanently, as mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 6-10-10 “agalagillEn iRaiyum enRu” (I will not leave this place even for a moment) and blessing [devotees]. pirAtti is the identification for emperumAn, never leaving him. SrI rangarAja sthavam 1-9 says “lakshmIpadhalAkshaika lakshaNam” (emperumAn has the footmarks of pirAtti’s divine feet as his identification). Only he, who has the marks of pirAtti’s decorative designs on her divine feet, is the supreme lord. This identification is not coming out of his deeds such as creating the world etc. thirumazhisai AzhwAr has mercifully mentioned in his nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi 53 “thiruvillAth thEvarai thERElmin thEvu” (don’t consider as Lord, one, who is not associated with pirAtti). At the beginning of gIthA bAshyam [a commentary on SrI bhagavath gIthA by swAmy rAmAnujar] it is said “Sriya: pathi nikhilahEyaprathyanIka kalyANaikathAna:” (one who is the consort of pirAtti, being the opposite of all faults and having all the auspicious qualities). Even before saying that he has auspicious qualities, since it is mentioned that he is the consort of SrI mahAlakshmi, this becomes his unique identification.

nA vAzhththum karumam – in the activity of praising with tongue

kadaippidimin kaNdIr – instead of thinking “I am saying something”, keep this in your heart firmly.

kadaippidimin kaNdIr – be fully focussed on this.

For people like us, without any qualification, is it possible to praise like this?

urimaiyAl EththinOm – did I praise him in some other method? Did I not worship him because he is my Lord! Hence, for you people also, there is no shortcoming in praising his divine feet.

endhai pEr nAm urimaiyAl EththinOm – we praised his divine names because we are his followers. We, who know our relationship with him, praised him without trespassing that. We attained him with the blessings of pirAtti, just like lakshmaNa and vibhIshaNa attained him. We did not try to attain him directly, just like sUrpaNakA did, by breaking the method.

irum thadakkai endhai pEr – we praised the divine feet of emperumAn who has two huge, well grown shoulders.

nAl dhisaiyum kEttIrEAzhwAr is asking whether the people in the directions listened to the meaning of this. By joining with the previous two words, making them as endhai pEr nAl dhisaiyum kEttIrE one can construe the meaning as “aren’t these emperumAn’s divine names! Did the people in all directions listen to these!”

We shall go on to the 58th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 56 – kANak kazhikAdhal

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avathArikai

AzhwAr was asked “when you are very sure that the means to attain him is through his mercy, why are you, having  been in this swirl of births, compelling him to shower his grace on you when you should stay aloof, saying ‘let him do when he wants’?”. AzhwAr responds saying “isn’t that behaviour of staying aloof, only for those with true knowledge [about emperumAn]? Is it possible for those who have attachment towards emperumAn born out of ignorance, arising from their affection for him, to stay quiet?”. AzhwAr was again asked, “You are his servitor. Should you not be as per your nature [of being his servitor]? Could you compel him like this?” AzhwAr says “even though that [of staying quiet] is the rule, when the affection starts growing, is it possible to remain like that?”

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

kANak kazhi kAdhal kaimikkuk kAttinAl
nANap padum enRAl nANumE pENik
karumAlaip ponmEni kAttAmun kAttum
thirumAlai  nangaL thiru

Word by Word Meaning

thirumAlai kANak kazhi kAdhal – the deep desire to worship emperumAn
kai mikku kAttinAl – if it starts increasing greatly
nANap padum enRAl – if one should stay quietly
nANumE – is it possible to stay quiet?
karumAlai – that emperumAn who is of dark complexion
pon mEni mun kAttA – before his beautiful divine [physical] form identifies him
nangaL thiru – pirAtti (SrI mahAlakshmi) who is our purushakAra bhUthai (one who is of recommendatory nature)
pENi – with desire
kAttum – will identify

vyAkyAnam

kANak kazhi kAdhal – an affection which will not diminish, even if not seen. Alternatively, an affection which goes on increasing as one goes on seeing

kai mikkuk kAttinAl – various meanings are given – if it grows abundantly; if it breaks through the shore;  if it increases excessively; if I get involved more.

nANappadum enRAl nANumE – is it possible for one, until emperumAn himself comes head over heels, to stand in a corner, unobtrusively, shyly? Is it possible to say that we should not fall head over heels towards him? Is it possible to say that you are the lord and I am the servant?

nANumE – is it possible to hear mere words and stay quietly?

On top of that

karumAlaiemperumAn who has dark complexion, which removes one’s fatigue.

ponmEni kAttA mun – before showing his form which attracts one’s mind

thirumAlai nangaL thiru pENi mun kAttumthirumagaL, who is periya pirAttiyAr (SrI mahAlakshmi), will show us emperumAn, the consort of thirumagaL, desirously. Just as it is mentioned in mUnRAm thiruvandhAdhi 1 “thirukkaNdEn ponmEni kaNdEn”, only after having dharSan (audience) of pirAtti can one have dharSan of emperumAn. If the chEthana (sentient entity) commits an offence by falling head over heels on them, not considering his faults, due to the radiance of their two being together, pirAtti is there near emperumAn to say, as said in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 166-4 “na kaSchith nAparAdhyathi” (there is none who has not committed a fault) and to make emperumAn to ignore his offence and unite with him.

nANappadum enRAl nANumE – for the chEthana, the involvement [with emperumAn] is there without any shortcoming. emperumAn does not mind the faults in the chEthana. Why then should he feel shy?

nangaL thiru – this implies that she is the mother for us, to carry out the role of purushkAram (recommend us to emperumAn). Since she is there to carry out that role, the chEthana does not have to move away from emperumAn thinking that he is not qualified to attain him. Neither does he have to fear that he has committed an offence. He cannot also stand aloof, saying “let him shower his mercy when he chooses to”.

We shall move on to the 57th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 54 – veRpenRu irum sOlai

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avathArikai

After knowing that AzhwAr desires his frontier land thirumalai, emperumAn kept the desire that he had towards his two dwelling places, thirumAlirunjOlai and thiruvEngada malai, in AzhwAr’s divine mind, to the same extent.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

veRpenRu irum sOlai vEngadam enRu ivviraNdum
niRpu enRu nI ninaikkum nIrmaipOl niRpu enRu
uLam kOyil uLLam vaiththu uLLinEn veLLaththu
iLam kOyil kaividEl enRu

Word by Word Meaning

veRpu enRa – widely known as thirumalai
irum sOlai – thirumAL irum sOlai
vEngadam – thiruvEngadam hills
enRa ivviraNdum – thus these two  hills
niRpu enRu – the place that we desire to reside in
nI madhikkum nIrmail pOl – just as you have desired in your divine mind
uLam kOyil – (my) heart, another temple
niRpu enRu – a place that we desire to reside in
uLLam vaiththu – knowing that you are thinking of, in your divine mind
veLLaththu iLam kOyil – thiruppARkadal (milky ocean) which is like a bAlalayam [temporary structure to accommodate emperumAn)
kai vidEl enRu – please do not give up, saying so
uLLinEn – I pray.

vyAkyAnam

veRpu enRu irum sOlai – the divine hill in the southern part, called as thirumAL irum sOlai

vEngadam enRu ivviraNdum – the divine hill thiruvEngadam on the northern side, these two places

niRpu enRu – the apt dwelling place for us [here the term “us” is used in the honorific sense, to refer to emperumAn]

nI ninaikkum nIrmai pOl – just as the essence that you think

niRpu enRu uLam kOyil uLLam vaiththu uLLinEn – thinking that my heart, which is like a temple, is the dwelling place for you

veLLaththu iLam kOyil kai vidEl enRu uLLinEn – I am afraid that thiruppARkadal, which is the origin for you before you shifted to thirumAlirum sOlai and thiruvEngadam, should not go waste with grass growing there, after you decided to shift to my heart. AzhwAr prays to emperumAn that he should not give up thiruppARkadal which was like a bAlAlayam for emperumAn (temporary structure to take residence in) before he shifted to AzhwAr’s divine heart. nammAzhwAr too has mercifully stated in his periya thiruvandhAdhi 68 “kallum kanai kadalum vaikundha vAnAdum pullenRu ozhindhana kol” (emeprumAn’s divine dwelling places such as thiruvEngadam, thiruppARkadal, SrIvaikuNtam etc have become very insignificant, with no one bothering about them after emperumAn shifted his residence to AzhwAr’s divine mind)

iLam kOyil kai vidEl – Could one forget the place which had done great favour for him? Should one not be thankful for the favour received? Hence, AzhwAr prays to emperumAn not to give up thiruppARkadal. mAndhAthA, a king, gave all his 50 daughters in marriage to a sage by name saubari. When mAndhAthA went to daughters’ houses, individually, to check whether they were happy, each daughter told him “there is no problem for me. It is just that he does not go to anyone else’s house at all”. In the same way, AzhwAr is also afraid that emperumAn will stay only in his heart and will give up his other dwelling places such as thiruppARkadal etc.

We shall take up the 55th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 53 – neRiyAr kuzhaRkaRRai

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avathArikai

AzhwAr says that he has very high regard for thiruvEngadamalai [thirumalai] where emperumAn, who has the nature of showering mercy even on mahAbali, has taken residence so that he could offer himself to everyone.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

neRiyAr kuzhaRkaRRai munninRu pin thAzhndhu
aRiyAdhu iLam giri enRu eNNi piriyAdhu
pUm kodikkaL vaigum porupunal kunRu ennum
vEngadamE yAm virumbum veRpu

Word by Word Meaning

neRiyAr aRiyAdhu – not knowing that they [are chEthanas who] are deeply integrated with the path at thirumalai hills
kuzhal kaRRai mun ninRu pin thAzhndhu – sprouting from the hair on the front side of their heads and growing on their back side
iLam giri enRu eNNi – thinking that they are small hills
pUm kodikkaL – creepers with flowers
piriyAdhu – without leaving that place
vaigum – residing permanently
poru punal kunRu ennum – being known famously as thirumalai, with abundant streams
vEngadamE – only thiruvEngadam
yAm virumbum – the one that I desire
veRpu – divine hills

vyAkyAnam

neRiyAr kuzhal kaRRai – on the locks of hair of those who are carrying out penance, thinking only of thiruvEngadam, avoiding being engaged with worldly pursuits.

mun ninRu pin thAzhndhu aRiyAdhu iLam giri enRu eNNi – the creepers there [on thiruvEngadam hills], bearing flowers, would not think that they are human beings with intelligence [those mentioned in the earlier phrase] since they are not breathing or moving their physical bodies, and would grow on them, from front to back, thinking that they are small hills. Alternatively, the words mun ninRu pin thAzhndhu could be construed as referring to those who have locks of hair on their front and back sides of head and the creepers would grow on them. In other words, they have locks of hair on front and back sides of their head due to their greatness.

piriyAdhu pUm kodikkaL vaigum – the creepers, without leaving that place, will carry on with their activities. The creepers will think that if they (who are fully integrated with the path in thiruvEngadam) are human beings, they will move at some point of time or the other and since they are not moving, the creepers will consider them as supporting poles for growing further.

porupunal kunRu ennum vEngadamE – thirumalai having abundance of streams. This mentions about the waterfalls and springs which are seen in abundance in thiruvEngadam.

pUm kodikkaL vaigum – vEngadam which has flowering creepers which take residence on the hills.

yAm virumbum veRpuAzhwAr says that it is the place that he desires. While those who are carrying out penance in thirumalai would leave their bodies and go to some other world and assume different physical bodies, AzhwAr says that he has reaped the benefit of being born with this body in this world itself and that he desires to enjoy the thirumalai hills.

Let us take up the 54th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruvAsiriyam – 7 – naLir madhichchadaiyanum

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avathArikai

In the previous pAsuram, AzhwAr said “while it is apt for all jIvAthmAs to praise emperumAn, they are attaining other deities and continuing in samsAram. What a huge loss is this to their AthmA! I am not able to tolerate this meaningless activity”. He brings the prabandham to an end in this pAsuram by happily saying “Let the others do whatever they want. It is good that we escaped from this meaninglessness”. He completes the prabandham by saying “while the people of this world fall the feet of all and sundry and pass their time, it is nice to know that we are having no connection with other deities. Isn’t this benefit sufficient? ”

AzhwAr feels happy that “emperumAn does  not look at whether a person is great or lowly. Without making any distinction, he keeps everyone inside his stomach. Is it not enough that I am without the lowliness of attaining one of those who enter his stomach and look up to them for gaining benefits!”. Since there is no further happiness for him, he brings this prabandham to an end, with the satisfaction derived, without completing the full andhAdhi style (the last word of current pAsuram becomes the first word of next pAsuram and so on till the end, where the last word of the last pAsuram becomes the first word of first pAsuram) unlike his other prabandhams such as thiruviruththam, periya thiruvandhAdhi and thiruvAimozhi. The opinion of this pAsuram is that emperumAn swallowed all sentient and insentient entities, starting with “naLirmadhich chadaiyanum” Is there any benefit in attaining one of the jIvAthmAs like oneself, who has entered his stomach and seeking benefits from them?

Let us look at the pAsuram and its meanings:

naLirmadhich chadaiyanum nAnmugak kadavuLum,
thaLir oLi imaiyavar thalaivanum mudhalA,
yAvagai ulagamum yAvarum agappada,
nilam nIr thI kAl sudar iruvisumbum,
malar sudar piRavum siRidhudan mayanga,
oru poruL puRappAdinRi muzhuvadhum
agappadak karandhu OrAlilai sErndha em
perumA mAyanai alladhu,
oru mA dheyvam maRRu udaiyamO yAmE

Word by Word Meaning

naLir madhi sadaiyanum – rudhra who has donned the cool chandra (moon) on his head
nAnmugak kadavuLum – brahmA, with four heads
thaLir oLi – having (beautiful) radiance like a tender shoot
imaiyavar thalaivanum mudhalA – indhra, the head of celestial entities et al
yAvagai ulagamum – all types of worlds
yAvarum agappada – including all the sentient entities
nilam – earth
nIr – water
thI – fire
kAl – wind
sudar – due to radiance
iru – pervaded
visumbum – sky also
malar sudar – sun and moon, having bright rays
piRavum – all other entities
udan – at the same time
siRidhu – on one side (inside the stomach)
mayanga – being together
oru poruL – even one entity
puRappAdu inRi – being unable to go out
muzhuvadhum – all
agappada – being inside
karandhu – eating and hiding (inside the stomach)
Or Alilai – on a banyan leaf
sErndha – sleeping
em – my lord
peru – being great
mA – unable to measure
mAyanai alladhu – other than SrIman nArAyaNa, who has amazing power
maRRu – anyone else
mA – great
oru dheyvam – a deity
yAm – we
udaiyamO – do we have (as fit for attaining)?

vyAkyAnam

naLir madhichchdaiyanum – rudhra, despite having matted hair to show that he is carrying out penance towards someone, due to his vanity that he is ISvaran, keeps the cool chandhran (moon) on his head to show that he is in deep joy, just like people will don the fragrant pine leaf on their heads.

nAnmugakkadavuLum – the deity nAnmugan [brahmA] who created that rudhra too, and who has four faces in order to create entities in the four directions.  Aren’t these two entities involved in creation and destruction, respectively, of individual entities within the universe? Of these two, brahmA is like the potter who creates pots and rudhra is like the stick which removes the excess mud and gives shape to the pot.

thaLir oLi imaiyavar thalaivanum mudhalA yAvagai ulagamum yAvarum agappada – starting with indhra,  the lord of celestial beings in svargam (heaven) who, due to his involvement in the pleasures of heaven, enjoys the beautiful forms of apsaras (celestial women) and in keeping with that, looks after his own body such that it has radiance; including all the entities in various worlds and all the worlds, without leaving anything or anyone

nilam nIr thI kAl sudar iruvisumbum – five elements which are the cause for the existence of all the entities mentioned above within the universe, namely bhUmi (earth), jalam (water), agni (fire), vAyu (wind) and AkASam (the one with special feature, sky). Among these five, sky is the cause for the other four elements when they are formed; when they are annihilated (during deluge) it remains after the other four have been destroyed and is the last one to be destroyed; keeping these features in consideration, AzhwAr qualifies sky with the term iru sudar visumbu (the great radiant sky)

malar sudar piRavum – sun and moon, which have bright, huge number of rays, and other entities such as human beings

siRidhudan mayanga – to be within the same space inside [emperumAn’s] stomach, at the same time. After food is cooked for serving some people, if larger number of people come suddenly, the quantum of food is reduced appropriately to serve everyone. In the same way, while emperumAn was waiting impatiently to protect all the entities, the food (all entities) suddenly became too small when compared to his huge expectation. Thus, the entire food was just sufficient to fill a small space inside his stomach. The term udan refers to simultaneous time. The term siRidu mayanga refers to the small space in which all the entities were contained since they were unable to compete with his huge expectation. Alternatively, the term udan mayanga could be split as udal mayanga.  In this case, the meaning will change to: the entities mixed within the small frame which was lying on the banyan leaf [refers to emperumAn’s small form when he slept on the banyan leaf after swallowing all the entities and protecting them in his stomach, during deluge]. mayanga would refer to mixing of the entities inside emperumAn’s stomach.

oru poruL puRappAdinRi muzhuvadhum agappada – all the entities, without letting any entity to go out

karandhu – when someone in the world eats a lot, his stomach will show out, by bulging. In his (emperumAn’s) case, since all the entities were hidden in a corner of his stomach, it appeared as if he could show that despite eating all the entities, his stomach actually reduced a bit; in other words, there was no change in his appearance (nirvikAram).

Or Alilaich chErndha em perumA mAyanai alladhu – other than emperumAn who has the agadithagatanA Sakthi (ability to carry out deeds which are impossible for the others), as he lies on a little banyan leaf which had just sprouted, after swallowing all the worlds. The 69th pAsuram of mudhal thiruvandhAdhi which explains this behaviour of emperumAn is explained now:

[bAlan thanadhu uruvAy Ezhulagu uNdu]: In the form of a small child as mentioned in the pramANam “yaSOdhAsthanandhayamathyantham vimuktham” (yaSOdhA’s very beautiful infant), keeping all the worlds in the stomach

[Alilaiyin mElanRu nI vaLrandha meyyenbar]: as mentioned in periya thirumozhi 2-10-1 “Alilaiyin mEl Or iLam thaLiril kaN valarndha ISan” – on top of a just sprouting banyan leaf, with no one like yaSOdhA, who could keep you on her lap with motherly affection, not being present there, looking at the way you were lying, rishis (sages) who write only facts, wrote that it is true, in ithihAsam (epics) and purANams (ancient sacred texts). “katham nvayam SiSu: SEthE lOkE nASamupAgathE I SAkAyAm vatavrukshasya pallavE thu Suchismitha: II” is the pAsuram that they wrote, after experiencing your activity, in mahAbhAratham

[AlanRu vElai nIr uLLadhO?]: was that banyan leaf inside the water that had dissolved the soil (earth) and submerged it?

[viNNadhO?]: was it in the sky which had no support?

[maNNadhO?]: or was it on the earth which had lost its ‘effect’ status and was hidden in the ‘causative’ status?

[sOlai sUzh kunRu eduththAy sollu]: Only you, who had held the gOvardhana hill for several days with your hands, in the same position, at the age of seven, even before completing your status as a child, have to tell! Isn’t this also an amazing activity just like swallowing the world as a child! This incident should be quoted as well as that. Swallowing the worlds in the form of an infant, lying on an unsupported banyan leaf, holding a mountain for several days as a child – these are amazing activities which could not have been done by anyone else in the world. The implication here is that only he has to answer as to how he performed these activities. When parASara bhattar was asked “what was his response to AzhwAr”, he said “Since AzhwAr had asked the question to emperumAn knowing fully well the answer,  emperumAn would also have thought that he would ask AzhwAr himself to give the answer, if AzhwAr compels him for an answer”.  periyavAchchAn piLLai (the commentator for this prabandham) would quote bhattar saying “while you are the support for all entities, leaving you aside, would those entities support one another? AzhwAr feels amazed that  even during the time of deluge, he was the support for all the worlds that he swallowed as well as the banyan leaf on which he lay down”.

AzhwAr describes such an amazing entity as perumA mAyan . . . .

perumA mAyanai alladhu oru mA dheyvam maRRu udaiyamO yAmE – are we people who have assumed as Lord, apart from emperumAn, those deities who rule small portions of the world? Those other deities would tell their followers that they would protect them, accept their offerings and after some days pass, would tell them that “I too am like you all, carrying out penance towards one entity” and leave them. Thus he doesn’t have a deity who he can accept and reject later on. The quality of those deities could be seen in the life of mArkaNdEya maharishi. mArkaNdEya was a follower of Siva, who told him “I will protect you” and was accepting the offerings given by him. When markaNdEya got fed up  with the life on earth and desired mOksham, Siva, showing his form with matted hair, told him “I too am carrying out penance like you, focussing on SrIman nArAyaNa; I am also holding on to my Lord. It appears that you got bewildered when some people told you that I am the supreme being, taking it to be true. Wait a while; I will show you the place that you have to attain” and showed mArkaNdEya SrIman nArAyaNa. nammAzhwAr himself has clearly shown this incident in his thiruvAimozhi 7-5-7 “kaNdum theLindhum kaRRAr

In mahAbhAratham SAnthi parvam 350-36 it is clearly stated that other deities will not be attained by knowledgeable persons  “brahmANam neela (Sithi)kaNtam cha yASchAnyA dhEvathA: smruthA: I prathibhudhdhA na sEvanthE yasmAth parimitham palam II  ” (gyAnis (knowledgeable persons) will not worship brahmA, rudhra and other dhEvathAs; this is because there is a limit to the benefits that they can give).  In other words, knowledgeable people will not worship these dhEvathAs since they do not have the capability to grant mOksham if the followers desire that from such dhEvathAs. These dhEvathAs can only grant prAkrutha (matter relating to samsAram) benefits which are seen in samsAram (materialistic realm). Such benefits will be lowly and temporary. These benefits are such that they can be given by these knowledgeable people to those dhEvathAs. “skandharudhramahEndhrAdhyA: prathishidhdhAsthu pUjanEgyAthvaivam bhakthisAnkaryam na kuryA dhEvamEvahi II” (In the matter of worship dhEvathAs such as skandha, rudhra, indhra et al have been kept aside by gyAnis (knowledgeable persons). Knowing this, let him [chEthana] not mix up when he carries out bhakthi (devotion)). This is the reason SAsthras forbade people from worshipping such dhEvathAs. Did not thirumazhisai AzhwAr too mercifully define vaishNava lakshaNam (the identification for vaishNavas) in his nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi 68 “maRandhum puRam thozhA mAndhar” (even by mistake, people will not worship other dhEvathAs). For a wife who has a difference of opinion with her husband, her status as wife will remain so long as she does not go to another man. In the same way, even if the involvement with emperumAn takes time to set in, it does not matter. It is more important for him not go have any connection with other dhEvathAs. If this puRam thozhAmai (not worshipping others) is followed, even for a person who has forgotten emperumAn, the qualification to become his servitor will be present. Only to emphasise this, AzhwAr brings this prabandham to an end by saying “oru mA dheyvam maRRu udaiyOmOyAmE” (do we have another deity to attain?).

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

periya perumAL periya pirAttiyAr thiruvadigaLE SaraNam
AzhwAr thiruvadigaLE SaraNam
emperumAnAr thiruvadigaLE SaraNam
periyavAchchAn piLLai thiruvadigaLE SaraNam
jIyar thiruvadigaLE SaraNam

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iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 52 – niRam kariyan

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avathArikai

AzhwAr says that emperumAn’s beauty will make him too, who has the ability to advise his divine mind, to be bewildered. He also recounts the mercy that he received due to emperumAn’s connection with pirAtti and says that this is exclusive for him.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

niRam kariyan seyya nedumalrAL mArvan
aRam periyan Ar adhu aRivAr maRam purindha
vALarakkan pOlvAnai vAnavarkOn thAnaththu
nIL irukkaikkuyththAn neRi

Word by Word Meaning

niRam kariyan – (like dark clouds which have filled up water) the dark coloured
seyya nedu malrAL mArvan – emperumAn who has periya pirAtti, who is reddish in complexion and who resides in an expansive lotus, on his chest
aRam periyan – he is very generous in his mercy
maRam purindha – one who was inimical
vAL arakkan pOlvAnai – mahAbali, who was like the warrior demon rAvaNa

(even though he too should have been beheaded like rAvaNa, not doing that)
vAnavar kOn thAnaththu – in svargam, the land of dhEvEndhra (the Lord of celestial entities)
nIL irukkaikku – enabling him to live for a long time
neRi – in pAthALa lOkam (nether world)
uyththAn – emperumAn who sent him there
adhu – his mercy
Ar aRivAr – who is capable to estimate?

vyAkyAnam

niRam kariyanemperumAn has a divine physical beauty which will remove all the anguish of his followers. He has the capability to remove their fatigue.

seyya nedumalarAL mArvan – he has the divine chest in which pirAtti, who, like a lightning amidst cloud, having reddish complexion which is the exact opposite of emperumAn’s dark complexion, resides always.

aRam periyan – due to his being together with her, he is always merciful.

seyya nedumalarAL mArvan aRam periyan – the reason for emperumAn’s mercy is pirAtti. The reason for pirAtti’s wealth is emperumAn.

Ar adhu aRivAr – none knows this secret. It is like the nineteenth language which no one knows. Only AzhwArs and their followers, AchAryars, know this.

Ar adhu aRivAr – who knows his inner mind and external disposition? There is no one who knows emperumAn completely.

maRam purindha vALarakkan pOlvAnai – mahAbali who is cruel like rAvaNa. Both of them had the quality of considering emperumAn’s possession as theirs. While rAvaNa seized his consort sIthAppirAtti, mahAbali took hold of his world. Thus, mahAbali is apt to be beheaded like rAvaNa. However, the reason for leaving aside mahAbali unlike rAvaNa who was beheaded, was because of the little bit of magnanimity that he had.

vAnavarkOn thAnaththu nILirukkaikku uyththAn neRiemperumAn, with his grace, kept mahAbali in pAthAla lOkam (nether world) which is superior to indhra’s kingdom since he felt “why should mahAbali, who had a desire in kingdom, lose it? Why should he seize indhra’s kingdom and why should I obtain it in an improper way? Let me give him his kingdom in a proper way”. Who would indeed know emperumAn’s nature since he kept mahAbali in pAthAla lOkam where he could stay for a very long time unlike indhralOkam where he could lose out indhra’s kingdom to someone else like indhra lost and feel miserable? neRiyAlE uyththAn would also mean his natural quality (through grace). Was his nature such that anyone would have known? SrIvishNu purANam 5-17-30 says “thadhAmarathvam thridha SAthipathyam manvantharam pUrNamapEtha Sathru:” (mahAbali  attained the position of dhEvEndhra, ruling the three worlds for one manvantharam, without enemies). Who will know the mercy of emperumAn who kept mahAbali in pAthala lOkam so that he could attain the position of indhra?

We shall take up the 53rd pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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