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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 95 – EnREn adimai

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avathArikai

Just as emperumAn showers his grace on AzhwAr as requested (in the previous pAsuram), AzhwAr speaks about how he got ishta prApthi (granting of desirables) and anishta nivruththi (removal of undesirables), in this pAsuram.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

EnREn adimai izhindhEn piRappidumbai
AnREn amararkku amarAmai AnREn
kada nAdum maNNAdum kaivittu mElai
ida nAdu kANa ini

Word for Word Meanings

adimai – servitorship
EnREn – I took upon
piRappu idumbai – ahankAram (ego) and mamakAram (possessiveness) which result from birth
izhindhEn – I got rid of
amararkku – for dhEvas such as brahmA et al
amarAmai – not to approach anywhere near me
AnREn – I was filled up (with knowledge, devotion etc)
kadan nAdum – places such as svarga (heaven) etc
maN nAdum – and this earth
kai vittu – ridding of them
mElai – superior to everything else
idam – place (appropriate for followers)
nAdu – the divine paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam)
kANa – to see and enjoy
ini – now
AnREn – I am filled up (with paramabhakthi (inability to live if separated from emperumAn))

vyAkyAnam

EnREn adimai – I established myself firmly in carrying out servitude to emperumAn  without any break. Even though there was an inclination towards servitude even earlier, it was limited due to connection with prakruthi (samsAram), similar to the inclination of a patient towards medicine. Now the inclination towards servitude has become unbounded.

What is the reason for being inclined towards servitude now?

izhindhEn piRappidumbai – I was able to remove the hurdles of ahankAram and mamakAram (ego and possessiveness respectively)

izhindhEnAzhwAr says that ahankAram and mamakAram were like a huge mountain and he climbed down from that mountain.

AnREn amararkku amarAmai – I filled myself with knowledge and devotion to such an extent that instead of my going to other dhEvathAs (deities), now the other dhEvathAs would feel shy to approach me.

kadanAdum maNNAdum kaivittu mElai ida nAdu kANa ini – giving up svarga (which is the land for enjoying the results of virtuous deeds carried out in earlier birth) and earth, which is the place for carrying out sacred deeds, I filled myself with paramabhakthi (this is the ultimate state among three states of devotion in which the person will not be able to live even for a moment if separated from emperumAn) so that I could see the ancient and spacious paramapadham. kadan nAdu – svargam (heaven) wherein one has to necessarily enjoy the result of puNya (virtuous deeds) just as one has to necessarily repay the loan taken from someone. idanAdu – paramapadham as mentioned in SrI rangarAja sthavam 1-38 “sarvAthma sAdhAraNa nAthagOshI pUrE’pi dhushpUra mahAyakASam ” (even if all the groups of emperumAn’s followers, which are common to all AthmAs, get together, there will still be space in paramapadham).

We will next move on to the last pAsuram in this prabandham.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 94 – mey theLindhAr

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

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emperumAn asks AzhwAr “Even if you do not give me up, what will you do if I give you up, after seeing your faults?” AzhwAr responds saying “Oh emperumAn! You are speaking forgetting your basic nature. If you were to analyse yourself, the epitome of protecting those who have attained you, not only have you been protecting me all this time, but you will continue to protect me until the entity called time exists. If one knows that it is the reason for good health, even the [bitter] leaves of neem would be eaten as a desirable vegetable. In the same way, you must also consider me in your divine mind”

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

mey theLindhAr enseyyAr vERAnAr nIRAga
kai theLindhu kAttik kaLappaduththu paitheLindha
pAmbin aNaiyAy aruLAy adiyERku
vEmbum kaRiyAgum EnRu

Word for Word Meanings

vERu AnAr – dhuryOdhana et al, who are different from the rest (being inimical)
nIRu Aga – to be annihilated to become ashes
theLindhu – deciding (that it is correct to kill them in the matter relating to followers)
kai kAtti – providing all assistance (to the pANdavas)
kaLam paduththu – killing those enemies (in the war)

(thus reducing the heavy load on earth)
theLindha pAmbin aNaiyAy – Oh Lord, who reached the sweet mattress of AdhiSEshan who has well spread hoods
adiyERku – for me, your servitor
aruLAy – show your grace
EnRu – if one desires to have it
vEmbum kaRiyAgum – even the leaves of neem tree are fit to be cooked and eaten
mey theLindhAr – those who know the truth ‘as it is’
en seyyAr – what will they not do? (they will accomplish whatever they think of)

vyAkyAnam

mey theLindhAr en seyyAr – What will those, who know the truth as it is and who know as to what will complement their qualities, not do? Oh emperumAn! Would protecting those without any fault bring you laurels or would protecting someone like me, with faults, bring you laurels? Once you analyse this, what protective action will you not do for me? Alternative meaning: If you analyse your nature of protecting those who attain you, what will you not do for me? Aren’t you one who desires to protect those with faults, just as you did for rAvaNa, as mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNa yudhdha kANdam 18-3 “yadhivA rAvaNa: svayam” (if it is rAvaNa himself) so that you would get the fame for protecting those with faults?

emperumAn further asks AzhwAr “Where did you see that I protect those who surrender to me?” AzhwAr says further that he had seen it in the case of protecting pANdavas . .

vERAnAr – dhuryOdhana et al who hate pANdavas, and whom emperumAn, who is the father for all the words, out of disgust, called as “enemies

vERAnAr nIRAga – making dhuryOdhana et al to become a fistful of ashes

theLindhu kaikAtti – instead of feeling agitated thinking “Oh, I have to kill them”, deciding firmly that enemies of those who attain him are fit to be killed and helping the followers by conducting the army (in the warfront) etc.

kaikAtti – it can also be construed as “revealing their secrets”

kaLappaduththu – making them lose their lives in the battlefield.

pai theLindha pAmbin aNaiyAy – Oh one who reclined on his divine mattress in order to rest awhile after removing the hurdles of his followers!  Oh one who reclined on the divine mattress of AdhiSEsha whose hoods became cool and comfortable on contacting with emperumAn!

aruLAy adiyERku – just as you protected those “apt five” (the five pANdavas), who are with good qualities and who had something in them, you should also protect me who has no good qualities and who has nothing in him. You will win more laurels in protecting me than in protecting them.

When emperumAn asks “But how can I desire you, who have faults?” . . . .

vEmbum kaRiyAgum EnRu – if one were to analyse its qualities such as being good for health etc, even the bitter leaves of neem tree [which are liked by no one] would be cooked and eaten.

mey theLindhAr en seyyAr – if one knows your true nature, what is amazing about what you will do in future just as there is nothing amazing in what you have done in the past! This is similar to what has been mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 18-36 “kimathra chithram dharmagya lOkanAtha sukhAvaha I yath thvamAryam prabhAshEthA: sathvavAn sathpathE sthitha:  II” (Oh one who knows what is righteousness! Oh the lord of the world! Oh one who gives comforts! What is amazing about your saying such a good word when you are standing in the correct path!)

We will take up the 95th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 93 – kAppu maRandhaRiyEn

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emperumAn asks of AzhwAr “AzhwIr! You are talking about past when you say maRandhaRiyEn. Is it not possible to forget in the future?” AzhwAr responds “Oh benefactor! For those who know your protection and your nature, is it possible to ever forget you?”

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

kAppu maRandhaRiyEn kaNNanE enRiruppan
Appangazhiyavum palluyirkkum Akkai
koduththaLiththa kOnE guNaparanE unnai
vidhath thuNiyAr mey theLindhAr thAm

Word for Word Meanings

angu – during the time of that deluge
pal uyirkkum – for all AthmAs (souls)
Appu ozhiyavum – even if the body and the senses had got destroyed

(once again)
Akkai koduththu – giving physical forms
aLiththa – one who gave mercifully
kOnE – Oh benefactor!
kAppu – the protection (that you are giving mericully)
maRandhaRiyEn – I will never forget
kaNNanE enRiruppan – I will be very firm that it is only kaNNan (krishNa) [who is both means and goal]
guNam – by the auspicious qualities
paranE – Oh the supreme lord!
mey theLindhAr thAm – those who know (the basic nature) truly and clearly
unnai vida thuNiyAr – will not let go of you

vyAkyAnam

kAppu maRandhaRiyEn – Oh emperumAn! Did you think that I have forgotten the protection that you have been giving me right from the time that I was inside the womb? Is there any way by which I can forget you when you have been my protector from the day that I was formed?

When asked whether he would not forget if he goes after other means and worldly matters…

kaNNanE enRiruppan – Is there any possibility for me to go after other means and other goals when you, who incarnated as krishNa, are the means and the goal? AzhwAr asks further whether it is possible to give up emperumAn if one meditates on the benefits that he has given and his auspicious qualities.

Appangu ozhiyavum palluyirkkum Akkai koduththu aLiththa kOnE – Oh swAmy (lord)! You gave forms to all the souls and protected them when they were struggling after losing their bodies and senses [during the time of deluge]. Appu – the body and senses are referred to by the term Appu since they are the implements with which the soul is bound to samsAram (materialistic realm).

kOnE – This implies that since he is the ‘owner’ he has protected the owned.

Appangaozhiyavum . . . .kOnE – Is it possible to go away from you after seeing the way you had been protecting from the initial days? Is it possible to go away from you after seeing your being the lord?

guNapparanE – Just as it is mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 1-1-1uyarvaRa uyar nalam udaiyavan” one who is much superior to all due to your auspicious qualities!  Is it possible to leave you after seeing your auspicious qualities?

unnai vidath thuNiyAr mey theLindhAr thAm – those who know you truly, will never think of leaving you ever.

unnai . . . thAm – can we leave you saying that you are not the protector? Can we leave you saying that you are not the benefactor? Can we leave you saying that you have faulty qualities? Can we leave you saying that you are not the ordained lord? How do we leave you?

We will move on to the 94th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 92 – enRum maRandhaRiyEn

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AzhwAr affirms that he is one of emperumAn’s followers. He says that he has never forgotten emperumAn at any time, since emperumAn has been protecting him from the time that he (AzhwAr) has been in the womb.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

enRum maRandhaRiyEn en nenjaththE vaiththu
ninRum irundhum nedumAlai enRum
thiruvirundha mArban sirIdharanakku ALAy
karu irundha nAL mudhalAk kAppu

Word for Word Meanings

karu irundha nAL mudhalA – from the time I was in the womb
kAppu – since I received protection (from emperumAn)
thiru enRum irundha mArvan sirIdharanukku – to that thirumAL who has pirAtti (SrI mahAlakshmi) residing permanently on his chest
AL Ay – being a servitor
nedu mAlai – that supreme being
en nenjaththu – in my heart
vaiththu – firml establishing
ninRum irundhum enRum – in all states such as standing, sitting etc
maRandhaRiyEn – I kept thinking (of him) without forgetting

vyAkyAnam

enRum maRandhaRiyEn en nenjaththE vaiththu ninRum irundhum – keeping sarvESvaran in my heart without any distinction between whether I am standing or sitting, i.e. at all times, and not forgetting him ever. This is similar to nammAzhwAr mercifully saying in thiruvAimozhi 9-6-10 “ennil munnam pAriththuth thAn ennai muRRum paruginAn ” (before I could enjoy him, emperumAn devoured me fully) and in thiruvAimozhi 10-10-10 “adhanil periya en avAvaRach chUzhndhAyE ” (emperumAn made his desire to be with AzhwAr much bigger than the desire of AzhwAr, and joined AzhwAr with his consorts, primordial matter, nithyasUris et al ).

ninRum irundhum – just as it is mentioned in nAradhIyam “AsInA vA SayAnA vA thishtanthO yathra kuthra vA I namO nArAyaNEthi manthraika SaraNA vayam II ” (we have taken thirumanthram as our refuge whether we are sitting anywhere, or standing or lying down, without any disctinction), this implies that even when carrying out normal activities such as standing or sitting, AzhwAr is fully meditating on nArAyaNa.

Is it only that AzhwAr did not forget emperumAn ever? He says further that he was engaging himself fully with service to emperumAn ….

enRum thiruvirundha mArvan sirIdharanukku ALAy – SrIdhEvi (SrI mahAlakshmi) is always residing in the divine chest of emperumAn as mentioned in SrI vishNu sahasranAmamnithya SrI:” (always with SrI mahAlakshmi) and in thiruvAimozhi 6-10-10agalagillEn iRaiyum enRu alarmEl mangai uRai mArbA” (Oh emperumAn who has on your chest SrI mahAlakshmi, who says that she will not separate from you even for a moment!) in order to ensure that followers attain the divine feet of emperumAn the moment they cry out for it. AzhwAr says that he was able to carry out service to SrIdharan, the  one who has SrI mahAlakshmi on his divine chest.

enRum thiruvidundha mArvan sirIdharan – while other entities may be called as SrImAn as a term of respect  even though they have no connection with SrI mahAlakshmi (just as a worm, which has no connection with the fruit mango is called as mango-worm), in the case of emperumAn, pirAtti (SrI mahAlakshmi) is always residing in his chest and hence he is aptly called as sirIdharan.

sirIdharanukku ALAy – just as thiruppallANdu 11 says “thirumAlE nAnum unakkup pazhavadiyEn” (Oh Sriman nArAyaNa! I have been your servitor for a very long time) AzhwAr implies that the meaning of receptacle of kainkaryam is only the couple [in other words, kainkaryam (service) is carried out only to emperumAn and pirAtti together) and that the reason for his attaining such distinction is only because of pirAtti’s mercy.

What is the reason for not forgetting emperumAn and for carrying out service to him?

karu irundha nAL mudhalAk kAppu – AzhwAr says that right from the time when he was inside (his mother’s) womb, emperumAn had blessed him, made him as his follower and protected him.

karu irundha nAL mudhalAk kAppu – I received this huge distinction because emperumAn showered his mercy on me from the time I was in the womb, and protected me. Has it not been mentioned in mahAbhAratham mOksha parvam “jAyamAnam hi purusham yam paSyEth madhusUdhana: I sAthvikas sa thu vigyEya: sa vai mOkshArtha chinthaka: II ” (the one who is blessed by emperumAn even as he is born is known to be full of sAthvika (composed of purely good qualities); only he will think about mOksham)! Did not poygai AzhwAr and bhUdhaththAzhwAr too mercifully proclaim that they were blessed even when they were inside the womb, as mentioned in mudhal thiruvandhAdhi 6karuvarangatkidandhu kai thozhudhEn kaNdEn” (while lying inside the womb, I saluted emperumAn and saw him) and in iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi 87karukkOttiyutkidandhu kai thozhudhEn kaNdEn” (same as mentioned above)!

We will move on to the 93rd pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 91 – thamar AvAr

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AzhwAr says that for those who follow these three means (please refer to the introduction given under pAsurams 89 and 90), devotion to emperumAn is a common denominator and that these people are superior to those who dwell in both nithya vibhUthi (spiritual realm) and leelA vibhUthi (materialistic realm).

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

thamarAvAr yAvarkkum thAmarai mElArkkum
amararkkum AdaravArththARkum amarargaL
thAL thAmarai malargaLittiRainji mAlvaNNan
thAL thAmarai adaivOm enRu

Word for Word Meanings

mAlvaNNan – emperumAn with dark complexion
thAL thAmarai – at his divine, lotus-like feet
malargaL ittu – offering flowers
iRainji – worshipping
thAL thAmarai adaivOm enRu – will attain those divine, lotus-like feet
thamar AvAr – those who are followers
thAmarai mElArkkum – to brahmA who was born in the lotus shooting out of [emperumAn’s] navel
Adu aravu ArththARkum – to Siva who has tied (to his body) snakes which are dancing
amararkkum – to nithyasUris (permanent dwellers of SrIvaikuNtam)
yAvarkkum – and to all others
amarargaL – will be deities

vyAkyAnam

thAL thAmarai malargaL ittu – without looking at what type of flower it is, offering any type of flower at the divine feet of emperumAn. Just as it is mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 1-6-1purivadhum pugai pUvE” there is no flower which is disliked by emperumAn. Alternatively, this can be construed as “superior lotus flower for the superior, divine feet of emperumAn”. This activity (of offering flowers to emperumAn) is one involving the body, also called as kAyika seyal (serving emperumAn through the body) [malargaL ittu].

iRainji – praising him whole heartedly. This is an activity of speech (praising).

mAl vaNNan thAL thAmarai adaivOm enRu thamarAvAr – those who are totally devoted to emperumAn thinking that they would attain the divine lotus-like feet of emperumAn who has a dark complexion. This is the activity of mind (thinking).

adaivOm enRu thamarAvAr – meditating through the mind, keeping only emperumAn who said “surrender to me” as the means.

thamarAvAr – these people will be servile to emperumAn through all three faculties of mind, speech and body [as mentioned above].

thAmarai mElARkum – brahmA who stayed on the lotus and created the worlds; the lotus, which is the origin for creation of all the worlds.

AdaravArththARkum – Siva, the deity for annihilation, who has tied down many snakes, which keep dancing, as ornaments.

yAvarkkum – to all the other dhEvas (celestial entities) such as indhra, chandhra et al and to all the people. This indicates all the entities who are in leelA vibhUthi (materialistic realm)

amararkkum – to the indefatigable nithyasUris. This indicates all the entities in the nithya vibhUthi (spiritualistic realm).

amarargaL – these people are superior to all the entities in both the realms.

amarargaL – deities; very pious people. Didn’t nammAzhwAr too praise such people in his thiruviruththam 79 “sIdhanaiyE thozhuvAr vinnuLArilum sIriarE” (those who worship only emperumAn are superior to even nithyasUris who dwell in paramapadham) and in thiruvAimozhi 7-10-11 “dhEvar vaigal thIrththangalE enRu pUsiththu nalgi uraippar tham dhEviyarkkE ” (nithyasUris will tell their consorts constantly, and with joy that such people are very pious)!

We will take up the 92nd pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 90 – vIRRirundhu

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AzhwAr mentioned about attaining emperumAn’s followers as one of the faultless means [for attaining emperumAn] in the previous pAsuram. When asked “could you not mercifully tell us the other faultless means too?” AzhwAr says in this pAsuram that “those who attain emperumAn and those who are in the charamOpAyam (ultimate means) of being fully engaged with the followers of emperumAn are distinguished people”. In matters relating to followers of emperumAn, svagatha svIkAram (attaining through one’s own efforts) was mentioned in the previous pAsuram. paragatha svIkAram (attaining through the causeless mercy of emperumAn) in the matters relating to followers of emperumAn is mentioned in the 18th pAsuram of this prabandham (mARAya dhAnavanai) and in this pAsuram. Has it not been mentioned in bhAradhwAja samhithai that just as in the matter related to emperumAn, there are also the same two types, namely svagatha svIkAram and paragatha svIkAram in matters related to emperumAn’s followers and that these two are faultless means through the verse  “guruNA yO’bhimanyEtha gurum vA yObhimanyathE I thAvubhau paramAm sidhdhim niyamAdhubhagachchatha: II ” (both the one who is respected by the teacher and the one who respects  the teacher attain the ultimate benefit of mOksham without fail)!

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

vIRRirundhu viNNALa vENduvAr vEngadaththAn
pAl thirundha vaiththArE panmalargaL mEl thirundha
vAzhvAr varumadhi pArththu anbinarAy maRRavarkkE
thAzhvAy iruppAr thamar

Word for Word Meanings

vIRRirundhu – being with greatness (in this world)
viN – paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam)
ALa vENduvAr – one who wishes to rule
vEngadaththAn pAl – towards thiruvEngadamudaiyAn (lord of thiruvEngadam)
pal malargaL – different types of flowers
thirundha – in a good manner [following the procedure mentioned in SAsthras]
vaiththArE – offered
varum madhi pArththu – knowing the thoughts (in emperumAn’s divine mind)
anbinar Ay – being with devotion
maRRavarkkE – to that emperumAn only
thAzhvu Ay iruppAr – being servitors
thamar – those who are thought of with respect
mEl thirundha vAzhvAr – will live with more distinction than those who have been mentioned in the earlier part.

vyAkyAnam

vIRRirundhu viNNALa vENduvAr – they will be fully immersed in being a servitor to emperumAn’s followers, with their eminence fully on display, with a desire to get the benefit of carrying out service to those in paramapadham.

vEngadaththAn pAl thirundha vaiththArE panmalargaL – they are the people who have kept different types of flowers, without slipping on the procedure mentioned in SAsthras (sacred texts) and worshipped thiruvEngadaththAn who has taken residence in thiruvEngadam in order to uplift simple people. They have carried out service to emperumAn [here] and will get to serve him in paramapadham too.

Next AzhwAr mercifully says that engaging with followers of emperumAn fully is superior to this attainment through emperumAn (as mentioned in the earlier verse).

varu madhi pArththu – Just as it is mentioned in the vEdhavAkhyam (line from vEdhas) “yEna yEna dhAthA gachchathi thEna thEna saha gachchathi” (in whichever way emperumAn thinks, he [one who has reached paramapadham after getting liberated from materialistic realm] also thinks in the same way, knowing forehand what emperumAn thinks in his divine mind).

anbinarAy maRRavarkkE thAzhwAyiryuppAr – they will be devoted to appropriate kainkaryam to emperumAn and be servile to him.

thAzhvAy iruppAr thamar mEl thirundha vAzhvAr – they are the people who  are respected as “he is our person” by emperumAn’s followers. AzhwAr says that more than attaining emperumAn, they will lead a very happy life serving the followers of emperumAn, which is much superior to the former. The opinion here is that those who are fully engaged with emperumAn’s followers will get to serve the followers of emperumAn, in line with the saying “yathOpAsanam thathA palam”( benefit is related to one’s devotion).

We will move on to the 91st pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 89 – pazhudhAgAdha onRu

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avathArikai

Unlike means such as karmayOgam which are of no use, is there any means which is without any fault? AzhwAr responds saying that attaining emperumAn and attaining emperumAn’s followers are faultless means. He says that of the two, attaining emperumAn’s followers is superior.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

pazhudhAgAdhonRaRindhEn pARkadalAn pAdham
vazhuvA vagai ninaindhu vaigal thozhuvArai
kaNdiRainji vAzhvAr kalandha vinai keduththu
viNdiRandhu vIRRiruppAr mikku

Word for Word Meanings

pazhudhu AgAdhu onRu – faultless (superior) means
aRindhEn – I knew

(Hear me, as to what it is)
pAl kadalAn pAdham – the divine feet of kshIrAbdhinAtha (lord of milky ocean)
vazhuvA vagai ninaindhu – meditating without any error
thozhuvArai – those who constantly worship
kaNdu – (reaching and) having dharSan of (seeing)
iRainji – worshipping
vAzhvAr – those who live (devotees of emperumAn’s followers)
kalandha vinai keduththu – getting rid of the bad deeds connected with AthmA (soul)
viN thiRandhu – opening the entrance to paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam)
mikku – with greatness
vIRRiruppAr – will be residing

vyAkyAnam

pazhudhAgAdhonRu aRindhEn – I knew of the superior means which will not go useless. The means which will not go useless are: 1. Attaining emperumAn; 2. Attaining followers of emperumAn; 3. Taking shelter under the wisdom of followers of emperumAn. All these three means are very distinguished. Of these three, AzhwAr is mercifully describing the second means (of attaining the followers of emperumAn) in this pAsuram and the first (attaining emperumAn) and third means (totally devoted to the wisdom of emperumAn’s followers ) in the next pAsuram.

What is the means which is faultless?

pARkadalAn pAdham – the divine feet of the entity who, leaving aside paramapadham which is the place for enjoyment, takes residence in the milky ocean in order to get his followers.

vazhuvA vagai ninaindhu – meditating without slipping on it. In other words, keeping them as both the means and the benefit for attainment. Isn’t asking for lowly materials from emperumAn, after attaining him, a faulty way of asking, much similar to asking for loin cloth from kaRpaga vruksham (wish fulfilling tree)? Isn’t begging for other benefits a wrong methodology? Instead, thinking of those divine feet as means and goal.

vaigal thozhuvArai – will not the sweetness of the matter (the divine feet of emperumAn) be such that if they are worshipped once, they will make the jIvAthmA to worshsip every day?

thozhuvAraikkaNdu – seeking the followers of emperumAn, on their own. With this, the difference between these people and the distinguished entities who will be mentioned in the next pAsuram is indicated. Just as the saying goes “prajApathim thvO vEdha” these people will go on their own and attain the followers of emperumAn. The ones who will be mentioned in the next pAsuram are those who will be worthy of being under the wisdom of emperumAn’s followers.

kaNdu iRainji vAzhvAr – those who prosper by heartily seeing the followers of emperumAn and worshsipping them. appiLLai, one of the vyAkyAthas for this prabandham will say that iRainji would mean those who bow down their heads fully.

kalandha vinai keduththu viN thiRandhu vIRRipruppAr mikku – getting rid of the sins which are inseparably intertwined with AthmA, these people will be servitors to nithyasUris who are the heads of those who carry out kainkaryam to emperumAn, and who have unlimited knowledge and devotion (towards emperumAn), in paramapadham.

mikku vIRRiruppar – they will reside such that their knowledge and devotion will be explicitly manifested.

vIRRruppar – they will reside with their excellence fully displayed. They will be fully servile to the great followers of emperumAn who will be superior to nithyasUris in carrying out kainkaryam to emperumAn.

We will move on to the 90th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 88 – uyir koNdu

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avathArikai

AzhwAr continues with the benefits that emperumAn carries out for his followers who are without any means, in  this pAasuram.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

uyir koNdu udalozhiya OdumpOdhOdi
ayarvenRa thIrppAn pEr pAdi seyal thIrach
chindhiththu vAzhvArE vAzhvAr siRu samayap
pandhanaiyAr vAzhvEl pazhudhu

Word for Word Meanings

udal ozhiya – leaving the body behind
uyir koNdu – taking the prANa (vital air)
Odum pOdhu – when (this AthmA) runs
Odi – (emperumAn himself) runs
ayarvu enRa – everything which is considered as a difficulty
thIrppAn – emperumAn who removes
pEr – divine names
pAdi – reciting heartily
seyal thIra – there is nothing that we need to do (pravruththi) as means
sindhiththu – understanding the basic nature
vAzhvArE – only those who comtemplate to live
vAzhvAr – will prosper
siRu samayam pandhanaiyAr – those who hold on to means which are lowly, which are conditional and which are the reason for being bound to samsAram (materialistic realm)
vAzhvu El – any prosperity that it may beget
pazhudhu – is useless

vyAkyAnam

uyir koNdu udal azhiya OdumpOdhu – when this AthmA, propelled by the messengers of yama (deity of righteousness), runs with its vital airs, after shedding the body

Odi – there is an entity [emperumAn] who will be witnessing the troubles of his followers. Instead of sending his servitors to remove the troubles (just like a person appoints a representative to carry out deeds ordained by SAsthram such as sandhyAvandhanam etc), this entity will run to remove the troubles of his followers, himself.

Odi – his (that entity’s) deed will be one with which his followers will be involved, as mentioned by SrI paraSAra bhattar in SrI rangarAjasthavam 2-57 “bhagavathas thvarAyai nama:” (I salute the speed of emperumAn) [reference here is to the act of emperumAn who came running to save the life of his follower gajEndhra (an elephant) who was troubled by a crocodile].

ayarvenRa thIrppAn – he will remove all the troubles of his follower who is under the control of messengers of yama. He removes the trouble undergone by his follower when he is shivering at the mere sight of yama’s messengers, when he is dragged out of his body by yama’s messengers etc.

ayarvenRa – The opinion here is that , in reality, only that which is experienced by the follower at the hands of messengers of yama is apt to be termed as trouble. All the others are joyous experience only, when compared to this.

thIrppAn pEr pAdi – heartily reciting the divine names of the entity who removes the trouble.

seyal thIrach chidhiththu vAzhvArE vAzhvAr – only those who live considering emperumAn himself as the means [for attaining him], rejecting all other means which are to be carried out by them, will prosper.

seyal thIrach chindhiththu vAzhvAr – these are the people who think that there is nothing that they can do in order to get rid of their troubles and to experience utmost happiness. These are the people who think that only emperumAn, who comes running to protect them when they are at the hands of yama’s messengers, is the means. These are the people who have been referred to by thoNdaradippodi AzhwAr in his thirumAlai 38 as “kadaiththalaiyirundhu vAzhum sOmbar” (those who have given the responsibility of looking after them to emperumAn).

Till now, AzhwAr has been talking about the greatness of those who are without any means. Now he talks about the lowliness of those who attempt to attain emperumAn on their own.

siRu samayap pandhaniyAr vAzhvEl pazhudhu – there is no benefit to those who attempt to follow the lowly means of karma yOgam (path of carrying out ordained deeds), gyAna yOgam (path of knowledge leading to carrying out those deeds), bhakthi yOgam (path of devotion towards emperumAn) which are to be observed over very long periods of time, referred to as “janmAnthara sahasrEshu” (thousands of successive births) and which lead to cultivation of ego in the mind of samsAri. This is opposite of his svabhAvam (basic quality) of being a dependent servitor.

siRusamayam – lowly means unlike SrIman nArAyaNa as mentioned in nArAyaNa sUktham  “nArAyaNam pArAyaNam” (nArAyaNa who is the superior means).

samayap pandhanai – the opinion here is that these are means which bind the jIvAthmA (soul) to samsAram (materialistic realm) but which go in the name of being the means for attaining mOksham; in reality, these means take the jIvAthmA far away from matters relating to emperumAn for a very long time, just as nammAzhwAr mentioned in periya thiruvandhAdhi 6 “neRi kAtti nIkkudhiyO” (will you reject me by showing me other means?)

vAzhvEl pazhudhu – if one analyses, it would be clear that there is no benefit for these jIvAthmAs by following such means.

samayamAzhwAr refers to these means as samayam since they have been classified based on the interest of each jIvAthmA. It should be understood here that these jIvAthmAs, who are siRusamayap pandhanaiyAr, are firmly engaged with pravruththi mArgam (the path of carrying out deeds on one’s own efforts to attain emperumAn) as opposed to nivruththi mArgam (in which the jIvAthmA entrusts the responsibility of making him attain emperumAn with emperumAn himself) which is indicated by the words seyal thIrach chindhiththu vAzhvAr. It should not be taken here that AzhwAr is talking about jivAthmAs who are following other philosophies since AzhwAr has already corrected these jIvAthmAs who are following other philosophies through his instructions and there is no need to talk ill of them now. One of the vyAkyAthas for this prabandham, SrI appiLLai, says here that through the verse pandhanaiyAr vAzhvEl pazhudhu AzhwAr is rejecting the other means since even for those who follow karmayOgam etc, unless emperumAn is convinced, he will not grant mOksham and also due to the fact that many persons such as kshathrabandhu, gantAkarNan et al reached mOksham without carrying out any karmayOgam.

We will move on to the 89th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 87 – imayap perumalai pol

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avathArikai

Just as AzhwAr mentioned in the previous pAsuram “ennoppArkkuth thAnAyuLan”, he demonstrates through varied examples in this pAsuram as to how emperumAn helped those who are without any means, just like him [AzhwAr].

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

imayap perumalai pOl indhiranArkkitta
samaya virundhu uNdu Ar kAppAr samayangaL
kaNdAn avai kAppan kArkkaNdan nAnmuganOdu
uNdAN ulagOdu uyir

Word for Word Meanings

imayap perumalai pOl – being like a huge himAlaya mountain
indhiranArkkitta – cooked for the sake of indhra (lord of celestial entities)
samayam virundhu – usual worship
uNdu – when he was eating

(from the danger of hailstorm which happened)
Ar kAppAr – who saved?
samayangaL – philosophies based on sacred texts
kaNdAn – one who saw (in the beginning)
Ar – who?
avai kAppAn – one who protects (without their being ruined)
Ar – who?
kArkkaNdan nAnmuganOdu kAppAn Ar – who protects brahmA and Siva (from huge dangers)?
ulagOdu uyir uNdAn Ar – (during deluge) who swallowed and protected the worlds and the creatures (in the world)?

(Is it not emperumAn who did all these?)

vyAkyAnam

imayap perumalai pOl indhiranArkkitta samaya virundhu uNdku Ar kAppAr – every year, the herdsmen at gOkulam used to offer food to indhra as a way of expressing their gratitude for giving them good rain, as mentioned by periyAzhwAr in his periyAzhwAr thirumozhi “attukkuvi sORRup paruppadhamum thayir vAviyum neyyaLaRum ”(food cooked and heaped like a mountain, with a stream of curd and rice made with ghee (clarified butter)). One year, the food, which was as huge as the himAlaya mountain, was denied to indhra and eaten by someone else [krishNa himself]. Out of anger of being denied the annual food, indhra started raining hailstorm on gOkulam. Who ate the food and lifted the hill gOvardhana for seven days, protecting the herdsmen from the hailstorm?

Ar kAppAr – when a favourable person such as indhra himself turned into an unfavourable person and rained hailstorm, did the herdsmen protect themselves or did emperumAn save them? Can this not be analysed?

AzhwAr shows through the subsequent incidents that it was not only here that emperumAn became a protector to those who are without means, like himself (AzhwAr) but in other places too.

samayangaL kaNdAn Ar – just as it has been mercifully mentioned in SrI rangarAja sthavam 2-1 “mAnam pradhIpamiva kAruNikO dhadhAthi ” (sarvESvaran who is like an ocean of mercy offers vEdhas (sacred texts) like a lamp), who has seen the philosophy of vEdhas and spread it in the world?

samayangaL – instead of saying it in the singular (samayam) why is AzhwAr saying it in plural (samayangaL)? Since the sacred texts show that there are different end goals such as aiSvaryam (going after wealth), kaivalyam (AthmA enjoying itself) and bhagavath prApthi (attaining emperumAn) and there are different means to attain them such as bhakthi (devotion towards emperumAn), prapaththi (surrendering to emperumAn), thirunAma sangIrththanam (reciting the divine names of emperumAn) etc, these can be considered as a collection of different philosophies and usage of plural noun is acceptable. Since this is quoted as proof of helping those without any means, we cannot construe this to mean other religious beliefs.

avai kAppAn Ar – who protects these philosophies so that they do not get ruined? This act is also carried out to protect those who are helpless.

kArkkaNdan nAnmuganOdu kAppAn Ar – Who protects brahmA, rudhra et al when they are troubled by rAvaNa et al and become helpless and who removes their sorrows?  Alternatively

kArkkaNdan nAmuganOdu uNdAn ulagOdu uyirAzhwAr says that during deluge, when very knowledgeable people such as brahmA, rudhra et al, along with other jIvAthmAs (souls) were caught and were wandering here and there [not knowing how to protect themselves] without any distinction between them, it was emperumAn who kept them safely in his stomach and protected them. thirumangai AzhwAr mentioned mercifully in his periya thirumozhi 11-6-2 “ellArum aRIyArO emperumAn uNdumizhndha echchil dhEvarallAdhAr thAmuLarE” (doesn’t everyone know that there is no deity who has not been swallowed during deluge and has later been spat out?)

ulagOdu uyir uNdAn Ar – Who kept all the worlds and the chEthanas [and achEthanas] living in those worlds in his stomach and protected them? It was based on this that ALavandhAr (one of our preceptors) wrote  mercifully in his sthOthra rathnam 11kasyOdharE haravirinchimukha: prapancha:” (in whose divine stomach brahmA, rudhra, the universe took shelter).

We will take up the 88th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 86 – uLan kaNdAy

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

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avathArikai

In the earlier pAsurams, AzhwAr spoke extensively, for the all the world to know, about the supreme being’s basic nature, divine form, auspicious qualities and wealth. In this pAsuram he tells his divine mind “I had explained the presence of emperumAn even to those who denied his existence. You also meditate on this meaning”.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meaning:

uLan kaNdAy nannenjE uththaman enRum
uLan kaNdAy uLLuvAr uLLaththu uLan kaNdAy
thannoppAn thAnAy uLan kAn thamiyERku
ennoppArkku Isan imai

Word for Word Meanings

nal nenjE – Oh heart who is apt for me!
uththaman – (one who protects without expecting anything in return) emperumAn who is the best among all purushas (souls)
uLan kaNdAy – see that he exists (to protect us)
enRum uLan kaNdAy – see that (at all places) at all times (in protecting us) he exists
uLLuvAr uLLaththu – in the minds of those who accept to think of him
uLan kaNdAy – see that he exists permanently
than oppAn Isan – (since there is none who equals him) that emperumAn who is his own equal
thamiyERku – for me, who is without any means
en oppARku – and for those who, like me, are without any means
thAn Ay uLan kAN – see that he himself exists as the protector
imai – know this

vyAkyAnam

uLan kaNdAyAzhwAr is not instructing us regarding the existence of emperumAn. Then, what is he implying? He tells his heart to see emperumAn, who is there as the protector. He tells his heart to see that even if unavoidable problems crop up due to the heart or due to anyone else, he is there, capable of avoiding those problems.

nannenjE – Oh heart which has the capability to instruct others regarding this! Since it has the capability to instruct others, is it required to say that is has the capability to listen about this?

nannenjEAzhwAr celebrates his heart just as nammAzhwAr did in his thiruvAimozhi 1-10-4nenjamE! nallai nallai unnaip peRRAl en seyyOm ini enna kuRaivinam ” (Oh heart! What can I not do if I get such a good entity like you! What shortcoming will I have!)

When emperumAn becomes a protector, will he expect anything?

uLan kaNdAy nannenjE uththaman – AzhwAr says that emperumAn is the best among all, who does not expect anything when he protects. One who carries out a deed for his own benefit is called as adhaman (lowliest among all); one who carries out a deed for his as well as others’ benefit is called as madhyaman (in-between); one who carries out a deed for the benefit of only others is called as uththaman (best among all). Isn’t emperumAn Ongi ulagaLandha uththaman (the best entity who grew up and measured all the worlds, for the benefit of his followers)!

Being a totally independent entity, though he has been protecting so far without expecting anything, what will he do now?

uththaman enRum uLan kaNdAy – just as he had been protecting in samsAram all along without any reason, hereafter he will give himself to be enjoy in SrIvaikuNtam and protect.

For getting this, should the jIvAthmA have any qualification?

uLLuvAr uLLaththu uLan kaNdAyAzhwAr says that emperumAn will reside in the heart of one who agrees to think of him instead of vowing ‘I will not think about you’. It is implied that the only quality required for the chEthana (sentient entity) to make emperumAn as a protector is to agree to think about emperumAn.

uLLuvAr uLLaththu uLanperiyAzhwAr and his divine daughter, ANdAL, mercifully mentioned respectively, in thiruppallANdu 4kUdumanam udaiyIrgaL varampozhi vandhollaik kUduminO” (if you have the desire to be with us, break out of the boundary of one enjoying himself/herself and join with us immediately) and in thiruppAvai 1pOdhuvIr pOdhuminO” (those who are desirous (of being together with us while taking bath), join us).

thannoppAn Isan – Just as SvethASvathara upanishath said “ na thathsamaSchAbhyadhigaScha dhruSyathE ” (there is none equalling you; we cannot see anyone superior to you) and thiruvAimozhi 2-3-2oththAr mikkAraiyilaiyAya mAmAyA” (Oh amazing entitiy who does not have anyone equal or superior!), sarvESvara is one who is his own equal. The opinion is that there is none to equal him in protecting others causelessly.

IsanAzhwAr hints here that since emperumAn is the owner, he is bound to protect his possession.

thamiyERku ennoppArkkuth thAnAy uLan kAN – (AzhwAr tells his heart to see that) the supreme being is the protector for him as well as for those like him who are without any means.

thamiyERku – one who is secluded. Seclusion here refers to the quality of being without any means in protecting oneself just as it is mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 5-7-1nORRa nOnbilEn nuNNaRivilEn” (I am without karmayOga (path of attaining emperumAn through carrying out ordained deeds) or gyAna yOga (path of knowledge for attaining emperumAn))

thAnAyuLan – emperumAn is there as the protector. The quality of protection is emperumAn’s basic nature; it is the essential quality to identify him.

imai – [AzhwAr tells his heart] know this meaning .

We will take up the 87th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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