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iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 68 – vali mikka

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avathArikai

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

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

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

Word by Word Meaning

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

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

vyAkyAnam

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

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

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

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

Who churned the ocean like that?

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

We shall move on to the 69th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 67 – kaNdEn thirumEni

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avathArikai

Once AzhwAr told his divine mind “Please see”, emperumAn showed himself to AzhwAr causelessly. AzhwAr mercifully tells about the known entities among those that he saw.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

kaNdEn thirumEni yAn kanavil Angu avankaik
kaNdEn kanalum sudar Azhi kaNdEn
uRunOy vinai iraNdum Ottuviththup pinnum
maRu nOy seRuvAn vali

Word by Word Meaning

yAn – adiyEn (the servitor)
kanavil – in the experience of the mind, similar to dream
thirumEni – the beautiful divine form
kaNdEn – worshipped
Angu – at that time
avan kai – in his divine hand
kanalum sudar Azhi kaNdEn – I saw the divine, radiant disc, which was spitting fire
uRunOy vinai iraNdum – the two deeds of vice and virtue, which are like a disease, fully united (with AthmA)
Ottuviththu – getting rid
pinnum – beyond that
maRu nOy seRuvAn – emperumAn who gets rid of even the scent of these deeds which spring up like off-shoots
vali – strength
kaNdEn – I was able to see

vyAkyAnam

kaNdEn thirumEni – I had the fortune to see the divine form of emperumAn. According to AzhwArs, enjoying the qualities of emperumAn is something that comes on its own. But enjoying his divine form is very important.

yAn kanavil – instead of seeing him through the sensory perceptions I saw him through my heart without any interruption. Instead of seeing him through my eyes which is a manifestation of the knowledge of AthmA and which is part of the exterior sensory perceptions, I saw him through my mind, as if seeing in the dream. As mentioned in manusmruthi 12-122 says “svapna dhI gamyam” (he is to be perceived through the experience of mind, like a dream), I saw him beautifully through my heart, like a dream. It is opined here that since he was able to see him [emperumAn] extensively and since he was great, AzhwAr could not extricate himself from that vision.

Angu avan kai – in the divine hands of an entity who had such a beauty

kaNdEn kanalum sudarAzhi – I saw the divine disc which comes fiercely at the enemies, without any interruption.

kaNdEn uRu nOy iraNdum Ottuviththu pinnum maRu nOy seRuvAn vali – I saw him [emperumAn] who gets rid of pApa (vice) and puNya (virtue) which are stuck to the ever-lasting AthmA and who has the ability to prevent them from coming back again. maRu nOy refers to the traces of one’s deeds which would return to the AthmA.

vali kaNdEn – being a chEthana (sentient entity) the only requirement for him is to know the nature of AthmA which is afraid, on thinking of samsAram and which loses that fear, on thinking of emperumAn.

We shall consider the 68th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 66 – idhu kaNdAy

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avathArikai

AzhwAr says that the benefit obtained out of engaging with matters relating to emperumAn is great. But it is essential not to have desire with worldly pursuits, thinking of the ruins that one would end up with such acts. He says that the reason for attaining emperumAn and for removing of hurdles in this path is not worshipping emperumAn but the ability to see the faults in worldly pleasures.

Let us look at the pAsuram and its meanings:

idhu kaNdAy nannenjE ippiRaviyAvadhu
idhu kaNdAy ellAm nAmuRRadhu idhu kaNdAy
nAraNan pEr Odhi naragaththarugaNaiyA
kAraNamum vallaiyE kAN

Word by Word Meaning

nal nenjE – Oh good heart!
ip piRavi Avadhu idhu kaNdAy – the cruelty of samsAram (materialistic realm) is like this, do observe.
nAm uRRadhu ellAm idhu kaNdAy – the sorrows that we experienced (in this samsAram) are like these.
nAraNan – SrIman nArAyana’s
pEr – divine names
Odhi – reciting them well
naragaththu – the hell called samsAram
arugu – near
aNaiyA kAraNamum – the reason for hating that we should not be here
idhu kaNdAy – is only the fault of this samsAram, do observe.

(for me, not having to tell each and everything like this)
vallaiyEL – if you are capable of knowing
kAN – see for yourself (the lowliness of this samsAram).

vyAkyAnam

nal nenjE – Oh heart who agrees with me when I say that life in this world is terrible!

idhu kaNdAy ippiRaviyAvadhu – The nature of this samsAram (materialistic realm) is not what we had thought of, earlier. It is that which has been shown to us by emperumAn. Life on earth is the epitome of sorrow. All that we had thought of life on this earth as something great is mere delusion. Even faults in this life will appear to our eyes as faults, only with the grace of emperumAn. Otherwise, they will appear to be without faults. Just as we cannot see emperumAn unless he reveals himself to us, we cannot see the faults too in life unless he reveals them to us.

idhu ellAm nAm uRRadhu – just as there is only happiness in enjoying emperumAn, there is only sorrow in life. Hasn’t this (samsAram) given to us only sorrow, in the garb of pleasure, for a very long time! Just as there is only happiness in paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam) with emperumAn’s grace, there is only sorrow in samsAram. Has not ALavandhAr mercifully mentioned in sthOthra rathnam 25abhUthapUrvam mama bhAvi kim vA sarvam sahE mE sahajam hi dhu:kam” (there is no sorrow that I have not experienced. I am tolerating all the sorrows. Isn’t sorrow born with me)! It appears that sorrows will be there as long as AthmA is there [in this samsAram]. Even though this AthmA belongs to emperumAn, have you [referring to his heart] not seen all the sorrows that we experienced!

idhu kaNdAy nAraNan pEr Odhi naragaththu arugu aNaiyAk kAraNamum – The reason for reciting the divine names of the apt Lord emperumAn and for not going towards naragam (hell) is only seeing (knowing) the faults in the worldly life that I had mentioned earlier [says the AzhwAr to his heart]. Just as emperumAn enables us to attain him and relieves us from worldly pursuits, seeing the faults in worldly pursuits will enable us to relieve ourselves from these and to hold on to emperumAn.

vallaiyEl kAN – Some people will lose their belongings even when they are awake. In the same way, even while we know about worldly pursuits, their faults will not dawn in our hearts. Hence, even you have to suffer, see clearly the nature of the worldly pursuits. Even as we are experiencing the sorrows, isn’t our sin the reason for not moving away from the worldly life!  In this matter, doesn’t even seeing with our eyes become useless! Just as we desire if we see something good, should we not become averse if we see something bad? The opinion here is that since attaining emperumAn is not due to our efforts and since the involvement in worldly pursuits is our desire, what is needed for the jIvAthmAs is to see the faults in the worldly pursuits. Doesn’t SrI vishNu purANam 6-7-28 say “mana Eva manushyANAm kAraNam bandha mOkshayO!” (it is the person’s mind which is responsible for both bondage and liberation). When the chEthana (sentient entity) gets involved in unnecessary pursuits, emperumAn, who helps in attaining the necessary entity and avoiding the unnecessary, prevents the chEthana from involving in the unnecessary and gives what he really needs. nammAzhwAr initially saw emperumAn as the head of nithyasUris (imaiyOr thalaivan). This AzhwAr says that he should help in releasing us from falsified knowledge, bad conduct and impure body, all of which are opposite of his being the lord of nithyasUris.

We shall take up the 67th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 65 – paNindhEn thirumEni

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avathArikai

emperumAn asks AzhwAr “Is there anything new that I have to do for you? Haven’t you attained everything already?”. AzhwAr thinking of the benefit that he has attained, responds “the benefit that I had obtained is the affection that I have for you”.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

paNindhEn thirumEni paingamalam kaiyAl
aNindhEn un sEvadi mEl anbAy thuNindhEn
purindhEththi unnaip pugalidam pArththu AngE
irundhEththi vAzhum idhu

Word by Word Meaning

thirumEni – (Oh thirumAl!) your divine form
paNindhEn – worshipped
un sEvadi mEl – on your reddish divine feet
paim kamalam – beautiful lotus flowers
anbu Ay – with affection
kaiyAl aNindhEn – offered with hands
unnai – you
purindhu Eththi – praising desirously
pugal idam pArththu – looking at your dwelling in paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam)
AngE irundhu Eththi idhu thuNindhEn – I ascertained to myself that staying there and praising you is the life that I should live

vyAkyAnam

paNindhEn thirumEniAzhwArs prefer his divine form to the divine qualities which describe his svarUpam (basic nature). Hence, AzhwAr says here that he worshipped at the divine feet of emperumAn.

paNindhEn – AzhwAr says that he, who was similar to the nature of rAvaNa when he had said as in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 36-11 “dhvidhA bhajyEyamapyEvam na namEyam” (even if I am split into two, I will not fall at the feet (of SrI rAma)), after thinking about the beauty (of emperumAn’s divine form) fell at his divine feet.  Being a servitor, he changed the words in mUnRAm thiruvandhAdhi 1 “ponmEni kaNdEn” (saw the divine golden form) to “paNindhEn thirumEni ” (worshipped the divine form).

paingamalam kaiyAl aNindhEn un sEvadi mEl anbAy – with affection, I offered lotus flowers at your reddish divine feet and held on to them.

kaiyAl – since I submitted the flowers like this, I fulfilled the objective of having been given hands.

aNindhEn – Is it not proper for the losers to serve the victorious!

anbAy paNindhEn – worshipping you like this is not because I obtained knowledge. It is because of my involvement with you.

purindhu Eththi – when you set out to go, I worshipped you from the front; later, after you left, I worshipped you from behind too and praised you.

pugalidam pArththu – when you went back inside, I saw the beauty of your backside.

AngE irundhu Eththi – without having the mind to leave you from there, seeing the beauty of your backside, I did not want to forget the thought of praising you at that place, and ascertained that my praising you should continue like this. I became firm in that belief. A person by name SrI paranguSa dhAsar moved closely with SrI thirumalai nambi (one of the five AchAryars of swAmy rAmAnujar). He would quote SrI thirumalai nambi as follows: “In this pAsuram, the word pugalidam refers to SrIvaikuNtam to which emperumAn returns after completing his incarnation on earth. AzhwAr says that as mentioned in thiruppaLLANdu 12sUzhndhu irundhu Eththuvar pallANdE’ , he would praise emperumAn amidst nithyamukthas (eternal dwellers of SrIvaikuNtam and those who reached SrIvikuNtam after getting liberated from samsAram) and live there”. As mentioned in paramasamhithai “chAyA vA sathvamanugachchEth” (like shadow following any sentient being) it can be construed that AzhwAr is saying that he would look at the servitorship being carried to emperumAn at SrIvaikuNtam and remain ecstatic there.

We shall move on to the 66th pAsuram.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 64 – kadhaiyin perum poruLum

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AzhwAr prays to emperumAn “you are the one who carries out beneficial activities even for those who are proud that they are ISvaras. You should help me, who cannot do anything without you and who am considering you as everything, to enjoy reciting your divine names.”

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

kadhaiyin perum poruLum kaNNA nin pErE
idhayam iruandhavaiyE Eththil kadhaiyin
thirumozhiyAy ninRa thirumAlE unnaip
parumozhiyAl kANap paNi

Word by Word Meaning

kaNNA – Oh krishNa!
kadhaiyin – in ithihAsams (epics) and purANams (ancient biographies)
perum poruLum – eminent meanings
idhayam – their inner connotations
irundhavaiyE – as they are
Eththil – if known and praised
nin pErE – (they are all) your divine names only
kadhaiyin thirumozhiyAy ninRa thirumAlE – Oh thirumAL (SrIman nArAyaNa)! You are the epitome of all that is mentioned in the great vEdhas
unnai – you
paru mozhiyAlE – to enjoy after identifying you with the great words of vEdhas
paNi – please show mercy

vyAkyAnam

kadhaiyin perum poruLum kaNNA nin peyarE – if one were to delve deep into ithihAsa (epics) and purANas (ancient literature dealing with biographies), what they reveal are your divine names which deal with your auspicious qualities and your divine activities.

idhayam irundhu avaiyE Eththil – even if the meaning is not taken in its entirety and only the inner meaning is considered and emperumAn is praised (it will be the same). If one were to consider the heart of ithihAsas and purANas [in other words, the central theme of these sacred texts], it is your divine names which have been mentioned in them with finality. AzhwAr has used the verses kadhaiyin perum poruL in the same context as he had used earlier in the verses Oththin poruL mudivum iththanaiyE uththaman pEr Eththum in the 39th pAsuram.

kadhaiyin thirumozhiyAy ninRa thirumAlE – the knowledge mentioned in upanishaths also mentions words which identify you. Any word with meaning would reveal emperumAn and pirAtti. pirAtti is word and emperumAn is the meaning. Hasn’t vishNu purANam 1-8-18 said “arthO vishNu: iyam vANI (vishNu is the meaning and she (pirAtti) is the word)!

unnai – you, thirumAL, who have been established in ithihAsas and purANas

unnaip parumozhiyAl kANap paNi – instead of seeing you with the help of these words, you should shower mercy on me so that I could say as mentioned in thaiththirIya upanishath “ahamannam ahamannam ahamannam” (“I am food” repeated several times) in a loud voice and see you. You should grace me such that I would feel elated seeing you, praising you with words which do not have any fault, and enjoying you. Only when I am able to see you, could I praise you with words which are without faults. AzhwAr says that emperumAn should grace him such that he is given divine eyes with which he would be able to see emperumAn clearly. In the words kadhaiyin thirumozhiyAy ninRa, the term kadhai  could be construed to mean incidents taken from ithihAsas and purANas instead of incidents taken from upanishath.

We shall take up the 65th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi – 63 – EREzhum venRadarththa

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AzhwAr says that only emperumAn is apt to be attained since he removed the curse of the egotistic rudhra. He says that when there is any danger, without making any distinction, he would remove such danger, whether it is for his consorts or for the egotistic rudhra. This implies that it is only emperumAn who is greater than everyone else and that other ISvaras (lords) cannot be refuge for others as well as to themselves (in other words they are not capable of protecting others  or themselves).

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

EREzhum venRadarththa endhai eri uruvaththu
EREri patta vidu sAbam pARERi
uNdathalai vAy niRaiyak kOttangai oNkurudhi
kaNda poruL sollil kadhai

Word by Word Meaning

ERu Ezhum – the seven bulls
venRu – being victorious over them
adarththa – destroyed
endhai – kaNNapirAn (krishNa), my swAmy (lord)
eri uruvaththu ERu ERi patta – suffered by rudhra who has a fiery form and who has bull as his vehicle
vidu sAbam – curse given by brahmA

(to get rid of)
pARu ERi uNda thalai vAy niRaiya – to fill up the mouth of the skull which eagles eat as food
kOdu – hand which is like a bud
am kai – with beautiful hands (given after tearing)
oN kurudhi – with beautiful blood
kaNda poruL – that incident seen (when the skull fell out of [rudhra’s] hands)
kadhai – will end up like mahAbhAratha story

vyAkyAnam

ERu Ezhum venRu adarththa endhai – the lord who was victorious over the seven bulls (for the sake of nappinnaip pirAtti)

eri uruvaththu ERu ERi – Siva who has the complexion of fire and who has bull as his vehicle

ERu ERi – Siva who has a bull (much like a mendicant having bull for his survival)

patta idu sAbam – brahmA, who allowed until Siva plucked out his head, cursed him saying “since you have carried out the heinous crime of severing my head, let this skull never leave your hand”.

idu sAbam – mAthsya purANam 182 says “kapAlee thvam bhavishyasi” (you will become one having skull), the curse given by brahmA. brahmA, who could not tolerate the fame of Siva, asked him to sever the head and then put the blame on Siva for severing it.

pARu ERi uNdapARu refers to birds such as eagles, vultures etc. Siva went from place to place, carrying the skull, which is normally eaten by eagles and vultures, with the birds feeling happy looking at the sight.

thalai vAy niRaiya – to enable the (mouth of the ) skull to fill up

kOttangai – beautiful hand like a bud

oN kurudhi kaNda poruL sollilemperumAn sprayed the sweat from his divine chest on the skull and made it to break out of Siva’s hand.

oN kurudhi – beautiful blood. It was similar to the saffron on the chest of emperumAn.

am kai – with the beautiful hand which was capable of removing the heinous crime.

oN kurudhi –  mAthya purANam 182 says “thasya rakthasya nisruthA” (the flow of blood). Some people say that emperumAn sprayed blood. Is it correct to say that blood was similar to vermillion? There is not much of a difference between the two. It is not incorrect to say this since it compares with the incomparable emperumAn.

kaNda poruL sollil kadhai – If truth were to be told..

kadhai – this is like mahAbhAratham. Siva need not be an ISvaran like this; neither does he need to be one who had committed a heinous crime. nampiLLai would narrate an incident involving nanjIyar: One day, nanjIyar gave a mango to nampiLLai and asked him to give it to a person by name nambi thiruvazhudhivaLanAdu dhAsar. When nampiLLai went to him, dhAsar was explaining the meaning for this pAsuram (63rd pAsuram) “We have not heard that kaNNapirAn (krishNa) who had killed seven bulls committed a crime or that he had to go to someone’s door to carry out any atonement. But Siva did not kill brahmA (brahmA was very much alive after the head was severed). By plucking the head of one who was alive even after losing his head, Siva committed a crime and started going to various places to get rid of its effect. emperumAn removed that crime due to his connection. Isn’t this the difference between emperumAn and others! ” (it is implied here that the one who killed the bulls did not commit any crime but the one who has bull as his vehicle, committed a crime by severing a head, though the person whose head he had severed, did not die!). Who is ISvaran among these three – Siva, who committed the crime by severing a head? Or brahmA, who lost his head and suffered? Or emperumAn who removed the curse of Siva? You be the judge!

We shall move on to the 64th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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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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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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