Category Archives: mudhal thiruvandhAdhi

mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 77 – vEngadamum viNNagarum

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avathArikai

AzhwAr says in this pAsuram that not only thiruvEngadam, but all the dhivyadhEsams (divine abodes) where emperumAn is dwelling have this special quality [of granting SrIvaikuNtam]. If we meditate on the deeds that emperumAn has carried out for our sake, the sins due to our deeds will disappear. AzhwAr says that all the sins that we had accrued due to our deeds carried out in our standing, sitting, lying and moving postures will disappear if we think of the benefits that he granted to us in his standing, sitting, lying and moving postures.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

vEngadamum viNNagarum vehkAvum ahkAdha
pUngidangin nIL kOval ponnagarum nAngidaththum
ninRan irundhAn kidandhAn nadandhAnE
enRAl kedumAm idar

Word by Word Meanings

vEngadamum – thirumalai
viN nagarum – SrIvaikuNtam
vehkAvum – thiruvehkA dhivyadhEsam
ahkAdha pUm kidangin – having moats with unchanging flowers [always fresh]
nIL kOval ponnagarum – sweet and beautiful thirukkOvalUr
nAngu idaththum – in these four dhivyadhEsams
ninRAn irundhAn kidandhAn nadandhAnE enRAl – if we say that (emperumAn) stands, stays, reclines and walks
idar – the results of our deeds that we carryout standing,  sitting, lying and walking
kedumAm – will be destroyed

vyAkyAnam

vEngadam ninRAn enRAl kedumAm idar – our sins will disappear if we say that emperumAn stood at thiruvEngadam which removes sins

viNNagar irundhAn … – if we meditate on the fact that he is sitting in paramapadham, our sins will be destroyed

vehkA kidandhAn … – if we meditate that he is lying down in thiruvehkA dhivyadhEsam, our sins will be destroyed

nIL kOval ponnagar nadandhAn… – if we meditate that he is walking in the dhivyadhEsam thiruukOvalUr which is famous and delightful, our sins will disappear.

ahkAdha pUngidangin nIL kOval ponnagarum – since this was the dhivyadhEsam where emperumAn jostled with AzhwAr(s), he is thinking back sweetly, of this dhivyadhESam.

ahkAdha kidangu – the moats are very close to each other in a protective way in this dhivyadhESam where emperumAn and his followers [the first three AzhwArs] jostled for space.

pUm kidangu –  beautiful moat. If one were engaged with the moats, the mind will not go towards even emperumAn.

ahkAdha pUm kidangu – moats wherein the flowers are in full bloom, in clusters.

pUm kidangin nIL kOval ponnagar – if one were to shift the vision beyond the moats, the sweetness and beauty of this place will attract one’s eyes and heart.

ponnagarAzhwAr terms this dhivyadhESam as ponnagar (golden place) since emperumAn came on his own, jostling with the AzhwArs for space and graced them.

vEngadamum viNNagarum vehkAvum … kOval ponnagarum – even though these dhivyadhESams are far apart from one another, AzhwAr combines them since they are related to emperumAn and are enjoyable for AzhwAr.

nAngidaththum ninRAn irundhAn kidandhAn nadandhAnE enRAl – if one were to think that emperumAn toiled hard in these four places, standing,  sitting, reclining and walking, in order to attain his followers, his sins will disappear.

enrAl kedum – one need not reside in these dhivyadhESams. Even if one were to meditate on emperumAn’s dwelling in these places, that person’s sins will get destroyed.

enRAl kedum – the meditation need not be carried out with the knowledge that it would be a path to attain emperumAn. Even if it is said just for the sake of saying, the sins will disappear. periyavAchchAn piLLai, one of the commentators for this prabandham, will say “just as one’s distress disappears on calling out to mother”.

nAngidaththum ninRan irundhAn kidandhAn nadandhAnE enRAl kedum – if one were to meditate on emperumAn’s deeds while he was standing, sitting, reclining and walking, all the results of sins carried out by the person in these four postures will disappear.

idar kedumAm – the sorrows accumulated by the jIvAthmA in the samsAram on his own, will disappear on their own without a trace as said by periyAzhwAr in periyAzhwAr thiumozhi 5-4-3 “summenAdhE kai vittu Odith thURugaL pAyndhanavE” (without being able to even breathe, they hid themselves in bushes) and as said by nammAzhwAr in periya thiruvandhAdhi 54 “vAno maRikadalO” ((we don’t know where the sins disappeared – did they disappear in the skies or in the oceans?)

idar kedumAm – mentioning about anishta nivruththi (removal of undesirables) implies ishta prApthi (attaining the desirables) too.

We shall consider the 78th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 76 – vazhi ninRu

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avathArikai

AzhwAr says in this pAsuram “When it is said that thirumalai (thiruppathi hills) itself, which is closely connected to you, gives benefits to those who attain it, is it necessary to say that those who attain you would get salvation?“. embAr (bhagavadh SrI rAmAnujar’s successor  in the line of AchAryas in our sampradhAyam) would always meditate on this pAsuram since this pAsuram says that thirumalai serves as a means for attaining emperumAn.

Let us enjoy the pAsuram and its meanings:

vazhi ninRu ninnaith thozhuvAr vazhuvA
mozhi ninRa mUrththiyE Avar pazhudhonRum
vArAdha vaNNamE viN kodukkum maNNaLandha
sIrAn thiruvEngadam

Word by Word Meanings

vazhi ninRu – being steadfast in the path of bhakthi (devotion)
ninnai – you
thozhuvAr – those who attain you
vazhuvA mozhi ninRa – as mentioned in vEdhas, which speak only the truth
mUrththiyarE Avar – will surely have as their basic nature
maN aLandha sIrAn – (without considering his greatness) the one who has the simplicity of measuring all the worlds
thiruvEngadam – the hills of thirumalai
pazhudhu onRum – any shortcoming
viN kodukkum – will it not grant paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam)!

vyAkyAnam

vazhi ninRu ninnaith thozuvAr – those who worship you  in the way it is mentioned in vEdhas, dharma SAsthras (texts based on righteousness), ithihAsas (epics such as SrI rAmAyaNa and mahAbhAratha), purANas (ancient texts written by sages) etc. bruhadhAraNyaka upanishath 6-5-6 says “AthmA vA arE dhrashtavya: SrOthravya: manthavyO nidhidhyAsithavya:” (the AthmA which is appropriate to be heard and thought of, is apt to be meditated upon and seen). bruhadhAraNyaka upanishath 6-4-2 says “thamEva dhIrO vigyAya pragyAm kurvItha brAhmaNai:” (let that brAhmaNa, who is the best among the gyAnis (those with knowledge) know about paramAthmA and meditate on him). “upAsanam dhruvAsmruthi: dharSanasamAnAkarathA prathyAkshapaththi”(upAsanam, steady mode of thinking, having the ability to look at all with equanimity and conspicuousness  – all these terms have the same meaning). SrI bhagavath gIthA 18-55 says “thathO mAm thathvathO gyAthvA viSathE thadhanantharam” (he knows about me as I am and then attains me). Thus as mentioned in all the sacred texts, being in the path of upAsanam (devotion) up to the stage of dharSan (audience)of emperumAn.

vazhuvA mozhi ninRa mUrththiyarE Avar – those who are having their nature as mentioned by vEdhas which are without any falsehood and have full integrity. chAndhOgya upanishath 8-12-2 says “Esha samprasAdhOsmAchcharIrAth samuththAya param jyOthirupasampathya svEnarUpENa abhinishpadhyathE” (this jIvan (soul) exits from this (physical) body, attains supreme being nArAyaNa and realises  his basic nature) – as mentioned in such sacred texts, they manifest their natural behaviour.

pazhudhu onRum vArAdha vaNNamE viN kodummum – it will give paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam) without any shortcoming either in the result that is obtained [by the AthmA] or in the path taken [to reach emperumAn]. Since the result includes being servitor to emperumAn’s followers also, there will be no shortcoming in the result. Since emperumAn is the means for attaining him, there will be no shortcoming in the means too.

maN aLandha sIrAn thirvEngadam – the thiruvEngadam hill has this quality [of granting SrIvaikuNtam]. Actually it is calling out “maNNaLandha sIrAnE” (the 8th case, also called as vocative case or viLichchol) (this could be construed as telling emperumAn “those who worship you in the ordained way would realise their basic nature; your thirumalai hill itself will grant SrivaikuNtam ”). Alternative explanation: the thirumalai hill owned by emperumAn who measured the world, will grant mOksham or SrIvaikuNtam. Hasn’t nammAzhwAr in his thiruvAimozhi 3-3-7 said “samankoL vIdu tharum thadam kunRamE” (the thirumalai hill will grant SrIvaikuNtam)! People will grant only what they have! [what applies to people would apply to emperumAn’s possessions too].

We shall consider the 77th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 75 – kAppu unnai

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AzhwAr says in this pAsuram that those who attain emperumAn, who protects Sivan also, will have their enemies removed and proceed in the correct path.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

kAppunnai unnak kazhiyum aruvinaigaL
Appunnai unna avizhndhu ozhiyum mUppu unnaich
chindhippArkkillai thirumAlE nin adiyai
vandhippAr kANbar vazhi

Word by Word Meanings

unnai unna – when you are thought of
kAppu – the deities who serve as guards
kazhiyum – will get disengaged
aru vinaigaL – terrible deeds
unnai unna – once you are thought of
Appu avzhindhu ozhiyum – will get annihilated, after getting liberated
unnaich chindhippArkku – for those who meditate on you
mUppu illai – the six changes, including aging, are not present
thirumAlE –  Oh, my benefactor and the consort of SrI mahAlakshmi
nin adiyai – your divine feet
vandhippAr – those who worship
vazhi kANbar – will see the archhirAdhi mArga (the path leading to SrIvaikuNtam)

vyAkyAnam

kAppu unnai unnak kazhiyum – there are 14 dhEvathAs (deities) who have been appointed by emperumAn to keep a watch over the activities of jIvAthmAs (sentient entities) “Adhithya chandhrAvanilOnala cha dhyour bhUmir ApO hrudhayam yama cha rAthri ubhE cha sandhyE dharma cha jAnAthi narasya vruththam” (1. sun; 2. moon; 3. wind; 4. fire; 5. sky (ether); 6. earth; 7. water; 8. mind; 9. yama (deity for righteousness); 10. day; 11. night; 12. prAthas sandhyA (dawn); 13. sAyam sandhyA (dusk); 14. righteousness – the 14 deities for these entities always know the activities of jIvAthmAs). When these deities hear those who recite the names of emperumAn, they will move away from such persons saying that emperumAn is duty bound to protect his followers and not themselves (the 14 deities). In SrIvishNu purANam 3-7-4 hasn’t yama told his messenger “parihara madhusUdhana prapannAn prabhuraham anya nruNam na vaishNavAnAm” (do not approach those who have surrendered to madhusUdhana (emperumAn); I am the lord of all others and not of SrIvaishNavas)! In SrI bhAgavatham 11-5-4 has it not been said “dhEvarshibhUthAptha nruNAm pithrUNAm na kinkarO nAyam ruNI cha rAjan! sarvAthmA ya: SaraNam SaraNyam nArAyaNam lOka gurum prapanna:” (Oh King! one who has surrendered to SaraNyan (nArAyaNa) who is apt to be surrendered and is the lOkaguru (teacher for the world) is not a servitor or indebted to dhEvas (celestial entities), rishis (sages), bhUthams (creatures), relatives and forefathers)! Other deities have to protect only those who are under the control of their karmas (past deeds, both good and bad). If those karmas are negated [as done by emperumAn for those who surrender to him], these other deities cannot go anywhere near such persons. AzhwAr explains now how the karmas get negated.

aruvinaigaL Appu unnai unna avizhndhu ozhiyum – It is said that “avidhyA karma samgyA” (ignorance is referred to by the word karma). All the bondage which are the result due to ignorance will disappear for those who think of you.

mUppu unnaich chindhippArkku illaimUppu here refers to kaivalyam (AthmA enjoying itself) for those who are outside the protection of other deities and who do not have sins.  Even such kaivalyam will disappear if they think of you. Alternative explanation – the six dimensions of changes in a person’s life, viz.,1. asthi (existing), 2. jAyathE (is born), 3. pariNamathE (transforms), 4. vivarthathE (grows), 5. apakshIyathE (shrinks due to old age) and 6. vinaSyathi  (dies), will not affect those who think of you.

thirumAlE – it is because emperumAn is with thiru (SrI mahAlakshmi) that these do not come near his followers. Even if emperumAn wants to look into the sinful deeds due to his undeterred independence, pirAtti  (SrI mahAlakshmi) would convince him to change his divine mind by saying “wouldn’t sins, which cannot be rid of due to atonement, get removed with our forbearance!” Hadn’t pirAtti shown mercy on the rAkshasis (demonic women employed by rAvaNa) who troubled her, by saying as in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 113-41 “dhAsInAm rAvaNasyAham marshayAmIha dhurbala” (I do not have the wherewithal to see the sufferings of rAvANa’s servant-maids) and in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 113-39 “rAjasamSraya vaSyAnAm kurvanthInAm prAgyA” (aren’t they (demonic women) under the control of the king and appointed by him?)! Thus, if one thinks of emperumAn who is with pirAtti, the sins and mUppu will disappear.

nin adiyai vandhippAr kANbar vazhi – those who worship your divine feet will find the correct path. The word vazhi can be construed as archirAdhi mArgam which is the path leading to SrIvaikuNtam. The path to SrIvaikuNtam will be as sweet as SrIvaikuNtam itself. In the same way, the path to naragam (hell) will be as horrible as naragam itself. For those who do not think of emperumAn, the path will be full of thorns and narrow lanes while for those who think of emperumAn, the path will be sweet.

mUppu unnaich chindhippArkku illai thirumAlE – mUppu could also be construed as old age. As said in rig vEdham, vishNu sUktham “yuvAkumAra yuvathi: cha kumAriNI” (emperumAn is youthful  to a large extent and boyish to a smaller extent while pirAtti is girlish to a large extent and youthful to a smaller extent) if one attains emperumAn and pirAtti, he will be like them in his youthful and boyish states and not attain old age.

We shall take up the 76th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 74 – ERRAn puLLUrndhAn

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avathArikai

AzhwAr was asked as to why he was saying that there is no one to be attained other than emperumAn. Isn’t rudhra (Siva) appropriate to be attained? AzhwAr says that since rudhra is also the body for emperumAn, he is also protected by emperumAn only, like all the others. rudhra has nothing common with emperumAn, other than being body (rudhra) and soul (emperumAn). All the entities are sustained by emperumAn only. If one looks at the qualities of rudhra, it would be clear that he is being protected and emperumAn is the protector.

Let us enjoy the pAsuram and its meanings:

ERRAn puLLUrndhAn eyil eriththAn mArvidandhAn
nIRRAn nizhalmaNi vaNNaththAn kURRorupAl
mangaiyAn pUmagaLAn vArsadaiyAn nINmudiyAn
gangaiyAn nILkazhalAn kAppu

Word by Word Meanings

ERRAn – having (the not so famous) bull as vehicle
eyil eriththAn – burnt the three towns (of his followers)
nIRRAn – smearing ashes (to get rid of a curse)
kURRorupAl mangaiyAn – sustaining his wife pArvathi on one part (of his body)
vAr sadaiyAn – one who has matted hair, signifying that he is carrying out penance
gangaiyAn – Sivan who is having gangA on his head (to rid of sins)
puL UrndhAn – having garuda (who has vEdhas as his body) as his vehicle
mArvu idandhAn – tore the chest of iraNyan (hiraNyakashyap) (for the sake of his devotee prahlAdha)
nizhal maNivaNNaththAn – having a cool, comfortable form like a blue gemstone
pU magaLAn – having SrI mahAlakshmi on his chest
nIL mudiyAn – having the long crown (indicative of his greatness)
nIL kazhalAn – one having long divine feet (the origin of gangA)
kAppu – is the protector

vyAkyAnam

ERRAn – Sivan is famous for having bull as his vehicle.

puLLUrndhAn – emperumAn has garuda, who is the embodiment of vEdhas, as his vehicle

eyil eriththAn – Siva had burnt down the towns of his devotees, in order to get the title of having burnt three towns.

mArvidandhAn – emperumAn transformed himself as narasimha (lion head with human body) in order to kill the enemy, iraNiyan (hiraNya kashyap), of his devotee prahlAdha.

nIRRAn – Sivan would smear ashes all over his body, like a person carrying out atonement for sins committed

nizhal maNi vaNNaththAn – emperumAn has a cool, comfortable form which will eliminate the anguish of his followers

kURRorupAl mangaiyAn – Sivan has his consort pArvathi on one half of his body and feels vain because of that.

pU magaLAn – as said in yajur vEdham 4-4-12 about SrI mahAlakshmi “asyESAna jagathO vishNupathnI” (she is the leader of the world and consort of vishNu), emperumAn has pirAtti (SrI mahAlakshmi) as his consort

vAr sadaiyAn – appropriate to the penance that he is carrying out, Sivan has hanging, matted hair.

nIL mudiyAn – emperumAn has long crown, which signifies that he is the lord of all the worlds.

gangaiyAn –  Sivan bears gangA on his head, in order to purify himself.

nIL kazhalAn – emperumAn has divine feet, which are the source for that gangA.

The meaning conveyed here is that emperumAn, with all the characteristics mentioned above, is the protector for Sivan, with his own set of characteristics as mentioned above.

We shall move on to the 75th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 73 – pugazhvAy pazhippAy

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AzhwAr says in this pAsuram as to how engrossed he became with emperumAn, such that even the sensory perceptions became obedient.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

pugazhvAy pazhippAy nI pUndhuzhAyAnai
igazhvAy karudhuvAy nenjE thigazhnIrk
kadalum malaiyum iruvisumbum kARRum
udalum uyirum ERRAn

Word by Word Meanings

nenjE – Oh my heart!
nI – you
pUm thuzhAyAnai – one decorated with beautiful thuLasi (basil) garland
pugazhvAy – may praise
pazhippAy – may abuse
igazhvAy – may disparage
karudhuvAy – may think [good]

Whatever you may do, he [emperumAn] ….
thigazh nIr kadalum – ocean with flourishing water
malaiyum – resultant factors such as mountains
iru visumbum kARRum – causative factors such as the expansive sky (ether), wind etc
udalum uyirum – having both SarIram (physical body) and AthmA (soul)
ERRAn – has always sustained.

vyAkyAnam

pugazhvAy pazhippAy – whether you praise or abuse emperumAn who is the object for the faculty of speech.

pUndhuzhAyAnai – he is so beautiful adorning thuLasi garland that it is impossible not to praise him.

igazhvAy karudhuvAy nenjE – Oh my heart! Haven’t you seen the status of emperumAn! Whether you think well or disparagingly of such a lowly entity (here the reference to emperumAn as lowly entity is mentioned in the opposite sense. In other words, he is a great entity), oh heart! don’t you know which of these is correct!

thigazh nIrkkadalum malaiyum iruvisumbum kARRum udalum uyirum ERRAnAzhwAr tells his mind that irrespective of whatever it does, there is none other than emperumAn to attain.

thigazh nIrkkadalum malaiyum – by mentioning ocean and mountains AzhwAr is implying all the resultant entities.

iruvisumbum kARRum – by mentioning sky (ether) and wind, AzhwAr is referring to all the five elements which are the causative factors.

udalum uyirum – he is referring to the achith and chith (insentient and sentient entities) which are again, resultant entities.

udalum uyirum ERRAnemperumAn sustains all these. Thus, it is implied that all the entities mentioned above are emperumAn’s resultant possessions and he is the owner for all these. bruhadhAraNyaka upanishath 5-7-22 says “yasyAthmA SarIram yasya pruthivI SarIram” (for whom the jIvAthmA also is body, for whom the world is also body). Attain either emperumAn who is sustaining all the entities or sustain the entities which are being sustained by emperumAn. Even if one looks at the quality that he is the protector, isn’t he the entity to be attained!

udalum uyirum ERRAn – isn’t he the entity who is implied by all these words!

Let us take up the 74th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 72 – anbAzhiyAnai

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avathArikai

AzhwAr’s sensory perceptions went ahead of him and engaged with emperumAn. They started instructing AzhwAr “AzhwIr! Do not let go of emperumAn!”. In the earlier pAsuram, AzhwAr stood in the position of guru (teacher) and instructed his sensory perceptions. In this pAsuram, his sensory perceptions instructed him on the same matter, in the position of guru. Thus the guru-Sishya (teacher-student) order has got reversed in this pAsuram.

Let us enjoy the pAsuram and its meanings:

anbAzhiyAnai aNugennum nA avanthan
paNbAzhith thOL paravi Eththennum munbUzhi
kANAnaik kAn ennum kaN sevi kEL ennum
pUNAram pUNdAn pugazh

Word by Word Meanings

anbu – the mind which is full of love
AzhiyAnai aNugu ennum – will instruct to approach chakrapANi (emperumAn, who has the divine disc in his hand)
nA – tongue
avan than paNbu Azhi thOL paravi Eththennum – will instruct to worship his divine shoulders which are like beautiful ocean.
munbu Uzhi kANAnai kAN ennum kaN – eyes will instruct to worship emperumAn who does not see the time of eons
sevi – the ears
pUN Aram pUNdAn pugazh kEL ennum – will instruct to hear the praise of emperumAn who has donned the decorative pearl necklace.

vyAkyAnam

anbu AzhiyAnai aNugu ennum – mind is such that it is an embodiment of affection which is as deep as the ocean. Thus, instead of calling it as mind, AzhwAr is referring to it as anbu which means affection. Such a mind is instructing AzhwAr to approach and attain emperumAn. In the earlier pAsuram, AzhwAr instructed his heart [the terms heart and mind are interchangeably used in all these pAsurams] “adalAzhi koNdAn mAttu anbu vidal” (Oh dear heart! Do not let go of the affection towards emperumAn). Looking at AzhwAr, his heart tells him “do not worry about me. Please do not let go of emperumAn”.

AzhiyAn – just as one is engrossed with the bracelets worn by princes on their shoulders and forearms, the heart is engrossed with the beauty of the emperumAn who is having the divine disc on his hand.

nA avanthan paNbu Azhith thOL paravi Eththu ennum – my tongue will instruct me to worship, even if in an disorderly way, his simplicity and strong shoulders.

AzhiththOL – For the word Azhi instead of the meaning “strong”, if one were to consider the meaning “ocean”, we can say that his divine shoulders are like the beautiful ocean.

munbu Uzhi kANAnaik kAN ennum kaN – eyes will instruct me to worship emperumAn who has not seen the times of eons. My eyes do not know whether that is possible or not.

munbu Uzhik kANAn – Are we not those who have committed faults? We do not have to fear as how we will attain emperumAn. AzhwAr says that emperumAn will forget the times when we carried out such offences. If he thinks of those times, wouldn’t he be reminded of our offences too? Hence, along with our faults, he forgets the times too, when we committed such faults. Didn’t nammAzhwAr mercifully say in his thiruvAimozhi 2-7-3 “mAdhavan enRadhE koNdu ennai ini ippAl pattadhu yAdhavangaLum sErkodEn enRu” (Since I merely said mAdhava, emperumAn vowed that he will not allow any difficulties to come to me for all times hereafter)! We would know whether he is looking at us with anger or with affection in his eyes when he sees us. Hence eyes will say “look at him”.

sevi kEL ennum pUN Aram pUNdAn pugazh – my eyes will tell me “even if he sees our fault, why cannot you hear the praise of emperumAn who is beautiful, with such ornaments?”

pUN Aram – decorative ornaments for the divine physical form which, by itself, is like an ornament.  Didn’t hanuman say in SrI rAmAyaNam kishkinthA kANdam “sarvabhUshaNa bhUshArhA:” (divine shoulders which will decorate all the ornaments)!

pUNdAn – beauty which is to be decorated.

pugazh – isn’t praising emperumAn an ornament for AthmA!

We shall consider the 73rd pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 71 – nanRu piNi mUppu

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avathArikai

AzhwAr tells his heart in this pAsuram, “let the worldly people do whatever they want. Oh heart! you do not let go of emperumAn ever”. Just as nammAzhwAr says in thiruvAimozhi 8-10-2 “viyan mUvulagum pOyth thAnE thAnE AnAlum” (even if one were to get all the wealth in all the worlds and also kaivaylam (AthmA enjoying itself instead of carrying out service to emperumAn)), AzhwAr tells his heart not to have desire for the lowly benefits and worship emperumAn.

Let us enjoy the pAsuram and its meanings:

nanRu piNi mUppuk kaiyagaRRi nAngUzhi
ninRu nilam muzhudhum ANdAlum enRum
vidal Azhi nenjamE vENdinEn kaNdAy
adal Azhi koNdAn mAttu anbu

Word by Word Meanings

Azhi nenjamE – Oh heart, deep like the ocean!
piNi mUppu nanRu kai agaRRi – getting rid of disease and old age, well (and attaining kaivalyam)
nAngu Uzhi ninRu – being stable for four yugas (several eons)
nilam muzhudhum ANdAlum – even if one were to get all the wealth to rule all the worlds
adal Azhi koNdAn mAttu – the one who has the belligerent divine disc on his hands
anbu – friendliness
vidal – do not let go of
vENdinEn kaNdAy – behold, I am beseeching

vyAkyAnam

nanRu piNi mUppuk kaiyagaRRi – getting rid of diseases, old age etc very well. This implies kaivalyam (a stage in which AthmA enjoys itself).

nAngu Uzhi ninRu nilam muzhudhum ANdAlum – even if one were to rule the universe until the entity time exists (several eons). This implies the wealth of entities such as brahmA (the deity for creation). Thus if one were to get both aiSvaryam (wealth) and kaivalyam (AthmA enjoying itself)….

enRum vidal – never let go of the affection towards emperumAn. aiSvaryam (wealth) is transient. Compared to service to emperumAn, kaivlayam is very lowly. The very fact that these two cannot equal emperumAn by any yardstick should be sufficient to discard them. In the same vein, it is enough to worship emperumAn alone.

Azhi nenjamE vENdinEn kaNdAy – just as one has to beg another person for drinking milk, am I not praying to you to carry out a sweet task!

Azhi nenjE – while you have already taken steps to worship emperumAn, am I not beseeching you?

adal Azhi koNdAn mAttu anbu vidal – do not let go of the affection that you have on emperumAn, who is holding the belligerent divine disc which is raring to spit fire on enemies. emperumAn is such an entity that he should be attained, even if one has to effect a payment [like a sambhAvaNai].

Azhi nenjE – I am telling you, who are capable of advising me, says the AzhwAr.

Let us consider the 72nd pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 70 – sollum thanaiyum

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avathArikai

AzhwAr says that since emperumAn carries out impossible deeds, all the people in the world, without engaging with any other activity, should attain him.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

sollum thanaiyum thozhumin vizhum udambu
sellum thanaiyum thirumAlai nal idhazhth
thAmaththAl vELviyAl thandhiraththAl mandhiraththAl
nAmaththAl EththudhirEl nanRu

Word by Word Meanings

thirumAlai – consort of SrI mahAlakshmi
sollum thanaiyum – until you are capable of reciting
thozhumin – worship him
vizhum udambu – the [physical] body which will fall naturally
sellum thanaiyum – until it lasts
nal idhazhth thAmaththAl – with a garland which has beautiful petals of flowers
vELviyAl – with yAgam (religious ritual)
thandhiraththAl – with activities [not involving hymns]
mandhiraththAl – with hymns [not involving actions]
nAmaththAl – with his divine names
EththudhirEl – if you [attain and] praise him
nanRu – will yield benefits

vyAkyAnam

AzhwAr says that this physical body has to get destroyed one day. Until it falls, worship thirumAl (the consort of SrI mahAlakshmi] with garland containing flowers having beautiful petals or with rituals or with deeds. Until you have the capability, recite hymn or his divine names.

sollum thanaiyum – until the faculty of speech is in order

vizhum udambu sellum thanaiyum – until this physical body which is unstable, falls down

nallidhazh thAmaththAl – with garlands containing well blossomed flowers

vELviyAl – when good flowers are not available [being seasonal in nature], carrying out deeds such as yAgam etc which are ordained

thandhiraththAl – if it is not possible to carry out both mandhiram (manthram) and thandhiram (thanthram), carrying out only deeds [without singing hymns]

mandhiraththAl – if it is not possible to carry out deeds, recite only hymns

nAmaththAl – since vEdhas have ordained specific place, time, the qualified person etc for reciting divine names, one should recite emperumAn’s divine names . Who should be praised this way?

thirumAlai – the consort of SrI mahAlakshmi who is our appropriate lord. Are there any customs and practices to recite one’s parent’s names?

AzhwAr says that when pirAtti, who will magnify even small activities of jIvAthmA when he comes to offer his praises to emperumAn, is there with him, what is the hurdle for carrying this out?

We shall take up the 71st pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 69 – bAlan thanadhu uruvAy

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avathArikai

In the earlier pAsuram, AzhwAr said that others cannot know about emperumAn. In this pAsuram he is asking emperumAn whether he [emperumAn] knows about himself.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

bAlan thanadhu uruvAy EzhulaguNdu Alilaiyin
mEl anRu nI vaLarndhadhu mey enbar AlanRu
vElai nIr uLLadhO viNNadhO maNNadhO
sOlai sUzh kunRu eduththAy sollu

Word by Word Meanings

bAlan thanadhu uruvAy – having the form of a child
Ezh ulagu uNdu – swallowing the seven worlds
Al ilayin mEl – on top of a banyan leaf
anRu – during deluge
nI vaLarndha – your sleeping
mey enbar – (vaidhikas, experts in vEdhas) would say (that it) is true
anRu – during that time
Al – that banyan leaf
vElai nIr – inside the oceanic water (where you had slept)
uLLadhO – was it?
viNNadhO – was it in the sky (which does not have a support)?
maNNadhO – was it in the (dissolved) earth?
sOlai sUzh kunRu eduththAy sollu – one who lifted the (gOvardhana) hill surrounded by gardens
sollu – only (you) have to tell

vyAkyAnam

bAlan thanadhu uruvAy – he was so small that if milk falls on one cheek, it will fill up the other cheek!

Ezh ulagu uNdu – keeping the seven worlds inside the stomach [here seven implies all the worlds other than his nithyavibhUthi, SrIvaikuNtam]

Al ilayin mEl – on top of a banyan leaf which formed just then

anRu nI vaLarndha – that you had rested on that day

mey enbar – great people will say that this was true and not any act of magic

bAlan thandhu uruvAy – even though he was in a form (as an infant) needing someone else’s protection, he protected the worlds. He contracted his form that is transcendental [emperumNa’s divine form, unlike ours, is not composed of the five elements but is composed of upanishaths) and became an infant.

Ezhulagu uNdu – without any discrimination (that he likes some and dislikes the others) he kept all the entities, other than himself, in his stomach, and on top of the banyan leaf which was smaller than his form . . . .

anRu nI vaLarndha mey enbar – the rishis (sages) said that it is true that you [emperumAn] slept on top of a banyan leaf on the day when there was total annihilation

mey enbar –  For men of truth, this will appear as truth and for the others, it will appear as false. While the entire universe was under deluge, and there was flood everywhere, when there was not a piece of straw as far as the eye could see, where was that banyan leaf – was it on top of the ocean or was it on the unsupported sky [ether] or was it in the dissolved earth? If one were to ask where it was, it appears as if emperumAn wanted to hear it from AzhwAr himself.

sOlai sUzh kunRu eduththAy sollu – one has to mention the wondrous activity of your [emperumAn] lifting the hill, supporting all the objects which were on the hill. The opinion here is that his ability to do the impossible acts can only be seen and enjoyed, and cannot be examined [by way of how he did it]. AzhwAr says that nowhere else can one see the objects being supported and the person supporting them in the same entity. Thus, AzhwAr says that he himself cannot explain his qualities. AzhwAr says that it was because of him that the earth, which was the support for the banyan leaf on which he was lying, did not dissolve in the deluge.

We shall take up the 70th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 67 – peyarum karum kadalE

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avathArikai

In the earlier pAsuram it was mentioned that those who have desire for mOksham (SrIvaikuNtam) and who have knowledge [about emperumAn] will praise his divine feet and recite his divine names. Why is there such a compulsion? It is because the people mentioned here are those with knowledge. AzhwAr says in this pAsuram that since there is no target for knowledge other than emperumAn, the consort of thirumagaL (SrI mahAlakshmi), only he can be praised.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

peyarum karum kadalE nOkkum ARu oNpU
uyarum kadhiravanE nOkkum uyirum
dharumanaiyE nOkkum oN thAmaraiyAL kELvan
oruvanaiyE nOkkum uNarvu

Word by Word Meanings

ARu – river
peyarum karum kadalE nOkkum – will flow only towards the dark complexioned ocean which keeps throwing out waves
oN pU – the radiant lotus flower
uyarum kadhiravanE nOkkum – will blossom only after looking at sun, who is at a high place
uyirum – AthmA (of avaishNavas (those who are not followers of vishNu, emperumAn))
dharumanaiyE nOkkum – (at the end of its life on earth) will attain only yama, the deity of righteousness

(In the same way)
uNarvu – knowledge
oN thAmaraiyAL oruvanaiyE – only nArAyaNa, consort of SrI mahAlakshmi who dwells on the radiant lotus flower
nOkkum – will know

vyAkyAnam

peyarum karum kadalE nOkkum ARu – if it is a river, it will be flowing fully and will flow only towards ocean which keeps throwing out waves. Rivers do not flow towards oceans to fill them, but because they cannot remain without joining oceans.

oN pU uyarum kadhiravanE nOkkum – beautiful lotus flower will not blossom without looking at sun, however far sun may be. It will not blossom by looking at any other entity. Even if hot embers are placed next to it, the lotus will not blossom.

uyirum dharumanaiyE nOkkum – most of the AthmAs will be under the control of only yama, the lord of righteousness. Other than SrIvaishNavas,  whom even yama will avoid going nearby saying “they are not under my control”, all the others are under his control.

oN thAmaraiyAL kELvan oruvanaiyE nOkkum uNarvu – in the same way, knowledge will be devoted only to the consort of thirumagaL (SrI mahalakshmi). SrIvishNu purANam 6-5-87 says “samgyAyathE yEna thadhasdhOsham Sudhdham param nirmalamEkarUpam, sandhruSyathE vA’pyathi gamyathE vA thath gyAnamagyAna mathO’nya dhuktham”(that knowledge with which the faultless, pure, incomparable supreme entity is known, seen and attained, that alone is gyAnam (knowledge). All the rest are agyAnam (ignorance)). For the lotus called AthmA, emperumAn and pirAtti are the sun and its rays which blossom the knowledge. Usage of the emphatic syllable “E” (oruvanaiyE) implies that AthmA does not have sustenance without emperumAn. AthmA is inseparable from emperumAn’s divine feet like the lines and shadow of the feet.

We shall move on to the 68th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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