Category Archives: mudhal thiruvandhAdhi

mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 56 – pErE vara

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avathArikai

AzhwAr says that to be subservient to emperumAn is nothing but not rejecting him when he comes to shower his mercy on us. Nobody can estimate his greatness, he says.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

pErE varap pidhaRRal allAl em pemmAnai
ArE aRivAr adhu niRka nErE
kadikkamalaththuL irundhum kANgilAn kannan
adikkamalam thannai ayan

Word by Word Meanings

pErE – with the divine name (of emperumAn)
vara – such that he comes
pithaRRal allAl – apart from saying in disorderly manner
em pemmAnai – my emperumAn (lord)
ArE aRivAr – who can know
adhu niRka – let it be so
kadi kamalththu uL – floating inside the fragrant lotus (which came out of emperumAn’s navel)
nErE irundhum – being very close (to emperumAn)
ayan – brahmA who was born to emperumAn
kaNNan – that emperumAn’s
adi kamalam thannai – the divine lotus-like feet
kANkilAn – would not know

vyAkyAnam

pErE varap pidhaRRal allAl – Not saying something or the other, other than reciting emperumAn’s divine name and making this as a habit. Has it not been divined by kulaSEkara AzhwAr in perumAL thirumozhi 2-4 “nAththazhumbezha nAraNA enRazhaiththu” (speak out emperumAn’s name of nArAyaNa till scar forms on the tongue)! Just as the elephant gajEndhrAzhwAn called out to him, even if in a disorderly way, such that emperumAn came hurrying to the bund of the pond where gajEndhra was caught by a crocodile.

em pemmAnai ArE aRivAr – who can know the entity who is my Lord? AzhwAr knew about emperumAn since emperumAn himself manifested to him.

adu niRka – let the enquiry into who can know wait for some time.

nErE kadikkamalaththuL irundhum kANgilAn – Let us see who did not know him. Even brahmA, who was born in the fragrant lotus which shot off from emperumAn’s navel and made that itself as his dwelling place, who has the greatness of having been taught all the vEdhas (sacred texts) by emperumAn himself, has not seen the divine feet of emperumAn despite being so close to him.

kadikkamalaththuL irundhum kANgilAn – are they so difficult to see? Yes, just as one cannot estimate the depth of an ocean by building a house near the shore and staying there for a very long time.  At the most, one can know that it is not possible to know. In SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 120-3, it is said of brahmA “brahmA brahmavidhAm vara:” (brahmA is the greatest among those who know brahmam (supreme entity)). Thus, if the most knowledgeable brahmA himself does not know emperumAn, is it possible for others to know? AzhwAr says that when vEdham itself says that unless emperumAn comes and shows himself up, it is not possible for anyone to know him.

Let us take up the 57th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 55 – avan thamar

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avathArikai

AzhwAr asks in this pAsuram as to who can look at emperumAn‘s followers, with anger in their eyes, when he is there to look for the enemies of his followers to destroy them. He says that yama’s (deity for dharma, righteousness) messengers cannot judge whether emperumAn’s followers have carried out any sins.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

avan thamar evvinaiyar Agilum engOn
avan thamarE enRu ozhivadhallAl naman thamarAl
ArAyappattum aRiyAr kaNdIr aravaNai mEl
pErAyaRku AtpattAr pEr

Word by Word Meanings

aAvan thamar – the followers of that paramapurushan (supreme soul or emperumAn)
evvinaiyar Agilum – irrespective of their deeds
“em kOn avan thamarE” enRu – praising them by saying “aren’t they the followers of my swAmy (lord) sarvESvaran (supreme being)”
ozhivadhallAl – other than leaving that place
aravaNai mEl pEr AyaRku AtpattAr pEr – those who have the names of the followers of emperumAn, who came out of the mattress of AdhiSEshan in order to protect his followers, as a cowherd
naman thamarAl – by the messengers of yama
ArAyappattu aRiyAr kaNdIr – you would see that they are not questioned [by the messengers of yama].

vyAkyAnam

avan thamar evvinaiyar Agilum – In the words of the messengers of yama, “What does it matter as to what sins are committed by the followers of emperumAn? When those who are designed to question the sins of everybody cannot question the followers of emperumAn, can anyone else question them?” If one were to ask whether one cannot look for virtues or faults in the followers of emperumAn, the response will be that those who are his followers, even if they carry out certain deeds which are forbidden by SAsthras (sacred texts) no one can question them.

engOn avan thamarE enRu ozhivadhallAl – Other than saying that these persons are the followers of emperumAn, nothing else can be done. In SrI vishNu purANam 3-7-15 yama says “prabhavathi samyamanE mamApi vishNu:” (vishNu is capable of appointing me too). In the same SlOkam he further says “parihara madhusUdhana prapannAn prabhuraham anya nruNAm na vaishNavAnAm” (Leave aside those who have surrendered to madhusUdhanan (emperumAn). I am the Lord of others, but not of vaishNavas). He further says in SrI vishNu purANam 3-7-33 “kamalanayana! vAsudhEva! vishNO! dharaNidhara! SankachakrapANE! bhavaSaraSamithIrayanthi yE vai thyaja bhata dhUratharENa thAnapApAn ” (yama tells his messengers, “whoever says ‘Oh one with the lotus eyes! Oh vAsudhEva! Oh vishNu! Oh one who supports earth! Oh one who never lets down his followers! Oh one who holds the conch and disc! You are my saviour’, leave that person, who has not committed any sin, and go far away from him”)

naman thamarAl ArAyappattu aRiyAr kaNdIr – these people [who are followers of emperumAn] have not been questioned by even those who have been appointed to look into the sins of others and who are close to yama. Who are such people who cannot be questioned? Are they those who are followers of emperumAn? No, they are those who have as their names, the names of emperumAn’s followers. If a person, who is not emperumAn’s follower, has the name of his follower, his name will not be read out in yama’s court [among the names of those who have committed sins].

aravaNai mEl pErAyaRku AtpattAr pEr – these people (followers of emperumAn) can be searched only on the day when emperumAn’s bed is searched! [meaning that they can never be searched]. Just as periyAzhwAr says in periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 4-9-2 “thAmaraiyALAgilum sidhaguraikkumEl en adiyAr adhu seyyAr seydhArEl nanRu seydhAr enbar” even if SrI mahAlakshmi complains about followers to emperumAn, he will deny that. When such is the case, can the messengers of yama question them! Again, periyAzhwAr in his periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 4-6-1 says “nAraNan tham annai naragam pugAL” – if a newly born infant has been named after nArAyaNan, the mother of that infant becomes the mother of nArAyaNa himself. Will such a mother be ever go to narakam (hell)!

Let us move on to the 56th pAsuram.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 54 – aravam adal vEzham

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avathArikai

AzhwAr says in this pAsuram that emperumAn, leaving the comfort of the mattress that AdhiSEshan provides (as part of all the services that he willingly carries out to emperumAn), comes down to the materialistic realm and protects it. His nature is such that in order to make the people of this realm also to be his servitors and get them to carry out services like AdhiSEshan does, he sets aside his greatness and comes to lower levels.

As per thamizh grammar, this poem falls under the category of niral nirai aNi in which each of the terms in the first part of the poem corresponds to each of the terms in the second part in the same order that the terms appear.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

aravam adal vEzham An kurundham puL vAy
kuravai kuda mulai maRkunRam karavinRi
vittiRuththu mEyththosiththu kIndu kOththAdi uNdu
atteduththa sem kaN avan

Word by Word Meanings

sem kaN avan – emperumAn with reddish lotus like eyes
karavu inRi – without hiding
aravam vittu – driving away the snake kALiyan [from the river yamunA]
adal vEzham iRuththu – breaking the tusk of the warring elephant kuvalayApIdam
An mEyththu – grazing cows
kurundham osiththu – uprooting the tree kurundham (a flower bearing tree) in which a demon had entered
puL vAy kIndu – tearing the beak of a crane in which a demon had entered
kuravai kOththu – carrying out rAsakrIdai with cowherd girls [rAsakrIdai is a game in which two persons grip their hands in a crossed way, together, and go in a circular motion, with their planted feet acting together as the centre]
kudam Adi – dancing with pots
mulai uNdu – suckling (pUthanA’s) milk (along with her life)
mal attu – killing wrestlers (chANura and mushtika)
kunRam eduththa – lifting (gOvardhana) hill

(how wonderful were his activities!)

vyAkyAnam

aravu …..emperumAn who has eyes similar to reddish lotus, engaged in many activities when he took his incarnation as krishNa.  AzhwAr describes some of those activities in this pAsuram. In the first two lines of the pAsuram are the subjects aravam, adal vEzham, An, kurundham, puL vAy, kuravai, kudam, mulai, mal and kunRam and in the last two lines are the activities associated with these subjects in the same order – vittu, iRuththu, mEyththu, osiththu,kINdu, kOththu, Adi, uNdu, attu and eduththa. The pairs will thus be

aravam vittu – driving away the snake kALiyan and not killing him as requested for, by his wives

adal vEzham iRuththu – when kamsan set his royal elephant kuvalayApIdam on krishNa to kill him, krishNa broke off its tusks and killed it

An mEyththu – though he is emperumAn, he did not consider his greatness but came down as a cowherd boy and took the cattle for grazing.

kurundham osiththu – when a demon entered a tree kurundham in order to kill krishNa, krishNa uprooted the tree, killing the demon.

puL vAy kINdu – kamsan asked his friend bakAsuran, a demon, to take the form of a bird [crane] to kill krishNa. But, krishNa, knowing the disguise of the demon, killed the bird by tearing its beak.

kuravai kOththu – he engaged in dancing with the cowherd girls in a type of dance called rAsakrIdai (explained above)

kudam Adi – dancing with pots [in the middle of the road]

mulai uNdu – kamsan first set off pUthana, his friend, to kill infant krishNa. She took the form of yaSOdhA, krishNa’s mother and offered her poisoned milk to him, and he drank both her milk and her life, thus killing her.

mal attu – kamsan, after kuvalayApIdam was killed, set off his champion wrestlers against krishNa. But both chANura and mushtika, the wrestlers, were killed by krishNa in the wrestling match.

kunRam eduththu – indhra, the deity of celestial persons, was denied food by the people of gOkulam. In anger, he rained hailstorm on gOkulam. krishNa lifted gOvardhanam, a hill around gOkulam and saved the herds-people.

karavinRi vittuemperumAn did not hide anything  while engaging in the above mentioned acts. There are two meanings given for karavinRi – allowing someone to escape without killing him, and acting honestly without anything deceitful.

emperumAn takes all these efforts after leaving the comfortable mattress of thiruvanthAzhwAn (AdhiSEshan) and his services. In irandAm thiruvandhAdhi 15, bhUthaththAzhwAr says “nAgaththaith thaN paLLi koLvAn thanakku” (emerpumAn has AdhiSEshan as his comfortable bed).

Let us take the 55th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 53 – senRAl kudaiyAm

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avathArikai

In this pAsuram AzhwAr describes the state of nithyasUris (permanent dwellers of SrIvaikuNtam) who carry out service to emperumAn as their svabhAvam (nature), unlike dhEvas (celestial people) who come to emperumAn for seeking solution to their problems and leave. In the earlier pAsuram, AzhwAr spoke about the dhEvas who carry out service to emperumAn in order to get some benefits from him. In this pAsuram he speaks about nithyasUris who transform themselves in order to serve emperumAn.

Let us enjoy the pAsuram and its meanings:

senRAl kudaiyAm irundhAl singAsanamAm
ninRAl maravadiyAm nIL kadaluL enRum
puNaiyAm maNiviLakkAm pUm pattAm pulgum
aNaiyAm thirumARku aravu

Word by Word Meanings

thirumARku – for emperumAn who is with pirAtti (SrI mahAlakshmi)
aravu – thiruvananthAzhwAn (Adhi SEshan)
senRAl kudaiyAm – is an umbrella when (emperumAn) goes out
irundhAl singAsanamAm – (he) is the throne when he sits
ninRAl – when emperumAn stands
maravadiyAm – (he) is the divine sandals
nIL kadaluL – in the expansive ocean
enRum – whenever emperumAn reclines
puNaiyAm – (he) is the float
maNi viLakkAm – (he) is the auspicious lamp
pUm pattam – (he) is the beautiful divine dress
pulgum aNaiyAm – (he) is the pillow that emperumAn embraces

vyAkyAnam

senRAl kudaiyAm – thiruvananthAzhwAn assumes various forms appropriate to emperumAn’s needs to carry out service. When emperumAn goes out on foot, he will be his umbrella. AdhiSEshan cannot tell emperumAn “I want to be an umbrella. Come and stand under me” as it will be contrary to servitorship. Hence when emperumAn leaves for some place, he becomes his umbrella. The opinion here is that services rendered to emperumAn would be as per emperumAn’s wishes and not as per the servitor’s.

irundhAL singAsanamAm – when emperumAn desires to sit, AdhiSEshan will be his throne.

ninRal maravadiyAm – when emperumAn desires to stand, AdhiSEshan will be his sandals.

ninRalafter emperumAn stands, AdhiSEshan will be his sandals.

nIL kadaluL enRum puNaiyAm – in the expansive ocean, when emperumAn wants to rest awhile, he will be the soft mattress. puNai would also mean a float (the meaning then will be that he will be a float in thiruppARkadal (milky ocean) for emperumAn)

maNi viLakkAm – AdhiSEshan will be an auspicious lamp. There is a variant in the phrase, with aNi viLakkAm also used. In this case the meaning will change to beautiful lamp. If emperumAn wants to see objects, AdhiSEshan will become auspicious lamp.

pUm pattAm – if emperumAn desires in his divine mind to wear a beautiful dress, AdhiSEshan will be his dress. He will become his yellow silky dress which indicates that emperumAn is the supreme entity.

pulgum aNaiyAm – when emperumAn desires to recline,  he will become the pillow. If there is any (feigned) discord between emperumAn and pirAtti, AdhiSEshan will become the pillow for emperumAn to embrace and forget the discord. Alternatively, it can be construed that emperumAn will embrace AdhiSEshan (as a pillow) due to which discord will arise between emperumAn and pirAtti.

thirumARku – AdhiSEshan carries out service to both emperumAn and pirAtti. Just as lakshmaNa carried out service to rAma when he was joined by sIthA, AdhiSEshan also carries out service to emperumAn when he is conjoined with pirAtti. Just as golden bar can be converted into ornaments as we desire, AdhiSEshan also transforms into umbrella, throne, sandals, float, lamp, divine dress, pillow etc while carrying out service to emperumAn [and pirAtti]. emperumAn and pirAtti need not feel shy due to the presence of AdhiSEshan when they are engaged in playing with each other and he remains as their mattress. Just as dwarfs and humpbacks go around the private quarters of royalties when the King and Queen are experiencing pleasurable moments without disturbing them, AdhiSEshan also remains without intruding.

What has been mentioned for AdhiSEshan is applicable to other nithyasUris too.

We shall consider the 54th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 52 – eNmar padhinoruvar

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avathArikai

When asked, “Is it not possible to live without reciting his divine names?”, AzhwAr says that those who are egotistical and who occupy high posts, exhibit their authority only because they are devoted to him.

Let us see the pAsuram and its meanings:

eNmar padhinoruvar IraRuvar Oriruvar
vaNNa malar Endhi vaigalum naNNi
oru mAlaiyAl paravi OvAdhu eppOdhum
thirumAlaik kai thozhuvar senRu

Word by Word Meanings

eNmar – the eight vasus
padhinoruvar – the 11 rudhras
Ir aRuvar – the 12 Adhithyas
Or iruvar – the twin aSvinI dhEvas
vaNNam malar Endhi – holding flowers with multiple colours
vaigalum naNNi – approaching [emperumAn] everyday
oru mAlaiyAl – with the incomparable garland of words, purusha sUktham
OvAdhu eppOdhum – always, without any break
paravi – worship
thirumAlai – the consort of SrI mahAlakshmi
senRu kai thozhuvar – will approach and worship

vyAkyAnam

eNmar padhinoruvar IraRuvar Oriruvar – the eight vasus, eleven rudhras, twelve Adhithyas and the twin aSvinI dhEvas

vaNNa malar Endhi – holding multi coloured flowers [appropriate to emperumAn’s divine form]

vaigalum naNNi – approaching him all the time

oru mAlaiyAl paravi – with the great composition purusha sUktham they will worship him, even without following the ordained way of recitation

OvAdhu eppOdhum – all the time, without any break

thirumAlaik kai thozhuvar senRu – they approach SrI mahAlakshmi’s consort and worship.

thirumAl – pirAtti (mahAlakshmi) is there to grant the boons sought by each one of them. The dhEvas, who sit egotistically waiting for people to come to their doorsteps to seek alms, rid themselves of their ego and go to emperumAn on their own. Is there a necessity for the dhEvas to attain him? brahmA sUthram 1-3-25 says “thadhuparyapi bhAdharAyaNassambhavAth” (bhAdharAyaNar (a great sage) says that brahmOpAsanam (devotion to emperumAn) is apt for even dhEvas, who are superior to human beings). Thus, since it is ordained in vEdham, in  order to get mOksham (liberation from materialistic realm and reaching SrIvaikuNtam) at some point of time in future, dhEvas also approach emperumAn who is at the centre of the galaxy and worship him.

We shall take up the 53rd pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 51 – eLidhil iraNdadiyum

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avathArikai

In this pAsuram, AzhwAr says if we are devoted to emperumAn, he will destroy our enemies and show himself to us just as he destroyed prahalAdha’s enemy hiraNyan and showed himself to prahalAdha.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

eLidhil iraNdadiyum kANbadhaRku ennuLLam
theLiyath theLindhozhiyum sevvE kaLiyil
porundhAdhavanaip poraluRRu ariyAy
irundhAn thirunAmam eN

Word by Word Meanings

en uLLam – Oh my heart!
eLidhil – easily
iraNdu adiyum – both divine feet
kANbadhaRku – appropriate to worship
theLiya – if (you) attain clarity
sevvE theLindhu ozhiyum – (he also) will become very clear [and happy]
kaLiyil – due to vanity
porundhAdhavanai – one who doesn’t come to him
poral uRRu – being intent on waging war
ariyAy – as narasimhan (face of lion and body of human)
irundhAn – one who incarnated
thirunAmam – beautiful divine names
eN – keep meditating

vyAkyAnam

eLidhil iraNdu adiyum kANbadhaRku – the word eLidhil can be interpreted in two ways – (1) not  simple and (2) easy. If it is taken to mean that it is not simple, the meaning for this phrase would be “to see the two divine feet which are very exalted”. If it is taken to mean easy it would mean “to see the divine feet of emperumAn without any effort”

ennuLLam theLiya – Oh my heart! If you leave aside your devotion to worldly pursuits and get clarity [that he is the one to be devoted to] emperumAn will be happy. He will be happy, without being angry at the sins that we have been committing since time immemorial, which had prevented us from seeing him. He will not see our faults if you stop indulging in worldly pursuits.

sevvE theLindhu ozhiyumemperumAn will become very clear. Instead of doing something superficially, he will also become wholeheartedly very clear. Earlier, looking at the countless sins that I was committing, he was very disturbed. Now, after I become clear in my mind and approach him, he will also become very clear and happy.

AzhwAr recounts an incident that happened earlier when his devotee recited his divine name and he went to his help.

kaLiyil porundhAdhavanaip poraluRRu – engaging in fight with hiranya kashyap who was not amicable with emperumAn. hiraNyan, owing to his boons and his strength, became very vain and said that he will not bow down to anyone. A person who says that he himself is God cannot be amicable with emperumAn, can he! Hence, in order to do good to him, emperumAn destroys his physical body.

ariyAy irundhAn thirunAmam eN – since emperumAn was in the form of narasimhan to remove the sadness of his devotee, meditate on the divine names of this form. Another interpretation – he was lazing since there were no more enemies, who would become fodder to his anger, to destroy. What we need to do is to meditate on emperumAn’s divine names, just as his child-devotee prahlAdha did. If we did that, emperumAn will himself protect us, instead of driving us to other deities. Oh Heart! Don’t you know the difficulties that hiraNyan had to endure because he did not meditate on emperumAn’s divine names! AzhwAr says, meditate on his divine names and gain the result that prahlAdha gained instead of suffering like hiraNyan,

We shall take up the 52nd pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 50 – ariya pulanaindhadakki

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avathArikai

AzhwAr says that it is very easy to see emperumAn for those who are without involvement in worldly pursuits.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

ariya pulan aindhadakki Ay malar koNdu Arvam
puriya parisinAl pulgil periyanAy
mARRAdhu vIRRidundha mAvalipAl vaNkai nIr
ERRAnaik kAnbadhu eLidhu

Word by Word Meanings

ariya – difficult to control
pulan aindhu – the five sensory perceptions
adakki – to bring under one’s control
Ay malar koNdu – taking flowers after proper selection, in the hand
Arvam puriya parisinAl – in the path of love
pulgil – if worshipped
periyanAy – as a great person (in both wealth and magnanimity)
mARRAdhu vIRRirundha – without change (in donating)
mAvali pAl – towards mahAbali
vaN kai – with his munificent hands
nIr ERRAnai – emperumAn who received water [which is given as indication of commitment to donating]
kANbadhu – to worship
eLidhu – will be easy

vyAkyAnam

ariya pulan aindhu adakki – controlling with difficulty the five sensory organs of ear, mouth, eye, nose and body [skin] which are uncontrollable. If water, meant for one channel, is diverted into two channels, it will become insufficient for both channels. In the same way, the sensory perceptions which are meant for enjoying emperumAn should be controlled, without going into worldly pursuits.

ariya pulan – in SrI bhagavath gIthA 6-34 arjuna tells krishNa “chanchalam hi mana: krishNa pramAthi balavadh dhrudam | thasyAham nigraham manyE vAyOr iva sudhushkaram ||” (krishNa! I think that this mind is unsteady, makes me agitated, strong, steady on lowly pursuits. Controlling it is as difficult as controlling wind). Thus, isn’t mind very difficult to control?

Ay malar koNdu Arvan puriya parisinAl pulgil – if we approach emperumAn with flowers appropriate to him, with love

Ay malar koNdu – with the best flowers

Arvam puriya parisu  – in a loving way

pulgil – if we embrace. Since attaining him is sweet, AzhwAr lovingly equates attainment as embracing him. Just as we desire to attain good things when we come across such things, it is enough if we desire to attain emperumAn. There is no need for any special rituals.

periyanAy mARRAdhu vIRRirundha mAvalipAl – thinking of himself as being superior to emperumAn, mahAbali sat [on his throne] as if he would give to everyone whatever they wanted without any refusal.

vaN kai nIr ERRAn – it is easy to see someone who is habituated to giving to others with his hands, but who goes to get seek alms from another. Is he not someone who will go and seek alms from someone who says that he will give something! Hence there is nothing difficult in attaining him; it is very easy.

We shall move on to the 51st pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 49 – magizhalagonRE poL

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avathArikai

AzhwAr says in this pAsuram that irrespective of whatever means people employ, apart from those who develop hatred for worldly pursuits and attain him, others cannot see him.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

magizh alagu onRE pOl mARum pal yAkkai
negizha muyalgiRpArkkallAl mugizh virindha
sOdhi pOl thOnRum sudar pon nedu mudi em
Adhi kANbArkkum aridhu

Word by Word Meanings

magizh alagu onRE pOl – just as the seed of the magizham tree (a kind of flower bearing tree with sweet fragrance) can be kept in a very restricted location as well as in an expansive location
mARum pal yAkkai – with various forms which keep changing constantly
negizha – to be rid of
muyalgiRpArkku allAl – other than those who attempt to
kANbaArkkum – the others who desire to see
mugizh virindha sOdhi pOl thOnRum – that which appears like a brightened radiance
sudar pon nedu mudi – the one who has radiant, beautiful and large crown
em Adhi – sarvESvaran (supreme being), who is the cause for my existence
aridhu – is rare to attain.

vyAkyAnam

magizh alagu onRE poL mARum pal yAkkai – in maths, the seed of the magizham (bearing flowers with a sweet fragrance) tree can be placed either in a very small area or in a very large area. In the same way, the AthmA (soul) based on its past deeds, can enter either the form of an ant or the form of a brahmA (one who creates all the worlds at the command of emperumAn) and takes birth repeatedly for innumerable times. nammAzhwAr mercifully spoke of the same concept in thiruviruththam 95 “yAdhAnum Or Akkaiyil pukku” (entering in some form or the other).

negizha muyalgiRpArkku allAl – apart from those who make an attempt to get rid of such births, emperumAn cannot be seen by the others. These forms [physical bodies inside which the soul pervades] have a special property. They will desire those who desire them. They will not like those who do not like them. There is nothing softer than a body. AzhwAr says that those who develop a hatred for worldly pursuits and who develop a desire to envision emperumAn can easily see him.

mugizh virindha sOdhi pOl thOnRum sudar pon nedu mudi em AdhiAdhi means the causative factor for all. emperumAn’s crown has a radiance that has just blossomed, is very beautiful to look at and points out that he is the Lord of all.

kANbArkkum aridhu – even for those who desire to see him, unless they rid themselves of desire for worldly pursuits, it is very difficult to see him. Even if one were to think “Isn’t he ours! Is it difficult to see him! “as mentioned above, unless the desire in worldly pursuits is eradicated totally, it is very difficult to see him.

Adhi – He is such an entity who gives us physical forms, gives us sensory perceptions, awaits our consent for him to uplift us, expectantly awaits to accept our service to him after we have rid ourselves of our connection with this world. He will not show himself up to those who still desire worldly pursuits. Thus the opinion here is that unless we remove our desire for worldly pleasures, we cannot attain him.

We shall take up the 50th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 48 – kazhal onReduththu

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avathArikai

AzhwAr tells his heart “Oh heart! We do not have to observe the difficult-to-practice controls of sensory perceptions etc. Since emperumAn comes to where we are and offers himself to us, you try and enjoy him with affection”

Let us enjoy the pAsuram and its meanings.

kazhal onRu eduththu oru kai suRRi Or kai mEl
suzhalum surAsurargaL anja azhalum
seruvAzi  EndhinAn sEvadikkE sella
maruvAzhi nenjE magizhndhu

Word by Word Meanings

Azhi nenjE – Oh my heart, which is as deep as the ocean!
kazhal onRu – one leg of namuchi [son of mahAbali]
eduththu – taking hold of
oru kai – with one divine hand
suRRi – spinning him around
suzhalum – (demons who were) scared (as to what will happen)
sura asurargaL – both celestial persons and demons
anja – to be afraid of
Or kai mEl – on top of the other hand
azhalum – glowing red hot
seru Azhi EndhinAn – emperumAn who is holding his sudharSana chakkara (disc)
sEvadikkE sella – to attain his fresh divine feet
magizhndhu maruvu – enjoy with happiness

vyAkyAnam

kazhal onRu eduththu oru kai suRRi – he stretched one divine leg and spun around his enemies with one divine hand. Alternatively, we can consider that he took hold of one leg of mahAbali’s son namuchi and spun him around with one divine hand and threw him.

Or kai mEl azhalum seru Azhi EndhinAnemperumAn’s sudharSana chakkaram (divine disc) spits fire on both dhEvas (celestial entities) who are loving towards emperumAn and are fearful about any danger that may happen to him and demons, who are out to cause harm to emperumAn, without any difference, due to his deep affection for emperumAn.  emperumAn holds such divine disc which is always battle ready, on his other divine hand. emperumAn’s action then was such that his followers were afraid of any harm that could befall him and his enemies were afraid as to what harm he will create for them! On my heart! Proceed towards his divine feet to attain them. It is enough if you do not reject his divine feet when they come on their own towards you.

Azhi nenjE – Oh my heart! You are as deep as the ocean. When you are ready to attain emperumAn’s  divine feet, do not do that as a routine.

magizhndhu maruvu – attain his divine feet with total affection.  Will you not feel happy and enjoy emperumAn  when he removes our enemies and offers his divine feet to us by coming to us, and who also feels exhilarated that he has now attained us?

Let us take up the 49th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 47 – vAri surukki

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avathArikai

AzhwAr says that it is not possible for anyone to attain his divine feet other than by those who control their sensory organs such that they do not go after worldly pleasures, and who have full knowledge about him.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

vAri surukki madhak kaLiRu aindhinaiyum
chEri thiriyAmal senniRIi kUriya
mey gyAnaththAl uNarvAr kANbarE mEl oru nAL
kai nAgam kAththAn kazhal

Word by Word Meanings

madhak kaLiRu aindhinaiyum – the five sensory perceptions which are like elephants in rut
vAri surukki – reducing the water [which is like enjoyment]
chEri thiriyAmal sem niRIi – ensuring that they do not loiter in the streets of worldly objects such as sound, smell etc
kUriya – subtle
mey gyAnaththal – true knowledge which takes the form of devotion
uNarvAr – those who can know [emperumAn]
mEl oru nAL – in earlier time
kai nAgam kAththAn – the one who protected the elephant, gajEndhrAzhwAn with the trunk  [in our sampradhAyam, it is common to denote certain entities as AzhwAn to bring in a distinction of superior knowledge about emperumAn, over other entities; gajEndhra is one such]
kazhal – the divine feet
kAnbar – they will see and enjoy

vyAkyAnam

vAri surukki – to control a rutting elephant, people would reduce its intake of water. The worldly pleasures are to sensory organs, much similar to water for an elephant in rut. To control the five sensory organs which are like elephants, one has to reduce gradually the pleasures that they enjoy. If they are completely stopped immediately, they will tear us apart. At the same time, if we allow them to go their way , they will become very arrogant and will become more roused. In SrI bhagavath gIthA 2-62, emperumAn says “sangAth sanjAyathE kAma: kAmAth krOdhOpi jAyathE: krOdhAth bhavathi sammOha: sammOhAth smruthi vibhrama: smruthibhramSAth budhdhinASO budhdhinASAth praNaSyathi” (due to attachment towards worldly pleasures lust is formed; lust begets anger; anger leads to inability to discriminate; indiscrimination leads to loss of memory; that results in loss of intelligence; loss of intelligence results in the persons’s destruction in samsAram (material realm)). Hence one should not indulge too much in sensory pleasures and should not reduce them at once. There should be a balance between the two extremes for sustaining oneself and they should be reduced slowly.

madhak kaLiRu aindhinaiyum – the five sensory organs of ears, mouth, eyes, nose and body which are like five rutting elephants.

chEri thiriyAmAl sem niRIi – if the elephant strays within one’s area of vision, it can be caught. If sensory perceptions are controlled such that they do not stray in worldly pleasures, like the example of the elephant, it would lead to sharp, true knowledge. True knowledge results in capability to know the subtle meanings [of SAsthras] and to know AthmA (soul) and paramAthmA (emperumAn). Those who carry out deeds which are prescribed in SAsthras, without any attachment in the deeds will have their sins removed, leading to knowledge about AthmA and paramAthmA, knowing further that jIvAthmA is a servitor to paramAthmA and would finally be able to see him. It is said “upAsanam dhruvAsmruthi: dharSana samAnAkArathA prathyakshApathi” (devotion is the steady level of thoughts. It will create the impression of seeing [emperumAn] directly. This will lead to attaining the goal of seeing directly). In SrI bhagavath gIthA 18-55, emperumAn says “thathO mAm thathvathO gyAthvA viSathE thadhanantharam” (he knows about me truly through devotion and after that he attains me through that devotion).

mEl oru nAL kai nAgam kAththAn kazhal – AzhwAr gives example to show that they attain emperumAn. In earlier times, an elephant by name gajEndhra, avoiding its indulgence in worldly pursuits, entered a pond with the intention of plucking a lotus to place at the divine feet of emperumAn. However it was caught by a crocodile in the pond. To overcome the hurdle created by the crocodile and to remove its sorrow, emperumAn killed the crocodile and placed the lotus plucked by the elephant on his divine feet. Those who have devotion towards such emperumAn will get to attain his divine feet. AzhwAr says that just as emperumAn removed the enemy of elephant and gave himself to the elephant, he would remove the enemies of his followers (being caught by sensory indulgence) and give himself to them.

chEri thiriyAmal senniRIi – has it not been said in SrI bhagavath gIthA 2-59vishayA vinivarthanthE nirAhArasya dhEhina: rasavarjam rasO’pyasya param dhrushtvA nivarthanthE  ” (for a person who has come out of worldly pursuits which are the prey to sensory perceptions, those pursuits will leave. The desire in worldly pursuits does not leave him. Once he attains the higher level of seeing the basic nature of AthmA, this desire also leaves)!.

kUriya mey gyAnam – this is defined as thinking of emperumAn as the sweet entity to be attained and thinking of him as the path and object to be attained.

We shall next consider the 48th pAsuram.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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