Category Archives: mudhal thiruvandhAdhi

mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 46 – paN purindha

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avathArikai

AzhwAr says in this pAsuram that emperumAn not only does good to these people [brahmA et al] by being in the forefront, but when they leave him of their own accord and indulge in deeds which are harmful to them, he removes their faults and protects them. In the earlier pAsuram brahmA’s ignorance was mentioned. In this pAsuram, Siva’s ignorance is highlighted.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

paN purindha nAnmaRaiyOn sennip paliyERRa
veNpurinUl mArban vinai thIra puN purindha
AgaththAn thAL paNivAr kaNdIr amarar tham
bhOgaththAl bhUmi ALvAr

Word by Word Meanings

paN purindha nAn maRaiyOn – brahmA, who was taught the four vEdhas, along with their [musical] tunes
senni – on the head
pali yERRa – one who took alms
veN puri nUl mArban – rudhra who has white coloured yagyOpavIdham (sacred thread) worn across the chest
vinai thIra – to remove the brahmahaththi curse (due to harming a brAhmaNa; in this case brahmA)
puN purindha AgaththAn – emperumAn who harmed his divine heart
thAL – divine feet
paNivAr kaNdIr – see those who worship
amarar tham bhOgaththAl – along with enjoyment of nithyasUris
bhUmi ALwAr – will rule this earth too

vyAkyAnam

paN purindha nAn maRaiyOn sennip pali yERRa – Siva had severed one of the heads of brahmA, who had learnt the vEdhas with all the intonations. He severed the head of the one who was not only his father, but father of all the people in the world. Siva himself says in mAthsya purANam 1-8-2 “vAmAngushta nakAgrENa chinnam thasya SirO mayA” (that brahmA’s head was severed by the edge of the nail on my left hand). brahmA who was angered by this cursed him saying “kapAlee thvam bhavishyasi” (you will be with the skull) due to which the skull got stuck well with Siva’s hand. Since brahmA had cursed him saying that he has to beg till the skull becomes full, Siva went on begging for a very long period with that skull to rid himself of the curse.

veN puri nUl mArban vinai thIra – In order to atone for his bad deed, Siva wore a white coloured sacred thread and stood in front of emperumAn with the skull. Just as those who go about life as they like, indulging in sinful deeds, start taking dip in holy rivers and oceans once the effects of the sins become severe and trouble them, Siva also came in front of emperumAn with lot of humility. It is not only Siva who had severed his father’s head. pArvathi, his consort, was also responsible for the death of her father dhaksha. Siva’s follower saNdESvaran had also severed the foot of his father (all these persons are disrespectful of their fathers). It is opined here that since the word “vinai thIra” has been used it is clear that Siva is subordinated to the results of bad deeds and he is incapable of removing the effects of his sins. Thus there is no doubt that he is not ISvaran (supreme lord).

puN purindha AgaththAn – After seeing Siva, who thinks highly of himself, going around with the skull begging for alms, emperumAn’s divine mind was hurt. Alternatively we can consider the meaning of puN purindha AgaththAn as “alangal mArvil vAsanIr koduththavan” spoken mercifully by thirumazhisai AzhwAr in thiruchchandha viruththam 113, which means that emperumAn made an incision on his chest and took out fragrant blood to fill the skull in Siva’s hand. brahmA suffered by having his head severed. Siva severed a head and became a sinner. emperumAn removed the pain of both.

Those who attain such emperumAn’s divine feet ……

amarar tham bhOgaththAl bhUmi ALwAr – instead of suffering like Siva et al, they will experience the joy of nithyasUris (permanent dwellers of SrIvaikuNtam) in paramapadham and also experience the happiness on this earth. Hasn’t nammAzhwAr mentioned in thiruviruththam 79 “viNNuLArilum sIriyar” (those who worship emperumAn on this earth are superior to nithyasUris in paramapadham)! Or, as mentioned by nammAzhwAr in thiruvAimozhi 4-3-11vaiyam manni vIRRirundhu viNNumALvar maNNUdE” (they will rule the earth and also be happy in SrIvaikuNtam).

Let us take up the 47th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 45 – AmE amararkku

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avathArikai

The simplicity of emperumAn is such that it can be known only to his followers to whom he decides to manifest and not even to dhEvathAs (deities) such as brahmA et al.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

AmE amararkku aRiyavadhu niRka
nAmE aRigiRpOm nannenjE  pUmEya
mAdhavaththOn thAL paNindha vALarakkan nINmudiyai
pAdhamaththAl eNNinAn paNbu

Word by Word Meanings

nal nenjE – Oh [my] good heart!
pU mEya mAdhavaththOn – brahmA, who has done lot of penance and who resides in the lotus growing out of [emperumAn’s] navel
thAL paNindha – one who came and worshipped at his feet
vAL arakkan – demoniacal rAvaNan
nIL mudiyai – extended (ten) heads
pAdam aththAl eNNinAn – counted with his divine feet
paNbu – auspicious qualities
amararkku aRiya AmE – are they such that celestial people can know?
adhu niRka – moreover
nAmE aRigiRpOm – only we (who are blessed by his causeless mercy) know

vyAkyAnam

AmE amararkku aRiya – Is it possible for dhEvas (celestial people) such as brahmA, rudhra et al to know emperumAn? He is such simple, with no distinction between his simplicity and greatness, that they can not know him.

adhu niRka – moreover

nAmE aRigiRpOm – There are two interpretations: (1) can we, who are ignorant, know him when even very knowledgeable persons such as brahmA et al are unable to know him? (2) While persons such as brahmA et al do not know him, aren’t we going to know him! When he shows himself up to us [his devotees] can we not know him!

nannenjE – Isn’t the reason for brahmA et al not to know him, their hearts which do not obey them! But my heart! Is there any shortcoming for me when I have you who obeys me?

pU mEya mAdhavaththOn thAL paNindha vALarakkan nIN mudiyai pAdam aththAl eNNinAnAzhwAr gives out the reason for their not knowing emperumAn. When rAvaNa was begetting all his boons from brahmA, who has as his residence the lotus coming out of emperumAn’s navel, and who has carried out lot of penance, emperumAn came in the form of a child and lay on the lap of brahmA. He counted the ten heads of rAvaNa with his divine feet and warned brahmA “do not grant all the boons that he is asking for. Know that the person who has come here is rAvaNan. If you grant him all the boons, you will go the wrong path” and disappeared. He pointed out to brahmA “these are heads which will be severed. If you add strength to these through your boons, you will also be in deep trouble”

pAdham aththAl eNNinAn – he showed the heads by scrawling on them with his enjoyable divine feet. Will brahmA, who does not know that it is not going to benefit him any way but is only going to cause him trouble, know emperumAn’s qualities?

We shall take up the 46th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 44 – thamar ugandhadhu

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avathArikai

AzhwAr says that when these people [jIvAthmAs] carry out kainkaryam in keeping with their nature, emperumAn also shows himself to them appropriately.

Let us enjoy the pAsuram and its meanings, first:

thamar ugandhadhu evvuruvam avvuruvam thAnE
thamar ugandhadhu eppEr maRRu appEr thamar ugandhu
evvaNNam sidhiththu imayAdhu irupparE
avvaNNam AzhiyAnAm

Word by Word Meanings

AzhiyAn – emperumAn who holds the chakkara (divine disc) in his hand
thamar – devotees
ugandhadhu evvuruvam – whichever form they desire [for emperumAn]
avvuruvam thAnE – he attains that form
maRRu – moreover
thamar ugandhadhu eppEr – whichever divine name they desire [for emperumAn]
appEr Am – emperumAn attains that name
thamar – devotees
ugandhu – with desire
evvaNNam sindhiththu – in whichever way they think
imaiyAdhu irupparE – meditating without a break
avvaNNam Am – he transforms himself that way.

vyAkyAnam

thamar ugandhadhu evvuruvam avvuruvam thAne – whichever divine form his followers assume for him, emperumAn adopts that form itself as his, willingly. Isn’t he taking up various forms in his incarnations for the sake of his followers! SrI rAma tells the celestial persons in SrI rAmAyaNam udhdha kANdam 120-11 “AthmAnam mAnusham manyE rAmam dhaSarathAthmajam” (I am happy in considering myself as a human being, as the son of dhaSaratha). In SrI bhagavath gIthA 4-11 emperumAn himself says “yE yathA mAm prapadhyanthE thAmsthathaiva bhajAmyaham” (in whichever form my followers think of me and attain me, I attain them in archA (idol) form taking the same form). He says “I do not have friend or enemy. There is no compulsion that they should attain me only in this method. I attain them in the status that they are in, in the way that they hold me” SrI vishNu dharmam 103-16 says “surUpAm prathimAm vishNO: prasannavadhanEkshaNAm, kruthv(A)AthmAna: prIthikarIm suvarNarajathAdhibhi: ” (let him worship vishNu as an image made of materials such as gold, silver etc with a beautiful form, bright face, eyes etc which he desires). Thus it is mentioned [in several scriptures] that emperumAn’s divine form can be made with any material. Since some people [contemporary with him] only enjoyed when he took incarnations and others who came subsequently lost out on him, emperumAn keeping that loss in his heart, comes down in images or shapes that these [later-day] followers desire in whichever material they choose and worship him.

Once when emperumAnAr (bhagavath rAmAnujar) had gone out [at SrIrangam] for bikshA (alms), little children who were playing on the street, scrawled a few lines on the sand with their legs and told him “here is your perumAL [emperumAn]” emperumAnAr immediately kept the vessel that he was having in his hands on the sand and did a sAshtAnga praNAmam (prostrated) to that figure on the sand (this would imply that whatever the children scrawled as emperumAn’s image, emperumAnAr also accepted that it is his image).

thamar ugandhadhu eppEr maRRu appEr – it is not only form, but even in the case of his divine names, he accepts whatever names his followers give him. Leaving aside names such as nArAyaNa etc which are exclusive for him, he also accepts names given by his followers.

In a place called kanjanUr, there was a follower by name vaNthuvaraip perumAL. He called his thiruvArAdhanap perumAL (the idol that he worshipped everyday) by the divine name sadhangai azhagiyAr (beautiful person with anklets). emperumAn, to show him how much he liked this name, enacted a play. One day, he showed himself with anklets in the follower’s dream and started dancing. His follower asked him “who are you?” emperumAn responded “I am sadhangai azhagiyAr

nanjIyar had given the divine name “Ayar dhEvuto  his thiruvArAdhanap perumAL.  emperumAn, to show him that he relishes that name, appeared in the dream of engaLAzhwAn and demanded blue berries. When engaLAzhwAn wanted to know as to who he was, he replied “I am nanjIyar’s son Ayar dhEvu” Not only did he mention the name that nanjIyar gave him, but he also played by that name [Ayar dhEvu refers to krishNa, who was the lord of cowherds and liked blue berries very much]. Wondering at this, engaLAzhwAn told nanjIyar “your son is not allowing me to sleep. He keeps pestering to be given this and that”.

thamar ugandhu evvaNNam sindhiththu imaiyAdhu irupparE avvaNNam AzhiyAnAm – he remains with the same qualities and activities that his followers think of and keep meditating on. The one who creates all the worlds and who controls everything, becomes the form, name etc which his followers desire and thus becomes created and controlled. Just as AdhiSEshan makes himself the way emperumAn desires of him, as said in the 52nd pAsuram of this thiruvandhAdhi “senRAl kudaiyAm irundhAl singAdhanamAm ninRAl maravadiyAm” (AdhiSEshan becomes emperumAn’s umbrella when he goes out, his throne while sitting and his sandals when standing), emperumAn also makes himself as the way his followers desire of him. While the followers carryout the tasks because of their SEshathvam (being servitor) emperumAn does all the things for the followers because of his love for them.

AzhiyAn – though only sudharSana chakkara (the divine disc) has been mentioned, it is implied that the above would hold good for all nithyasUris (permanent dwellers of paramapadham). AzhwAr says that while there are many like sudharSana chakkara to carry out tasks based on his thoughts, emperumAn himself leaves them all and adapts in the way that his followers think of him and acts accordingly. nammAzhwAr says in thiruvAimozhi 3-6-9nenjinAl ninaippAn evan avanAgum nILkadal vaNNanE” (emperumAn who has the complexion of a large ocean, transforms himself into whatever his followers think of him). It is not only in form and name, but also in terms of qualities, activities etc that he goes by what his followers desire of him.

We shall take up the 45th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 43 – manamAsu thIrum

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AzhwAr says that since emperumAn’s consorts are always with him, it is not necessary that to attain him we have to get rid of all our sins. Even as we carry out the deeds that we like, our sins will disappear on their own. Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

manamAsu thIrum aruvinaiyum sArA
dhanamAya thane kaikUdum punamEya
pUnthuzhAyAn adikkE pOdhodu nIr Endhi
thAm thozhA niRpAr thamar

Word by Word Meanings

punam mEya pUm thuzhAyAn – emperumAn who is adorned with thuLasi garland which blossoms as if it is on its own land [even when it is on emperumAn’s divine form]
adikkE – to his divine feet
pOdhodu nIr Endhi – taking flower and  sacred water
thamar – his followers
thAm – themselves
thozhA niRpar – will keep worshipping

(Once they worship)
manammAsu thIrum – all the faults in their minds such as ignorance etc will exit
aru vinaiyum sArA – sins which cannot be got rid of, will not come anywhere nearby
dhanamAya – the wealth of kainkaryam (service to emperumAn)
thAne kaikUdum – will come on its own

vyAkyAnam

manamAsu thIrum – (if emperumAn is worshipped) all the faults in the mind would go away. Hurdles such as ignorance etc which prevent thinking about emperumAn would leave.

aruvinaiyum sArA – It is not enough if only the middle portion of the weed is thrown out. Even the root has to be removed as otherwise it will grow again. Hence, deeds such as puNya (virtue) and pApa (sin) which are the roots for ignorance, will not come anywhere near [the person who worships emperumAn].

dhanamAya thane kaikUdum – once the faults leave the mind and puNya and pApa deeds which are the reasons for samsAram (being born in materialistic realm) also leave, the wealth for such a person namely gyAna (knowledge about emperumAn) and bhakthi (devotion towards emperumAn) which are the harbingers of kainkaryam (service) would come to him on their own. Did not vAlmIki call vibhIshaNa [younger brother of demon rAvaNa] as a wealthy person in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 16-17 “antharikshagatha: SrImAn” (vibhIshaNa, who went through the path of sky and who is wealthy)! This was after he had left all his wealth behind in lankA and gone with empty hands to SrI rAma. samam (control over mind) and dhamam (control over the five senses) which are the components of bhakthi will also come.

punamEya pUndhuzhAyAn adikkE – in order to obtain whatever has been said so far, one has to consume this margosa decoction! (the opinion here is that to get the result, the means is also sweet) [margosa decoction is considered to be very good for health and is hence deemed as sweet].

punam mEya pUm thuzhAyAn adikkE – thuLasi will remain fresh on emperumAn’s divine locks just as it remains fresh in its own ground! For those followers who take flowers etc to lay at the divine feet of emperumAn, all the faults and bad deeds in the mind will disappear. When the follower does what he is expected to do, wouldn’t emperumAn do what he is supposed to do? It is the svarUpam (basic nature) of the follower to carry out kainkaryam to emperumAn and it is emperumAn’s svarUpam to accept the kainkaryam.

We shall move on to the 44th pAsuram.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 42 – thirumagaLum maNmagaLum

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What is the need for emperumAn to put up with our faults? AzhwAr says that since the pirAttimArs (his consorts), who make him tolerate, are beside him, he has necessity to do this. When pirAtti says, [as sIthAp pirAtti said] in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 116-44 “pApAnAm vA SubhAnAm vA vadhArhANAm plavangama | kAryam karuNamAryENa na kaSchinnAparAdhyathi ||” (Oh monkey! Whether they are sinners or virtuous persons, mercy should be shown on those who are fit even to be killed. There is none who has not committed a sin), is there any impediment for emperumAn to say “dhOshOyadhyapi thasa syAth” (even if he has faults, let them be)?

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings.

thirumagaLum maNmagaLum AymagaLum sErndhAl
thirumagatkE thIrndhavARu enkol thirumagaL mEl
pAl Odham sindhap pada nAgaNaik kidandha
mAlOdha vaNNar manam

Word by Word Meanings

pAl Odham sindha – droplets to fall on the milky ocean
padam nAgaNaikkidandha – reclining on the mattress of thiruvandhAzhwAn (AdhiSEshan) with hoods
mAl Odham vaNNar – emperumAn with the complexion of large ocean
thirumagaL mEl manam – divine mind which is (full of love) on thirumagaL (SrI mahAlakshmi)
thirumagaLum maNmagaLum AymagaLum sErndhAl – if SrIdhEvi, bhUdhEvi and neeLA dhEvi are together
thirumagatkE thIrndha ARu enkol – what a surprise that it is totally involved with SrI dhEvi!

vyAkyAnam

ananthAzhwAn, one of our Acharyars (a disciple of bhagavadh rAmAnuja) would explain the meaning of this pAsuram as: When thirumagaL (SrI mahAlakshmi), maNmagal (bhUdhEvi) and Aymagal (neeLAdhEvi) get together, emperumAn with the complexion of a large ocean, who is reclining on the mattress of AdhiSEshan, would be such that he is (a) totally dedicated to mahAlakshmi,  (b) totally dedicated to bhUdhEvi and (c) totally dedicated to neeLA dhEvi. In other words, when he is with each of his consorts, it would appear that he is totally involved with and dedicated to that consort. ananthAzhwAn would say, how wondrous it is that he is involved equally with all the three consorts!

parASara bhattar (divine son of kUraththAzhwAn) would give a different meaning, it is said.

pAl Odham sindha – in such a way that tiny droplets of thiruppARkadal (milky ocean) would come and touch emperumAn’s divine feet as if to massage

pada nAgaNaik kidandha – since emperumAn is reclining on him, AdhiSEshan is spreading his hoods in ecstasy. Such emperumAn who is …

mAl Odha vaNNar – having the complexion of a large ocean which throws waves

thirumagaL mEl manam – his divine mind which is affectionate towards periya pirAtti (SrI mahAlakshmi)

thirumagaLum maNmagaLum AymagaLum sErndhAl thirumagatkE thIrndhavARu – when he is with SrI mahAlakshmi, bhUdhEvi and neeLAdhEvi, his mind will be totally engaged with SrI mahAlakshmi.

In SrIguNarathnakOSam, SrI parASara bhattar has said mercifully while talking about the other consorts of emperumAn except SrI mahAlakshmi that they will be like “pushpAngarAgais samam” (similar to flower and sandalwood paste). In other words, when emperumAn is with SrI mahAlakshmi, the other consorts will be like aids such as the moon, sandalwood paste, flower, gentle breeze etc in enhancing his delight. The other consorts of emperumAn are like the divine limbs of SrI mahAlakshmi. Hence when emperumAn is with SrI mahAlakshmi, she would think that other consorts of emperumAn are also with her in partaking the experience. In samsAram, when a man has more than one wife, there will be constant fight among his wives as each wife feels that she has not had enough of her husband. In the case of emperumAn, since the experience is like a great flood, even if his consorts come together to experience him, their experience will not be sated. Hence there is no competition or jealousy amongst them.

We shall take up the 43rd pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 41 – kunRu anaiya

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AzhwAr is fearful in his heart as to whether we, who are habituated to carrying out misdeeds, can go near him even if we have a strong relationship with him and he is capable of eliminating our enemies. He himself gives the reconciliation, saying “he has come here only to forgive us of our faults. There is nothing else that you need to do to obtain his grace. Just create an involvement towards him and try to enjoy him. That alone will enable you to attain his grace”

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

kunRu anaiya kuRRam seyyinum guNam koLLum
inRu mudhalAga en nenjE enRum
puRan uraiyE Ayinum pon Azhik kaiyAn
thirRn uraiyE sindhiththu iru

Word by Word Meanings

en – my
nenjE – heart!
inRu mudhalAga – starting from now
enRum – at all times
puRan uraiyE Ayinum – even if it were spoken as a lip service
pon Azhikk kaiyAn thiRan uraiyE – matters related to emperumAn who is holding the beautiful disc  on his hand
sindhiththu iru – keep meditating
kunRu – looking like a hill
kuRRam seyyinum – if sins are committed
guNam koLLum – (without considering such sins, emperumAn) will only look at the good deeds.

vyAkyAnam

kunRu anaiya kuRRam seyyinum – Just as it says in vishNu dharmam “mEru manthara mAthrO’pi rASi: pApasya karmaNa: kESavam vaidhyamAsAthya dhurvyAthiriva nachyathi ” (just as a serious disease disappears on seeing a good medical practitioner, the bundles of sins of a person, even if they are as much as mEru mountain, will disappear once the person attains kESavan), even if one had done sins to the extent of a mountain.  Due to their greatness and unshakable nature, sins and mountains are comparable and hence AzhwAr compares sins to mountains. Sins cannot be got rid of any means other than by experiencing them. If emperumAn says “I tolerate your sins” all the sins will disappear.

guNam koLLum – emperumAn considers even a little bit of something good among the bad deeds carried out by the person unknown to himself, as a mountain. Alternatively, emperumAn forgets sins which are the size of a mountain and considers only the good done by the person even if it is the size of a mustard. Just as periyAzhwAr says in periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 4-9-2 “seydhArEl nanRu seydhAr” (if a person carries out a faulty deed thinking that emperumAn is there to tolerate it, emperumAn would say that he had done only good), emperumAn considers even a fault as a good deed. emperumAn is always permanent. jIvAthmA is also permanent. And emperumAn is the one who considers even a bad deed as a good one. If this indeed were true, why did the jIvAthmA lose this benefit all along?

inRu mudhalAgaAzhwAr says that this benefit will accrue from the day jIvAthmA realises that emperumAn has this quality in him [of considering the fault as good deed].

en nenjE – Oh my heart, which follows my way instead of taking me in your way! Is it possible to talk wholeheartedly about his qualities? ….

enRum puRan uraiyE Ayinum – even if meaningless gibberish were spoken in praise of emperumAn instead of wholeheartedly praising him. Has it not been said “vruthaiva bhavathO yAthA bhUyasi janmasandhathi thasyAmanyathamam janma sanchithya SaraNam vraja ” (your series of births had gone wasted. Choose a distinguished birth from among them and surrender to emperumAn)!

ponnAzhikkkaiyAn – one who holds the beautiful sudharSana chakkaram (disc). nenjE! You have seen emperumAn with his disc and hand. After seeing this, is it possible to forget him? His beauty is such that even if you were involved with him in some way (without being in a wholehearted manner) the involvement is taken by him as if it were done wholeheartedly.

thiRan uraiyE sindhiththiru – keep thinking about him and be without any fear. Alternatively, we can consider “puRan uraiyE Ayinum”to mean “Oh heart! Even though you were involved with other matters all along, now do what I had told you”. The powerful message from the one who is holding the disc [emperumAn] is his divine words in SrI bhagavath gIthA 18-66 “sarva dharmAn parithyajya mAmEkam SaraNam vraja, aham thvA sarva pApEbhyO mOkshayishyAmi mA sucha:” (leave aside all righteous paths, as means to attain me, and surrender only to me. I shall release you from all sins. Do not worry).

sindhiththiru – keep thinking about that word. Just as arjuna says in SrI bhagavath gIthA 18-73 “sthithOsmi gatha sandhEha” (I am standing devoid of doubt), remain happy.

thiRan urai – In SrI rAmAyaNam SrI rAma says “mithrabhAvEna samprAptham nathyajEyam kathanchana, dhOshO yadhyapi thasya syAth sathAmEthadhagarhitham” (I will never give up a person even if he comes in the garb of a friend. Even if faults are there in him, let them be. This is not something to be condemned by good persons). thiruvAimozhi 2-7-3 says “mAdhavan enRadhE koNdu ennai ini ippARpattadhu yAdhu avangaLum  sErkodEn enRu ennuL pugundhirundhu thIdhu avam kedukkum amudham ” (just because I said mAdhavan [consort of mahAlakshmi] he entered my heart with a vow that henceforth he will not allow any fault to accrue to me. He is the most enjoyable entity and removed all my varied sins).

Let us take up the 42nd pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 40 – peru vil pagazhi

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avathArikai

AzhwAr says that the purpose of dwelling permanently at thirumalai, as thought by emperumAn, is to destroy the enemies of followers and be joyful.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

peruvil pagazhik kuRavar kaichchendhI
veruvip punam thuRandha vEzham iruvisumbil
mIn vIzhak kaNdu anjum vEnkatamE mEl asurar
kOn vIzhak kaNdu ugandhAn kunRu

Word by Word Meanings

peru vil – with a large bow
pagazhi – and arrows
kuRavar – hunters’
kai – held in the hand
sem thI – to the red hot fire
veruvi – being fearful
punam thuRandha – leaving the fields
vEzham – elephant
iru visumbil – from the expansive sky
mIn vIzha – with the shooting star falling
kaNdu – seeing that
anjum – fearful place (that it is the burning firewood thrown by the hunters)
vEnkatamE – Oh thirumalai!
mEl – in earlier time
asurar kOn vIzha – hiraNyan, the leader of demons, falling down
kaNdu – seeing (that)
ugandhAn – one who felt joyful
kunRu – is thirumalai

vyAkyAnam

peru vil – the hunters hold a large bow like SrI rAma, as mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 100-12 “sa dhadharSa thathO rAmam thishtanthamaparAjitham | AliganthamivAkASam avashtabhya mahadh thanu: ||” (rAvaNa saw SrI rAma, who is unconquered and who is holding a large bow that reaches up to the sky).

pagazhiAzhwArs and AchAryars take heart from the sharp arrows of SrI rAma and get rid of their fear as mentioned by thirumazhisai AzhwAr in nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi 8 “ilai thuNai maRRu en nenjE kUr amban allAl” (Oh my heart! There is none to support other than the one with sharp arrows). In the same way, this AzhwAr [poygai AzhwAr] also talks about the sharpness of the hunters’ arrows. The way the hunters of thirumalai are holding the bow is similar to the way SrI rAma and lakshmaNa are holding! The hunters who are holding the bow and sharp arrows in one hand are holding torches [burning firewood] in the other, in order to remove the darkness, while going to their fields for protecting them.

veruvip punam thuRandha vEzham – elephants which foray into the fields for food, on looking at the torches and the bow / sharp arrows that the hunters are holding, will become fearful and will run away, thinking that they should never ever come to these fields.

iru visumbil mIn vIzhak kaNdu anjum vEnkatamE – even as the elephants are running away from the fields fearing the torches, they see shooting starts falling from the expansive sky towards the earth. Thinking that these are the torches being thrown at them by the hunters, they stand transfixed, unable to go further. It appears to them that it was better in the fields as the torches would have been brought by the hunters for some other purpose whereas here, the shooting stars [which they think are torches] are being aimed at them by the hunters and they become more fearful.

mEl asurar kOn vIzhak kaNdu ugandhAn kunRuAzhwAr, on seeing the fear that the elephants have is reminded of the fear that hiraNyan had on seeing narasimha. thirumalai is the place that emperumAn came to, after destroying hiraNyan and feeling happy that he was able to destroy the enemy of his child devotee prahlAdha. He stands in thirumalai in order to eliminate enemies of his followers in future too.

Let us consider the 41st pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 39 – idandhadhu bhUmi

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avathArikai

Is there any place which is not his? Is there any activity that he has not carried out for his followers? That being the case, what is special about thirumalai? AzhwAr says that unlike other places, emperumAn has come to this place with lot of affection and has made it his permanent dwelling place and this speciality is exclusive to thirumalai.

Let us first go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

idandhadhu bhUmi eduththadhu kunRam
kadandhadhu kanjanai mun anja kidandhadhuvum
nIrOdha mA kadalE ninRadhuvum vEnkatamE
pErOdha vaNNar peridhu

Word by Word Meanings

pEr Odham vaNNan – emperumAn having the complexion of a large ocean
mun – in earlier times
idandhadhu – (in varAha form) dug out
bhUmi – was the earth
eduththadhu – held as umbrella
kunRam – was the gOvardhana hill
anja kadandhadhu – destroyed through fear
kanjanai – was (king) kamsa
kidandhadhuvum – reclined
nIr Odham mA kadal – ocean which is full of water and which keeps throwing up waves
peridhu ninRadhuvum – stood always
vEnkatamE – only at thiruvEnkatam

vyAkyAnam

idandhadhu bhUmi – when the world drowned during deluge, emperumAn took the form of varAha (wild boar) and dug out the earth.

eduththadhu kunRam – when indhra (lord of celestial people) became angry [on being denied food] and created hailstorm, emperumAn lifted the gOvardhana hill like an umbrella and stopped the hailstorm, thus protecting the cowherds.

kadandhadhu kanjanai mun anja – in earlier times when kamsa tried to destroy krishNa, he made kamsa to shiver on merely seeing him and killed him.

kidandhadhuvum nIr Odham mA kadalE – as the origin of these incarnations, emperumAn reclined on thiruppARkadal (the milky ocean) which has large amount of liquid and throws up waves.

During each of these incarnations, very few people only were able to see him and enjoy him. Unlike that, he came to thiruvEnkatam to be seen and enjoyed by everyone at all the times.

pErOdha vaNNar peridhu ninRadhuvum vEnkatamEemperumAn who has the complexion of large ocean with agitating waves, does not return to paramapadham after his incarnations but goes to thiruvEnkatam to take permanent residence, with full desire. Just as he himself has divined in SrI bhagavath gIthA 4-8parithrANAya sAdhUnAm vinASAya cha dhushkruthAm, dharma samsthApanArththAya sambhavAmi yugE yugE” (in every yugam, I incarnate myself in order to protect the good people, destroy the bad people and to establish righteousness), his incarnations are only to remove the dangers that could occur to his followers. But is it not true that thiruvEnkatam is such that he comes ahead and stays there so that it will prevent dangers that would set in, in future! There is not a deed that emperumAn has not carried out for our sake, with immeasurable love. But, we [the samsAris] do not have real involvement in anything. While professing that we enjoy him, we relish food. But we do not have total involvement even in that. We observe fast on some days because we do not like that food. We like women. But on occasions, we forget them too and play games like chathurangam (modern day chess) or sleep, as a pastime. We do not have real love towards anything. This is a major difference between him and us.

idandhadhu bhUmi eduththadhu kunRam kadandhadhu kanjanai mun anja – he overcame the danger that befell earth during deluge; he removed the danger due to hailstorm; he removed the danger due to kamSan too. He reclined on his thirupARkadal after completing incarnations so that he could rest awhile and be alone for some time. We can see the beauty of his digging out bhUmi which got drowned during deluge; the beauty when he lifted  the gOvardhana hill as an umbrella; the beauty which came as a victory upon destroying kamSan; the beauty of his reclining in thirupARkadal – all these beauty can be seen together at thiruvEnkata hills, in the divine form of thiruvEnkatavan.

We shall next take up the 40th pAsuram.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 38 – Urum vari aravam

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avathArikai

Since emperumAn came to dwell in thirumalai, with desire, AzhwAr, on seeing this, describes with joy, all the entities which have connection with emperumAn in that place. If a particular place is desired, all the things associated with that place also become desirable! Just as all the people in paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam) are desired since paramapadham is a place to be attained.

Let us enjoy the pAsuram and its meanings:

Urum vari aravam oN kuRavar mAL yAnai
pEra eRindha peru maNiyai kArudaiya
min enRu puRRadaiyum vEnkatamE mEla surar
em ennum mAladhu idam

Word by Word Meanings

Urum – that which crawls
vari aravam – snake with lines (on its body)
oN kuravar – wise inhabitants (hunters) of thirumalai hill
mAl yAnai pEra – making the huge elephants, which are grazing in the fields, to leave
eRindha – thrown (on those elephants)
peru maNiyai – huge carbuncle gems
kAr udaiya min enRu  – thinking that it is the lightning amidst clouds
puRRu adiyum vEnkatamE – (fearing the thunder) such snakes entering their anthills in thiruvEnkatam
mEla surar – distinguished celestial beings [nithyasUris]
em ennum – thinking that this is ours
mAladhu idam – is the place desired by emperumAn as his dhivyadhESam.

vyAkyAnam

Urum – The snakes in thirumalai will crawl around, as they like. Without any specific target, they will keep crawling, as a pastime. sumithrA tells lakshmaNa in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 40-5 “rAmE pramAdham mA kArshi: puthra bhrAthari gachchathi” (Oh dear child! By watching the gait of SrI rAma when he is walkling, don’t get involved in that and slip from protecting him). Similar to that beautiful gait of Sri rAma, the beauty of the snakes crawling all over the hills engages AzhwAr.

vari aravam – The lines on the body of the snake are beautiful to look at. AzhwAr involves with the snake as if it is a part of emeprumAn’s divine body and it is the mattress thiruvananthAzhwAn (AdhiSEshan) for emperumAn.

oN kuRavar – great inhabitants of the hill, the hunters. The greatness about these people is that they do not leave thirumalai and go down the hills. They think that leaving the hills will be termed as a great calumny to their heritage.  If someone says “such and such person’s great  grandfather’s great grandfather had left the hill once”, they will consider that as an affront on their clan. Without inviting such insults, these inhabitants have been residing in the hills. Unlike mukthars who had once lived in the samsAram and then got liberated to reach paramapadham, these inhabitants, very much like the nithyasUris who had always lived in paramapadham, always lived on the thirumalai hills (they are thus different from the brAhmaNas (that we had seen in the previous pAsuram) who come to thirumalai hills from all directions to worship and carry out kainkaryam to emperumAn there).

mAl yAnai pEra eRindha perumaNiyai – elephants looking like mEru mountain, would be straying in the fields.

pEra eRindha – In order to drive away the elephants, the hunters of the hills will throw carbuncles on them. Afraid of the radiance of the carbuncles, the elephants will get bewildered and run wildly, like mountains moving suddenly.

perumaNiyai – the inhabitants throw the invaluable carbuncles as if they are throwing them on mountains.

kAr udaiya min enRu puRRadaiyum – When these carbuncles hit the elephants, it would appear as if lightning is streaking across dark clouds. Snakes will mistake this action as if it is the clouds which are moving with lightning flashing across them and in fearful anticipation of the subsequent thunder, they will enter their protective anthills. It would appear as if lightning carries the cloud as lightning flashes across the clouds! Thus, AzhwAr engages deeply with the thirumalai hills, the snakes which keep moving around there, with the elephants which stray into the fields, with the inhabitants who drive away the elephants, with the carbuncle gems which are used to drive them, with the snakes which are afraid of this simulation and reach their anthills, without any difference, since all these entities are in thirumalai hills.

meLA surar emmennum mAladhidam – the nithyasUris who are permanent dwellers of paramapadham are the distinguished celestial people, unlike the dhEvars (celestial persons in indhra’s place of swargam / heaven) who are created. Each of these nithyasUris will come to thirumalai hills claiming “this is ours; this is ours” and reside there with affection.

Even though the term “Urum variaravam” appears to be in singular, the opinion is that all the snakes in thirumalai would act like this.

We shall move on to the 39th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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mudhal thiruvandhAdhi – 37 – vagai aRu nuN kELvi

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avathArikai

AzhwAr says “is it that emperumAn came as a mendicant for one day? Has he not made himself as a mendicant for all times to come, for all people to come and attain him, telling people ‘will you not come and attain me?’ by remaining at thirumalai?” AzhwAr says “he remains at thirumalai at all times, as if telling people, don’t regret that you were not there when I incarnated as vAmana, that my period was over and how do we enjoy him?”

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

vagaiyaRu nuN kELvi vAyvArgaL nALum
pugai viLakkum pUm punalum Endhi thisaithisaiyil
vEdhiyargaL senRu iRainjum vEnkatamE veN sangam
Udhiya vAy mAl ugandha Ur

Word by Word Meanings

vagai aRu – cutting off other kinds, such as other deities and other means
nuN kELvi vAy vArgaL – those who have subtle knowledge through hearing
vEdhiyargaL – brAhmaNas
nALum – everyday
pugai viLakkum – dhUpam (fragrant smoke, incense) and dhIpam (lamp)
pUm punalum – flower and water
Endhi – holding
thisai thisaiyil – from all directions
senRu – going to (thirumalai)
iRainjum – worship
vEnkatamE – thiruvEnkatam!
veN sangam Udhiya vAy – having divine lips which blew the white coloured conch
mAl – emperumAn
ugandha – relished
Ur – living place

vyAkyAnam

vagai aRu nuN kELvi vAy vArgaL – those who have heard the fine aspects of vEdhas (sacred texts) which give out many varieties of benefits. krishNa says in SrI bhagavath gIthA 2-41vyavasAyAthmikA budhdhirEkEha kurunandhana | bahusAkhA hyananthAScha budhdhayO’vyavasAyinAm ||” (Oh arjuna! The knowledge about the truthfulness of AthmasvarUpam (basic nature of soul) will be focussed as it has as its goal only mOkshapalam (the result of attaining SrIvaikuNtam). The knowledge of those who are wavering will be having many types of offshoots and will be countless). vEdhas reveal not only countless results but also results of very low value such as longevity, progeny etc. If the mind is not steady, such people will take dip in sacred rivers similar to others who do so for attaining lowly results; similarly they will also offer prayers like others who pray for lowly results. But, in the case of those who are desirous of mOksham (liberation) their focus will be only on mOksham. The knowledge of such people ……

vagaiyaRu nuN kELvi – will be such that it will avoid results which are of varied types.

vAyvArgaL – brAhmaNas who have such knowledge

nALum pugai viLakkum pUm punalum Endhi – Since they have heard [vEdhas] well earlier, there will not be a need to hear again. They will get into the act of carrying out kainkaryam immediately. Since the entity which is to be attained and which helps in attaining it are both emperumAn, all the deeds which are carried out towards him will become kainkaryam. Since kainkaryam is very enjoyable, they will carry all the ingredients for worshipping emperumAn (such as sweet fragrance, lamp, flower, water etc) and reach thirumalai from various directions for the brahmOthsavam (a festival conducted over a period of 10 days, normally, to enable devotees to have dharSan (to see emperumAn) in different types of attires/decorations).

vEdhiyargaL – who are these people who congregate for such festivals? They are those who have learnt the inner meanings of vEdham, the meaning of praNavam (this is a single syllable word , composed of three letters, which signifies the servitorship of jIvAthmAs to emperumAn).

senRu iRainjum – isn’t it the objective of learning the meanings of praNavam to reach thirumalai!

veN sangam Udhiya vAy mAl ugandha Ur – thiurmalai is the dhivyadhESam (sacred abode where emperumAn dwells) where kaNNapirAn (krishNa), who blew the pAnchajanya in mahAbhAratha war, resides. When the enemies of arjuna were not felled by his arrows, the sound of pAnchajanya which krishNa created by blowing it in his mouth, felled them instantaneously at the same place. thirumalai is the abode where such kaNNapirAn, who is completely biased towards his devotees, resides.

veNsangam Udhiya vAy mAl ugandha Ur thisai thisaiyil vEdhiyargaL senRu iRainjum vEnkatamE – since it is the abode where kaNNapirAn, who destroyed the enemies, resides, and since it is the abode which protects his followers, his followers, who are learned in the vEdhas, come to that abode from all directions with total desire.

We shall move on to the 38th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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