Category Archives: nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi

nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 30 – avan ennai ALi

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avathArikai

AzhwAr was asked “If he is ugappuruvan, oLiyuruvan and magappuruvan (as seen in the previous pAsuram), how did you see him?” He responds “When he has discarded SrIvaikuNtam and taken residence in my heart, what is the difficulty in seeing him!” Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

avan ennai ALi arangaththu arangil
avan ennai eydhAmal kAppAn avan ennadhu
uLLaththu ninRAn irundhAn kidakkumE
veLLath tharavaNaiyin mEl

Word for Word Meanings

ennai ALi – he rules over me and showers his grace on me
arangaththu avan – SrI ranganAthan
ennai arangil – in the stage of samsAram (materialistic realm)
eydhAmal – without entering
kAppAn – will protect
avan – that emperumAn
ennadhu – my
uLLaththu – in [my] heart
ninRAn irundhAn – carried out the activities of standing and sitting

(thus, henceforth)
avan – that emperumAn
veLLaththu – in the milky ocean
aravu aNaiyin mEl – on the mattress of AdhiSEshan
kidakkumE – will he reside aptly (no, he will not)

vyAkyAnam

arangaththu avan ennai ALi – the one who has taken residence in SrIrangam and who is referred to by all as “he is SrI rAma” is the one who rules over me. It is implied that emperumAn is lying in SrIrangam only to protect AzhwAr.

What did he do lying in SrIrangam? ….

arangil avan ennai eydhAmal kAppAn – it is he who protects me from entering the stage called as samsAram. nammAzhwAr too mentioned of samsAram as a theatre [play or dance] in his thiruvAimozhi 8-4-11 “piRavi mAmAyak kUththu” Just as a person dons several roles and comes on stage, an AthmA takes many physical forms and comes on the stage of samsAram [in multitude of births].

Thus, until now AzhwAr spoke of the means that emperumAn had observed to obtain one AzhwAr. Now he speaks of the benefits that emperumAn accrued from AzhwAr.

avan ennadhu uLLaththu ninRAn irundhAn – AzhwAr implies that emperumAn reclined in thiruppARkadal (milky ocean) and thiruvarangam (SrIrangam) in order to enter AzhwAr’s heart. Just as it is mentioned “rakshyApEkshAm prathIkshathE” (looking forward to the desire of the protected), emperumAn keeps waiting for a person to be protected and once he obtained a foothold to enter AzhwAr’s heart, he was overjoyed and carried out the activities of standing, sitting and lying down in AzhwAr’s heart as if he had got something which he could never have got.

kidakkumE veLLaththaravaNaimEl – hereafter, will he ever lie down on top of AdhiSEshan in SrIvaikuNtam? Once a person gets the readily available means, will he/she observe the rituals to get to the means? Here, the reference made to AdhiSEshan in thiruppARkadal is also applicable to his postures of standing, sitting or lying down in other dhivyadhESams (divine abodes) such as paramapadham, thirumalai, thiruvarangam etc.

We will go on to the 31st pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 29 – ugappuruvam thAnE

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avathArikai

When AzhwAr was asked “Do you then know the divine form of emperumAn completely?” he responds saying “Isn’t he one whose divine form cannot be known by anyone!”

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

ugappuruvam thAnE oLiyuruvam thAnE
magappuruvam thAnE madhikkil migappuruvam
onRukkonRu OsanaiyAnvIzha oru kaNaiyAl
anRikkoNdu eydhAn avan

Word for Word Meanings

madhikkil – if one were to think
ugappu uruvam thAnE – he himself has the divine form which is desired by everyone
oLi uruvam thAnE – he himself has the divine form which is radiant
magappu uruvam thAnE – he himself has the form which is amazing
avan – that SrI rAma
miga – huge
puruvam onRukkonRu OsanaiyAn – kumbhakarNa who is so huge that his eye brows are separated by a huge distance
vIzha – to be destroyed
anRikkoNdu – coming furiously (at kumbhakarNa)
oru kaNaiyAl – with one arrow
eydhAn – shot and killed him

vyAkyAnam

ugappuruvam thAnE – it  is emperumAn alone who has a divine form which is much desired by everyone. parAsara maharishi in his SrI vishNu purANam 6-5-84 says “samastha kalyANa guNAthmakO’sau svaSakthilESOdhruthabhUthasarga: I ichchAgruhIthAmathOrudhEhas samsAdhithA’SEshajagadhdhithithO’Sau  II” (this emperumAn has all auspicious qualities as his nature; with just a fraction of his power, he sustains all the creations; he has several forms which he takes of his own volition and desires; he is benevolent to all the worlds).

ugappuruvam thAnE – apart from others desiring his divine form, his divine form is superior to his auspicious qualities. Hasn’t ALavandhAr (one of our primary preceptors) mentioned in his chathu:SlOki 4SAnthAnandha mahAvibhUthi paramam yadhbrahma rUpam harE: I mUrtham brahma thathO’pi priyatharam rUpam yadhathyadhbutham  II” (the rUpam of hari (divine form of emperumAn) is without variations, joyous, has many wealth, is huge, makes others huge, due to all of which it is denoted by the word brahmam. Is there anything superior to it which is desired by emperumAn, which is seen by the eyes, which is denoted by the word brahmam and which is amazing!)

ugappuruvam thAnE – since it is the goal of his followers, his divine form is a matter of exhilaration for them.  Since his followers desire it, his divine form will be pleasing for emperumAn too.

ugappuruvam thAnE – his rUpam and svarUpam (divine form and basic qualities) will be intertwined to such an extent that they will appear same. The text could also be ugappuruvan thAnE.

The reason for being desired by everyone is mentioned next.

oLiyuruvam thAnE – it is he who is spoken of as having a radiant form at many places in vEdhas (purusha sUktham, nArAyaNa sUktham etc) such as “param jyOthi:” (superior radiance), “nArAyaNa parO jyOthi:” (SrIman nArAyaNa has superior radiance), “AdhithyavarNam” (he has the complexion of sUrya), “vidhyutha: purushAth” (his divine form is like lightning).

oLiyuruvam thAnE – Isn’t emperumAn referred to as “thEjasAm rASimUrjitham” (he is a huge pile of splendour)!

oLiyuruvam thAnE – just as nammAzhwAr has mercifully declared in his thiruvAimozhi 3.1.3paranjOthi nI paramAy ninnigazhndhu pin maRROr paranjOthiyinmaiyin padiyOvi nigazhginRa paranjOthi ” his splendour is such that apart from him no one else has any quality of radiance. His splendour is such that it will make the rays of sUrya and chandhra (sun and moon respectively) appear dark as mentioned in the vEdhic saying “na thathra sUryObhAthi”. In paramapadham, his radiance will be such splendorous that the radiance of nithyasUris will appear similar to that of fireflies in front of sun.

magappuruvam thAnE – he has a huge form himself. The greatness of his form has been spoken of in SrIvishNu purANam 6-7-70 “samastha: SakthyaSchaithA nrupa yathra prathishtithA: I thath viSvarUpavairUpyam rUpamanyath harEr mahath II” (Oh King! That hari’s (emperumAn’s) form, in which all these powers get established, is superior to and different from all the other forms). The greatness here is derived due to the form and qualities such as wondrousness etc. The Sanskrit word mahath (large, great, lustre etc) is written here is magappu.

Is the one who has such great qualities the Lord of SrIvaikuNtam? AzhwAr says in the second half of the pAsuram that it was one who considered himself as a human being as mentioned in the SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam SlOkam “AthmAnam mAnusham manyE”….

puruvam onRukkonRu OsanaiyAn vIzha – kumbhakarNa, who had a yOjana (distance equivalent to ten miles) between his eyebrows and who was huge,  fell like a heap.

miga anRikkoNdu eydhAn – SrI rAma shot the arrow in a state of anger as mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam SlOkam “kOpamAhArayath thIvram” while he is normally said to be very calm as mentioned in the SlOkam “kshamayA: prithvImai:” (being like earth in his calmness). Instead of being calm considering that he was carrying the activity for his followers, he became angry as if he were carrying out the task for himself.

kaNaiyAl eydhAn – instead of killing through his vow (this would appear similar to a suicide) and thinking that it would not befit the insult heaped on his followers, emperumAn came in person and shot the arrow from the bow held in his hand. His posture was described by thirumangai AzhwAr in siRiya thirumadal “vennaragam sErAvagaiyE silaiguniththAn” (there is no hellish experience greater than seeing him holding his bow).

Since the enemy was so huge (ten miles between his eyebrows), did he have to put in lot of efforts to destroy kumbhakarNa?

oru kaNaiyAL eydhAn – he killed kumbhakarNa effortlessly with just one arrow.

madhikkil – if one were to analyse such SrI rAma he will appear to be with ugappuruvam, oLiyuruvam and magappuruvam (as we have just seen). Since AzhwAr has used the term madhikkil (if one were to think) it is implied that it is not possible for anyone to estimate his divine form.

eydhAnavan ugappuruvam thAnE – SrI rAma had a divine form which was desired by sages and trees, as brought out by the SlOkam where the sentient sages say “thE tham sOmamivOdhyantham” (SrI rama who has a form similar to the rising moon) and the SlOkam where the insentient trees felt “api vrukshA: parimlAnA: ” (trees withered, not seeing him).

eydhAnavan oLiyuruvam thAnE – Just as it is mercifully mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam SlOkam “SObhayan dhandakArAnyam dhIpthEna svEna thEjasA ” (SrI rAma reached the forest area of dhaNdakAraNyam, emitting radiance which made the entire forest area to glow), he is the one who is capable of making even a dark forest to glow.

eydhAnavan magappuruvam thAnE – just as it is mentioned in the SlOkam “pumsAm dhrushitichiththapahAriNam” SrI rAma’s form was so great that it could steal the hearts and eyes of even men.

We will take up the 30th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 28 – idhuvilangai Idazhiya

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When some people asked AzhwAr “You say that you had seen the divine feet of emperumAn which had not been seen by even Siva. Where did you see them?”  AzhwAr responds saying “Did I see only his divine feet? I am seeing all the amazing activities that he undertook for the sake of his followers, now itself, inside my heart where he has entered”.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

idhuvilangai Idazhiyakkattiya sEthu
idhuvilangu vAliyai vIzhththadhu(vum) idhuvilangai
thAnodunga vilnudangath thaNdArirAvaNanai
Unodunga eydhAn ugappu

Word for Word Meanings

ilangai – the country of lankA
Idu azhiya – to be ruined
kattiya – built (with the help of the army of monkeys)
sEthu – the divine bridge
idhu – this too
vilangu – one who was born in the animal species
vAliyai – vAli (king of monkeys)
vIzhththadhuvum – the activity by which emperumAn killed him
ilangaidhAn – the country of lankA
odunga – to be destroyed
vil nudanga – to bend the bow sArngam
thaN thAr rAvaNanin Unodunga – making the back of rAvaNa who was donning cool, comfortable garland, to be arched
eydhAn – rAma who shot the arrows
idhu – this activity too
ugappu – is a plaything for him

vyAkyAnam

idhu ilangai Idazhiyak kattiya sEthu – the bridge which emperumAn [as SrI rAma] built across the ocean in order to ruin lankA so that it lost its pristine structure, is appearing right in front of my eyes now.

idhu ilangai Idazhiyak kattiya sEthu – in the previous pAsuram, AzhwAr said that he saw the divine feet of emperumAn. In this pAsuram he talks of the bridge where emperumAn’s divine feet left their prints.

Idazhiyak kattiya – the ocean was a natural protective guard for lankA. Even as the bridge was being built, it appeared that lankA was lost. Even as dhEvas (celestial entities) such as indhra et al heard about the bridge, their hearts melted.

idhu vilangu vALiyai vIzhththadhuvum – the incident in which the animal vAli was killed with an arrow is also appearing in front of my eyes.

vilangu vAliyai – he was an animal not only by birth but through his activities too. The opinion here is that the action of SrI rAma in killing vAli while hiding himself cannot be faulted. Has it not been mentioned mercifully by SrI rAma himself in SrIrAmAyaNam “vAgurAbiScha pASaiScha gUdaiScha vividhair narA: I prathichchannAScha  dhruSyAScha gruhNanthi subahUn mrugAn II” (human beings catch animals through nets, ropes, various devious methods, by hiding themselves and by being in front of them)?

ilangai thAn odunga vil nudangath thaNthAr rAvaNanai eydhAn idhu – the activity of SrI rAma by which he created stress for lankA, drew his bow and made rAvaNa to bend his back.

ilangai thAn odunga – I can see lankA being destroyed right in front of my eyes.

vil nudanga – I can see [SrI rAma] drawing his bow [to shoot the arrows]

thaN thAr … eydhAn idhu – I can also see SrI rAma shooting arrows at rAvaNa such that the demon, who is donning a cool, comfortable garland, who is vain, and who will not bow down to anyone, is shrinking.

idhu idhu idhu ugappu –  these activities, which are appearing in front of my eyes, are those which were engaged in by emperumAn, for the sake of his followers.

Since these activities are running now in his heart, AzhwAr is referring to them as idhu, idhu, idhu.

We will now move on to the 29th pAsuram.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 27 – mAl thAn pugundha

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avathArikai

After AzhwAr prayed in the previous pAsuram “eRRaikkum kaNdukoL kaNdAy kadal vaNNa yAn unnaik kaNdukoLkirkumARu”, emperumAn blessed him significantly, saying let it be so. Some people who heard about AzhwAr’s prayer asked him “Is it enough if you are always a vaishNava? Is it not required to reach mOksha?”. AzhwAr says “Oh ignorant people! When emperumAn who usually remains in mOksha discards that and enters my heart, is there any possibility for my desiring anything other than my heart?”.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

mAl thAn pugundha mada nenjam maRRadhuvum
pERAgak koLvanO pEdhaigAL nIRAdi
thAn kANa mAttAdha thAragalach chEvadiyai
yAn kANa vallERkidhu

Word for Word Meanings

pEdhaigAL – Oh foolish people!
nIRAdi thAn – rudhra who has his body covered with ash
kANa mAttAdha – not worshipped
thAr – donned with garland
agalam – being expansive
sEvadiyai – the divine foot
kANa vallERku – for me who is fortunate to worship that
mAl – emperumAn
thAn pugundha – that which he entered on his volition
mada nenjam idhu – more than this obedient heart (of mine)
maRRadhuvum – anything else
pERu Aga – as a benefit
yAn koLvanO – will I accept? [ No. I will not]

vyAkyAnam

mAl thAn pugundha mada nenjam – just as it is mentioned in pramANams such as in thaiththirIya upanishath bhruguvalli “yath …..abhisam visanthi thath vijijyAsasva thath brahmEthi” (know that as brahmam (supreme being) into which those who attain liberation enter), in SrI bhagavath gIthA 11.54bhakthyA thavananyayA Sakya: ahamEvam vidhOrjuna I gyAthum dhrashtum cha thathvEna pravEshtuncha paranthapa II” (Oh arjuna who singes enemies in battlefield! Only with totally focussed bhakthi could I be known, seen and entered upon), “Esha brahmA pravishtOsmi grIshmE SIthamiva hradham” (I enter brahmam just as one enters a cool, comfortable pond in hot summer time), emperumAn is such an entity who is apt to be entered into by all. AzhwAr says that such an entity has entered his heart on his [emperumAn’s] own volition!

mAl thAn pugundha – did not the great supreme being enter my heart! mAl – great person.

mAl thAn pugundha – did not one who is the epitome of affection enter my heart! mAl – one with affection.

maRRadhuvum pERAgak koLvanO pEdhaigAL – leaving this [heart, which he has entered] could I consider anything else [SrIvaikuNtam] as a benefit? Don’t the words of great persons reflect this opinion – thiruppANAzhwAr’s amalanAdhipirAn 10 “en amudhinikaik kaNda kaNgaL maRRonRinai kANAvE” (my eyes which have seen the divine form of periya perumAL will not see anything else), thoNdaradippodi AzhwAr’s thirumAlai 2achchuvai perinum vENdEn” (I will not desire even if offered SrIvaikuNtam, after seeing periya perumAL), thiruvadi’s saying in SrI rAmAyaNam “bhAvO nAnyathra gachchthi” (I will not relish any other benefit elsewhere)?

madanenjam maRRadhuvum pERAgak koLvanO – hasn’t nammAzhwAr mercifully stated similar meaning in his periya thiruvandhAdhi 53 “nin pugazhil vaigum tham sindhaiyilummaRRinidhO nIyavarkku vaigundham enRaLum vAn ” (is your offering of SrIvaikuNtam [to your followers] greater than your being in their minds) and in thiruvAsiriyam 2mAyAp peruviRalulagam mUnRinodu nalveedu perinum koLvadheNNumO theLLiyOr kuRippE ” (will the knowledgeable ones desire even mOksham apart from the three worlds…..)?

mAlthAn pugundha mada nenjam maRRadhuvum pERAgak koLvanO pEdhaigAL – Just as mercifully mentioned  by periyAzhwAr in his periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 5-4-10 “vadathadamum vaikunthamum madhiL thuvarApadhiyum idavagaigaL igazhndhitttu enpAl idavagai koNdanaiyE” (discarding your great dwelling places of banyan leaf, SrIvaikuNtam, dhwArakA etc, you took residence inside my heart), when emperumAn has discarded SrIvaikuNtam in favour of my heart, should I discard my heart and go to SrIvaikuNtam?

pEdahigAL – you people who don’t know this, are indeed fools only.

When asked as how he got such firm faith, AzhwAr says…..

nIRAdi thAn kANamAttAdha thAragalachchEvadiyai yAnkANa vallERkidhu – am I not the one who has been able to see the divine foot which is expansive and which is donned with garland, and which could not be seen by rudhra who has smeared ash all over his physical body! What is surprising in my having firm faith in such supreme being!

nIRAdi thAn kANa mAttAdha – it is the divine foot which rudhra who is claimed to bestow knowledge on others as per the saying “ISvarAth gyAnamanvichchEdh” (let the chEthana obtain knowledge from rudhra), could not see. It is something which the one who is claimed to be omniscient could not know.

nIRAdi thAn kANamAttAdha – just as mentioned by brahmA in mahAbhAratham brahmarudhra samvAdham “na sa Sakyas thvayA dhrashtum mayAnyair vApi saththama ” (that supreme being cannot be seen by me (brahmA) or by you (rudhra)), and in SrI vishNu purANam “yanna dhEvA na munaya: na chAham na cha Sankara: I jAnanthi paramESasya thadh vishNO: paramam padham II” (that which the dhEvas, sages, I (brahmA), Sankara do not know, that is the supreme dwelling place of vishNu), this is not known to many celestial entities.

nIRAdi thAn kANAmAttAdha thAr – it is not that rudhra does not know the divine foot. He does not know even the garland which is decorating that divine foot.

thAralagalach chEvadiyainammAzhwAr has mercifully mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 1-9-7thALiNaimElum punaindha thaNNandhuzhAyudai ammAn” (emperumAn has the cool and comfortable thuLasi garland on his divine foot).

nIRAdi thAn kANamAttAdha thAragalach chEvadiyai – when emperumAn incarnated as thrivikrama, brahmA washed emeprumAn’s divine foot which reached sathyalOkam (brahmA’s dwelling place) with water and rudhra took that purified water (which had the connection with emperumAn’s divine foot) on his head. Thus, rudhra saw only the water but not emperumAn’s divine foot. It was the divine foot that even brahmA hadn’t seen as mentioned by poygai AzhwAr in mudhal thiruvandhAdhi 56kadikkamalaththuLLirundhum kANgilAn kaNNan adikkamalandhannai ayan” (through residing in the fragrant lotus emanating from emperumAn’s navel, brahmA has not seen the divine foot of emperumAn).  Thus, when brahmA, who resides in such close proximity to emperumAn has not seen his divine foot, is there any surprise that rudhra has not seen the divine foot?

kANavallERku – with causeless mercy, when emperumAn displays his divine foot, I am able to see it, says AzhwAr. Thus, AzhwAr says that he cannot discard the heart in which emperumAn has taken residence and go elsewhere.

We will take up the 28th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 26 – maRRuth thozhuvAr

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avathArikai

emperumAn, though knowing the steadfastness of AzhwAr [in emperumAn], wanted to hear this from AzhwAr himself. Hence he asks him “We hear that there are other deities too who carry out deeds for the sake of their followers. You could attain them”. AzhwAr responds saying “rudhra is the witness for the fact that I do not worship other deities and that they are not capable of granting mOksham”.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

maRRuth thozhuvAr oruvarum yAn inmai
kaRRaichchadaiyAn karikkaNdAy eRRaikkum
kaNdukoL kaNdAy kadalvaNNA yAnunnaik
kaNdukoLkiRkumARu

Word for Word Meanings

kadalvaNNA – Oh emperumAn who has the complexion of an ocean!
yAn thozhuvAr maRRu oruvaraiyum inmai – there is none in the matter of my attaining any deity (other than you)
kaRRuchchadaiyAn – rudhra who has matted hair
karik kaNdAy – see that he is the witness
yAn – this servitor (me) who worships only you
unnai – you
eRRaikkum – forever
kaNdukoLkiRkum ARu – to keep on worshipping you
kaNdu koL – you have to bless me.

vyAkyAnam

maRRuththozhuvAr oruvaraiyum yAninmai kaRRaichchadaiyAn karikkaNdAy – Siva is the witness for the fact that I do not worship any other deity.

kaRRaich chadaiyAn – the witness is rudhra who has matted hair, which is indicative of the fact that knowledgeable people will not attain him as a supreme being and that he will go in search of ignorant people and make them worship him.

kaRRaichchadaiyAn karikkaNdAy – it is not unknown to you (emperumAn), the omniscient. If at all you need a witness for it, you can ask your grandson rudhra [emperumAn created brahmA, who becomes his son, and brahmA created rudhra who becomes his son, thus rudhra is emperumAn’s grandson]. kari – witness; one who saw in person.

It can be said that AzhwAr reminisces an incident that occurred in his life. One day he was sitting in thirumazhisai, meditating on emperumAn, when rudhra, along with his consort pArvathi, was going atop his vehicle, bull, in the skies. Looking at thirumazhisai AzhwAr pArvathi asked rudhra as to who he was. rudhra said that it is thirumazhisai AzhwAr who had left their philosophy and gone over to SrIman nArAyaNa. pArvathi said that in that case they should grant him their dharSan (audience) and boon. They thus descended to earth and appeared in front of AzhwAr. After looking at them, AzhwAr did not bother and started sewing a torn cloth. Siva asked him “I came to shower our mercy on you. Why are you indifferent?”. AzhwAr responded “There is nothing that you can do for me. Hence I am not bothered”. rudhra continued saying “our coming here should not go waste. We have to grant you something. Hence, ask for whatever you want”. AzhwAr said “In that case, grant me mOksham”. rudhra said “mOksham can be granted only by SrIman nArAyaNa. Hence ask for something else”. AzhwAr said “In that case, grant me a long life so that I can stay on in this earth for a long time, carrying out penance towards SrIman nArAyaNa and attaining mOksham”. rudhra said “Long life is dependent on your karma (past deeds). I cannot grant that. Ask for something else” to which AzhwAr responded with a derisive smile “grant me a boon that the thread will come behind this needle when I sew this cloth”. On hearing this, Siva became very angry and vowed “I will make this egoistic person to lose his form and burn him”, opening his third eye in the forehead. Fire started spitting from his third eye. thirumazhisai AzhwAr opened his third eye which was below the big toe on his right foot and the fire emanating from his third eye started putting out the fire from rudhra’s third eye. rudhra unlocked dark clouds from his matted hair so that they will put out the fire created by AzhwAr. Despite a deluge like appearance, nothing else happened, with AzhwAr, not bothered about anything, carrying on with his meditation. Looking at this, rudhra was amazed, gave AzhwAr the title of bhakthisArar (essence of bhakthi), praised AzhwAr and returned to his place. Reminiscing all these, AzhwAr said kaRRaichchadaiyAn karikkaNdAy.

emperumAn asks AzhwAr “What should I do for your having total devotion towards me?” . . .

eRRaikkum kaNdukoL kaNdAy kadal vaNNa yAnunnaik kaNdu koLkiRkumARu – all that I want is that I should be like this, without any contact with other deities and being totally devoted to you.

eRRaikkum – it is not only in this birth, but in all the births hereafter, I should be  totally devoted to you, and not worship anyone else even by mistake.

eRRaikkum yAnunnaik kaNdukoL kiRkumARu kaNdukoL – Just as it is mercifully mentioned in jithanthE SlOkam 12 “dhurgathAvapi jAthAyAm thvadh gathE mE manOratha: I yadhi nASam na vindhEtha thAvathAsmi kruthI sadhA II” (even if my focus towards you goes into a very low level, if it is not destroyed totally, I will be very much thankful to you) and in jithanthE SlOkam 13 “na kAma kalusham chiththam mama thE padhayO: sthitham I kAmayE vaishNavam thu sarvajanmasu kEvalam  II ” (my mind which is engaged with your divine feet is not disturbed by desire in other matters. I desire only for the quality of being a vaishNavan in all births), I desire only this benefit of not forgetting you ever and being your follower forever. There is no compulsion to grant me mOksham.

eRRaikkum kaNdukoLkiRkumARu – if I get to see you here itself what nithyasUris see in SrIvaikuNtam “sadhA paSyanthi” (constantly seeing), what is the compulsion to go there?

kadalvaNNA kaNdukoL – you [emperumAn] who are capable of removing all the hurdles, and who showed your divine form and created unwavering devotion towards you, should establish this quality of being totally dedicated towards you.

We will take up the 27th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 24 – nigazhndhAy pAl pon

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avathArikai

AzhwAr mercifully describes the efforts put in by the paththiyuzhavan (farmer emperumAn) in this as well as the next pAsuram. In this pAsuram, he melts while describing how emperumAn transforms himself for the sake of his followers.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

nigazhndhAy pAl pon pasuppuk kAr vaNNam nAngum
igazhndhAy iruvaraiyum vIyap pugazhndhAy
sinappOrch chuvEdhanaich chEnApathiyAy
manappOr mudikkum vagai

Word for Word Meanings

pAl pon pasuppu kAr nAngu vaNNamum – having the four colours of white, red, green and black
nigazhndhAy – glittered (in the four yugas) [yuga is a period of time]
iruvaraiyum – the two demons madhu and kaitabha
vIya – to be destroyed
igazhndhAy – you removed
sEnApathiyAy – being the protector of arjuna’s army
manam – having the desire (to enable dhraupadhi to plait her hair)
pOr – the mahAbhAratha war
mudikkum vagai – the way by which it will be ended
sinappOr suvEdhanai – arjuna, who has white horse as his vehicle and who fought furiously in the war
pugazhndhAy – you praised

vyAkyAnam

nigazhndhAy pAl pon pasuppu kAr vaNNam nAngum – SAsthras say that emperumAn changes his dark complexion (which normally is similar to rain bearing clouds), in each yuga (a period of time) based on the quality of the people living in that yuga. Since it is through his divine form that he develops bhakthi (devotion) among his followers, as brought by nammAzhwAr’s saying “kAdhal kadal puraiya viLaiviththa kAramarmEni” (emperumAn’s form is such that it creates affection in his devotees equalling the great ocean), emperumAn involves in changing his complexion in line with the qualities of his followers.

niganzhdhAy pAl vaNNam – As mentioned in the pramANam “kruthE SuklaSchadhurbhAhu” people living in krutha yugam (the first of four yugams) are full of sathva guNa (purely good qualities), they will have pure hearts and would desire white complexion in emperumAn too. Thus emperumAn displays white complexion for them. The word white refers not only to the complexion of the divine form but also to the qualities.

nigazhndhAy pon vaNNam – As mentioned in the pramANam “thrEthAyAm raktha varNOsau”, since people in thrEthA yugam have rajO guNa (quality of passion and aggressiveness) mixed with sathva guNa, emperumAn displays a complexion of red mixed with white, a hue of golden colour.

nigazhndhAy pasuppu vaNNam – As mentioned in the pramANam “dhvAparE SyAma:” people in dhvApara yugam have rajasthamO guNa (mixture of rajas and thamas qualities; we have already seen rajas  quality; thamas gives rise to laziness, ignorance, bewilderment etc in a person) along with sathva guNa. emperumAn thus displays a combination of white, red and black, a kind of greenish tinge similar to that of algae.

nigazhndhAy kAr vaNNam – As seen in the pramANam “kalau krishNam thvishA krishNam” since no one attains emperumAn in kali yuga, he displays his natural colour of black clouds.

Thus, apart from displaying different complexions at different ages in time based on the qualities of the people in the different ages, AzhwAr next mentions about the efforts that emperumAn puts in, to remove the enemies of his followers, thus paving the way for the irrigation of bhakthi in his followers. ….

igazhndhAy iruvariyum vIya – you took a vow to destroy two demons madhu and kaitabha, who were enemies of your follower brahmA, from whom they stole vEdhas (sacred texts). Alternatively, this can be construed to refer to the egoistic kings who were on the two sides of pANdavas and kauravas when the two sides engaged in the mahAbhAratha war and how emperumAn, as krishNa, destroyed all such egoistic kings.

AzhwAr now cites another example of how emperumAn transforms himself in order to complete the task for his followers ….

pugazhndhAY sinappOr suvEthanai – you praised arjuna, who has the chariot drawn by white coloured horses as his vehicle and who can fight furiously.

pugazhndhAy – not paying heed to arjuna’s addressing him (emperumAn) as “hE krishNa, hE yAdhava” (Oh krishNa! Oh cowherd!), you called him as “paranthapa” (one who singes his enemies in the battlefield), “anagha” (one who is faultless) and in different such ways. Isn’t it amazing that one who is praised constantly by vEdhas, rishis, AzhwArs et al, praises another entity!

sinappOr suvEthanai – (praising) arjuna, who is a warrior in the battlefield and not a coward who runs away from it. Among the many names for arjuna is suvEthan (SvEtha). This refers to his chariot being drawn by white coloured horses.

sEnApathiyAy – as the charioteer for arjuna, it was krishNa who was for all practical purposes, the head of pANdavas’ army. He conducted many amazing activities during the war and brought it to a close. Didn’t sanjaya (charioteer of King dhrutharAshtra and who was giving constant updates on the happenings in the battlefield to the King) say in SrI bhagavath gIthA SlOka 18-78yathra yOgESvara: krishNa: yathra pArthO dhanurdhara: thathra SrIr vijayObhUthir… ”, (where krishNa and where arjuna with his bow are present, wealth and victory will go only there) giving prominence to krishNa by referring to him first and only then, arjuna!  While referring to pANdavas, it used to be said “krishNASraya: krishNa balA: krishNa nAthAScha pANdavA:” (for the pANdavas, krishNa is the final goal to be attained, krishNa is their strength and krishNa is their Lord). Is it required to be said that he is the head of their army!

What is the purpose behind praising arjuna and engaging him in the war? ….

manappOr mudikkum vagai – in order to bring to an end, the war that he had vowed to fight in his divine mind. The meaning implied is that he wanted to bring the war to an end to enable dhraupadhi to plait her dishevelled hair, to enable her husband yudhishtra to ascend the throne, and to destroy dhuryOdhana and others  who had insulted her. But why carry out so much for her? Did she not call out to him when she was being disrobed by dhuryOdhana’s brother duSSASana “gOvindhEthi yathA grandhath krishNa mAm dhUravAsiNam I ruNam pravaruththamiva mE hrydhayAn nApasarppathy II” (dhraupadhi’s calling out to me when I was in a far-off land has not left my heart, just as interest keeps building up on a loan taken).  Thus, to ensure that the war is brought to a close, he praised arjuna. The war had to be brought to an end for the sake of dharupadhi who had surrendered to him earlier. All his activities are centred around his followers.

We will take up the 25th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 23 – viththumida

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avathArikai

After AzhwAr mentioned in the previous pAsuram “pazhagiyAn thALE paNimim” (the way to get rid of samsAram (materialistic realm) is to attain the divine feet of the supreme entity who has the complexion of gem stones and who stands like a physician to cure us of samsAram), he was asked by some people “One has to toil hard even to obtain small benefits. When such is the case, is it enough if one were to bow down at the divine feet of emperumAn in order to attain mOksham”, AzhwAr says “is anything expected from the chEthana (sentient entity) when emperumAn protects all by incarnating as lion or fish when the chEthana takes a birth in this world and by keeping all the entities in his stomach during deluge when the chEthana has no name or form?”. He says that if the chEthana develops a desire to attain emperumAn through his natural knowledge, emperumAn will take care of all the activities which are required to be carried out to attain him. What is there to be done by the chEthana beyond having that desire?

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

viththum ida vENdungolO vidaiyadarththa
paththi uzhavan panam puzhaththu moyththezhundha
kAr mEgam anna karumAl thirumEni
nIr vAnam kAttum nigazhndhu

Word for Word Meanings

vidai adarththa – one who controlled the bulls (for winning the hand of nappinnaip pirAtti)
paththi uzhavan – emperumAn who takes all the efforts for the chEthana to develop devotion towards him
pazham punaththu – in this land (samsAram, the materialistic realm) which is very old
viththum ida vENdunm kolO – is it required to sow the seed (of making one’s own efforts to attain emperumAn)? [No, it is not required]

[In that case, how does one spend the rest of his life?]
moyththu ezhundha – rising together
kAr mEgam anna – like rain bearing clouds
karu mAl – the dark coloured thirumAl’s (emperumAn’s)
thirumEni – divine form
nIr vAnam – the clouds with plenty of water
nigazhndhu – standing right in front
kAttum – will show
(by looking at this simile for emperumAn, we can sustain ourselves)

vyAkyAnam

paththiyuzhavan pazhampunaththu viththumida vEndungolO – is it required of us to sow the seed of puNya (virtuous deeds) on this old land (world) of paramapurusha (supreme being, emperumAn) who is toiling to raise the produce of bhakthi (devotion) in the chEthana (sentient entity)?

paththiyuzhavan – are the efforts put in by this farmer (emperumAn) in order to germinate the plant of bhakthi in the mind of chEthana, only a little bit? Just as a farmer ploughs the land, waters it, plants the seeds, germinates them, removes the weed, applies manure to the plants etc, the efforts put in by emperumAn to cultivate the plant of bhakthi (in the samsAris) cannot be contained in any measure. While thripAdh vibhUthi  (SrIvaikuNtam which is three times the size of samsAram) is very fertile, emperumAn is unable to bear the barrenness of leelA vibhUthi  (samsAram). Thus he creates the worlds, the chEthanas (sentient entities), gives them body and sensory perceptions, remains as their antharyAmi (indwelling soul) and protects them constantly. AzhwAr reminisces such activities with these words. Hasn’t nammAzhwAr too spoken of him as the farmer in his thiruvAimozhi 5.3.4uRavar kavvai eruvittu annai sol nIr maduththu Ira nel viththi muLaiththa nenjapperunjeyyuL pEramar kAdhal kadal puraiya viLaiviththa kAramar mEni nam kaNNan” (emperumAn is the farmer who planted the seed of deep love in the mind of parAngusa nAyaki (nammAzhwAr) and nurtured it by watering it with the words of her mother and applied manure for it with the words of the townspeople)!

pazhampunaththu – it is not a new field where emperumAn is carrying out farming activities. This world is the old land of emperumAn’s who has been repeatedly ploughing, sowing and reaping (the produce of chEthanas). This world has been in existence for a very long time, as a continuous flow of action [like flood].

pazhampunaththu viththumida vEndungolO – just as in a fertile land, even if the seeds are not sown in a proper way but strewn in a haphazard way, they will germinate properly and grow, in this old land of the farmer emperumAn, the chEthanas do not need anything in them more than a mere desire (to be with emperumAn). He takes care of all the activities of farming.

pazhampunaththu viththumida vEndungolO – in the land sown by farmer, should anyone else sow the seed? Just as manu has said in his manusmruthi 8-92 “thEna chEdhavivAdhasthE mA gangAm mA kurUn gama:” (if there is no argument with emperumAn, there is no need to go to holy rivers such as gangA or holy places such as kurukshEthram), AzhwAr forbids any action from us for our benevolence.

What are the activities of the farmer emperumAn for nurturing the land?

vidaiyadarththa paththiyuzhavan – the incarnations carried out by emperumAn are the activities for nurturing the field of bhakthi (devotion). His action of killing seven bulls to win the hands of nappinnaip pirAtti is superficially meant for marrying her but the real intention is to win over the hearts of followers and grow bhakthi in them.

Just as krishNa has mercifully mentioned in SrI bhagavath gIthA 3-5na hi kaSchith kshaNamapi jAthu thishtathyakarmakruth” (no one remains in this world even for a moment without carrying out any activity), how will the chEthana pass his time? AzhwAr responds saying ….

moyththezhundha kArmEgamanna karumAl thirumEni nIrvAnam kAttum nigazhndhu – the rain bearing clouds will show the black complexion of kaNNan (krishNa) which is like closely held monsoon clouds which rise together. AzhwAr says that after developing affection towards emperumAn with the activities of emperumAn, one can pass time until one attains emperumAn by sustaining himself looking at such similes of emperumAn and developing further taste for him. Here, the term nIrvAnam (water bearing cloud) is quoted as an example of various similes for emperumAn.

nigazhndhu kAttum – emperumAn will reveal to us his divine form, which he does not reveal even to brahmA et al.

We will move on to the 24th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 22 – azhagiyAn thAnE

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avathArikai

With the joy of experiencing the beauty of narasimha, AzhwAr thinks that some people are missing out on this great experience and instructs them “uplift yourselves by worshipping this beautiful form of emperumAn”.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

azhagiyAn thAnE ari uruvan thAnE
pazhagiyAn thALE  paNimin kuzhaviyAyth
thAnEzh ulagukkum thanmaikkum thanmaiyanE
mInAy uyiraLikkum viththu

Word for Word Meanings

viththu thAn – he is the cause for the entire universe
Ezh ulagukkum – for the seven worlds
thanmaikkum – qualities (such as rUpa, rasa, gandha etc (form, taste, smell etc) of the five senses)
thanmaiyan – being the repository
kuzhavi Ay – being in the form of an infant (during praLaya, deluge)
mIn Ay – being in the form of fish (at some point of time)
uyir aLikkum – one who protects the souls
thAnE – emperumAn himself
ari uruvan – has the form of narasimha (lion face and human body)
thAnE azhagiyAn – he himself is the boundary for beauty
pazhagiyAn – that emperumAn, who is there from time immemorial, his
thALE – divine feet
paNimin – attain

vyAkyAnam

azhagiyAn thAnE . . . . – the narrative on narasimha avathAram (incarnation as Lord narasimha) which AzhwAr enjoyed in the previous pAsuram, continues in this pAsuram.

azhagiyAn thAnE – he (emperumAn) is the only one with beauty in him. When asked whether it is paramapadhanAthan (the Lord of SrIvaikuNtam) who is beautiful, AzhwAr responds …

ariyuruvan thAnE – it is only he who took incarnation as narasimha mUrthi (in the form of lion head and human body) who is beautiful. If emperumAn’s beauty in paramapadham is similar to lighting a lamp in daylight , his beauty in the form of narasimha is like lighting a lamp in darkness. There (in parapadham) one can only see his mercy. Here (on earth) once can see his mercy along with his fury. There he shows his beauty to those who are as knowledgeable as he is while here he shows his beauty to the ignorant. That beauty is something that we only hear while this beauty is something which as periyAzhwAr has mercifully said in his periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 4.1.1 “iraNiyanadhAgam piLandhariyAy udhiram aLaindha kaiyOdirundhAnai uLLavA kaNdAr uLar” (there are people who have seen emperumAn truly, splitting the chest of the demon iraNiya and with blood stained hands, rubbing his hands on iraNiyan’s chest).

azhagiyAn thAnE ariyuruvan thAnE – isn’t he the one who has been praised the world over as azhagiya singar (the beautiful lion)!

azhagiyAn thAnE ariyuruvan thAnE – these words appear to be the translation for the verse in SrI vishNu sahasranAman “nArasimhavapu: SrImAn” .

azhagiyAn thAnE …..paNimin – once a person looks at this beauty of emperumAn, shouldn’t he bow down to his divine feet?

Is it only beauty? Is there no valour?

ariyuruvan thAnE …. paNimin – shouldn’t one worship him who is the boundary for valour? When one, who is the refuge in times of danger, is himself beautiful, could one let go of him?

Even though he may be the refuge during times of danger and may be beautiful,  shouldn’t he also have known our disease and our desire?

pazhagiyAnthALE paNimin – he is the purANa purusha (an entity who could be termed as ancient) who knows that the disease for you people is this body (physical form) which should be got rid of and that the desire is getting an aprAkrutha SarIra (a body which is not made of the primordial matter), which you may be not be aware of, yourselves. Attain such an entity.

pazhagiyAnthALE paNimin – if you bow down to his divine feet, holding them as your means as well as object of attainment, then he, who knows that it is your past deeds which make you keep getting this physical form for a long time and that the antidote for it is only his mercy, will protect you.

pazhagiyAnthALE paNimin – just as people would hold on to a physician who is renowned for a long time and who knows the nature of the body as well as of the medicines, attain emperumAn who is variously said as in periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 5-3-6 “maruththuvanAy ninRa mAmaNivaNNA ” (Oh one with the glitter of gemstones and who is like a physician!), as in vEdham “vaidhyO nArAyaNO hari:” (SrIman nArAyaNa, who is the physician), as in SrI vishNu sahasranAmam “bhEshajam bhishak” (he is both the medicine and the physician) instead of attaining other deities.

How can it be said that he knows this body which is apt to be given up and the body which is apt to be taken up [to attain SrIvaikuNtam]?

thAnEzhulagukkum thanmaikkum thanmaiyanE – he is the indwelling soul for all the worlds. Who else, apart from him, would know the disease, the patient and the medicine?

thAnEzhulagukkum thanmaikkum thanmaiyanEemperumAn who is prakruthi SarIra viSishtabhUthan (one who is conjoined with primordial matter, he being its indwelling soul and the primordial matter forming a part of his body), is the repository for mahAn (great matter), ahankAram (ego matter) and panchabhUtham (five elements of ether, wind, fire, water and earth); thus he is the causative entity for the seven resultant factors. He is also the repository for the five causative factors for these five elements, namely Sabdha, sparSa, rUpa, rasa and gandha (sound, feel, form, taste and smell respectively). thanmai is ‘thanmAthrai’ viz. subtle element. In other words, the previous state for each of the five elements, which is the respective subtle or rudimentary element. Thus, for example, for sky, the subtle element is sound and the quality of sky will be implicitly held in sound; the same is true for the other four elements too. There are huge differences between the quality and subtle element. The subtle elements will be matter and be the causative factors for each of the five elements. Quality is not like this. The meaning for thAnEzhulagukkum ….. thanmaiyanE is that he is the causative entity for all the mutually causative and effective (resultant) entities. The word Ezhulagu refers to the resultant factors of five elements, mahAn and ahankAram.

Alternatively, thAnEzhulugakkum thanmaikkum thanmaiyanEEzhulagu would mean the seven upper worlds of bhU:, bhuva:, suva: etc up to sathya lOkam and the seven lower worlds of athala, vithala, suthala etc down to pAthAla lOkam with all the sentient and insentient entities living in these worlds. The word thanmaikkum would refer to the qualities of the insentient entities such as Sabdha, sparSa etc [seen previously] and the qualities of sentient entities. Thus, emperumAn is the substrate for all the sentient and insentient entities and their qualities. When they (the worlds and the entities living in them) are his attributes, there is no difference between the guNa (qualities) and the guNi (one who or which has the qualities). If the text is than vaikkum thanmaiyanE it would mean that he has the seven worlds within himself as a natural phenomenon.

If asked whether emperumAn protects us ……

kuzhaviyAy mInAy uyiraLikkum viththu – is there any protection that he has not given us? During deluge, he kept us in his stomach and protected us. As mercifully mentioned by parASara bhattar (son of kUraththAzhwAn and disciple of embAr) in SrI rangarAja sthavam 2-60 “mInathanus thvam nAvi nidhAya sthiracharaparikaramanu manubhagavAn I vEdhasanAbi svOkthi vinOdhai ragalithalaya bhayalavamamumavaha: II” (Oh emperumAn! Taking the form of a fish, you kept representatives of animal and plant species in a boat, near manu (a King) and with the strange words of vEdhas you protected them without any danger from deluge), during deluge, emperumAn took representatives of animal and plant species along with their leader manu on a boat with his will and, taking the form of a fish, navigated the boat to safety from deluge and protected them. In the same way, he returned the vEdhas which are like eyes for brahmA, to brahmA and aided him in the act of creation. In this manner, he acted like a fish and gave life to species.

viththu – apart from these, as mentioned by chAndhOgya upanishath 6-2-1 “sadhEva sOmya” he remained as the causative, materialistic and accessorial reason for all of us.

We will take up the 23rd pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 21 – ivaiyA pilavAy

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

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avathArikai

After hearing the sweetened words of AzhwAr, emperumAn became very happy. His divine mouth, divine eyes and divine form blossomed and became radiant. AzhwAr became wondrous at the change in the form of emperumAn, a change that emperumAn brought on himself for the sake of his follower (AzhwAr) even though vEdhas (sacred texts) refer to him as one who is unchanged in his form (avikArAya). Immediately emperumAn’s form as narasimha, a combination of human head with lion’s body, which he took when his devotee prahlAdha was tortured, came to his mind. AzhwAr engages with this form of narasimha, wondering as to how emperumAn transformed himself for the sake of a follower.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

ivaiyA pilavAy thiRandherikANRa
ivaiyA eri vattak kaNgaL ivaiyA
eri pongik kAttum imaiyOr perumAn
ari pongik kAttum azhagu

Word for Word Meanings

thiRandhu – spread out
eri kANRa – spitting fire
pilavAy – mouth as huge as a cave
ivaiyA – is it this?
erivatta – like a huge ball of fire, being round and glowing
kaNgaL – divine eyes
ivaiyA – are these?
eri – like fire
pongi – tumultuous
kAttum – having a divine form
imaiyOr perumAn – lord of nithyasUris, who controls them
ari – as lion faced
pongi – tumultuous
kAttum – shown
azhagu – beauty
iviayA – is it this?

vyAkyAnam

ivaiyA pilavAy – Could one sing in a pAsuram how an entity, who is spoken of as in chAndhOgya upanishath 3-6 “avAkyanAthara:” (he will not engage in conversation with anyone and he does not have any likes or dislikes) and as in muNdanIka upanishaths 1-1-7  “vruksha iva sthabdhO dhivi thishtathi” (he stands like an unbending tree in paramapadha), suffers for the sake of his followers?

ivaiyA pilavAy thiRandheri kAnRaemperumAn’s divine mouth is described by thiruppANAzhwAr in his amalanAdhipirAn 7 as “mAyanAr seyya vAy aiyO ennaich chindhai kavarndhadhuvE”  (the divine, reddish mouth of the amazing entity engaged my mind. How is this?) and by nammAzhwAr in his thiruvAimozhi 7-7-3 “vAliyadhOr kanikol vinaiyAttiyEn valvinaikol kOlaththiraL pavaLath thuNdangolO aRiyEn neelanedumugil pOl thirumEniyammAn thoNdai vAy” (emperumAn’s divine mouth appears like a ripened fruit fit to be enjoyed, but AzhwAr, in the guise of parAngusa nAyaki, is sorrowful that her cruel sins have taken a form to prevent her from enjoying that). How amazing that such a divine, beautiful mouth could spit fire after opening out like a cave!

ivaiyA – this could be construed as ivai Ah – here,  Ah would mean that this is very wondrous. Alternatively, this could be taken as one word ivaiyA which would mean is this (same as the other one)? [in other words, such a divine, fruit like mouth of emperumAn is spitting fire after opening out like a cave; are the two, the same or are they different?] AzhwAr is wondering whether the mouth that he is seeing, looked different during emperumAn’s incarnation as narasimha by opening out like the mouth of a cave and spitting fire from it.

ivaiyA erivattak kaNgaL – would the divine eyes, which were sung about by AzhwArs (1) as in periya thirumozhi 7-1-9 “sudar mAmadhi pOl uyirkkellAm thAyAyaLikkinRa thaNdAmaraikkaNNA” (Oh one with cool, comforting lotus eyes! Your eyes are like the bright, huge moon looking at the people of this world like a mother), (2) as in thiruvAimozhi 7-7-1 “sUzhavum thAmarai nANmalar poL vandhu thOnRum kaNdIr” (emperumAn’s eyes will appear from all four sides like lotus which has just then blossomed) and (3) as in amalanAdhippirAn 8 “kariyavAgip pudai parandhu miLirndhu sevvariyOdi nINda apperiyavAya kaNgaL ennaip pEdhamai seydhanavE” (those black, expansive, bright, with reddish lines, long eyes made me lose my control), which attract his followers and engage with them, become inimical in the case of the enemies of followers and spit fire? How amazing that these eyes have become balls of fire and are spitting fire?

ivaiyA eripongik kAttum imaiyOr perumAn ari pongik kAttum azhagu – emperumAn, whose divine form is radiant and who is the lord of nithyasUris, transformed himself, for the sake of his follower, into a lion and how beautiful is this!

eri pongik kAttumemperumAn’s divine form will outwit all the radiant, glowing objects. His divine form is described in muNdakOpanishath 2-2-11 as “na thathra sUryO bhAthi na chandhrathArakam nEmA vidhyuthO bhAthi kuthO’yamagni” (in the presence of that paramAthmA (supreme being) sun and moon will not shine; lightning too will not look bright; is there a need to talk about agni (fire)?)

imaiyOr perumAn – It is implied that since he is the lord of celestial entities, he carried out this task (of transforming himself into a lion, spitting fire) for  their sake.  It also implies that they wilfully became his servitors after seeing this beauty and losing out to it.

ari pongik kAttum azhagu – even though he is the supreme being, his beauty in the form of a furious narasimha was superior to that of his original form (as emperumAn). Wasn’t it to experience and enjoy this beauty of narasimha, which was like sugar mixed well with milk, that thirumangai AzhwAr mercifully composed a whole decad in periya thirumozhi 1.7 “angaN gyAlam”!

AzhwAr thus mercifully mentioned as to how an entity [emperumAn], who does not change at all, transforms himself for the same of its followers.

We will take up the 22nd pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 20 – nIyE ulagellAm

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

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avathArikai

After AzhwAr had said “kAppAy nI kAppadhanai AvAy nI vaikundham IppAyum evvuyirkkum nI” [as in the previous pAsuram], emperumAn became very happy. Just as it is said “kim mrushtam suthavachanam” (Which is the sweetest to hear? It is hearing one’s child speaking) emperumAn, desirous of hearing more sweet words from AzhwAr, tells AzhwAr “AzhwIr! Your pAsurams are very sweet to hear. Compose one more pAsuram”. AzhwAr immediately composes another pAsuram (this) dipping the all pervading quality of emperumAn in his mellifluous words and offers to emperumAn.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

nIyE ulagellAm ninnaruLE niRpanavum
nIyE thavaththEva dhEvanum nIyE
erisudarum mAl varaiyum endhisaiyum aNdaththu
irusudarum Aya ivai

Word for Word Meanings

ulagu ellAm nIyE – you are the controller of all the worlds
niRpanavum – the stable, purushArtham (end benefit) of mOksham (liberation / SrIvaikuNtam)
nin aruLE – due to your mercy alone
thavam dhEvar dhEvanum  nIyE – you are the head of celestial entities such as brahmA et al who became celestial entities after carrying out penance.
eri sudarum – the splendorous agni (fire)
mAl varaiyum – the huge mountains which sustain earth
eN dhisaiyum – all the entities present in the eight directions
aNdaththu – present in the universe
iru sudarum – chandhra sUrya (moon and sun)
Aya ivai – all these
nIyE – are only you

vyAkyAnam

nIyE ulagellAm – many pramANams (authentic sources of information) have been given to substantiate that emperumAn is all pervading.

nArAyaNa anuvAkam – “viSvam nArAyaNam harim” (he is the indwelling soul of all the worlds)

SrI bhagavath gIthA 11-40: “sarvam samApnOshi thathO’Si sarva:” (since you pervade everything you are everything)

mahAbhAratham – “thathsthathvAdhanupaSyanthi hyEka EvEthi sAdhava:” (since emperumAn has pervaded the jIvAthmA, sAdhus (ascetics) see them [emperumAn and jIvAthmA] as one)

brahma sUthram – “avasthithErithi kAsakruthsna

Since no creation can exist if separated from him and since such a separated state cannot be seen, there is nothing wrong in saying that emperumAn is the world.

ninnaruLE niRpanavum – the prurushArtham mOksham (liberation or SrIvaikuNtam), which is stable and permanent, happens due to your mercy. This can also be construed as – all creations exist in a stable way, due to your mercy. But since this meaning is conveyed by the previous verse nIyE ulagellAm periyavAchchAn piLLai, the vyAkyAthA (commentator) for this prabandham supported the meaning relating to purushArtham. Since the goal in paramapadham is unlimited, plural number niRpana has been used.

nIyE thavaththEva dhEvanum – you are the lord of those who became deities after carrying out penance. svEthasvathara upanishath says “tham dhEvanAm paramancha dhaivatham” (emperumAn is the supreme deity for all those deities). mahAbhAratham sabA parvam 14-8 says “yugakOti sahasrANi vishNumArAdhya padhmabhU: I punas thrailOkyadhAthruthvam prApathavAnithi SuSruma: II ” (we hear that by carrying out penance towards vishNu for thousands of crores of yugas, brahmA attained the position of being the head of the three worlds once again). nArasimha purANam says “brahmAdhayas surAs sarvE vishNumAradhya thE purA I svam svam padhamanuprApthA: kESavasya prasAdhatha: II ” (dhEvas such as brahmA et al worshipped vishNu and with his mercy attained their respective position). mahAbhAratham says “mahAdhEvas sarvamEdhE mahAthmA huthvA’thmAnam dhEvadhEvO babhUva” (by sacrificing himself in the sarvamEdha yAgam (a ritual), the great soul mahAdhEva (rudhra) became a deity). Thus in all these cases, it is clearly established that emperumAn is the supreme deity for all those who became deities after carrying out penance towards him.

nIyE erisudarum mAl varaiyum … – is it required to say these separately? You are the burning fire, the huge mountains which sustain earth, the eight directions, sUrya and chandhra (sun and moon) which are within the universe. All these are under your control. This is in line with the SrI vishNu purANa SlOkam 2-12-38 “jyOthimshi vishNur bhuvanAni vishNur vanAni vishNur girayO dhiSaScha” (all the radiant objects are vishNu; all the worlds are vishNu; all the forests are vishNu; all the mountains and directions are vishNu).

We will move on to the 21st pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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