Category Archives: nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi

nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 86 – uLan kaNdAy

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avathArikai

In the earlier pAsurams, AzhwAr spoke extensively, for the all the world to know, about the supreme being’s basic nature, divine form, auspicious qualities and wealth. In this pAsuram he tells his divine mind “I had explained the presence of emperumAn even to those who denied his existence. You also meditate on this meaning”.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meaning:

uLan kaNdAy nannenjE uththaman enRum
uLan kaNdAy uLLuvAr uLLaththu uLan kaNdAy
thannoppAn thAnAy uLan kAn thamiyERku
ennoppArkku Isan imai

Word for Word Meanings

nal nenjE – Oh heart who is apt for me!
uththaman – (one who protects without expecting anything in return) emperumAn who is the best among all purushas (souls)
uLan kaNdAy – see that he exists (to protect us)
enRum uLan kaNdAy – see that (at all places) at all times (in protecting us) he exists
uLLuvAr uLLaththu – in the minds of those who accept to think of him
uLan kaNdAy – see that he exists permanently
than oppAn Isan – (since there is none who equals him) that emperumAn who is his own equal
thamiyERku – for me, who is without any means
en oppARku – and for those who, like me, are without any means
thAn Ay uLan kAN – see that he himself exists as the protector
imai – know this

vyAkyAnam

uLan kaNdAyAzhwAr is not instructing us regarding the existence of emperumAn. Then, what is he implying? He tells his heart to see emperumAn, who is there as the protector. He tells his heart to see that even if unavoidable problems crop up due to the heart or due to anyone else, he is there, capable of avoiding those problems.

nannenjE – Oh heart which has the capability to instruct others regarding this! Since it has the capability to instruct others, is it required to say that is has the capability to listen about this?

nannenjEAzhwAr celebrates his heart just as nammAzhwAr did in his thiruvAimozhi 1-10-4nenjamE! nallai nallai unnaip peRRAl en seyyOm ini enna kuRaivinam ” (Oh heart! What can I not do if I get such a good entity like you! What shortcoming will I have!)

When emperumAn becomes a protector, will he expect anything?

uLan kaNdAy nannenjE uththaman – AzhwAr says that emperumAn is the best among all, who does not expect anything when he protects. One who carries out a deed for his own benefit is called as adhaman (lowliest among all); one who carries out a deed for his as well as others’ benefit is called as madhyaman (in-between); one who carries out a deed for the benefit of only others is called as uththaman (best among all). Isn’t emperumAn Ongi ulagaLandha uththaman (the best entity who grew up and measured all the worlds, for the benefit of his followers)!

Being a totally independent entity, though he has been protecting so far without expecting anything, what will he do now?

uththaman enRum uLan kaNdAy – just as he had been protecting in samsAram all along without any reason, hereafter he will give himself to be enjoy in SrIvaikuNtam and protect.

For getting this, should the jIvAthmA have any qualification?

uLLuvAr uLLaththu uLan kaNdAyAzhwAr says that emperumAn will reside in the heart of one who agrees to think of him instead of vowing ‘I will not think about you’. It is implied that the only quality required for the chEthana (sentient entity) to make emperumAn as a protector is to agree to think about emperumAn.

uLLuvAr uLLaththu uLanperiyAzhwAr and his divine daughter, ANdAL, mercifully mentioned respectively, in thiruppallANdu 4kUdumanam udaiyIrgaL varampozhi vandhollaik kUduminO” (if you have the desire to be with us, break out of the boundary of one enjoying himself/herself and join with us immediately) and in thiruppAvai 1pOdhuvIr pOdhuminO” (those who are desirous (of being together with us while taking bath), join us).

thannoppAn Isan – Just as SvethASvathara upanishath said “ na thathsamaSchAbhyadhigaScha dhruSyathE ” (there is none equalling you; we cannot see anyone superior to you) and thiruvAimozhi 2-3-2oththAr mikkAraiyilaiyAya mAmAyA” (Oh amazing entitiy who does not have anyone equal or superior!), sarvESvara is one who is his own equal. The opinion is that there is none to equal him in protecting others causelessly.

IsanAzhwAr hints here that since emperumAn is the owner, he is bound to protect his possession.

thamiyERku ennoppArkkuth thAnAy uLan kAN – (AzhwAr tells his heart to see that) the supreme being is the protector for him as well as for those like him who are without any means.

thamiyERku – one who is secluded. Seclusion here refers to the quality of being without any means in protecting oneself just as it is mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 5-7-1nORRa nOnbilEn nuNNaRivilEn” (I am without karmayOga (path of attaining emperumAn through carrying out ordained deeds) or gyAna yOga (path of knowledge for attaining emperumAn))

thAnAyuLan – emperumAn is there as the protector. The quality of protection is emperumAn’s basic nature; it is the essential quality to identify him.

imai – [AzhwAr tells his heart] know this meaning .

We will take up the 87th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 85 – thozhil enakku

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avathArikai

A few samsAris asked AzhwAr “You are saying that you have made worshipping emperumAn as your profession. Is it not enough if you are involved with emperumAn for sometime and be involved with other activities at other times?” AzhwAr tells them “I have just enough time for meditating on the victorious deeds of chakravarthy thirumagan (SrI rAma, son of emperor dhaSaratha). Where is the time for engaging with other activities?”

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

thozhil enakkuth thollaimAl than nAmam Eththa
pozhudhu enakku maRRadhuvE pOdhum kazhi sinaththa
vallALan vAnararkOn vAli madhanazhiththa
villALan nenjaththuLan

Word for Word Meanings

kazhi sinaththa – one who has lot of anger
vallALan – and who has lot of strength
vAnarar kOn – being the king of monkeys
vAli – vAli’s
madhan – arrogance
azhiththa – one who destroyed
vil ALan – SrI rAma, who was controlling kOdhaNdam, his bow
nenjaththu – in my heart
uLan – has taken residence

Hence
enakku – for me
thozhil – profession
thollai mAl than nAmam Eththa – is only to praise the divine names of that long-standing sarvESvara (supreme being)
enakku – for me
maRRadhuvE – only with recitation of SrI rAma’s divine names, as mentioned earlier
pozhudhu pOdhum – time will pass on

vyAkyAnam

thozhil enakkuth thollai mAl than nAmam Eththa – the profession for me is to praise the sarvESvara (supreme being) who is there for a very long time.

Aren’t we [samsAris] carrying out a lot of other work and in between, reciting emperumAn’s divine names? Why cannot you too [AzhwAr] do like that?

pozhudhu enakku maRRadhuvE pOdhum – for me, time is spent in engaging with bhagavath vishayam (matters relating to emperumAn). He says next that even among the matters relating to emperumAn, there is time for engaging with only one of his incarnations, SrI rAma and there is no time for other matters.

kazhi sinaththa vallALan – one can see vAli’s cruel anger in his act of rejecting his younger brother who fell at his feet and begged him [for forgivance].

vallALan – one could see his great strength in his act of tying rAvaNa as if he were an insect

vAnarar kOn – one who controlled and ruled over the monkeys through his anger and strength and was their king

kazhi sinaththa vallALan vAnarar kOn – It is clear that unlike SrI rAma who engaged his citizens through his divine form and qualities such as magnanimity etc to make them say “ichchAmOhi mahAbAhum” (we desire to see SrI rAma who has strong shoulders as the king), vAli had subjugated the monkeys through his anger and strength and ruled over them.

vAli madhanazhiththa – one who destroyed the arrogance of vAli

suzhi sinaththa vAli madhanazhiththa – the meaning implied here is that SrI rAma destroyed the vanity of vAli since vAli had condemned his younger brother [sugrIva] who had fallen at his feet seeking refuge.

vallALan madhanazhiththa – the opinion here is that vAli, instead of utilising his strength for controlling people like rAvaNa, used it for befriending them and hence is apt to be controlled.

vAnararkOn madhanazhiththa – the meaning here is that since vAli is a dangerous animal, it is fit to destroy his pride by hitting him by hiding, insead of fighting with him in direct combat.

madhanazhiththa villALan nenjaththuLan – the one who had destroyed the arrogance of vAli is constantly residing in my heart. The opinion here is that when such is the case, where is the time for me to engage with other activities.

We will move on to the 86th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 84 – pidhirum manam illEn

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avathArikai

AzhwAr says that just as emperumAn is the most distinguished when it comes to bestowing benefits, he [AzhwAr] is also incomparable when it comes to being affectionate towards emperumAn.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

pidhirum manam illEn pinjagan thannodu
edhirvan avan enakku nErAn adhirum
kazhaRkAla mannanaiyE kaNNanaiyE nALum
thozhum kAdhal pUNdEn thozhil

Word for Word Meanings

adhirum kazhal kAla – one who is donning the resounding anklet on his divine foot
mannanai – the king of kings
kaNNanaiyE – kaNNapirAn (krishNa)
nALum – every day
thozhum thozhil – making the activity of worshipping as profession
kAdhal pUNdEn – I, who am having affection [for emperumAn]
pidhirum manam illEn – do not have a wavering heart
pinjagan thannodum edhirvan – I will be equalling rudhra in knowledge

(whatever may be)
avan enakku nErAn – that rudhra will not compare with me (who is a permanent servitor)

vyAkyAnam

pidhirum manam illEn – I do not have a wavering heart. I have a heart which is focussed on matters relating to emperumAn. AzhwAr re-establishes what he had said in pAsuram 81 “kadhavu manam enRum kANalAm enRum kudhaiyum vinai Avi thIrndhEn

When asked whether there is anyone who is comparable to him in having a focussed mind, he says…

pinjagan thannodu edhirvan – I will be equivalent to Siva who is very knowledgeable and who bestows knowledge on others as mentioned in mAthsya purANam 67-41 “ISvarAth gyAnam anvichchEth” (let the chEthana desire knowledge from Siva).

When asked whether there is total equality between rudhra and him in all aspects, AzhwAr says . . .

avan enakku nErAn – rudhra will not equal me in other matters. When sathva guNas (purely good qualities) gain prominence rudhra will say as in ISvara samhithai “dhAsabhUthAs svatha: sarvE hyAthmAna: paramAthmana:  I athO’hamapi thE dhAsa ithi mathvA namAmyaham II” (all the jIvAthmAs (sentient entities) are by nature servile to you; hence, knowing that I am also your servitor, I am bowing down to you) and as in SrI vishNu purANam 5-33-41 “krishNa krishNa mahAbAhO jAnEthvAm purushOththamam ” (Oh krishNa, with mighty arms! I know that you are the greatest among all souls). Since rudhra says that emperumAn is the protector, AzhwAr says that rudhra is his equal to an extent. When qualities of rajas (passion) and thamas (ignorance) are prominent, rudhra will say as in SrI bhagavath gIthA 16-14ISvarOham” (I am the controller) and will even oppose emperumAn in warfare. Such rudhra will not be equal to me, says AzhwAr.

AzhwAr mercifully explains the basis for the distinction that he has to say that rudhra is not equal to him, in the coming lines.

adhirum kazhaRkAla mannanaiyE – the only one who annihilates his enemies by the sheer roaring sound of his anklets, thus protecting his followers. This indicates his greatness. Now, in the next word, AzhwAr indicates his simplicity too.

kaNNanaiyE – krishNa who was born in the clan of cowherds.

nALum thozum thozhil – worshipping emperumAn as full-time profession.

kAdhal pUNdEn – as the basis for that, I developed affection towards emperumAn. Thus, for me who is a permanent servitor for kaNNan, rudhra, who fought against kaNNan in the bANAsura yudhdham (war) cannot be an equal, implies AzhwAr.

We will take up the 85th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 83 – vEndharAy viNNavarAy

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AzhwAr mentioned about a benefit which had no equivalent. Is this all that emperumAn does for his followers? Till such time that they are here, without any regulations about what he does, emperumAn carries out all the protective actions; if the follower leaves this body, he gives him svarga (heaven); more distinguished than these, he also grants paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam); even after granting all these, isn’t he the entity who feels sad that he has not done anything for his follower? AzhwAr thus explains in this pAsuram, the meaning that he had given in the previous pAsuram.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

vEndharAy viNNavarAy viNNagaith thaNNaLiyAy
mAndharAy mAdhAy maRRellAmAy sArndhavarkkuth
than ARRAn nEmiyAn mAlvaNNan thAn kodukkum
pinnAl thAn seyyum pidhir

Word for Word Meanings

nEmiyAn – one who has the divine disc in his hand
mAl vaNNan – emperumAn who is the epitome of affection
sArndhavarkku – towards those who attain him
vEndhar Ay – being kings
viNNavar Ay – being dhEvas (celestial entities, who bestow rain)
viN Agi – being the svarga (heaven) which gives enjoyment
thaNNaLi Ay – being the one who grants his grace (in heaven)
mAndhar Ay – being relatives
mAdhA Ay – being the one who gives all the benefits given by a mother
maRRu ellAm Ay – being the one who carries out all the other types of benefits

(even after bestowing all these benefits)
than ARRAn – being not satisfied internally
thAn kodukkum – giving (everything) himself
pinnAl – despite giving all these
thAn seyyum pidhir – he will give the distinguished mOksham (SrIvaikuNtam)

vyAkyAnam

vEndharAy – being like kings who will function such that the strong people do not harm the weaklings, so long as they are in this world. Has it not been said that kings are denomination of bhagavAn, as in the saying “nAvishNu: prithivIpathi:” (king is not different from vishNu) and in thiruvAimozhi 4-4-8thiruvudai mannaraik kANil thirumAlaik kaNdEnEyennum” (if she looks at the king, she will say that she has seen thirumAL (emperumAn))?

viNNavarAy – Is it not true that even if kings rule the land properly, if there is no water resource, there will not be any benefit to the people? Hence, (emperumAn functions as) being the celestial entities who are the cause for rain which provides water resources to people in the world. vyAsa said “sarva ijyAScha krishNa:” (all celestial entities are krishNa).

viNNAgi – being svarga (heaven) which is distinct from earth and which is the benefit for deeds carried out on earth such as jyOthishtOma (a type of ritual) etc. nammAzhwAr too mercifully said in thiruvAimozhi 3-10-7iniya nalvAn suvargangaLumAy” (being the sweet paramapadham and svarga)

thaNNaLiyAy – being the grace showered by indhra et al celestial entities. The opinion here is that it is only emperumAn who grants happiness through indhra et al in svarga. emperumAn said himself in SrI bhagavath gIthA 7-22labhathE cha thatha: kAmAn mayaiva vihithAn hi thAn” ((AthmA) attains all the desires which are granted only by me through celestial entities).

mAndharAy – being relatives and friends who provide help. subAlOpanishath says “suhruth gathir nArAyaNa:” (attain nArAyaNa who is good at heart).

mAdhAy – being the mother who gave birth to. This applies to father too. Just as it is mentioned in the saying “sahasram hi pithur mAthA” (being thousand times greater than father and mother) mentioning mother is also applicable to father. periya thiruvandhAdhi 5 says “peRRa thAy nIyE piRappiththa thandhai nI” (you are the mother who gave birth to and the father who was responsible for the birth) and subAlOpanishath “mAthA pithA nArAyaNa” (nArAyaNa is the mother and the father).

mAdhAy – also could  be construed as being beautiful. mAdhu – beauty. It is emperumAn’s beauty which the AthmA enjoys among all the beautiful things enjoyed.Hasn’t emperumAn himself said in bhagavath gIthA “yadh yadh vibhUthimath sathvam SrImadhUrgithamEva vA I thaththadhEvAgachcha thvam mama thEjOmSa sambhavam  II ” (know that all the materials which are full of opulence, which are beautiful, which are firm are born out of my radiance) and nammAzhwAr in thiruvAimozhi 1-2-7adangezhil sampaththu adangakkaNdu Isan adangezhil ahdhenRu adanguga uLLE”  (after looking at all the beautiful wealth of emperumAn, one should realise that he is also one among his wealth and become humble)!

maRRellAmAy – being other relatives, means and benefit as mentioned in “bhrAthA nivAsa: SaraNam” (surrendering to my elder brother) and periya thiruvandhAdhi 5 “maRRaiyArAvArum nI pEsil” (if I have to list out all the benefits that I have obtained from you, you are the AchArya (teacher) too)

For whom is emperumAn like these?

sArndhavarkku – he is like these for those who attain him.

than ARRAn – being dissatisfied with himself for not having done enough for his followers despite doing all these. Isn’t he the entity who says as in mahAbhAratham “gOvindhEthi yadhAgrandhath krUshNA mAm dhUravAsinam I ruNam pravrudhdhamiva mE hrudhayAnnApasappathi  II ” (the crying out of dhraupadhi who cried out gOvindhA when I was at a far away distance is not leaving my heart just like a loan which has kept accruing interest)!

nEmiyAn – one who manifests himself with his divine disc which removes enemies and which enables his followers to enjoy him.

mAl vaNNan thAn kodukkum – being the epitome of affection, one who keeps giving benefits like the above despite saying that he has not given anything.

pinnAl thAn seyyum pidhir – even after giving everything on earth as well in heaven etc, he gives paramapadham to his followers. pidhirremaining. In other words, he will give after he has enjoyed. After emperumAn has enjoyed the chEthana (sentient entity) and is deeply immersed in the ocean of nectar, the chEthana will be very joyous seeing the happiness of emperumAn and in turn will immerse himself in emperumAn’s ocean of nectar. Just as it is mentioned in thaiththirIya upanishaths “aham annam aham annam” ISvara enjoys chEthana  as his food and is joyous. Looking at that joy, chEthana will enjoy that joy as the SEshabhUtham (remaining food after partaking by emperumAn). vEdhAntha dhEsika said of this as “bhungkthE svabhOgamakhilam pathibhOga SEsham” (muktha (soul liberated from samsAram) enjoys as the remainder of emperumAn’s enjoyment)

It is proper for emperumAn to grant mOksham for his follower. But is it proper on his part to grant happiness in this world and svarga? Since he is sakalapalapradhan  (one who grants all benefits), it is not wrong on his part to grant other benefits too, based on the desire of his follower. For the sake of pirAtti (sIthAppirAtti) when jatAyu gave up his life, not knowing what he is doing, did SrI rAma not grant everything without any distinction between the pleasures on earth and mOksha as mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam SlOkam 68-30 “yA gathir yagya SeelAnAm AhithAgnEScha yA gathi: I aparAvarthinAm yA cha yA cha bhUmippradhAyinAm I mayA thvam samanuggyAthO gachcha lOkAnanuththamAn  II” (For those who observe rituals, for those who carry out rites with fire, for those who donate land and for those mukthas who do not return here ever, whatever great benefits are granted, you too, who are directed by me, will enjoy all those benefits in all those worlds )!

We will take up the 84th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 82 – kalandhAn en uLLaththu

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avathArikai

AzhwAr is wondering whether it was just that emperumAn created a desire for AzhwAr in thamizh language and prevented him from having a wavering heart. He says aloud to the entire world, in this pAsuram, that there cannot be a greater benefit, which emperumAn did for him, than his mingling with AzhwAr’s heart despite his being a supreme being.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

kalandhAn ennuLLaththuk kAmavEL thAdhai
nalandhAnum IdhoppadhuNdE alarndhalargaL
ittEththum Isanum nAnmuganum enRivargaL
vittEththa mAttAdha vEndhu

Word for Word Meanings8

kAmavEL thAdhai – one who is manmatha’s (cupid’s) father
alarndha alargaL ittEththum Isanum – sivan who praises emperumAn after offering blossomed flowers
nAnmuganum – brahmA
enRa ivargaL – (distinguished) dhEvas such as these
vittu Eththa mAttAdha – one who cannot be praised completely
vEndhu – dhEvAdhidhEva (lord of all dhEvas) [emperumAn]
en uLLaththu – in my heart
kalandhAn – mingled
Idhu oppadhu nalam thAnum uNdE – is there any benefit equalling this benefit? (no, there is none).

vyAkyAnam

kalandhAn en uLLaththu – emperumAn mingled, like water mingles with water, with my heart which has been engaged with lowly worldly matters.

Who is such an entity?

kAmavEL thAdhai – one who is called as manmatha (cupid) among manmatha since he gave birth to manmatha (lord of love) who attracts others towards him because of his beauty. Such manmatha who is most beautiful desired a lowly entity such as I (AzhwAr) and mingled. kAmavEL thAdhai – father of manmatha.

kAmavELkAman – one who creates desire in others. vELbeautiful person. kAman is samskrutha word and vEL is thamizh word.

Is it that he has only beauty?

alarndhalargaL . . . vEndhu – Siva and brahmA who think of themselves as ISvara (one who controls all) offered freshly blossomed flowers at the divine feet of emperumAn and praised him to their hearts’ content. Such emperumAn who cannot be fully praised by brahmA, Siva et al mingled with me, says AzhwAr.

Isanum nAnmuganum enRivargaL – this indicates the prominence of Siva and brahmA who are heads of dhEvas.

vittEththa – Praising handsomely. Praising with full throat [loudly]. Praising totally.

vEndhu kalandhAn en uLLaththu – one who is supreme, mingled with a very lowly person due to his desire.

Idhu oppadhu nalandhAnum uNdE – Is there any benefit which is equal to this?

alarndhalargaL . . .vittEththa mAttAdha vEndhu kalandhAn; Idhoppadhu nalandhANum uNdE – rudhra, brahmA et al worship emperumAn with just blossomed flowers and praise emperumAn on their own with the aim of attaining emperumAn through their efforts just like people pick up grains from fields with difficulty for their sustenance. On the other hand, emperumAn, of his own accord, enters AzhwAr’s heart, head over heels. AzhwAr asks whether there could there be any equivalent to this experience.

We will move on to the 83rd pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 81 – kadhavu manam enRum

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avathArikai

As soon as AzhwAr mentioned “viraindhadaimin” (attain emperumAn soon), all the people in the world became inclined towards bhagavAn. Becoming very pleased after looking at this rare deed of AzhwAr, emperumAn asked him “AzhwIr! Is there anything that I can do in return for what you have done?” AzhwAr replies “When you, who are the source for my doing such deeds, are there and had rectified my mind to enable it to reap rich harvest, what else is there to be done for me?”

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

kadhavu manam enRum kANalAm enRum
kudhaiyum vinaiyAvi thIrndhEn vidhaiyAga
naRRamizhai viththi en uLLaththai nI viLaiththAy
kaRRa mozhiyAgik kalandhu

Word for Word Meanings

nI – you (who have no shortcoming in knowledge, power etc)
kaRRa mozhiyAgi – being the meaning for the thamizh words that I have learnt
kalandhu – mingling with me, like water mingling with water
nal thamizhai – the distinguished language of thamizh
vidhaiyAga viththi – sowing it as seed
en uLLaththai – my heart
viLaiththAy – you made (this prabandham [divine hymn]) to grow

(due to that)
manam – mind
kadhavu enRum – thinking ( on a few occasions) to be the hurdle for attaining emperumAn
(manam) kANalAm enRum – thinking (the mind) to be the aid in seeing emperumAn (on a few other occasions)
kudhaiyum vinai Avi thIrndhEn – I avoided the heart which had unsteadiness (in swinging between these two extremes) as its business

vyAkyAnam

kadhavu manam enRum . . . . thIrndhEn – AzhwAr says that he avoided something which was a huge hurdle for others in attaining emperumAn.

What is that hurdle?

kadhavu manam enRum kANalAm enrum kudhaiyum vinai Avi – Just as it is mentioned in SrI vishNu purANam 6-7-28 “mana Eva manushyANAm kAraNam bandha mOkshayO: I bandhAya vishayAsangi mukthyai nirvishayam mana: II” (it is the heart alone which is the reason for people getting chained to samsAram as well as getting liberated from it; if it is engaged with Sabdha (sensory objects such as sound) etc it is chained and if it is not engaged with Sabdha etc, it is liberated), it is heart alone which acts as a hurdle like a door in seeing the supreme being and it is heart alone which is the means for seeing him. AzhwAr says that he avoided getting an unsteady heart.

kadhavu manam enRum kANalAm enRum – did not kaNNan (krishNa) say in SrI bhagavath gIthA 6-5Athmaiva hyAthmanO bandhurAthmaiva ripurAthmana:” (it is the heart alone which is friendly towards AthmA (soul) and it is the heart alone which is inimical towards the AthmA)!

kudhaiyum vinai Avi thIrndhEn – I avoided getting a heart which was unsteady. The meaning behind this is that AzhwAr obtained a heart which was fully focussed on matters relating to emperumAn.

Avi – the word Avi which refers to prANa (breath) indicates heart which is the seat for breath. In the gIthA SlOkam shown above (6-5) the word AthmA, as well as the word uyir in thiruvAimozhi 2-3-1Unil vAzhum uyirE” refer to heart. In the same way, the word Avi refers to heart.

In the rest of the pAsuram AzhwAr says the reason for his avoiding the unsteadiness which others are afflicted with.

vidhaiyAga nal thamizhai viththi – sowing the seed of beautiful thamizh language, without any fault in its literature and grammar, in my heart.

kaRRa mozhiyAgik kalandhu – entering inside me as the meaning for the thamizh language that I am habituated with, from the time of my birth.

mozhiyAgi – as the meaning for the language

en uLLaththai nI viLaiththAy – Just as it is mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 5-3-4nenjapperum sey” in the heart which is the arable land, you, who are without any shortcoming in knowledge or power, sowed the seed of thamizh language as the cultivating farmer and made these pAsurams (hymns) which are like the crop, to grow.

We will move on to the 82nd pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 80 – viraindhu adaimin

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When AzhwAr was told “Let the knowledgeable consider their bodies as disease. For us the connection with samsAram (materialistic realm) is not ending”, he responds “If you attain kaNNan (krishNa) who protected the world when it was under deluge, you can also uplift yourselves”.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

virandhadaimin mElorunAL veLLam parakkak
karandhulagam kAththaLiththa kaNNan parandhulagam
pAdina Adina kEttup padunaragam
vIdina vAsaR kadhavu

Word for Word Meanings

parandhu – pervading everywhere
Adina – dancing
ulagam – distinguished followers
pAdina – the divine names recited
kEttu – since they were heard
padunagaram vAsal – at the entrance of hell
kadhavu – doors
vIdina – fell down
mEl oru nAL – at an earlier point of time
veLLam parakka – when the flood due to deluge spread
ulagam – all the worlds
karandhu – hiding (inside his stomach)
kAththu aLiththa – removed the sorrow and protected
kaNNan – kanna pirAn (krishNa)
viraindhu adaimin – go soon and bow down to him.

vyAkyAnam

viraindhadaimin – Looking at (the extent of) your sins, shouldn’t you attain him fast? Who should we attain? AzhwAr says we should attain the one who has protection of those who are caught in deluge as his duty.

mEl oru nAL – just as the flood of samsAram (materialistic realm) is surrounding you today, the flood of deluge had surrounded the worlds then.

ulagam karandhu kAththu – hiding all the worlds inside his divine stomach; even if deluge came searching for a long time, hiding and protecting them inside his divine stomach so that deluge wouldn’t know their (worlds’) whereabouts.

aLiththa kaNNan – attain such kaNNan who protected, fast. Also, kaNNan who showered his mercy on hearing the worlds singing about him (which comes later in the pAsuram)

When the fear of hell is troubling us, how do we attain him?

parandhu Adina ulagam pAdina kEttu – hearing the divine names of emperumAn from SrIvaishNavas who have pervaded all over the world and who are dancing. As the saying goes “ulagam enbadhu uyarndhOr mAttE” (world is with those who are distinguished), the word ulagam refers to followers of emperumAn who are greater than nithyasUris.

parandhu Adina ulagam Adina kEttunammAzhwAr mercifully mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 5-2-4kidandhum irundhum ezhundhum gIdham palapala pAdi nadandhum paRandhum kuniththum nAdagam seyginRanavE” ((followers of emperumAn) were lying down, sitting, standing, walking around, singing many songs on emperumAn, dancing without their legs touching the ground and joyfully going around) and in thiruvAimozhi 5-2-6nanRisai pAdiyum thuLLiyAdiyum gyAlam parandhAr” ((followers of emperumAn were) singing songs happily, jumping up and down, pervading all over the world ).

kEttu padu naragam – after hearing the divine names of emperumAn [through these songs etc], hell became heaven as mentioned in thirumAlai 12namanum muRgalanum pEsa naragil ninRArgaL kEtka naragamE suvargamAgum nAmangaLudaiya nambi” (emperumAn. the benefactor, has such sweet names that once when yama and mudhgala [a soul which had reached hell] were talking about the divine names of emperumAn, hell got transformed into heaven).

naragam vIdina vAsal kadhavu – the doors at the entrance to hell broke down completely. The implication is that there is no need for you (samsAris) to fear anything.

kaNNan ulgam parandhu pAdina Adina kEttup padu naragam vIdina vAsaR kadhavunammAzhwAr explained the meanings of this pAsuram in his thiruvAimozhi 5-2-1kadalvaNNan bhUdhangaL maNmEl maliyappugundhu isaipAdi Adi uzhidharak kaNdOm” (we saw the followers of emperumAn who has the complexion of ocean, pervading all over this world, singing sweet songs [on emperumAn] and dancing here and there).

Alternatively, we can consider that (thirumazhisai) AzhwAr was mercifully telling this pAsuram to the messengers of yama.

vIdina vAsal kadhavu viraindhu adaimin – after hearing the divine names of emperumAn, those who were inside hell, broke the doors of hell and went out. Oh messengers of yama! Come fast and bolt the doors of hell. poygai AzhwAr, in his mudhal thiruvandhAdhi 87 mercifully said “ini yAr puguvAr ezhu naraga vAsal muniyAdhu mUriththAL kONmin” (Oh messengers of yama! Who will henceforth enter the gates of hell? Without getting angry, close the gates of hell with a strong latch).

We will move on to the 81st pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 79 – Ayndhu koNdu

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avathArikai

AzhwAr had mentioned that the joy of those who see him directly is huge. When asked if engagement with this SarIra ( body) will not be a hurdle to this joy, he says that those who have the zeal to reach paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam) thinking of sarvESvara constantly, will think of the SarIra as a disease as mentioned in the saying “SarIram vraNavath paSyEth” (let him see the body as a wound) and hence engagement with this body will not be a hurdle to the joy born out of experiencing emperumAn.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

Ayndhu koNdu AdhipperumAnai anbinAl
vAyndha manaththiruththa vallArgaL Eyndha tham
meykundhamAga virumbavarE thAmum tham
vaigundham kANbAr viraindhu

Word for Word Meanings

Adhi – one who is the cause for the universe
perumAnai – sarvESvara (lord of all)
anbinAl – with affection
Ayndhu koNdu – meditating
vAyndha manaththu – (their) apt hearts
iruththa vallAr thAmum – those who are capable of establishing
tham vaigundham – the paramapadham which is there for them
viraindhu – quickly
kANbAr – desirous of seeing
Eyndha – fitting with the soul
tham mey – their bodies
kundham Aga – as disease
virumbuvar – will consider

vyAkyAnam

Ayndhu koNdu AdhippirAnai anbinAl – meditating on sarvESvara, who is the cause for the universe, with love. Has it not been said in atharvaSikai “kAraNam thu dhEya:” (only the entity which created the universe is apt for meditation)?

vAyndha manaththiruththa vallArgaL – those who are capable of keeping in their hearts, which will not say “No” when they wish to keep emperumAn in their hearts

vAyndha manam – it is the mind which will be ahead of the person himself in attaining emperumAn as mentioned in periya thiruvandhAdhi 1 “mundhuRRa nenjE” (Oh heart which is ahead of me!) and in thiruvAimozhi 1-7-8ennai negizhkkilum ennudaiya nannenjam thannai agalvikkath thAnum killAn ini” (even if he could separate from me, he is not capable of separating from my heart). It is the heart on which emperumAn falls head over heels, as mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 10-8-6 “iruppEn enRu en nenju niRaiyap pugundhAn” (he entered my heart completely saying that he would like to stay there).

AdhipperumAnai vAyndha manaththiruththa vallArgaL – those who are capable of firmly establishing the causative entity in their hearts as mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 2-6-7muzhuvEzh ulagumuNdAn ugandhu vandhu adiyEnuL pugundhAn agavalvAnumallan ini” (the one who swallowed all the worlds, entered my heart desirously and will not separate from it, henceforth).

manaththiruththa vallArgaLAzhwAr emphasises that it is very difficult to keep emperumAn in the mind which always prevaricates as mentioned in SrI bhagavath gIthA 6-34chanchalam hi mana:” (mind always prevaricates) and in periya thirumozhi 1-1-4 “ninRavA nillA nenju” (heart which is not steady).

vallArgaL thAmum – this describes the greatness of those who are capable of achieving this feat.

vallArgaL thAmum – these people who have the interest in matters relating to emperumAn who is the means (to attain him).

tham vaigundham viraindhu kANbAr – those who are desirous of reaching soon that paramapadham wherein there will be no hurdle for experiencing emperumAn.

tham vaigundham – that paramapadham which sarvESvara, the eternal prince of SrIvaikuNtam, has created for his followers as mentioned in purusha sUktham “marIchInAm padham” and in thiruvAimozhi 3-9-9vAnavar nAdu”.

viraindhu kANbAr – instead of patiently waiting, saying  “we will attain it when it comes”, being in a hurry to see, just like hurrying to see something which has been lost.

Eyndha  tham meygundhamAgavE virumbuvar – because of that desire (to see SrIvaikuNtam) they will consider their physical bodies, fitting with them, as disease only.

Eyndha tham mey – even after getting knowledge, considering their bodies which are united together with souls

kundhamAgavE virumbuvar – they will consider their bodies as hurdles in attaining SrIvaikuNtam. Instead of thinking of bodies as cause for joy or cause for joy and sorrow, they will consider their bodies as cause for only sorrow. kundham – disease.

We will move on to the 80th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 78 – kAndu vaNanginArkku

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avathArikai

Let the unseen benefit of removal of sins be there; AzhwAr wonders at the joy that those who see him and worship him have. If we look at the transformation in rudhra, who is full of thamO guNam (ignorance, laziness etc) and who is always angry, on hearing the divine names of emperumAn by  chance, should we say anything about those who see him directly and worship him?

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

kaNdu vaNanginarkku ennAngol kAmanudal
koNda thavaththARku umai uNarththa vaNdalambum
thAralangal nINmudiyAn than peyarE kEttirundhu angu
Aralangal AnamaiyAl Ayndhu

Word for Word Meanings

kAman – manmadhan’s
udal – body
koNda – one who turned it into ashes
thavaththARku – Siva who carries out the penance
umai – (his wife) pArvathi
uNarththa – as she indicated
vaNdu alambum thAr alangal nIN mudiyAn than peyarE kEttirundhu – on hearing the divine names of emperumAn who dons garland on his long crown, and on which beetles keep swarming
angu – at that moment itself
Ar alangal Anamai – becoming transformed
AyndhAl – if one were to analyse
kaNdu vanaginArkku – those who see and worship
en Am kol – what sort of transformation will take place?  (cannot be said easily)

vyAkyAnam

kAman udal koNda thavaththARku – to rudhra who carries out penance, and who burnt the body of kAma (manmadha) who created love (in him) towards his wife (pArvathi). To rudhra who has such a cruel nature that he would spend the strength of all his penance in destroying the person who created desire in him.

udal koNda thavaththARku – the benefit of carrying out penance is to destroy someone. One who is so hard hearted. The implied meaning is that such a hard hearted person melted on hearing the divine names of emperumAn.

umai uNarththa – pArvathi says. This narrative is as follows: Once when rudhra was meditating, pArvathi asked him “kam thvamarchayasE dhEva!  kim dhaivamadhikam thava I japahOma namaskArai: tham vadhasva mahESvara II” (Oh Lord! Who are you worshipping through japa (prayers), hOma (ritual by growing fire), namaskAra (salutation)? Who is the deity who is superior to you? mahESvara! Please tell me about him). She started singing the divine names of emperumAn in a way which was sweet to the ears. rudhra asked her to sing the divine names more and more and became very emotionally weak.

umai uNarththa – hearing her recite the divine names of emperumAn as pArvathi was asking him doubts by chance, rudhra started hearing from her, matter relating to emperumAn, thus changing the order of teacher – student (the student became teacher and teacher became student).

vaNdalambum thAralangal nINmudiyAn than peyarE kEttirundhu – the moment he heard and meditated on the divine names of emperumAn, on whose long crown thuLasi garlands were decorated and on which beetles came to swim in the nectar.

vaNdalambum thAralangal nINmudiyAnnammAzhwAr mercifully said in thiruvAimozhi 1-9-7sudar mudi mElum punaindha thaNNandhuyAyudai ammAn” (my lord who has cool thuLasi on his resplendent crown); vaNdalambu – some interpret this as beetles humming.

nIN mudiyAnemperumAn has a long crown which manifests his supremacy, as mercifully mentioned by kUraththAzhwAn in SrI varadharAja sthavam “AdhirAjyamadhikam bhuvanAnAmISa thE piSunayan kila mouli:” (your crown bears the tale that you are the lord of all the worlds).

angu AralangalAnamai AyndhAl kaNdu vaNanginArkku ennAngol – as soon as one hears emperumAn’s divine name, just as mercifully sung by various AzhwArskAlAzhum nenjazhiyum kaN suzhalum” (I will be unable to stand as legs will wobble, heart will sink, eyes will roll), “uLLelAmurugi kural thazhuththozhindhEn” (heart melted and voice stammered), “AhlAdhaSItha nEthrAmbU:  pulakIkrutha gAthravAn sadhA paraguNAvishta:” (the devotee on hearing the divine names of emperumAn, will have tears of joy and goose pimples, being enslaved by the superior qualities of emperumAn). When one analyses these situations, in all of which the devotee hears the divine names of emperumAn, what will be the state of those who see emperumAn directly and worship him? alangal – weariness; faintness.

AralangalAnamai – becoming very weary; alternatively, alangal could also mean garland, hence people would interpret this as – devotees withering and falling down like a garland which has dried up fully.

We will take up the 79th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 77 – thaRpennai

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AzhwAr says “Let emperumAn’s sankalpa, the words and their meanings etc remain. After seeing how he showered his distinguished grace on me, who is the epitome of all the faults, how can I praise the human beings with my tongue?”

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

thaRpennaith thAnaRIyAnElum thadangadalaik
kaRkoNdu thUrththa kadal vaNNan eRkoNda
vevvinaiyum nInga vilangA manam vaiththAn
evvinaiyum mAyumAl kaNdu

Word for Word Meanings

thadam kaladai – expansive ocean
kal koNdu – with mountains
thUrththa – one who built a dam and blocked it
kadal vaNNan thAn – emperumAn who has a dark complexion similar to the ocean
ennai – me (who is the epitome of all faults)
thaRpu – real nature
aRiyAnElum – even if (he is) not aware of
en koNda – having stolen me
vevvinaiyum – all the cruel sins
nInga – to leave
kaNdu – thinking with his heart
manam – his divine mind
vilangA – not going elsewhere
vaiththAn – mercifully kept (in a focussed way)

(Hence)
evvinaiyum – all those which are known as sins
mAyum – will be destroyed
Al – how wonderful

vyAkyAnam

thaRpennaith thAnaRIyAnElum – even if he did not know me, as I am [ i.e. my true nature]. This AzhwAr has said of himself in thiruchchandha viruththam 90 “kulangaLAya IriraNdil onRilum piRandhilEn, nalangalAya naRkalaigaL nAlilum navinRilEn pulangaLaindhum venRilEn poRiyilEn” (I am not born in any of the four varNas (classification of society based on qualities and activities), I have not learnt any of the four vEdhas which show correct path to all, I have not won over the five senses and I am trapped in worldly pursuits such as Sabdham (sound) etc ).  Even if emperumAn does not know that I have such faults…..

thAnaRiyAnElum – Just as mentioned in “yassarvagya: sarvavith” even if he, who is the omniscient, does not know my faults. ennaith thAnaRIyAnElum – Instead of saying ‘my faults’ why is AzhwAr saying ‘me’? Since AzhwAr feels that he is the epitome of all faults, he says ‘me’ instead of ‘my faults’. aRiyAnElum – has it not been mentioned “avigyAtha hi bhakthAnAm Agassu kamalEkshaNa:” (when it comes to the faults of his devotees, the lotus-eyed (emperumAn) remains ignorant)?

thadangadalaik kaRkoNdu thUrththa kadal vaNNan – he built a dam in the huge ocean with stones; he has dark and cool form, just like the ocean; he has qualities such as profundity etc similar to the ocean. He built a dam across the ocean with stones which would normally sink in the ocean, and achieved a feat which no one else can, in line with his quality of having agadithagatanA skill (achieving the impossible).

AzhwAr says that emperumAn achieved such feats not only for pirAtti (sIthAppirAtti, for rescuing whom he built the dam) but also for me . . . .

eRkoNda vevvinaiyum nIngak kaNdu – when I was fully transformed like an insentient entity being enveloped by all the sins, he graced me such that all the sins ran helter skelter, just as mercifully mentioned by nammAzhwAr in periya thiruvandhAdhi “vAnO maRi kadalO mArudhamO thIyagamO kAnO orungiRRum kaNdilamAl” (How strange! After attaining emperumAn, we have not seen where the sins covering us went. Did they disappear in the sky or in the ocean or in the wind or in fire or in the forest?) vevvinai – cruel sins; some people split this as ev vinay – all the sins.

vilangA manam kaNdu vaiththAn – he kept me in his mind through his sankalpa (divine will) and did not look at anything else. Just as nammAzhwAr has mercifully mentioned in periya thiruvandhAdhi 68 “kallum kanaikadalum vaigundha vAnAdum pullenRozhindhana” and periyAzhwAr in periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 5-4-9 “panikkadalil paLLigOLaip pazhagavittu Odivandhu emperumAn left everything else and thought only of me.

aRiyAnElum – manam vaiththAn – even if emperumAn did not know my faults, he kept his mind on me. One who did not know, started knowing. One, who did not know my faults, multiplied my qualities ten times or hundred times and started engaging with me. One who is avigyAthA (one who does not know faults) became sahasrAmsu (knowing (qualities) thousand times) [from SrI vishNu sahasranAmam].

eEvvinaiyum mAyumAl – once he keeps his mind on me, is there any way by which the sins will not be destroyed? Thus, all sins such as bhagavathapachAram (disrespectful acts towards emperumAn), bhAgavathapachAram (disrespetful acts against emperumAn’s followers) and asahyApachAram (disrespectful acts against anyone without any reason) will get destroyed. The pathos behind this is that this is the agadithagatanA (doing the impossible) act carried out by emperumAn towards me.

We will take up the 78th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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