Category Archives: nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi

nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 76 – pAttum muRaiyum

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avathArikai

AzhwAr was asked “What is the reason for your not singing about others?” He responds saying that all the words and their meanings in the world have been created due to emperumAn’s sankalpa (will), implying that only emperumAn has the greatness to be sung about.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

pAttum muRaiyum padu kadhaiyum palporuLum
Ittiya thIyum iruvisumbum kEtta
manuvum surudhi maRai nAngum mAyan
thanamAyaiyil pattadhaRpu

Word for Word Meanings

pAttum muRaiyum – musical and prosaic
padu kadhaiyum – ithihAsas (epics) which came about to describe the old narrations
pal poruLum – purANas which describe many meanings
Ittiya thIyum – agni (fire) which was created to have all five elements within it due to panchIkaraNam (homogenisation of the five elements)
iru visumbum – expansive sky (thus the five elements)
kEtta manuvum – manu smruthi which is spoken of in vEdhas too
surudhi – the method of learning through uchchAraNa and anuchchAraNa (teacher saying once and disciples repeating the same three times)
maRai nAngum – the four vEdhas

(thus, all these)
mAyan than – one who has amazing power, that emperumAn’s
mAyaiyil patta – through his sankalpa (will)
dhaRpu – have existence

vyAkyAnam

pAttum muRaiyum padu kadhaiyum pal poruLum – vyAkyAthA periyavAchchAn piLLai’s opinion is that these four words denote the meanings which are spoken of extensively in purANas (ancient narratives which would appear new each time they are read). According to SrI vishNu purANam 6-8-13 these are “sargaScha prathisargaScha vamSam manvantharANi cha I vamSanucharitham kruthsnam mayAthra thava kIrthitham II” (creation, annihilation, lineage, period of manu and narratives of lineages were narrated by me to you).

pAttum – starting from kings and going up to sarvESvara, the songs which were sung about the greatness of each. Don’t purANas sing extensively about celestial entities, pithrus (forefathers), kings as mentioned in mAthsya purANam “agnE: Sivasya mahAthmyam”?

muRaiyum – the order of lineages and manvantharam (manu’s period). parASara bhagavAn called this “vamSamanvantharANi cha” (lineage and manvantharam).

padu kadhaiyumsrushti (creation), pralayam (annihilation), history of lineages which happened earlier. parASara maharishi called this “sargaScha prathisargaScha vamSAnucharitham kruthsnam”.

palporuLum – apart from these, various other meanings which are explained in purANas regarding activities based on varNa (four classifications based on qualities and profession) and ASrama (status in societal life), determination of terrestrial movement etc.

This is the interpretation of periyavAchchAn piLLai. The interpretation of appiLLai is:

pAttum muRaiyum – prose and proper music which sings about prose.

padu kadhaiyum – ithihAsas (epics) which talk about old narratives describing how they happened.

pal poruLum – various meanings described by purANas starting with sargaScha prathisargaScha.

Ittiya thIyum – agni (fire) which was created in order to exhibit the other elements (ether, water, wind and earth) through the method of panchIkaraNam (homogenisation). Homogenisation is the method by which emperumAn split each of the elements into eight parts, retaining four parts in the mother element and mixing each of the other four parts with each of the other four elements.

iru visumbum – sky (ether) which is bigger than the other four elements since it pervades them. Mentioning about these two elements (agni (fire) and AkASam (sky)) is representative of the other three elements and the materials which are resultant from them.

In periyavAchchAn piLLai’s interpretation, all these are vAchyam (meanings of words) and what follow are the vAchagams (words). In appiLLai’s interpretation, Ittiya thIyum iruvisumbum alone is meaning of words. Those which precede and succeed this are words.

kEtta manuvum . . . .dhaRpu – Just as mentioned in thaiththirIya samhithai 2-2 “yadhyai kincha manuavadhath thath bhEshajam” (whatever has been mentioned by manu is medicine), manusmruthi which has been quoted in vEdhas, and the four vEdhas themselves which have been taught by AchArya (teacher) and heard by Sishya (due to which they are called as Sruthi) have the nature of total truth since they have been created by the AScharya bhUtha (amazing entity, emperumAn) through his sankalpa (will). This implies that the connection between a word and its meaning has been created by emperumAn’s sankalpa.

mAyai – this refers to the knowledge through sankalpa (will) as brought out by Arsha nigaNdu (lexicon) saying “mAyA vayunam gyAnam” kaNNa (krishNa) also mentioned in SrI bhagavath gIthA 4-6Athma mAyayA sambhavAmi” (I am born out of my will). dhaRputhathvam; truth.

We will take up the 77th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandthAdhi – 75 – nAkkoNdu

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avathArikai

AzhwAr asks whether he, who would not praise brahmA, rudhra et al who have abundant knowledge and power, will praise lowly human beings.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

nAkkoNdu mAnidam pAdEn nalamAgath
thIkkoNda senjadaiyAn senRu enRum pUkkoNdu
vallavAREththa  magizhAdha vaigundhach
chelvanAr sEvadimEl pAttu

Word for Word Meanings

thIkkoNda sem sadaiyAn – rudhra who has reddish matted hair which looks like fire
nalam Aga – aptly
enRum – every day
pU koNdu – carrying flowers
senRu – (himself) going
valla Aru – within his power
Eththa – praise
magizhAdha – not feeling happy (considering it as something great for him)
vaigundham selvanAr – SrI vaikuNta nAtha’s
sE adi mEl pAttu – (with) the pAsurams which are fit for his divine feet
nAkkoNdu – with the tongue
mAnidam – human beings
pAdEn – I will not sing

vyAkyAnam

nAkkoNdu mAnidam pAdEn – Just as it is said “sA jihvA yA harim sthauthi” (only that which praises emperumAn is tongue), I will not sing about lowly human beings with the tongue which is to be used only for singing about emperumAn.

AzhwAr was asked “Then, who will you sing?” He responds “I will sing about him who is praised by rudhra, who, you people think highly of”

thIkkoNda senjadaiyAn – one who has reddish matted hair which has agni, that irritates the eyes, in it.  Alternatively, just as poygai AzhwAr had mentioned in mudhal thiruvandhAdhi 97anaRku angai ERRAn” (held his beautiful hands for fire), one who has fire in his hands and reddish matted hair.

senRu enRUm – since it is ordained, going himself

pUkkoNdu vallavARu  enRum Eththa – taking soft flower, water, lamp, dhUpam (fragrant smoke) etc,  which are the implements for carrying out thiruvArAdhanam (divine worship), appropriate for the soft divine form of emperumAn. Worshipping emperumAn every day, utilising the knowledge and power that he (rudhra) has, to the extent that he can. Mentioning flower is representative of other materials required for carrying out worhip.

enRum nalamAga Eththa – praising emperumAn appropriate to his greatness, at all times.

vallavARu Eththa – however much one praises him, it (the act of praising) can never be considered to have been completed. Hence, praising (worshipping) him to the extent that one can. mahAbhAratham karNa parvam 83-65 says “varshAyuthair yasya guNA na SakyA vakthum samEthairapi sarvalOkai: ” (whose qualities cannot be spoken of even if (people in) all the worlds get together and speak for ten thousand years….); nammAzhwAr in his thiruvAimozhi 4-3-10 mercifully says “yAnum Eththi Ezhulagum muRRumEththip pinnaiyum thAnumEththilum thannai Eththa Eththa engeydum ” (even  after I (who had been given knowledge through emperumAn’s grace) praise him, even after all the (people in the) seven worlds praise him, even after he himself praises him, is it possible to complete praising him?) emperumAn is of the kind where it is not possible to complete praising him.

Eththa magizhAdha – There is scope for emperumAn becoming happy only if he considers it great being praised by these people. In truth, the praising of such people creates only faults for him, as mentioned by nammAzhwAr in periya thiruvandhAdhi 2 “pugazhvOm pazhippOm” (if we, who do not have any knowledge, attempt to praise you, it will end up as a fault only) and in thiruvAimozhi 3-1-7kEzhththa sIr araN mudhalAk kiLar dheyvamAyk kiLarndhu sUzhththamarargaL thudhiththAl un thol pugazh mAsUNAdhE ” (if entities such as rudhra et al attempt to praise all your qualities by taking on their roles as small deities, each taking one aspect to praise you, will that not end up as faulting you?)

What is the reason for emperumAn not being happy despite a superior entity such as rudhra praising him?

vaigundhach chelvanAr – since he is the lord of all the opulence in SrIvaikuNtam, such praises by dhEvas (celestial entities) will not bring about any change in his stature.

magizhAdha vaigundhach chelvanAr – did not vEdham also say as in thaiththirIya upanishath nArAyaNavalli 10-20 “vruksha iva sthabdhO dhivi thishtathyEka” (emperumAn remains as incomparable in paramapadham, without any change, like a tree)?

magizhAdha vaigundhach chelvanAr – emperumAn does not feel happy when entities such as rudhra et al praise him as these entities, when qualities of rajas and thamas (passion and ignorance) are prominent, gear up to fight with him. He is happy being praised with deep affection, by nithyas (nithyasUris, the permanent dwellers of SrIvaikuNtam) and mukthAthmAs (those who have been liberated from samsAram and have attained SrIvaikuNtam)) in SrIvaikuNtam.

selvanAr sEvadimEl pAttu – with the pAsurams which have been sung on the divine feet of emperumAn who is the wealth of pirAtti (SrI mahAlakshmi), I will not praise the lowly human beings, says AzhwAr.

We will move on to the 76th pAsuram.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 74 – padhippagaigyarkku

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avathArikai

In the previous pAsuram, AzhwAr mentioned about charama SlOka vaibhavam (glory of charama SlOkam). In this pAsuram, through an incident relating to vainathEya (garuda) as mentioned in mahAbhAratham, he says that sarvESvara (lord of all) will carry out the SaraNAgatha rakshaNam (protection of the surrendered) somehow or the other.

The vainathEya vrudhdhAntham (incident of garuda) has been explained in mahAbhAratham udhyOga parvam 103-105, as mentioned below:

mAdhali, the charioteer of indhra (head of celestial entities and the lord of three worlds bhU:, bhuva: and suva:) was looking for a suitable alliance for his daughter guNakESi. He went along with nAradha muni (son of brahmA) to many places looking for suitors and finally desiring to select a snake sumukha in pAthAla lOkam (nether world), asked sumukha’s grandfather Aryaka. Aryaka confided in mAdhali that garuda has already killed sumukha’s father and has vowed to kill and eat sumukha within one month.  Undeterred by this, mAdhali went to indhra who was with upEndhra (emperumAn in the divine form of vAmana) and briefed him about this. upEndhra bhagavAn told indhra that sumukha could be given nectar (elixir). However, indhra, fearing the valour of garuda, granted sumukha long life, as a boon. Immediately, mAdhali gave his daughter in marriage to sumukha. On hearing this, garuda went to indhra who was with upEndhra and spoke ruthlessly to indhra for having assisted his prey, preventing him from having his prey. sumukha, in the form of snake, coiled himself around upEndhra’s seat [as an act of surrendering]. Looking at this, garuda told bhagavAn “despite my being your vehicle and your flag, is this the way you repay? Think whether I, who am bearing you, am more powerful or you”. emperumAn looking at garuda, said, “enough of your trumpeting. Don’t speak, ignorant of the fact that I bear you and all the worlds. See if you can bear my thumb alone” and pressed his thumb on garuda. Unable to bear the weight, garuda fell down. He then paid obeisance to emperumAn and asked for forgivance. emperumAn removed sumukha with his big toe, put him on garuda’s shouder and told him to protect him as his refuge. From then onwards, the two became good friends. This is the incident narrated in mahAbhAratham. This incident has been spoken of by poygai AzhwAr in mudhal thiruvandhAdhi 80aduththa kadum pagaigyarkku” and by thirumangai AzhwAr in periya thirumozhi 5-8-4 “nanju sEravdhOr”.

Hasn’t sarvESvaran (lord of all) mercifully stated in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 18-33 “abhayam sarva bhUthEbhyO dhadhAmi” (I give to one, who surrenders to me, protection from all). This pAsuram describes the way he gave refuge to sumukha who surrendered to him, from garuda who is principal among his followers. Since both are his followers, emperumAn followed a distinguished way in protecting one from the other. In case he had not given protection to sumukha, his words in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 18-3 “mithrabhAvEna samprAptham na thyajEyam kathanchana I dhOshO yathyapi thasya syAth sathAmEthadhagarhitham II” (Even if a person comes in the garb of a friend, I will never forego him. If he has faults, it is very good. This is not something to be ridiculed by good persons) would have been proved false. Even though he has been decreed as prey for garuda, since sumukha was desirous of living, he had committed fault against garuda. If emperumAn had taken sumukha on himself and protected him, then his saying in varAha purANam “madh bhaktham Svapacham vApi nindhAm kurvanthi yE narA: I padhmakOti SathEnApi na kshamAi kadhAchana II” (even if my devotee is a lowly person who eats dog’s meat, if anyone commits an offence against him, I will not forgive him for hundreds of crores of kalpams (a lengthy period of time)) would have been proved false. Thus, without any falsehood occurring for either of these two sayings, emperumAn gave the responsibility of protecting sumukha to garuda himself.

There could be a doubt as to whether garuda, a nithyasUri (permanent dweller of SrIvaikuNtam), would kill and eat snakes and whether he would argue with emperumAn. When emperumAn took the incarnation of upEndhra as the son of athithi and kasyapa, and as the younger brother of indhra, garuda too incarnated as son of vinathA, as a bird, and stood as the vehicle for emperumAn. Since he incarnated as a bird, in line with that nature, killing and eating snakes is justified for him. Arguing with emperumAn and being shown his place was intended to tell the world as to what happens when one carries out bhagavathapachAram (misdeed against emperumAn) and to manifest emperumAn’s greatness.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

padhippagaigyarkku ARRAdhu pAythirai nIrppAzhi
madhiththadaindha vALaravam thannai madhiththavanthan
vallAgath thERRiya mAmEni mAyavanai
allAdhonRu EththAdhennA

Word for Word Meanings

padhi pagaigyarkku ARRAdhu – fearful of periya thiruvadi (garuda) , who has been  enemy from the beginning.
pAy thiRai niRp pAzhi – the divine bed which is like ocean having water with expansive waves.
madhiththu – believing (emperumAn) as refuge
adaindha – coming and attaining
vAL aravam thannai – sumukha, the resplendent snake
madhiththu – supporting
avan than – that (inimical) garuda
val Agaththu ERRiya – one who made him climb the powerful form of garuda
mAmEni mAyavanai allAdhu – apart from sarvESvaran (lord of all) who has a great, auspicious divine form
onRu – another
en nA – my tongue
EththAdhu – will not praise

vyAkyAnam

padhippagaigyarkku – the word pathin refers to lineage; hence this word refers to the enmity (between garuda and sumukha) for generations together. In other words, an enemy for the clan. Just as it is mentioned in thiruchchandha viruththam “puLLin meyppagai” (the real enemy of birds), is it not the natural enmity which exists between snake and garuda?

ARRAdhu – fearful of garuda’s might

pAythirai nIrppAzhi – the divine mattress which is like the ocean containing water with expansive waves. Since in mahAbhAratham it is mentioned that sumukha coiled around emperumAn’s cot, it is assumed as the mattress. Alternatively, since this incident could have happened after kalpam, it could be construed that this narrative had taken place in thiruppARkadal.

madhiththadaindha – ascertaining and attaining emperumAn who would protect the person who has surrendered just then, leaving aside even nithyasUris such as garuda, AdhiSEsha et al, just like a cow would protect the calf that it has given birth to on that day, and would drive away the calf which it had given birth to in the previous year with its horn and hoofs.

vAL aravam thannai – sumukha, the resplendent snake. Even in its state of being fearful of garuda, it was emitting radiance. It was having the radiance since it was confident after seeing emperumAn’s auspicious qualities of sauseelyam, saulabhyam (simplicity, easy to approach) etc, even before emperumAn approved of it, thinking “my task will fructify”. Did not vAlmIki say that vibhIshaNa looked radiant after ascertaining that SrI rAma will never reject him, as mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 16-17 “antharikshagatha: SrImAn” (vibhIshaNAzhwAn who set out in the sky and was resplendent)?

madhiththu – emperumAn decided that he would protect sumukha through garuda, who is sumukha’s enemy. Thinking of him, despite being lowly, as an entity. Thinking of sumukha as one who was surrendering, the moment he coiled around the cot. Hasn’t thirumangai AzhwAr too mercifully stated in his periya thirumozhi 5-8-4 “nanju sErvadhOr venjiinaravam veruvidandhu nin SaraN enach charaNAy nenjiRkoNdu nin anjiRaippaRavaikku adaikkalam koduththu aruL seydhadhu aRindhu ” (knowing your ability when the snake (sumukha) which spits poison and which was angry, became terrified of garuda and surrendered to you and you became its protector and, keeping in your mind its sorrowful state and his words, you gave that snake as garuda’s entity for protecting him)

avan vallAgaththu ERRiya – making garuda to joyously don the snake sumukha like a garland on his powerful shouders so that sumukha could live without fear of anyone.

mAmEni – emperumAn’s divine form overflowed with joy since the activity for his follower was completed successfully. This was similar to how SrI rAma had felt on coronating vibhIshaNa prior to waging war with rAvaNa, as mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNa yudhdha kANdam “abhishichya cha lankAyAm rAkshasEndhram vibhIshaNam I kruthakruthyas thadhA rAmO vijvara: pramOdha ha II” (SrI rAma, on completing the coronation of vibhIshaNa as the king of demons in lankA, felt relieved of his fever, and was joyous that his task has been completed).

mAyavanai – one who is with amazing qualities and amazing divine form

allAdhu onRu EththAdhu en nA – my tongue will not praise anyone other than emperumAn; it will  not praise minor deities like rudhra who ran away, leaving his follower stranded , as in bANAsura war. Since AzhwAr does not consider other deities as important at all, he calls them as onRu [one, someone etc].

We will go on to the 75th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 73 – ArE aRivAr

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avathArikai

In the previous pAsuram, AzhwAr mercifully mentioned the meaning of charama SlOkam. When asked as to what is the benefit for those who are deeply engaged with that, he says in this pAsuram the prAypya vaibhavam (distinctions of the goal – emperumAn). He says that even brahmA, rudhra et al do not know the greatness of emperumAn and the greatness of his position.

Alternatively, it can be said that AzhwAr is saying that it is not that only the samsAris do not know the distinguishing features of charama SlOkam. Even knowledgeable entities such as brahmA, rudhra et al do not know the greatness of charama SlOkam. periyavAchchAn piLLai, one of the commentators for this prabandham would say that bhattar (parASara bhattar, son of SrI kUraththAzhwAn) would give the meanings of both previous pAsuram, which are very difficult to know, and this pAsuram  with the quotation”bhattar aruLichcheyya nAn kEttEn” enRu (nam)piLLai aruLichcheyvar”  ((nam)piLLai would mercifully say that bhattar would mercifully state the meanings of these pAsurams).

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

ArE aRivAr anaiththulagum undhumizhndha
pErAzhiyAn than perumaiyai kAr seRindha
kaNdaththAn eNkaNNAn kANAn avan vaiththa
paNdaiththAnaththin padhi

Word for Word Meanings

anaiththu ulagum – all the worlds
uNdu umizhndha – swallowing (during deluge) and spitting out (later)
pEr AzhiyAn than – emperumAn who resembles a huge ocean
perumaiyai – greatness
aRivAr ArE – who will now (estimating it)? (There is none)
avan vaiththa – what that emperumAn had (earlier) kept
paNdaiththAnaththin padhi – charama SlOkam which is the age-old means
kAr seRindha kaNdaththAn – Siva with bluish coloured throat
eNkaNNAn – nAnmugan (brahmA) [with eight eyes]
kANAn – do not know

vyAkyAnam

ArE aRivAr anaiththulagum uNdumizhndha pErAzhiyAn than perumaiyai – who will know the greatness of the one [emperumAn], who is like a great ocean which is referred to as in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 19-31 “apramEyO mahOdhadhi:” (the ocean whose greatness cannot be measured), who keeps all the worlds in his stomach during deluge so that they are not injured, and who lets them out later?

pEr AzhiyAn – one who is like a great ocean. Azhi – ocean. This is as per periyavAchchAn piLLai’s interpretation. appiLLai’s interpretation is different – “krishNa who is donning the great divine disc (sudharSan chakra, also known as Azhi in thamizh) in his divine hand”.

Would brahmA, rudhra et al know?  . . .

kAr seRindha . . . .  – Let their knowing his greatness remain on one side. AzhwAr is wondering whether they know where paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam) is.

kAr seRindha kaNdaththAnneelakaNta (Siva) who has the vanity of having protected the dhEvas by swallowing the AlahAla poison and having he power which is the base for that.

eN kaNNan – brahmA who has eight eyes in order carry out his activities in all eight directions simultaneously and who has lot of knowledge.

kANAn – do not see.

kAr seRindha kaNdaththAn kANAn – even if one possesses lot of power, is it possible to know the dwelling place of one who is omnipotent?

en kaNNan kANAn – even if one has lot of knowledge and is the head of the universe, is it possible to know paramapadham which is beyond the universe?

avan vaiththa paNdaith thAnaththin padhi – they do not know the dwelling place which emperumAn created with his eternal desire, long time back. SrI vishNu purANam 1-9-59 says “yan na dhEvA na munayO na chAham na Sankara: I jAnanthi paramESasya thath vishNO: paramam padham II” (that is vishNu’s supreme dwelling place which is not known to dhEvas, munis (sages), me (brahmA) and rudhra); SrI vishNu purANam 1-9-55 says “yannAyam bhagavAn brahmA jAnAthi paramam padhamI thannathA: sma jagadhdhAma thava sarvagadhAchyutha II” (Oh all pervading achyutha! We bow down to that supreme dwelling place of yours which even bhagavAn brahmA does not know and which is the sustaining entity for the universe); mahAbhAratham AraNya parvam 136-18 says “athyarkkAlanadhIptham thath sthAnam vishNOr mahAthmana:  I svayaiva prabhayA rAjan dhushprEksham dhEvadhAnavai:  II” (the resplendence of the dwelling place of that supreme AthmA vishNu is much greater than the radiance of sUrya and agni. Oh King! Due to such resplendence, it cannot be seen by dhEvas or demonic entities); mahAbhAratham SlOkam “dhivyam sthAnamajaram chApramEyam dhurvigyEyam chAgamair gamyamAdhyam I gachcha prabhO: raksha chAsmAn prapannAn kalpE kalpE jAyamAna: svamUrthyA II” (Oh my lord! Please reach that dwelling place which is aprAkrutha (not made of primordial matter), indelible, inestimable, unknowable, that which can be known only by vEdhas and which is ancient. During each kalpam (a period of time), please incarnate with your divine form and protect us, your servitors). Through all these authentic sources, it has been established firmly that paramapadham is not known to brahmA, rudhra et al.

paNdaiththAnaththin padhi – it is the dwelling place [of emperumAn] which is ancient.

The interpretation seen so far is based on prApya vaibhavam (glory of emperumAn as the goal). appiLLai has given a second interpretation for this pAsuram, based on charamaSlOka vaibhavam (glory of charama SlOkam). We will see it now.

ArE aRivAr anaiththulagaum uNdumizhndha pErAzhiyAn than perumaiyai – who will know the nirapEksha upAya (being means without any expectation) nature of emperumAn who protects all the worlds during deluge so that they are not destroyed, who lets them out during the next cycle of creation, and who is as profound as the ocean?

anaiththulagum uNdumizhndha pErAzhiyAN than perumaiyai – Was emperumAn’s act of protecting the worlds during deluge carried out with any expectation? Or, was his act of providing body and senses to sentient entities at the time of creation, done with any expectation?  nammAzhwAr mercifully mentions in his thiruvAimozhi 1-10-5kaNdAyE nenjE karumangaL vAykkinROr eNdhAnum inRIyE vandhiyalumARu uNdAnai ulagEzhum Or mUvadi koNdAnai kaNdukoNdanai nIyumE” (Oh heart! Have you seen that without any thoughts from us, things are happening as they should? Did you not get to see the emperumAn who protected all the worlds during deluge and who measured all the worlds with three steps?)

pErAzhiyAn than perumaiyai – is it due to any expectation that emperumAn is always with the divine disc in his divine hand, in order to protect those who are in danger? pErAzhiyAn – one who is donning divine disc which is great in protecting.

Wouldn’t brahmA, rudhra et al know?

kAr seRindha kaNdaththAn eN kaNNan avan kANAn avan vaitha paNdaiththAnanththin padhi – brahmA and rudhra, who have abundance of knowledge and power will not know charama SlOkam which is emperumAn’s ancient repository for nirapEksha upAyam (means which does not expect anything). emperumAn has kept this as a secret just as people gather wealth and keep it a secret. The meaning conveyed here is that they (brahmA, rudhra et al) do not know the greatness of the means of emperumAn which does not expect anything.

paNdaiththAnanththin padhipadhi – repository. Just as it is mentioned in SrI rangarAjasthavam 2-87 “upAyOpEyathva thadhiha thava thathvam” (means and goal are very important to you) and nammAzhwAr’s thiruvAimozhi 1-3-2vIdAm theLidharu nilaimaiyadhu ozhivilan muzhuvadhum iRaiyOn” (emperumAn who is the lord of all, who always gives the clarity of mOksham completely), being emperumAn’s svarUpam (basic nature), being ancient, being the refuge for all, and being known as sthAnam (position), charama SlOkam is called as his dwelling place as it signifies his means without expecting anything.

We will move on to the 74th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 72 – illaRam illEl

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samsAris told AzhwAr “What purpose is served by despising others saying – mAyan anROdhiya vAkkadhanaik kallAdhAr ulagaththil EdhilarAm? Since you have learnt the teaching of emperumAn, why do you not say the meaning yourself?” AzhwAr gives the meaning of charama SlOkam in this pAsuram. Just as krishNa charama SlOkam is for mahAbhAratham, SrI rAma charama SlOkam for SrI rAmAyaNam, “mEmporuL” pAsuram (38) for thirumAlai dhivya prabandham, this pAsuram is the most important pAsuram for this thiruvandhAdhi.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

illaRam illEl thuRavaRam illennum
sollaRam allanavum sollalla nallaRam
Avanavum nAl vEdha mAththavaum nAraNanE
Avadhu anRu enbArAr

Word for Word Meanings

(for the souls who are roaming around, without knowing the means for attaining mOksham)

illaRam il ennum sollum – those authentic souces which say that karma yOgam (path of carrying out of deeds), which is the rule for gruhastham (way of life for married people) and which is accepted by SAsthras, is the means [for attaining mOksham]
sol alla – not authentic
illEl – even if it is not (means)
thuRavaRam il ennum sollum – the authentic sources which say that gyAna yOgam (path of knowledge) is the  means
sol alla – not authentic
illEl – even otherwise
allana aRam il ennum sollum – authentic souces which say that others (bhakthi yOgam (path of devotion), dhESavAsam (residing in a divine abode), thirunAma sangIrthanam (reciting divine names of emperumAn) etc) are the means
sol alla – not authentic
nal aRam Avanavum – gyAnam, bhakthi etc which are righteous paths
nAl vEdha mA thavamum – karmayOgam which has been spoken of in the four vEdhas
nAraNanE Avadhu – give results due to the grace of SrIman nArAyaNa
Idhu – this truth
anRu enbAr Ar – who is there who will say that this is not correct?

vyAkyAnam

illaRam illennum sollum sollalla – those sayings which state that karmayOgam (path of carrying out deeds mentioned in SAsthras) is the means [to attain emperumAn] are not authentic. Will illaRam (life of householder) refer to karmayOgam?  AzhwAr equates this way because only gruhasthan (one who is in a familial life) has control over dhAnam (donating alms), thapam (carrying out rituals) etc which are part of karma yOgam.

illennum – Just as it is mentioned in the vAkyam “upAyE gruha rakshithrO: Sabdha: SaraNam ithyayam varththathE” (the word SaraNam is used in the context of upAyam (means), gruha (house), rakshaka (protection)),the words SaraNam and gruha are synonyms. il which refers to gruha thus refers to SaraNam, which is the means.

illaRam illennum sollum sollallaSrI bhagavath gIthA 3-20 says “karmaNaiva hi samsidhdhim AsthithA janakAdhaya:” (people like janaka et al attained mOksham through karma yOgam only); same SlOkam “asakthOhayAcharan karma paramApnOthi pUrusha:” (the sentient entity who observes karmayOgam without any attachment, attains his superior AthmA). SrI bhagavath gIthA 18-46 SlOkam “yatha: pravruththi bhUthAnAm yEna sarvaidham thatham I svakarmaNA thamabhyarchya sidhdhim vindhathi mAnava: II” (sentient entity, by carrying out karma, worships and attains me, from whom he is able to engage in activities such as creation, by whom he is pervaded and exists). All these texts which say that karmayOgam is the means for attaining mOksham are not authentic.

illEl – if karmayOgam is not the means

thuRavaRam il ennum sollum sollalla – the sayings which mention that gyAna yOgam (path of knowledge) is the means are not authentic. Will thuRavaRam (life of ascetic) refer to gyAnayOgam? Since thuRavaRam has to be undertaken after giving up illaRam (the life of householder), we can say that thuRavaRam refers to gyAnayOgam. In several SlOkas in SrI bhagavath gIthA, it has been established that gyAnayOgam is sanyAsam or karma sanyAsam.

thuRavaRam il ennum sollum sollalla – Texts such as SrI bhagavath gIthA 4-37 which says that gyAna yOgam is the means for attaining mOksham “yathaidhAmsi samidhdhO’gnir bhasmAth kuruthE’rjuna I gyAnAgni sarvakarmANi bhasmAth kuruthE thathA II” (Oh arjuna! Just as fire which is glowing well burns out the firewood, in the same way the fire of gyAnayOgam will burn out all the karmas) are not authentic.

allana aRam il ennum sollum sollalla – other righteous acts seen as means for mOksham are also not authentic. Which are the other righteous acts which are said to be means for mOksham? (a) SrI bhagavath gIthA 11-54 “bhakthyA thvananyayA Sakya ahamEvamvidhO’rjuna I gyAthum dhrashtum cha thaththvEna pravEshtum cha paranthapa II” (I can be known of, seen and attained only through bhakthi which is fully focussed on me) says that bhakthi yOgam is a means for attaining him. (b) The vEdha vAkyam “dhESOyam sarvakAmadhuk:” (this divine abode will grant all desires, including mOksham) says that living in a divine abode will grant mOksham. (c) vishNu sahasranAma SlOkam “kim japan muchyathE janthu:” (by worshipping whom, jIvan attains mOksham) says that reciting divine names is the means for attaining mOksham. (d) SrI bhagavath gIthA SlOkam 4-9 “janma karma cha mE dhivya mEvam yO vEththi thathvatha: I thyakthvA dhEham punar janma naithi mAmEthi sO’rjuna II” (Oh arjuna! One who knows my aprAkrutha birth (birth which does not take place due to karma) and my activities as they are, will not attain another birth once he gives up his body. He will attain me) says that knowing the secret of emperumAn’s incarnations is the means to mOksham. (e) SrI bhagavath gIthA SlOkam 15-19 “yO mAmEvamasammUdO jAnAthi purushOththamam I sa sarvavith bhajathi mAm sarva bhAvEna bhAratha II” (one who, without bewilderment, knows that I am purushOththama (the supreme being), knows all the means; he attains me through all means) says that purushOththama vidhyai(knowing that emperumAn is the supreme being) is also a means of attaning mOksham. These are referred to as allana aRam here.

While these have been referred to as means for attaining mOksham by emperumAn himself in SrI bhagavath gIthA and by various rishis in ithihAsa (epics) and purANas (ancient narrations which appear new), can AzhwAr say that these are not authentic for consideration of mOksham? Since bhagavAn himself has said in SrI bhagavath gIthA 18-66 “sarvadharmAn parithyajya” (giving up all the paths that I have shown as means for attaining mOksham), it could be said that way. In truth, that karma, gyAna and bhkthi yOgas can be said to be means is only for the sake of saying. They cannot be taken as primary. Only that which gives results (on its own) can be taken as means. karma, gyAna and bhakthi yOgams, which are evanescent and which are insentient, cannot grant results on their own. Only emperumAn, who is pleased with them, grants the results. Hence it is nArAyaNa who is primary for granting mOksha. For this reason, AzhwAr’s assertion that illaRam, thuRavaRam, allana aRam are not the means, is the essence of vEdhAnthams.

What is the reason for your (referring to AzhwAr) saying that karma, gyAna, bhakthi yOgam etc are not the means?

nallaRamAvnavumaRam refers to deeds. nallaRam refers to deeds which are carried out without any expectation in the results. In other words, karma, gyAna and bhakthi yOgams, which are exclusive for brAhmaNa, kshathriya and vaiSya menfolk are aRam. nAma sangIrththanam (reciting divine names of emperumAn) etc which can be sung by thraivarNikas (the first three classes of people) without any distinction, along with the fourth varNa people and women are called as nallaRam. The advantage of nAma sangIrththanam etc which are referred more by ithihAsa and purANa over karma, gyAna, bhakthi yOgams which are referred more by vEdhas is that they are applicable to all.

nAlvEdhamAththavamum – karmayOgam which is spoken of extensively in the pUrvabhAga (earlier parts) of the four vEdhas (rig, yajur, sAma and atharvaNa). This is also applicable to gyAna and bhakthi yOgas which are spoken of in the vEdhAnthams (latter parts of vEdhas). Alternatively, nAlvEdhamAththavam would refer to gruhastha and sanyAsa dharmas (paths of righteousness) which are accepted by vEdhas. nallaRamAvanavum would refer to allana aRam (bhakthi yOgam, thirunAma sangIrththanam etc) and nAlvEdhamAththavamum would refer to illaRam and thuRavaRam. Both meanings are acceptable. periyavAchchAn piLLai considered in his divine mind that thuRavaRam refers to gyAna yOgam and bhakthi yOgam while appiLLai included bhakthi yOgam in allana aRam.

nArAyanEyAvadhu – all these give results due to nArAyaNa. Hence, illaRam, thuRavaRam and allana aRam will not be means. Only nArAyaNa who is the refuge for the cluster of nArAs (souls) is the means. When he is the means, there is no need for their support.

nallaRamAvanavum nAlvEdha mAththavamum nArAyanEyAvadhu – “sarvE vEdhAs sarvavEdhyA: saSAsthrA: sarvE yagyAs sarva ijyAScha krishNa: I vidhu: krishNam brAhmaNAs thaththvathO yE thEshAm rAjan sarvayagyAs samApthA: II” (Oh King! All vEdhas, SAsthras, materials which are known (through them), all rituals, the dhEvas who are worshipped in those rituals are all only krishNa. For those brAhmaNAs who know krishNa truly, all rituals are completed).

Idhu anRu enbAr Ar – Who can refute this meaning? Has this not been felt by experts in vEdhas along with experts in bhagavath vishayam without any distinction? Has it not been said in  mahAbhAratham vana parvam 71-123 “yE cha vEdhavidhO viprA yE chAdhyAthmavidhO janA: I thE vidhanthi mahAthmAnam krishNam dharmam sanAthanam II” (brAhmaNas who know vEdhas and elders who know the basic nature of souls know that krishNa is the age-old dharma (righteousness))!

Idhu anRu enbAr Ar – there are many authentic sources to claim that paramapurusha (supreme being) is the means for mOksham. Some of these are: “nArAyaNam – pArAyaNam”, “mumukshurvai SaraNam aham prapadhyE”, “lOkAnAm thvam parOdharma” (SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam120-15), “rAmO vigravAn dharma”( SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 37-13), “krishNam dharmam sanAthanam” (mahAbhAratham vanaparvam 71-123), “pAvanas sarvalOkAnAm thvamEva” (SrI rAmAyaNam uththara kANdam 82-9), “pavithrANAm hi gOvindha: pavithram paramuchyathE I puNyAnAmapi puNyO’sau mangaLAnAncha mangaLam II” (mahAbhAratham vanaparvam 88-27, among the pious entities, gOvindha is the most pious; among the virtuous, he is the most virtuous and among the auspicious, he is the most auspicious). “mAmEkam SaraNam vraja” (SrI bhagavath gIthA 18-66), “thamEva SaraNam gachcha”, “thamEva chAdhyam purusham prapadhya ”, “SaraNam mAm prapdhyasva”. AzhwArs too have sung several pAsurams conveying the same meaning “aRandhAnAyth thirivAy”, “nAgaNaimisai nambirAn charaNE SaraN namakku”, “neRivAsal thAnEyAy ninRAnai”, “nArAyaNanE namakkE paRai tharuvAn”, “kaLaigaN nIyE”. Is there anyone who will deny this great meaning?

How is this pAsuram expounding charamaSlOkam?

illaRamallEl thuRavaRam illenum sollaRamallanavum sollalla – sarvadharmAn paridhyajya (leaving aside all dharmams completely)

nAraNan – mAm as well as aham (me, I)

nAraNanE­ – Ekam (the long syllable E in naraNanE refers to exclusivity, viz. alone, or Ekam)

nallaRamAvanavum nAlvEdha mAththavamum – (with the meaning that getting rid of pApas (sins) is due to nArAyaNa) sarvapApEbhyO mOkshayishyAmi (I will relieve you from all sins)

IdhanRu enbAr ArmA sucha: (do not grieve)

We will move on to the 73rd pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 71 – sEyan aNiyan

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It is not that we do not know that emperumAn protected us during the time of worldly deluge. AzhwAr feels sad not only for this but also for the fact that we do not know till date the charama SlOka (ultimate verse) that emperumAn gave us when he tried to lift us from the deluge of samsAram (materialistic realm).

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

sEyan aNiyan siRiyan migapperiyan
Ayan thuvaraikkOnAy ninRa mAyan anRu
Odhiya vAkkadhanaik kallAr
EdhilarAm mey gyAnamil

Word for Word Meanings

sEyan – being at a far away distance
migap periyan – being huge
siRiyan – incarnating in lowly forms (lower than samsAris)
aNiyan – being very easy to approach
Ayan – being born in the clan of herdsmen
thuvarai kOnAy ninRa – having the greatness of being the head of dhwArakApuri (dhwArka, in present day Gujarat State)
mAyan – emperumAn
anRu – during that time (when mahAbhAratha war was fought)
Odhiya – mercifully said (on the seat of his chariot, to arjuna)
vAkku adhanai – that divine word (of charama SlOkam)
ulagaththil – in this world
kallAr – not having learnt
mey gyAnam il – without having the inclination for true knowledge
Edhilar Am – are inimical towards emperumAn

vyAkyAnam

sEyanemperumAn is at such a far away distance that brahmA, rudhra et al would not know about him. Did not brahmA say in SrI vishNu purANam 1-9-55 “yanna dhEvO na munayO na chAham na cha Sankara: I jAnanthi paramESasya thath vishNO: paramam padham II” (dhEvas (celestial entities), munis (sages), I (brahmA), rudhra do not know the superior nature of that paramESvara (supreme being) vishNu) and in mahAbhAratham mOksha parvam “na sa Sakyas thvayA dhrashtum mayAnyair vApi saththama I sarvEshAm sAkshibhUthO’sau na  grAhya kEnachith kvachith II” (Oh child, rudhra! That emperumAn is not capable of being seen by you, me or anyone else. Even though he sees everyone, he cannot be seen by anyone at any time)! emperumAn himself has said in varAha purANam “adhyApi mAm na jAnanthi rudhrEndhrAs sapithAmahA:” (rudhra and indhra, along with brahmA, do not know me even today) and in SrI bhagavath gIthA 7.25nAham prakASa: sarvasya” (I do not manifest to anyone)! This same meaning has been brought out by SrI vishNu dharmam SlOkam “na yasya rUpam na balaprabhAvau na cha svabhAva: paramasya pumsa:  I vigyAyathE SarvapithAmahAdhyais tham vAsudhEvam praNamAmyachinthyam II” (I bow down to that supreme being vAsudhEva whose divine form, greatness of strength and qualities are not known by brahmA, rudhra et al). bahvrucha Sruthi also said “na thE vishnO jAyamANO na jAthO dhEva mahimna: paramanthamApa” (Oh vishNu! No one who has been born earlier or is going to be born in future, knows the outer limit of your greatness).

What is the reason for not being known?

migapperiyan – one who has humongous form, nature, qualities, wealth etc.  He is so huge that vEdhas, which had set out to measure him, returned without completing the task as mentioned in thaiththirIya upanishath “yathO vAchO nivarthanthE aprApya manasA saha” (whichever words with mind returned without attaining supreme being…)

aNiyan – he will be close at hand for those who have just a little bit of desire to see him.

sEyan – aNiyan – he is very far away from people such as dhuryOdhana and those who attempt on their own to see him. He is close at hand for people such as yaSOdhA and those who look up to him. Hasn’t nammAzhwAr mercifully said in his thiruvAimozhi 1-3-4yArumOr nilaimaiyan ena aRivariya emperumAn yArumOr nilaimaiyan ena aRivu eLiya emperumAn” (for those who attempt on their own, emperumAn is difficult to be estimated; for those who attain him through his grace, he is simple to be estimated)!

How is he so close at hand for the favourable ones?

siRiyan – since he is born below the levels of his followers, due to his desire, he manifests himself as a very simple entity.

sEyan aNiyan siRiyan migapperiyanALavandhAr, one of the preceptors in the lineage of our AchArya gurupamparai, combined these four divine names in this SlOka from sthOthra rathnam “namO namO vAngmanasAdhi bhUmayE namO namO vAngmanasaika bhUmayE I namO namO’nantha mahAvibhUthayE namO namO’nantha dhayaika sindhavE  II”(salutations to you, who are difficult to attain for the words and minds of those who attempt to attain you on their own; salutations to you who are easy to attain for the words and minds of those who see you due to your grace; salutations to you who are having unlimited, huge wealth; salutations to you who are like an ocean of mercy). Since mercy is the reason for his incarnation as vAmana (dwarf), ALavandhAr is calling emperumAn as anantha dhayaika  sindhavE .

AzhwAr gives an example for emperumAn’s quality of easy approachability..

Ayan – herdsman who cannot distinguish between his right hand and left hand (he is such ignorant)

thuvaraikkOnAy ninRa mAyan – leaving aside his role as head of both vibhUthis (material and spiritual realms), he stood as the head of dhwArakA.

mAyan – one with amazing activities. Apart from being easily approachable by favourable entities, he earned the ill-fame of “hiding in dhwArakA from the lowly jarAsandha after losing to him” only because he wanted to help his favourable person bhIma to kill jarAsandha.

periyavAchchAn piLLai, one of the commentators for this prabandham said that Ayan thuvaraikkOnAy ninRa mAyan is the explanation for the terms aNiyan siRiyan while another commentator, appiLLai considered the term Ayan as the explanation for aNiyan siRiyan and the words thuvaraikkOnAy ninRa mAyan as the explanation for the words sEyan periyan. As an example for these two, he says that emperumAn had the simplicity of being born in the clan of herdsmen and, having the greatness of being the controller of dhwArakA, he took multitudinous forms in order to dance with ten thousand women, thus exhibiting his amazing activity.

mAyan anRu Odhiya vAkkadhanaik kallAr – those who did not learn the true words which krishNa recited at the beginning of mahAbhAratha war. Those who did not learn through their AchAryan (teacher) the charama SlOkam (ultimate hymn) as said in SrI bhagavath gIthA 18-66sarva dharmAn parithyajya mAmEkam SaraNam vraja I aham thvA sarva pApEbhyO mOkshayishyAmi mA sucha: II” (giving up all righteous activities along with their traces, attain me (who is having qualities such as easily approachable etc) as the means. I (who am having qualities of knowledge and power) will liberate you from all hurdles.  Do not grieve).

aNiyan siRiyan Odhiya vAkkuAzhwAr explains the qualities of easy to approach etc, as mentioned in the term mAm.

sEyan periyAn Odhiya vAkku – AzhwAr explains the qualities of knowledge, power etc as mentioned in the term aham.

thuvarikkOn – this explains that he is the swAmy (lord).

mAyan – without distinguishing between his qualities of saulabhyam etc and his qualities of gyAna, Sakthi etc.

kallAr ulagaththil – is it that only one or two persons in this world do not know charama SlOkam? AzhwAr says that most of the people do not know the meanings of charama SlOkam.

What is the reason for not learning this?

mey gyAnam il – the reason for not learning this is the absence of true knowledge about thathva (knowledge about sentient, insentient and ISvara entities), hitha (knowledge about the means to attain emperumAn), and purushArtha (knowledge about the goal to be enjoyed after attaining emperumAn’s divine feet). What is the reason for not having this knowledge?

EdhilarAm – being haters of emperumAnEdhilar  – enemies. As mentioned by emperumAn himself in SrI bhagavath gIthA 16.19thAnaham dhvishatha: krUrAn samsArEshu narAdhamAn I kshipAmyajasram aSubhAn AsurishvEva yOnishu II ” (I push those who hate me, who are cruel and the lowliest among men into samsAram, and there too, in the clan of demons) and in “AgyAchchEdhI mama dhvEshi” (one who crosses my order is one who hates me), emperumAn considers in his cool mind that these people are his haters. As mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 106-6 “SathrO: prakyAtha vIryasya” he makes them declare that he (emperumAn) is their enemy.

We will take up the 72nd pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

archived in http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 70 – thAn oruvanAgi

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avathArikai

AzhwAr was asked “You said that this is the substance of vEdhas. How did you find it?” AzhwAr responds saying “I am the one who did not know this till today. Knowledgeable persons knew this all along”.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

thAn oruvanAgith tharaNi idandheduththu
EnoruvanAy eyiRRil thAngiyadhum yAn oruvan
inRAvaRiginREn allEn iru nilaththaich
chenRAngu adippaduththa sEy

Word for Word Meanings

thAn oruvan Agi – being uniquely beautiful
senRu – going (to mahAbali as a mendicant)
Angu – in that yAgasAlai (place where ritual is conducted)
iru nilaththai – expansive earth
adippaduththa – one who measured
sEy – the child
En oruvan Ay – as the distinguished form of varAha (wild boar)

(Immersing in the deluge)
dharaNi – earth
idandhu eduththu – digging out (from the walls of universe)
eyiRRil – on his tusks
thAngiyadhu – way sustained
yAn oruvan – only I
inRA – until now
aRiginREn allEn – am not knowing
(many people knew this for a long time)

vyAkyAnam

thAn oruvanAgi – being the lord of all, emperumAn reaches a unique state. For a great person, unique state is to be at the outermost limit of qualities such as sauSeelyam (simple), saulabhyam (easy to approach) and vAthsalyam (having motherly love). That is the state of vAmana (incarnation of vAmana). nammAzhwAr too said in thiruvAimozhi 1-10-1oru mANikkuRaLAgi” (being a unique dwarf)

oruvanAgi – it appears that oruvan and vAmana are synonyms. A great entity stood in a lowly manner. One who grants everyone’s wish, stood like a mendicant, asking for alms. Without expecting anything, he stroked everyone with his divine foot. Isn’t this the limit for sauSeelyam, saulabhyam, vAthsalyam etc! Isn’t this entity termed as oruvan! Due to the interest in this meaning and due to the fact that En oruvanAgi has been separately dealt with, this term thAnoruvanAgi can be better combined with the last line irunilaththaich chenRAngu adippaduththa sEy to get a complete meaning.

Angu senRu – while emperumAn could have completed the task through his sankalpam (divine vow), he went to the place where mahAbali was, by transforming himself, because mahAbali had the quality of magnanimity.

iru nilaththai adippaduththa sEy – measuring the expansive earth in such a way that it came under his foot. Just as it is said “Eka: prAseesarathpAdhamEka: prAchikshaLanmudhA I aparOpyadharan mUrdhnA kO’dhikas thEshu gaNyathAm II” (one stretched his leg; one washed it joyfully; one bore that water on his head. Ponder on who among these three is the greatest), he is the child of whom it could be said that he is without any equal.

dharaNi idandheduththu – digging out the earth with his tusk when earth was sticking to the walls of the universe at the time of deluge.

En oruvanAy eyiRRil thAngiyadhum – with a unique form of boar; despite being a great entity, since he incarnated as a boar without any pride, his qualities of sauSeelyam, saulabhyam, vAthsalyam were manifested splendrously. AzhwAr calls him as En oruvanAy (unique boar). It could also be construed that AzhwAr is calling him as En oruvanAy since he is a huge boar both in terms of form and beauty.

eyiRRil thAngiyadhum – he bore earth in one corner of his tusk.

yAn oruvan inRA aRigillEn allEn – I who am without equal in my ignorance, did not know this till now. inRA – until today. But did this matter come to light only after I knew it now? The opinion is that many have known this already.

yAn oruvan inRA aRiginRen – Did I come to know of this matter only today?

allEn – No; for a long time, many have known it.

We will take up the 71st pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi -69 – sevikkinbamAvadhuvum

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avathArikai

AzhwAr says that bhagavath vishayam (matter relating to emperumAn) not only has the greatness to avoid any agony to yama. It is also sweet to hear, it is the refuge for earth (people living on earth), complete subject matter for poets (to compose poems) and the meaning of vEdhas (sacred texts).

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

sevikkinabamAvadhum sengaNmAl nAmam
puvikkum puviyadhuvE kaNdIr kavikku
niRaiporuLAy ninRAnai nErppattEn paRkkil
maRaipporuLum aththanaiyE kAN

Word for Word Meanings

sevikku inbamAvadhuvum – being sweet to the ears
sem kaN mAl nAmam – the divine name of puNdarIkAkshan (one with lotus like eyes)
puvikku – for all the persons on earth
puviyum adhuvE – it is only the divine name which is the place (for providing shade, so that people can take rest under it)
kavikku niRai poruLAy ninRAnai – emperumAn who is the subject matter for poets
nErppattEn – by chance I attained
pArkkil – if one were to analyse
maRai poruLum aththanaiyE thAn – it is the essence of vEdhas (sacred texts)

vyAkyAnam

sevikkinbamAvadhuvum sengaNmAl nAmam – the um in this word (sevikkinbamAdhuvum) refers to the agony undergone by yama in the previous pAsuram. It is not only that emperumAn’s divine name removes our being under the control of yama. The divine name of the lotus eyed emperumAn is also very sweet to the ears. It will immerse the person who hears it in the flood of nectar.

mAl – one who is affectionate towards his followers; supreme being; sem kaN indicates both meanings.

puvikkum puviyadhuvE kaNdIr – Is it that his divine name is sweet only for me? For all the people on this earth, isn’t that divine name the refuge? Has it not been said in the vEdhas “ArthA vishaNNA: SithilAScha bhIthA: ghOrEshu cha vyAdhishu varththamAnA: I sankIrthya nArAyaNa SabdhamAthram vimuktha dhukkA: sukinO bhavanthi II” (if those who have been troubled by the thApathrayam (ills brought on by self, ills brought on by nature and ills brought on by past deeds), if those who fear whether they will be troubled by them and those who are inflicted with terrible diseases, hear the word nArAyaNa they will be liberated from their troubles and will be in bliss)?

AzhwAr explained the greatness of the divine name so far. Now he explains the greatness of the one who has the name.

kavikku niRai poruLAy ninRAnai – when one has to praise others, since their faults are more, one has to fill up their faults with non-existent abundance in qualities. kUraththAzhwAn (one of the primary disciples of bhagavadh SrI rAmAnuja) has mercifully said in SrIsthavam 3 “anyadhIyAn guNAn anyathra thvasathO’dhirOpya paNithi:” (praise is defined as taking the good qualities of one person, thrusting them on another person who doesn’t have them and singing about the second person). On the  other hand, with emperumAn, the situation is that however much one has sung his praises, his svarUpa rUpa guNa vibhUthi (basic nature, divine form, auspicious qualities and wealth) are so much that what has been sung will be very little and what remains to be sung, so huge. Thus he is apt to be called as complete in all respect. Has it not been said in jithanthE sthOthram 1-7 “vachasAm vAchyamuththamam” (supreme being is beyond words)!

nErppattEn – I attained him by chance, without any efforts from me. In other words, I attained him due to his causeless mercy. It is emperumAn’s causeless mercy which is spoken about as vidhi in thiruvAimozhi 5-1-1vidhivAykkinRu kAppArAr” (who can prevent when emperumAn’s mercy takes effect ) and in sthOthra rathnam 51vidhinirmitham Ethadhanvayam” (this connection came about due to vidhi (destiny))

pArkkil – I did not remain complacent because I obtained it due to emperumAn’s grace. Just as one examines a gemstone, I too analysed and what I found is that …

maRaipporuLum aththanaiyEdhAn – the deep-rooted meaning of vEdhAntham is also the same. I realised that when I tripped, what I got to lay my hands on was indeed an invaluable carbuncle.

We will move on to the 70th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 68 – thiRambEnmin kaNdIr

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avathArikai

AzhwAr had said that worshipping of emperumAn and avoidance of other deities are acceptable even if they give troubles. To state the fact correctly, in SrIvishNu purANam, SlOkam 3-7-14 states clearly that connection with emperumAn alone will give all the benefits, during the course of a conversation between yama and his messenger. “svapurusham abhivIkshya pASahastham vadhathi yama kila thasya karNa mUlE I parihara madhusUdhanapprapannAn prabhur ahamanyanruNAm na vaishNavAnAm  II” (yama (the dhEvathA for righteousness), looking at his messenger, who has a rope in his hand (with which to fetch souls),tells him  “Messenger! Go away from those who have surrendered to madhusUdhana (emperumAn). I am the lord for others but not for vaishNavas”. This 68th pAsuram is the translation and vyAkyAnam (commentary) for this SrIvishNu purANa SlOkam.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

thiRambEnmin kaNdIr thiruvadi than nAmam
maRandhum puRam thozhA mAndhar iRainjiyum
sAdhuvarAyppOmingal enRAn namanum than
thUdhuvaraik kUvich chevikku

Word for Word Meanings

namanum – yama
than thUdhuvarai – his servitors
kUvi – calling
sevikku – (in their) ears
thiRambElmin kaNdIr – Do not miss (the order that I am going to issue you now)
thiruvadithan – sarvESvara’s (supreme being’s)
nAmam – divine names
maRandhum – even if they forget
puRam thozhA mAndhar – (if you see) people who do not worship other deities
iRainji – bowing (to them)
sAdhuvar Ay pOdhumingaL enRAn – he said to behave like an ascetic (avoiding any cruelty)

vyAkyAnam

thiRambEnmin kaNdIr – do not cross the words which I am going to tell you now. Since yama is giving his order (to his messengers) with such a preface, it is clear that this order (which he is about to give) is more important than all his other orders. The hint here is that yama will not mind if they go against some of his other orders, but they should not go against this. If yama gives a note in writing to bring the soul of a person to his messenger, the messenger can refuse to obey it if the person happens to be a SrIvaishNava.

thiruvadi than nAmam maRandhum puRam thozhA mAndhar – AzhwAr is explaining clearly the meaning of the verse madhusUdhana prapannAn in SrI vishNu purANa SlOkam (seen in the introduction) without any fault of non-comprehension. AzhwAr explains the term which has been generally stated as “those who had surrendered to madhusUdhana” as “maRandhum puRam thozhA mAndhar” (followers of emperumAn, even if they forget the divine names of emperumAn, will not worship other deities), keeping in his divine mind the svabhAvam (the basic nature) of the person who surrenders.  Once a person surrenders to emperumAn, it will not be a grave mistake if he forgets emperumAn completely. It is enough if (s)he does not worship other deities. This is similar to a lady not having affection for her husband. Since affection will gradually creep back in her, no loss occurs to her pathnIthvam (the quality of being a chaste wife). However, will she not lose her basic nature and become ineligible for being taken by her husband if she goes to another person?  In the same way, even if they forget the divine names of emperumAn, his followers will remain as SrIvaishNavas if they do not worship other deities. yama’s messengers should be wary of them too is the meaning hinted here. thiruvadi –swAmy (lord).

mAndhar – people. Even if they do not have any distinguishing qualities of followers of emperumAn and are like normal people, it is acceptable. The only guiding principle to be observed strictly is that they should not worship any other deity.

iRainjiyum sAduvarAyp pOdhumingaL enRAn – this explains the term parihara in the SrI vishNu purANam SlOkam. Yama tells his messengers that it is not enough if you (messengers) say “We will not harm them”. You should discard the cruel form of pASahastham (having a rope in the hand to drag the soul away from its body), carry out anjali (salutation with cupped palms), bow to them and behave like an ascetic; sAdhuvar – ascetics.

namanum – yama is famous as being impartial as brought by the SrIvishNu purANa SlOkam 3-7-15 “ahamamaravarArchithEna dhAthrA sama ithi lOkahithAhithE niyuktha:” (I have been ordered by the paramapurusha who is worshipped by the head of dhEvas, to carry out good deeds to and remove the bad deeds from the worlds since I am equal to all (without showing any distinction between the superior and the lowl y people)). It is that yama who told his messengers not to disturb SrIvaishNavas. It is only towards other people, for whom he is prabhurahamanyanruNAm (I am head for other people), that he behaves as equal and yama. Can the king who hands down justice to his citizens carry out similar role towards his queen? AzhwAr says that in the same manner, yama, who is famous for being impartial, says a few words which seemingly appear partial. poygai AzhwAr also mercifully said in his mudhal thiruvandhAdhi 55 “avanthamar evvinaiyarAgilum engOn avan thamarE enRozhivadhallAl naman thamarAl ArAyappattaRiyAr kaNdIr aravaNai mEl pErAyarkku AtpattAr pEr” (you would see that the followers of emperumAn, irrespective of the deeds that they carry out, will not be questioned by the messengers of yama as they have been told by their leader yama that they are followers of his lord (emperumAn)).

than thUdhuvarai – this is translation for the world svapurusham in SrI vishNu purANam SlOkam. The opinion here is that these are his confidential servitors who have the capability to reject many of his messages.

kUvi – Calling them out aloud to show the importance of the task on hand. This word explains the meaning of abhivIkshya vadhathi in the SrIvishNu purANam SlOkam.

sevikku – meaning for the word karNa mUlE (within the ears).  If a person tells another person aloud ”don’t desire the Queen” and if this message reaches the King’s ears, the person who said this would get beheaded first. In the same way, even if yama has to tell something to his confidential messenger, considering the importance of the message, fearing the result that this would have if the secretive message gets leaked, with pounding heart, yama tells his messenger into his ears.

We will take up the 69th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 67 – valamAga

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avathArikai

AzhwAr was asked “You had mentioned earlier, nenjaththu eNNinEn and dhidamAga vaiyEn madhisUdi thannOdu ayanai. In this world, inimical people will celebrate and friendly people will be saddened when something terrible occurs. Will you have this firmness in you even when misfortune comes your way? ” He responds saying “whether joy comes or sorrow comes, there will be no shortcoming in the way I worship emperumAn” thus mercifully affirming his deep faith.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

valamAga mAttAmai thAnAga vaigal
kulamAga kuRRandhAnAga nalamAga
nAraNanai nApadhiyai gyAnapperumAnai
sIraNanai Eththum thiRam

Word for Word Meanings

nAraNai – being lord of all
nApadhiyai – controller of my tongue
gyAnam perumAnai – being great in knowledge
sIr aNanai – supreme being who has all the auspicious qualities fitting well
vaigal nalamAga Eththum thiRam – this nature of praising him all the time
valam Aga – whether it gives good benefits
mAttAmai thAN Aga – or it does not give good benefits
kulam Aga – whether it leads to birth in good clan
kuRRam thAn Aga – or it leads to birth in bad clan
(I will not give up praising emperumAn)

vyAkyAnam

nalamAga nAraNanai – being the supreme lord of all in a great way. Even while he pervades all the souls and sustains them, emperumAn is such that their faults will not affect him. The opinion here is that praising such emperumAn will not be the reason for any lowliness.

nApadhiyai – the  one who controls my tongue such that he  made my tongue to look in his direction from the lowly matters in which it had got immersed earlier.

The text is also nampadhiyai in which case the meaning will be that he is our lord to such an extent that even if all the other clusters of souls get together, they cannot equal us.

gyAnap perumAnai – just as it is said “yassarvagya: sarvavith” (one who knows the basic nature and basic qualities of all entities) he is the repository of all knowledge. Just as nammAzhwAr had said in periya thiruvandhAdhi 53 “unnadiyArkku enseyvan enRE nI iruththi” (you are constantly contemplating on what further you could do for your followers), he is great in terms of knowledge too.

sIraNanai – he is the reservoir of all auspicious qualities.

Eththum thiRam – the way in which he is praised. We can prefix the word nalamAga to this word and say “praising him well”.

valamAga – whether the act of praising him gives good results or

mAttAmaidhAn Aga – does not give good results.

kulamAga – whether praising him leads to birth in a good clan or

kuRRandhAn Aga – it leads to birth in a bad clan

vaigal – whether this becomes a daily event or not. Since praising him constantly is what is acceptable to me and not the benefit out of it, I will never let go of the two firm resolves en nenjaththu eNNinEn and dhidamAga vaiyEn.

nAraNanai nApadhiyai gyAnapperumAnai sIraNanai Eththum thiRam – The opinion here is that since emperumAn is the supreme being who is praised, since he made my tongue to recite this prabandham (divine hymn), since he is omniscient in order to protect me, only good things will happen to me. It is pertinent here to recall the firmness of nammAzhwAr when he said in thiruvAimozhi 5-3-5kadiyan kodiyan nediya mAl ulagam koNda adiyan aRivaru mEni mAyaththan Agilum kodiya ennenjam avanenRE kidakkum ellE ” (even though emperumAn will be intent on completing his task, will not look back once the task is completed, has a superior nature even if he starts leaving after the task in such a way that it is difficult to reject him, has divine feet with which he brought all the worlds under his control, bewilders the beholders with his beauty in such a way that they cannot find out whether he is good or not, my cruel heart has totally surrendered to him).

We will take up the 68th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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