Category Archives: iyaRpA

thiruviruththam – 91 – surunguRi veNNey

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avathArikai (Introduction)

In the previous pAsuram, AzhwAr had felt miserable about time not shortening [to attain sarvESvaran]. A few samsAris, on seeing this, told him “We are engaged with matters relating to samsAram and are not complaining that time is not lengthening or shortening. We are enjoying the matters relating to samsAram even if time lengthens or shortens. Why don’t you change your involvement from matters relating to bhagavAn and engage with worldly matters?”  AzhwAr says “Yes, I could do it provided I get a heart which is capable of doing that; my heart knows nothing other than bhagavAn. Even this heart I can engage with, provided he had not stolen it”

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

surunguRi veNNey thoduvuNda kaLvanai vaiyam muRRum
orunguRavuNda peruvayiRRALanai mAvali mAttu
irunguRaLAgi isaiya Or mUvadi vENdichchenRa
perungiRiyAnai allAl adiyEn nenjam pENaladhE

Word-by-Word Meanings

surungu – contracted (with the aid of deceptive ropes)
uRi – hoop like structure, hung from ceiling to keep pots etc
veNNey – butter [kept in a pot inside that hoop like structure]
thodu uNda – one who stole and ate
kaLvanai –  one who incarnated as krishNa having the quality of stealing
vaiyam muRRum – entire world
orungu – in a small corner
uRa – fitting well
uNda – swallowed
peru – huge
vayiRRALanai – having stomach
mAvalimAttu – to mAvali
iru – huge (small)
kuRaLAgi – as vAmana [dwarf]
(went)
isaiya – making (him to) accept
Or – unique
mUvadi – three steps
vENdi – seeking
senRa – one who went with a beautiful gait
perum kiRiyAnai allAl – other than the one who is a great means
(another)
adiyEn – a servitor only for him
nenjam – mind
peNaladhu – will not like

Simple Translation

My heart will not like anyone other than sarvESvaran who ate butter from the hoop by stealing, who kept all the worlds inside corner of his stomach, who went to mahAbali, seeking alms as a dwarf and made him agree to giving him three steps of land and who is a great means [for attaining himself].

vyAkyAnam

surunguRi veNNey – it was a hoop made with deceptive ropes [so that its location would not be known easily].

veNNey thoduvuNda – he stole the butter and ate it, without disturbing the marks which had been made by the owners of butter.

kaLvanai – he stole the concept of stealing itself; thus some people [who had lost their butter] said “This could not have been stolen by people; did Gods steal our butter? Did we not keep butter inside that?”

vaiyam . . . – while his stomach got filled up with butter, when he swallowed all the worlds [during deluge], it did not fill up even half his stomach. The implication here is that he would be able to sustain himself with a material touched by his followers while his mind was not much enthused about protecting the worlds.

mAvali mAttu – he approached and attained a demonic entity; AzhwAr says that sarvESvaran should have attained him who desired only sarvESvaran and none else.

irunguRaLAgi – being a huge dwarf [The word iru which means huge is used as a viparIthalakshaNam here – meaning exactly the opposite]. His short stature was such that among the dwarfs of the world, the shortest dwarf would appear like thrivikraman in his presence.

isaiya – he did all the work to make mahAbali to agree to his request; making mahAbali’s acceptance to be under his control. Though there were others (sukrAchAryar) who did not want mahAbali to accede to his request, sarvESvaran made mahAbali to accept.

Or mUvadi vENdichchenRa – instead of asking for two steps and measuring with both the steps, he asked for three steps and measured with two steps so that he could imprison mahAbali with the third step.

vENdichcchenRa perungiRiyAnai allAl – he went in such a way that his quality of sarva nirapEksham – ‘not desiring anything’ was not manifested. He went such that mahAbali thought “Unless I give him what he wants, he cannot sustain himself”. He hid his quality of ISvarathvam – controlling everyone. He went asking for alms to make it appear that one who does not have any desire unfulfilled, came with a desire. He took such a form that it created mercy in mahAbali.

perungiRiyAn – a hugely clever person.

adiyEn – AzhwAr is not like mahAbali, about to give something. He is not like indhra [head of celestial entities] too, waiting to obtain one. He is one who has lost out to that activity of sarvESvaran’s and made himself as a servitor to sarvESvaran.

nenjam pENaladhE –  he will not desire even the supremacy of the supreme entity, just like hanuman did in SrI rAmAyaNam uththara kANdam 40-15 “bhAvO nAnyathra gachchathi” (my thoughts will not go to anyone other than you0

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 90 – thalaippeydhu yAn

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avathArikai (Introduction)

In the previous pAsuram AzhwAr was lamenting “egyAnRu thalaippeyvanE” (when will I attain you?) sarvESvaran asked him “Why cannot you remain with the belief that connection with sarvESvaran will yield the result of uniting with him?” AzhwAr says “I could remain like that If I do not have any desire in you, like the samsAris” He says that it is impossible for him to spend time without thinking of sarvESvaran. What is he saying in this pAsuram? If I think about the facts that I have obtained a physical form which is capable of attaining you and that it is uncertain, due to the unbearability of not being with you, the time to attain you seems to extend forever. Alternatively, since I have obtained a nature by which I cannot sustain myself through any entity other than you, and since this nature came about because of my presence in samsAram, time is not sufficient to think about the fact that this is not uniform.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

thalaippeydhu yAn un thiruvadhich chUdhum thagaimaiyinAl
nilaippeydha Akkaikku nORRa immAyamum mAyam sevvE
nilaippeydhilAdha nilaimaiyum kANdORasurar kuzhAm
tholaippeydha nEmi endhAy thollai Uzhi surungaladhE

Word-by-Word Meanings

asurar – demons’
kuzhAm – for their clan
tholai – destruction
peydha – one who made
nEmi – one who has the divine disc
endhAy – Oh my swAmy (lord)!
yAn – I
thalaippeydhu – attaining
un thiruvadi – your divine feet
sUdum – donning on my head
thagaimaiyinAl – due to the nature
nilaippu eydha – having firmness
Akkaikku – to get the form
nORRa – carrying out good deeds (for many thousands of births)
i – this
mAyamum – amazement
mAyam – amazing form
sevvE – very well (uniform)
nilaippeydhu ilAdha – not having firmness
nilaimaiyum – position
kAN dhORu –  whenever I think of
thollai – being ancient
Uzhi – kalpam (brahmA’s lifetime)
surungaladhu – is not shrinking

Simple Translation

Oh my swAmy who has the divine disc and who destroys the clan of demons! I have obtained a form by carrying out some good deeds in the past many thousands of births due to which I could attain you and don your divine feet on my head. When I think of these amazing activities as well as the condition of not reaching you soon enough, I realise that the time to reach you and experience you is extending without any shrinkage.

vyAkyAnam

thalaippeydhu – attaining you

yAn – I who am remaining without any means

un thiruvadi . . . – the amazement that I have obtained a form due to good deeds carried out in many thousands of births earlier; as a result I could sustain that form by attaining your divine feet

mAyam sevvE nilaippeydhilAdha nilaimaiyum – due to the amazing nature of this prakruthi (samsAram), that nature cannot be taken as being firm.

Alternatively,

thalaippeydhu . . . – I approached you and attained the nature of sustaining myself only with nothing else other than your divine feet and the amazement attained due to that.

Akkaikku nORRa immAyamum – Just as SrI vishNu dharmam says “janmAnthara sahasrEshu” (after taking thousands of births), wouldn’t this nature come in only with carrying out good deeds over several thousands of births? Wouldn’t this nature result only after obtaining such a form? Thus, getting such a form is also a part of bhakthi (devotion)

In this thought process, while it appears that carrying out good deeds in the past births is the reason for the present situation, the distinguished nature of donning your divine feet on my head (thiruvadichchUdum thagaimaiyinAl nilaippeydha) can be a nature primarily only because of the distinction of having sathva guNam (only purely good quality) [the form which the human beings acquire is made of three qualities, viz. sathva, rajas and thamas (purely good, passion and ignorance respectively)].

mAyam sevvE . . . – since this form is under the control of three qualities [as seen above], the nature spoken of earlier will not come to the surface when the body is under the control of rajas or thamas component, but will be true only if sathva component is predominant. Thus, the form is not uniform always and is a cause of amazement.

kAN dhORu – whenever this [feature of three qualities] is thought of. In other words, it could be said that he keeps thinking of this continuously.

asurar . . . – Oh my swAmy who destroyed the clan of demons and who has the divine disc! Am I consoling myself that you are without ability, that you cannot be attained or that I am suffering due to my deeds?

thollai . . . – this time which is ancient is not shrinking [viz., it is not reducing in terms of its length]; it is extending further. Alternatively, if I keep thinking about this amazing nature, time does not seem to shrink; time is not passing.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 89 – thIvinaikkaru nanjai

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avathArikai (Introduction)

AzhwAr says “We have reached the stage of being distinct from samsAris; when will we mingle with the people who have attained him and are experiencing him?”

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

thIvinaikkaru nanjai nalvinakku innamudhaththinaip
pUvinai mEviya dhEvi maNALanaip punmai eLgAdhu
Avinai mEykkum vallAyanai anRu ulagu IradiyAl
thAvina ERRai emmAnai egyAnRu thalaippeyvanE

Word-by-Word Meanings

thI – cruel
vinaikku – (followers’) sins
aru – being rare
nanjai – being like poison [as an antidote]
nalvinaikku – for good deeds
in – sweet
amudhaththinai – being like nectar
pUvinai – lotus flower
mEviya – dwelling aptly
dhEvi – for periya pirAtti (SrI mahAlakshmi)
maNALanai – as her consort
pumnai – lowly act
eLgAdhu – without despising
Avinai – cows
mEykkum – one who tends to
val – being eminent
Ayanai – as krishNa, the cowherd
anRu – during the time of mahAbali
ulagu – worlds
IradiyAl – with two steps
thAvina – one who seized
ERRai – being eminent
emmAnai – sarvESvaran, who is my lord
egyAnRu – when
thalaippeyvan – will I approach?

Simple Translation

sarvESvaran is the rare poison for the cruel sins of his followers; he is the sweet nectar for their good deeds; he is the consort of SrI mahAlakshmi who dwells on a lotus flower; without considering as a despicable act, he tended to cows, having been born in the clan of cowherds and measured all the worlds with just two steps; when will I reach such sarvESvaran?

vyAkyAnam

thIvinaikky aru nanjai – he [sarvESvaran] is the intolerable poison for the bad deeds which are a hurdle in attaining him.

nalvinaikku – for bhakthi (devotion) which is carried out without expecting any benefit from him

innamudhaththinai – he gives unlimited joy and he is the ultimate goal.

Next he explains as to why he removes our sins and creates an engagement in us, with him.

pUvinai mEviya . . . – due to his union with periya pirAtti; there is nothing which is more eminent than his being the consort of periya pirAtti.

punmai . . . – despite having that eminence, since he is together with periya pirAtti, he is easily approachable for his followers.

punmai eLgAdhu Avainai mEykkum – without thinking whether it will be apt for his eminence as the consort of periya pirAtti, he tended to cows without considering it as a despicable act.

vallAyanai – if even a drop of water (rain) falls on the cowherds, he would not tolerate it and hold a mountain as an umbrella for them.

anRulagu . . . – just as he protected one village, he protected this earth.

ERRai – he stood proudly after getting the worlds under his divine feet. He considered the benefit thus obtained as his and not as that of the people of the worlds.

emmAnai – just as sarvESvaran felt proud and eminent after his victories, AzhwAr too felt eminent after losing out to him for such activities of sarvESvaran’s.

egyAnRu thalaippeyvanE – when sarvESvaran’s activites are like these, AzhwAr knows that he is bound to attain him but is not sure as to when. Just as it has been said in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 24-37 “apIdhAnIm sa kAlassyAdh” ((kausalyA dhEvi tells SrI rAma) may that time be just now), though kausalyA knows that SrI rAma would come at the end of fourteen years, she could not wait for those fourteen years to end and wished that that day had come then itself. AzhwAr too is in the same state.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 88 – thirumAl uruvokkum

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avathArikai (Introduction)

Even though the people of the town blamed her, the nAyaki (AzhwAr) mercifully says in this pAsuram “There is no shortcoming in us, even though the whole town has been blaming us” What has been said in this pAsuram is this – sarvESvaran’s divine form is without any equivalent entity, at all times. If a simile for that is seen, instead of consoling oneself saying “We are able to see a simile for an entity which is non-pareil”, it will create a craving in us to see the original entity itself. For such a person like us, is there any fault? Alternatively, when looking at his activity of creating all the entities and remaining as the sustaining force for them, instead of stopping with that, it would create a desire to see his distinguished divine form. For such a person like us, is there any deficiency?

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

thirumAl uruvokkum mEru ammEruvil senjudarOn
thirumAl thirukkaith thiruchchakkaram okkum anna kaNdum
thirumAl uruvOdu avan chinnamE pidhaRRA niRpadhOr
thirumAl thalaikkoNda nangatku engE varum thIvinaiyE

Word-by-Word Meanings

mEru – the mountain mEru
thirumAl – the consort of SrI mahAlakshmi
uruvu – with his divine form
okkum – will be equivalent
ammEruvil – on the peak of that mEru mountain
sem – reddish
sudarOn – sUriyan (sun) with his rays
thirumAl – the consort of SrI mahAlakshmi, his
thirukkai – on his divine hand
thiruchchakkaram – with divine sudharSana chakram (divine disc)
okkum – will be equivalent
anna kaNdum – despite seeing entities which are equivalent to sarvESvaran’s divine form and divine weapon
thirumAl – the consort of SrI mahAlakshmi, his
uruvOdu – with the divine form
avan – his
chinnamE – only divine weapons
(desiring to see)
pidhaRRA niRpadhu – calling out
Or –distinguished
thiru – eminent
mAl – bewilderment
thalaikkoNa – developed (firmly)
nangatku – for us
thIvinai – cruel sins
engE varum – how will it happen?

Simple Translation

The mEru mountain is a match for the divine form of sarvESvaran, who is the consort of SrI mahAlakshmi. sUriyan, with his reddish rays, on top of the mEru mountain, is a match for the divine sudharSana chakram held in the divine hand of sarvESvaran. Thus, even though we are able to see the entities which equal the divine form and the divine disc of sarvESvaran, we desire to see the divine form of sarvESvaran and his divine disc. When we call out to him, which is like an eminent bewilderment for us, how will cruel sins reach us?

vyAkyAnam

thirumAl uruvokkum mEru – the mountain mEru, through its huge size and radiance, matches the divine form of SrIya:pathi (consort of SrI mahAlakshmi).

ammEru . . . – sUriyan, who is traversing that mountain mEru

thirumAL thirukkaith thiruchchakkaram okkum – just as it has been said in thiruppallANdu 2 “vadivAr sOdhi valaththuRaiyum sudarAzhiyum” (divine disc having a radiance which pervades sarvESvaran’s entire form, residing on his divine right hand, burning enemies), sUriyan will look like that divine disc.

anna kaNdum – thus seeing entities which resemble sarvESvaran

thirumAL . . . – crying out incoherently to see the divine form which is like the mEru mountain and his distinguished weapons which are described as in thiruvAimozhi 6-4-9 “valakkaiyAzhi idakkaichchangam” (divine disc on the divine right hand and divine conch on the divine left hand)

Alternatively,

thirumAL thiruvokkum mEru . . . – mEru resembles the divine form of sarvESvaran; sUriyan, who is traversing it, resembles the divine disc on his divine hand; these two represent all the entities which sarvESvaran had created and for which he is the sustaining force.

anna kaNdum – even though they [mEru and sUriyan] remain as his physical form as per the relationship described in AdhArA – AdhEya (sustaining – being sustained), niyanthru – niyAmya (controller-controlled) and SEshi – SEsha (owner-owned) modes…

thirumAl . . . – instead of being satisfied with seeing entities for which he is the sustaining force, calling out with a desire to see his distinguished divine form and distinguished divine identities.

thirumAl – just as it has been mentioned in bruhadhAraNyaka upanishath 4-4-5 “nidhithyAsithavya:”-  meditating on him without any break, AzhwAr attained the state which is true nature for him.

thalaikkoNdathalaikkoLLudhal refers to being firm in a matter and not dropping it since some people spoke against it. Not considering the way some people had blamed her [in the previous pAsuram], remaining firm in matters related to sarvESvaran, just like diamond cannot be destroyed by fire.

nangatku – for us, who are involved in matters related to sarvESvaran. Just as the saying goes “avaSyam anubhOkthavyam krutham karma SubhASubham” (everyone has to necessarily experience the results of their deeds, whether good or bad), are our deeds capable of creating any fault in us?

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 87 – pulambum kanai kural

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avathArikai (Introduction)

The nAyaki’s mother tells sarvESvaran “During this time when she is separated from you, harmful entities are tormenting her. You have made her to call out to you which is being seen by the people of the world!”

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

pulambum kanai kural pOzhvAya anRilum pUngazhipAyndhu
alambum kana kural sUzh thirai Azhiyum Angu avai nin
valam puLLadhu nalam pAdum idhu kuRRamAga vaiyam
silambumbadi seyvadhE thirumAL iththiruvinaiyE

Word-by-Word Meanings

thirumAl – Oh the consort of SrI mahAlakshmi!
nin – as your vehicle
valam – having strength
puLLadhu – periya thiruvadi’s (garudan’s)
nalam – auspicious qualities
pAdum idhu – this singing
kuRRamAga – as a wrongful act (using this as a reason)
iththiruvinai – this lakshmi
kanai kural – with an illegible sound
pulambum – crying
pOzh – splitting (affecting girls in separation)
vAy – having mouth
anRil – nightingale bird
pU – being beautiful
kazhi – in the salt pan
pAyndhu – flowing copiously
alambum – splashing
kanam – heavy
kural – having sound
sUzh – expansive
thirai – having waves
Azhiyum – ocean too
Angu avai – with such harmful entities
(tormenting this girl)
vaiyam – the world
silambumbadi – to cry out
seyvadhE – you are making!

Simple Translation

Oh the lord of SrI mahAlakshmi! The nightingale bird is crying out with a loud voice, splitting the hearts. The ocean, with its waves, is splashing around, to flow copiously into the salt pans. This lakshmi (my daughter) is singing on the strong garuda, your vehicle, about his auspicious qualities. Looking at this, the world is abusing her. You are making all these to happen!

vyAkyAnam

pulambum kanai kural – the nightingale bird is speaking about various matters, with a heavy voice, splitting the hearts of those who have separated from you.

pUngazhi . . . – expansive ocean which is flowing copiously into the salt pans, splashing its waves, making uproarious sound

Angavai – for those who are in separation, there are many harmful entities which torment, such as the bell tied to the neck of bull, rising moon, gentle breeze etc. Alternatively, it is the entities which have already been mentioned here – the call of nightingale and the sound from ocean. All these are tormenting her.

What is her fault for these entities to harm her?

nin valam puL . . . – she sang about garuda, who has a great strength, matching yours, about his qualities to carry you on his shoulders. SrI vishNu purANam 5-30-1 says “garudOvAruNam chathram thadhaiva maNiparvatham | sapAryancha hrishIkESam leelayaiva vahan yayau ||” – after the death of narakAsuran, krishNa left the town of prAgyOthish carrying several things. At that time garuda carried krishNa and maNiparvatham, varuNa’s eminent umbrella on his back as if it was a sport for him.  The nAyaki sang about such gardua. Just as it has been mentioned in sthOthra rathnam 41 “thvadhangri sammardhakiNAnga SObhinA”, having carried out kainkaryam to sarvESvaran and carrying out the scars of footprint on his shoulders, she too wanted to wear the scars of their union. Hence she sang a few words about garuda. Making this out as a fault . . .

vaiyam silambumbadi seyvadhE – without any distinction between elders and youngsters, just because they lived in the same place as the nAyaki, they pointed fingers at her and blamed her. How could they do this?

thirumAL – are you doing all these because she is not your consort?

iththiruvinaiyE – is she in any way inferior to those who desired you? Is she capable of remaining as patient as sIthAppirAtti who was crowded around by the demonic women sent by rAvaNa? Will you allow the people of the town when they blame her condition of being tormented by ocean etc?  Will it not be your fault if your consort is distressed?

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning): Those who are near AzhwAr are asking sarvESvaran “Will it not be a deficiency for you if you delay coming to him when he is so distressed, being unable to overcome separation from you?”

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 86 – adaikkalaththOngu

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avathArikai (Introduction)

In the previous pAsuram, he had narrated the way darkness had tormented him. He says in this pAsuram that however much darkness surrounds and torments, sarvESvaran’s true nature is such that one cannot blame him about anything.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

adaikklaththOngu kamalaththalarayan senniyennum
mudaikkalaththUN munnaranukku nIkkiyai Azhisangam
padaikkalamEndhiyai veNNeykkanRu Aychchi van thAmbugaLAl
pudaikkalandhAnai emmAnai ensollip pulambuvanE

Word-by-Word Meanings

adaikkalaththu – as an entity to be protected
Ongu – grown well
kamalaththu – (having been born in the divine navel) lotus’
alar – born in a flower
ayan – brahmA’s
senni ennum – known as head
udai – having an unpleasant smell
kalaththu – in the vessel
UN – food
mun – in earlier time
aranukku – for rudhra
nIkkiyai – one who removed
Azhisangam – divine disc and divine conch
padai – divine weapons
kalan – as ornaments
Endhiyai – one who donned
anRu – during the time of krishNAvathAram (incarnation as krishNa)
veNNey – for butter
Aychhi – yaSodhAp pirAtti
van – strong
thAmbugaLAl – ropes
pudaikka – to hit
alandhAnai – one who had trouble
emmAnai – one who is my lord
en solli – by speaking about what deficiencies
pulambuvan – could I call?

Simple Translation

brahmA was born in the lotus flower which originates from the divine navel of sarvESvaran who is the refuge for all. rudhra took his food from the skull (head) of brahmA [which was plucked by rudhra] which had an unpleasant smell. sarvESvaran removed that curse on rudhra; he holds the divine weapons of disc and conch; when he incarnated as krishNa, he stole butter and was hit by strong ropes by yaSOdhA [his mother]. With what deficiencies in him  could I call him, who is my lord?

vyAkyAnam

adaikkalaththOngu – growing under sarvESvaran, to whom he has surrendered, brahmA is like nikshEpam (treasure)

kamalaththalarayannikshEpam refers to a treasure which is hidden. However, that term refers here to his being looked at by sarvESvaran such that there is no deficiency in him. Apart from that, brahmA has the fortune of having been born directly to sarvESvaran.

senni . . . – while brahmA is considered as the lOkaguru (AchAryan for the world), he is the father of rudhra, who plucked one of his heads and stood as one who has committed a serious crime. brahmA stood in sadness, having his head severed. He [sarvESvaran] removed both their sorrows.

ayan senni ennum mudaikkalam – that skull [severed head of brahmA] became a vessel with a foul smell. Since it was having an unpleasant smell [due to its contact with brahmA’s flesh] wherever rudhra went, he was followed by birds of prey such as eagle etc.

mudaikkalaththu UN mun aranukku nIkkiyai – [due to the curse of brahmA], rudhra had to eat his food by begging for alms, from that skull. rudhra, who is the deity for annihilation, had to suffer like this. sarvESvaran removed this curse for rudhra, in an earlier time. He thought “Someone who was created by me should not suffer for a long time like this” and removed that difficulty. Through this , it has been brought out that for those who are born in samsAram, being attracted by karma and the resultant physical form, difficulties etc are common to all and that these are applicable for these two too (brahmA and rudhra). One stood with his head severed; one stood having committed that heinous act; sarvESvaran stood as one who removed both their sorrows.

Azhi sangam padaikkalam Endhiyai – he constantly holds his divine weapons such as disc and conch since he cannot search for them to protect samsAris [such as brahmA and rudhra] when they are wandering in difficulties. He has the nature of wearing these divine weapons as divine ornaments in order to carry out the activity of protection.

veNNey . . . – though he is capable of removing the difficulties of brahmA, rudhra et al and has the necessary implements for that, when he gets into any difficulty from his followers, he cannot extricate himself from such difficulty. While he is the controller of brahmA, rudhra et al and remains as the supreme entity, he cannot sustain himself without a few materials which have a contact with his followers. While he is avApthasamasthakAman [he does not have any unfulfilled desire], he feels that there is some deficiency and if he cannot get it directly, he goes to the extent of stealing it. Even while stealing it, he makes sure that he leaves evidence behind to be caught; when caught, he does not take any action to extricate himself from such situations.

anRu – a day comes when he gets tied down and looks as a very simple person! Such a day too occurs! I had missed that day when he had himself tied down and looked so simple and I am praying for attaining him today!

Aychchi – he could not seek a remedy for the difficulty posed by a herdswoman!

van thAmbugaLAl – whatever ropes she [yaSOdhA] could lay her hands on, turned out to be short to tie him. Hence she took more ropes and hit him with those. The anger towards a person would be present to the same extent as affection towards that person. It is pertinent here to recall periya thiruvandhAdhi 48 pAsuram “idaichchi kumaiththiRangaL . . .” (the difficulties that he had undergone at the hands of yaSOdhA)

pudaikkalandhAnai – even when he was in such difficulties he did not take any remedial action.

alandhAnai – the term ala refers to blossoming. As she [yaSOdhA] hit him with the ropes, his face became more and more blossomed. periya thirumozhi 5-9-7 says “kaNNiyAr kuRungayiRRAl katta vettenRirundhAn” (as he was tied with short ropes which were tied together, he stood as if agreeing to that act)

emmAnai – as he was being tied and hit, he shed copious amount of tears from his eyes and his dark divine form became pale; with such an act, he made me to be subservient only to him. Just as it has been mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 5-10-3 “paiyavE nilaiyum” (the way he stood trembling in fear), it was this which made me lose my steadfastness.

en sollip pulambuvanE – I desired for him now and am wailing since I could not attain him. I was not there when he carried out his activites in krishNAvathAram and I cannot point out to any deficiency in him. I am unable to attain him now because of the result of my past deeds. He has no shortcoming in him for me to blame him.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 85 – mANikkangoNdu

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avathArikai (Introduction)

This pAsuram reveals the words of the nAyaki who is saddened by the appearance of night. This could also be treated as the words of the nAyaki’s mother who is lamenting the nAyaki’s position.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its words:

mANikkangoNdu kurangu eRivoththu iruLOdu mutti
ANipponnanna sudar padumAlai ulagaLandha
mANikkamE en maradhagamE maRRoppAraiyillA
ANipponnE adiyEn adi Avi adaikkalamE

Word-by-Word Meanings

kurangu – monkey
mANikkam – gem [carbuncle]
koNdu – taking it
eRivu oththu – equivalent to throwing
iruLOdu – with darkness
(coming)
mutti – getting close
ANipon anna – like a distinguished gold
sudar – radiant sUriyan ([sun]
padum – suffering
mAlai – dusk (appeared)
ulagu – worlds
aLandha – one who seized
mANikkamE – Oh one who is virtuous!
en – being my lord
maradhagamE – one who is invigorating like an emerald gem!
maRRu – over and above
oppArai – those who are equal
illA – ohe who does not have
ANipponnE – Oh one who is like distinguished gold!
adiyEn – this servitor, my
adi – being your servitor
Avi – vital air
adaikkalam – is to be protected (by you)

Simple Translation

Oh one who measured all the worlds! Oh one who is virtuous and is like an invigorating emerald gem to me! Oh one who is like distinguished gold, without anyone being your equal! Just like a monkey threw a carbuncle gem, the dusk time has thrown out sUriyan who is like eminent gold. This AthmA (soul) of mine, your servitor, has to be protected by you.

vyAkyAnam

mANikkam koNdu kurangu eRivoththu – Just like a monkey would throw a gemstone of carbuncle. A monkey, without knowing the great value of a gemstone, throws it out such that it reaches a place where it will be of no use to anyone. Alternatively, being an animal, it throws the gemstone where it cannot be used even by the monkey itself and the gem remains losing its shine.

iruLOdu . . . – coming with darkness. The evening time appeared, destroying sUriyan who is like an incomparable, eminent, reddish gold. Just like the carbuncle gem was destroyed by the monkey, sUriyan was destroyed by darkness.

Instead of merely speaking about evening, she now speaks about sarvESvaran’s great activities.

ulagaLandha mANikkamE – he is one who pushed aside entities such as mahAbali when indhra et al, who think that they are the protectors, withdrew, being unable to fight with such mahAbali. He is an entity who is virtuous, who measured the worlds which are full of forests and mountains.

mANikkamE – he transformed himself though he is priceless and inestimable [for the sake of indhra et al].

en maradhagamE – he is invigorating when embraced.

maRRoppAraiyillA ANipponnE – he is eminent without any simile to compare him with – like distinguished gold.

adiyEn – AzhwAr calls himself as adiyEn [servitor] manifesting his enjoyability [by sarvESvaran].

adiyAvi – If these are the nAyaki’s words, this would refer to the Athmavasthu (her soul) which is subservient to sarvESvaran. It is so much subservient to sarvESvaran that even offering it to him would tantamount to being an act in excess [it belongs to sarvESvaran; hence there is no need even to offer it to him]. It is to be offered as soon as one is bewildered; once offered, it would be so severed from him/her that it would make him/her shrink from thinking “I offered an entity of mine to him”. It will be similar to sthOthra rathnam 53 “athavA kinnu samarppayAmi thE” (What can I offer you?) and thiruvAimozhi 7-9-10 “uRReNNil adhuvum aRRu AngavanRannadhu” (if I wanted to call it as mine, even that Athmavasthu happened to be his). The vyAkyAthA (periyavAchchAn piLLai, commentator for this prabandham) narrates an incident when kUraththAzhwAn was sent by bhagavdh rAmAnujar to thirukkOttiyUr nambi (rAmAnujar’s AchAryan) to find out whether it is gyAthruthvam (being with knowledge about matters relating to sarvESvaran) or SEshathvam (being a servitor of sarvESvaran) which is AthmasvarUpam (the true nature of AthmA). nambi mercifully informed kUraththAzhwAn “Oh my child! Where he should have said ennuLLAn [within me] as in thiruvAimozhi 8-8-2 ‘adiyEnuLLAn udaluLLAn’ (he is within me), he had said adiyEnnuLLAn to signify that it is servitude which is the true identity for AthmA”

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 84 – thaiyanallArgaL

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avathArikai (Introduction)

This pAsuram says how the nAyaki, in a state of bewilderment, runs here and there, calling out to sarvESvaran, since she is not able to see him. This is similar to the way SrI rAma wandered in the forest, looking for sIthAppirAtti, as mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 60-36, 37 “kvachith udhbhramathE vEgAth kvachith vibhramathE balAth || kvachith maththa iva AbhAthi kAnthA anvEshaNa thathpara: |” (somewhere by forcefulness of illusion and somewhere else by the powerfulness of allusion and elsewhere, due to the love for his impassioned ladylove, he was running like a madman).

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

thaiyanallArgaL kuzhAngaL kuzhiya kuzhivinuLLum
aiyanallArgaL kuzhiya vizhavinum angangellAm
kaiya ponnAzhi veNsangodum kANbAn avAvuvan nAn
maiyavaNNa maNiyE muththamE enRan mANikkamE

Word-by-Word Meanings

thaiyal naLLArgaL –  gems of women
kuzhAngaL – association
kuzhiya – huge
kuzhuvinuLLum – in gatherings
aiyanallArgaL – wise men
kuzhiya – huge
vizhavinum – in celebrations
angangellAm – at all those places
maiya – like black pigment
vaNNA – one who has a form (such that the eyes of the beholder would feel cool)
maNiyE – one who is easily approachable
muththamE – one who is cool like a pearl
en than – as a lord for me
mANikkamE – one who is eminent like a carbuncle
kaiya – in the divine hands
pon – radiant
Azhi – with divine disc
veN – whitish
sangodum – with SrI pAnchajanyam (divine conch)
nAn – I
kANbAn – to worship (you)
avAvuvan – desired

Simple Translation

Oh one who has a divine form like a black pigment which is comforting for the beholder! Oh one who is easily approachable! Oh one who has a cool nature similar to pearl’s! Oh one who is like a carbuncle and who is my lord! Among the huge gatherings of women who are like gems and among the festive gatherings of wise men, I desire to see your divine hands holding the radiant divine disc and the divine white conch.

vyAkyAnam

thiyanallAr . . . – there are women who are like gems; there are huge gatherings of such women. When AzhwAr sees such gatherings, he would presume that krishNa is amidst them, ready to begin the dance called as kuravai (a dance in which two people will hold their hands tightly together and spin around, holding their feet at the centre).

aiya nallAr . . . – just as the wise saying goes “aRavOr arundhavaththOr aiyar” (eminent are those who follow righteous path and who carry out deep penance). aiyanallAr are even better than such people.  avargaL kuzhiya vizhavinum – places where yagyams (ritualistic events) are held, where they will be present in large numbers. In such places as well as in places where people similar to dhaNdakAraNya rishis are gathered. Places such as the one mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 57-13 “samAjEshu mahathsucha” (great assembly of wise men).

angangellAm – in places similar to these

kaiya . . . – AzhwAr desires to see sarvESvaran without distinction between his incarnations where he had hidden his divine disc and conch (such as krishNAvathAram) and those where he had displayed them. He had hidden his divine weapons only from demonic entities. What is the hurdle for me to see him with such divine weapons? Didn’t arjunan tell him in bhagavath gIthai 11-46 “thEnaiva rUpENa chathurbhujEna” (I desire to see your form with four shoulders, as before)?

avAvuvan nAn – Does desire have eyes? I desire only “To see”. I do not wish to think “He is difficult to see” If he is difficult to be seen, did he create the desire in  you to see him and punish you?

maiya vaNNA . . . – he says that it is the eminence in the entity that created the desire in him. When someone loses an eminent entity, will that person wait to get it back?

maiya vaNNA . . . – the entity is capable of making the beholder’s eyes to be cool, as if black pigment has been applied.

maNiyE – even when the entity is like this, it has to be experienced fully.

muththamE – if the entity were embraced, all the thirst would evaporate.

enRan mANikkamE – absolutely inestimable.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 83 – viLarikkural anRil

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avathArikai (Introduction)

In the previous pAsuram, sarvESvaran’s divine eyes tormented the nAyaki. This pAsuram narrates her sadness at seeing two nightingale birds sitting on a palm tree in the frontyard of her house. The two birds had locked their beaks when the female bird leaves. The male calls out after her. Seeing this, the nAyaki goes into a state of stupor. Her mother, hearing the bird’s high pitched calls, says “The sound of the bird is like this. Her [the daughter’s] distress due to separation is like this. Her softness is like this. Will I see her happy with her desire fulfilled?” When parASara bhattar was narrating this, his disciple nanjIyar asked him “Could you please narrate an incident similar to this from SrI rAmAyaNam?” bhattar responded saying “When lakshmaNa left sIthAppirAtti alone in the forest [when she was pregnant] she let out a cry. Sage vAlmIki who heard her cry of distress had a mental makeup similar to the nAyaki’s mother”

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

viLarikkural anRil menpEdai mEginRa munRil peNNai
muLarik kurambai idhu idhuvAga mugil vaNNan pEr
kiLarikkiLarip pidhaRRum mellAviyum naivumellAm
thaLariRkolO aRiyEn uyyalAvadhu iththaiyalukkE

Word-by-Word Meanings

mel – having a soft nature
pedai – with female bird
mEginRa – being united together
viLari – in a high pitch
kural – voice
anRil – nightingale bird’s
munRil – in the frontyard
peNNai – on top of the palm tree
muLari – made of lotus flower
kurambai – nest
idhu idhuvAga – tormenting permanently
mugil – like cloud
vaNNan – sarvESvaran who has a form like that
pEr – divine name
kiLarik kiLari – taking it repatedly
pidhaRRum – babbling
mel – soft
Aviyum – vital air
naivum – (body) crumbling
ellAm – since all these happened
iththaiyalukku – for this girl
uyyalAvadhu – to be alive
thaLaril kolO – is it possible
ariyEn – I am not sure

Simple Translation

There is a palm tree in the frontyard of nAyakí’s house where a male nightingale bird, with a high pitch, is living with its female nightingale which has a soft nature, inside a nest made with lotus flowers. Her mother says that she is not sure if the nAyaki will survive since she keeps babbling the divine names of sarvESvaran, since she has a soft nature and since her form is crumbling [due to separation from sarvESvaran].

vyAkyAnam

viLarikkural anRil – the term viLari refers to a high pitched voice. The male nightingale bird calls with such a high pitched voice.

men pEdai – the softness of the female nightingale bird is such that when being united, touching it would appear to be similar to touching a flower. If there is separation in such a soft natured entity, the distress would be impossible to tolerate.

mEginRa – being permanently united, without any separation. It would remind one of anapAyini (SrI mahAlakshmi who will not separate from emperumAn even for a moment).

munRil peNNai – the term munRil would refer both to frontyard and entrance. Some people asked vangipuraththu nambi when this pAsuram was being recited “Will anyone have a palm tree in the frontyard of the house?”  nambi responded saying  “You are asking about that! Isn’t that the reason as to why her matters are like this, where even the tender leaves are snapping?” Just as it has been said in periya thirumozhi pAsuram 11-2-1 “munRil thani ninRa peNNai mEl kidandhIrginRa anRilin kUttaip pirikka kiRpavar yArkolo?” (who has the cleverness to remove the nest of the nightingales, which are always together, from the palm tree seen at the entrance?) wouldn’t her relatives be busy in bringing the nAyakan back? The nAyaki is not the type who goes around separating and uniting entities.

muLarik kurambai – the male nightingale will build the nest with lotus leaves and flowers, to be apt for the soft nature of the female bird. Alternatively, muLari would refer to thorns and the nest would be built with thorns to protect the birds from outside attack.

idhu idhuvAga – after building nest like this and not tormenting.

mugil vaNNan pEr kiLarik kiLarip pidhaRRum – repeatedly babbling the divine name of sarvESvaran.

mellAviyum – even though she was reciting the divine names, did it make her feel peaceful? That did not happen because of the tiredness caused in her heart.

naivum– her physical form too was crumbling

ellAm – since all these happened

thaLariRkolO (iththaiyalukku uyyalAvadhu) – survival for this girl

thaLariRkolO – without even this blabbering, the only way to survive is to perish. I do not know whether she can survive without perishing.

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning): those who saw AzhwAr found that his form was getting tormented a lot. They said “Would we see him sustain himself until he reaches his end goal of attaining sarvESvaran? It appears that there is hope only after he leaves this physical form”

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 82 – erikoL sennAyiRu

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jIyar [nanjIyar] would mercifully say that this pAsuram is not to his liking. This is because, just as it is mentioned in periya thirumozhi 7-1-9 “thAyAyaLikkinRa thaNdAmaraikkaNNA” (Oh one who has divine eyes similar to cool, reddish lotus flower and who showers mercy like a mother!), sarvESvaran’s eyes which are soft are described in this pAsuram as being fiery. We could experience what AzhwAr is saying only if we too are suffering in distress, just like AzhwAr.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

erikoL sennAyiRu iraNdudanE udhayam malaivAy
viriginRa vaNNaththu emperumAn kaNgaL mINdavaRRuL
erikoL sendhIvIzhasuraraippOla empOliyarkkum
virivasolleer idhuvO vaiyamuRRum viLariyadhE

Word-by-Word Meanings

emperumAn – sarvESvaran, who is my lord
kaNgaL – divine eyes
erikoL – having fire
udhayam malaivAy – in the mountains where it rises from
udanE – simultaneously
viriginRa – spreading
sem – having reddish rays
iraNdu nAyiRu – twin sUriyans’
vaNNanththa – having the true nature
erikoL – having flame
sem – reddish
thI – like fire
avaRRuL – in the splendour of the sUriyan
mINdu – again
vIzh – falling
asuraraippOla – like demons (known as mandhEhar)
empOliyarkkum – like us who are affectionate (in matters related to bhagavAn)
viriva – appeared before us
vaiyam muRRum – throughout the world
viLariyadhu – calling out
idhuvO – was it for this?
solleer – please tell

Simple Translation

The divine eyes of sarvESvaran appear like two sUriyans, spitting fire, which have risen at the same time over the mountains. Just like demons die in the splendour of sUriyan’s flames, sarvESvaran’s divine eyes are harmful for us who are devoted to him.  Please tell us whether it is for this that the world is calling out to that sarvESvaran.

vyAkyAnam

eri . . . – The divine eyes of sarvESvaran are similar to two reddish sUriyans which are spitting fire and spreading it when they rise over the mountains.

mINdu . . . – when the sUriyan rises, demons, known as mandhEhars, will hold on to his chariot, preventing him from going further. The divine water offered by brAhmaNAs when they offer argyam will provide a splendour to sUriyan. The demons will fall into and get destroyed in that fire. Similar to those demons who fall into that roaming sUriyan’s fire and get destroyed . . .

empOliyarkkum viriva – for those like me who desire him and become sorrowful, they cause harm just like they do for the demons.

solleer idhuvO vaiyam muRRum viLariyadhE – is this the result for the world calling out to him? Please tell. Is it to fall into that fire that the world is calling out to him? Isn’t she the one who had thought in thiruvAimozhi 2.1 decad vAyum thiraiyugaLum when she felt that the entire world was suffering from the same sorrows that she was suffering from?

Alternatively

mINdavaRRuL erikoL sendhIvIzhasuraraippOl empOliyarkkum – just like those demons who fall into that flame of sUriyan’s splendour and perish, these eyes are harmful for people like me.

viriva solleer – tell me a refuge. In this context, the term viriva refers to being expansive and thus implies a refuge.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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