Category Archives: periya thiruvandhAdhi

periya thiruvandhAdhi – 79 – uNNAttuth thEsanRE

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avathArikai

In the previous pAsuram, AzhwAr had instructed his heart to stay focussed on experiencing the auspicious qualities of emperumAn. In this pAsuram, he mentions about the glory of those who are focussed like that.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

uNNAttuth thEsanRE Uzhvinaiyai anjumE
viNNAttai onRAga mechchumE maNNAttil
ArAgi evvizhi viRRAnAgilum Azhiyangaip
perAyaRkALAm piRappu

Word by Word Meanings

maNNAttil – on this earth

ArAgi – even if one were in lowly birth

evvizhi viRRAnAgilum – even if (he were) engaged in lowly profession [for a livelihood]

Azhi am kai pEr AyaRku – to kaNNa (krishNa) who holds the beautiful divine disc on his divine hand

AL Am piRappu – birth which is apt to carry out servitude

uL nAttu thEsu anRE – is it not sacred similar to the resplendence of paramapadham which is very intimate (to emperumAn)?

Uzh vinaiyai – thinking of sins carried over since time immemorial

anjumE – will it be fearful?

viNNAttai – svarga (heaven)

onRAga mechchumE – will it consider that as an entity?

vyAkyAnam

Azhiyangaip pErAyaRku ALAm piRappu uL nAttuth thEsanRE – isn’t the birth which stays focussed on carrying out kainkaryam to other human beings considered to have the resplendence of paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam) even if one were the lord of all, who carries the divine disc in his divine hand? AzhwAr, though remaining in this leelA vibhUthi (materialistic realm), calls paramapadham as uL nAdu in line with emperumAn’s thinking. Since in the vyAkyAnam (commentary) for this prabandham, this meaning has been given as the second interpretation, it is clear that AzhwAr considers leelA vibhUthi  as uL nAdu and the birth in this realm to have resplendence. This will be clarified at the end of the commentary. It is pertinent to recall here what SrI maNavALA mAmunigaL wrote in his commentary for the 81st chUrNika (aphorism) of AchArya hrudhayam  for the portion Azhiyangaip pErAyaRkALAm piRappu – uNNattuth thEsanRE  “Unlike the outer realm leelA vibhUthi which is full of people who are highly ill disposed towards emperumAn, the physical form taken by AthmA (soul) has resplendence in paramapadham which is very close to emperumAn and which is favourable to him being full of great sweetness. The opinion is that just like taking the physical form which is apt for carrying out kainkaryam (service) to emperumAn in paramapadham, even for AthmA, which is the object of servitude, this will create resplendence”. The term pErAyan denotes the maturity which kaNNa (krishNa) has in the qualities of being a cowherd, when compared to other cowherds who could be thought to be nithyasUris.

Uzhvinaiyai anjumE – will those who have such a birth, be fearful of sins?

viNNAttai onRAga mechchumE – will such people consider the worlds of dhEvas such as brahmA et al, as significant? Has it not been said in SrI guNarathnakOsam 21 that going to heaven is considered lowly by these people “yath dhUrE manasO yadhEvathamasa: pArE yadhyadhathbhutham yath kAlAth apachEnimam  surapurI yadhgachchathO dhurggathi I sAyujyasya yadhEva sUdhirathavA yadhdhurgraham madhgirAm thadhvishNO: paramam padham thava kruthE mAtha: samAmnAsishu: II” (Oh mother! vEdhas state that vishNu’s paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam)  which is (a) beyond anyone’s mind, (b) beyond primordial matter, (c) wondrous, (d) unchanged by time, (e) making those who desire to attain it to consider even heaven as being like hell, (f) granting equality with the supreme being in eight specific characteristics and (g)  beyond my speech, exists only for you)! Didn’t lakshmaNa say in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 3-5 that going to heaven is similar to going to an inappropriate place “na dhEvalOkAkramaNam nAmarathvamaham vruNE I aiSvaryam vA’pi lOkAnAm kAmayE na thvayA vinA II” (I,  separated from you, will not like living in SrIvaikuNtam which is inhabited by nithyasUris, kaivalyam (soul enjoying itself) and the opulence in all the worlds)! SrI parASara maharishi (author of SrI vishNu purANam) also said that for one who is involved with emperumAn, even the position of indhra is a hurdle, as mentioned in SrI vishNu purANam 2-6-41 “vAsudhEvE manO yasya japahOmArchanAdhishu I thasyAntharAyO maithrEya! dhEvEndhrathvAthikam padha(la)m II” (Oh maithrEya! For one whose mind is involved with vAsudhEva through prayer, rituals and worship, benefits such as being the head of celestial entities etc become hindrances).

viNNAttai onRAga mechchumE – when the term uL nAdu is considered to be leelA vibhUthi (materialistic realm) viNNAdu should be considered as referring to paramapadham. These people will not think that attaining paramapadham is greater than carrying out kainkaryam to emperumAn in this world.

maNNAttil ArAgi evvizhi viRRAnAlum . . . . piRappu – this earth, which is materialistic realm, as it is, is very lowly; in this realm, even if one were born in a lowly birth, have lowliness in knowledge and deeds etc, one should desire for enjoying emperumAn and carrying out kainkaryam to him. If these are not there, even if one has greatness in birth [being born in a great clan], carries out great deeds and has knowledge, these will be considered to be without any purpose.

Let us take up the 80th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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periya thiruvandhAdhi – 78 – thuNainAL perungiLaiyum

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avathArikai

In the previous pAsuram, AzhwAr said that apart from emperumAn, there is no other relative. In this pAsuram, he tells emperumAn, as if he is instructing his heart, that even if there are relatives who are dear and even if samsAram (life in the materialistic realm) is sweet, there is nothing to enjoy other than emperumAn.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

thuNai nAL perungiLaiyum thol kulamum suRRaththu
iNai nALum inbudaiththAm Elum kaNai nANil
OvAththozhil sArngan thol sIrai nannenjE
OvAdha UNAga uN

Word by Word Meanings

thuNai nAL – companionship (from friends) and longevity

perum kiLaiyum – relatives in large numbers

thol kulamum – birth in an ancient clan

suRRaththu iNai – togetherness of relatives

all of the above

nALum – at all times

inbudaiththAm Elum – even if they are sweet

kaNai nANil ovAththozhil – having arrows constantly on the drawn bow (in order to protect followers), ready for action

sArngan – one who controls the bow called as sArngam

thol sIrai – ancient, auspicious qualities

nal nenjE – Oh my heart, which is favourable to me

OvAdha – without any hurdle

UNAga – as a food to be enjoyed

uN – enjoy

vyAkyAnam

thuNai nAL perungiLaiyum thol kulamum suRRaththu iNai nALum inbudaiththAmElum – even if  companionship of friends, longevity, relatives who gather in large numbers, birth in a long standing clan, being together with relatives, remain forever and are sweet

kaNai nANil oVaththozhil sArngan thol sIrai – the auspicious and ancient qualities of the one who has a drawn bow in which arrows are placed, ready for combat, in order to protect his followers

nal nenjE – Oh my good heart which knows to distinguish between genuine and false relatives. Alternatively, we can consider this to mean the heart which is ready to listen to my instruction of attaining emperumAn

OvAdha UNAga uN – enjoy [those auspicious qualities of emperumAn] as sweet food which is taken regularly.

We will take up the 79th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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periya thiruvandhAdhi – 77 – uraikkilOr suRRaththAr

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avathArikai

In the previous pAsuram, AzhwAr, by mentioning ulagaLandha mUrththy, recalled emperumAn’s quality of being a relative in all ways to all souls, when he manifested his activity of measuring the worlds. In this pAsuram, he is asking whether there is any relative for him other than emperumAn. He says that others are considered as relatives due to our bewilderment but the only one who protects us at all the times and in all troublesome situations is emperumAn alone and no one else.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

uraikkilOr suRRaththAr uRRArenRArE
iraikkum kadal kidandha endhAy uraippellAm
ninnanRi maRRilEn kaNdAy enadhu uyirkkOr
sol nanRi Agum thuNai

Word by Word Meanings

uraikkil – if one were to mention

Or suRRaththAr – agnates [people who are males and who are related from father’s side]

uRRAr – other relatives

enRu – who are spoken of

ArE – who else is there (for me) apart from you?

iraikkum – being uproarious

kadal kidandha – reclining on thiruppARkadal (milky ocean)

endhAy – my swAmy (lord)!

enadhu uyirkku – for my AthmA (soul)

nanRiyAgum – being beneficial

Or sol – as a unique word

thuNai – as companion

uraippu ellAm – as all types of relationships

nin anRi – other than you

maRRu ilEn kaNdAy – I am without anyone, please consider

vyAkyAnam

uraikkil Or suRRaththAr uRRAr enRu ArE – if one were to speak about it, who is apt to be referred to as agnates (male relatives from father’s side) or other relatives? Alternatively, we can consider suRRaththAr as relatives and uRRAr as friends. Instead of saying “There is none who is an agnate or relative” since AzhwAr is asking emperumAn a query “Who is there as an agnate or relative” it appears that AzhwAr wants emperumAn to respond saying “There is none; only I am there”,

iraikkum kadal kidandha endhAy – Oh one who is reclining in the milky ocean with the expectation “Wouldn’t someone from leelA vibhUthi (materialistic realm) desire and attain us?” even though nithyasUris are always experiencing you in paramapadham! By using the word endhAy, AzhwAr hints that emperumAn is observing the means to attain AzhwAr at thiruppARkadal [by carrying out a penance]. The term iraikkum kadal indicates that the ocean becomes uproarious on seeing emperumAn.

uraippellAm ninnanRi maRRilEn kandAy – other than you, there is none who could be counted as a helpful relative for me.

enadhu uyirkkOr sol nanRi Agum thuNai ninnanRi maRRilEn kaNdAy – Just as emperumAn had said in charama SlOkam 18-66 in SrI bhagavath gIthAmA sucha:” (do not grieve), there is none who could say the good word “Do not grieve” other than you, when the AthmA is in any trouble.

We will take up the 78th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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periya thiruvandhAdhi – 76 – uLLilum uLLam

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avathArikai

In the previous pAsuram, AzhwAr spoke about “entering through my ears” thus speaking about knowledge through hearing. In this pAsuram which begins with the words uLLilum (even if one thinks of), he speaks about knowledge through one’s mind, as a complement to the knowledge through hearing.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

uLLilum uLLam thadikkum vinaippadalam
viLLa vizhiththu unnai meyyuRRAl uLLa
ulagaLavum yAnum uLanAvan enkolO
ulagaLandha mUrththy urai

Word by Word Meanings

ulagu aLandha mUrththy – Oh emperumAn who mercifully measured all the worlds!

uLLilum – even if you are thought of

uLLam thadikkum – mind puffs up [with pride]

vinaippadalam – the bundle of sins

viLLa – to go away (from me)

vizhiththu – bestowing with your grace

unnai meyyuRRAl – if (I am) able to envision you

yAnum – I too

uLLa ulagaLavum uLanAvan – it appears that I will permeate all over the worlds

en kolO – how is this?

urai – please tell (yourself)

vyAkyAnam

uLLilum uLLam thadikkum – if you are thought of, just as the physical body, which has a form, puffs up, the mind too, which does not have a form, puffs up.

AzhwAr says further “if my heart will grow just by thinking of you [emperumAn], when I reach paramapadham after getting rid of my karma (results of past deeds, both good and bad), and I am able to see you with your grace, it appears that I too would pervade all over the world just like you”..

vinaippadalam viLLa vizhiththu unnai meyyuRRAl – If am able to see you, after my bundle of sins has been eliminated with your grace. Alternatively the words could be rearranged to read unnai vizhiththu meyyuRRAl to give the meaning – if I am able to envision you through my mind here and through my eyes in parapapadham.

uLLa ulagaLavum yAnum uLanAvan enkolO – it appears that I too would pervade all the worlds present. It should be understood here that while it may appear that AzhwAr is asking whether he too will have universal pervasiveness just like emperumAn, pervasiveness comes out of his svarUpam (basic nature) for emperumAn who is unlimited while it comes out of dharmabhUtha gyAnam (sensory perception) for AzhwAr who is atomic in nature.

ulagaLandha mUrththy urai – you, who pervaded all the worlds with your dwarfish form, should speak about this pervasive ability of mine.

We will move on to the 77th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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periya thiruvandhAdhi – 75 – puviyum iruvisumbum

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avathArikai

In the previous pAsuram, AzhwAr was sad that emperumAn was not showing any mercy on him and that emperumAn was not showing himself to him.  Hearing this, emperumAn tells him “Could you feel sad like this? Did I not create a craving in you, making you to yearn to see me? ” which makes AzhwAr feel very proud. As a result, he says in this pAsuram “There is none comparable to me”.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

puviyum iruvisumbum  ninnagaththa nIyen
seviyin vazhipugundhu ennuLLAy avivinRi
yAn periyan nI periyai enbadhanai yAr aRivAr
Un parugu nEmiyAy uLLu

Word by Word Meanings

Un parugu nEmiyAy – Oh one who has the chakra (disc) which drinks up the blood of enemies!

puviyum – this world (which is made of primordial matter)

iruvisumbum – the expansive land of paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam) which is not made of primordial matter

nin agaththa – are under your control

nI – you (who are as mentioned above)

en seivyin vazhi pugundhu – entering through my ear

avivinRi – without any interruption

en uLLAy – exist inside me

nAn periyan – am I greater (between the two of us)?

nI periyai – Are you the greater?

enbadhanai – this matter

yAr aRivAr – who could know?

uLLu – think (yourself)

vyAkyAnam

puviyum iruvisumbum ninnagaththa – both this leelA vibhUthi (materialistic realm) and nithya vibhUthi (the spiritual realm) exist due to your will. The word puvi refers to the entire materialistic realm (created by emperumAn for his pastime) and the word iruvisumbu refers to the ethereal layer of paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam).

nI en seviyin vazhi pugundhu avivinRi ennuLLAy – you take your existence in my heart permanently, by entering through my ears.

yAn periyAn nI periyai enbadhanai yAr aRivAr – Are you, the controller of these two realms, the greater between the two of us or am I, who had now taken you, the controller of the two realms, inside of me, the greater between the two of us? Who will know this?

Un parugu nEmiyAy uLLu – Since you are having the disc, which drinks up the blood of all enemies, in your hand, you have unbridled power of knowledge. Hence, you please give an answer to this query.

For the second part of this pAsuram, another interpretation is provided by knowledgeable persons.

avivinRi yAn periyan – Since I have kept you, who control both the realms, inside me, without any doubt, I am the greater between the two of us.

nI periyai enbadhanai yAr aRivAr – When this is the fact, who will know that you are greater between us?

Since AzhwAr has mercifully called himself as great (periyan) in this pAsuram, AzhwAr is known by the name periyAn in AzhwArthirunagari, the place of his birth. Even though this prabandham has only 87 pAsurams, people will say that this is the reason why it is called as periya thiruvandhAdhi (the great thiruvandhAdhi).

We will move on to the 76th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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periya thiruvandhAdhi – 74 – enRum orunAL

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avathArikai

This AzhwAr, who is called as dhIrga chinthayanthI (one who alternates between happiness and sadness repeatedly, just like chinthayanthi, the cowherd girl in gOkulam), alternates between happiness when he gets to experience emperumAn through his mind and sadness when he does not unite with emperumAn externally [physically]. In the previous pAsuram, he went the way of happiness and in this pAsuram, finding that emperumAn is not showing his divine form to him, suffers. Even though his desire for emperumAn developed only after taking his present physical form, it appears to AzhwAr that he had been having this desire to see emperumAn from time immemorial.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

enRum orunAL ozhiyAmai yAnirandhAl
onRum irangAr urukkAttAr kunRu
kudaiyAga AkAththa kOvalanAr nenjE
pudaidhAn peridhE puvi

Word by Word Meanings

orunAL ozhiyAmai – without missing even one day

enRum – at all times

yAn irandhAl – even if I beseech

kunRu kudaiyAga – taking the hill gOvardhana like an umbrella

AkAththa – one who protected cows

kOvalanAr – one who tends to cows

onRum irangAr – does not show even a little bit of mercy

uru kAttAr – does not show his divine form too

nenjE – Oh my mind

puvidhAn – this earth

pudai peridhE – appears to be on an elevated place (such that his mercy will not flow towards us)

vyAkyAnam

enRum orunAL ozhiyAmai nAn irandhAl onRum irangAr urukkAttAr – I have been begging him from time immemorial, to see him; he (emperumAn) is not showing any mercy towards me, from wherever he is staying, thinking “Oh, he is beseeching me”; he is not showing me his divine form either.

kunRu kudaiyAga AkAththa kOvalanAr – Isn’t he the one who protected cows by holding the hill gOvardhana like an umbrella? If he had not manifested himself to anyone, I could have comforted myself saying that he has not shown himself to me because of his nature. Isn’t the person, who showed himself up to cows who cannot even realise the great benefit that he had shown them, not showing himself to me and helping me?

nenjE pudaidhAn peridhE puvi – Oh heart! Since he had protected cows, we cannot say that he does not have simplicity. It appears that we are located in a place where his simplicity does not flow (since we are on an elevated surface).By the word puvi, AzhwAr hints  the place where he is staying and by the words pudai peridhE he hints that this place is much above the ground level.

We will take up the 75th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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periya thiruvandhAdhi – 73 – pUvaiyum kAyAvum

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avathArikai

In the previous pAsuram, AzhwAr established that only emperumAn is the apt entity to be attained. Having established this, he enjoys that emperumAn, who is the ordained lord, in this pAsuram.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

pUvaiyum kAyAvum neelamum pUkkinRa
kAvi malarenRum kANdORum pAviyEn
mellAvi meymigavE pUrikkum avvavai
ellAm pirAn uruvE enRu

Word by Word Meanings

pUvaiyum – the flower of pUvai tree (bilberry)

kAyAvum – the purple coloured flower of kAyA (a kind of shrub)

neelamum – blue lily

pUkkinRa – just then blossoming

kAvi malar – blue lotus

enRum – at all times

kAN dhORum – whenever seen

avvavaiyellAm – all those flowers

pirAn uruvE enRu – thinking that they are all only the form of emperumAn (my lord)

pAviyEn – one who has the sins (of not being able to enjoy emperumAn directly), my

mel Avi – soft mind

mey – physical body

migavE pUrikkum – will greatly puff up [due to pride]

vyAkyAnam

pUvaiyum kAyAvum neelamum pUkkinRa kAvi malar enRum kAN dhORum – Whenever I look at the dark coloured flowers of pUvaippU (bilberry flower), kAyAmbU (purple coloured flower), neelam pU (blue water-lily) and just then blossomed kAvippU (blue lotus), during all those times

pAviyEn mellAvi mey migavE pUrikkum avvavai ellAm pirAn uruvE enRu – my soft mind and my body will puff up with pride, thinking that all these flowers are [indicative of] emperumAn’s divine form only. The word pAviyEn would refer to AzhwAr thinking that he has lot of sins in him due to which he is unable to see directly the divine form of emperumAn. Alternatively in an ironical way, the word pAviyEn could mean one who is fortunate. The pAsuram would then mean that AzhwAr feels that he is fortunate that looking at the dark coloured flowers which are similes for emperumAn, his mind and body would puff up due to pride [as if they had seen emperumAn himself]. The word Avi refers to mind. Since the pAsuram says enRum kANdORum mellAvi pUrikkum it shows that his mind will lose consciousness out of being puffed up to a very high extent and that once consciousness is regained, it will again puff up and lose consciousness, thus repeating this process, indicating the softness of his mind. AzhwAr is amazed that not only his mind, which is the gateway for knowledge, gets puffed up but his body, which is without any knowledge, also puffs up.

We will take up the 74th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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periya thiruvandhAdhi – 72 – mudhalAm thiruvuruvam

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avathArikai

In the previous pAsuram, AzhwAr mentioned that it is only emperumAn who is apt to be attained by everyone including brahmA, rudhra et al. When the question arose as to why AzhwAr is saying that emperumAn is the only supreme entity to be attained when some people say that brahmA and rudhra are also fit to be attained, AzhwAr negates the philosophy of those who speak against the supreme nature of emperumAn by saying that the concept of equality among the thrimUrthis (brahmA, vishNu and rudhra) is ill-fitting and that it is only emperumAn who is the supreme being, thus establishing his philosophy in this pAsuram.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

mudhalAm thiruvuruvam mUnRenbar onRE
mudhalAgum mUnRukkum enbar mudhalvA
nigarilagu kAruruvA ninnagaththadhanRE
pugarilagu thAmaraiyin pU

Word by Word Meanings

thiru uruvam mUnRu – the three entities (brahmA, vishNu andn rudhra) who have beautiful forms

mudhalAm enbar – are the causative factors for the origin of earth, (some people) will say.

mUnRukkum – for these three entities

onRE mudhalAgum enbar – an entity (superior) is the primary entity, (some other people) will say

mudhalvA – Oh one who is the causative factor for the universe!

kAr nigar ilagu uruvA – Oh one who has a divine form matching the dark clouds!

pugar ilagu – shining brightly (being the cause for universe)

thAmaraiyin pU – lotus flower

nin agaththadhu anRE – is it not forming from your divine form?

vyAkyAnam

mudhalAm thiruvuruvam mUnRenbar – Some people will say that brahmA, vishNu and rudhra are all responsible for the creation of this world. These people, who say that all the three mUrththys are equal, are called as thrimUrthi sAmyavAdhis.

onRE mudhalAgum mUnRukkum enbar – Some others will say that the reason for the creation of these three mUrthis is another entity, superior to these three.  Those who say that there is a fourth entity which is superior to the thrimUrththys are called as thrimUrthi uththIrNavAdhis. Since AzhwAr refers to these people as “enbar” (will say like this), he affirms that his philosophy is different from that of these two types of people. Taking these two examples here is representative of similar arguments which talk about the oneness of thrimUrthis.

AzhwAr further explains that these arguments are not proper. . . .

mudhalvA – Oh one who is the causative factor for all the worlds, including brahmA, rudhra et al!

nigar ilagu kAr uruvA – the words should be rearranged as kAr nigar ilagu uruvA to get the correct meaning – one who has a divine form which matches rain bearing cloud. AzhwAr hints that since emperumAn has bluish form which removes the ennui of those who see him and has the complexion of cloud which gives rain without expecting anything in return, only emperumAn is the supreme entity. Hasn’t thirumangai AzhwAr also established the supreme nature of emperumAn in his thirunedunthANdagam pAsuram 2Oruruvam ponnurugam onRu sendhI onRu mAkadal uruvam oththuninRa mUvuruvum kaNdapOdhu onRu AnjOdhi mugiluruvam emmadigaluruvandhAnE ” (one form has a golden hue (brahmA), one has reddish fire like hue (rudhra) and one has the hue of huge ocean; when the three forms are analysed together, the form of one with radiant, rain bearing cloud is that of my emperumAn)!.

AzhwAr clearly establishes next that it is emperumAn who is causative factor for the other two. . . .

ninagaththadhanRE pugar ilagu thAmaraiyin pU – Isn’t the lotus flower, which has the distinction of being the place of birth for brahmA, located in your divine navel? This clearly establishes that brahmA who was created on the lotus emanating from his divine navel  and rudhra who was created by that brahmA, cannot be emperumAn’s equal ; it is only emperumAn, being the leader of the other two, who is the reason for creation of the worlds; since there is no mention about a fourth entity, different from these three, who has created brahmA on a lotus, it is not possible for a fourth entity, different  from these three, who can be the cause for the creation of all the worlds. This also proves that brahmA, who was created on a lotus and rudhra, who was created by brahmA, cannot be equal to emperumAn who created brahmA in his divine navel, thus negating the thrimUrthyaikya vAdham (oneness of thrimUrthis). Has it not been shown in Sri vishNu purANam 1-2-66 that it is janArdhana (emperumAn) who remains as the indwelling soul of brahmA and rudhra and carries out the functions of creation and annihilation? “srushtisthithyanthakaraNIm brahmA vishNu SivAthmikAm I sa samgyAnAm yAthi bhagavAnEna Eva janArdhana: II” (it is janArdhana, that bhagavAn, who attains the names of brahmA, vishNu and Siva who carry out the functions of creation, sustenance and annihilation respectively). One could show the atharvaSika SlOkam 1-2-15 “brahmA vishNu rudhrEndhrAs thE sarvE samprasUyanthE” (brahmA, vishNu, rudhra, indhra are all born) and say that the thrimUrthis are born [in other words they are created]. But since this only reflects the famous vEdha vAkhyams (lines from sacred texts) it is clear that the births of brahmA and Siva are due to their karmas (past deeds) and birth of vishNu is due to his necessity to incarnate. parASara bhattar (son of kUraththAzhwAn) also showed the same meaning in SrI rangarAja sthavam 2-51 “vidhyE virinchagiriSam prathamAvathAra: thath sAmyatha: sthagayithum thava chEth  svarUpam I kim thE parathva piSunairiha rangadhAman sathva pravarthana krupAparipAlanAdhyai: II” (Oh SrI ranganAtha! If the purpose of your first incarnation is to hide your basic nature, between brahmA and rudhra, then what is the benefit for you by exhibiting your superior qualities of being the controller of sathva guNam (purely good qualities) and protecting (brahmA, rudhra et al) through your mercy?) It is pertinent to recall here the 116th SlOkam of SrI rangarAjasthavam pUrvaSathakam by parAsara bhattar “thrayO dhEvasthulyA: thrithayamidhamadhvaitham adhikam thrikAdhasmAth thathvam paramithi vitharkAn vikatayan I vibOrnAbhIpadhmO vidhiSiva nidhAnam bhagavatha: thadhanyath brUbhangIparavadhithi sidhdhAnthayathi n:II” (emperumAn’s divine navel which negates hypotheses such as (1) All the three mUrthis are equal; (2) All the three mUrthis are one; (3) there is another entity which is superior to the three mUrthis and which is the root for brahmA and Siva, establishes for us clearly that the entire world is under the control of emperumAn’s knitting of the eyebrows).

Let us move on to the 73rd pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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periya thiruvandhAdhi – 71 – ini ninRu nin perumai

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avathArikai

AzhwAr talks about the supreme nature of emperumAn since he, who is the mother and father for AzhwAr, is the causative factor for all the worlds, including brahmA, rudhra et al. Alternatively, we can say that this pAsuram talks about such simplicity of emperumAn that he gave place, in his divine form, for even brahmA, rudhra et al.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

ini ninRu nin perumai yAn uraippadhu ennE
thani ninRa sArvilA mUrththi pani nIr
agaththulavu senjadaiyAn ninnAgaththAn nAngu
mugaththAn ninnundhi mudhal

Word by Word Meanings

thani ninRa – standing as a unique, causative factor, during the time of mahApraLayam (great deluge)

sArvu ilA – not having anyone as a refuge for him

mUrththi – Oh my lord!

pani nIr agaththulavu – having the cool gangA (river Ganges) which is flowing inside

sem sadaiyAn – siva who has reddish matted hair

AgaththAn – resides in a corner of your divine form

nAngu mugaththAn – brahmA, who has four faces

nin undhi mudhal – has your divine navel as the cause for his existence

ini – when things are like these

yAn ninRu – I, taking efforts

nin perumai – your greatness

uraippadhu ennE – how to talk about?

vyAkyAnam 

ini ninRu nin perumAi yAn uraippadhu ennE – we can consider this to mean either “Is there any need for me to talk about your greatness?” or “Is there any need for me to talk about your simplicity?”

thani ninRa sArvilA mUrththi – Oh emperumAn! During the time of great deluge, you stood with all the resultant entities (which are created by causative entities) as part of yourself without any name or form, having integrated themselves into their causative entities; you did not have anyone in whom you could take refuge [unlike these resultant entities who took refuge in you, along with their causative entities, all of them without any name or any form]. The term sArvu refers to being related to something or leaning against something; thus in this context it refers to emperumAn being without anyone on whom he could lean against. Did not vEdha (sacred text) also glorify emperumAn, as mentioned in thaiththirIya upanishath nArAyaNavalli “pathim viSvasyAthmESvaram SASvatham Sivamachyutham” (being the lord of all the worlds, being ISvaran himself (one who controls everything), being intransient, being auspicious and being one who will never let down his followers), saying that he is the lord for all the worlds and that he does not have one who will control him! Alternatively the term sArvu would also mean “comparable” and hence sArvilA mUrththi could be said that emperumAn is incomparable. Just as krishNa says in mahAbhAratham AshramavASika parvam 118-37 “rudhram samASrithA dhEvA rudhrO brahmANamASritha: I brahmA mamASrithO rAjan nAham kinchidhupASritha: II” (Oh king! The celestial entities are taking refuge of rudhra; rudhra is taking (his father) brahmA’s refuge; brahmA has taken refuge under me; I have not taken refuge under anyone), since emperumAn is the head for all, there is none who could be said to be his equal.

AzhwAr further says that the two entities who are thought to be equal to emperumAn are under his control. . .

pani nIr agaththulavu senjadaiyAn – rudhra, who has reddish matted hair and has gangA inside that hair, is residing in a corner on your divine form, as mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 1-3-9valaththanan thirupruam eriththavan” (the one who burnt down the three towns has taken residence on your right side).

nAngu mugaththAn nin undhi mudhal – brahmA, who has four faces, has your divine navel as his root.

How can I talk about your greatness or your simplicity?

We will take up the 72nd pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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periya thiruvandhAdhi – 70 – adarpon mudiyAnai

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avathArikai

In the previous pAsuram, AzhwAr spoke about how he was able to defeat his sins. In this pAsuram, he says that once emperumAn became his mother and father, what can happen even if he were to suffer the effects of those sins.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

adar pon mudiyAnai Ayiram pErAnai
sudar koL sudar AzhiyAnai idar kadiyum
mAthA pithuvAga vaiththEn enadhuLLE
yAdhAgil yAdhE ini

Word by Word Meanings

adar pon mudiyAnai – having a divine crown which can destroy (enemies on merely sighting them)

Ayiram pErAnai – one who has thousands of divine names

sudar koL sudar AzhiyAnai – sarvESvara (lord of all) who has the divine chakra (disc) which has within it, all the objects which emit radiance

idar kadiyum – removing (my) hurdles

mAthA pithuvAga – as mother and father

enadhu uLLE vaiththEn – established in my mind

ini – from now onwards

yAdhu Agil yAdhu – what does it matter, whatever happens?

vyAkyAnam

adar pon mudiyAnai – one who has a divine crown, which is beautiful, which will destroy enemies the moment it sees them and which displays the fact that emperumAn is the emperor for all the worlds,

Ayiram pErAnai – having many divine names which reveal such beauty, greatness etc.

sudar koL sudar AzhiyAnai – sarvESvara who has divine disc which contains within it, all the objects which are radiant. Alternatively, the term sudar koL sudar Azhi could be taken to mean that the radiant divine disc is capable of defeating all the other radiant objects. Due to this distinction, it is implied here that the divine disc, apart from destroying enemies, is also an ornament to be worn for emperumAn.

idar kadiyum mAthA pithAvAga vaiththEn enadhuLLE – I retained inside my mind emperumAn as  mother and father who will remove all my hurdles. The parents whom we see in the world are those who will observe fasts and other rituals in order to beget offspring and will nurture the offspring, thus creating sorrows for him. In order to highlight that emperumAn removes those sorrows, AzhwAr qualifies emperumAn with the words idar kadiyum.

yAdhAgil yAdhE ini – what does it matter whether I suffer due to the sins or not? The implied meaning is that just as prahlAdha did not mind the hurdles put in his path by hiraNya kashyap, AzhwAr also will not mind if he were to suffer the effects of sins.

We will take up the 71st pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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