Category Archives: thiruviruththam

thiruviruththam – 38 – kadamAyinagaL

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avathArikai (Introduction)

When yOgis (those who are meditating) are in meditation for a very long time, they will turn their attention towards worldly matters for a short time, in order to engage more deeply in meditation once they resume it. In the same way, he too [nammAzhwAr] turned his attention towards worldly objects in order to enhance his experience with matters relating to emperumAn. However, since he has been showered with  knowledge and devotion without any illusion, even the worldly objects which he saw reminded him of emperumAn and tortured him further. It is as difficult to turn the AzhwArs away from the path of vEdhas, and towards worldly matters just as it is difficult to turn us away from worldly matters, and towards the path of vEdhas. Just as it is difficult to turn us away from materialistic pursuit and towards matters relating to bhagavAn, it is equally difficult to turn AzhwArs away from matters relating to bhagavAn and towards materialistic pursuits. embAr, the disciple of rAmAnujar, mercifully mentioned these two.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

kadamAyinagaL kazhiththuth than kAl vanmaiyAl palanAL
thadamAyina pukku nIr nilai ninRa thavam idhu kol
kudamAdiya maNNum viNNum kulunga ulagaLandha
nadamAdiya perumAn uruvoththana neelangaLE

Word-by-Word Meanings

neelangaL – blue Indian water lilies
immaNNum – this earth
viNNum – upper worlds
kulunga – to move in amazement
kudamAdi – dancing with pots (in krishNAvathAram)
ulagu – worlds
aLandha – measured (in thrivikrmAvathAram)
nadamAdiya – one who roamed
perumAn – sarvESvaran’s
uru – with divine form
oththana – are equivalent
idhu – the reason for this
kadamAyinagaL – three debts owed to celestial entities, forefathers and sages
kazhiththu – fulfilling them
than – one’s
kAlvanmaiyAl – strength of legs
palanAL – for a long time
thadamAyina – known as ponds
pukku – entering
nIr – in water
nilai ninRa – residing for a long time
thavangol – could be the penance

Simple Translation

In krishNAvatharam he danced with pots such that this earth and the upper worlds shook with amazement; in thrivikramAvathAram, he measured all the worlds. The blue lilies are having a complexion much similar to the sarvESvaran who roamed like this. The reason for this could be that they paid back their three types of debts, entered water bodies with the strength of their legs, stayed there for a very long time and carried out penance.

vyAkyAnam

kadamAyinagal kazhiththu –  just as it is mentioned in manusmrithi 6-35 “ruNAnithrINyabAkruthya” – after fulfilling the three debts owed. yajUshi kANdam says “brahmacharyENa rushibhya: yagyEna dhEvEbhya prajayApithrubhya” – through brhamacharyam (observing the tenets of being a bachelor), one pays back the debt owed to rishis (sages); through yAgams (rituals involving agni, fire) one pays back the celestial entities and through siring children, one pays back the forefathers. Similarly, the blue lilies pay back their debts through the distress caused to their bodies in hot season, at the hottest time. Here, the body, hot season and hot time are the debts owed.

than kAl vanmai …. – through their efforts (strength of their legs), through their penance, considering only their existence, even during cold times, whether it is water formed under the hoof of a cow or in large water bodies like ocean etc, they stay up to their neck and carry out penance. Did you get a similarity with the complexion of sarvESvaran due to the strength of that penance?

kudamAdi – dancing with pots in the courtyard such that everyone could steal his beauty [with their eyes], snipping the pride of cowherd folk.

immaNNum – instead of benefitting some people or people in a street, he danced such that all the world could enjoy,

kulunga – if rudhra (Sivan) dances, the world trembles in fear since he is the celestial entity for annihilation. But if sarvESvaran dances, the word forgets itself and rejoices.

ulagaLandhu nadamAdiya – when sarvESvaran incarnated as thrivikrama and measured the worlds, indhra accepted his lands which he had lost to mahAbali; mahAbali felt happy that he had magnanimously donated the lands [which were not his in the first place]; sarvESvaran felt that he had carried out the act of retrieval as a benefit for himself.

uruvoththana neelangaLE – was it through paying back the debts, entering water bodies through the strength of your legs and carrying out penance over long periods that you attained equality with emperumAn in all aspects of his divine form?

The vyAkyAthA says that the knowledge that AzhwAr had was such that even if he wanted to look at worldly objects due to separation from emperumAn, even those objects remind him of emperumAn only.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 37 – kodungAl silaiyar

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avathArikai (Introduction)

The nAyaki who was distressed after being separated from her nAyakan, could not wait till he returned and left on her own [in search of him]. She went through a cruel forest which had animals and people, capable of harming, sounds which caused fear in one, and paths which were dangerous. Her mother found out that her daughter was not in her bed and gets bewildered thinking “Alas! She has gone through a dangerous path. What is she doing?” In the case of the daughter in thirukkOLUr (thiruvAimozhi 6-7) decad, the mother knew as to where her daughter had gone. But in the case of this mother, she did not know as to where her daughter had gone and feels distressed.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

kodungAl silaiyar niRaikOL uzhavar kolaiyil veyya
kadungAl iLaigyar thudipadum kavvaiththu aruvinaiyEn
nedungAlamum kaNNan nINmalarppAdham paravippeRRa
thodungAl osiyumidai iLamAn senRa sUzh kadamE

Word-by-Word Meanings

aruvinaiyEn – I, having cruel sins
nedungAlamum – for a long time
kaNNan – krishNa’s
nIL – being long
malar – like a flower
pAdham – divine feet
paravi­ – after praying
peRRa – got as a daughter
thodungAl – merely on touching
osiyum – quivering
idai – having a waist
iLamAn – this girl who is like a youthful deer
senRa – the place that she went to
sUzh – surrounded (by heat)
kadam – the path
kodum – curved
kAl – having leg
silaiyar – having bow
nirai – cows
kOL – those who steal
uzhavar – farmers
kolaiyil – in harming
veyya – being cruel
kadungAl – having legs which will move fast
iLaigyar – youthful hunters
thudi –  small drum (tambourine)
padum – created from
kavvaiththu – had a sound

Simple Translation

I, who am having cruel sins, prayed to the long, lotus-like divine feet of krishNa and got this daughter. She has a waist which will quiver by merely being touched and she jumps around like a youthful deer. This girl has, however, left me. The place that she went to is a cruel forest – which has people having curved bows, who steal cows as their profession, young people who kill others and who have legs which will carry them fast and from whose drums (tambourines) a sound is created.

vyAkyAnam

kodum kAl silaiyar – just as it has been mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam bAla kANdam 6-21 “yOdhAnAm agni kalpAnAm pESAlAnAm mAhEshuNAm” which describes those who are guarding the city of ayOdhyA (firebrand like skilful warriors), these people always carry their curved bows. The term kodum kAl silaiyar has two interpretations – it could refer to those who have bows with curved legs or it could refer to those who carry bows and who have cruel legs. In the former case, it would mean that they are constantly ready with drawn bow in order to harm others. For the bow, cruelty refers to its nature of sending another entity (arrow) to cause harm and does not go by itself to harm someone.

silaiyar – they keep carrying their bows, whether it is during the time of taking food or when they are in privacy with their wives. The nAyaki is one who has known sarvESvaran who, just as it is mentioned in periya thiruvandhAdhi 86 “kai kazhalA nEmiyAn” always has the divine disc on his hand. This is his authenticity. Since she has moved with him, she is not afraid of anything. That divine disc is one which sustains everyone while this (the bow carried by these people in the cruel forest) is a harmful entity. Just as it is said in SrI rAmAyaNam adyOdhyA kANdam 60-20 “nAhArayathi santhrAsam bAhU rAmasya samSrithA” (sIthAppirAtti does not fear the wild animals in the forest since she is protected by the broad shoulders of SrI rAma), those who are under the protection of his divine disc and divine shoulders need not fear anything. However, that is not the case here.

nirai kOL uzhavar – for these people, stealing cows is a profession. However she is someone who has known sarvESvaran for whom, as it is said in SrI vishNu purANam “gO brAhmaNa hithAyacha” – protecting cows and brAhmaNas is normal.

kolaiyil veyya – these people exhibit anger when killing others. They kill just to see how their victims tremble when being killed. Alternatively they will torture their victims, ask them to work for them till they die. periya thirumozhi 11-8-6 says “idaiyan eRindha maram” (the tree cut down by the shepherds for their sheep would be fresh at one place and dry at another). These people will harm their victims similarly, by making them half dead and half alive, with pain. In the case of sarvESvaran, though he also aims his arrows at his victims, it is only to carry out a beneficial act for them, just as it is said in SrI rAmAyaNam kishkindhA kANdam 24-24 “sanjAtha bhAshpa paravIra hanthA rAmO muhUrtham vimanA babhUva” ((on hearing sugrIva’s words) SrI rAma had moist eyes and was for a moment perturbed), after he killed vAli.

kadungAl iLaigyar – if they were to harm someone, they will run a hundred miles and return a hundred miles, running. Such is the strength and speed of their legs. One would be fearful of them on just seeing them; there is no need for them to act. Through AyurvEdha medicines, they will keep themselves youthful, always.

thudipadum kavvaiththu – having the sound of drums (similar to tambourine). If she (nAyaki) goes to such a place, only her physical form will get destroyed. But if she stays in her place, her AthmA will get destroyed through the words of her mother.

aruvinaiyEn – it is not that he is not keen on coming to her; it is also not that she doesn’t have the desire to be united with him. They are not uniting with each other only because of my cruel sins [says the nAyaki’s mother]. This is similar to the SrI rAmAyaNa SlOkam “math pApamEva athra nimiththam AsIth” – it is only due to my sin.

nedungAlam . . . . – I had worshipped krishNa who would not tolerate any delay in surrendering to him [vyAkyAthA says that the word sakruth in SrI rAma charaka SlOkam (ultimate hymn) sakrudhEva prapannAya is to be considered as immediately; krishNa doesn’t want even this delay]. Just as dhEvaki had carried out lot of penance to give birth to krishNa, I had done lot of penance to beget her. However, not realising about herself or about my penance to beget her, she has gone. SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 66-3 speaks of the penance carried out by dhaSaratha to beget SrI rAma “mahathA thapasA rAma mahathA cha api karmaNa” (Oh rAma, you were born because of the great penance and great acts carried out by dhaSaratha).

nINmalarppAdham – his divine feet are such that they will go towards the place where his followers are present. They are so easily approachable. Those divine feet considered attaining his followers as their [the divine feet’s] benefit.

malar – soft; beautiful.

paravippeRRa – obtained after offering prayers of various types. It is similar to attaining a treasure after lot of efforts.

thodungAL osiyum idai – her waist was such that it would snap if touched. The nAyakan enjoyed that waist merely by looking at it and not by touching it after realising its greatness. thiruvAimozhi 6-7-8 “osindha nuNNidai mEl kaiyai vaiththu nondhu nondhu” (keeping the hand on the already quivering slender waist (out of tiredness) and hurting it more and more). Her waist was such that one would doubt its existence. By looking at the form above and below the waist, one could surmise that waist should be there in between. If one were to keep the hand as a support for that waist, the hand would like a mountain in comparison with the wait; it was that slender.

iLamAn senRa – she could not tolerate any of the difficulties which lay in that path

sUzh kadam – the forest which had pervaded in a cruel way.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 36 – thuzhA nedum

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avathArikai (Introduction)

It is the basic nature of both the daughter of King janaka (sIthAppirAtti) and nammAzhwAr to consider that all the benefits which they get are due to emperumAn’s mercy and all the sorrows which they experience are due to their misfortune. When his existence cannot take place without emperumAn’s presence, AzhwAr doubts emperumAn’s ability to protect him, considering his lowly situation. Just as it is said in SrI rAmAyaqNam yudhdha kANdam 26-24 “EshaivASam sathE lankAm svEnAnIkEna mardhithum” (the army which went under the leadership of naLa hastened (to destroy lankA) in which each monkey cried out “Only I will destroy” and went further) wind and night time competed with each other to destroy her (nAyaki, AzhwAr in feminine mood).

Let us go throu0gh the pAsuram and its meanings:

thuzhA nedum sUzh iruL enRu than thaN thAr adhu peyarA
ezhA nedu Uzhi ezhundha ikkAlaththum Ingu ivaLO
vazhA nedum thunbaththaL enRu irangAr ammanO ilangaik
kuzhA nedu mAdam idiththa pirAnAr kodumaigaLE

Word-by-Word Meanings

than – belonging to self
thaN – cool
thAr adhu – desire towards the divine thuLasi
peyarA – as the reason
thuzhA – touching gently
nedum – completely
sUzh – pervading
iruL enRu – called as darkness
ezhA – without enervation
nedu – unending
Uzhi – kalpam (a day of brahmA)
ezhundha – started
ikkAlaththum – during this time too
Ingu – here
ivaL – this nAyaki
vazhA – without missing
nedum thunbaththaL enReNNi – thinking that she is suffering from great sorrow
irangAr – he is not showing mercy
ilangai – in lankA
kuzhAm – gathered in abundance
nedu mAdam – huge mansions
idiththa – one who destroyed
pirAnAr – the benefactor
kodumaigaL – cruel acts
(were like this)
ammanO – how terrible

Simple Translation

Night time came, like an unending kalpa kAlam (the day of brahmA running into several millions of years) with such darkness and pervading everywhere, that one has to know objects only by feeling them and not by seeing them. She is unable to tolerate the distress of separation, thinking of emperumAn’s divine thuLasi garland while he remains unaware of her sorrows and is not showing mercy on her. How cruel is the quality of the benefactor who destroyed all the huge mansions in lankA!

vyAkyAnam

thuzhA nedum sUzh iruL enRu – the term thuzhA could mean both destruction and touching [objects] to feel; holding tightly on to an object which has been just found so that it does not slip out of one’s hands.

sUzh iruL – darkness has pervaded everywhere, surrounding all places in such a way that no one can find a safe place to rest. While night time comprises 30 nAzhigai (one nAzhigai is 24 minutes; thus night time is 12 hours), AzhwAr calls it as nedum (very long; unending) because for those in separation, it is called as dhIrkka yAmA thriyAmA (long period, composed of three yAmams, with each yAmam being about 3 hours duration).

iruL enRu – the night time behaved like rAvaNa who came in the form of a pious sage and once he knew that sIthAppirAtti was alone, changed his form to that of a demon; night time too set in like a normal event but started extending for a very long time.

than thaN thAr adhu peyarA – making use of the opportunity when the nAyaki desired the cool, divine thuLasi garland on  his divine shoulder.

ezhA nedu Uzhi – the time of kalpam which is unending. Even that kalpam will have an end but this [night time] is unending. Just like people from the malayALa dhESam will not leave a place until they complete the job for which they came, this night also seems to stay until it destroyed her.

ezhundha – appeared. Normally the term Uzhi would refer to kalpam only. Using nigaNdu (lexicon), the vyAkyAthA says samvardha: praLaya: kalpa: to show that these terms have the same meaning. Thus, the night time extended like a praLayam (deluge). SrI rangarAja sthavam 2-41 says “dhayamAnamanA:” – Oh ranganAthA! During the time of praLaya your divine mind took pity, looking at the condition of the sentient and insentient entities (which were lying without name and form). If sarvESvaran shows mercy, there will be an end to praLayam too. However, since he is not showing his mercy, this night time, referred to as praLayam is extending further.

ikkAlaththum – just as it is mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 28-18 “sIthAthavEnyudhgratham gruhIthvA”(sIthAppirAtti says I am going to end myself by hanging from the braid of my locks as a rope), she too is in a similar distressed condition.

IngivaLO – is her condition similar to that of the samsAris (those who are in the materialistic realm) and their position in samsAram? They had lost their forms and senses during praLayam. Here her existence is in question. There, it is related to primordial matter; here it is related to the AthmA. There it is praLayam due to water; here it is praLayam due to darkness. There, the water, which is visible, is destroying the form [of sentient entities], which is visible; here it is the invisible darkness which is trying to destroy the invisible AthmA. There, they did not realise the danger that they were in, only emperumAn was aware of their condition; here, she fully knows the danger that she is in and she has the desire too for his protection.

vazhA nedum thunbaththaL enRu irangAr – he is not taking pity on her condition where she is in deep sorrow which will not go away. Just as it is mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 15-39 “dhukkEna bubudhE sIthAm” ((hanumAn) recognised sIthAppirAtti who was in deep sorrow); hanumAn could recognise sIthAppirAtti from her sorrowful mood. sarvESvaran did not recognise the nAyaki’s sorrow. karma (deeds from previously encountered sins and virtues) would keep whittling down as it is experienced. But her sorrow is such that it will keep increasing as it is experienced. Since this sorrow is coming on the basis of bhagavath ruchi (engagement with sarvESvaran), it is not possible to alter it and it is not possible to make it to be without distinction. For one [sarvESvaran] who is the opposite of all faults, is it not expected of him to remove the faults of those who are engaged with him and shower mercy on them? If affection [from her] is not needed, should her AthmasvarUpam (true nature of AthmA) too not be required? If he is steadfast in his stand that he will protect only during times of danger, is her anguished state of being separated from him, false?  Is she devoted to someone else for you not to show mercy on her? If it is a fault for us to move away from you, it is also a fault for you not to come towards us [to protect us].  If you come to us, our total dependence on you will be sustained and if you do not come to us, your state of being our lord will be harmed. Is it not the duty of the servants to create eminence for the lord? Creating eminence for one who is complete in all aspects [such as sarvESvaran] is not to protect oneself under any situation. This has been demonstrated in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 31-22 when lakshmaNa tells SrI rAma “vaidharmyam nEha vidhyathE” (Make me your servant; there is nothing unrighteous in this. Besides I will be accomplishing my objective of being your servant). Due to the backing of SrI rAma’s powerful shoulders, just as one inserts one’s hand into the mouth of a poisonous snake, sIthAppirAtti, while being in aSOka vanam, told rAvaNa as in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 22-16 “thvam nIcha: SaSavath smrutha:” (you, a lowly person, are said to be like a hare). For such a pirAtti, the situation now is that she doubts his ability to protect her. The reason for this is because of her doubt on her own nature, similar to the condition in which sIthAppirAtti said as in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 38-48 “mamaiva dhushkrutham kinchith…” (it is because of the faults in me that the two brothers, SrI rAma and lakshmaNa are neglecting me). If this is the case, why did she say that sarvESvaran is not showering mercy on her? The vyAkyAtha explains this by saying that she has knowledge about his quality of showering mercy but not on her nature. In other words, she has not understood his anguish. His condition has been described in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 36-42  “naivadhamSAn namaSAkAn” (he does not even drive away the insects and flies crawling on his body). This is because of the reason mentioned in the same SlOkam 36-42 “thvathgathEnAntharAthmanA” (his mind is fully engrossed in you), as told by hanuman to sIthAppirAtti. His mind is agitated like the agitation one sees in an ocean and not the agitation that takes place in the puddle of water under the hoof of a cow [in other words, his distress is real and deep]. While her condition was just as it was described in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 66-25 “Urdhvam mAsAnam najIvishyE” (I will not live for more than one month) his condition was described in sundhara kANdam 66-10 “na jIvEyam kshaNamapi” (I cannot live for a moment more). Both spoke about killing themselves because of the desire that each knew of the other. The vyAkyAthA quotes a few references to prove that one cannot survive without the other, as in nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi 7 “inRAga nALaiyEyAga inichchiRidhu ninRAlum ninnaruL en pAladhE nanRAga nAn unnai anRi ilEn kaNdAy nAraNanE nI ennai anRi ilai” (either today or tomorrow or even after a longer time than that, your grace will certain fall on me since for me, your servant, there is no existence other than through you and for you there is no one to be protected other than me). There is no nArAyaNan without nAram (sentient entities). nArAyaNan refers both to the nature [being the lord etc] and the qualities [being with motherly forbearance, simplicity etc]. One cannot speak of a complete person if there were no incomplete (or faulty) persons; there can be no lord without servants.

irangAr – if he does not come, the quantum of sandalwood paste applied and its quantum which dries up and withers due to waiting for  his arrival, appear to be doubling.

ammanO – she says this word with the fear that she would have had if she had sighted a tiger or a snake. He is the entity who looks at everyone as “suhrudham sarvabhUthAnAm” (I am friendly towards all creatures), and she is scared of such an entity. thaiththirIya upanishath Anandhavalli says “Anandham brahmaNO vidhvAn na bibhEthi kuthaSchana” (one who knows the extent of the happiness of brahmam (supreme being) does not fear anything). One who has known brahmam’s Anandham need not fear the sins that he has committed knowingly. Her situation is such that despite knowing about brahmam, she has to be scared. The final syllable O refers to the cruelty of her sorrow.

ilangai . . . pirAnAr kodumaigaLE – while interpreting this, embAr [cousin of rAmAnujar as well as the one who succeeded him in the AchArya guruparamparai] would say “What happened to the one who destroyed the huge mansions of lankA for the sake of one lady, by bridging the ocean and shooting arrows which carried the names of SrI rAma and lakshmaNa, and the one who destroyed the gardens such that all the coconut trees lost all their leaves and looked like tonsured heads?” thirumalai nambi [maternal uncle of rAmAnujar as well as one of his AchAryas] would interpret this as “He destroyed lankA out of jealousy since it appeared more beautiful than ayOdhyA and it was not due to a lady”.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 35 – pAlvAyp piRaippiLLai

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avathArikai (Introduction)

The nAyaki’s mother gets worried on seeing the onset of evening, which is far worse than all the other sorrowful situations that the nAyaki has been in so far and wonders “How will this end for her?” All those things which the nAyaki enjoyed when she was together with the nAyakan, turned hostile for her now. All along the mother was distressed by the sorrows of her daughter. Now she feels sorry also for the lady who is in the western direction [this is a simile for dusk time which brings with it, its own trails of sadness]. This is similar to the situation of the pirAtti who felt sorry for various naturally occurring events in thiruvAimozhi 2-1 padhigam “vAyum thiraiyugaLum”. Everything that one looks at, becomes inimical.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

pAlvAyp piRaippiLLai okkalaikkoNdu pagal izhandha
mEl pAl dhisaippeN pulambuRum mAlai ulagaLandha
mAl pAl thuzhAykku manam udaiyArkku nalgiRRai ellAm
sOlvAn pugundhu idhu Or panivAdai thuzhAginRadhE

Word-by-Word Meanings

pAlvAy – having milk in its mouth
piRai – crescent of moon
piLLai – child
okkalai – on the hip
koNdu – carrying
pagal –  day time, the master
izhandha – one who lost
mEl pAl – being on the western side
dhisai – as the direction
peN – who could be considered as a lady
pulambuRum – crying
mAlai – evening time
ulagu – worlds
aLandha – one who occupied
mAl pAl – with sarvESvaran
thuzhAykku – fond of thuLasi
manamudaiyArkku – those who have their minds [on such thuLasi]
nalgiRRaiyellAm – all those (including existence) which were given
sOlvAn – to steal
pugundhu – entering
idhu – this
Or – unique
pani – cold
vAdai – northerly wind
thuzhAginRadhu – gently hugging

Simple Translation

The western direction is like a lady who has lost daytime, her husband, and was crying. She had on her waist, the moon who is like a child which had milk in its mouth. At this time, the cold northerly wind gently hugged people who were waiting to get the divine garland of thuLasi from sarvESvaran, who had seized all the worlds, with the intention of stealing from those people, whatever had been given by sarvESvaran.

vyAkyAnam

pAlvAyp pirAppiLLai – The lady called as western direction, stood with the crescent moon on her waist, crying for having lost her husband, the daytime or sUriyan. She appears like one who has lost her husband recently, crying out for him, carrying her infant who cannot even suckle properly.

pAlvAy – the child will wither if she removes her bosom from its mouth.

pagal izhandha – this signifies the importance of the husband who has been lost (daytime or sUriyan). It is similar to losing someone such as manu or mAndhAthA (these are great kings of the ikshvAku dynasty). When someone gets something of importance, it is said as “pagaRkandEn” just like it is said in iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi pAsuram 81 “pagaRkaNdEn nAraNanaik kaNdEn” (I saw SrIman nArAyaNa who is like sun who never sets). Thus losing that pagal is very sorrowful.

mEl pAl dhisaippeN – this gives the importance of the nAyaki. When directions are explained, greatness is given to the western direction. The roar from the ocean on the western side is taken as the crying out of the lady in the western direction.

ulagaLandha . . . .  – her mind is fully focussed on the divine thuLasi garland which sarvESvaran dons.

mAlai nalgiRRaiyellAm – all those which were given by the evening time ; vyAkyAthA calls this as giving existence and santhAnasApam – in olden times, when kings waged war and won an enemy country, the king of that country would request the conqueror to leave at the least one son to continue the clan. Similarly, the evening time left her complexion behind for her.

mAlai – sOlvAn . . . . –  the northerly wind tries to steal the existence, complexion etc left behind by evening.  Similar to torturing those who torture others, the wind tries to steal existence.

panivAdai – northerly wind which is poisoned. Since it belongs to the clan of prANan (vital air in the body; existence), it knows where the vital air is and it tries to steal it. When queried as to what it was doing, it would say “Are we destroying the world? We are only trying to take our relative with us” and tried to destroy her.

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning): Looking at the condition of AzhwAr for whom even favourable entities appear to be inimical because of separation from emperumAn, the SrIvaishNavas are fearing as to what will happen to his existence.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 34 – sidhaikkinRadhu Azhi

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avathArikai (Introduction)

The nAyaki is unable to tolerate until the nAyakan arrives. Hence she engages with kUdal to find out whether he would come or not [kUdal is drawing a large circle on sand, either at the river or at the ocean, and drawing many smaller circles inside the large circle. If the count of the small circles is even, it would indicate that the nAyakan would return and if it is odd, it would indicate that he would not]. Since this also did not yield the desired result, she gets angry with kUdal, as much as the anger that she would have felt had the nAyakan, who had separated from her, returned.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

sidhaikkinRadhu AzhiyenRu Azhiyaich chIRi than sIradiyAl
udhaikkinRa nAyagam thannodum mAlE unadhu thaN thAr
thadhaikkinRa thaNNam thuzhAy aNivAn adhuvE manamAyp
padhaikkinRa mAdhin thiRaththu aRiyEn seyaRpAl adhuvE

Word-by-Word Meanings

mAlE – Oh swAmy (lord)!
Azhi – ocean
Azhiyai – kUdal (drawing of circles on sand)
sidhaikkinRadhu – destroying
enRu – saying so
sIRi – becoming angry
than – her
sIr – beautiful
adiyAl – with foot
Azhiyai – ocean
udahikkinRa – kicking
nAyagam thannodu – with pride
thaN – cool
thAr – with flower
thadhaikkinRa – being complete
thaN – cool
am – beautiful
unadhu – your
thuzhAy – garland of divine thuLasi
aNivAn – to don
adhuvE – in that
manamAy – keeping her mind
padhaikkinRa – having urge
mAdhin thiRaththu – in the matter of the girl
seyaRpAladhu­ – what you intend doing
aRiyEn – I do not know

Simple Translation

Oh my lord! She (my daughter) is kicking the ocean with her beautiful feet since the waves of the ocean are destroying the circles that she has drawn. She has a great urge to don the cool, beautiful garland of thuLasi which you are wearing. What do you intend doing in her matter? I do not know.

vyAkyAnam

sidhaikkinRa – three different interpretations are given here: the opinion of those who were prior to parASara bhattar, the opinion of parASara bhattar and the opinion of nampiLLai. In the first two interpretations, the term Azhi (in both the verses sidhaikkinRadhu Azhi and Azhiyaich chIRi) refers to kUdal. In the first opinion, the interpretation is – she started carrying out kUdal. Since it did not reflect her desire, out of anger, she kicked it. bhattar’s interpretation is – kUdal did not hint her desire that he would come and unite with her. Instead, it hinted that he will not come. Becoming angry, she destroyed it. In nampiLLai’s interpretation, the first Azhi refers to kUdal and the second Azhi refers to ocean. Thus, when she drew the circles on the shore, the waves of the ocean destroyed them. Becoming angry with the ocean, she kicked the waves. Is there any precedence for a person becoming angry with ocean? The vyAkyAtha (commentator) periyavAchchAn piLLai cites the case of SrI rAma in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 21-22 “chApamAnaya” (bring the bow) when he threatened to dry up the ocean with his bow and arrows when the samudhrarAjan (King of oceans) did not respond to his surrendering to him to give way for his army to cross it and reach lankA. The second reference is also from yudhdha kANdam 21-13 “rAmO rakthAntha lOchana” (SrI rAma had eyes which were blood red in colour due to his anger) again, in the same context.

sIradi ….nAyaki kicks with her eminent divine feet. While the nAyakan was desiring this, instead of happening to him, this was happening to someone else. He did not have his desire of uniting with her fulfilled; he did not get his desire of being touched by her [even if it is with her divine feet] fulfilled! She is kicking the ocean with her feet which are rare indeed to attain! Had he known this, he wouldn’t have hidden himself inside a pillar [as in narasimhAvathAram] but would have hidden himself within these sand grains so that he would have been touched by her feet. Perhaps, he pervaded every droplet of water in the ocean in anticipation of this only. As mentioned in the verse “thvath pAdha pankaja parigraha dhanya janmA bhUyAsam” it is a great honour to be touched by her lotus like feet. parASara bhattar, in his SrI rangarAja sthavam 1-9 says “lakshmIpathi lAkshaika lakshaNam” (the identity of her divine feet smeared with vermillion paste can be seen on the chest of emperumAn), indicating that he relishes being touched by her divine feet.

than sIradiyAl udhaikkinRa nAyagam – she is kicking without considering the soft nature [of emperumAn]. nAyagam refers to greatness, eminence, pride etc. Her greatness is such that she is not considering his greatness which is sought after by everyone.

mAlE – oh one who is bewildered after making her get bewildered!

unadhu thaN thAr … – she desires to don the garland of divine thuLasi which appears to be fresher when in contact with your divine form than when it is in its plant. Her condition is similar to the one mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 2-4-9 “pattapOdhu ezhupOdhu aRiyAL virai mattalar thaN thuzhAy ennum” (she who does not know as to when the sun rises or sets, keeps repeating the word ‘thuLasi’ which is filled with fragrance and honey). The moment she hears the word thuLasi, she starts craving it. Her condition is similar to lakshmaNa when he says as in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 96-23 “pAdhasyavathE dhOsham nAham paSyAmi” (I do not see any fault in killing this bharatha) and in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 17-29 “vadhyathAm” (vibhIshaNa, who has come seeking refuge under SrI rAma) should be killed). Though bharatha and vibhIshaNa had come to SrI rAma with good intentions, due to excessive devotion towards SrI rAma, lakshmaNa became furious. In the same way, the nAyaki kicks at the ocean thinking that it is coming to harm her.

aRiyEn seyaRpAl adhuvE – I do not know as to what you intend doing with her. Attaining him in course of time and her craving are not the means, since he is the end goal.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 33 – aruLAr

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Clouds gathered on all sides. Looking at this, the nAyaki was bewildered and dazed. The nAyaki’s mother looks at her and thinks that he [sarvESvaran] is the one who controls everything just as it has been said in thaiththirIya upanishath “bhIshAsmAth vAtha:pavathE bhIshOdhEthi sUrya:” (out of fear for sarvESvaran wind blows, sun rises). Isn’t it his order which enables every entity to work in clockwork precision here, without having any freedom to carry out what each entity desires? When such is the case, she wonders whether protecting her daughter is a difficult task for him and calls out to him.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

aruLAr thiruchchakaraththAl agal visumbum nilanum
iruLAr vinai kedachchengOl nadAvudhir IngOr peNpAl
poruLO ennum igazhvO ivaRRin puRaththAL enReNNO
theruLOm aravaNaiyIr ivaL mAmai sidhaikkinRadhE

Word-by-Word Meanings

aruL – mercy
Ar – to the brim
thiruchchakaraththAl – with the divine chakkaram (chakram – disc)
agal – expansive
visumbum – sky
nilanum – and the earth
iruLAr – full of darkness (made of ignorance)
vinai – sins
keda – to be annihilated
sengOl – order
nadAvudhir – you are employing
aravu – AdhiSEshan
aNaiyIr – Oh the lord who has him as your mattress!
ivaL mAmai – her complexion
sidhaikkinRadhu – is being destroyed
Ingu – in this leelAvibhUthi (materialistic realm)
Or – one
peNpAl – matter relating to a girl
(protection)
poruLO – is it the end goal?
enum – saying so
igazhvO – – is it contemptuousness?
ivaRRin – all these entities to be protected
puRaththAL – outside these
enRu – saying so
eNNO – is it your divine opinion?
theruLOm – we do not know

Simple Translation

Oh the one who has AdhiSEshan as your mattress! You are ruling both the expansive sky and this earth such that sins which are caused by ignorance run away, through your divine disc. In such a condition, the beautiful complexion of this nAyaki is continuously fading. What is the reason for this? Is it because you feel contemptuously that a girl is also an entity in these realms or is it because you think that she is outside the area of your kingdom? We do not know this.

vyAkyAnam

aruLAr thiruchchakaraththAlchakkaraththAzhwAn (divine disc) is filled to the brim with mercy. Even if sarvESvaran himself stops showering mercy, chakkaraththAzhwAn will be full of mercy. periya pirAtti is mercy personified. Even if such pirAtti does not show mercy, chakkraththAzhwAn’s mercy will not change. The opinion here is that if someone thinks of him, he will immediately rush to help that person; he has such independence. vyAkyAthA (commentator for the prabandham) periyavAchchAn piLLai calls this as madu arugil URRUppOlE (he is like a spring near a pond, continuously supplying water to the pond so that it never dries up). He cites the narration of chakravarthi ambarIsha (in the clan of ikshvAku). ambarIsha would observe total fasting on EkAdhaSi days [eleventh day after full or new moon] and on the next day, dhvAdhaSi, he would observe pAraNam (breaking the fast before a particular time). Once sage dhurvAsa wanted to test ambarIsha. Hence, on the day of dhvAdhaSi, he came to ambarIsha’s palace and told him that he would come to have pAraNam with the chakravarthi and went for having a bath. Despite passage of time, he did not come [deliberately]. ambarIsha was getting anxious since there was very little time left for breaking the fast and if he did not have anything, he would not get the benefit of observing fast on the day of EkAdhaSi. dhurvAsa would get very angry and curse him if he did not wait for the sage before taking any food item. Hence, as a compromise, he took a sip of holy water alone and waited for the sage to join him. Once dhurvAsa returned, he realised what had happened. With raging fury [at having been slighted by ambarIsha in not waiting for him], he wanted to curse the chakravarthi. ambarIsha realised what the sage was going to do. He thought of chakkraththAzhwAn to save him. That same moment, chakkaraththAzhwAn appeared there and started chasing sage dhurvAsa. The sage started running, seeing the divine disc. He sought refuge from all the deities such as brahmA, rudhra, indhra et al. None was willing to help him. He went to sarvESvaran himself who told him that he is under the control of his devotees and told him to take refuge under ambarIsha himself. He did that and was saved from the divine disc on ambarIsha’s request. If the divine disc looks at someone as his enemy, there is no refuge for that person other than sarvESvaran himself.

aruLAr – mercy is a demonstration of the protection offered to someone who has taken refuge. Instead of saying that it is the act of preventing someone from carrying inimical acts, why is it explained this way? This is because both are acts of benefit.

thiruchchakraththAl – SrIman nArAyaNan is referred to as sarvESvaran because he holds the divine disc on his right hand. The importance of chakkaraththAzhwAn to emperumAn is as much as that of periya pirAtti to emperumAn. This is the reason that he is referred to as thiruchchakkaram (divine disc) instead of chakkaram (disc) by prefixing the word thiru which indicates aiSvaryam (wealth, of service).

agal visumbu …. – sarvESvaran removes the sins which are caused by ignorance with the help of the divine disc who removes all the sins; thus sarvESvaran rules with the radiance of the divine disc as his sceptre.

agal visumbu – purusha sUktham says thripAdhasyAmrutham dhivi – paramapadham is three times the size of leelA vibhUthi (materialistic realm). How can ignorance be felt in paramapadham? It is the fear of those who experience and enjoy the presence of sarvESvaran there as to what will happen if there is a hurdle to that continuous dharSan (seeing him). sarvESvaran protects those who are in paramapadham by displaying his divine hand and the divine disc held in that divine hand. In leelA vibhUthi he protects his followers by cutting their enemies into two with his divine disc. The former is called as prAgabhAvam – lack of prior existence (enemies do not exist) and the latter is called as pradhvamsAbhAvam – (enemies) ceasing to exist after initial existence.

ingOr penpAl … – are you thinking that you can help her without any urgency since she is helpless and has no refuge? Or do  you think that she is outside the two realms (leelA and nithya vibhUthis)? Do you think that you do not have the capacity to protect her? Do you think that you do not know anything about her? Are you trying to abandon her because you do not have the strength? If you think that she is outside the two realms, you become ignorant and if you think that you cannot protect her, you become weak [both of which are against sarvESvaran’s qualities of being omniscient and omnipotent]. mahAbhAratham udhyOga parvam 70-43 says “sAham kESa graham prApthA thvayI jIvithya prabhO” (dhraupadhi appeals to lord krishNa as she is dragged by her hair to the court by dhushASan that despite krishNa being alive, she, who had taken refuge under him, is being dragged by her hair). The opinion expressed by the nAyaki’s mother here is that despite his being the lord, there is no connection between that quality and the nAyaki’s suffering though she has taken refuge under him.

theruLOm – we do not know why this has come to such a pass.

aravaNaiyIr – you do not deny your divine form to those who desire you. When the nAyaki is lying on the floor, do you need to recline on the bed of AdhiSEshan? If you are lying alone on the bed, could you enjoy anything?

ivaL mAmai – her complexion is very difficult to get. Are you thinking that since you are the creator of everything, you could create her again, should she perish? Your quality of suhrudham sarvabhUthAnAm – friendly towards all – seems to be failing in her case. If a child falls into a well, the blame will fall on the mother. The world will say that she had pushed the child into the well. In the same way, the world will blame you for destroying her. When looking at her position and his status, there is no shortcoming for her attaining him. However, considering the delay in his coming to her rescue, the mother feels sad, fearing as to what will happen.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 32 – mEgangaLO uraiyIr

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avathArikai (Introduction)

In the previous pAsuram the nAyaki had told the clouds “Oh clouds! You are not carrying my message to him when I ask you to; you are not keeping your feet on my head when I ask you to”. Since they did not listen to her, she tells them “Even if you are not doing these, please come down here and say a few words”. Imagining that on hearing her words, the clouds said “We cannot do that; our gathering is very large; if we do not proceed now, we will get into difficulties” she tells them “You do not have to come down here; tell me a few comforting words from wherever you are”

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

mEgangaLO uraiyIr thirumAl thirumEni okkum
yOgangaL ungaLukku evvARu peRRIr  uyiraLippAn
mAgangaL ellAm thirindhu nannIrgaL sumandhu nundham
AgangaL nOva varuththum thavamAmaruL peRRadhE

Word-by-Word Meanings

O mEgangaL – Oh clouds!
thirumAl – the consort of SrI mahAlakshmi
thirumEni – with his divine form
ungaLukku – for you
okkum – to attain equality
(reason for that)
yOgangaL – the means
evvARu – with which means
peRRIr – did you attain?
uraiyIr – inform
aruL peRRadhu – getting (sarvESvaran’s) mercy
uyir – all living creatures
aLippAn – to protect
mAgangaL ellAm – throughout the sky
thirindhu – roaming
nal neergaL – good water
sumandhu – bearing them
num tham – your
AgangaL – forms
nOva – to be painful
varuththum – troubling
thavamAm – would be due to penance

Simple Translation

Oh clouds! Through which means did you get the complexion equalling the divine form of sarvESvaran who is the consort of SrI mahAlakshmi? You are roaming here and there, putting your forms to difficulties, carrying the pure water which is essential and which sustains the life of all the creatures. As a result of this penance, which is tormenting your forms, you have received the grace of sarvESvaran to equal the complexion of his divine form.

vyAkyAnam

mEgangaLO – she is calling out to the clouds so that they will realise her anguish in separation, in totality. After hearing her sadness-filled voice, anyone will stop to hear her narrative. However, these clouds did not stop; being amazed, she raises her voice so that they too will hear her. She called out in such a way that even those afar could hear her. Since it appeared to her that the clouds stopped on hearing her voice in distress, she tells them uraiyIr – tell me. They had not carried out what she had told them earlier – they did not go on her errand, they did not keep their divine feet on her head, they did not come near her and speak comforting words. Yet, why did she make an appeal to them submissively? This is because she did not feel any slackness or deficiency in her desire. She feels that she would be able to sustain herself if they speak just a word or two to her.

thirumAL … – How did you get such a complexion which is eminent and distinct from everything else? When sarvESvaran and SrI mahAlakshmi get separated, they will lose their colour and become pale. When they are united, they will get a bluish dark complexion out of happiness. Instead of that paleness how did you get this bluish complexion? [she is alluding to the fact that they are separated yet the clouds display dark blusih form] Just as it is said in muNdaka upanishath 3-2-3 “niranjana: paramam sAmyamupaithi” (after attaining him, they (jIvAthmAs) get his qualities in the same measure), how did you get his complexion? How did you get the complexion of nithyasUris who are considered to have attained his levels of greatness? This is not possible even for those who meditate on him constantly, with devotion. To get to this level, one should have carried out different means. How and where did you get the authority and qualification to attain those means?

evvARu peRRIr – if you tell us as to how you attained it,  we too would attain it by following the same way instead of through devotion and affection.

uyiraLippAn mAgangaL ellAm thirindhu – the clouds keep roaming throughout, without making any distinction between the great and the lowly, protecting everyone. Why address them in the plural (mEgangaL or clouds)? This is to indicate that the clouds keep travelling to different places [to fill themselves with water].

nal nIr sumandhu – on those streets where emperumAn mercifully goes in procession during festivities in temples, people would erect thaNNIr pandhal (places where water is served to quench thirst), crying out “Elakkuzhambu” (fragrant water). In the same way, the clouds too bear pure water after taking salty water from oceans.

nundham AgangaL … – is it because of the penance that you are doing by subjecting your forms to such difficulties that you got such a divine complexion?

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 31 – isaimingaL thUdhu

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avathArikai (Introduction)

In thiruviruththam 29th pAsuram, the nAyaki had sent messengers to paramapadham as mentioned in the verse neelamuNda minnanna mEnipperumAn ulagu (the abode where emperumAn with dark complexion resides). She realised that paramapadham can be entered only by those who are engaged with parabhakthi, paragyAnam and paramabhakthi and not by others. Then she sent messengers to emperumAn who had incarnated as krishNa (in the previous pAsuram) as mentioned in the term kaNNan vaigundhan. She realised that here too, it is possible only for those who had lived at the same time as the incarnated emperumAn and not for those who followed later. Hence she now sends messenger to thiruvEngadamudaiyAn who resides on the hills of thiruvEngadam and who is easily approachable for those who had come after the time of incarnations.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

isaimingaL thUdhu enRu isaiththAl isaiyilam en thalai mEl
asaimingaL enRAl asaiyum kolAm am pon mAmaNigal
thisaimin miLirum thiruvEngadaththu van thAL simayam
misai min miLiriya pOvAn vazhikkoNda mEgangaLE

Word-by-Word Meanings

am – beautiful
pon – gold
mA – excellent
maNigaL – gems
thisai – in the directions
min – like lightning
miLirum – shining
thiruvEngadam – known as thiruvEngadam
van – being strong
thAL – having foothills
simayam misai – with the mountain as motive
min – lightning
miLiriya – making it glow
pOvAn – to go
vazhikkoNda – attempting
mEgangaLE – Oh clouds!
thUdhu – message of errand
isaimingaL enRu – please state
isaiththAl – if I say
isaiyilam – you went without stating
en thalai mEl – atop my head
asaimingaL – roam
enRAl – if requested
asaiyum kolAm – could you not?

Simple Translation

thiruvEngadam is emitting a glow which is shining like gold and various gems in all the directions. Oh clouds who are attempting to go towards the strong peaks of such thiruvEngadam emitting lightning everywhere! When I requested you to take my errand [to emperumAn], you are not doing that. When I requested you to roam on my head, you are not doing that too.

vyAkyAnam

isaimingaL ….. – Oh clouds who are going towards thirumalai! If I tell you “Please convey my message”, you are not responding by saying that you would accept it. Since you are deeply engrossed in your travel to thirumalai, you are not speaking anything. If I ask you to keep your feet on my head, would you do that? Aren’t the divine feet of those who are going to thirumalai very exalted? Will such divine feet of those who are going to thirumalai be easily accessible? In SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 68-3, sIthAppirAtti told hanuman “viSrAntha” – stay here for a day – but hanuman refused that and left immediately. The clouds too are going like that without keeping their feet on my head.

am pon …. – in thirumalai which has strong slopes and which emits glow in all directions with the help of gold and expensive gems in such a say that darkness runs away with fever.

simayam – peaks

min miLiriya ….. – similar to holding light for kings who are radiant like lightning

pOvAn vazhikkoNda – the clouds are fully focussed on their path towards thiruvEngadam. Will they carry my message if I ask them to carry it? Will they keep their feet on my head if I request them to? Just as thirumangai AzhwAr says in periya thirumozhi 7-4-1 “thaNchERai emperumAn thAL thozhuvAr kANmin en thalai mElArE” (the feet of those who worship the divine feet of emperumAn who is residing at thiruchchERai will be on my head), this AzhwAr too considers the divine feet of those who proceed towards thiruvEngadam to be of high esteem.

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thiruviruththam – 30 – annam selveerum

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avathArikai (Introduction)

When we send messengers, until they return, we may engage in some pastime activities such as gambling, chess etc. In the case of nAyaki, however, since the entity to whom she had sent the messengers is a great one, she keeps sending all those whom she sees, as messengers. SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam SlOkam 30-3 says “yAm kapInAm sahasrAni subahUni ayUthAni cha dhikshu sarvAsu mArganthE sA iyam AsAdhithA mayA” (that sIthAppirAtti, who was searched out by thousands of monkeys in many directions, was found out by me). Thus there is precedence for sending many messengers towards one entity. In the referred instance, hanuman feels that while all the monkeys who had set out to locate sIthAppirAtti should have seen her, he alone was able to see her. The happiness which would not have been sufficient had all the monkeys experienced it, was left to him, to enjoy alone. However, he did share his happiness with the rest of the monkeys. While returning from lankA, on entering kishkindhA, he let the monkeys to enter the private garden of sugrIva maharaja, known as madhuvanam, which was guarded by sugrIva’s uncle dhadhimukhan and his army. When dhadhimukhan tried to resist the invasion, hanuman told the monkeys, as in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 62-1 “ahamAvArAyishyAmi yushmAkam paripanthina” (you enjoy the honey in the garden. I will take care of those who oppose you). On hearing about this incident, sugrIva told lakshmaNa as in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam SlOkam 63-17 “dhrushtA dhEvI na sandhEhO na cha anyEna hanUmathA” (there is no doubt that sIthAppirAtti has been seen by none other than hanumAn himself). The happiness which sugrIva felt on hearing about the destruction to his favourite garden made his tail to grow to such an extent that it reached the peak of rushyamukha hill. bhattar, the son of kUraththAzhwAn, would explain this sequence by saying “Had that madhuvanam not been there, SrI rAma’s and lakshmaNa’s backs would have taken a beating from the monkeys (by their patting) who were celebrating their happiness”.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

annam selveerum vaNdAnam selveerum thozhudhirandhEn
munnam selveergaL maRavElminO kaNNan vaigundhanOdu
ennenjinAraik kaNdAl ennaich cholli avaridai nIr
innam solleerO idhuvO thagavu enRu isaimingaLE

Word-by-Word Meanings

annam selveerum – those who are going [as my messengers] as swans
vaNdAnam selveerum – those who are going as storks
thozhudhu – seeking refuge
irandhEn – I beseeched
munnam – ahead
selveergaL – those who are going
maRavElminO – keep (in your mind) without forgetting
kaNNan – being simple
vaigundhanOdu – with sarvESvaran who is residing in paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam)
(going around with him)
en nenjinArai – my mind
kaNdAl – if you see
ennai – me (who has reached this state)
solli – inform about
avaridai – with that mind
innnam – further
selleerO – will you not go?
idhuvO thagavu – is this (your) nature?
enRu isaimingaL – please say

Simple Translation

I took refuge under and beseeched the swans and storks who are going (as my messengers). Those (among you) who are going ahead, should keep in your minds, without forgetting. When you are flying, if you see my mind who is roaming around with vaikuNtanAthan who incarnated as krishNa, please inform my anguished state and tell further “Will you not return to that nAyaki after all these days? Is this your nature?”

vyAkyAnam

annam selveerum vaNdAnam selveerum – those who are going as swans and as storks.

thozhudhu irandhEn – it is my pitiable position, due to which I am beseeching you to go as messengers, when the learned wise man such as hanumAn and the omniscient krishNa went as messengers without feeling lowly about it. Instead of sending such people, I have to send you. While saying “I request you to go as my messenger” itself would appear to be excessive, she tells these birds, “I seek refuge and beseech you to go’. mahAbhAratham udhyOga parvam SlOkam 86-17 is quoted by vyAkyAthA periyavAchchAn piLLai in  his vyAkyAnam – anyath pUrNathapAm kumbhAth anyath pAdhAvanEjanAth anyath kuchala sampraSnAnnachEchadhi janArdhana: – that krishNa is complete in all aspects; he does not expect anything other than pUrNa kumbham (a filled pot of water) with which to wash his divine feet; that alone is sufficient. While discussing this with kidAmbi AchchAn (one of the disciples of bhagavath rAmAnujar), nambi thiruvazhudhinAdu dhAsar and other AchAryas asked him “Should we keep things like pUrNa kumbham?” kidAmbi AchchAn said “We do not have to think that we are keeping this for krishNa; if we keep it in order to wash one’s feet when entering the house from outside, he would think that it has been kept specially for him. When we wash our feet from that pot and a few droplets of water fall on his divine feet, he would consider that we have washed his divine feet with dedication”. The reason for her beseeching birds to go on her errand is because she thinks “It is my fault that I am sending such distinguished entities such as you on my errand”. When sugrIva was enjoying his life in his palace, forgetting about SrI rAma and lakshmaNa [and his word that he will send his monkeys to search for sIthApirAtti once the monsoon is over], lakshmaNa came to his palace with fury and called out to him. sugrIva trembled on hearing this, realising his mistake. hanuman offering him counsel, told him that bowing down to lakshmaNa alone will calm him down. This could be seen in SrI rAmAyaNam kishkindhA kANdam SlOkam 32-17 “krutha aparAdhasya hi thE na anyath paSyAmi aham kshamam | antharENa anjalim baddhvA lakshmaNasya prasAdhanAth ||” (I do not foresee any other appropriate means for you, as a blunder has been committed by you, except seeking lakshmaNa’s pardon by duly adjoining your palms). Just as hanuman had told sugrIva that there is nothing to equal anjali (adjoining palms), the nAyaki too requests these birds by beseeching them, apart from performing anjali as an expiation for asking them to on her errand. The vyAkyAthA quotes from SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 17-11 as an example for beseeching apart from performing anjalisa uvAcha cha – (vibhIshaNa) also told (SrI rAma).  While it was sufficient for SrI rAma that vibhIshaNa came to him to surrender, that he started speaking a few words too, came as a surprise for SrI rAma.

munnam selveergaL maRavElminO – those who are going in the front, keep what I said, in your mind, without forgetting. After reaching that place [paramapadham], as said in thaiththirIya upanishath “aham annam” (I am your food), do not forget my message. Looking at the eagerness with which he would come [to meet them since they have been sent by her], would they remember even if they are told not to forget? This is the reason she had worshipped them and beseeched them. Is it that only those who went in the front rows would forget? The commentator says that even sarvESvaran and her heart forgot her. The one who said piriyEn piriyil dhariyEn – I will not separate, and were I to separate, I cannot sustain myself, separated from her. periya thirumozhi pAsuram 9-3-3 says pEdhai ninnai – the term pEdhai refers to the innocent stage in a girl’s life cycle at which she treats both union and separation as the same. The term ninnai conveys the meaning that he is indeed a sentient entity to separate from her. Even when he said piriyEn she felt as if he had separated. The heart which went looking for him, also forgot about her. Thus, when such is the situation, she is doubting whether the birds who are going in the front rows would remember. She thinks that sarvESvaran, who went like this [in separation from her] would be wandering around with his dress in dishevelled condition as there would be none to take pity on him. Several SlOkams from SrI rAmAyaNam are cited here by the commentator in this context [whether there are people to take pity on sarvESvfaran]. SrI rAma took rest for a night in SrI guhapperumAL’s place, SrI rAmAyaNam SlOkam ayOdhyA kANdam 87-22 ”niSAmathishtath parithO asya kEvalam” (lakshmaNa walked alone [going around SrI rAma] in that night). Looking at lakshmaNa walking alone during the night, guha tells him, as in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 51-2 “iyam thAth sukhA SayyA thavadh artham upakalpithA” (I have made a comfortable bed for you, my friend), I had made a comfortable bed with green leaves, befitting you, and asked SrI rAma to sleep comfortably on it, hence you too take rest; lakshmaNa responds to this through SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 51-9 “katham dhASarathau bhUmau sayAnE saha sIthayA” (when the son of emperor dhaSarathan is sleeping on the ground). lakshmaNa says that he cannot sleep after seeing SrI rAma, who was born to emperor dhaSarathan after sixty thousand years to rid him of the stigma of being without progeny, sleeping on the ground, along with his wife sIthAppirAtti. He says saha sIthaya – implying that SrI rAma, having been the disciple of sage vaSishta, could have hardened his body and mind so that he could sleep on a hard surface too; however, here, sIthAppirAtti, who had not stepped out of her house and who is the dear daughter of King janaka, is sleeping on the floor. After seeing this, how could I sleep? Hence he says in the same SlOkam sakyA nidhrA mayA labhdhum – how is it possible for me to sleep? guhapperumAL says as in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 87-23 and 87-24 “mahath dhanu: sajyam upOhya laksmaNau……. sa yathra lakshmaNa athanthrabhir gyAthibhir Aththa kArmukhair …” when lakshmaNa went around the bed on which SrI rAma and sIthAppirAtti were sleeping, guarding them with a huge bow, I too went around, like that lakshmaNa, along with my kinsmen who were free from lassitude, carrying bows. Through all these references, the nAyaki implies that she too cares for sarvESvaran, just as guhan had shown in SrI rAmAyaNam.

kaNNan . . . . – my heart went to paramapadham meditating on the amazing, auspicious qualities of krishNa.

ennenjinAr – she recounts how her heart was praised by emperumAn. In other words, he enticed her heart to follow him so that she could become more anguished in separation from him.

kaNdAl – she hints that it is very difficult to see her heart which followed krishNa. Just as thaiththirIya upanishath says sadhA paSyanthi – he would be constantly seen by nithyasUris, it is possible to see sarvESvaran; however it is well nigh impossible to see her heart. Even if you see it per chance, it will not ask about me “How is she?” manifesting love in its tongue and teeth.

ennaich cholli – approach that heart which is like this and tell it “She is like this; would you know about it?” Isn’t she, who was spoken of in SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 37-18 “apramEyam hi thaththEja:” (she, who is with inestimable resplendence), now speaking like this?

avar idai – to that heart, which has been lying like this from then

nIr – don’t you know now that I am expectantly waiting with tears in my eyes, so that you would say “I will bring that heart immediately”

innam selleerO – I had sent messengers to you who had gone as my messenger [she is now addressing her heart which she had originally sent as her messenger behind sarvESvaran]. Did you delay returning to me thinking that time is not an entity there, just as it has been mentioned in mahAbhAratham SAnthi parvam mOksha dharmam 25-9 “na kAlasthathravai prabhu:” (time is not the lord there)? There are sequences for time there, just as it has been mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 10.3.1 “oru pagal Ayiram UzhiyAlO” (a noon is similar to thousand kalpams).

idhuvO thagavu – agreed that you may not have much of involvement with me. But should you not have a mind to show pity on a person even if (s)he were an enemy, just as it has been said in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 38-41 “AnruSamsyam parOdharmamsthvaththa Eva mayASrutha:” (I have heard from you alone that kindness is the best righteousness)?

isaimingaLE – tell that heart, she informs the birds. She tells them to speak boldly and with pride in such a way that it destroys his [her heart] svarUpam (true nature). She is not sure whether to address the heart as a masculine gender or as a feminine gender.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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thiruviruththam – 29 – innanna thUdhu

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

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Previous

avathArikai (Introduction)

In the previous pAsuram, she had submitted to periya perumAL saying porunIrththiruvarangA aruLAy. As a response to this, thiruvarangan did not say either “I will shower my mercy” or “I will not shower my mercy”. Hence, she sends a few swans as messenger to him.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

innanna thUdhu emmai ALaRRappattu irandhAL enRu
annanna sollAp pedaiyodum pOyvarum neelamuNda
minnanna mEnip perumAn ulagiR peN thUdhu sellA
annanna nIrmai kolO kudichchIrmaiyil annangaLE

Word-by-Word Meanings

kudi – arising out of being born in a clan
sIrmai – quality
il – not having
annangaLE – Oh swans!
ivaL – this girl
ALaRRappattu – being without any other person
emmai – us
innanna – of this type
thUdhu – need as messenger
irandhAL – beseeched
enRu – thinking this way
annanna – words like those
sollA – not saying
pedaiyodum – with your female swans
pOy varum – you are going
neelam – bluish cloud
uNda – one who swallowed
minnanna – similar to lightning
mEni – having divine form
perumAn – sarvESvaran’s
ulagil – his world of paramapadham
peN thUdhu – messenger sent by a girl
sellA – will not fructify
(saying so)
annanna – like that
nIrmai kolO – do you have such a nature?

Simple Translation

Oh swans who do not have the distinction of having been born in a distinguished clan! You are roaming with your female swans, thinking in your mind “This girl is beseeching us to go as messengers since she could not get anyone else” and are not carrying her message. Is it your nature not to carry such message to paramapadham which is the residence of sarvESvaran who has a complexion similar to dark bluish clouds and who has a divine form which is similar to effulgent lightning?

vyAkyAnam

innanna thUdhu – sending an errand like this is not carried out when one is living in happy times; it is not sent for one’s pleasure; it is sent as a sustenance for oneself. Just as sithAppirAtti tells hanuman in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 39-22 “gathEhi harisArdhUla puna: AgamanAyathu praNAnAmapi sandhEhO mama syAn na athra samSaya:” (Oh warrior of the monkey clan! If after this there is any doubt about your return, then there will be a doubt about my survival too. There is  no doubt about this matter), here too a similar narrative is mentioned.

emmai – my status is very much similar to the way I am sending my errand. Just as sithAppirAtti sent an expert in grammar [so that he could recount the status very clearly, without any degree of ambiguity], I too should have sent one [says the nAyaki]. But my present state is such that I have to send you [the swans] only.

ALaRRappattu – since there is none else to send errand. Her greatness is such that even sarvESvaran, the lord of both vibhUthis (spiritual and materialistic) has to send her a messenger; however, she, who is like sIthAppirAtti, who had about ten crore people who could be sent as messengers even if most of her people go to various corners in mithilA and kOsala countries, is now in a position where she has none to be sent as messenger.

irandhAL – she is doing what he should be doing. While he should be sending a messenger to her, she is sending him one.

ivaL – she is similar to sIthAppirAtti who was spoken of as in SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 37-18 “apramEyamhi thaththEja:” (that rAma, whose wife is janaka’s daughter, is with inestimable resplendence)

annanna sollA – they did not say anything like that. Those who go on errand should say what the person, who had sent them, told them to say,  as well as say a few words of their own, in order to add strength to the message given. This is termed in thamizh language as Olai pAdhi-thUdhu pAdhi (what is seen in the letter sent through the messenger is 50% and what the messenger adds of his own, is 50%). But these [swans] did not do that, but made a mockery of that proverb in thamizh. Some people will not desire anything. But shouldn’t they help those who desire something and carry on in that state?

pedaiyodum pOy varum – when they carry out such errands, when they go to sarvESvaran, they will meditate on his auspicious qualities and when they return, they will meditate on the experience gained through their service. Those who carry out service to sarvESvaran do so as a pair. We could see this in the cases of sEnai mudhaliyAr- sUthravathi, garudan-sukIrthi, athri-anasUyai et al. Will meditating on his auspicious qualities be the basis for their sustenance? The commentator quotes the verse pAdhEyam puNdarIkAksha nAma sankIrthanAmrutham – meditating on the divine names of the one with lotus-like eyes is the nectar which sustains one.

neelamuNda . . .   – he is everything to those who are in SrIvaikuNtam. Just as it is said in vEdham neelathOyathamadhyasthA vidhyullEkEva bhAskarA:, he keeps pirAtti always on his splendorous chest, like lightning across bluish, dark clouds. The situation during separation will be as mentioned in thirunedundhANdagam 25 minnilangu thiruvuruvu – his divine form will be like lightning and when united with him, the situation will be as mentioned in thirunedundhANdagam 24 karumugiloppar – he will resemble dark clouds.

peN thUdhu sellA – would you go as a messenger only if sent by a man? Would you not go on errand for a lady? Did you think that none other than sarvESvaran will send someone as a messenger? There is no point in blaming either you [swans] or him [sarvESvaran]. All the blame is mine only.

kudichchIrmaiyil annangaLEkudichchIrmai is the knowledge about the distress caused by separation. It is not your fault that you do not have this knowledge. Since he was not born in a great clan, he did not have this quality. Due to this, he would have reached a stage where he could not listen to me or to you.

neelamuNda minnanna mEnip perumAn – he keeps his divine form not for his sake but for keeping periya pirAtti in his divine chest. Since you have come in a clan which does not have kudichchIrmai it appears that you are not listening to me.

svApadhESam (distinguished meaning) – AzhwAr is in distress due to separation from emperumAn. This pAsuram speaks about his state where even those who are helping him to attain emperumAn are not to his liking.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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