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kaNNinuN chiRuth thAmbu 2 – nAvinAl

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Previous pAsuram

azhwar-emperumanar-2nammAzhwAremperumAnAr (considered as nammAzhwAr’s lotus feet) (AzhwArthirunagari)

Introduction for this pAsuram:

nanjIyar highlights that madhurakavi AzhwAr says nammAzhwAr‘s glories can be experienced with this body (in this life) itself.

nampiLLai highlights that madhurakavi AzhwAr sustains himself by reciting nammAzhwAr‘s pAsurams.

periyavAchchAn piLLai highlights that madhurakavi AzhwAr revealed nammAzhwAr‘s pAsurams are most relishable for him in the first pAsuram and reveals that he sustains himself with nammAzhwAr‘s pAsurams in this life.

azhagiya maNavALa perumaL nAyanAr‘s introduction:

  • AzhwArs assumed bhagavAn as their AchArya. madhurakavi AzhwAr assumes his AchArya (nammAzhwAr) as bhagavAn (supreme lord/master).
  • yasOdhA mAthA tied kaNNan emperumAn to punish him for the mischiefs and continued with her daily routines (just like the ones who would perform their sandhyA vandhanam without fail even during adhyayana uthsavam). krishNa did not try to relieve himself from the binding wanting the one who tied him (his mother) to free him. Similarly, nammAzhwAr was mesmerized by krishNAnubhavam and became totally bound to emperumAn being unable to free himself. But madhurakavi AzhwAr relished krishNAnubhavam which is dear to his AchArya nammAzhwAr but freed himself and focussed on nammAzhwAr‘s qualities, etc.
  • When madhurakavi AzhwAr was asked why he gave up relishing krishNAnubhavam,  madhurakavi AzhwAr replies “When some one gets some joy in this world or other world, they still look out for other favours since they have more time to spend. But for me, both in this world and the other world, nammAzhwAr is the only master and goal. So there is no need for me to engage in bhagavath vishayam directly”.

நாவினால் நவிற்றின்ப மெய்தினேன்
மேவி னேனவன் பொன்னடி மெய்ம்மையே
தேவு மற்றறியேன் குருகூர் நம்பி
பாவினின்னிசை பாடித் திரிவனே.

nAvinAl naviRRu inbam eythinEn
mEvinEn avan ponnadi meymmaiyE
dhEvu maRRaRiyEn
kurukUr nambi pAvin innisai pAdith thirivanE

word-by-word meanings
nAvinAl – with my tongue
naviRRu – reciting
inbam – joy
eythinEn – attained
mEvinEn – fully surrendered
avan – his
ponnadi – golden feet
meymmaiyE – truly/eternally
dhEvu – God
mARRaRiyEn – do not know any other
kurukUr nambi – leader of AzhwArthirunagari (thirukkurukUr) who is filled with auspicious qualities
pAvin – pAsurams’, songs’
innisai – sweet music
pAdi – singing along
thiruvanE – roam around

Simple translation:
I attained great joy by reciting (nammAzhwAr‘s pAsurams) with my tongue. I am truly/eternally surrendered to nammAzhwAr‘s golden feet. I do not know any God other than nammAzhwAr who is filled with auspicious qualities and who is the leader of AzhwArthirunagari. I will roam around (spend my time) singing the sweet music of such AzhwAr’s pAsurams.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s vyAkyAnam:

  • It is said that “mana: pUrvO vAguththara:” (first thoughts and then words). Even that is not needed – just words without the initiative of mind is sufficient to glorify AzhwAr.
  • As said in “prathyakshE gurava: sthuthyA:” (Glorify the AchArya in public and in his presence) – the purpose of the tongue is to glorify the AchArya who has done great favours.
  • Like thiruvadi (hanumAn) said “bhAvO nAnyathra gachchathi” (I cannot think about any one else other than srI rAma), here madhurakavi AzhwAr says “maRRaRiyEn“.
  • As mentioned by nammAzhwAr in thiruviruththam 53 “dheivaththaNNan thuzhAyth thArAyinum thazhaiyAyinum thaN kombathAyinum kIzh vErAyinum ninRa maNNAyinum koNdu vIsuminE” (Just scatter me emperumAn‘s thuLasi garland, its string alone, the leaves alone, its stem, its root or even the soil on which it was grown – I just need something related to emperumAn“). Similarly, nammAzhwAr says the music of AzhwAr’s pAsuram itself is sufficient for him.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s eedu vyAkyAnam:

  • I took shelter of nammAzhwAr‘s golden feet. Here the key is to understand that madhurakavi AzhwAr does not consider nammAzhwAr‘s lotus feet as just upAyam (means) to get something else – but as the ultimate goal as well.
  • madhurakavi AzhwAr gives up aiswaryam (material wealth/pleasures), kaivalyam (enjoying one self) and bhagavAn too. Finally he is fully focussed on nammAzhwAr alone.
  • Like nammAzhwAr himself said “kurukUrch chatakOpan” in thiruvAimozhi, here madhurakavi AzhwAr says “kurukUr nambi“.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s vyAkyAnam:

  • As nammAzhwAr said in thiruvAimozhi 4.5.3 “vIvilinbam miga ellai niganzhnthanan mEvi” (I attained utmost joy by surrendering to emperumAn), here  madhurakavi AzhwAr says “inbameythinEn” (attained bliss) – whatever nammAzhwAr experienced in bhagavath vishayam, madhurakavi AzhwAr experiences that in nammAzhwAr.
  • Whatever nammAzhwAr experienced by dedicating his mind, words and action (chinthaiyAlum chollAlum cheykaiyinAlum – thiruvAimozhi 6.5.11), madhurakavi AzhwAr experiences the same just by words (nAvinAl naviRRu).
  • As madhurakavi AzhwAr says “meymmaiyE mEvinEn” (eternally surrendered), ALavandhAr follows in sthOthra rathnam 2 “athra parathra chApi” (in this and the other world).
  • pAdith thirivan” (spend my time singing) is like “uNdu thirivan” (eating and roaming around). Just like some people spend their time eating and roaming around, madhurakavi AzhwAr spends his time singing nammAzhwAr‘s thiruvAimozhi and preaching the same to others.

Highlights from azhagiya maNavALa perumaL nAyanAr‘s vyAkyanam:

  • Why is madhurakavi AzhwAr saying “nAvinAl naviRRu“? Isn’t it obvious that one can recite only with tongue? nAyanAr explains that “It means simply reciting with the tongue without engagement of the mind – that itself is sufficient”.
  • madhurakavi AzhwAr says “eythinEn” (past tense). In bhagavath vishayam, the bliss is attained in the future (after reaching paramapadham). But in AchArya vishayam, bliss is attained right here in this world and right now.
  • ponnadi – golden feet. This is not “ulagamaLantha ponnadi” (periya thirumozhi – that which measured the three worlds and touched everyone’s head during the process) but “thraividhya vruththa jana muRththa vibhUshaNa”  (parAnkusa ashtakam – the lotus feet that decorate the head of most knowledgable persons). Since its golden feet, it does not become contaminated even by my touch (Gold – purity).
  • dhEvu maRRaRiyEn – madhurakavi AzhwAr is fully following sAsthram, as thaithriya upanishadh says “AchArya dhEvo bhava” (Let the AchArya be God). A question is raised to madhurakavi AzhwAr – “But why did you say bhagavAn as ennappan (my swamy – lord)?”. madhurakavi AzhwAr says “that is because bhagavAn is dear to nammAzhwAr“. This is like sIthA pirAtti helping srI rAma while he was performing thiruvArAdhanam to periya perumAL. sIthA pirAtti did not have any separate inclination towards periya perumAL – her motive was to assist srI rAma only.
  • meymmaiyE – sathyam (truth) only. avan ponnadi meymmaiyE (bowed in front of nammAzhwAr truly) – would anyone lie when srI satakOpam (srI satAri – nammAzhwAr) is on ones head?
  • kurukUr nambi – the leader of AzhwArthirunagari who is complete in auspicious qualities. As said in thiruvAimozhi 3.9.11 “ERkum perumpugazh vAnavar Isan kaNNan thanakku ERkum perum pugazh vaNkurukUrch chatakOpan” (kaNNan emperumAn, the leader of nithyasUris and mukthAthmAs, is the most qualified person to accept glorifications; and nammAzhwAr, the leader of AzhwArthirunagari is the most qualified person to glorify emperumAn). bhagavAn is complete with parathvam (supremacy) and saulabhyam (simplicity). nammAzhwAr is complete with gyAnam (knowledge) and bhakthi (devotion).

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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kaNNinuN chiRuth thAmbu 1 – kaNNinuN

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srI:
srImathE satakOpAya nama:
srImathE rAmAnujAya nama:
srImadh varavaramunayE nama:

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Introduction (avathArikai)

krishna-butter-thief

Introduction for this pAsuram:
periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction:
madhurakavi AzhwAr glorifies kaNNan emperumAn since emperumAn is most dear to nammAzhwAr who is his AchArya. Though madhurakavi AzhwAr is fully focussed on nammAzhwAr, since nammAzhwAr likes perumAL, madhurakavi AzhwAr sings about perumAL in this pAsuram.

azhagiya maNavALa perumaL nAyanAr‘s introduction:
madhurakavi AzhwAr reveals the sweet nature of nammAzhwAr in this pAsuram.
parathvam (bhagavAn‘s supremacy which is seen in srIvaikuNtam) is compared to milk ocean, and vibhava avathArams are compared to amrutha kalasam (the nectar pot) that is found in milk ocean (which is very sweet). Even amongst the various avathArams, krishNa avathAram is the sweetest. Even amongst the various leelais in krishNavathAram, his butter-theft action is the sweetest.

In srI rAmAvathAram, every one likes emperumAn‘s virtues. But in krishNavathAram, he attracts everyone through his mischiefs. Being the supremely complete bhagavAn and yet desiring for a material thing like butter, stealing that butter, even though being the supremely knowledgable person yet not knowing how to hide his theft and getting caught, being supremely powerful yet being punished by his mother a simple cow-herd girl and not even knowing how to protect/rescue himself, etc., are the most enjoyable incidents which mesmerizes the AzhwArs.
Knowing well that this “butter stealing” incident is very dear to nammAzhwArmadhurakavi AzhwAr also becomes immersed in that anubhavam.

கண்ணிநுண் சிறுத் தாம்பினால் கட்டுண்ணப்
பண்ணிய பெரு மாயன் என்னப்பனில்
நண்ணித் தென் குருகூர் நம்பி யென்றக்கால்
அண்ணிக்கும் அமுதூறு மென் நாவுக்கே.

kaNNinuN chiRuth thAmbinAl
kattuNNap paNNiya perumAyan ennapanil
naNNith thenkurukUr nambi enRakkAl
aNNikkum amuthURum ennAvukkE

word-by-word meanings
kaNNi – rough surfaced (which will hurt the body when tied around)
nuN – sUkshma (thin – that will blend into the body)
chiRu – small (that is not sufficient in length)
thAmbinAl – with the string/rope
kattuNNap paNNiya – one who facilitated mother yasOdhA to tie him
peru mAyan – one who has wonderful abilities
en appanil – leaving behind my master who is the sarvEsvaran (supreme lord)
naNNi – approached (AzhwAr) and taking shelter of him
then kurukUr nambi enRakkAl – while reciting the name of nammAzhwAr who is the leader of kurukUr (AzhwArthirunagari) which is in the south side (of bhAratha dhEsam)
aNNikkum – it is very sweet
en nAvukkE – only for my tongue
amuthURum – it will be nectarean

Simple translation:
Leaving behind krishNa who is my master and the supreme lord who has wonderful abilities and who facilitated mother yasOdhA to tie him down with rough surfaced, thin and small string, when I recite the name of nammAzhwAr who is the leader of kurukUr (AzhwArthirunagari) which is in the south side (of bhAratha dhEsam), it is very sweet and will be nectarean only for my tongue.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s vyAkyAnam:

  • madhurakavi AzhwAr worries for the troubles kaNNan emperumAn have gone through for being tied by a string by mother yasOdhA.
  • This pAsuram is madhurakavi AzhwAr‘s “eththiRam“. nammAzhwAr was bewildered thinking about emperumAn‘s divine pastimes of butter-stealing, etc., and fainted crying “eththiRam” (thiruvAimozhi 1.3.1) how is this possible for the supreme lord to be like a small child who is controlled by cow-herd girls, etc?). Similarly, madhurakavi AzhwAr is also having the same emotions/ecstasy.
  • For kings, winning over enemies shows their masculinity and being bound by their queens also show their masculinity. So, emperumAn winning over his enemies by his valour and being humble towards his devotees – both show his supremacy/masculinity only.
  • First madhurakavi AzhwAr spoke about krishNa since that is dear to his AchArya nammAzhwAr. Then he speaks about nammAzhwAr who is his real interest.
  • When madhurakavi AzhwAr says “this is so sweet in my tongue” – others say “it is not so for us”. AzhwAr replies only some one like me who has tasted both bhagavath vishayam and bhAgavatha vishayam can appreciate the sweetness of nammAzhwAr.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s eedu vyAkyAnam:

  • nammAzhwAr was greatly attached to krishNa and that too his “butter-stealing” incidents. Such most glorious incidents are given up by madhurakavi AzhwAr to pursue nammAzhwAr‘s glories. nammAzhwAr became bewildered contemplating krishNa’s pastimes. But madhurakavi AzhwAr is very clear about his goal of AchArya kainkaryam and does not get bogged down by bhagavath anubhavam.
  • After getting caught for stealing butter, krishNa stands in front of yasOdhA with great fear for her punishments. He is weeping, holding his palms together begging for her mercy, etc. Simply by her love, he who is the supreme lord of everything was tied down.
    It is this great deed of him that makes madhurakavi AzhwAr say “perumAyan” (great person with unimaginable abilities).
  • Even though madhurakavi AzhwAr is AchArya nishtar, he still calls bhagavAn as “ennappan” (my master). nammAzhwAr will not accept praises for himself but will seek out for emperumAn‘s glorification. So, madhurakavi AzhwAr glorifies emperumAn for the satisfaction of nammAzhwAr who is his AchArya. But madhurakavi AzhwAr leaves krishNa behind and continues on to nammAzhwAr. That is because if one is fully focussed in AchArya (charama parva nishtai) they can give up bhagavAn and fully focus on the AchArya. There is nothing wrong in it. Giving up bhagavAn and pursuing ones AchArya is more difficult than giving up material desires and focussing on bhagavAn. Since, material pleasures are temporary and insignificant, they can be easily given up. But since bhagavath vishayam is permanent and great, it is difficult to give up that and proceed on to the ultimate goal of serving AchArya/bhAgavathas.
  • Just by saying nammAzhwAr‘s name without even fully focussing in the mind, I feel great sweetness in my tongue. It is this same mind/tongue which enjoyed so many material aspects but now it enjoys nammAzhwAr‘s divine names. Others may not get the same sweet experience, since they may not be as surrendered to nammAzhwAr as me (madhurakavi AzhwAr).

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s vyAkyAnam:

  • Just like a great emperor when being bound by a flower garland by his dear consort will manifest his humility and love for his consort, emperumAn being tied by mother yasOdhA, shows his humility towards her out of love.
  • One who is worshipped by everyone stands in front of yasOdhA and prays to her to be spared of punishment.  When one takes shelter of bhagavAn, they need to progress up to taking shelter of nammAzhwAr. But when one has taken shelter of nammAzhwAr, there is nothing more to do. nampiLLai quotes nanjIyar saying “AchAryargaLai nambiyennak kaRpiththAr srI madhurakavigaLiRE” meaning “it was madhurakavi AzhwAr who started calling AzhwArs as nambi”. nambi – guNa pUrNa – one who is filled with all auspicious qualities.
  • For bhagavath vishayam – ones mind, words and deeds should be surrendered to emperumAn. But for bhAgavatha vishayam, just surrender by words is sufficient.

Highlights from azhagiya maNavALa perumaL nAyanAr‘s vyAkyanam:

  • The mortar where krishNa is tied is a broken one. This implies that it is not used by or usable for anyone and can only be used to tie him there. emperumAn only appreciates that which exist exclusively for his use – ananyArhathvam.
  • kaNNi (rough), nuN (thin/subtle) and chiRu (small) is compared to gyAnam (knowledge), bhakthi and vairAgyam.
  • Since krishNa’s butter-stealing pastimes is the ultimate joyful aspect, madhurakavi AzhwAr explains that first and then rejects such anubhavam to explain about nammAzhwAr‘s greatness.
  • The string (since small) cannot be expanded and the mortar cannot be shrunk, so, krishNa himself shrinks his stomach with great difficulty to facilitate mother yasOdhA to tie him.
    As said in “nAyamAthmA” sruthi, even when one has bhakthi (devotion), unless bhagavAn himself allows, he cannot be pursued. He says only those who know the deep meanings of thirumanthram and dhvayam can tie down emperumAn (since they will know their total dependency/surrender towards emperumAn). bhagavAn‘s glories vanquished madurakavi AzhwAr’s attachment towards material desires. nammAzhwAr‘s glories vanquished madhurakavi AzhwAr‘s attachment towards bhagavAn.
  • Difference between kurungudi nambi (emperumAn) and kurukUr nambi (nammAzhwAr). nambi means guNa pUrNa – one who is complete in auspicious qualities. bhagavAn‘s completeness is in gyAnam (knowledge), sakthi (abilities), etc. nammAzhwAr‘s completeness is in gyAnam (knowledge about being a servant of bhagavAn/bhAgavathas), bhakthi (devotion), etc. bhagavAn‘s qualities are such that everything is attracted towards him. nammAzhwAr‘s qualities are such that even bhagavAn himself is attracted towards nammAzhwAr.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

archived in http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org

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kaNNinuN chiRuth thAmbu – Introduction (avathArikai)

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srImathE satakOpAya nama:
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srImadh varavaramunayE nama:

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thaniyans

Nammazhwar-kanchi-3nammAzhwAr – kAnchIpuram

madhurakavi-2madhurakavi AzhwAr – thirukkOLUr

nanjIyar‘s introduction
For the jIvAthmA, purushArtham (goal) can be at 3 levels – uththamam (top-most), madhyamam (mediocre), adhamam (lowly). Top-most goal is to serve Iswara. Mediocre goal is to be attached to oneself (AthmA). Lowly goal is to be attached to material aspects (achith).

Material aspects are lowly due to their insignificant and temporary nature. Though there is boundless joy in AthmAnubhavam (enjoying oneself), in comparison with bhagavAn‘s auspicious qualities, it is still insignificant and thus this AthmAnubhavam is mediocre. Enjoying bhagavAn‘s boundless auspicious qualities and serving him – that too in krishNAvathAram and that too his life and pastimes at vraja bhUmi where he stole butter, being caught by yasOdhA red-handed and punished by her, etc., are the top most goal.

madhurakavi AzhwAr determines that srIvaishNavas who are immersed in such krishNAvathAram is the ultimate goal for the jIvAthmA. He is like sathrugnAzhwAn who ignored srI rAma and was fully focussed on bharathAzhwAn. Whatever emotions/desires nammAzhwAr had towards emperumAn and srIvaishNavas, madhurakavi AzhwAr demonstrated the same towards nammAzhwAr‘s lotus feet alone and reveals those emotions in this prabandham.

nampiLLai‘s introduction
rishis (sages) were focussed on all purushArthams (goals – aiswaryam, kaivalyam and kainkaryam to bhagavAn) which are highlighted in sAsthram. AzhwArs were fully focussed on reaching bhagavAn and performing kainkaryam to him. madhurakavi AzhwAr is focussed on bhAgavatha sEshathvam (being surrendered to bhAgavathas) which is the ultimate state of bhagavath sEshathvam (being surrendered to bhagavAn). He arrived at this state by observing nammAzhwAr who sung many prabandhams but revealed this bhAgavatha sEshathvam in thiruvAimozhi 2.7 “payilum sudaroLi” padhigam (decad) and 8.10 “nedumARkadimai” padhigam (decad). So, madhurakavi AzhwAr focusses on what is dear to nammAzhwAr.

This principle is observed in personalities from srI rAmAyaNam. srI rAma was focussed on sAmAnya dharmam (common sAsthram) which focusses on following the orders of parents, teacher, etc. iLaiya perumAL (lakshmaNa) was focussed on serving perumAL (srI rAma). bharathAzhwAn was focussed on following the heart of perumAL (srI rAma) – i.e., unlike going along with srI rAma and serving him in the forest like lakshmaNa did, he stayed back and fully followed the orders of srI rAma. sathrugnAzhwAn was fully focussed on serving bharathAzhwAn (who was a dear devotee of srI rAma) even at the cost of ignoring srI rAma.

bhAgavathas are the ultimate goal since they first plant the seed of taste towards bhagavAn into oneself, (by) being a friend with whom one can have discussions about bhagavAn and nourish/nurture the kainkaryam done by oneself. Thus, madhurakavi AzhwAr is fully holding on to nammAzhwAr who has done all these favours for him.

periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction
In addition to the principles explained by nampiLLai in his introduction, periyavAchchAn piLLai highlights some important aspects beautifully. He highlights the importance of following the heart of AchArya by giving a couple of examples. After learning all the important principles from srI bhIshma, yudhishtra asked him “What is the top most dharma to follow?”. srI bhIshma replied what is most dear to him (i.e., about srI krishNa who was standing right amidst them) and yudhishtra happily accepted that. Similarly some one asked thripurA dhEviyAr (a local queen and a disciple of srI rAmAnuja) “Did you accept srIman nArAyaNan as the total refuge due to many pramANams that are available in sAsthram?”. She confidently replied “Not at all. Had srI rAmAnuja accepted the dhEvathA of IsAnya direction (the direction of rudhran), we would have also accepted that dhEvathA as our refuge” (knowing well that srI rAmAnuja is the top-most authority of sAsthram). Likewise, madhurakavi AzhwAr is following the heart of nammAzhwAr whose most cherished desire is to be with thadhIya sEshathvam (being surrendered to bhAgavathas who are surrendered to bhagavAn).

azhagiya maNavALa perumaL nAyanAr‘s introduction
nAyanAr further elaborates the principles explained in previous avathArikais.

He nicely highlights the differences between nammAzhwAr and madhurakavi AzhwAr.
nammAzhwAr stayed in prathama parva nishtai (initial state – being surrendered to bhagavAn). madhurakavi AzhwAr stayed in charama parva nishtai (ultimate state – being surrendered to bhAgavathas.

nammAzhwAr is fully focussed on “u” in praNavam which explains that jIvAthmA is a servitor of paramAthmA only. madhurakavi AzhwAr is focussed on the expansion of “u”, i.e., “nama:” which explains elaborately that jIvAthmA is a servitor of bhAgavathas only.

nAyanAr then highlights the similarity between prathama parva nishtars and charama parva nishtars – yet underlining the subtle differences.

nammAzhwAr is compared to srI mahAlakshmi herself for ananya bhOgathvam (existing only for the joy of emperumAn). He is compared to iLaiya perumAL for his kainkarya thvarA (desire to serve) and pArathanthriyam (existing fully for emperumAn). He is compared to prahlAdhAzhwAn for his giving instructions to samsAris seeing their sufferings in this samsAram. Similarly, madhurakavi AzhwAr is compared to ANdAL for thadhIya pArathanthriyam (being totally surrendered to bhAgavathas) as she was surrendered towards periyAzhwAr. Amongst nithyasUris, he is compared to sathrugnAzhwAn (for being totally surrendered to bharathAzhwAn). Amongst mumukshus (ones who desire mOksham), he is compared to ALavandhAr (since ALavandhAr also declared that nammAzhwAr is everything for him in “mAthA pithA” thaniyan).

The difference between this prabandham and others is explained by nAyanAr beautifully. vEdham explains different aspects for different kinds of people based on their guNam as mentioned in bhagavath gIthA “thraiguNya vishayA vEdhA:“. vEdham is also explained as endless (huge for us to search and extract the essence). nammAzhwAr‘s thiruvAimozhi explains emperumAn‘s qualities only in 1000 (1102) pAsurams (which is still huge). But this prabandham is very short and crisp and only speaks about the auspicious qualities of nammAzhwAr. thiruvAimozhi is the essence of vEdham. kaNNinuN chiRu thAmbu is the essence of thiruvAimozhi.

nAyanAr then highlights 4 persons who are dear to a mumukshu namely sarvEsvaran (srIman nArAyaNan), srI mahAlakshmi, AchArya and srIvaishNavas. sarvEsvaran helps a jIvAthmA constantly and uplifts him from the miseries of samsAram. srI mahAlakshmi, being the natural mother recommends to emperumAn to accept the jIvAthmA in spite of his sins and also helps improve his kainkaryam even in paramapadham. AchArya explains the glories of emperumAn and thAyAr, personally demonstrates the principles of sAsthram and always looks out for the ultimate well-being of the jIvAthmAs. srIvaishNavas initially trigger the desires towards bhagavAn, help develop the knowledge in bhagavath vishayam, be good companions, nurture the devotion towards one’s AchArya, be the masters, and finally clarify any doubts which occur due to constant relationship with material aspects. These 4 personalities are identified in sruthi (thaithriya upanishadh – sIkshAvalli) as “mAthru dhEvO bhava, pithru dhEvO bhava, AchArya dhEvO bhava, athithi dhEvO bhava“. Here srIvaishNavas are explained as athithi (athithi generally means guest). When an athithi arrives, one should take care of such athithi properly without inquiring their background. Similarly, a srIvaishNava must be taken care of without inquiring about their birth, family background, etc (basic hospitality should first be given). When such srIvaishNavas are not given adequate hospitality, one accumulates sins and also one’s virtues are reduced.

Among these 4 personalities, AchArya is the foremost person to be cared for. That is why madhurakavi AzhwAr who fully understands the glories of AchArya, who fully served nammAzhwAr‘s lotus feet for a lengthy period and became dear to nammAzhwAr, who understands that there is nothing equivalent to favours done by nammAzhwAr, etc., wanting to show his gratitude by singing nammAzhwAr‘s glories, sings this prabandham.
Iswara is difficult to worship. AchArya is easy to worship. nammAzhwAr compiled 4 prabandhams to glorify emperumAn. nammAzhwAr was easily worshippable in just this one small prabandham.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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kaNNinuN chiRu thAmbu – thaniyans

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srI:
srImathE satakOpAya nama:
srImathE rAmAnujAya nama:
srImadh varavaramunayE nama:

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nammazhwar-madhurakavi-nathamuninammAzhwAr, madhurakavi AzhwAr and nAthamunigaL – kAnchIpuram

thaniyans blessed by nAthamunigaL

avidhitha vishayAnthara: satArEr upanishadhAm upagAnamAthra bhOga: |
api cha guNavasAth thadhEka sEshI madhurakavi hrudhayE mamAvirasthu ||

அவிதித விஷயாந்தர: சடாரேர் உபநிஷதாம் உபகாநமாத்ர போக: |
அபி ச குநவசாத் ததேக சேஷீ மதுரகவி ஹ்ருதயே மமாவிரஸ்து ||

word-by-word meanings
avidhitha vishayAnthara: – one who does not know any other thing (apart from nammAzhwAr)
satArE: – nammAzhwAr‘s (divine words)
upanishadhAm – dhivya prabandhams
upagAnamAthra bhOga: – one who considers singing the glories as the only enjoyment
guNavasAthapicha – also one who is immersed in the auspicious qualities (of nammAzhwAr)
thadhEka sEshi – one who considers nammAzhwAr only as his master
madhurakavi: – madhurakavi AzhwAr
mama hrudhayE – in my heart
Avirasthu – let him be manifested

Simple Translation
Let madhurakavi AzhwAr who does not know anything other than nammAzhwAr, who considers singing the glories of nammAzhwAr‘s divine words of dhivya prabandham as the only enjoyment and who considers nammAzhwAr only as his master due to being immersed in nammAzhwAr‘s auspicious qualities be manifested in my heart.

Highlights from piLLai lOkam jIyar‘s vyAkyAnam

avidhitha vishayAnthara: – Just like nammAzhwAr declares in thiruvAimozhi 7.10.10 “chinthai maRRonRin thiRaththathallA” (my thoughts do not dwell in anything but emperumAn) and thiruppANAzhwAr declares in amalanAdhipirAn 10 “maRRonRinaik kANAvE” (my eyes will not see anything but srIranganAthan), madhurakavi AzhwAr does not focus on anything but nammAzhwAr. For all AzhwArs, vishayAntharam means material aspects. For madhurakavi AzhwAr, vishayAntharam means bhagavath vishayam (He even discards bhagavath vishayam and is fully focussed on bhAgavatha vishayam {nammAzhwAr} only).

nammAzhwAr discards iLam dheivams (small gods – dhEvathAs). madhurakavi AzhwAr discards the perum dheivam (supreme God) and focusses fully on nammAzhwAr (his AchArya).

satArEr upanishadhAm upagAnamAthra bhOga: – Not only madhurakavi AzhwAr is surrendered to nammAzhwAr, he is also very attached to matters that are related to nammAzhwAr such as singing thiruvAimozhi, etc.

apicha guNavasAth thadhEka sEshi – First madhurakavi AzhwAr‘s svarupa prayuktha dhAsyam (natural servitude) towards nammAzhwAr is explained by “avidhitha vishayAntharas satArE:” (not knowing anything but nammAzhwAr). Here guNakrutha dhAsyam (servitude due to nammAzhwAr‘s auspicious qualities) is explained.

Such madhurakavi AzhwAr has the most nectarean and sweetest words. I (nAthamunigaL) desire such nishtai (charama parva nishtai – being totally surrendered to AchArya). Let him manifest in my heart in the same form as he humbly stood in front of nammAzhwAr and documented the dhivya prabandhams as heard from nammAzhwAr.

vERonRum nAn aRiyEn
vEdham thamizh cheytha mARan satakOpan
vaNkurukUr ERengaL vAzhvAm enREththum madhurakaviyAr
emmai ALwAr avarE araN

வேறொன்றும் நான் அறியேன்
வேதம் தமிழ் செய்த மாறன் சடகோபன்
வண்குருகூர் ஏறெங்கள் வாழ்வாம் என்றேத்தும் மதுரகவியார்
எம்மை ஆள்வார் அவரே அரண்

word-by-word meanings
vERu onRum nAn aRiyEn – I do not know anything other than nammAzhwAr
vEdham thamizh cheytha – One who mercifully explained the meanings of vEdham in thamizh
mARan – one who is known by the name “mARan”
vaN kurukUr ERu – the leader of the beautiful town of thirukkurukUr
satakOpan – nammAzhwAr
engaL vAzhvu Am enRu – understanding that “the one who will uplift us”
Eththum – glorified
madhurakaviyAr – madhurakavi AzhwAr
emmai ALwAr – one who rules us
avarE – that madhurakavi AzhwAr only
araN – protector (of prapannas – clan of surrendered persons)

Simple translation
Understand that madhurakavi AzhwAr who said “I do not know anything other than nammAzhwAr who mercifully explained the meanings of vEdham in thamizh, who is known by the name ‘mARan’, who is the leader of the beautiful town of thirukkurukUr and who will uplift us” is the one who rules us and that madhurakavi AzhwAr only is our (prapannas) protector/refuge.

Highlights from piLLai lOkam jIyar‘s vyAkyAnam

piLLai lOkam jIyar explains that nAthamunigaL phrased this thaniyan based on madhurakavi AzhwAr‘s own words in this prabandham.

nammAzhwAr is the lord/master for madhurakavi AzhwArmadhurakavi AzhwAr is the lord/master for us.

Just like madhurakavi AzhwAr considered nammAzhwAr as his everything, for us madhurakavi AzhwAr is everything.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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kaNNinuN chiRuth thAmbu

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srI:
srImathE satakOpAya nama:
srImathE rAmAnujAya nama:
srImadh varavaramunayE nama:

nammazhwar-madhurakavinammAzhwAr and madhurakavi AzhwAr

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mAmunigaL, in his upadhEsa raththina mAlai, highlights that madhurakavi AzhwAr‘s thirunakshathram (chithrai month chithrai nakshathram) is so much more important than other AzhwArs‘ thirunakshathrams for us (prapannas and rAmAnuja sambandhis). This is due to his unprecedented and unflinching faith towards nammAzhwAr. In the next pAsuram, mAmunigaL explains that madhurakavi AzhwAr‘s kaNNinuN chiRu thAmbu was placed in the middle of 4000 dhivya prabandham by our pUrvAchAryas understanding that it revealed the highest principle of thadhIya sEshathvam (being devoted to bhagavAn’s devotees). madhurakavi AzhwAr demonstrated this highest principle of srIvaishNava sampradhAyam which is “charama parva nishtai” (fully faithful towards AchArya) through words (in this prabandham) and deeds (by being totally surrendered to nammAzhwAr and serving him throughout his lifetime).

nammAzhwAr compiled 1102 pAsurams in his thiruvAimozhi, and provided 3 other prabandhams (thiruviruththam, thiruvAsiriyam and periya thiruvanthAdhi). Among those, 2 padhigams (decads) were dedicated to bhAgavathas viz “payilum sudaroLi” (2.7) and “nedumARkadimai” (8.10). Rest all are in glorification of emperumAn.  On the other hand madhurakavi AzhwAr compiled only one prabandham that too only 11 pAsurams. But all these pAsurams bring out the full essence of being devoted to one’s AchArya (in this case nammAzhwAr).

It is due to this wonderful aspect, many vyAkyAnams (commentaries) were written for kaNNinuN chiRu thAmbu. nanjIyar, nampiLLaiperiyavAchchAn piLLai and azhagiya maNavALa perumAL nAyanAr have written detailed vyAkyAnams for this prabandham. There is also thampirAnpadi (vyAkyAnam done by araiyars and used by them in araiyar sEvai). Beyond these there are padhavurai (word-by-word meanings) and arumpadhavurai (detailed analysis of commentaries) that are available for this prabandham.

nanjeeyarnanjIyar

nampillai-pinbhazakiya-perumal-jeer-srirangamnampiLLai – srIrangam

periyavachan-pillaiperiyavAchchAn piLLai – thiru sanganallUr

nayanarazhagiya maNavALa perumAL nAyanAr

vyAkyAnam for thaniyans have been provided by piLLai lOkam jIyar.

pillailokam-jeeyarpiLLai lOkam jIyar

With the help of all of these and the mercy of emperumAn, AzhwArs, AchAryas and asmadhAchAryan, we will see the English translation for this wonderful dhivya prabandham.

It is common practice to discuss thiruppallANdu and kaNNinuN chiRu thAmbu as part of bhagavath vishaya kAlakshEpam (thiruvAimozhi).

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

archived in http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org

pramEyam (goal) – http://koyil.org
pramANam (scriptures) – http://srivaishnavagranthams.wordpress.com
pramAthA (preceptors) – http://guruparamparai.wordpress.com
srIvaishNava education/kids portal – http://pillai.koyil.org