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upadhESa raththina mAlai – 26

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pAsuram 26

vAyththa thirumanthiraththin maththimamAm padham pOl
seerththa madhurakavi sey kalaiyai – Arththa pugazh
AriyargaL thAngaL aruLichchyal naduvE
sErviththAr thARpariyam thErndhu.                                                       26


Word by word meaning

maththimam Am padham pOl – Like the ‘nama’ word in the middle
thirumanthiranththin – of thirumanthram
vAyththa – that is corresponding to our true nature (svarUpa anurUpam),
madhurakavimadhurakavi AzhvAr
seerththa – who is full of greatness
sey – divined
kalaiyai – the prabandham that is kaNNinuN chiruththAmbu;
AriyargaL thAngaLpUrvAcharyas (preceptors)
Arththa – (who are) full of
pugazh – glory
thErndhu – understood
thARpariyam – its purpose/meaning/essence
sErviththAr – and added it to be
aruLichcheyal naduvE – in the center of dhivya prabandhams divined by AzhvArs.


Now, he (maNavALa mAmunigaL) is divining with an example about how AchAryas who research about the meanings of dhivya prabandhams, had researched the greatness of meanings of this AzhvAr’s dhivya prabandham and established it to be in the mid part of dhivya prabandhams (when looking in the order of full recital of the dhivya prabandhams), with ‘vAiththa thirumanthiraththin maththimamAm padham pOl’.

This thirumanthram ‘vAyththa is that it is complete in words and meanings, and so is according to our true nature. It is said too that ‘Sarvam ashtAksharAnthassadham [hArItha smruthi – 3.45]’ (everything is present in this thirumanthram that is of eight letters) – such is the greatness of thirumanthram.

As the etymology/origin for the word manthram is ‘manthrAram thrAya ithi manthra:’ (since it protects the one that deliberates on it, it is called manthram), thirumanthram uplifts from samsAram (life in the material world) those who inquire/deliberate on it. This is as divined in the divine saying (aruLichcheydhu aruLi) of ‘samsAra nivarththakamAna periya thirumanthram [SrI vachana bhUshaNam 315]’. The same is said in ‘sathyassamsAra nAsanam’ (samsAram is destroyed immediately).

maththimamAm padham pOl – Like the middle word which is present in it (thirumanthram) that is namas. That word (nama:) removes the hurdles regarding: svarUpam (true nature of self), upAyam (means), and purushArththam (goal), and tells us about what is svarUpam, upAyam, and purusArththam; also, as said in ‘sidhdhE thadheeya sEshathvE sarvArththAs sambhavanthi hi’ (by being servants of devotees all good are created isn’t it?), this manthram includes servitude to emperumAn’s devotees. It is the meaning of this word that is according to our true nature.

This (prabandham of madhurakavi AzhvAr) is also like this word (nama:) of thirumanthram.

Along the same lines, madhurakavi AzhvAr too, as said in ‘thadhiyAnAm akrEsara:’ (is foremost among devotees) in relation to nammAzhvAr (who is such a devotee), had divined about nammAzhvAr as being the head, protector, true destiny, etc., in his prabandham that is kaNNinuN chiruththAmbu.

seerththa madhurakavi sey kalaiyai – commendable prabandham kaNNinuN chiruththAmbu of this AzhvAr, which he said as ‘madhurakavi sonna sol [kaNNinuN chiruththAmbu – 11]’ (~ words said by madhurakavi), sErviththAr – placed such prabandham (to be in the middle).

seerththa madhurakavi – also says about him having the honor of not knowing any other master.

seerththa sey kalaiyai – More than prathama parvam related (first state, i.e.,subservient to emperumAn), it is charama parvam related (last state, that is, subservient to AchAryan/devotee); such prabandham would be having much greatness isn’t it?   This prabandham includes the greatness of holding the inner meaning of vEdhas as said in ‘mikka vEdhiyar vEdhaththin uL poruL [kaNNinuN chiruththAmbu – 8]’ (inner meanings of vEdham recited by the learned vaidhikas). This prabandham has got the greatness of ‘avar pAsuram koNdu ivvarththam aRudhi idak kadavOm [SrI vachana bhUshaNam – 409]’ (shall show the meaning (of charama parvam) using the prabandham of madhurakavi AzhvAr).

Also, to the divine feet of nammAzhvAr, SrI nAthamunigaL had repeated this prabandham 12000 times, and due to that nammAzhvAr’s mind was soothed, and so all the dhivya prabandhams became available, isn’t it? It is the greatness of this prabandham that that is attributed due to this too.

thiruppuLiyAzhwArthiruppuLi AzhvAr where nAthamunigaL recited kaNNinuN chiruththAmbu 12000 times

In this way this prabandham which is having the greatness of conveying the inner meaning, that is madhurakavi AzhvAr’s prabandham of kaNNinuN chiruththAmbu, they included this in the middle of beautiful dhivya prabandhams.

Arththa pugazh AriyargaL thAngaLAchAryas who follow the way of preceptors, determined the ways of madhurakavi AzhvAr (being dependent on AchAryan), and they have the glory that came due to researching the meanings of dhivya prabandhams;

Arththa pugazh is ‘Arndha pugazh’ similar to what is said in ‘Arndha pugazh achchuthan [thiruvAimozhi – 3.5.11]’ (full of glory).

nammazhwar-madhurakavi-nathamuniAcharyan nAthamunigaL with madhurakavi AzhvAr and nammAzhvAr

Since this prabandham gives the meanings expressed in pathikams like ‘payilum sudar oLi [thiruvAimozhi 3-7]’, and ‘nedumARku adimai [thiruvAimozhi 8-10], the AchAryas researched its greatness in meanings; like how when constructing a garland one would set a central gem store in the middle, due to which the whole garland would brighten up/become meaningful, they included kaNNinuN chiruththAmbu in the middle of other prabandhams such that those prabandhams became meaningful/useful.

This is like how the ‘nama:’ word in the middle brightens up the manthram, this prabandham being in the middle brightens up the dhivya prabandhams.

Like how this AzhvAr’s star day of incarnation, that is chiththirai month’s chiththirai star day is in the middle of thamizh months and is being bright among other months, madhurakavi AzhvAr ‘s prabandham of kaNNinun chiruththAmbu is in the middle of prabandhams

and would enrich those other dhivya prabandhams too.

When considering this prabandham as equivalent to the middle word ‘nama:’ of thirumanthram, then it would be possible to think of all the prabandhams placed before this as giving the meaning of the word prior to nama: in thirumanthram (praNavam), and  prabandhams placed after this as giving the meaning of the word after nama: (that is, nArAyaNa).

To explain that, ‘vEdhaththukku Om ennum adhu pOl [upadhEsa raththina mAlai – 19] (like praNavam for vEdham) starting from thiruppallANdu up to the prabandham before kaNNinuN chiruththAmbu are of the meaning of praNavam, kaNNinuN chiruththAmbu standing for the meaning of nama:, and after that, starting from ‘nArAyaNA ennum nAmam [periya thirumozhi 1.1]’, till the thirumadals that include ‘nArAyaNa O maNivaNNa nAgaNaiyAy vArAy en Ar idarai neekkAi’ are of the meaning of ‘nArAyaNa’, and of the meaning of ‘Aya’ of thirumanthram, which signifies that which is related to kainkaryam.

chiththirai month’s chiththirai star day is the incarnation day of thirumalai ananthAzhvAn too who is a follower of the words of AchAryan, isn’t it? That is why he got the dhAsya name of madhurakavi dhAsan.

– – – – – –

English Translation: raghurAm SrInivAsa dhAsan

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upadhESa raththina mAlai – 25

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pAsuram 25

ErAr madhurakavi ivvulagil vandhu udhiththa
seerArum chiththiraiyil chiththirai nAL – pArulagil
maRRuLLa AzhvArgaL vandhu udhiththa nALgaLilum
uRRadhu emakku enRu nenjE Or.                                                 25


Word by word meaning

Er Ar – Full of beauty (that is)
madhurakavimadhurakavi AzhvAr
vandhu udhiththa – came and divined his incarnation
iv ulagil – in this world
seer Arum – (in the) fully great
chiththiraiyil – month of chiththirai (chaithra)
chiththirai nAL – in the star day of chiththirai (chithrA);
emakku – for us
uRRadhu enRu – (this day is to be chosen because) it matches our svarUpam (true nature)
nALgaLilum – than the divine star days of
maRRuLLa – the other
AzhvArgaL – ten AzhvArs
vandhu udhiththa – who came and divined their incarnation
pAr ulagil – in the earth;
nenjE – Oh my mind
Or – understand this.


Out of the three mentioned earlier, considering the middle one that is madhurakavi AzhvAr, he (maNavALa mAmunigaL) divines to his confidential mind that the chiththirai star day (chithrA) during vasantha (spring) season (month of chiththirai (chaithra)), which is the star day of this AzhvAr, is the one that would be apt for our svarUpam (true nature (of serving emperumAn’s devotees)), compared to other AzhvArs‘ divine star days.

ErAr madhurakavi – he is – as said in ‘avargaLaich chiriththiruppAr oruvar [SrI vachana bhUshaNam – 409](~ this AzhvAr who is always happy due to surrendering to nammAzhvAr (a devotee), would be laughing at the other AzhvArs who have surrendered to emperumAn since they would be happy when emperumAn graces them and sad when emperumAn does not show up for them), such madhurakavi AzhvAr is involved in AchArya abhimAnam (getting the love of AchAryan).

Er’ (beauty) for him is – ‘AchAryavAn [chAndhOgya upanishath 6.14.2]’ (one having the AchAryan only would understand the true entity), thus being the place of jewellery for the world. He is ‘anbar adikku anbar [gyAna sAram – 39]’ (devotee of lotus feet of His devotees) isn’t it? As he is ‘thilatham enath thirivAr [gyAna sAram – 39]’ (considers the devotees of krishnAn to be as holy as the thilakam that is smeared on one’s forehead), he is the devotee of ‘jagathAbharaNar’ (jewel that decorates the world) (nammAzhvAr), isn’t it?

Er Ar’ is – having the completeness of: dependence on the will of AchAryan (AchArya parathanthran), such that madhurakavi AzhvAr could also lead to that same nishtai (intent).

azhwar-madhurakavi-nathamunimadhurakavi AzhvAr with nammAzhvAR – (dhEvap)perumAL kOyil (kAncheepuram)

ivvulagil vandhu udhiththa – such AzhvAr, like how there is rise of aruNan before that of the sun, he incarnated before the sun that is vakuLabhUshaNa bhAskarar (nammAzhvAr).

seerArum chiththiraiyil chiththirai nALSince he having ‘Er Ar’ (complete beauty) incarnated, this day is also being ‘seer Ar’ (complete greatness). Since he is being SrImAn (having (true) wealth {AchArya abhimAnam}), the month of his incarnation also matched ‘chaithra: SrImAn ayam mAsa: (SrI rAmAyaNam – ayodhyA kANdam – 3.4] (~this month of chiththirai is very best).

seer Arum – can be applied as adjective for both the chiththirais {month and star day / or, as quoted in SrI rAmAyaNam above, and for AzhvAr}.

As said in ‘chiththA nakshathram bhavathi [thaiththirIya upanishath]’ (chiththirai star day happened), this star day is celebrated by Sruthi as well.

This day is an important uthsavam day in kOyil (srIrangam) as gajEndhra mOksham (elephant) (thiruvURal uthsavam).

This AzhvAr is a mahAthmA as said in ‘periyavar seerai [rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi – 18]’ (madhurakavi AzhvAr’s qualities such as knowledge etc).

In this way, it is having the greatness that is not present for any other day – such star day.

pArulagil maRRuLLa AzhvArgaL vandhu udhiththa nALgaLilum – In this world, as said in ‘uNda pOdhu oru vArththaiyum uNNAtha pOdhu oru vArththaiyum solluvAr paththup pEr [SrI vachana bhUshaNam – 408] (other AzhvArs who have surrendered to emperumAn would be happy and praise Him and His related items when emperumAn graces them, and be sad and say the opposite about them when emperumAn does not show up for them) –

– compared to the months and days of incarnation of such ten AzhvArs,

for removing the darkness in this world (indha ulagil iruL neenga vandhu udhiththa mAdhangaL nALgaL (upadhEsa raththina mAlai – 5]) –

uRRadhu emakku enRu nenjE Or – (the divine star day of incarnation of madhurakavi AzhvAr) is apt for our svarUpam (true nature) which is like ‘madhurakavi soRpadiyE nilaiyAgap peRROm [Arththip prabandham – 55] (have got the state of the words/ways of madhurakavi AzhvAr (doing service to AchAryan)). It is said ‘uRRadhum un adiyArkku adimai [periya thirumozhi 8.10.3] (~ (what I learned from thirumanthram is that I am a servant of your devotees).

– – – – –

English Translation: raghurAm SrInivAsa dhAsan

archived in http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org

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srIvaishNava education/kids portal – http://pillai.koyil.org