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Arththi Prabandham – 24

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paramapadham

Introduction: In this pAsuram, maNavALa mAmunigaL describes the events from the time when the mortal coil is shed to the extreme fortune of being  amidst the glorious AchAryas.

pAsuram

indha udal vittu iravimaNdalaththUdu yEgi
ivvaNdam kazhiththu idaiyil AvaraNamEzh pOy
anthamil pAzh kadandhu azhagAr virasaithanil kuLiththu angu
amAnavanAl oLi koNda sOdhiyum peRRu amarar
vandhu edhirkoNdu alankariththu vAzhththi vazhinadaththa
vaikuntham pukku maNimaNdapaththuch chenRu
nam thirumAladiyArgaL kuzhAngaLudan kUdum
nAL enakkuk kurugum vagai nalgu en ethirAsA

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Word-by-Word Meanings

en ethirAsA – Oh! ethirAsA! my master! The leader of yathis!!!
nalgu – Please bless
enakku – me
kurugum vagai – that the days between today and that opportune day, shrinks rapidly.
kUdum nAL – That opportune day is the day when I join
nam thirumAladiyArgaL – our masters (who are actually servants of Sriya:pathi SrIman nArAyaNan)  who are known as ‘nithyasUris’
kuzhAngaLudan – and be one in their group.
indha udal – (This happens after) this mortal body of mine that is replete with impurities
vittu – discards itself
iravimaNdalaththUdu yEgi – and transgresses the solar orbit and
kazhiththu – transgresses
ivvaNdam – this universe
idaiyil – that is in between
AvaraNamEzh pOy – (after which) it transgresses the seven oceans
pAzh kadandhu – only to continue transgressing the “mUla prakruthi”
anthamil – that is described as never ending or abysmal.
azhagAr – Finally, it reaches the very beautiful
virasaithanil – river called “vrajA”
kuLiththu – takes a holy bath
angu – there
amAnavanAl – and gets lifted by the touch of a person known as “amAnavan”
oLi koNda sOdhiyum peRRu – and as a result, get a divine body that oozes with resplendence.
amarar vandhu edhirkoNdu – Thereupon, the nithyasUris come and greet
alankariththu – decorate
vAzhthi – praise
vazhinadaththa – and lead me (in the new body) in
vaikuntham pukku – the path towards SrIvaikuntham
maNimaNdapaththuch chenRu – and reach the altar known as “thirumAmaNi maNdapam”

Simple Translation:
In this pAsuram, maNavALa mAmunigaL asks SrI rAmAnuja to bless him that the days between now and the day of joining the nithyasUri ranks, shrink rapidly. maNavALa mAmunigaL goes ahead and describes the journey after the mortal body falls. The soul transgresses multiple locations including the solar orbit, universe, seven oceans and finally reach the river that is known as “vrajA”. In that holy river, it takes a bath upon which a person known as “amAnavan” lifts and the soul gets a new resplendent body thereupon. The nithyasUris come, greet, decorate and usher him towards thirumAmaNi maNdapam where Sriya:pathi SrIman nArAyaNan is seated. maNavALa mAmunigaL requests that the duration between now and his reaching the eternal abode of nithyasUris diminish quickly.

Explanation:
maNavALa mAmunigaL says, “Oh! My master! The leader of yathIs (sanyAsis)!!! This mortal body of mine is something that is replete with impurities as they say “immAyavAkkai (thiruvAimozhi 10.7.3)”. This body is not something to be desired and hence should completely be destroyed as per the phrase “manga ottu (thiruvAimozhi 10.7.9)”. After this the soul crosses multiple worlds and universes starting from the solar orbit as described by the phrase “mannum kadum kadhirOn maNdalaththin nannaduvuL (periya thirumadal 16)”. After this, it transgresses the worlds that are occupied by people who are known as “AdhivAhikas”.  Subsequently, it crosses the world that measures 1 crore yOjanAs and are inhabitated by dhEvas , as revealed by the phrase “imayOrvAzh thanimuttai kOttai (thiruvAimozhi 4.9.8)”. After this, it transgresses the seven oceans to reach the neven ending “mUla prakruthi” that is described as “mudivil perumpAzh (thiruvAimozhi 10.10.10)”. After crossing these, the soul reaches the most beautiful river called “vrajA”. It takes a holy bath in it after which a person who is known by the name of “amAnavan” comes and gives his hand to help come out from vrajA river. When this touch happens, the soul gets a new body that oozes with bright resplendence as per the phrase “oLikkoNda sOdhiyumAi (thiruvAimozhi 2.3.10))” and that which is often described as “panchOpanishath mayam” (made of five spiritual elements). After this, the nithyaSuris come and greet the soul (in the new body) as per “mudiyudai vAnavar muRaimuRai edhirkoLLa (thiruvAimozhi 10.9.8). They decorate him, praise him and usher him to the holy place known as “SrIvaikuNtam”. They take him until the altar that is famously known as “thirumAmaNi maNtapam”, along which there are numerous devotees”. maNavALa mAmunigaL asks SrI rAmAnuja, “As they say “adiyArgaL kuzhAngaLudan kUduvadhu yeNrukolO (thiruvAimozhi 2.3.10)” and “mathdhEvathai: parijanaisthava sankishUya:”, when will I get a chance to be amidst those great devotees? Those devotees are our masters. They are the servants of Sriya:pathi SrIman nArAyaNan and their proof of their very existence is established through their doing kainkaryam to HIM. Hey ethirAsA! Please bless me that the day between today and that day when the aforementioned list of things happen, actually shrink.

Translation by santhAna rAmAnuja dhAsan

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Arththi prabandham – 23

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paramapadhanathan

Introduction

In the last two pAsurams, maNavALa mAmunigaL described about the choices blessings of his own AchAryan in thiruvAimozhip piLLai and paramAchAryan emperumAnAr. Against the backdrop of the mercy of these two, maNavALa mAmunigaL is very sure that their blessings will not fail, ensuring his ascent to paramapadham and enjoy the Lord there. maNavALa mAmunigaL expresses his desire to go there as soon as possible to enjoy the Lord who resides in the “dhivyasthAna maNdapam” (the divine altar) and is seated in the “dhivya simhAsaNam” (the divine throne of the Lord).

pAsuram

adiyArgaL kuzhAngaL azhagOlakkam irukka
AnanthamayamAna mAmaNi mandapaththu
padiyAdhumil padukkaiyAy irukkum ananthan
paNamAmaNigaL thammin oLi maNdalaththil idaiyil
vadivArum mAmalarAL valavarugu maRRai
maNmagaLum AymagaLum idavarugum irukka
naduvAga vIRRirukkum nAraNanaik kaduga
nAn anubhavikkum vagai nalgu en ethirAsA!!!

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Word-by-Word Meanings:

en ethirAsA – Oh! yathirAja! my master! The leader of yathis!!!
kaduga – (You should) soon
nalgu – shower your blessings on
nAn – me
anubhavikkum vagai – to enjoy
nAraNanai – SrIvaikuNtanAthan
naduvAga vIRRirukkum – the one who is seated in the middle, like a lotus in between sheaths of lightning, one who is like a dark hued rain bearing clouds, the one who is seated in between them (divine consorts) to rule over the worlds
vadivArum mAmalarAL – The consorts are periya pirAttiyAr, the one who is known for her unparalleled beauty and her soft nature as revealed by “vaidvAy nin valamArbinil vAzhginRa mangai (thirupallAndu 2)”
valavarugu – on the right side
maRRai manmagaLum AymagaLum – and bhUmip pirAtti and neeLA dhEvi who are
idavarugum irukka – on the left side.
adiyArgaL kuzhAngaL – In addition to them, there is a beautiful collection of nithyasUris and mukthas (nithyasUris including the likes of ananthan, garudan, vishwaksEnar etc; mukthas including the likes of parAnkusa and parakAla). This collection looks like a beautiful collection of pearl and gems
azhagOlakkam irukka – that are beautifully lined
AnandhamayamAna mAmaNi mandapaththu – in the altar that beams with infinite happiness, that is known as “thirumAmaNi maNdapam”
paNamAmaNigaL thammin oLi maNdalaththil idaiyil – amidst the resplendent glow that radiates from the heads of the
padiyAdhumil – one that is beyond any comparison
padukkaiyAi irukkum – ananthan, the one that serves as the divine bed (of SrIman nArAyaNan)
ananthan – and is known by the name of “ananthAzhvAn”

Simple Translation

In this pAsuram, maNavALa mAmunigaL asks SrI rAmAnuja to bless him so that he can go to paramapadham and enjoy srivaikuNtanAthan as soon as possible without any delay. maNavALa mAmunigaL describes SrIvaikuNtanAthan as the one who is seated amidst his divine consorts of periya pirAtti, bhUmi dhEvi and nIlA dhEvi in the thirumAmaNi maNtapam amidst the glorious line of nithyasUris including ananthan, garudan, vishwaksEnar as well as mukthAthmAs that includes AzhvArs and AchAryAs.

Explanation

maNavALa mAmunigaLL says, “Oh! My master! The leader of yathIs (sanyAsis)!!! The nithyasUris are the mukthAs are all beautifully lined up as they say “adiyArgaL kuzhAngaL (thiruvAimozhi 2.3.10)” and “mAmaNi maNtapathu anthamil pErinbaththadiyAr (thiruvAimozhi 10.9.11)”. The nithyasUris include the likes of anantha, garuda, vishwaksEnar etc., whereas the mukthas include the likes of parAnkusa, parkAla and yathivarAdhigal. These devotees are beautifully lined up that it looks like a beautiful garland of pearls and gems decked together. They are lined before the resplendent, that which radiates infinite happiness and that which is known by the name of “thirumAmaNi maNdapam” as per “AnandhamayAya maNdapa rathnAya nama:”. In this maNdapam is the great serpent bed called “ananthan” who is synonymous with “eternal service to the Lord” and one who is unparalleled in softness and coolness. “ananthan” is described in numerous places including, “Ayiram painthalai ananthan (periyAzhvAr thirumozhi 4.3.10)”, “siRappudaiya paNangaL misaichchezhumaNigaL vitterikkum (periyAzhvAr thirumozhi 4.9.7)”, and “dheyvachchudar naduvuL (periya thirumadal 1)”. periya pirAtti is someone who is identified with her quality of beauty and soft nature as seen in the phrases like “vadivAy nin vala mArbinil vAzhginRa mangai (thiruppallANdu 2) and “vadikkOla vAL nedunkaN (iraNdAm thiruvandhAdhi 82)”. She is seen at the right hand side of SrIman nArAyaNan. On HIS left side are the bhUmi pirAtti and nIlA dhEvi who are the shadows of periya pirAtti. Sriman nArAyaNan is seen between these three pirAttis like a a lotus like dark rain bearing cloud is seen with three beaming streaks of lightning. HE is known as SrIvaikuNtanAthan who is described as “vAzhpugazh nAraNan (thiruvAimozhi 10.9.1)”, who is seated there to rule over the worlds (“vIRRindhu yEzhulagam thanikkOl sella (thiruvAimozhi 4.5.1)”. Oh! My master ethirAsA!!! Please shower me with your choicest blessings for me to immediately enjoy such a SrIvaikuNtanAthan”.

Translation by santhAna rAmAnuja dhAsan

archived in http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org

pramEyam (goal) – http://koyil.org
pramANam (scriptures) – http://granthams.koyil.org
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SrIvaishNava education/kids portal – http://pillai.koyil.org

Arththi Prabandham – 21

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ramanujar-srisailesa-mamunigal

Introduction:

In this pAsuram maNavALa mAmunigaL is talking to his heart. We need to imagine figuratively that maNavALa mAmunigaL’s heart is asking him a question. The question is that “Oh maNavALa mAmunigaL! in the earlier pAsuram, you visually described the path to the spiritual abode known as paramapadham. Not stopping with that, you even described the unison between a soul and Sriman nArAyaNan. This opportunity is extremely rare even to those who are well read and knowledgeable. But you talked about this opportunity as if you experienced it literally. What made you so confident and so fearless all of a sudden? Are you not afraid anymore?” maNavALa mAmunigaL replied to this question that his heart posed him. maNavALa mAmunigaL tells his heart “Oh my dear heart! Do not fear anymore! The knowledge that I have is all given by the causeless mercy of my guru thiruvAimozhip piLLai. With that knowledge, I have come to the conclusion that only his (thiruvAimozhip piLLai’s) grace is the big ticket to liberation. Seeing this state of me, emperumAnAr would be so pleased and happy that he will do the required tasks automatically. Hence, I do not have any fear. So you too, do not have any fear anymore”.

pAsuram:

thirumalai AzhvAr thiruvAimozhip piLLai sIraruLAl
tharum madhi koNdavar thammai uththArakarAga eNNi
iru manamE! avarkkAi ethirAsar emaik kadugap
paramapadham thanil yERRuvAr enna bayam namakkE!!!

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Word-by-Word Meanings:

thirumalai AzhvAr – The one who has the name “SriSailESar
thiruvAimozhip piLLai – is none other than thiruvAimozhip piLLai.
sIraruLAl – Out of his causeless mercy, he
tharum – blessed me with
madhi – his divine knowledge.
manamE! – Hey my dear heart!
koNdu – Using that knowledge as the means,
iru – Please be
eNNi – in the steadfast belief that
avar thammai – thiruvAimozhippiLLai, the great one who helped to such an extent,
uththArakarAga – is the one who will liberate from the shackles of this worldly bondage.
ethirAsar – emperumAnAr,
avarkkAi – for the sake of my AchAryan thiruvAimozhippiLLai,
yERRuvAr – will send
emai – me, who stands by the rule “svAchArya abhimAnamE uththArakam” (the goodwill that a guru has on his sishyAs is the only saving grace for a sishyAs)
kaduga – very soon
paramapadham thanil – to paramapadham
enna bayam namakkE!!! – Hey my heart! Hence why should we fear!!! There is no need to fear (One can sleep with hands on their chest and happily sleep thereupon)

Simple Translation:
maNavALa mAmunigaL tells his heart to have no fear for emperumAnAr will protect him. The reason emperumAnAr will surely protect and escalate him to paramapadham is because of the love and compassion that maNavALa mAmunigaL‘s direct AchArya thiruvAimozhip piLLai has on him (maNavALa mAmunigaL). maNavALa mAmunigaL learnt that the blessings that a guru showers on a persons and the subsequent compassion that he shows on him (Sishyas) alone would make emperumAnAr to expedite things for him.

Explanation:
thirumalai AzhvAr was the original name. Later, because of his deep interest and knowledge in thiruvAimozhi, he came to be famously known as “thiruvAimozhip piLLai”. He was being known with his association towards thiruvAimozhi. That name stuck on to him and served as the most easy identification trait for him. maNavALa mAmunigaL says that such a great AchArya “thiruvAimozhip piLLai, out of his causeless mercy, showered upon him the choicest blessings and the knowledge about the highest. maNavALa mAmunigaL was the recipient of all his knowledge. With that knowledge as the means, maNavALa mAmunigaL tells to his heart “Oh my dear heart! Please remember that the great thiruvAimozhip piLLai has granted us the knowledge. The use of such knowledge is for us to realize that it is he who is going to liberate us from the shackles of this earthly bondage. So my dear heart, I want you to be steadfast in that belief. If we can be steadfast in this belief, SrI rAmAnuja will look at us and appreciate the state in which we are. Then, he will think about our AchAryan, and for his sake, will make sure that we go to paramapadham as soon as possible, as per the phrase “ERRarum vaikuntham (thiruvAimozhi 7.6.10)”. maNavALa mAmunigaL continues towards his heart “So, you do not have to fear for anything, as they say “manamE naiyal mEvudharkkE (irAmAnusa nURRandhAdhi 98). One can sleep with their hands placed over their chest and sleep happily, for SrI rAmAnuja will guarantee the ticket to paramapadham”.

Translation by santhAna rAmAnuja dhAsan

archived in http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org

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Arththi Prabandham – 20

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going-to-paramapadham

Introduction:

In the previous pAsuram, maNavALa mAmunigaL asked SrI rAmAnuja whether knowledgeable people would tolerate their sons going astray. SrI rAmAnuja who is described as, the one who is pursued by good persons as per the phrase “nallAr paravum irAmAnusan” (irAmAnusa nURRandhAdhi 44), listened to maNavALa mAmunigaL’s lamentations. He looked at the pitiable state of maNavALa mAmunigaL, listened to the latter’s outpourings of his frustrations and thought. Without able to tolerate further, SrI rAmAnuja thought that he should go to paramapadham where the knowledgeable people go, be one with the nithyasUris there, thereby making him one with them. SrI rAmAnuja did not want to stop there and wanted maNavALa mAmunigaL to get the eternal gift of doing service to them forever. Realizing this desire of SrI rAmAnuja, maNavALa mAmunigaL thought that he had indeed got to paramapadham and became ecstatic because of his father SrI rAmAnuja’s desire towards him. maNavALa mAmunigaL, now was very confident of his destination as they say “pERu thappAdhu enRu thuNindhu irukaiyum (mummukshupadi, dhvaya prakaraNam #1) and starts to describe the journey of a soul that transcends this universe and goes to paramapadham.

pAsuram

pOm vazhiyaith tharum ennum inbam ellAm
pusiththu vazhipOy amudha virasaiyARRil
nAm mUzhgi malamaRRuth theLivisumbai
naNNi nalam thigazhmEni thannaip peRRu
thAm amarar vandhu edhir koNdu alankarithu
saRkarippa mAmaNi maNdapaththuch chenRu
mAmalarAL kOn madiyil vaiththu ugakkum
vAzhvu namakku ethirAsan aruLum vAzvhE !!!

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Word-by-Word Meanings:

vAzhvu – The fortune
aruLum vAzvhE – blessed by
ethirAsan – emperumAnAr
namakku – for us (is as follows)
pOm vazhiyai – (when the soul departs the body), it proceeds in a path called as “archirAdhi mArgam” that serves as the way to the uninterrupted ethereal bliss in paramapadham
tharum – The soul get this path
ennum – and consequently
pusiththu – enjoys
inbam ellAm – all the happiness
vazhipOy – as it traverses the “archirAdhi mArgam” path.
nAm mUzhgi – (Later), the soul gets a holy dip
amudha virasaiyARRil – in the river known as “virajA”
malamaRRuth – and get rids of all the impurities caused due to nature.
naNNi – (After this) it reaches
theLivisumbai – the impeccable and faultless paramapadham
nalam thigazhmEni thannaip peRRu – to get a body that is devoid any earthly natural attributes, one that is very pure and more importantly one that exhibits and radiates the true nature of the soul.
thAm amarar – the nithyasUris
vandhu – come,
edhir koNdu –  greet,
alankariththu – decorate
saRkarippa – and honor the soul which is now in a new unearthly body that
mAmaNi maNtapathu chenRu – goes to the mandapam called “thirumAmaNi mandapam” and sees
mAmalarAL kOn – Sriman nArAyaNan who is also known as “sriyapathi”, “vaikuntanAthan” and one who is the consort of periya pirAtti.
madiyil vaiththu ugakkum – Sriman nArAyaNan will keep us in the lap, go ecstatic by happily feeling and smelling us (this fortune is only because of Sri rAmAnuja’s grace and nothing else).

Simple Translation:

In this pAsuram, maNavALa mAmunigaL celebrates the grace of emperumAnAr who is the only one capable of liberating a soul from the bondage and ensuring that it is where it should be , i.e., paramapadham. maNavALa mAmunigaL describes joyfully, the wonderful journey the soul undergoes when it starts from this earth and reaches the ulterior destination in paramapadham. He describes how nithyasUris greet and honor this departed soul, which is welcomed by Sriman nArAyaNan who instantly become ecstatic.

Explanation:

As per nammAzhvAr’s words “pOm vazhiyaith tharum nangaL (thiruvAimozhi 3.9.3), the liberated soul departs from a body and traverses through the path known as “archirAdhi mArgam” that eventually leads to paramapadham. It enjoys all the luxuries along the way in its journey to paramapadham. Since the destination is ulterior and the most fascinating, the path that leads there has to be commensurate to that. Hence the soul that journeys in this path is being celebrated at the highest pedestal. The soul is being led by the lord as HE led “kaLvan kol pirAtti” (it is the name parakAla nAyaki (feminine mood of thirumangai AzhwAr), specifically in periya thirumozhi 3.7). The soul gets a holy dip in the famous river called “virajA” as described by the phrase “virajAmAm amruthakArAm mAm prApyamahAnadhIm”. The soul gets a dip in this river, thereby cleansing its impurities and ill fates accrued over eons. After this, it gets a divine body that is devoid of any earthly natural qualities. This body is a one that radiates with the true nature of a soul that is nothing but being subservient to its eternal master Sriman nArAyaNan. This person is now celebrated by nithyasUrIs as they meet, greet, honor and decorate him. They take him to a mandapam called “thirumAmaNi mandapam”. There, he meets Sriya:pathi, who is known as SrivaikuNtanAthan. HE accepts the liberated person, hugs him and happily lifts him and smells his head (like a father would smell the child’s head) and goes ecstatic. This rare fortune to people like us who has interest in going to paramapadham, is an example of SrI rAmAnuja’s extreme compassion towards us because of which he grants us with this highest wealth.

adiyEn santhAna rAmAnuja dAsan

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Arththi Prabandham – 19

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emperumanar-vanamamalai

Introduction

In the previous pAsruam maNavALa mAmunigaL requested SrI rAmAnuja to show light to him who is suffering in the eternal darkness and ignorance of this materialistic world. In this pAsuram, he goes ahead and says that he is being controlled by his body and so he goes in the direction that his body pulls. maNavALa mAmunigaL says that this action of his would only cast a bad image on his father SrI rAmAnuja.

pAsuram

allum pagalum yAn Akkai vazhi uzhanRu
sellumadhu un thEsukku thIngu anRO?
nallArgaL than thanayar nIsarkku Atcheyya sagipparO
endhai ethirAsA isai

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Word-by-Word Meanings

endhai ethirAsA – Oh my father! yathrirAra! The leader of sanyAsis
isai – only you should take action on this.
yAn – I,
allum pagalum –  both in the night as well as day
Akkai vazhi uzhanRu – go in the direction that my body pulls, thereby literally being a servant to my master (my body)
sellumadhu – The way that I go in the aforementioned path that I follow
thIngu anRO? – does it not cast a bad image on you
un thEsukku – and you glories?
nallArgaL – Great souls, who lead from the front in the matters concerning brahmam,
than thanayar – (when it comes to) their son
nIsarkku Atcheyya sagipparO – will they tolerate (their sons) performing lowly acts to low people?

Simple Translation

maNavALa mAmunigaL tells SrI rAmAnuja about the way in which he leads his life. maNavALa mAmunigaL says that he is being controlled by his body and he just blindly goes behind whatever direction it pulls him day in and day out. maNavALa mAmunigaL tells SrI rAmAnuja, “Hey my father! What I am doing is extremely low act. If you do not stop this, will it not cast a bad image on you, as you are my father and me, your son is going in the ways that is not prescribed? If great mahAthmAs and great souls who are the pioneers in research matters containing brahmam  (the supreme being Sriman nArAyaNan), if they see their sons go astray, will they tolerate it? Will they not quickly turn their attention towards them and revive them?

Explanation

In the first half of this pAsuram, maNavALa mAmunigaL described how he spends his life. Ideally, maNavALa mAmunigaL should have been spending his life by chanting the names of Sri rAmAnuja, as expounded by the phrase “un nAmamellAm enRannAvinuLLE allum pagalum amarum padi nalga (irAmAnusa nURRandhAdhi thaniyan). maNavALa mAmunigaL says that he had the golden time where he could have ideally chanted the glorious names of SrI rAmAnuja day in and day out. On the contrary, during those times, maNavALa mAmunigaL says that his spent his life according to the phrase “annAL nI thandha Akkai vazhi uzhalvEn (thiruvAimozhi 3.2.1). The meaning of the phrase is that a person spends his life as dictated by the body that was originally bestowed upon him by SrIman nArAyaNan, to lead a pious life. This body was given to perform acts prescribed in the scriptures towards SrIman nArAyaNan. It is not to indulge in materialistic ways. If it does, then the bad image will be cast only upon the one who gave the body in the first place, that is sriman nArAyaNan. This was the purport of periyAzhvAr’s pAsuram in his “unakkup pani seydhirukkum thavam udayEn inippOi oruvan thanakkup paNindhu kadaithalai niRka nin sAyai azhivu kaNdAi” (periyAzhvAr thirumozhi 5.3.3). maNavALa mAmunigaL asks the same question as periyAzhvar, but the only difference is that while periyAzhvAr asked SrIman nArAyaNan, maNavALa mAmunigaL asks SrI rAmAnuja that would it not cast a bad image upon him, his father? maNavALa mAmunigaL justifies his statement by giving an analogy. There are very knowledgeable people who indulge spend their life in thinking of the ulterior path and motive in SrIman nArAyaNan. If, for some reason, their sons go astray and lead a treacherous life, will their fathers approve it? Will they accept their sons’ low condescending acts performed towards inferior people? They would never approve of it. maNavALa mAmunigaL tells his father SrI rAmAnuja, “Hey my father!! The leader of sanyAsIs. You yourself had mentioned of this fact and case in hand. Hence, I request you to take me into your fold, take services from me and protect this soul. Only you can do it”.

adiyEn santhAna rAmAnuja dAsan

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Arththi Prabandham – 18

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bhagavad_ramanuja_2011_may

Introduction

SrI rAmAnuja had assured maNavALa mAmunigaL of fulfilling his wish of reaching paramapadham. However, maNavALa mAmunigaL is not ready to wait it out till when it is the appropriate time as shown in the phrase “avan aruL perum aLavAvinillAdhu (thiruvAimozhi 9.9.6)”. maNavALa mAmunigaL is experiencing the pain that nammAzhvAr suffered in his “UrellAm thunji” (thiruvAimozhi (5.3). maNavALa mAmunigaL adds that he is doomed in the eternal darkness caused ignorance that is caused by this materialistic world. In order for this darkness to be obliterated , maNavALa mAmunigaL asks the sun called SrI rAmAnuja as to when will it eventually dawn upon him?

pAsuram 18

enRu vidivadhu enakku endhAi ethirAsA!
onRum aRiginRilEn uraiyAi
kunRAmal ippadiyE indha uyirkku enRum irulE viLaikkum
ippavamAm nInda iravu
 

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Word-by-Word Meanings

endhAi – Oh! My beloved father!!!
ethirAsA! – yathirAja (the leader of sanyAsis)
indha uyirkku – The soul is (immersed) in
ippavamAm – this materialistic world
irulE viLaikkum – that is the source of darkness and ignorance
ippadiyE – It (soul) continues to be in this state
enRum – forever
kunRAmal – without showing any signs of light
nInda iravu – (This is similar to a) very long night that ceases to dawn
uraiyAi – (Oh!!! emperumAnArE!!! Please tell me
enRu – when
vidivadhu enakku – will it dawn for me?
onRum aRiginRilEn – I have no clue about anything in this regard.

Simple Translation

In this pAsuram, maNavALa mAmunigaL tells SrI rAmAnuja that he is completely clueless about when would he see the light at the end of the tunnel. The soul is being engulfed by darkness forever. There seems to be no imminent light that would eradicate the ignorance of the soul that is caused by inherent dark nature of this materialistic world. maNavALa mAmunigaL pleads for help to his father SrI rAmAnuja by declaring his despondency about when would it eventually dawn for him.

Explanation

maNavALa mAmunigaL says, “Oh my beloved father SrI rAmAnuja!!! The leader of sanyAsis! My soul does not show any signs of improvement. It seems to have been engulfed in eternal darkness.  This darkness is caused by the inherent ignorance that is associated with this world that has not an iota of brightness in it. It is because of this association with this dark world that my soul is suffering from time immemorial. This long night of samsAram (worldly pain) is described as “avivEkha ganAnantha dhingmukhE (sthOthra rathnam 49).  I am lost in this dark night called “samsAram” that never seems to be over and I do not see light anytime soon. I am a person who does not have any clue on what is the right direction and have been wandering randomly as per the phrase “padha skalitham (sthOthra rathnam 49)”.  When will the good fortune of receiving your glance, occur to me? I am one, who is verily characterized by ignorance having no idea when and how it will dawn upon me? Hey SrI rAmAnuja! You are all knowing as they say in “nikhila kumathi mAyA sarvarI bAlasUrya: (yathirAja sapthathi 28)”. You are sun and thus only you can get rid of this darkness that engulfs me as described in the phrase “suprabhAthathya rajanI (SrIvishNu purANam)”.

adiyEn santhAna rAmAnuja dAsan

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Arththi prabandham – 17

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ramanuja showing paramapadham

Introduction

In the previous pAsuram, maNavALa mAmunigaL requested sri rAmAnuja to give him a date when he would reach the latter. maNavALa mAmunigaL thinks that this might have triggered a thought in SrI rAmAnuja’s mind and he might have had a thought in his mind. The thought is that “hey! maNavALa mAmunigaL. Whenever your mortal body falls on this earth, you will reach me, as per the phrase “maraNamAnAl (thiruvAimozhi 9.10.5). You will eventually be liberated and reach the eternal abode of SrIman nArAyaNan, namely paramapadham”. maNavALa mAmunigaL puts a question back to SrI rAmAnuja as to what is the cause of this delay. Why should he wait till his mortal body falls at the time of death. Why can’t this be expedited right away? This is the crux of this pAsuram.

pAsuram 17
pollAngu anaiththum podhindhu koNdu nanmaiyil onRu
illA enakkum ethirAsA – nallArgaL
naNNum thirunAttai nAn tharuvEn enRa nI
thaNNenRu irukkiradhu endhAn?

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Word-by-Word Meanings
anaiththum – (I am a person with) all possible
pollAngu – bad deeds in the words
podhindhu koNdu – that are etched in me strongly.
onRu illA – (I do not have) an iota of
nanmaiyil – good deed in me.
ethirAsA – Oh! emperumAnArE!
enakkum – Even for such a person like me
nAn tharuvEn enRa nI – You had told me that you will bless me
thirunAttai – paramapadham which is
naNNum – a place that is worthy to be reached by
nallArgaL – people with good character.
thaNNenRu irukkiradhu endhAn? – What is the cause of the delay in blessing me? (the inner meaning is that maNavALa mAmunigaL who does not have any place to go and who has nothing with him, yearns to go to paramapadham as quickly as possible with sri rAmAnuja’s blessings)

Simple Translation

maNavALa mAmunigaL says “I am a person full of bad deeds with not even an iota of good character in me. But SrI rAmAnuja had assured me of paramapadham to even such a lowly person like me. Oh SrI rAmAnuja!!! You had told me that you will bless me with paramapadham. Having said so, what is the cause of your delay?”

Explanation

maNavALa mAmunigaL describes himself in the first half of this pAsuram. He says that he is a very low person with nothing good about him as revealed by the phrases “nIsanEn niRai onRumilEn (thiruvAimozhi 3.3.4)” and “akruthasUkrutha:” He is a person who is full of qualities that are directly contradictory to the uplifting and liberation of a soul. In addition to that, he is a person who had literally no good character or anything that refines his soul for the better. He is a person who is always engaged in all those activities that are condemned by the ancestors and does them repeatedly. “prApyam archipadhAsathbis thath vishNOr paramampadham” is a phrase that describes paramapadham as a place that is desired by the elite people who are full of good deeds and character in them. maNavALa mAmunigaL says “Oh! emperumAnArE! You assured me that you shall grant paramapadham even to such a low person like me. You said those words realizing the relationship between us. However, I am unable to understand why is the delay in granting it? Are you thinking in your mind that I might have gone to someone else thinking they might protect me? Are you thinking that, on my own effort, I can follow other routes laid by SrIman nArAyaNan to reach him in his eternal abode of paramapadham? Oh emperumAnArE! neither do I know anyone except you nor do I know any means apart from you. I do not have anything in me and I have no other place to go apart from your lotus feet. Hence, I request you to kindly grant me mOksham as soon as possible”.

adiyEn santhAna rAmAnuja dAsan

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Arththi Prabandham – 16

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emperumAnAr_thiruvadi_to_a_dumbSrI rAmAnuja blessing a mute devotee by showing him his lotus feet

Introduction

In the previous pAsuram, maNavALa mAmunigaL  concluded that he does not have any iota of love / devotion in his heart towards SrI rAmAnuja. In this pAsuram, he assumes that SrI rAmAnuja asks him a question. The imaginary question that SrI rAmAnuja asks maNavALa mAmunigaL is “Oh maNavALa mAmunigaL!!! You said that you do not have any love or devotion towards me. That is fine. Do you at least have the hatred towards other worldly stuff? Have you stayed out from those mundane activities that hinder your spiritual journey?” maNavALa mAmunigaL replies, “No. adiyEn has not refrained from worldly stuff. Nor does adiyEn have any iota of pure love and devotion towards you. Oh SrI rAmAnuja! Your lotus feet takes one’s blemishes and treats them as luxuries. adiyEn  is not sure when will adiyEn reach the great lotus feet of yours. Only you know that and only you can let me know the day when adiyen will reach you”.

pAsuram 16

AgAdhadhu IdhenRu aRindhum piRarkku uraiththum
AgAdhadhE seyvan AdhalAl mOkAnthan enRU
ninaiththu ennai igazhEl ethirAsA
enRu unnadi sErvan yAn

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Word-by-Word Meanings

aRindhum – I (maNavALa mAmunigaL) clearly knew
IdhenRu – that the list of things that
AgAdhadhu – the AchAryas (gurus) described as “those to be discarded”
piRarkku uraiththum – not stopping with that, I advised others about it
AgAdhadhE seyvan – (On the contrary, though I proscribed others to indulge things that are not advocated by our gurus) I continued to do those religiously.
AdhalAl – Hence
igazhEl – Please do not condemn / discard
ennai – me
enRU – by
ninaiththu – thinking and dismissing me as a
mOkAnthan – one who is succumbed to lust
ethirAsA – Oh emperumAnArE!!!
enRu – When will
yAn – I
sErvan – reach
un – your
adi – lotus feet

Simple Translation

In the earlier pAsuram, maNavALa mAmunigaL felt bad that he did not have any love towards SrI rAmAnuja. In this pAsuram, he feels bad because he does not have hate towards other worldly stuff. He is neither here nor there, that confounds him and makes him plead SrI rAmAnuja to take his innumerable shortcomings (blemishes) and regard them as blessings. He concludes by saying that only SrI rAmAnuja’s lotus feet can protect such a person like him and that only SrI rAmAnuja can tell a date when he would reach him.

Explanation:

maNavALa mAmunigaL says “Oh SrI rAmAnuja! I clearly know all that our ancestors have prescribed us to do. I knew them so well that I even advised others to not do things that are not told in our scriptures. I told others that they should completely renounce all those activities that are condemnable by our AchAryas. However, when it came to my case, what I did was strange. I continued to to all those activities daily. All those activities that our AchAryas have told us to discard, all those very same activities that I asked others to not do it, I was indulged in them religiously. Hence, what I preach and what I practice are not same. Oh emperumAnArE! Please do not dismiss me as a person who has fallen on this mystic tangle of lust. I do not know when will I reach you, as per nammAzhvAr’s words “en nAL yAn unnai ini vandhu kUduvan(thiruvAimozhi 3.2.1). Will I lose the opportunity to reach you forever? I, who is being succumbed to the alluring yet evil lust, is full of ignorance. I do not know when will reach you. Only you, the all-knowing, have the power to know that day. Can you let me know of the day?”

adiyEn santhAna rAmAnuja dAsan

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Arththi Prabandham – 15

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EmperumAnar_thirukoshtiyuremperumAnAr – thirukkOshtiyUr

Introduction

maNavALa mAmunigaL opines that he had pointed fingers at SrI rAmAnuja for his pitiable condition and also pleaded him to get him out of his dire straits. maNavALa mAmunigaL paused and thought to himself that SrI rAmAnuja is one who is full of auspicious qualities as per the phrase “irAmAnusan mikka puNNiyanE (rAmAnusa nURRandhAdhi 91). If we catch his lotus feet with all love and devotion, without blaming him for my pitiable condition, will he not do the job automatically for us? maNavALa mAmunigaL then goes ahead to explore within himself whether he has any love and devotion towards SrI rAmAnuja. After some deep research, maNavALa mAmunigaL comes to the conclusion that he has nothing in that regard towards SrI rAmAnuja.

pAsuram

emperumAnAr thiruvadigaLE SaraNam
enbadhuvE nAvuraikkum iththAl en?
anbavar pAl ippOdhaLavum yAn onRum kANginRilEn
eppOdhu undAvadhu ini?

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Arththi Prabandham – 14

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periyaperumAL-udayavar

Introduction

This pAsuram is connected to pAsuram 12. The previous pAsuram (pAsuram 13) was a deviation (prAsangikam).  In pAsuram 12, SrI rAmAnuja asked maNavALa mAmunigaL, “Oh! maNavALa mAmunigaL! You are telling me that you surrendered unto my feet because your AchAryan had told you to do so. You say that your act of surrender to me upon your AchAryan’s direction is the way to liberate you. Will that surrender suffice in your case? Don’t you need to have any other qualification apart from your surrender?” This is what maNavALa mAmunigaL assumed SrI rAmAnuja had in mind. To this question, maNavALa mAmunigaL gives an answer in this pAsuram. maNavALa mAmunigaL says that “Oh! SrI rAmAnuja! If a person has all the desired qualifications, then why would he fall at your feet? You are a person who blesses all those who does not have any qualifications whatsoever. Hence, refugees including me should be protected only by you. If not for you, there is no other place for us”.

pAsuram

adhigAramundEl arangar irangArO
adhigAram illAdhArkkanRO – ethirAsa
nI iranga vEnduvadhu nIyum adhigArigaLukkE
irangil en seyvOm yAm

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Word-by-Word Meanings

adhigAramundEl – if one is completely qualified across the dimensions of knowledge and its subsequent practice
arangar –  periya perumAL (SrI ranganAthan)
irangArO – will he not come down and help him?
ethirAsa – But hey ethirAsa, you
adhigAram illAdhArkkanRO – will step down to help out those people who does not have an iota of any of the aforementioned qualification. Is it not true?
nI iranga vEnduvadhu – We request you to come down and help such people (including me)
nIyum adhigArigaLukkE irangil –  Even you, who is the sole refuge for all the refugees, start to help out only those people who have qualifications
en seyvOm yAm – what do we do then?

Simple Translation:

In this pAsuram, maNavALa mAmunigaL tells SrI rAmAnuja that he does not have any other place to go except his (SrI rAmAnuja’s) lotus feet. SrI rAmAnuja is the only person who can save any person who does not have any refuge. SrI rAmAnuja does not look out for any qualification in a person in order to surrender unto him. It is periya perumAL who looks out for qualification such as gyAnam (knowledge) and its associated practice (anushtAnam). maNavALa mAmunigaL concludes by saying that if even SrI rAmAnuja starts to look out for qualifications, then there is absolutely no place for him and others to go.

Explanation:

maNavALa mAmunigaL tells SrI rAmAnuja “Oh SrI rAmAnuja! Look at periya perumAL! He blesses people like nammAzhvAr as per her request “puNNAnthuzhAme porunIrth thiruvarangA aruLAy (thiruviruththam 28). nammAzhvAr after being liberated by the blessings of periya perumAL says “aruL sUdi uyndhavan (thiruvAimozhi 7.2.11). periya perumAL blesses only those people who have qualifications.  But look at people like us. We do not have any such qualification. Oh the leader of all yathis (sanyAsIs)!!! You have to help people like us who have no such thing called qualification. You are the sole refuge for all those innumerable souls that have no place to go. But even if you start to look out for qualifications and help only those who have them, what qualification can people like us show in order to be recipient of your mercy? We would never be liberated forever.

adiyEn santhAna rAmAnuja dAsan

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