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Arththi Prabandham – 13

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Azhwars

Introduction

maNavALa mAmunigaL thus far, requested SrI rAmAnuja to bless him with several things. SrI rAmAnuja’s ease of accessibility is such that he blessed all those wishes to turn true. Already being vowed by SrI rAmAnuja’s ease of accessibility, maNavALa mAmunigaL in this pAsuram falls for the beauty of SrI rAmAnuja and sings mangaLAsAsanam (glories) to it. He does not just stop with singing mangaLams to only SrI rAmAnuja but goes ahead and sings mangaLams to all those who have the connection with SrI rAmAnuja.

pAsuram 13

ethirAsan vAzhi ethirAsan vAzhi
ethirAsan vAzhi enREnREthich chadhirAga
vAzhvArgaL thALiNaikkIzh vAzhvArgaL peRRiduvar
AzhvArgaL thangaL aruL

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Word-by-Word Meanings

vAzhvArgaL – Those who lives
thALiNaikkIzh – at the lotus feet of
vAzhvArgaL – those who live
chadhirAga – in an intelligent fashion
Ethich – by singing praises (glories / mangalams) such as
ethirAsan vAzhi – “mangaLams (glories) to ethirAsan”
ethirAsan vAzhi – “mangaLams (glories) to ethirAsan”
ethirAsan vAzhi – “mangaLams (glories) to ethirAsan”
enREnRu – for a long time
peRRiduvar – will beget the
aruL – blessings of
AzhvArgaL thangaL – all AzhvArs

Simple Explanation

In this pAsuram, maNavALa mAmunigaL describes that some people will get the blessings of all AzhwArs. These people are none other than those who fall at other great people who hail and singing for a long time, the glories of SrI rAmAnuja such as “long live ethirAsa, long live ethirAsa, long live ethirAsa

Explanation

periyAzhvAr sang thirupallANdu in which he sang mangaLams to SrIman nArAyaNan in multiple dimensions. While periyAzhvAr sang mangaLams to bhagavAn, maNavALa mAmunigaL is singing mangaLams to bhAgavathas. maNavALa mAmunigaL recognizes that there are some people who stand in “charama parva nishtai”, as revealed by “adiyEn sadhirthEn inRE (kaNNinun chiRuth thAmbu 5). “charama parva nishtai” is the condition in which people regard their AchAryan (guru) as their everything. SrI rAmAnuja’s devotees who are in this state, always sing, “long live ethirAsa, long live ethirAsa, long live ethirAsa”. They sing this forever. Let us call this group “Group A”. There is another group of people (Group B) who live under the lotus feet of those people who sing “long live ethirAsa, long live ethirAsa, long live ethirAsa”, just like how a child is under the protective shadow of its mother.  Group B people recognize the purport of the phrase “nin thALiNAik kIzh vAzhchchi (thiruvAimozhi 3.2.4)” and live in the shadow of the lotus feet of Group A people. The blessings that are being showered upon the Group B people is being discussed in the latter half of the pAsuram. AzhvArgaL are counted as ten in number. madhurakavi AzhvAr and AndAL are counted within nammAzhvAr and periyAzhvAr respectively. These AzhvArs who are being celebrated as “mayaRvaRa madhinalam aruLappeRRavargaL (thiruvAimozhi 1.1.1) . In other words, they are the recipients of the causeless mercy of SrIman nArAyaNan, as a result of which their ignorance got vanished completely and knowledge about and bhakthi (devotion) towards SrIman nArAyaNan started to grow profoundly. These AzhvArs did not stop their devotion to just SrIman nArAyaNan. Rather they extended their devotion to the devotees of SrIman nArAyaNan as seen in the phrase “ellaiyil adimaith thiRaththinil enRumEvumanaththanarAi” (perumAL thirumozhi 2.10). People in Group B get all the blessings showered upon them from all the 10 AzhwArs. It is because of their blessings that these people in group B have steadfast belief in charama parva nishtai and will continue to be there forever. It behooves us to take cognizance of the fact that in the first pAsuram, maNavALa mAmunigaL described these people as those who will be revered by the nithyasUris (ayaRvarum amarargaL (thiruvAimozhi 1.1.1)). In this pAsuram, maNavALa mAmunigaL celebrates that these people in group B will be celebrated by AzhvArs who are described as “mayaRvara madhinalam aruLa“peRRavargaL (thiruvAimozhi 1.1.1) .

adiyEn santhAna rAmAnuja dAsan

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Arththi prabandham – 12

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emperumAnAr-thiruvAimozhippiLLai-mAmunigaLemperumAnArthiruvAimozhip piLLaimAmunigaL

Introduction

In the previous pAsuram, maNavALa mAmunigaL requested SrI rAmAnuja to bless him with the state of vaduga nambi. sri rAmAnuja asked him, “Oh!!! maNavALa mAmunigaL! You are asking me to bless you with vaduga nambi‘s state. In order for me to do that, what is the relationship that you and I have? Is there a relationship in the first place between you and me?” maNavALa mAmunigaL replies to this imaginary question that he posed himself and says “Oh! emperumAnArE!!! Yes. There is a relationship between you and me. The relationship is established via adiyen’s AchAryan thiruvAimozhip piLLai.

pAsuram 12
thesam thigazhum thiruvAimozhip piLLai
mAsil thirumalaiyAzhvAr ennai
nEsaththAl eppadiyE eNNi ninbAl sErththAr
ethirAsA appadiyE nI seydharuL

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Word-by-Word Meanings:

thesam – All the worlds
thigazhum – bright and sparkling with glories
thiruvAimozhip piLLai – thiruvAimozhip piLLAi, whose very existence and sustenance is by means of thiruvAimozhi, as revealed by his name
mAsil – the one who is devoid of blemishes that stems from regarding oneself as AchAryan
thirumalaiyAzhvAr – who is also known as SriSailanAtha
ennai – me, who is recipient of his infinite compassion
nEsaththAl – out of his mercy
eppadiyE eNNi – he thought of how will I be liberated
ninbAl – at your divine lotus feet  that is the sole refuge of all
sErththAr – how he got me at your lotus feet
ethirAsA – emperumAnArE
appadiyE nI seydharuL – You also should bless me and get me liberated
 

Simple Translation

In this pAsuram, maNavALa mAmunigaL requests SrI rAmAnuja to liberate him by his divine blessings. maNavALa mAmunigaL raises an imaginary question in mind in which SrI rAmAnuja asks him the reason / relationship that he shares with him in order for him to bless. maNavALa mAmunigaL answers that the relationship between him and SrI rAmAnuja has been established by thiruvAimozhippiLLai, the AchAryan of maNavALa mAmunigaL. He says that it was thiruvAimozhippiLLai who showed mercy upon him and thought of an idea to liberate him. Subsequently, he showed maNavALa mAmunigaL the lotus feet of SrI rAmAnuja and take them as the sole refuge in order to get liberated.

Explanation

maNavALa mAmunigaL in the first two lines of this pAsuram, explains the glories of his beloved AchAryan thiruvAimozhip piLLai. He says to emperumAnAr, “Oh! emperumAnArE! adiyEn’s AchAryan thiruvAimozhip piLLai surrendered at the lotus feet of nammAzhvAr. Subsequently, he surrendered at your lotus feet. He did not take refuge at any other person who is  not regarded as “SEshi” or master, that includes SrIvaishNava pUrvAchAryas only. He was a person who was replete with knowledge, devotion towards spiritual matters and hatred in mundane materialistic pleasures. His fame and glory was not confined to just one place but it spread across all directions in the world. As could be evinced from his name, his very sustenance and existence was through thiruvAimozhi. If thiruvAimozhi was removed, he would not live any more. He did not have any blemish including the likes of proclaiming himself as an AchAryan which is considered as a cruel deed. He, who is also known as “SailanAtha”, who showed extreme mercy and compassion towards me and thought of ways to liberate me. Subsequently, he was very happy and showed me your lotus feet in order to get liberated. adiyEn requests you to kindly show mercy upon me and liberate me from the bondage of this materialistic place.

adiyEn santhAna rAmAnuja dAsan

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Arththi Prabandham – 11

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vaduganambi-avatharasthalamvaduga nambi

Introduction

In this pAsuram, maNavALa mAmunigaL assumes that SrI rAmAnuja asks him a question. The question is “hey!!! maNavALa mAmunigaL! As per the phrases ‘nizhalum adithArumAnOm (periya thiruvandhAdhi 31)’, ‘mEvinEn avan ponnadi (kaNNinuN chiRuth thAmbu 2)” and ‘rAmAnuja padhachchAyA (embAr’s thaniyan), you yearned for the state of those devotees who are the embodiment of pArathanthriyam”. (pArathanthriyam is a quality by which the servant (owned) is completely dependent on the master(owner). The master uses the servant at his will and the servant because of his true nature does not voice any concern at any time.) SrI rAmAnuja continues, “this kind of connection with me is only possible for the likes of vaduga nambi”. maNavALa mAmunigaL answers to this by saying that “hey SrI rAmAnuja!!! Please give me the state of vaduga nambi who knew no god apart from you. Please inculcate that state in me. After doing that, please use me in whatever way you want to for how much ever time you desire”.

pAsuram:
unnaiyozhiya oru dheivam maRRaRiyA
mannupugazhsEr vaduga nambi than nilayai
enRanakku nI thandhu ethirAsA ennALum
unRanakkE AtkoL ugandhu

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Arththi prabandham – 10

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azhwar-emperumanarnammAzhwAr and emperumAnArAzhwArthirunagari

Introduction:

maNavALa mAmunigaL examines the reason for his multiple births and deaths. He comes to a conclusion that the only reason for repeated births and deaths and consequent sufferings is because he did not surrender to the lotus feet of SrI rAmAnuja and be there forever. He is separated from those divine feet and that is the cause of everything. So in order to fix this, maNavALa mAmunigaL decides to be at the lotus feet of SrI rAmAnuja and be there.

pAsuram 10:

pU magaL kOn thennarangar pUnkazhaRkup pAdhugamAy
thAm magizhum selvach chatakOpar thEmalarththAtkE
Eyndhu iniya pAdhugamAm endhai irAmAnusanai
vAyndhu enadhu nenjamE vAzh

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Word-by-Word Meanings:

enadhu – Oh! My
nenjamE – heart (who obeys me always)!!!
vAzh – Please live from now (under the) by
vAyndhu – surrendering at the lotus feet of
irAmAnusanai – Sri rAmAnuja
endhai – who is my father and who is responsible for my soul’s true sustenance
Eyndhu – Sri rAmAnuja, who aptly dons the
iniya pAdhugamAm – role of pAdhukA (sandals)
thAtkE – of the divine feet
selvach – of the one who is filled with sAthvik qualities
chatakOpar –  and who is known as SatakOpa
thEmalar – upon whose lotus feet, honey from fresh flowers, oozes out
pAdhugamAy – (such satakOpan) is celebrated as the pAdhukA (sandals)
thAm magizhum – and relishes being the pAdhukais of
pUnkazhaRku – the feet that can be enjoyed forever, the feet of
thennarangar – SrIranganAthan who is none other than
kOn – the divine consort of
pU magaL – periya pirAttiyAr (SrI mahAlakshmi) who looks like fragrance manifested in a flower

Simple Meanings: 

In this pAsuram, maNavALa mAmunigaL advises his heart to go and surrender at the lotus feet of SrI rAmAnuja. More than that, he commands the heart to be at his feet forever and not get separated from the divine feet of SrI rAmAnuja. maNavALa mAmunigaL describes that SrI rAmAnuja represents the sandals of SatakOpa (nammAzhwAr), who enjoys being the sandals of SrI ranganAthan, who is the consort of periya pirAttiyAr.

Explanation:

periya pirAttiyAr is described as the personification of fragrance in a flower. SrI ranganAthan has such a periya pirAttiyar in HIS heart as per the phrase “pU mannu mAdhu porundhiya mArban (irAmnusa nURRandhAdhi 1). SatakOpar (nammAzhvAr) is celebrated as the pAdhukAs (sandals) of Sri ranganAthan’s feet which can be enjoyed forever as per the phrase “pUvAr kazhalgazhukku (thiruvAimozhi 6.10.4). SatakOpar himself has said “adikkIzh amarndhu pugundhu (thiruvAimozhi 6.10.11) and hence he represents the pAdhukA status of SrI ranganAthan. In addition to being the pAdhukA, SatakOpar actually relishes the fact that he serves as HIS pAdhukA, as seen in his other phrases “mugil vaNNan adiyai adaindhu (thiruvAimozhi 7.2.11) and “uRRen ugandhu paNi seydhu (thiruvAimozhi 10.8.10)”. Now, the relationship between such SatakOpar and SrI rAmAnuja is being described. The divine lotus feet of SatakOpar is fragrant with fresh flowers that oozes honey. As madhurakavi AzhvAr described “mEvinEn avan ponnadi meymaiyE (kanninun chiRuth thAmbu 2)”, SrI rAmAnuja opined that it behooves him to be at the lotus feet of satakOpar. Hence, SrI rAmAnuja is being celebrated as the sandals of SatakOpar. Finally, maNavALa mAmunigaL establishes the link between him and SrI rAmAnuja. maNavALa mAmunigaL states that it is SrI rAmAnuja who is  responsible for his soul’s true sustenance in the first place. He advises his heart that it needs to go and surrender and live at the lotus feet of SrI rAmAnuja, who is also known as emperumAnAr. maNavALa mAmunigaL advises his heart similar to how thiruvarangaththu amudhanAr adviced his heart as “irAmusan charaNAravindham nAm manni vAzha nenjE (irAmAnusan nURRandhAdhi 1)”. maNavALa mAmunigaL tells his “ Oh my heart who listens and acts according to what adiyEn says! go and be in close connection to the lotus feet of SrI rAmAnuja and expect nothing in return. It is just your svarUpam to be at the lotus feet of SrI rAmAnuja”. Since maNavALa mAmunigaL is characterized as epitome of love towards SrI rAmAnuja’s lotus feet, he is often called as “yathIndra pravaNar”. The phrase “selvach chatakOpar” earlier refers to the wealth of SatakOpar. As per the phrase “dhanammadhIyam thava pAdha pankajam (sthOthra rathnam)”, which says that the greatest wealth one can beget is the lotus feet of the Lord. Since SatakOpar had it, he is described as “selvach chatakOpar”.

adiyEn santhAna rAmAnuja dAsan

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Arththi prabandham – 9

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EmperumAnAr-tkeni

Introduction

maNavALa mAmunigaL replies to some people who were with him. They posed him a question, “Hey! maNavALa mAmunigaL!!! As per the phrase “nORREn pal piRavi (periya thirumozhi 1.9.8), there are innumerable births for a soul that is manifested in different bodies each time. The births are governed by your karma. You say that you have a lot of karma and so you will have to take births again and again as per the karma. While your state is like this, how can emperumAnAr protect you as you claim? maNavALa mAmunigaL tells those people that he (emperumAnAr) will reincarnate again for his (maNavALa mAmunigaL’s) sake in order to protect from the bondages of samsAram and take him to the eternal abode of SrIman nArAyaNan.

pAsuram 9

kUbaththil vIzhum kuzhaviyudan kudhiththu
avvAbathai nIkkum andha annai pOl
pApaththAl yAn piRappEnElum ini endhai ethirAsan
thAn piRakkum ennai uyppadhA 

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Word-by-word Meanings:

annai – A mother
kudhiththu – dives in a
kUbaththil – well
nIkkum – to remove
avvAbathai – the danger (that engulfed her)
kuzhaviyudan – child who
vIzhum – fell (in the well earlier)
pOl – Like
andha – that
ini yAn piRapEnElum – if I were to born again and again
pApaththAl – because of my sins
endhai – my father
ethirAsan – yathirAja
thAn piRakkum – will reincarnate himself again
ennai uyppadhA – in order to protect me 

Simple Translation

maNavALa mAmunigaL tells a few people who were standing near him and told him that it is his karma that causes him multiple births and deaths. One has to experience the karmic effects and only at the end of this karmic cycle can one be liberated. There is nothing that emperumAnAr can do about this regarding your specific case. maNavALa mAmunigaL tells them that a mother will save her child who has fallen in the well, by diving in the same well immediately after seeing her child fall. Similarly, my father emperumAnAr will also save me by reincarnating again, just for my sake.

Explanation

maNavALa mAmunigaL tells an analogy here to begin with. There is a child who has just fallen into a well. Seeing this, what will its mother do? She will jump immediately into the well along with the child in order to save it. maNavALa mAmunigaL uses this analogy to explain to a few people who were standing near him and asked the question as to why and how would emperumAnAr save him (maNavALa mAmunigaL). maNavALa mAmunigaL says, “Just like how the mother saved her child by diving along with the child in the well, adiyen’s father (emperumAnAr) will reincarnate (similar to the mother’s diving) and protect me, which is analogous to the child who has fallen due to its karma”. maNavALa mAmunigaL quotes a pAsuram from thiruvAimozhi here. As per “charaNamAgum thanathAL adaindhArkkellAm maraNamAnAl vaikuntham kodukkum pirAn (thiruvAimozhi 9.10.5)”, for a person who has surrendered to the lotus feet of SrIman nArAyaNan, he is ensured of paramapadham when his mortal body falls at this earth for the last time. This is the essence of prapaththi. However, my sins are so cruel that it may even defy the laws of prapaththi and its significance. Even at this extremely difficult and tricky situation, my father (emperumAnAr) would reincarnate himself again as appropriate to my birth. He will engulf me in all directions to capture and protect me from danger as per the phrase “edhir sUzhal pukku (thiruvAimozhi 2.7.6). adiyEn does not have to worry about this as adiyEn is extremely confident of his reincarnation just to protect me. He is my owner and I am his property. The property just falls once but the owner may have to dive multiple times until the property is possessed back”.

adiyEn santhAna rAmAnuja dAsan

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Arththi prabandham – 8

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ramanujar-alwai (2)

pAsuram 8

than kuzhavi vAn kiNaRRaich chArndhirukkak kandirundhAL
enbadhanRO annai pazhiyErkinRAL – nangu uNaril
ennAlE en nAsam mElum ethirAsA
unnAlE Am uRavai Or
 

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Word-by-Word Meanings

than kuzhavi – If one’s child (who is)
chArndhirukka – near
vAn kiNaRRa – a grand (big and wide) well, (if the child falls in the well and dies)
enbadhanRO – then the world will say that
kandirundhAL – the mother saw it (going near the well but paid no attention to it)
annai – (Eventually) the mother
yErkinRAL – assumes responsibility for the
pazhi – fault
nangu uNaril – If thought about carefully,
ennAlE – me who is in the abysmal pit called “sins”
en nAsamElum – even if were to destroy myself
ethirAsA – Oh! yathirAja!!!
Or – please explain to me!!!
uRavai – relationship
Am – that is established
unnAlE – because of you (and me) (there by saying that the mother-son relationship that SrI rAmAnuja and maNavALa mAmunigaL shares would lead the world to say that it is the fault of the mother and not the son for not protecting the child.

Simple Translation

In this pAsuram, maNavALa mAmunigaL replies to a question posed by SrI rAmAnuja. SrI rAmAnuja asked him, “You said that I need to protect you by performing the tasks on behalf of you just like how a mother protects her child. But look at you. Your bad karma is growing and you do not have any good karma to begin with. How can I protect such a person? maNavALa mAmunigaL replies that if SrI rAmAnuja does not protect him, then it will cast a black mark on SrI rAmAnuja. This point is being illustrated with an example of a beautiful analogy where people would blame a mother if something happens to her child who does not know how to take care of itself. SAsthram says that if a child under the age of 5 dies, then it is the fault of the mother for her carelessness that caused the death.

Explanation:

If a child who is under the age of five dies unexpectedly, SAsthram says that the fault falls upon its mother for her negligence. In order to eschew this, a mother should always guard its baby with vigil. The mother should be awake and alert as if she had applied butter in the eyes. Let us say for example that she has a child, who is very young (less than five), goes near a well that is very big and deep. Even though the mother does not see the child going, if something bad happens (child falls in the well and dies), the fault will be borne by its mother. The world will tell that the mother saw the child yet did not pay attention to it. maNavALa mAmunigaL says “Oh! yathirAja!!! Similarly, even if adiyEn, who is in the abysmal pit of bad karmas (sins), tries to destroy myself, then please remember the relationship between you and me. You are my mother and I am your son. This very relationship will land you in trouble as the mother will have to be responsible for the child’s death. Hence please look at our relationship carefully and examine my condition again. Hence, adiyen requests you to protect me at all times, just because of our relationship. At this juncture, we need to recollect the same thought that is being told by piLLai lOkAchAryAr in his SrIvachana bhUshaNam sUthram #371 “prajayaik kiNaRRin karayil ninRum vAngAdhozhindhAl thAyE thaLLinAL ennak kadavadhirE”.

Additional notes:

maNavALa mAmunigaL’s shrewdness is to be observed in this pAsuram. He simply does not imply that just like how a mother is responsible for her child’s death, yathirAja is responsible for his (maNavALa mAmunigaL’s) sins. He simply does not mean that here. He says that only his (maNavALa mAmunigaLs) karma is responsible for him to fall in the abysmal pit of sins and consequential sufferings. yathirAja is no way connected for his sins. However, he tells yathirAja to think about the relationship he shares with him (maNavALa mAmunigaL) which is “mother-son” relationship. As a result of this relationship, he maNavALa mAmunigaL asks yathirAja to come to his rescue, failing which the world will talk ill of yathirAja for not protecting him when he was going to perish.

adiyEn santhAna rAmAnuja dAsan

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Arththi prabandham – 6

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ramanuja

Introduction

The link to the previous pAsuram and this one is established through the phrase “un bhOgam nanRO enai ozhindha nAL”. In the earlier pAsuram, maNavALa mAmunigaL asked SrI rAmAnuja as to whether he would be able to enjoy the luxuries in paramapadham while in fact he (maNavALa mAmunigaL ) is suffering here in this materialistic earth. Hearing this, maNavALa mAmunigaL assumes that srI rAmAnuja gave a reply to it. The reply is “Hey! maNavALa mAmunigaL ! Why do you point fingers at me and say I am enjoying the benefits without you at paramapadham. I will take you to paramapadham one day when your deserved time comes. Till that time, continue to develop your mental maturity and spiritual journey. When the appropriate time comes, I will take you”. maNavALa mAmunigaL , in this pAsuram gives an answer to this situation posed by SrI rAmAnuja. He says “svAmi. The fact that you told now may be applicable for “anukUlar” (those who stand by the way of established protocols that are conducive to his journey towards liberation; they support other fellow anukUlar). But adiyen is opposite of “anukUlar”, as adiyen is “prathikUlar” (those who does not stand by or abide by the established protocols that are conducive to one’s spiritual journey towards liberation; they do not support other anukUlar). For a prathikUlar of my degree, even if a split second passes, the amount of “prathikUlam” will only multiply, if any. Hence, I ask you SrI rAmAnuja to get rid of my body that is the feeding ground of all ill qualities that one can possibly imagine”.

pAsuram 6

vEmbu muRRak kaippu miguvadhupOl vevvinaiyEn
thImbu muRRum dhEgamuRRich chellungAl – AmparisAl
ERkavE sindhiththu ethirAsA ivvudalai
thiRkavEyAna vazhi sey

Listen


Word-by-Word Meaning

ethirAsA – (Oh! yathirAja!!!)
vEmbu – A neem tree is such that when it
muRRak – matures (as time passes by)
kaippu miguvadhu – its bitterness grows
pOl – Likewise
vevvinaiyEn – adiyen whose body is the residence of the most cruelest sins
dhEgamuRRi – if such a body continue to grow old and
chellungAl – if it continues to mature in the same fashion
thImbu – (only) bad karma
muRRum – will be found everywhere in it
AmparisAl – (Hence) in order to reinstate the true nature of my soul
ERkavE sindhiththu – (adiyEn requests you) to think and act right away before it is too late
sey – and do it in the most appropriate
vazhi – way
thiRkavEyAna – and destroy
Ivvudalai – this body that is the dwelling place of all bad qualities

Simple Translation:

In this pAsuram, maNavALa mAmunigaL asks SrI rAmAnuja to destroy his body that is the source of the cruelest sins in the world. He gives an analogy of a neem tree. The bitterness of a neem tree grows even further as time progresses. Similarly, maNavALa mAmunigaL says that the sins that are caused by his body continues to grow manifold. Thereupon, he urges SrI rAmAnuja to destroy his body immediately by thinking of the most appropriate way to do so.

Explanation:

maNavALa mAmunigaL tells SrI rAmAnuja, “Oh!!! yathirAja!!! The leader of sanyAsis!!! A sugarcane which is inherently very sweet in nature, becomes sweeter with each passing day. Similarly, a neem tree that is inherently bitter in taste becomes even more bitter with each passing day. In the same manner, my body that is the dwelling place of the cruelest sins in the word, continues to accrue more sins as time progresses. I am the epitome of inferior qualities that is the source of these sins.  Hence, adiyEn requests you to act now before it is too late. adiyEn requests you to think of a way to destroy this body of mine that houses nothing but inferior qualities.

adiyEn santhAna rAmAnuja dAsan

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Arththi prabandham – 5

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ramanujar-mamunigalemperumAnArmAmunigaL

Introduction

In the previous pAsuram, maNavALa mAmunigaL used the phrase “uNarndhu pAr” towards SrI rAmAnuja that means “please ponder over it”. The continuation to this pAsuram comes in the form of a question as to what makes maNavALa mAmunigaL tell SrI rAmAnuja with such an authority. What relationship does he share with SrI rAmAnuja? Why should SrI rAmAnuja consider the case of maNavALa mAmunigaL as “inevitable” and take his case for granted? This pAsuram answers that question. maNavALa mAmunigaL firmly says that he is the son of SrI rAmAnuja and that is the relationship that guarantees the inevitable nature of his case.

pAsuram 5

than pudhalvan kUdAmal thAn pusikum bhOgaththAl
inburumO thandhaikku ethirAsA – un pudhalvan
anRO yAn uraiyAy AdhalAl un bhOgam
nanRO enai ozhindha nAL

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Word-by-Word Meanings:
ethirAsA – Oh emperumAnArE!!!
thandhaikku – For a father
inburumO – does he get any happiness when
than – his
pudhalvan – son
kUdAmal – is not there with him
thAn – and he alone (the father)
pusikum – enjoys
bhOgathAl – the luxuries like wealth etc
un – You  (my father)
yAn – and I
pudhalvan – am your son , as you are my father.
anRO – Is this not true?
uraiyAy  – Please tell me.
AdhalAl – Hence
un – your
bhOgam – enjoyment on
nAL – the day when (you)
ozhindha – are without
enai – me
nanRO – will it give you happiness?

Simple Translation:

maNavALa mAmunigaL gives an analogy in this pAsuram. Would a father while alone, separated from his son, be able to enjoy the luxuries of life all by himself? Will he not be always thinking about the son who is far away? Certainly he will and this will make him unable to enjoy the luxuries and make him yearn to be with the son. maNavALa mAmunigaL asks Sri rAmAnuja that he is his son and questions whether he (SrI rAmAnuja) is getting any kind of happiness in paramapadham while his son (maNavALa mAmunigaL) is still suffering here.

Explanation

There is a father whose dear son is in some land far away. In this situation, will this father be able to solely enjoy the luxuries that includes wealth etc., that is in front of him? maNavALa mAmunigaL asks SrI rAmAnuja, “Oh!!! The leader of yathIs (sanyAsis)!!! In a similar fashion, adiyen is like a son to you inevitably” (as per the SrI sUkthi “kariyAn brahmatha pithA”). maNavALa mAmunigaL continues “Oh! emperumAnArE!!! Please confirm this relationship of father and son. This relationship is inherently natural. Hence, the luxuries that is described as “kattezhil vAnavar bhOgam (thiruvAimozhi 6.6.11)”, will that be enjoyed by you on the day when you did lose me? Adiyen (maNavALa mAmunigaL) does know that you will not be able to enjoy the luxuries in paramapadham as you are separated from me, your son. Hence, adiyEn requests you to kindly take me into your fold.

adiyEn santhAna rAmAnuja dAsan

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Arththi prabandham – 4

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ramanuja showing paramapadham

Introduction

The physical body that was described as an impediment in the previous pAsuram, is now described in this pAsuram as a prison in which the soul dwells. maNavALa mAmunigaL requests Sri rAmAnuja to get him liberated from that prison. In this pAsuram, he adds that only Sri rAmAnuja can do that.

pAsuram 4

indha udaRchiRai vittu eppozhudhu yAn Egi
andhamil pErinbaththuL AguvEn – andhO?
irangAy ethirAsA! ennai ini uykkai
parangAN unakku uNarndhu pAr

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Word-by-Word Meanings

ethirAsA! – Oh yathirAja!!! The leader of all yathIs (sanyAsis)
eppozhudhu – when
yAn – do I
vittu – get liberated from
chiRai – the prison called
indha udal – this physical body
Egi – and ascend viaarchirAdhi way to paramapadham (archiRadhi way is the route that a liberated soul takes to go to paramapadham – the eternal abode of sriman nArAyaNan)
AguvEn – (when) shall I?
pErinbaththuL – enter the place of eternal happiness called paramapadham that is described as
andham – end
il – less
andhO? – Alas!!!
irangAy – (Oh! yathirAja!!!) Please bless
ennai – me
ini – From now on
param kAN – it is only possible
unakku – for you
uykkai – to protect me (and the like)
uNarndhu – (Hence please) think
pAr – and ponder about it
 

Simple Translation

maNavALa mAmunigaL describes the physical body as a prison in which the soul dwells. A soul is considered to be liberated or set free only when it is released from the clutches of bondage of births and death and ascends to paramapadham via the archirAdhi path. Until then the incessant sufferings of the soul would continue. maNavALa mAmunigaL requests Sri rAmAnuja that only he can do something to get the soul liberated from him. He requests Sri rAmAnuja to think over it and protect him by liberating.

Explanation

The body as described by Sri krishNa in HIS Sri bhagavath gIthA as a “field” (idham SarIram – Sri bhagavath gIthA 13.2). The field called body is described in this pAsuram as a prison that acts as the greatest obstacle for a soul to be liberated. maNavALa mAmunigaL realizes as to when would the body fall and soul be liberated and ascend to the ultimate place that is also known as “parama padham”  or the eternal abode of SrIman nArAyaNan. It is a place filled with endless happiness eternally. The path to reach there is also very resplendent and is known as “archiRadhi”. maNavALa mAmunigaL yearns to be in paramapadham in the company of elite devotees there who are characterized by infinite knowledge and people upon whom the mundane bondage of this world has no impact whatsoever. maNavALa mAmunigaL express his anxiety and lets out an “alas”!!! He immediately thinks of Sri rAmAnuja as always and exclaims “Oh! yathirAja!!! You are the leader of yathIs (sanyAsis – mendicants). In addition to that, you are also the leader and master of all refugees like me who does not have any other place to surrender except your lotus feet. Even SrIman nArAyaNan did not protect some people including me and the like and dismissed us as “kshipAmi (Sri bhagavath gIthA 16.19)”. Even HE could not protect the likes of me and much more because of the innumerable accrued sins.  There is no other place to go for me (and many people like me) except you and your lotus feet. Hey! yathirAja! Only you can save me. Please ponder over this”.

adiyEn santhAna rAmAnuja dAsan

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Arththi prabandham – 3

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emperumanar-1

Introduction

In the first two pAsurams, maNavALa mAmunigaL described the greatness of SrI rAmAnuja. From this pAsuram onwards, he goes ahead and expresses what he yearns in his heart. Specifically in this pAsuram, he describes that SrI rAmAnuja is the all possible relation for him. Yet in order for that to fructify in its fullest state, the physical body that stands as an obstacle, has to drop out. maNavALa mAmunigaL asks why doesn’t this obstacle go away.

pAsuram 3

thandhai naRRAy thAram thanayar perunjelvam
enRanakku nIyE ethirAsA indha nilaikku
ErAdha ivvudalai inRE aRuththaruLap
pArAdhadhu ennO pagar

Listen

ethirAsA – Oh yathirAja !!!
en thanakku – For me
nIyE – you and only you are my
thandhai – father
nal thAy –  my mother who has vAthsalyam (the quality of treasuring a blemish as blessing)
thAram – my wife
thanayar – my child
perum selvam – my great wealth
indha – (However) this
nilaikku – particular thought (I am not able to continue forever)
ErAdha – because this thought cannot coexist with
ivvudalai – this physical body
pagar – please tell me
ennO – what is the reason that?
pArAdhadhu – (you have) not graced and
aruLa – not bless me
inRE – right away
aRuththu – to destroy this body of mine and

Simple Translation

maNavALa mAmunigaL asks SrI rAmAnuja the reason why he does not bless him by taking away his physical body. Only if that happens, he can have a continual experience of a thought that he has now in this world. maNavALa mAmunigaL considers SrI rAmAnuja as his father, his mother, his wife, his children, his eternal wealth and much more. But this thought does not seem to be eternal while being in this earth and is temporal. This is the reason maNavALa mAmunigaL asks SrI rAmAnuja as to what prevents him in taking him to his fold so that he can have the thought without any interruption.

Explanation

maNavALa mAmunigaL addresses SrI rAmAnuja as the one who is the leader of all yathis (yathirAja). “sElEy kaNNiyarum perunjelvamum nan makkalum mElAththAy thandhaiyum  avarE iniyAvArE (thiruvAimozhi 5.1.8)” and “thvamEva mAthA cha (SaraNAgathi gadhyam)” are two quotes taken here. maNavALamAmunigaL asks SrI rAmAnuja that it was periya perumAL (at srirangam) whom SrI rAmAnuja treated as the father who gives only the good for a child, as a mother who gives the pure love to a child, as a wife who gives pleasures to her husband, as a good son with great virtues and finally as his treasure that give everything. As per AlavandhAr’s celebratory pAsuram towards nammAzhvAr mAthA pithA yuvathaya: (sthOthra rathnam 5)”, he considered nammAzhvAr as his everything.  Similarly, maNavALa mAmunigaL tells SrI rAmAnuja that the latter is everything for him (maNavALa mAmunigaL). This is the condition of maNavALa mAmunigaL currently. However, he realizes that his physical body poses the biggest threat for this condition to exist eternally. He asks a question to SrI rAmAnuja as to why the latter is not blessing him by taking away his physical body this day right away, the very day and the moment in which maNavALa mAmunigaL realized that body is an impediment. maNavALa mAmunigaL requests SrI rAmAnuja to answer the question. He further asks him if there is any aspect that is making him worry/hesitate in blessing him.

In this pAsuram the adjective “naRRai” is to be broken as “nalla + thAy”. It means a good mother who is characterized by vAthsalyam (the quality by which a person treats a blemish as a blessing). This adjective “nalla” (good) stands as an adjective to all others mentioned in this pAsuram like father, wife, child and wealth. It does not just confine to just the mother. The rules of poetry allows to do so.

adiyEn santhAna rAmAnuja dAsan

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