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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),
madhurakavi – madhurakavi AzhvAr
seerththa – who is full of greatness
sey – divined
kalaiyai – the prabandham that is kaNNinuN chiruththAmbu;
AriyargaL thAngaL – pUrvAcharyas (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.
thiruppuLi 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 thAngaL – AchAryas 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).
Acharyan 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.
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English Translation: raghurAm SrInivAsa dhAsan
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