thiruppaLLiyezhuchchi – Introduction (avathArikai)

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periya perumAL – srIrangam

thondaradipodi-azhwar-srirangamthoNdaradippodi AzhwAr – srIrangam

Based on introduction given by nanjIyar and periyavAchchAn piLLai

nanjIyar‘s introduction

As mentioned in “anAdhi mAyayA supthO yadhA jIva: prabudhyathE” (அநாதி மாயயா ஸுப்தோ யதா ஜீவ: ப்ரபுத்யதே – when the jIvAthmA awakes from the sleep of ignorance) , periya perumAL blesses vipranArAyaNan out of his causeless mercy and wakes him up from ignorance. Being blessed with divine knowledge, AzhwAr realizes that periya perumAL is both prApyam (goal) and prApakam (means) and reveals the same through thirumAlai. After that, wanting to serve periya perumAL, AzhwAr sings thiruppaLLiyezhuchchi to wake emperumAn up (roles reversed now – first emperumAn woke AzhwAr up and now AzhwAr wakes emperumAn up).

Once it is understood that goal and means are bhagavAn only, naturally one will constantly meditate on and enjoy bhagavAn‘s divine sleep, divine assembly and ones own kainkaryam by preparing garlands to bhagavAn. ANdAL nAchchiyAr enjoyed this aspect in thiruppAvai 23  “mArimalai muzhainjil” (மாரிமலை முழைஞ்சில்). nammAzhwAr established ultimate kainkaryam to bhAgavathas in thiruvAimozhi 8.10 decad “nedumARkadimai” (நெடுமாற்கடிமை), instructed the essential principles for the people of this world in thiruvAimozhi 9.1 decad “koNda peNdir makkaL” (கொண்ட பெண்டிர் மக்கள்) and revealed his great desire to serve emperumAn after waking him up in thiruvAimozhi 9.2.3 pAsuram “kidantha nAL kidanthAy” (கிடந்த நாள் கிடந்தாய்). viswAmithra rishi also woke srI rAma up as mentioned in srI rAmAyaNam, bAla kANdam – 23.2 “kausalyA suprajA rAma …” (கௌஸல்யா ஸுப்ரஜா ராம …). Along the same lines,  thoNdaradippodi AzhwAr also observes the beauty of periya perumAL waking up and wanting to serve him, sings thiruppaLLiyezhuchchi.

Adhithya (sun) appears in the udhyagiri (mountain in the eastern side). Giving up their pride, dhEvAthAs and kings arrive at the south side of the temple with raw-materials required for thiruvArAdhanam. Seeking out for the merciful vision of emperumAn, they push each other and stand infront of emperumAn. AzhwAr too requests emperumAn (who is the protector of all, husband of srImahAlakshmi, one who is very attached to his devotees and one who is approachable by all) to engage him in his kainkaryam. Just like some people will show their kids and earn their livelihood, AzhwAr shows the presence of dhEvathAs  (who are looking for material benefits) and request his desires (kainkaryam) to be fulfilled.

Thus ends nanjIyar‘s introduction to this dhivya prabandham.

periyavAchchAn piLLai ‘s introduction

thoNdaradippodi AzhwAr initially being ignorant about svarUpa (true nature of oneself), upAya (means) and purushArththa (goal), considering his dhEham (body) as AthmA (himself), was engaged in wordly pleasures and also engaged his acquaintances to be like that. periya perumAL, out of his causeless mercy, revealed his divine beauty to AzhwAr, eradicated AzhwAr’s worldly desires and stimulated AzhwAr’s attraction towards him. AzhwAr too, approaches periya perumAL with the intent of serving him. But periya perumAL (being archAvathAra emperumAn), does not physically interact with him and just stays lying down.

But him lying down (pretending to be sleeping) does not mean that perumAL ignores AzhwAr since AzhwAr is dear to him. As emperumAn is sudhdha sathvam (pure goodness), it cannot be said that perumAL is lying down due to indigestion or due to thamO guNam (laziness/lethargy). But it is due to to AzhwAr

  • being fully realized about the inappropriate state of material existence for the true nature of jIvAthmA,
  • being fully realized about the true nature of jIvAthmA which is to be a servitor of bhAgavathas
  • having full knowledge about matter and soul
  • having full control over his own senses
  • having no attachment towards other upAyams such as karma, gyAna, bhakthi yOgams, etc

periya perumAL is lying down in srIrangam meditating on getting a dear devotee like AzhwAr, considering his own greatness which reformed AzhwAr and thinking about how to bring all other jIvAthmAs to the same level of AzhwAr.

Just like srI rAma never had good sleep while being separated from sIthA pirAtti, periya perumAL also was having sleepless times when not having AzhwAr as his devotee. But once, AzhwAr became fully devoted to perumAL, perumAL also started sleeping peacefully. Since AzhwAr is so attached to kainkaryam and cannot think about anything else, just like viswAmithra woke srI rAma up (we have already seen “kausalyA suprajA rAma” slOkam), sIthA pirAtti woke srI rAma up as mentioned in srI rAmAyaNam, sundhara kANdam 38.25 “samayA bOdhitha: srImAn” (ஸமயா போதித: ஸ்ரீமாந்) and ANdAL woke kaNNan emperumAn up in thiruppAvai 17 “umbar kOmAnE uRangAthezhundhirAy” (உம்பர் கோமானே உறங்காதெழுந்திராய்), AzhwAr to wakes periya perumAL up saying “arangaththammA paLLiyezhuntharuLAyE” (அரங்கத்தம்மா பள்ளியெழுந்தருளாயே) in this prabandham and requests emperumAn to engage him in kainkaryam to bhAgavathas in the end saying “thoNdaradippodiyennum adiyanai aLiyanenRaruLi unnadiyArkku AtpaduththAy” (தொண்டரடிப்பொடியென்னும் அடியனை அளியனென்றருளி உன்னடியார்க்கு ஆட்படுத்தாய்).

The reason for AzhwAr forcefully waking emperumAn up to engage in kainkaryam is because, AzhwAr knows that kainkaryam (service) for the full pleasure of emperumAn is the ultimate goal. iLaiya perumAL (lakshmaNa) said “aham sarvam karishyAmi jAgrathas svapathascha thE” (அஹம் ஸர்வம் கரிஷ்யாமி ஜாக்ரதஸ் ஸ்வபதஸ்ச தே) in srI rAmAyaNam, ayOdhyA kANdam 31.25 – I will do all types of service to you while you are awake and sleeping. nammAzhwAr said in thiruvAimozhi 3.3.1 “ozhivil kAlamellAm udanAy manni…” (ஒழிவில் காலமெல்லாம் உடனாய் மன்னி…) – one should do all kainkaryams at all places, all times, all aspects and that too purely for his pleasure only as mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 2.9.4 “thanakkEyAga enaikkoLLumIdhE” (தனக்கேயாக எனைக்கொள்ளுமீதே) – engage me in your service only, purely for your own pleasure.  Even while doing, kainkaryam should be done after receiving the orders from emperumAn as iLaiya perumAL requests srI rAma in srI rAmAyaNam, AraNya kANdam 1.57 “kriyathAmithi mAm vadha” (க்ரியதாமிதி மாம் வத) – you order me to construct the hut (which is pleasing to you and sIthA pirAtti). AzhwAr too says to emperumAn in thiruvAimozhi 8.5.7 “mugappE kUvip paNi koLLAy” (முகப்பே கூவிப் பணி கொள்ளாய்) – call me in the front and engage me in your kainkaryam. Thus, AzhwAr wakes emperumAn up informing him that the day has dawned and requesting him to engage him in kainkaryams.

Finally, periyavAchchAn piLLai, highlights the difference between thirumAlai and thiruppaLLiyezhuchchi. Let us see them now.

  • In thirumAlai, perumAL woke AzhwAr (who has been in samsAram since time immemorial) up from ignorance. Here, AzhwAr wakes perumAL (who is mesmerized due to great love towards AzhwAr) up.
  • In thirumAlai, AzhwAr glorifies vAchika kainkaryam (45 – punkavithaiyElum empirARkiniyavARe – performing service by singing, speaking, etc). Here, AzhwAr glorifies kAyika kainkaryam (10 – thodaiyoththa thuLavamum kUdaiym polinthu thOnRiya thOL – performing physical kainkaryam like maintaining flower gardens, making garlands, etc).
  • In thirumAlai, he received the kainkaryam which is dear to emperumAn (45 – empirARkiniyavARe). Here, he prays for kainkaryam which is dear to bhAgavathas (10 – adiyArkkAtpaduththAy).
  • In thirumAlai, emperumAn‘s efforts are highlighted (in reforming AzhwAr). Here, the results of such efforts are highlighted.
  • In thirumAlai, AzhwAr requests emperumAn to acknowledge and bless him (37 – eLiyathOraruLumanRE enthiRaththu). Here, he matures and desires for more glories to emperumAn (9 – avarkku nALOlakkamaruLa).

Thus ends periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction to this dhivya prabandham.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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