kaNNinuN chiRuth thAmbu 4 – nanmaiyAl

srImathE satakOpAya nama:
srImathE rAmAnujAya nama:
srImadh varavaramunayE nama:

Full Series

Previous pAsuram


Introduction for this pAsuram:

All the introductions for this pAsuram are seen as a continuation of previous pAsuram.

nanjIyar highlights that madhurakavi AzhwAr observes nammAzhwAr‘s favours to him for accepting him even after most saintly persons ignored him. When asked what was his action that triggered nammAzhwAr to accept him, madhurakavi AzhwAr says, he had such lowly qualities that even most saintly persons will give up on him.

nampiLLai  highlights that madhurakavi AzhwAr reveals his state before being accepted by nammAzhwAr.

periyavAchchAn piLLai highlights that madhurakavi AzhwAr first rejected bhagavAn (in first pAsuram) but then showed attachment to bhagavAn (in third pAsuram), since bhagavAn is most dear to nammAzhwAr. He says “If I think about nammAzhwAr‘s favours to me, I should like whatever he likes” and he speaks about his lowly qualities and how nammAzhwAr accepted him.

azhagiya maNavALa perumaL nAyanAr highlights that madhurakavi AzhwAr reveals his heart and shows his attachment towards nammAzhwAr in the previous pAsurams. Seeing that, some ask, rishis (sages) and AzhwArs have unanimously declared srIman nArAyaNan as mother and father of all of universe. You are also part of  that same universe. So, why are you surrendering to nammAzhwAr instead of bhagavAn as done by these great sages and AzhwArsmadhurakavi AzhwAr replies “Due to my extremely lowly nature, even those saintly people have given up on me. Only nammAzhwAr uplifted me seeing that lowly nature itself as a qualification. So, his completeness in giving mercy to others is to be glorified”.

நன்மையால் மிக்க நான்மறையாளர்கள்
புன்மை யாகக் கருது வராதலின்
அன்னை யாயத்தனா யென்னை யாண்டிடும்
தன்மையான் சடகோபனென் நம்பியே.

nanmaiyAl mikka nAnmaRaiyALargaL
punmaiyAgak karuthuvar Athalil
annaiyAy aththanAy ennai ANdidum thanmaiyAn
satakOpan en nambiyE

word-by-word meanings
nanmaiyAl mikka – filled with virtues
nAl maRai ALargaL – vaidhikas who are experts in the 4 vEdhams
ennai – me (this dhAsa/servitor)
punmai Aga karuthuvar Athalil – ignoring me due to me being an embodiment of lowly qualities
annai Ay – being a mother
aththan Ay – being a father
ennai ANdidum thanmaiyAn – having the quality of accepting me as his servitor
satakOpan – nammAzhwAr
en nambi – my master

Simple translation:
Seeing that the vaidhikas who are experts in the 4 vEdhams and who are filled with virtues ignore me due to me being an embodiment of lowly qualities, nammAzhwAr like a mother and a father who is having the quality of accepting me as his servitor, is my master.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s vyAkyAnam:

  • nanmaiyAl mikka nAnmaRaiyALargaL” means ones who are paradhukka asahisNu (one who cannot bear others’ sufferings), parasamruththi Eka prayOjanar (others’ well-being is their only goal) and ones who have very pure mind/heart. Ones like kUraththAzhwAn, ANdAL (kUraththAzhwAn‘s dharmapathni), srImahAlakshmi, etc.
  • annaiyAy aththanAy” – being all types of relation such as mAthA, pithA, AchArya, etc. mAthA (Mother) is generally focussed on priyam (that which is pleasing to the child), pithA (Father) is generally focussed on hitham (well-being – that which is ideal for the child) and AchArya is focussed fully on the hitham (well-being) of the jIvAthmA.
  • en nambi” (my master) – nammAzhwAr is so complete that, not only he has the ability to purify himself, he can also purify me.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s eedu vyAkyAnam:

  • Except for nammAzhwAr, no one else will accept me – I have so much defects. I am an embodiment of all lowly qualities.
  • When kAkAsura who offended sIthA pirAtti, srI rAma launched a straw as a weapon to kill him. kAkAsura tried to get help from all 3 worlds and eventually failed and finally surrendered to srI rAma who could only give him refuge forgiving his cruel act. Similarly, for the amount of blemishes I have, only nammAzhwAr could accept me and reform me.
  • Whatever nammAzhwAr observed in emperumAn in thiruvAimozhi 2.3.2 “thAyAyth thanthaiyAy aRiyAdhana aRiviththa aththA” (being a mother, being a father and enlightening me with those aspects that are not known to me), madhurakavi AzhwAr observes the same in nammAzhwAr.
  • thanmaiyAn” – just like fire is hot and water is cold naturally, it is nammAzhwAr‘s natural quality to uplift even the most fallen persons.
  • Whatever done by mother, father will not do. Whatever done by father, mother will not do. Others cannot do either (mother’s task or father’s task). But nammAzhwAr is so complete that he fulfills all these responsibilities. Some how I tried to compare him with saintly persons – it is my mistake to try and compare him with any one since no one is as complete as nammAzhwAr.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s vyAkyAnam:

  • This vyAkyAnam is mostly based on nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam.
  • Experts in vEdhams means ones who have understood the essence of the meanings of vEdham, i.e., becoming Anrusamsya pradhAnar (Being benevolent/compassionate towards others) – uplifting them from this miserable samsAram.
  • satakOpa – one who removed my wickedness/ignorance. nammAzhwAr is known as satakOpa since he angrily drove out the ignorance from his own mind during his birth. Now, madhurakavi AzhwAr uses that name of nammAzhwAr remembering nammAzhwAr‘s favour of driving out the ignorance from his mind as well. Up to 3rd pAsuram, madhurakavi AzhwAr used “kurukUr nambi” and in this pAsuram he uses satakOpa due to the fact that nammAzhwAr dispelling his ignorance.

Highlights from azhagiya maNavALa perumaL nAyanAr‘s vyAkyanam:

  • As heard from nammAzhwAr who identified devotees as “nalaththAl mikkAr” (ones who are filled with good qualities) in thiruvAimozhi 5.8.3, madhurakavi AzhwAr says “nanmaiyAl mikka“. They are not just filled with kindness, they are also devoid of any hatred towards any one. They are so kind hearted that even towards the ones who hurt them, they are merciful. sIthA pirAtti defended the rAkshasis (rAvaNa’s demoniac female assistants who troubled her so much) and advised hanuman to show mercy towards them. kUraththAzhwAn requested emperumAn to bless nAlUrAn (his own sishya who caused the loss of his eyes) with the same benediction as he himself would get. prahlAzhdhAzhwAn too was compassionate towards the ones who committed great offenses towards him.
  • nanmaiyAl mikka nAnmaRaiyALargaL” – Their most compassionate quality is learnt/acquired from vEdham. “mAthA pithA sahasrEbhyO vathsalatharam sAsthram” (sAsthram carries thousand times more care than mother/father will manifest). One who has not studied sAsthram will not understand true compassion (based on AthmA).
  • madhurakavi AzhwAr is more worried for such great persons giving up on him – even more than being filled with blemishes only.
  • nammAzhwAr accepts such madhurakavi AzhwAr who is given up by every one. srIvaikuNta sthavam 2nd slOkam “yadhvA saraNyam asaraNya janasya puNyam” (That sacred one which is the refuge for the ones who have no other refuge).
  • ennai ANdidum thanmaiyAn” – Engaged me in scribing thiruvAimozhi while nammAzhwAr dictated the same – this is the most apt/desirable kainkaryam for me.
  • ennai ANdidum” – vadakkuth thiruvIdhip piLLai (nAyanAr‘s father) says “nammAzhwAr advised and engaged me in worshipping polindhu ninRa pirAn (AzhwArthirunagari uthsavar) also – Even though I skipped emperumAn and worshipped nammAzhwArnammAzhwAr ensured that I also worshipped polindhu ninRa pirAn as that is fitting for the jIvAthmA‘s nature”.
  • satakOpan” – because he drove out my “satam” (ignorance), he became to be known as “satakOpan“.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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