srImathE satakOpAya nama:
srImathE rAmAnujAya nama:
srImadh varavaramunayE nama:
Introduction for this pAsuram
Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction
Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction
bhagavAn srIman nArAyaNan who is opposite to all defects and the abode of all auspicious qualities, being the master of nithyasUris (in paramapadham), out of his unconditional grace, blessed nammAzhwAr with pristine knowledge and devotion towards him. Being blessed, nammAzhwAr starts engaging in service of such bhagavAn. Thus, at the beginning of the prabandham itself, (auspicious aspects such as ) the object of glorification and reverential bowing down are highlighted.
Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction
In this pAsuram, the summary of the first padhigam (decad) is explained. In this first pAsuram, the existence of unlimited auspicious qualities, unconditional mercy, controlling the nithyasUris and having eternal auspicious forms – all of which reveal the supremacy of emperumAn, are revealed. Having said so, nammAzhwAr directs his heart to always serve such emperumAn.
Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction
Very similar to nanjIyar‘s introduction.
nammAzhwAr first highlights the 3 main favours which are done by emperumAn towards him. First emperumAn favoured AzhwAr by showing his true nature of being filled with auspicious qualities. Then, even though AzhwAr did not have anything on his side, emperumAn blessed him with divine knowledge and devotion towards him out of his causeless mercy. Then he showed that he is the master of nithyasUris. Being favoured like this, AzhwAr directs his heart to come and serve him eternally.
AzhwAr asks his heart to bow down to bhagavAn to be uplifted. When a river starts flooding nearby fields, the trees which stay still will be uprooted while the plants etc., which bend and tackle the flood, will survive. In the same way, after understanding the glories of bhagavAn, if one bows down in front of him, he will be uplifted.
உயர்வற உயர் நலம் உடையவன் யவனவன்
மயர்வற மதி நலம் அருளினன் யவனவன்
அயர்வறும் அமரர்கள் அதிபதி யவனவன்
துயரறு சுடரடி தொழுதெழென் மனனே.
uyarvaRa uyarnalam udaiyavan yavan avan
mayarvaRa madhinalam aruLinan yavan avan
ayarvaRum amarargaL adhipathi yavan avan
thuyaraRu sudarodi thozhudheLu en mananE
Word-by-Word meanings (based on vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s 12000 padi)
uyarvu – greatness (as explained in thaiththirIya upanishath – Anandhavalli)
aRa – non-existing
uyar – unexplainably high
nalam – that bliss
udaiyavan – being the one who has
yavanavan – one who is famously explained in authentic scriptures
mayarvu – ignorance (samsaya – doubt, viparyaya – error etc)
aRa – be destroyed
madhinalam – true knowledge and devotion
aruLinan – blessed (out of own mercy)
yavanavan – one who is ancient
ayarvu – forgetting nature
aRum – does not have
amarargaL – nithyasUris who eternally enjoy bhagavAn
adhipathi – infinite (unchallengable) master
yavan – one
avan – his
thuyaraRu – removes the sufferings (of the dependants)
sudar – eternal radiance
adi – to the divine feet
thozhudhu – performing the act that fits a servant (as explained in badhdhAnjali putA: – ones who are with folded hands)
en mananE – oh my mind!
ezhu – rise and be uplifted
Simple translation (based on vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s 12000 padi)
Oh my mind! Bow down with folded hands at the lotus feet of emperumAn and be uplifted. emperumAn is the famous one highlighted in authentic scriptures as one who has unexplainable greatness which makes all other greatness non-existing. He is the one who blessed me true knowledge and devotion, out of his unconditional grace that dispelled my ignorance completely. He is the indisputable master of the nithyasUris who have no defects such as forgetful nature etc.
In the first line, “nalam” indicates the unlimited bliss or those auspicious qualities which lead to the unlimited bliss of bhagavAn . In the second line, “nalam” indicates devotional friendship with bhagavAn.
Each line ending with “avan” in the end is joined with the last line and explained as well. i.e., Oh mind! bow down at the lotus feet of the one who is filled with auspicious qualities and be uplifted. Oh mind! bow down at the one lotus feet of the who bestowed me true knowledge and devotion and be uplifted. Oh mind! bow down at the one lotus feet of the who is the master of nithyasUris and be uplifted.
Also, this pAsuram reveals the essence of thirumanthram. praNavam which reveals the master-servant relationship between paramAthmA and jIvAthmA is explained in first line as it explains bhagavAn being supreme to everyone, nama: – he being upAyam is explained by the second line as it explains bhagavAn bestowing true knowledge/devotion to AzhwAr and finally nArAyaNAya is explained in the 3rd and 4th lines – the ultimate goal of paramapadham (3rd line) and kainkaryam (4th line).
Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s vyAkyAnam
AzhwAr instructs his mind to engage in all types of kainkaryam at all places in all ways to bhagavAn and be uplifted. bhagavAn is explained as having unlimited auspicious qualities such as bliss etc. He unconditionally and mercifully blessed AzhwAr with divine blemishless knowledge and triggered great devotion towards his lotus feet. bhagavAn is explained as the master of the infiinte divine souls in paramapadham such as Adhi sEshan, vishwaksEnar, garudAzhwAr et al who never fall from their position and already showering his mercy towards such nithyasUris.
Highlights from nanjIyar‘s vyAkyAnam
- uyarvaRa uyarnalam udaiyavan – Just like in the presence of Sun, the stars do not shine, in comparison to bhagavAn‘s glories, others’ glories do not shine at all.
- madhinalam – bhakthirUpApanna gyAnam – knowledge enriched with devotion or knowledge matured into devotion.
- amarargaL – usage of plural indicates that there are infinite nithyasUris.
- thuyaraRu sudaradi – Is there agony for the lotus feet themselves? Yes – they consider the agony of the ones who are surrendered as their own and remove that agony.
- Why is AzhwAr asking to worship the lotus feet instead of bhagavAn himself? Just like a nursing child will look for the mother’s bosom, adiyavan (dhAsa – servitor) will look for the lotus feet of the master.
- Many arguments such as “brahmam is sath only without any attributes” (auspicious qualities in the first line) and “the difference between jIvAthmA and paramAthmA is artificial, on liberation they will become one” (master of nithyasUris explained in the third line) are defeated easily and AzhwAr‘s sidhdhAntham [philosophy] is established.
Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s vyAkyAnam
This reflects nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam mostly.
- amararagaL – ones who are immortal. For them death means separation from bhagavAn – there is no other death for them.
- uyaravaRa uyarnalam – When thaiththirIya upanishath started enjoying bhagavAn‘s auspicious qualities, it could not even fully enjoy a single quality named “Anandham” (bliss) and declared “yathO vAchO nivarthanthE“. Each quality of emperumAn is infinitely great. ALavandhAr explains that bhagavAn‘s greatness over all other entities is clearly explained here.
- udaiyavan – These qualities are natural for bhagavAn instead of being accidental (acquired). kUraththAzhwAn explains to piLLai piLLai AzhwAn that AzhwAr establishes bhagavAn‘s auspicious qualities right upfront and easily defeats the ones who claim he is nirguNam (without any qualities – according to them).
- yavan – that most famous and established personality. The personality on whom these auspicious qualities are naturally and fittingly visible. This means bhagavAn by nature is great and does not depend on his qualities to prove his greatness. On the other hand, this also means that bhagavAn who is with such great auspicious qualities.
- mayarvaRa – removing the agyAnam (ignorance) completely. agyAnam is of 3 categories
- gyAna anudhaya (no knowledge at all) – dhEhAthma abhimAnam – considering body as the soul. This means, there is no knowledge about jIvAthmA and considering the body itself as everything.
- anyathA gyAnam – dhEvathAnthara sEshathvam – considering oneself as servitor of other dhEvathAs such as brahmA, rudhran, indhran et al.
- viparIdha gyAnam – svAthanthriyam (considering oneself as independant) and svabhOgyam (considering oneself as the enjoyer) like kEvalan (one who desires kaivalya mOksham).
- madhinalam – some explain this as gyAnam and bhakthi. But bhattar explains this as gyAnam enriched with bhakthi (gyAnam matured as bhakthi). This bhakthi was blessed by bhagavAn himself and it induces kainkaryam to bhagavAn. When some ask embAr if AzhwAr was a prapanna or bhakthi yOga nishta, he replies “AzhwAr is a prapanna; but performs bhakthi to spend his time in this world”.
- aruLinan – Being blessed by bhagavAn unconditionally, AzhwAr considers himself as asath (insentient) before being blessed.
- ayarvaRum … – One who has a whole realm (parampadham) filled with devotees who cannot sustain themselves without bhagavAn’s mercy. nithyasUris are those who have no forgetfulness by the grace of bhagavAn; mukthAthmAs are those who were in samsAra before with forgetfulness but subsequently got relieved of the same during liberation, by the grace of bhagavAn.
- amarargaL – the residents of paramapadham who cannot bear separation from bhagavAn. All of them look similar to bhagavAn – only in the grand assembly and by seeing his divine consorts and divine ornaments like srI kausthubam can bhagavAn be easily identified.
- adhipathi – Though there are some similarities, he is completely greater than they.
- thuyaraRu – Previously AchAryas explained this as “thuyaraRukkum” (that which dispels the agony of others). emperumAnAr explained this as “thuyaraRu sudaradi” (the lotus feet which dispel the agony of bhagavAn). As explained in srI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 2.42 “vyasanEshu cha manushyANAm brusam bhavathi dhukkitha:” (when his subjects suffered, srI rAma felt more agony than themselves) bhagavAn was in pain seeing AzhwAr‘s sufferings before, but seeing he has been blessed, his agony is dispelled.
- thozhudhu – engaging in the devotional activity which is natural for the jIvAthmA considering the time lost in this samsAram since time immemorial.
- ezhu – rise and be uplifted. From the state of “asannEva sa bhavathi” (thaiththirIya upanishath Anandhavalli – he is not even considered to be existing when he considers brahmam to be not existing), he became “santhamEnam thathO vidhu:” (thaiththirIya upanishath Anandhavalli – others know him to be existing when he knows brahmam to be existing).
- en mananE – now only AzhwAr is seeing himself. He relishes his relationship with his mind now having been blessed by bhagavAn. As explained in srIvishNu purANam 6.7.28 “mana Eva manushyANAm kAraNam bandhamOkshayO:” (For a man, his mind is the cause for both attachment to this world and liberation from this world).
- Ones who claim that bhagavAn does not have guNam (qualities), vigraham (form), vibhUthi (wealth) are all defeated in this pAsuram itself. One need not explain the opponents case and defeat it. If ones own philosophy is explained clearly, that will easily defeat the opponents philosophy.
- artha panchakam is explained in this pAsuram.
- prApyam – “bhagavAn” is explained by “uyarvaRa uyarnalam udaiyavan – ayaravaRum amarargaL adhipathi“
- virOdhi – “ignorance being dispelled” is explained by “mayarvaRa“
- sAdhanam (upAyam) – “bhagavAn is the means” is explained by “aruLinan”
- palam (upEyam) – “kainkaryam is the goal” is explained by “thozhudhu ezhu“
- jIvAthmA – “the pure soul who is the qualified person to pursue the goal” is explained by “en mananE“
In the next article we will the next pAsuram.
adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan
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