thiruvAimozhi – 1.4 – anjiRaiya

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Full series >> First Centum

Previous Decad

ahzwar-message-to-paramapadanathanparAnkusa nAyaki (nammAzhwAr in feminine mood) sends messenger to paramapadhanAthan

Highlights from thirukkurugaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

After enjoying emperumAn through divine vision, AzhwAr developed the desire to experience and enjoy physically in front of him but that did not happen. Being distressed, AzhwAr meditates on emperumAn‘s qualities such as sarvAparaAdhasahathvam (forgiving all mistakes) etc., and consoling himself that emperumAn would never give up on him, he expresses his desire to emperumAn through a dhUtha (messenger). Here AzhwAr assumes a feminine mood and expresses his desires to emperumAn .

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

emperumAn, desiring to cultivate AzhwAr‘s devotion fully to have the ability to enjoy him, delays fulfilling AzhwAr’s desires, just like a doctor would make a patient fast to develop hunger. Unable to handle that, AzhwAr becomes very distressed due to his ananyArha sEshathvam (being fully dependent on emperumAn only), having developed the taste for the experience of emperumAn‘s divine consorts. Due to AzhwAr being at par with emperumAn‘s divine consorts, since he was desirous of enjoying emperumAn only (being enjoyed by emperumAn only) and being unable to sustain oneself during separation from emperumAn, AzhwAr reveals her pains of separation in the mood of a beloved of emperumAn.

parAnkusa nAyaki (AzhwAr considering herself as a girl), while playing in her garden with her friends, due to divine intervention, gets separated from her friends, meets emperumAn and enjoys his union and becomes separated from emperumAn too which leads to great suffering. She starts thinking “emperumAn left me and is not returning to me due to some defects in my side and if I indicate his quality of aparAdha sahathvam, he will return to me”. Just like srI rAma and sIthA were sending birds as messengers to express their sufferings in separation of each other without comprehending that birds cannot really communicate their feelings, parAnkusa nAyaki too sends some birds as messengers to emperumAn.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

In this 4th decade – AzhwAr starts enjoying emperumAn who is easily approachable, beautiful and the master – through mind, words and deeds. But since he did not respond immediately, AzhwAr becomes distressed.

AzhwAr sees many qualities in emperumAn such as

  • emperumAn’s greatness in accepting/protecting everyone after removing his/her previously committed offenses.
  • his puNdarIkAkshathvam (lotus eyed nature) which can purify everyone
  • his nature of stealing everyone’s heart and making everyone fully dependent on him
  • the divine beauty which helps him steal everyone’s heart
  • friendly attitude towards protecting every one in all the worlds
  • having the entourage to quickly protect everyone
  • his limitless mercy which will destroy the defects of those who surrender unto him
  • the unlimited vAthsalyam (motherly forbearance) – considering the defects (of those who surrender) as enjoyable aspects
  • his eternal relationship with everyone which is the cause for the vAthsalyam
  • Being close to every one

Considering all of these qualities of emperumAn, AzhwAr thinks emperumAn delays the experience due to not knowing AzhwAr‘s intentions/state and tries to send a messenger. Here AzhwAr assumes a feminine mood (parAnkusa nAyaki) and sends a messenger to Iswara who is the nAyaka (husband/master).

AzhwAr‘s nature is ananyArha sEsham (being dependent on emperumAn only), ananya rakshyam (being protected by emperumAn only) and ananya bhOgyam (being enjoyed by emperumAn only) – just like a wife who is totally dependent on her husband. Based on Iswara‘s svAmithva (being the master), Athmathva (being the controlling soul), sEshithva (being the lord/primary), pumsathva (being the man), the chEthana has dhAsathva (being the servant), dhEhathva (being the controlled body), sEshathva (being subservient/secondary) and sthrIthva (being the woman) qualities. Due to the beloved girl having discord arising out of love with her man is matching in the case of AzhwAr with Iswara, there is nothing wrong in AzhwAr assuming a feminine mood to express his feelings. Since this is the mood of a beloved girl in separation, this is treated as kaikkiLai (a thamizh poetic style to reveal one-sided love).

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

Similar to nampiLLai‘s introduction.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s introduction

In the previous decads, AzhwAr became delighted after enjoying emperumAn‘s parathvam (supremacy), bhajanIyathai (being worshippable) and saulabhyam (easily approachable) as himself. In this decad, AzhwAr transforms into a  beloved girl and speaks in desperation instead of delight. As explained in “ayam apara: kArakaniyama:” – this action (decad) is in a different norm and is most enjoyable.

Once, a (dry) scholar came to thiruvAimozhi lecture series (of nampiLLai) after hearing that “most detached and stable-minded persons pursue this thiruvAimozhi – it should be revealing great philosophy”. But when this decad was started, he said this looks like “romantic blabbering” and left the lecture. Since he was an unfortunate person, he did not understand that this is bhagavath kAmam (divine dealings of AthmA with bhagavan) as explained in bruhadhAraNyaka upanishath 4.5 “…nidhidhyAsithavya:” (to be constantly meditated upon).

AzhwAr delightfully said that he wanted to enjoy the lotus feet of thrivikraman (in the end of previous decad). But he realized that thrivikrama avathAram was in a different era and he can no more physically enjoy that and immediately assumes feminine mood and her delight becomes desperation in this decad.

Though AzhwAr clearly understands that emperumAn will protect him, the reason for his desperation here is – since food during indigestion is not good, learned doctor will make the patient fast to cultivate hunger so that the food can be consumed satisfactorily, emperumAn being “maruththuvanAi ninRa mAmaNivaNNan” (emperumAn who is the real doctor – periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 5.3.6), delays the experience by disappearing for a little while from AzhwAr’s vision so that he can mature and fully experience the anubhavams which are to follow in the rest of thiruvAimozhi.

Subsequently, AzhwAr becomes disturbed. One who was blessed with “mayarvaRa madhinalam” (blemishless knowledge) becomes disturbed. emperumAn‘s greatness is such that, even the knowledge blessed by him will not be useful in separation.  Even sIthA pirAtti who said in srI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 9.30 “thath thasya sadhrusam bhavEth” (his coming over to lankA and rescuing me (without any of my efforts) is the suitable action for srI rAma’s greatness), attempted to kill herself moments earlier (before meeting hanumAn) – that is because of the unbearable pain in separation from such great emperumAn – sIthA pirAtti who knows everything herself acted like that in pain of separation. Both srI rAma and sIthA pirAtti also requested birds to convey their feelings to each other [Note: Our pUrvAchAryas often quote from srI rAmAyaNam and other sAsthrams to prove the validity of AzhwArs’ actions/expressions to vaidhikas who accepted vaidhika sAsthram faithfully in those days].

nampiLLai establishes that AzhwAr is like pirAtti (divine consort of emperumAn) – this can be seen in the last para of vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar’s introduction. Just like emperumAn‘s feet are at times said as lotus (due to the close similarity), here AzhwAr too is spoken as pirAtti herself. This is called “muRRuvamai” (fully matching example) in thamizh grammar. bhagavAn’s beauty/manliness is such that even other men would give up their (bodily) manliness and be attracted towards him.

nampiLLai explains the principle of parAnkusa nAyaki meeting emperumAn in the garden (as explained in nanjIyar’s introduction). He further explains it here. parAnkusa nAyaki looks around to send a messenger to emperumAn to reveal her feelings. She understands that her friends are in even-more non-consolable state. So, she observes the birds (considered as AchArya who would link the jIvAthmA with paramAthmA) which have wings (gyAnam and anushtAnam) and sends them as messengers to emperumAn. bhattar often said that just like the monkey clan became glorified after srI rAma’s birth, the birds became glorified after the birth of AzhwArs.

Here, samslEsham (union) for AzhwAr is – emperumAn blessing him “mayarvaRa mathinalam” (blemishless knowledge) at a particular time when he did not show any hatred towards emperumAn. vislEsham (separation) for AzhwAr is – having realised fully, not reaching emperumAn immediately. The reason for sending messenger is – emperumAn did not see his greatness and instead accepted me seeing my insignificance. But on coming near me, he saw the defects in me and gave up on me considering such defects. AzhwAr wanted to inform/remind emperumAn that he [emperumAn] has a quality called “aparAdha sahathvam”. AzhwAr (in feminine mood) sends a messenger to remind him about that quality so that he will come and accept AzhwAr again.

Each pAsuram is discussed subsequently.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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