upadhESa raththina mAlai – 68

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pAsuram 68

nAththikarum naRkalaiyin nanneRi sEr Aththikarum
Aththika nAththikarumAm ivarai – Orththu nenjE
munnavarum pinnavarum mUrkkar ena vittu naduch
chonnavarai nALum thodar.                                                   68


Word by word meaning

nAththikarum – The nAsthikas,
Aththikarum –and the Asthikas
sEr – being in
nal – good
neRi – path
nal kalaiyin – as what is said in good SAsthram,
Aththika nAththikarum – and the Asthika-nAsthikas –
Am ivarai – among these groups,
nenjE – Oh mind!
Orththu – think through
vittu – and disassociate from
munnavarum – the first-mentioned nAsthikas
pinnavarum – and the last-mentioned Asthika-nAsthikas
mUrkkar ena – saying that they are having foolishness,
nALum – and always
thodar – follow
naduch chonnavarai – the Asthikas mentioned in the middle.


In the previous pAsuram he (maNavALa mAmunigaL) accepted that the ways of glorious ones is the reference for following, and in this pAsuram, he thinks that he should divine, for the learned ones who live based on AchAryan’s commands, about the nature of those good ones who can be trusted, qualified to accept, and who can be followed, and the nature of the opposite, bad ones who cannot be accepted, and he is talking about this towards his mind, starting the pAsuram with ‘nAththikarum’.

nAththirkar – they are – those who are nAsthikas inward and outward.

Aththikar – they are – those who are Asthikas inward and outward.

Aththika-nAththikar – they are – those who are Asthikas outward, but nAsthikas inward.

When explaining ‘agyanAna vishaya pravaNan kEvala nAsthikanaip pOlE, gyAnavAnAna vishaya pravaNan Asthika nAsthikanaip pOlE [SrI vachana bhUshaNam – 187]’, jeeyar divined the vyAkyAnam for these terms as follows:

kEvala nAsthikanAgirAn, dharma adharma paralOka chEthana eesvarAdhigaLukku prathipAthakamAna SAsthraththil prAmANya budhdhi onRum inRikkE svaira sanchAra paranAyth thirigiRa sudhdha nAsthikan’ (One who does not consider as reference/proof what is said in SAsthrams as true about dharmam, adharmam, paralOkam (other worlds), sentient (AthmA), Isvaran (emperumAn), and having the set habit of going in independent ways), and

‘Asthika nAsthikanAgirAn, dharma adharma sakala prathipAthakamAna SAsthraththai pramANam enRu aRigaiyAlE AsthikanenRum sollalAmpadi iruppAnAy, andha SAsthra maryAdhaiyil adangAdhE thORRiRRuch cheydhu thirigaiyAlE nAsthika samanAyirukkumavan’ (Asthika-nAsthikan is one who can be said as Asthikan as he accepts SAsthram that talks about the aforementioned dharmam, adharmam, etc., but he crosses the limits of SAsthram and lives performing whatever occurs to his mind, so he is being similar to a nAsthikan),

naRkalaiyin nanneRi sEr Aththikar – is – as said in ‘AsthikO dharmaAeelaScha [bhagavath SAsthram]’ (he who is interested in involving in dharmic ways told by SAsthram), he learns SAsthram as true reference which talks about dharmam and adharmam, he stays in that propriety of conduct, and conducts himself based on what is shown in it – he is such a credible Asthikar.

Or, it can be said that he is an Asthika who follows the way of prapaththi, and follows means as put forth by such important SAsthram as bhagavath gIthA.

githai-karappangadu-wrapperAdvise in bhagavath gIthA

Same is said in ‘AsthikanAy ivvarththaththil ruchi viSvAsangAL udaiyanAi ujjeeviththal, nAsthikanAy nasiththal ozhiya [mumukshuppadi – 275] (~ (there is no grey area between) living as an Asthikan with interest and faith and so reaching the goal, and, getting destroyed as a nAsthikan).

Also (aruLALap perumAL emperumAnAr) divined, ‘neRi aRiyAdhAr … iRai uraiyaith thErAdhavarum [gyAna sAram – 27]’ (those who do not know the instructions of SAsthras, and who do not learn about them from the learned ones).

So it might happen that one might get faith in the SAsthrams that are suitable for independent minded, that is, the SAsthrams that talk about the means for getting the benefit of heaven and mOksham (release from this world (but enjoying their AthmA only and not emperumAn)) that are suitable for such people,

and faith in the SAsthrams that talk about upAsanam (worship) which triggers pride/ego (ahankAram), and that talk about the benefits of it like service and experience of emperumAn (but involves ahankAram – doership)

And then there is ‘naR kalai’ that is, SaraNAgathi SAsthram, which talks about services for emperumAn only and enjoyed by/enjoying emperumAn only, and about the means for it.

The ‘nal nERi’ in it is, the ways of means and destiny.

For one to get this in the hands and have faith in its words, and in emperumAn (Asthikyam) – is rare.


naRkalai is the ‘seerththa madhurakavi sey kalai [upadhEsa raththina mAlai – 26]’ (~ divine prabandham of madhurakavi AzhvAr), that is kaNNinuN chiruththAmbu, (which is about servitude to AchAryan);

nanneRi in it is – as said in ‘thEvu maRRaRiyEn [kaNNinuN chiruth thAmbu – 2]’ (~ do not know any other god), ‘mEvinEn avan ponnadi [kaNNinuN chiruth thAmbu – 2]’ (surrendered to his (nammAzhvAr‘s) golden feet), and ‘AL pukka kAdhal adimaip payananRE [kaNNinuN chiruth thAmbu – 9]’ (My love/desire to serve nammAzhwAr as the ultimate goal materialized immediately), in which madhurakavi AzhvAr talks about subservience etc., – such state of charama parvam (ultimate state – subservience to AchAryan); nal nERi – having such ways/state.

Those having such state of extreme Asthikas are rare like said in ‘Or oruvar [upadhESa raththina mAlai – 55]’.

ivarai Orththu – after thinking through very well and knowing about the nature and character of the three types said earlier – Asthikar, nAsthikar, and Asthika-nAsthikar;

nenjE – Oh the mind which is the instrument for discerning these types and joining or leaving them accordingly!

After discerning about those who do not have the knowledge, who do have the best knowledge, who have got a little bit of knowledge, who cannot be reformed, etc.; after learning each of their nature and character;

munnavarum pinnavarum mUrkkar ena vittu – non-credible nAsthikars mentioned first, and the partial ones that are Asthika-nAsthikar metioned last – leaving them after seeing that they have the audacity to be not under the control of the ways of SAsthram;

that is, leave such two foolish types as said starting with ‘yathprathyaksham thadhEvAsthi nAsthyanyadhithinischithA: | arthakAmaparA: pApa nAsthikA dhEhakingkarA:’ (To those who say that only those seen directly have existence, and there is nothing else, to such people having these evils – Asthikas serve such people),

up to ‘vigyAna lakshaNaisthAmsthu samyak vyavasithas thyajEth’ (those who have the identities of knowledge should leave such people (of evils)),

As said in vittidukai kaNdeer vidhi [gyAna sAram – 30]’ (~ leaving them is commanded), leaving them with all traces of it.

Now it talks about those with whom we can associate.

naduch chonnavarai nALum thodar – Since they are credible, they are different from the other two types; they are neutral ones, that is, the Asthikas;

Oh mind who knows the greatness of and likes such Asthikas! Follow their path every day.

As said in ‘anuvrajAmyaham nithyam’ (I shall always follow), you live following their divine feet.

naduch chonnavarai nALum thodar – By the word in the middle; that is, the nAsthikas experienced in the first word that is about dhEhAthmAbhimAnam (thinking that body itself is AthmA – doing everything focused on taking care of the body more than of the AthmA), and Asthika-nAsthikas experienced in the last word that is about interest in other matters –

– unlike such groups of people – the ones said in the middle word where they consider emperumAn only as the means, being subservient to emperumAn’s devotees, are distinguished and better than the other two groups;

So like how being with those even for one second who are to be avoided would destroy our true being (saththai), being with these (Asthikas) even for one second would be life saver (thArakam) of our true being (saththai), and since it would be the reason for life and growth (of AthmA), you at all times follow them and get true goal.

Since they are having the good state (charama parvam), you also be in that state and get the true goal, by following them and worshiping them.

By this, it has talked about association with amicable ones, and disassociation with opposite ones.

– – – – – – – – – –

Translation: raghurAm SrInivAsa dhAsan

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