thiruvAimozhi – 2.9.4 – enakkE Atchey

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Full series >> Second Centum >> Ninth decad

Previous pAsuram


Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

AzhwAr teaches to emperumAn how he should be engaged in service.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In the fourth pAsuram – AzhwAr says that he needs pArathanthriyam (total dependence) which is the most confidential aspect of upanishaths.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

See periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

In the fourth pAsuram – AzhwAr is establishing “thadhEka pArathanthriyam” (exclusive dependence on  bhagavAn) as the goal, after praying for servitude towards bhagavAn through his body, mind and speech in the previous three pAsurams.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s introduction as documented by vadakkuth thiruvIdhip piLLai

Fourth pAsuram. The goal established by AzhwAr in this decad is “bhagavAn should engage AzhwAr exclusively for his own pleasure like garland, sandalwood paste etc [garland, sandalwood etc have no self-interest, they only exist for the pleasure of bhagavAn; AzhwAr desires for similar state]”.

Here, embAr explains – “sarvESvaran engages all three types of chEthanas (sentients) according to their nature; AzhwAr says ‘let me also attain the same thing [according to my nature]’ “. mukthas (liberated souls) and nithyas (eternally free souls) enjoy themselves and bring joy to bhagavAn;  badhdhas [bound souls] bring joy to bhagavAn without themselves enjoying [as they are suffering in material realm]. emperumAn is explained as in thiruvAimozhi 3.10.7 “inbuRum ivviLaiyAttudaiyAn” (one who enjoys this sport of creation, sustenance, annihilation etc in the material realm).

When piLLai thirunaRaiyUr araiyar asked embAr “Why is AzhwAr who is blessed with ‘mayarvaRa madhinalam’ (pristine knowledge/devotion) praying in this pAsuram ‘thanakkEyAga enaik kOLLumIdhE’ (he should engage me for his exclusive pleasure) instead of letting emperumAn deal with him as to his satisfaction?” embAr mercifully explained “Good question; SrI mAhAlakshmi never separated from emperumAn in the past; nor will she ever separate from him in the future; yet, even though she is staying right in his chest, she says as in thiruvAimozhi 6.10.10 ‘agalagillEn, agalagillEn‘ (I will not leave, I will not leave) – this is because of the greatness of emperumAn; similarly, the desire in the goal (of being engaged for exclusive pleasure of emperumAn) makes AzhwAr say these words”. AzhwAr requests emperumAn this (exclusive and total dependence on emperumAn) which is “emmA vIttil emmA vIdu” (emmA vIdu decad is the most important decad in thiruvAimozhi, and this pAsuram is the most important pAsuram in the decad), the great wealth for vaishNavas, the most confidential principle expounded in the upanishaths, that which is prayed from emperumAn and attained, that which is apt for the jIvAthmA.


enakkE Atchey ekkAlaththum enRu – en
manakkE vandhu idai vIdinRi manni
thanakkEyAga enaik koLLum IdhE
enakkE kaNNanai yAn koL siRappE


Word-by-Word meanings (based on vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s 12000 padi)

ekkAlaththum – always
enakkE – exclusively for me
AL – serve
chey – do
enRu – mercifully saying so

(not stopping with that)
en – my
manakkE – in my mind
vandhu – arrived
idaivIdu – break
inRi – without
manni – residing forever
thanakkE – (not for others, not for me, not jointly for him and me) exclusively for him,
Aga – to be fully dependent
enai – me
koLLum – acknowledgement
IdhE – this only
enakkE – fitting my nature
kaNNanai – krishNa
yAn – I
koL – desiring
siRappu – result

Simple translation (based on vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s 12000 padi)

The only result I desire from krishNa is his mercifully saying “always exclusively serve me” and not stopping with that, arriving in my heart and residing there forever without any break, and acknowledging me, fitting my nature, to be fully dependent (not for others, not for me, not jointly for him and me, but) exclusively for him.

vyAkyAnams (commentaries)

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s vyAkyAnam

See vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s translation.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s vyAkyAnam

See nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s vyAkyAnam

See nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam as documented by vadakkuth thiruvIdhip piLLai

  • enakkE Atchey … – First he should say “Atchey” (serve); serving eliminates svAthanthriyam (independence). After that he should say “enakku Atchey” (serve me); by saying “serve me”, [attachment to] worldly matters are eliminated. Then he should say “enakkE Atchey” (serve me exclusively); this eliminates serving the interest of both his and mine.
  • ekkAlaththum – This too, as said in thiruvAimozhi 3.3.1 “ozhivil kAlamellAm udanAy manni” (I should be with you all times). As said in SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 15.7 “kriyathAmithi mAm vadha” (lakshmaNa to SrI rAma – order me in what should be done), he should engage me in his service. To order me like that, he should not be staying far away from me.
  • en manakkE vandhu – you should enter my heart.
  • idai vIdinRi manni – you cannot be going back and forth; like an immovable object, you should stay there permanently.

What is the purpose of staying in the heart?

  • thanakkE Aga enaik koLLum IdhE – Engage me in service like garland, sandalwood paste etc. [When asked, are these only for the pleasure of the user?] garland and sandalwood paste give pleasure to one who wears these and applies these respectively and when discarded, they are of no other use; when two persons enjoy in union, the joy is shared, I don’t want such share in the joy [it should be exclusively for you only]. Until the start of this line, AzhwAr was using the words “nin” (you), “ammA” (oh my lord!) which are all in first person. In this line, why is he using “thanakkE” (for him only), which is in third person? If AzhwAr looks at the beautiful face of emperumAn which will mesmerize him, he would be unable to firmly establish the ultimate goal [being attracted by emperumAn’s beauty and divine smile, Azhwar would start deriving pleasure already, which is against the philosophy] – so AzhwAr is looking away and stating his goal.
  • enakkE kaNNanai – After explaining “for him (emperumAn) exclusively”, the obvious next is to identify “for me (AzhwAr) only”; now, he is saying this to highlight it as his purushArtham (goal). emperumAn says “Only a chEthana (sentient – who has knowledge) will have desire. If I fulfil your desire, I should also be fulfilling everyone’s desire”.
  • yAn koLAzhwAr says “Do it for me who acquired true knowledge about the self which was given by you”.

emperumAn says “For you, I cannot do it always”.

  • siRappE – It is not required many times; just do it once. Even that, even if you shut the doors and do it to me behind the doors in seclusion without the knowledge of any one else. siRappu – ERRam (greatness), that is purushArtham (goal). That you should engage me in the goal that fits my true nature. Three more explanations – siRappu means mukthi (liberation), sampath (wealth of kainkaryam) and nanRi (gratitude). mukthi – In this, the liberation I accept from you is placing me exclusively for your service. sampath – the wealth of kainkaryam towards you. nanRi – my gratitude towards you.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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