thirumAlai – 21 – paNivinAl manamadhonRi

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avathArikai (Introduction)

AzhwAr’s heart told him “if you cannot leave periya perumAL, you can attempt to measure his beauty and enjoy that experience” to which AzhwAr responds “oh my dear heart! your idea of measuring his beauty and knowing about him is like your ignorance and the resultant loss since time immemorial when you did not have the firmness to enjoy his beauty”. Let us first enjoy the pAsuram and its meanings.

பணிவினால் மனம தொன்றிப்  பவளவாய் அரங்கனார்க்கு
துணிவினால் வாழமாட்டாத் தொல்லை நெஞ்சே! நீ சொல்லாய்
அணியனார் செம்பொன் ஆயா அருவரை அனைய கோயில்
மணியனார் கிடந்தவாற்றை மனத்தினால் நினைக்கலாமே

paNivinAL manama dhonRip pavaLavAy aranganArkku
thuNivinAl vAzhamAttath thollai nenjE! nI sollAy
aNiyinAr sempon Aya aruvarai anaiya kOyil
maNiyinAr kidandhavARRai manaththinAl ninaikkalAmE


Word-for-Word Meanings

pavaLa vAy – having divine mouth like coral
aranganArkku – in the matter of thiruvarangan (SrI ranganAthan)
paNivinAl – being humble
manam adhu onRi – (in matter relating to emperumAn) keeping the mind in harmony
thuNivinAl – with determination, boldness
vAzhamAttA – unable to live
thollai nenjE – since time immemorial, having lost out in bhagavath vishayam (matter relating to emperumAn), Oh my heart!
aNiyin Ar – perfectly beautiful
sem pon Aya – made of reddish gold
aru varai anaiya – like the great mEru parvatha (a mountain in the higher worlds)
kOyil – in the temple
maNiyinAr – emperumAn shining like a blue diamond
kidandha ARRai – the beauty of lying down and sleeping
manaththinAl – through the mind (or heart)
ninaikkal AmE – is it possible to measure?
nI sollAy – you please tell

vyAkhyAnam (Explanatory Notes)

paNivinAl manamadhonRi – resolving that “shall bow down to periya perumAL” redeeming the mind from worldly matters and involving deeply in this [emperumAn’s] matter. onRugai – being in harmony. All that is expected of us is to indicate the resolve to remove the mind from all other matters and involve, as per the svarUpam (true nature) in bhagavath vishayam (matter relating to bhagavAn). Since AzhwAr addresses nenjE [heart] and says manamadhu onRi [with mind in harmony], he indicates to thought here, which is the activity of heart. Even if one were to bow down to anyone other than emperumAn, one cannot say for sure that they will show compassion. They may or they may not. Even if they take pity, it may not lead to good results. In SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 36.11, rAvaNa says “dhvidhA bhajyEyamapyEvam na namEyam thu kasyachith I Esha mE sahajO dhOsha: svabhAvO dhurathikrama: II” – even if I were to be split into two parts, I will not bow down to anyone like this. This is my fault which has been there since birth. Is it possible to overcome one’s basic nature?

In the case of  emperumAn, it is enough if one were to change the vow that “I will not bow” It is enough if we indicate to emperumAn who, for a very long time, is engaging in creation, incarnation etc, desiring “will the chEthana (sentient entity) not involve with me” that I have changed. Even if we bow down completely to emperumAn that act is not going to yield the result. It is emperumAn’s mercy which is going to. If what the samsAri does (bowing) is not the cause for any benefit, then how did this become a cause for emperumAn’s mercy? Just as, when a person raises his arm to hit another person, even if he does not hit him, the other person will remember for his life this act of the first mentioned person which had disgraced him. In the same way, when we bow to emperumAn, he remembers this act of the samsAri. ALavandhAr says in sthOthra rathnam 28 “thvadhanghri muthdhisya kadhApi kEnachith yathAthathA vA’pi sakruth kruthOnjali: I thadhaiva mushNAthyaSubhAnya SEshatha: SubhAni pushNAthi na jAthu hIyathE II” – if someone had at some point of time, in some way carried out anjali [folding the palms together as a mark of obeisance] towards you, his sins are removed at that time itself. The benefits grow multifold; they never reduce. In mahAbhAratham SAnthi parvam 46.163, the same meaning is conveyed “EkO’pi krishNE sukrutha: praNAmO dhaSASvamEdha avabhruthEna thulya:? I dhaSASvamEdhI punarEthi janma krishNapraNAmO na punarpbhavAya II” – can the benefit of carrying out a salutation to krishNa be compared to the benefit of carrying out ten aSvamEdha? [an aSvamEdha was a practice in olden days when a king, to prove his superiority would let his horse wander all over the place and if anyone holds the horse, the king will defeat that person and establish his rule in that place] (It should not be done, because) the one who carries out ten aSvamEdha is born again in this samsAram while there is no janma (birth) for the one who has worshipped krishNa. gAruda purANam 11.26 says “anjali: paramA mudhrA kshipram dhEvaprasAdhinI” – anjali, which makes bhagavAn very happy , is a superior identification [to show one’s humility]. Thus emperumAn is pleased with the chEthana and shows mercy on him.

pavaLavAy aranganArkku – if emperumAn gets someone who shows the initial signs of involvement with him, he comforts that person for all the loss that he had suffered all these days with his coral-like mouth. aranganArkku – “when he comes near me with involvement, I should not be too far away from him” and hence he stays permanently close-by at thiruvarangam.

thuNivinAl vAzhamAtta – it is his supreme form that creates humility in the chEthana as well as determination and stimulates him to enjoy the experience

pavaLavAy aranganArkku manamadhonRi thuNivinAl vAzhamAtta – the chEthana did not have the determination to enjoy emperumAn all along. It is only determination that is required now to enjoy. mahAbhAratham SAnthi parvam 324.47 says “vyavasAyAdhruthE brahman! nAsAdhayAthi thath param” – Oh brAmaNa! He will not attain that paravasthu (bhagavAn) if he does not have mental strength – janaka, who was clear in the path to attain emperumAn told his AchAryan vEdhavyAsa that it is only determination which is the unblemished means to attain brahmam [supreme entity].

thollai nenjE – looking at his heart, the AzhwAr says “it is only due to a lack of determination that you have lost out all along to enjoy in this matter”

nI sollAy – you can now very well say that it is due to ignorance that you had lost enjoying this, all along and now you can enjoy bhagavath vishayam (emperumAn related matters). He is hinting that this is also due to ignorance.

aNiyinAr semponAya aruvaraiyanaiya kOyil mahA mEru parvatham (the great mEru mountain) is referred to as one that is beautiful and made of reddish gold. The temple in thiruvarangam is very much like that mEru. Since this temple is like an ornament to samsAram, the term aNiyinAr will suit well. Since it looks very much like reddish golden colour, semponAya will also suit it. Since it is stable like a mountain and is the basis for the entire world, the term aruvaraiyanaiya will also suit.

maNiyanAr kidhandhavARRai – if that mEru mountain were to be pierced in the centre, and it puffs up all around, and a blue gem were to be found in the centre, it would be like periya perumAL lying in a sleeping posture under the turret of Srirangam kOyil.

kidandhavARRai manaththinAL ninaikkalAmE – looking at the beauty of his sleeping posture, is it possible to esimate his beauty with one’s heart? It may be possible to even estimate his svarUpam (basic nature) and his auspicious qualities but it is not possible to put an estimate to his physical beauty, is AzhwAr’s opinion. If it is possible to think of something other than through the mind, it may be possible to measure his beauty. [in other words, it is impossible to measure his beauty].

We shall now take up the 22nd pAsuram.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dasan

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