sthOthra rathnam – 49

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emperumAn asks ALavandhAr “When you have abundance of faults, instead of pursuing different upAyams to eradicate those faults or holding on to me giving up everything else, why are you forcing me saying ‘krupayA kEvalamAthmasAth kuru (accept me as yours, only due to your mercy)?”. ALavandhAr replies “I have no knowledge to engage in SAsthrIyAnushtAnam (practices/means highlighted in SAsthram) [so no engagement in upAyAntharam]; since I have no other refuge, I cannot give up completely. So your special glance out of your great kindness, is the only means for my uplifting”.

avivEka ghanAntha dhingmukhE
bahudhA santhatha dhu:khavarshiNi |
bhagavan! bhavadhurdhinE padha:
skalitham mAmavalOkayAchyutha ||

Word by word meaning

bhagavan – Oh bhagavAn who is filled with gyAnam (knowledge), Sakthi (power) etc [6 primary qualities]!
achyutha – Oh one who does not abandon your devotees!
avivEka ghana antha dhingmukhE – having directions which is covered with clouds of darkness
bahudhA – in many ways
santhatha dhu:kha varshiNi – pouring down sorrows continuously
bhava dhurdhinE – the rainy season darkness of samsAram (material realm)
padha: skalitham – falling off from virtuous path
mAm – me
avalOkaya – bless me with your kind glance.

Simple Translation

Oh bhagavAn who is filled with gyAnam, Sakthi etc [6 primary qualities]! Oh one who does not abandon your devotees! I am falling off from virtuous path due to the rainy season darkness of samsAram which is having directions which is covered with clouds of darkness and pouring down sorrows continuously in many ways; bless me with your kind glance.

vyAkyAnam (Commentary)

  • avivEka – That is, vivEka abhAvam (non-existence of wisdom, proper judgment); jIva para vivEka abhAvam (unable to distinguish between jIvAthmA and paramAthmA); dhEha Athma vivEka abhAvam (unable to distinguish between body and soul); thyAjya upAdhEya vivEka abhAvam (unable to distinguish between what is to be given up and what is to be pursued); bandha vimOchana vivEka abhAvam (unable to distinguish between bondage and liberation); having the mind covered by clouds of such aspects, not even knowing direction for uplifting oneself; further,
  • bahudhA santhatha dhu:kha varshiNi – Due to being bombarded continously with sorrows in many ways. avivEkam (lack of wisdom, proper judgement) causes dhu:kham (sorrow) means – ignorance leads to karma (actions of virtues/vices), that leads to birth in dhEva (celestial), manushya (human), thiryak (animal), sthAvara (plant) forms, and such birth leads to dhu:kham (sorrows) in the form of thApa thrayam [AdhyAthmika (sufferings caused by self), Adhi bauthika (sufferings caused by other entities), Adhi dhaivika (sufferings caused by nature) sorrows]. This is explained in thiruviruththam 1 “poyn ninRa gyAnamum pollA ozhukkum azhukkudambum” (ignorance, bad actions and dirty body).
  • bahudhA – [Sufferings] In many different forms such as AdhyAthmika, Adhi bauthika, Adhi dhaivika.
  • bhagavanALavandhAr is saying “Don’t you know that I do not have gyAnam, Sakthi etc to eliminate such suffering and only your highness can eliminate them?”.
  • bhava dhurdhinE – In this samsAram which is like darkness in rainy season. dhurdhinam – mEgathimira (darkness caused by clouds).
  • padha: skalitham – As said in thiruvAimozhi 3.2.9 koduvinaith thURRuL ninRu pAviyEn pala kAlam vazhi thigaiththu alamaruginREn” (Being very sinful, I am being confused about the way (to escape), toiling and staying here for a long time, being caught in the quagmire (samsAram – material realm, where one cannot escape from)).
  • mAm – Me who is fallen from pursuing upAyams such as karma yOga etc. When I am suffering like this, where is the questioning of me pursuing practices recommended in SAsthram? Implies that “there is none other than your highness [for my help]”.
  • avalOkaya – As said in SrIvishNu purANam 1.20.16 “avalOkanadhAnEna bhUyO mAm pAlayAchyutha” (prahlAdha says – Protect me by glancing at me again), you should mercifully glance at me to free me from all sufferings. Even for those who pursue other means, your merciful glance will be uplifting. Even to become qualified to be your devotee, the merciful glance of your highness is required as said in mahAbhAratham SAnthi parvam 358.73 “jAyamAnam hi purusham yam paSchEnmadhusUdhana:” (One who is blessed by madhusUdhana’s merciful glance at the time of birth, will be born with sathva guNam (goodness)). As said in jithanthE sthOthram 1 “jithanthE puNdarikAksha” (Let the lotus-eyed lord be victorious), it is your merciful glance which removes attachment from worldly aspects.
  • achyutha – As said in thiruvAimozhi 1.7.2adiyarai valvinaith thuppAm pulanaindhum thunjak kodAn” (he protects his devotees from being perished by being caught in the powerful senses that are controlled by the popular karmas), your highness will never let your devotees perish. It is said in thiruvAimozhi 2.3.6avar uyiraich chOrndhE pOgal kodAch chudarai” (you manifest your divine form to them and keep them from moving/dying away from you (by engaging in worldly matters)).

In the next article we will enjoy the next SlOkam.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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