sthOthra rathnam – 55

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

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avathAra sthalam (birth place) of SrI rAmAnujaSrIperumbUthUr


ALavandhAr, after attaining abundance of bhakthi by bhagavAn‘s mercy, instead of stopping with SEshathvam (servitude) towards bhagavAn, prays for thadhIya SEshathvam (servitude towards bhagavAn’s devotees). Like nammAzhwAr enjoyed SEshathvam (servitude) towards bhagavAn in thiruvAimozhi 8.8 “kaNgaL sivandhu” decad, meditated upon ananyArha SEShathvam (exclusive servitude) towards bhagavAn in thiruvAimozhi 8.9 “karu mANikka malai“, without stopping at that, meditated upon thadhIya SEShathvam in thiruvAimozhi 8.10 “nedumARkadimai” and SrI SathrugnAzhwAn among SrI rAmAyaNa purushas (personalities), ALavandhAr too prays for thadhIya SEshathvam.

thava dhAsyasukhaikasanginAm
bhavanEShvasthvapi kItajanma mE |
itharAvasathEshu mA sma bhUth
api mE janma chathurmukhAthmanA ||

Word by word meaning

thava – your
dhAsya sukha Eka sanginAm – those who are engaged in the joy of servitude
bhavanEshu – in their divine palace (residence)
mE – for me
kIta janma api – even to be born as a worm
asthu – should occur.
ithara AvasathEshu – the residence of others
chathurmukha AthmanA janma api – even to be born as brahmA
mE – for me
mA sma bhUth – shall not occur.

Simple Translation

I should be born even as a worm in the divine palace (residence) of those who are engaged in the joy of servitude. Even to be born as brahmA in the residence of others, shall not occur for me.

vyAkyAnam (Commentary)

  • thava dhAsya sukhaika sanginAm – When we look at the joy of aiSvarya (wealth) and kaivalya (self-enjoyment), in comparison to the joy of servitude [to the apt person], they look like hurdles. As said in the following pramANams, worldly pleasures and self-enjoyment are considered as hurdles for servitude [towards bhagavAn]. SrIvishNu purANam 2.6.41 “… thasyAntharAyO maithrEya! dhEvEndhrathvAdhikam palam” (Oh maithrEya! For the one whose mind is fixed on vAsudhEva while engaged in japam (chanting), hOmam (fire sacrifice), archanam (worship) etc, results such as becoming indhra etc are hurdles). SrIvishNu purANam 2.6.40 “… svargApthis thasya vignO’numIyathE” (One who remembers vishNu, becomes relieved from sufferings and reaches paramapadham. For such person, reaching heaven is considered as a hurdle). thiruvAimozhi 1.2.5aRRathu paRRu enil uRRathu vIdu uyir seRRathu” (When attachments towards aspects outside bhagavath vishayam are given up, AthmA is fit to attain (kaivalya) mOksham (being free from samsAram and enjoying oneself)). thiruvAimozhi 4.1.10iRugal iRappu” (mOksha which ends in AthmA exclusively as the goal).
  • Eka sanginAm – Joy acquired from eradication of material bondage and joy acquired from attaining paramapadham, both are dangerous for the servitude as said in jithanthE sthOthram 1.4 “nistharanthi manIshiNa:” (they cross over the ocean of material realm)  and katOpanishath 1.3.9 “sOdhvana: pAramApnOthi thadhvishNO: paramam padham” (One who has true knowledge as the driver and mind as the restraint, he reaches vishNu’s divine abode which is on the other shore of material realm). When one likes the taste of servitude, one will say as in vishNu dharmam 90 “thasya yagya varAhasya vishNOr amithathEjasa: | praNAmam yE’pi kurvanthi thEshAmapi namO nama:” (I salute many times those who salute vishNu who is having unlimited radiance and is in the form of yagya varAha); “vAsudhEvasya yE bhakthA: SAnthAs thadhgathamAnasA: | thEshAm dhAsasya dhAsOham bhavEjjanmani janmani ||” (For those devotees of vAsudhEva who are peaceful and are focussed on bhagavAn, let this AthmA be their servitor birth after birth); thiruvAimozhi 8.10.10 “adiyAr adiyAr adiyAr em kOkkaL avarkkE kudigaLAych chellum nalla kOtpAdE – vAykka” (Let me along with my clan be the servitors for those who are the ultimate devotees of the devotees of emperumAn).
  • thEshAm bhavanEshu kIta janma mE’pyasthu – I need serve their divine feet; but at least, I should be born as a worm in their divine palace (residence).  “api” is also explained as “exclusively/only”, meaning “I must only be born as a worm in their divine palace”. ALavandhAr did not desire for human birth due to such human birth having the ability to move away and not having the situation of being born and residing in the same place [unlike a worm, which will take birth, reside and likely die in the same place]. When asked “Everyone is desiring for high births, why are you desiring to be born as a worm?”, ALavandhAr says “Whatever one [a purusha, person] desires that is the purushArtham (goal)”. So, this is what I want to achieve.
  • itharA vasathEShu – At the residence of those who do not have taste for servitude and think [always] “me, mine”.
  • chathur mukhAthmanA janmApi mA sma bhUth – Even if I am to be born as chathur mukha (four headed) brahmA, I don’t want that. ALavandhAr says “Though being born as brahmA is very desirable for worldly people, for me who is engaged in servitude, there is no desire for that”. ALavandhAr says that he can remain highlighting both the affirmative [that he should be born in a devotee’s residence] and negative [that he does not want to be born in a worldly person’s residence] aspects.

In the next article we will enjoy the next SlOkam.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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