thiruvAimozhi – 4.5.5 – ARRa nalla

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Full series >> Fourth Centum >> Fifth decad

Previous pAsuram

Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In fifth pAsuram, Azhwar says “I became very pleased on enjoying emperumAn who accepted me by manifesting his qualities and activities step by step, just as he mercifully explained all the principles to arjuna, while being the leader of nithyasUris (eternally free souls of paramapadham) and sarvESvara (being the lord of all)”.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

Subsequently, Azhwar says “I got to praise sarvESvara who bestowed me with gyAna (knowledge) etc, which are tools to enjoy him, and had all my sorrows naturally vanish at once”.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nampiLLai‘s introduction.

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

Fifth pAsuram. Azhwar says “I acquired unsurpassed bliss by singing thiruvAimozhi to have all my hurdles removed in enjoying emperumAn who manifested his nature step by step just as he explained all the principles step by step to arjuna while being sarvAdhika (greater than all)”.


ARRa nalla vagai kAttum ammAnai amarar tham
ERRai ellAp poruLum viriththAnai emmAn thannai
mARRa mAlai punaindhEththi nALum magizhveydhinEn
kARRin munnam kadugi vinai nOygaL kariyavE


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

ARRa – as much as acceptable
nalla – (as tool for the enjoyment) distinct
vagai – attributes (such as gyAna (knowledge), bhakthi (devotion, [advanced stages of bhakthi such as] parabhakthi, paragyAna, paramabhakthi)
kAttum – reveals (to the AthmAs who enjoy)
ammAnai – being natural lord
amarar tham – (those who have such attributes are facilitated to enjoy like) nithyasUris are facilitated to enjoy him
ERRai – having pride

(through gIthOpanishath)
ellAp poruLum – all such distinct principles
viriththAnai – elaborately explained
emmAn thannai – my lord who unconditionally bestowed these
vinai – sins (which are hurdles for knowledge, devotion etc)
nOygaL – great diseases (such as rAga (desire), dhvEsha (hatred) etc)
kARRin – wind (which can move fast)
munnam – faster than
kadugi – flee
kariya – (as said in “agnau prOtham“) to burn
mARRam mAlai – garland of words
punaindhu – strung
Eththi – praised
nALum – always
magizhvu eydhinEn – attained happiness.

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

emperumAn, being the natural lord, having the pride of revealing [the AthmAs’] distinct attributes as much as acceptable [by them] and facilitating them just as nithyasUris are facilitated to enjoy him, elaborately explained all such principles; I attained happiness by stringing garland of words and praising my [such] lord who unconditionally bestowed these to me, to make the sins, great diseases flee faster than wind and to have them burned.

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

  • ARRa – Step by step. As much as one can accept. Instead of letting the ocean flow into a small pit, emperumAn letting Azhwar experience his auspicious qualities step by step. [AzhwAr says] After saying in thiruviruththam 1 “inninRa nIrmai iniyAm uRAmai“, had emperumAn given the experience of “vIRRirundhu Ezhulagu” [current decad], I would not have handled it and probably be dead by now [out of overwhelming emotions].
  • nalla vagai kAttum – He would let me experience/enjoy his qualities and activities.
  • ammAnai – The owner naturally will make his possession know about the same.
  • amarar tham ERRai – emperumAn let me, who cannot completely enjoy petty pleasures, enjoy himself, who is eternally enjoyed by nithyasUris. Neither is he lacking in qualities, nor is he lacking those who enjoy him; he is sarvESvara (lord of all) and has the nithyasUris to enjoy him; even after this, he let me enjoy him.
  • ellAp poruLumAzhwar explains how emperumAn facilitated AzhwAr to enjoy him. emperumAn manifested his qualities and activities and helped AzhwAr step by step, just as he did in the case of arjuna who first said I do not know what is virtue and what is vice as in SrI bhagavath gIthA 2.7Sishyas thEham SAdhimAm thvAm prapannam” (I am becoming your disciple. Please instruct me that which will be good for (me). Please reform me who has surrendered unto you).
    • First, krishNa made arjuna aware of the differences between prakruthi (matter) and purusha (soul).
    • Then, he instructed him karma yOga.
    • Then, he instructed him to give up the status of performer in such karma yOga and work without any attachment in the results.
    • Then, he instructed him about Athma gyAnam (knowledge about soul/self).
    • Then, he instructed him knowledge about bhagavAn.
    • Then, he instructed him about upAsana kramam (bhakthi – devotion) of constantly engaging in bhagavAn.
    • After explaining all these and having instilled full faith in arjuna’s heart, and when arjuna worried thinking “these are impossible to practice”, emperumAn concluded saying “depend fully upon me and be free from worries”.
  • emmAn thannai – [Azhwar says] I don’t know if arjuna benefited from the discourse; but I got the benefit of those instructions. arjuna, after hearing the instructions, even after saying in SrI bhagavath gIthA 18.73 “sthithOsmi” (I am well situated [in the principles]), did he not say “nUnam samSayOsthi” (I have some doubts again)? [Though arjuna did not say this in gIthA, in anugIthA (mahAbhAratham), krishNa tells arjuna, “It appears that you still have some doubts” and repeats the gIthA to him once more]; since bhagavAn who instructed [gIthA] is common for all and the principles which he explained are also common for all, there is nothing wrong in saying “AzhwAr benefited after knowing the principles”; it is said in nAchchiyAr thirumozhi 11.10 “vittuchiththar kEttiruppar” (periyAzhwAr heard the principles of SrI bhagavath gIthA and lived according to those principles). It appears that krishNa stayed in AzhwAr’s manOratham (heart) and instructed.
  • mARRa mAlai punaindhu Eththi – Stringing garland of words. Being captivated by emperumAn, Azhwar praised out of gratitude and those praises became thiruvAimozhi.
  • nALum magizhveydhinEn – Became eternally blissful.

If you attained such great result, what happened to your hurdles?

  • kARRin munnam kadugi vinai nOygaL kariyavE – The sins and the births which are results of such sins, ran away faster than wind and were burnt down. Like a new cloth is purified step by step, if we try to remove the hurdles, we have to do it step by step; but if emperumAn removes it, it does not take all that effort for him; as said in periya thiruvanthAdhi 76 “vinaip padalam viLLa vizhiththu” (By staring at the collection of sins, they will be removed). vishNu dharmam chapter 78 “mEru manthara …” (Even if one’s sins are as high as mEru mountain, by taking shelter of krishNa, those sins get destroyed). Just as the disease of a patient disappears on approaching a learned doctor, the sins of those who are surrendered to sarvESvara, will be destroyed. periya thiruvanthAdhi 54 “vAnO maRikadalO …” (I took shelter of the divine feet of krishNa who killed vathsAsura; I have not seen my cruel sins anywhere near by; did they reach the sky, ocean, air, fire or forest? Alas!).

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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