thiruvAimozhi – 4.6 – thIrppArai

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Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

(thIrppAraiyAmini) Seeing the exhausted and bewildered state of pirAtti (parAnkuSa nAyaki, AzhwAr in feminine mood) in separation of such emperumAn (as explained in previous decad), her mother and relatives wondered “What caused this state for her?” and asked a kattuvichchi (psychic reader) “What is the remedy for this?” and she replied “It is due to an act of a kshudhra dhEvathA (lowly deity) and the remedy for this situation is to please that dhEvathA”. Due to the attachment towards her (parAnkuSa nAyaki), they (mother and relatives) think “Even if we were to worship any dhEvathA, as long as we can get her back, that is our real gain” and set out to appease such dhEvathA. Seeing that, this pirAtti’s friend tells them “What you are thinking is not the truth and is not the remedy; the disease is also not what you think it to be; this is the disease and this is the remedy [to be explained in this decad]” and solves the issue.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

See nampiLLai‘s introduction.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

In the sixth decad –  As the bliss acquired by AzhwAr in the previous decad was due to mAnasa anubhavam (experience in the mind), as AzhwAr did not get his physical vision etc., and enjoy that, matching such virtual experience, he becomes exhausted and starts highlighting the following aspects of emperumAn:

  1. partiality towards his devotees
  2. distinguished symbols which highlight his dominance [over others]
  3. most enjoyable nature
  4. being the friend in need
  5. eliminating hurdles/enemies
  6. having distinguished form
  7. amazing benefactorship
  8. being served by nithyasUris
  9. unsurpassed simplicity
  10. being revealed in nithya pramANam (vEdham – eternal scripture)

Meditating upon these aspects, AzhwAr becomes unconscious thinking “such emperumAn is not letting me enjoy him”; the caring bystanders trying to redeem him, as said in “sarvAn dhEvAn namasyanthi“, thinking out of great love “even if we have to take up some unsanctioned ways, shall we redeem him” and set out towards that. But learned well-wishers of AzhwAr who know about his nature, such as SrI madhurakavi et al averted such efforts. A friend of such parAnkuSa nAyaki knowing the words of her where she says “such diseases should be rid by bhagavan nAma sankIrthanam (singing bhagavAn‘s divine names), applying the dust of the lotus feet of the devotees etc”, observing her terrible state in separation of her beloved, to those who were taking care of her and who brought over a psychic reader to do her mystic practices to rid her from her disease, stopped them and being well aware of her disease [of separation] tells them “the disease, engulfed her by krishNa, would be eliminated only by meditating upon him and whatever you are doing is not the remedy” – AzhwAr mercifully speaks in the mood of such friend of parAnkuSa nAyaki in this decad.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nampiLLai‘s introduction.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s introduction

While the previous decad is “vIRRindhu Ezhulagum“, now we have “thIrppAraiyAmini“. How strange [previous decad was full of joy and this decad is full of sorrow which are very unrelated]! [Usually, every decad is related to the next decad through some relationship/thread. the relationship between previous decad and this decad is explained here.] embAr recited these two decads and mercifully said – As said in “mOr uLLathanaiyum sOREyO” (Can I feed you rice as long as you have curd? [A lady agrees to feed a man who comes to her residence. He says “I have curd and you give me as much rice needed to finish this curd” and she agrees. He keeps diluting the curd (by repeatedly adding water) and tells the lady “I still have some curd left” and for that the lady replies “Can I feed you rice as long as you have curd?” – the principle explained here is – Previously AzhwAr experienced samSlEsham (togetherness) and viSlEsham (separation) with emperumAn. We could explain the connection all along. But how long can we do that? AzhwAr’s emotions are beyond our understanding/expression here]). Previously – AzhwAr was very blissful, but now he is very sad; how can I explain the reason? For this, “asangathirEva sangathi:” [there are two explanations – 1) embAr is saying, we cannot decipher the relationship between the two decads – that is the relationship between the two decads. 2) there is separation between emperumAn and AzhwAr – that is the relationship between the two decads].

[A brief connection between AzhwAr‘s prabandhams and SrI bharathAzhwAn’s state of mind is highlighted here.]

  • In thiruviruththam – AzhwAr becomes fearful thinking about the defects of prakruthi (material realm). SrI bharathAzhwAn returned eagerly to ayOdhyA thinking “they have brought me over here to witness the crowning of perumAL (SrI rAma) and we will serve him after his assuming the throne”. But [when he entered his palace] kaikEyi welcomed him saying “rAjan” (Oh king) and said “I have acquired the crown for you” and he at once shuddered. AzhwAr too shuddered like that here.
  • In thiruvAsiriyam – SrI bharathAzhwAn thought “I am his servitor; Will he reject my request? I will bring him back and crown him” and sustained himself until he reached chithrakUtam. AzhwAr too sustained himself in this manner.
  • In periya thiruvanthAdhi – As SrI bharathAzhwAn waited for 14 years grooming his desire to serve SrI rAma, AzhwAr too groomed his desire. He nurtured his desire as said in 7th pAsuram “en nenjinAr thAmE aNukkarAych chArndhozhindhAr” (my heart has joined emperumAn as his confidante) and in 1st pAsuram “muyaRRi sumandhezhundhu” (Being motivated to speak about emperumAn).
  • In thiruvAimozhi – As SrI bharathAzhwAn served/enjoyed SrI rAma after he returned to ayOdhyA and crowned as the king, AzhwAr enjoyed emperumAn.

Since the infinite pleasure he acquired in the previous decad was only in his mind and not at the physical level, as something which flew high will eventually fall down, such experience led to AzhwAr‘s bewilderment only. AzhwAr explains his own state through the words of a friend of a beloved girl who united with sarvESvara but got separated subsequently. The beloved girl became bewildered due to such separation. The relatives of the girl became bewildered too and wondered “Is this caused by dhEvathAntharams (other dhEvathAs)?” and tried to remedy the situation by bringing over some devotees of such dhEvathAntharams; the friend who knew her state, told them “those who have come here on your request cannot cure her disease; it will only cause her destruction; hence, try to cure the disease by bhagavan nAma sankIrthanam and applying the dust of the lotus feet of the devotees on her”.

[AzhwAr is compared to many different personalities.]

  • AzhwAr is comparable to iLaiya perumAL (lakshmaNa) who cannot sustain himself in separation of SrI rAma as said in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 53.31 “na cha sIthA thvayA hInA …” (Like sIthA who cannot live in separation from you, I too cannot live in separation from you. We will only survive for a moment in separation from you just like a fish can only live for a moment when separated from water) and SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 31.22 “kurushva mAmanucharam” (bless me to travel along with you).
  • He is comparable to SrI bharathAzhwAn who remained wherever emperumAn placed him and sustained himself by meditating upon the qualities of bhagavAn.
  • He is comparable to pirAtti (SrI mahAlakshmi) for remaining faithful that “Only emperumAn will bestow the benefits” even at dire situations.

At first, in thiruvAimozhi 1.1, AzhwAr spoke about emperumAn’s supremacy; subsequently he became bewildered thinking about emperumAn’s avathAra saulabhyam (simplicity in incarnations), yet he was aware of himself to send a messenger in thiruvAimozhi 1.4anjiRaiya madanArAy“. [Here] Subsequent to enjoying his supremacy in the previous decad “vIRRirundhu Ezhulagum“, he became bewildered, his relatives became bewildered and even the devotees of other dhEvathAs entered and confused him – he became totally unaware of the surroundings. This principle of being aware while being together with bhagavAn and being bewildered while in separation from bhagavAn is clearly observable in AzhwAr only. Other greatly knowledgeable personalities though are engaged in bhagavath vishayam, SrI vaSishta bhagavAn tried to drown in the sea and to jump off the cliff when he lost his son; SrI vEdha vyAsa bhagavAn survived seeing a replica of his son Sukha. Hence, this principle of considering bhagavAn’s union and separation as the only gain and loss respectively is applicable only for this AzhwAr.

In this manner, when parAnkuSa nAyaki was in bewilderment, her relatives, who also remained immobile as if they  were bound by nAgapAsa asthra (a type of weapon) during the battle in lankA (It should be considered as brahmAsthra, magical asthra (arrow) which attacks and binds down the target); there was none like SrI jAmbavAn or SrI hanumAn who remained stable even in that situation; as said in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 87.4 “SathrugnOnantharasthitha: …” (Sathrugna who was standing alongside bharatha who became unconscious) SathrugnAzhwAn was also not there. SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 87.8 “asya rAja kulasyAthyathvathadhInamhi jIvitham” (now, this royal family depends on you) those relatives [like kausalyA et al] to bharatha “perumAL (SrI rAma) went to forest; dhaSaratha died; so, you are the only hope for this kingdom; we are surviving on seeing you”, but said “SrI rAma will never leave you seeing the distress in your face; we are sustaining ourselves to see his arrival”; similarly all her relatives sustain themselves seeing her and since she was bewildered they too became bewildered. At this time, different types of persons such as wet/dry herbal medical practitioners, magicians, doctors et al and some devotees of dhEvathAntharams too arrive there thinking “this is a good opportunity to abuse a vaishNava residence”; since her relatives too were bewildered without knowing her disease and the remedy for the same, a lady among those relatives asked the kattuvichchi (psychic reader) “What is she suffering from? How can she be cured?”. According to that kattuvichchi’s advice, as said in “dhravyamnindhyasurAdhi dhaivathamathikshudham cha bhAhyAgamO dhrushtir dhEvalakAScha dhESikajanA:” (With forbidden medicines, lowly dhEvathAs, Agama which is outside vEdham, and the devotees of other dhEvathAs as the preceptors), considering forbidden material as the tools for her protection, considering her to be possessed with lowly dhEvathAs, considering the Agamas (scriptures) which are outside vEdham [and other ancillary scriptures] as the guidelines, and  the devotees of other dhEvathAs as the preceptors, out of great attachment towards her, thinking “she should be cured through any means” and set out to engage in forbidden means. One’s deep affection will confuse one like this; the residents of SrI ayOdhyA said as in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 2.52 “sarvAn dhEvAn namasyanthi rAmasyArthE yaSasvina:” (Elders and women worship all dhEvathAs for the well-being of SrI rAma). Seeing this situation, the best friend of parAnkuSa nAyaki thought “Whatever they do, will cause the destruction of her inner-existence also; but if we tell her the truth [of her relationship with emperumAn], they will blame me only saying ‘because of your carelessness, she is in this current state’; but if we remained silent, we will end losing her; what is the best way to deal with this now?” and thought “Just as they investigated her situation, let me also pretend to do the same and will tell them that we will suggest a remedy based on her nature”. She then said “Neither do you understand her disease nor do you understand the cause; you also don’t know the remedy for this disease; your remedy is like bringing a soft flower into fire to freshen it up and will lead to losing her only; hence, you give up these efforts and try to follow the ancient remedies of this [vaishNava] clan. [What are those ancient remedies?] They are already explained as in thiruviruththam 20 ‘ulagEzhumuNdAn sonmozhi mAlai anthaNNanthuzhAy koNdu sUttuminE‘ (Decorate with the garland of divine names of the lord who consumed the worlds and his garland of beautiful cool thuLasi) and thiruviruththam 53 ‘thaNNanthuzhAyth thArAyinum thazhaiyAyinum thaN kombadhAyinum kIzh vErAyinum ninRa maNNAyinum koNdu vIsuminE‘ (Fan her with the thuLasi stem, leaves, the branch, the root or the soil in which the thuLasi plant grew)”; there she said “ninRa maNNAyinum” (soil where the thuLasi plant stood) and here she is saying “mAyan thamaradi nIRu” (the dust of the divine feet of the devotees of the amazing lord); this is the remedy which has been given from the beginning (also explained as “having the divine feet as the crux”). Thus, this is her disease; this is the cause for her disease; and the remedy is – bhagavan nAma sankIrthanam (reciting the divine names of the lord) and the contact of bhAgavatha pAdha rENu (dust of the divine feet of bhAgavathas)” – saying this she averted their unreasonable actions.

What is the principle highlighted in this? AzhwAr‘s matured vaishNavathvam is highlighted here – that is, even in agyAtha (bewildered) state, dhEvathAnthara sparSam (contact with the devotees of other dhEvathAs) is detrimental for the sustenance and bhagavan nAma sankIrthanam and bhAgavatha sahavAsam (being in the association of devotees) are the causes for sustenance. When nampiLLai asked nanjIyar “When rAvaNa showed the mAyAsiras (a replica of SrI rAma’s head) to sIthA [during the battle], pirAtti too felt grieved and shed tears like normal women; what is the reason for this? Shouldn’t she have died [as soon as she saw the severed head of SrI rAma]?”, nanjIyar mercifully explained “Due to being realistic in her incarnation, she grieved considering it to be real; but as her existence is based on his existence [whether she had the knowledge of his existence or not, since he existed], she too existed; Had SrI rAma really died, she would have ceased to exist at once” [In thamizh culture, this principle is called “inRiyamaiyAmai“].

Each pAsuram is discussed subsequently.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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