mudhal thiruvandhAdhi -33 – nagaram aruL purindhu

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AzhwAr says that instead of knowing that it is emperumAn who is being worshipped through all the karmas [deeds], there is no point in reciting some manthrams (SlOkams or hymns) through the mouth and counting the number of times that it is done with the help of hands, as being done in sandhyAvandhanam (salutation carried out thrice a day).

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

nagaram aruL purindhu nAn mugaRkup pUmEl
pagara maRai payandha paNban peyarinaiyE
pundhiyAl sindhiyAdhu Odhi uru eNNum
andhiyAl Am pana angu en

Word by Word Meanings

pU mEl – on top of the lotus originated from navel
nAn mugaRku –  for brahmA
nagaram aruL purindhu – providing dwelling place
pagara – to teach (others)
maRai payandha – one who taught vEdhas (sacred texts)
paNban – benefactor with simplicity
peyarinaiyE – [his] divine names
pundhiyAl sindhiyAdhu – instead of thinking with the mind
Odhi uru eNNum – reciting hymns and counting them
andhiyAl – carrying out sandhyAvandhanam (a ritual carried out thrice every day in salutation of dhEvathAs)
angu Am payan en – what is the benefit going to be derived?


nAnmugaRkup pUmEl nagaram aruL purindhuemperumAn gave to brahmA, who is the deity for carrying deeds such as creating the worlds etc, his lotus originated from navel as the dwelling place. For brahmA to carry out the huge task of creation he needs a place to stay. emperumAn gave him the lotus flower itself on his navel, where brahmA was born, as his dwelling place. Just as kings would provide dwelling places near their palaces for key persons in their courts, emperumAn also gave a dwelling place close to himself, viz. lotus originated from his navel itself, to brahmA.

pagara maRai payandha – what is the purpose in providing only the dwelling place if knowledge is not provided? Hence, in order to enable brahmA to teach others, emperumAn taught brahmA all the vEdhas; he has such simplicity. Just as indulging parents will keep their wards in their houses instead of sending them to schools, and arrange for teachers to come to their house and teach them, emperumAn also kept brahmA near him and taught him vEdhas. SvEthASvathara upanishath 6-18 also says this “yO brahmANam vidhadhAdhi pUrvam yO vai vEdhAmScha prahiNOthi thasmai” (he who first created brahmA and taught him vEdhas).

paNban peyarinaiyE pundhiyAl sindhiyAdhu – instead of thinking constantly with the mind, the divine names of the entity who provided dwelling place and knowledge.

paNban peyarinaiyE – the divine names which reveal his auspicious qualities

pundhiyAl sindhiyAdhu – instead of thinking about the relationship between emperumAn and ourselves (jivAthmAs) and making him happy through our deeds

Odhi uru eNNum andhiyAl Am payan angu en – what is the purpose in counting with the left hand and right hand and murmuring some hymns? When the heart is not thinking about emperumAn, is there any purpose in thinking about worldly pursuits and mouthing some hymns and counting them with hands? By doing such deeds, the only benefit will be moving away from emperumAn. Here, sandhyAvandhanam has been mentioned only as an example. Any deed carried out without considering it as an offering in worship to emperumAn is useless.

We shall move on to the 34th pAsuram.

adiyEn krishNa ramanuja dhAsan

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