thiruvAimozhi – 5.10 – piRandhavARum

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Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

See nampiLLai‘s introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

See nampiLLai‘s introduction.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

In the tenth decad – in this manner, AzhwAr tried to enjoy emperumAn in thiruvallavAzh but did not get that experience and hence became anguished; he then tries to meditate upon the qualities and activities of emperumAn in his incarnations as said in periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 5.4.8 “ninaiththirundhE siramam thIrndhEn” (pacified myself by meditating upon emperumAn) and sustain himself and, highlights the following aspects of emperumAn:

  1. krishNa’s birth and related incidents
  2. his activities towards his beloved consort
  3. his childhood activities
  4. destruction of the asuras who were residing in thripura (three towns)
  5. his super-human activities
  6. his standing, sitting and sleeping activities
  7. his revealing and concealing aspects both internally and externally
  8. his creation which establishes his supremacy over all
  9. his state of being a seeker to fulfil his desire
  10. his great efforts to favour his devotees

Meditating upon these aspects, since these aspects will weaken him further while not having attained the goal [that is, while being in separation], he prays to emperumAn “you should mercifully steady me to let me enjoy your activities etc”; he mercifully explains how the unflinching faith on emperumAn’s divine feet being the means, leads up to the attainment of the goal and concludes by establishing the true nature of emperumAn who is the means.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nampiLLai‘s introduction.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s introduction

AzhwAr set out thinking “Let me go to thiruvallavAzh and interact with emperumAn who is standing there”, but unable to reach there due to lack of strength, fell down enroute and cried out for him; now, he thinks “let me enjoy emperumAn’s qualities and sustain myself”, but that itself appears to be as difficult as the ultimate goal and causes weakness in AzhwAr; he then surrenders to the divine feet of emperumAn praying “you should mercifully make me sustain myself to be able to enjoy your qualities in all states”.

The suffering undergone by rishis of dhaNdakAraNyam due to fear in this samsAram is the same fear undergone by AzhwArs due to separation from bhagavAn; those rishis will put in efforts for their results, while these AzhwArs are similar to sIthA pirAtti who suffered in aSOka vanam until SrI rAma gave the result; as those rishis also put in their own efforts, they will tolerate the delay [in achieving the result] and these AzhwArs will cry out since they have no such self-efforts. There is no defect in those who remain “our results are by emperumAn‘s divine feet [also explained as emperumAn’s efforts]”. iLaiya perumAL (lakshmaNa) counted himself along with sIthAp pirAtti in the result as in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 53.31 “na cha sIthA thvayA hInA nachAhamapi rAghava” (Oh rAghava! I too will not sustain in separation from you just as sIthA would not). As thiruvadi (hanuman) is singularly attached to SrI rAmAvathAram as said in SrI rAmAyaNam uththara kANdam 40.16 “bhAvO nAnyathra gachchathi” (my thoughts do not go towards anyone else), AzhwAr is attached to all incarnations and all activities. As his desires were not fulfilled in archAvathAram (deity forms), he is now going towards vibhavAvathArams (incarnations); they (AzhwArs) will remain saying”if we go to vibhavAvathArams, our desires will be fulfilled”.

While archAvathAram is the place where those who missed out on vibhavam can fulfil their desires, why is AzhwAr leaving archAvathAram behind and going after vibhavams? Though in archAvathAram, emperumAn will present himself who is athIndhriya (beyond the sense perceptions) to samsAris and fulfil all their desires, he vowed that he will not glance mercifully, enquire about the well-being and embrace [his devotees]. Not wanting to force him to break such vow of the sathya sankalpa (one whose vows never fail), he set out to reach krishNAvathAram which is closer [by time] as said in SrIvishNu purANam 5.18.2 “samspruSya Akrushyacha prIthyA sugAdam parishasvajE” (akrUra said – krishNa touched me with his hands, pulled me towards him with affection and embraced me).

When nanjIyar asked bhattar “Why are the AzhwArs so attached to krishNAvathAram?”, bhattar mercifully replied “When a person is afflicted with sorrow, after some time, he will manage it; but if it is fresh in mind, he cannot tolerate; similarly, unlike other avathArams, krishNAvathAram is in contemporary times (recent past) of AzhwArs; so AzhwAr would anguish saying ‘I was not born just a Tuesday earlier! how wretched I am, it is like losing something [for example, a piece of mango fruit] when it falls down on the earth after hitting the teeth while trying to swallow it'”. Now, in rAmAvathAram, dhaSaratha, SrI rAma’s father was a great warrior who killed sambara [another great warrior]; dhaSaratha’s sons were like tigers; his clan is well known for destroying the enemies; moreover, the whole kingdom is obedient towards them and hence there is no question of enemies; but here in krishNAvathAram, unlike that, krishNa’s father is a soft-natured person; he [krishNa] was born in the prison cell of kamsa and was raised near kamsa’s place [so, they were always fearful]; in SrI brindhAvanam, even a grass which grows, will turn into a demon; if those who are protecting lag behind for a moment, his acts are such that he will be trapped by a snake [kALinga]; this being the case why would not they (AzhwArs) fear [for kaNNan emperumAn]? These AzhwArs did not have realisation about emperumAn and protect him, hence are feeling anguished now. This is the anguish of nammAzhwAr who is one among those AzhwArs.

periya thiruvandhAdhi 82 “therindhuNarvu …” (I am a sinner due to not having realisation about emperumAn previously) – When SrI rAma went chasing the deer and returned being tired, unable to step on the ground due to the hot weather, SrI rAma searched for leaves and stepped on them to comfort himself. Hearing this, emperumAnAr said “Oh what a sinner I am! I was not present there to place my head on the ground to have his divine feet placed on it; all along my lives have been wasted!” and felt greatly anguished. This is how they feel anguished for historical incidents. AzhwAr too feared for emperumAn saying in thiruvAimozhi 8.3.6 “thiruneela maNiyAr mEniydu en manam sUzha varuvArE” (emperumAn will arrive with his beautiful blue-gem like form to capture my heart”.

Three different explanations are given as brief context for this decad:

  • AzhwAn‘s [kUraththAzhwAn] explanation – AzhwAr became weakened meditating upon emperumAn’s incarnations, his activities such as creation of universe etc., and the incarnation of krishNa who mercifully grew up to enliven his devotees and to destroy the others as said in periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 1.7.11 “thAyar magizha onnAr thaLarath thaLar nadai nadandha” (emperumAn who walked like a child for the joy of his devotees and to weaken the others); such AzhwAr surrenders to emperumAn praying “Mercifully make me sustain myself to meditate upon you”.
  • embAr‘s explanation – AzhwAr mercifully says to emperumAn “In separation, your qualities are tormenting me; to eliminate such suffering, you should bring me to your divine feet and mercifully make me approach you and enjoy you”.
  • piLLAn‘s explanation – AzhwAr heard that sarvESvaran divinely appeared as krishNa in thiruvAyppAdi (gOkulam) and thought “let me go there and enjoy him to my heart’s content” and entered through the south side entrance; he heard that emperumAn had just mercifully left for his divine spiritual abode of paramapadham through the north side gate; hearing that, he fell down on the ground and started crying out.


Each pAsuram is discussed subsequently.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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