nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi – 23 – viththumida

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After AzhwAr mentioned in the previous pAsuram “pazhagiyAn thALE paNimim” (the way to get rid of samsAram (materialistic realm) is to attain the divine feet of the supreme entity who has the complexion of gem stones and who stands like a physician to cure us of samsAram), he was asked by some people “One has to toil hard even to obtain small benefits. When such is the case, is it enough if one were to bow down at the divine feet of emperumAn in order to attain mOksham”, AzhwAr says “is anything expected from the chEthana (sentient entity) when emperumAn protects all by incarnating as lion or fish when the chEthana takes a birth in this world and by keeping all the entities in his stomach during deluge when the chEthana has no name or form?”. He says that if the chEthana develops a desire to attain emperumAn through his natural knowledge, emperumAn will take care of all the activities which are required to be carried out to attain him. What is there to be done by the chEthana beyond having that desire?

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

viththum ida vENdungolO vidaiyadarththa
paththi uzhavan panam puzhaththu moyththezhundha
kAr mEgam anna karumAl thirumEni
nIr vAnam kAttum nigazhndhu

Word for Word Meanings

vidai adarththa – one who controlled the bulls (for winning the hand of nappinnaip pirAtti)
paththi uzhavan – emperumAn who takes all the efforts for the chEthana to develop devotion towards him
pazham punaththu – in this land (samsAram, the materialistic realm) which is very old
viththum ida vENdunm kolO – is it required to sow the seed (of making one’s own efforts to attain emperumAn)? [No, it is not required]

[In that case, how does one spend the rest of his life?]
moyththu ezhundha – rising together
kAr mEgam anna – like rain bearing clouds
karu mAl – the dark coloured thirumAl’s (emperumAn’s)
thirumEni – divine form
nIr vAnam – the clouds with plenty of water
nigazhndhu – standing right in front
kAttum – will show
(by looking at this simile for emperumAn, we can sustain ourselves)


paththiyuzhavan pazhampunaththu viththumida vEndungolO – is it required of us to sow the seed of puNya (virtuous deeds) on this old land (world) of paramapurusha (supreme being, emperumAn) who is toiling to raise the produce of bhakthi (devotion) in the chEthana (sentient entity)?

paththiyuzhavan – are the efforts put in by this farmer (emperumAn) in order to germinate the plant of bhakthi in the mind of chEthana, only a little bit? Just as a farmer ploughs the land, waters it, plants the seeds, germinates them, removes the weed, applies manure to the plants etc, the efforts put in by emperumAn to cultivate the plant of bhakthi (in the samsAris) cannot be contained in any measure. While thripAdh vibhUthi  (SrIvaikuNtam which is three times the size of samsAram) is very fertile, emperumAn is unable to bear the barrenness of leelA vibhUthi  (samsAram). Thus he creates the worlds, the chEthanas (sentient entities), gives them body and sensory perceptions, remains as their antharyAmi (indwelling soul) and protects them constantly. AzhwAr reminisces such activities with these words. Hasn’t nammAzhwAr too spoken of him as the farmer in his thiruvAimozhi 5.3.4uRavar kavvai eruvittu annai sol nIr maduththu Ira nel viththi muLaiththa nenjapperunjeyyuL pEramar kAdhal kadal puraiya viLaiviththa kAramar mEni nam kaNNan” (emperumAn is the farmer who planted the seed of deep love in the mind of parAngusa nAyaki (nammAzhwAr) and nurtured it by watering it with the words of her mother and applied manure for it with the words of the townspeople)!

pazhampunaththu – it is not a new field where emperumAn is carrying out farming activities. This world is the old land of emperumAn’s who has been repeatedly ploughing, sowing and reaping (the produce of chEthanas). This world has been in existence for a very long time, as a continuous flow of action [like flood].

pazhampunaththu viththumida vEndungolO – just as in a fertile land, even if the seeds are not sown in a proper way but strewn in a haphazard way, they will germinate properly and grow, in this old land of the farmer emperumAn, the chEthanas do not need anything in them more than a mere desire (to be with emperumAn). He takes care of all the activities of farming.

pazhampunaththu viththumida vEndungolO – in the land sown by farmer, should anyone else sow the seed? Just as manu has said in his manusmruthi 8-92 “thEna chEdhavivAdhasthE mA gangAm mA kurUn gama:” (if there is no argument with emperumAn, there is no need to go to holy rivers such as gangA or holy places such as kurukshEthram), AzhwAr forbids any action from us for our benevolence.

What are the activities of the farmer emperumAn for nurturing the land?

vidaiyadarththa paththiyuzhavan – the incarnations carried out by emperumAn are the activities for nurturing the field of bhakthi (devotion). His action of killing seven bulls to win the hands of nappinnaip pirAtti is superficially meant for marrying her but the real intention is to win over the hearts of followers and grow bhakthi in them.

Just as krishNa has mercifully mentioned in SrI bhagavath gIthA 3-5na hi kaSchith kshaNamapi jAthu thishtathyakarmakruth” (no one remains in this world even for a moment without carrying out any activity), how will the chEthana pass his time? AzhwAr responds saying ….

moyththezhundha kArmEgamanna karumAl thirumEni nIrvAnam kAttum nigazhndhu – the rain bearing clouds will show the black complexion of kaNNan (krishNa) which is like closely held monsoon clouds which rise together. AzhwAr says that after developing affection towards emperumAn with the activities of emperumAn, one can pass time until one attains emperumAn by sustaining himself looking at such similes of emperumAn and developing further taste for him. Here, the term nIrvAnam (water bearing cloud) is quoted as an example of various similes for emperumAn.

nigazhndhu kAttum – emperumAn will reveal to us his divine form, which he does not reveal even to brahmA et al.

We will move on to the 24th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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