periya thiruvandhAdhi – 23 – iLaippAy iLaiyAppAy

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AzhwAr tells his heart “It does not matter whether you attain him or do not. He will remain as the protector. In the same way, whether he protects or doesn’t, it is your duty to attain him”.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

iLaippAy iLaiyAppAy nenjamE sonnEn
iLaikka naman thamargaL paRRi iLaippeydha
nAy thandhu mOdhAmal nalguvAn nalgAppAn
thAy thandhai evvuyirkkum thAn

Word by Word Meanings

naman thamargaL – the messengers of yama
iLaikka paRRi – making (the chEthanas) to be wizened even as they seize
iLaippu eydha – to become weaker further
nAy thandhu mOdhAmal – preventing the dogs (in hell) from hurting us
nalguvAn – whether he (emperumAn) protects
nalgAppAn – or does not protect
evvuyirkkum – for all creatures
thAn thAy thandhai – he himself is the mother and the father
iLaippAy – whether you become infirm (by not attaining him)
iLaiyAppAy – or do not become infirm (by attaining him)
sonnEn – I instructed you (this secretive message)


iLaippAy iLaiyAppAy – it does not matter whether you become weak by not attaining him or not become weak by attaining him. Alternatively it could be construed as – it does not matter whether you become weak by engaging with worldly matters or do not become weak by attaining emperumAn.

nenjamE sonnEn – Listen to me, I am telling you a beneficial matter. That, emperumAn is every relationship for us, is not something that can be instructed to anyone. It is a secretive matter which could be instructed only to qualified people. I am telling you such a matter; listen to me.

AzhwAr tells his heart further “Whether he protects us or not, no one can deny the fact that emperumAn, who is related to us by his nature, is the protector of all”, considering that his [AzhwAr’s] heart is thinking “he is remaining without protecting us”

iLaikka naman thamargaL paRRiAzhwAr says that when the messengers come to take hold of this jIvAthmA (soul), at the time of seizing him, he becomes very weak.

iLaippeydha nAy thandhu mOdhAmal – to prevent further weakening of the jIvAthmA after he is taken to hell and letting the dogs on him.

nalguvAn nalgAppAn – whether emperumAn protects us or not

thAy thandhai evvuyirkkum thAn – He is like mother and father and every other relationship, in all states, and protects. When he, who is there to protect, does not protect at any point of time, could we go to someone else for protection! Did AzhwAr not say mercifully in thiruvAimozhi 5-8-8kaLaivAy thunbam kaLaiyAdhozhivAy kaLaigaN maRRilEn” (it does not matter whether you get rid of my hurdles or not, I do not have anyone else to protect me)! The opinion here is that “It does not matter whether you attain him or not, he is always protecting you. In the same way, it does not matter whether he protects you or not, you must always consider him as your refuge”.

We will take up the 24th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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