periya thiruvandhAdhi – 9 – numakkadiyOm

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Since his desire to see emperumAn directly was not realised, AzhwAr tells his heart “Oh heart! What is the purpose in our showing twelve teeth to emperumAn and beseeching him? It does not appear at all that he is going to show himself to us”. After analysing this a little, he feels that he cannot go away from emperumAn due to this and tells his heart “Whether he showers his grace or despises us, keep thinking of something or the other about emperumAn”.

Let us go through the pAsuram and its meanings:

numakkadiyOm enRenRu nondhu uraiththu en mAlAr
thamakkavar thAm sArvariyarAnAl emakkini
yAdhAnum AgidukAN nenjE avar thiRaththE
yAdhAnum sindhiththiru

Word by Word Meanings

nenjE – Oh mind!
avar thAm – he, the supreme entity
sArvu ariyar AnAl – if he is not attainable
“numakku adiyOm – are we not servitors to you, the lord?”
enRu enRu – saying this many times
nondhu – feeling anguished
mAlAr thamakku – for such a great entity
uraiththu en – what is the purpose in saying?
emakku – for us (who are his possession)
ini – from now onwards
yAdhAnum Agidu kAN – let whatever happen
avar thiRaththE – towards him
yAdhAnum – something or the other
sindhiththu iru – keep meditating on


numakkadiyOm enRenRu – It is enough to say only once “I am your servitor” to get his mercy, since he is naturally related to us. When this is the case, to say this many times will be a reason for hurting his divine mind.

nondhuraiththu en – due to the craving to see him directly, isn’t saying this many times, purposeless! Whatever emperumAn had said in  SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 18-28 “ArthO vA yadhi vA dhruptha:parEshAm SaraNAgatha:  I arI: prANAn parithyajya rakshithavya: kruthAthmanA II” (among the enemy warriors, one who has surrendered due to craving (due to feeling apologetic) or one who has surrendered due to patience (half-heartedly) should be protected by a person with well disciplined mind, even if he has to give up his life) has become false!

mAlAr thamakku nondhu uraiththu enmAlAr – one who is great; the opinion here is that when we were together with emperumAn he said that he is our servitor, he said a few words in anguish and showed his happiness, but now there is no point in saying these things to him, who is such a great person.

avar thAm sArvu ariyar AnAl – when he was with us, he was obedient to us and showed that he was dependent on us, but now he is beyond approach for us. My desire to see him in person would have fructified on the day he had thought “we will do” [show himself to AzhwAr]; however, when he is not thinking of us now, there is no purpose in saying repeatedly in anguish, that “we are your servitors”.

This is the meaning of the first half of the pAsuram. In the second half of the pAsuram, AzhwAr mercifully describes how he tells his heart “if this is the case, we can leave him”.

emakku ini yAdhAnum AgidukAN nenjE – for me who had desired to embrace him with this physical form, once it is clear that it will not happen, there is no difference between attaining him and losing him. What is the point in getting food later when it was not available when one was hungry? This is similar to ANdAL saying in nAchchiyAr thirumozhi 13-9 “kommai mulaigaL idar thIra gOvindhaRku Or kuRREval immaippiRavi  seyyAdhE inippOychcheyyum thavandhAnen” (What is the purpose in carrying out service to gOvindha (emperumAn) later when I cannot carry it out for him in this birth?)

When asked, “Let him come when he wants to. Until then, can you not wait patiently?” AzhwAr says that it is possible for those who can sustain themselves in separation but not for him who cannot sustain himself in separation. Did not sIthAppirAtti tell that she cannot live if separated from emperumAn, as said in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 27-8 “IrshyA rOshau bahishkruthya bhukthaSEsham iva udhakam I naya mAm vIra visrabhdha: pApam mayi na vidhyathE II ”  (Oh brave man! Getting rid of jealousy and anger, just as one gets rid of excess water after drinking what is required, take me, believing (my words); I do not have the sin (which is the reason for my  separation from you)). This SlOkam is explained in detail now, in the vyAkyAnam. This SlOkam has been recited by sIthAppirAtti in anger which came out of affection, after SrI rAma had told her “There are wild animals and demons in the forest; I cannot take a gentle person such as you to the forest”.

IrshyA rOshau bahishkruthya – (Leaving aside jealousy and anger) Do you need so much of jealousy and anger since I will get a name with people saying ‘when SrI rAma went to forest, sIthA also followed him’. Just as you would get a name since ‘rAma took the words of his father [emperor dhaSaratha] and went to the forest’ should I not get a name ‘sIthA went to the forest following her husband’? Will the greatness ‘he followed the instructions of elders’ be appropriate only for you? Will it not be suitable for me?

IrshyArOshau bahishkruthya bhukthaSEsham ivOdhakam – the opinion here is ‘you are a disciple of vaSishta. You are very knowledgeable. That being the case, just as excess water, after quenching thirst is got rid of, should you not get rid of your jealousy and anger?’

naya mAm – (take me with you) Once you get rid of jealousy and anger, you would strive for the benefits of others. Hence, please take me too along with you.

vIra – You may hesitate to take me if there is any shortcoming in your valour, having taken the responsibility for others’ wellbeing. Since you are great warrior, there is no possibility for this doubt.

visrabdha – (having faith in my words) You know yourself that you have the capability to protect me in the forest too. My words ‘take me along with you’ were not said for the sake of saying. These were said whole heartedly. Hence, keeping faith in my words, please take me.

sIthAppirAtti says further, thinking that perumAL (SrI rAma) may be of the opinion that ‘it would be better to live in the city [of ayOdhyA] without any hardship than living in forest, facing many the hardships’

pApam mayi na vidhyathE  – Since I will not live if separated from you, there is no possibility that I will suffer in separation from you. The opinion is that due to this fact, there will be no sin for her, as a result of that.

Now, we get back to the main pAsuram.

avar thiRaththE yAdhAnum sindhiththu iru – [AzhwAr’s heart is asking him] ”Could you think that both attaining emperumAn and losing him are the same? He is very much required for our existence” AzhwAr responds “It is not required to attain him for our existence. Since we are a part of his physical form, when he exists, we also will exist. Now, in order to spend time purposefully, keep thinking of something or the other about him”. The opinion here is that even if emperumAn says “you are not needed for me”, AzhwAr could sustain himself by thinking about this.

We will move on to the 10th pAsuram next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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