thiruvAimozhi – 9.9 – malligai

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Full series >> Ninth Centum

Previous decad


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 ninth decad, AzhwAr who was engaged in the desire towards the goal, observed that though archAvathAram of emperumAn which is easily enjoyable is present in close proximity, ISvara who is the enjoyable entity was not in his reach, highlighted the following aspects of the enjoyable ISvara, due to his impatience in dealing with the delay in enjoying emperumAn:

  1. his pleasing nature
  2. his ways of protection
  3. his having pleasant limbs
  4. his having vehicle matching his form
  5. his easy approachability for his devotees
  6. his unbounded simplicity
  7. his having most generous forms
  8. his great union
  9. his intent glances etc
  10. his having amazing forms which is the reason for his separation being unbearable

Meditating upon these, due to the sorrow of not being able to enjoy such enjoyable emperumAn as desired, and due to breaking down as a result of seeing entities which remind him of emperumAn and his fondness, AzhwAr calls out being unable to bear the separation even for a fraction of a moment. He sings it in the mood of gOpikAs who were seeing the sunset and were unable to bear the delay in krishNa’s arrival in the evening time after tending the cows.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nampiLLai‘s introduction.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s introduction

sIthAp pirAtti who thought that she could enjoy with perumAL (SrI rAma) in privacy in the forest thinking “If we remain in the capital city [ayOdhyA], we will not be able freely interact with perumAL due to the presence of in-laws”, was made to call out saying as in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 28.2 “kAnthAra madhyE vijanE visrushtA bAlEva kanyA vilalApa sIthA” (That sIthA cried like a young girl who was left alone in an uninhabited forest). Similarly, AzhwAr who desired to enter and enjoy in thirunAvAy ended up calling out in fear of the enemies.

Once peRRi (an AchArya) asked nambi thiruvaranga nArAyaNa dhAsar who was returning after hearing thiruvAimozhi from me [nampiLLai] and reaching there [peRRi’s residence] “What is new with nampiLLai today?” nambi thiruvaranga nArAyaNa dhAsar said “We completed hearing nampiLLai’s lecture on aRukkum vinai [previous] decad”. peRRi said “So, you will be enjoying malligai kamazh thenRal (this decad) and mAlaip pUsal (romantic fights in the evening time)”

ALavandhAr would mercifully explain “AzhwAr desired the attainment of emperumAn in the previous decad; since he did not see that he was getting the result he was desiring for, he himself is undergoing the pain of all of the residents of thiruvAyppAdi (gOkulam) in separation of krishNa in one night”. [As this was explained by thirumAlai ANdAn] emperumAnAr mercifully heard this and said “Since AzhwAr is already very weakened due to the suffering, he cannot withstand such sorrow now; hence AzhwAr is going through suffering [of gOpikAs] in one evening time”.

What is it that AzhwAr did in this decad? Since AzhwAr did not leave the samsAra (material realm) which is the hurdle after one acquires knowledge, and since he has desire to reach paramapadham which is the ultimate destination, he was made to suffer at the hands of the hurdles. Even though AzhwAr prayed in thiruviruththam 1 “poynninRa gyAnam” when he acquired knowledge and prayed “Mercifully remove my connection with this samsAra which is the hurdle”, emperumAn did not fulfil that desire of AzhwAr thinking “we should get him to sing a few prabandhams”; this decad is explaining how his distaste for such hurdle has developed and become firm now.

How do AzhwAr‘s actions correlate to vEdhantha methods? [After acquiring knowledge about bhagavAn surviving in this material realm will be most unbearable] It is explaining the principle which is explained in chAndhOgya upanishath “thasya thAvadhEva chiram“. “thasya thAvadhEva chiram yAvanna vimOkshyE athasampathsyE” (After acquiring desire to be liberated, I am waiting for a very long time) [bhagavAn sees it as a short period, AzhwAr sees it as a very long period].

Subsequently, in thiruvAimozhi 3.8 “mudiyAnE”, AzhwAr explained the weakness attained by his senses; here – AzhwAr is explaining how along with the senses, he, who is the abode of those senses, is becoming destroyed. Azhwar is explaining how his gyAnEndhriyams (senses of knowledge) and karmEndhriyams (senses of action) are all getting destroyed together. For the cowhered girls in thiruvAyppAdi, one evening felt like the fourteen years [of separation] in rAmAvathAram. Since the separation there is with emperumAn who is abundant with auspicious qualities, even those feeling of fourteen years will pass; but since AzhwAr is immersed in emperumAn’s nIrmai (simplicity, his mischief), even one day will feel like many eons. [Will the mischief bind anyone?] The qualities do not bind one independently, but because of their presence on emperumAn. As in krishNAvathAram, emperumAn himself is very simple and his mischief is greatly relishable, it is difficult to handle the separation. The sensual pleasures which are considered as enjoyable by the worldly people are considered by AzhwAr as hurdles; such AzhwAr is suffering here without attaining emperumAn just as SrI bhIshma who is like a male tiger, was pierced by arjuna’s arrows and was suffering there after being knocked down.

This decad speaks about the sufferings of the residents of thiruvAyppAdi when krishNa would set out to tend the cows, until he returns. That is, just as sandhyAvandhanam (daily rituals) for brAhmaNas, for the cowherds, tending cows is a routine as per their jAthi (varNa); hence it cannot be avoided. In this manner, as krishNa would go behind the cows, the cowherd firls of thiruvAyppAdi would wait and eagerly look forward to the sunset time, when he returns. When he goes to tend the cows, if they spend the day time in anguish in one way, during the sunset time, if the first batch of cows returns and he is not seen with those cows, the cowherd girls cannot bear that sorrow. That is, he would not be present in the first batch and will be in the last batch, to see the anxiety of the cowherd girls. The sunset time when he arrives, has arrived; the cows which accompany him have also arrived; as his arrival is not seen, at that time, the fragrance of jasmine, favourable aspects such as beautiful kurinji tune, southerly breeze, moon, sound of the ocean, curlew and music from flute started causing pain. Even the music from flute will remind his qualities and cause pain. Previously many rAkshasis (demoniac ladies) such as EkAkshi (one eyed), EkakarNi (one eared) et al spoke harsh words to sIthAp pirAtti first and then thought of further tormenting her together; similarly these harmful entities individually and together torment the cowherd girls and called out krishNa; here AzhwAr himself is calling out with the collective tone of all of those cowherd girls.

Each pAsuram is discussed subsequently.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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