thiruvAimozhi – 10.10.1 – muniyE nAnmuganE

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Full series >> Tenth Centum >> Tenth decad

Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In the first pAsuram, AzhwAr says “As a result of your manifesting your qualities such as saundharyam (beauty) etc without any reason, I am unable to sustain without you; now you cannot remain away from me, keeping me in this samsAra, which is unbearable for me, by only letting me to enjoy your qualities by manifesting them”.

Highlights from vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s introduction

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s introduction

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s introduction as documented by vadakkuth thiruvIdhip piLLai

See nanjIyar‘s introduction.


muniyE nAnmuganE! mukkaNNappA! en pollAk
kanivAyth thAmaraik kaN karu mANikkamE! en kaLvA!
thaniyEn AruyirE! en thalai misaiyAy vandhittu
ini nAn pOgalottEn onRum mAyam seyyEl ennaiyE


Word-by-Word meanings (based on vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s 12000 padi)

muniyE – (being unqualified to be distinguished by name and form, being in an annihilated state without any difference between chith (sentient beings) and achith (insentient entities), in that singular state of all entities as said in chAndhOgya upanishath “sadhEva” and “EkamEva“, as said in vishNu thathvam “ISvarAya nivEdhithum“, with merciful heart, set out to bestow body and senses to chEthanas, to make them surrender unto him) one who meditates upon the ways of creation
nAnmuganE – (after performing samashti srushti (initial creation up to creating the oval shaped universes) in transforming the primordial matter to mahath etc, to engage in vyashti srushti (variegated creation) inside the universes, as said in “srushtim thatha: karishyAmi thvAmAviSya prajApathE“) having four-headed brahmA as your body
mukkaN appA – (during annihilation, to assist in annihilation of the created universe, highlighting his power) three-eyed (with the assistance of the one who is having sense which helps in great activities) having rudhra who is a benefactor, as your body

(in between those two, in the state of being a protector)
en – for me
kani – (to instill taste towards you, in me) enjoyable like a ripened fruit
vAy – lip
thAmarai – attractive like lotus flower
kaN – one who is having eye also
pollA – unpierced
karu mANikkamE – having form which resembles a black gem
en – me (who stole the AthmA and claimed it as mine since time immemorial)
kaLvA – (without my knowledge, with that beauty) one who deceived and stole
thaniyEn Ar uyirE – (having not attained) for me who am lonely (manifesting his qualities and turned me to a stage where I cannot sustain myself without him), one who became my complete prANa (life)!

(as said in thiruvAimozhi 10.6.5sezhum paRavai thAnERith thirivAna thALiNai en thalai mElE” (my head is decorated with the enjoyable divine feet of the one who climbs and rides periya thiruvadi who has an attractive form))
en thalai – for my head
misai Ay – being on
vandhitttu – arriving and remaining
ini – now, after (manifesting the defects of this samsAra and the goal, and creating the urge and deep interest)
nAn – I (who am with the love granted by you, greatly craving and understanding your urge)
pOgalottEn – will not permit you to leave me as done previously;
ennai – me (who will perish in separation from you)
onRum – even a little bit (as you placed me away by showing worldly pleasures when I was in bondage, and as you pacified me by showing me your qualities, after attaining taste for you)
mAyam seyyEl – you should not deceive me.

Simple translation (based on vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s 12000 padi)

Oh one who meditates upon the ways of creation! Oh one who is having four-headed brahmA as your body! Oh one who is having three-eyed rudhra who is a benefactor, as your body! Oh one who is having a form which resembles an unpierced black gem, whose lips are enjoyable like a ripened fruit, and eyes are attractive like lotus flower for me! Oh one who deceived and stole me! Oh one who became the complete prANa for me who am lonely! You have arrived and placed your divine feet on my head. Now, after all of these, I will not permit you to leave me as done previously; you should not deceive me even a little bit.

vyAkyAnams (commentaries)

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s vyAkyAnam

See vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar‘s translation.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s vyAkyAnam

See nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam.

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s vyAkyAnam

See nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam.

Highlights from nampiLLai‘s vyAkyAnam as documented by vadakkuth thiruvIdhip piLLai

  • muniyE – bhagavAn is the one with chith (sentient beings) and achith (insentient entities) [as his prakAra (form/attribute)] as said in chAndhOgya upanishath 3-14-1 “sarvam kalvidham brahma thajjalAnithi” (all these are brahmam due to being created, sustained and ended in that brahmam), SrIvishNu purANam 1.2.67 “srushtau srujathi chAthmAnam vishNu: bAlyancha bAthira: upasamhriyathE chAnthE samharthAcha svayam prabhu:” (vishNu who is united with subtle chith and achith, transforms himself during creation to be with gross chith and achith; he protects himself; during annihilation he destroys himself being the destroyer [reverting to subtle chith and achith]), “sa Eva srujyasya: sa cha sarga karthA sa Eva bAthyaththicha pAlyath Echa brahmAdhi avasthyAbhi: aSEsha mUrththi: vishNu: varishta: varadha varENya:” (he is the one who is created; he is the creator; he is the protector; he is the annihilator; he is the one who is protected; it is vishNu who has all forms such as brahmA, Siva et al as his body, he is superior, and is the bestower of the best boons), SrI bhagavath gIthA 15.7mamaivAmSO jIvalOkE” (having my features. living in this material realm where bound souls live), SArIraka mImAmsA 2.3.42 “amSO nAnA vyapadhESAth” (jIvAthmA is known as a feature of paramAthmA); hence srushti (creation), samhAra (annihilation) are at his disposal only; as said in SubAla upanishath “pruthivyapsu praleeyathE, Apas thEjasileeyanthE, thEjauvAyau leeyathE, vAyurAkASE leeyathE, AkASam indhriyEshu indhriyANi thanmAthrEshu thanmAthrANi bhUthAdhau leeyanthE, bhUthAdhir mahathi leeyathE, mahAn avyakthE leeyathE, avyaktham aksharE leeyathE, aksharam thamasi leeyathE, thama:parEdhEva EkIbhavathi” (Earth dissolves into water, water dissolves into fire, fire dissolves into air, air dissolves into ether, ether dissolves into senses which in turn dissolve into thanmAthrAs (subtle form of senses) and thanmAthrAs dissolve into bhUthAdhi, bhUthAdhi dissolves into mahath, mahAn dissolves into avyaktham and avyaktham dissolves into aksharam, aksharam dissolves into thamas (mUla prakruthi – primordial matter) and thamas finally becomes one with bhagavAn) – emperumAn has made the divine vow as said in thaiththirIya upanishath “bahusyAm” (let me become many) and separated thamas which was attached to him, transformed it to what is known as thamas, transformed that into aksharam, created avyaktham from aksharam, created mahAn from avyaktham, created ahankAram from mahAn, created thanmAthrAs from ahankAram, culminated them into pancha bhUthams (the great elements), engaged in jagath srushti (creation of material realm) up to the creation of aNdam (oval shaped universe); he who is known as bhagavAn, is known as parabrahma, paramAthmA in vEdhAntham, and is directly known as paramapurusha.
  • muniyE – As said in “sa EkAkI na ramEtha” (that supreme lord was unhappy feeling loneliness) – as all the entities were without their names and forms and as brahmam’s name and form only were present, and everything else remained as achith, sarvESvaran also remained like achith in separation from everything [i.e. everything in subtle form and hence not being able to relish with them].
  • muniyE – As said in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 1.1 “thathO  rAvaNa nIthAyA: sIthAyA: SathrukarSaNa:| iyEsha padhamandhEshtum chAraNAcharithE pathi ||” (After that, hanuman, the destroyer of enemies, desired to travel in the sky where celestials like chAraNas tread, to search for sIthA, who was taken away by rAvaNa) – as hanuman desired to search for sIthA who was taken across the ocean, you meditated to create the citizens/children who have lost their forms! Should you who created me unconditionally, when I was non-existing, not help me today when I am present and suffering?
  • muniyE – Like those who would call out “ammE!” (Oh mother!). That is, you created these entities when they were without body and senses; should you not help me who is desiring now [for you]? Will you only help when you desire for it? Should you not help when I desire for it? As said in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 59.45 “SAkAmrugA: rAvaNa sAya kArthA: jagmuS SaraNyam SaraNam smarAmam” (The monkeys fled the battlefield being tormented by rAvaNa’s arrows and surrendered to SrI rAma who was their refuge) and SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 94.17 “rAkshasair vadhyamAnAnAm vAnarANAm mahachamU: | SaraNyam SaraNam yAthA rAmam dhaSarathAthmajam ||” (The great army of monkey warriors who were tormented by the army of demons, surrendered unto SrI rAma, the son of dhaSaratha), AzhwAr is saying “Won’t you help those who have no refuge other than you?”
  • nAnmuganE – Creating brahmA as said in SvEthASvathara upanishath “yO brahmANam vidhadhAthi pUrvam” (One who created brahmA first), pervading everywhere through jIvAthmAs, just as chEthanas (sentient beings) would act and move around with the help of their respective achEthana (insentient) body, being the antharyAmi for brahmA who is his body, through brahmA and his own sankalpa (vow), emperumAn engaging in variegated creation in the form of dhEva (celestial), thiryak (animals), manushya (humans) and sthAvara (immovable entities such as plants) is explained here. With this – it is explained that when emperumAn desires, he can do anything with the help of any entity. brahmA is like the seat from which emperumAn would engage in creation; for emperumAn there is no difference between engaging in creation using mahath which is achEthana and brahmA who is a chEthana; though chEthana and achEthana are different from each other, both are same with respect to being subservient to bhagavAn. Just as the words which indicate the different types of bodies such as dhEva , thiryak, manushya, sthAvara and brAhmaNa, kshathriya, vaiSya, SUdhra, also indicate the AthmAs inside those bodies, here also, as said in bruhadhAraNyaka upanishath “yasya AthmA SarIram, yasya pruthivI SarIram” (for the one who has souls as his body, for the one who has earth etc as his body), SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 117.26 “jagath sarvam SarIram thE sthairyam thE vasudhAthalam | agni:kOpa: prasAdhasthE sOmaS SrIvathsa lakshaNa ||” (The entire cosmos is your body. The earth constitutes your firmness. Fire is your anger. The moon constitutes your placidity. You are vishNu who bears the mark Srivathsa – a curl of hair on his chest), SrIvishNu purANam 1.22.86  “yAni mUrthAnyamUrthAni yAnyathrAnyathra vA kvachith | santhi vai vasthujAthAni thAni sarvANi thadhvapu: ||” (Whatever is with form or without form, the collection of all entities which are here, there and everywhere at any time, they are all body of that paramAthmA) and SrIvishNu purANam 1.22.38 “… thath sarvam vai harEsthanu:” (Whatever is created, they are all body of hari) – as per the rule which says that the word which indicates the body would itself also indicate the soul which controls that body, the word chathumukha/nAnmugan which indicates the body of brahmA also indicates emperumAn who is different from such brahmA and is the soul of brahmA; hence “nAnmuganE” is also a calling for emperumAn only.
  • mukkaN appA – As said in katavalli upanishath “yasya brahmacha kshathrancha ubhEbhavatha Odhanam, mruthyur yasya upasEchanam” (For whom, brAhmaNa, kshathriya and all of the creation, become food [during annihilation], and for whom, the annihilator is like pickle [which is used as side dish and finally eaten separately as well]), for sarvESvaran who annihilates everything along with the annihilator, with the name of the three-eyed [rudhra] who is a body of sarvESvara, emperumAn who is different from rudhra and who is the antharAtmA (in-dwelling soul) of rudhra, is invoked.
  • appA – Favour; annihilation is a greater favour than creation. Even if creation happens after a little while, the existence of the AthmAs will remain in tact. But due to the evil deeds performed by the AthmAs, if annihilation does not happen immediately, the existence of AthmAs will be lost. How is this so? Just as one will poke one’s own eye and cause harm, when the purpose of creation is forgotten and it becomes a reason for evil deeds, as the parents would put shackles on the hands and feet of their evil children, when the created universe becomes misused for the evil deeds, eliminating the body and senses as part of annihilation is seen as a favour; as said in jithanthE sthOthram “thadhA – samhAraka:” (You are creator as well as annihilator of this universe). “muniyE nAnmuganE mukkaNNappA” follows the section from mahAnArAyaNa upanishath starting with “EkO ha vai nArAyaNa AsIth – nabrahmA – nESAna: nEmE dhyAvA pruthivI – nanakshathrANi – nApOnAgnirnasOmOnasUrya: || sa EkAkI naramEtha – thasyadhyAnAnantha saththasyaikA – kanyAdhaSEndhriyANi” (Only nArAyaNa existed in the beginning; no brahmA; no rudhra; this sky and earth were not there; no stars; no water; no fire; no moon; no sun; he felt anguished due to loneliness; for him, who is in meditation, there was a mind and ten senses) and “athapunarEva nArAyaNassOnyam kAmam manasAdhyAyItha – thasyadhyAnAn thasthasya lalAdAth svEdhOpathath thA imA Apa: – thadhdhiraNmayam aNdam abhavath – thathra brahmAchathurmukhOjAyatha || atha punarEva nArAyANassOnyam kAmam manasA dhyAyItha thasya dhyAnAnthasthasya lalAdAth svEdhOpathath – svEdhOth budhbudhamabhavath – budhbudhAth thryakshaSSSulabhApANi: purushO jAyatha” (Again that nArAyaNa meditated to vow something else; sweat oozed out of his forehead and fell on the ground; that is the water; that became the golden oval shaped universe; four-headed brahmA came into existence in that universe; again that nArAyaNa meditated to vow something else; sweat oozed out of his forehead and fell on the ground; bubble appeared from that sweat; a three-eyed man appeared from that bubble with the spear in his hand). SrIvishNu purANam 1.2.23 “srushti sthithi anthakaraNIm …” (bhagavAn janArdhana assumes the names and forms of brahmA, vishNu and Siva to perform creation, sustenance and annihilation).
  • en pollAk kanivAyth thAmaraik kaN karumANikkamE – In between creation and annihilation, if there is no protector, the evil ones will torment the individuals just as an eagle will catch its prey; for that, emperumAn incarnates with his natural form as vishNu in between the primordial deities brahmA and rudhra just as emperumAn incarnated as one [SrI rAma] amongst the ikshvAku clan and one [krishNa] amongst yadhu clan; AzhwAr is calling out that name vishNu here. Since creation and annihilation need to be done mercilessly, he would appoint agents for those tasks; since protection need to be done by himself, with mercy, he cannot appoint others; even if appointed, others cannot do this task as said in SrIvishNu purANam 1.22.21 “na hi pAlana sAmarthyamruthE sarvESvaram harim | …” (Oh wise person! Except for hari who is well situated in sustaining others, no one has the ability to give protection) and para samhithA “na sampadhAm samAhArE vipadhAm vinivarthanE | samarthO dhruSyathE kaSchith tham vinA purushOththamam ||” (I have not seen any one other than purushOththama who is capable of bestowing wealth and removing the dangers without a trace).
  • en pollA … – While saying “nAnmuganE, mukkaNNappA“, AzhwAr closed his eyes and focussed on bhagavAn who is the viSEshyam (substratum); here [in the case of vishNu] viSEshaNam (form) itself is desirable, saying “en pollAk kanivAyth thAmaraik kaN karumANikkamE“. AzhwArs cannot move beyond bhagavAn’s divine form; while the divine form is explained as SubhASrayam (auspicious abode), vEdhAntham instructs the AthmAs to focus on the dhivyAthma svarUpam (divine internal nature/qualities) of bhagavAn leaving behind the divine form; the intent of vEdhAntham is not to negate the divine form, but to push the AthmAs up to the understanding of the true nature of bhagavAn; pollA should be joined with karumANikkam. AzhwAr could be warding off the evil eyes by saying “pollA – karumANikkam” (evil precious gem); alternatively, he is saying “pollA” to highlight the beauty of emperumAn which is unseen in any other entity.
  • kani vAy – sarvESvaran who is said in chAndhOgya upanishath 3.14 ‘avAkyanAdhara:’ (does not speak, ignores [in paramapadham]), is giving up his firmness and smiling on seeing the favourable ones [devotees]; as said in SrI paushkaram “sva karmAnala thapthAnAm dhyAyinAm khEdhaSAnthayE” (to remove the suffering of those who were experiencing the heat of the results of their karma).
  • thAmaraik kaN – AzhwAr is talking about the eyes which will further pacify us, if we start enquiring his smile and stutter with hiccups; as said in SrIvishNu purANam 1.20.16 “avalOkana dhAnEna bhUyOmAm pAlaya” (Oh lord! protect me with your glance).
  • karu mANikkamE – His divine body which embraces us to eliminate our fatigue in samsAram; as said in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 1.13 “Esha sarvasva bhUthasthu” (This embrace of mine is equivalent to everything else). His divine form resembles a smiling dark precious gem.
  • en kaLvA – Oh one who stole me without my permission! AthmA who steals the self which is ISvara’s property, without knowing about the ownership; emperumAn steals the AthmA, by showing his own beautiful form. AthmA’s mamakAram (claiming bhagavAn’s wealth to be owned by self) is so deep that, sarvESvaran himself needs to steal the AthmA to reclaim the ownership. Just as emperumAn [as SrI rAma] made janakarAja to hand over his daughter (sIthAp pirAtti) in marriage, he reclaims AthmA to be his own.
  • thaniyEn Ar uyirE – Not only you accepted me without my permission, you also informed your presence to me and manifested your qualities with which I sustain myself being unable to perish in separation from you.
  • thaniyEn – AzhwAr’s presence amidst samsAris (worldly people) is similar to sIthAp pirAtti’s presence amidst rAkshasis (demoniac women) in aSOka vanam, highlighting his inability to mix with samsAris and inability to reach paramapadham.
  • Ar uyirE – For me who is suffering in this samsAram in separation from you, oh one who is the cause for my existence!
  • en thalai misaiyAy vandhittu – Arriving completely as said in thiruvAimozhi 10.6.5sezhum paRavai thAnERith thirivAna thALiNai en thalai mElE” (one who climbs and rides periya thiruvadi who has an attractive form, and arrives to be on my head) and thiruvAimozhi 10.6.6thalai mEla thALiNaigaL” (his divine feet on my head). Also implies that he arrived unconditionally, without any reason.
  • ini – Not just showing yourself, revealing the nature of paramapadham. After this.
  • nAn – I who have come to know the path to paramapadham.
  • pOgalottEn – AzhwAr became qualified to stop him and force him, due to his sorrow in separation and his apt relationship with emperumAn; as said in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 111.14 “SEshyE purasthAth SAlAyA yAvan mEna prasIdhathi” (I shall remain lying down at the entrance of SrI rAma’s hut until he returns to ayOdhyA).
  • pOgalottEn – You can arrive of your own freewill only; but while going, is that under your control? AzhwAr is able to say like this due to a) the urge acquired by him under the supervision of sarvagya (omniscient lord) and b) since bhagavAn will become shy in the delay in fulfilling AzhwAr’s desire immediately as said in SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 10.9 “hrIrEshAhi mamAthulA” (I am feeling immensely ashamed).
  • onRum mAyam seyyEl – Before I realised you, you showed me the aspects which are to be given up and made me remain satisfied with them; after realising you, you manifested your qualities and made me say in thiruvAimozhi 10.8.7umbar en kuRai” (What worry is there for me, who enjoyed him eternally, about the enjoyment in going further to a special abode of paramapadham?) and thiruvAimozhi 10.8.8IdhE innam vENdavadhu endhAy” (Oh one who is naturally related to me! This service [by speech] only is desired forever by me!) In this manner, by manifesting your qualities further, don’t make me think that I have attained the goal and deceive me.

When asked “Why are you asking like this?” AzhwAr says,

  • ennaiyE – As said in SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 6.16 “Ehi paSya SarIrANi” (Look at our bodies), AzhwAr shows his body which was eaten by viraham (sorrow in separation); there, for the rishis, the rAkshasas ate only their limbs; here AzhwAr is going through destruction of the svarUpam (true nature) itself.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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