thiruvAimozhi – 10.10.4 – umbar andhaN pAzhEyO!

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Full series >> Tenth Centum >> Tenth decad

Previous pAsuram

Introduction for this pAsuram

Highlights from thirukkurukaippirAn piLLAn‘s introduction

No specific introduction.

Highlights from nanjIyar‘s introduction

In the fourth pAsuram, AzhwAr says “If you, who are the controller of all, mercifully saw that I control my own situation, would it not mean that you have abandoned me?”

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.


umbar andhaN pAzhEyO! adhanuL misai nIyEyO!
ambara naRchOdhi! adhanuL piraman aran nI
umbarum yAdhavarum padaiththa munivan avan nI
embaranjAdhikkaluRRu ennaip pOravittittAyE


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

umbar – being greater (than elements such as mahath etc , due to being the origin)
am – distinguished, due to existing for your sport
thaN – cool (due to the state where the three qualities sathvam, rajas and thamas are in equal proposition)
pAzhEyO – [primordial matter, which is suitable] to cause bhOgam (worldly enjoyment) and mOksham (liberation)
adhanuL misai nIyEyO – (in this manner, being with chith and achith in subtle forms)
ambaram – AkASam (ether, which is the cause for oval shaped universe)
nal – distinguished
sOdhi – creating elements such as fire and having them as your forms
adhan uL – in the oval shaped universe which originated from the elements
piraman aran – created brahmA, rudhra et al and having them as forms
nI – you;
umbarum – dhEvas (celestial beings, who are greater than the creatures on earth)
yAdhavarum – all types of sentient beings such as humans etc
padaiththa munivanavan – the one who meditated upon such acts of creation and created
nI – you;

(as this is the case)
em param – my body (I who am your form)
sAdhikkal uRRu – after accepting the responsibility to control

(visually showing up to the attainment)
ennai – me (who cannot live without you)

pOra vittittAy – made me remain here.

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

You are great and distinguished since you control primordial matter, which is existing for your sport and which is cool. The primordial matter is suitable to cause bhOgam and mOksham [for chEthanas for whom it is the abode]. You subsequently create elements such as ether, distinguished fire etc and have them as your forms; you created the oval shaped universe which originated from the elements, and brahmA, rudhra et al inside the universe and are having them as your forms; you meditated upon the creation of all types of sentient beings such as celestial beings, humans etc, and created them; after accepting the responsibility to control my body, you made me remain here. The sound “O” should be added to all places where “nI” is present, indicating the sorrow of AzhwAr where AzhwAr is feeling “there is every reason for you to protect me yet you abandoned me”.

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

This pAsuram is explained in sAmAnAdhikaraNam – bhagavAn being one common AthmA, SarIri, prakAri (substratum) for having everything else (mUIa prakruthi, AthmAs, pancha bhUthams etc) as his SarIra/prakAra (form), and bhagavAn being the singular creator of everything else.

  • umbar am thaN pAzhEyO – Oh one who is the controller of mUla prakruthi (primordial matter) which is superior due to being the cause for effects such as mahath, having the ability to create all the effectual elements from a fraction of itself, one which transforms in to variegated elements, one which is the abode for chEthanas to engage in bhOgam and mOksham!
  • am thaN – Being beautiful and cool.
  • pAzh – Being ready for cultivation/activity. Explaining that the primordial matter is in causal state which will facilitate bhOgam and mOksham for chEthanas, in its effectual state.
  • umbar am thaN pAzhEyO – It is said as “pAzhEyO” (primordial matter alone) [in sAmAnAdhikaraNam] instead of saying separately as in “whiteness of a cloth” [cloth and whiteness are explicitly spoken], since it cannot be separated from bhagavAn who is having it as his prakAram. By saying “umbar andhaN pAzhEyO“, it is said that there is no other controller than bhagavAn even for achith which is devoid of chEthana as said in Sruthi “yasyAthmA SarIram – yasya pruthivI SarIram” (for whom, the AthmAs are bodies, for whom, the earth is a body), instead of primordial matter being the body of AthmAs and AthmAs being bodies of bhagavAn. This word “pAzhEyO” decimates mImAsakas who acknowledge Sudhdha bhEdham (clear distinction between ISvara/brahmam, chith and achith [without accepting SarIra-SarIri bhAvam]) and mAyAvAdhis who acknowledge brahmam to be the same as matter [mAyAvAdhi would generally consider brahmam to be the same AthmA, but not matter. Here, we have to see that even if someone tries to equate brahmam to be same as matter, that is also decimated].
  • adhanuL misai nIyEyO – Oh one who is the controller of the distinguished AthmAs which are bound in that matter! bhagavAn’s causal state is explained since SarIrI (bhagavAn, the substratum) with sUkshma chidhachith (subtle sentient beings and insentient entities) is the cause. With this, it is explained that the opinion of nyAya [naiyAyika] and vaiSEshika who speak about the viSEshaNa prAdhAnyam (AthmA, which is an attribute, having independence) and apAramArthyam for viSEshaNam (chith and achith are not real – there is only one brahmam), are not the opinions of AzhwAr. By saying “nIyEyO” (only you), it is explained that AthmA does not exist without ISvara, just as achith does not exist without chith.
  • ambara nal sOdhi – ambaram – AkASam (Ether). nal sOdhi – distinguished fire. These are samples for the other elements; just as mentioning water in SrIvishNu purANam 2.12 “yath ambu vaishNava: kAya:” (the reason why vishNu’s body became water), implied other elements.
  • ahdanuL piraman aran nI – AzhwAr is saying – even brahmA, rudhra et al who reside in the universe which is created as a result of panchIkaraNam of bhUthams (the process of mixing the five elements to create the universe), are under your control.
  • umbarum yAdhavanum padaiththa munivan avan nI – You are the well-known muni (meditator) who created dhEvas and all others. The sAmAnAdhikaraNyam explained in “piraman aran nI” is based on kArya kAraNa bhAvam (relationship of cause – effect); as said in chAndhOgya upanishath 3-14-1 “sarvam kalvidham brahma thajjalAnithi” (all these are brahmam due to being created, sustained and annihilated in that brahmam). One who meditates upon the previous karmas of all entities to create them as per their karma is the one who is muni; yajur vEdham “thadhasadhEva sanmanO kuruthasyAmithi” (Only that brahma with subtle chith and achith which have no name and form, vowed “let me be with gross chith and achith which have names and forms). With this, bhagavAn being the effect, due to being with gross chith and achith, is explained.
  • em param sAdhikkaluRRu ennaii pOra vittittAyE – After assuming my burdens, neglecting that, leaving me like discarding insentient objects; you, who are controlling everything, considered that I can control my own destiny, neglected me by keeping me away from you.
  • ennai – I who cannot survive without you.
  • pOra vittittAyE – AzhwAr is considering that he has separated from emperumAn. AzhwAr is saying “You pushed me into the place where your qualities cannot be observed”. Your act of granting me full knowledge but not leading me up to the destination resembles naLa’s act of showing the path for dhamayanthi and leaving her.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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