irAmAnusa nURRandhAdhi – A simple explanation

SrI: SrImathE SatakOpAya nama: SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama: SrImath varavaramunayE nama:


SrI maNavALa mAmunigaL very beautifully reveals the unique greatness of emperumAnAr in the thirty eighth  pAuram of upadhEsa raththinamAlai:

emperumAnAr dharisanam enRE idhaRku
namperumAL pErittu nAtti vaiththAr – am puviyOr
indha dharisanaththai emperumAnAr vaLarththa
andhach cheyal aRigaikkA

namperumAL (uthsavamUrthy at SrIrangam) named our SrIvaishNava sampradhAyam (sacred tradition of the divine followers of vishNu) as emperumAnAr dharisanam and established it well. This is because of the fact that emperumAnAr lucidly explained and developed this path of devotion by mercifully composing granthas (books) such as SrIbhAshyam etc, making everyone to know the meanings of our sampradhAyam through many AchAryas (preceptors), making reforms [in temple administration, carrying out festivals for emperumAn as enunciated in SAsthras etc] in various divine abodes of emperumAn etc. namperumAL established this so that all the people would know about the great beneficial acts performed by emperumAnAr like these. It could be said that keeping in mind the fact that thirukkOshtiyUr nambi [one of the five AchAryas of emperumAnAr] gave rAmAnuja the title of emperumAnAr, namperumAL would have organised this to bring out the greatness of emperumAnAr.

piLLai thiruvarangaththu amudhanAr was an AchArya who lived in SrIrangam during the time of emperumAnAr. Initially he did not have much of reverence for emperumAnAr. Under the order of emperumAnAr, he was sent under the charge of kUraththAzhwAn, one of emperumAnAr’s important disciples, to be reformed. Due to the great mercy  of kUraththAzhwAn, he realised the greatness of emperumAnAr and mercifully composed a wonderful prabandham irAmAnusa nURRandhAdhi, detailing the qualities of emperumAnAr.

maNavALa mAmunigaL has given a brief commentary for this prabandham. In the foreword to this commentary, he has beautifully mentioned the greatness of this prabandham. We will briefly see these features here.

Just as madhurakavi AzhwAr had earlier composed kaNNi nuN siRuththAmbu which explained his position with respect to nammAzhwAr [that nammAzhwAr is everything for him], and as an instruction to others, amudhanAr too mercifully composed this prabandham regarding emperumAnAr. However, instead of the brief prabandham which madhurakavi AhzwAr composed, amudhanAr mercifully composed a lengthy prabandham. Just as gAyathri manthram [a manthram which invokes the deity gAyathri for granting intellect] is recited everyday by those who have undergone brahmOpadhESam [a function in which a young boy is initiated and instructed about the supreme being], this is also to be recited everyday by those who have had a connection with their AchArya and who have desire in the divine feet of emperumAnAr. In every pAsuram of this prabandham, the name of emperumAnAr has been invoked. Hence this prabandham is called as prapanna gAyathri by our elders.

This simple translation is being written with the help of mAmunigaL’s brief commentary.

In the next  article, we will enjoy the thaniyans for this prabandham.


adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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