periya thirumozhi – 1.1.2 – AviyE amudhE

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periya thirumozhi >> First centum >> First decad

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Highlights from avathArikai (Introduction)

Previously AzhwAr said “vAdinEn” and “iLaiyavar kalaviyE karudhi OdinEn“, without realising that there is bhagavAn, until then and with deep attachment towards worldly pleasures. Now, AzhwAr is explaining how he enjoyed those pleasures, how he wasted the time all along and how he realised the divine name to even redeem the lost time.


AviyE! amudhE! ena ninaindhurugi
avaravar paNaimulai thuNaiyA
pAviyEn uNarAdhu eththanai pagalum
pazhudhu pOyozhindhana nALgaL
thUvisEr annam thuNaiyodum puNarum
sUzhpunal kudainthaiyE thozhudhu en
nAvinAl uyya nAn kaNdu koNdEn
nArAyaNA ennum nAmam 

Word-by-Word meanings

AviyE – Oh my life!
amudhE – Oh one who is enjoyable for me like nectar!
ena – saying these many praises
ninaindhu – thinking about the insignificant pleasures they give
urugi – melting like ice
avaravar – of those women
paNai – large
mulai – bosoms
thuNaiyA – having as protection
pAviyEn – I who am a sinner
uNarAdhu – without knowing “sarvESvaran is the rakshaka (protector)”
eththanai pagalum – forever
nALgaLum – everyday
pazhudhupOy ozhindhana – was wasted;
thUvi – with wings
sEr – matching
annam – swan
thuNaiyodum – with its female counterpart
puNarum – living together
punal – with water
sUzh – surrounded
kudandhai – ArAvamudhAzhwAr in thirukkudandhai
thozhudhu – worshipped
nAn – I who was immersed in worldly pleasures
uyya – to get uplifted
nArAyaNA ennum nAmam – the divine name “nArAyaNa”
en nAvinAl – with my tongue
kaNdu koNdEn – praised and realised.

Simple translation

Thinking about the insignificant pleasures the women give, saying these many praises such as “Oh my life! Oh one who is enjoyable for me like nectar!”, melting like ice, considering their large bosoms as protection, without knowing “sarvESvaran is the rakshaka (protector)”, I who am a sinner, wasted everyday forever. Swan with matching wings, is living together with its female counterpart in the water surrounding thirukkudandhai. To get uplifted, I who was immersed in worldly pleasures worshipped ArAvamudhAzhwAr in such thirukkudandhai by praising the divine name “nArAyaNa” with my tongue and realised the divine name.

Highlights from vyAkyAnam (Commentary)

  • AviyE amudhE – Whatever is to be said in bhagavath vishayam as said in thiruvAimozhi 8.1.1AviyE! amudhE! alai kadal kadaindha appanE!” (you are my life; you are the most enjoyable nectar; oh great benefactor who performed difficult tasks and helped others!) and thiruvAimozhi 3.8.7AviyE! AramudhE! ennai ALudaith
    thUvi am puL udaiyAy!” (Oh one who is my prANa, one who is fully and eternally enjoyable, one who has beautifully winged periya thiruvadi (garudAzhwAr) as your vehicle to enslave me). Whatever is to be said towards the apt lord, I said those towards inapt persons. Both dhArakathva (being the support) and bhOgyathai (enjoyability) are fully present without any shortcoming only in bhagavath vishayam. These words were spoken towards those who are unfavourable rather than being a support and are disgusting rather than being enjoyable. I told as in uththara rAma charitham 3.26 “thvam jIvitham thvamasi mE hrudhayam madhIyam” (You are my life and heart).
  • ena ninaindhu – nanjIyar would mercifully explain “this is thought about in several ways in this manner”. nampiLLai humbly asked nanjIyar “Can we say AzhwAr was thinking as said in thiruvAimozhi 9.6.2ninaidhoRum sollum thoRum nenjidindhugum” (every time I think about him, every time I speak/hear about him, my heart becomes broken)?” nanjIyar mercifully responded “You are explaining this even better than AzhwAr”.
  • ena ninaindhu urugi – They will contemplate in this manner and remain like melted ice in an unconscious state.

When asked “How long did they remain in worldly pleasures in this manner?” AzhwAr says,

  • avaravar – Time is eternal, AthmA has been there forever, the bodies AthmA acquired were countless and the aspects enjoyed in each of the body are also countless; AthmA remained immersed in all of those aspects. Hence, it is said as “avaravar” (respective).
  • paNai mulai – Those [bosoms] are unlike bhagavAn who feels for the suffering AthmAs as said in SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 10.9 “hrIrEshAhi mamAthulA” (I am feeling immensely ashamed), and SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 8.3 “nathyajEyam” (I will not abandon even if he has faults). They will grow multi-fold having the torment of the men who became attracted as the fertilizer thinking “we have trapped a lowly/helpless person; all his possessions belong to us now”. They don’t have the compassion to let the person enjoy them thinking “he is melting to get us”!
  • paNai mulai thuNaiyA – Desiring for a lump which is made of skin, flesh, fatty matter and bone, one remains as said in thiruvAimozhi 3.6.8thayaradhaRku magan thannai anRi maRRilEn thanjam AgavE” (other than such SrI rAma, who appeared as the son of dhaSaratha chakravarthi, I will not have anyone, even another form of bhagavAn, as my refuge). Having great attachment towards them, not just with the thought of “we are having bodily attachment towards them now” but thinking “these will grant us even what is to be attained in after-life”. This is because, the person has forgotten about after-life. One who should have emperumAn as protection as said in thirunedundhANdagam 16 “thunnu kuzhal karu niRaththu en thuNaiyE” (Oh my protection who is having very dark complexion of dense hair!)
  • pAviyEn – This is the insult attained by AthmA who is eternal, singular in form, identified by gyAnam (knowledge) and Anandham (bliss) and is similar to SrI kaushthubam (the crown jewel on emperumAn’s chest) for ISvara.
  • uNarAdhu – Not realising that emperumAn has the AthmA to be engaged in his service only.
  • eththanai pagalum pazhudhu pOy ozhindhana nALgaL – We have wasted all the time thus far. We have wasted forever – just as water which had overflown the dam and reached the ocean for no benefit. As perumAL felt sorrow for having lost his time with sIthA as said in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 5.5 “na mE dhukkam … vayOsyA hyathivarthathE” (My biggest sorrow is … sIthA’s age is passing by without being enjoyed [by me (SrI rAma)])
  • pazhudhu pOy ozhindhana nALgaL – The time which should have been spent as done by iLaiya perumAL (lakshmaNa) in serving sIthAp pirAtti and SrI rAma, was simply wasted. The time which should have been spent with kainkaryam in a precious manner, was wasted.
  • thUvi sEr … – Such AthmA who was going down in this manner, redeemed with the dhivyadhESams which are present in this world.  thUvi – wing. The abode where swan which has the beauty acquired by its wings, lives together with his spouse. The abode which is the refuge for all creatures. Since hamsa is fully comparable to bhagavAn, it can be said that ArAvamudhAzhwAr (bhagavAn) joyfully lives in thirukkudandhai along with periya pirAttiyAr. The abode where bhagavAn who is SaraNya (refuge) lives without any shortcoming. There is no shortcoming in this abode since pirAtti who pacifies bhagavAn when he shows anger and bhagavAn who becomes pacified [and accepts AthmAs] are residing.
  • sUzh punal – Even the insentient water (river) will go around the dhivyadhESam on approaching it. The abode which eliminates the fatigue for those who are suffering.
  • kudandhaiyE thozhudhu – As said in mahAbhAratham sabhA parvam 75 “avaSA: prathibEdhirE” (They honoured krishNa without even realising), AzhwAr saw himself worshipping bhagavAn, though he did not have any real intention to do so.
  • en nAvinAl – With my tongue which said “AviyE! amudhE!“. Just as saying “I attained fame by begetting this child” [AzhwAr feels happy for having the tongue]. Though the physical tongue is different in this birth now in comparison to previous births, as the sense of speech [subtle aspect in tongue] is carried across different bodies, there is nothing wrong in AzhwAr saying “My tongue”.

With the body, which praised worldly people,

  • uyya nAn kaNdu koNdEn – I who said in periya thirumozhi 6.2.2 “maRandha madhiyin manaththAl iRandhEn eththanaiyum” (Due to forgetting you forever and not having intelligence, I lost you all along), realised myself for my being uplifted.
  • kaNdu koNdEn – Just as meditating upon thirumanthram’s meanings matches the true nature of the self, reciting it also matches the true nature of the self. Azhwar is saying that he realised what is apt and what was lost all along.
  • nArAyaNA ennum nAmam – That which is said in mudhal thiruvandhAdhi 95nA vAyil uNdE“. [pAsuram is explained here]
    • nA vAyil uNdE – One need not search for a tongue.
    • namO nArAyANA enRu OvAdhu uraikkum urai uNdE – OvAdhu does not mean “without break”; since there are only eight syllables, one can recite this without becoming tired. This is unlike sahasrAksharI mAla manthram (a thousand syllabled manthram) which makes one think “Instead of learning and reciting this, hell seems to be a better option”
  • ennum nAmam – I saw (realised) the divine name, to make the previously wasted time to become purposeful. mUnRAm thiruvandhAdhi 17senRa nAL sellAdha sengaNmAl engaLmAl enRanAL ennALum nALAgum” – The day when we realise that reddish-eyed bhagavAn is our lord, occurs; senRa nAL – ennALum nALAgum – Due to facilitating in the progress towards reciting thirumanthram, even the past times will feel auspicious and the present times will be good. By reciting thirumanthram, it can be guaranteed that there will be no disaster in the future.

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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