periya thirumozhi – 1.2.9 – Odhi Ayira

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Highlights from avathArikai (Introduction)

No specific introduction available.


Odhi Ayira nAmangaL uNarndhavarkku
uRu thuyar adaiyAmal
EdhaminRi ninRaruLum namperundhagai
irundhanal imayaththu
thAdhu malgiya piNdi viNdalarginRa
thazhalpurai ezhil nOkki
pEdhai vaNdugaL eriyena veruvaru
piridhi senRadai nenjE !

Word-by-Word meanings

Ayira nAmangaL – (his) thousand divine names
Odhi – recite (with that)
uNarndhavarkku – for those who acquired the knowledge (that he is the protector)
uRu – occur
thuyar – sins
adaiyAmal – to not reach (them)
Edham inRi – to not have any sorrows (for his devotees)
ninRu aruLum – mercifully present
nam – our lord
perum thagai – greatly famous
irundha – coming and residing
nal – distinguished
imayaththu – in himavAn
thAdhu – buds
malgiya – being abundant
piNdi – aSOka flowers
viNdu – opened
alarginRa – blossoming
thazhal purai – like fire
ezhil – beauty
pEdhai – ignorant
vaNdugaL – beetles
nOkki – saw (that)
eri ena – considering that to be fire
veruvaru – fearing
piridhi – in thiruppiridhi
senRu – going
nenjE – manassE (Oh mind!)
adai – try to reach.

Simple translation

Our greatly famous lord has come and is residing in the distinguished himavAn to ensure that the sins which are to occur, will not reach those who recite his thousand divine names acquire the knowledge (that he is the protector) and to not have any sorrows; seeing the beauty of the opened and blossomed aSOka flowers with abundant buds, which resemble fire, the beetles consider that to be fire and fear, in thiruppiridhi. Oh mind! Going to such thiruppiridhi, try to reach there.

Highlights from vyAkyAnam (Commentary)

  • Odhi Ayira nAmangaL uNarndhavarkku – For those who recite the thousand divine names and meditate upon their meanings. After reciting one divine name, not stopping with that, reciting thousand divine names in order, and meditating upon bhagavAn through those names.
  • uRu thuyar adaiyAmal – The [results of the] sins which need to be experienced by such person, to not chase him to experience the result. As said in brahma vaivairtham prakruthi kANdam 26.70 “avaSyam anubhOkthavyam” (must be experienced) and “nA bhuktham kshIyathE” (these cannot be got rid of unless experienced), the sins which cannot be exhausted without experiencing the result, to not reach the individual for experiencing the result. An apparition (gaNtAkarNan), while eating dead bodies, while there is gap in between his meals, said as in harivamSam bhavishya parvam 81.5 “narakArE jagannAtha nArAyaNa parAyaNa” (Oh enemy of hell! Oh lord of universe! Oh nArAyaNa! Oh resting place of all!) and enjoyed bhagavAn and remained fully focussed on him as said in SrIvishNu purANam 6.4.6 “AthmAnam vAsudhEvAkyam chinthayan” (bhagavAn is reclining and meditating upon himself); emperumAn, upon hearing this, said “Who recited our name and won over me?” as in harivamSam bhavishya parvam 82.39 “kasya mukthi: karE sthi thA” (One who was seen by hari has mOksham in his hands). Edham implies sorrow. As one recites the divine names of bhagavAn, the owner of the name will come close to the reciter and that will lead to the removal of sorrows. These individuals will become free from sorrows.
  • uRu thuyar … – [Another explanation – not having to feel sad about our disqualification] Meditating upon the connection with achith, thinking “How can we consider ourselves to be qualified to interact with bhagavAn?” as said in periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 5.1.1 “vAkkuth thUymai ilAmaiyinAlE mAdhavA unnai vAykkoLLa mAttEn” (since there is no purity in my speech, oh mAdhavA! I will not speak about you). Not having to think about one’s disqualification in such manner, as bhagavAn who remains close to those who surrender to him, they will not have any sorrows – in himavAn where such greatly famous emperumAn resides.
  • thAdhu … – the beauty of the opened and blossomed aSOka flowers with abundant buds, which resemble fire
  • pEdhai vaNdugaL – The beetles which have ignorance to confuse aSOka flowers everyday to be fire, even though they enjoy those flowers regularly. While they are residing eternally in this abode, and the flowers blossom everyday, they become bewildered seeing those flowers and cry out “fire! fire!” Even after doubting it to be fire previously and determining that it is not fire, on the subsequent day, without considering that not to be fire, they will fear for the same thinking that to be fire; the reason for that is both bhaya nivruththi (elimination of fear) and bhayam (fear) are eternal [as in samsAra].

An example for this situation is mercifully explained from periya thirumozhi pAsuram 5.3.9 for thiruveLLaRai dhivyadhESam.

Angu mAvali vELviyil irandhu senRu agalidam muzhudhinaiyum
pAnginAl koNda parama! nin paNindhu ezhuvEn enakku aruL puriyE
Ongu piNdiyin semmalar ERi vaNduzhithara – mAvERith
thInguyil mizhaRRum padappaith thiruveLLaRai ninRAnE!

  • Angu mAvali vELviyil – senRu – irandhu – emperumAn made himself a seeker and went to the sacrificial altar of mahAbali.
  • agal … – While accepting the whole earth, instead of accepting it through a battle, he accepted it through the magnanimity of mahAbali; since mahAbali had a little bit of magnanimity, mahAbali need not have his head severed as it happened for rAvaNa et al; emperumAn thought “he is willing to give it” and made himself a seeker, and accepted from mahAbali with his intention to do so. emperumAn accepted earth which is his own property, as if he got it from mahAbali. Hence, this is similar to our Athma samarpaNam (surrender of self) towards him. This surrender will make one say subsequently as in sthOthra rathnam 53 “athavA kinnu samarpayAmi” (How can I submit anything to you after knowing that everything is owned by you?) In reality, there is no difference between Athma samarpaNam (submitting oneself) and AthmApahAram (claiming the AthmA to be independent – stealing the ownership); this is why, upAya nairapEkshyam (even prapaththi is not upAyam – bhagavAn does not expect anything as upAyam from AthmA) is emphasised.
  • parama nin paNindhezhuvEn enakku aruL puriyE – Oh greater than all! You should shower your mercy upon me who worships you and seeks uplifting. Will surrender not lead to the result naturally?
  • Ongu … – In the reddish flowers of the aSOka trees, which are grown to suppress the sky, the beetles were seeking to drink the honey. The beautiful cuckoos determined that they are entering fire, and quickly climbed on the mango tree, to escape from that, and call out from there. Seeking the mango tree which does not have reddish flowers.
  • mizhaRRum – They will call out incoherently where the letters, words and the meaning are not understandable. Being unable to clearly explain the pitiful state of the beetles, staying far, they will call out incoherently as if saying “They are getting destroyed! Please help!”
  • padappai – This is the situation of the gardens in thiruveLLaRai.

With this, it is explained that:

  • brahmA et al will think about their bound state in this material world where they are trying to enjoy him and his greatness, and remain fearfully;
  • these beetles will try to enjoy the honey just seeing the presence of the flowers and will withdraw from that confusing the flowers to be fire.

Alternatively, for those who surrender to him, they will have both fearlessness as said in thaiththirIya upanishath “athasO bhayam gathO bhavathi” (jIvAthmA will reach the fearless state) and will also have fear thinking about the enjoyability of bhagavAn which makes him think “what disaster will befall such emperumAn?”

Since bhagavAn who is the refuge, is easily approachable, one need not fear on meditating upon the sins which are to be experienced to be exhausted; the fear of beetles which consider aSOka flowers to be fire will also remain eternally [mangaLASAsanam will also go on forever].

In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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