saptha kAdhai – pAsuram 2

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AchAryan is the one who makes a person acquire knowledge about artha panchaka and mercifully accepts the person with his instructions and is hence a great benefactor; due to gratitude towards such AchAryan, the disciple should have more love towards the AchArya than the manthra he taught and bhagavAn who is the object of the manthra as said in mumukshuppadi 4 “manthraththilum manthraththukku uLLIdAna vasthuvilum” (towards the manthram and the object of the manthram), as said in thiruvAimozhi 2.3.2aRiyadhana aRiviththa aththA! nI seydhana adiyEn aRiyEnE” (You are the mother who cares for my desires and the father who cares for my well-being; you are the AchArya (teacher) who taught what I don’t know; Even though I am your servitor, I don’t fully know the limitless favours done by you), thiruvAimozhi 2.7.8ennaith thImanam keduththAy (you reformed my evil mind), thiruvAimozhi 2.7.7maruvith thozhum manamE thandhAy’ (you bestowed the mind that made me fit well at your enjoyable lotus feet and worship), vishNu dharmam “manthrE thath dhEvathAyAncha thathA manthra pradhE gurau | thrishu bhakthis sadhA kAryA sA hi prathama sAdhanam ||” (One should be devoted to the manthram, to the dhEvathA of the manthram (lord) and to the AchAryan who taught the manthram; such devotion will serve as the path for attaining bhagavAn). A disciple who does not have such great love is more cruel than poison which destroys the body which is temporary when came in contact, in the sense that he destroys the AthmA which is eternal.


anju poruLum aLiththavan pAl anbilAr
nanjil migak kodiyarthAm sonnOm – nanjudhAn
Unai mudikkum adhu uyirai mudikkum enRu
InamilAr sonnAr ivai

Word-by-word meanings

anju poruLum – artha panchakam which includes svasvarUpam (true nature of self), parasvarUpam (true nature of bhagavAn), purushArtha svarUpam (true nature of the goal), upAya svarUpam (true nature of the means) and virOdhi svarUpam (true nature of hurdles)
aLiththavan pAl – towards AchAryan who mercifully instructed out of his great mercy
anbu ilAr – one who lacks love
nanjil – more than poison
migak kodiyar – very cruel

(to make everyone understand this principle)
nAm – we who are well focussed on the principles mercifully revealed by piLLai lOkAchAryar
sonnOm – spoke as the most valuable instruction

(When asked “How?”)
nanju thAn – poison (by coming into contact with it)
Unai – temporary body which is filled with flesh
mudikkum – will destroy;
adhu – this person who lacks love towards AchAryan
uyirai – the eternal AthmA who is filled with knowledge
mudikkum – one who destroys
enRu ivai – such principle
Inam ilAr – our pUrvAchAryas who don’t have the defect of lacking in love towards AchAryan
sonnAr – have explained.

Simple Explanation

One who lacks love towards AchAryan who, out of his great mercy, mercifully instructed artha panchakam which includes svasvarUpam (true nature of self), parasvarUpam (true nature of bhagavAn), purushArtha svarUpam (true nature of the goal), upAya svarUpam (true nature of the means) and virOdhi svarUpam (true nature of hurdles), is more cruel than poison; we who are well focussed on the principles mercifully revealed by piLLai lOkAchAryar spoke as the most valuable instruction; the poison will destroy the temporary body which is filled with flesh; but this person who lacks love towards AchAryan will destroy the eternal AthmA who is filled with knowledge; our pUrvAchAryas who don’t have the defect of lacking in love towards AchAryan, have explained such principle.

vyAkyAnam (Commentary)

anju poruLum … – Those who lack love towards AchAryan who instructed the five principles which are to be known thiruvAimozhi 5.2.5uyyum vagai” (there is no way for your redemption due to the hurdles), thiruvAimozhi 8.8.5ninRa onRai uNarndhEnukku” (For me who saw AthmA which is eternal), nAnmugan thiruvandhAhi 96nangaRindhEn” (I have clearly known about bhagavAn), thiruvAimozhi 8.8.3 “uNarvinuLLE” (I placed in my heart due to his great mercy) and thirumAlai 38Am parisu” (apt goal).

anju poruLum – Only if the AchAryan withdraws from instructing, after instructing just one of the five principles, a disciple may lack love.

anju poruLum – As said in hArItha smruthi 8-141 “vadhanthi sakalA vEdhA:” (those who know all of vEdhams), he is instructing artha panchakam which is fully explained in vEdham.

aLiththavan – Instead of instructing this artha panchakam, being pleased by the disciples’ rendering of service as said in SrI bhagavath gIthA 4.34 “sEvayA upadhEskshyanthi” (being pleased, AchAryan will instruct) and periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 4.4.2 “gurukkaLukku anukUlarAy” (being favourable towards gurus), AchAryan mercifully instructed without any expectation, out of his great mercy, seeing the disciples’ pitiable state only as said in

  • kaNNinuN chiRuth thAmbu 10payan anRAgilum pAngallar Agilum” – without seeing the goodness in the disciple, worldly benefit or AchAryan’s honourable position, or kyAthi (fame) lAbha (wealth) pUja (praises)
  • prabrUyAth” – without doing it, honouring an ordained rule
  • prapanna pArijAtham “krupayA nispruhO vadhEth” (should mercifully instruct without any desire/hate)

aLiththavan – If the AchAryan instructed being pleased with the service rendered as said in “SuSrushurasyAdhya” (It is mandatory for a disciple to serve the AchAryan), which is ordained and is compulsory, a disciple may lack love towards him. While the disciple did not even seek the knowledge, AchAryan gave his mercy being foced by his mercy, just as nursing women would spill their breast-milk due to their unbearability without doing so.

anbu ilAr – Those who lack love which is ordained as mandatory by the knowers of truth as said in upadhEsa raththina mAlai 62 “um gurukkaL tham padhaththE vaiyum anbu thannai indha mAnilaththIr” (Oh those who are living in this expansive world of samsAram! If you have the thought to uplift yourselves, I will tell you a simple path to attain that. Listen to me. Carry out devotion at the divine feet of your AchAryan).

What is their state?

nanjil migak kodiyar – Poison is bad; they are very bad. Poison is cruel; they are more cruel than that.

How do we know this?

nAm sonnOm – Not having to know through some other pramANam (proof), not having to learn through instructions, we who heard from the merciful words of piLLai lOkAchAryar who is a special incarnation, under whose divine feet we served for a long time, in the form of thathva (knowledge about truth), hitha (means) and purushArtha (goal). Here, viLAnjOlaip piLLai is including his fellow-students who studied under piLLai lOkAchAryar such as kUra kulOththama dhAsar and says “nAm” (us) in plural; or “nAm” indicates his venerable nature of being greatly respected as a very trustworthy person and who knows all, to be honoured by the world.

sonnOm – Having greatness as said in gyAna sAram 40sollum avidu surudhiyAm” (Those casual words are equivalent to vEdham) and words of the knowers of truth will be having full connection with the meaning as said in uththara rAma charitham “rishINAm punarAdhyAnAm vAchamarthOnudhAvathi” (the words of sages and elders will be followed by the meaning).

When asked “What is the bad nature of poison? What is the bad nature of this?” viLAnjOlaip piLLai is showing it in sequence.

nanjudhAn … – Un – flesh; here “Unai” indicates body filled with flesh; flesh here indicates other ingredients of the body such as blood, tears, stool, urine, muscles and bones as said in SrIvishNu purANam 1.17.63 “mAmsAruk bhUya viN mUthrasnAyu majjAsthi samhathau – dhEhE” (Body is filled with flesh, blood, tears, stool, urine, muscles, bones) – those who observe well, explain it in this manner. As said in thiruvAimozhi 5.1.5puNNai maRaiya varindhu” (concealing the external faults, surrounding me forever), due to covering the inner parts with the outer skin, bewildering the person who sees by decorating just as a statue polished with wax, the inner flesh etc are not visible. As said in “yadhinAm asya dhEhasya yadhanthas thathbahirbavEth | dhaNdamAdhAya lOkOyamSuna: kAkAnnivArayEth ||” (When the inside of the body comes outside, one will not have enough time to drive out dogs and crows with a stick), when what is inside comes out, to spend the whole time driving crows is clearly visible. Yet since there is abundance of flesh, viLAnjOlaip piLLai is also identifying it as “Unai” (flesh) following the merciful words of AzhwAr as in thiruvAimozhi 2.3.1 “Unil vAzh uyir” (AthmA living in the body), thiruvAimozhi 10.8.5 “UnEy kurambai” (hut filled with flesh). There are those who said as in “SarIram vraNavath paSyEth” (Body is seen as an abode of wounds).

nanju thAn Unai mudikkum – As said in “upabhuktham visham hanthi” (Poison kills the one who consumed it), when came in contact with it, will finish the body which is filled with flesh. To indicate the significance of poison causing death, viLAnjOlaip piLLai is saying “nanju thAn“. mudikkum indicates approximation. When a gem stone, manthram etc are present, one can be saved from death.

adhu uyirai mudikkum – As said in gyAna sAram 35enRum anaithuyiRkum Iram sey nAraNanum
anRum than Ariyan pAl anbozhiyil” (Even nArAyaNan who is most merciful towards all at all times, when one gives up love towards his AchAryan), the one who has no love towards AchAryan, is the target of abandonment even by ISvaran who is well-wisher of all, will abandon saying SrI bhagavath gIthA 16.19kshipAmi” (I push them in to repeated births in samsAra) and varAha purANam “na kshamAmi” (I won’t forgive them). Hence, as said in “sa AthmahA” (He kills self), he destroys the eternal AthmA.

nanju thAn … – The poison will destroy the body which is acquired based on karma as said in SrIvishNu purANam “SarIrAkruthi bhEdhAsthu bhUpai thE karma yOnaya:” (All the differences in the body are based on the karma) and eliminate the hurdle for the AthmA’s true state. But the one who lacks love towards AchArya, will destroy AthmA’s natural state and will pamper the body which is unbearable and remain bound eternally as said in thiruviruththam 1azhukkudambum – iniyAmuRAmai” (Unable to bear this dirty body etc).

For very wise persons who understand that the body should be discarded as said in thiruvAimozhi 1.2.9Akkaividum pozhudhu eNNE” (Think about the time of death) and “indha udambOdu ini irukkap pOgAdhu” (I cannot remain with this body anymore) and desire to eliminate it, poison’s action will cause joy and be desirable thinking “At least our hurdle is being eliminated in this manner”. On the other hand, as said in thiruvAimozhi 4.9.3uyir mAydhal kaNdARREn” (I cannot tolerate losing my life) and thiruvAsiriyam 6ulaginadhu iyalvE” (nature of this world), just as vIra sundharan’s act was undesirable for ANdAL [vIra sundharan drove out parASara bhattar from SrIrangam and died soon after – bhattar’s mother showed pity on him as he committed great offense which will lead him to hell and could not enjoy in this world too], it will be undesirable for self due to their suffering, self’s greatness and disgust. Since even after getting acceptance of AchAryan, as one is destroying the self, he is as good as achith (matter) and hence viLAnjOlaip piLLai, considering him to be not worthy of being seen, turns his head away and says “adhu” (that) in third person.

When asked “Has anyone spoken like you in this manner?” viLAnjOlaip piLLai says

Inam ilAr … – Not just us; even those who are our preceptors have said this.

enRu ivai Inam ilAr sonnAr – Poison will destroy the temporary body; one who lacks love towards AchAryan, will destroy the self – our pUrvAchAryas who don’t have the inferiority of lacking love towards their AchAryan, as said in “vishadharathO’pyathi vishama: kala ithi namrushA vadhanthi vidhvAmsa: | yathayamna kuladhvEshi sakuladhvEshi puna: piSuna:” by well-versed person about worldly people, pUrvAchAryas explained elaborately to those who are surrendered to them. viLAnjOlaip piLLai is saying “Inam ilAr” considering in his divine heart that there is nothing inferior to lacking love towards AchAryan and there is nothing superior to having such love.

sonnAr – They are those who are in harmony in all their three faculties viz mind, speech and body.

sonnAr ivai – The greatness of their divine words is as said in “yadhvachas sakalam SAsthram” (Words of those people which reflect SAsthram) and “krIdArthamapi yadhbhrUyussadharma: paramOmatha:” (Even their joking words will reflect the most superior dharmam).

We will see the next pAsuram in the next article.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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