saptha kAdhai – pAsuram 4

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Fourth pAsuram. Subsequently, viLAnjOlaip piLLai is mercifully revisiting the second pAsuram as per simhAvalOkana nyAyam (the rule of revisiting previously explained subject just as a lion would turn around and check the path it walked), explains the five principles which were highlighted there, mercifully identifies where they are explained, and says that the one who lacks love towards the AchAryan who very mercifully explained this artha panchakam out of his great mercy, is more cruel than poison.


thannai iRaiyaith thadaiyaich charaNeRiyai
mannu peruvAzhvai oru mandhiraththin innaruLAl
anjilum kEdOda aLiththavanpAl anbilAr
nanjilum kEdenRiruppan nAn

Word-by-word meanings

oru – distinguished among manthrams, to have no match
mandhiraththin – in periya thirumanthram (ashtAksharam)
thannai – self which is revealed as the abode for servitude towards bhagavAn, by makAram
iRaiyai – emperumAn who is said as the apt lord for self, by akAram
thadaiyai – the group of hurdles which is indicated by the makAra which ends with sixth case, ma:
saraN neRiyai – SaraNAgathi (surrender) which is said as the safe means in nama: word which is not split part-by-part
mannu – eternal
peru vAzhvai – the great goal of kainkaryam which is said in nArAyaNAya word which has nArAyaNa along with the fourth case
anjilum – in these five principles
kEdu – evils such as ignorance, doubt and error
Oda – to be driven out along with the traces
in aruLAl – by the great mercy which does not expect anything from Sishya
aLiththavan pAl – towards AchAryan who instructed the knowledge
anbu ilAr – those who lack love
nanjilum – more than poison
kEdu enRu – very cruel one
nAn – I who am accepted by piLLai lOkAchAryar
iruppan – consider

Simple Explanation

AchAryan, by the great mercy which does not expect anything from Sishya, instructs the knowledge in periya thirumanthram which is matchless and distinguished among manthrams, about these five principles, viz. 1) self which is revealed as the abode for servitude towards bhagavAn, by makAram, 2) emperumAn who is said as the apt lord for self, by akAram, 3) the group of hurdles which is indicated by the makAra which ends with sixth case, “ma:”, 4) SaraNAgathi (surrender) which is said as the safe means in nama: word, which is not split part-by-part and 5) the great, eternal goal of kainkaryam which is said in nArAyaNAya word which has nArAyaNa along with the fourth case. I, who am accepted by piLLai lOkAchAryar, consider those who lack love towards such AchAryan who instructed to drive out the evils such as ignorance, doubt and error in these five principles, to be more cruel than poison.

vyAkyAnam (Commentary)

thannai … – Due to the regard for the subject, repetition is considered as decoration [instead of a defect]. The second case “ai” in “thannai iRaiyai …” can be converted into first case as in “than iRai” and could be read as “One who revealed the true nature of self, bhagavAn etc which are revealed in thirumanthram, along with the evils in those principles”. Alternatively, it could be read as “In the five aspects revealed in thirumanthram, one who revealed self, bhagavAn, hurdles, means and the great goal – along with the evils”.

In the first pAsuram, viLAnjOlaip piLLai explained artha panchakam starting with para svarUpam considering pramANams such as yajur brAhmaNam 3.7 “yasyAsmi” (the one for whom I am a servitor); here he is explaining artha panchakam starting with jIva svarUpam considering piLLai lOkAchAryar’s artha panchakam grantham.

thannai – Self which is revealed as the abode of servitude towards bhagavAn in the first word of thirumanthram, by makAram.

iRaiyai – emperumAn who is revealed as the apt lord of the self and is shown in akAram.

thadaiyai – The hurdle which is the wall between the self and bhagavAn while trying to surrender to him, as shown in the ma:, makAram with the sixth case in the end, in the nama: which is the second word in thirumanthram.

saraN neRiyai – SaraNAgathi (surrender) which is revealed as the safe means in the nama: word which is not split part-by-part, which is the second word in thirumanthram.

mannu peru vAzhvai – The eternal benefit of kainkaryam which is revealed in nArAyaNAya word which has nArAyaNa along with the fourth case.

oru mandhiraththin – The only ghat viLAnjOlaip piLLai will enter is this thirumanthram only. The other two vyApaka manthras (vAsudhEva manthram and vishNu manthram) will not give the same benefit.

oru – [distinguished] As said in narasimha purANam “na manthrOshtAksharAth para:” (There is no manthram greater than ashtAksharam) and nAradhIya purANam “nAsthi chAshtAksharAth para:” (There is no manthram greater than ashtAksharam), periya thirumanthram has nothing greater than it and is as distinguished as the object of that manthram [i.e. bhagavAn], due to the following reasons:

  • since it reveals these five principles
  • since it remains the pramANam (authentic source of knowledge) of the pramEyam (goal of knowledge) archAvathAram, for the pramAthA (preceptor) who is a prapanna (surrendered person)
  • since it is the total wealth for those who lack any other upAyam
  • since it is the water outlet placed for the blind and incapable persons
  • since it is the herbal medicine for the one who was bitten by the snake of samsAra
  • since it is the wealth for the impoverished
  • since it is the mangala sUthram (the auspicious thread worn by a wife honouring her husband) for those who are surrendered to emperumAn
  • since it brings about the knowledge about the goal in self which makes one enjoy a bhAgavatha’s order instead of hating or refusing such order
  • since it brings about the intrinsic knowledge about the goal in self which makes one engage in little bit of services for SrIvaishNavas who are deeply attached to bhagavAn, by remaining here in this world, even when one is in the final moments towards the goal of eternal kainkaryam
  • since it causes the thought that AchAryan is the one who bestows knowledge
  • since it causes the thought that SrIvaishNavas are the ones who nurture such knowledge
  • since it causes the thought that bhagavAn is the object of knowledge
  • since it brings in the clarity that the purpose of knowledge is bhagavath anubhava janitha prIthi kAritha kainkaryam (service rendered to bhagavAn out of love which was caused by experiencing bhagavAn)
  • since it causes the understanding that the ultimate stage of such kainkaryam is to render service for bhAgavathas

oru mandhiraththin – As said in “manthAram thrAyatha ithi manthra:” (that which protects the one who chants it), anyone who chants it, since it performs rakshaNam (protection) of granting what they desire and eliminating what is not desired by them, this is known as manthram.

When asked “Did the AchAryan instruct this artha panchakam seeing any good aspect in the Sishya?”

in aruLAl – viLAnjOlaip piLLai is saying “Unlike that, AchAryan instructs this artha panchakam unconditionally”

in aruLAl – AchAryan’s mercy is greater than ISvaran’s mercy which is said in mudhal thiruvandhAdhi 15pallAr aruLum pazhudhu” (Many others’ mercy are of no use); bhagavAn’s mercy is independent and is common for both bondage and liberation; AchAryan’s mercy is subservient and is exclusively focussed on liberation.

in aruLAl – As said in kaNNinuN chiRuth thAmbu 8 “aruL kaNdIr ivvulaginil mikkadhE” (AzhwAr’s grace is greater than this world”), it is the great mercy which does not expect anything from here.

anjilum kEdOda aLiththavan – Towards the true AchAryan who instructed knowledge to have the ignorance, doubt and errors be removed in artha panchakam which is revealed in this manthram.

anjilum kEdOda aLikkai – Eliminating the ignorance, doubts, errors in the artha panchakam:

  • The true nature of chEthana (sentient being) who is indicated by makAram is beyond material nature, identified by its knowledge and bliss, having knowledge as an attribute, eternal, unchanging, atomic, having singular form and exclusively subservient to bhagavAn.
  • The true nature of bhagavAn who is indicated by akAram is endowed with lakshmI, having all auspicious qualities, distinguished from all other entities, being free from three types of boundaries (by place, time and entity), being the contoller of both nithya vibhUthi and leelA vibhUthi, being the refuge for all, being the protector in all manner and being the lord.
  • The true nature of virOdhi (hurdles) which is spoken in ma:, where ma ends with sixth case, is in the form of considering the body to be self, considering other dhEvathAs to be supreme, considering other prApakams (means) to be the apt means, performing kainkaryam (service) for self-satisfaction, being connected with the body which is acquired by karma, nurturing bondage, remains very lowly and to be given up.
  • The true nature of upAyam (means) which is spoken in unsplit nama: is readily available, being supremely sentient, omniscient, omnipotent, not expecting any other support from others, grantor of all benedictions, apt, free from distraction and delay, and be the object of self’s pursuit.
  • The true nature of purushArtham (goal) which is spoken in nArAyaNAya, which has nArAyaNa which ends with fourth case, is performed by love which is triggered by experience of bhagavAn, should be apt in all places, all times and all states, is being the ultimate goal, is in the form of existing for bhagavAn, matching the true nature of the self, free from expectation for self-satisfaction, very enjoyable and eternal.

Revealing these, AchAryan is showering his mercy to drive out all of these which are in the form of agyAna (ignorance), anyathAgyAna (knowing one entity to be something else) etc with their trace:

  • confusing body to be self
  • confusing the self to be independent
  • confusing self to be subservient to others (other than bhagavAn)
  • confusing bhagavAn to be not the supreme lord
  • confusing other dhEvathAs to be supreme
  • confusing other dhEvathAs to be equal to bhagavAn
  • confusing ahankAram, mamakAram etc to be pursuable
  • confusing that one will not get liberated at the end of the current body
  • confusing the relatives of the body to be the relatives of the self
  • confusing pursuit of bhagavAn as the means, as the means
  • confusing kainkaryam to be for self-satisfaction
  • confusing that we have made him accept our kainkaryam

aLiththavan pAl anbilAr – Those who lack love which is ordained to be had towards one’s AchAryan who instructed in this manner as said in SvEthaSvathara upanishath 6.23 “yasya dhEvE parA bhakthir yathA dhEvE thathA gurau | thasyaithE kathithAhyarthA: prakAsanthE mahAthmana: ||” (Meanings of instructions given by AchAryan will be clear only to such a great person who has ultimate devotion towards the supreme entity and who has similar devotion towards his AchAryan).

When asked “How would you think about such persons?” viLAnjOlaip piLLai says

nanjilum kEdu enRu iruppan nAn – Poison is cruel; they are more cruel than that; even more than poison which can kill the body which is lowly and temporary, by its consumption, these people are killing the pursuable, eternal AthmA; hence they are very cruel similar to nithya samsAris (eternally bound souls) who are mentioned as mahApAthaki (great sinner) in “nApakrAmathi samsArAth sa kalu brahmahA bhavEth” (one who has not crossed samsAra is said to be a killer of brAhmaNa which is a great sin) – this is how I have determined.

viLAnjOlaip piLLai is mercifully explaining his special understanding.

iruppan – There is no change in this thought for me. This is my life.

nAn – For me who has the acceptance of piLLai lOkAchAryar, this understanding will not be external [it will be natural].

Thus, with these three pAsurams [2nd to 4th], viLAnjOlaip piLLai is mercifully revealing the special meanings which are revealed in adhikAri nishtA prakaraNam in sUthram 306asahyApachAramAvadhu – nirnibandhanamAga bhagavath bhAgavatha vishayam enRAl asahamAnanAy irukkaiyum, AchArya apachAramum, thadhbhaktha apachAramum” (asahyApachAram is not tolerating anything about bhagavAn and bhAgavathas without any reason, offending AchArya and AchArya’s disciples/devotees) and sUthram 307ivai onRunkkonRu krUrangaLumAy, upAya virOdhigaLumAy, upEya virOdhigaLumAy irukkum” (These forbidden aspect are sequentially more cruel than the previous ones, and will remain hurdles for upAyam (means) and upEyam (goal)).

We will see the next pAsuram in the next article.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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