thiruchchandha viruththam – pAsuram 2 – ARum ARum

SrI: SrImathE SatakOpAya nama: SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama: SrImadh varavara munayE nama:

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avathArikai (Introduction)

Just as it is mentioned in bhagavath gIthA SlOkam 3-10sahayagyai: prajA: srushtvA purOvAcha prajApathi: l anEna prasavishyadhvamEshavO’sthvishta kAmadhuk ll” (bhagavAn, the lOkanAtha (lord of the universe), after creating the chEthanas (entities with knowledge), along with yagyams (rituals) in the early times, told them the following: – with this, you expand your clan. This will fulfil all your desires), jIvAthmAs, were created [given body] by you [emperumAn], the causative factor for the universe. Starting with karmayOgam (the path of attaining emperumAn through their deeds) and ending with paramabhakthi (the stage where the jIvAthmA cannot sustain self without attaining emperumAn), the jIvAthmA has to attain various stages, pray to emperumAn and meditate on emperumAn’s divine, auspicious form. In order to be the desired entity for such jIvAthmAs, emperumAn incarnated as kaNNan (krishNa). AzhwAr wonders as to who could think of such simplicity on the part of emperumAn (in carrying out all these for the sake of jIvAthmAs),

ARum ARum ARumAy Or aindhum aindhum aindhumAy
ERu sIr iraNdu mUnRum Ezhum ARum ettumAy
vERu vERu gyAnamAgi meyyinOdu poyyumAy
URodOsai Aya aindhum Aya Aya mAyanE

Word-by-Word Meanings

ARum – six activities, starting with learning to recite vEdham
ARum – six seasons appropriate for observing various karmas (deeds)
ARumAy – six yAgams (rituals) observed, starting with AgnEyam.
Or aindhum – five mahA yagyams (offerings) such as dhEva yagyam (offering to celestial entities), pithru yagyam (offering to forefathers), bhUtha yagyam (offering to other creatures), manushya yagyam (offering to guests) and brahma yagyam (offering to emperumAn)
aindhum – offering to the five vital airs [before eating]
aindhumAy – offering to five fires such as gArhapathya, AhavanIya, dhakshiNAgni, sabhyam and Avasadhyam
ERu – distinguished
sIr – having wealth
iraNdum – gyAnam (knowledge) and vairAgyam (detachment)
mUnRum – the three ultimate benefits of aiSvaryam (wealth), kaivalyam (AthmA enjoying itself) and bhagavath prApthi (attaining emperumAn) resulting from carrying out upAsanam (devotion to emperumAn) (alternatively, the three stages of parabhakthi, paragyAnam and paramabhakthi, which result from gyAnam and vairAgyam)
Ezhum – seven traits starting with vivEkam (prudence) which are aids to devotion
ARum – six qualities of gyAnam (knowledge), Sakthi (strength) etc which nurture devotion
ettumAy – eight qualities starting with apahathapApmA, seen with mukthAthmAs
vERu vERu gyAnamAgi – conducting other philosophies such as bAhya (not believing in vEdhams), kudhrushti (misinterpreting vEdhams) etc
meyyinOdu – being truthful (to those who are desirous of mOksham)
poyyumAy – (granting lowly benefits to those who seek such benefits, in order to move away from them) being untruthful
URodu OsaiyAya aindhum Aya – (for those who have paramabhakthi) being the five subtle elements of Sabdham etc
Aya mAyanE – Oh the amazing entity who incarnated as a cowherd.

Simple Translation

emperumAn remains as the six activities starting with learning to recite vEdham; he is the six seasons which are appropriate for carrying out deeds; he is the six rituals, starting with AgnEyam, observed by people. He is the five mahAyagyams as well as offerings to the five vital airs and five fires. He is the distinguished and wealthy gyAnam and vairAgyam as well as the three benefits of aiSvaryam, kaivalyam and mOksham (Alternatively, the three stages of parabhakthi, paragyAna and paramabhakthi). He is the seven traits starting with vivEkam, the eight qualities which mukthAthmAs have, starting with apahathapApmA. It is he who conducts all the other philosophies too, such as bAhya, kudhrushti etc. He is truthful to those who desire mOksham and untruthful to those who desire lowly benefits. He is the five subtle elements starting with Sabdham for those who have paramabhakthi. He is the amazing entity who incarnated as a cowherd [krishNAvathAram].

vyAkyAnam (Commentary)

ARum ARum ARumAy – the six activities of brAhmaNas are: adhyayanam (reciting vEdham), adhyApanam (teaching vEhdam), yajanam (carrying out yAgams (rituals)), yAjanam (doing yAgams for others), dhAnam (offering alms to others) and prathigraham (accepting alms from others). Knowing the six seasons when the karmas (deeds) arising out of the first mentioned adhyayanam [above] are to be done, such as vasantham (spring), grIshmam (summer), varsham (monsoon), Sarath (autumn), hEmantham (winter) and SiSiram (cold). Carrying out the six yAgams of AgnEyam, agnIshOmIyam, upAmsuyAjam, aindhram dhadhi, aindhram paya: and aindhrAgnam. These six yAgams are representative of all the karmas. The reason for mentioning these activities in the same breath as emperumAn [or equating these six with him] is due to the fact that he implores his devotees to carry out these deeds, just as he has said in bhagavath gIthA SlOkam 10-10 “thEshAm sathathayukthAnAm bhajathAm prIthi pUrvakam l dhadhAmi budhdhi yOgam tham yEna mAmupayAnthi thE ||” (I affectionately shower intelligence to those who desire to be with me all the time and who worship me such that they can use it as a path to attain me). The reason for mentioning emperumAn in the same breath as the six seasons, for carrying out karmas, is that it is he who conducts them. The reason for mentioning the deeds to be followed by chEthanas, in the same breath as emperumAn is due to the fact that it is only he who is worshipped through these karmas.

Or aindhum aindhum aindhumAy – emperumAn is worshipped through the panchamahAyagyams (five great rituals), which create the qualification for a person to observe the karmas mentioned earlier, as well as the five offerings made in the rituals. Also, he is the antharyAmi (indwelling soul) for the five agnis (ritualistic fires). dhEva yagyam, pithru yagyam, bhUtha yagyam, manushya yagyam and brahma yagyam are the five yagyams (rituals) denoted by the first term aindhu. At the time of taking food, Ahuthis (offerings) are made to the five vital airs through the chanting prANAya svAhA, apAnAya svAhA, vyAnAya svAhA, udhAnAya svAhA and samAnAya svAhA. These five Ahuthis (offerings) are denoted by the second term aindhu. The five agnis (ritualistic fires) namely gArhapathyam, AhavanIyam, dhakshiNAgni, sabhyam and Avasadhyam are denoted by the final aindhu in the verse. Since he is worshipped through the five mahAyagyams and the five Ahuthis and since he is the antharyAmi of the five agnis, he is mentioned in the same breath as these.

ERu sIr iraNdum – thaiththirIya upanishath nArAyaNavalli says “dharmENa pApamapanudhathi” (by observing activities relating to karmas, (the jIvAthmA) gets rid of the sins). In line with this, by carrying out the activities ordained in the SAsthras seen previously, sins, which were a hurdle in attaining mOksham, get removed. Then, knowledge about emperumAn in the form of devotion and detachment towards other matters, happen. These two [knowledge about emperumAn and detachment towards other matters] are termed as ERu sIr iraNdum. pEyAzhwAr had referred to these two in his mUnRAm thiruvandhaAdhi 14th pAsuram “mARpAl manam suzhippa mangaiyar thOL kaivittu” (engaging the mind with emperumAn and leaving the desire in worldly pursuits). Since emperumAn creates these two, he is mentioned in the same breath as these two.

mUnRum – he is also seen as the benefits derived from devotion mentioned above, namely aiSvaryam (wealth), kaivalyam (AthmA engaging with itself) and bhagavadhprApthi (attaining emperumAn). Alternatively, the three characteristics of parabhakthi (seeing emperumAn through the mind), paragyAna (engaging with emperumAn) and paramabhakthi (inability to sustain oneself in separation from emperumAn), which are the results of earlier mentioned devotion and detachment, could be considered as having been referred to by the term mUnRum.

Ezhum – seven instruments (means) starting with vivEkam, which are responsible for removing the blemishes in the mind due to which the mental make-up for engaging in karma yOgam to parabhakthi as stated earlier is created. These seven means are mentioned in the vAkyakAra vAkyam which was written at the beginning of jigyAsa adhikaraNam of SrI bhAshyam (a treatise which explains in detail, vEdhavyAsar’s major work, brahma sUthram) “thallabdhir vivEka vimOkAbhyAsa kriya kalyANAnavasAdhAnudhdharshEbhya:” (devotion is taken to its completion through: (1) vivEkam (ability to know the distinction) which comes from purity of body, which in turn results from purity of food taken in, (2) vimOkam (liberation from worldly objects), (3) abhyAsam (practicing meditation), (4) kriya (deeds, which are followed to the extent possible, of panchamahAyagyam (as seen under the first aindhu, above), (5) kalyANa guNas (auspicious qualities such as truth, compassion, donation, not hurting others etc), (6) being without mental sorrows and (7) being without excessive happiness). Thus, it has been said that devotion results from observing the seven ordained activities of vivEkam etc along with the karmas which are ordained in SAsthras as kriyA. Since these are not possible without emperumAn’s mercy, these are mentioned in the same breath as emperumAn.

ARum – the six qualities which nurture devotion and which by themselves are apt to be attained, namely gyAnam (knowledge), balam (strength), aiSvaryam (wealth), vIryam (valour), Sakthi (power) and thEjas (splendour).

ettumAy – chAndhOgya upanishath 8-7-1 says “ya AthmA apahathapApmA vijarO vimruthyur viSOkO vijigathsO’pipAsas sathyakAmas sathyasankalpas sOnvEshtavya:” (That AthmA who is without any sins, without old age, without death, without sadness, without hunger, without thirst, without wasted desire and with ability to complete any task taken, is apt to be sought). These are the eight qualities which emperumAn, who showers his mercy on a jIvAthmA who is about to be liberated [from samsAram and who is about to reach paramapadham], grants to that jIvAthmA so that he becomes similar to emperumAn in these eight qualities. chAndhOgya upanishath 8-12-2 says “Esha samprasAdhO’smAchcharIrAth samuththAya param jyOthir upasampadhya svEna rUpEnAbhinishpadhyathE” (this jIvan, leaving from this (physical) form, attains the supremely splendorous SrIman nArAyaNan and attains his basic natural characteristics). Since these qualities are mercifully granted by emperumAn, these are mentioned in the same breath as emperumAn.

vERu vERu gyAnamAgi – emperumAn had taken various incarnations such as budhdha et al, in which he had shown, to those who have not had a mind which is free from defects and who have not had the fortune of being blessed by emperumAn even when they were in their mothers’ wombs, smrithis (spiritual texts) which were against the vEdhams and which were wrongfully interpreting vEdhams.

meyyinOdu poyyumAy – by showing himself to mumukshus (those who are desirous of attaining mOksham (SrI vaikuNtam) who were mentioned in the first part of this pAsuram, emperumAn acts in a truthful manner. At the same time, to those who desire lowly benefits, he grants them those benefits and stands aloof. Thus, he is untruthful to them [in comparison with the mumukshus]. The words mey (truth) and poy (lie) refer to the person who speaks them (emperumAn).

URodOsaiyAya aindhumAy – The term Uru refers to the sense of touch and the term Osai refers to the sense of sound. Mentioning these two words would extend to the other three senses of form, taste and smell too. Thus, emperumAn remains as the five senses for those who have paramabhakthi, manifesting in all the sweet materials, for them. For gyAnis (wise people) who are mahAthmAs (great souls) he is all these materials. Has it not been said in bhagavath gIthA 7-19 “vAsudhEvas sarvamithi samahAthmA” (one who says that vAsudhEvan (emperumAn) is the sustaining, nourishing and enjoyable entity is a mahAthmA), in thiruvAimozhi 6-7-1 “uNNum sORu parugu nIr thinnum veRRilaiyum ellAm kaNNanE” (It is only krishNa who is the sustaining food, nourishing water and enjoyable betel leaves) and in thiruvAimozhi 5-1-8 “sElEy kaNNiyarum perum selvamum nanmakkaLum mElAth thAy thandhaiyum iniyAvArE” (hereafter, only emperumAn is the women with fish-like eyes, great opulence, children with auspicious qualities and eminent parents for me)?

Aya mAyanE – one who has the amazing quality of incarnating in the clan of cowherd-people and becoming one amongst them! In other words, emperumAn does not merely confer benefit on his followers, standing in an exalted position, he also incarnates with his most divine, auspicious physical form amidst samsAris so that those who worship him can meditate on his auspicious, attainable form. For those who take refuge under him (looking up to him as the means), he redeems them from worldly pursuits and becomes dear to them. For those who engage with him with parabhakthi, just as it is mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 8-5-2 “kANa vArAy enRenRu kaNNum vAyum thuvarndhu” (I have been calling you, to come and manifest your divine form to me, for a very long time, with my eyes and mouth having dried up totally), he remains as the sweet materials which they wish for. Has he not said at the beginning of the fourth chapter of bhagavath gIthA that his incarnations are only for protecting the eminent people, and to establish righteousness? In the vyAkyAnam, periyavAchchAn piLLai has said that we should bring forward the lines yAr ninaikka vallAr (who is capable of thinking?) to this pAsuram and get the appropriate meaning (no one can think of his amazing activities).

Next, we will take up the 3rd pAsuram of this prabandham.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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