thiruchchandha viruththam – pAsuram 16 – thalaikkaNam thugaL

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

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avathArikai (Introduction)

In the previous pAsuram, AzhwAr mentioned about how emperumAn incarnated as a celestial and human entity and protected the world. In this pAsuram he says that even though emperumAn incarnated in all the four classes of entities (celestial, human, animal and plant), such that everyone could enjoy him, his greatness of incarnation was such that even all the pramANams (authentic texts) could not estimate him.

thalaikkaNath thugaL kuzhambu sAdhi sOdhi thORRamAy
nilaikkaNangaL kANavandhu niRRiyElum nIdurum
kalaikkaNangaL soRporuL karuththinAl ninaikkoNA
malaikkaNangaL pOl uNarththum mAtchi ninRan mAtchiyE

Word-by-Word Meanings

thalaikkaNam – the superior celestial species
thugaL – the inferior plant species
kuzhambu sAdhi – the mixed species of humans and animals
(Among these)
sOdhi – with aprAkrutha (not made of anything from primordial matter) effulgent, divine form
thORRamAy – incarnating
nilaikkaNangaL – even botanical entities
kANa vandhu – came in order to be enjoyed (by them)
niRRiyElum – even if you remained
nIdu – eternal
irum – being huge
kalai – belonging to vEdhams and vEdhAnthams
kaNangaL – collection of
sol poruL – meanings of words
karuththinAl – through inner meanings
ninaikkoNA– will not know
malaikkaNangaL pOl – like a cluster of mountains
uNarththum mAtchi – (through narratives) greatness which is revealed
ninRan mAtchiyE – is only your greatness

Simple Translation

You incarnate with your aprAkrutha, divine, effulgent form in the superior species of celestials, in inferior species of plants as well as in the mixed species of humans and animals. Even though you came in order to be enjoyed by even plant entities [which do not have the senses associated with such enjoyment], the huge collection of vEdhams and vEdhAnthams, through their normal meanings and inner meanings, will not know you.  Through all these, the greatness, which is revealed like a huge cluster of mountains, is your greatness alone.

vyAkyAnam (Commentary)

thalaikkaNath thugaL kuzhambu sAdhi – Among the four types of species (forms of existence), celestial species is considered to be superior. The term thugaL refers to fault or dust; here, this refers to something inferior. Thus, the lowly plant species is referred to as thugaL sAdhi. Human and animal species, which are in between these two extremes, are referred to as kuzhambu sAdhi. Thus, there are four types of forms, namely celestial, human, animal and plant.

kuzhambu sAdhi – those, who have virtuous karma in them, are born as celestial entities. Hence, this species is classified as superior species. Those with sinful karma in them are born as plant species. Hence, this species is referred to inferior species. Those with both virtuous and sinful karma in them are born as humans and animals [animal species would include birds too]. Thus, they are classified as kuzhambu sAdhi (mixed species). Animals have similar habits as humans in terms of eating, sleeping etc and are clubbed together with human species.

sOdhi thORRamAy – incarnating with a splendorous form. Just as it has been mentioned in chAndhOgya upanishath 8-12-2 “Esha samprasAdhO’smAchcharIrAth samuththAya param jyOthir upasampadhya svEna rUpEnAbhinishpadhyathE” (the jIvan, leaving from this (physical) form, attains the supremely splendorous SrIman nArAyaNan and attains his basic natural characteristics), emperumAn incarnates in the just mentioned four species with his aprAkrutha dhivyamangaLa vigraha svarUpam (divine, auspicious, splendorous form which is not made of primordial matter). In the celestial species, he incarnated as vAmana et al; in the human species, he incarnated as SrI rAma, krishNa et al; in the animal species, he incarnated as mathsya (fish), kUrma (tortoise), varAha (wild boar) et al; among plant species, he incarnated as kubjAmram (short mango tree).

nilaikkaNangaL kANa vandhu niRRiyElum – Even though you came to be enjoyed by celestial and human entities which have thinking power and hence could enjoy your presence, you were enjoyed by plant species too which do not have thinking power and are stationary. Have plant species enjoyed emperumAn? During his incarnations as SrI rAma and krishNa, it has been said in purANams that the wind which touched them (SrI rAma and krishNa) also touched plants in ayOdhyA and brindhAvan respectively. As soon as that breeze touched plants, they started flowering and bearing fruits, in unseasonal times, as mentioned by great sages such as vAlmIki and parASarar.

In the latter part of the pAsuram, AzhwAr says that “Even though you lowered your greatness and incarnated in various species, pramANams such as vEdham and vEdhAntham could not estimate the greatness of your incarnations”.

nIdirum kalaikkaNangaL – expansive vEdhams and vEdhAnthams which are eternal. The term kalai refers to vEdhams and their auxiliaries. vEdhams are eternal through their svarUpam (basic nature), since they have eternal AnupUrvi (sequence of words in their texts). Their auxiliaries are eternal through their pravAham (flow of text, as created during each period of brahmA). Thus, these are both eternal and expansive. SrI vishNu purANam 3-6-28 says “angAni chathurO vEdhA: mImAmsA nyAya visthara: l purANam dharmaSAsthram cha vidhyA hyEthAs chathurdhaSa: ll” (the six auxiliaries, four vEdhams, along with those which came to explain these, viz. mImAmsai, tharkka SAsthram, purANam and dharma SAsthram (smruthi) form fourteen vidhyAsthAnams (knowledge bases)). These vidhyAsthAnams are referred to here as kalaikkaNangaL.

soRporuL karuththinAl ninaikkoNA – neither through abhidhAnavruththi (a word referring to its meaning) nor through thAthparyavruththi (the underlying opinion of a word or group of words) could the vEdhams and their auxiliaries even think of the greatness of even one of your incarnations.

malaikkaNangaLpOl uNarththum mAtchi ninRan mAtchiyE – the activities and narratives of your incarnations are like a group of mountains; they cannot be split or cracked. They cannot be estimated either. The beauty or greatness of your auspicious qualities is yours alone.

We will take up the 17th pAsuram of this prabandham, next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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