thiruchchandha viruththam – pAsuram 17 – Ega mUrthi

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

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avathArikai (introduction)

emperumAn controls nithya vibhUthi (spiritualistic realm) by remaining in paramapadham (SrI vaikuNtam) as para vAsudhEvan. He also conducts the leelA vibhUthi (samsAram or materialistic realm) by taking incarnations among the four species of celestial, human, animal and plant. SAsthrams are unable to estimate his greatness in these incarnations. On top of this, he also incarnates in archAvathAra form (idol form in various divine abodes) as the boundary of simplicity, and as desired by his followers. AzhwAr is wondering as to how he could speak about this quality, in this pAsuram.

Ega mUrthi mUnRu mUrthi nAngu mUrthi nanmai sEr
bOgamUrthi puNNiyaththin mUrthi eNNil mUrthiyAy
nAgamUrthi sayanamAy nalangadal kidandhu mEl
AgamUrthi AyavaNNam enkol Adhi dhEvanE

Word-by-Word Meanings

Adhi dhEvanE – Oh the causative factor!
Ega mUrthi – having the form of para vAsudhEvan
mUnRu mUrthi – having the three forms of SankarshaNan et al
nAlu mUrthi – having the four forms of pradhAnam (achEthana or primordial entity, without knowledge), purusha (chEthana or entities with knowledge), avyaktha (derivative of pradhAnam) and kAlam (time)
nanmai sEr – together with the benefit of having abundance of mercy
bOgamUrthi – as an epitome of enjoyability
puNNiyaththin mUrthi – as the strength of the virtues of fortunate ones
eNNil – without a limit
mUrthiyAy – having forms of vibhavAvathAram (incarnations)
nalam – having the benefit (of SrIman nArAyaNan having happily taken residence in)
kadal – in thiruppARkadal (milky ocean)
nAga – thiruvananthAzhwAn (AdhiSEshan)’s
mUrthi – divine form
sayanamAy – having as mattress
kidandhu – reclining
mEl – further more
AgamUrthiyAya vaNNam – the quality of having incarnated as archAvathAram (divine forms in various abodes) as desired by followers
enkol – how amazing is this!

Simple Translation

You have the form of para vAsudhEvan, the supreme entity in paramapadham. You have the three forms of SankarshaNan, pradhyumnan and anirudhdhan, in vyUham (thiruppARkadal, milky ocean). You have the four forms of pradhAnam, purusham, avyaktham and kAlam. You have countless forms of vibhavAvathArams (incarnations as SrI rAma, krishNa et al), together with abundance of mercy, as an epitome of enjoyability, and due to the strength of the virtues of your followers. You recline on the mattress of thiruvananthAzhwAn’s form, in thiruppARkadal, which has the benefit of your having happily taken residence in. On top of all these, you have the quality of having incarnated as archAvathArams, as desired by your followers. What an amazing quality is this!

vyAkyAnam (Commentary)

Ega mUrthi – Just as it has been said in the phrase vAsudhEvOsi pUrNa: (you remain complete with six qualities as para vAsudhEvan), you have the unparalleled form of para vAsudhEvan, complete with the six qualities of gyAna (knowledge), bala (power), aiSwarya (wealth), vIrya (valour), Sakthi (strength) and thEjas (radiance) having mercifully taken residence in paramapadham which is like a calm ocean, without waves, enjoyed by nithyasUris (permanent dwellers of SrI vaikuNtam) and mukthAthmAs (those who have been liberated from samsAram and have attained SrI vaikuNtam).

mUnRu mUrthi – having three vyUha forms as SankarshaNan, pradhyumnan and anirudhdhan, taking two qualities each of the above-mentioned six qualities, and looking after the functions of destruction, creation and protection, respectively.

nAlu mUrthi – since para vAsudhEvan exists only for others, adding this divine form to the just mentioned three forms, it says that emperumAn exists in four forms. Alternatively, it could be construed as having four forms of thamas or mUlaprakruthi (primordial matter) which assists during creation etc, purushas which indicate the entire gamut of jIvas, avyaktham which is created from thamas and kAlam (time).

nanmai sEr bOgamUrthi – vibhavAvathArams (incarnations such as mathsya, kUrma, varAha et al), which have the benefit of abundance of mercy, and being enjoyable for samsAris. Abundance of mercy refers to emperumAn’s quality of being visible to samsAris too, though he takes incarnations with his aprAkrutha (not made from prakruthi) divine form, even as he comes in the species of celestial, human, animal and plant. Alternatively, this could be construed to mean that emperumAn has a form which is enjoyed by chEthanas after they reach paramapadham, after being liberated from samsAram, as well as one which is enjoyed by chEthanas in samsAram itself, during his time of incarnation.

puNNiyaththin mUrthi – even this enjoyability in both samsAram and paramapadham will occur when the virtues of the concerned people get matured. Just as it has been mentioned in the bhagavath gIthA SlOkam 4-8 “parithrANAya sAdhUnAm“, his divine form is such that he is the end benefit for those who have paramabhakthi (inability to sustain oneself in separation from emperumAn), he is the refuge for those who surrender to him and he is the auspicious form for those who are devoted to him. Those who do not belong to any of these types of people are without any virtues, losing on the opportunity of his incarnation, just as emperumAn himself had said in bhagavath gIthA 9-11 “avajAnanthi mAm mUdA mAnushIm thanumASritham l param bhAvamajAnanthO mama bhUtha mahESvaram ll” (The foolish people insult me, not realising my greatness of being in human form, though I am supreme and above all the creatures which exist)

eNNil mUrthiyAy – having countless divine forms in incarnations. Hasn’t Sruthi (vEdham) said that his incarnations are countless, as seen in purusha sUktham uththarAnuvAkam SlOkam “ajAyamAnO bahudhA vijAyathE thasya dhIrA: parijAnanthi yOnim” (though (paramapurushan, the supreme entity) is without a birth, he incarnates in many ways. Only the learned people will know his incarnations)! Hasn’t emperumAn himself spoken about his many births in bhagavath gIthA 4-5 “bahUnimE vyathIthAni janmAni thava chArjuna” (Oh arjuna! For both you and me, several janmams (births) have taken place)! Hasn’t nammAzhwAr too mercifully mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 3-10-1 “sanmam palapala” (you have had many births)!

Next, the pAsuram speaks about his great quality of returning to thiruppARkadal with the hope that at least in future he should protect them when samsAris attain him, after samsAris did not attain him despite his many incarnations, though he should have actually given up on them and returned to paramapadham.

nAgamUrthi sayanamAy nalam kadal kidandhu – the words should be rearranged as nalam kadalilE nAgamUrthi sayanamAykkidandhu – reclining on the divine form of thiruvanandhAzhwAn in the beneficial thiruppARkadal. Unlike the divine abodes such as ayOdhdhi, mathurA etc which disappear after existing for a while, since emperumAn joyously reclined on it until the final deluge, thiruppARkadal is termed as beneficial.

mEl AgamUrthi AyavaNNam enkol – how to describe the quality of acceding to the request of your followers and pervading the idols of their choice, whether in gold or silver or stone material, with your aprAkrutha divine form! Just as akrUra says, as mentioned in SrI vishNu purANam 5-17-4 “pApam harathi yath pumsAm smrutham sankapanAmayam l
thath puNadrIka nayanam vishNOr dhrakshyAmyaham mukham ll” (I am going to see that divine face of emperumAn which has lotus-like eyes, and which removes the sins of people the moment they think of him in the form of their choice) and just as emperumAn himself says in bhagavath gIthA 4-11 “yE yathA mAm prabadhyanthE thAms thathaiva bhajAmyaham” (I attain my devotees in whichever form in which they desire to attain me) don’t you consider the prAkrutha (made of primordial matter) form of materials in which your followers desire to see you as being appropriate for you to desire to enter with your aprAkrutha divine form!

Adhi dhEvanE – While you are the causative factor for the entire world, you transform yourself in line with the desires of your followers! It could also be construed that you are transforming yourself since you are the causative factor for your followers and they are your possession.

Next, we will consider the 18th pAsuram of this prabandham.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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