thiruchchandha viruththam – pAsuram 24 – gangai nIr payandha

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

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avathArikai (Introduction)

AzhwAr once again immerses himself in the greatness of narasimha avathAram. He says to emperumAn “Among the pious entities which purify others, you are the greatest; you are an unparalleled, dear entity; you have the divine weapons which protect your followers, who enjoy you. Such an entity like you transformed yourself in order to protect your devotee, prahlAdhAzhwAn by changing your aprAkrutha (not made of primordial matter), divine, auspicious form into one with a mixture of human and lion forms. Could anyone, other than nithyasUris (permanent dwellers of SrI vaikuNtam) and pirAtti know about this?”

gangai nIr payandha pAdha pangayaththu em aNNalE
angai Azhi sangu thaNdu villum vALum EndhinAy
singamAya dhEva dhEva thEnulAvu menmalar
mangai manni vAzhu mArba vAzhi mEni mAyanE

Word-by-Word Meanings

gangai nIr – the waters of river gangai
payandha – one who created
pAdha pangayaththu – having enjoyable divine feet which are like lotus
em aNNalE – Oh our lord!
am – beautiful
kai – in the divine hands
Azhi – divine disc
Sangu – SrI pAnchajanyam (divine conch)
thaNdu – kaumOdhaki, the divine mace
villum – along with SrI Sarngam (divine bow)
vALum – and nAndhakam (divine sword)
(All these divine weapons)
EndhinAy – Oh one who held!
singamAya – incarnating in the form of narasimha (human and lion)
dhEva dhEva – Oh the lord of nithyasUris!
thEn – honey
ulAvu – dripping from
mel – being soft
malar– one who incarnated
mangai – periya pirAttiyAr (SrI mahAlakshmi)
manni – without leaving even for a moment
vAzhum – residing radiantly
mArba – Oh one who has divine chest!
Azhi – like the invigorating ocean
mEni – having divine form
mAyanE – Oh one with amazing activities!

Simple Translation

Oh our lord who created the waters of river gangai through your enjoyable, divine feet which are like lotus flowers! Oh one who holds the divine weapons of disc, conch, mace, bow and sword in your divine hands! Oh the lord of nithyasUris, and who incarnated as narasimha! Oh one who has a divine chest in which periya pirAttiyAr, who incarnated on a soft lotus flower from which honey is dripping, resides radiantly, without leaving for a moment! Oh one who is having a divine form which is like the invigorating ocean, and who is with amazing activities!

vyAkyAnam (Commentary)

gangai nIr payandha pAdha pangayaththu em aNNalE – rudhra plucked the head of his father, brahmA and committed a cruel sin. emperumAn created the river gangai so that its sacred water would cleanse rudhra of his sin and make him Siva [the word rudhra refers to one who cries and the word Siva refers to one who is auspicious]. Oh my swAmy (lord) who is dear to those who are pure! SrI pAncharAthram SlOka says “ahamasmyaparAdhAnAm Alaya:” (I am the reservoir for all the offences). The opinion is that emperumAn has divine feet which purify samsAris who are full of deficiencies and he is dear to nithyasUris who do not have any contact with samsAram at all and to mukthAthmAs (who were in samsAram earlier, but who have got liberated and have attained SrI vaikuNtam). Why did AzhwAr call emperumAn as aNNalE? This is because emperumAn revealed this truth to AzhwAr on his own, with AzhwAr not having carried out any act on his own, to know it.

angai Azhi sangu thaNdu villum vALum EndhinAy – Oh one who holds the divine, beautiful five weapons in order to remove the hurdles for those who attain your such divine feet! am kai – beautiful hand. Since the divine hand is, by itself, a decoration for emperumAn, holding the divine weapons in those beautiful hands is dear to AzhwAr, just like emperumAn’s divine feet.

singamAya dhEva dhEva – even though emperumAn had those divine weapons, hiraNya had got such boons from brahmA that he would not meet his end through those weapons. Hence, emperumAn took the form of a lion which has nails as weapon and through which he annihilated hiraNyan. Through this act of partiality towards his followers, he enslaved nithyasUris. Only nithyasUris, who know the beauty of emperumAn’s divine, auspicious form, will know the extent of partiality towards his followers when he transforms himself to protect them. Hence, the word dhEva dhEva will be applicable only to nithyasUris and not to celestial entities such as indhra et al.

then ulAvum men malar mangai manni vAzhu mArba – periya pirAtti incarnated on a lotus which had just blossomed so that it is full of honey. It is also soft. pirAtti, being in the age of mangai [young girl, around the age of 14], is dear to emperumAn. Oh one who has the divine chest in which such pirAttiyAr resides permanently! Here, this does not refer to the generally known position of pirAtti not leaving emperumAn even for a moment, just as it has been said by nammAzhwAr in thiruvAimozhi 6-10-10 “agalagillEN iRaiyumenu” (I will not leave this divine chest even for a moment). Just as it has been said in SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 30-40 “tham dhrushtvA Sathru hanthAram maharshINAm sukhAvaham l babhUva hrushtvA vaidhEhI bharthAram parishasvajE ll” (Looking at her husband, who had annihilated the enemies and who made the sages joyous, vaidhEhi became happy. She embraced her husband tightly), sIthAp pirAtti lost out to the valour of her husband SrI rAma and embraced him. Similarly, this narrative describes as to how periya pirAttiyAr lost out to the valour of emperumAn. This narration thus says as to how periya pirAttiyAr, who is closer to emperumAn than nithyasUris, became enslaved by emperumAn due to his quality of partiality towards his followers such as prahlAdhan. Isn’t emperumAn ahead of even pirAttiyAr when it comes to partiality towards followers, as brought out by periyAzhwAr in his periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 4-9-2 “thannadiyAr thiRaththagaththuth thAmariyALAgilum sidhaguraikkumEl, ennadiyAr adhu seyyAr seydhArEl nanRu seydhAr enbar pOlum” (emperumAn tells pirAttiyAr when she complains to him about the bad deed of vibhIshaNAzhwAn “My follower will not carry out any harmful action towards you; even if he carries out, it will be only for your good”)

Azhi mEni mAyanE – Oh one who is with amazing activities and who is like an ocean in removing the ennui of beholders! This implies that the divine form of emperumAn [as Narasimha] which appeared highly threatening to hiraNyan such that he could not win over him, appeared like an invigorating form to emperumAn’s followers such as prahlAdhan.

We will take up the 25th pAsuram of this prabandham, next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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