thiruchchandha viruththam – pAsuram 9 – thAdhulAvu konRai

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

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avathArikai (Introduction)

AzhwAr says in this pAsuram “Sivan, who is the leader of those who desire other benefits [instead of emperumAn himself] since he has inestimable greatness as seen in the previous pAsurams, and sAthvika gyAnis (wise people who have noble qualities) who desire only you, take refuge only under you. Hence, you are the entity to be attained by everyone”.

thAdhulAvu konRai mAlai thunnu senjadaichchivan
nIdhiyAl vaNangu pAdha ninmalA nilAya sIr
vEdhavANar gIdhavELvi nIdhiyAna kELviyAr
nIdhiyAl vaNanguginRa nIrmai ninkaN ninRadhE

Word-by-Word Meanings

thAdhu – stamens (pollens of flowers)
ulAvu – being in abundance
konRai mAlai – konRai flower (a kind of Indian laburnum; Indian trumpet flower)
thunnu – dense
sem – reddish
sadai – matted hair (one who has all these)
sivan – rudhran
nIdhiyAl – due to having been ordained in vEdhams (sacred texts)
vaNangu – fit to be worshipped
pAdha – Oh one who has divine feet!
ninmalA – Oh one who is without any fault!
nilAya – well grown
sIr – auspicious qualities such as humility
vEdhavANar – those who are best in following vEdhams and who are controllers of vEdhams
gIdha – having sAmagAnam (sung to a tune)
vELvi – rituals
nIdhiyAna – not slipping from the procedure laid out in vEdhams
kELviyAr – those who hear properly [from their teachers]
vaNanguginRa – worshipping
nIrmai – quality
ninkaN ninRadhE – is present only with you

Simple Translation

Oh one who is without any fault! Oh one who has divine feet which are fit to be worshipped! rudhran, who is wearing a garland of konRai flowers which have stamens in abundance, and who has dense, reddish matted hair, as well as those who are best in following vEdhams and who are controllers of vEdhams, singing sAmagAnam during rituals without slipping from the procedure laid out in vEdhams, who have heard the vEdhams properly, worship you. The quality of being worshipped like this is present only with you.

vyAkyAnam (Commentary)

thAdhulAvu konRai mAlai thunnu senjadaich chivan – rudhran who has konRai garland, the flowers of which are rich in stamens and who has reddish matted hair. Since he is wearing konRai garland, it is clear that Sivan is very much interested in enjoying the pleasures in this world. Since his matted hair is dense, it is clear that he has been carrying out penance for a long time and since it is reddish in colour, it is clear that he has been taking bath frequently. These make it clear that he has been carrying out penance in order to attain the enjoyments which he desired. Thus, to him, enjoying the pleasures of this world is the desired goal and that he had attained that only by carrying out penance towards emperumAn

nIdhiyAl  vaNangu pAdha – vEdham says that those who desire wealth as the end benefit [goal] should worship your highness [addressing emperumAn] as one who is with opulence. Thus, one who has divine feet which are worshipped by that Sivan!

ninmalA – Sivan desires other benefits in this world and when thamO guNam (quality of ignorance) stands out in him, he believes that he is ISvaran (one who controls everyone and everything). Due to this ego, he clashes with emperumAn too, on occasions. Without considering these faults in Sivan, looking only at this quality of Sivan that he has approached only him in order to get what he desires, emperumAn grants him that just as he grants the wishes of those who approach him without having desires in worldly pursuits. emperumAn is such a faultless entity. What is the wealth granted by emperumAn to Sivan? mahAbhAratham rAjadharmam “mahAdhEvas sarvamEdhE mahAthmA hUthvAthmAnam dhEvadhEvO babhUva l sarvAn lOkAn vyApya vishtabhya kIrthyA virAjathE dhyuthimAn kruththivAsA: ll” (Sivan, the great soul, offered himself in the sarvamEdha yAgam (a type of sacrificial ritual) and became dhEva dhEva (head of celestial entities). Granting such desires to Sivan who attained him with such wishes is representative of granting such desires to others too such as brahmA et al who approach him, for other benefits. Next, AzhwAr speaks about sAthvikagyAnis (wise people who are with noble quality) who take refuge under emperumAn, desiring only him.

nilAya sIr – those who have auspicious qualities which keep growing. In other words, those who have Athma guNas (qualities of the AthmA) such as humility, sincerity etc as espoused in the thirteenth chapter of bhagavath gIthA as being important for practicing gyAna yOgam (path of knowledge) and qualities such as Samam (controlling one’s mind) and dhamam (controlling one’s senses) which are required for practicing devotion. When this word is meant as an adjective for vEdhavANar (those who are experts in vEdhams), as in sIr vEdhavANar this is the meaning to be considered. If, on the other hand, this word is taken as an adjective for vEdham itself as in nilAya sIr vEdham, then the meaning to be considered will be – qualities of vEdham such as its being eternal, its apaurushEyam (not written by anyone), its being without any deficiency, the greatness of vEdham due to these qualities; as a result of this, it could be said that it will refer to auspicious qualities of vEdham without any shortcoming.

vEdhavANar – those who have seen the inner meanings of vEdhams such that one could say that they conduct the vEdhams.

gIdhavELvi – those who are involved in yAgams (rituals) which follow the meanings of such vEdhams, and which have sAmagAnam (singing sAma vEhdam) as the predominant feature. In other words, not conducting that yAgam towards any specific benefit, along with the true meaning of AthmA such as ‘the benefit of this yAgam is not for me’, ‘This is not my karma’ and ‘I am not the one who is carrying out this karma’ (the three sacrifices which are to be made while observing a yAgam). It should be done with the knowledge that this is done as a worship of emperumAn. Those who carry out yAgams in this manner.

nIdhiyAna kELviyAr – those who have the knowledge through hearing, from their teachers, of the inner meanings of vEdham and through that have the knowledge for carrying out karma yOgam, gyAna yOgam and bhakthi yOgam (the paths of deeds, knowledge and devotion, respectively). Who are such persons? muNdakOpanishadh 1-2-12 says “parIkshya lOkAn karmachithAn brAhmaNO nirvEdhamAyAth” (after analysing the benefits attained through karma repeatedly, brAhmaNas will become dejected), Becoming very sorrowful, they will attain an AchArya (teacher) who is a brahmagyAni (one who has knowledge of the supreme being, brahmam), and as said in bruhadhAraNyaka upanishadh 6-5-6 “AthmA vA arE dhrashtavya: SrOthavya: manthavya: nidhidhyAsithavya:” (AthmA (here the word AthmA refers to paramAthmA, the supreme being) is apt to be heard, to be thought of and to be meditated upon; it is apt to be seen), they are those who keep hearing and thinking about emperumAn.

nIdhiyAl vaNanguginRa nIrmai – it is the quality of being the target of being meditated upon continuously, as mentioned in the bruhadhAraNyaka upanishadh SlOkam seen above.

nin kaN ninRadhE – this is to be rearranged as nin kaNE ninRadhu – it is only with you. Through the long syllable used (kaNE) it is emphasized that there is none else to be attained by those who desire mOksham [liberation from samsAram and reaching paramapadham].

We will take up next, the 10th pAsuram of this prabandham.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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