thiruchchandha viruththam – pAsuram 41 – AyanAgi Ayar mangai

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

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avathArikai (Introduction)

AzhwAr says in this pAsuram that if one were to analyse the methods by which emperumAn incarnates in the clan of those who desire him and protects them in line with their nature of servility and the manner in which he protects through his sankalpam (vow) the samsAris who do not have engagement with emperumAn, in line with their karmas (deeds), these would be beyond anyone’s ability to measure and know.

AyanAgi Ayar mangai vEya thOL virumbinAy
Aya ninnai yAvar vallar ambaraththodu imbarAy
mAya mAya mAyai kol adhanRi nI vaguththalum
mAyamAyam AkkinAy un mAyam muRRum mAyamE

Word-by-Word Meanings

AyanAgi – incarnating as a herd-boy
Ayar mangai – nappinnaip pirAtti’s
vEya – looking like a bamboo
thOL – shoulder
virumbinAy– you supported
ambaraththodu – being together with celestial entities in the upper worlds, such as brahmA et al
imbarAy – among the human entities on earth
yAvar – who
Aya ninnai – you, who are the omnipotent
Aya vallar – those who can analyse
mAya – Oh one who has amazing powers!
mAya – having been caused through connection with parakruthi (primordial matter)
mAyai kol – was this done because of ignorance?
adhanRi – apart from that
nI – your highness
vaguththalum – though created classifications (starting from mahath (derivative of prakruthi) and ending with physical forms [of jIvAthmAs])
mAya – to be destroyed (jIvAthmAs, instead of going through the proper way, with the physical form and sensory organs given to them by you, going for other benefits)
mAyamAkkinAy – you made the jIvas to subside in prakruthi (primordial matter) (thinking that it is better for them to be destroyed)
un – your highness’
mAyam muRRum – vows etc
mAyamE – they are wondrous only.

Simple Translation

Incarnating as a cowherd, you desired the bamboo-like shoulders of nappinnaip pirAtti. Who, among the entities such as brahmA et al in the upper worlds as well as the people on earth, is capable of analysing you, the omnipotent? Oh one who has amazing powers! Was this done due to ignorance resulting from connection with prakruthi? (No) Apart from this, even though your highness had created various classifications starting with mahath and ending with physical forms of jIvAthmAs, the jIvAthmAs, instead of using the physical forms and sense-organs to go through the correct path (and reaching emperumAn) use these to attain worldly pursuits. You made the jIvAthmAs to subside in prakruthi, deciding that destruction for them is a safe option. The sankalpam (vow) of your highness is indeed amazing!

vyAkyAnam (Commentary)

AyanAgi Ayar mangai vEya thOL virumbinAy – incarnating in the clan of cowherds, you embraced the divine shoulders of fresh, youthful nappinnaip pirAtti, which were like fresh, long bamboo.

AyanAgi …. virumbinAy – you incarnated, leaving the divine, aprAkrutha [not composed of primordial matter] form in paramapadham, to take up a prAkrutha-like form of a cowherd, and showed deep love for nappinnaip pirAtti. In the previous pAsuram, AzhwAr had said “Anai anRu senRadarththu” mentioning the narrative of marriage with nappinnaip pirAtti. Will not saying that here too, be a repetitive narration here? The focus in the previous pAsuram was removing hurdles (bulls) in attaining nappinnaip pirAtti. The focus in this song is in transforming his divine form, which is sweet to nithyasUris in paramapadham, to a form similar to those in the clan of cowherds. Protecting nappinnaip pirAtti is symbolic of protecting all his followers who do not consider any benefit other than him. Thus, there is no repetitive narration here.

Aya ninnai yAvar vallar ambaraththodimbarAy – Among all the entities in celestial worlds such as brahmA et al as well as among the wise people on earth, who is there to analyse and know about you, the omnipotent entity?

Aya ninnai – Who can estimate and know about the feature of making the aprAkrutha divine form to match the prAkrutha form of a cowherd? The underlying opinion is that none is capable.

mAya – Oh the amazing entity who has amazing activities! The word mAya would refer to amazing materials. The term mAya used in several instances in this pAsuram refers to each amazing entity.

mAya mAyai kol – just as it has been mentioned in bhagavadh gIthA 7-14 “dhaivI hyEshA guNamayI mama mAyA dhurathyayA l mAmEva yE prapadhyanthyE mAyAm EthAm tharanthi thE ll” (This mAyai [prakruthi, the primodial matter], which has been created by me, the lord and which has three guNas [of sathva, rajas and thamas, viz. noble, passion and ignorance respectively) is difficult to cross over. Those who surrender to me, will be able to cross over this), is it because of ignorance born out of your connection with this prakruthi, an achEthana entity that you incarnated as kaNNan, and married nappinnaip pirAtti? No! The word of query kol here, means ‘no’. The first term mAya here refers to prakruthi, which is the cause for the amazing creation. The second term mAyai here (as in mAyai kol) refers to the ignorance which results in the man due to connection with prakruthi. Is there any proof to confirm that the word mAyA refers to ignorance? The lexicon for vEdhas says mAyA vayUnam gyAnam (the words mAyA, vayUnam and gyAnam have the same meaning). Thus, the word mAyA refers to gyAnam (knowledge) which has amazing characteristics. Since agyAnam (ignorance) is wrong knowledge, this word is also taken to be referred to by the word mAyA [There is no separate meaning for the world abhAvam (non-existent); similarly, ignorance will also refer to wrong knowledge].

ambaraththodu could also be considered as referring to nithyasUris who are residents of paramapadham, which is above the prAkrutha lOkams (worlds which are under primordial matter). The meaning for the verse would then be – could even nithyasUris, who are without any connection with prakruthi, understand the affable quality of emperumAn who manifests his aprAkrutha, divine auspicious form, which is beyond the senses derived through prAkrutham, to those who are in samsAram?

ambaraththodu imbarAy yAvar kANa vallar? mAya mAyai kol? – we could also consider this to mean, just as it has been said in chAndhOgya upanishath 3-14-2 “avAkyanAdhara:” (paramAthmA (supreme entity) is one who does not speak to anyone, due to his majestic nature and who is without any regard (towards any entity)), that emperumAn, who does not have any regard towards anyone, and who does not need anything to attain fulfilment, has a desire in the physical form of a herd girl. Who, in the two vibhUthis (nithya vibhUthi and leelA vibhUthi) can estimate and understand this affable quality of emperumAn?

adhanRi – apart from the greatness which has been mentioned in the incarnation, thus far. The pAsuram now says that none can estimate the benefits which you (emperumAn) had carried out for the chEthanas, through activities such as creating the worlds, etc.

nI vaguththalum – parASara bhattar has said in SrI rangarAja sthavam 2-41 “achidhaviSEshithAn pralayasImani samsaratha: karaNa kaLEbarair ghatayithum dhayamAnamanA: l varadha nijEchchayaiva paravAnakarO: prakruthim mahadhabhimAnabhUtha karaNAvaLi kOrakiNIm ||” (Oh varadha! During the time of pralayam (deluge) the jIvans were like achEthana entities [without knowledge]; you decided in your divine mind that they will be together with sensory organs and forms; being led only by your own sankalpam (vow), you transformed mUlaprakruthi (primordial matter) into mahAn (great entity), ahankAram (ego), the five elements, the sensory organs [both knowledge-led and activities-led]). Just as it has been said in this SlOkam, you had taken pity on the pitiable condition of samsAra jIvans during the time of deluge, had given them knowledge such that they will conduct their lives in the path of righteousness in order to attain you. Despite this…

vaguththalum – the classification starting from mahAn (the great entity, which is the first derivative of mUla prakruthi) and ending with the five elements, the further classification of the universes which formed from this group, the further classification of fourteen worlds in each of these universes, with seven worlds below earth and seven worlds above [including the earth], the further classification of four types of entities such as celestial, human, animal and plant, in each of these universes. Despite creating these ….

mAya – to get destroyed. The jIvans, who were thus created, instead of utilising their forms and knowledge to seek good things for themselves, engaged with worldly pursuits, starting with Sabdham (sound, form, taste etc), thus leading to the destruction of their basic nature. Here, the word mAya comes in the meaning of destruction.

mAyam AkkinAy – even at this stage, instead of giving up on the jIvans, you considered that destroying their physical forms is in their betterment, thus making them subside in mAyA which is mUla prakruthi (primordial matter) which is part of your divine form and which is amazing.

un mAyam muRRum mAyamE – knowledge which is a manifestation of your vow is truly amazing! Here, the first word mAyam refers to the knowledge which comes from emperumAn’s vow and the second mAyam refers to the amazement which results from that knowledge.

We shall take up the 42nd pAsuram of this prabandham, next.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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