thiruchchandha viruththam – pAsuram 79 – paththinOdu paththumAy

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avathArikai (Introduction)

A query was posed to AzhwAr “Meditating on thiruppARkadal nAthan is possible only for those who live in SvEtha dhvIpam which is in proximity to that abode; how is it possible for others?” AzhwAr responds saying “Only those who carry out devotion at the divine feet of one who came, without considering his eminence, from thiruppARkadal, which is the starting point of all incarnations, and carried out ten incarnations in this world, would attain mOksham; it is not possible for the others”

paththinOdu paththumAy or EzhinOdu onbadhAyp
paththinAn dhisaikkaN ninRa nAdu peRRa nanmaiyAy
paththinAya thORRamOdu orARRal mikka Adhi pAl
paththarAm avarkkalAdhu muththi muRRalAgumE

Word-by-Word Meanings

paththinOdu – along with the ten directions
paththumAy – as the dhikpAlas of (those who guard) these ten directions
orEzhinOdu – along with the unique sapthaswaram (seven notes in music)
oronbadhAy – along with the nine pathos of dance starting with SringAram (love)
paththinAn dhisaikkaN ninRa – fourteen types of
nAdu peRRa nanmaiyAy – for the worldly pursuits enjoyed by the people
paththinAya – ten types of
thORRamOdu – coming with incarnations
or – unique
ARRal – through the quality of patience
mikka – having in abundance
Adhi pAl – to the AdhimUrthi (emperumAn, who has been there since the beginning)
paththarAm avarkkalAdhu – other than being engaged with him
muththi – the benefit of mOksham (liberation)
muRRal – to mature
AgumE – is it possible?

Simple Translation

emperumAn is the antharyAmi (in-dwelling soul) of ten directions and those who guard these ten directions. He is the controller of the seven notes of music and the nine pathos of dance. He created the worldly pursuits to be enjoyed by the people in the fourteen worlds (seven from earth, above, and seven, below earth). In order to make the people to get engaged with him, he incarnated in ten different incarnations, with abundance of patience. Other than being engaged with such emperumAn who is the AdhimUrthi, is it possible for anyone to attain the benefit of mOksham?


paththinOdu paththumAy – as the indwelling soul of the ten directions and the guards for these ten directions. The ten directions are: the four main directions of east, south, west, north, the four sub-directions of south east, south west, north west and north east, the direction on top and the direction at the bottom. In these directions, indhran guards north, agni guards east, yaman guards south, nairruthan guards west, varuNan, vAyu, kubEran and Isan guard south east, south west, north west and north east, respectively. brahmA guards the top direction from sathyalOkam and ananthan (AdhiSEshan) guards the pAthALa lOkam at the bottom.

orEzhinOdu oronbadhAy – the seven notes of music and the nine pathos of dance, which are nonpareil. amarakOsam 1-7-1 says “nishAdharshabha gAndhAra shatjamadhyamadhaivathA: l
panchamaS chEthyamI saptha thanthrIkaNtOththithA: swarA: ll” (The seven notes of nishAdham, rishabham, gAndhAram, shatjam, madhyamam, dhaivatham and panchamam rise from the strings (of instruments) and the necks (of people)). Just as it has been said in
“SringAra hAsya karuNa vIra raudhra bhayAnakA: l bIbhathsAthbhutha SAnthAScha nava nAtyarasA: smruthA: ll” (love, laughter, sadness, valour, anger, fear, hatred, wonder and peace are the nine pathos which exist in dance), there are nine pathos which are mentioned in dance. Mentioning the notes of music and pathos of dance here is symbolic of all the matters such as Sabdham (soul), sparSam (touch), rUpam (form), rasam (taste) and gandham (smell). Thus, in the first line of the pAsuram, it has been mentioned that emperumAn has under his control, the ten directions, the leaders of guards in these ten directions as well as the worldly pursuits such as Sabdham etc enjoyed by these leaders and all the other samsAris, without any distinction.

paththinAn dhisaikkaN ninRa nAdu peRRa nanmaiyAy – to become the matters, pursued for their benefit, by people living in seven lOkams (worlds) which are above the earth, such as bhUlOkam, bhuvarlOkam etc and the seven worlds which are under earth such as athalam vithalam etc. Just as it has been said of emperumAn in chAndhOgya upanishath 3-14-2 “sarva gandha: sarva rasa:” (he is the repository of all the good fragrances and all the good tastes), isn’t he one who has all the aprAkrutha rasam (taste) and gandham (fragrance) on his divine form! The word dhisai here refers to type [and not to direction]. This is seen in the saying “EshA dhik” [statement from those who write books]. The meaning for this is – in this way or in this type (one can understand further). Thus, since those who write books use the word dhik (dhisai) in the meaning of type, the verse padhinAn dhisaikkan ninRa nAdu will refer to the fourteen types of worlds and those who live in these worlds. In the first line, AzhwAr had said paththinOdu paththumAy referring to the leaders together with the directions. He refers to the same matter in the second line through the verse paththinAn dhisaikkaN ninRa nAdu. The worldly pursuits such as Sabdham etc referred to in the first line EzhinOdoronbadhAy have been repeated in the second line through the verse peRRa nanmai. The term Ay (as in EzhinOdoronbadhAy as well as in nAdu peRRa nanmaiyAy) comes in the meaning of ‘to become’. Is there any authenticity to this? In thiruvAimozhi 1-4-10 “uyir mudhalA muRRumAy”, the term Ay comes in the meaning of ‘to become’. For the samsAri chEthanas in this world who keep pursuing the worldly materials for their enjoyment, emperumAn, as said earlier in chAndhOgya upanishath 3-14-2 “sarva gandha: sarva rasa:” in order to make the samsAris to enjoy only him, becomes all the pursuits such as Sabdham etc.

The pAsuram next talks about what emperumAn does in order to make the samsAris, who are enjoying the worldly pursuits, to enjoy him.

paththinAya thORRamOdorARRal mikka Adhi pAl – emperumAn, the pUrvajan (one who came at the beginning), who takes ten incarnations to appear in this world, tolerating the insults meted out by the samsAris to him and protecting them. The term thORRam refers to emperumAn’s incarnations where he, who is invisible to the senses, makes himself visible to their senses such as eyes.

ARRal – patience; emperumAn’s putting up with the insults heaped on him by the samsAris, who do not know that he is he supreme entity, is termed as ARRal here.

Adhi pAl – one who has been existing since the beginning. Just as it has been said in the jithanthE SlOkam mahA purusha pUrvaja: (one who is a great soul and has been existing since the beginning) and in purusha sUktham “pUrvO yO dhEvEbhyO jAtha:” (one who came for the sake of celestials, even before they could seek from him), since there was no benefit if he remained in paramapadham when samsAri jIvans developed an interest in him, he incarnated before they had a desire and became pUrvajan.

paththarAm avarkkalAdhu – Just as it has been said in bhagavath gIthA 4-9 “janma karma cha mE dhivyam Evam yO vEththi thathvatha: l thyakthvA dhEham punar janma naithi mAmEthi sO’rjuna ll” (Oh arjuna! One who truly knows like this, my aprAkrutha (not relating to primordial matter) birth and activities, does not have another birth after relinquishing his body in that birth. He attains me), other than his devotees who engage with his incarnations, truly knowing the benefits that he has carried out for them.

muththi muRRalAgumE – the palam (1. advantage, 2. fruit) of mOksham will not mature. Just as it was mentioned in the last bhagavath gIthA SlOkam above, the opinion here is that there is no possibility for hurdles such as connection with body etc to be removed and the benefit of attaining emperumAn.

Next, we will take up the 80th pAsuram of this prabandham.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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