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Periya Thirumozhi 6.2.1

August 26, 2012

1. poRuththEn punsol nenjchil * poruL inbam ena iraNdum

iRuththEn * aimpulangaL kadanAyina * vAyilotti

aRuththEn ** Arvach setRam avai thannai* manaththagatRi

veRuththEn * ninnadaindhEn * thiruviNNagar mEyavanE!

poRuththEn punsol nenjchil – This is interpreted in two ways (as below):

(i) I befriended materialists, who are opposed to the welfare of the soul, and considered them as my true relations. They extracted every favour out of me and then cursed me for being mean. I fooled myself into thinking that they were cursing someone else. Or I thought that they uttered these words of little regard because of the thickness of our friendship. I bore all their words of disgrace, many a time.

(ii) The Lord is reposed with innumerable assets including enthralling auspicious attributes. His divine physical form is extremely beautiful. His lovely lotus eyes arrest the senses and the mind, and make the soul fall at His feet. Despite His immensely desirable nature, I kept away from Him. I sang not His glory for a day. Instead, I walked down the lanes inhabited by wealthy men and sang their fake glories. I praised their non-existent beauty and benevolence, and sought their wealth. Thereby, I disgraced the words that must have been use for singing the praise of the Lord.

poruL inbam ena iraNdum iRuththEn aimpulangaL kadanAyina – Those that I believed are my friends or relatives longed for benefits. Who sings another’s praise without interest in personal gain? The five senses demand pleasure at every turn. They are like a lender demanding the return of his loan. They fuel the quest for wealth and lust. I fed them abundantly with experiences of wealth and lust, as if all my faculties existed to undertake this singular task.

vAyilotti aRuththEn Arvach setRam – I loved those who helped me to acquire wealth and satisfy my craze for pleasures. I hated those that prevented me from enjoying. I vowed to destroy them and I executed my vow.

avai thannai manaththagatRi veRuththEn ninnadaindhEn – I am sick of these now. But, having been habituated to wild swings of lust and hate over times immemorial, it is difficult to escape from their hold now. These are impostors that have danced me to grave dangers, and have taken control of my heart. Helplessly, I come to You.

thiruviNNagar mEyavanE! – You knew that one day this world of materialistic fascinations will pull the rug of my feet and present a horrid desert full of grave dangers. Stuck in such dangers, You knew that I will be helpless and will run hither thither looking for a saviour. Then, You would not be far off, but very close to me(at Thiruvinnagar), and I will come to You, at last, seeking You as my saviour. You, who are always truly interested in my welfare, have been waiting in Thiruvinnagar, for me to come and surrender at Your lotus feet.

O Lord of Thiruvinnagar! I bore words of disgrace and fed the senses with experiences of wealth and lust. I liked those that aided me in these endeavours. I hated those that obstructed me. I vowed to destroy them and executed my vows. Today, I am tired of these and frightened of the effects of my shortcomings. I come to You, who have been waiting for me till this day, to rescue me from these dangers.

Periya Thirumozhi 6.2 Introduction

August 26, 2012

PERIYA THIRUMOZHI 6.1

Introduction to this decade:

Thirumangai Azhvar was revealed the esoteric meaning of the eight-lettered chant Thirumanthram by the Lord Himself.  Following the revelation, Azhvar realized that the most resplendent form of the Lord is His image form worshiped famously in temples as Archavatharam.  He spent his time, thereon, engaging in the spiritual experience of several such shrines where the Lord is manifest ranging from Thiruppirithi and Badrikasramam in the North to Srirangam and Thiruvellarai in the South.  The Lord allowed Azhvar to stay in this world in line with his interest in enjoying His image forms.

As much as His image forms are enjoyable, the lures of sensual pleasures persist in this material world.  Being habituated to this world through several births, it is very easy to slip back into the vagaries of material life,  a return to which implies prolonged suffering.

In this decade of hymns, Azhvar repeatedly petitions the Lord not to prolong his existence in this world.  He reveals his position that neither permits him to survive without the complete experience of the Lord nor tolerate the association with material life.

The soul has suffered since times immemorial because of the sole association with matter(achith).  Hence, it is imperative that this material life must be given up.

Three decades from the current one onwards are directed towards the Lord of Thiruvinnagar, Oppiliappan.

 

Periya Thirumozhi 6.1.10

August 23, 2012

10. pUmaru pozhil aNi * viNNagar mEl *

kAmaru sIrk * kali kanRi sonna **

pAmaru thamizh ivai * pAda vallAr *

vAmanan adi iNai * maruvuvarE

pUmaru pozhil aNi viNNagar mEl  – On Thiruvinnagar that stands decorated with flowering gardens at all times

kAmaru sIrk kali kanRi sonna pAmaru thamizh ivaiii pAda vallAr  – those who sing the hymns composed by Kaliyan, who is adorably wealthy as a Srivaishnava

vAmanan adi iNai maruvuvarE  – they would be removed from what Kaliyan disliked and blessed with what he desired.

Kaliyan, who is adored for his wealth of Srivaishnava traits, sang these hymns addressing the Lord of Thiruvinnagar, a place perennially decorated with flowering gardens.  Learn and sing these hymns. You will be rescued from your pains and will be blessed with the eternal experience of Lord Vamana. 

 Notes:

The benefit attained by Azhvar would be attained by all that sing these hymns.  Azhvar petitioned for liberation from the material world and the eternal experience. The Lord who incarnated as Vamana would shower the same grace.

Periya Thirumozhi 6.1.9

August 23, 2012

9. sAdhalum piRaththalum enRu ivatRaik * kAdhal seyyAdhu una kazhal – adaindhEn *

Odhal sey nAnmaRaiyAgi * umbar Adhal sey mUvuruvAnavanE! **

ANdAy! unaik kANbadhOr * aruL enakku aruLudhiyEl *

vENdEn manai vAzhkkaiyai * viNNagar mEyavanE!

sAdhalum piRaththalum enRu ivatRaik kAdhal seyyAdhu una kazhal adaindhEn – The sufferings of the soul are manifold during its material existence.  The soul is afflicted by pain at the time of death, by pain in the chambers of hell, by pain in its return to a womb for re-birth.  The pains endured by the soul from birth to birth are noted in the Panchagni Vidhya Prakaranam.  Considering the excruciating pain, Azhvar has given up all interest in being born again and has sought the lotus feet of the Lord.

If Azhvar has sought the Lord in view of the difficulties of material existence, should the others be considered to have voluntarily chosen to endure pain? Why would anyone desire to suffer in pain?

The answer is : The Vedas advise that one should abandon interest in this life and surrender to the Lord.  The souls shun the Lord continually; therefore, they are considered to have chosen pain over eternal bliss.

Odhal sey nAnmaRaiyAgi umbar Adhal sey mUvuruvAnavanE! – Lord Mahavishnu holds the Vedas, which are forever recited the same way and are devoid of blemish, as His wealth.  He has sovereignty over exalted beings such as  Brahma and Rudra who are foremost of the celestials.

ANdAy! … viNNagar mEyavanE! –   Lord Oppiliappan of Thiruvinnagar! I do not covet the lofty positions of celestials, who are material beings themselves.  I am desire Thee alone

O Lord of Thiruvinnagar! Reflecting upon the manifold travails of the soul as it passes through the portals of death and birth, I relinquish desire for this existence and attain Thy lotus feet.  Thou are the possessor of the Vedas that are constant and without blemish.  Thou emerge sovereign over the foremost of celestials like Brahma and Rudra, who are exalted beings.  I covet not any lofty position in this material world.  I desire Thee alone.

 Notes:

The Panchagni Vidya Prakarana of the Chandogya Upanisad discusses the numerous miseries endured by the soul in the material world. Svami Periyavacchan Pillai elaborates this ordeal in his introduction to Thirumalai.  Knowledge of this suffering instills resentment and fear towards our material existence.  To avoid this suffering, the Vedas, that are pristine sources of truth, advise us to surrender to the Lord.

Periya Thirumozhi 6.1.8

August 23, 2012

8. kAdhal seydhu iLaiyavar kalavi tharum * vEdhanai vinaiyadhu veruvudhalAm * 

Adhalin unadhadi aNuguvan nAn * pOdhalAr nedu mudip puNNiyanE! **

ANdAy! unaik kANbadhOr * aruL enakku aruLudhiyEl *

vENdEn manai vAzhkkaiyai * viNNagar mEyavanE!

kAdhal seydhu iLaiyavar kalavi tharum vEdhanai vinaiyadhu veruvudhalAm – Making company with young damsels and enjoying their pleasure without realizing the monumental suffering to follow – oh! even as I think of such actions, I tremble with fear.

Adhalin unadhadi aNuguvan nAn – To escape from such dangers, I seek Thy lotus feet.  The pleasure of mixing with young damsels brings untold pain along with it.  One’s desire is never satisfied by such experiences.  The ever raging desire destroys the person.  It is shameful.  After death, it throws the person into the fires of hell.  The very thought of this action creates fear in Azhvar.  On the other hand, it the Yama himself who respects and fears those who surrender to the Lord’s lotus feet.

pOdhalAr nedu mudip puNNiyanE! – Thou are the holy one.  Thy holiness lies in cleansing me of dangerous desires by showing Thyself with Thy great crown which is decorated with fresh lotuses.  Though the Lord in His image form is seen by all people, the Lord’s supremely blissful nature and the danger arising from material desires occurs only to Azhvar.  This is because of the special grace showered by the Lord on Azhvar.

ANdAy! … viNNagar mEyavanE! – Thou removed every tinge of material desire by Thy grace.  Please grace me now, so I can see Thee with my eyes.

O Lord of Thiruvinnagar! I am frightened by the actions that arise from material desires.  One seeks the company of young damsels, realizing not the intense suffering that it brings along.  Hence, I seek Thy lotus feet.  Thou are the holy one! Thou saved me from such dangers by showing Thy divine form adorned by an exquisite crown and decorated with fresh lotuses.  Further Thy grace and grant me Thy vision.

 Notes:

Svami Periyavacchan Pillai’s association of meaning comes out beautifully in this verse.  In  the meaning above, the connection between the first phrase and the second is quite clear.  Azhvar seeks the Lord’s lotus feet which rescue him from the dangers of material existence.  However, the connection between the first two phrases and the third cannot be easily recognized by a commoner.  Azhvar calls the Lord “the Holy One” and describes His divine form.  Why? The commentator explains that it is the Lord’s divine form which has destroyed Azhvar’s desires towards material pleasures.  The supremely pure and blissful form has eliminated any inkling of interest towards this material existence.  The commentator adds, “that is why He is the Holy One!”. His holiness lies not in personal purity alone.  He is holy because He purified Azhvar with His grace and saved him from dangerous material interests.  For the Lord’s grace, the first stage has been elimination of material desires.  The next stage is granting the vision of Himself, the Supreme Brahman.  The commentator wonderfully joins the dots to the last phrase to convey this meaning.

Periya Thirumozhi 6.1.7

August 21, 2012

7. urukkuRu naRuney koNdu Arazhalil * irukkuRum andhaNar sandhiyin vAy * 

perukkamodu amarargaL amara nalgum * irukkinil innisai AnavanE! ** 

ANdAy! unaik kANbadhOr * aruL enakku aruLudhiyEl * 

vENdEn manai vAzhkkaiyai * viNNagar mEyavanE!

urukkuRu naRuney koNdu Arazhalil irukkuRum andhaNar sandhiyin vAy – During the time the Sun touches the horizon (sandhya), the Brahmanas chanting Vedas offer the melting ghee as oblation in the ritual fires.

perukkamodu amarargaL amara nalgum irukkinil innisai AnavanE – Lord Krishna says in the Gita – “parasparam bhAvayantha: SrEya: paramavApsyatha”.  The Brahmans and the celestials share a mutually beneficial relationship.  The Brahmanas perform the rituals and offer the “havis” which sustains the Devas.  The celestials in return provide for the wealth needed by the Brahmanas to perform their rites without difficulty.

The wealth of the Brahmanas is the Veda.  The mystical sweet tune of the Vedas is the one-lettered Pranava.  Srimannarayana is the purport of the Pranava sound.

In some places, the preceptors say that the Pranava speaks about the soul.  Here (and in a few other places), it is said that it speaks about Lord Vishnu.  Which of these is correct?  Both are.  The scripture says, “AthmAnam yunjItha” and “OmkArO bhagavAn vishNu:” showing that the Pranava reveals both the Atman(soul) and Vishnu(God).

 O Lord of Thiruvinnagar! Thou are the purport of the Pranava sound of the Vedas, which form the wealth of the Brahmanas, who offer melting ghee in oblation to the celestials during the sandhya intervals.  Release me from this material existence and grace me with Thy vision.

Notes:

The Pranava or Omkara is chanted at the beginning and end of all Vedic recitations.  It is considered the essence of the Vedas.  Azhvar shows that the Lord is the purport of Pranava.

The commentator raises a philosophical point regarding what the Pranava represents, and then clarifies that it speaks of both the Atman and the Lord.  By quoting from the scriptures – “Lord Vishnu, who possesses innumerable divine traits such as omniscience, strength, mastery, valour, power and brilliance, and who is the all-pervading being, is the purport of Omkara”, the commentator dispels doubts in the minds of the uninitiated about what the Vedas stand for.

It is now clear that Vedas neither represent demi-gods nor a formless, characterless being.  Instead, they represent Lord Vishnu who shines with divine traits and whose bears a captivating brilliant form.  It may also be recollected that Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita, “VedhyAm pavitram OmkAra” – “I am (the purport of) the auspicious Omkara of Vedas”.

Periya Thirumozhi 6.1.6

August 12, 2012

6. kArkezhu kadalgaLum malaigaLumAy * Erkezhum ulagamumAgi * mudha
lArgaLum aRivaru nilaiyinaiyAych * sIrkezhu nAnmaRai AnavanE! **
ANdAy! unaik kANbadhOr * aruL enakku aruLudhiyEl *
vENdEn manai vAzhkkaiyai * viNNagar mEyavanE!

kArkezhu kadalgaLum malaigaLumAy – Being the ocean covered by clouds and the mountains that stand as pillars of the world,

Erkezhum ulagamumAgi – and the worlds that fall under His rule.

The reason for mentioning the above is to show that Narayana has the entire worlds as His body and supports them.

mudhalArgaLum aRivaru nilaiyinaiyAy – The true character of Oppiliappan cannot be determined distinctly even by the greats including Brahma who rules the fourteen worlds

sIrkezhu nAnmaRai AnavanE – He is the import of the four Vedas that are the final authorities of truth.

ANDAy … viNNagar mEyavanE – I do not wish to know Thee only through the words of the Vedas.  I want to see Thee as Thou are.  I have no desire in this material existence.

O Lord of Thiruvinnagar!  Thou are the in-dweller and supporter of the oceans covered by clouds, the mountains and the worlds that fall under Thy rule. Thou are the import of the Vedas that have the final word on truth.  However, I wish not to know Thee merely through Vedic passages.  I wish to see Thee as Thou are.  Keep me not in this material world.

Notes:

Thirumangai Azhvar shows that Srimannarayana is the in-dweller and supporter of all the worlds.  He has the oceans and mountains as His body.  The entire worlds fall under His rule and are supported by Him.  He is the final truth of the Vedas.  Azhwar longs to obtain His direct vision for eternity.