Divine revelations of lOkAchArya - 9

srImathE rAmAnujAya nama:
srImadh varavaramunayE nama:
srI vAnAchala mahAmunayE nama:

Note: srI U. vE. gOpAlakrishNa dhAsar (kOnAr) who was living in chennai and a sishya of kOil kandhAdai vAdhUla aNNan swamy compiled a set of beautiful phrases/sentences from nampiLLai's eedu (documented by vadakku thiruvIdhi piLLai) vyAkyAnam long ago. kOil vidhwAn srI U. vE. R narasimhAchAryar swamy (paramapadhavAsi) wrote simple thamizh meanings for those phrases/sentences. This book (https://docs.google.com/file/d/0ByVemcKfGLucbWJNTUMzVS1KTzA/edit?usp=sharing) was originally released on 7-1-68 and was re-published by puthur raghurAman swamy (editior: srI sailEsa dhayApAthram magazine). In this series we are relishing this great compilation with the english translation for the same.

nampiLLai - thiruvallikkENi

81. anushtAnam sAdhanamAgAthu.

அநுஷ்டாநம் ஸாதநமாகாது.

bhagavAn is the ultimate benedictor of all results
Following scriptural injunctions is not the true means. 

Translator's note: bhagavAn is the only upAyam to achieve anything. It is only by his sanction everything happens. karma, gyAna, bhakthi yOgams are all achEtanam (insentient - not knowledgable) - they are just processes. bhagavAn is parama chEthanan (supreme sentient being). Seeing one perform karma, gyAna, bhakthi yOgams, he sanctions the result for the act performed by the jIvAthmA. So, he, who benedicts the ultimate goal, is the true means. For a prapanna, such anushtAnams will become part of his kainkaryam since he still performs all karmAs that are applicable to him according to varNAsrama dharmam and sistAchAram (elders acts), but he does not expect anything in return from bhagavAn for such acts. This is elaborated in mumukshuppadi sUthram 271 "karmam kainkaryaththil pugum" (கர்மம் கைங்கர்யத்தில் புகும்) - prapanna's anushtAnams such as sandhyAvandhanam, etc will become part of his kainkaryam towards bhagavAn.

82. nishidhdhAcharaNamum namakku rakshakamanRu.

நிஷித்தாசரணமும் நமக்கு ரக்ஷகமன்று.

sinful actions will not please bhagavAn and will only lead to suffering

Whatever is rejected in sAsthram, indulging in such practices is not our refuge.

Translator's note: This is related to the previous entry. If one understands that following karmAnushtAnams properly is not the means for the ultimate goal, a counter argument may arise saying "So, we should do what is rejected in sAsthram". But obviously, indulging in what is rejected in sAsthram is never pleasing for bhagavAn. This principle is explained by piLLai lOkAchAryar beautifully in mumukshuppadi charama slOka prakaraNam sUthrams 205 - 210. Let us see the gist of those sUthrams:
  • As krishNa says "sarvadharmAn parithyajya", some may say "since krishNa says give up all dharmams, it means accept adharmam" (taking the literal opposite meaning).
  • But that is not acceptable since there is no specific injunction to indulge in adharmam.
  • Is it not implied? When we say give up all dharmam, does it not implicitly mean accept adharmam?
  • No, because "dharmam" here does not mean "rejection of adharmam", it only means "following what is ordained in sAsthram".
  • But, even if we assume that "dharmam" can mean "rejection of adharmam" - so give up dharmam means give up rejection of adharmam (meaning accept adharmam) - in this context we cannot apply this.
  • Because, if we look at the nature of prapannan, bhagavAn and the result - accepting adharmam is not at all meaningful.
    • bhagavAn by nature would like everyone to reject adharmam
    • prapannan who wants to please bhagavAn would not indulge in adharmam
    • indulging in adharmam will not please bhagavAn

83. vihidhAcharaNamum namakku rakshakamanRu.

விஹிதாசரணமும் நமக்கு ரக்ஷகமன்று.

Following whatever is ordained in sAsthram is not our refuge (that which protects us).

Translator's note: Again, the same point as in the 81st entry - only bhagavAn is the protector/refuge.

84. thiruvadigaLil kainkaryamE yAthraiyAgap peRavENumenRu vAkyasEshamAyk kidakkiRathu.

திருவடிகளில் கைங்கர்யமே யாத்ரையாகப் பெறவேணுமென்று வாக்யசேஷமாய்க் கிடக்கிறது.

lotus feet of namperumAL

yAthrai - livelihood/spending our time. According to the remainder of (the second) sentence (in dhvaya mahA manthram), our whole purpose/activity is to pray for service the lotus feet of bhagavAn.

Translator's note: dhvaya mahA manthram is made of two vAkyams (sentences). The first sentence is where we accept srIman nArAyaNan's lotus feet as the only refuge and surrender unto him. In the second sentence, we pray for service at the lotus feet of srIman nArAyaNan purely for the pleasure of the divine couple without any self-interest. Here, in the second sentence - srImathE nArAyaNAya nama: - srImathE nArAyaNa is the divine couple (and their lotus feet). Aya is kainkarya prArthanai - our prayer to bhagavAn to engage us in his service. "nama:" highlights that the pleasure derived from such service is purely for bhagavAn not for us. By seeing his pleasure we also become blissful - but that is only a side benefit - the main goal is to bring pleasure to srIman nArAyaNan.

85. nURAyiramvari ezhudhikkidanthAlum avaRRil pOgAthE thAthparyaththai grahiththirukkumavargaL "mAdhavan pEr solluvathE Oththin surukku" enRirukkumavargaL.

நூறாயிரம்வரி எழுதிக்கிடந்தாலும் அவற்றில் போகாதே தாத்பர்யத்தை க்ரஹித்திருக்குமவர்கள் "மாதவன் பேர் சொல்லுவதே ஓத்தின் சுருக்கு" என்றிருக்குமவர்கள்.

There are thousands of lines written in sAsthram. But the intelligent ones, will not focus on so many of them but will be fully focussed on the essence of sAsthram which is glorifying bhagavAn's divine names. This is highlighted by bhUthathAzhwAr in iraNdAm thiruvanthAdhi pAsuram 39.

Oththin poruL mudivum iththanaiyE 
uththaman pEr Eththum thiRam aRimin EzhaigAL
Oththadhanai vallIrEl nanRu adhanai mAttIrEl 
mAdhavan pEr solluvadhE Oththin surukku

ஓத்தின் பொருள் முடிவும் இத்தனையே
உத்தமன் பேர் ஏத்தும் திறம் அறிமின் ஏழைகாள்
ஓத்ததனை வல்லீரேல் நன்று அதனை மாட்டீரேல்
மாதவன் பேர் சொல்லுவதே ஓத்தின் சுருக்கு

Transator's note: In this pAsuram, the importance of the divine names of bhagavAn especially mAdhavan (the husband of srI mahAlakshmi) is revealed. AzhwAr says "Oh ignorant people! If you can recite vEdham that is fine to do. But even if you are unable to do that, please understand that the purpose of vEdham is to reveal the divine names of bhagavAn and induce everyone to glorify them. This is the essence of vEdham, so you learn to glorify bhagavAn through his names". This reference to "mAdhava" often is identified to dhvaya mahA manthram since it explicitly identifies bhagavAn as srIman nArAyaNan (the husband of srI mahAlakshmi).

86. thvariththilarAgil avan vailakshaNyaththil gyAnam illaiyAgak kadavathu. ingE kAl pAviRRAgil samsAraththil thaNmaiyil gyAnamillaiyAgak kadavathu.

த்வரித்திலராகில் அவன் வைலக்ஷண்யத்தில் ஜ்ஞாநம் இல்லையாகக் கடவது. இங்கே கால் பாவிற்றாகில் ஸம்ஸாரத்தில் தண்மையில் ஜ்ஞாநமில்லையாகக் கடவது.

vailakshaNyam - speciality/greatness, kAl pAvuthal - being steadily situated, thaNmai - cruelty, insignificance. If one does not hurry to reach emperumAn, it is due to lack of proper understanding of bhagavAn's greatness. If one looks well settled in this material world that is filled with ignorance, it is due to lack of proper understanding of the cruelty and insignificance of this material world.

Translator's note: piLLai lOkAchAryar identifies the essential qualities of a srIvaishNava in mumukshuppadi sUthram 116. One of the essential qualities is - "pERRukku thvarikkai" (பேற்றுக்கு த்வரிக்கை) - to crave for the ultimate goal of doing eternal service to srIman nArAyaNan in paramapadham. Once we understand that there are so many avenues to pull us down and keep us in the samsAram and whatever we accomplish here are very insignificant, it will be unbearable for us to stay put in this material world. This feeling of total suffering was revealed by nammAzhwAr in the first pAsuram of thiruvirutham (his first prabandham itself) by saying "iniyAm uRAmai" (இனியாம் உறாமை) - I cannot bear this anymore - it is like standing on fire.

87. IsvaranaippaRRina URRaththAlE upAyAntharangaLai negizhugaiyozhiya nAsthikyaththAlE vidumanRu; athu vishayAntharaprAvaNyahEthu.

ஈச்வரனைப்பற்றின ஊற்றத்தாலே உபாயாந்தரங்களை நெகிழுகையொழிய நாஸ்திக்யத்தாலே விடுமன்று; அது விஷயாந்தரப்ராவண்யஹேது.

URRam - desire; negizhugai - giving up. When we become attached to bhagavAn, we automatically give up attachment towards other upAyams. When our attachment towards bhagavAn drops, that leads to attachment to other worldly pleasures.

Translator's note: This is most precisely explained by piLLai lOkAchAryar in srIvachana bhUshaNam sUthram 115. "prApakAntharap parithyAgaththukkum agyAna asakthigalanRu; svarUpa virOthamE prathAna hEthu" (ப்ராபகாந்தரப் பரித்யாகத்துக்கும் அஜ்ஞாந அசக்திகளன்று; ஸ்வரூப விரோதமே ப்ரதாந ஹேது) - The main reason for giving up other upAyams such as karma, gyAna, bhakthi yOgams is due to the fact that they are contradictory to the nature of jIvAthmA and not due to lack of knowledge and ability in such upAyams. The jIvAthmA is totally subservient and dependent on bhagavAn and should never indulge on self-efforts (even if fully capable) to achieve the ultimate goal. In the subsequent sUthrams, this principle is explained by piLLai lOkAchAryar and mAmunigaL beautifully explains these principles in his commentary.

88. kaLavu veLippadugaiyiRE Athma samarppaNam paNNugaiyAvathu.

களவு வெளிப்படுகையிறே ஆத்ம ஸமர்ப்பணம் பண்ணுகையாவது.

jIvAthmA is the property of bhagavAn. Considering AthmA as ones own is theft. Offering ones own self (which is already a property of bhagavAn) to bhagavAn will expose that theft.

Translator's note: When we offer something to some one we consider as if it is owned by us and then we offer it to the other person. Similarly, in this case, when we offer ourselves to bhagavAn, it will expose our understanding that we were independent before and now submitting to bhagavAn. nammAzhwAr says that "I offered myself to you; but thinking about that act of offering myself, I am ashamed of that act" in thiruvAimozhi 2.3.4. This is already discussed in 67th entry.

89. parathvam pOlE vEdham; avathAram pOlE ithihAsa purANangaL; archAvathAram pOlE thiruvAimozhi.

பரத்வம் போலே வேதம்; அவதாரம் போலே இதிஹாஸ புராணங்கள்; அர்ச்சாவதாரம் போலே திருவாய்மொழி.

thirukkudanthai - ArAvamuthan with nAchiyAr - the one who was instrumental in the revelation of thiruvAimozhi and other dhivya prabandhams
parathvam = accessible by the ones who reached parampadham; avathAram = accessible to the ones who were present during bhagavAn's vibhava avathAram like srI rAma, krishNa, etc; archAvathAram = accessible to everyone. Thus vEdham is like parathvam; ithihAsa purANams are like bhagavath avathArams; thiruvAimozhi is accessible to everyone like archAvathAram.

Translator's note: This brings out the universal nature of dhivya prabandhams which can be learnt and recited by any one. Unlike vEdham, ithihAsams and purANams which are accessible to specific persons who are qualitfied and even for such qualified persons only during specific times, thiruvAimozhi (and dhivya prabandham) is accessible to every one at all the time. In AchArya hrudhayam, azhagiya maNavALa perumAL nAyanAr explains this principle in a detailed manner. First in chUrNikai 70, he explains the various types of pramANams and the focus of such pramANams.

chUrNikai 70 - athavA vEdhavEdhyanyAyaththAlE parathvaparamudhuvEdham vyUha vyApthi avatharaNangaLil OthinanIthi kEttamanu padukathaigaLAy AgamUrththiyil paNNiya thamizhAnavARE vEdhaththai dhrAvidamAgach cheythArennum.

அதவா வேதவேத்யந்யாயத்தாலே பரத்வபரமுதுவேதம் வ்யூஹ வ்யாப்தி அவதரணங்களில் ஓதினநீதி கேட்டமனு படுகதைகளாய் ஆகமூர்த்தியில் பண்ணிய தமிழானவாறே வேதத்தை த்ராவிடமாகச் செய்தாரென்னும்.

It is explained in srI rAmAyaNa slOkam "vEdhavEdhyE parE pumsi jAthE dhasarathAthmajE, vEdha: prAchEthasAdhAsIth rAmAyaNamAthmaNA" (வேதவேத்யே பரே பும்ஸி ஜாதே தசரதாத்மஜே, வேத: ப்ராசேதஸாதாஸீத் ராமாயணமாத்மநா), When srIman nArAyaNan who is the object of vEdham appeared as the son of dhasaratha, vEdham itself appeared as srI rAmAyaNam. According to this vEdhavEdhya nyAyam (rule), bhagavAn's different forms (emanating from paravAsudhEvan) are explained by different pramANams (emanating from vEdham). parathvam is explained in vEdham; vyUham is explained in pAncharAthram; antharyAmithvam is explained in manu smruthi, etc; vibhavAvathArams are explained in ithihAsams, purANams; bhagavAn's archAvathArams which are his most merciful manifestations which are easily accessible to everyone are explained by AzhwArs' dhivyaprabandhams (especially thiruvAimozhi).

In chUrNikai 73, the pure nature of thiruvAimozhi (and dhivyaprabandham) is revealed through an example.

chUrNikai 73 - mruth gatam pOlanRE poRkudam.

ம்ருத்கடம் போலன்றே பொற்குடம்.

A clay pot is not like a golden pot.

Gold is naturally pure. It can be touched by anyone at any time. Clay pots have many regulations, only certain persons can touch them and only certain times - if touched by unauthorized persons or during unauthorized times, it becomes unusable for any auspicious activities. Golden pots have no such regulations. Similarly, AzhwArs' pAsurams are pure and can be pursued by any one.

90. kiNNagaththil izhivAr dhEsikaraip pidiththukkoNdu izhiyumApOlE periya perumALai anubhavikkumpOthu pirAttiyaik kUdakkoNdAyiRRu izhivathu.

கிண்ணகத்தில் இழிவார் தேசிகரைப் பிடித்துக்கொண்டு இழியுமாபோலே பெரிய பெருமாளை அநுபவிக்கும்போது பிராட்டியைக் கூடக்கொண்டாயிற்று இழிவது.

 periya perumAL, periya pirAtti - srIrangam

When entering into a flooded river, we should take the help of experienced persons. Similarly, periya perumAL is an ocean of auspicious qualities, when we venture into enjoying his qualities we should take the help of pirAtti (who is always enjoying emperumAn's auspicious qualities). This principle can be observed in srI rAma's life itself in the srI rAmAyaNa slOkam "sahapathnyA visAlAkshyA nArAyaNamupAgamath" (ஸஹபத்ந்யா விசாலாக்ஷ்யா நாராயணமுபாகமத்).

Translator's note: It is explained in the above srI rAmAyaNa slOkam that when srI rAma went to perform thiruvArAdhanam to his family deity "srIman nArAyaNan" (who will eventually be established as srIranganAthan in srIrangam), he was accompanied by sIthA pirAtti who has beautiful broad eyes. Here, srI rAma himself worshipped srIman nArAyaNa to himself demonstrate to others how his worship should be performed. Our pUrvAchAryas have always insisted that when we approach bhagavAn, we go through the purushakAram (recommendation) of pirAtti only and we serve them together only. nammAzhwAr also highlights this principle of bhagavAn being an ocean of auspicious qualities in thiruvAimozhi 10.7.1 "senjoRkavigAL uyirkAththAtcheymmin" (செஞ்சொற்கவிகாள் உயிர்காத்தாட்செய்ம்மின்) - Oh, great poets! (nampiLLai and periyavAchAn piLLai highlight that mudhalAzhwArgaL are addressed here) you first protect yourself when you start glorifying the divine auspicious qualities of bhagavAn, since bhagavAn is an ocean of such qualities and you can easily be drowned.

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