srImadh varavaramunayE nama:
srI vAnAchala mahAmunayE nama:
sApEkshan - one who is with desires/expectations, nirapEkshan - one who is without any desires/expectations. Out of his causeless mercy, to rectify the limitations of the jIvAthmA, he brings himself down and fulfills the desires of the jIvAthmAs. Thus, he places himself in a position where he looks to be desirous of something and makes the jIvAthmA as desireless (ones whose desires are fulfilled).
Translator's note: emperumAn is known as avAptha samastha kAman - one who has no un-fulfilled desires. He is self-satisfied on his own. Yet, he takes up very humble positions to help and guide the jIvAthmAs. For example, when indhran lost all his wealth he prays to bhagavAn to retrieve them from mahAbali. mahAbali was performing a big yagya where he is willing to give charity to anyone who asks for anything. indhran feels ashamed to go and beg for his wealth from mahAbali, so he asks bhagavAn to beg on behalf of him. bhagavAn descends down as upEndhra (younger brother of indhran) and goes to mahAbali as vAmanan (dwarf) in the form of a brahmachAri. He begs for 3 feet of land and mahAbali gladly accepts to give him the 3 feet of land. bhagavAn then assumes the thrivikrama form and easily accepts everything owned by mahAbali. Here, the beauty is - emperumAn already owns everything, he could have easily taken the wealth from mahAbali directly and given it to indhran. But, emperumAn makes himself available in a very humble position and begs for this as if he does not have anything and desires to have the 3 feet of land. mahAbali also knowing well that bhagavAn owns everything, presents the 3 feet of land as if he owns them. Thus, bhagavAn's greatness to help jIvAthmAs and him assuming menial roles for the ones who surrenders to him is a wonderful quality of him.
172. ivanukku svarUpasthithi uNdAmpadi paNNikkoNdu nirapEkshaNAga vENumiRE avanukku. ivanudaiya svarUpa sthithyarththamAga avan thannaith thAzha vittAnenRAl athuthAnE nairapEkshyaththukku udalAyirukkumiRE avanukku.
emperumAn maintains his desireless state while sustaining the existence of jIvAthmA. Thus, to establish the jIvAthmA's true nature (of servitorship) and for the sustainence of the jIvAthmA, if bhagavAn lowers his own position that itself demonstrates that bhagavAn does not expect anything from the jIvAthmA.
Translator's note: Everything exists on bhagavAn. bhagavAn is the AdhAram (foundation) for every entity. Out of his unbounded mercy, bhagavAn keeps trying to purify the jIvAthmAs. After layam (devolution), during srushti (creation), bhagavAn gives the jIvAthmAs body and senses, gyAnam (knowledge), sAsthram, etc. He himself descends into samsAram to purify the jIvAthmAs. He facilitates the appearance of AzhwArs and AchAryas and uplift many jIvAthmAs through them. But even after doing all of this, he is not expecting anything from jIvAthmAs since he has no expectations. He does all of this for the upliftment of jIvAthmAs and to have them situated in their natural position - which is being a servitor to emperumAn.
173. bhagavath vishayam pOlE vAy vanthapadi chollavoNNAthiRE bhAgavatha vishayam.
bhAgavatha vishayam (matters) is not as easy as bhagavath vishayam to understand and glorify.
Translator's note: For bhagavath vishayam every one is qualified due to their eternal relationship with bhagavAn. bhagavAn's divine names can also be recited in any way (see next entry). But to glorify bhAgavathas, one must truly understand the position of bhAgavathas and properly glorify them. Often times, one may consider bhAgavathas as mere mortal beings. Just because, they also eat, sleep, etc as others, they are not given due respect. But AzhwArs have glorified bhAgavathas in exemplified way. A devotee of bhagavAn must be properly understood and should not be discriminated based on his birth, knowledge, activities, wealth, place where he stays, his relatives and their actions, etc. Considering a bhAgavatha to be lower based on any of these parameters is considered as bhAgavatha apachAram. Thus, to glorify bhAgavathas, one must have proper knowledge about them in first place.
174. thirunAmam chollugaikku ruchiyEyAyththu vENduvathu. avargaLE adhikArigaL.
To recite the divine names of bhagavAn, one only needs to have the taste for nAma sankIrthanam. That taste is the only qualification to recite the names of bhagavAn.
Translator's note: In srI bhAgavatha purANam, it is highlighted that even when one says the name of hari (srIman nArAyaNan) in a casual manner, sattirical manner, etc., it is considered as beneficial. AzhwArs also highlight the glories of nAma sankIrthanam - any one can perform thirunAma sankIrthanam. thoNdaradippodi AzhwAr's thirumAlai is specifically focussed on explaining the glories of nAma sankIrthanam. The only requirement is to have taste/desire for that. That is the only qualification for thirunAma sankIrthanam - it can be done in any time, any place and any situation. In mumukshuppadi, piLLai lOkAchAryar highlights the glories of nArAyaNa manthram (ashtAkshari) and how it protected dhraupathi even when bhagavAn is far away from her. In sUthram 17, he identifies, even if bhagavAn's divine names are recited devoid of any proper etiquette, it is the nature of the divine names to bless the reciter with whatever they desire for.
175. sEshathva gyAnam piRanthAl svarUpAnurUpamAna vruththi peRAmaiyAl varum klEsam prAyaschiththaththAl pOkkumadhanRE.
Once the relationship between the jIvAthmA and paramAthmA as servant and master respectively is understood, one should engage in serving bhagavAn. If one is not able to serve and becomes anguished due to lack of kainkaryam, no atonement can be done to rectify that.
Translator's note: In mumukshuppadi sUthram 55, piLLai lOkAchAryar declares that "sEshathvamE AthmAvukku svarUpam" (சேஷத்வமே ஆத்மாவுக்கு ஸ்வரூபம்) - the true identity of jIvAthmA is to be a servitor of bhagavAn. This principle is discussed previously as well. mAmunigaL highlights beautiful pramANams such as "svathvam Athmani sanjAtham svAmithvam brahmaNi sthitham" (ஸ்வத்வம் ஆத்மநி ஸஞ்ஜாதம் ஸ்வாமித்வம் ப்ரஹ்மணி ஸ்திதம்) - jIvAthmA's nature is to be a property of bhagavAn and bhagavAn's nature is to be the proprietor. Once this knowledge is understood properly by the jIvAthmA, he will long for eternal service to emperumAn. For example, AzhwArs were divinely blessed by bhagavAn with blemishless knowledge. But once they realised their true position and understood that they are in samsAram (material world) and are not able to directly serve bhagavAn, they were plunged into an ocean of sorrow. They immediately wanted to serve emperumAn eternally. But due to bhagavath sankalpam they were still in samsAram and due to that they felt very helpless. At this stage, no atonement could be done to fulfill their desire for eternal kainkaryam in paramapadham.
176. ivanai adimai koLLugaiyAlE pugazhukku ellai illaiyAyththavanukku. ivanukku adimai cheygaiyAlE pugazhukku anthamillaiyAyththu ivargaLukku.
emperumAn attains unbounded glories when he engages the jIvAthmAs in his proper service. jIvAthmAs attain unlimited glories when serving emperumAn.
Translator's note: bhagavAn is the supreme lord. He is glorious on his own. Yet his glories become multi-fold when he purifies jIvAthmAs and engages them in his service. In thiruvAimozhi, 3.3 "ozhivil kAlam" (ஒழிவில் காலம்) padhigam, nammAzhwAr beautifully reveals this principle in the 4th pAsuram.
Isan vAnavarkku enban enRAl
adhu thEsamO thiruvEngadaththAnukku
nIsanEn niRai onRumilEn
en kaN pAsam vaiththa param sudarch chOthikkE
அது தேசமோ திருவேங்கடத்தானுக்கு
நீசனேன் நிறை ஒன்றுமிலேன்
என் கண் பாசம் வைத்த பரம் சுடர்ச் சோதிக்கே
bhagavAn is the supreme master of nithyasUris. But that is not so great when compared to him in thiruvEnkatam. Here he is showering his mercy on me who is most fallen and have no good qualities. By accepting me, he has now acquired great radiance/glories. Same principle is explained by nammAzhwAr in thiruvAimozhi 3.1.9 "mazhungAtha vainnudhiya ... un sudarchchOdhi maRaiyAdhE" (மழுங்காத வைந்நுதிய ... உன் சுடர்ச்சோதி மறையாதே) - when gajEndhrAzhwAn was in danger, emperumAn rushed to the pond, protected him and accepted his kainkaryam - AzhwAr becomes amazed by emperumAn's mercy and says by his act of protecting gajEndhrAzhwAn, his glories have become multi-fold.
- slOkam 7.16 - the 4 types of people who approach him - the distressed, the ones who are desiring for wealth, the inquisitive and the gyAni (the one who have properly understood the essential principles).
- slOkam 7.17 - of all the 4 types of people, the gyAni who has full devotion to me is most glorified. He is most dear to me and I am most dear to him.
- slOkam 7.18 - Though, all the 4 types of people who surrender to me are commendable, the gyAni is the one who sustains me and is considered as my soul, since he has me as the ultimate achievable goal.
177. samsAraththilE irunthAl ivanukkup pugazhuNdAgilAyththu paramapadhaththilirunthAl avanukku pughazhuNdAvathu. innilaththaivida ivanukkup pugazhuNdAmAppOlE annilaththai vidavida avanukkup pugazhuNdAm. iruvarukkumiraNdum alabhya lAbhamiRE.
Only If the jIvAthmA is glorified for being in samsAram, bhagavAn will also be glorified by being in parampadham. Just like the jIvAthmA is glorified for giving up samsAram (and going to paramapadham), bhagavAn is glorified for giving up paramapadham (and descending to samsAram).
Translator's note: bhagavAn is served by nithyasUris and muthAthmAs in paramapadham. The badhdha jIvAthmAs in samsAram also are eligible to serve bhagavAn eternally in paramapadham once they realise their true nature as servitor of bhagavAn. Only when they realise their true nature and reach paramapadham they are greatly glorified. Similarly, bhagavAn is enjoying endless pleasures in paramapadham being the supreme lord of everyone - he is greatly glorified for his parathvam (supremacy). In paramapadham, everyone is fully realised and properly serving bhagavAn. So, there is no opportunity for him to manifest his many qualities such as saulabhyam (simplicity), sausIeelyam (magnanimity), vAthsalyam (motherly forbearance), kAruNyam (mercy), etc. These divine qualities of bhagavAn are fully manifested in samsAram. In thathva thrayam, piLLai lOkAchAryar explains the various qualities of bhagavAn and the target of such qualities in sUthram 150.
- gyAnam (knowledge) - for the ignorant
- shakthi (power) - for the powerless
- kshamai (forgiving) - for the ones who commit mistakes
- krupai (mercy) - for the ones who are in sorrow
- vAthsalyam (motherly forbearance) - for the ones who have defects
- seelam (magnanimity) - for the downtrodden
- Arjavam (honesty-integrity) - for the ones who are cunning
- sauhArdham (kind-hearted) - for the evil-hearted
- mArdhavam (tender nature) - the ones who cannot bear his separation
- saulabhyam (simplicity/easy accessibility) - for the ones who desire to see him
178. prApyaththiRku prApakamAga vEdhAnthangaLil bhakthiyenRum prapaththiyenRum iraNdu prApakangaLai vidhiththathu. avai iraNdilum bhakthi thraivarNikAdhikAram. prapaththi sarvAdhikAram.
prApyam - achievable goal. prApakam - means. bhakthi yOgam and prapathi (surrender) are identified as two means in vEdhAntham for the ultimate goal. Of these two, brAhmaNa, kshathriya, vaisya are qualified to undergo bhakthi yOgam. Every one is qualified to perform prapathi. This principle/quote is from the pravEsam (introduction) of thiruvAimozhi 10.4 "chArvE thavaneRikku" (சார்வே தவநெறிக்கு) vyAkyAnam.
Translator's note: In sAsthram, both bhakthi yOgam and prapathi are identified as the superior means to achieve bhagavAn. bhakthi yOgam involves vEdha adhyayanam (learning vEdhic text), learning the meanings of vEdham and vEdhAntham, practising karmAnushtAnams as directed in vEdham/vEdhAntham and finally applying the essential principles related to developing loving devotion towards bhagavAn in an orderly manner. This process is only applicable for the first 3 varNams - brAhmaNa, kshathriya and vaisya. AzhwAr himself explains bhakthi yOgam in thiruvAimozhi 1.3 - "paththudai adiyavarkku" (பத்துடை அடியவர்க்கு) padhigam in a very detailed manner. On the other hand, prapathi is based on the eternal relationship between jIvAthmA and paramAthmA. prapathi is the act of accepting bhagavAn as the means to achieve bhagavAn. Since this is based on the natural attitude of the jIvAthmA, any one is qualified to perform prapathi. AzhwAr explains the process of prapathi in thiruvAimozhi 1.2 - "vIdumin muRRavum" (வீடுமின் முற்றவும்) padhigam (decade). nampiLLai beautifully highlights that nammAzhwAr is fully focussed on prapathi. nammAzhwAr concludes the divine principles in 10.4 "chArvE thavaneRikku" (சார்வே தவநெறிக்கு) padhigam and 10.5 "kaNNan kazhaliNai" (கண்ணன் கழலிணை) padhigam - he declares that accepting bhagavAn's lotus feet is the only true way for us to be uplifted. nampiLLai also highlights that this is most consistent with vEdhAntham which declares "thasmAnnyAsamEshAm thapasAmathirikthamAhu:" (தஸ்மாந்ந்யாஸமேஷாம் தபஸாமதிரிக்தமாஹு:) - Of all austerities prapathi is the best.
179. ananya prayOjananAna bhakthimAngaLukkum palaprathanAy upAyamAyirukkum. thannaiyE paRRinArkku avyavahithOpAyamAm.
For the ones who perform bhakthi without any expectation, bhagavAn will be the benedictor and bless them with the ultimate goal. For the ones who accept bhagavAn only as the means, he will be the immediate/absolute means to achieve the ultimate goal. This principle/quote is highlighted in thiruvAimozhi 10.4.10.
Translator's note: bhagavAn is parama-chEthanan (supremely knowledgable). bhakthi yOgam is mere achEthanam (devoid of self-knowledge). For the ones who perform pure bhakthi yOgam without any expectation other than bhagavath kainkaryam, bhagavAn becomes the means for them (even though they consider bhakthi as the means). For the ones who are fully surrendered to emperumAn and consider emperumAn as the means, he at once fulfills their desire and blesses them with eternal kainkaryam (at the end of this life itself). piLLai lOkAchAryar beautifully explains this principle in mumukshuppadi charama slOka prakaraNam sUthrams 215 and 216.
- sUthram 215 - athAvathu - sidhdhamAy, paramachEthanamAy, sarvashakthiyAy, nirapAyamAy, prApthamAy, sahAyAnthara nirapEkshamAyirukkai (அதாவது - ஸித்தமாய், பரமசேதனமாய், ஸர்வசக்தியாய், நிரபாயமாய், ப்ராப்தமாய், ஸஹாயாந்தர நிரபேக்ஷமாயிருக்கை) - that is bhagavAn is sidhdham (established/always existing), paramachEthanam (supremely knowledgable), sarvashakthi (omni-potent), nirapAyam (no fear of fulfillment since he is alredy present), prAptham (apt master for the jIvAthmA), sahAyAnthara nirapEksham (does not expect any other support).
- sUthram 216 - maRRai upAyangaL sAdhyangaLAgaiyAlE, svarUpa sidhdhiyil chEthananai apEkshiththirukkum; achEthanangaLumAy, achakthangaLumAyirukkaiyAlE kArya sidhdhiyil, Iswaranai apEkshiththirukkum. intha upAyam avaRRukku edhirththattAyirukkaiyAlE, ithara nirapEkshamAyirukkum (மற்றை உபாயங்கள் ஸாத்யங்களாகையாலே, ஸ்வரூப ஸித்தியில் சேதநநை அபேக்ஷித்திருக்கும்; அசேதநங்களுமாய், அசக்தங்களுமாயிருக்கையாலே கார்ய ஸித்தியில், ஈஸ்வரனை அபேக்ஷித்திருக்கும். இந்த உபாயம் அவற்றுக்கு எதிர்த்தட்டாயிருக்கையாலே, இதர நிரபேக்ஷமாயிருக்கும்) - Other upAyams such as karma, gyAna, bhakthi yOgams need to be performed by a jIvAthmA to have it established; Since they are not themselves knowledgable and dont have any power on their own to have the results, they look up to bhagavAn at that stage. But this upAyam (bhagavAn himself) is directly opposite to these other upAyams - so bhagavAn himself can benedict the results without expecting anything from anyone.
180. kuRRam thalainirambi puRambu pugalillAdhArai rakshikkum Iswaran. kuRRam nirambi anuthApam illAthArai poRuppikkum pirAtti.
Iswaran will protect and uplift the ones who are filled with defects but has no one (other than bhagavAn himself) as refuge. pirAtti will proctect and uplift the ones who are filled with defects, yet they dont even repent for their defects.
Translator's note: vAthsalyam (motherly forbearance) is one of the most important qualities of bhagavAn. vAthasalyam is beautifully explained by aruLALa perumAL emperumAnAr in gyAna sAram pAsuram 25:
aRRam uraikkil adaindhavar pAl ambuyaikOn
kuRRam uNarndhu igazhum koLgaiyanO
eRRE than kanRin udambin vazhuvanRO kAdhalippadhu
anRadhanai InRugandha A
குற்றம் உணர்ந்து இகழும் கொள்கையனோ
எற்றே தன் கன்றின் உடம்பின் வழுவன்றோ காதலிப்பது
அன்றதனை ஈன்றுகந்த ஆ
When we scrutinize the sAsthram fully, we understand that srIman nArAyaNan who is the husband of srI mahAlakshmi, would he discard his devotees because they have defects? (No). When a cow gives birth to a calf, it cleans the dirt on the body of the calf using its tongue. (Similarly bhagavAn also accepts his devotees with their defects as they are).
We can clearly see this in the charithram of srI rAma himself accepting guhan. thirumangai AzhwAr highlights guhan's nature in periya thirumozhi 5.8.1 as "Ezhai Ethalan kIzhmagan" (ஏழை ஏதலன் கீழ்மகன்) that guhan is very bad in manners, cruel natured, etc - yet srI rAma accepted him as his own brother.
pirAtti is even greater. Even when kAkAsuran committed the most abominable offense and did not even repetnt for the same, she mercifully forgives him and directs him to the lotus feet of srI rAma. Also, when rAkshasis tortured them during her stay in ashOka vanam, she did not take offense to them at all, even though they did not personally repent for their acts. When rAvaNa was destroyed and hanumAn comes to see sIthA pirAtti, he requests to allow him to torture those rAkshasis. rAkshasis start shivering seeing hanumAn's mood. But pirAtti, chastises hanumAn for being harsh towards those rAkshasis and mercifully protects them. Thus pirAtti is even more compassionate than bhagavAn due to her motherly nature.
Full series can be viewed at: http://ponnadi.blogspot.in/p/divine-revelations-of-lokacharya.html.