இதன் தமிழ் பதிப்பினை படிப்பதற்கு இங்கே சொடுக்கவும்.
We have seen about Thondarapodi Azhwaar in our previous weblog. We also saw that he had sung two Prabandhams and they are Thirumaalai and Thirupalliyezhuchi.
In Sri Vaishnavam, there are twelve Azhwaars and they had sung twenty four prabandhams . Each Prabandham has got its name for some specific reason. These hymns in Thirupalliyezhuchi, are sung with a view to wake up Perumal and hence its name, Thirupalliyezhuchi. No other prabandham has got a name for highlighting a specific activity like this and that is the specialty for Thirupalliyezhuchi.
There is a belief that there are two explanations by our acharyaars for Thirupalliyezhuchi, one by Nanjeeyar and the other by Periyavaachaanpillai. At the same time, not all people have agreed to that. In any case, we have tried to get some of the interesting aspects from both the explanations.
These hymns are written on Sri Ranganathar in Srirangam, considering Him as Sri Paravasudevan of Srivaikuntham. There are many more examples to highlight that Sri Paravasudevan is Sri Ranganathar and some of them are given below:
So, the hymns in Thirupalliyezhuchi are called “thameva mathvaa Paravaasudevam” in Sanskrit.
Sri Rama is always celebrated as “Chakravarthi Thirumagan”, as He was the son of the King Dasaratha. Since Sri Ranganathar was worshiped by Sri Rama, during His days at Ayodya, Sri Ranganathar is called as the King of Kings (Rajathi Rajan). Since Thirupalliyezhuchi is on Sri Ranganathar, it is appropriate to call that as “Rangesayam Rajavadharhaneeyam“, in Sanskrit.
These hymns are sung with a view to inform Perumal that all the materials and accessories needed for His daily prayers (Thiru Aaradhanam) were ready along with the officials who make use of them during the prayers (Thiru aaradhanam) and hence He should wake up to accept them.
In the previous Prabandham, namely Thirumaalai, sung by Sri Thondaradipodi Azhwaar, Azhwaar had explained the various difficulties he underwent in the social life and the how he recovered from them with the divine grace of Perumal. As we mentioned in our earlier weblog, this is how Perumal had waken Azhwaar up from his indulgence in worldly pleasures and ignorant(Aggnanam) of being a Srivaishnava. When Azhwaar was going towards The Temple (Srirangam) to have dharsan of Perumal, he was rejoicing in his mind, the Divine grace of Perumal, how He had helped Azhwar to transform and to become more dedicated towards Perumal and His devotees. Azhwaar was expecting Perumal to welcome him with both His hands, give him His blessings and give him a hug. But Perumal was simply lying with His eyes closed. This is explained by our commentators very nicely, when they explained that Perumal was lying down , not like a normal human being, or out of laziness, or it was not that Perumal did not have a liking towards Azhwaar. Perumal was simply enjoying His own greatness, on how He transformed Azhwaar from a very sorry state of affairs to become one of His dear and staunch devotee. Perumal was also thinking on how He could transform other Jeevathmaas too like Azhwaar. He was lying down as mentioned in “Nagamisai thuyilvaan pol ulagamellaam nangu odunga, yogu annaivaan” (Thiruvaaimozhi 4.8.9), meaning that He was lying down on the snake bed as though He was sleeping, but engaged in Yoga to ensure the world’s well being.
In the olden days, the torchbearers were there who brought lighted lamps to inform the king, the arrival of day. In the same way, Azhwaar says that the sun spread his rays, like a lamp, from the top of the hill to inform the start of the day to Perumal, as his service to Perumal. Poigai Azhwaar, the first Azhwaar had called the sun as a lamp in his first hymn in Mudhal Thiruvandhadhi, the prabandham sung by him. The hymn is “Veyya Kathiron Vilakkaaga“.
Another interesting aspect of the commentary is where the sun is referred to be near the temple. Here Srirangam temple is referred to as ‘the temple’. The chief deity of Srirangam temple, Periya Perumal is in reclining position facing South and His feet stretched towards East. Hence (it is appropriate) for the commentators to quote that sun wanted to get the dharsan of the holy feet of Periyaperumal. Even today we can see the footprints of Periyaperumal in each and every eastern gateway of the temple. Another quote to prove that the holy feet of Periyaperumal can extend, is from the prabandham “Amalanaadhi piraan“, where Thirupaanazhwaar had said “neell mathil arangathammaan thiru kamala paadham vandhu en kannil ullana“.
One more interesting point from the commentary is that Perumal sleeping peacefully in between the Suns, one at His head and one at His holy feet. The shining crown that He wears is often referred to by Azhwaars as the sun. One example is by Periyazhwaar in Periyazhwaar Thirumozhi (4.1.1), where he quotes that there are thousands of suns in His crown, as “Kathir aayiram iravi kalanthu erithaal otha neellmudiyan“.
Some more hymns of Azhwaars on His crown as sun:
Many devaas (jeevathmaas from celestial world) including Indra, the king of Devaas, and Kuperan and many other kings were waiting, opposite to the temple to offer their prayers to His holy feet on time without any delay, so that they would be able to save their jobs. So Azhwaar’s request was that Perumal should wake up and give His blessings to all.
In this hymn, Azhwaar says that the breeze coming from the eastern direction, carrying fragrance flowers like rotana, gave indication to Perumal about the sun rise.
Azhwaar requested Perumal to wake up quickly to protect all, much the same way as He saved Gajendra, the elephant with His very swift / quick action.
In the first hymn, Azhwaar said that the rays of the sun were coming from the top of hill, whereas in the third hymn, he said that the sun came out well and was spreading its rays all over so that the darkness was slowly going away.
Our aachaaryars explained the disappearance of stars and the moonlight as though they had taken a different or new form.
The opening of the flaps of the Areca or Betel Palm trees, created a fragrance and that was carried by the early morning breeze to announce the start of the day. In this hymn, Azhwaar called the flaps of the betel palm as “vann paalaigal” meaning helping flaps. Here the help given by the flaps is that they allowed the breeze to carry the fragrance without any hesitation.
In this hymn, Azhwaar requested Perumal to wake up soon so that all could have the glimpse of the beauty of Him carrying the discus, which is capable of destroying any or all types of enemies.
In this hymn, Azhwaar used few sounds as an indication to inform Perumal that the daytime had started. The music from the flutes, played by the cowherds to wake up the cattle , and to get them ready for the daily grazing and the associated sound from the bells that were hanging from the neck of the cattle, were referred to as music by Azhwaar in this hymn.
The story of the bees that were captured inside the flowers in ponds, fields and garden was beautifully handled by Azhwaar in this hymn. The bees, which went inside the lotus flowers during daytime to taste the honey, could not come out as the flowers closed their petals, due to sunset. They stayed inside the whole night, and when the petals opened at sunrise in the morning, the bees came out singing loudly.
Azhwaar in this hymn, is requesting Perumal to get up as Devas from the celestial world and rishis were waiting to offer their services to Perumal, as He had done many favours to them and protected the yagas (yagna) conducted by the rishis like Viswamithra, in the past.
Azhwaar had added “maa muni”, meaning ‘greater’ as an additional salutation to the rishi, Viswamitra, to stress that the rishi had changed for better, like Azhwaar. Azhwaar’s intention was to mention about Viswamitra’s changed attitude from his usual nature of demanding to requesting, to King Dasaratha to send Sri Rama to protect his yagna. Viswamitra sang the morning prayers to wake up Sri Rama in “Kowsalya Suprajaa rama poorva“, when Rama was helping Viswamitra in the forest. Azhwaar was also interested in the worldly pleasures for a while, before getting the blessings of Perumal and he changed from Vipranarayana to Thondaradipodi Azhwaar. So he also changed for better like Viswamitra and also sang the morning prayers for waking up the Perumal. As highlighted by our aachayaars these are two good reasons for Azhwaar to mention Viswamitra than any other rishi, in this hymn.
In the fourth hymn, Azhwaar talked about the bees that felt the sunrise, whereas in this fifth hymn, Azhwaar talked about birds’ behaviour at sunrise.
Since Azhwaar talked about the bees first and then about the birds, it goes without saying that the birds like to sleep more than the bees. Our achaaryars explain it further by saying that the bees are like intent devotees and the birds are like normal human beings, who like to sleep more.
In this hymn, Azhwaar addressed the Perumal, as “Ilangaiyar Kon vazhi paadu sei koyil” to associate himself with Vibhishnan, younger brother of Ravana, and to get opportunities to serve Him, like Vibhishnan, who got the opportunity to serve Perumal in a great way, like conducting the big festival during the Tamil month of Panguni, (Panguni Uthira Bramothsavam) after receiving the aradhana perumal from Sri Rama.
In each and every hymn of this prabandham, Azhwaar had used the words “Arangaa” and “palli ezhuntharulaye“, meaning that “Aranganaatha, please wake up”. But in this hymn alone, he used “Ilangaiyar Kon vazhi paadu sei koyil” to represent Sri Rangam and thus giving more prominence to His staunch devotee, Vibhishnan.
All from celestial world, the Sun with twelve names of Tamil months, eleven Sivas, Lord Muruga, Yaman and eight Vasukkal, and each of the above with their team had assembled in front of the temple to have the first dharsan of Perumal, and hence Azhwaar’s request to Perumal for getting up and showering His blessings to all.
In this hymn, Azhwaar first referred to Muruga and then His weapon, namely, Kumarathandam, which not only referred to Muruga’s weapon alone, but the weapons of all others, who assembled there.
In this hymn, Azhwaar talks about all others from celestial world and from this world, like devas, rishis, Indra with his famous white elephant, Iravadham, different groups, like Ghandharvargal, Yakshargal, Vidhyatharargal. All these created big crowd both in the sky and on the ground. Hence Azhwaar’s request to Perumal to get up.
In this hymn, Azhwaar informed Perumal that all the accessories needed for performing the morning prayers for Perumal are ready along with the operators of the same. Sun had come out completely and drove away all the darkness. Hence Azhwaar’s request to Perumal to get up and shower His blessings.
In this hymn, when Azhwaar mentioned “vambavizh vaanavar vaayurai vazhanga“, it can either be taken as “vambavizh vaanavar” meaning “those in the celestial world to be ever young” or it can be taken as “vambavizh vaayurai” meaning that the grass being fresh and full of fragrance .
In this hymn, Azhwaar states that those present in front of the temple started to play the flawless musical instruments and produced music. Here flawless means sounding good. Similarly those present also started singing, aligning their tunes to the music from the instruments. With these, those from the celestial world and also from this world started pushing in the crowd and they, without any difference of being small or big (in status), were eager to have a dharsan of His holy feet first. Here Azhwaar had used a term called “naalolakkam“, meaning that Perumal, like a benevolent king, sitting in his throne surrounded by his supporters and offering his favours to all.
In this concluding hymn, Azhwaar requests Perumal, to ignore those, who were mentioned earlier, from the celestial world / devathais or from this world, and accept Azhwaar adorning the flower basket on his shoulders as a subservient to Perumal and His devotees.
“Koodaiyum polindhu thonriya tholl”, is explained by our Achaaryaas using two examples. One is like the Sankham and Chakram, (the Conch and Discus) which are the ever present marks of Perumal. The other example was that of Lakshmanan, the brother of Sri Rama, who had the shovel and the basket, during their stay at the forests for 14 years (vanavasam). Like these marks, Azhwaar had his flower basket all the times, as he was serving Him with flowers, garlands and Thulsi . The primary reason for our Acharyaars to mention Lakshmanan as an example, was, Lakshmanan was known for his services to Him.
Lakshmanan was born only to serve Sri Rama and hence he was there with Rama all the times and everywhere. When Sri Rama went to the forest, he alone accompanied Sri Rama and Sita. After the war with Ravana, when Rama returned to Ayodhya, Lakshmanan was with them. It is told that Lakshman took not only his bow, but also that of Sri Rama, when Rama was being crowned as the King of Ayodhya.
Lakshmanan is an incarnation of Ananthazhwaan, one of the Nithyasoories, who serve Perumal all the times. Ananthazhwaan, the multi headed snake has always been with Paramathma and renders his services to Him all the time.
“sendraal kudaiyaam, irunthaal singaadhanamaam, nindraal maravadiyaam, neezh kadalul endrum punaiyaam” meaning “Ananthan would be the umbrella, when He walks; the throne, when He sits, the footwear, when He stands and he would be the pillow when He sleeps in the sea”. These words are from Mudhal Thiruvandhadhi 53 , of Poigai Azhwaar. In the same way, Lakshmanan was doing services to Sri Rama, all the times, which was also the prayer or request of Thondaradipodi Azhwaar.
Our acharyars appreciated Thondaradipodi Azhwaar as he requested Perumal in this hymn for doing service to His devotees, “un adiyaarku aat paduthaai“, in accordance with the meaning of his name, which highlights the importance of performing service to His devotees. We can relate this to Swami Namazhwaar’s Thiruvaaimozhi, (8.10.10), “adiyaar, tham adiyaar, adiyaar, adiyaar em kokall”, which also hails doing service to His devotees.
In Nalayira Divya Prabhandham, (Four Thousand Hymns on Paramathma), the prabandham that follows Thirupalliyezhuhi is Amalanaadhipiraan, sung by Thirupaanazhwaar, about whom, we will cover at a later stage in our weblog. The starting of Amalanaathipiraan, as”amalanaathipiran, adiyaaruku ennai aat padutha vimalan“, looks like a continuation from the last hymn of the previous prabandham, namely, Thirupalliyezhuchi, which is “Adiyaaruku ennai aat paduthaai”. This type of starting from the previous stage is generally called “andhadhi” in Tamil literature.
When Azhwaar mentioned, “Thudi Idayaar suri kuzhal pizhinthu udhari thugil uduthu erinar”, our acharyaars used to explain this as refreshing the memories for the moolavar (The main deity in the Sanctum Sanctorum) as He was donning the apparels of the gopiyar on the banks of Yamuna river, during His incarnation as Krishna. In Srirangam, the moolavar is always considered as Sri Krishna and the Utsavar who goes out on processions, whenever there are occasions, as Sri Rama.
When Azhwaar metnioned ” Soozh punal Arangaa“, our acharyaars explain that as Sri Ranaganatha is Sriman Narayana from Srivaikuntham, forgetting the river Viraja and Sri Ranganathan is Sri Krishna, forgetting the river Yamuna, and Sri Ranganathan is Sri Rama, forgetting the river Sarayu, but now He is surrounded by River Cauvery.
Finally our acharyaars conclude by explaining the word “Adiyen” as Jeevathmaas, who swallow their pride and who are not exuberant, which is a fitting conclusion for the explanation of this prabandham.
It is considered special, when in a book or in a topic, where the same thing is highlighted both at the beginning and at the end. In Thirupalliyezhuchi, “kadhiravan guna dhisai vanthu anainthaan” and “Madhu virinthu ozhugina maamalar ellaam ” were told in the first hymn of the prabandham and “kadi malar kamalangal malarndhana ivaiyo, kadhiravan kanaikadal mulaithanan ivano” were highlighted in the last hymn, of the prabandham. Thus Azhwaar had talked about both Sun and Lotus flower at the beginning and at the end of this prabandham. In the same way, Aandaal, Namazhwaar and Alavanthaar, one of our acharyaars, had handled similar theme in their work.
Namazhwaar had started Thiruvirutham, one of four prabandhams sung by him with “adiyen seiyum vinnappam” and he concluded the same with “maaran vinnappam seitha”.
Similarly Aandal in her Thirupaavai, started with”naarayanane namake parai tharuvaan” and she concluded Thirupaavai with “anga parai konda vaatrai“.
Allavanthaar, one of our acharyaars, spoke about his guru, Nathamunigal, in his compilation, Sri Sthothra Rathnam, in the first slokam or hymn and in the last slokam .
With this we conclude our discussion on Thirupalliyezhuchi and proceed with the other prabandham sung by Thondaradipodi Azhwaar, namely, Thirumaalai, which consists of forty five (45) hymns, in our next weblog.
We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks to our elder brother, Sri R Ranganathan for clarifying some points on the contents of this weblog.
The detailed list of all hymns can be seen in the following web address :