இந்த வலைப்பதிவினை தமிழில் படிக்க இங்கே சொடுக்கவும், நன்றி
As the saying goes ” Thirumaalai (the prabandham) ariyaadhaar, Thirumaalaye (Perumalai) ariyaadhaar”, we all need to learn and understand Thirumaalai , sung by Thondaradipodi Azhwaar, to know more and more about Emberumaan / Perumal. In the first three hymns of this Divyaprabandham, Azhwaar enjoyed the experiences, graced by Perumal on him and in the subsequent eleven hymns, Azhwaar was preaching his experiences with Paramathma. After Azhwaar realised that people did not follow his preaching, he denounced such people. They pleaded Azhwaar with many excuses. Azhwaar responded by asking them to follow Sri Rama, when he mentioned “silaiyinaal ilangai setra devane devan aavaan”; Azhwaar asked them to follow Sri Krishna by stating ‘katrinam meitha kazhalinai panimin‘, and took them along to Thiruvarangan, by mentioning ‘uybavaruku uyyum vannam Thiruvarangam kaatinaan”.
In spite of above, people did not follow Azhwaar’s preaching, he decided to leave us and started to sing about the great help graced by Periyaperumaal to him in the next ten hymns. We discussed the first of these hymns, which is the fifteenth paasuram, ‘Meiyerke Meiyanaagum‘. In that hymn, Azhwaar stated that Permal does all the things, for those who show truthful devotion to him; He also protects those who do things related to devotion which are not really truthful, but could be classified as truthful; He lets down those who are not even doing false devotion as mentioned above. In the next hymn, “soodhanaai kalvanaai“, Azhwaar mentioned that he himself was a thief and a fraud, who got entangled with the beauty of the eyes of the other women and fell in deep pits. Azhwaar confirmed that Periyaperumal used His beauty to correct him and diverted all his love and affection towards Him. In the next hymn, “Virumbi nindru“, azhwaar stated that previously he did not use his hands to pray, mouth to say prayers or heart to devote himself to Perumal. Perumal used His soft and sweet beauty to melt the hardened heart of Azhwaar.
Initially, Azhwaar was happy about the opportunity he got to have the dharsan of Thiruvarangan, who is without any peer, ruling the entire kingdom and that happiness caused continuous tears from his eyes. With tears, he could not enjoy the dharsan continuously. So Azhwaar was worried and frustrated at himself in not making use of the opportunity offered to him and hence he called himself as a sinner in the next hymn, “ini thirai thivalai“.
Now let us go into the next hymn.
Kuda thisai mudiyai vaithu, guna thisai paadham neeti, vada thisai pinbu kaati, then thisai Ilangai nokki, kadal nira kadavul endhai, aravanai thuyilumaa kandu, udal enaku urugu maalo en seygen ulagatheere (Thirumaali 19)
In the last hymn, Azhwaar mentioned how his eyes were filled with tears while having dharsan of Periyaperumal. In this hymn, Azhwaar said that his whole body, including the eyes, was getting melted and enquired people around him about what he should do to be like themselves, as they seemed to be strong even after the dharsan. In the first two lines Azhwaar mentioned which melted him that way.
Emberumaan created celestial upper world for those (Devargal) who had done more good things. Similarly Perumal created this lower world for the plants, animals and people like us, who have done both good and bad deeds (sins). Azhwaar understood and appreciated this creation of the two directions, top and bottom. But he did not realise the benefits of creating the other directions, north, south, east and west. After completing this hymn, Azhwaar understood the importance of these four directions. Perumal created the whole world for the people to live here, and He created the other four directions to keep and to attribute His parts of the body in each of the directions so that people living in these directions could get the dharsan of His beauty which would help them attain moksham.
Emberumaan has kept His Holy head with the crown in the direction of West, so that people living in the western direction could get the benefits of His dharsan of the holy head and attain Moksham. According to Azhwaar, the crown on His head, declares that He is King or the leader (Swami) of the whole world. Here we can recall the hymn in Thiruvaaimozhi (3.8.1), where Nammazhwaar states that He is the one who alone rules all the worlds. The hymn starts with “Mudiyaane“, referring to His Crown or His holy head.
In the same Thiruvaaimozhi hymn (3.8.1) Swami Nammazhwaar said “moovulagum thozhudhethum seer adiyaane“, meaning, “He with holy feet, is the one who is prayed and glorified by all those living in all the worlds”. In the same way, Thondaradipodiazhwaar said that Periyaperumal has extended His holy feet, essential for all to get abode, in the eastern direction. Azhwaar used the word ‘extended’ instead of ‘kept’ to highlight that His holy feet extended in the eastern direction till Thiru Mandankudi, the home town of Azhwaar and captivated him. Thirupaanazhwaar had also mentioned such extension of His feet, in his Amalanaadhipiraan, as “thiru kamala paadham vandhu en kannil ullana okinradhey” meaning that the holy lotus feet extended till Azhwaar’s eyes, who was then in Uraiyoor.
Since Perumal does not have the principle of blessing only those who are good and letting down those who are not good, His holy feet has the speciality of attracting both good and bad people and getting obeisances from them both. Even what was said earlier, that He lets down people, with reference to “poyyarke poyyanaagum“, is also in a way doing good to them, as He stops them doing further sins in this life.
Alavandaar, one of the achaaryars, used to have dharsan of Periyaperumal only from the eastern direction, the direction of the holy feet. He also used to quote that he would not take a place by the side of His holy crown, the western direction, as it was the place for Dhuryodhanan, the evil Kaurava of Mahabharatham.
When we discuss about His holy feet, we recall what Vendantha Desikan, another achaaryar has mentioned in his Padhuka Sahasram. He mentioned that Lord Rama could have done all the deeds in Ramayana, by Himself alone like Mathsya, Koorma, Varaaha and Nrusimha incarnations; but He made Himself into Bharatha, Lakshmana and Chatrugna so that He could do the prayers to His own feet, like everyone else. Had He done the same thing, by Himself, the world would have laughed at Him; so He came to this world as Bharatha and did the same.
Namperumal, Utsavar of Srirangam is Sri Rama, Chakravarthi Thirumagan. He is the same deity, worshipped by the kings of Ikshvaaku dynasty. He is also the same, gifted by Sri Rama during His coronation to Vibishnan (Rama Pattabhishekam). Therefore Sri Rama, Srirangam Ranganathar (Periyaperumal) and Namperumal are Sriman Narayana. Parasara Bhattar, one of our achaaryars, raised a question whether it is appropriate for Him to do prayers to Himself and clarified, since He alone knows His glories which is not a familiar territory for others, did not appoint anyone else to do prayers on His behalf and enjoys doing the same by Himself. And by doing this, Perumal is enjoying His own beauty, according to Parasara Bhattar.
Since the northern direction is abundant with many scholars and experts in Sanskrit but less exposed to Tamil and ignorant about the compassionate hymns of Azhwaars, Periyaperumal had to reserve the best of His beauties, that is His backside, for them. His backside beauty would render them speechless. It is often hailed by Azhwaars and Acharyaars that Perumal’s beauty of the backside is exceptional than His frontside. Pillai Perumal Iyengar in his Kovilanthaadhi, mentioned that Azhagiyamanavaalan, or Sriranganathan had other names, like, ‘munnilum pin azhagiya perumal’ meaning, He is more beautiful from the backside, than His frontside and ‘aabharanathirku azhagu kodukkum perumaal‘, meaning that the jewellery gets additional beauty, when worn by Him. The devotees hail “munnilum pin azhagiya perumaal vazhiyave“, meaning, the prayers for the perumal whose beauty of the backside is superior to the front side.
Namperumal, in Srirangam temple, has a beautiful ambience. Namperumal, the Utsava moorthy, is beautiful Himself, His backside is much more gorgeous or glorious than His front side (Munnilum pin azhagiya perumal) and He starts looking the other sides. In front is Garudan, the gigantic bird , sitting politely; on His both sides are the beautiful Ubhaya naachimaargal, (Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi Thayars); behind Him Azhagiya Manavaalan Himself, (moolavar), reclining on Ananthaazhwaan, the five headed snake. With all that beautiful settings starting from Himself and in all directions, Namperumal would not feel satisfied, according to Bhattar. He keeps on bettering His beauty to attract and grace more of devotees.
Nampillai, one of our acharyaars,, had a disciple by name, Pinbazhagiya Perumal Jeeyar also known as Pinbazhagaraam Perumal Jeeyar. He was captivated so much by the extreme beauty of Emperuman’s backside (Thiruvarangam, Namperumal), he changed his name as above. He wrote the book on Guruparamparai, highlighted the life histories of our Azhwaars and Acharyaars. He, even though a monastic, served Nampillai, a family person, much similar to Nanjeeyar (monastic) who served Bhattar. He delivered a very valuable message to our tradition, the importance of taking care of the physical health/care of his acharyar / teacher. (both Bhattar and Nampillai were family people).
The commentator has given a specific explanation for the northern direction. Here the commentator says that Perumal has shown his backside for the benefit of people who are living in the northern direction whereas for the other direction the explanation does not include the people. The reason may be that the people from the northern directions are tougher than people from other directions.
Azhwaar stated that He placed His holy parts of His body in the three directions, North, East and West to nullify the uselessness of these directions, but the fact that He is looking at the Southern direction is to get rid of His fault of not accompanying Vibhishnan after the Rama’s coronation (Pattabishekam) during Ramayana days. Azhwaar said that what He did for the other three directions is a help or grace to those living in those directions, but what He did for the Southern direction alone is a help to Himself. Now let us look what other Azhwaars talk about the southern direction.
Kulasekara Azhwaar said “then thisai nokki palli kollum”, (Perumal Thirumozhi 1.10), meaning that Periyaperumal is in a reclining position facing south. We can reason that Periyaperumal is facing the south direction, because it is where Vibishanan, His beloved devotee was living.
Periyazhwaar, in his Periyazhwaar Thirumozhi, (4.9.2) stated that Periyaperumal is facing the south, only for Vibhishnan, as “mannudaiya Vibidanarkaai madhil Ilangai thisai nokki malar kann vaitha, ennudaiya Thiruvarangar’, meaning that after destroying Vibhishnan’s enemies, and giving the kingdom back to him, Thiruvarangan is enjoying and looking towards Sri Lanka in the southern direction, only for the sake of Vibishanan. The commentator added that it was like a mother getting happiness on feeding a child by observing the joy in the child’s face.
Next let us see what Thirumangai Azhwaar sang about Vibhishnan. Before that we need to understand how much of affection that Sri Rama had for Sugreevan. Before Rama-Ravana War in Lanka, Sugreevan, could not tolerate seeing ten crowns on the ten heads of Ravana and Rama not having any on His holy head. Suddenly, without bothering about anything, Sugreevan, the king of monkeys, lunged towards Ravana and snatched the ten crowns of Ravana in a matter of seconds and submitted them on the Holy feet of Rama. A worried Rama reacted by advising Sugreeva that he should not do such hasty actions without proper planning or thinking. Rama continued that He might not know what he would do, in case something happened to Sugreevan. Rama said that having Seetha, Lakshmanan, Bharathan and Sathrugnan would not render any use to Him, without Sugreevan alive as He considered Sugreevan as dear as these people. Rama’s final set of words, compared His affection towards Sugreevan to that of Seetha, Bharathan, Lakshmanan and Chatrugnan. Such was the affection that Rama had for Sugreevan. (Yudha Kaantam, 41.4)
Now let us look at how much affection Rama had for Vibhishnan. This is also from Yudha Kaantam, but before Rama and his army reached Lanka. Vibhishnan was against Ravana’s actions and left Lanka, with all his wealth and decided to surrender to Rama. He reached the Indian Coast, where Rama was camping. Sugreevan, stopped Vibhishnan from meeting Rama and recommended to Rama that Vibhishnan had come from their enemy’s camp and should not be given protection. Sugreevan stressed that he with his army would pull out from Rama’s camp, if Rama agreed to shelter Vibhishnan. Rama wanted to protect Vibhishnan, as how a cow would give priority to the calf born on that day in protecting, as to the older calves. Rama went on to say that he would provide shelter to Vibhishnan even if Sugreevan and his army left Him. Later Sugreevan changed his mind and supported Rama’s decision. Thirumangai Azhwaar used this in his Periya Thirumozhi (6.8.5) “selva Vibidanaruku veraaga nallanai” , meaning Perumal had so much affection towards Vibhishnan. Vibhishnan left all his wealth in Lanka and came empty handed, but Azhwaar says that he was full of Vaishnavasree, possessing the wealth of devotion towards Rama, in the word “selva‘. Thondaradipodi Azhwaar stated in this hymn that Perumal is facing south, only for that Vibhishnan, who was so dear to Him.
We can enjoy the different verbs used by Azhwaar for the four directions. For western direction, he used the word KEPT, for east , the word “EXTENDED”, for the North, the word “SHOWED” and for south, Azhwaar used the word “LOOKING”, which suggests an intentional and continuous action from Perumal whereas the words used for other directions are more passive and a representation of one time action.
In this world there are only seven Divyadesams out of 106, where Perumal faces southern direction. They are Srirangam, Thirumeyyam, Thiruchirupuliyur, Thiru Neeragam, Thiru Kaaragam, Thiru Vithuvakodu and Thiru Kaatkarai.
Nithyasooris are waiting and desirous to have the dharsan of Paramathma all the times. Such is the glory of Paramathma. But here, Azhwaar says that Paramathma is waiting in Thiruvarangam, to get one devotee or Jeevathmaa. Sea has a quality of removing the fatigue of those who watch it. Similarly Periyaperumal also removes the fatigues of those who have the dharsan of Him. So Azhwaar called Him here, as Kadal nira kadavul, meaning that Perumal has the same colour of sea. The word Kadavul, means beyond, and hence Azhwaar says that the colour may be same as sea, but He is Beyond Everything.
Perumal displayed His entire beauty to Azhwaar, that made Azhwaar to surrender to Him totally. So Azhwaar used the word “endhai“, to mean Him as Father. Azhwaar also questioned why should someone repair the old well, when the new well is ready for use. In this example, Azhwaar pointed himself as new well and the nithyasoories as the old well. The nithyasoories surrendered totally and serving Him all the times, because Perumal displayed His beauty to them. This happened long, long ago, whereas the recent addition was Thondaradipodi Azhwaar as seen in this hymn. Azhwaar also mentioned that he was in the lowest place among His devotees and if he can be corrected by Perumal by showing His beauty, according to Azhwaar, everyone else could get moksham by having a dharsan of His beauty. Nammazhwaar in his Thiruvaaimozhi (3.3.4), mentioned “Easan vaanavarku enban, endraal adhu desamo Thiruvenkadathaanuku, neesanen nirai onrum illen en kann paasam vaitha param sudar sothike” meaning that Perumal had shown love and affection towards Azhwaar, who considered himself to be lowly and meritless.
‘Aravanai Thuyiluma Kandu‘ talks about the reclining state of Periyaperumal on the multiheaded snake. The commentator compares this with a priceless gem being fixed on a very expensive golden cot and concludes by saying that after reclining on Aadhiseshan, Periyaperumal’s beauty had enhanced from the perspective of His devotees.
Azhwaar stated that it was not a wonder, if a knowledgeable devotee or Jeevathmaa who could appreciate and enjoy the form of Periyaperumal, melting physically and mentally. But he was wondering how it (melting of body and heart) could happen to him, when he did not have the knowledge to enjoy the beauty of Periyaperumaal. When those people who came along with him told that it did not happen to them, Azhwaar reiterated by stating “enakku’, meaning that it was only for himself.
Ramanujar mentioned in Saranagathi Gatyam,(12) “bhagawat swaroopa thirodhaanakareem” meaning it is jeevathmaa’s body (or eye) that prevents the sight of Paramathma’s swaroopam; however, when it is sighted, the body of the jeevathmaa is broken or melted. The reason for the jeevathmaa in not realising the swaroopam of the Athma is because of the association of the body with Athma, according to Brahmasoothram (3.2.5). The commentator states that it is really a wonder, when the body or the eyes, which is part of the body, which prevents the sight of Athma in the first place, gets broken or melted when it sees the Athma without hiding the Athma.
When a river overflows and water crossing the banks of a river, people who are protecting the banks would give up and ask for help. Thondaradipodi Azhwaar was in such a state when his mind and body started melting after having the dharsan of Periyaperumal, and he called out for help from people who had dharsan with Azhwaar but remained without any change in their body or mind. Azhwaar was asking them to give him a suggestion on how they were able to be like a stone without any melting of their body or heart.
First Azhwaar thought of seeking help from other Azhwaars, but they had already melted. It was like going from a leaking boat to enter into a broken boat. Then Azhwaar thought of asking Perumal Himself, but Perumal would become proud in melting Azhwaar and Azhwaar did not want to be the reason for making Perumal proud. And those are the reasons why Azhwaar was asking for help from people who were strong, even after having had the dharsann of Periyaperumal, and asking them a small portion of any such medicine that kept them strong.
Let us catch up again in the next hymn, thanks