Thirumalai – Manathil Orr Thooymai Illai Hymn 30

இந்த பதிவின் தமிழ் பதிவை இங்கே காணலாம், 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 Perumal/Emperumaan.

In the first three hymns (1-3) of this Divyaprabandham, Azhwaar enjoyed the experiences, graced by Emperumaan on him and in the subsequent eleven hymns, (4-14) Azhwaar was preaching us his experiences with Emperumaan or Paramathma. When people raised many objections, Azhwaar responded to them to follow Sri Rama, by silaiyinaal ilangai setra devane devan aavaan”; and asked them to follow Sri Krishna, who is simple and easy to approach, as ‘katrinam meytha kazhalinai panimin; and finally Aranganathan, by mentioning ‘uybavaruku uyyum vannam Thiruvarangam kaatinaan”. 

Still people did not follow Azhwaar, he decided to move on to describe the great favours he received from Periyaperumal in the next ten hymns, 15 to 24.

  • Emperumaan clarified Azhwaar’s doubts on the concept of Paramatma, the supreme most concept among the twentysix concepts of our tradition (sampradhayam) in the hymn Meyyerke meyyanaagum.
  • Emperumaan entered the heart of Azhwaar in the next hymn Soodhanaai Kalvanaai, and made Azhwaar’s devotion and affection towards Periyaperumal to swell.
  • Emperumaan melted the hardened heart of Azhwaar and graced Azhwaar with His dharsan and blessings, in spite of Azhwaar’s belief that he was not worth to receive any favours from Periyaperumal in the next hymn, Virumbi ninru.
  • Emperumaan nullified Azhwaar’s long time loss of not seeking Emperumaan’s dharsan and made Azhwaar to worship Him, which made Azhwaar’s eyes to pour out tears of joy, in the next hymn, ini thirai thivalai modha.
  • Emperumaan created the four directions and kept His holy parts of His form in each of these directions so that He can be worshipped to get abode / Moksham in Kuda Thisai mudiyai.
  • Emperumaan made Azhwaar happy by making him realise that His lustrous and effulgent Holy form and parts are only for the happiness of His devotees in the next hymn, Paayum Neer Arangam.
  • Emperumaan made Azhwaar realise, that he missed experiencing Him for a such a long time, mainly because Azhwaar did not surrender to Him completely, which shattered Azhwaar, in the next hymn, Panivinal manamadhu onri.
  • Emperumaan made Azhwaar sing that we can simply follow what the Vedas and our Acharyaas had already said about Him and we need not toil to create anything new to speak about Him in the next hymn, Pesitre pesal allaal.
  • Emperumaan showed the beauty of His reclining posture to Azhwaar in Thiruvarangam, that made Azhwaar to realise that he would not live without His dharsan, in Gangaiyil punidhamaaya.
  • Emperumaan made Azhwaar to realise and sing that he did not have any pre-requisites for total surrender, and that helped Azhwaar to get prepared for total surrender to Him in the last hymn of this sequence, namely, Vella Neer parandhu paayum.

These are the first three subtopics of Thirumalai, namely, Azhwaar’s experience (1-3), Azhwaar’s preaching based on his experience (4-14), and the favours graced by Him to Azhwaar (15-24).

Now Azhwaar sings that he did not have any good qualities but had only bad qualities in the next 10 hymns (25-34), which is the fourth subsection, known as naichiyaanusandhaanam in our tradition.

In the first hymn of this subsection, Kulithu Moondru Analai (25), doing Naichiyaanusandhaanam, we saw Azhwaar mentioning that he did not have any of the qualification that were needed to practice Karma, Gnana or Bakthi yogams (Actions, Knowledge or Devotion) and Azhwaar requested Periyaperumal to bless him with everything including the qualifications onward.

In the next hymn, Podhellam Podhu Kondu (26), Emperumaan asked Azhwaar, that he could have done the poojas and singing slokas on Him, which anyone could do, even if they were not qualified to practice, karma, gnana or bakthi yogams. Azhwaar responded that he did not do them as well.

After hearing Azhwaar say that he did not do what humans could do, Paramathmaa stated that He accepted the services that were carried with good intention by squirrels and monkeys, when He took Rama incarnation, the same way as He accepts the services of Nithyasoories. When Periyaperumal inquired Azhwaar whether he had done any such thing with good intentions, Azhwaar responded negatively in the hymn “kurangugal malaiyai nooka” (27).

In the hymn Kulithu moondru analai (25), Emperumaan asked Azhwaar, if he had done prayers using all the three elements, thinking through mind, offering flowers using hands and reciting holy chants using mouth. In the next hymn, Podhellam Podhu Kondu (26), Emperumaan asked Azhwaar whether he did prayers using his mouth, by reciting holy chants. In the next hymn kurangugal malayai nooka, (27), Emperumaan asked Azhwaar whether he had served with his hands and legs, like the monkeys and squirrels.

In the next hymn, Umbaraal ariyalaaha” (28), Emperumaan asked Azhwaar whether his mind had thought about Paramaatma as his saviour, like the elephant Gajendra when a crocodile caught the legs of the elephant and was saved by Emperumaan. Azhwaar responded negatively like how did in the previous hymns.

So, initially Emperumaan asked Azhwaar whether he has done all the three together, when Azhwaar replied negatively, Emperumaan started asking about each one of them in each of the subsequent hymns.

In the next hymn, Oorlien, kanni illai, (29) Emperumaan asked Azhwaar whether he had any association with His Divyadesams, as He is committed to protect all those who have any association with divyadesams like chanting of Tirupallandu, or holding any piece of land for doing some service to Him and Azhwaar, replied negatively.

In this fourth part of Azhwaar’s Naichanusanthanam, which consists of ten verses 25 to 34, we saw Azhwaar saying that he had no good qualities, in the five hymns from 25 to 29 and in the next five songs, he is going to say that he has all kinds of evils or all bad qualities.

Now let us move on with the next hymn, where he claimed that he would not tolerate the rise of others.

Hymn 30

Manathilor thooymai illai, vaayil or in sol illai, sinathinaal setram nokki thee vili vilivan vaalaa, punthuzhaai maalaiyaane, ponni soozh Thiruvarangaa, enakku ini gathi en solaai, ennai aaludaiya kove (30)

Emperumaan acknowledged what Azhwaar said in the last five hymns, such as Azhwaar not having any good qualities and continued that He would give Azhwaar the moksham, or paramapadham, as long as he did not have any bad or evil qualities, in the same way like Azhwaar not having any good qualities. For this Azhwaar answered that he has all the bad qualities in him and there is no bad quality left in this world, that he did not have. Allavandhaar, one of our great acharyaars have told very much similar things in later years in one of his slokams.

We can recall what Nammazhwaar had told in Thiruvaaimozhi (3.3.4), “niraivonrum illen“, meaning that he did not have any good qualities, as similar what Thondaradipodi Azhwaar sung in the five hymns, 25th to 29th of Thirumaalai. In the same hymn, Nammazhwaar had told “neesanen” meaning a man with all evil qualities, which is expanded by Thondaradipodi Azhwaar in the hymns 30 to 34. In those hymns, Thondaradipodi Azhwaar had told that he being the repository of all the bad or evil qualities.

The direct meaning of this hymn is given below : Azhwaar admired Emperumaan as “One who has worn the Thulasi garland (Basil leaves garland), the One who is in Srirangam, which is surrounded by the river Cauvery, the One who enslaves Azhwaar . Azhwaar continued that he had all the evil or bad qualities, such as, he did not have any clarity in his mind; would not speak any good words or nothing good could come out of his mouth; would utter only the most cruel words out of anger and enmity. Azhwaar wondered what would be the way for such person who had all such evil qualities and concluded that only Emperumaan should bless him. Let us look into this with little bit more details in the coming paragraphs.

Manthilor Thooymai Illai

This means that Azhwaar did not have purity in his mind. Azhwaar says that reducing even a little bit of our evil qualities or vices such as lust, enmity, greed, love, religion, and infidelity, will help in purifying us at least a little bit. Azhwaar says that keeping the mind clean is helpful for attaining moksham or paramapadham. Paramathma can never be seen or felt by normal eyes and words, but only be felt or seen by those who have obtained purity and clarity in their mind through wisdom. (Manasaathu visudhena). Vishnupurana slokam (1.4.41) explains the above by stating :

  • whoever who have understood the Athma as an entity with full of wisdom
  • whoever whose mind is purified by the knowledge and wisdom
  • those who understand that the whole world is full of knowledge and
  • that is part of form of Emperumaan / Paramathmaa.

With this we can understand that keeping the mind clean or purified is a route to reach Him through Knowledge or Wisdom. Azhwaar stated that he did not have that kind of a purity in his mind. Since he did not have that purity in his mind, his mind was always intoxicated with some kind of imperfections, such as lust, hatred, greed, fear, malice, love, religion, and insanity. So Azhwaar concluded that his mind would never be pure.

Vaayilor Inn Sol Illai

Azhwaar states that he could never speak any pleasant words.

Emperuman wonders if Azhwaar could speak some good or pleasing words with his mouth, even though his mind might be completely spoiled, and Azhwaar said of himself that not even a single good word would come out of the mouth, even unconsciously. When Azhwaar said that he had not spoken good words, it meant that he never asked anyone how they were or enquired about them politely or sweetly. Similarly he said that he did not respond to anyone cordially as well, when they enquired him. We can recall how Thirumangai Azhwaar in his Periya Thirumozhi (1.6.5) mentioned “nendum solaal marutha neesanen” meaning that he, a man with lowly values, refused people with long lecture of harsh words. This hymn appears when he sang about the Emperumaan in Naimisaaranyam.

With the above two phrases, Azhwaar summarizes the comments he made in the previous five hymns that he has no good qualities.

Sinathinal Setram Nokki

Sinathinal Setram Nokki means glaring at others with anger. Azhwaar says that despite his lack of purity in heart and words, he is trying to harm those who try to go away from him, but made sure that they could not escape from him. Azhwaar says that at first he would show all the anger in his heart towards them and burn them with hostile look, so that they were treated like enemies who would curl up. The words Sinam and Seetram in Tamil mean the same thing, Anger. Since Azhwaar had used these words next to each other, could mean that Azhwaar wanted to convey that he was very angry. If a man is well-dressed and good, Azhwaar said that he would not tolerate that superiority of his, for no apparent reason, and there was no limit to the words he could utter against them.

Thee vili vilivan vaalaa

Azhwaar talks about himself that he would not be as if, he would always be with such an angry look whenever he would see that person. But whenever azhwaar would open his mouth and speak, he would pour out fire to his listeners and say words that were doomed to extinction. If someone asks whether there is any benefit for talking like this or looking like this, Azhwaar would say that it is not useful. But azhwaar did these, only because he believed that looking like this or talking like this were the real use or benefit. People who follow satvic (virutous) qualities, would feel as though that they attained the benefits, even if those benefits were enjoyed by someone else. In the same way, Azhwaar wanted to convey that he would get the benefits if others were hurt or others were in pain.

This means that Alvar says that those who are virtuous think of the benefit of others as their own benefit, as well as the benefit of others.

Punath Thuzhaai maalai yaane

It means, One who has worn the Thulasi garland (Basil leaves garland).

Emperumaan thought “If azhwaar was so evil, then there was no point in forcing Himself to do give Azhwaar abode”. Azhwaar seeing that he started appreciating Emperumaan, by stating that Emperumaan has determined to protect all those who surrendered to Him and what all He wanted from them is only them surrendering to Himself. Emperumaan would never consider the lowly qualities of his devotees and leave them. His vow to protect His devotees can be seen from the Thulasi Garlands He has on His chest. Punam refers to the fertile land where basil grows. Here He is said to have possessed a similar Thulasi garland on His chest.

Ponni Soozh Thiruvarangaa

The Protector if not nearby will not be beneficial. But Azhwaar said that Emperumaan was very near and close to him. Azhwaar was astonished that Emperumaan has been in Thiruvarangam in such a way that He would accept all, how much ever lowly they were. Azhwaar also wondered why He should wear a special garland and wait in Thiruvarangam, when people like Azhwaar were supposed to go through the effects of their own karma.

When Azhwaar said “Ponni Soozh“, it looks as though Azhwaar said that the river Cauvery is like another garland over the Basil garland worn by Emperumaan in Thiruvarangam.

Enaku ini gathi en sollaai

This means that Azhwaar is requesting Emperumaan to show or tell him a way for abode.

When he said “enaku“, it meant that Azhwaar wanted to convey that the ‘he’ included all the evil or lowly qualities that were mentioned earlier. When he said ‘ini” it means from now onwards. Here Azhwaar clearly meant that he was not trying to protect himself after admitting all the evil or lowly qualities that he had. But, he meant that it was after, Azhwaar had entrusted the responsibility of protecting him to Emperumaan. When he said “gathi en sollaai” Azhwaar was asking for a way to get abode. The whole hymn looks as though Azhwaar is trying to fight a case with Emperumaan, to give him abode, when he had acquired all the evil or lowly qualities. But actually Azhwaar is doing naichyanusandhaanam Emperumaan.

Ennai Aaludaiya Kove

Since Emperumaan is The appropriate Lord, Azhwaar did not fight with Him. When Emperumaan felt what was the need for Him to provide a way, when Azhwaar asked for abode, Azhwaar politely responded to Him that he is a staunch devotee or a slave to Him and He is The Lord for Azhwaar and this status is permanent. So Azhwaar concluded anxiously that He is the only appropriate protector to Azhwaar and in case Azhwaar could not achieve moksham, or his soul goes downhill, the resulting shortcoming would go only to Emperumaan. With this anxiety Azhwaar concluded this hymn.

Let us meet again in the next hymn, thanks

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