Thirumaalai – Thavathulaar Thamil (31)

இந்த பதிவின் தமிழ் பதிவை இங்கே காணலாம், நன்றி.

Thirumalai Till Now

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.

Azhwaar’s Experience and Preaching

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”. 

Favours of Emperuman to Azhwaar

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).

Naichyaanu Santhaanam 
No to Good things

Now Azhwaar sings that he did not have any good qualities but 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), Azhwaar admitted that he did not do the normal poojas and singing slokas on Him, which anyone could have done, even if they were not qualified to practice, karma, gnana or bakthi yogams.

In the hymn “kurangugal malaiyai nooka” (27), Azhwaar stated that he did not do any service similar to the ones done by squirrels and monkeys, with good intention during the Rama incarnation.

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.

In the next hymn, Umbaraal ariyalaaha” (28), Azhwaar said that his mind did not think about Paramaatma as his saviour, like the elephant Gajendra, which was saved by Emperumaan. after a crocodile caught its legs.

So, initially Azhwaar said that he did not use all the three elements together in his prayers, and subsequently Azhwaar said no to each one of them in the subsequent hymns.

In the next hymn, Oorlien, kaani illai, (29) Azhwaar said that he had no association whatsoever, with 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.

Yes to Bad

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 says that he has all kinds of bad qualities.

In the next hymn Manadhilor thooymai illai (30), Azhwaar confirmed that he had all the bad qualities in him and there was no bad quality left in this world, which he did not have, as Emperumaan would have given Azhwaar the moksham, as long as he did not have any bad qualities, even if AZHWAAR did not have any good quality.

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

Hymn 31

Thavathulaar thammil allen, dhanam padaithaaril allen, uvartha neer pola enthan utravarku ondrum allen, thuvartha sevvaaiyinaarke thuvakkara thurisan aanen avaththame piravi thandhaai, aranga maa nagarulaane (31)

When Azhwaar said that he did not possess any of the means, that the Shastras meant for attaining salvation, or did not do any yagnas as mentioned in the vedas to attain heaven (Swargam), Emperumaan was interested in knowing whether Azhwaar had done any yagnas to cheat someone or to extort money from someone or to get heaven . Had Azhwaar responded positively to any one of the above, Emperumaan was prepared to gradually change Azhwaar’s mindset and give moksha to Azhwaar. But Azhwaar responded negatively to the above and he felt that he had wasted the birth given by Emperumaan, to reach Him, by drowning himself into the worldly pleasures, showing hatred towards everyone, and thereby destroying himself in this birth. In the previous hymn, Azhwaar sang, that he could not tolerate others getting any credentials, and he further extended in this hymn, that he became undesired even to his own relatives, as he had indulged in worldly pleasures.

“Arangama Nagarulane, I am not in the company of penitents, I am not in the company of those who accumulate wealth for the purpose of worship, I have become as useless as salt water to my own relatives and friends ; I became a thief to my girl friends and they also cut me off ; I have wasted my life that was given to me and I consider this birth to be in vain. ” is the direct meaning of this hymn.

When Azhwaar said that his life is wasted, we should understand that he was not complaining against Emperumaan. He was only expressing his inability to use the current life to reach Emperumaan as a part of his naichyanusanthanam. In the subsequent hymns, we would see that when Azhwaar was preparing himself to leave Emperumaan, as he thought that he would not be able to reach Him in this birth, Emperumaan would give him hope and take Azhwaar along with Him.

In the same way, at later days, Swami Ramanuja had felt, that, before he was blessed by the Sri Vaishanava Achaarya of that time, Sri Aalavandhaar, his life was like a log. As in Thiruvaaimozhi (7.9.3), where Swami Nammazhwaar wondered would he ever forget Emperumaan and in the same way Ramanuja said that would he ever forget Aalavandhaar.

aam mudhalvan ivan endru thathetri, en naa mudhal vandhu pugundhu nal in kavi, thoo mudhal patharkku thaan thannai chonna, en vaai mudhal appanai endru marapano” (Thiruvaaimozhi, 7.9.3) meaning that He made me aware of Him, entered my speech, and He sang His own songs of praise through the words that came.  How can I forget the first-cause of this world, Emperumaan, in my speech?

Let us enjoy the song in more details.

Thavathulaar thammil allen

Penance is done by undergoing extreme physical hardships. There are people who do penance for salvation and there are those who do penance for other worldly things. Azhwaar claimed that he, was not in the company of those penitents.

Bruhadharanya Upanishad (6.4.22) states that sages seek to know Brahmam or Paramathma through Vedic study, sacrifices, giving alms and penance, the Vedas refer penance as a means of salvation. The possible reason for Azhwaar to state Thavathular thammil allen in stead of ‘Thavathor thammil’, is because Azhwaar might have wanted to include all those engaged in Vedas, Yagna, charities and penances together. In addition, Azhwaar also wanted to say that he was not part of

  • any of those who did penance, to get something,
  • those who did penance to attain moksham,
  • those who did penance to attain heaven,
  • those who started, but did not finish their penance,
  • those who did penance half-heartedly, and
  • also those doing a penance as an atonement to those half-hearted penances.

Dhanam padaithaaril allen

Wealth (dhanam) if spent on good causes, is considered as a mean to attain moksha. This is mentioned in Bruhadharanya Upanishad (6.4.22), that says wealth as a mean to attain moksha.

There are three types of charity, Sathvika, Rajasa and Thaamasa charities.

Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita (18.5), sacrifice, charity, penance etc. are good activities and as such, they are to be observed, because they purify them.

When people donate or do charity as a duty, in an appropriate place, time and to a worthful person, without asking for reciprocity, it is Sathvika Dhaanam(Gita 17.20).

A donation done with suspicion, with inauspicious things, and with an expectation or benefits in return, it is Rajasa Dhaanam. (Gita 17.21).

A charity done at an inappropriate place, time or in a sinful place, or to inappropriate people, without respect and with contempt and disdain, it is Thamasa Dhaanam. (Gita 17.22).

After Azhwaar told that he had not done any penance or Saathivika dhaanam, Emperumaan wanted to know whether Azhwaar had done any type of dhaanam (donation), just to get accredited with a name as donor and Azhwaar responded negatively by stating that he was not in any of the group of saathivika, rajasa, or thaamasa donors.

It should be a vow, not to turn away a guest who has come to one’s home. It is stated in Taithriya, Brugadharanya Upanishad (10.1), that the money can be earned in any means if it is to be spent on good things. It is quoted here that Thirumangai Azhwaar had also practiced this to do the Thadhiyaaraadhanams, to feed the Srivaishnavas. In this way, Thondaradippodi Azhwaar said that he was not part of people who earned money to spend on Bhagavath and Bhaagavatha matters, meaning that he did not earn money to spend on activities related to Emperumaan or His devotees.

This is also explained by some that Thondaradipodi Azhawar might have thought that he could have earned money even in evil ways, and if he had spent at least a part of it for Bhaagavata Thathiyaradhana, he could have got Moksham like Thirumangai Azhwaar.

Azhwaar also said that he was not part of the group that performed penance and sattvic charity, or those who did Rajasa and Tamasah donations just for the sake of doing it or just to get the recognition of a donor, as well.

Uvartha neer pola endhan utravarku onrum allen

When Azhwaar considered himself to be not in the group of those who did penance or those who had money or wealth to do kainkaryam to Emperumaan or to His devotees, Azhwaar talked about how he was to his relatives next. He had not been kind to them. Azhwaar said that he was living with his relatives as a criminal who could not even see them face-to-face, just as if he was splashed with salt water on his face, which could make his eyes hard to open. He said that a relative should be someone who does good or good things, but he planned evil and did evil to himself and to his relatives. Hence he did not deserve to be a relative to anyone. This is why Azhwaar felt that he became useless like salt water to his relatives.

Thuvartha sevvaayinaarke thuvakkarath thurisan aanen

Azhwaar after saying that he could not be part of his relatives, said that he was also not welcomed by the women who used to be the sweethearts to him. “Thuvartha Sevvaayinaar” means that these ladies, who were his sweetheart, would hide their evil qualities in their hearts and conquer others by showing the beauty of their lips like a ripened ivy gourd, that is useless. Azhwaar said that he did not know the vices in their hearts and also got caught up with them without knowing that he had no true love towards them and these sweethearts would cut the relationship with the parents and other relatives.

One interpretation of “Thuvakkara” is that he should leave all relationships and cut ties with all women. The other interpretation is that Azhwaar said that he was rejected by them because he behaved fraudulently towards them. It can also be assumed that Azhwaar was saying that he had harmed them too. He had behaved in such a harmful way towards them, that they felt that it was good enough if Azhwaar leaves them. Thurisan means thief.

The explanation given for the special usage of “ke”, in Sevvayinaarke is interesting. In Yuddha Kanda 19.4 of the Ramayana, Vibhishana considered himself to the lowest among the lowest, because,

  • he was the younger brother of Ravana
  • was insulted by even Ravana,
  • he was surrendering to Rama, because all living beings could surrender to Rama who is the most capable to surrender to.

In the same way, here Azhwaar says that he was rejected and chased away by ladies, who were supposed to be the closest ones to coolest.

Here we can refer to the Periya Thirumohi(6.4.1) song of Thirumangai Azhwaar about Thirunaraiyur. Thirumangai Azhwaar asked us to pray to Thirunaraiyur Emperumaan before we get old. In this hymn, Thirumangai Azhwaar said the ladies who talk like singing might reject us and ask us to get out (Paanin mozhiyaar paiya nadamin), which is similar to the words of Thondaradipodi Azhwaar’s Thuvartha sevaayinaarke thuvakara thurisan aanen.

Periya Thirumozhi 6.4.1, “Kannum suzhandru, peelaiyodu eelai vanthu yenginaal, pannin mozhiyaar paiya nadamin ennatha mun, vinnum, malaiyum, vedhamum, velviyumaai aayinaan nannu naraiyur naam thozhudhum ezhu nenjame” meaning, “O Heart! before our eyes begin to roll, cough throws up phlegmatic and sweet ladies reject us by saying, “slowly go away”, let us go to the Thirunaraiyur Emperumaan and offer our prayers, Who is the mountain, the sky, the Vedas, and the yagnas.

Avathame piravi thandhaai

After this, Azhwaar said that this birth Emperumaaan had given him was in vain.

Azhwar wondered if this lowly stature of himself was accorded by Emperumaan, and immediately denied that after knowing about what karmas were and his own stature, that this inferior stature was due to his own karmas, and how Emperumaan with His profound kindness (dhaya) could clear all his karmas in no time, by pardoning them.

As Krishna said in the Bhagavad Gita (10.10), that He was graciously giving the Knowledge route (Gnana Yoga), the means of attaining Him, to those who desire to be with Him and to those who worship Him. Azhwaar knew that if Emperumaan wants to grace knowledge to anyone and lead him towards the good path, no one could stop Him. So Azhwaar was sad in telling Him that He wasted this life that was given to Azhwaar by Him. This is much similar to a mother, merely watching a child falling into the well, would be blamed as though she pushed the child into the well.

Aranga maa nagarulaane

Emperumaan is taking a reclining position and showing His beauty and character in Thiruvarangam to correct those who follow the path induced by Karmas and are engrossed in other things, which cannot be corrected even by Shastras. Azhwaar felt that it did not succeed in his case.

Inner Meaning

Azhwaar says that he had not done anything to attain the Lord: if he had been a man with money in his hand, he would have been deficient in Aakinchanya, but he was not like that, and he was like the leader of Aakinchanyars. Had Azhwaar told that he was living with wife, children and relatives, Emperumaan would wait until Azhwaar realise that Emperumaan was His father and His mother. Azhwaar told that he had no relatives and his relatives had deserted or abandoned him. Azhwaar said that the women also chased him away. With all these, Emperumaan could enter into Azhwaar without any hindrance. This is how Azhwaar ended this song, by saying that though he was ready and suitable for bhagavadh matter, if He did not accept Azhwaar, then He had created Azhwaar in vain.

With this we will conclude this hymn and catch up in the next hymn, thanks

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)

Follow by Email