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Vaishnavism and other deities - Thirumazhisai aazhvaar

From: Thirumalai Anandanpillai (
Date: Thu Dec 28 1995 - 09:15:19 PST

hi all,

Badri's question on Thirumazhisai aazhvaar's paasurams prompted me to post this.

Thirumazhisai aazhvaar as we all know converted from a Saivite to a Vaishnavite.
He also dabbled with other religions like Jainism. His works -
Naanmugan-thiruvandhaadhi (NMT) and Thiruchandaviruththam (TCV) have a very
strong accent towards removing any doubt from the minds of the bhaktaas that
Sriman Naarayanan is the supreme being. One of the commentators regards his
works as the weeding out of 'parathva buddhi' towards deities (this was
apparently pretty common among the people during aazhvaar's time) other than
Sriman Narayana. 

NMT starts with the following verse

naanmuganai naaraayaNan padaiththaan - naanmuganum
   thaanmugamaai sankaranaiththaan padaiththaan 

(Brahma was created by NaarayaNan , about the second line, I am not sure about
the meaning. Does it mean that Brahma (naanmugan) created Sankaran? )

NMT ends with the paasuram

iniyaRindhE NnIsaRkum naanmugaRkum theyvam
iniyaRindhEn emperumaan! unnai, - iniyaRindhEn
kaaraNann^I kaRRavain^I kaRpavain^I, naRkirisai
naaraNann^I nan_gaRindhEn naan.  
(Now I understand/know (arindhEn = know) the God of Isan (Sivan) and Brahma (naanmugan)
Now I know you - emperumaan ; You are the cause (kaaraNam), all that is learnt
(kaRRavai) .....)

In Thiruchandaviruththam, many paasurams convey a similar meaning
(TCV-5,TCV-7, TCV-70,TCV-71 etc..)

I will just quote TCV-69.

kaaNilummu ruppolaarse
  vikkinaatha keerththiyaar,
pENilumva rantharami
  dukkilaatha thEvarai,
aaNamenRa dainthuvaazhum
  aathar_kaaL!em maathipaal,
pENin^umpi Rappenumpi
  NakkaRukka kiRRirE.       

Note especially the 2nd adi..

'pENilum varam thara midukkilaatha thevarai'
(Not able to grant 'varam' even when asked).

This line is about Sivan. Once when aazhvaar was meditating, Sivan and Paarvathi 
were flying aove him in the sky. Paarvati was amazed at the radiance of the
aazhvaar and asked Sivan as to who he was. Paramasivan tells her about the aazhvaar
and they decide to grant him some wishes - and so they land near the aazhvaar.
But, aazhvaar ignores them. Finally Paramasivan convinces the aazhvaar to
ask for some varams. Aazhvaar asks for mOksham - Paramasivan says that only
Sriman NaarayaNan can grant that wish. Next, aazhvaar asks for a long life (I am
not very sure of this part here though..) Paramasivan says that it is the
duty of Yamaa to decide the time of death for the people..

Since Paramasivan could not grant asked for varams, the above two lines in TCV-69.

The essence of thirumazhisai aazhvaar's works is this - Sriman NaarayaNan is the
Supreme being.

If somebody has the word-to-word translation of the above paasurams, can you
please post the translations? 

Thirumazhisai aazhvaar is responsible for the name 'Sonna VaNNam seytha peRumaaL'
for YadhOththakaari in Kanchipuram (thiruvehaa). I will try to post the
details about that later.