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Thirumazhisai"s Prabhandhams --Part 2

From: V. Sadagopan (
Date: Sun Jan 18 1998 - 06:23:47 PST

Isavara Samvathsaram , Thai month 4th day
KrishNa Paksha Panchami , Utthira Nakshittharam
January 17 , 1998 

Dear BhakthAs :

In his fourth paasuram , Thirumazhisai had saluted 
Sriman NaarAyaNA as Sarva Vaachaka sabdhan . He
points out that there is no match for him in this attribute :

--- vERoruvar illAmai ninRaanai yemmAnai 
yepporutkkum sollAnai SonnEn tohutthu

vEroruvar  illaamai ninRAnai = One who stood in all
yugAs and KalpAs as the matchless one ( tannoppArilappan )

YemmAnai = of my Lord 

yepporutkkum sollAnai = as the object of connotation of every 
word and being the subject of all predicates ( sarva vAchaka
Sabdhanai , Sriman NaarAyaNanai  ) 

SonnEn Thohutthu = I described in a cohesive manner .

He talks about the relationship that he has with the Lord 
in a most moving way in paasuram 7 , which reminds us 
of ANDAL's declaration " KuRaivonrumillA GovindhA  , 
UnRannOdravEl namakkingkozhikkavozhiyAthu " :

inRAha nALayEyAha inicchirithu 
ninRAha ninnaruL yenpAlathE --nanRaaha
naanunaai anRiyilEn kaNdAi NaaraNanE 

( Meaning ) : Oh NaaRayaNA ! I may become the object of Your
krupA today or it may happen tomorrow or it may happen even after
that passage of time. It does not matter. I know that Your special 
Krupai belongs to me . I do not exist without You and neither do You
exist without me. " Unnai anri naan ilEn; yennai inri nee ilai " . What 
a powerful and penetrating statement on the relationship that he
had with Sriman NaarAyaNA ! 

He celebrates the precious Lord and explains to us His 
supreme status in the 13th paasuram of NT :

--- -------------------------------------veedAkkum 
meypoRuL thaan vEda mudaRporuL thaan viNNavarkku 
naRporul thaan NaarAyaNan 

AzhwAr  asks us to pay attention and describes to us who 
this Sriman NaarAyaNan is ! He qualifies his  Lord in three 
ways : (1) veedAkkum meyporuL = the siddha purushan ,
who grants us Moksham (2) vEdam mudalp poruL = the one
who is understood by the VEdAs ( vEda vEda vEdhyan ) and
eulogized by them as Sarva vAchaka Sabdhan (3) viNNavarkku 
naRpporuL= the parama prApya svarUpan for the dEvAs , mukthAs
and the nithya sUris . 

The seventeenth paasuram is another beautiful one that 
describes the parathvam of Sriman NaarAyaNan . Here , he
describes the relationship between DakshinAmUrthy ( Lord 
SivA sitting under the pupil tree and explaining sakala--
sAsthrArthams with His silence to the four rishis , Dakshar ,
Agasthyar , Pulasthyar and MaarkanDeyar ) and Sriman NaarAyaNan . 

The picture of " DaakshiNya RamyA Girisasya Murthy " 
( DakshiNamUrthy  Sivan ) sitting under the shadow of a pupil tree 
in a previous yugam and instructing the four Rishis 
is a beautiful one . AzhwAr describes as to what that 
silent instruction on dharma maargam (aRa neRi) 
was all about . AzhwAr states that Lord DakshiNAmUrthy made the rishis
aware of the method of His worship of Sriman NaarAyaNan as 
Trivikraman ( gyAlam aLanthAnai ) , KsheerAbdhi Saayee ( Aazhi
kidanthAnai ) and as Vatapathra Saayee ( Aal mEl vaLarndhAnai ) .
AzhwAr points out that Lord DakshiNAmUrthy performed upadEsam 
on the way in which he worshipped His Lord , Sriman NaarAyaNan
( thAnn vaNangum aaRu uraitthAn ) :

Aala nizhark keezh aRa neRiyai naalvarkku
mElai yuhatthu uraitthAn meytavatthOn--gyAlam 
aLanthAnai Aazhik kidanthAnai Aal mEl 
vaLarnthAnait thAn vaNangum AaRu  

In his 19th paasuram , the AzhwAr asks in wonderment ,
" O Lord with the Sudarsana Chakram in Your Hand !
Are n't You the One who protects us with joy for performing
SaraNAgathi unto You ! Are N't You the One , who blesses 
every JeevarAsi with the boon of residence in Sri Vaikuntam
when they seek the shelter of Your sacred feet ? 

-- AazhiyAi --uvanthE Yemmaik kAppAi nee , kaapathanai AavAi nee
Vaikuntham YeepAyum yevvuyirkkum nee anRO ? 

In the thirty second paasuram , the AzhwAr connects 
the RaamAyaNa , Bhaaratha IthihAsams and Saadhvika
PurANams such as Bhaagavatham to the Lord wiht the statement 
" kathaip poruL thAnn KaNNan ThiruvayiRRnuLLE " .
AzhwAr reveals to us that all  " the Kathais " and their meanings 
and the the universes that get created , protected and destroyed 
in every yugam are inside the Vatapathra Saayee's tiny stomach .
We had some discussion recently about the fact or fiction 
aspects of IhtihAsams and PurANams . For our AzhwAr , these
questions do not arise . He suggests that these are real as the Lord
Himself , since He holds them in His stomach during the mahA praLayam 
and denying them will be tantamount to denying Him . 

AzhwAr's comparison of himself as being more fortunate than 
Sriman NarAyaNA Himself is contained in Paasuram 51 :

yenakkArAvar oruvarE EmperumAn 
tanakkAvan thAnE marallAl --punakkAya 
VaNNanE ! unnaip piRaRiyAr yenn mathikku 
ViNNellAm UndO Vilai ?   
( Meaning ) : For me, who has no interest in the fruit
of my karmAs , there is only One , which is everything .
VaasudEva : sarvam ) . That is Sriman NaarAyaNan , 
who has no equal . Those who are focussed on fruits
of their karmAs would not understand Your mahimai 
as Visvapathi and AathmEsvaran ( pathim VisvasyAthmEsvaram) .
For my mind , which has gone after You and got affixed on
Your Lotus feet , there is no price that matches its value ; yes ,
not even the value of the objects of Svargam will become 
equal to it . 

He describes the pitiable state of the men and women , who
do not understand the mahimai of our compassionate Lord 
in his 52nd paasuram :

" Evil ones become slaves for money ; collecting sins through 
receiving gifts and and experience those sins . They walk as
human sacrificial animals in exchange for (another's ) head . 
Such ignorant ones not engaging in the salutation to the Lord 
( VenkaTan-0ne who destroys sins)  will multiply their sins ( katams ).
They eat the sins as fruits and sink in the soft sand of ajn~Anam " . 

Being a Parama KaaruNika Azchaaryan , Thirumazhisai does 
not stop with his condemnation of the ones , who have strayed ,
but he points them out the way to attain salvation through his upadEsam
contained in Verse eleven :

" Let thy mouth praise , let thy eyes adore , let thy ears hear 
nAma sankeerthanam about Him . Do thou offer fragrant and fresh
flowers after prostrating to Him in reverence and let thy hands
be united in anjali mudrA to Him and let thy ever-wavering mind 
stay fixed on the Lord wearing the fragrant Tulasi garland and 
high crown , who is attached to me from the beginningless time " . 

In the 61st verse , he repeats this upadEsam and assures
the doubters that no anguish will cross the mental threshold 
of one , who accepts Lord MadhusUdhanA as sole refuge , for 
Madhusudana-NaarAyaNan is man's wealth of every kind .

In the 56th verse , he points out the greatness (saulabhyam and 
souseelyam ) of Sriman NaarAyaNA : " avar ivar yenrillai 
anangavEL ThAthikku yevarum yethirillai kandeer ! " .
Here the AzhwAr states that for the Lord , there is no
vaishmyam that this one is little and the other one is big . 
He is sarva sulabhan for His BhakthAs  . Those , who resist Him and 
engage in enimity  perish like fire fly in the fire and they 
do not last out . Because of these unique attributes , there is none ,
who can match Him in KalyAna guNAs . 

The AzhwAr tells us that he practises , what he " preaches "
and explains to us as to how he spends his time in paasuram 63:

unnai teritthu yezhuthi vAsitthum kEttum vaNangi 
vazhipattum poositthum pOkkinEn pOthu 

( Meaning ) : I spend my time on Your earth to comprehend
correctly Your svarUpa VisEsham , anantha KalyANa guNams,
writing about them , listening to others speaking about them , 
performing aarAdhanam and kaimkaryams to You . I have made 
devotion to You my sole vocation .

AzhwAr confesses how blessed he has been to sing about 
Sriman NaarAyaNA and perform nAma japam in the 69th verse  :

sevikku inbamAvathuvum SenkaNNmAl nAmam 
bhuvikkim bhuviyathuvE kandeer -- kavikku
niRaiporuLAi ninRAnai nErpattEn , paarkkil
maRaip poruLm atthanyE 

( Meaning ) : What is amrutham for the ear are the Lord's names .
For the denizens of this earth , it is also their protection ( Taaraka 
pOshaka nAmam ) . I have been blessed to use as lakshyam for my
paasurams such a Lord , who is the supreme Brahamam .,
On deep reflection I comprehend Him as the hidden and 
profound meaning of the ancient vEdAs , which sing about His
svarUpa rUpa guNa vibhavams . 

After making Sriman NaarAyaNan the subject of his paasurams ,
AzhwAr states categorically that he will never ever sing about
any human being ( Naakkondu maanidam paadEn ) and his 
poetry will be only on Sri VaikuntanAthan ( Vaikunthac chelvanAr
sEvadi mEl paatu ) . 

In the next ( 76th )  paasuram , AzhwAr reveals that the paasurams of 
mudal AzhwArs ( Paattum ) ,  the paancharAthra- vaikAnasa 
aagamAs (murayum ) the IthihAsa purANAs ( padu kathayum ) ,
the meanings of vEdAs ( sruthi maRai naankum ) , Manu smrithis  
(kEtta Manuvum ) , the samashti tEjas ( eettiya theeyum ) ,
the  broad sky ( iru visumbum ) and every thing is a direct product
of the Lord's mysterious and wonderous power . 

In the 81st paasuram he thanks the Lord for his anugraham 
that resulted in the birth of his Tamil prabhandhams this way :

vidhai aaha naRRamizhai vitthi yenn uLLatthai nee viLaitthAi
kaRRa mozhiyAhak kalanthu 

( meaning ) : You made my heart the field for the cultivation 
of the Bhakthi crop by planting  the seed of glorious  Tamizh mozhi 
and making what I had learned about Your kalyANa guNams as 
the kernel inside those seeds and entered my mind and produced
this rich crop . ( He refers to the importance of the mind since 
it is the sole factor in people sinking in samsAram or getting 
out of it and gaining mOksham -- mana yEva manushyANAm 
kAraNam bhandha MokshayO : " ) .

AzhwAr talks further to his mind and tells it that the shADguNya 
ParipUrNa prabhu , the SaraNyan , ever exists in the mind of
those , who meditate on Him wiht devotion . He becomes visible 
to these ardent devotees and asks his mind to reflect on it  ( uLLuvAr
uLLatthu uLan kanDAi -- tannappan thAnAi uLan ) .

In the 88th paasuram , AzhwAr celebrates such blessed souls ,
who are able to experience the Lord through their dhyAna 
samAdhi . He states that those lives are well-lived lives 
( seyal theerac chintthitthu vAzhvArE vAzhvAr ) . 

In the 89th paasuram , AzhwAr salutes such blessed bhagavathOtthamAs 
and states aasrayaNam of them will immerse one in brahmAnandham
and let them even reject parama padham .

As  for himself , he declares that he has never forgotten the Lord
( dhruva smruthi ) starting from his time of conception as a pindam
and the Lord's protection of him . He adds : " Ninrum irundhum yenrum 
maRanthu aRiyEN " . Whether he was standing , sititing , he never forgot
about the Lord as his protector 

In the final ( 96th ) paasuram , AzhwAr sums up what he has learnt
from his deliberations and research and what he has etched in his 
mind :

ini aRinthEn Isarkkum Naanmuharkkum Dhaivam 
ini aRinthEn EmperumAn Unnai --ini aRinthEn
KaaraNan nee kaRRavai nee naRkkirisai 
NAARANAN NEE  nankaRinthEn naan 

( Meaning ) : My sarva Swami ! YajamAnA ! PrabhO ! VibhO ! 
I have now understood You as the Lord of BrahmA and SivA .
I have comprehended  You as the kaaraNam  for their 
activities . Whatever I have learned sofar is only YOU .
Whatever I am going to learn from now on is going to be YOU .
O Lord of auspicious actions ! O NaarAyaNA ! All of this , 
I have comprehended fully . 

AzhwAr , who was born on Thai Maham proved the Parathvam 
of Sriman NaarAyaNA and declared in the words of Swami 
Desikan : " dhaivam maRRilllai yena uraitthA vEdac Chezum porUL 
Naanmuhan thoNNRaaRRUp paattu " . This conclusion was arrived at
by " Mazhisaip pirAn " through a rigorous examination of many 
religions & Gods ( samayangaL pala terinthu MayOnallAL dhaivam maRRIllai 
yena uraitthAn ) and rejecting all of them in favor of the only Dhaivam ,
Sriman NaarAyaNan , the Aadhi dhaivam and sarva KaaraNa bhUthan .

Mazhisaip PirAn thiruvadigaLE SaraNam 
Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan