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Tribute to NammAzhwAr : Thiruviruttham

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Sat Mar 28 1998 - 07:59:34 PST

Dear BhakthAs of Sriman NaarAyaNA :

Sri MadhavakkaNNan is continuing with the blesesd
kaimkaryam of posting his translations of the individual 
paaasurams of Thriuvaimozhi . I will provide some additional
material dealing with the mood of NammAzhwAr that provides 
the frame work of AzhwAr's anubhavam of BhagavAn and 
His consort as SaraNya dampathis and his  
SaraNAgathi to them .

I will refer to te works of paramapadha vaasis 
UtthamUr Sri Veeraraghavaacharya Swami , PrathivAdhi
Bhayankaram ANNangarAcchArya Swamy and the sUthrams of 
AchArya Hrudhayam in these postings besides references to
relevant Veda manthrams .

Traditonal view holds that the four Sanskritic Vedas 
correspond to the spirit of the four Prabhandhams of 
NammAzhwAr ( Tamizh MaRais) . Thiruviruttham is related
to Rg Vedam , ThiruvAsiriyam to Yajur Vedam ,
Periya ThiruvandhAthi to Atharva vedam and 
Thiruvaaimozhi to Saama Vedam . There is a common 
thread that runs across the four Sanskritic Vedams
that are mirrored in the four Prabhandhams of 
NammAzhwAr . We will focus on them without emphasis 
on tight matching the individual Vedams to their 
counterpart prabhandhams in these postings . 
Wherever appropriate , we will quote the Veda Mantrams 
that would have a close kinship to the spirit of 
the paasurams of ThirukkuruhUr SatakOpan .

Artha Panchakam : Jn~Ana and ajn~Ana Panchakams 

In an earlier postings during the celebrations for 
ANDAL , we covered the topic of artha panchakam 
in the context of the messages in Thiruppaavai
paasurams ( Bhakthi Archives ) . We will take off 
from there  and focus on the pentads of jn~Athavya
(that which should be known ) ajn~Anam and jn~Anam .

NammAzhwAr instructed us that Bhagavadh Vishayam
is important and samsAram is unimportant . He wanted us 
to have the vivEkam (discriminating Knowledge)
about the sorrows of samsAram and the blessedness
of Bhagavadh anubhavam .

VedAs are described as " traiguNya VishayA vedA : ".
ther topics are (1) thyAjyam (2) upAdhEyam 
and (3) niradhisayAnandham .ThyAjyam deals 
with items that have to be cast aside , shaken off .
upAdhEyam is associated with the acts that make 
us firmly hold onto the most important entities 
and principles such as BhagavAn's sacred feet 
thru mUla Manthram , dhvayam and carama slOkam 
( Rahasya thrayams ) as revealed to us by our
AzhwArs and AchAryAs . NiradhisayAnandham
( anthamil pErinbam ) is the bliss of Moksham
resulting from saraNAgathi with its five angAs 
that incorporates ThyAjyam , UpAdhEyam 
and leads to niradisayAnandham . 

Five Jn~Athavya ajn~Anams ( Panchakams )

1. PARASVAROOPA AJ~NAANAM : Forgetting the 
Lord and His consort through samsAra klEsams
( Bheethis ) as referred to by NammAzhwAr ,
" maRanthEn unnai munnam " .

paasura vaakhyams describing this category of
ajn~Anam are : " yaanE yennaiaRiyahilAthE " .

aruLiccheyal vaakyams in this context are :
" Odiya muzhanRum uyirkaLE konREn uNarvilEn " 

4. UPAAYA VISHAYA AJN~AANAM : Lack of knowledge about 
the means is referred to here . PaarAnkusA's blessed
words are : " piRavi nOyh aRuppAnENilEnirunthEn " .

is to the wrong kind of knowledge that leads one astray
and results in not eulogizing the SaraNYan . AzhwAr's
anguish is expressed as : " Azhiyankai ammAnai 
yEthtAthayartthu " . 

The artha pancha ajn~nam results from the rajO and tamO 
guNAs .GeethAchAryan has elaborated on them in His 
instructions to ArjunA in the SamsAric battle field 
of KurukshEthram . The dominance of Satthva guNam 
leads to Jn~Anam characterized by its pentad .


NammAzhwAr instructs through his prabhandhams ,
the five branches of Jn~Anam that should be known
by the seekers of liberation from the samsAric terrors.

1. PARASVAROOPA JN~AANAM : the abhyAsam ( ways of practise)
to recognize Him as being seated in one's heart cavity 
( " ninnai nenjil uyyum vahai uNarnthEn " ).

2. AATHMA SVAROOPA JN~AANAM : The development of 
discriminating knowledge to know the nature of 
that , which is seated in one's heart cavity as
antharyAmi brahmam ( " ninRa onRai uNarnthEnukku " ).

3. VIRODHI VISHAYA JN~AANAM : An understanding of the 
enemies that stand in the way of aathma svarUpa jn~Anam ,
the chathrus or VirOdhis and an understanding of them 
is referred to here . AzhwAr's words are : " ahaRRa
nee vaittha maayavallaimpulankaLAmavai nankaRinthanan ".
When this knowledge is possessed by the prapannan ,
then he fully comprehends the nature of the five senses
that drag him away from Bhagavadh Vishayam .

4.UPAAYA VISHAYA JN~AANAM : The knowledge of 
the means to avoid the cycles of births and deaths 
through the practise of Bhakthi yOgam or Prapatthi
yOgam . The prayer for knowledge of the means 
to avoid rebirth is couched in AzhwAr's moving words:
" iruL tarumaa gyAlatthuL inippiRavi vEndAm " . 

5. PURUSHAARTHA VISHAYA JN~AANAM : The right knowledge
that it is throughb His KrupA that we become blessed 
and the mahA visvAsam in Him as the never-failing 
saviour is referred to here . AzhwAr's word-clue is :
" avanathu aruLAl uRal poruttu yennuNarvinuLLE 
irutthinEn " . 

The predominance of satthva guNa prAchuryam leads
to the blessed state of acquisition of Jaathavya  
panchaka jn~Anam through performing SaraNAgathi 
under a qualified AchAryA . This way , one gets
the katAksham of Madhusoodhanan at the time of 
birth ( jaayamAna kaala katAksham ) and becomes 
imbued with Satthva svarUpam and becomes 
mumukshu . 


One is achith sambhandham and the other is
NaarAyaNa sambhandham .The former produces haani 
and danger by invoving us in the afflictions of
samsAram . The latter ( NaarAyaNa Sambhandham )
showers us with auspiciousness that are lasting 
and underlines our unchangable relationship 
to our Lord ( " ThirumAlE naanumunakku pazhavadiyEN ")
and leads to Moksham .

The two categories of people , who overcome the ajn~nams
and become enriched with the five kinds of Jn~Anams 
are : (1) karma khAnda nishtars and (2) BhagavathAs/
Thondars . They are called alternatively as anthaNar 
maRayOrkaL and adiyAr thondarkaL/saara vitthukkaL .

The anthaNar maRayOr is saluted by AzhwAr as ,
" theeyOmpu kaimmaRayAr , thuNai nool maarvinanthaNar" .
The NaarAyaNa paarAyaNAs or the Thiru nAraNan thondars 
are called Koyilil vaazhum VaishNavan or " aNi arangan
ThirumuRRatthu adiyAr , Thiru NaaraNan thondar " . 

NammAzhwAr describes himself as the Thiru NaaraNan 
murratthu adiyaar .The thirst for KaNNan ( KrishNa 
thrushNA ) of SatakOpan is saluted by Parasara Bhattar
this way : " rishim jushAmahE KrishNa thrushNa
tattvamivOdhitham " . Using the Vedic analogy , 
ParAsara Bhattar compares NammAzhwAr , the Rishi 
doing yaj~nam as the embodiment of Bhagavadh prEmai 
in his Sri RangarAja sthavam . 

NammAzhwAr  and AchArya Hrudhayam 

NammAzhwAr is the VaguLa bhUshaNa bhasakarOdhayam 
in the words of the AchAryA ,who blessed us with 
AchArya Hrudhayam . He is the sunrise
that dispels ajn~nam and nourishes the artha panchaka
jn~Anam in us through his aruLiccheyalkaL . He is 
our pramAthA . His birth was hinted by SukAchAryA 
in Bhaagavatham through his never -failing words as 
a Rishi ( Aarsha pramANam ) .He said that in kali yugam ,
several NaarAyaNa paarAyaNAL will incarnate on
the banks of TamraparaNee river , KruthamAlA river,
Payasvinee river , CauvEry river and MahA nadhi in
Dramida dEsam . The birth of NammAzhwAr at ThirukkuruhUr
on the banks of Taamraparanee river is alluded to here .

The salutations of AchArya Hrudhaya grantha karthA
This great pramAthA ( NammAzhwAr ) , who used 
pramANam ( saasthrAs ) to establish the supremacy of 
Sriman NaarAyaNA as pramEyam ( the one to be understood as
the jagadh kaaraNam ,RakshaNamm and SamhAram ) .

The exact words in AchArya Hrudhayam are : "SataraiOtti
mathAvaliptharkku ankusamittu , nadAviya kooRRamAi "
ninRavar SatakOPar .These words break into following 
four subdivisions :

1.SataraiOtti (2) Mathavaliptharkku(3) ankusamittu
and (4) nadAviya kUrramAi .

He is SatakOpar , one who angrily drove away the sata
vaayu or Satars , who engaged in propagating darsanams
of their own , which used sushka tarkams that wont stand
up before the parathvam of Sriman naarAyaNA .Therefore ,
he engaged in the relentless effort to set things 
straight and drove away kudhrushtis /Satars from
propagating ajn~Ana panchakam . This is the meaning of
"SataraiOtti " , which SatakOpa stands for . 

Mathavaliptharkku and ankusamittu :   Being ParAnkusA ,
he controlled the rampaging elephants running around
causing destruction thru their spread of vipareetha 
Jn~Anam with the use of ankusam (goad ) .

nadAviya kooRRamAi : He was the mrthyu ( kooRRam or 
samhAra mUrthy ) to the samsAric afflictions of 
chEthanAs , who was in the range of his eye sight 
or those who read his prabhandhams and declared ,
" tvadh paadha mUlam saraNam prapadhyE " in 
recognition of him as the divya PaadhukhA of the Lord .

AzhwAr's samslEshams and VislEshams 
(To be continued )