Friday, 6 August 2010

The incomparable Thirumaal.


In the previous part of the poem, the poet described Thirumaal as the manifestation of all the entities of God and Nature.

He, as the In-Dweller of all beings is seen as the Four-faced Brahma and Shiva and others.

You name any part of the Universe or Nature, that will be Him only.

From this understanding dawns a kind of amazement for the poet.

There is none to compare with Him.

There is none to be called as equal to Him.

What can the poet say now?

How can he describe Him now?

This is how the poet wonders in this last part of the poem.



அதனால்,
இன்னோர் அனையை; இனையையால்என,
அன்னோர் யாம் இவண் காணாமையின்,



(நீ இவரைப் போன்றவன், இவருக்கு இணையானவன் என்று உவமை காட்ட யாருமே இங்கு காணப்படாமையால் )

We want to describe how you are and who you are by means of comparisons.

We want to say that you are like someone and so on.

But there is none who is like you - who is comparable to you.



பொன் அணி நேமி வலம் கொண்டு ஏந்திய
மன்னுயிர் முதல்வனை ஆதலின்,
நின்னோர் அனையை, நின் புகழோடும் பொலிந்தே!
நின் ஒக்கும் புகழ் நிழலவை;



(பொன்னின் அழகினைக் கொண்ட சக்கரப் படையினை எல்லா உலகையும் ஆள்வதற்கு அடையாளமாக நின் வலப் பக்கத்தே ஏந்தி, நிலை பெற்ற உயிர்களுக்குத் தலைவனுமாக நீ இருப்பதால், உனக்கு ஒப்புமை நீயேதான்! உன் புகழ்தான் உனக்கு ஒப்புமையானது.)



A beautiful conclusion is drawn in this verse.

Since there is none who is equal to Thirumaal, the poet concludes that Thirumaal is comparable to Himself only.

This kind of glory of Thirumaal is what is comparable to Him.

That means He equals Himself. His Glory is equal to Him!



While making this statement the poet qualifies His glory as arising from His act of Protection of all life.

The Chakrayudha in His right side is the mark of Protection of all life.



Another special expression is used by the poet in this part. Thirumaal is mentioned here as "mannuyir muthalvan" (மன்னுயிர் முதல்வன்) - as the first among all life (jeevas).



The commentator does not elaborate this term and merely says that He is the 'Thalaivan' or Lord of all life.

But I think that this expression has reference to His supremacy as the Paramathama - as the foremost of all Jeevathmas and as the Supreme in-dweller of all Jeevathmas.

This supremacy is His glory.

Only this glory has equal status with Him.



Then the poet proceeds to describe His appearance and prostrates at His feet.



புள்ளின் கொடியவை; புரி வளையினவை;
எள்ளுநர்க் கடந்து அட்ட இகல் நேமியவை;
மண்ணுறு மணி பாய் உருவினவை;
எண் இறந்த புகழவை; எழில் மார்பினவை
,


(புள் என்னும் கருடப்பறவையைக் கொடியில் உடையவன் நீ.
முறுக்கிய சங்கினை உடையவன் நீ.
இகழ்வாராகிய பகைவரை வென்று, கொன்று என்று தக்கவாறு செயல் புரியும் மாறுபாட்டினை உடைய சக்கரப்படையை உடையவன் நீ.
கழுவப்பட்ட நீல மணி பரப்பும் நிறத்தை உடைய திருமேனியை உடையவன் நீ.
அளவற்ற புகழ் உடையவன் நீ.
அழகிய மார்பினை உடையவன் நீ.)



The poet takes a look at the appearance of Thirumaal and describes as follows.
You are the one having the Garuda- flag, the conch and the discus.
The chakrayudha is such that it knows what is expected of that - it has the discriminatory sense of what to do - whether to kill or humble those who are ill- disposed to you (Thirumaal)
You are of the colour spread by the Blue sapphire.
Your glory is limitless.
Your chest is beautiful. (Obviously due to the presence of Lakshmi)


ஆங்கு,
காமரு சுற்றமொடு ஒருங்கு நின் அடியுறை
யாம் இயைந்து ஒன்றுபு வைகலும் பொலிக! என,
ஏமுறு நெஞ்சத்தேம் பரவுதும்-
வாய்மொழிப் புலவ! நின் தாள்-நிழல் தொழுதே




(என இவ்வாறு கூறி, நாங்கள் விரும்பும் அல்லது எங்களை விரும்பும் சுற்றத்தாரோடு ஒன்று கூடி, உன் திருவடியில் இணைந்து, என்றும் இந்தத் திருவடி விளங்குவதாக, பொலிக இவ்வடி என்று இன்பமுறும் நெஞ்சத்தோடு கூறுகிறோம்.
வாய்மொழிப் புலவனே!
வாய்மொழியாகச் சொல்லப்படும் வேதத்தை அருளிச் செய்த புலவனே!

உன் திருவடி நிழலைத் தொழுகிறோம் .)


These concluding lines are full fantastic meanings that it will take a separate post to write them.

However for the sake of continuity, I wish to write here as precisely as possible.



Having come to the realization that no one can be compared with Thirumaal and that He has only Himself and His glory to be of comparison with Him, the poet submits himself at the feet of Thirumaal.

He does not do it alone.

He does it along with his dear ones.


This is a special feature in the worship of Thirumaal.
Periyaazhawar echoes the same sentiment in 'Senniyongu" pasuram (Periyaazhwar Thirumozhi 463)

when he says
"என்னையும் என் உடைமையும் உன் சக்கரப் பொறியொற்றிக் கொண்டு"


Here the aazhwar does not wish to go alone.

He wishes to take his belongings (உடைமை) also with him.

The belongings are his dear ones.

The Paripaadal verse identifies ‘belongings’ as the relatives and friends whom the poet loves and who love the poet.



This shows the kind of fellowship and fraternity that is found among the devotees of Thirumaal.

Thirumaal Himself is one who likes to be surrounded by His parivar all the time.

There is joy and enjoyment in keeping company with like minded people.

Such joy is ensured to one who worships Thirumaal.

He never leaves anyone in the lurch.

When Rama went to Vaikuntha through Sarayu, he took along with Him all the people, and other jeevas who loved Him.

அண்ட சராசரங்களையும் வைகுந்தத்தேற்றி அவன் சென்றான்.



Another significance is the mention of Chakrayudha in the previous line as a symbol of protection to all the life.

Periazhwar also mentions that it is the Chakrayudha which takes the jeevas along with their belongings to the Eternal Abode of Thirumaal. This way of worship is thus seen to be the same in both Paripaadal and Azhwar's pasurams.



Another specialty in this last verse is that the poet does a kind of Mangalasasanam, a la periazhwar kind of pallaandu when he says "அடியுறை .....வைகலும் பொலிக" .

"Let your feet shine always" says the poet.

This reminds me of Valmiki's immortal words that all those who recite Ramayana say till this day, 'balam vishno pravarthathaam' - that "by reading the story of Rama that happened long ago, let the strength of Vishnu grow manifold."

The more we speak of His glory, the more strong He becomes,

that is, his presence is getting reemphasized and rejuvenated by the devotion of the devotees.

There is thus a two- way inevitable relationship between Thirumaal and His devotees.
It is like -
"உன்றன்னோடு உறவேல் நமக்கு இங்கு ஒழிக்க ஒழியாது'



Then comes another beautiful expression by the poet - "வாய்மொழிப் புலவனே"
Vaaimozhi refers to Vedas that are learnt through the mouth - through recital only.
The poet says that Thirumaal is the poet or composer of Vedas.
Usually we often come across the expression that the Vedas speak of Him.
Here the poet goes to the genesis and says that it is he who has created those Vedas.

We find a somewhat similar expression in Periya Thirumozhi 9-4-9 that He is Himself the Vedas.
" வேதமும் வேள்வியும் விண்ணும் இரு சுடரும்
ஆதியும் ஆனான்..."


Attaining the Feet of such a Lord is the ultimate purpose of this poet or anyone.
One must see the kind of glory attached to the Thiruvadi - Holy Feet of Thirumaal.



Those who derive mischievous meaning for the Purush sooktha verse that the fourth varna are born of His feet,

must realize that His Feet are the holiest parts where every jeeva gets settled for getting Ultimate Release or Moksha.

Those who are associated with His Feet have to work out their karma.


The work also includes constant remembrance of Him or His Glory (because both are equal as per this Paripaadal verse)



The reference to His feet encloses another supreme Thought of Vedic religion.
The devotees reach for His feet in order to get Moksha.
Moksha is the ultimate purpose of Creation and Life.
The Moksha - giver is none other than Thirumaal.
It is here He excels all other entities of God.
The granting of Moksha is the ultimate Protection that Thirumaal gives us.
No one else can give Moksha.
The clash of shiva - vishnu schools of Thought was something non-existent in the times of Paripaadal (sangam period)
It is because the people were aware of the clear cut roles of the different deities.

The ultimate fruit of Liberation by attaining Parama pada is possible only be reaching the Feet of Thirumaal.
This was understood in those days.



This notion is also demonstrated in the yogas of astrology.
All the trinities grant release from rebirth.



Those who support Vedas and Vediks and help in perpetuation of Vedas are blessed by the Four-faced Brahma.

They will not be reborn but reach the Abode of four-faced Brahma, the Brahma Loka.

This is known from the presence of a yoga called "Vrinji Yoga" in one's horoscope.
Such persons would enjoy all happiness of family and material life in the last birth after which they reach Brahma loka.



Those who worship Shiva as the Ultimate Lord would be born in "Sreekanta Yoga" in their last birth.

But here they would lead an acetic life - Shiva does not support a family life or materialistically happy life.

The person would live a life of strict austerity and support devotees of Shiva and work towards perpetuating the Glory of Shiva.

Such a person would reach Shiva-pada after his death and would never be reborn.



The above two instances are about reaching the lokas within the created Universe.

Whereas Parama pada is not part of created Universe.

The Jeevas which attained the above mentioned lokas would anyway reach Parama pada –

but only after Universal Dissolution at the end of 100 years of life of Four faced Brahma.

Until then they would still be within the realms of Created Universe.

This is made out from those yogas.



In contrast, the Yoga called "SreeNatha Yoga" is one which makes the person leave the Created Universe immediately upon release and reach the paramapada immediately after the death.


Those who support devotees of Vishnu and worship Vishnu at all times would be born in this Sreenatha yoga.

Unlike in the case of Shiva- devotees, these people would be leading a family life with all comforts and luxuries of Life because Vishnu is one who Himself is seen always in happy company with lakshmi and other parivars.

Upon death, the person reaches Paramapada directly.

This is not the case with the devotees of other two Gods.



This is made out from the yogas of astrology.

As they say that Astrology is the Eye of the Veda Purusha, it reveals what exactly the Veda Purusha, Narayana has willed upon Release.


The various expressions on devotion to Thirumaal as seen in Paripaadal reveal this Supremacy of Thirumaal as Mannuyir Muthalvan - as the Foremost among the Jeevas - as the Paramathma.

This poem thus establishes that Thirumaal is

the Param porul,

the Supreme Lord or

Parama Purusha or

the Paramathma.




With this the explanation for this verse compiled as the first one and as the Prayer song (kadavul vaazhthu) in Paripadal is over.

The full text of the poem with its meaning in Tamil will be posted in the next blog.




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