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archAvathAra anubhavam

archAvathAra anubhavam A divine journey of enjoying archAvathAra emperumAns through the srIsUkthis of our AzhwArs and AchAryas

archAvathAra anubhavam

sri: srimathE rAmAnujAya nama: srimadh varavaramunayE nama: sri vAnAchala mahAmunayE nama: emperumAn's archAvathAram is the pinnacle of his great qualities. The following series of articles are written to remember and enjoy the greatness of archAvathAra emperumAn through the dhivya srisUkthis of AzhwArs/AchAryas. It is purely by the grace of asmadhAchAryan (srimath paramahsa ithyAdhi vAnamAmalai pattarpirAn rAmAnuja jIyar swamy, 29th pattam, vAnamAmalai mutt) adiyen is writing these articles to share what adiyen heard from various AchAryas. It is adiyens attempt to translate the divine works of our AzhwArs and pUrvAchAryas who have enjoyed the archAvathAra emperumAn greatly. archAvathAra emperumAns are the life and heart of our pUrvAchAryas. Though there are many great works and passages glorifying archAvathAra emperumAns, most of them are in thamizh, samskritham or maNipravAam. For the srivaishnavas who are not very familiar with these languages it is very difficult to enjoy those beautiful divine works. This is adiyens humble effort to document such beautiful aspects in English (with proper pAsuram/slOkam references in thamizh). Many granthams are referenced to write this series of articles. Without these granthams it would have been impossible for adiyen to write this. The granthams include 6000 padi guru paramparA prabhAvam, yathIndhra pravaNa prabhAvam, 4000 dhivya prabhandha vyAkyAnams, charamOpAya nirNayam, rahasya grantha vyAkyAnams, piLLai lOkam jIyar vyAkyAnams, kAnchi PBA swamy vyAkyAnams for sthOthra granthams, etc. adiyen is also very grateful to all the grantha kAlakshEpa AchAryas who imparted this valuable sampradhAyam knowledge to adiyen. adiyen is very thankful to many srivaishnavas who encouraged me and continues to encourage me in writing such articles. With the blessings of such srivaishnavas, our pUrvAchAryas, AzhwArs and sri-bhUmi-nILa samEtha emperumAn, adiyen is presenting this book to the larger srivaishnava community. Keeping them in mind adiyen submit this small work at the thiruvadis of Srimath paramahamsa ithyAdhi kaliyan rAmAnuja jeeyar swAmy (30th pattam, varthamAna swAmy, vAnamAmalai mutt). adiyen sarathy ramanuja dhasan Email: Web: , kArthigai bharaNi (Nov 28th, 2012)

archAvathAra anubhavam


Srimath paramhamsa ithyAdhi pattarbhirAn rAmAnuja jeeyar (29th pattam, vAnamAmalai mutt)

varthmAna swAmy

Srimath paramhamsa ithyAdhi kaliyan rAmAnuja jeeyar (30th pattam, vAnamAmalai mutt)

archAvathAra anubhavam

Introduction ..................................................................................................................... 5 parathvAdhi panchakam.................................................................................................. 9 mudhalAzhwArgaL anubhavam .................................................................................... 17 thirumazhisai AzhwAr anubhavam ................................................................................ 25 nammAzhwAr anubhavam ............................................................................................ 29 madhurakavi AzhwAr anubhavam................................................................................. 41 kulasEkara AzhwAr anubhavam ................................................................................... 44 periyAzhwAr anubhavam .............................................................................................. 53 ANdAL anubhavam ....................................................................................................... 60 thoNdaradippodi AzhwAr anubhavam ........................................................................... 70 thiruppANAzhwAr anubhavam ...................................................................................... 78 thirumangai AzhwAr anubhavam................................................................................... 86 thirukkachi nambi anubhavam....................................................................................... 97 emperumAnAr anubhavam ......................................................................................... 104 kUrathAzhwan anubhavam ......................................................................................... 117 bhattar anubhavam ..................................................................................................... 131 piLLai lOkAchAryar anubhavam .................................................................................. 146 azhagiya maNavALa perumAL nAyanAr anubhavam ................................................. 158 vEdhAnthAchAryar anubhavam .................................................................................. 183 azhagiya maNavALa mAmunigaL anubhavam ........................................................... 192

archAvathAra anubhavam

sriman nArAyaNan is the controller of both nithya vibhUthi and leelA vibhUthi. He is in paramapadham with his dhivya mahishIs (divine consorts) sridhEvi, bhUdhEvi and neeLA dhEvi and is constantly served by the nithyasUris like ananthan, garudan, vishwaksEnar, etc and mukthAthmAs. He is blemishless and full of good qualities like jnAnam, Anandham, shakthi, etc. He enjoys unlimited bliss in the paramapadham with all the jIvAthmAs (nithyas and mukthas).

paramapadhanAthan - paramapadham But at the same time, he is also constantly thinking about the jIvAthmAs who are in the samsAram (leelA vibhUthi) who are engaged in materialistic activities and are losing out

archAvathAra anubhavam

on all of these anubhavams in paramapadham. Imagine a father who has 2 sons of which one is being very good natured and well behaved and the other is being very immature and ill behaved. While the father will be happy for the well behaved son, he will also try to help out the ill behaved son. Just like that, emperumAn being the father of all jIvAthmAs, is sad to see that while some jIvAthmAs (nithyas and mukthas) are engaged in nithya kainkaryam, there are others (samsAris) who are fully engaged in materialistic activities. It is explained by our pUrvAchAryas that emperumAn manifests himself in five different modes. This is explained as "parathvAdhi panchakam ( )". The five different modes are:

parathvam - emperumAn as he is seen in paramapadham. He is present there as para vAsudhEvan with his dhivya mahishIs, nithya sUris and mukthAthmAs. vyUham - emperumAn's different manifestations of vAsudhEva, sankarshaNa, pradhyumna and anirudha to take care of srushti (creation), sthithi (sustainance/protection), samhAram (destruction). vibhavam - emperumAn's unlimited number of avathArams in the leelA vibhUthi. This is further classified in to: o mukya avathArams - where emperumAn himself appears as in mathsya, kUrma, varAha, narasimha, vAmana, sri rAma, krishna, etc. o AvEsha (gauNa) avathArams - where emperumAn gives his specific shakthi to jIvAthmAs to fulfill a particular task. Examples are parasurAma, brahmA, shiva, kArthavIryArjuna, etc. These AvEsha avathArams are generally not worshippable by srivaishnavas. In this also, there are two further classification: svarUpa AvEsham - where emperumAn also brings in his svayam thirumEni on the particular jIvAthmA. Example: parasurAman. shakthi AvEsham - where emperumAn brings in his abilities at necessary times to accomplish a particular task. Examples: brahmA, shiva, etc. antharyAmi - where emperumAn exists in each and every jIvAthmA and achEthanam as well. He is fully omnipresent everywhere. archai - emperumAn out of his unlimited mercy taking up the forms that are desired by his bhakthas so that anyone can worship him irrespective of time, place and qualification. He fully submits himself in the hands of his worshipper (archakar) and stays in temples, mutts, homes, etc.

It is through this archAvathAram, emperumAn attracts everyone in samsAram, reforms them and guides them to take shelter of them. It is also through archAvathAram, emperumAn enters into the hearts of AzhwArs and AchAryas, conquer them and get them to bring more and more jIvAthmAs to him.

archAvathAra anubhavam

sriranganAthan - srirangam emperumAn is full of great qualities like vAthsalyam (motherly forbearance), souseelyam (magnanimity), soulabhyam (easy accessibility), kshamA (forgiving others mistakes), etc. In paramapadham, every one is pure. So, he has no opportunity to show any of these qualities there. But when he descends to the leelA vibhUthi, its filled with different kinds of people who have all kinds of defects in them. So, it is here in samsAram through his archAvathArams only he fully manifests all of these great qualities. For example, as an archAvathAra mUrthy, even if the archakar is committing a mistake, he kindly accepts that. If the archakar is offering bhOgam only once a day, emperumAn happily accepts that. If the archakar only performs thirumanjanam once a week, he accepts that as well. This way, the supreme independent being makes himself completely dependent on some one else out of his love towards that person. This quality is appreciated by AzhwArs and AchAryas as the greatest quality of emperumAn and is only manifested fully in archAvathAram. Our pUrvAchAryas show that AzhwArs are specifically hand picked by emperumAn from samsAram. He selected 10 jIvAthmAs and gave them divine knowledge and made them AzhwArs. AzhwArs themselves show in their pAsurams how they were completely reformed by emperumAn.


archAvathAra anubhavam

poigai AzhwAr, bhUdhath AzhwAr and peyAzhwAr are mainly focussed on paramapadha nAthan and emperumAn's parathvam (thrivikraman charithram is often discussed by them) thirumazhisai AzhwAr is mainly focussed on antharyAmi emperumAn nammAzhwAr, kulasEkara AzhwAr and periAzhwAr are focussed on vibhavAvathAram (sri rAman, krishnan, etc) thirumangai AzhwAr is focussed on all archAvathArams thondaradi podi AzhwAr and thiruppANAzhwAr are focussed on sriranga nAthan exclusively

madhurakavi AzhwAr and ANdAL are also considered as AzhwArs (making them 12) and both are situated in AchArya nishtai. While madhurakavi AzhwAr was completely focussed on nammAzhwAr alone, ANdAL (who is bhUdhEvi herself) was completely surrendered to periAzhwAr though she did enjoy vibhavAvathAram and archAvathAram as well through her divine pAsurams. Even though AzhwArs have generally sung pAsurams on different manifestations of emperumAn, they were unanimously focussed on archAvathAram. Every AzhwAr sung on archAvathAra emperumAns and based on their mangaLAsAsanam, 108 kshEthrams became to be famously known as dhivyadhEsams. It is also seen that AzhwArs surrendered to archAvathAra emperumAn in many of their pAsurams. Because of AzhwArs' proximity and attachment to archAvathAra emperumAns, these dhivyadhEsams have become the core focus of the AchAryas who appeared subsequently. kOil (srirangam), thirumalai (thiuvEnkatam), perumAL kOil (kAnchipuram), etc were flocked by the AchAryas and were the centers of bhagavath anubhavam and kainkaryam. Our AzhwArs and AchAryas have immersed themselves in archAvathAra anubhavam and kainkaryam. We see so many incidents in the life of our AzhwArs and AchAryas where they have done everything for archAvathAra emperumAn. Let us begin a truly divine journey of understanding the greatness of the archAvathAra emperumAn through our AzhwAr/AchAryas dhivya srisUkthis. We need to understand the greatness of archAvathAra emperumAns as explained by our pUrvAchAryas. Once we understand that, we can fully commit ourselves to many dhivyadhEsams, mutts, AchArya thirumALigais and our own homes where emperumAn has arrived and waiting to accept us with so much love. If we understand his love, we can also try to reciprocate it atleast to some extent.

archAvathAra anubhavam

parathvAdhi panchakam
In the previous article ( we observed the parathvAdhi panchakam briefly and the general attachment of AzhwArs and AchAryas towards archAvathAra emperumAn. Before going into enjoy AzhwArs/AchAryas archAvathAra anubhavam, let us understand the various references for parathvAdhi panchakam by our AzhwArs/AchAryas and see why archAvathAram is glorified by them more than any other manifestations of emperumAn.

paramapadhanAthan - paramapadham

antharyAmi emperumAn

archAvathAra anubhavam

kshIrAbdhinAthan - kshIrAbdhi


archAvathAram - mangaLAsAsana dhivyadhEsams


archAvathAra anubhavam

parathvAdhi panchakam is explained in many places in sruthi. In katavalli and bruhadharanyaka upanishad, "Om pUrNam adha: pUrNam idham pUrNAth pUrNam udachyathE pUrNasya pUrNam AdhAya pUrNam EvA vasishyathE" is mentioned. This slOkam is often referred by our pUrvAchAryas. There are five pUrNam's in this slOkam and each are explained as one manisfestation of emperumAn. In the end it is said that "sarvam pUrNam sahOm" which indicates that emperumAn's qualities are fully manifested in archAvathAram. parathvAdhi panchakam is also explained in vishwaksEna samhithai by emperumAn himself and this is shown by mAmunigaL in his vyAkyAnam for thathva thryam sUthram 182. nammAzhwAr in thiruvAimozhi 6.9.5 identifies the parathvAdhi panchaka manifestations of emperumAn nicely as follows:

vinNmIthiruppAy ( ) - paramapadha nAthan, one who is in sky - here sky means parama vyOmam which is paramapadham. malai mEl niRpAy ( ) - thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn, one who is on the hills of thiruvEnkatam to give enjoyment for jIvAthmAs from nithya vibhUthi and leelA vibhUthi. kadal chErppAy ( ) - kshIrAbdhi nAthan (anirudhan), one who is in kshIrAbdhi - usually vyUha mUrthy is related to kshIrAbdhi nAthan. He stays in kshIrAbdhi to solve the problems of brahmA, shiva, indhra, etc. manNmIthuzhalvAy ( ) - vibhavAvathArams like rAman, krishnan who toiled in the samsAram to do sAdhu parithrANam, dhushta nirasanam and dharma samsthApanam. ivaRRuL enGgum maRaiNthuRaivAy (

) - as antharyAmi, one who lives within everything sentient

and non-sentient. Also, in thiruviruththam pAsuram 55, AzhwAr identifies srivaishnavas as the ones who enjoy emperumAn through his different manifestations namely nIrppU (kshIrAbdhi nAthan), nilappU (archAvathAram) and maraththil oN pU (paramapadha nAthan). While only 3 types are discussed in this pAsuram, it is to be understood that parathvam includes antharyAmi and archAvathAram includes vibhavam. bhUthathAzhwAr discusses the five different manifestations of emperumAn in iraNdAm thiruvanthAdhi pAsuram 28.

manaththuLLAn - antharyAmi vEnkataththAn, nILarangathuLLAn - archAvathAram mAkadalAn - vyUham (kshIrAbdhi nAthan) dhEvAdhi dhEvan - paramapadha nAthan mAvAi piLandha magan - vibhavAvathAram (krishnan killing kEsi)


archAvathAra anubhavam

pEyAzhwAr also discusses the five different places (and more) where emperumAn lives in mUnRAm thiruvanthAdhi pAsuram 32.

pARkadalum - kshIrAbdhi vEnkatamum - archAvathAram pani visumbum - srIvaikuntam nuNNUla thAmaraimEl pARpattirunthAr manamum - antharyAmi - in the hearts of the yOgis gOpAlakan - vibhavam

ANdAL nAchiAr also enjoys the five different types of manifestations of emperumAn in the first 5 pAsurams of thiruppAvai.

In the first pAsuram she says "nArAyaNanE namkkE parai tharuvAn" - nArAyaNa sabdham refers to ubhaya vibhUthi nAthan which shows his supremacy as seen in paramapadham. In the second pAsuram she says "pARkadaluL payya thuyinRa paraman" vyUha mUrthy is often equated to kshIrAbdhi nAthan because he is staying in thiruppARkadal to help the dhEvathas and conduct the material world. In the third pAsuram she says "Ongi ulagaLantha uththaman" - here emperumAn's vAmana/thrivikrama avathAram are discussed. In the fourth pAsuram she says "Azhi mazhaik kaNNA" - here emperumAn's antharyAmithvam in parjanya dhEvathai is observed by ANdAL. In the fifth pAsuram she says "vada mathurai maindhanai" - though emperumAn's avathAram in vibhavam is observed here, all vibhavams are worshipped through archAvathAram anyway and since there is specific mention of a dhivyadhEsam, it is said that ANdAL is enjoying his archAvathAram here. In the next pAsuram there is reference to "puLLaraiyan kOil" - puL means garudan, arayan means controllerr and kOil means temple - so this can also be seen as the temple of the controller of garudan (who is emperumAn).

Our pUrvAchAryas have also discussed parathvAdhi panchakam in their various srisUkthis. thirukachi nambigaL in his dhEvarAja ashtakam ( 7&Itemid=215) identifies the 5 different manifestations in the first slOkam itself. namasthE hasthisailEsa srIman ambhujalOchana sharaNam thvAm prapannOsmi praNathArthihara achyutha Here:

hasthisailEsa - archAvathAram


archAvathAra anubhavam

srIman - paramapadhanAthan (Esha nArAyaNa srImAn) ambhujalOchana - vibhavam ( mahA varAha: sputa padhma lOchana:, rama: kamalapathrAksha:, rama: rAjIvalOchana:, kaNNan emperumAn is usually called puNdarikAkshan) praNathArthi hara - One who relieves the pains of his devotees. achyutha - na chyAvathi ithi achyutha - one who does not leave his dependants he is always with everyone and everything in his antharyAmi form.

nadAthUr ammAL who is also known as vAthsya varadhAchAryar has written a sthOthram named parthvAdhi panchakam which describes the five different types of manifestations of emperumAn. Simple meanings (essence) for his five slOkams are:

I worship srIman nArAyaNan who is residing in paramapadham (also known as parama vyOmam) which is brighter than 1000s of suns glowing at the same time. emperumAn is full of all divine qualities like jnAnam, Anandham, etc. He is enjoying unlimited bliss with his dhivya mahishIs (sri bhU neeLa dhEvis) and is constantly served by the nithya sUris and mukthAthmAs. I worship kshIrAbdhi nAthan who represents the vyUha mUrthys who are situated in AmOdha, prammOdha and sammOdha sthambams. vyUha vAsudhEvan is complete in 6 qualities jnAnam (knowledge), balam (power), ishvaryam (wealth/ability to control), vIryam (force), shakthi (strength) and thEjas (beauty). Of these 6 qualities, 2 of them in sequence are seen predominantly in pradhyumnan, anirudhan and sankarshaNan respectively. emperumAn's many vibhavAvathArams are identified in this slOkam: o protecting vEdhAs as mathsyam o chruning the milk ocean as kUrmam o rescuing bhUmi as varAham o helping his devotee prahlAdhan as narasimham o begging for 3 feet of land and conquering the 3 worlds as vAmanan and thirvikraman o destroying the kings (who were not following proper dharmam) as parasurAman o destroying rAvaNan as rAman o controlling the flow of yamunA river as balarAman o destroying the sinful people as kaNNan emperumAn I worship vishNu who is situated in the hearts of yOgis in the size of their thumb (with a form) and who is situated with in the countless living entities and the countless universes as antharyAmi. I worship archAvathAra emperumAn who is situated in the 108 dhivya dhEsams, abhimAna sthalams, purANa kshEthrams, temples, mutts, thirumALigais, homes, etc., permanently to help his devotees. He accepts the forms that is pleasing to his devotees and he is completely putting himself under the control of his devotees in this archAvathAram.


archAvathAra anubhavam

piLLai lOkAchAryar explains the parathvAdhi panchakam in thathva thrayam in a detailed manner. In his magnum opus srivachana bhUshaNam, he explains parathvAdhi panchakam in a few wonderful ways. Here, he gives excellent examples to explain the different types of manifestations and mAmunigaL's commentary explains the examples in a very nice way. In sUthram 39, he compares the different manifestations of emperumAn to different types of water and how helpful they are for a person who is thirsty.

bhUgatha jalam - antharyAmi - Water underneath earth - this is invisible but is present everywhere. Still it is very difficult to reach since one has to break into the layers of earth to see it. The same way, antharyAmi emperumAn is present but can only be understood/seen by one who perfects ashtAnga yOgam. AvaraNa jalam - parathvam - Water outside the leelA vibhUthi - this is present but too far to reach out by anyone inside the leelA vibhUthi. The same way para vAsudhEvan is outside the reach of samsAris. pARkadal - vyUham - While kshIrAbdhi is inside the leelA vibhUthi unlike paramapadham, it is often only heard that it is present, but is very difficult to approach due to the distance factor. perukkARu - vibhavam - Water in a flooded river is present during specific seasons but it wont be there when we really need it later. The same way vibhavAvathArams happen in a specific time period and only who are present during that time period is fortunate to engage with them. athilE thEngina madukkaL - archAvathAram - but the flood water stays in small ponds which easily quench the thirst of a person who is in real need of water. The same way vibhavAvathAra emperumAns are represented by archAvathAra emperumAns in various dhivya dhEsams, kshEthrams, etc. These archAvathAram emperumAns are easily approachable by any one any time and is glorified as "pinnAnAr vanNangum chOthi" (

) by thirumangai AzhwAr. They are there to be worshipped by people of all

times (past, present and future). In the following sUthrams (449 and 450), the focus is to establish the supremacy of AchAryan over the parathvAdhi panchakam and how we should fully be focussed on serving our AchAryan who is even more easily accessible than the archAvathAram of emperumAn. The same example of "water for a thirsty person" is explained from a different aspect in sUthram 449.

jImUtha jalam - Water in cloud in the sky - its too high to reach out immediately. paramapadham is also in the spiritual sky and is difficult to reach out immediately. sAgara saleelam - water in ocean - its salty so not readily usable. vyUham (kshIrAbdhi) is only readily reachable by dhEvas.


archAvathAra anubhavam

sarith saleelam - river water - its only useful for people who lived during the floods. vibhavam is accessible only for people who lived during those times. vApi payas - pond water which is accessible to everyone kUpa payas - well water which is in everyone's home but still need special abilities to fetch that

In sUthram 450, the purposes/activities of emperumAn in his different forms are explained.

pAttu kEtkum idam ( ) - paramapadham - Where emperumAn blissfully listens to sAma gAnam of nithya sUris and mukthAthmAs. ) - kshIrAbdhi - Where kUppIdu kEtkum idam ( emperumAn listens to the complaints/miseries of brahmAdhi dhEvas. guthiththa idam ( ) - vibhavam - Where emperumAn jumps into samsAram to do sAdhu parithrANam, dhushta nirasanam and dharma samsthApanam. vaLaiththa idam ( ) - archAvathAram - Where emperumAn takes a place in every village, town, city, etc., to attract people towards him. This is also explained as antharyAmi. Uttum idam ( ) - antharyAmi - Where he stays within everyone's hearts and feeds them with good thoughts and opportunities.

azhagiya maNavALa perumAL nAyanAr explains parathvAdhi panchakam in his magnum opus AchArya hrudhayam chUrNikai 137. Let us see his anubhavam where he compares emperumAn to be a king and the five different activities of the king.

pagalOlakkam irunthu ( ) - paramapadham - usually kings have their general assembly during bright day light - here emperumAn is having a big assembly in paramapadham where it is always bright. kaRuppuduththu chOdhiththu ( ) - antharyami - He hides himself to check the proper functioning of his citizens - here emperumAn hides himself and stays with in the heart of every one. kAriyam maNthiriththu ( ) - vyUham - the king discusses with his ministers, etc to rectify the issues - here emperumAn as kshIrAbdhi nathan discusses with brahmA, shiva, indhran, etc in kshIrAdhi. vEttaiyAdi ( ) - vibhavam - the king goes to the forests to hunt for the evil beasts and animals - here emperumAn takes various vibhavam forms and hunts for evil asuras and rAkshasas. ArAmanGgaLil viLaiyAdum ( ) - archAvathAram - the king goes to a garden and relaxes there peacefully - here emperumAn comes to the dhivyadhEsams like srirangam which are explained as vaNdinam


archAvathAra anubhavam

uralum chOlai ( ) where he enjoys many uthsavams like nithya (daily) uthsavam, paksha (bi-weekly) uthsavam, mAsa (monthly) uthsavam, varusha (annual) uthsavam, etc. Now, that we have seen the parathvAdhi panchakam in sufficient detail, we will understand the greatness of archAvathAram through the simple but a powerful srIsUkthi of mAmunigaL. In thiruvAimozhi nURRanthAdhi pAsuram 26, he summarizes all the different types of manifestations of emperumAn and declares that archAvathAram is the most approachable manifestation for us in this samsAram based on nammAzhwAr's words . cheyya paraththuvamAy chIrAr vyUhamAy (

thuyya vibhavamumAy thOnRu ivaRRuL (

eythumavarkku innilaththil archAvathAram eLithu enRAn (

pannu thamizh mARan payinRu (

Simple translation: nammAzhwar who gave the thamizh vEdham which contains the essence of all sAsthram, declares that, for the ones who are interested in bhagavath vishayam in this samsAram, it is easier to approach archAvathAra emperumAn than paramapadha nAthan (who is unparallel in his greatness), vyUha mUrthy (who is full of great qualities) and vibhavAvathArams (which are fully pure). It is because archAvathAra emperumAns are full of soulabhyam (easily accessibility), AzhwArs/AchAryas were fully surrendered to archAvathAram emperumAns. Let us see how different AzhwArs have immersed themselves in archAvathAra anubhavam in the next article.


archAvathAra anubhavam

mudhalAzhwArgaL anubhavam
In the previous article ( we observed the parthvAdhi panchakam in detail. Let us now start seeing how AzhwArs enjoyed the archAvathAra emperumAns. To start with, we should understand that all of aruLicheyal is specifically there for archAvathAra anubhavam. This is clearly explained by azhagiya maNavALa perumAL nAyanAr in AchArya hrudhayam chUrNikai 70. Here in this chUrNikai nAyanAr makes a table of pramANam and pramEyam based on the vEdha vEdhyan nyAyam (this principle explains that vEdham took the avathAram of srI rAmAyaNam to explain emperumAn who took the avathAram of srI rAman).

vEdham speaks about emperumAn's parathvam (paramapadha nAthan) srI pAncharAthram speaks about vyUha emperumAns. manu smrithi, etc speak about antharyAmi emperumAn. srI rAmAyaNam and mahAbhAratham speak about vibhavAvathArams like sri rAman and krishnan. aruLicheyal (also known as dhrAvida vEdham or thamizh vEdham) speaks about archAvathAra emperumAns.

emperumAn hand picked a few jIvAthmAs from leelA vibhUthi, showed them his divine beauty and qualities, gave them blemishless knowledge through which they can see past, present and future and made them AzhwArs. AzhwAr literally means one who is immersed in bhagavath vishayam. It is shown in thirunedunthAndagam avathArikai by periyavAchAn piLLai that each AzhwAr has their focus on different types of manifestations of emperumAn. He summarizes that

sukAchAryar, etc and mudhalAzhwArgaL (poigaiyAr, bhUthathAr, pEyAr) are immersed in parathvam. sanakAthigaL (sanaka, sanAthana, sanandhana, sanathkumAra) and thirumazhisai pirAn are immersed in antharyAmithvam. vAlmIki, kulasEkara AzhwAr, etc are immersed in rAmAvathAram. parAsara rishi, vEdha vyAsa rishi, nammAzhwAr, periyAzhwAr and ANdAL are immersed in krishnAvathAram. nAradhar, thoNdaradi podi AzhwAr and thiruppANAzhwAr are immersed in srIranganAthan. saunakar and thirumangai AzhwAr are immersed in all archAvathArams.


archAvathAra anubhavam

Even though each AzhwAr has different focus, they are unanimously enjoying archAvathAram through their mangaLAsAsanams in their pAsurams. Let us start with mudhalAzhwArgaL and observe how they enjoyed archAvathAra emperumAns.


In poigai AzhwAr's vAzhi thirunAmam, he is glorified as "vEnGkatavar thirumalaiyai virumbumavan vAzhiyE" (

He has glorified thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn and his vAsasthalam thirumalai in many pAsurams. He shows that the dhivyadhEsam where emperumAn lives is as enjoyable as emperumAn himself (if not more). Let us see a few of his anubhvam here. AzhwAr establishes emperumAn's soulabhyam (easy accessibility) in his archAvathAra form through this wonderful pAsuram. In pAsuram 44, AzhwAr says: thamarugaNthathu evvuruvam avvuruvam thAnE (

) )

thamarugaNthathu eppEr maRRappEr (


archAvathAra anubhavam

thamarugaNthathu evvanNnNam chiNdhiththu imaiyAthirupparE (

) )

avvanNnNam AzhiyAnAm (

Simple translation: emperumAn takes the form that pleases his bhakthas. He keeps the names which are liked by his bhakthas. In however form/name his bhakthas meditate on him, he becomes/accepts such form/name. In nampiLLai's vyAkyAnam, he brings out some great meanings and beautiful idhihyams. nampiLLai relates this to gIthA slOkam "yE yathA mAm prapadhyanthE thAms thathaiva bhajAmyaham" where kaNNan emperumAn says "however one surrenders to him or approaches him, he reciprocates them in their way they want him to be". nampiLLai also explains that emperumAn will take any form based on his bhakthas ruchi. nampiLLai also shows a few idhihyams in this pAsura vyAkyAnam.

Some small children were playing on the banks of river cauvery. They drew a small picture of emperumAn in the sand and they were enacting the thiruvArAdhanam of namperumAL. At that time emperumAnAr passes by that area and the children show him that picture on the sand is none else than his emperumAn. Hearing this, emperumAnAr immediately falls flat on the ground and performs a full praNAmam. emperumAnAr was able to truly appreciate the children's devotion and had full faith in AzhwAr's pAsuram which explained that emperumAn will have his presence when a bhaktha desires so. One srivaishnava named his emperumAn "sathangai azhagiyAr" (one who has beautiful ankle bracelets). One day, emperumAn wanted to show his attachment for that name to that swamy. He appeared in his dream and danced nicely. When he asks who he is, emperumAn says "I am sathangai azhagiyAr" and this swamy is very pleased with that. nanjIyar's thiruvArAdhana emperumAn is named "Ayar thEvu". He once appears in engaLAzhwAn's dream and asks for nAval pazham. engaLAzhwAn asks who he is and he says "I am jIyar's son Ayar dhEvu" - emperumAn had such attachment towards nanjIyar and he happily reveals himself as related to nanjIyar.

In pAsuram 26, AzhwAr identifies how thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn is approached by 3 types of adhikAris - ishvaryArthi (one who is behind material wealth), kaivalyArthi (one who is behind AthmAnubhavam) and bhagavath charAnArthi (one who wants to surrender to emperumAn and serve him eternally). In this pAsuram he also shows how the thirumalai


archAvathAra anubhavam

(hill) itself destroys the sins of the ones who approaches him and how it enhances the bhagavath anubhavam of nithyasUris. In pAsuram 38, AzhwAr describes the beauty of thiruvEnkatam and also explains the greatness of the AdhivAsis who live there. He glorifies the AdhivAsis who live there as "oN kuravar". The greatness for these kuravars is that, when some one from their ancestory had left thirumalai hill, it will be considered as a blot in their reputation for many generations to follow. So, they were very careful not to climb down the hill (thirumalai) for whatever reason. They had such attachment towards the dhivya dhEsam and the emperumAn there. In many other pAsurams, AzhwAr shows his attachment towards thiruvEnkatamudayAn and his abode thirumalai. bhUthathAzhwAr

In bhUthathAzhwAr's vAzhi thirunAmam, he is glorified as "ponpuraiyum thiruvaranGkar pugazhuraippOn vAzhiyE" ( ). He reveals the glories of sriranganAthan in great detail in his pAsurams. In pAsuram 28, when explaining the different manifestations of emperumAn, he explains sriranganAthan as "Ninaippariya NILaranGgaththuLLAn" (

). nampiLLai in his vyAkyAnam explains that, thiruvaranganAthan


archAvathAra anubhavam

is not like other types of manifestations (param, vyUham, etc) and also not like other archAvathArams. Because, he is most enjoyable in periya kOil and is planted there until all the samsAris are given salvation (i.e., that means he is here forever). Let us enjoy a beautiful pAsuram of AzhwAr on thiruvaranganAthan. This is a very important pAsuram as shown by nampiLLai in his vyAkyAnam. thiRambiRRiniyaRiNthEn thennaranGgaththeNthai (


thiRambAvazhi chenRArkkallAl (

thiRambAch chediNaragai NIkkith thAn chelvathanmun (

vAnOr kadiNakara vAchaRkathavu (

Simple translation: Except for the ones who completely depend upon thiruvaraganAthan for salvation, the gates of srivaikuntam will not open. For the ones who completely surrender to emperumAn, this will be a very easy task to accomplish. nampiLLai explains a few great principles in the vyAkyAnam in a detailed manner.

First, emperumAn's soulabhyam in archAvathAram is established here. kaNNan emperumAn said "mAm Ekam sharaNam vraja" and our pUrvAchAryas have explained that "mAm" represents emperumAn's soulabhyam as emperumAn put himself down to a lowly position of chariot driver for arjunan. But here in archAvathAram that soulabhyam of kaNNan emperumAn looks like parathvam, since emperumAn is taken a deity form and makes himself completely dependent on his bhakthas. This is shown as his most adorable quality in archAvathAram. He also explains that para, vyUha, vibhavam have certain limitations based on place, time, etc., which means only certain people at certain times can see emperumAn. But here in archAvathAram, every one can see emperumAn any time. It is also explained that this samsAram is very difficult to over come with the limited abilities of the jIvAthmA. It is an endless cycle of avidhyA, karmA and janmA where the jIvAthmAs are suffering. By depending on emperumAn one can cross this ocean of sufferings since emperumAn can easily relieve the jIvAthmAs of their miseries. Finally the difference between svagatha svIkAram and paragatha svIkAram is explained by nampiLLai. He identifies that one who gets emperumAn by emperumAn's grace only is the most successful and the others are set to fail.


archAvathAra anubhavam


In pEyAzhwAr's vAzhi thirunAmam, he is glorified as "thirukkanNdEnena NURum cheppinAn vAzhiyE" (

). Let us

see a couple of interesting facts from pEyAzhwAr's prabhandham:

He starts with thiru - "thirukkanNdEn" (

) and ends with thiru -

"pU mEl thiru" ( ). so, he establishes emperumAn is sriya:pathi clearly both in the beginning and end of the prabhandham. Also in the second pAsuram he mentions about thiruvadi - "inRE kazhal kanNdEn" ( ) and how the thiruvadis relieve us from all miseries. In the last pAsuram he says "thAL muthalE NanGgatku chArvu" ( ). Thus he shows complete dependency on emperumAn's thiruvadi.

Since AzhwAr has so much attachment for empeumAn's thiruvadi, he rightfully performed his mangaLAsAsanam in thiruvallikkENi dhivyadhEsam where emperumAn is present as pArthasArathy. pArthasArathy emperumAn as githAchAryan declared in so many slOkams that surrendering to him is the only upAyam to easily relieve oneself from samsAram.

Let us enjoy AzhwAr's mangaLAsAsanam for thiruvallikkENi emperumAn. In mUnRAm thiruvanthAdhi, pAsuram 16 AzhwAr enjoys emperumAn as sriya:pathi.


archAvathAra anubhavam

vaNdhuthaiththa venNthiraigaL chempavaLa venNmuththam (

) )

aNdhiviLakkum anNiviLakkAm (

eNthai oruvalliththAmaraiyAL onRiyachIr mArvan (

thiruvallikkEnNiyAn chenRu (

Simple translation: srI mahAlakshmi who lives in a most beautiful lotus flower climbed emperumAn's beautiful chest (thirumArbu). That empermAn who is my swAmy resides in thiruvallikkENi where we see beautiful waves in the seashore which pushes out beautiful red pearls (pavaLam) and white beads (muthu) and the place is decorated with beautiful lamps. In the vyAkyAnam, nampiLLai shows the beautiful charithram of srI mahAlakshmi coming out of kshIrAbdhi and climbing the chest of emperumAn and staying there permanently. It is to be understood that pirAtti anyway lives in emperumAn's chest all the time but this is a specific leelai of emperumAn to show that pirAtti and emperumAn are naturally attracted towards each other. nampiLLai says that emperumAn is purushOththaman and pirAtti is nArINAmuththamai (making this mithunam a great combination). He also explains that when kshIrAbdhi is churned, pirAtti comes out of it and while everyone is watching she goes and garlands emperumAn. Just like a wife will go to her husband without any shyness in front of the children, pirAtti (jagan mAthA) also approached emperumAn (jagat pithA) in front of all the dhEvas (children of emperumAn). nampiLLai also shows three different bhakthas of emperumAn who got the grace of pirAtti and emperumAn.

thiruvadi (hanuman) got the grace of emperumAn first and then he got blessed by pirAtti after. vibhIshaNan gets the grace of pirAtti first and then got blessed by emperumAn. guha perumAL got blessed by both pirAtti and perumAL at the same time.

And all these anubhavam, emperumAn was showing him through is archA thirumEni to pEyAzhwAr.


archAvathAra anubhavam

pEyAzhwAr also performed mangaLAsAsanam to many other archAvathAra emperumAns in his prabhandham. In pAsuram 62, he glorifies thiruviNNagar, thiruvekkA, thirumalai, thiruvELukkai, thirukkudanthai, thiruvarangam and thirukkOttiyUr. pAsuram 63 is also very important which is often misunderstood to be equating mahAvishNu and paramashivan. In this pAsuram pEyAzhwAr explains that both emperumAn and sankaran are seen in the archA thirumEni of thiruvEnkadamudaiyAn. In the vyAkyAnam, nampiLLai explains that one is sAdhaka vEsham (a devotee who has matted hair, etc) and other is decorated/woshippable vEsham (crown, etc) and its a great wonder (Ascharya shakthi) that emperumAn is showing both the forms together. nampiLLai also explains that emperumAn is manifesting his great quality of souseelyam here - mahatha: mandhaischa nIrandhrEna samslEsha svabhAvam souseelyam - a great person mixing with a lowly person without showing any difference is called souseelyam (magnanimity).

In the next article we will continue with the other AzhwArs.


archAvathAra anubhavam

thirumazhisai AzhwAr anubhavam

In the previous article ( we observed the mudhalAzhwArgaL anubhavam. We will now move on to thirumazhisai AzhwAr who enjoyed many dhivyadhEsa emperumAns. Thirumazhisai AzhwAr has a unique name - he is called as thirumazhisaippirAn, pirAn is a beautiful thamizh word which means upakArakan - one who helps or one who does us favours. AzhwAr has done us one of the biggest favours - he clearly established the parathvam of emperumAn sriman nArAyaNan and absolutely cleared the doubts of any supremacy in other dhEvathAs. That is why maNavALa mAmunigaL identified him as ) in "thuyya mathi peRRa mazhichaippirAn" ( upadhEsa rathina mAlai. As shown by piLLai lOkam jIyar, here thuyya means "very pure" and mathi means "intelligence". Purity in intelligence means "absolutely avoiding dhEvathAntharams" and that is what thirumazhisai AzhwAr showed us.

ArAvamuthan - thirukkudanthai thirumazhisai AzhwAr generally was meditating on antharyAmi emperumAn because emperumAn was firmly seated in AzhwAr's heart as sriya:pathi (with a beautiful thirumEni). But he also showed great attachment towards archAvathAra emperumAns. He also has special attachment for emperumAns in sayana thirukkOlam. Many pAsurams in his prabhandhams are dedicated to emperumAns in sayana thirukkOlam. Let us see the 36th pAsuram from nAnmukan thiruvanthAdhi where AzhwAr enjoys


archAvathAra anubhavam

many emperumAns who are in sayana thriukkOlam at once. NAgaththanNaik kudanthai veHkAth thiruvevvuL (

NAgaththanNai aranGgam pEranbil (

NAgaththanNaip pARkadal kidakkum AdhiNedumAl (

anNaippAr karuththanAvAn (

Simple translation: emperumAn sriman nArAyaNan who is the original cause of everything is lying down in thirukkudanthai (ArAvamuthan), thiruvekkA (yathOkthakAri), thiruevvuL (vijayarAghavan), srirangam (periya perumAL), thiruppEr nagar (appa kudaththAn), thiru anbil (vadivazhagiya nambi) and thiruppARkadal (kshIrAbdhinAthan). The purpose of him lying down in these dhivya dhEsams is to enter into the hearts of the devotees who meditate on him. periyavAchAn piLLai shows in the vyAkyAnam that it is because emperumAn is the mother (cause) of all jIvAthmAs, just like a mother will even help the child who is not favourable towards her, emperumAn also waits in dhivyadhEsams to attract even samsAris who are not showing any interest towards him. In thiruchchanthaviruththam pAsuram 61, AzhwAr and ArAvamudhan are having beautiful exchange of anubhavam. NadaNtha kAlgaL NoNdhavO? NadunGgu nYAla mEnamaay (

) )

idaNthamey kulunGgavO vilanGgu mAl varaicchuram ( kadaNdha kAl paraNdha kAvirikkarai kudaNthaiyuL (

kidaNthavARu ezhuNdhiruNdhu pEchu vAzhi kEchanE (

Simple translation: AzhwAr is asking why thirukkudanthai emperumAn did not speak to him as soon as he saw him. He is asking emperumAn that if he is resting due to the following reasons:

Is it because you had to measure the three worlds using your lotus like soft feet in vAmanAvathAram?


archAvathAra anubhavam

Is it because of the long walks you took in rAmAvathAram? Is it because you had to bring bhUdhEvi from the deep ocean in varAhAvathAram? Is it because you wanted to enjoy the coolness of cauvery river flowing in with so much enthusiasm to serve you?

Finally he requests emperumAn to climb up and speak to him and also says "vAzhi" which means mangaLAsAsanam to emperumAn. periyavAchAn piLLai in his vyAkyAnam beautifully explains the soft/tender nature of emperumAn's lotus feet using "vadiviNai illA malar magal ... pidikkum melladi" pAsuram, where it is explained that when the soft hands of pirAttis touch emperumAn's lotus feet, the lotus feet will become red - such is the tender nature of emperumAn's thiruvadi. periyavAchAn piLLai also explains that emperumAn is eagerly waiting for AzhwAr's mangaLAsAsanam, which is why he did not speak a word with AzhwAr until he heard the "vAzhi" from AzhwAr. AzhwAr sustains himself by doing mangaLAsAsanam to emperumAn and emperumAn sustains himself by hearing the mangaLAsAsanam from his bhakthas. Azhwar is constantly enjoying archAvathAra emperumAns within his heart. Let us enjoy this in thiruchchanthaviruththam pAsuram 64. NinRatheNthai Uragaththu iruNthatheNthai pAdagaththu (

anRu veHkanNai kidaNthathu ennilAtha munnelAm (


anRu NAn piRaNthilEn piRaNthapin maRaNthilEn (

NinRathum iruNthathum kidaNthathum en NenjchuLE (

Simple Translation: My swamy was residing in thiruvUragam (UragaththAn) in standing posture, thiruppAdagam (pAndava dhUthan) in sitting posture and when I still did not develop the ruchi towards him he came to thiruveHkA (yathOkthAkAri) in reclining position. I dont consider myself as a chEthanan until I understood emperumAn and his efforts to attract me and once I understood that I never forgot about him. But now emperumAn is showing all his great qualities of these archAvathArams right within my heart. In the vyAkyAnam, periyavAchAn piLLai shows that AzwAr was given blemishless knowledge by emperumAn. He also shows sruthi vAkyam "asath brahmEthi vEdha


archAvathAra anubhavam

chEth - asannEva sa bhavathi" which explains that a jIvAthmA can be considered as existing only when he has real knowledge about emperumAn. This pramANam "anRu NAn piRaNthilEn piRaNthapin maRaNthilEn" is also explained by piLLai lOkAchAryar in mumukshuppadi to indicate the importance of artha panchaka jnAnam and how our AzhwArs and AchAryas considered themselves to be useless until they got this artha panchaka jnAnam.

AzhwAr's anubhavam of thiruvarangam is also very beautiful. He beautifully relates many vibhavAvathArams charithram in his thiruvaranga pAsurams and enjoys those vibhavAvathArams in periya perumAL. In the next article we will enjoy nammAzhwAr's archAvathAra anubhavam.


archAvathAra anubhavam nammAzhwAr anubhavam

In the previous article ( we observed thirumazhisaiAzhwAr anubhavam. We will now move on to nammAzhwAr who enjoyed many dhivyadhEsa emperumAns.

mAmunigaL identifies that nammAzhwAr is "vEdham thamizh cheytha mARan" ( ). All the deep meanings and the essence in the sruthi, etc are given in a very simple manner by nammAzhwAr in his prabhandhams. The essence of vEdham is excellently explained by azhagiya maNavALa perumAL nAyanAr in his AchArya hrudhayam in chUrNikai 16. Let us just see the particular portion from that chUrNikai. vEdhasAra upaNishadh, sArathara aNuvAga, sArathama gAyathriyil muthalOdhugiRa poruL mudivAna churukku ( , ,


mAmunigaL in his beautiful vyAkyAnam shows the deep meanings of this portion. Let us see a simple translation of the same now.

vEdham - sruthi - nithya (eternal), apaurushEya (not created by anyone) and without any faults vEdhasAra upaNishadh - the essence of vEdham is vEdhAntham


archAvathAra anubhavam

sArathara aNuvAga - essence of upanishadh is nArAyaNa aNuvAgham (nArAyaNa sUktham) sArathama gAyathri - essence of nArAyaNa aNuvAgham is the vishNu gAyathri which identifies the 3 thirumAmams of emperumAn which show his vyApthi (omni presence) - nArAyaNa, vAsudhEva, vishNu. muthalOdhugiRa poruL mudivAna churukku - the name which is first identified among the 3 names, i.e., nArAyaNa and that which explains the meanings of nArAyaNa clearly and briefly, i.e., thirumanthram.

Thus, in this beautiful chUrNikai, nAyanAr establishes that the purpose of vEdham is to reveal the glories of thirumanthram. mAmunigAL in his beautiful commentary shows based on several pramANams from sAsthram that thirumanthram (dhvayam and charama slOkam as well) is the most important aspect in vEdham. In chUrNikais 208 and 209, nAyanAr explains that, the rahasya thryayam is explained in the 4 prabhandhams of nammAzhwAr.

thiruviruththam explains praNavam and nama: padham in thirumanthram thiruVasiriyam explains nArAyaNa padham in thirumanthram periya thiruvanthAdhi explains charama slOkam thiruvAimozhi explains dhvaya mahA manthram

thirumanthram explains artha panchakam clearly. In mumukshupadi piLLai lOkAchAryar explains that thriumanthram contains all that is to be known for a mumukshu. A mumukshu should understand artha panchakam clearly. And this artha panchaka jnAnam is only considered as valid knowledge for the AthmA. All other loukIka knowledge is only good for maintaining our dhEham (body). artha panchakam is explained by nammAzhwAr in his prabandhams very clearly. This can be understood by the thanian that is recited for thiruvAimozhi.

mikka iRai Nilai ( ) - paramAthma svarUpam meyyAm uyir Nilai (

) - jIvAthma svarUpam

thakka neRi ( ) - upAya svarUpam thadaiyAgith thokkiyalum Uzhvinai ( ) - virOdhi svarUpam vAzhvu ( ) - prApya svarUpam

And it is because of this reason that nammAzhwAr revealed the great meanings of artha panchakam which is the essence of vEdham, he was identified as "vEdham thamizh cheytha mARan". Just a few words of mAmunigAL has so much meanings - what to speak about his lengthy vyAkyAnams. Now that we have seen a brief introduction of nammAzhwAr and his prabandhams, we


archAvathAra anubhavam

will move on to his archAvathAra anubhavam. We will see how artha panchakam is enjoyed by nammAzhwAr in archAvathAra emperumAns in thiruvAimozhi. azhagiya maNavALa perumAL nAyanAr identifies in chUrNikai 211 in AchArya hrudhayam that artha panchakam is explained in thiruvAimozhi in 20 padhigams briefly and further explained in detail in the remaining 80 padhigams.

paramAthma svarUpam - uyar (1.1), thiN (2.2), aNai (2.8), onRu (4.10) jIvAthma svarUpam - payil (3.7), Eru (4.8), karu (8.8), kaN (8.9) virOdhi svarUpam - vIdu (1.2), chonnAl (3.9), oru (4.1), koNda (9.1) upAya svarUpam - nORRa nAlu (5.7, 5.8, 5.9, 5.10) prApya svarUpam - emmA (2.9), ozhivil (3.3), nedu (8.10), vEy (10.3)

Of these, we will discuss the padhigams specific to archAvathAram for each one in artha panchakam.

paramAthma svarUpam
chAndhOgya upanishadh declares that "kAraNam thu dhyEya:" - one should meditate on the root cause. It is established in other places in vEdham that emperumAn sriman nArAyaNan is the root cause of everything and his parathvam is accepted clearly. nammAzhwAr establishes that parathvam of emperumAn in Adhi nAthan and polindhu ninRa pirAn who are the mUla and uthsava mUrthys in AzhwAr thirungari his avathAra sthalam. In thiruvAimozhi, onRum dhEvum padhigam (4.10), nammAzhwAr shows the supremacy of emperumAn and the dependent nature of all other dhEvathAs clearly.


archAvathAra anubhavam

nampiLLai in his eedu vyAkyAnam, establishes using several vEdha/vEdhAntha vAkyams how emperumAn is supremely independent and how he stays as antharyAmi in all other dhEvathAs to execute the specific tasks assigned to them. He specifically quotes "kAraNam thu dhyEya:" (one that is the root cause is the object of meditation) and "yathO vA imANi bhUthANi jAyanthE| yEna jAthANi jIvanthi| yath prayanthyabhisamvisaNthi| thathvijijyAsava| thath brahma" (from whom everything is created, by whom everything is sustained, by whom everything is destroyed, that is to be known as brahmam the great). He further explains using "ekOha vai nArAyaNa AsIth na brahmA nEshAna:" meaning only sriman nArAyaNan existed in the beginning and others were not existing. All other sAsthra vAkyams which show others as supreme should be understood that emperumAn as antharyAmi who is being glorified there. Let us see the 5th pAsuram which is the main pAsuram in this padhigam. ilinGgaththitta purAnNaththIrum chamanNarum chAkkiyarum (

valiNthu vAthu cheyvIrkaLum maRRuNum dheyvamumAgi NinrAn (

maliNthu cheNNel kavari vIchum thirukkurugUrathanuL (

poliNdhu NinRa pirAn kanNdIr onRum poy illai pORRuminE (

Simple translation: saivas who are linga purANa nishtargaL, boudhdhAs and jains who dont accept vEdham as pramANam, others like vaisEshikAs who give wrong interpretation to vEdham, and the leaders of all these various groups are all controlled by sriman nArAyaNan. That sriman nArAyaNan has situated himself in thirukkurugUr as polindhu ninRa pirAn amidst beautiful scenic fields. This is nothing but truth, so give up all the other attachments and glorify emperumAn. nampiLLai shows some great meanings in this pAsura vyAkyAnam.

He identifies anya dhEvathAs like rudhran are glorified in thAmasa purANas. He also identifies that if a poet is asked to glorify a buffalo as an elephant he will do that. The same way these thAmasa purANas glorify other dhEvathAs by glorifying them with no real substance. He also identifies through vEdha vAkyams that emperumAn is the antharyAmi for everyone and it is he who controls every one and everything in both nithya vibhUthi and leelA vibhUthi. He beautifully explains "polindhu" - polindhu means "glowing with beauty" generally. nampiLLai explains, when emperumAn descends from paramapadham in to samsAram, he is not affected by the defects in this world, instead his


archAvathAra anubhavam

greatness increases especially in archAvathAram where he is here to just enjoy being controlled by his bhakthas (like thirumazhisai AzhwAr's interaction with yathOkthAkAri and ArAvamuthan). Thus his parathvam and soulabhyam are manifested wonderfully in archAvathAram.

jIvAthma svarUpam
jIvAthmA is generally identified as sEshan, parathanthran to emperumAn and also one who has knowledge (chEthanan). In karu mAnikka malai (8.9) padhigam, AzhwAr identifies the jIvAthma as ananyArha sEshan to kutta nAttu thiruppuliyUr emperumAn (mAyappirAn).

In this particular padhigam, AzhwAr is taking the mood/bhAvam of a thOzhi (friend) of parAngusa nAyaki who is already married to mAyappirAn. But her parents (unaware of this) are looking to get parAngusa nAyaki married to some one else. At that time, parAngusa nAyaki's friend is telling her parents that she is suspecting that parAngusa nAyaki is already married to emperumAn based on the fact that she smells thiruthuzhAi all over her. Let us see a beautiful pAsuram (8.9.1) from this padhigam. anRi maRROrupAyamen? ivaLaNthanNthuzhAy kamazhthal ( ? ) ) kunRa mAmanNimAda mALigaik kOlak kuzhAnGgaL malgi (


archAvathAra anubhavam

thendhichaiththilathampurai kuttaNAttuth thiruppuliyUr ( ) NinRa mAyappirAn thiruvuLLam ivaL NErpattathE ( )

Simple translation: kutta nAttu thiruppuliyUr is described here beautifully as a place which is filled with beautiful palaces (with lots of pearls, beeds and decorations) and is like a landmark for the southern part of bhAratha dhEsam. mAyappirAn emperumAn who resides there has directly blessed parAngusa nAyaki to be fully situated in emperumAn only without thinking about anything else. This parAngusa nAyaki on whom we can smell the thiruththuzhAi has no other means other than emperumAn. In this pAsuram, jIvAthmA's ananyArha sEshathvam (that we are only sub-servient to emperumAn) is established by AzhwAr. This is explained in the "ukAram" in praNavam. Thus we have seen the jIvAthma svarUpam in relation to archAvathAra emperumAn.

virOdhi svarUpam
Finally we have to see how AzhwAr identifies the virOdhi svarUpam in relation to archAvathAra emperumAn. In oru NAyagamAi (4.1) padhigam, AzhwAr identifies that ishvaryam and kaivalyam are to be given up completely. When we have even a little bit of attachment to ishvaryam and kaivalyam, that stays as a hurdle in our spiritual progress. This padhigam was offered by emperumAnAr as mangaLAsAsanam to thirunArAyaNapuram emperumAn as it aptly relates to that emperumAn.


archAvathAra anubhavam

In this padhigam, the impermanent nature of ishvaryam and the defects in AthmAnubhavam (kaivalyam) are clearly explained. It is explained that ishvaryam (material wealth both in this earth and svargam) that is generated is destined to be lost - as it is seen in this world that even great kings some days become completely wealthless and when some one makes it to svargam, once his puNyam is exhausted he comes back to the earth to accumulate puNyam/pApam here. As far as kaivalyam is concerned, it is compared to some one eating their own body parts and thinking that as enjoyment. Even though this is also a type of mOksham, since it is not apt for jIvAthma svarUpam to enjoy oneself, it is condemned by our AzhwArs and AchAryas. If we gave up these two meaningless pursuits (of ishvaryam and kaivalyam) and engage in worshipping the lotus feet of thirunArAyaNan emperumAn, we are destined to go to paramapadham. Thus we have seen the virOdhi svarUpam in relation to archAvathAra emperumAn.

upAya svarUpam
sharaNAgathi is identified as the means to attain emperumAn by AzhwArs. nammAzhwAr performs sharaNAgathi in five padhigams in thiruvAimozhi.

nORRa nOnbilEn (5.7) - vAnamAmalai dheivanAyagan - shows his Akinchanyam (that AzhwAr has nothing to offer to emperumAn)


archAvathAra anubhavam

ArAvamuthE (5.8) - thirukkudanthai ArAvamuthan - shows his ananya gathithvam (that he has no one else to go to)

mAnEi nOkku (5.9) - thiruvallavAzh kOlppirAn - shows his bhakthi pAravasyam (extreme level of affection for emperumAn) piRanthvArum (5.10) - kaNNan emperumAn - enjoys emperumAn's kalyANa guNams and performs sharaNAgathi ulagamunda peruvAyA (6.10) - thirumalai thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn - surrendering to emperumAn with the purushakAram of pirAtti explaining the meanings of the first part of dhvaya mahA manthram.


archAvathAra anubhavam

It is explained that the sharaNAgathi performed to thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn is the most apt one and it shows how much love nammAzhwAr has for thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn. Let us enjoy the 10th pAsuram from this padhigam which is the essence of this padhigam. agalagillEn iRaiyumenRu alarmElmanGgaiyuRaimArbA (

NigarilpugazhAy ulagam mUnRudaiyAy ennaiyALvAnE (

) ) )

Nigarilamarar munikkanNanGgaL virumbum thiruvEnGgadaththAnE (

pugalonRillA adiyEn unnadikkIzhamarNthu puguNthEnE (

Simple translation: (AzhwAr is addressing emperumAn in this pAsuram and performing sharaNAgathi here.) You are the one who makes pirAtti say "I wont leave from your heart even for a micro moment", you are the one who is full of vAthsalyam, you are the one who is sarva svAmi, you are full of souseelyam (magnanimity) and you are full of soulabhyam. adiyEn (who is completely dependent on you, your sEshan and parathanthran) who does not have any other go, surrenders unto your lotus feet. This directly relates to the pUrva vAkyam of dhvaya mahA manthram.

sri is explained by alarmEl mangai mathupu is explained by agalagillEn iRaiyum nArAyaNa is explained by NigarilpugazhAy, ulagam mUnRudaiyAy, ennaiyALvAnE and thiruvEnkataththAnE. charaNau is explained by unnadi. sharaNam is also explained by unnadi since thiruvadi is the upAyam for AzhwAr. prapadhyE is explained by pugunthEnE.

In addition to what is in dhvayam, here AzhwAr identifies the jivAthma svarUpam clearly using pugalonRillA adiyEn. Here he establishes that he is completely dependent on emperumAn and has Akinchanyam and ananya gathithvam fully which are required for a sharaNAgathan. nampiLLai, in the vyAkyAnam for this pAsuram, has explained emperumAn's upAyathvam and pirAtti's purushakArathvam in great detail. pirAtii's charama slOkam "pApAnAm vA" is explained wonderfully and her mercy towards every jIvAthmA is fully explained in this vyAkyAnam by nampiLLai. Thus we have seen that upAya svarUpam svarUpam is explained by AzhwAr in relating to archAvathAra emperumAn.


archAvathAra anubhavam

prApya svarUpam
dhvaya mahA manthram has two parts - the first part is performing sharaNAgthi to emperumAn and the second part is requesting for kainkaryam from emperumAn. AzhwAr performed sharaNAgathi in agalagillEn pAsuram. His kainkarya prArthanai is done in ozhivil kAlamellAm padhigam (3.3). In dhvaya mahA manthram it is explained that, we should serve sriman nArAyaNan with his divine consort sri mahAlakshmi constantly in many different ways, keeping in mind that any Anandham (joy) that comes out of the kainkaryam should be to emperumAn only. We being jIvAthmAs (with knowledge) will also have a bit of Anandham looking at the joy of emperumAn, but the focus is always on emperumAn. AzhwAr's attachment for thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn is limitless. When AzhwAr wanted to serve emperumAn constantly, emperumAn manifests himself as thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn in front of AzhwAr, making AzhwAr glorify him and request him for kainkaryam in thirumalai. Let us see the first pAsuram from this padhigam.

ozhivil kAlamellAm udanAy manni ( vazhuvilA adimai cheyya vEnNdum NAm (

thezhikuralaruvith thiruvEnGgadaththu ezhil koL chOthi (

eNthai thaNthai thaNthaikkE ( )


archAvathAra anubhavam

Simple translation: In the beautiful hills of thirumalai where waterfalls makes very loud noise, to thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn who is the leader of our thoNdar kulam, we (who are completely surrendered to him) should stay with him constantly and serve him in all places, all the time and in all different ways without the defect of looking for personal happiness. nampILLai shows that just like iLaya perumAL served sithai and rAman throughout his life, AzhwAr also desires to perform several kainkaryams without any self-interest. He also explains beautifully the glories of kainkaryam to emperumAn and the difficulties in doing kainkaryam for anya dhEvathAs. Finally nampiLLai explains that the whole meaning of thirumanthram is available in this pAsuram itself. Also, in the 4th pAsuram, AzhwAr says "NIchanEn NiRai onRumilEn, en kanN pAcham vaiththa param chudar chOdhikkE" ( ,

). While he says he is very lowly, he also

glorifies emperumAn that emperumAn started glowing so much after showing attachment towards AzhwAr. Also, in many pAsurams, AzhwAr takes parAngusa nAyaki bhAvam and speaks like a girl who wants to see emperumAn. It is explained by nAyanAr in AchArya hrudhayam that "jnYAnaththil than pEchchu, prEmaththil penN pEchchu" ( , ) which means when AzhwAr's attachment for prApyam increases so much, he takes the bhAvam of a pirAtti and longs for emperumAn. This can be wonderfully observed in "enganEyO annaimIrgAL" (4.5) padhigam, where AzhwAr explains her love towards thirukkurungudi emperumAn.


archAvathAra anubhavam

Finally, talking about archAvathAra emperumAn, AzhwAr shows the great importance of gruhArchAi (emperumAn in homes) in cheyya thAmarai kaNNan (3.6) padhigam. In this padhigam, 9th pAsuram, AzhwAr says "avan ivan enRu kUzhEnmin, NenchinAl NinaippAn yavan, avanAgum NeeL kadal vanNnNanE" (

) meaning dont doubt that archAvathara emperumAn is as good as

paramapadhanAthan for us to surrender and relieve us from our miseries because emperumAn takes the form which is desired by his bhakthan (so he is the same person). In the vyAkyAnam, nampiLLai shows a wonderful nirvAham of mudhaliANdAn for "avan ivan enRu kUzhEnmin". ANdAn says dont think that paramapadhanAthan has come down to samsAram as this archAvathAra emperumAn, but think that this archAvathAra emperumAn has gone upto paramapadham as paramapadhanAthan. It is very important to understand that emperumAn is not just available in dhivyadhEsam temples. emperumAn takes many different forms in many different places like village/city/overseas temples, mutts, thirumALigais and most importantly our own homes. emperumAn coming down to our own homes where we dont follow any Agamam, AchAram, anushtAnam, etc., is the pinnacle of emperumAn's soulabhyam and his love and attachment towards all jIvAthmAs especially his bhakthas. In jithanthE sthOthram, it is said that all his names, forms, etc., are only for the purpose of satisfying his bhakthas. So, we should also ensure that we take care of him very well. Our pUrvAchAryas have explained that it is the foremost duty of every srivaishnava to perform thiruvArAdhanam to his emperumAn at home without fail. For details on thiruvArAdhanam please see Thus we have seen the prApya svarUpam in relation to archAvathAra emperumAn. With this we have seen how nammAzhwAr was fully immersed in archAvathAra anubhavam and demonstrating the artha panchakam through many pAsurams dedicated specifically to archAvathAra emperumAn. Please see for a listing of the various archAvathAra emperumAns and their unique guNams as enjoyed by AzhwAr in thiruAimozhi and as listed by azhagiya maNavALa perumAl nAyanAr. In the near future, adiyen will discuss this in detail in nAyanAr's archAvathAra anubhavam. In the next article we will enjoy madhurakavi AzhwAr's archAvathAra anubhavam.


archAvathAra anubhavam

madhurakavi AzhwAr anubhavam

In the previous article ( we observed nammAzhwAr's archAvathAra anubhavam. Let us now see madhurakavi AzhwAr's archAvathAra anubhavam.

There are two levels of nishtai - pratham parva nishtai and charama parva nishtai.

prathama parva nishtai which means being completely focussed on emperumAn all the time. charama parva nishtai which means being completely focussed on AchAryan/bhAgavathas all the time.

While all the AzhwArs are situated in prathama parva nishtai madhura kavi AzhwAr and ANdAL are explained by our pUrvAchAryas as being situated in charama parva nishtai. ANdAL identifies in nAchiAr thirumozhi that emperumAn kaNNan is "vittuchiththar thanGgaL dhEvar" ( ). Because periyAzhwAr liked and showed kaNNan, ANdAL says she is also following him. Anyway, we will discuss ANdAL's nishtai in some other occassion. madhurakavi AzhwAr was fully surrendered to nammAzhwAr and he was fully satisfied . This is explained by piLLai lOkAchAryar in srivachana bhUshaNa dhivya sAsthram in sUthram 408 and 409. Let us take this opportunity to first establish madhurakavai AzhwAr's greatness before going in to his archAvathAra anubhavam. unNdapOthoru vArththaiyum unNnNAthapOthoru vArththaiyum cholluvAr paththuppErunNdirE, avargaL pAsuram konNdanRu ivvarththam aRuthiyiduvathu. (


archAvathAra anubhavam


avargaLaich chiriththiruppAr oruvarunNdiRE; avar pAsuram konNdu ivvarththam aRuthiyidakkadavOm. ( ;


piLLai lOkAchAryar, in the last prakaraNam, is discussing the highest nishtai that AchAryan is upAyam and upEyam for AchArya nishtars. For that he compares madhurakavi AzhwAr with other AzhwArs. Without mAmunigaL's vyAkyAnam, we cannot clearly understand the meanings of these sUthrams. Let us immerse ourselves a little bit in mAmunigaL's beautiful vyAkyAnam. Here eating (unNda) means having bhagavath anubhavam and not-eating (unNnNAtha) means not having bhagavath anubhavam. Because for AzhwArs "unNnNum chORu parugu NIr thinnum veRRilai ellAm kanNnNan" (


AzhwArs in general, are bhAgavatha nishtars only. When they are happy (unNdapOthoru vArththai), in many pAsurams, they glorify bhAgavathAs. For example, nammAzhwAr says "payilum piRappidai thOrum emmaiyALum paramar" (In every birth they will be my swAmys), "varumaiyum immaiyum nammai aLikkum pirAkkaL" (in future and the present, they are the protectors for us), etc. Other AzhwArs have also glorified bhAgavathAs very much when they are happy. But when they dont have bhagavath anubhavam (unNnNAthapOthoru vArththai), out of desperation to see emperumAn and out of their unbearable sorrow, they have said some harsh words to emperumAn and also to bhAgavathAs. For example, nammAzhwAr calls garudAzhwAr as "venjiraippuL" (because he uses his wings to fly away carrying emperumAn from AzhwAr), etc. AzhwArs also become bewildered when they dont have bhagavath anubhavam out of the immense sorrow they go through. They have so much attachment for emperumAn which is unimaginable for us, that when they dont have bhagavth anubhavam they are completely shaken up. It is shown in the vyAkyAnams that just like we are completely shaken up when our material desires are not fulfilled, AzhwArs are completely shaken up when there is no bhagavath anubhavam for them. Unlike other AzhwArs, madhuravaki AzhwAr was fully situated in nammAzhwAr. So, he was always happy and said "dhEvumaRRaRiyEn", "nAvinAL naviRRu inbam eythinEn", etc. That being said, archAvathAra emperumAn is so powerful that he can even attract such AchArya nishtars towards him. This is explained in the 3rd pAsuram of kaNNinun chiruththAmbu. thirithaNthAgilum dhEvapirAnudaik (


archAvathAra anubhavam

kariya kOlath thiruvurukkAnNban NAn ( periyavanN kurugUr Nagar Nambikku ( ALuriyanAy adiyEn peRRa NanmaiyE (

Simple translation: "Even taking my eyes off nammAzhwAr, I will enjoy the blackish beautiful thirumEni of the swAmy of nithyasUris. I got this great benediction (of seeing emperumAn) because of my subservience to kurugUr nambi (nammAzhwAr)." emperumAn is willingly showing his beautiful thirumEni to madhurakavi AzhwAr since he is a disciple of nammAzhwAr. While madhurakavi AzhwAr is generally not interested in bhagavath anubhavam and is fully focussed on nammAzhwAr only, because emperumAn is dear to AzhwAr and emperumAn's beauty here is so enjoyable, he looks at him. While in the vyAkyAnams there is no specific mention of archAvathAra emperumAn, we can understand that this relating to Adhi nAthan emperumAn of AzhwAr thirunagari since

AdhinAthan emperumAn, nammAzhwAr and madhurakavi AzhwAr are all residing in AzhwAr thirunagari. For madhurakavi AzhwAr, AzhwAr thirunagari is paramapadham (because of AzhwAr's presence) as shown by himself in the last pAsuram as "vaikuntham kANminE".

It is explained in the vyAkyAnams that due to the fact that bhAgavathAs are so attached to emperumAn and vice versa, naturally, bhAgavatha nishtars will have attachment towards emperumAn and bhagavth nishtars will have attachment towards bhAgavathAs. In the next article we will see kulasEkara AzhwAr's archAvathAra anubhavam.


archAvathAra anubhavam

kulasEkara AzhwAr anubhavam

In the previous article ( we observed madhurakavi AzhwAr's archAvathAra anubhavam. Let us now see kulasEkara AzhwAr's archAvathAra anubhavam.

In upadhEsa rathina mAlai, 13th pAsuram, mAmunigaL hails kulasEkara AzhwAr's thirunakshathram in the following way. It will help us understand the glories of kulasEkara AzhwAr. mAchip punarpUcham kAnNmininRu manNnNulagIr (

) )


thEchith thivachaththukkEthennil - pEchuginREn (

kolli NagarkkOn kulachEkaran piRappAl ( NallavargaL konNdAdum NAL (

Simple translation: People of this world please hear as I tell you, the greatness of mAsi punarpUsam is due to the fact that kulasEkara AzhwAr who is the king of the place named kolli is born on this day and because this day is celebrated by great personalities like emperumAnAr.


archAvathAra anubhavam

Here nallavargaL means sAdhus. While normally sAdhu is a term that is identified with soft natured people and innocent people, emperumAnAr in his gIthA bhAshyam explains the meaning of sAdhu in a very relishable way in slOkam 4.8 for the phrase "parithrANAya sAdhunAm" which means protecting sAdhus. emperumAnAr identifies the following qualities for sAdhus in his bhAshyam:

One who abides by what is explained so far in gIthai (i.e., one who clearly has Athma jnAnam, follows varNAshrama dharma, etc) One who is a leader amongst vaishNavas One who has taken full shelter of emperumAn One who constantly engages themselves in thinking about emperumAn's names, forms, activities and true nature One who cannot bear the thought of any thing other than emperumAn One who becomes filled with sorrow when not having the sEvai (dharshan) of emperumAn One who thinks a moment of separation from emperumAn as 1000 chathur yugams One who is constantly filled with tears in their eyes and bodily reactions, thinking about emperumAn One who does not even care about mOksham as long as there is constant samslEsham (anubhavam) with empermumAn in this world itself

kulasEkara AzhwAr is glorified like this by mAmunigaL, so that gives an idea of his greatness. kulasEkara AzhwAr, born in a kshathriya family, developed great attachment towards emperumAn that too chakkaravarthy thirumagan. Let us understand his archAvathAra anubhavam with various archAvathAra emperumAns in perumAL thirumozhi.

Azhwar starts his perumAl thirumozhi with thiruvaranganAthan. In his thanian itself it is identified that when he was a king he was longing to go to thiruvarangam everyday. He had so much attachment to periya perumAL that he could not resist expressing his attachment for periya perumAL even though he had his thoughts fully on chakkaravarthy thirumagan all the time. Right in the first pAsuram he mentions "thiruvaranga peruNagaruL" ( ). periyavAchAn piLLai explains that for AzhwAr srivaikuntam is srirangam (srivaikuntam is called "peru veedu", so he is calling srirangam peruNagar). In the second pAsuram he identifies that he wants to hold on to the pillars in front of periya perumAL otherwise he wont be able to hold the sight in his heart of emperumAn long because as soon as he sees periya


archAvathAra anubhavam

perumAL he will be overcome with emotions and faint.

Let us enjoy the 10th pAsuram from this padhigam, where AzhwAr enjoys the congregation of adiyArs in thiruvarangam. vanperu vAnagamuyya amararuyya manNnNuyya manNnNulagil manicharuyya (

thunbamigu thuyaragala ayarvonRillAch chugam vaLara agamagizhum thonNdarvAzha (

anbodu thendhichai NOkkip paLLikoLLum anNiyaranGgan thirumuRRaththu adiyAr thanGgaL (

inbamigu perunGkuzhuvu kanNdu yAnum ichaiNthudanE enRu kolO irukkuNALE (

Simple translation: emperumAn descends to thiruvarangam as periya perumAL to give ujjIvanam for dhEvas like brahma, etc and their residing places like sathya lOkam, etc., manushyas and their residing place (bhUmi), to clear off the sins of jIvAthmAs, to give pure joy without any mixing of sorrow, to bring happiness in the hearts of his adiyArs by giving them his anubhavam and to give his constant katAksham to vibhIshaNAzhwAn who is living in the southern side (lankA). When Oh When I will get to see the beautiful sight of all the srivaishnvas congregating in front of periya perumAL and mix with them freely.


archAvathAra anubhavam

In the vyAkyAnam, periyavAchAn piLLai identifies a couple of wonderful points.

emperumAn descends from paramapadham to sathya lOkam and is worshipped by brahmA, from there he descends to ayOdhya to be worshipped by perumAL and finally reaches srirangam to give his constant katAksham to vibhIshaNAzhwAn. He also identifies the glories of kulasEkara AzhwAr who was a crowned king, but did not care about any of his kingly qualities, but just wanted to mix with the srivaishnavas in thiruvarangam.

One of the unique qualities of kulasEkara AzhwAr is that, not only he was attached to emperumAn, he was also very fond of srivaishNavas. That is why, right after glorifying thiruvaranganAthan, he immediately glorified the srivaishNavas in the second padhigam of perumAL thirumozhi.

azhagiya maNavALa perumAL nAyanAr in his AchArya hrudhayam identifies the greatness of kulasEkara AzhwAr in chUrNikai 87. anNaiyavUrappunaiya adiyum podiyumpadap parvatha bhavananGgaLilE EthEnumAga jaNikkap peRugiRa thiryak sthAvara jaNmanGgaLaip perumakkaLum periyOrum parigrahiththu prArthippargaL. (


In this chUrNikai nAyanAr explains that, for a srivaishNava, it is not important where/who he is born as, but what is important is bhagavath sambandham and bhAgavatha sambandham. To establish that he takes few examples.

nithyasUris take any form to engage in whatever kainkaryam of emperumAn AdhisEshan taking the form of a snake, garudan taking the form of a bird, etc. sukAchAryar desired to be born as grass, plants, etc in vrindhAvanam where gOpis and krishNan walked around so he can have the contact of their thiruvadis. kulasEkara AzhwAr wanted to be born as anything in thirumalai to have the sambandham of emperumAn. ALavandhAr wanted to be born as a worm in a srivaishnava gruham instead of being born as brahmA.

kulasEkara AzhwAr, in the 4th padhigam of perumAL thirumozhi, glorifies thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn and thirumalai. He also shows great desire in being born as a bird, a fish in the pond in thirumalai, a vessel that is used in emperumAn's kainkaryam, a flower, a tree, a peak, a river, the foot steps on the hill, the foot step at entrance of the inner sannidhi or anything.


archAvathAra anubhavam

Let us enjoy the 9th and 10th pAsuram, which explain great meanings of our sampradhAyam. chediyAya valvinaigaL thIrkkum thirumAlE! (

!) !
) )

NediyAnE! vEnGkatavA! Nin kOyilin vAchal ( !

adiyArum vAnavarum arambaiyarum kidaNthiyanGgum (

padiyAyk kidaNthu un pavazhavAyk kAnNbEnE (

Simple translation: Oh the great one! oh thiruvEnkatamudaiyAnE! oh the one who clears me loads of sins to relieve me from samsAram! I want to become the foot step in the entrance of your sannidhi where srivaishNavas, dhEvas and dhEvashthrIs come and wait for your grace. Even being a foot step, I still want to see and enjoy your beautiful lips. This is one of the most important pAsurams because this explains the most important principle of our sampradhAyam. periyavAchAn piLLai explains that "padiyAyk kidaNthu un pavazhavAyk kAnNbEnE" means achithvath pArathanthriyam:

we should have the pArathanthriyam towards emperumAn to be like achith. For example, if we take a desk and move it somewhere else, it will not question us we should also be like that when emperumAn does anything to us, we should not question him. When he is satisfied with our kainkaryam he shows great satisfaction and joy and we should also reciprocate it, otherwise we will not be any different from a achith.


archAvathAra anubhavam

For example, when we lift a child and play with him, if the child responds to our dealings, our joy will be doubled, the same way, when we reciprocate to emperumAn's joy, his joy will be doubled. In the 10th pAsuram, AzhwAr says, he does not care about being a king of dhEvalOkam even, but he wants to become something (or anything) on thirumalai. He says "thiruvEnGkatamennum emperumAn ponmalaimEl EthEnum AvEnE" (

In the vyAkyAnam, two nirvAhams are shown:

ananthAzhwAn explains this as he will even accept becoming thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn on thirumalai. bhattar explains this as AzhwAr just wants to become something on thirumalai. He does not care if AzhwAr himself knows that he has become something on thirumai, emperumAn knows that he has become something on thirumalai and any one else knows and glorifies that. He just wants to become something on thiumalai.

AzhwAr submits the 5th padhigam to uyya vandha perumAL of thiruviththuvakkOdu. In this padhigam he explains his ananya gadhithvam in great detail.

Let us enjoy the 2nd pAsuram where he shows an important meaning. kanNdArigazhvanavE kAdhalanthAn cheythidinum (


archAvathAra anubhavam

konNdAnaiyallAl aRiyAk kulamagaLpOl (

vinNdOymadhiLpudaichUzh viththuvakkOttammA! (

!) )

NI konNdALAyAgilum un kuraikazhalE kURuvanE (

Simple translation: Oh viththuvakkOttammA who is surrounded by beautiful high forts, even if you dont accept me, I will be attached to your lotus feet only like a pure/chaste woman who is attached to his husband even if the husband insults her in public in front of everyone. periyavAchAn piLLai explains in the vyAkyAnam that our relationship with emperumAn is like wife and husband. emperumAn is called as "pathim vishvasya" in shruthi, "lOka barthA" in srirAmAyaNam. When a husband insults the wife, the wife always have to think about their relationship which was accepted infront agni (whose antharyAmi is emperumAn) and accept those insults calmly. The same way since all jIvAthmAs are related to emperumAn as wives, even if emperumAn does not accept our kainkaryam, we should still think about our sambandham with emperumAn and not falter in our full dependence on him. That is the true nature of a srivaishnava as expounded by AzhwAr in this matchless padhigam.

souri perumAL
AzhwAr takes the bhAvam of kousalyai and enjoys perumAL in this padhigam. AzhwAr's affection for sri rAman is limitless. And he enjoys that anubhavam in thirukkaNNapuram emperumAn in the 8th padhigam.


archAvathAra anubhavam

Let us enjoy the 6th pAsuram which reveals a wonderful aspect about iLayaperumAL. chuRRamellAm pin thodarath tholkAnamadainthavanE! (

!) !)

aRRavargatku arumaruNthE! ayOdhdhiNagarkku adhipathiyE! (

kaRRavargaL thAm vAzhum kanNapuraththu enkarumanNiyE! (


chiRRavai than chol konNda chIrAmA thAlElO (

periyavAchAn piLLai asks in the vyAkyAnam, every one went to the banks of river ganga but then they returned, only iLaya perumAL and pirAtti went with emperumAn to the forest, so why is it said that every one went to the forest in the first line. He himself quotes emperumAnAr explaining that since lakshmaNan said "aham sarvam karishyAmi" (I will do everything for you that anyone can do) we can say that every one went with perumAL to the forest. He also identifies that even though his own mother stops him from going to the forest, to fulfill kaikEyi's desire, perumAL goes to the forest such is his great quality.

Finally in the last padhigam, AzhwAr enjoys sItha rAman in thiruchithrakUdam as govindharAja perumAL. AzhwAr beautifully narrates the whole rAmAyaNam in just 10 pAsurams.


archAvathAra anubhavam

Let us enjoy some beautiful anubhavams from this padhigam.

In the 7th pAsuram, AzhwAr says "arachamarNthAn adichUdum arachaiyallAl arachAga enNnNEn maRRarachu thAnE" (

). He says that he

does not consider any thing other than serving emperumAn (kainkarya sAmrAjyam) as rAjyam. Similar to bharathAzhwAn who carried the pAdhukas of emperumAn, AzhwAr also desires only that. In the 10th pAsuram, AzhwAr says that perumAL brought everyone from ayOdhdhi to paramapadham at the end of his leelai. In the same pAsuram, AzhwAr says that emperumAn is staying permanently in thiruchithrakUdam exactly like how he is staying in paramapadham and we should glorify him as such.

Finally periyavAchAn piLLai glorifies this prabhandham as filled with full of jewels and we have to pray to AzhwAr to truly understand and develop attachment towards emperumAn. In the next article we will see periyAzhwAr's archAvathAra anubhavam.


archAvathAra anubhavam

periyAzhwAr anubhavam
In the previous article ( we observed kulasEkara AzhwAr's archAvathAra anubhavam. Let us now see periyAzhwAr's archAvathAra anubhavam.

In upadhEsa rathina mAlai, 18th pAsuram, mAmunigaL glorifies the unique quality of periyAzhwAr in comparison to other AzhwArs. manGgaLAchAchanaththil maRRuLLa AzhwArgaL thanGgaL (


ArvaththaLavu thAnanRi (

ponGgum parivAlE villipuththur pattarpirAn peRRAn (

periyAzhwAr ennum peyar (


archAvathAra anubhavam

Simple translation: Because of his unlimited love towards doing mangaLAsAsanam to emperumAn is greater than the rest of the AzhwArs, pattarpirAn who was born in srivilliputhUr became to be famously known as periyAzhwAr. It is also said that, because he is father-in-law of periya perumAL, he became to be known as periyAzhwAr. In srivachana bhUshaNa dhivya sAsthram this quality of periyAzhwAr is nicely explained by piLLai lOkAchAryar in sUthrams 250 to 256. The greatness of mangaLAsAsanam is fully explained in sUthrams 244 to 258. mangaLAsAsanam means desiring/praying for the well being of some one. AzhwArs were always looking out for emperumAn's well being. But piLLai lOkAchAryar shows that periyAzhwAr's attachment towards emperumAn is far greater than others. Let us see some of the sUthrams briefly to understand the glories of periyAzhwAr. sUthram 250 - AzhwArgaL ellAraiyum pOlallar periyAzhwAr (

) - periyAzhwAr is not like all the

other AzhwArs. sUthram 251 - avargaLukku athu kAthAchiktham; ivarkkithu Nithyam ( ; ) - For the other AzhwArs, mangaLAsAsanam is once in a while, for periyAzhwAr it is always. mAmunigaL identifies that the other AzhwArs at times engage in enjoying bhagavath guNams and wants to enjoy it more and more. But periyAzhwAr is always looking out for the well-being of emperumAn and is never concerned about his own personal anubhavam. sUthram 252 - avargaLudaiya AzhanGkAl thAnE ivarkku mEdAyirukkum ) - The ( beauty of emperumAn makes the other AzhwArs immerse themselves in that anubhavam. But the same thing makes periyAzhwAr worry about what could happen to such beautiful person and makes him do mangaLAsAsanam continuously. Further piLLai lOkAchAryar explains that periyAzhwAr's qualities include worrying for everything in relation to emperumAn, inviting the unfavourable persons to become favourable, worrying for something which happened long ago, identifying that mangaLAsAsanam is the ultimate goal, etc. One of the main qualities of periyAzhwAr and emperumAnAr is that their aim is to bring jIvAthmAs to emperumAn to free him of his loneliness unlike other AzhwArs who are looking out for themselves to share their bhagavath anubhavam with others to free themselves from their loneliness. His purpose of existence is to do mangaLAsAsanam for emperumAn while other AzhwArs sustain by thinking about emperumAn's name, form, qualities, etc and kainkaryam to him.


archAvathAra anubhavam

Finally piLLai lOkAchAryar says if we think about emperumAn coming down to this samsAram out of great love for the suffering jIvAthmAs, we should engage constantly in mangaLAsAsanam to archAvathAra emperumAns without any food and sleep just like periyAzhwAr did. With this understanding, let us enjoy a few archAvathAra emperumAns glorified by periyAzhwAr.

thirukkOttiyUr sowmya nArAyaNan

ANdAL glorifies her father periyAzhwAr in her nAchiyAr thirumozhi as "bhOgaththil vazhuvAtha pudhuvaiyarkOn" ( ) - one who is constantly enjoying kaNNan emperumAn (and other vibhavAvathAra emperumAns) and performing mangaLAsAsanam to him. We can see this right in the beginning of his periyAzhwAr thirumozhi. After performing his mangaLAsAsanam in thiruppallAndu, he immediately starts thinking about kaNNan emperumAn and seeing the same emperumAn in thirukkOttiyUr as sowmya nArAyaNa perumAL.

vanNnNamAdanGgaL chUzh thirukkOttiyur (

kanNnNan kEchavan Nambi piRaNthinil (


archAvathAra anubhavam

enNnNey chunNnNam ethirethir thUvida ( kanNnNan muRRam kalaNthaLaRAyiRRE (

periyAzhwAr is glorifying the birth of kaNNan emperumAn and the events that followed in AyarpAdi after his birth. All the gOpas and gOpis are ecstatic on hearing emperumAn's birth and they celebrate by throwing a mixture of oil and colours on each other which makes the whole place muddy, But the speciality in this pAsuram is that AzhwAr is enjoying all of these in thirukkOttiyUr emperumAn. Not only AzhwAr has great attachment to thirukkOttiyUr emperumAn, he is also a great admirer of the srivaishNavas of this dhivya dhEsam. He was greatly inspired by selvanambi who was living in thirukkOttiyUr. He glorifies selvanambi as "abhimAna thungan selvan" in thiruppallANdu 11th pAsuram and "naLirntha seelan nayAsalan abhimAna thungan" in periyAzhwar thirumozhi 4.4.8 pAsuram. In the vyAkyAnam mAumunigal explains naLirntha seelan means "soothing souseelyam" i.e., his qualities are as lovable as the cool moon, nayAsalan means one who is very honest and abhimAna thungan means one who has suddha sAthvika ahankAram that he is surrendered to emperumAn and srivaishnavas (without any ego). In nAva kAriyam padhigam (periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 4.4), AzhwAr enjoys the glories of the srivaishnavas of thirukkOttiyur. mAmunigaL in his avathArikai for this padhigam, explains that just like nammAzhwAr glorified archAvathAra emperumAns in cheyya thAmaraik kaNNan padhigam (thiruvAimozhi 3.6) and after that immediately glorified srivaishnavas who are attached to emperumAn in payilum chudaroLi padhigam (thiruvAimozhi 3.7), periyAzhwAr also first enjoys thirukkOttiyUr emperumAn and after that immediately starts glorifying the srivaishnavas of thirukkOttiyUr. It is explained that one of the main purposes of visiting dhivya dhEsams is to take shelter of the srivaishnavas who are living there. In the 10th pAsuram in this padhigam, AzhwAr glorifies the srivaishNavas who are constantly engaged in glorifying the various names, forms of emperumAn. AzhwAr declares that he is so surrendered to such srivaishnavas that they can even sell him to anyone.

veNNai vizhungi padhigam (periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 2.9) is one of the most wonderful set of pAsurams to enjoy navaneetha chouryam of kaNNan emperumAn (krishnan as butter thief). But, the beauty of this padhigam is that, after enjoying kaNNan emperumAn's leelais in 10 pAsurams, in the 11th pAsuram, AzhwAr declares that he really glorified periya perumAL in those 10 pAsurams and it was periya perumAL who performed all those leelais in his vibhavAvathAram.


archAvathAra anubhavam

In periyAzhwAr thirumozhi 4.9.10, AzhwAr beautifully glorifies periya perumAL's swAmithvam, etc. cheruvALum puLLALan manNnNALan cheruch cheyyum NANthagamennumoruvALan (

) )

maRaiyALan OdAthapadaiyALan vizhukkaiyALan (

iravALan pagalALan ennaiyALan Ezhulagap perumpuravALan (

thiruvALan inithAgath thirukkanNgaL vaLarginRa thiruvaranGgamE (

Simple translation:

cheruvALum puLLALan - Controller of garudAzhwAn who can himself handle any battle manNnNALan - Controller of leelA vibhUthi


archAvathAra anubhavam

cheruch cheyyum NANthagamennumoruvALan - Controller of NANthagam which waits to kill the enemies maRaiyALan - Controller of vEdhas OdAthapadaiyALan - One who never runs away from battle field vizhukkaiyALan - One who has great audhAryam (generosity in helping others) iravALan pagalALan - Controller of day and night ennaiyALan - One who controls me Ezhulagap perumpuravALan - Controller of big land masses thiruvALan - Dear husband of periya pirAtti sri mahAlakshmi inithAgath thirukkanNgaL vaLarginRa thiruvaranGgamE - periya perumAL is lying down with great happiness (ugantharuLina nilam) because this is where all the ananya prayOjana bhakthas approach him.

In thuppudaiyArai padhigam (4.10), AzhwAr requests emperumAn to relieve him of his sAmsArika dhukkams so he can perform mangaLAsAsanam in nithya vibhUthi eternally for ever. mAmunigaL in the avathArikai enquires why AzhwArs are asking emperumAn for mOksham considering they are fully dependant on emperumAn as they were given divine, blemishless knowledge by emperumAn. He himself clarifies that even though AzhwArs are fully dependant on emperumAn, looking at the cruelty of samsAram and as emperumAn is sarva svathanthran because of which he has the full right to put them through the troubles of samsAram again, they ensure that emperumAn is clear about their intentions. So, mAmunigaL establishes that it is out their utmost unbearable situation in samsAram they ask for mOksham and there is nothing wrong with that. Here he identifies one of the most important concepts of our sampradhAyam relating to anthima smrithi. In the first pAsuram itself AzhwAr says "appOthaikku ippOthE solli vaiththEn" to periya perumAL. AzhwAr reminds emperumAn about his words to bhUmi pirAtti as varAha nAyanAr when he said "aham smarAmi" - that he will remember his bhakthas during their last moments even if they dont. Because during the final moments we may not be able to think about emperumAn, so emperumAn considers our surrender that was done long ago when our senses were proper and delivers us. This does not mean that we should not think about emperumAn in the last moments - if possible, we should always think about emperumAn. This is also in line with dhEva perumAL's instruction of "anthima smrithi varjanam" to emperumAnAr through thirukkachi nambigaL.

thiruveLLarai pundarikAkshan
In srivachana bhUshaNa dhivya sAsthram sUthram 244, piLLai lOkAchAryar explains that: manGgaLAchAsanam svarUpa viruththamanRO ennil jnYAna thachaiyil rakshyarakshaka bhAvam than kappilE kidakkum; prEma thachaiyil thattumaaRik kidakkum. (


archAvathAra anubhavam


Simple translation: If we consider praying for great personalities' well being as not a proper attitude, when we look at it from a normal knowledgable situation the protected/protector relationship will stay normally, but from an extreme love/attachment situation, the proctected/protector will be reversed. mAmunigaL explains in the vyAkyAnam that, one who understands thirumanthram properly, will think that emperumAn is sarvashakthan and he is the protector. But for the ones who are extremely attached to emperumAn's beauty, tender nature, etc., they will think that they are the protector and emperumAn must be protected. This principle is clearly demonstrated by periyAzhwAr in indhiranOdu bhiraman padhigam (2.8), where he asks puNdarikAkshan emperumAn (who is the sarvashakthan) to stay indoors during the evening time so he can be protected when ugra dhEvathais are seen roaming around. Here AzhwAr takes the bhAvam of yasOdhai and treats puNdarikAkshan emperumAn as kaNNan emperumAn himself.

In each pAsuram, AzhwAr identifies the various threats from kamsan and his friends who are trying to kill him and asks emperumAn to come and stay indoors in thiruveLLarai. In the last pAsuram, he says that for the ones who understands the goal of these 10 pAsurams (which is doing mangaLAsAsanam), their virOdhis in performing mangaLAsAsanam will be destroyed. Thus AzhwAr establishes that his goal is mangaLAsAsanam only forever. In the next article we will see ANdAL nAchiyAr's archAvathAra anubhavam.


archAvathAra anubhavam

ANdAL anubhavam
In the previous article ( we observed periyAzhwAr's archAvathAra anubhavam. Let us now see ANdAL nAchiAr's archAvathAra anubhavam.

In thiruppAvai 6000 padi vyAkyAnam, periyavAchAn piLLai first establishes the greatness of ANdAL over all other AzhwArs. He builds a beautiful layer of different categories of jIvAthmAs and shows the difference between each category.

The difference between samsAris (dhEhAthma abhimAnis - materialistic people) and the rishis who have realised the Athma svarUpam is similar to that of a small stone and a big mountain. Difference between such rishis (who attain the knowledge by their own effort and at times fall down from their positions) and AzhwArs (who are divinely blessed by emperumAn himself and are completely pure) is similar to that of a small stone and a big mountain. Difference between rest of the AzhwArs (who focus on svAnubhavam at times and mangaLAsAsanam at other times) and periyAzhwar (who is fully focussed on mangaLAsAsanam only) is similar to that of a small stone and a big mountain.


archAvathAra anubhavam

Difference between periyAzhwAr and ANdAL is similar to that of a small stone and a big mountain. The reasons for this are: o all AzhwArs were first divinely blessed by emperumAn and then they woke the samsAris up from their sleep, i.e., gave them the knowledge about emperumAn. but ANdAL, being an avathAram of bhUmi pirAtti, she herself went and woke emperumAn up from his sleep, i.e., reminded him about his responsibilities of protecting every one. o ANdAL being a woman, it is natural for her to engage in husband/wife relationship with emperumAn (unlike AzhwArs who had male thirumEnis) and it is shown that her love towards emperumAn is far greater than the love of AzhwArs.

mAmunigaL also glorifies ANdAL's greatness in upadhEsa rathina mAlai pAsurams 22, 23 and 24.

In the 22nd pAsuram, he becomes greatly emotional thinking about how ANdAL gave up her comforts in paramapadham and stepped down to samsAram to protect him (svAnubhavam) and took birth as the divine daughter of periyAzhwAr. Just like if a mother sees her child caught in a river, she also jumps into the river to save the child, ANdAL being the mother of all, she jumps into samsAram to save the samsAris.

In the 23rd pAsuram, he says there is no equal to the birth day of ANdAL "thiruvAdi pUram" just like there is none equal to ANdAL. In the 24th pAsuram, he says ANdAL is the daughter of "anju kudi" and her activities are far greater than other AzhwArs and how she developed love for emperumAn right at a very young age. piLLai lOkam jIyar in his vyAkyAnam explains that "anju kudi" means: o descendant of the clan which contains all the AzhwArs just like parikshIth was the great descendant of the pancha pANdavas. o the descendant of AzhwArs who are part of the prapanna kulam


archAvathAra anubhavam

the descendant of periyAzhwAr who is always worried (achcham - fear) about emperumAn and performing mangaLAsAsanam.

Also, as we have seen previously ANdAL is purely in AchArya nishtai. It is because of periyAzhwAr's attachment towards emperumAn, ANdAL also developed attachment towards emperumAn and glorified him. This is seen from

her own words in nAchiAr thirumozhi, pAsuram 10.10, ANdAL says "villiputhuvai vittuchiththar thangaL dhEvarai valla parichu varuvipparEl athu kAnNdumE" (

). She says, if periyAzhwAr can convince his

dear emperumAn to come here, she will worship him. mAmunigaL in his upadhEsa rathina mAlai, after explaining the 10 AzhwArs, introduces ANdAL, madhurakavi AzhwAr and emperumAnAr together since all 3 of them are AchArya nishtars.

With this in mind, let us start diving into the ANdAL's ocean of bhakthi towards archAvathAra emperumAns.

vatapathrasAyi (srivilliputhUr)
periyavAchAn piLLai in thiruppAvai vyAkyAna avathArikai shows that ANdAL desired to approach kaNNan emperumAn based on what she heard from periyAzhwAr about him. But since it was not possible to have direct interaction with kaNNan emperumAn and because she was too young to travel to AyarpAdi, She starts thinking that srivilliputhUr as AyarpAdi, the srivaishnavis of that dhivyadhEsam as gOpis, herself as one of the gOpis, vatapathrasAyi as kaNNan emperumAn and his temple as nandhagOpan's thirumALigai. As a result we got the divine pAsurams of thiruppAvai which is called as "vEdham anaiththukkum viththu" ( ) - the essence of all vEdhas.


archAvathAra anubhavam

In nAchiAr thirumozhi pAsuram 5.5, ANdAL beautifully shows her attachment for the vatapathrasAyi emperumAn. mennadaiyannam paraNthu viLaiyAdum (

villipuththUr uRaivAn than (

ponnadi kAnNbathOr AchaiyinAl ( innadichilodu pAl amuthUtti ( eduththa en kOlak kiLiyai (

en porukaiyaR kanNnNinNai thunYchA (

) )

unnodu thOzhamai koLLuvan kuyilE! (

ulagaLaNthAn varak kUvAy (

Simple translation: I am unable to sleep due to the intense desire of my eyes to see the lotus feet of vatapathrasAyi emperumAn who is residing in srivilliputhUr (where it is filled with swans that walk stylishly). Oh dear cukkoo! please invite thirivikraman emperumAn to come here. If you did that I will give the friendship of my dear parrot which has been fed by nice milk and rice. periyavAchAn piLLai shows some great meanings in is vyAkyAnam. Let us see a couple:

He shows one conversation between nanjIyar and nampiLLai. nampiLLai asks nanjIyar that it is meaningful if ANdAL says she cannot meet paramapadhanAthan, but why is she not able to meet the archAvathAra emperumAn who is so near? For that nanjIyar explains that, just like bharathAzhwAn who will faint immediately after seeing perumAL, ANdAL will also faint immediately after seeing vatapathrasAyi emperumAn. So, her friends and relatives, worried about losing her, does not allow her to meet vatapathrasAyi emperumAn. He identifies that the reason for ANdAL wanting to see thrivikraman is because, he was the one who freely touched every one's head without seeing if the head belongs to vasishtan or a chandALan. So, ANdAL is confident thrivikraman emperumAn will definitely come to see her.


archAvathAra anubhavam

In viNNeela mElAppu (nAchiAr thirumozhi 8th padhigam), ANdAL sends clouds as messenger to thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn. In the avathArikai periyavAchAn piLLai identifies a beautiful point. In rAmAvathAram, pirAtti sent Hanuman who is aindhra vyAkaraNa pandithan (great scholar), but here ANdAL is sending clouds as messenger that does not have any ability to really communicate. He explains that out of extreme love for emperumAn during her separation, she becomes bewildered and sends the clouds as messenger only because of their proximity to emperumAn in thiruvEnkatam (since both emperumAn and clouds stay on top of the hill).

Let us enjoy 9th pAsuram where ANdAL out of deep sorrow in separation, says that if emperumAn continues to avoid her, his fame and glories (that he protects everyone) will be damaged. madhayAnaipOlezhuntha mAmugilgAL ( vEnGkataththaip pathiyAga vAzhvIrgAL! pAmbanNaiyAn vArththai ennE! ( ! )

!) )

gathiyenRum thAnAvAn karuthAthu Or penNkodiyai ( vadhaicheythAn ennum chol vaiyagaththAr madhiyArE (


archAvathAra anubhavam

Simple translation: Oh clouds that live in thiruvEnkatam who are risen as wild (tall) elephants! empreumAn who stays on the AdhisEshan has said tha "I will protect every one all the time". But if he himself does not protect me, the whole world will stop respecting him because of his act of torturing me (by avoiding me). periyavAchAn piLLai's vyAkyAnam brings out the hidden glories of this pAsuram. Let us see a few here:

vEnGkataththaip pathiyAga vAzhvIrgAL - living is not just staying, it means vAzhchi (as in a glorious life). o He says these clouds are not like mukthars who were in samsAram before coming to paramapadham, but they are like nithyars who have been with emperumAn in paramapadham since anAdhi (time immemorial). o On the other hand, he says staying in thiruvEnkatam itself is living (unlike other places where even living a nice life is just staying). He equates living here with living srirangam (nallArgaL vAzhum naLirarangam ). o He also identifies that bhagavath prAvaNyam (attachment towards emperumAn) is life (vAzhchi) and vishayaAnthara prAvaNyam (attachment towards materialistic aspects) is death. o In this context, we can also recollect vaiyaththu vAzhvIrgAL ( ) in thiruppAvai 2nd pAsuram, where it is explained that, even in this samsAram if we have attachment towards emperumAn and spend our time in bhagavath vishayam, that life is glorified. For pAmbanNaiyAn vArththai - periyavAchAn piLLai excellently/humourously identifies that what is discussed in the bed will be known to closely related persons only (that is why ANdAL knows what is said when empermAn was on his bed - AdhisEshan). For vadhaicheythAn - he explains that bhagavath vislEsham (separation from emperumAn) itself if vadham (torture) for ANdAL.

thirumAlirunchOlai azhagar
ANdAL's attachment towards azhagar is well known. She establishes the highest principle of kainkaryam in this padhigam (nAchiAr thirumozhi padhigam 9) for thirumAlirunchOlai.


archAvathAra anubhavam

In srivachana bhUshaNa dhivya sAsthram sUthrams 283 - 287, piLLai lOkAchAryar identifies how kainkaryam should be done. Let us see the meanings briefly.

sUthram 283 - kainkaryam should be done as the goal instead of doing it as means to get something else. sUthram 284 - that means instead of us desiring something from him, we should make emperumAn (who is naturally fully satisfied) to develop the attachment towards accepting kainkaryam from us. sUthram 285 - Instead of we giving something to him and accepting something back from him, we should do kainkaryam to him and give some thing more to him for accepting kainkaryam from us. In the vyAkyAnam, mAmunigaL identifies that we should be like ANdAL who offered 100 plates of akkAra adisil (sweet rice) and 100 plates of butter in pAsuram 6 and says she will do 1000s more if emperumAn accepts the first offering in pAsuram 7. sUthram 286 - if we did even small kainkaryams (kinchithkAram) like srI vidhurar, srI mAlAkArar or kUni, our svarupam will be sustained. It is explained in sAsthram that "akinchithkarasya sEshathva anupapaththi:" - the nature of jIvAthmA is sEshathvam (being sub-servient to empermAn) and that can only be sustained if the jIvAthma at least does some small kainkaryams. sUthram 287 - srI vidhurar gave food without any expectation from kaNNan emperumAn. mAlAkArar gave a garland purely with the intention of just giving it to emperumAn. Same way kUni gave pure sandal wood paste without expecting any thing back in return.

Now, let us enjoy the most beautiful nAru narum pozhil pAsruam. NARu NaRumpozhil mAlirunYchOlai Nambikku NAn (

NURu thadAvil venNnNey vAy NErNthu parAvi vaiththEn (


archAvathAra anubhavam

NURu thadA NiRaiNtha akkAra adichil chonnEn ( ERu thiruvudaiyAn inRu vaNthu ivai koLLunGgalO (

Simple Translation: In the placed with beautiful fragrant gardens named thirumAlinchOlai, for the emperumAn there, I offered (vAchikam only) 100 plates of butter and 100 plates of sweet rice. Will sriya:pathi emperumAn (whose thEjas is growing everyday) accept my offering? Let us see some beautiful analysis from periyavAchAn piLLai's vyAkyAnam.

He identifies the incident of emperumAnAr offering 100 plates of butter and 100 plates of sweet rice to azhagar emperumAn since it is the duty of the family members to fulfill the commitments. nampiLLai asks nanjIyar, "emperumAn is satisfied with just accepting pUrNa kumbam (a pot of sanctified water), then why ANdAL is offering so much?". nanjIyar replies that "since she is thinking that she is a gOpi now, butter is available in surplus in AyarpAdi, so even large quantities of that is considered to be small for them". periyavAchAn piLLai also identifies that when we look at upAyam we should be like pirAtti who said "let perumAL come and rescue me" and stayed where she was without making any efforts. For upEyam, we should be like iLaya perumAL who said "I will do everything all the time for perumAL and pirAtti" and did so much kainkaryam to the dhivya dhampathi. vangip puraththu nambi says that "others identify different dhEvathas as brahmam, but we who are fully following vEdhas accept sriya:pathi because that is what is said in sAsthram - so our sidhAntham is the best".

And as we have already seen, ANdAL in the next pAsuram, explains that seeing emperumAn accepting her kainkaryam, she will do more such kainkaryam for him.

In nAchiAr thirumozhi 11th padhigam, ANdAL unable to bear her separation from empeumAn, starts glorifying his great qualities and sustains herself. In pAsuram 8.3, she says "en gOvindhan guNam pAdi ... Avi kathiruppEnE" - I will sustain myself by meditating/singing emperumAn's qualities - that she is doing it in this thiruvaranganAthan padhigam now.


archAvathAra anubhavam

In the 8th pAsuram, ANdAL says she tried to forget emperumAn but is unable to do it because of her attachment towards emperumAn. pAchi thUrththuk kidaNtha pArmagatkup panNdoruNAL (

) )

mAchudambil NIr vArA mAnamilAp panRiyAm (

thEchudaiya dhEvar thiruvaranGgach chelvanAr ( pEchiyiruppanagaL pErkkavum pErAvE (

Simple translation: Long ago, to rescue bhUmi pirAtti who was submerged in muddy waters and had dirt all over her, emperumAn took the form of a pig whose body is full of dirt and he is not shy about it. I am unable to forget the words of thiruvaranganAthan who has great thEjas. A few points from periyavAchAn piLLai's great vyAkyAnam.

He establishes that since bhUmi pirAtti is the abhimani dhEvathai (controlling person) for bhUmi, bhUmi pirAtti and bhUmi has AthmA-sarIram sambandham. So when it is said that she has dirt on her, it means the dirt is on bhUmi.


archAvathAra anubhavam

He also identifies that rasikar (one who enjoys) will not take care of their body when their lovable ones are not well. So, emperumAn also took up dirt on his body when bhUmi pirAtti had dirt on her body. for mAnamilAp panRi, periyavAchAn piLLai explains that, emperumAn gave up his IsvarAbhimAnam ( ) and took a form such that other pigs freely mixed with varAha nAyanAr. When mArichan took the deer form, other deers ran away once they came close to that golden deer, since they could smell the rAkshasa nature. ANdAL thinks that emperumAn descends to thiruvarangam to accept kainkaryam from ANdAL since he was unable to accept much kainkaryam from her during varAha avathAram. Finally, she thinks in such a way that, even if emperumAn forgets his responsibility of protecting his adiyArs, she will never forget her svabhAvam of depending on emperumAn.

That periyAzhwAr finally gets the invitation to bring ANdAL over to thiruvarangam and emperumAn accepting her in thiruvarangam is all well known. It is our great fortune that we are in this kulam which completely depends on emperumAn for everything and does not expect anything back from him other than kainkaryam. We are truly blessed and we should cherish this every moment in our life. In the next article we will see thoNdaradippodi AzhwAr's archAvathAra anubhavam.


archAvathAra anubhavam

thoNdaradippodi AzhwAr anubhavam

In the previous article ( we observed ANdAL's archAvathAra anubhavam. Let us now see thoNdaradippodi AzhwAr's archAvathAra anubhavam.

mAmunigaL glorifies thoNdaradippodi AzhwAr's greatness in his upadhEsa rathina mAlai 11th pAsuram. Let us enjoy that to start with.


archAvathAra anubhavam

manniyachIr mArgazhiyil kEttai inRu mANilaththIr (

) )

ennithanukku ERRam enil uraikkEn (

thunnupugazh mAmaRaiyOn thonNdaradippodiyAzhwAr piRappAl (

NAnmaRaiyOr konNdAdum NAL (

Simple translation: Oh the dwellers of this great world! Let me tell you why this mArgazhi kEttai day is a glorious day. It is because, on this day, thonNdaradippodi AzhwAr who is a braAhmaNoththamar (exalted brAhmaNa) and whose greatness is well established and who is celebrated by the ones who understood the essence of the four vEdhas. In his vyAkyAnam, piLLai lOkam jIyar shows some wonderful points.

He first identifies that AzhwAr is born in mArgazhi kEttai which has constant bhagavath bhAgavatha sambandham. kaNNan emperumAn identifies that he is "mArgasIrsham among the months" in bhagavath gIthai. ANdAL also glorifies the mArgazhi month in her first pAsuram itself. AzhwAr himself compiles thiruppaLLiyeLuchi which is sung along with thiruppAvai during the mArgazhi month. He identifies that the essence of vEdhas is bhAgavatha sEshathvam. This AzhwAr gets the name "thonNdaradippodi" which means he is the dust of the lotus feet of bhAgavathas out of his extreme attachment to bhAgavathas. This is also explained by thirumangai AzhwAr in thirukkaNNapuram pAsuram that after learning the meanings of thirumanthram he understands that now he is the servant of bhAgavathas. He also identifies that one who understands vEdhas will engage in guNAnubhava kainkaryam. AzhwAr glorifies emperumAn's guNams in thirumAlai and he himself engaged in pushpa kainkaryam for periya perumAL. It is explained in other places that pushpa kainkaryam is the most apt kainkaryam for a srivaishnava (when done in the same bhAvam as done by periyAzhwAr, ANdAL, thonNdaradippodi AzhwAr, ananthAzhwAn, etc). Also, AzhwAr shows in thirumAlai that one should do constant naichyAnusandhAnam (humility - considering oneself very insignificant) and glorifying emperumAn.

NAnmaRaiyOr is very important here - one who understands vEdhas means they will accept the supremacy of sriman nArAyaNan. This is identified by ALavandhAr in his sthOthra rathnam 11th slOkam also. There he says "sriman nArAyNan has natural and unlimited abilities to control all the dhEvathas, and the other dhEvathas do not even have a tiny little bit of the abilities of emperumAn. Which vaidhiha will not accept the greatness and supremacy of emperumAn?". Here "vaidhiha ka:" is the key phrase. This also means one who does not accept the greatness of sriman nArAyaNan is not even


archAvathAra anubhavam

considered as vaidhiha (vaidhiha means one accepts and follows vEdhas). AzhwAr singled out thiruvaranganAthan and fully served him and glorified him. He did not sing any other archAvathAra emperumAn. periyavAchAn piLLai shows that thonNdaradippodi AzhwAr and thiruppANAzhwAr are in the same category where they both were mainly focussed on thiruvaranganAthan.

In srivachana bhUshaNa dhivya sAsthram 40th sUthram, piLLai lOkAchAryar explains the glories of archAvathAra emperumAn. ithuthAn sAsthranGgaLAl thiruththavonNnNaathE vishayANtharanGgaLilE manNdi vimukarAyp pOrum chEthanarkku vaimukyaththai maaRRi ruchiyai viLaikkak kadavathAy, ruchi piRaNthAl upAyamAy, upAya parikraham panNnNinaal bhOgyamumAyirukkum (


Simple translation: When jIvAthma stays put in this samsAram even after learning the svarUpam of oneself through sAsthram, the glories of emperumAn and the relationship between the jIvAthmA and paramAthmA from the sAsthram, it is archAvathAra emperumAn who removes the jIvathmA's material attachments, creates the ruchi (taste) for bhagavath vishayam, becomes the upAyam (means) when ruchi manifests and finally, if the jIvAthmA accepts emperumAn as the upAyam, emperumAn becomes the enjoyable goal as well. Let us see how AzhwAr enjoyed all of the above in periya perumAL through his thirumAlai prabhandham.


archAvathAra anubhavam

In the vyAkyAna avathArikai, periyavAchAn piLLai shows that emperumAn out of his causeless mercy blesses AzhwAr (who was immersed in samsAram) and shows the glories of nAma sankIrtanam which shows his divine svarUpam (nature), rUpa (forms), guNa (qualities) and vibhUthi (both spiritual and material worlds). AzhwAr himself enjoys nAma sankIrthanam and emperumAn first and brings in joy for others (including emperumAn). AzhwAr shows the favours done by periya perumAL to him in 15th to 24th pAsurams. In the 15th and 16th pAsurams, AzhwAr says that periya perumAL out of his nirhEthuka krupai (causeless mercy) changes his attachment from material things to emperumAn himself. meyyarkkE meyyanAgum vidhiyilA ennai pOla (


poyyarkkE poyyanAgum putkodiyudaiya kOmAn (

uyyapOm unNarvinArgatku oruvan enRu unNarNtha pinnai (

aiyappAdu aRuththuth thOnRum azhaganUr aranGgamanRE (

Simple Translation: emperumAn, who has garudan in his flag, will bless the one like myself who does not hate emperumAn and will not bless the ones who likes everything other than


archAvathAra anubhavam

emperrumAn.Once one understands that emperumAn exists, he further clears all the doubts. Such emperumAn who can win all the worlds with his beauty is residing in srirangam. In the vyAkyAnam, periyavAchAn piLLai shows some of the most important principles of our sampradhAyam.

Truthfulness ("mey") here is explained as adhvEsham (absence of hatred towards emperumAn). emperumAn accepts some one purely based on them not having dhvEsham towards him. But even this does not become a sAdhanam (upAyam - means) to achieve emperumAn. Due to the eternal relationship between emperumAn and all jIvAthmAs, it is the nature of jIvAthmA to have ruchi towards emperumAn. So, this is only svarUpam of jIvAthmA but not upAyam to achieve emperumAn. Also "mey" is explained as sathyam which means true knowledge about emperumAn and "poy" means knowledge about anything other than emperumAn. AzhwAr's thiruvuLLam is also revealed by periyavAchAn piLLai here. It is shown that he does not need any other pramANam than himself, where he did not have bhagavath anubhavam since time immemorial (anAdhi kAlam) and now when the dhvEsham is gone from his heart he is able to enjoy bhagavath anubhavam fully. Here doubts relate to the ishta prApthi (attaining the goal) and anishta nivruththi (removing the hurdles in doing so). Doubts related to both of them are cleared by emperumAn himself. It is also shown that the beauty of periya perumAL is such that, we can easily decide that he is the supreme.

chUdhanAy kaLvanAgi dhoorththarOdu ichaiNdha kAlam (

) )

mAdharAr kayaRkanNennum valaiyuL pattu azhuNdhuvEnai ( pOdharE enRu cholli puNdhiyuL puguNdhu ( thanpAlAdharam perugavaiththa azhaganUr arangamanRE (

Simple Translation: Before I was not accepting emperumAn, sAsthram and also considered myself as independent. Thus, I was engaged in very material aspirations. But periya perumAL invited me, entered into my heart and nourished the love towards him by showing his beautiful thirumEni in srirangam.

Here for "kaLvar", it is shown that the biggest theft is thinking that we are independent. Actually, the jIvAthmA is owned by emperumAn and is subservient


archAvathAra anubhavam

to him. But if we stole that ownership, the punishment is very heavy because each jIvAthmA represents the "kouthuba jewel (mani)" in emperumAn's chest. Stealing such valuable item deserves very big punishment. Also stealing emperumAn's item deserves very big punishment. Nice examples are given for both scenarios. Punishment for stealing a piece of wood and a valuable jewel will differ. The same way stealing something from a common man and a high man in the society will have different punishment. periyavAchAn piLLai also explains the outcome of having attachment towards the opposite sex. Even great personalities have fallen in the trap of this attachment and had difficult times to come out of it. He also shows the difference between paramapadham and srirangam. For us who are in samsAram, if we want to enjoy bhagavath anubhavam, srirangam is so near and accessible unlike paramapadham.

In the 17th pAsuram onwards (for 8 pAsurams), AzhwAr says that periya perumAL not only manifested the ruchi in AzhwAr, he also gave himself as the most enjoyable goal. Again, in the 34th pAsuram, AzhwAr starts doing naichyAnusandhAnam (humility). He says that he is laughing at himself for trying to cheat emperumAn by acting as an adiyAr, but emperumAn being the antharyAmi (in-dweller in everyone's heart) knows everything AzhwAr thinks. Finally, AzhwAr thinks about leaving emperumAn since he feels that he does not fit the qualities of an adiyAr. In the next 3 pAsurams, periya perumAL tries to console AzhwAr and makes him realize that he is indeed very attached to AzhwAr. In the 35th pAsuram, periya perumAL shows him the thrivikrama charithram and makes AzhwAr realize that emperumAn touched everyone's head as thrivikraman with his lotus feet, without discriminating between whether some one is learned or not, rich or poor, humans or animals or birds, etc. In the 36th pAsuram, periya perumAL shows him the govardhana dharaNa charithram and makes AzhwAr realize that he became part of his adiyArs group, protected them during their difficulties, etc and establishes that he will remove all the hurdles that stop AzhwAr from reaching emperumAn. In the 37th pAsuram, periya perumAL shows him that he has descended to srirangam to establish his parental relationship with all jIvAthmAs including AzhwAr. AzhwAr requests periya perumAL to acknowledge him as one who is looking to server him purely without any expectation in return and longs for the day when periya perumAL will accept him. In the 38th pAsuram, AzhwAr performs sharaNAgathi to periya perumAL and shows that periya perumAL alone is the upAyam and AzhwAr has nothing to do in achieving him. This pAsuram is glorified greatly in our sampradhAyam. It is specifically explained


archAvathAra anubhavam

by periyavAchAn piLLai in the vyAkyAnam that, just like the mahAbhAratham's purpose is to deliver charama slOkam, the purpose of thirumAlai is to deliver this pAsuram.

Let us enjoy a little bit from this pAsuram. mEmporuL pOga vittu meymmaiyai miga unNarNthu (

Amparichu aRiNthu konNdu aimpulan agaththadakki ( kAmbaRath thalai chiraiththu un kadaiththalai iruNthu (

vAzhum chOmbarai ugaththi pOlum chUzh punal aranGgaththAnE (

Simple translation: Oh sriranganAthA who is residing in srirangam which is surrounded by cauvery! You are fully satisfied in seeing adiyArs who after giving up the attachments to materialistic aspirations even with its taste/memory, understand the true nature of the jIvAthmA, understand that bhagavath kainkaryam is the ultimate goal which fits the nature of the jIvAthmA, control the urge to enjoy the result of the kainkaryam (by letting emperumAn enjoy our kainkaryam fully), fully giving up any efforts from themselves and stay in srirangam happily. Let us see some of the key points from the vyAkyAnam.


archAvathAra anubhavam

It is shown that this pAsuram contains the full meaning of dhvaya mahA manthram. It is also shown that nammAzhwAr shows the first part of dhvayam in one pAsuram (thiruvAimozhi 6.10.10 - agalagillEn pAsuram) and ANdAL nAchiAr shows the second part of dhvayam in one pAsuram (thiruppAvai 29 - chiRRam chirukAlE pAsuram). But here thoNdaradippodi AzhwAr shows the whole meaning of dhvayam in a single pAsuram. It is also shown that, when emperumAn hears dhvayam (and its meaning) from his adiyArs, he becomes very pleased. periyavAchAn piLLai expertly explains that AzhwAr refutes different philosophies of bhAhyas (one who does not accept the vEdhas)/kudhrushtis (one who accepts vEdhas but interprets the meanings wrongly) like that of lOkAyatha, mImAmsaka and vaisEshika by establishing that AthmA is different from body, is full of jnAnam, is subservient to empermAn and his adiyArs. It is shown that our activity will match our identity. If we identify ourselves with our dhEham (body) our activity will be on a bodily platform (materialistic). But once we understand that we are dhAsan of emperumAn, then we will fully engage in kainkaryam only to him. "vAzhum chOmbar" (one who gloriously lives without any self efforts) is differentiated from "kedum chOmbar" (one who lazily survives without any true knowledge).

Rest of the pAsurams in thirumAlai are explained as glorifying the greatness of such adiyArs of emperumAn. AzhwAr explains in great detail how we should deal with such great srivaishnavas who fully accept and follow emperumAn as upAyam and upEyam. These pAsurams also relate to the fact that when one understands the true meaning of thirumanthram (and dhvayam) he/she will automatically surrender oneself to srivaishnavas and serve them in every opportunity. Through his pAsurams and his life AzhwAr showed us how to fully surrender to archAvathAra emperumAn and how to serve him fully. Let us pray to his lotus feet so we also develop such attitude. In the next article we will see thiruppANAzhwAr's archAvathAra anubhavam.


archAvathAra anubhavam

thiruppANAzhwAr anubhavam
In the previous article ( we observed thoNdaradippodi AzhwAr's archAvathAra anubhavam. Let us now see thiruppANAzhwAr's archAvathAra anubhavam.

mAmunigaL glorifies thiruppANAzhwAr's greatness in upadhEsa rathina mAlai 10th pAsuram. Let us enjoy that to start with. kArththikaiyil rOhinNi NAL kAnNmininRu kAchiniyIr (


archAvathAra anubhavam


vAyththa pugazhp pAnNar vaNthuthippAl (

AththiyarkaL anbudanEthAn amalanAthipirAn kaRRathaRpin (

NangudanE konNdAdum NAL (

Simple translation: Oh dwellers of this world! kArthigai rOhiNi is the day on which thiruppANAzhwAr (whose glories are well established) appeared. All great personalities who are attached to pramANam (sAsthram) and pramEyam (emperumAn) learn amalanAdhipirAn and glorify AzhwAr after that. piLLai lOkam jIyar brings out very nice meanings in his vyAkyAnam. Let us see a little bit here.

Since AzhwAr shows great attachment to kaNNan emperumAn (as seen in the last pAsuram of amalanAdhipirAn), he is also born on the same rOhiNi nakshathram like kaNNan emperumAn. Also, since thirukkOshtiyur nambi (who revealed the deep meanings of charama slOkam) and periyavAchAn piLLai are born in this same nakshathram - this nakshathram is to be glorified. "vAyththa pugazh" (established greatness) means he was born in a family where "naichyam janma sidham" (humility is natural). That is why periyaperumAL instructed lOka sAranga muni to carry AzhwAr and acknowledged his greatness. Also his greatness relates to his activities. He is like muktha jIvAthmAs who constantly sing sAmagAnam in paramapadham. AzhwAr was also constantly glorifying periya perumAL by singing his thirunAmams all the time. AththiyargaL (AsthikAs) generally means who accepts sAsthram and follows it. But here it is specifically said that AththiyargaL means those who have great attachment to periya perumAL (pramEyam), amalanAdhipirAn (pramANam) and AzhwAr (pramAthA). This shows that just being attached to one and ignoring the others is not the best. Finally, it is also shown that amalanAdhipirAn explains the meanings of praNavam in the first 3 pAsurams (they start with a, u and ma respectively) and the rest of the thirumanthram in the remaining pAsurams.

azhagiya maNavALa perumAL nAyanAr in AchArya hrudhayam chUrNikai 85, explains that one goes beyond the bodily conception and understands the greatness of a srivaishnava only when they understand "bhOga manNdapaththil vInNaiyum kaiyumAna aNtharanGgarai mahAmuni aNuvarththiththa kramam" (

) -

meaning as per periya perumAL's niyamanam lOka sAranga muni who is a brAhmaNothamar carried thiruppANAzhwAr into the thiruvarangam periya kOil.


archAvathAra anubhavam

The greatness of AzhwAr (vakthru vailakshaNyam), amalanAdhipirAn (prabhandha vailakshayNyam) and periya perumAL (vishaya vailakshaNyam) are wonderfully explained in the vyAkyAna avathArikai by both periyavAchAn piLLai and azhagiya maNavALa perumAL nAyanAr. Let us enjoy a bit from the avathArikais.

vakthru vailakshaNyam - AzhwAr, out of extreme humility, considers himself outside the 4 varNas (as panchama) and did not step into periya kOil. emperumAn also considers AzhwAr outside the 4 varNas (as good as a nithya sUri who is not bound by the varNAshrma dharmam) and did not allow him to step into periya kOil - instead ordered lOka sAranga muni to carry him inside the temple like every one carries emperumAn himself. prabhandha vailakshaNyam o prabhandhams like thiruvAimozhi are very big (1000+ pAsurams). praNavam is very small (3 letters). But amalanAdhipirAn is just 10 pAsurams. o In other prabhandhams, there are aspects like anyApadhEsam/svApadhEsam, sAmAnadhikaraNam, etc. The only other comparable prabhandham is thirumAlai, but even there, thoNdaraippodi AzhwAr discusses how he suffered in samsAram, etc. Even in thiruppallANdu, the 3 different adhikAris (ishwaryArthi, kaivalyArthi, bhagavallAbhArthi) are discussed. But in amalanAdhipirAn, the only object of discussion is periya perumAL. vishaya vailakshaNyam - Unlike param, vyUham, vibhvam and antharyAmi which are not easily reachable at present for us, periya perumAL is staying put in thiruvarangam to bless all the suffering jIvAthmAs in samsAram. It is after arriving here in srirangam, his thEjas becomes multi-fold. All his important qualities like soulabhyam, etc., glows here much more than paramapadham. Even in comparison with other dhivya dhEsams, thiruvarangam is famously known as the main maNdapam and all the other dhivya dhEsams are like gardens around the maNdapam (vaNdinam uralum chOlai).

With this introduction, let us enjoy the essence of this wonderful prabhandham. vEdhAnthAchAryar has also written a vyAkyAnam for amalanAdhipirAn named munivAhana bhOgam. It is often said that he wrote this vyAkyAnam after meeting AchAryas in srirangam and accepting their guidance (He himself expressed in abhIthisthavam his desire to meet with the elders in srirangam). In this vyAkyAnam he explains nirhEthuka krupai of emperumAn using the following words "kAranNavisEsham innathenRu aRuthiyida mudiyAtha visEsha krupai" (


nAyanAr shows two threads of sangathi (relationship) between each pAsuram. Just by understanding these two aspects, we will know the greatness of this prabhandham.


archAvathAra anubhavam

Explanation based on thirumEni varNanai

It is explained that AzhwAr did not move to one part from another because he was satisfied with the anubhavam in the first part of the thirumEni, but it was like a ocean of waves, where one wave pushed him to the next wave. So, even being not satisfied with his anubhavam, he moved on to the next one. It is explained in thaithriya upanishadh (yathO vAcho nivarthanthE) that we cannot even measure the glories of a single guNam (quality) of emperumAn what to speak of all of his guNams.

In the first pAsuram, AzhwAr is enjoying the thiruvadi (lotus feet) of periya perumAL. These are the thiruvadis that are softer than a flower. They are held with reverence and love by pirAtti in her eyes and breasts. They are also shown as what is established as upAyam and upEyam for a prapannan. In the second pAsuram, AzhwAr is enjoying the yellow dress on the waist of empeumAn. nAyanAr beautifully explains that being in samsAram we can easily fall into the trap of any other person's waist cloth but by the grace of periya perumAL, AzhwAr fell in love for the cloth of periya perumAL.


archAvathAra anubhavam

In the third pAsuram, AzhwAr is enjoying the navel (undhi) of periya perumAL. AzhwAr glorifies this as "ayanaip padaiththathOr ezhil uNdhi" (

). It is explained that after giving birth to brahmA

his navel got more beautiful unlike the humanly scenario. Since it looks like a swirl (chuzhi), nAyanAr explains that the beauty of periya perumAL is like water that starts from a mountain peak (head), becomes a waterfalls (on his chest) and makes a swirl where it falls (navel) based on kUraththAzhwAn's varadharAja sthavam slOkam 55. In the fourth pAsuram, AzhwAr enjoys periya perumAL's stomach. nAyanAr identifies that periya perumAL's waist line is beautiful and this is where he has the mark of the thread by which he was bound by yasOdhai. In the fifth pAsuram, AzhwAr enjoys the chest of periya perumAL. This said to be the vAsasthalam (residence) of periya pirAtti. He also wears beautiful ornaments on his chest. periya pirAtti also looks like a beautiful ornament in his chest. He also shows that the ornaments are used to cover up the full beauty of the chest. nAyanAr says AzhwAr is taking shelter of his mother now. In the sixth pAsuram, AzhwAr enjoys the neck of periya perumAL. Here AzhwAr wonders how the small neck swallows all of the creation. nAyanAr shows that just like kainkaryam is the main objective of sEshabhUthas (one who accept his superiority and serves), rakshakathvam is the main objective of periya perumAL which is why he swallows everyone/everything to protect them during samhAram. In the seventh pAsuram, AzhwAr enjoys the mouth and lips of periya perumAL. Here it is shown that the mouth first has to accept anything before the neck can swallow it. Also, it is the mouth/lips which attracts everyone with its beauty. Also, AzhwAr is mesmerized by the fact that emperumAn gives his words of protection like "aham smarAmi", "na thayajEyam", "mA sucha:", etc. which brings happiness and comfort in the minds of surrendered jIvAthmAs. In the eighth pAsuram, AzhwAr enjoys the beautiful eyes. They are explained as big, reddish eyes - which represent the vAthsalyam (motherly forbearance) of periya perumAL. All the AzhwArs were attached to emperumAn's beautiful eyes he is known as puNdarikAksha, kamala lOchana, thAmaraik kaNNan, etc. This is also explained as one of the main identities of his supremacy - whatever avathAram/form he takes, his eyes are always beautiful. AzhwAr says he becomes bewildered when he looks at the eyes. In the ninth pAsuram, AzhwAr enjoys the whole thirumEni of emperumAn. In the first 8 pAsurams, AzhwAr was bewildered by the individual parts individually, but here the whole of periya perumAL's thirumEni increases AzhwAr's attachment towards him. Finally, in the last pAsuram, AzhwAr sees kaNNan emperumAn in periya perumAL and declares that he will never see anything else after seeing periya perumAL. It is said that AzhwAr compiled the first 9 pAsurams on his way to the periya kOil and the 10th pAsuram was compiled when he entered the sannidhi. At that time, AzhwAr surrendered to emperumAn and emperumAn happily accepted him. nAyanAr gives great explanation for why AzhwAr will not look at anyone/anything else other than periya perumAL as if AzhwAr is asking the following questions.


archAvathAra anubhavam

ivar pakkal audhAryam illai enRu pOgavO (

)? - Will I leave because he is not

generous? He is "koNdal vaNNan" - like a cloud which generously rains everywhere. o vadivil pachaiyillai enRu pOgavO (

)? - Will I leave because he is not beautiful? He is "koNdal

vaNNan" - like a cloud he is very beautiful. o sausIlyam illai enRu pOgavO (

)? - Will I leave because he is not magnanimous? He is

"kOvalan" - took the form of gOpAlan and mixed with everyone including cows. o NenYchukku pidiththiruNthathillai enRu pOgavO (

)? - Will I leave because he

is not dear to my heart? He is "veNNai unda vAyan en uLLam kavarthAn" - one who ate butter and stole my heart. o mEnmai illai enRu pOgavO ( )? - Will I leave because he is not supreme? He is "aNdar kOn" - the owner of all the worlds. o saulabhyam illai enRu pOgavO (

)? - Will I leave because he is not accessible? He is

"aNiyarangan" - he is right in front of me. o bhOgyadhai illai enRu pOgavO ( amudhu" - my nectar. o anubhavaththil kuRai unNdu enRu pOgavO (

)? - Will I leave because he is not enjoyable? He is "en

)? - Will I leave because there is no

anubhavam (interactions) right now? He is seen by my own eyes and interacting right now.


archAvathAra anubhavam

Explanation based on the favours done by periya perumAL to AzhwAr

In the first pAsuram, AzhwAr explains that periya perumAL who himself is pure, accepts AzhwAr without expecting anything from AzhwAr, makes AzhwAr subservient to his adiyArs. In the next pAsuram, a question arises, if emperumAn has ever given his causeless mercy before and AzhwAr explains the thrivirkrama charithram, where he blessed everyone by touching them with his lotus feet without them asking for it. In the third pAsuram, AzhwAr shows that thrivikraman is now standing in thirumalai as thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn. He also shows that thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn is none other than periya perumAL himself. In the fourth pAsuram, a question arises about the ahankAram and mamakAram that is in AzhwAr's heart and AzhwAr explains that periya perumAL will destroy the ahankAram and mamakAram, just like he destroyed the four layers of protection of lankA.


archAvathAra anubhavam

In the fifth pAsuram, a question arises about the anAdhi kAla puNya/pApa karmAs and AzhwAr says periya perumAL (by the purushakAram of periya pirAtti) has destroyed them as well. AzhwAr also says it was periya perumAL who did thapas (austerity) by lying down in the middle of cauvery for a very long time to achieve AzhwAr. In the sixth pAsuram, when the question arises if emperumAn has ever destroyed the sins of anyone, AzhwAr says that he has removed the sins of rudhran and chandran. When rudhran cut one of the heads of his father brahmA, the kapAlam (skull) stuck to his hand. rudhran went to emperumAn who by sprinkling his sweat broke the kapAlam into pieces and rescued rudhran. When chandran lost his glow, he went and surrendered emperumAn who gave his glow back. In the seventh pAsuram, when the question arises "emperumAn will help rudhran because he is a dhEvathai and also the grand son of emperumAn. But will he help you?". AzhwAr says, periya perumAL is more attached to himself because he is purely there looking for emperumAn's mercy unlike dhEvathAntharams who are prayOjanAnthara parars (who are looking for materialistic benefits from emperumAn). In the eighth pAsuram, a question arises from 4th and 5th pAsurams. Even though ahankAram, mamakAram and karmAs are destroyed, there is still room for avidhyai because of the presence in samsAram. How will that go? AzhwAr answers, avidhyai represents thamO guNam. Just like emperumAn destroyed hiraNya kasipu who is representation of thamO guNam, AzhwAr says, periya perumAL will destroy his thamO guNam also. In the ninth pAsuram, a question arises - only by vEdhAntha jnAnam - thamO guNam, etc will be destroyed? Since AzhwAr does not even have adhikAram for that (based on his birth) and also, we are in samsAram and in kaliyugam which is not condusive for Athma jnAnam, How is it possible that periya perumAL destroyed all of the thamO guNam, etc? AzhwAr answers just like he is able to float on a leaf as a small child during praLayam, emperumAn is using his special/unimaginable powers destroyed my thamO guNam, etc. Finally, in the last pAsuram, AzhwAr unable to think about anything else, completely becoming blissful on seeing periya perumAL, surrenders to him and periya perumAL also happily accepts him.

In his vAzhi thirunAmam also, it is said that "malarkkanNnNil vERonRum vaiyAthAn ) meaning vAzhiyE" ( "AzhwAr does not behold in his beautiful eyes anyone/anything other than periya perumAL". During the last days of ALavandhAr, when periya nambi and thirukkOttiyUr nambi asks him for final instructions to remember forever, he says "Always focus on thiruppANAzhwAr who is standing at the lotus feet of periya perumAL". In the next article we will see thirumangai AzhwAr's archAvathAra anubhavam.


archAvathAra anubhavam

thirumangai AzhwAr anubhavam

In the previous article ( we observed thiruppANAzhwAr's archAvathAra anubhavam. Let us now see thirumangai AzhwAr's archAvathAra anubhavam.

mAmunigaL glorifies thirumangai AzhwAr's greatness in upadhEsa rathina mAlai 8th and 9th pAsurams. Let us enjoy that to start with. In the 8th pAsuram, mAmunigaL says, this kArthigai thirunakshathram is far greater than any other thirnakshathrams because of the birth of thirumangai AzhwAr on this


archAvathAra anubhavam

day. While explaining "vAyththa pugazh" ( ), piLLai lOkam jIyar explains that AzhwAr got thirumanthra upadhEsam from thirnaraiyUr nambi himself by force. Even emperumAn is scared of thirumangai AzhwAr. Such are his glories. He also goes on to say thirumanthram is also "vAyththa thirumaNthiram" ( ) the greatness of thirumanthram is also established. After all, kaliyan appears to remove the ignorance of samsAris in this samsAram and he does that by explaining the meanings of thirumanthram in detail. In the 9th pAsuram, mAmunigaL says "mARan panNiththa thamizh maRaikku manGgaiyarkOn ARanGgam kURa avathariththa vIRudaiya kArththigaiyil kArththigai NAL" (

). piLLai lOkam jIyar explains in the vyAkyAnam that just like nammAzhwAr explained the essence of 4 vEdhas in his 4 prabhandhams (We have already seen this in the beginning of nammAzhwAr's archAvathAra anubhavam article, thirumangai AzhwAr's prabhandhams (periya thirumozhi, thirukkurunthANdagam, thiruvezhukkURRirukkai, siriya thirumadal, periya thirumadal and thirunedunthANdagam) are considered as the essence of six angams of vEdhas namely sIkshA, vyAkaraNam, chandhas, niruktham, kalpam and jyOthisham. This is explained by azhagiya maNavALa perumAL nAyanAr in AchArya hrudhayam chUrNikai 43 and elaborated by mAmunigaL in his vyAkyAnam beautifully. Also, piLLai lOkam jIyar brings out two specific greatness for AzhwAr when explaining "vIRu".

Since AzhwAr himself says to emperumAn in periya thirumozhi 4.9.6 "NummadiyArOdum okka enNnNiyiruththIr adiyEnai" (

) - "dont consider me like other

adiyArs". It is explained that AzhwAr is unlike pirAtti who could wait for 10 months or other AzhwArs who were able to sustain themselves by just thinking about emperumAn's other manifestations (param, vyUham, etc) and thirukkalyANa guNams. For AzhwAr, he will only sustain by seeing archAvathAra emperumAns and doing mangaLAsAsanam to them. Also, just like a father is attached more to his last child, emperumAn is attached more to him as he is the last AzhwAr. As he himself says in thirunedunthANdagam pAsuram 6, "thAnugaNtha UrellAm than thAL pAdi" ( ), he went around to many archAvathAra dhivya dhEsam emperumAns physically and glorified them in his pAsurams. In the thirunedunthANdagam, periyavAchAn piLLai explains that "thAn ugaNtha" means - what is pleasing to emperumAn (because he is coming to samsAram to help samsAris), but neither nithya sUris are pleased with it (since emperumAn keeps trying without much result as not many samsAris come to him) nor samsAris are pleased with him (since they are attached for so many materialistic aspirations). But as we see, AzhwAr is very


archAvathAra anubhavam

attached to all the dhivyadhEsa emperumAns since he goes around glorifying them. thirumangai AzhwAr's attachment towards archAvathAra emperumAns is unlimited. periyavAchAn piLLai shows in thirunedunthAndagam avathArikai that once emperumAn gave him divine/blemishless knowledge, AzhwAr started enjoying the archAvathAra emperumAns who are the representation of the meanings of thirumanthram. emperumAn started thinking AzhwAr may decide to just stay in this samsAram enjoying dhivya dhEsams and showed the cruel nature of samsAram so AzhwAr sung "mARRamuLa" padhigam showing his fear in this samsAram. Seeing that he is still in samsAram AzhwAr started glorifying archAvathAra emperumAns and ones who are attached to them in thirukkurunthANdagam and thiruvezhukkURRirukkai. But since he did not still get mOksham, he decides to perform madals (siriya thirumadal and periya thirumadal) where he starts chastising archAvathAra emperumAns (who is full of saulabhyam but still not favouring AzhwAr). Finally in thirunedunthAndagam, he glorifies the archAvathAra emperumAns again and reaches paramapadham in the end. Let us see AzhwAr's unlimited attachment for archAvathAra emperumAns from a few of his pAsurams. In periya thirumozhi, AzhwAr starts his prabhandham with glorifying thirumanthram. AzhwAr was given thirumanthra upadhEsam by thirunaraiyUr nambi emperumAn. All the dhivya dhEsams are explained as establishing the real meaning of thirumanthram that we are fully subservient to emperumAn only and serving him is our ultimate goal. But the inner meaning of thirumanthram is that we are actually subservient to emperumAn's adiyArs. This is revealed by AzhwAr in thirukkaNNapuram padhigam.

Let us see that from thirumozhi 8.10.3. maRRumOr dheyvam uLadhenRu iruppArOdu uRRilEn (


archAvathAra anubhavam

uRRadhum un adiyArkku adimai (

maRRellAm pEchilum Nin thiruvettezhuththum kaRRu NAn (

kanNnNapuraththuRai ammAnE (

Simple tranlsation: Azhwar says to souri perumAL "I will not even mix with people who accept/worship other dhEvathAs. After learning thirumanthram, I learnt that I am a servant of your adiyArs". One of the important relationships between emperumAn and jIvAthmA is the barthru/bhAryAL sambandham (husband-wife). Thirumanthram is considered as the thirumAngalyam (mangaLa sUthram) which is tied by emperumAn to the jIvAthmA. When this relationship is established by an AchAryan, it is the duty of jIvAthmA to fully depend on emperumAn and it is the duty of emperumAn to fully protect the jIvAthmA. Just like the husband will be more pleased when his wife is affectionate to and takes care of his relatives (father, mother, etc) and vice versa, emperumAn will also be more pleased when the jIvAthmA is affectionate to and takes care off his eternal relatives (adiyArs). AzhwAr himself showed examples in his pAsurams. Let us see a couple here.

In thirumozhi 2.5 - "pArAyathu uNdu umizhntha" padhigam, he glorified thirukkadal mallai emperumAn and he immediately followed it up in 2.6 "naNNAtha vAL avuNar" padhigam, where he fully glorified the adiyArs of thirukkadal mallai emperumAn.


archAvathAra anubhavam

In thirumozhi 7.4 - "kaN sOra" padhigam, he glorifies emperumAn in the first part and glorifies sAranAthan's adiyArs immediately in the later part of each pAsuram.

One speciality of AzhwAr is that he sees everything (parathvam, saulabhyam, etc) in archAvathAra emperumAn. Let us enjoy the essence of one padhigam in thirumozhi (73 - sinavil) where AzhwAr sees everything in thirunaraiyUr nambi who happens to be his direct AchAryan as well (the one who performed thirumanthra upadhEsam to AzhwAr). As it is said in srivachana bhUshaNam by piLLai lOkAchAryar in sUthram 450, all five manifestations namely param, vyUham, antharyAmi, vibhavam and archai are all literally enjoyed by AzwAr in his own AchAryan.


archAvathAra anubhavam

In the first pAsuram, AzhwAr enjoys rAma charithram and declares that he was able to visualize emperumAn (who is unseen) as thirunaraiyUr nambi in his heart. By starting with perumAL who killed the rAkshasas and protected the rishis/dhEvas, AzhwAr is focussing on the rakshakathvam of emperumAn. In the second pAsuram, AzhwAr is describing emperumAn as amararkku ari ERu ) - leader of nithyasUris. AzhwAr is praising empeumAn's ( rakshakathvam again in protecting everyone during praLayam and his beauty by describing emperumAn's beautiful ears. AzhwAr is seeing thirukkOvalUr Ayan in thirunaraiyUr nambi in this pAsuram and he is saying he is fully depending on thirunariyUr nambi. In the third pAsuram, AzhwAr is enjoying emperumAn's antharyAmithvam. AzhwAr sees thirukkudanthai ArAvamuthan in thirunaraiyUr nambi and is saying he will be unable to forget emperumAn due to the many favours that were done by him. In the fourth pAsuram, AzhwAr is enjoying kaNNan emperumAn's charithram (and rAma charithram again) and glorifying his saulabhyam. That saulabhyam's ultimate nature is enjoyed in none other than thiruvaranganAthan who is seen in thirunaraiyUr nambi. AzhwAr declares his heart will not bow down for anyone else other than emperumAn. In the fifth pAsuram, AzhwAr's heart goes behind kaNNan emperumAn's navanItha chaurya charithram. Also, thiruvEnkatam is glorified here and thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn is seen in thirunaraiyUr nambi. In the sixth pAsuram, emperumAn is enjoyed as kshIrAbdhi nAthan by AzhwAr. ThirumAlirunchOlai azhagar's extreme beauty and sweet nature is seen in thirunaraiyUr nambi and AzhwAr is saying he will glorify no one else. In the seventh pAsuram, AzhwAr is recollecting the parathvam of emperumAn and how mercifully emperumAn entered his heart. AzhwAr is saying his mouth will not not speak about anyone other than thirunaraiyUr nambi. In the eighth pAsuram, AzhwAr is cherishing emperumAn's upAyathvam. He is showing his gratitude to thirunaraiyUr nambi for protecting him in this samsAram itself. In the ninth pAsuram, AzhwAr is glorifying rAma charithram. AzhwAr sees thanjai mA manik kOil narasimhan emperumAn in thirunaraiyUr nambi and declares that he will not perform mangaLAsAsanam to any one other than emperumAn. In the last pAsuram, AzhwAr is saying that for the ones who learn these 10 pAsurams (which are like nectar for emperumAn's adiyArs who worship him, chant and dance glorifying him), no sins will affect them.

thirunedunthANdagam is one of the most glorious prabhandhams of AzhwAr. It is called as thirunedunthANdaga dhivya sAsthram and bhattar uses the valuable points from this prabhandham to defeat vEdhAnthi (who eventually becomes nanjIyar) in a debate. periyavAchAn piLLai has done a detailed vyAkyAnam for this prabhandham and it is one of the most relishable works in our sampradhAyam. In this, in 13th pAsuram, as stated in motherly bhAvam (AzhwAr taking the form of the mother of parakAla nAyaki and talking about her) AzhwAr enjoys vibhavAvathArams and archAvathArams


archAvathAra anubhavam


yathOkthAkAri emperumAn in vENugOpAlan thirukkOlam - thiruveHkA Let us see the unique nature of AzhwAr which is explained by periyavAchAn piLLai in the vyAkyAnam. kalleduththuk kalmAri kAththAy enRum (


archAvathAra anubhavam

kAmaru pUnGkachchi UragaththAy enRum (

villiRuththu melliyaL thOL thOyNthAy enRum (

veHkAvil thuyilamarNtha vENthE enRum ( malladarththu mallarai anRattAy enRum ( )

mAkInNda kaiththalaththen maiNthA enRum ( ) cholleduththuth than kiLiyaich chollE enRu (

thunNai mulai mEl thuLi chOrach chOrginRALE (

Simple translation: parakAla nAyaki's thAyAr (mother) says, parakAla nAyaki who is feeling deep sorrow in separation from emperumAn, asking her parrot to recite the names of emperumAn who:

lifted gOvardhana giri and protected the gOpas and gOpis. lives in the most lovable dhivyadhEsam thiruvUragam which is in the kAnchipuram area. broke the bow and married sIthA pirAtti. is the king who lies down in thiruveHkA. fought with the wrestlers and defeated them as kaNNan emperumAn. killed kEsi who took the form of a horse.

But, when the parrot starts reciting the names of emperumAn her sorrow becomes multi-fold since she is reminded about emperumAn more than ever before by hearing the names and so she starts crying more. periyavAchAn piLLai gives a wonderful vyAkyAnam. It shows our AchAryas were born to write sath vishayams (and ofcourse we are born to read and enjoy them). Let us enjoy some of the important aspects from the vyAkyAnam.

In the avathArikai itself he shows how thirunAmam (name) of emperumAn can have different effect on different AzhwArs. He shows thirunAmam can be: o bhOgyam (enjoyable) - achyuthA amararERE (glorifying him as the lord of nithyasUris).


archAvathAra anubhavam

pAvanam (purifying) - Nin NAmam kaRRa Avalippu (saying his names purified AzhwAr). o dhArakam (makes one sustain themselves) - gOvindhan guNam pAdi - Avi kAththiruppEnE (sustain myself by singing emperumAn's qualities and names). o nanju (poison) - kaNNan nAmamE kuzharik konRIr (killed me by saying kaNNan emperumAn's names). For kaNNan emperumAn, gOpas and gOpis going to dhEvathAntharam (indhran) is like giving his wife to some one else. It was completely unbearable for him, that is why he diverted them from worshipping indhran. One of the most unique qualities of AzhwAr is beautifully explained here. Just like a prince will have a spoon of ghee for every spoon of food he eats, AzhwAr will have archAvathAram anubhavam in every line. It is also shown that, while other AzhwArs will see parathvam (supremacy) in paramapadhanAthan, nIrmai (simplicity) in vibhavAvathArams and to see that simpliciyt they look at archAvathAram, AzhwAr always sees everything in archAvathAram only. rAma charithram is beautifully explained here. After breaking the bow when asked about the marriage, perumAL said he broke the bow because his AchAryan (viswAmithran) said so, but for marriage, they have to talk to his father and vasishtar. Being amazed at this quality of emperumAn, pirAtti melted like water and seeing that, since perumAL was tired he immersed himself into pirAtti who melted like water. It is also shown that even for perumAL and pirAtti (who are always together) when they are separated they need some one (AchArya sthAnam) to connect them. An important svApadhEsam is explained here. Breasts are to be treated as bhakthi which is what the jIvAthmA has and what emperumAn likes - when there is mention about breasts, it should always be interpreted as bhakthi. This is similar to eyes (jnAnam) which should be broad, hip (vairAgyam) which should be very thin, i.e., we should have very little attachment towards material aspirations, etc. Other AzhwArs are like malayaLars (people from kEraLa) who can eat well for a month but starve for another month if necessary. They can sustain themselves during samslEsham (union) and vislEsham (separation) with perumAL. But AzhwAr is so tender hearted that even during samslEsham he is so worried about separation.

In siriya thirumadal, AzhwAr performs madal to attract kaNNan emperumAn. In periya thirumadal, AzhwAr performs madal to attract thirunaraiyUr nambi. Both prabhandhams are done in parakAla nAyaki bhAvam (as a girl). madalUrthal means, when one person falls in love with another, and the other person is not showing any interest, the person in love carries a painting (of the other person) and a palm leaf in public and declares that he/she is in love for the other person. Out of shame or understanding the true love, the other person will accept the person in love. periyavAchAn piLLai and azhagiya maNavALa perumAL nAyanAr have done


archAvathAra anubhavam

vyAkyAnams for periya thirumadal prabhandham. In their vyAkyAnams, first they raise a question, for a prapannar like AzhwAr, does it fit his svarUpam to perform this act of madal since this looks like upAyAntharam (upAyam other than emperumAn)? Really, we should depend on emperumAn fully and wait for him to accept us. Both commentators explain that

AzhwAr is unable to bear the separation from emperumAn and wants to achieve emperumAn some how. This is similar to nammAzhwAr also who did the same act out of desperation. So, in this case, their ignorance (that we should make some effort to achieve emperumAn) is an outcome of their extreme love for emperumAn and this is priceless (unlike the ignorance of ordinary humans) and to be celebrated. It is also shown that emperumAn is glorified for his wonderful guNams (qualities). And it is his true nature (svarUpam) to be full of great qualities. By performing madal, people will disregard his good qualities and he cannot accept that. So, AzhwArs think that by performing madal, he will come to them immediately since he cannot bear the thought of others accusing him of lacking good qualities.

AzhwAr beautifully explains the qualities of several dhivya dhEsa emperumAns only to say in the end that those qualities are not really helping him.

Finally, let us see AzhwAr's attachment to thirukkudanthai ArAvamuthan.

AzhwAr, in periya thirumozhi - vAdinEn padhigam (1.1), while explaining the glories of thirumanthram, right in the second pAsuram itself. He says "chUzh punal kudaNthaiyE thozhuthu uyya" ( ) in this pAsuram.


archAvathAra anubhavam

In the end, in thirunedunthANdagam, 29th pAsuram, just before leaving to paramapadham, he is calling out to "thanN kudaNthaik kidaNtha mAlai" ( ). By saying "mAl", AzhwAr is enjoying emperumAn's vAthsalyam (motherly forbearance) even just before leaving to paramapadham. AzhwAr also, dedicated a whole prabhandham, thiruvezhkkURRirukkai, for thirukkudanthai ArAvamuthan emperumAn.

With this we have seen a little glimpse of how different AzhwArs enjoyed archAvathAra emperumAns. AzhwArs' attachment to archAvathAra emperumAns is unlimited and it is difficult to express them with our humanly words. Without the vyAkyAnams of our pUrvAchAryas we can hardly understand anything in aruLicheyal. Let us take a moment to show our gratitude to AzhwArs and AchAryas for their great contribution towards the benediction of us - they are certainly like oasis in this desert of samsAram. We will move on to seeing how different AchAryas enjoyed archAvathAra emperumAns. In the next article we will see thirukkachi nambi's archAvathAra anubhavam.


archAvathAra anubhavam

thirukkachi nambi anubhavam

So far, we have enjoyed how different AzhwArs enjoyed archAvathAra emperumAns. Please see for the full list. We will now start seeing how our pUrvAchAryas enjoyed archAvathAra emperumAns. We have seen from the beginning that emperumAn is full of divine qualities. emperumAn's divine qualities can be divided into 2 categories - parathvam (supremacy) and saulabhyam (simplicity, easy accessibility). vEdhAntham establishes emperumAn's parathvam clearly. It is said in the chAndhOgya upanishadh that "kAraNam thu dhyEya:" which means the object of our worship/meditation should be the root cause of everything. In the beginning of brahma sUthram, vEdha vyAsa maharishi also establishes that "athAthO brahma jijnAsa" (now that karma kANdam of vEdham is understood, one should understand about brahmam) and "janmAdhy asya yatha:" (that brahmam is the root cause of everything). In the thaithriya upanishadh, it is said that "yatho vA imAni bhuthAni jAyante; yEna jathAni jIvanthi; yat prayanthyabhisamvisanthi; thadh vijijnAsasva; thath brahma" which means "brahmam is that from which everything is created, everything is sustained and finally everything is consumed". In nArAyaNa upanishadh, it is established that "nArAyANAth brahmA jAyathE, nArAyaNath rudhrO jAyathE, etc" - sriman nArAyaNan created brahmA, shiva, air, directions, etc and his all pervasive nature (omni presence) is wonderfully established. In aruLicheyal also, AzhwArs establish emperumAn's parathvam in several places. nammAzhwAr says "oththAr mikkArai ilaiyAya mAmAyA" ( ) - one who does not have anyone equal or higher. He also says "onRum dhEvum ulagum uyirum maRRum" (

) - on whom all the chEthanams and achEthanams go and submerge during praLayam. piLLai perumAL iyengAr who was a great thamizh poet and a great srivaishnava who lived in srirangam says "One person (thrivikraman emperumAn) is lifting his lotus foot, another person (brahmA) is washing that foot with his hands and yet another person (rudhran) is holding that sri pAdha thIrtham in his head with reverence. Now, you decide who is supreme". He goes one step beyond and says that emperumAn's supremacy can be established through prathyaksha pramANam (what is visible to our eyes, etc) itself. He says "brahmA who is the first being in the material creation appearing from emperumAn's navel is easily seen in archAvathAra emperumAn". Thus emperumAn's parathvam is established. emperumAn's saulabhyam is fully seen in archAvathAram and this is fully shown to us by AzhwArs through their dhivya prabhandhams. AzhwArs have always engaged themselves in meditating on archAvathAra emperumAn and glorifying him. Even though he is supreme, he manifests the pinnacle of his saulabhyam in archAvathAram by becoming fully subservient to his devotees. He takes the form that is desired by his adiyArs. He keeps the name that is desired by his adiyArs. And he fully depends on


archAvathAra anubhavam

them for his bathing, dressing, eating and all other activities such as thiruvArAdhanam, purappAdu (procession), uthsavams (celebrations), etc. parAsara bhattar explains this quality of emperumAn as "archaka parAdhIna: akilAthma sthithi:" - he becomes fully subservient to the one who worships him and depends on that worshipper for sustaining himself. In archAvathAram, emperumAn maintains archA samAdhi (not showing any visible interactions with anyone). But there have been great mahAns over the past in charithram (history), who were so advanced in their nishtai with great attachment towards emperumAn which made emperumAn break his archA samAdhi and have regular interactions with them. One such great personality is thirukkachi nambi who is also known as "sri kAnchi pUrNar". He was one of the prime disciples of ALavandhAr and he served dhEva perumAL (varadharAjan emperumAn of hasthigiri/kAnchipuram) by performing thriuvAlavattam (hand held fan) kainkaryam to emperumAn.


archAvathAra anubhavam

mAmunigaL who is a mangaLAsAsana nishtar, performed mangaLAsAsanam to dhEva perumAL through his "dhEvaraj mangalam". In the 11th slOkam he says: srI kAnchIpUrNa mishrENa prIthyA sarvAbhibhAshiNE athItha archA vyavasthAya hasthyadhrIshAya mangalam Simple Translation: mangaLAsAsanam to dhEva perumAL who resides in hasthigiri and who out of great love towards thirukkachi nambi, broke his archA samAdhi and regularly had conversations with him. From thirukkachi nambi's thanian it is very clear that

thirukkachi nambi and dhEva perumAL had a unique and great relationship that emperumAn was having great attachment to him and also constant interactions with him. emperumAnAr had great abhimAnam for him. emperumAnAr considered thirukkachi nambi as his AchArya and in fact wanted to accept samAshrayaNam from him. But thirukkachi nambi cited varNAshram dharmam and refused to perform samAshrayaNam for emperumAnAr.

It is well known that thirukkachi nambi was doing continuous kainkaryam and conversing regularly with dhEva perumAL. azhagiya maNavALa perumAL nAyanAr glorifies him along with thiruppANAzhwAr (we have already seen his anubhavam in and kurumbarutha nambi in AchArya hrudhayam chUrNikai 85 as "thyAga manNdapaththil Alavattamum kaiyumAna aNtharanGgarai vaidhikOththamar aNuvarththiththa kramam" (

) meaning one will understand the

greatness of a srivaishnava (going beyond the bodily conception) only when they understand that thirukkachi nambi who was a confidential servitor of emperumAn was admired and served by emperumAnAr who is the top most vaidhikar. It is also well known that he got the "6 vArthaigaL" (six words) from dhEva perumAL as requested by emperumAnAr to establish important meanings of our sath sampradhAyam. After ALavandhAr attaining paramapadham, emperumAnAr was thinking about who to accept as his AchAryan. Wanting to get his thoughts confirmed by dhEva perumAL, emperumAnAr approached thirukkachi nambi who was a confidential adiyAr of dhEva perumAL and asked him to find out emperumAn's thiruvuLLam (thoughts). When thirukkachi nambi informs dhEva perumAL during his kainkaryam that emperumAnAr has some doubts in his mind, dhEva perumAL gives him the following 6 instructions to be passed on to emperumAnAr. We have to note that emperumAnAr was thinking in his mind about AchAryan matter only, but dhEva perumAL out of his divine plan wants to establish certain principles that too directly through thirukkachi nambi who is his confidential devotee.


archAvathAra anubhavam

Let us quickly see the 6 words that were blessed by emperumAn.

ahamEva param thathvam - I am the supreme entity. dharshanam bhEdham Eva cha - sidhantham is bhedham, that emperumAn and jIvAthmAs are different, though emperumAn is the sarIri (soul) and all the chEthanams and achEthanams are sarIram (body). Just like we understand the jIvAthmA is different from the dhEham, paramAthmA is also different from jIvAthmA but there is an eternal relationship which ties paramAthmA, jIvAthmAs and achEthanams together. upAyEshu prApthisyAt - sharaNAgathi is the upAyam (means) to attain me. anthima smruthi varjanam - No need to think about me in the last moments. For prapannnas, I will think about them during their last moments. dhEvAvasAnE mukthisyAt - For prapannas, at the end of this life they will get mOksham (unlike bhakthi yOga nishtars who will get mOksham after exhausting the prArabhdha karmA). pUrNAchAryam samAshraya: - Accept mahApUrNar (periya nambi) as AchAryan. This last point is the only direct instruction to emperumAnAr while all other points are establishing the basic tenets of our sampradhAyam.


archAvathAra anubhavam

thirukkAchi nambi has written a beautiful sthOthra prabhandham named "dhEvarAja ashtakam".

These eight slOkams are his beautiful outpourings towards dhEva perumAL and let us enjoy a little glimpse from that prabhandham.


archAvathAra anubhavam


archAvathAra anubhavam

In the first slOkam, nambi performs mangaLAsAsanam and surrenders to 5 different manifestations of emperumAn. He glorifies emperumAn as "hasthisailEsha" (archAvathAram), "srIman" (param), "ambhuja lOchana" (vibhavam), "achyutha" (antharyAmi) and "praNathArthihara" (vyUham kshIrAbdhi). In the second slOkam, he says emperumAn is the one who protects all beings, one who is full of mercy and one who is the proprietor of both nithya vibhUthi and leelA vibhUthi and asks emperumAn to bless him as well. In the third slOkam, he asks emperumAn to protect him because he is doing the acts that are prohibited in sAsthram and also not doing the acts which are mandated in sAsthram. He is also saying that he is full of sins and he requests for emperumAn's protection. Note: In our pUrvAchAryas works, we will observe a lot of naichyAnusandhAnam (where they declare themselves to be very lowly) we must understand that they themselves are very pure and they are showing us how to think of ourselves when we go to emperumAn. In the next 5 slOkams, thirukkachi nambi shows the cruel nature of the samsAram and asks for protection from emperumAn. o samsAram is like a dense forest, it is full of diseases which are like tigers and vishayams (sound, touch, vision, taste and smell) are like dense bushes and attachment towards these are like many trees in the forest. o Wife (and husband), children, land, etc are mirages in a desert and they take away the analytical ability of the mind to distinguish between what is allowed in sAsthram and what is not. o We are incapable in this samsAram to do many things. But still run around trying to do them, have great attachment towards these and end up with distress and sorrows always. o Oh dhEvarAja who is full of mercy! king of the dhEvas! the lord of the worlds! protect me who is suffering in this samsAram. o Please protect me by your merciful glances, and drench me in your mercy which is as cool as soft breeze and as likeable as the waves of an ocean.

It was thirukkachi nambi's great attachment which showed us that archAvathAra empeumAn has great attachment towards his adiyArs and will do anything for them. Let us meditate on his divine lotus feet and pray for the same attachment towards emperumAn. In the next article we will see emperumAnAr's archAvathAra anubhavam.


archAvathAra anubhavam

emperumAnAr anubhavam
In the previous article ( we enjoyed thirukkachi nambi's archAvathAra anubhavam. Let us now move on to see how emperumAnAr enjoyed archAvathAra emperumAns.

emperumAnAr had great attachment to dhivya dhEsa emperumAns. Through out his life we can see him doing direct kainkaryam to many dhivya dhEsa emperumAns such as dhEva perumAL, thiruvaranganAthan, thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn, thirunArAyaNan/chelva piLLai, thirumAlirunchOlai azhagar and many more. Wherever emperumAn goes, emperumAnAr being sAkshAth AdhisEshan, as explained by poigai AzhwAr in his mudhal thiruvanthAdhi "chenRAl kudaiyAm iruNthAl chinGgAchanamAm" (

) pAsuram, he also follows and performs all

services to him. So, emperumAnAr who knew the heart of emperumAn, showed great attachment for AzhwArs' pAsurams which are fully glorifying emperumAn's archAvathAram. emperumAnAr also physically performed various kainkaryams to dhivya dhEsa emperumAns which we shall see in due course of this article. thiruvarangathamudhanAr, who was a sishya of kUrathAzhwAn and who had great attachment towards emperumAnAr, sung 108 pAsurams glorifying emperumAnAr's vaibhavam. In many pAsurams, he brings out emperumAnAr's relationship with dhivya


archAvathAra anubhavam

dhEsa emperumAns and his attachment towards them. But, before going into emperumAnAr's archAvathAra anubhavam, let us enjoy how namperumAL enjoyed, appreciated and rewarded emperumAnAr as shown by mAmunigaL in upadhEsa rathina mAlai 38th pAsuram. emperumAnAr dharichanam enRE ithaRku (

NamperumAL peyarittu NAtti vaiththAr (

ampuviyOr iNthath dharichanaththai emperumAnAr vaLarththa (

aNthach cheyal aRigaikkA (

Simple translation: To reveal the greatness of emperumAnAr who groomed this great eternal sampradhAyam of srivaishnavam, NamperumAL declared that this sampradhAyam will be named as "emperumAnAr dharisanam". In the vyAkyAnam, piLLai lOkam jIyar shows some beautiful points.

emperumAnAr's specific greatness relate to his unconditional grace and mercy towards suffering jIvAthmAs. He revealed the prapathi mArgam to everyone, gave the divine meanings that were learnt from thirukkottiyUr nambi for everyone who had the desire to learn and was fully focussed on removing the biggest suffering (samsAram) for every one. He also wrote sribhAshyam to firmly establish the perfect of view of sAsthram and to protect the same from bhAhya (outsiders for vEdhic principles) and kudhrushtis (one who mis-interprets vEdhic principles).

piLLai lOkAchAryar also glorifies emperumAnAr in this same aspect in srivachana bhUshaNa dhivya sAsthram that both periyAzhwAr and emperumAnAr are mangaLAsAsana nishtars and their main objective is to ensure that emperumAn's loneliness is removed (by reforming more samsAris to become mukthars). parAsara bhattar in his sriranganAtha sthOthram glorifies emperumAnAr in relation to his attachment/visits to various dhivyadhEsams. srIranGgam karisailam anYjanagirim thArkshyAhdri simhAchalau (

srIkUrmam purushOththamam cha badharINArAyanNam Naimisham (


archAvathAra anubhavam

srImadhdhvAravathI prayAga mathurA ayOdhyA gayA: pushkaram (

) :)

sALagrAmagirim NishEvya ramathE rAmAnujOyam muni: (

Simple translation: sri rAmAnuja muni gets pleased by serving the emperumAns of various dhivyadhEsams such as srirangam, hasthigiri (kAnchipuram), thiruvEnkatam, ahObilam, simhAchalam, srikUrmam, purushOthama kshEthram (puri jagannAthar), bhadhrikAshramam, naimishAraNyam, dhvArakA, prayAg, mathurA, ayOdhya, gayA, pushkaram and sALagramam. emperumAnAr travelled all over the bhAratha dhEsam and established the srivaishnava sampradhAyam and visishtAdhvaitha sidhAntham. ananthAzhwAn who is one of the most devoted disciples of emperumAnAr has written sri rAmAnuja chathuslOki (See In this beautiful prabhandham, he glorifies emperumAnAr in connection with kOil, thirumalai, perumAL kOil and thirunArAyaNapuram dhivya dhEsam and the emperumAns there. Let us now see emperumAnAr's divine archAvathAra anubhavams.

vEnkatakrishNan (thiruvallikkENi)
It was here in thiruvallikkENi, kEsava sOmayAji (father of emperumAnAr) came and worshipped rukmiNi samEtha vEnkatakrishnan emperumAn and performed puthra kAmEshti yAgam to beget a child. emperumAn appeared to him and told him that he will himself take birth as his child. So, thiruvallikkENi emperumAn can be considered as the one who gave us the most valuable gift in the form of emperumAnAr.


archAvathAra anubhavam

amudhanAr glorifies the appearance of emperumAnAr in rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi 41st pAsuram. Let us enjoy that a little bit. manNmichai yOnigaL thORum piRaNthu (

enGgaL mAyavanE kanNnNuRa NiRkilum kAnNagillA (

ulagOrgaLellAm anNnNal irAmAnuchan vaNthu thOnRiya appozhuthE (

) )

NanNnNaru jnYAnam thalaikkonNdu NAranNaRkAyinarE (

Simple translation: Even after emperumAn descending into this samsAram in many many avathArams, samsAris were unable to understand he is the sEshi (master) of everything. But as soon as rAmAnujar (who considers his adiyArs happiness/sorrow as his own) appeared, they were able to understand emperumAn and became subservient to him. A few glimpses from the beautiful vyAkyAnam.

Since "mAdhavan" is used to identify emperumAn, it is explained that emperumAn's krupai, kAruNyam, etc are due to pirAtti sambhandham. mAdhavan means one who is the husband of sri mahAlakshmi. emperumAn's efforts are explained here. emperumAn gives us karaNa kaLEbharam (body and senses), gives us jnAnam, gives us sAsthram, he takes avathArams himself as rAman, krishNAn, etc. He also instructs in gIthai in many places to worship him, etc as in "man manA bhava madh bhaktha: madh yAji mAm namaskuru ...". Even after this samsAris are not turning towards him. Not in the vyAkyAnam, but emperumAn himself becomes very upset with samsAris and says in gIthai (9.11) "avajAnanthi mAm mUdha..." - foolish men consider me human (during my avathArams) and they dont understand my supremacy. It is explained that samsAris realised the greatness of emperumAn as soon as emperumAnAr took birth (since when great personalities are born that has an impact in the environment). It is also explained that samsAris realised the greatness of emperumAn as soon as emperumAnAr showed them the greatness of emperumAn through his vyAkyAnams (sri bhAshyam, etc) and preaching.


archAvathAra anubhavam

sowmya nArAyaNan (thirukkOttiyUr)

This dhivya dhEsam has great importance for our sampradhAyam in relation to emperumAnAr. Let us see the reason now.

periyAzhwAr glorifies the srivaishnavas of this dhivyadhEsam in a beautiful way. selva nambi (who was glorified by periyAzhwAr) lived in this dhivya dhEsam. rAmAnujar had great attachment to thirukkOttiyUr nambi who was one of the main sishyas of ALavandhAr. ALavandhAr asked nambi to teach rahasyArthams to rAmAnujar. rAmAnujar walked 18 times to thirukkOttiyUr to meet thirukkOttiyUr nambi to get charamaslOka artham. thirukkOttiyUr nambi finally gives out the meanings of charama slOkam to rAmAnujar and instructs them not to reveal this to anyone easily. rAmAnujar had other plans though. He was previously approached by many srivaishnavas who had great desire in learning whatever secret meanings he was going to receive. rAmAnujar called them over to the vimAnam (inner mandapam) and gave them the secret meanings. Hearing this, thirukkOttiyUr nambi was very upset and came running to rAmAnujar. He said that by revealing the meanings he has violated the commitment given to him and the punishment for disobeying AchAryan's words is narakam only. rAmAnujar says that he is willing to go to narakam if these meanings will bring great benediction for many jIvAthmAs. Being very moved with rAmAnujar's krupai and kAruNyam, thirukkOttiyur nambi declares that rAmAnujar is greater than emperumAn


archAvathAra anubhavam

and will hence forth be called emperumAnAr. This is explained by mAmunigaL in mumukshupadi charama slOka prakaranam avathArikai that emperumAnAr got this name from thirukkottiyUr nambi after revealing the secret meanings of charama slOkam to the ones who desired to learn them.

In emperumAnAr's vAzhi thirunAmam it is said that "thennaranGgar chelvam muRRum thiruththi vaiththAn vAzhiyE" (

). These words from none other than our visathavAk shikAmani

in his Arthi prabhandham. It is emperumAnAr who established and developed the glories (kainkaryasrI) of srirangam. emperumAnAr showed to the whole world who sriranganAthan is and established/developed all the grandeur activities such as thiruvArAdhanam, upachArams, thaLigai amuthupadi, arayar sEvai, aruLicheyal and vEdha viNNappam, purappAdu, etc. Following his footsteps, even today, wherever we are, during sARRumurai, we are doing mangaLAsAsanam to srirangam's glories by reciting "sriman srirangasriyam anubhadhravAm anudhinam samvardhaya". mAmunigaL also shows in his yathirAja vimsathi 2nd slOkam, "srirangarAja charaNAmbhuja rAja hamsam" which means emperumAnAr is like a beautiful swan that is very attached to srirangarAjan emperumAn's lotus feet. thiruvarangathu amudhanAr had unflinching devotion towards emperumAnAr. In his rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi which is master piece, he glorifies emperumAnAr and his attachment towards thiruvaranganAthan. Let us enjoy a little glimpse of his work.

amudhanAr shows that emperumAnAr will faint in ecstasy when he hears about thiruvaragam. In the 35th pAsuram he says "ponnaranGgam ennil mayalE perugum irAmAnuchan" (

) - as soon as emperumAnAr hears he cannot control his emotions and becomes bewildered. In the 57th pAsuram, amudhanAr says "aranGgan malaradikku ALuRRavarE thanakku uRRavarAk koLLum" (

) - emperumAnAr is surrendered to AzhwArs and his pUrvAchAryas who were all surrendered to thiruvaranganAthan. emperumAnAr will consider those divined personalities as everything for him.


archAvathAra anubhavam

emperumAnAr has done us the greatest favour by performing sharaNAgathi to namperumAL and sriranga nAchiAr on a fine panguni uthram day. He submitted gadhya thrayam (sharaNAgathi gadhyam, sriranga gadhyam and srivaikunta gadhyam) in front of the dhivya dhampathi and asked for mOksham for every one who is related to him. namperumAL also gracefully acknowledged emperumAnAr's request and granted mOksham for all "sambandha sambandhis" of emperumAnAr (for the ones who are related to the srivaishnava guru paramparai). In sriranga gadhyam, emperumAnAr glorifies the sriranganAthan and his divine qualities. He finishes it by saying "sri ranganAtha! mama nAtha! namOsththE" - declaring sriranganAthan as his nAthan and surrendering unto him. This is exactly following in thirumangai AzhwAr's footsteps where he said in periya thirumozhi 7.3.4, "aranGgamALi! ennALi! ... anRi en manam thAzhNthu NillAthE" ( ! ! ...

) - oh sriranganAthA! my nAthA! my mind will not surrender unto anyone

else but you. emperumAnAr gave a lecture in front of thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn to establish visishtAdhvaitha sidhAntham as explained in upanishadhs. This lecture is recorded as vEdhArtha sangraham and in its mangaLa slOkam (invocation), he calls out for thiruvaranganAthan as sEsha sAyi. emperumAn also gave the title "udayavar" to emperumAnAr establishing that emperumAnAr has the same control and capability over both nithya vibhUthi and leelA vibhUthi just like emperumAn himself.

amudhanAr in the 76th pAsuram of rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi, identifies emperumAnAr's attachment to thiruvEnkatam along with parampadham and kshIrAbdhi. This pAsuram is one of the most important pAsurams in our sampradhAyam since it establishes that the ultimate object of enjoyment (goal) for a srivaishnava is to serve emperumAnAr.


archAvathAra anubhavam

NinRa vanNkIrththiyum NILpunalum NiRaivEnGkatap poRkunRamum (

vaikuNthaNAdum kulaviya pARkadalum (

unthanakku eththanai inbam tharum un inNaimalarththAL (

en thanakkum athu irAmAnuchA ivai IntharuLE (

Simple translation: Oh rAmAnujA! Please give us your divine lotus feet which will give us the same enjoyment that you get by meditating on thiruvEnkatam, paramapadham and kshIrAbdhi. thiruvEnkatam is specifically glorified in this pAsuram as a place which has eternal glories (as revealed by AzhwArs) and a place filled with beautiful rivers.

In emperumAnAr's kattiyam/aruLappAdu, it is said that "appanukkuch chanGgAzhi aLiththa perumAL" ( ) - one who gave changu and chakkaram to emperumAn himself. It was the time when bhAhyas and kudhrushtis were trying to establish that thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn was their own dhEvathai. emperumAnAr rushed to thirumalai, debated with them and tried to establish the facts. But since they did not stay neutral during the debates, in the end, it was agreed to keep the changu/chakkaram which are the established weapons/ornaments of emperumAn and other weapons/ornaments of other dhEvathai over night and lock the door. Whichever ones the deity accepts, every one will agree for that. emperumAnAr, in the night, took his svayam rUpam (Adhi sEshan), entered the sannidhi and decorated emperumAn with changu and chakkaram (thus becoming


archAvathAra anubhavam

emperumAn's AchAryan as AchAryan is the one who decorates a sishyan's shoulder with changu/chakkaram). In the morning, every one was convinced when the saw emperumAn's true nature when they saw him being decorated with changu/chakkaram. So, the fact that we are enjoying thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn today is by the mercy of emperumAnAr only. Once during his kAlakshEpam of ozhivil kAlamellAm padhigam in thiruvAimozhi, emperumAnAr was thinking that thiruvEnkatamudiayAn should be properly and continuously served. He was looking for some one to go to thirumalai and take care of the emperumAn there. Due to the difficult environment (forests, cold weather, presence of snakes/other animals, etc) no one volunteered to go there. At that time, ananthAzhwAn stood up and he wanted to go and fulfill emperumAnAr's desires. emperumAnAr was very pleased and gave him a great send off. ananthAzhwAn went to thirumalai, built a pond, created a garden, and served thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn until his last days without any break. Finally, he also installed emperumAnAr's divine thirumEni inside the temple itself - no other AzhwArs or AchAryas had their thirumEnis installed on thirumalai - it was emperumAnAr only who had that special grace from emperumAn due to his contribution to our sampradhAyam. emperumAnAr wrote sribhashyam when he was in srirrangam. But in the first slOkam, some how thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn influenced him which is why emperumAnAr said "brahmaNi srInivAsE" - parabrahmam is the one in thiruvEnkatam.

dhEva perumAL
amudhanAr shows emperumAnAr's attachment to dhEva perumAL in the 31st pAsuram. He says "kAnN thagu thOL anNnNal then aththiyUrar kazhalinNaikkIzh pUnNda anbhALan irAmAnuchan" (

) - emperumAnAr is fully attached to dhEva perumAL who has the most beautiful shoulders and who is residing in the beautiful hasthigiri.


archAvathAra anubhavam

emperumAnAr was rescued by dhEva perumAL and perundhEvi thAyar from the forests in vindhya region and brought back to kAnchipuram. When he travelled with yAdhavaprakAsa and as yAdhavaprakAsa's sishyas tried to kill him because they were unable to tolerate his intellect, gOvindha perumAL (emperumAnAr's cousin) alerted him and got him to escape from the travelling group. But emperumAnAr was in the forest and did not know where to go. In the night time, the divine couple appears as a hunter and his wife, brings him directly near kAnchipuram and rescues him. emperumAnAr started his kainkaryams to dhEva perumAL at a very young age under the guidance of thirukkachi nambi. emperumAnAr was bringing thirumanjana thIrtham from sAlai kiNaru every day for dhEva perumAL as per the instructions of thirukkachi nambi. It was through thirukkachi nambi, emperumAnAr received the 6 vArthaigaL through which he established the main principles of our srivaishnava sampradhAyam and visishtAdhvaitha sidhAntham. We have already seen this in thirukkachi nambi's archAvathAra anubhavam in detail (

During the saiva king's efforts to undermine srivaishnavam, emperumAnAr travelled to thirunArAyaNapuram and stayed there for about 12 years. During his stay there he first found the thirunArAyaNan emperumAn (mUlavar) from a hill after being revealed about that by emperumAn himself in his dream. He brought the emperumAn out and did prathishtai of the emperumAn in the temple. At that time, emperumAnAr being the stepmother of thiruvAimozhi (vaLartha ithath thAy), submitted oru nAyagam (thiruvAimozhi 4.1) padhigam to thirunAraNan emperumAn.


archAvathAra anubhavam

He also went up north to bring back the uthsava mUrthy from the muslim king. rAma priyan who is also known as sampath kumAran, the uthsava mUrthy, was staying in the muslim emperor's daughters anthapuram (residence) and the muslim emperor said emperumAnAr can carry him over if the emperumAn acknowledges him. Seeing emperumAnAr, emperumAn walked over and sat on the lap of emperumAnAr (thus he got the name chella piLLai). The muslim emperor was spell bound and with great respect, sent emperumAn with emperumAnAr. In his last moments, he gives 6 instructions for all srivaishnavas to follow. In that he identifies the importance of building a hut and living in thirunArAyaNapuram. They are:

Learning and teaching sribhAshyam. Leraning and teaching aruLicheyal. doing kainkaryam (thaLigai, alankAram, chandhana/pushpa kainkaryam, etc) in archAvathAra sthalams. always meditating on dhvaya mahA manthram fully depending on a parama bhAgavatha and serving him building a hut in thirunArAyaNapuram and staying there (serving emperumAn and his adiyArs)

thirumAlirunchOlai azhagar
emperumAnAr took up the task of offering 100 utensils of akkAra adisil and butter to thirumAlirunchOlai azhagar. It was the unfulfilled desire of ANdAL nAchiAr and emperumAnAr considering it as his foremost duty went to azhagar sannidhi and offered the same to him. azhagar was very pleased with emperumAnAr's act. ANdAL was also very pleased with emperumAnAr's act and she calls him "kOil aNNar" (my brother from srirangam).


archAvathAra anubhavam

azhagar subsequently revealed emperumAnAr's greatness in a couple of incidents.

Once in azhagar sannidhi, during an uthsavam, there was an aruLappAdu for all of those who are subservient to emperumAnAr "NammirAmAnuchamudaiyArkku aruLappAdu" ( ). At that time, some of the descendants of periya nambi (who was the AchAryan of emperumAnAr) did not respond. When emperumAn asked why they did not come forward, they said "because we belong to the family of his AchAryan, we did not come forward". azhagar said at that time that if they dont consider themselves as subservient to emperumAnAr they will have no means to reach emperumAn. Once azhagar invites kidAmbi AchAn (one of the prime sishyas of emperumAnAr) and asks him to recite a pAsuram. He recites "na dharma nishtOsmi na chAthmavEdhi na bhakthimAn thvath charanNAraviNdhE akinchana: ananya gathi: sharaNya thvath pAdha mUlam sharaNam prapadhyE" from ALavandhAr's sthOthra rathnam. Hearing that, azhagar asks him "being subservient and dependent on emperumAnAr why are you saying ananya gathi:?".

thirukkurungudi nambi
During emperumAnAr's mangaLAsAsanam at thirukkurungudi nambi sannidhi, nambi asks emperumAnAr how he is able to convince many samsAris to become his bhakthas. For that emperumAnAr says he has to ask with the proper etiquette and he will explain the method. Hearing this, nambi steps down from his pItam and stands on a divine mat, gives emperumAnAr a simhAsanam to sit, and learns dhvaya mahA manthram from emperumAnAr (and of course it is through this dhvaya mahA manthram and its meaning emperumAnAr is attracting everyone towards emperumAn). At that time emperumAn reveals that he has now become the sishyan of emperumAnAr and emperumAnAr gives him the dhAsya nAmam "srivaishnava nambi". Even today this simhAsanam can be seen in the mUlavar sannidhi and also emperumAnAr has upadhEsa mudhrA in this dhivya dhEsam (similar to thirumalai where he took the position of AchAryan for thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn). emperumAnAr went to thiruvananthapuram and performed mangaLAsAsanam for anantha sayanan emperumAn. He started thinking about converting the kshEthram to follow sri pAncharAthra Agamam, but emperumAn had other plans. During the night, emperumAn carried emperumAnAr over to thirukkurungudi and left near vatta pArai. emperumAnAr woke up in the morning and took his bath. He called out for vaduga nambi to help him during his Urdhva puNdra dhAraNam. But vaduga nambi was still in kEraLa side only. thirukkurungudi nambi took the form of vaduga nambi and performed kainkaryams for emperumAnAr.


archAvathAra anubhavam

Finally, emperumAnAr gave us "nithyam" (one of the nine jewels created by emperumAnAr) which explains the thiruvArAdhana kramam to ensure we take care of our gruhArchai (home perumAL). After all, it is emperumAn's manifestation of his ultimate saulabhyam to come and stay in our own homes to protect us. Thus we have seen how emperumAnAr glorified various archAvathAra emperumAns and how archAvathAra emperumAns glorified emperumAnAr as well. In the next article we will see kUrathAzhwAn's archAvathAra anubhavam.


archAvathAra anubhavam

kUrathAzhwan anubhavam
In the previous article ( we enjoyed emperumAnAr's archAvathAra anubhavam. Let us now move on to see how kUrathAzhwAn enjoyed archAvathAra emperumAns.

kUrathAzhwAn was one of the most confidential sishyas of emperumAnAr. His jnAna, bhakthi, vairAghyam are well known and is the most glorified AchAryan in our sampradhAyam. thiruvarangathu amudhanAr is a direct sishya of AzhwAn. It was AzhwAn who slowly reformed amudhanAr and made him a sishya of emperumAnAr. amudhanAr had great devotion towards AzhwAn since he established the relationship with emperumAnAr. In rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi, he was able to glorify emperumAnAr so much, but while trying to glorify AzhwAn, he was completely lost for words.


archAvathAra anubhavam

mozhiyaik kadakkum perum pugazhAn ( ) vanYcha mukkuRumbAm kuzhiyaik kadakkum Nam kUraththAzhwAn charanN kUdiya pin (

pazhiyaik kadaththum irAmAnuchan pugazh pAdiyallA vazhiyaik kadaththal (

enakku ini yAthum varuththam anRE (

Simple translation: AzhwAn's glories are not within the boundaries of words. He was the one who is free from pride that arises from having knowledge, wealth and high birth. After getting his thiruvadi sambandham of AzhwAn I will no longer spend my time in anything other than glorifying emperumAnAr's divine qualities. periyavAchAn piLLai in his mAnikka mAlai, says that "chishyAchArya kramaththukku sImAbhUmi kUraththAzhwAn enRu aruLichcheyvar" (

) meaning kUrathAzhwAn is

the best example for both being a sishya and an AchArya. He himself explains that,

He is the best example for being a sishya since when emperumAnAr was upset with him once, AzhwAn said that "since I am completely subservient to emperumAnAr I have nothing else to do that accepting what he does". He showed how a sishya should be totally surrendered to his AchArya. He is the best example for being an AchArya since when emperumAn was very angry with nAlUrAn who committed apachAram to AzhwAn, AzhwAn argued with emperumAn and requested that "He should get the same paramapadham which I will". He showed how an AchArya should be full of krupai even to the ones who committed apachArams towards him.

mAmunigaL also follows in the foot steps of amudhanAr and glorifies AzhwAn in his yathirAja vimsathi 14th slOkam. vAchAm agOchara mahA guNa dhEchikAgrya (

kUrAthiNAtha kathithAkila Naichya pAthram (

EshOhamEva Na puNar jagathIruchasthadh (

) !

rAmAnujArya! karunNaiva thu madh gadhisthE (


archAvathAra anubhavam

Simple translation: Oh rAmAnjuA! I am the beholder of all humility (and bad qualities) observed by kUrathAzhwAn whose glories are not within the boundaries of words. Because there is no one who is lower than me, your mercy (which will lift anyone up) is the only hope for me. In AzhwAn's thanian it is said that AzhwAn's srIsUkthis (sthavams) are like mangaLa sUthram for vEdham since without them it is difficult to establish the supremacy of emperumAn easily. In srIvachana bhUshaNa dhivya sAsthram, piLLai lOkAchAryar shows us in sUthram 274, how a sishya should be. In that he says "vasthavyam AchArya sannidhiyum bhagavadh sannidhiyum" ( ) - this means sishyan's residing place should be either AchAryan's place or emperumAn's place. In the vyAkyAnam, mAmunigaL shows that only when there is no opportunity to be with AchAryan, the sishya should go to emperumAn's place. This we can see from AzhwAn's charithram.

AzhwAn gave up everything (all his huge wealth) and surrendered to emperumAnAr and lived with him. When the saiva king wanted to establish shiva parathvam, AzhwAn went to the king's court (in place of emperumAnAr) and emperumAnAr left to thirunArAyaNa puram. AzhwAn eventually establishes vishNu parathvam and when the king orders to pluck his eyes, AzhwAn himself plucks his eyes saying he would no longer want to see anyone with the same eyes that have seen this king. After that due to his age factor and the effect of the lost eyes, he was unable to travel much, so he decides to stay in srirangam. Once when he went to periya kOil, at the entrance, the door keeper does not allow AzhwAn inside saying he is related to emperumAnAr (as the king has ordered


archAvathAra anubhavam

anyone related to emperumAnAr should not be allowed inside the temple). Another door keeper says that AzhwAn is full of good qualities so he should be allowed. Hearing this AzhwAn at once says, all his good qualities are acquired after him surrendering to emperumAnAr and those qualities are not worth if they are brought up without the relationship with emperumAnAr. He decides to go to thirumAlirunchOlai and stay there for some time. It is on the way to thirumAlirunchOlai, he compiles athimAnusha sthavam and srivaikunta sthavam (glorifying emperumAn during separation from AchAryan). After reaching thirumAlirunchOlai, he glorifies azhagar's beauty in sundharabhAhu sthavam and prays to azhagar that he becomes reunited to emperumAnAr and also prays for the return of good times at srirangam. So, we can see that AzhwAn stayed with AchAryan and served him in his presence and only in his AchAryan's absence he went to emperumAn and glorified him. Let us now enjoy how AzhwAn enjoyed sundhara bhAhu emperumAn in sundhara bhAhu sthavam. azhagar is famously known as sundhara bhAhu (sundharath thOLudaiyAn) due to his beautiful shoulders

AzhwAn enjoys the beauty of azhagar's shoulders in 4 slOkams (51 to 43). maNthara bhramanNa vipramOthpatA suNdharasya vilasaNthi bhAhava: (



archAvathAra anubhavam

iNdhirAsamabhi NaNdhabaNdhanAch chaNdhanA karuvilEpa bhUshithA: ( :) In this slOkam, AzhwAn enjoys how emperumAn's shoulders were very enthusiastic in churning the milk ocean with manthara mountain. Further, these shoulders gave great joy to srimahAlakshmi who came out of the ocean and themselves had great joy in accepting her. Finally, these shoulders were instrumental in defeating the wrestlers in kamsan's court. AzhwAn bases this pAsuram based on the following pAsurams:

NAchiAr thirumozhi - 9.1 - "maNtharam NAtti anRu madhurach chARu konNda suNdharath thOLudaiyAn" (

) - emperumAn churned the ocean and took the

nectar. periya thirumozhi - 6.1.2 - "vinNnNavar amuthunNa amudhil varum penNnNamudhunNda perumAn" (

) - While the dhEvas took the ordinary nectar, emperumAn took the real nectar which is pirAtti. periyAzhwAr thirumozhi - 4.2.6 - "EviRRuch cheyvAn EnRethirNthu vaNdha mallarai chAvaththagarththa chANthanNi thOL chathuran" (

) - kaNNan emperumAn defeated the wrestlers without any difficulty - even the sandal wood paste on his chest did not get disturbed a bit.

jnYAginNAnGga parikarma dharminNO ( pArijAtha vitapAyithardhdhaya: ( prArththithArththa paridhANadhIkshithA: (

) :) :) :)

bhANthi suNdharabhujasya bhAhava: (

In this slOkam, AzhwAn enjoys the bravery of azhagar's shoulders. He says that a brave man's shoulder will be easily identifiable with marks of bravery on the shoulders. He also says that the shoulders look like karpaka tree (kalpa tharu) and they have taken a vow to give whatever is requested by any one. This slOkam reflects thirumangai AzhwAr's thiruneduNthANdatam pAsuram 6 - "alampuriNdha NeduNthadakkai amarar ) - the lord of vENdhan" ( nithyasUris who has beautiful long hands that gives giving to the ones who ask him. sAgaram bharathamAla kANaNachyAmalarththaya udhAra pIvarA: (



archAvathAra anubhavam

chEsha bhOga pariyOga bAgiNas thaNNibA vaNagirIchithur bhujA: (


In this slOkam, AzhwAn enjoys the broad nature of emperumAn's shoulders. He says that emperumAn's shoulders are as broad as an ocean and sky and also they are as fresh as a garden. He says such emperumAn enjoys lying down on thiruvananthAzhwAn (AdhisEshan). ahamahamikAbhAjO gOvardhaNOdhdhruthi NarmanNi (

) :) )

pramathaNavithAvapthEr labdha prabhaNdha samagriyA: ( abhimatha bahubhAvA: kANthA bhirambhanNa sambhramE ( :

vaNagiri pathEr bhAhAch chumbhaNthi suNdharadhOrharE: (

In this slOkam, AzhwAn again enjoys the beauty of azhagar who is the leader of thirumAlirunchOlai malai. He says when emperumAn lifted gOvardhana giri, his shoulders were enthusiastic in lifting it and protecting his beloved devotees. Also, when dhEvas and asuras gave up on the churning the ocean, emperumAn took that up on himself and churned the ocean. It is also said, even though they were thinking that they were churning, it was emperumAn who was churning the ocean from the beginning. Finally when pirAtti appeared from the ocean, emperumAn's 2 shoulders became 4 and then became many out of great love to embrace her. In 2 slOkams (62,63), AzhwAn enjoys the beauty and glory of azhagar's thiruvadis (lotus feet).


archAvathAra anubhavam

susuNdharasyAsya padhAraviNdhE padhAraviNdhAthika saukumAryE ) ( athONyathA thE bhibryAth katham Nu thadhAsaNam NAma sahasra pathram ( ) In this slOkam, he says the lotus feet of azhagar is more beautiful than the lotuses on which they are seated. This can be understood from the fact that, there is a norm where one person defeats another, the defeated person carries the person who defeated him on his head. This slOkam relates to NammAzhwAr's "thanNthAmarai chumakkum pAdhap perumAn" - ( ) from thiruvAimozhi 4.5.8, meaning emperumAn's lotus feet are carried by cool lotus flower. sauNdharya mArdhava sugaNtharasa pravAhai: (

EthE hi suNdharabhujasya padhAraviNdhE (

ambhOja damba parirambhanNam abhyajaishtAm (

thadhvai parAjithamimE chirasA bhibarthi ( ) In this slOkam, the same concept is explained in detail. azhagar's thiruvadi's beauty,


archAvathAra anubhavam

tenderness, fragrance, taste of honey that flows, etc are much greater than that of a lotus. So, the lotus flower becomes the seat of emperumAn's thiruvadis and carries the thiruvadis on its head. Finally in slOkam 129, AzhwArn reveals his heart to azhagar emperumAn. vijnYApanAm vaNagirIchvara! sathyarUpAm (

! !

anGgIkurushva karunNArnNava! mAmakINAm (

srIranGgadhAmani yathApura mEkathOham (

: )

rAmANujArya vachaka: parivarthishIya (

He says: Oh sundharabAhu who is an ocean of mercy! Please hear my prayers. Let me return to sriranga periya kOil to be under the lotus feet of emperumAnAr. Please bless me this favour. Thus AzhwAn enjoyed sundhara bhAhu emperumAn's divine beauty, the dhivya dhEsam itself, his qualities, emperumAn's avathArams, etc in sundhara bhAhu sthavam. He stayed in thirumAlirunchOlai for some time. While he was filled with sorrow due to the separation from emperumAnAr, he sustained himself by glorifying azhagar emperumAn. Finally, the saiva king died and both AzhwAn and emperumAnAr returned to srirangam. emperumAnAr on his return directly went to AzhwAn's thirumALigai and embraced AzhwAn. AzhwAn recites the 3 sthavams (athimAnusha sthavam, srI vaikunta sthavam and sundhara bhAhu sthavam) in front of emperumAnAr. emperumAnAr being very pleased with those and glorifies AzhwAn that it was his sthavams which brought back the lost glory to srirangam. He also tells AzhwAn that AzhwAn should sing a sthavam on dhEva perumAL who will bring his eye-sight back. AzhwAn first refuses saying that he is satisfied with the inner-vision (based on the knowledge given by emperumAnAr himself) and does not need the external eye-sight anymore. But since emperumAnAr insists, he ends up compilng varadharAja sthavam to fulfill his AchAryan's order. emperumAnAr wanted to present this to dhEva perumAL, so he travels to kAnchipuram with AzhwAn and requests AzhwAn to present this in front of dhEva perumAL. When AzhwAn completes the sthavam, for some reason, emperumAnAr is not near by. At that time, dhEvar perumAL asks AzhwAn for his desire, and AzhwAn instead of asking for his eye-sight simply asks "nAlurAn should get whatever I get (mOksham)" and emperumAn agrees to that. Hearing this emperumAnAr becomes really upset with AzhwAn since he did not fulfill his order of asking for the eyesight and dhEva perumAL for not giving the eye-sight. dhEva perumAL again speaks to emperumAnAr and tells him that AzhwAn will now have the his eye-sight back to see emperumAn and emperumAnAr. emperumAnAr becomes really pleased with that.


archAvathAra anubhavam

varadharAja sthavam is one of the most wonderful compilations which contains all the rahasya arthams of our sampradhAyam. It contains many in-depth meanings such as artha panchakam, emperumAn's supremacy, emperumAn's beautiful form and its descriptions, etc. Let us enjoy a little bit from this glorious prabhandham of AzhwAn. In the 2nd slOkam, AzhwAn glorifies dhEva perumAL's important qualities.

srINidhim Nidhim apAram arththiNAm arththithArththa paridhANa dhIkshitham ( ) sarva bhUtha suhrutham dhayANidhim dhEvarAjam adhirAjam AchrayE (

I surrender unto dhEva perumAL who is sriya:pathi (husband of perundhEvi thAyAr), who is the limitless wealth for the ones who desire him, one has taken vow to give whatever any one asks him, one who is a well wisher of all living beings, one who worries for others sorrows and the one who is the leader of nithya sUris. In the 9th slOkam, AzhwAn enjoys dhEva perumAL's presence in hasthi giri in a beautiful way. adhbhutham mahadha sIma bhUmakam kinYchith asthi kila vasthu Nisthulam ( ) ithya kOshi yathitham thadhakratha: thadhyamEva karidhAmNi dhrushyathE (


archAvathAra anubhavam

brahmam which is wonderful, great and that has endless glories is incomparable to any one due to these stated reasons. That brahmam which has been glorified in vEdham, vEdhAntham, etc. The ones who studied sAsthram were doubting those glories, but as soon as they saw that same brahmam as dhEva perumAL on the top of hasthi giri, they fully agreed with the conclusions of vEdham, vEdhAntham, etc. Just looking at the thirumEni (form) of emperumAn, every one will be convinced with his supremacy. In the 25th slOkam, AzhwAn describes further what is explained in the 9th slOkam.

AdhirAjyam adhikam bhuvaNANAm Icha thE pichuNayaN kila mauli: ( :) chUlikAmanNi sahasramarIchE: hasthi bhUshanNE bhavathyudhayAdhri: ( :


Oh dhEvarAjA who is the crown jewel decorating the hasthi giri! Even if you dont want to reveal your supremacy, the lengthy crown on your thirumudi (head) is easily showing that you are the supreme lord. While your crown itself looks like a mountain, the divine stone on the top of the crown looks like the sun which is rising from the mountain. NammAzhwAr also glorifies emperumAn in thiruAimozhi 6.6.6 as "poRchudark kunRanna pUNdhanN mudiyarkku" (

) which means the same thing.

In the 59th slOkam, Azhwan (while enjoying dhEva perumAL's thiruvadi) wonders which place fits/suits the glory of his thiruvadi.


archAvathAra anubhavam

bhakthANAm yath vapushi dhaharam panNditham punNdarIkam ( )

yachchAmlANam varadha sathathAdhyAsaNAdh AsaNAbhjam ( ) :) AmNAyANAm yadhapi cha chirO yachcha mUrdhdhA chatArE: ( hasthyadhrEr vA kim athi sukadham thEshu pAdhAbhjayOsthE ( )

Oh varadha! Which place gives you the most pleasure for your thiruvadis, is it the dhahara AkAsam which is in the heart of bhakthi yOgis, is it the lotus flower which stays fresh always, is it the vEdhAntham, is it the thirumudi (head) of NammAzhwAr or is it the peak of hasthi giri? In the vyAkyAnam, kAnchi swamy has shown that this slOkam is very similar to periya thirumozhi 7.9.7 pAsuram where thirumangai AzhwAr questions emperumAn in a very similar way. "chEyOnGgu thanN thirumAlirunYchOlai malaiyuRaiyumAyA! enakkuRaiyAyithu maRai NAnginuLAyO! thIyOmbu kaimaRaiyOr chiRu puliyUrch chalachayanaththAyO! unathadiyAr manaththAyO! aRiyEnE" (


archAvathAra anubhavam

! ! ).
In the last slOkam, AzhwAn enjoys his vamsa paramparai and completes the sthOthram saying that he is qualified to be blessed by emperumAn due to his sambandham with our guru paramparai. rAmANujAnGgri charanNOsmi kulapradhIpa: (

thvAsIth sa yA muNa muNEs sa cha NAthavamchya: (



vamchya: parAnGguchamuNEs sa cha sOpi dhEvya: (


dhAsas thavEthi varadhAsmi thavEkshanNIya: (

Oh varadha! I am surrendered to emperumAnAr. emperumAnAr is surrendered to ALavandhAr, ALavandhAr to NAthamuNi, NAthamuNi to NammAzhwAr, NammAzhwAr to periya pirAtti. It is because of this sambandham I am qualified to be blessed by you. In the vyAkyAnam, kAnchi swamy shows from AchArya hrudhayam that "For prapannas, kulam/vamsam (family) is based on parAngusa, parakAla, yathivarAthigaL".


archAvathAra anubhavam

The relationship in the guru paramparai between various AchAryas are beautifully shown in the vyAkyAnam as well. AzhwAn glorifies periya pirAtti in srI sthavam. In this prabhandham, there are only 11 slOkams. Similar to vEdha vEdhAntham where emperumAn is glorified a lot, but pirAtti is glorified in a very few selected places only, AzhwAn also glorifies emperumAn in 4 sthavams in more than 400 slOkams, but glorifies pirAtti in only 11 slOkams here. But, for prapannas who depend on pirAtti for purushakAram, these 11 slOkams are more valuable than the 400 slOkams of emperumAn.

Here, in this sthavam, AzhwAn first shows his humility and gives an introduction in the first 5 slOkams and glorifies pirAtti in the next 5 slOkams.


archAvathAra anubhavam

Let us see the last slOkam where many great meanings that are very much applicable to prapannas are revealed. yasyA: katAkshavIkshA kshanNa laksham lakshithA mahEchAsyu: ( :) :) srI ranGgarAja mahishi sA mAmapi vIkshathAm lakshmI: ( :

When pirAtti glances her divine view/vision on any one for even a fraction of a moment they will become blessed. Such great periya pirAtti should give her blessings to me as well. kAnchi swamy shows in his vyAkyAnam that AzhwAn is not looking the usual lakshmi katAksham (wealth) which is requested by samsAris. Because AzhwAn was so wealthy but gave up everything before surrendering to emperumAnAr. He even threw the golden bowl which was carried by ANdAL and told her that he does not want to have any thing for himself. After that he became parama virakthar and performed unja vruthi (bikshai/begging that was sanctioned in sAsthram) for living. The katAskham he is asking for is "kainkarya srI". Like gajEndhrAzhwAn, vibhIshaNAzhwAn and iLaya perumAL (lakshmaNan) who were celebrated for their kainkarya srI, AzhwAn also prays for the same.

When gajEndhrAzhwAn gave up all his self-efforts to protect himself and called out for emperumAn, he was glorified as "sa thu nAga vara: srimAn". When vibhIshaNAzhwAn, gave up rAvaNan and lankA rAjyam (basically giving up all his ownership) and left lankA to surrender to perumAL, he was glorified as "anthariksha gatha: srImAn". When iLaya perumAL gave up all the comforts and followed perumAL to vanavAsam, he was glorified as "lakshmaNO lakshmi sampanna:".

It is also clear that without the purushakAram of pirAtti it is very very difficult to get this kainkaryasrI in both this world (for archAvathAra emperumAns) and paramapadham (paramapadhanAthan) as idenfied by AzhwArs in "panGgayaththAL thiruvaruLum koNdu Nin kOyil chIyththu", "pUvaLarum thirumagaLAlaruL peRRup ponnulagil polivar thAmE", etc. It can also be seen in chUrppaNakai charithram that ignoring pirAtti will only lead to losing emperumAn also. Thus we have taken a dip into the ocean of AzhwAn's archAvathAra anubhavam. There is endless bliss in it and this gives a starting point for us to engage in more such anubhavam. In the next article we will see parAsara bhattar's archAvathAra anubhavam.


archAvathAra anubhavam

bhattar anubhavam
In the previous article ( we enjoyed kUrathAzhwAn's archAvathAra anubhavam. Let us now move on to see how bhattar enjoyed archAvathAra emperumAn.

Let us start with the thanian for bhattar was submitted by none other than NanjIyar who was reformed by bhattar and who gave up everything and took up sanyAsAshramam to simply keep serving his AchAryan. srI parAchara bhattArya srIranGgEcha purOhitha: (

srIvathsAnGgasutha: srImAn chrEyasE mEsthu bhUyasE (

Simple translation: Let parasAra bhattar who read purANam to NamperumAL, who is the son of kUrAthAzhwAn and who is fully filled with srivaishnavasri (kainkarya srI) bless me with all goodness.


archAvathAra anubhavam

kUrathAzhwAn and ANdaL (parents of bhattar), even though married, were fully detached from material desires. Their only objective in life was to serve emperumAn and emperumAnAr. Once, when AzhwAn and ANdAL were stuck in their thirumALigai and could not go to the temple and did not have any prasAdham to eat, ANdAL meditates on NamperumAL and asks him why he is making some one like AzhwAn (who is so attached to him) starve? Hearing this NamperumAL, immediately sends his aravaNai (last meal in the night) prasAdham to AzhwAn's thirumALigai with all honors. AzhwAn surprised at the sudden arrival of prasAdham asks ANdAL if she prayed in her heart for such thing. ANdAL accepts that she did. AzhwAn being very upset at ANdAL for asking anything from emperumAN, accepts a few morsels of prasAdham in honor of the same and just picks two handful of prasAdham and gives them to ANdAL. By the grace of those two handful of prasAdham, ANdAL eventually gives birth to two beautiful children who were eventually blessed by embAr first and emperumAnAr subsequently. emperumAnAr names them parasAra bhattar and vEdha vyAsa bhattar to acknowledge the great contribution of parAsara maharishi and vEdha vyAsa maharishi towards establishing vishNu parathvam clearly. Thus, he also fulfills one of his vows to ALavandhAr that he will glorify these 2 maharishis.

emperumAnAr with AzhwAn, embAr, mudhaliANdAn and aruLALaperumAL emperumAnAr

AzhwAn with parAsara bhattar and vEdhavyAsa bhattar


archAvathAra anubhavam

As shown in the eedu vyAkyAnam by NampiLLai, emperumAnAr ordered to AzhwAn to give parAsara bhattar as an adopted son to sri ranga nAchiAr and periya perumAL. AzhwAn obliges and bhattar becomes the son of emperumAn himself officially. He had such unparallel glories and was taken care by periya pirAtti herself in her sannidhi when bhattar was an infant. bhattar himself declares that he was raised by perumAL and thAyAr in srIranga rAja sthavam - slOkam 17 as "srI ranGgarAja kamalA padha lAli thathvam" ( ). It is explained that bhattar, as an infant/baby, used to sleep in periya perumAL's sannidhi in a craddle, and perumAL and pirAtti will sing lullAby for him. Once, he went and picked the bhOgam that was kept in front of emperumAn for offering before the offering was done. emperumAn became so pleased with that (just like the father gets pleased when the child picks his food before he eats) and happily consumed the offering.

NamperumAL - sriranga nAchiAr sErthi

While many times, he can be seen as a proud son (in a good way) of periya perumAL and periya pirAtti (this is explained as rAja kula mAhAthmyam), he was also completely surrendered to them with total humility. His naichyAnushandhAnam is unparallel and let us see some of his great qualities briefly. In srI ranganAtha sthOthram, he identifies an incident where a dog entered the temple and a samprOkshanam was performed immediately. Hearing this, he runs to periya


archAvathAra anubhavam

perumAL and asks him, if the archakas did samprOkshanam for a dog entering the temple (just in the prAkAram), every day he (considering himself lower than a dog) is entering up to the sannidhi and why he is not ordering for a samprOkshaNam every day. Also, in a the same sthOthram, he declares that he would rather be born as a dog in the streets of srIrangam than being born as brahmA or any other dhEvathais. mAmunigaL glorifies bhattar along with ALavandhAr and AzhwAn for their naichyAnusanthAnam in his yathirAja vimsathi 15th slOkam. He says "chudhdhAthma yAmuna gurUththama kUraNAtha bhattAkkya dhEchika varOktha samastha Naichyam" (

) - all the naichyAnusanthAnam done by the pure souls like

ALavandhAr, AzhwAn and kUrathAzhwAn actually fits him (mAmunigaL) aptly and he says emperumAnAr's mercy is the only way for him for salvation. Needless to say, bhattar was very attached to periya perumAL and more attached to srIranga nAchiAr. When some one visiting from thirumalai was attending the kAlakshEpam of bhattar. At that time he sneezed and called out for thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn. bhattar immediately got upset and instructed him to call out for thiruvaranganAthan. This swamy from thirumalai went back there and told ananthAzhwAn this story. ananthAzhwAn asks him to go back to bhattar and explain him that thirumangai AzhwAr himself identifies that we should constantly recite thiruvEnkamudaiyAn only as seen in periya thirumozhi 5.5.1 "veruvAdhAL vAy veruvi vEnGkatamE vEnGkatamE enginRALal" (

). For that, bhattar replies that in that padhigam, AzhwAr is taken the bhAvam of parakAla nAyaki's mother and she has misunderstood that parakAla nAyaki is calling out for vEnGkatam and if it was parakAla nAyaki herself, she would have only said aranGgamE! aranGgamE! ( ! !). Also, bhattar's attachment towards thAyar is greater than perumAL (as a child will be more attached to mother than father). In thiruppAvai Azhi mazhai kaNNA pAsuram, it is shown that once NamperumAL adorned NachiAr thirukkOlam, invited bhattar over and asked him how he looks. bhattar looking at NamperumAL tells him that everything is good but the kAruNyam in his eyes are not at the same level as thAyAr. His exact words are "NAchchiyAr vizhi vizhikka onNnNAthu" ( ) - emperumAn cannot have the same merciful vision as thAyAr.


archAvathAra anubhavam

NamperumAL - NAchiAr thirukkOlam When the local king vIra sundhara brahma rAyan (who was actually a disciple of AzhwAn) was building a madhiL (fort) in the sixth prAkAram of srirangam, he tried destroying the thirumALigai of piLLai piLLai AzhwAn who was a dear sishya of AzhwAn. bhattar stopped him saying that his madhiL is not going to protect emperumAn but it is the mangaLAsAsanam of great devotees that will protect emperumAn, the king did not want to listen and opposed bhattar's views. bhattar being disturbed by this, decided to leave srirangam and went to thirukkOtiyUr. He was very saddened by the separation from periya perumAL and periya pirAtti during his stay and kept constantly thinking about his return. Finally when the king died, bhattar was informed of that news, and bhattar immediately felt sorry for the king who committed apachAram to him. He started his return and at that time his extreme desire and love to see the thiruvarangam dhivya dhEsam and emperumAn was poured out in his beautiful grantham named "srirangarAja sthavam". This is divided in to two parts "pUrva sathakam" and "uththara sathakam". pUrva sathakam was compiled and sung by him during the journey to thiruvarangam and uththara sathakam was sung in thiruvarangam itself after the return. They both are full of beautiful meanings and let us enjoy a little bit from them. It is explained by our pUrvAchAryas that srirangarAja sthavam explains dhvaya mahA manthram. pUrva sathakam explains the pUrva vAkyam (first line) of dhvayam where we surrender to emperumAn through the purushakAra of pirAtti and uththara sathakam explains the uththara vAkyam (second line) of dhvayam where we request for kainkaryam to both pirAtti and perumAL for their pleasure. Let us first see bhattar's anubhavam in pUrva sathakam. In the first 8 slOkams, bhattar beautifully glorifies the guruparamparai in the following order:


archAvathAra anubhavam

AzhwAn (his own father and AchAryan) embAr (his AchAryan) emperumAnAr ALavandhAr NAthamunigaL NammAzhwAr periya pirAttiAr periya perumAL

piLLai lOkAchAryar in srivachana bhUshaNam sUthram 274 says "japthavyam guru paramparaiyum dhvayamum" ( ). mAmunigaL in his wonderful vyAkyAnam, explains that, we should always be reciting guruparamparai (asmadh gurubhyO nama: ... srIdharAya nama:) and dhvayam and should be reciting guru paramparai before dhvayam. It is also explained by our pUrvAchAryas that going directly to emperumAn without taking shelter of our AchAryas is equivalent to dhEvathAnthara bhajanam only. We can clearly understand from bhattar's slOkams here that we must first glorify our guru paramparai before glorifying emperumAn. Immediately after glorifying the guru paramparai, bhattar establishes the svarUpa nirUpaka dharmam of emperumAn in slOkam 9. Let us enjoy that now.

asthi vasthu idham iththaNthva prasanGkkyANa parAnGmukam (

srImadhyAyathaNE lakshmIpadhalAkshaika lakshanNam (


archAvathAra anubhavam

Simple translation: parabrahmam whose svarUpam (true nature) and svabhAvam (qualities) cannot be comprehended and who is recognised by the presence of saffron pieces from sri mahAlakshmi's lotus feet on his chest is lying on the AdhisEshan in srirangam periya kOil as periya perumAL. bhattar identifies the most important quality that will identify emperumAn - that is sriya:pathithvam (being dear husband of pirAtti). This is similar to his own words in srI guNa rathna kOsham - "vEdhANthAs thathva chiNthAm murapithurasi yathpAdhachihNais tharaNthi" (

), i.e., when vEdhAntham had a doubt on "who is the

supreme god?", it quickly looked at the chest of all dhEvathas and concluded that the one who has the saffron pieces from the lotus feet of pirAtti is the supreme. Here bhattar also categorically establishes right at the beginning that parabrahmam is none other than periya perumAL. It is this archAvathAra emperumAn who clearly shows us his supreme nature. In slOkam 12, bhattar enjoys the beauty of the sriranganAthan with his panchAyuthams. For the ones who are devoted to emperumAn, these panchAyuthams are seen as ornaments and weapons that will protect them as and when required. But for the ones who consider emperumAn as their enemies, these panchAyuthams are seen as weapons that will quickly destroy them. Similar to thoNdaradippodi AzhwAr, bhattar enjoys the beauty of thiruvarangam, the glories of cauvery and the attachment of cauvery towards periya perumAL, etc., in this prabhandham. After entering the temple, he enjoys the srIranga vimAnam, sEnai mudhaliAr (and thiruvadi and vibhIshaNAzhwAn who are inside the same sannidhi), panchAyuthams, etc. Then he enters the garbhagruham and glorifies NamperumAL's and periya perumAL's beauty and qualities in great detail. Similar to thiruppANAzhwAr, bhattar enjoys all the divine parts of emperumAn's thirumEni in many slOkams. In slOkam 110, periya perumAL's parathvam and saulabhyam are beautifully enjoyed by bhattar. krItam srIranGgEchayithu: upathANIkrutha bhuja: (

:) )

vidhIchAdhIchathvAth katatha ithi samsprushya vathathi ( NihINANAm mukkhyam charanNamithi bhAhus thadhithara: (


archAvathAra anubhavam

:) :)

spputam bhruthE pAdhAmbhujayugaLam AjANu Nihitha: (

Simple translation: periya perumAL's right hand (which acts like the pillow) is showing his lengthy crown and establishes his parathvam saying "this crown fits perfectly to show that I am the lord of brahmA, shiva, etc". His left hand which is stretched upto his knee (having hands upto the knee is shown as a great quality in sAmudhrikA lakshaNam) is showing his thiruvadi that is easily approachable by everyone. In the 111th slOkam, periya perumAL's chest is beautifully narrated as the residing place of periya pirAtti. malayajachachiliptham mAlathIdhAmathalpam (

) )

sumanNisaravidhANam kausthubhasvasthidhIpam ( dhaNujavrusha vishnNOllEka chithranYcha (

lakshmI lalitha gruham upAsE ranGgasarvamsahOra: (

Simple translation: I worship periya perumAL's thirumArbhu (chest) as the beautiful residing place of sri mahAlakshmi. His chest is decorated with a mixture of sandal wood paste and camphor, the base of the chest is like a soft flower bed, the top of the chest is decorated with many beautiful jewels, it is lighted by kausthuba mani (stone), it has the marks created by the horns of 7 demoniac oxes that looks like artwork. In the 113th slOkam, bhattar again enjoys both parathvam and saulabhyam in the periya perumAL's thirumEni. periya perumAL's chest having periya pirAtti, thuLasi mAlai, vanamAlai, and sri kausthabam confirms he is the supreme. The same chest also has the necklaces given by yasOdhai which confirms his saulabhyam. In the 116th slOkam, bhattar again shows emperumAn's parathvam through as seen visually in periya perumAL's navel itself. thrayO dhEvAs thulyAs thridhyamidhamadhvaithamadhikam (


archAvathAra anubhavam

thrikAthasmAth thaththvam paramithi vitharkkAN vigatayan (

vibhOr NAbhIpadhmO vidhichiva NidhANam bhagavatha: (


thadhaNyath bhrUbhanGkIparvathithi sidhdhANthayathi Na: (

Simple translation: This slOkam is conveying the exact same message of NammAzhwAr's periya thiruvanthAdhi pAsuram 72 - "mudhalAm thiruvuruvam mUnRenbhar" (


Some say that all the three dhEvathas (brahmA, vishNu, shiva) are equal (thrimUrthy sAmya vAdham). Some say these are three are non-different from each other (thrimUrthy aikya vAdham). Some say there is a higher brahmam than these 3 dhEvathas. But the navel of emperumAn clears any such doubts since this is the root cause of brahmA (and subsequently shiva, etc). So this itself is sufficient to prove that everything is controlled by emperumAn's katAksham only. Also, the fact that the lord of creation brahmA is created by emperumAn from his navel, proves that he is the cause of all causes. It can also be understood that such great brahmam, out of his saulabhyam comes and appears in between brahmA and shiva who are bound by karma as if all 3 are equal. We can also further understand his saulabhyam in revealing himself in thiruvarangam for the benefit of all. Let us move on to uththara sathakam now. In slOkam one, he starts with periya perumAL's causeless mercy. harththum thama: sadh asadhI vivEkthum Icha: (

: :


mANam pradhIpam iva kArunNika: dhadhAthi (

thENa avalOkya kruthiNa: paribhunYjathE tham (

thathra Eva kEpi chapalA: chalapIbhavaNthi ( : ) Simple translation: periya perumAL who is full of mercy, gives a light named sAsthram to remove the


archAvathAra anubhavam

ignorance from our mind and to give us the ability to distinguish between right and wrong. The ones who are blessed benefits from that light and knows emperumAn and the ones who are not blessed, gets destroyed per the same sAsthram like fireflies who die of light. bhattar explains many intricate details of our sidhAntham in many slOkams. He easily establishes our sidhAntham and identifies the various limitations in other sidhAnthams. He explains the many favours done by emperumAn like giving body and senses to jIvAthmAs during srushti, giving sAsthram and how he himself taking avathArams to help every one. He explains the many avathArams of emperumAn and their specialities in many slOkams in great detail. After that, in 74th slOkam he establishes the greatness of archAvathAra emperumAns. This is one of the most beautiful nirvAhams of bhattar and we can understand why he was attached to periya perumAL so much by going through this slOkam.


archAvathAra anubhavam

AsthAm thE gunNarAchivath gunNaparIvAha AthmANAm jaNmaNAm ( ) sanGkyA bhauma NikEthaNEshu api kutI kunYchEshu ranGgEchvara: ( :) archchyas sarvasahishnNu: archaka parAdhINa: akilAthma sthithi: (

: :


prInNIshE hruthayAlupi: thava thathach chIlAth jatIbhUyathE (

Simple translation: Oh sriranganAtha! your divine qualities are countless and your avathArams that reveal those divine qualities are countless as well. But let them be (they are insignificant compared to what I am going to speak about now). In this bhUmi (samsAram) - you descend to many temples, homes, mutts, Ashrams, etc as archA vigraham. Not only you descend there, you tolerate everything there, you accept whatever is submitted/rendered by the one who worships you and you are completely dependant on them and you feel happy to take up such position. It is because of this great divine quality of yours, everyone becomes attracted towards you. This can be seen as bhattar's "paRRudai adiyavarkku eLiyavan" (

). NammAzhwAr became very emotional and fainted thinking about kaNNan emperumAn's act of stealing of butter and subsequently being caught and tied down by yasOdhai. Here bhattar becomes emotional thinking about emperumAn's archAvathAram. In subsequent slOkams he further glorifies periya perumAL and also shows his humility and does naichyAnusandhAnam. In the last slOkam he says that he is completely devoid of any other upAyams and requests sriranganAthan to help him. He says by helping him, emperumAn's greatness will increase, since emperumAn showed his mercy where it is required.

In srI guNa rathna kOsham, bhattar glorifies sriranganAchiAr. We have already seen bhattar's attachment towards periya pirAttiAr.


archAvathAra anubhavam

In the second slOkam, he reveals the greatness of pirAtti. ullAsa pallavitha pAlitha sapthalOkI (

NirvAha gOrahitha NEma kAtAksha leelAm (

srIranGga harmyathala manGgaLa dhIparEkAm (

srIranGgarAja mahishIm chriyam AchrayAma: (

: )
Simple translation: I worship sriranganAchiAr who is the queen of srirangam and wife of periya perumAL. pirAtti opens here eyes slowly like a flower opens up and by her vision the whole worlds gets brightened and gets life. She is also like the light in the sriranga vimAnam, meaning she is the one who reveals herself and periya perumAL. Right upfront, bhattar shows the importance of purushakAram and establishes that without the purushakAram we cannot even know or approach emperumAn.


archAvathAra anubhavam

In the 4th slOkam, bhattar shows the relationship between periya perumAL and periya pirAtti and requests her mercy. It is in this slOkam where he says:

pirAtti's instructions are pramANam for perumAL and it is the reason for the varieties (highs and lows) in creation. vEdhAntham declares that parabhramam is the one who has the saffron powder from periya pirAtti's lotus feet in his chest. We have already seen this in the beginning of srIrangarAja sthavam pUrva sathakam. Even if emperumAn takes vishwarUpam, he cannot understand the divine qualities of pirAtti.

In the 17th slOkam, bhattar says, when one gets the mercy of periya pirAtti, all the other glories like knowledge, wealth, happiness, strength, etc fights to reach that person. In many slOkams, bhattar explains how emperumAn acts to please pirAtti. pirAtti being mother of all, always tries to bring samsAris to emperumAn and convinces him to accept them. emperumAn being happy with her purushakAram accepts them. Thus both pirAtti and emperumAn are constantly trying to help every jIvAthmA. In 42nd slOkam , bhattar explains the tender nature of pirAtti. He says just by the touch of the saffron pieces, pirAtti's lotus feet feel irritated. Even, if pirAtti's friends stare at her, her thirumEni feels inconvenience. If she playfully lifts a lotus flower, her hands start paining. If she sits on a swing which is fully covered by flowers and starts swinging, everyone starts feeling that she may become very tired. So, if I glorify such pirAtti, will that not affect her as well? In slOkam 50, bhattar brings up the greatness of pirAtti over emperumAn.


archAvathAra anubhavam

mAthar maithili rAkshasI: thvayi thathaiva ArthrAparAdhA: thvayA (

: )

rakshaNthyA bhavaNAthmajAth lagutharA rAmasya gOshtI kruthA ( kAkam thanYcha vibhIshanNam charanNam ithi ukthi kshamau rakshatha: ( :) sANa: sANthra mahAkasa: sukayathu kshANthi: thava AgasmikI (:

Simple translation: Oh my dear mother! sIthA pirAtti! your husband srI rAman gave protection to kAkAsuran and vibhIshaNan who both surrendered to him. But you protected the rAkshasis (who tortured you) from hanuman in ashOka vanam even when they did not surrender unto you. Thus your glories are far greater than emperumAn's glories. Please protect me with your mercy which protects even the ones who trouble you, because I am full of faults. We can recollect "pApANam vA ... na kaschith na aparAdhyathi" at this moment. This is called as sIthA charama slOkam where pirAtti declares that she will protect every one. In the same context we can also relate to azhagiya maNavALa perumAL nAyanAr's nirvAham (conclusion) from AchArya hrudhayam 204th chUrNikai. "thAykkum maganukkum thambikkum ivarkkum ivaradipanNiNthavarkkumE ivaiyuLLathu" ( ).

In this section, nAyanAr is explaining why NammAzhwAr is giving this great knowledge to everyone and says that AzhwAr does it because of two reasons - a) AzhwAr always sees that everyone is related to emperumAn b) always feels bad that everyone deserve to serve emperumAn but not doing that and c) AzhwAr is full of krupai. In this chUrNikai AzhwAr shows the ones who have these three great qualities.

sIthA pirAtti - who instructed rAvaNan to surrender to emperumAn prahlAdhAzhwAn - who instructed to hiraNya kasipu to surrender to emperumAn vibhIshaNAzhwAn - who instructed rAvaNan to stop his mis-deeds and surrender to emperumAn NammAzhwAr - who gave the divine knowledge to everyone emperumAnAr - who took the message of AzhwAr everywhere and spread this divine wisdom fully

In slOkam 58, bhattar says pirAtti's head is slightly tilted down out of shyness, since when some one worships her she gives them wealth in this lOkam and she even gives


archAvathAra anubhavam

paramapadham but still she is not satisfied with what she has given. So, out of shyness, she tilts her head slightly downwards. Finally in the last slOkam, he prays to pirAtti to ensure that he lives in srirangam along with all the other srivaishnavas for many years doing kainkaryams to her and emperumAn and keeps him as a small piece of dirt in the lotus feet of pirAtti and emperumAn. It is impossible to fully understand bhattar's bhAvam towards srIranganAchiAr and srIranganAthan. We can only get a small glimpse of that beautiful experience. Let us pray to bhattar that we get blessed with such anubhavams. In the next article we will see piLLai lOkAchAryar's archAvathAra anubhavam.


archAvathAra anubhavam

piLLai lOkAchAryar anubhavam

In the previous article ( we enjoyed bhattar's archAvathAra anubhavam. Let us now move on to see how piLLai lOkAchAryar enjoyed archAvathAra emperumAn.

mAmunigaL, in srIvachana bhUshaNa avathArikai, brings out the glories of piLLai lOkAchAryar and his prabhandhams.

jIvAthmAs are suffering in this samsAram from time immemorial. Even though every jIvAthmA has the qualification/ability to enjoy bhagavath anubhavam, due to anAdhi kAla karmA (time immemorial kArmic effects), they are bound in this samsAram and their knowledge is covered by ignorance. emperumAn out of his causeless mercy, blesses certain jIvAthmAs while they are taking birth. Even with that blessing, for ujjivanam (salvation), they have to understand thathva (true nature of chith, achith and Ishvaran), hitha (do's and dont's) purushArthams (and the final goal) one has to learn that through sAsthram. When one tries to learn these from the main part of sAsthram, i.e., vEdham, it is endless, and difficult to comprehend because to establish the truth one has to go through various parts of vEdham and vEdhAntham. These are impossible for a layman with minimum intelligence. When one tries to learn these from smrthis, ithihAsams and purANams that are compiled by rishis who have seen the truth by great efforts, in those, for true knowledge seekers, there are parts that are to be accepted and there are parts that are to be ignored. For example, in determining the supreme lord, sAthvika


archAvathAra anubhavam

purANams glorify vishnu as the supreme and rAjasa/thAmasa purANams glorify other dhEvathais as supreme. So, it is diffcult to grasp the real truth unless one is very strong in analytical abilities. When one tries to understand these through rahasya thrayam (thirumanthram, dhvayam, charama slOkam) which are the essence of all of the vEdham/vEdhAntham and revealed by emperumAn himself out of his kAruNyam, they are very small and have very deep meanings which cannot be easily understood by common people. When one tries to learn these through the aruLicheyal (dhivya prabhandhams) of AzhwArs (who are blessed by emperumAn with pure divine knowledge), they are also reasonably big in size and the meanings are difficult to understand directly. For example, in some places, as explained in vEdhAntham, AzhwAr talks about thrimUrthy sAmyam (brahmA, vishNu, shiva at the same level), sAmAnAdhikaraNam (everything as sharIram and emperumAn as sharIri), anyApadhEsam/svApadhEsam (external meaning/internal meaning), etc. These principles are difficult to understand for everyone. Finally, it was the AchAryas starting from NAthamunigaL who were divinely blessed by AzhwArs, clearly explained the truth based on the aruLicheyal and vEdham/vEdhAntham. These AchAryas are experts in sAsthram and also very merciful, so they took the essence of all sAsthram and gave the meanings to us clearly through their explanations and vyAkyAnams. But up to piLLai lOkAchAryar, most of the rahasya arthams (the essence of our sidhAntham) were never documented in great detail and even if they were documented, there were not many granthams which were written exclusively for rahasya arthams in detail. It was piLLai lOkAchAryar who fully dedicated himself to explaining and documenting the rahasya arthams so that they can be easily understood by even a common person. It is because of this reason where he was fully focussed on chEthana ujjIvanam (salvation of jIvAthmAs), his glories are multi-fold compared to all the pUrvAchAryas.

It is also clearly shown by mAmunigaL that piLLai lOkAchAryar is none other than dhEva perumAL himself. maNappAkkam Nambi, was blessed by dhEva perumAL and emperumAn was explaining deep meanings of our sampradhAyam in his svapnam (dream). One day emperumAn instructs nambi to go to srirangam and says that the same meanings will be explained further by him there. When nambi reaches srirangam, he passes by kAttu azhagiya singar temple where piLLai lOkAchAryar is giving lectures to his sishyas. Nambi, starts listening to them and understands that the meanings are the continuation of what dhEva perumAL was teaching him in svapnam, he comes in front of piLLai lOkAchAryar, falls flat on his lotus feet and asks him if he is dhEva perumAL himself. piLLai lOkAchAryar accepts that he is and continues the kAlakshEpam. dhEva perumAL again instructs Nambi in his svapnam, to request piLLai lOkAchAryar to document his instructions and that is how we have received srIvachana bhUshaNa dhivya sAsthram. mAmunigaL glorifies in upadhEsa rathina mAlai that there is no equal to srIvachana bhUshaNam which was written by piLLai lOkAchAryar out of his overwhelming krupai


archAvathAra anubhavam

towards the ujjivanam of all jIvAthmAs. Actually it is explained that all of upadhEsa rathina mAlai was written by mAmunigaL to glorify piLLai lOkAchAryar and his srIvachana bhUshaNa dhivya sAsthram only. Beyond his great contributions to protect and nourish the pramANam, piLLai lOkAchAryar had great attachment towards pramEyam - emperumAn as well, that too srIranganAthan. It was during his life time, the muslim invaders arrive close to srirangam. Hearing this news ahead of time, piLLai lOkAchAryar being the leader of the srivaishnava community in srirangam during that times, orders that a wall is built in front of periya perumAL to protect him from the invaders. In spite of his old age, he travels along with NamperumAL and emperumAn's sojourn begins. They travel through dense forests and are attacked/robbed of the valuables by robbers on the way. Eventually the robbers being blessed by piLLai lOkAchAryar's katAksham, becomes purified and comes back to return the valuables. Finally, they reach a place near mathurai named jyOthiskudi (behind Anai malai). At that stage piLLai lOkAchAryar, decides to give up his thirumEni and go to parampadham. NamperumAL who is with him at that time, acknowledges his desire and gives him special honours. piLLai lOkAchAryar gives final instructions to all of his sishyas and identifies his desire to bring up thirumalai AzhwAr as the next leader of the sampradhAyam. He also touches all living and non-living beings near by out of his divine mercy to bless them with his connection which will lead them to salvation as well - it is said in the sAsthram that whether it is bird, human or an animal when blessed by a srivaishnava - they are sure to be delivered. Finally meditating on his AchAryan he reaches paramapadham. We have already seen his charithram in One special thing to note in piLLai lOkAchAryar's works, they closely follow NampiLLai and periyavAchAn piLLai's srIsUkthis. There is nothing that is written by piLLai lOkAchAryar on his own. The ones who have studied the eedu mahA vyAkyAnam of NampiLLai and ashtAdhasa rahasyangaL of piLLai lOkAchAryar can easily observe the principles and even words being the exact same in both the works. So, by enjoying piLLai lOkAchAryar's archAvathAra anubhavam we are also enjoying NampiLLai and periyavAchAn piLLai's archAvathAra anubhavam. Let us enjoy a few of his works where he establishes the divine glories of archAvathAra emperumAn. Of his main works (ahstAdhasa rahasyams), mumukshuppadi, thathva thrayam and srIvachana bhUshaNam are considered the most important. That is why vishathavAk shikAmaNi maNavALa mAmunigaL blessed us with vyAkyAnams for all those 3 granthams.


archAvathAra anubhavam

piLLai lOkAchAryar - mAmunigaL, sriperumbUthUr mumukshuppadi gives us the meanings of rahasya thrayam in the clearest and simplest way for us to understand them beyond any doubt. In this grantham piLLai lOkAchAryar, analyses the meanings of thirumanthram, dhvayam and charama slOkam and also explains the glories of the same. In the dhvaya prakaraNam, piLLai lOkAchAryar brings out the glories of archAvathAra emperumAn. dhvaya mahA manthram has two vAkyams (lines). In the pUrva (first) vAkyam, it is established that we accept the thiruvadi of emperumAn (who is never separated from pirAtti) as the only upAyam. In the uththara (second) vAkyam, it is established that we pray for kainkaryam to pirAtti and emperumAn together for their pleasure. In the beginning of dhvaya prakaraNam itself, in sUthram 116, piLLai lOkAchAryar identifies one of the most important thing that a srivaishnava should aspire to develop in this life time. irukkum NAL ugaNtharuLina NilanGkaLilE pravanNanAy gunNANubhava kainGkaryanGkaLE pozhudhupOkkAgugaiyum (


which means even though we are constantly contemplating about reaching parampadham, while we are here in this samsAram, we should focus on serving the divyadhEsa archAvathAra emperumAns.

In the pUrva vAkyam, srI shabdham is explained as pirAtti who does purushakAram,


archAvathAra anubhavam

that is recommending to emperumAn to accept us in spite of our puNyams and pApams. mathupu shabdham is explained as nithya yOgam, that pirAtti is never separated from emperumAn. She herself says "agalakillEn iRaiyum enRu" ( ). Even though this NammAzhwAr's thiruvAimozhi 6.10.10 pAsuram, NammAzhwAr is actually quoting pirAtti's words in this pAsuram. This mathupu is very important because if we are sure that pirAtti is present with emperumAn all the time, we can confidently surrender to him, since she will ensure that emperumAn accepts us. sUthram 136 to 143 are important for the current topic. NArAyANa shabdham is the most important aspect for the current context and this is where archAvathAra emperumAn is glorified. In this context, NArAyaNa represents emperumAn's divine qualities which are brought out by pirAtti's purushakAram. pirAtti subdues his svAthanthriyam and insists him that he should show mercy on the surrendered jIvAthmAs. These divine qualities are explained as: sUthram 138 - kuRRam kanNdu veruvAmaikku vAthsalyam; kAryam cheyyumenRu thunNikaikku svAmithvam; svAmithvam kanNdu agalAmaikku sauchIlyam; kanNdu paRRukaikku saulabhyam; virOdhiyaip pOkkith thannaik kodukkaikku jnYAna chakthigaL. ( ;


vAthsalyam - the motherly forbearance like how a cow loves its calf - this ensures that emperumAn does not discard us due to our mistakes/sins svAmithvam - the proprietorship, that he is the owner and we are the owned - this ensures that emperumAn takes care of us who are fully owned by him sausIlyam - magnanimity, mixing with everyone irrespective of their position - this ensures that jIvAthmAs will have the confidence to go to him knowing that he is magnanimous to accept anyone saulabhyam - easy accessibility - this ensures that he is quickly and easily approachable jnAnam, shakthi, prApthi and pUrthi - Using these qualities he fulfills the desires of the jIvAthmAs.

sUthram 139 - inGguch chonna saulabhyaththukku ellaiNilam archchAvathAram. ( .) The pinnacle of such saulabhyam can be seen in archAvathAram. In the next sUthram, it is explained that unlike para, vyUha, antharyAmi and vibhavam,


archAvathAra anubhavam

archAvathAram is visible to our eyes all the time. param and vyUham are in different dhEsam which are not reachable in this life for us, antharyAmi is not visible to our eyes (one needs to be a yOgi to see antharyAmi emperumAn) and vibhavam happened in past. But archAvathAram is always present in temples, homes, etc. sUthram 141 - ivaiyellAm Namakku Nam perumAL pakkalilE kAnNalAm. ( .) All of these divine qualities can be seen in NamperumAL. mAmunigaL explains NamperumAL as our own perumAL (our dhivya dhEsa/abhimAna sthala/village/home perumAL). It also means NamperumAL since piLLai lOkAchAryar and mAmunigaL were in srirangam while writing the grantham and the vyAkyAnam respecpectively - so their perumAL at that time is srIranganAthan. In sUthram 142, piLLai lOkAchAryar goes on to explain how archAvathAra emperumAn's thirumEni manifests these divine qualities beautifully. thirukkaiyilE pidiththa dhivyAyuthanGgaLum, vaiththu anYchal enRa kaiyum, kaviththa mudiyum, mukamum, muRuvalum, AsaNapadhmaththilE azhuththina thiruvadigaLumAy NiRkiRa NilaiyE Namakkuth thanYcham. (



archAvathAra anubhavam

mAmunigaL shows in the vyAkyAnam the relationship with the qualities and the thirumEni. He explains:

jNanam, shakthi, etc - The weapons that are held by emperumAn in his hands and used to destroy the enemies vAthsalyam - seen in emperumAn's thirukkai (hands) which tells everyone "dont fear", I will accept your mistakes svAmithvam - The crown on his thirumudi which shows that he is the owner of everything sausIlyam - The beautiful smiling face which invites everyone and shows that he is happy to be in the midst of us saulabhyam - The lotus feet which are firmly situated on the pItam which shows that he has descended to protect us and will not leave us

Here piLLai lOkAchAryar says "Namakku thanjam" - which means this is the upAyam for us who are prapannas. Others may think karma, jnAna, bhakthi yOgam as upAyam, but for sharaNAgathi nishtars, emperumAn's thiruvadi (thirumEni) is the only way for salvation. Finally in sUthram 143, he says, rakshakathva bhOgyathvanGgaL iranNdum thirumEniyilE thORRum (


emperumAn's archAvathAra thirumEni is both protection for us and the object of our joy. Even the weapons, for his devotees, they look like ornaments, but for his enemies, they look like weapons. Then he goes on to explain the glories of thiruvadis, and the full meaning of the dhvaya mahA manthram which ofcourse needs to be heard as kAlakshEpam under an AchArya. With this piLLai lOkAchAryar fully establishes the glories of archAvathAra emperumAns. thathva thrayam is also called as kutti bhAshyam (Simple explanation of emperumAnAr's srIbhAshyam). All technical details of chith, achith and Ishavara thathvams are clearly explained by piLLai lOkAchAryar and wonderfully explained by mAmunigaL. Without mAmunigaL's commentary it will be very difficult to understand this grantham fully. In the Ishvara prakaraNam, all the five different types of manifestations of emperumAn param, vyUham, vibhavam, antharyAmi and archAvathAram are explained. In the last 3 sUthrams, he beautifully brings out the full glories of archAvathAra emperumAn. Let us enjoy that a bit. sUthram 200 - archAvathAramAvathu - 'thamarugaNthathu evvuruvam avvuruvam'


archAvathAra anubhavam

engiRapadiyE chEthaNarkku abhimathamAna dhravyaththilE vibhavavichEshanGgaL pOlanRikkE dhEcha kAla adhikAra NiyamamillAthapadi saNNidhipanNnNi, aparAdhanGgaLaik kAnNAkkanNnNittu, archchakaparathaNthramAna samastha vyApAranGgaLaiyum konNdu kOyilgaLilum gruhanGgaLilum ezhuNtharuLiyirukkum ' Nilai. ( - '


Simple translation: archAvathAram is - where emperumAn takes up the form that is desired by his devotees, that too in the particular raw material (for example: some may like to see emperumAn in stone statue form, other may like to see him in wooden statue form, he fulfills all those desires). Unlike param, vyUham, vibhavam and antharyAmi which are not seen by everyone all the time and everywhere, archAvathAram is visible to everyone, always and everywhere. Also, in archAvathAram he is fully dependent on the one who worships him, he absolutely takes no offense to any mistakes committed to him and such archAvathAra emperumAn decends himself happily to temples and homes of his devotees. mAmunigaL, in his vyAkyAnam quotes bhattar's srirangarAja sthavam uththara sathakam slOkam which we have already enjoyed in bhattar's anubhavam sUthram 201 - ruchijaNakathvamum chubhAchrayathvamum achEshalOka charanNyathvamum aNubhAvyathvamum ellAm archAvathAraththilE paripUrnNam. (


Simple translation: archAvathAram fully manifests the following qualities - the ability to attract everyone towards him, being a good shelter to the ones who approach him, being the one who can accept everyone's surrender, being most enjoyable. mAmunigaL identifies that emperumAn attracts the jIvAthmAs whom he could not change through sAsthram. This can be seen in thoNdaradippodi AzhwAr's anubhavam. mAmunigaL also shows how thiruppANAzhwAr declared that "after seeing his periya perumAL he will see nothing else" - we have already seen this in his anubhavam He also identifies that srI sauNaka bhagavAn (rishi) also identified that archAvathAra emperumAn is the one who accepts the form that is liked by his devotees, worshipped


archAvathAra anubhavam

by them and finally becomes the fruit of their worship as well. sUthram 202 - svaswAmi bhAvaththai mARAdikkonNdu ajnYaraippOlEyum achaktharaippOlEyum asvathanthraraippOlEyum irukkach cheythEyum, apAra kArunNya paravachanAykkonNdu sarvApEkshithanGgaLaiyum koduththaruLum. (


Simple translation: Even though it looks like in archAvathAram, emperumAn has reversed his role of owner/owned, i.e., he becomes owned and his worshipper becomes the owner, even though he looks like completely ignorant, even though he looks like incapable of doing anything, even though he looks like full dependent, out of his boundless mercy, he fulfills all the desires of his worshippers. mAmunigaL gives detailed explanation from sruthi and smrithi to establish that even though emperumAn's archAvathAram looks like not capable of anything, he has all the exact same potential in the archAvathAram as he has in paramapadham. He also finally shows that bhattar enjoyed archAvathAram in "AsthAm thE" slOkam in srirangarAja sthavam which is one of the most important slOkams for us and we have already enjoyed that in bhattar's anubhavam ( In srIvachana bhUshaNa dhivya sAsthram also piLLai lOkAchAryar establishes the glories of archAvathAra emperumAns. In upAya vaibhava prakaraNam, prapatthi (surrender) is shown as the upAyam for prapannas. For prapathi, there is no pre-requisite such as dhEsa (place), kAla (time), adhikAri (qualification), prakAram (method) and palam (goal). sUthram 34 - vishaya niyamamAvathu gunNapUrththiyuLLavidamE vishayamAgai; pUrththiyuLLathum archchAvathAraththilE. (


Simple translation: The only pre-requisite is to surrender to the right person. That right person should have all the qualities in full. All divine qualities are fully manifested in archAvathAram only. This is explained further subsequently. sUthram 35 - AzhwArgaL palavidanGgaLilum prapaththi panNnNiRRum


archAvathAra anubhavam

archchAvathAraththilE. (


Simple translation: AzhwArs have done prapathi at many instances to archAvathAra emperumAns only.

mAmunigaL shows that AzhwArs were divinely blessed with pure knowledge by emperumAn. For us their acts are the ultimate pramANam to follow. They have mainly done prapaththi to archAvathAra emperumAn's only. mAmunigaL mainly highlights that NammAzhwAr performed sharaNAgathi to dheivaNAyakan emperumAn, thirukkurungudi emperumAn, thiruvallavAzh emperumAn and most importantly thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn. Even though he did sharaNAgathi to vibhavAvathaAram, there are only very few instances of them. He also shows thirumangai AzhwAr surrendering to NaimishAraNayam emperumAn, thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn, etc. sUthram 36 - 'pUrnNam' engaiyAlE ellAgunNanGgaLum pushkalanGgaL. ('



Simple translation: Since upanishadhs (katavalli and bruhadhAraNyakam) declare that archAvathAram is 'pUrnNam', all qualities (the ones that are required while approach emperumAn vAthsalyam, svAmithvam, sausIlyam, saulabhyam and the ones that are required while emperumAn delivers us - jnAnam, shakthi, prApthi, pUrthi) are fully manifested here. sUthram 37 - prapaththikku apEkshithanGgaLAna saulabhyAdhigaL iruttaRaiyil viLakkuppOlE prakAchippathu inGgE. (


archAvathAra anubhavam


Simple translation: The main qualities that are required for prapathi - vAthsalyam, swAmithvam, sausIlyam and saulabhyam are manifested here brightly. These qualities are present in paramapadham as well - but there all the jIvAthmAs are fully realised, so his qualities are like a lamp that is lit in bright day light. But here in samsAram, the jIvAthmAs are full of ignorance, so emperumAn's qualities are fully utilised - that is why it is said that his qualities are glowing here. The main focus here is on saulabhyam because in archAvathAram he is easily approachable by any one. In sUthram 38, he explains that emperumAn gives up his svAthanthriyam (independence) and pUrthi (self-satisfied nature) and descends here to help the jIvAthmAs who are not even interested in him to start with. In sUthram 39, he compares the different manifestation as different types of water for a thirsty person - we have already seen this in the introduction section In sUthram 40, he shows that emperumAn reforms the jIvAthmAs who are not giving up their attachment to material things even after studying sAsthram fully. He further explains that AzhwArs, AchAryas and us - all 3 types of people surrender to archAvathAra emperumAn and explains them in great detail. While explaining the glories of mangaLAsAsanam (praying for the well-being of emperumAn), piLLai lOkAchAryar explains how we should spend our time. sUthram 257 - ugaNtharuLina NilanGgaLai anusandhiththAl UnNum uRakkamum inRikkE ivarudaiya yAthraiyE NamakkellArkkum yAthraiyAgavEnNum. (


Simple translation: If we truly understand emperumAn descending into archAvathAra sthAnams (temples, homes, etc), we should constantly perform mangaLAsAsanam without thinking about food and sleep like periyAzhwAr did. emperumAn who is sarvEshvaran and extremely tender natured descends to various dhivya dhEsams, etc leaving behind all the comforts in paramapadham. If we understand this truly, how can we do anything other being with archAvathAra emperumAn all the time, serving him and praying for his well-being. "ugaNtharuLina Nilam" is important here. periyavAchAn piLLai, in thiruneduNthANdakam vyAkyAnam for pAsuram 6 explains "thAn ugantha Ur"


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excellently. These dhivya dhEsams and other kshEthrams are dear to emperumAn's heart as he descends to give his benediction to jIvAthmAs who are suffering in this samsAram. Neither the NithysUris acknowledge his desire (since emperumAn ends up returning to paramapadham with very few jIvAthmAs every time after taking so much efforts for a long time) nor samsAris acknowledge his efforts since they are so attached to other material aspirations. It is purely emperumAn's desire to be here to help the suffering jIvAthmAs. So, once we understand that he is here for us, we have to dedicate our whole life for archAvathAra emperumAns. Finally, while explaining bhagavath apachAram, piLLai lOkAchAryar brings out one of the important apachArams we should avoid. In sUthram 303, one of the bhagavath apachArams shown is "archchAvathAraththil upAdhANaNirUpanNam" ( ), i.e., judging the archAvathAra emperumAn based on the rawmaterial that is used to make the vigraham. For example, considering a golden vigraham as greater and a wooden vigraham as ordinary is one of the apachArams. mAmunigaL shows that comparing archAvathAra emperumAn based on the raw material is like doubting the purity of ones own mother. The various apachArams are discussed in the SrivaishNava lakshaNam series ( Thus we can understand how piLLai lOkAchAryar enjoyed and established the glories of archAvathAra emperumAn through his rahasya granthams. In the next article we will see azhagiya maNavALa perumAL nAyanAr's archAvathAra anubhavam.


archAvathAra anubhavam

azhagiya maNavALa perumAL nAyanAr anubhavam

In the previous article ( we enjoyed piLLai lOkAchAryar's archAvathAra anubhavam. Let us now move on to see how azhagiya maNavALa perumAL nAyanAr enjoyed archAvathAra emperumAns. azhagiya maNavALa perumAL nAyanAr is the second son of vadakku thiruvIdhi piLLai and younger brother of piLLai lOkAchAryar. He was born by the divine mercy of srIranganAthan himself.


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mAmunigaL, in his upadhEsa rathina mAlai pAsuram 47, glorifies nAyanAr and his contributions. NanYchIyar cheytha vyAkkiyaigaL NaliranNdukku (

enYchAmai yAvaikkum illaiyE (

) )

tham chIrAl vaiyaguruvin thambi mannu manNavALamuni (

cheyyumavai thAmum chila (

Simple translation: NanjIyar did vyAkyAnams for a few prabhandhams in aruLicheyal (even before periyavAchAn piLLai). After periyavAchAn piLLai, azhagiya maNavALa perumAL nAyanAr who is filled with divine qualities and the dear brother of piLLai lOkAchAryar wrote vyAkyAnams for some prabhandhams in aruLicheyal as well. In the vyAkyAnam piLLai lOkam jIyar brings out the glories of nAyanAr.

For "tham chIr", he brings out one of the important glories of nAyanAr. He identifies that nAyanAr's expertise in aruLicheyal is far greater than all other AchAryas. This can be understood by studying AchArya hrudhayam which is fully built using the words from aruLicheyal (with some words from ithihAsa, purANams as well). When explaining "vaiya guruvin thambi", it is show that nAyanAr's greatness is due to him being born as the younger brother of piLLai lOkAchAryar. He is popularly glorified as "jagath guruvarAnuja" (brother of jagath guru piLLai lOkAchAryar).

It is also explained that piLLai lOkAchAryar and nAyanAr lived in srirangam amidst great personalities like NampiLLai, periyavAchAn piLLai, vadakku thiruvIdhi piLLai, etc and these two brothers were blessed by all these great personalities. It is also explained based on nAyanAr's avathAra charithram that he is none other than srIranganAthan himself. Both piLLai lOkAchAryar and nAyanAr took the vow of naishtika brahmacharyam - that they will not get involved in gruhasthAshramam (married life) and lived by that vow. They both focussed on presenting the great hidden meanings for the benefit of everyone in this samsAram. To understand some one's greatness, one has to see the words of other great personalities on that person. nAyanAr decided to leave his thirumEni at an early age and ascended to paramapadham leaving behind piLLai lOkAchAryar. piLLai lOkAchAryar fell in an ocean of sorrow and cried out keeping nAyanAr's thirumudi in his lap and said:


archAvathAra anubhavam

mAmudumbai mannu manNavALa anNnNalodu (

chEmamudan vaikuNtham chenRakkAl (

mAmenRu thotturaiththa chollum thuyam thanninAzh poruLum (

ettezhuththum inGguraippArAr (

Simple translation: After nAyanAr ascending to paramapadham with all glories, who is present here to explain the rahasya thrayam - thirumanthram, dhvayam and charama slOkam (where emperumAn touched his heart and said "mAm" - I am the protector). Such is nAyanAr's glories that piLLai lOkAchAryar himself glorifies him. While nAyanAr has done vyAkyAnams for thiruppAvai, kaNNinun chiruthAmbu, amalanAdhipirAn, etc., which are all greatly relishable, his master piece is AchArya hrudhayam. After piLLai lOkAchAryar compiling the great srIvachana bhUshaNa dhivya sAsthram, some in srirangam did not like the message presented in it. They came and complained to NamperumAL that it contains matters that are against sAsthram (specifically related to varNAshrama dharmam). NamperumAL wanting to hear the glories of this prabhandham from piLLai lOkAchArar himself, summons him to the sannidhi. At that time, piLLai lOkAchAryar had gone out for bathing, so nAyanAr arrives at the sannidhi. When NamperumAL asks nAyanAr about the particular issue, nAyanAr declares that srivachana bhUshaNa dhivya sAsthram is purely based on AzhwArs/AchAryas thiruvuLLam and it has nothing against the sAsthram. Immediately to prove that, he recites AchArya hrudhayam in front of thiruvaranganAthan. emperumAn after hearing it fully becomes greatly pleased and accepts the greatness of srIvachana bhUshaNam and AchArya hrudhayam. emperumAn drives away the people who complained to him and gives great honours to nAyanAr. mAmunigaL in the vyAkyAna avathArikai for AchArya hrudhayam shows that AchArya means NammAzhwAr (who is the prathamAchArya for srivaishnavas) and hrudhayam means AzhwAr's thiruvuLLam (heart). He also says that nAyanAr has done this grantham by purely out of his mercy, using the words from aruLicheyal with in-depth meanings. Because of the usage of words from aruLicheyal and its in-depth meanings this grantham is most relishable from both shabdham (words) and artham (meanings) perspective for the ones who understand the real truth. mAmunigaL specifically identifies that this grantham is like "mukamaRiNthavan kOrththa muththu" ( ) meaning a necklace that is strung by one who exactly understands the pearls that are used - which means nAyanAr exactly knows the


archAvathAra anubhavam

thiruvuLLam of AzhwAr and so was able to beautifully bring out the same using AzhwAr's words themselves. In this grantham, nAyanAr explains various topics. Let us quickly see them:

emperumAn's great favours done for the salvation of jIvAthmAs NammAzhwAr's glories and glories of his prabhandhams. svApadhEsa arthams for commonly used terms in aruLicheyal. AzhwAr sending messages to various manifestations (para, vyUha, vibhava, antharyAmi and archai) of emperumAn. archAvathAra emperumAns who were glorified by NammAzhwAr and the qualities that shine in each of those emperumAns. NammAzhwAr's glories in comparison to others. Comparison between bhagavath gIthai and thiruvAimozhi. artha panchakam in thiruvAimozhi consolidation of each pathu (centum) of thiruvAimozhi. emperumAn's attachment towards AzhwAr and AzhwAr ascending to paramapadham.

Of this, we will focus on nAyanAr's presentation of how AzhwAr enjoyed various dhivya dhEsa emperumAns. AzhwAr has performed mangaLAsAsanam for 30 dhivyadhEsa emperumAns in thiruvAimozhi. nAyanAr highlights that each emperumAn shows one particular guNam mainly to AzhwAr and AzhwAr ecstatically enjoys that particular guNam in his thiruvAimozhi. nAyanAr presents that AzhwAr sends thUthu (message) to various manifestations of emperumAn in chUrNikai 156. AzhwAr's thUthu is explained in a detailed manner in In chUrNikai 157, nAyanAr shows the various manifestations using an example. He equates emperumAn to a king and explains just like the king has 5 different roles, emperumAn also takes up 5 different roles through his 5 different manifestations. This chUrNikai is already explained in In chUrNikai 158, nAyanAr starts bringing out the glories of archAvathAram. thamarugaNtha adiyOmukkE ennum pinnAnAr vanNanGgumidaththilE ellAm pUrnNam. ( .)

Simple translation: NammAzhwAr (and all other AzhwArs) were so attached to archAvathAram which is full in qualities and glorified as:


archAvathAra anubhavam

thamarugaNtha - the one where all the qualities are fully manifested and clearly visible. adiyOmukkE - the one that is specifically there for us (who are in samsAram) pinnAnAr vanNanGgumidam - the one who is there for the jIvAthmAs who are there after the completion of vibhavAvathArams.

Right here, we can see the beauty of nAyanAr's compilation purely using AzhwAr's words. thamarugaNtha is from mudhal thiruvanthAdhi (44), adiyOmukkE is from periya thirumozhi (4.9.5), pinnAnAr vanNanGgum is from thirunedunthANdakam (10) and pUrNam is from upanishads. After this, nAyanAr starts glorifying each emperumAn as sung by AzhwAr. He shows that AzhwAr enjoyed one particular quality in each of those emperumAns which outshone the other qualities (all qualities exist in all archAvathAra emperumAns, AzhwAr was attracted by one particular quality in each emperumAn). mAmunigaL beautifully explains that since thiruvarangam is the main dhivadhEsam nAyanAr starts with thiruvaranganAthan. Since nAyanAr started with thiruvarangam first where he sees vyUhva vAsudhEvan, he continues on to thirumalai (where he sees antharyAmi emperumAn's qualities) and AzhwAr thirungari (where he sees parathvam in archAvathAram). After that he goes on with the actual sequence of AzhwAr's thiruvAimozhi padhigams until the end. Even though thirumAlirunchOlai azhagar is glorified in a whole padhigam before thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn, mAmunigaL shows that since azhagar is glorified again in the end, nAyanAr explains azhagar's glories in that sequence towards the end. Let us now start enjoying each archAvathAra emperumAn as shown by nAyanAr and mAmunigaL (in his vyAkyAnam). Note: It is very difficult to translate the chUrNikais directly. We can only try to present the essence of the chUrNikai. chUrNikai 159 - thiruvarangam (7.2 - kangulum pagalum) - vanperuvAnaga mudhaluyya inithAgath thirukkanNgaL vaLarginRa thiruvALan thiruppathi, vadivudaik kadalidam katkilI ennumavaRRil ivaL thiRaththu enkolO enbikkiRa vyUhasauhArdham pradhANam. (


archAvathAra anubhavam

In srirangam, where sriya:pathi emperumAn is lying down beautifully to uplift jIvAthmAs of bhUlOkam to brahmalOkam. As seen in kangulum pagalum, AzhwAr (in mother bhAvam) is asking emperumAn to bless parAngusa nAyaki and enquires him how he is going to do that. AzhwAr also says emperumAn is vadivudai vAnOr thalaivan ), kadalidam konNda kadalvanNnNA ( (

), etc which relates to kshIrAbdhinAthan who has descended to samsAram purely to uplift all the jIvAthmAs. From this, we can understand that the main guNam enjoyed by AzhwAr in thiruvarangam is vyUha sauhArdham (kind hearted nature). chUrNikai 160 - thiruvEnkatam (3.3 - ozhivil kAlamellAm, 6.10 - ulagamuNda peruvAya) - manNnNOr vinNnNOr vaippil, pOginRa Ezhulagukkuyir pAcham vaiththa Nigaril vAthsalyam ujjvalam. ( ,

), katkilI (


archAvathAra anubhavam

thiruvEnkatam is explained as the prApyam (goal) for both nithya sUris and samsAris. mAmunigaL quotes "kanNnNAvAnenRum manNnNOR vinNnNOrkku" ( ) where emperumAn is said as the controller of ubhaya vibhUthi. because of his relationship with all jIvAthmAs he has unbounded affection over everyone which is explained by AzhwAr himself in "en kanN pAcham vaiththa paranYchudar chOthi" (

) - i.e., after showing mercy to AzhwAr emperumAn's glories became much

greater. AzhwAr also glorifies emperumAn's vAthsalyam in "agalagillEn" ( ) pAsuram as "Nigaril pugazhAy" ( ). Here pugazh means glory and nigaril pugazh means unmatched glory - this vAthsalyam - motherly love of emperumAn cannot be shown by anyone else. Thus, emperumAn's vAthsalyam (motherly forbearance) is enjoyed by AzhwAr in thiruvEnkatam. vAthsalyam is also one of the important qualities of antharyAmi emperumAn, since he stays in everyone's heart out of pure love and guides them like a mother. So, here, emperumAn's antharyAmithvam is also enjoyed by AzhwAr. chUrnNikai 161 - AzhwAr thirungari (4.10 - onRum dhEvum) - ubhaya pradhANa pranNavamAna uRaikOyilil eththEvumennum parEchathvam poliyum. (


Like praNavam which has importance for both paramAthmA (akAram) and jIvAthmA (makAram), thirukkurugUr temple has importance for both AthinAthan emperumAn and AzhwAr. Here, AzhwAr enjoys emperumAn's parathvam. mAmunigaL quotes "eththEvum evvulaganGgaLum maRRum thanpAl maRuvil mUrththiyOdoththu iththanaiyum NinRa vanNnNam NiRkavE" (


archAvathAra anubhavam

) - All the chEthanams and achEthanams are sharIram to him and such
emperumAn is situated firmly in thirukkurugUr. So, here, emperumAn's parathvam (supremacy) is enjoyed by AzhwAr. chUrNikai 162 - thirukkurungudi (5.5 - enganEyo) - vaishnNava vAmaNaththil NiRaiNtha NIlamEniyin ruchijaNaka vibhava lAvanNyam pUrnNam. (

mAmunigaL explains that nAyanAr uses "vaishnava vAmanam" since thirukkurungudi nambi took a humble position in front of emperumAn to become srivaishnava nambi just like he went for bikshai infront of mahAbali. Another reason he quotes is, in the end of this padhigam, AzhwAr says "aRiyak kaRRu vallAr vaishnNavar" (

) - one who learns this padhigam and puts this knowledge in

practice is a vaishnavan and this place is popularly known as vAmana kshEthram - so a combination of those two becomes "vaishnava vAmanam". AzhwAr says "Neela mEniyum NAngu thOLum en NenYcham NiRaiNthanavE" (

) meaning his heart is filled with the

beautiful bluish form and his four strong shoulders. Here, AzhwAr enjoys emperumAn's lAvanNyam (full beauty) of emperumAn. AzhwAr also enjoys vibhavAvathAram (vAmanavathAram) here. chUrNikai 163 - vAnamAmalai (5.7 - NORRa) - ruchi vivacharkku pAdhamE charanNAkkum audhAryam vAnamAmalaiyilE kozhuNthuvidum. (


archAvathAra anubhavam

For the one who develops the taste based on seeing the beauty of emperumAn, dheivanAyakan emperumnAn shows his lotus feet as the upAyam out of his audhAryam (pure generosity). mAmunigaL shows "ARenakku Nin pAdhamE charanNagath thaNthozhiNthAy" (

) meaning emperumAn shows his lotus feet as the upAyam for

AzhwAr. He also shows "vaNdharuLi ..." ( ) which means emperumAn descended here as archAvathAram to accept AzhwAr instead of AzhwAr approaching emperumAn. Also, it is shown that vandhu is upEyam (emperumAn's presence is the goal) and aruLi is upAyam (his grace is the means to get him). With this, in the first five dhivya dhEsams, in addition to one specific guNam, AzhwAr also enjoys the five different types of manifestations viz vyUham, antharyAmi, param, vibhavam, archai (in sequence of the anubhavam). chUrNikai 164 - thirukkudanthai (5.8 - ArAvamuthE) - kaLaikanNARRArai urukkum mAdhuryam kudamUkkilE pravahikkum. (


archAvathAra anubhavam

In thirukkudanthai, ArAvamuthan emperumAn's mAdhuryam (sweet nature) which melts the heart of the ones who are completely surrendered to him flows. mAmunigaL quotes that AzhwAr said "kaLaivAy thunbham kaLaiyAthozhivAy kaLaikanN maRRilEn" ) meaning ( "whether remove my sorrows or not, I have no other go" showing his ananya gathithvam. emperumAn revealed his sweet nature to him which melts AzhwAr as shown by him in "NIrAy alaiNthu urukkuginRa NedumAlE" (


chUrNikai 165 - thiruvallavAzh (5.9 - mAnEi nOkku) - melivilum chEmam koLvikkum krupai thennagarilE Nithyam. (

When AzhwAr's heart melts for kOlappirAn emperumAn and when such emperumAn is not immediately seen and enjoyed, AzhwAr becomes worried. At this time, emperumAn's mercy comforts AzhwAr and develops his faith in emperuAn's quick arrival. mAmunigaL aptly quotes "adimEl chEmam koL thenkurugUrchchatagOpan" ( ) and "perumAnathu thollaruLE" ( emperumAn's krupai (mercy).

) meaning AzhwAr is comforted by

chUrNikai 166 - thirvaNvaNdUr (6.1 - vaigal pUnkazhivAy) - vyavasAyajnYar rakshanNasthairyam pampOththara dhEchastham. (


archAvathAra anubhavam

For the faithful ones, pAmbaNai appan emperumAn's protection is stabilized in their minds by looking at thirvaNvaNdUr emperumAn who is on the banks of pampai river. In this padhigam, AzhwAr enjoys emperumAn as srIrAman who says "Na thyajEyam" (I wont give up), "Ethath vratham mama" (This is my vow). mAmunigaL also brings up "ERu chEvakanArkku ennaiyum uLaL enmingaLE" (

) meaning AzhwAr sends a messenger to

emperumAn to tell him that there is still one person left to be protected and unless he protects him, his quality of rakshakathvam cannot be fulfilled. Here AzhwAr enjoys the sthairyam (stability) of emperumAn. chUrNIkai 167 - thiruviNNagar (6.3 - nalkuravum selvum) - viLambha virOdhamazhikkum virudhdhagataNA sAmarththyam NannagarilE visthIrnNam. (

When AzhwAr showed his dissent to thiruviNNagar appan emperumAn in minnidai madavArgaL padhigam (6.2) and did not accept him for arriving late, emperumAn


archAvathAra anubhavam

shows in this padhigam that he is able to bring contradictory features together and tells AzhwAr that he will change AzhwAr's mind as well which is not accepting emperumAn at the moment. mAmunigaL quotes "pOgu NambI" ( ), etc., where parAngusa nAyaki asks kaNNan emperumAn to leave and then AzhwAr seeing "Nalkuravum chelvum" ( ) where emperumAn controls everything and this is highlighted in "thiruvinNnNagar NannagarE" (

) meaning the good place named thiruviNNagar. Thus AzhwAr enjoys

virudhdhagataNa sAmarthyam (ability to bring conradictory features together) of emperumAn here. chUrNikai 168 - thirutholaivillimangalam (6.5 - thuvaLil mAmani mAdam) gatithagatakavikataNA bhANdhathvam avvUrilE dhvigunNam (

Here AzhwAr enjoys emperumAn's bhAndhathvam (eternal relationship) with parAngusa nAyaki which makes her friend tell her mother to give up any attachment towards her. This dhivya dhEsam emperumAn has special relationship with AzhwAr since AzhwAr declares "dhEvapirAnaiyE thaNthai thAy" (

), dhEvapirAn is only my father and mother. Also it is said "dhviguNam" here

because the joy is doubled in this dhivya dhEsam due to the presence of dhEvapirAn and aravindha lOchanan emperumAns. chUrNikai 169 - thirukkOLur (6.7 - uNNum sOru) - kaimmudhalizhaNdhAr unNnNum Nidhiyin Apathsakathvam pugumUrilE samrudhdham (


archAvathAra anubhavam

As AzhwAr's mother worries for parAngusa nAyaki for having lost everything for emperumAn in mAlukku padhigam (6.6), emperumAn shows himself as "vaiththa mANidhi" ( ), a huge treasure, AzhwAr enjoys emperumAn here as thAraka, bhOshaka and bhOgyam (sustaining, nourishing and enjoying), emperumAn's Apathsakthvam (helping the needy) is enjoyed by AzhwAr here. This dhivyadhEsam is called "pugumUr" by AzhwAr. Once ananthAzhwAn meets a srivaishnava in a village. He asks where he is from and that srivaishnava says he is from thirukkOLur. When asked why he was here in this village leaving behind thirukkOLur, he says he came here looking for livelihood. For that ananthAzhwAn says, thirukkOLur is the place where everyone should enter, but you have left that place - you could have even had a couple of donkeys and made some livelihood of them right there instead of leaving that dhivyadhEsam. chUrNikai 170 - thenthiruppEreyil (7.3 - vellaichuri sangodu) - chenRu chErvArkku uchAththunNai aRukkum sauNdharyam mANagarilE gOshikkum (


archAvathAra anubhavam

When AzhwAr rushes to see emperumAn unable to wait for him, emperumAn's saundharyam (beauty) first pulls AzhwAr's closest aide, that is his heart, towards him. AzhwAr himself says, "if emperumAn takes away my heart what can I do now". makara nedum kuzhai kAthan emperumAn's beauty is explained by AzhwAr as ), etc. Here "chenGkanivAyin thiRaththathAyum" ( "mAnagar" means the great place where emperumAn's adiyArs are so ecstatic and constantly reciting sAma vEdham. chUrNikai 171 - thiruvAranviLai (7.10 - inbam payakka) - pravanNachiththam parathva vimukamAkkum ANaNdhavruththi NInNagarilE ( )

When emperumAn comes with his mahishis to stay in thiruvAranviLai to listen to AzhwAr's pAsurams, AzhwAr's attachment towards thirukkuraLappan emperumAn increases too much and makes him simply give up parampadham as well. AzhwAr himself says "chiNthai maRRin thiRaththathallAth thanmai" ( ), that my mind is fully situated in thirukkuraLappan and no one else. Thus emperumAn's Anandha vruththi (blissful activity) is enjoyed by AzhwAr here. chUrNikai 172 - thirukuLanthai (perunguLam) (8.2 - nangaL varivaLai) - sAdhararai parichazhikkum chEshtithAchcharyam kuLaththE kodividum. (


archAvathAra anubhavam

mAyakkUthan emperumAn shows his divine activities to AzhwAr who is fully attached to him. By showing his divine activities (such as vAmana-thrivikrama charithram), he removes the lajjai (shyness), etc of AzhwAr. Thus AzhwAr enjoys emperumAn's Accharya chEshtitham (marvellous activities) here. chUrNikai 173 - thiruvaNparisAram (8.3 - angum ingum) - chramamanam chUzhum saukumArya prakAcham AychchEriyilE (

AzhwAr looking at thiruvAzhmArbhan emperumAn's saukumAryam (delicate nature) starts worrying for him who has descended to samsAram which is full of calamities leaving behind paramapadham which is full of joy. mAmunigaL shows that nAyanAr uses the term "AychchEri" since it is the birth place of udaiyanangai who is the mother


archAvathAra anubhavam

of NammAzhwAr (Ay - mother, chEri - place). This padhigam is called NammAzhwAr's thiruppallANdu, where AzhwAr is performing mangaLAsAsanam for emperumAn. chUrNikai 174 - thiruchiRRAru (thiruchengunRUr) (8.4 - vArkadA varuvi) mahAmadhigaL achcham kettu amarum chauryAdhigaL chiRRARRilE kozhikkum (

Like vidhura who is called mahAmadhi for his extreme attachment to kaNNan emperumAn, AzhwAr who is fearing for emperumAn's well being and emperumAn immediately shows his sauryam (bravery), where he defeated kuvalayApItam, the wrestlers and finally kamsan as well very easily. AzhwAr identifies that this emperumAn is imayavarappan - one who is the leader of all nithya sUris and also he is the controller of all dhEvathais in this world. chUrNikai 175 - thirukkadithAnam (8.6 - elliyum kAlaiyum) - sAdhya hrudhisthanAyum sAdhaNamorukkadukkum kruthajnYathA gaNdham thAyappathiyilE (


archAvathAra anubhavam

aRputha NArAyaNan emperumAn's main goal is to capture AzhwAr's heart. But to achieve that he first arrives at thirukkadithAnam. AzhwAr seeing emperumAn at thirukkadithAnam gives his heart to him and says "thirukkadiththAnamum ennudaich chiNthaiyum orukkaduththuLLE uRaiyum pirAn" ( ). But even after capturing AzhwAr's heart, emperumAn does not give up his residence in thirukkadithAnam since he wants to show his kruthjnYathai (gratitude) to the dhivyadhEsam which brought AzhwAr to him. piLLai lOkAchAryar also highlights the same point in srIvachana ), emperumAn bhUshaNam in "iLam kOyil kaividEl" ( will not give up his dhivyadhEsams even after achieving his goal. AzhwAr calls this place "thAyappathi" indicating there is paternal relationship here. chUrNikai 176 - thirupuliyur (kuttanAdu) (8.9 - karumANikka malai) avagAhiththArai aNaNyArhamAkkum NAyakalakshanNam vaLampugumUrilE kuttamidum. (

emperumAn is the only husband to all jIvAthmAs. AzhwAr says "appan thiruvaruL ) meaning he plunged in to the ocean mUzhginaL" ( of mercy of the emperumAn. Once AzhwAr did that, mAyappirAn emperumAn reveals him all the bodily beauty and the beauty of the ornaments that decorate him - these two are part of the completeness of a husband. Once AzhwAr saw that he became completely subservient to emperumAn. It is the nature of jIvAthmA to be completely subservient to emperumAn and not to look at any one else. AzhwAr enjoys this NAyaka lakshaNam (husbandness/manliness) in mAyappirAn emperumAn. chUrNikai 177 - thiruppulingudi/thiruvaraguNamangai/srIvaikuntam (9.2 - paNdai NALAlE) - bhOgyapAgathvarai theLiNtha chaNthaikku munnil mUnRilum prakatam. ( )


archAvathAra anubhavam

emperumAn is showing his urgency to enjoy AzhwAr who's love is increasing towards emperumAn in thiruppuLingudi, thiruvaraguNAmangai and srIvaikutam dhivya dhEsams. But emperumAn is unable to wait for that love to reach its peak. Just like if some one is hungry, first he will be lying down in the hall, then he will start sitting in the dining room and finally he will come closer to the kitchen and stand in the entrance looking out for the food, mAmunigaL quotes "puLinGkudikkidaNthu varagunNamanGgaiyiruNthu vaikuNthaththuL NinRu" (

) meaning emperumAn is lying down in thiruppuLingudi as kAisini vEndhan, he is sitting in thiruvaraguNamangai as vijayAsanan and his standing in srIvaikuntam as mAyappirAn. Thus AzhwAr is enjoying emperumAn's bhOgya pAga thvarai (urgency to enjoy AzhwAr after AzhwAr developing parama bhakthi) in these three dhivyadhEsams. chUrNikai 178 - thirukkAtkarai (9.6 - urugumAl nenjam) - bhOgaththil thattu mARum chIlam kAtkaraiyil karaiyazhikkum. ( )


archAvathAra anubhavam

When AzhwAr's manifests such paramabhakthi, thirukkAtkarai appan emperumAn's anubhavam with AzhwAr leads to emperumAn giving up his sEshithvam (lordship) to AzhwAr and him becoming subservient to AzhwAr. mAmunigaL quotes "vArikkonNdu" ( ) pAsuram where AzhwAr says he wanted to enjoy emperumAn, but emperumAn had so much more desire to enjoy AzhwAr, that he enjoyed him even before AzhwAr can do that. Thus, AzhwAr enjoys emperumAn's sauseelyam (magnanimity) in this dhivyadhEsam. chUrNikai 179 - thirumUzhikkaLam (9.7 - engAnal aham kazhivAi) - mahAthmAkkaL viraham sahiyAtha mArdhdhavam vaLaththin kaLaththE kUdu pUrikkum. ( .)

thirumUzhikaLaththAn emperumAn is so tender hearted that he cannot bear to see the sorrow of the great devotees of him who cannot bear his separation. mAmunigaL quotes ALavandhAr's sthOthram "mahAthmabhir mAmavalOkyathAm Naya kshanNEpi thE yathvirahOthidhussaha:" (

:) - those mahAthmAs who consider just seeing

emperumAn's vigraham (thirumEni) once is better than mukthi itself, cannot bear the separation from emperumAn even for a second. Thus AzhwAr enjoys emperumAn's mArdhavam (tender hearted nature) here. chUrNikai 180 - thirunAvAi (9.8 - arukkum vinai) - piriNtha thunbhakkadal kadaththum vishnNu pOtha ANrusamsyam NAvAyilE Nizhalezhum. ( )


archAvathAra anubhavam

For the ones who are suffering in the ocean of vislEsham (separation) which is this samsAram, NArAyaNan emperumAn becomes the ship out of compassion which helps them cross this samsAram. mAmunigaL quotes "vishnNu pOtham viNA NANyath kinYchithasthi parAyanNam" (

) meaning only emperumAn can be the ship to cross this ocean of

samsAram. mAmunigaL also quotes "NAvAyuRaiginRa" ( ) meaning emperumAn is firmly situated in thirunAvAy to uplift the jIvAthmAs especially the ones who are surrendered to him. Thus, AzhwAr enjoys emperumAn's Anrusamsyam (compassion) here. chUrNikai 181 - thirukkaNNapuram (9.10 - mAlai naNNi) - charanNya mukuNdhathvam uthpalAvathakaththilE prasidhdham. ( )


archAvathAra anubhavam

sourirAjan emperumAn guarantees to AzhwAr that AzhwAr will reach paramapadham as soon as he gives up his thirumEni. mukundhan means one who can grant mOksham. uthpalAvathagam is the name of the vimAnam in thirukkaNNapuram. And AzhwAr says "charanNamAgum thana thAL adaiNthArkkellAm maranNamAnAl vaikuNtham kodukkum pirAn" ( ), for the ones who surrenders unto the lotus feet of emperumAn, he will give them mOksham as soon as they give up their body. Thus AzhwAr enjoys emperumAn's mOksha prathathvam (ability to give mOksham) here. chUrNikai 182 - thirumOgur (10.1 - thALa thAmarai) - mArggabaNdhuchaithyam mOhaNaththE maduvidum. ( )

For the ones who are going to paramapadham, thirumOgur Apthan emperumAn, accompanies them with his cool nature enroute to paramapadham. Apthan means wellwisher - emperumAn being our best well-wisher, even accompanies us in our journey to paramapadham. AzhwAr explains him as "kALamEgam" ( ) meaning cool as cloud and "marathaga manNith thadam" ( ) meaning a cool pond. This dhivya dhEsam is named after emperumAn who took mOhini avathAram. Such cool nature of emperumAn is required for the jIvAthmA to relieve himself of all the hardships he went through in the samsAram. Thus AzhwAr enjoys emperumAn's chaithyam (coolness) here.


archAvathAra anubhavam

chUrNikai 183 - thiruvananthapuram (10.2 - kedumidar) - sasaiNyaputhrachishyasAdhyasidhdhabhUsurArchchanaththukku muka NAbi pAdhanGgalai dhvArathrayaththAlE kAttum sAmyam aNaNthachayaNaththilE vyaktham. - (

ananthasayanan emperumAn shows his head, navel and lotus feet via three entrances for accepting worship from nithyasUris (his divine sEnai), dhEvas (his son brahmA, etc) and prapannas (his sishyas). mAmunigaL brings out "amararkOn archchikkinRu anGgu agappanNi cheyvar vinNnNOr" (

) which identifies nithyasUris like sEnai mudhaliAr who

performs confidential services to emperumAn, "amararAyth thiriginRArgatku" ( ) which identifies brahmA, etc who runs around and looks after themselves and "padamudaiyaravil paLLipayinRavan pAdham kAnNa NadaminO NamargaLuLLIr" (

) which identifies the prapannas who go to take the

dharshan of emperumAn's divine feet. We can recollect how ALavandhAr immediately left srIrangam after hearing this pAsuram during arayar sEvai to perform mangaLAsAsanam to anantha sayanan emperumAn. Thus, AzhwAr enjoys emperumAn's sAmyam (equality) towards all types of jIvAthmAs here. chUrNikai 184 -thiruvAttARu (10.6 - aruLperuvAradiyAr) - mOksha dhANaththil pranNatha pArathaNthriyam vaLammikka NadhiyilE karaipuraLum. (


archAvathAra anubhavam

Adhi kEsavan emperumAn follows the heart of his adiyArs while giving them mOksham. mAmunigaL quotes "aruL tharuvAn amaiginRAn athu Namathu vidhi vagaiyE" (

) which means emperumAn

gives mOksham as commanded by his devotee. Thus AzhwAr enjoys emperumAn's Ashritha pArathanthriyam (subservience to his devotees) here. chUrNikai 185 - thirumAlirunchOlai (10.7 - senchorkavikAL) - thyAjya dhEha vyAmOham maruLgaLkadiyum mayalmigu pozhililE thazhaikkum. (

azhagar emperumAn is bewildered in looking at AzhwAr's thirumEni just like a prince will like his wife's remanants. Here dhEham is shown as thyAjya dhEham which means the body that should be given up. But in AzhwAr's case, it is thirumEni where ultimate devotion towards emperumAn grew, so emperumAn considers AzhwAr's thirumEni similar to dhivya dhEsams like thirumAlirunchOlai malai, thiruvEnkatam, paramapadham which are very dear to him. Also, emperumAn who clears everyone's ignorance himself becomes bewildered looking at AzhwAr. So, AzhwAr now turns around and instructs emperumAn that this thirumEni should be given up by saying "manGgavottu un mAmAyai" ( ), achith is your own


archAvathAra anubhavam

property but you have to give it up in the samsAram and just carry me (the jIvAthmA) to paramapadham. Thus AzhwAr enjoys emperumAn's vyAmOham (bewilderment) here. chUrNikai 186 - thiruppErnagar (10.8 - thirumAlirunchOlai malai) - anGgIkarikka avagAcham pArkkum svAmithvam peruNagarilE pEr peRRathu. (

appak kudaththAn emperumAn is looking for some good quality in jIvAthmAs to acknowledge them and establish his svAmithvam (that he is the propreitor of every one and everything). AzhwAr says "thirumAlirunYchOlai malai enREn enna thirumAl vaNthu en NenYchu NiRaiyap puguNthAn" (

), as soon as I said thirumAlirunchOlai malai, emperumAn entered my heart and established himself fully there. The same concept is explained by piLLai lOkAchAryar as emperumAn uplifting jIvAthmAs based on "en Uraich chonnAy, en pEraich chonnAy, etc" ( , , etc) meaning you recited the name of the dhivya dhEsam I reside, you recited my name, etc. Thus AzhwAr enjoys emperumAn's svAmithvam (propreitorship) here. Finally, nAyanAr shows the great importance of gruhArchai in chUrNikai 75. After all, one must truly appreciate emperumAn's extreme saulabhyam of entering our own homes without any hesitation and accepting direct kainkaryam from every one of us. This chUrNikai is actually presented by nAyanAr to show that one must not disrespect AzhwAr based on his birth. He is citing gruhArchai as an example to establish his point. vIttinba inbappAkkaLil dhravyabAshA NirUpanNa samam inbamAriyilArAychchi. (



archAvathAra anubhavam

Simple translation: Disrespecting AzhwAr based on his birth is as bad as judging the archAvathAra emperumAn (who has arrived to our home to give happiness to us) based on the rawmaterial his thirumEni is made of and disrespecting aruLicheyal (which is so relishable to great AchAryas) based on the language it is sung. mAmunigaL takes many pramANams from sAsthram which explains that only fools will engage in these acts of disrespecting AzhwAr based on his birth, etc. We have seen a little bit from nAyanAr's archAvathAra anubhavam in AchArya hrudhayam. This grantham is the best research work done on thiruvAimozhi, analysing various aspects in detail. Without mAmunigaL's vyAkyAnam we cannot understand even a little bit in this.

mAmunigaL - srIrangam nAyanAr has also done vyAkyAnams as we have seen before. If we start going into his vyAkyAnams, there is so much relishable topics in them. His vyAkyAnams to aruLicheyal are very elaborate and very exquisite with in-depth meanings. Let us pray at his lotus feet so that we can also develop some attachment towards our AzhwArs and AchAryas. In the next article we will see vEdhAnthAchAryar's archAvathAra anubhavam.


archAvathAra anubhavam

vEdhAnthAchAryar anubhavam
In the previous article ( we enjoyed azhagiya maNavALa perumAL nAyanAr's archAvathAra anubhavam. Let us now move on to see how vEdhAnthAchAryar enjoyed archAvathAra emperumAns.

mAmunigaL glorifies vedhAnthAchAryar as abhiyukthar (a learned man) in rahasya grantha vyAkyAnams. His deep knowledge in sAsthram and subsequently aruLicheyal made him a lion amongst vidhwAns. Not only he had jnAnam, his vairAgyam was also equally great. Following the foot steps of kUrathAzhwAn, vEdhAnthAchAryar had no attachment to any material comforts and simply performed unja vruthi (bikshai) for his livelihood. He sung many sthOthrams glorifying many archAvathAra emperumAns. Let us see some of his anubhavam now.


archAvathAra anubhavam

dhEva perumAL

vEdhAnthAchAryar had great attachment towards dhEva perumAL and spent his life in performing ubhaya vEdhAntha kAlakshEpam in kAnchipuram. vidhyAraNyar (a mAdhva sampradhAya scholar) who is one of his close friends, once sends a note to vEdhAnthAchAryar to come and accept great wealth from the vijayanagara king on whom he had great influence. Seeing this vEdhAnthAchAryar became upset thinking that, vidhyAraNyar is inviting him to accept wealth even after knowing his nishtai and virakthi. He immediately wrote a short slOkam exhibiting his virakthi in material wealth and showing his extreme attachment to dhEva perumAL. Na mE pithrArjitham kinYchith Na mayA kinYchithArjitham (

) )

asthi mE hasthichailAgrE vasthu paithAmaham dhaNam (

Simple translation:


archAvathAra anubhavam

I dont have any wealth left to me by my father. Nor I have any wealth which was earned by me. But, on top of the hasthigiri, I have my great wealth which is given to me by my ancestors. Needless to say, ancestors mean our guru paramparai only. kAnchi swamy shows that, wealth given by father usually cannot be easily disposed since it has to be carried forward to the next generation and wealth earned by self is usually filled with difficulties but wealth given by ancestors is effortless and free to enjoy. But even after receiving this note, vidhyAraNyar insists that he wants to help vEdhAnthAchAryar. Out of utmost virakthi, vEdhAnthAchAryar writes vairAgya panchakam where he beautifully demonstrates that emperumAn is the only wealth for prapannas and all other material aspirations and wealth are simply trouble for our spiritual life. Let us know see the last slOkam from this grantham. charIrapathaNAvadhi prabhuNishEvanNApAdhaNAdh (

abhiNdhaNa dhaNaNjaya prachamatham dhaNam thaNdhaNam (

) )

dhaNaNjaya vivardhdhaNam dhaNamudhUta gOvardhdhaNam ( susAdhaNam pAdhaNam sumaNasAm samArAdhaNam (

Let this wealth which is acquired by glorifying the kings (and wealthy) to pacify the jAtarAgni (hunger) be destroyed completely. We dont need that. We need the wealth (emperumAn himself) that groomed arjunan, that lifted the gOvardhana hill to protect the gOpas and gOpis, that which becomes the means for us to achieve the ultimate goal in life, that which will not give any sorrows to the ones who performs surrender and worship. That wealth is the wealth of sri mahAlakshmi herself (sriya srIyam, thiruvkkum thiruvAgiya selvan) and we have have that wealth (which means we dont need any other wealth). kAnchi swamy shows that unlike material wealth which diminishes as we enjoy it, anubhavam with emperumAn increases more and more as we enjoy it. Also, material wealth needs to be carefully protected from thieves, etc., spiritual wealth will be protected by emperumAn himself.


archAvathAra anubhavam

vijayarAghavan (thirupputkuzhi)

thirumangai AzhwAr enjoyed thirupputkuzhi emperumAn as "putkuzhi em pOrERRai" ( ) meaning he is an "unstoppable bull in the battlefield". vEdhAnthAchAryar also enjoys vijayarAghavan emperumAn as samarabhungava, raNabhungava, etc along the same lines in his paramArtha sthuthi which is dedicated to thirupputkuzhi emperumAn. In this dhivyadhEsam, It is said that jatAyu's charama thirumEni was put to rest in this dhivyadhEsam so it is called putkuzhi (pit of the bird). chakkaravarthy thirumagan exhibited his parathvam and mOksha prathathvam by sending jatAyu mahArajar to paramapadham. We can recollect an interesting idhihyam in this regard. When Naduvil thiruvIdhi piLLai bhattar (who was initially not very favourable towards NampiLLai) is questioned by a king how srI rAman can give mOksham to jatAyu mahArAjar after deciding not to show his parathvam in this avathAram. Naduvil thiruvIdhi piLLai bhattar is not sure how to answer the question but fortunately the king moves away for some other purpose for a few moments. At that time, he asks pinbhazhagiya perumAL jIyar who accompanied him to the king's court how NampiLLai would have explained this. jIyar says "NampiLLai explains this easily using sathyEna loKAn jayathi" - understanding that he quickly turns around to the king and explains the same. The king is very pleased and honours him with many valuables. sathyEna lOkAn jayathi means one who is 100% truthful will conquer all words and since chakkaravarthy thirumagan was 100% truthful he conquers all worlds including paramapadham - so it can easily be explained that he gave paramapadham just by his humanly abilities. Naduvil thiruvIdhi piLLai bhattar


archAvathAra anubhavam

immediately goes to NampiLLai, falls at his lotus feet and offers all the wealth to him and says that a few words from him is worth so much. Naduvil thiruvIdhi piLLai bhattar accepts NampiLLai as AchAryan and constantly serves him then onwards. Let us enjoy the 4th slOkam from this prabhandham now. abirakshithum agratha: sthitham thvAm pranNavE pArththarathE cha bhAvayaNtha: : :) ( ahithaprachamair ayaththalabhbhyai: kathayanthya Ahava bhunGgavam gunNajnYa: :) ( : Oh Ahavabhungava! To exhibit and give your protection you stood in the beginning of praNavam (as akAram) and you sat in the chariot of arjunan as the charioteer. Mediating on your rakshakathvam (protection), AzhwArs glorified you as "pOrERu" ( ). They named you as such because you are relieving them of their hurdles in reaching you. As piLLai lOkAchAryar explains in mumukshupadi sUthram 36 "rakshikkaiyAvathu - virOdhiyaip pOkkugaiyum apEkshithaththaik kodukkaiyum" ( - ) meaning "giving protection means removing the hurdles and providing what is desired", vEdhAnthAchAryar also enjoys vijayarAghavan emperumAn's protectorship in a similar way.


When vEdhAnthAchAryar arrived to srirangam to stay and perform mangaLAsAsanam there, he compiled bhagavath dhyAna sOpAnam among other sthOthrams on periya perumAL. vEdhAnthAchAryar enjoys periya perumAL's thirumEni following in the foot steps of thiruppANAzhwAr. kAnchi swAmy points out that this prabhandham is named "bhagavth dhyAna sOpAnam" instead of "srIrangarAja dhyAna sOpAnam" because bhagavath shabdham commonly points to periya perumAL only.


archAvathAra anubhavam

Let us enjoy the 1st slOkam. aNthar jyOthi: kimapi yamiNAm anYjaNam yOgadhrushtE: (

:) )

chiNthArathNam sulabhamihaNas sidhdhimOkshANurUpam (

dhINANAtha vyasaNachamaNam dhaivatham dhaivathANAm (

) )

dhivyam chakshuch chruthiparishathAm dhruchyathE ranGgamadhyE (

That emperumAn who is seen by yOgis in their hearts as a brilliant/bright light, who is like chinthAmaNi (a type of stone) which gives whatever is desired by the owner of the same, who is like the divine eyes for the vEdhAnthis, who is the lord of all dhEvathais and who is easily approachable by us (who are incapable of doing anything on our own and have no other refuge other than emperumAn) is visibly seen inside srIranga vimAnam as periya perumAL. vEdhAnthAchAryar is following the footsteps of AzhwArs who glorified emperumAn as chinthAmaNi and bhattar who glorified periya perumAL as "srIsthaNAbharaNam thEja: srIranEchayamAchrayE, chiNthAmaNi mivOthvAntham uthsangE anantha bhOgina:". Also, chinthAmaNi stone which fulfills the desires is very rare to find in this world, but emperumAn's saulabhyam is beautifully exhibited by descending to and residing permanently in srIrangam.

ashtabhujam emperumAn


archAvathAra anubhavam

peyAzhwAr glorifies ashtabhujam emperumAn as gajendhra varadhan in mUnRAm thiruvanthAdhi 99th pAsuram. thotta padaiyettum thOlAdha venRiyAn attabhuyakaraththAn aNNAnRu (

) kuttaththuk kOLmudhalai thunYchak kuriththeriNtha chakkaraththAn thAL mudhalE NanGgatkuch chArvu (

Simple translation: ashtabhujam emperumAn who is victorious in all battles came to the rescue of gajEndhrAzhwAn who was attacked by the crocodile and threw his chakkaram to kill the crocodile. Such emperumAn's lotus feet is our only refuge. vEdhAnthAchAryar, following in the footsteps of pEyAzhwAr, starts his ashtabhujAshtakam with "gajEndhra rakshAthvaritham" meaning one who arrived very fast to rescue gajEndhrAzhwAn. Let us enjoy the sixth slOkam where vEdhAnthAchAryar declares that emperumAn is the only upAyam and our acts are of no use. thvadhEka thaNthram kamalAsahAya! svENaiva rakshithumarhasi thvam (

thvayi pravruththE mama kim prayAsai: thvayyapravruththE mama kim prayAsai: ( :

Oh asthabhuja emperumAn who is the dear of husband of lakshmI! you have to protect me who is fully surrendered to you. When you are making efforts to protect me my efforts are useless (since the protection will happen) and when you are not making any efforts to protect me my efforts are useless as well (since the protection will not happen). kanchi swAmy shows in the vyAkyAnam that this slOkam demonstrates our ananya upAyathvam that emperumAn is the only upAyam for us. Also, to accept emperumAn as upAyam, first we need purushakAram of pirAtti, that is why vEdhAnthAchAryar invokes emperumAn's sriya:pathithvam in the first line itself.


archAvathAra anubhavam

vELukkai ALari

This divhya dhEsam is very close to vEdhAnthAchAryar's avathAra sthalam thUppul. vEdhAnthAchAryar explains emperumAn's rakshakathvam in kAmAsikAshtakamm on vELukkai ALari emperumAn in slOkam 7. This is similar to what we observed in ashtabhujam emperumAn's sthOthram as well. thvayi rakshathi rakshakai: kimaNyai: thvayi cha arakshathi rakshakai: kimaNyai: ( : : : :) ithi NichchithathI: chrayAmi Nithya NruharE! vEgavathItAchrayam thvAm (


archAvathAra anubhavam

Simple translation: When you are ready to protect us why do we need some one else to do that. When you are not going to protect us what is the use of any one else protecting us. With such firm faith in my mind, I bow to you who is staying on the banks of river vEgavathi. piLLai lOkAchAryar explains emperumAn's rakshakathvam precisely in prapanna parithrANam. He himself refers to this in mumukshupadi sUtham 39 "'Ichvaranai ozhiNthavargaL rakshakarallar' ennumidam prapaNNa parithrAnNaththilE chonnOm" ' ('

) meaning anyone but emperumAn cannot protect us

truly is explained in prapanna parithrANam. vEdhAnthAchAryar explains the same concept in this slOkam. vEdhAnthAchAryar performs mangaLAsAsanam to archAvathAra emperumAns through many other sthOthra granthams like:

dhayA sathakam for thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn (and his dhayai) abIthi sthavam, pAdhukA sahasram, dhasAvathAra sthOthram, etc for periya perumAL vEgAsEthu sthOthram for yathOkthAkAri emperumAn dhEvanAyaka panchAsath for dhEvanAthan emperumAn (thiruvahindhrapuram) - vEdhAnthAchAryar lived in this dhivyadhEsam and while doing upAsanam of garuda manthram here, garudAzhwAr appears to him and performs hayagrIva manthrOpadhEsam. vEdhAnthAchAryar performs hayagrIva manthra japam for many days and finally hayagrIvan emperumAn appears and blesses him fully and out of ecstasy and gratitute, he compiles hayagrIva sthOthram glorifying hayagrIvan emperumAn. and more

Of all the dhivya prabhandhams, he has written a vyAkyAnam for amalanAdhipirAn of thiruppANAzhwAr which fully focusses on periya perumAL's thirumEni anubhavam. We have enjoyed AzhwAr's anubhavam already in Thus we can understand how vEdhAnthAchAryar enjoyed and established the glories of archAvathAra emperumAns through his sthOthra granthams, etc. In the next article we will see azhagiya maNavALa mAmunigaL's archAvathAra anubhavam.


archAvathAra anubhavam

azhagiya maNavALa mAmunigaL anubhavam

In the previous article ( we enjoyed vEdhAnthAchAryar's archAvathAra anubhavam. Let us now move on to see how azhagiya maNavALa mAmunigaL enjoyed archAvathAra emperumAns.

In our guru paramparai, NammAzhwAr, emperumAnAr and maNavALa mAmunigaL has a special place. That is why we recite AzhwAr, emperumAnAr, jIyar thirvadigaLe charaNam regularly. Of these 3, mAmunigaL is considered as AdhisEshan's amsam and emperumAnAr's punaravathAram. Just like srI rAman and krishNan learnt sAsthram from vasihtar and sAndIpani mainly to preserve lOka mariyAthai and establish proper sishyAchArya kramam, emperumAnAr and mAmunigaL also undergoes studies under their AchAryas even though they already know everything. mAmunigaL is even more special compared


archAvathAra anubhavam

to emperumAnAr, because while emperumAnAr focussed on samskritha vEdhAntham and bhAhya/kudhrushti nirasanam which was required for his times, mAmunigaL fully focussed on bringing out the divine glories of aruLicheyal. mAmunigaL glorifies piLLai lOkAchAryar's srivachana bhUshaNa dhivya sAsthram in his upadhEsa rathina mAlai 55th pAsuram. Ar vachanabhUdanaththin Azh poruL ellAm aRivAr (

) )

Ar athu chol NEril anuttippAr (

Ororuvar undAgil aththanai kAnN uLLamE (

ellArkkum anNdAthathanRO athu (

Simple translation: Who will understand the inner/deep meanings in srivachana bhUshanam? Who will live by those meanings? Even to find one such person is difficult because these are very difficult principles to follow for any one. piLLai lOkam jIyar writes in his vyAkyAnam that mAmunigaL is the first adhikAri to live by these words. Let us observe an important sUthram (274) from srIvachana bhUshaNam and understand how mAmunigaL lived by those words. ippadi ivai anaiththum sadhAchArya prasAdhaththAlE varththikkumpadi pOthaikku vasthavyam AchArya saNNidhiyum bhagavadh saNNidhiyum, vakthavyam AchArya vaibhavamum sva Nikarshamum, japthavyam guru paramparaiyum dhvayamum, parigrAhyam pUrvAchAryarkaLudaiya vachaNamum aNushtANamum, parithyAjyam avaishnNava sahavAsamum abhimANamum, karththavyam AchArya kainGkaryamum bhagavath kainGkaryamum. (

From sUthram 243 to 307, piLLai lOkAchAryar explains the dhinacharyai/activities of sidhOpAya nishtar (one who firmly believes in emperumAn as upAyam and upEyam). In


archAvathAra anubhavam

this sUthram he explains how such sidhOpAya nishtar will be grateful to the AchAryan to have provided such an opportunity and summarizes the activities for such adhikAri. mAmunigaL beautifully explains each point and also lived by them. Let us see that now.

vasthavyam AchArya saNNidhiyum bhagavadh saNNidhiyum - Residence is AchAryan's thirumALigai/mutt and emperumAn's sannidhi. mAmunigaL shows that AchAryan's sannidhi is primary and only if it is not possible to be there, we should go to emperumAn's sannidhi. He himself lived in AzhwAr thirunagari until thiruvAimozhi piLLai was present in this world and only after his AchAryan ascending to paramapadham, mAmunigaL left AzhwAr thirunagari to be in srIrangam (that too, to fulfill his AchAryan's order). vakthavyam AchArya vaibhavamum sva Nikarshamum - A sishyan must always glorify his AchAryan's greatness and his own faults. mAmunigaL identifies that we should be like madhurakavi AzhwAr who glorified NammAzhwAr and talked of his own faults in kaNNinuNchiruthAmbu pAsurams (4-10). mAmunigaL beautifully glorifies emperumAnAr and thiruvAimozhi piLLai and also spells out his (nonexisting) defects in yathirAja vimsath. japthavyam guru paramparaiyum dhvayamum - A sishyan must be constantly reciting/meditating the guruparamparai and dhvaya mahA manthram. mAmunigaL shows that emperumAn will be pleased when we meditate on guruparamparai and he himself instructs bhAshaykArar to spend his time meditating on dhvayam and its meanings and happily live in srIrangam. mAmunigaL is known to be constantly reciting meditating on emperumAnAr and dhvaya mahA manthram and its meanings (as seen from his pUrva/uthara dhinacharyai and yathirAja vimsathi). Just like emperumAnAr, he also makes srIrangam his residence and constantly engage in bhagavath vishaya anubhavam there. parigrAhyam pUrvAchAryarkaLudaiya vachaNamum aNushtANamum - We should accept the instructions and lives of our AchAryas starting from NAthamunigaL as our main goal in life. mAmunigaL points out that our pUrvAchAryas lived by their instructions, i.e, there is no contradiction between their instructions and behaviours. mAmunigaL himself was fully situated in firm faith on his own AchAryan. He accepted thiruvAimozhi piLLai's instruction to perform thiruvArAdhanam in bhavishyadhAchAryan sannidhi (AzhwAr thirunagari) first and subsequently focussing fully on aruLicheyal (thiruvAimozhi). parithyAjyam avaishnNava sahavAsamum abhimANamum - We should reject the friendship of avaishnavas and their abhimAnam towards us. mAmunigaL explains that we should not perform any activity which will make an avaishnava consider us part of his group. mAmunigaL once simply rejected all vegetables which were supplied to his mutt because they were grown by an avaishnava farmer. karththavyam AchArya kainGkaryamum bhagavath kainGkaryamum - We must be doing kainkaryam to our AchAryan and emperumAn. Without kainkaryam there is no sEshathvam. mAmunigaL shows that we should be very grateful to our AchAryan for the biggest possible favour he has done us and should do


archAvathAra anubhavam

kainkaryam with much affection towards him. He also identifies that we should engage in bhagavath kainkaryam that is sanctioned by our AchAryan. mAmunigaL himself performed all kainkaryams to thiruvAimozhi piLLai while living in AzhwAr thirungari. After thiruvAimozhi piLLai ascending to paramapadham, mAmunigaL performs his charama kainkaryam also and finally to fulfill his AchAryan's order, he arrives to srIrangam and engages himself in bhagavath kainkaryam. From the above, we can easily understand how mAmunigaL lived to fulfill the word "Ororuvar". We have seen mAmunigaL's glories in Srivaishnava lakshaNam series of articles Let us see some of his archAvathAra anubhavam now.

mAmunigaL enjoys NamperumAL in his upadhEsa rathina mAlai.


archAvathAra anubhavam

In pAsuram 38, mAmunigaL identifies NamperumAL's act of establishing the glories of emperumAnAr by naming our sampradhAyam as "emperumAnAr dharisanam". emperumAnAr dharichanam enRE ithaRku ( ) NamperumAL peyarittu NAtti vaiththAr ( ) ampuviyOr inthath dharichanaththai emperumAnAr vaLarththa ( ) aNtha cheyal aRigaikkA ( )

Simple translation: NamperumAL established that our srivaishNava sampradhAyam should be identified as "emperumAnAr dharisanam" to ensure that the people of this world will understand emperumAnAr's efforts to nourish this sampradhAyam. piLLai lOkam jIyar shows that because emperumAnAr propagated prapathi mArgam and wrote srIbhAshyam, gIthA bhAshyam, etc to protect the deep meanings of our sampradhAyam, NamperumAL named this sampradhAyam as emperumAnAr dharisanam so every one will understand his glory. He also shows that, while many AchAryas like Nathamuni, yAmunAchAryar, etc existed before emperumAnAr, they were protecting the rahasya arthams looking at the value of them. But emperumAnAr, looking at the suffering of the jIvAthmAs, established a system through every one who has the desire (ruchi in bhagavath vishayam) can be liberated. It is because of his extreme mercy and full focus on upliftment of jIvAthmAs and removing the loneliness of emperumAn by bringing more and more jIvAthmAs towards him, emperumAnAr was glorified as such by NamperumAL himself. piLLai lOkam jIyar highlights emperumAnAr's merciful nature where he himself was willing to suffer to uplift others by giving out rahasya arthams which were given to him by thirukkOttiyUr Nambi. In the 50th pAsuram, mAmunigaL identifies that NamperumAL is special amongst all the emperumAns and also identifies similar concept in AzhwArs and AchAryas. NamperumAL NammAzhwAr NanYchIyar NampiLLai enbar (

) )
) )

avaravar tham ERRaththAl (

anbhudaiyOr chARRu thiruNAmanGgaL thAnenRu NannenYchE (

Eththathanaich cholli NI inRu (


archAvathAra anubhavam

Simple translation: NamperumAL, NammAzhwAr, NanjIyar, NampiLLai where named as such (identifying close proximity with the "Nam" prefix) due to their glories by their loved ones and understanding that, oh dear heart! you also glorify them today by chanting them. piLLai lOkam jIyar in his vyAkyAnam first brings out what is so special about the 4 personalities specifically identified in this pAsuram.

NamperumAL is special because all AchAryas flocked to srirangam to enjoy srIrangaNAthan per mumukshuppadi sUthram 141 - "ivaiyellAm Namakku NamperumAL pakkalilE kAnNalAm" ( ). piLLai lOkAchAryar explains in dhvaya prakaraNam that all great qualities like vAthsalyam (motherly forbearance), svAmithvam (ownership), sauseelyam (magnanimity) and saulabhyam (easy approachability) are all fully manifested in archAvathAra emperumAn and we can see them clearly in NamperumAL. A popular incident of NamperumAL being carried away by a king from the North and NammAzhwAr is special because, he is "mugilvanNnNan adiyinNaiyai adaiNtharuL chUdi uyNtha" ( ) satagOpan. Also, when NamperumAL was on a sojourn during kalAba kAlam (muslim invasion), AzhwAr also arrives at the same place along with other AzhwArs. At that time NamperumAL calls him NammAzhwAr, invites him over to his own simhAsanam and honors him affectionately. NanjIyar is special because he was accepted fondly by parAsara bhattar who is the son of NamperumAL himself. When NanjIyar gave up all his comforts, accepted sannyAsam and arrived at srIrangam, bhattar himself calls him Nam jIyar and then onwards he popularly becomes to be known as such. NampiLLai is specical because he was performing his divine lectures in srIrangam and every one wonders if it is NampiLLai gOshti or NamperumAL gOshti. Every one was flocking to his lectures and being uplifted to become eternal servitors of emperumAn. He was also fondly accepted and glorified by NanjIyar after re-writing 9000padi vyAkyaAnam based on what was heard from NanjIyar in his lectures.

mAmunigaL also enjoys srIranganAthan in his Arthi prabhandham in many pAsurams but all of them in context with his relationship with emperumAnAr. In this prabhandham, mAmunigaL is crying out loud to emperumAnAr to lift him up from this samsAram immediately. Just like srI rAman worshipped periya perumAL (who is none other than himself) in thiruvayOdhi to show us how to worship him, mAmunigaL is praying to emperumAnAr (who is none other than himself) to teach us how to pray to him and what to ask for. Let us enjoy one of the most beautiful pAsurams from this great prabhandham.


archAvathAra anubhavam

thennaranGgar chIraruLukku ilakkAgap peRROm ( ) thiruvaranGgam thiruppathiyE iruppAgap peRROm ( ) manniya chIr mARan kalai unNavAgap peRROm ( ) mathurakavi cholpadiyE NilaiyAgap peRROm ( )

munnavarAm Nam kuravar mozhigaL uLLap peRROm ( ) muzhuthum Namakkavai pozhuthupOkkAgap peRROm ( ) pinnai onRu thanil NenYchu pErAmal peRROm ( )

piRar minukkam poRAmai illAp perumaiyum peRROmE ( )

mAmunigaL nicely summarizes his life and shows exactly how we should be living ours.

He says he became the target of the divine blessings of srIranganAthan. NamperumAL who ordered him to nithya vAsam in srIrangam after his arrival, gave him the dhivya AchArya simhAsanam and enjoyed mAmunigaL's eedu kAlakshEpam without any interruptions for a full 11 months. He also offered a thanian and established mAmunigaL's glories everywhere. Actually, the archAvathAra emperumAn fully enjoyed mAmunigaL and continues to perform his thiruvadhyayanam even today in thiruvarangam as it is the duty of every sishyan to perform the same for his AchAryan. Per the orders of NamperumAL and following the footsteps of the pUrvAchAryas he arrived at srIrangam and stayed there for the rest of his time in bhUlOkam. He also identifies in the 60th (last) pAsuram of Arthi prabhandham that the instruction gave by NamperumAL to emperumAnAr that he should stay in srIrangam happily thinking about dhvayam and its meanings fits for himself as well, since the property of the father automatically belongs to the son as well (he is considering himself as the son of emperumAnAr here). While AzhwAr's uNNum chOru is kaNNan emperumAn, mAmunigaL's uNNum chOru is NammAzhwAr's pAsurams. mAmunigaL was always meditating on thiruvAimozhi and eedu vyAkyAnam and propagated the same everywhere. He became to be popularly known as "eettup perukkar" ( ).


archAvathAra anubhavam

mAmunigaL is a pure AchArya nishtar like madhurakavi AzhwAr. He was called as yathIndhra pravaNar due to his extreme attachment towards emperumAnAr. He engaged in bhagavath kainkaryam as per the orders of AchAryan (thivAimozhi piLLai) to please him. mAmunigaL spent his time in collecting/recovering many of the pUrvAchArya granthams which were lost during the invasion, studying them, re-writing them himself in palm leaves, teaching them to others and applying the instructions in practice. It was because of his tireless efforts we now have all these granthams alive. He spent all his time in aruLicheyal, their vyAkyAnams, rahasya granthams and pUrvAchArya sthOthra granthams. he thus spent his time fully in learning and teaching aruLicheyal and pUrvAchArya srIsUkthis and performing mangaLAsAsanam to archAvathAra emperumAns. It is quite obvious that with the above, mAmunigaL did not focus on any other granthams. He learnt srIbhAshyam once but subsequently he did not spend much time on it. But due to his great intellect (and being an avathAram of AdhisEshan/emperumAnAr), he was naturally able to explain all the concepts of vEdhAntham in aruLicheyal very easily. Great scholars like prathivAdhi bhayankaram aNNan, etc. where spell bound hearing mAmunigaL's explanation of vEdhAntham in thiruvAimozhi. The pinnacle of his qualities is his sudhdha sAthivika nature. He was so advanced that he did not have any ill-feelings towards any one, even towards the ones who personally insulted him (like uththama nambi in front of periya perumAL who was subsequently reformed by periya perumAL himself) or the ones who tried to kill him in AzhwAr thirungari by setting his mutt on fire (subsequently when the king was about to punish him, he asks the king to pardon them). It is also shown in his charithram that when some of his sishyas were disrespecting other AchArya purushas in srIrangam, he insisted that they must be respected - such was his magnanimity.

This started as mAmunigaL's archAvathAra anubhavam but with srIranganAthan it is always difficult to stop with just that without enjoying the divine relationship between mAmunigaL and srIranganAthan - the moment we start thinking about it, there is so much to relish, but due to our own limitation we have to stop somewhere.


archAvathAra anubhavam

mAmunigaL performs mangaLAsAsanam to thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn twice.

thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn with ubhaya nAchiyArs, mAmunigaL, PB aNNan First time, he visits when he was a gruhasthar along with ponnadikkAl jIyar (who was already a sannyAsi) and performs mangaLAsAsanam to thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn. Subsequently, he visits thirumalai after accepting sannyAsAshramam. This time, looking at the nature of the continuous kainkaryam done by the existing jIyar swamy (periya kELvi appan jIyar - this AchArya pItam was established by emperumAnAr himself) for both thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn (thirumalai) and gOvindharjAjan (thiruppathi), mAmunigaL himself serves there for some time (as chinna kELvi appan jIyar) and while taking leave from thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn he appoints another srivaishnava in this pItam and that lineage continuous even today. prathiviAdhi bhayankaram aNNan who is a great scholar and a confidential servitor of thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn hears the glories of mAmunigaL. He was bringing thIrtham from AkAsa gangai for emperumAn. Once when he was bringing thIrtham, he meets a srivaishnava from srIrangam on his way and that srIvaishnava explains to aNNan about mAmunigaL's jnAnam, vairAgyam, etc. aNNan is ecstatic in hearing about them and forgets to add thIrtha parimALam in the thIrtham. After submitting the thIrtham to the archakar, he remembers and rushes back to the archakar. At that time, the archakar says the thItham was having a special fragrance and aNNan immediately realises that mAmunigaL's charithram itself is adding fragrance to the thIrtham. He takes leave from emperumAn and visits mAmunigaL. mAmunigaL accepts aNNan with a warm welcome and allows him to participate in his kAlakshEpam. aNNan hearing the bhagavath vishaya kAlakshEpam of mAmunigaL himself witnesses and understands the intellect of mAmunigaL and becomes a sishya. mAmunigaL thinking about the lack of a suprabhAtham for thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn, instructs aNNan to write one such. aNNan with great joy accepts that task, and writes sri vEnkatEsa suprabhAtham, sri vEnkatEsa sthOthram, sri vEnkatEsa prapathi and sri vEnkatEsa mangaLam. aNNan in srI


archAvathAra anubhavam

vEnkatEsa mangaLam, shows his gratitude towards mAmunigaL and glorifies him as follows. srI vEnkatEsa prapathi (slOkam 15) sathvOttarais sathatha sEvya padhAmbujEna samsAra thAraka dhayArdhra dhruganjchalEna saumyO payanthru muninA mama dharshithau thE shrIvEnkatEsa charaNau sharaNam prapadhyE I surrender unto the lotus feet of srIvEnktatEsan which is shown to me by maNavALa mAmunigaL out of great compassion. mAmunigaL is worshipped and served by parama sAthvikas with pure heart. Such mAmunigaL showed me that it is the divine feet of emperumAn which lifts us from this samsAram and places us in paramapadham. srIvEnkatEsa mangaLam (slOkam 13) srImath sundharajAmAthrumuni mAnasa vAsinE sarvalOkanivAsAya srInivAsAya mangaLam Let all auspiciousness prevail on thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn who is omni present, whose chest is the residence of srImahAlakshmi and the one who eternally lives in the heart of azhagiya maNavALa mAmunigaL. All the sthOthrams of prathivAdhi bhayankaram aNNan on thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn are available in different languages at

dhEva perumAL
mAmunigaL performs mangaLAsAsanam to dhEvaperumAL twice.


archAvathAra anubhavam

First time he visits as a gruhasthar and hears srI bhAshyam kAlakshEpam under kidAmbi nAyanAr. It is at this juncture mAmunigaL shows his svayam thirumEni (AdhisEshan) to kidAmbi nAyanAr when requested by him. Subsequently, mAmunigaL visits hasthigiri and performs mangaLAsAsanam after accepting sannyAsAhramam. mAmunigaL has done a beautiful sthOthra grantham on dhEva perumAL named dhEvarAja mangaLam. Let us see a few slOkams from this grantham. slOkam 11 srI kAnYchIpUrnNamichrEnNa prIthyA sarvAbhibhAshanNE (

athIthArchchAvyavasthAya hasthadhreesAya manGgaLam ( ) mangaLAsAsanam to dhEva perumAL who resides in hasthigiri and who out of great love towards thirukkachi nambi, broke his archA samAdhi and regularly had conversations with him. We have already enjoyed this slOkam in thirukkachi nambi's anubhavam This shows that even while enjoying archAvathAra emperumAn, we should do that through the anubhavam of our pUrvAchAryas. slOkam 12 asthu srIsthaNa kasthUri vAsaNAvAsithOrasE (

srIhasthigiriNAthAya dhEvarAjAya manGgaLam (

In this slOkam, mAmunigaL beautifully enjoys pirAtti's relationship with emperumAn. For prapannas, pirAtti is the purushakAra bhUthai (recommendation authority) and we always get her help to approach emperumAn. Here mAmunigaL shows that how pirAtti's fragrance reflects on the dhEvarAjan emperumAn since she is always with him and thus he happily resides in hasthigiri for the upliftment of all jIvAthmAs. After all, as we have already seen before in nAyanAr's anubhavam ( - see chUrNikai 175), emperumAn takes archAvathAram to capture the heart of NammAzhwAr and stays put in there because NammAzhwAr likes emperumAn's dhivyadhEsams because through them he got the mercy of emperumAn.


archAvathAra anubhavam

slOkam 13 manGgaLAsAsaNaparai: madhAchAryapurOgamai: sarvaich cha pUrvairAchAryai: sathkruthAyAsthu manGgaLam Following in the footsteps of my AchAryan (thiruvAimozhi piLLai) and all the pUrvAchAryas who are fully focussed on nothing but mangaLAsAsanam to emperumAn, I also pray for all auspiciousness for emperumAn. Brief meanings of all the slOkams from this prabhandham are available at

rAjagOpAlan (mannArgudi)

Like emperumAnAr submitted "oru nAyagamAy" padhigam of thiruvAimozhi (4.1) to thiruNArAyaNan, it is well known that mAmunigaL submitted "thIrpAraiyAmini" padhigam (4.6) to mannArgudi rAjagOpAlan emperumAn. Specifically, mAmunigaL was


archAvathAra anubhavam

very much moved emotionally by "unniRRu maRRoru dheyvam thozhAL" (

) pAsuram where AzhwAr enjoys kaNNan

emperumAn as "vanN thuvarApathi mannan" ( ) and mAmunigaL relates this with rAjagOpAlan emperumAn here. It is also said that mAmunigaL lived in this dhivyadhEsam for some time and established proper worship for the emperumAn.

dheivanAyakan (vAnamAmalai)

dheivanAyakan, nAchiArs, srIvaramangai nAchiAr, ANdAL, mAmunigaL, ponnadikkAl jIyar ponnadikkAl jIyar was the first and very dear disciple of mAmunigaL. He accepted sanyAsAshramam even before mAmunigaL and constantly served him. mAmunigaL considered him as his prANa sukruth (life breath and well wisher) and revealed his glories many times. When mAmunigaL and ponnadikkAl jIyar were living in srIrangam, dheivanAyakan emperumAn from vAnamAmalai sends an invitation to mAmunigaL through sEnai mudhaliAr to send ponnadikkAl jIyar to vAnamAmalai (which is ponnadikkAl jIyar's avathAra sthalam). mAmunigaL happily accepts that and instructs his dear disciple to take leave from him. mAmunigaL along with ponnadikkAl jIyar arrives at periya perumAL sannidhi and that day it happens to be thirumozhi sARRumurai in nithyAnusandhAna kramam. When "anNiyAr pozhil chUzh aranGgaNagarappA" ( ) is recited, perumAL presents aranganagarappan (lakshmi NArAyaNan) vigraham to mAmunigaL and ponnadikkAl jIyar for thiruvArAdhanam and mAmunigaL in turn presents that emperumAn to ponndaikkAl jIyar and gives him a grand send off. ponnadikkAl jIyar arrives at vAnamAmalai, establishes a mutt (vAnamAmalai mutt/thOthAdhri mutt) and takes care of dheivanAyakan emperumAn and subsequently also brings srIvaramangai nAchiyAr uthsava vigraham from thiruppathi and performs the


archAvathAra anubhavam

marriage cermony for srIvaramangai nAchiyAr and dheivanAyakan emperumAn. Thus, by the divine arrangement of emperumAn and mAmunigaL, vAnamAmalai dhivyadhEsam is beautifully served by the AchArya paramparai of vAnamAmalai mutt even today. mAmunigaL also personally instructs/arranges many of his sishyas to perform various kainkaryams at various dhivyadhEsams like srIvilliputhur, thirumAlirunchOlai, thirukkurungudi, thirumalai, kAnchipuram, etc. With this, we come to the end of this series of archAvathAra anubhavam by AzhwArs and AchAryas. As ever, we end with mAmunigaL since it is said that "madhurEna samApayEth" - "end it sweet". We can also observe that through out this series, mAmunigaL was enriching our anubhavam through his dhivya srIsUkthis (vyAkyAnams and upadhEsa rathina mAlai, Arthi prabhandham, etc). Without him, as it is said by scholars that, thiruvAimozhi would have become "ARRil karaiththa puLi" (

) - tamarind dissolved in a river (such that we cannot even spot any trace
of its existence). Blessed are us who have the thiruvadi sambandham of mAmunigaL and also relishing that thiruvadi sambandham. Let us commit ourselves to constantly engage ourselves in performing mangaLAsAsanam to archAvathAra emperumAns (including our gruhArchai) and participating in as many kainkaryams as possible for us for dhivyadhEsams. Many dhivyadhEsams are in need of people and archAvathAra emperumAn is waiting for his adiyArs to come and visit him. All we can do is to simply go and recite thiruppallANdu in front of him which will bring all auspiciousness and happiness to him. adiyen would like to thank many who were constantly motivating me to write these articles. There may be mistakes in this series of articles caused by adiyen, but the srIsUkthis of pUrvAchArayas are so divine and powerful that they will shine brightly, fading away adiyen's mistakes. srImathE ramyajAmAthru munIndhrAya mahAthmanE srIrangavAsinE bhUyAth nithyasrI: nithya mangaLAm manGgaLAsAsaNaparai: madhAchAryapurOgamai: sarvaich cha pUrvairAchAryai: sathkruthAyAsthu manGgaLam AzhwAr emperumAnAr Jeeyar thiruvadigaLE sharaNam Jeeyar thiruvadigaLE sharaNam AchAryan thiruvadigaLE sharaNam