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Swami Nammazhwar Snippets - 5 (November 15, 2012)

A Peek Into Satakopa's Enrapturing Sentiments
Anbil Ramaswamy, U.S.A.

கண்ணபிரானை விண்ணோர் கருமாணிக்கத்தை அமுதை
நன்ணியும் நண்ணகில்லேன் நடுவேயோர் உடம்பிலிட்டு
திண்ணம் அழுந்தக் கட்டிப் பல செய்வினை வன் கயிற்றால்
புண்ணை மறையவரிந்து என்னைப் போர வைத்தாய் புறமே.
(Thiruvoymozhi 5-1-5)

“It was You who gave me the body and the skin to cover and then tied me with ropes and pushed me down the quagmire of sensual pleasures. Since You covered my knowledge thus, You only had to uncover and release me to Bhagavad anubhava”

The Azhwar reflects on why in spite of learning what the Lord’s grace could do, he did not turn to Him so far. He says that the culprit is his association with the body and the sensual interests. It is as if the body was tightly tied down with ropes of ignorance and karma over the layer of the skin, which concealed the ulcer within. \Who is responsible for this? “The very Lord Himself” says the Azhwar.

Nampillai comments that the Azhwar’s condition before and after was like Sri Sita in Asoka Vana waiting for the Lord to release her.

‘Vinnor Amudhai’ refers to the darling of Nithyasuris who enjoy Him afresh every moment.

By ‘Punnai maraiyavarindhu,’ the Azhwr means “It is because this tabernacle of flesh, blood and marrow within is covered with a glossy skin making it appear as if everything was fine. When this deceptive facade is torn down, the ugliness of the body will be revealed with all its loathsome and nauseating rotten flesh fit only to be thrown to dogs. The Azhwar seems to ask whether it was proper on the part of the Lord to let him dwell in such a prison-like body in smug satisfaction so far”.

அங்குற்றேன் அல்லேன் இங்குற்றேன் அல்லேன் உன்னைக்
காணும் அவாவில் வீழ்ந்து நான்
எங்குற்றேனும் அல்லேன் இலங்கை செற்ற அம்மானே!
திங்கள் சேர் மணி மாட நீடு சிரீவர மங்கல நகருறை
சங்கு சக்கரத்தாய் தமியேனுக்கு அருளாயே!
(Thiruvoymozhi 5-7-2)

By ‘Angu utren allen’, the Azhwar means “O God! I have not practised any ‘Saadhana’ to deserve a place in Tiyr Sri Vaikuntam” and by ‘Ingu utren allen’, he means “Since I am always immersed in enjoying Your beauty and qualities, I have not attempted to practise any means prescribed in the Saasthras for observance in this world also. ‘Engu utrenum allen’ implies that the Azhwar says “I do not belong to either or anywhere else”.

On the first two lines, Periyvaachchaan Pillai explains that the Azhwar pleads pathetically thus: “I am unable to come to Your place and enjoy Your proximity. Neither am I one among those ‘Samsaaris’ who have no thought or desire to reach you and therefore, do nothing about it. I have fallen between the stools having lost both the possibilities. I do not belong to the former; as sure as anything, I do not belong to the latter either. I am not able to forget you. I am not able to bear this miserable existence and this excruciating suspense anymore.”

The Azhwar, by ‘Unnaik kaanum avaavil veezhndhu’ means, “I have only one irresistible urge to meet with You. The only thing that keeps me alive is my love for You. Your qualities have enslaved me.”

This is like Lakshmana saying that he was enslaved by the qualities of Sri Rama — “Gunair dhaasyam upaagatha” (Vaalmiki Ramayanam, Kishkindha Kaandam 12.4).

Periyavaachchaan Pillai explains the relevance of ‘Ilangai chetra ammaane!’. “You asked Lakshmana to bring You the bow and arrow. You had to build a bridge across Sethu. You had to organise a battalion. You took all these troubles all for the sake of redeeming Sri Sita. In my case, all this is not necessary. You can save me by mere ‘Sankalpa’. Also, unlike in the case of Sri Sita who had Thrijata to console her, I have nobody here to console me. I am desolate and forlorn.”

There is a further hint in this reference: The Azhwar seems to ask “Was it not You who told Sugriva that if he were to die, You will find no joy even if You win the war and redeem Sri Sita? This shows how deep Your concern is for the one who has surrendered to You. Here I am, having surrendered. Where is your concern and where is your compassion?” (Vaalmiki Ramayanam, Yudhdha KaaNDam 41.4).

The Azhwar further says, “You have taken your abode in the city of Sireevaramanagai whose tall ramparts touch the very moon”. By ‘Sanku Chakkaraththaai, he seems to say “You have the famous conch and discus. Unlike Ramavathaara, You stand here forever ready with Your conch and disc. What are you waiting for?”

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Next in series: On December 15, 2012.

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The author is President, Swami Desika Darsana Satsangam (SDDS) and Editor,
Sri Ranga Sri (SRS) Electronic Journal, U.S.A.

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