Among the Saivite Triad who contributed to the growth of Saiva Siddhanta as a powerful metaphysical system that displaced then prevailing Jainism Buddhism and Vedanta, that is NOT simply an arid intellectual exercise but rather something that illuminates existence itself, Sundarar comes the third and the last and he is dated around the 8th cent A.D. He stands unique for unlike Appar who lauded and led an ascetic life and Sambantar who, though not opposed to married life but never enjoyed it (probably burnt to death before it in the religious clashes of the times) Sundarar was not just simply married but married twice and to TWO celestial-earthly women, Paravai and then later Sangkili and hence someone very close to most of us ordinary mortals who are caught up in the web of family life. He also earned the rights from Siva Himself to move around not in loin cloths but rather as the handsome bridegroom in which form he is known to this day. Thus it is BEING who shows that the metaphysical life is NOT inconsistent with married life and that it does not mean one must be attired in rags to show one's metaphysical or spiritual inclinations. His verses too are profoundly human, disclose the wars he waged with his own sexuality to which he lost several times and which constitute the essence of the existential struggles of many mortals to this day. His greatest contribution was verses outlining briefly the hagioraphy of the Nayanmars and because of which Sundarar became the HERO of the PeriapuraNam of Cekkizar ( 12th cent) that elaborates it to an epic level, a honour that was denied even to Appar and Sambantar.
It is with great pleasure that I present now his verses in English so that we can compare our struggles with his and where possible benefit from them as well.
À¢ò¾¡ À¢¨ÈÝÊ ¦ÀÕÁ¡§Ç «ÕÇ¡Ç¡
±ò¾¡ý ÁÈÅ¡§¾ ¿¢¨Éì¸¢ý§Èý ÁÉòÐý¨É
¨Åò¾¡ö ¦Àñ¨Éò ¦¾ýÀ¡ø ¦Åñ¦½ö ¿øæ÷ «ÕðÐ¨ÈÔû
«ò¾¡ ¯Éì¸¡Ç¡ö É¢«ø§Äý ±ÉÄ¡§Á
pittaa piRaicuudi perumaaLee aruLaaLaa
ettaan maRavaatee ninaikkinReen manattunnai
vaittaay peNNait tenpaal veNNey nalluur aruTtuRaiyuL
attaa unakkaaLaay ini alleen enalaamee
ýÉ¡ý ±ýÚ ÒÃ¢óÐ¦¸¡ûÅ¾üÌ «Ã¢ÂÉ¡¸¢Â À¢ò¾¡! À¢¨ÈÝÊ ±øÄ¡¦¾öÅí¸ÙìÌõ ¦¾öÅÁ¡ö Å¢ÇíÌõ ¦ÀÕÁ¡§Ç! «Õ§Ç ÅÊÅ¡¨¸ ¿¢ü¸¢ýÈ «ÕÇ¡Ç¡? Â¡Ð §¿÷ó¾¢ÊÛõ ¯ý¨É ÁÈÅ¡§¾ ¿¢¨Éì¸¢ý§Èý. V±Ä¢ôÀ¼¡¾¢ÕôÀÐ§À¡ì¸¢ ¦ÅÇ¢ôÀðÎ ±ý ÁÉò¾¢ø ¯¨É ¨Åò¾¡ö. «¾É¡ø ¦Àñ¦½ö ¬üÈ¢ý ¦¾ýÀ¡ø ¯ûÇ ¾¢Õ¦Åñ¨½ ¿øæ÷ «Õû Ð¨ÈÔø §ÁÅ¢ ¿¢üÌõ «ò¾¡! ¯ÉìÌ É¢ ¬û «ø§Äý ±ýÚ ÜÚÅÐ? ÓÊÂ¡Ð ±ýÈÅ¡Ú.
How can I deny being in service to you Oh BEING the Uncanny
and wearing the crescent moon is the Great One , a Person Full of Grace
And how can I ever become forgetful of this oh BEING who ahs emplaced Thyself
in Grace-Ground at the southern corner of TiruVeNNai Nalluur for
I think of You always deep in my heart not forgetting at all no matter what
pittaa piRaicuudi : Oh BEING the Uncanny and wearing the Crescent Moon
perumaaLee aruLaaLaa: the Great One and the Person Full of Grace
ettaan maRavaatee ninaikkinReen manattunnai: think of You always deep in my heart not forgetting at all no matter what
vaittaay peNNait tenpaal veNNey nalluur aruTtuRaiyuL: have emplced Thyself in Grace-Ground at the the Southern corner of Tiru VeNNai Nalluur
attaa unakkaaLaay ini alleen enalaamee: How can I ever deny being in service to you?
The most crucial terms in whole corpus of the hymns of Sundarar is the term "Pittaa!" said to be the divinely inspired first word of this first Patikam of Sundarar. I have translated it as "being uncanny" but it has also such meanings as "unpredictable, supremely crazy, almost mad" and so forth. The enormous importance of this term will be lost unless we also recall that Sundarar was a RELUCTANT servant of BEING and who was forcibly DRAWN to divine service by an uncanny Play of BEING. Consistent with his youthful and manly desires he was about to get married but the marriage could NOT be solemised because BEING interrupted it in the guise of Saivite Yogi who claimed that he was already bonded to serve him by his ancestors. Whatever the truth of this account , it is clear that his first attempt to get married and get into the ordinary fmily was interrupted most unexpectedly and to the utter bewilderment and disappointment of Sundarar who protested bitterly at this divine interference. It is while in this angry mood that he calls BEING the Pittan, the Crazy meaning actually the Uncanny, the Unpredictable, the most Unscrutable
What is communicated by this description is that the workings of BEING are NOT rule-regulated but rather supremley psychical and hence not at all mechanical. We cannot wrest out from brute nature the RULES in accordance with which BEING functions for plainly there are NO SUCH RULES. BEING is UNCANNY in this being outside any rule governed behaviour and entirely spontaneous and hence supremely UNPREDICTABLE. For which reason HE is known as the PERSON full of Grace, the aruLlaaLan for this is how aruL, the GRACE functions in the world, BEYOND the reach of the nasty hands of the rationalist who would try their level best to catch BEING in the network of LAWS so that His behaviour bcomes PREDICTABLE , just like everything in the mechanical nature. No, BEING is NOT a fish to be caught in this net, HE transcends whatever such feeble human attmpts. It is the DAWN of this understanding that captivates the experience of BEING that became available for Sundarar and which he articulates most movingly and unfailingly in this and several other of his verses.
Now having seen HIS uncanniness, he cannot forget it ever no matter what and along with that the fact that his TRUE vocation is to be in service to BEING to which he is ALREADY committed. Though the story of documented slavery as written by his ancestors is brought in to explain this and hence merge the metaphysical with historical, the TRUTH is that all anmas are already destined to be IN SERVICE to BEING and that we are forgetful of it only because we are drawn to earthly life which makes us forget it. Sudarar was rudely awakened to this TRUTH already in the UNCONCIOUS and hence made CONSCIOUS of it forever which makes him wonder how can he ever become forgetful of it again. No, he will not. It becomes now the most dominant element of his CONSCIOUS LIFE and hence that which would determine the nature of actions he would enjoy doing, here being a servant of Siva, the Radiant BEING.
¿¡§Âý ÀÄ ¿¡Ùõ ¿¢¨ÉôÀ¢ýÈ¢ ÁÉòÐý¨Éô
§ÀÂ¡öò ¾¢Ã¢óÐ ±öò§¾ý ¦ÀÈÄ¡¸¡ «Õû ¦Àü§Èý
§ÅÂ¡÷ ¦Àñ¨½ò ¦¾ýÀ¡ø ¦Åñ¦½ö ¿øæ÷ «ÕðÎ¨ÈÔû
¬Â¡ ¯ÉìÌ ¬Ç¡ö «ø§Äý ±ÉÄ¡§Á
naayeen pala naaLum ninaippinRi manttunnaip
peeyaayt tirintu eytteen peRalaakaa aruL peRReen
veeyaar peNNait tenpaal veNNai nalluur aruttuRaiyuL
aayaa unakku aaLaay alleen enalaamee
How can I deny being in service to you BEING , the MOTHER of all
For having lead a doggish life without thinking of YOU at all in my heart and
Because of that suffered running around like a hungry ghost but today I have attained your blessings so difficult to get
Oh thou who hast blessed the Ground of Grace on the southern banks of VeNNai Nalluur
surrounded by the tall bamboo groves.
«¨ÉÅÕìÌõ ¾¡Â¡ö ¿¢ýÚ «ÕûÒÃ¢¸¢ýÈ «öÂ§É ¯ÉìÌ ¿¡ý ¬Ç¡ö «ø§Äý ±ýÚ ±ôÀÊì ÜÈÓÊÔõ?
ãí¸¢ø¸û ¿¢¨ÈóÐ ¿¢ü¸¢ýÈ ¦Àñ¨½ ¿¸÷ ¦¾ýÀ¡ø ¯ûÇ ¦Åñ½ö ¿øæ÷ «Õû Ð¨ÈÔû Å£üÈ¢ÕìÌõ
³Â§É, ÁÉòÐû ¯ý ¿¢¨ÉôÀ¢ýÈ¢ ¿¡§ÂÉ¡ö ÀÄ ¿¡Ùõ ¿Ä¢óÐ §ÀÂ¡öò ¾¢Ã¢óÐ ¨ÇòÐ ¨ÇòÐ
ÅÕó¾¢§Éý. ¬Â¢Ûõ ýÚ ±Ç¢¾¢ø ¸¢¨¼ì¸Ä¡¸¡ ¯ý «Õû ¦ÀüÚ ¯öó§¾§É!
naayeen pala naaLum ninaippinRi manðtunnaip: I led a doggish life for so long without thinking of you in my heart
peeyaayt tirintu eytteen : suffered running around like a hungry ghost
peRalaakaa aruL peRReen: (now) have attained your blessings so difficult to get
veeyaar peNNait tenpaal veNNai nalluur aruttuRaiyuL: In the Grace Ground of VeNNai nNlluur, on the southern banks of PeNNai, full of bamboo groves
aayaa unakku aaLaay alleen enalaamee: How can I deny being in service to you, the MOTHER of all?
One of the things Saivism emphasized and highlighted is that the FEMININE is also BEING and here the UNCANNY BEING is also understood as the MOTHER of all. This contrasts sharply with NOT only the negligence but also the vehement SUPPRESSION of the feminine by the Jains and Buddhists of the times . Saivism emphasizes throughout that BEING is both MAN and WOMAN and that BEING in itself is BEYOND these biological diffrentiations though it is primordial cause of it.
One aspect of BEING that makes Sundarar call Him MOTHER is the SUPREME LOVE He showers upon him. For he does NOT deserve it at all for he lived a doggish life where he NEVER THOUGHT about BEING at all. Like all young men, he was HUNGRY possibly with sexual appetites running after females (which later he came to despise) and hence a dog in being as such. Furthermore he also claims that he lived like a ghost, probably with rapacious desires that pushed him towards an inauthentic life. The ghost here is the SHADOW of the real and hence of falsities with unbecoming desire, desires that would make him forget his true vocation. But despite all these he WAS blessed with the disclosure of his true vocation, BEING who appeared UNCANNY now appears as supremely MAGNANIMOUS the closest analogy for which is the love of mother. The term MOTHER signifies here the ARUL, that of a predisposition to give and give no matter whether the person deserves it or not. BEING is LOVE SUPREME complete in itself and hence in want of nothing but also because of that knows only to give and give without calculating whether the person deserve it not.
Notes: The term 'aayaay: has also been interpreted
as 'one who has a flock" but which I take as the vocative of 'aay' meaning
Áý§É ÁÈÅ¡§¾ ¿¢¨Éì¸¢ý§Èý ÁÉòÐý¨É
¦À¡ý§É Á½¢ ¾¡§É ÅÂ¢Ã§Á ¦À¡ÕÐó¾¢
Á¢ýÉ¡÷ ¦Àñ½ò ¦¾ýÀ¡ø ¦Åñ¦½ö ¿øæ÷ «ÕðÎ¨ÈÔû
«ý§É ¯Éì¸¡Ç¡ö É¢ «ø§Äý ±ÉÄ¡§Á?
mannee maRavaatee ninaikkinReen manattunnai
ponnee maNi taanee vayiramee poruntunti
minnaar peNNait tenpaal veNNey nalluur aruttuRaiyuL
annee unakkaaLaay ini alleen enalaamee
From now onwards how can I deny being in service to you oh BEING, A
Mother unto me
My KING in my heart I always remember you without ever forgetting Oh Thou!
Who has come to be in the Grace Ground of VeNNay Nallur located on the
South banks of the brilliantly sparkling PeNNai River that brings along with its waters
Gold diamonds and other precious stones in abundance!
±ÉìÌ ±øÄ¡ Å¨¸Â¢Öõ «ýÒ À¡Ã¡ðÊ µõÒõ «ý¨É§Â , É¢ ±ýÚõ ¬Ç¡ö ÕóÐ ¯ýÀ½¢§Âô À½¢Â¡¸î ¦ºö§Âý ±ýÚ ¦º¡ø§Å§É¡? Áì¸ÙìÌ «ÕûÒÃ¢Â ¦À¡ýÛõ ¨ÅÂ¢ÃÓõ Á½¢¸ÙÁ¡¸ ±øÄ¡ ÅÇôÀí¸¨ÇÔõ ¾ý ¦ÅûÇ§¾¡Î ±ÎòÐÅÕõ ¦Àñ¨½ ¬üÈ¢ý ¦¾ýÀ¡ø Å¢ÇíÌõ «ÕðÎ¨ÈÂ¡¸¢Â ¦Åñ¦½ö ¿øæ÷ ¾¢Õ§¸¡Â¢Ä¢ø ÌÊì¦¸¡ñÊÕìÌõ Áý§É! ¯ý¨É ÁÈÅ¡§¾ ¿¢¨Éì¸¢ý§Èý ±ý ¬úÁÉò¾¢ø!
mannee maRavaatee ninaikkinReen manattunnai: My KING! I think of you withour ever forgetting
ponnee maNi taanee vayiramee poruntunti minnaar peNNait : the brilliant PeNNai river that brings along with it gold diamonds and other precious stones
tenpaal veNNey nalluur aruttuRaiyuL: in the Grace Ground of VeNNey Nalluur on the South of (PeNNai)
annee unakkaaLaay ini alleen enalaamee: Oh Mother! Now, how can I deny being in service to you
We have already explained why Sundarar calls BEING a mother which is repeated here. However there is a NEW symbolic meaning emerging in the description of the RIVER on the Southern banks of which is located the TEMPLE described here very appropriately the AruL ThuRai, the Locale of the unfolding of the GRACE that is BEING which elucidates further the meaning implicit in the metaphor of MOTHER.
The RIVER is an important archetypal symbol of life renewal that we find in all religions. It stands in direct constrast with the DESERT Landscape, which archetypally, stands for the BURNING to ashes all the DIRT and hence Tiikkai, the purification of the soul. BEING as Father does this but as MOTHER he/she does the opposite-- freshness of life renewal, regeneration. The RIVER in this verse carries this meaning for otherwise it will not be described as the one that carries Gold , Diamnond and other precious stones. This is NOT a natural description, a geological account of the mineral wealth the muddy waters carry along with it but rather a metaphorical description of how the GRACEof BEING brings about different kinds HAPPINESS for the sufferings souls that have undergone the BURNING such as Sundarar in being prevented the marriage that he so much wanted to be solemised. Such deprivations disappoinments in life constitutes the Tiikkai, divine acts that push an individual into remorse and thereby loosen the hold of the DESIRES particularly the sexual.
But when the beastly sexual desries are TRANSMUTED
thus, it does NOT mean the end of Happiness altogether. Every stage in
life has its own happiness. The Gold diamonds and precious stones and so
forth stand for Metaphysical Happiness , the happiness that accrues
to one through becoming PURE that affords enjoying now metaphysicl
INSIGHTS that were beyond the reach before.
ÓÊ§Âý É¢ô À¢È§Åý ¦ÀÈ¢ý ã§Åý ¦ÀüÈõ °÷¾¢
¦¸¡Ê§Âý ÀÄ ¦À¡ö§Â ¯¨Ãô§À¨Éì ÌÈ¢¦¸¡û¿£
¦ºÊÂ¡÷¦Àñ¨Éò ¦¾ýÀ¡ø ¦Åñ¦½ö ¿øæ÷ «ÕðÎ¨ÈÔû
«Ê§¸û ¯ÉìÌ ¬Ç¡ö «ø§Äý ±ÉÄ¡§Á
mudiyeen inip piRaveen peRin muuveen peRRam uurti
kodiyeen pala poyyee uraippeenaik kuRikoL nii
cediyaar peNNait tenpaal veNNey nalluur aruL tuRaiyuL
adikeeL unakku aaLaay alleen enalaamee
ÅÇôÀò¾¢¨É ¸Õ¨½ ¿¢¨Èó¾ ¦¿ïºò¾¢¨É ¯½÷òÐõ À¼Ã¢¨Ä ¦ºÊ¸û ¿¢¨Èó¾¢ÕìÌõ ¦Àñ¦½ö
¿øÄ¡üÈ¢ý ¦¾ýÀ¡ø ÕìÌõ ¿øæ÷ «Õû Ð¨ÈÔû ±Øó¾ÕÇ¢ÔûÇ «Ê§¸û, Óý§À ¯ÁìÌ ¬Ç¡öÅ¢ð¼
¿¡ý «¾¨É ¿£ ¯½÷ò¾¢Â À¢ýÛõ ¯ÉìÌ ¬Ç¡¡ö «ø§Äý ±ýÚ ±ôÀÊ ±ýÉ¡ø ÜÈÓÊÔõ?
É¢ ±ÉìÌ §ÅñÎÅ¦¾øÄ¡õ À¢ÈÅ¡¨Á¾¡ý, «ôÀÊ À¢ÈóÐÅ¢ð¼¡ø ÅÇ÷óÐ ¾Ç÷óÐ ÓÐ¨Á ±ö¾¢
Á¡ûÅÐ «¨ÁÔõ. «¾¨É É¢ ±ýÉ¡ø ¾¡í¸§Å ÓÊÂ¡Ð. «¾¨É ±øÄ¡õ Á¨ÈòÐ ¦À¡ö§Â ¯Ä¸¢Âø
Å¡úì¨¸Â¢ø ÜÈ¢Åó¾ §À¡¾¢Öõ, ¦ÀüÈõ °÷¾¢ì ¦¸¡Ê¨Â ÅÆ¡Ð ²üÚÅÕõ ±õ¨Á «¾É¢ý ÌÈ¢¦¸¡,
. ¸¡Äõ ÅÕõ §À¡Ð ±ÉìÌ Å¢Î¾¢ «Ç¢òÐ «ÕÇ!
My Lord who reigns over the temple in Nalluur on the southern banks of Vennai river that abounds in wide leaved plants, How can I deny being in service to you now that you have reminded me that I am already bonded to be in service to you? However what I wish for now is that of ABSOLUTE LIBERATION from being caught in the cycle of births and deaths. If you do not grant it , and throw me again into this phenomenal circulation , I simply cannot SUFFER that again. Please take note of this despite the numerous falsities I utter because I carry your flag of the BULL that is your vehicle.
mudiyeen : I cannot simply suffer again
inip piRaveen : I do not wish to be born again
peRin muuveen: but if I do then will suffer again growing and becoming old
peRRam uurti kodiyeen : I carry your flag of the BULL that is your vehicle
pala poyyee uraippeenaik kuRikoL nii : even though I utter many falsities, please take note of me
cediyaar peNNait tenpaal veNNey nalluur aruL tuRaiyuL adikeeL : my Lord who reigns over the temple in Nalluur on the southern banks of PeNNai that abounds with wide-leaved plants
unakku aaLaay alleen enalaamee : How can deny ever being in service to you?
Sundarar in this verse discloses the change in the psychodynamics that was brought about by the nonconsummation of his marriage by divine interruption. He was a man of worldly passions and who married TWICE despite being pulled into metaphysical life and hence forced into it very much against his will. Throughtout his life he was TORN between the two and could never free himself from the charms of beautiful females and hence sexuality. In many verses he gives vent to this dilemma in his life and the fact that he was a RELUCTANT Nayanmar, a mystic .
The true mystic is one who wants ABSOLUTE LIBERATION , here that of being FREED from historicality, existential repetition , suffering ( or enjoying) endless births and deaths. While the survival instinct of ordinary life would seek IMMORTALITY , the LIVING forever and if possible in a HEAVEN (if it exists), the metaphysically tuned individuals DO NOT seek this at all but rather FREEDOM from this kind of trap into historicity. They see the processes being born-- assuming a body growing old and decaying-- as immensely PAINFUL and hence acquire a psychodynamics where they SEEK FREEDOM from this state of Being in the world. They want a way of Being-in where there is NO ASSUMING a physical body with its attendent processes of growth and decay.
This is what his AUTHENTIC NEED is, as indicated by the fact he carries the BULL flag, the vehicle of BEING where he proclaims to the Lord and to the world at large that he is RIPE for this kind of blessings. However his weakness for Sexual enjoyments, his weakness for the charms of the earthly females interrupts with this and MAKE him say things FORGETFUL of the authentic desire , the desire to free himself from such passions and become truly AUTONOMOUS. But knowing his weaknesses and unable to COVER IT UP he pleads that the Lord overlooks all these weaknesses and grant him nevertheless the metaphysical freedom that he truly seeks.
À¡¾õ À½¢Å¡÷¸û ¦ÀÚ Àñ¼õÁÐ À½¢Â¡
Â¡¾ý ¦À¡ÕÇ¡§Éý «È¢Å¢ø§Äý «ÕÇ¡Ç¡
¾¡¾¡÷ ¦Àñ¨Éò ¦¾ýÀ¡ø ¦Åñ¦½ö ¿øæ÷ «Õð Î¨ÈÔû
¬¾£ ¯ÉìÌ ¬Ç¡ö É¢ «ø§Äý ±ÉÄ¡§Á
paatam panivaarkaL peRu paNdammatu paNiyaa
yaatan poruLaaneen aRivilleen aruLaLaa
taataar peNNait tenpaal veNNey nalluur aruL tuRaiyuL
aatii unakku aaLaay ini alleen enalaamee
¬½Åî ¦ºÕì¦¸øÄ¡õ ÆóÐ «ýÀ¢ý À½¢Å¡÷¸û ¦ÀÚõ Àñ¼Á¡É »¡Éò¨¾, À½¢óÐ ¦ÀÈ¡¾ «ï»¡É ¬¾ý ±Ûõ ¦À¡ö»¡É¢Â¡§Éý, ¦ÁöÂÈ¢Å¢ø§Äý ¬Â¢Ûõ, ¾¡Ð ¿¢¨Èó¾ âì¸û ¦ºÈ¢ó¾ ¦Àñ¨É Â¡üÈ¢ý ¦¾ýÀ¡ø ¿øæ÷ «Õû Ð¨ÈÔû, ¬¾¢ìÌõ ¬¾¢Â¡ö ¿¢ü¸¢ýÈ ³Â§É, ±ÉìÌ »¡Éõ §À¡¾¢ò¾ À¢ý¨È ¯ÉìÌ ¬û É¢ «ø§Äý ±ýÚ ±ôÀÊìÜÚ§Åý? ÜÈ Á¡ð§¼ý ±ýÀ¾¡õ.
Only those who have vanquished arrogance and submitted themselves to BEING that they are graced with the blessings of deep illuminations. I have been the Athan, the false philosopher out of ignorance. But despite this Oh Thou the Graceful One! Residing in the Grace ground of Nallur on the Southern banks of the river PeNNai where abound flowers with plenty of pollens, have graced me with the divine illuminations. As such Oh the Originating Ground of All! How can I ever deny being already in service to you?
paatam panivaarkaL peRu paNdammatu : Only
those who submit to BEING get blessed with this matter (of divine wisdom)
paNiyaa yaatan poruLaaneen : I have become the false philosopher because of my defiance
aRivilleen : I am ignorant
aruLaaLaa : Oh thou who art grace itself
taataar peNNait tenpaal veNNey nalluur aruL tuRaiyuL: who resides in the Grace Ground of Nallur , on the Southern banks of river PeNNai full of flowers thick with pollens
aatii unakku aaLaay ini alleen enalaamee: Oh Thou the Originating Ground of All! How can I ever deny being already in service to you?
Here begins an account of BEING and Understanding that constitutes the essence of religious life. The Civanjanaam, the metaphysical insight that redeems the soul is NOT to be had by the efforts of the mind, of the intellect. The wisdom is NOT a matter of intelletual prowess. No matter how analytical and sharp a person is , the Illuminations that Light up the Meaning of Existence is never to be attained by such efforts. The philosophers given over to the logical and anlytical ways of thinking and where they seek wisdom through subjecting concepts to minute analysis are forever beyond it. Such people are the Athen, the false philosophers , the sophists of a kind where meaningless verbosity and analytical acumen are mistaken for genuine wisdom.
Sundarar, claims by way of driving in this point, that he was such a person and hence ignornat, aRivilleen.The Arivu here is the redeeming metaphysical illumination that lights of the meaning for existence and hence a satiation of deep kind. The restlessness and the tendency to search forever and thus running hither and thither comes to still only at the point of attaining the genuine illumination.
And this becomes available only for the HUMBLE souls and who have conqured and vanquished their own EGO. The I-ness and My-ness stand OBSTRUCTING the shining forth resplendenttly the Civanjanaam ALREADY there . The redeeming understanding is ALREADY in the soul but the Ego prevents it from shining forth and take possession of the soul. The Ego, fear of its own death, battles valiantly to maintain itself even in philosophy by dictating the Grammar of what is Right Knowldege etc. It develops concepts after concepts, categories after categories only to realise in the end that Abslute Illumination is BEYOND all such concepts and categories and to be won only by destroying the Ego and submitting oneself humbly to be formed and informed by BEING.
The destruction of the Ego is what that
happened to Sundarar when the consummation of his marriage was prevented
by divine intervention and which disruption also opened his eyes to the
fact he was ALREADY destined to be in service to BEING and that this incidence
was only a reminder, perhaps a bit violant. But nevertheless it opend up
his eyes and for which he is immensely thankful and calls BEING, AruLaalan,
¾ñ½¡÷Á¾¢ ÝË ¾Æø §À¡Öó ¾¢Õ§ÁÉ£
±ñ½¡÷ ÒÃõ ãýÚõ ±Ã¢Ôñ½ ¿¨¸ ¦ºö¾¡ö
Áñ½¡÷ ¦Àñ¨½ò ¦¾ýÀ¡ø ¦Åñ¦½ö ¿øæ÷ «Õð Î¨ÈÔû
«ñ½¡ ¯Éì¸¡Ç¡ö É¢ «ø§Äý ±ÉÄ¡§Á
taNNaar mati cuudii tazal poolun tirumenii
eNNaar puram muunRum eriyuNNa nakai ceytaay
maNNaar peNNait tenpaal veNNey nalluur arud duRaiyuL
aNNaa unakaaLaay ini alleen enlaamee
¾½¢ì¨¸ ¦ºöÔõ ¾¢Èò¾¢ý ¾ñ ¬÷ ÇõÀ¢¨ÈÝÊ§Â! «¾üÌ ÒÈõÀ¡¸ ¾£ì¨¸ ¦ºö ¾¢Èò¾¢ý ¦¿ÕôÀ¢ý ÅÊòÐ ¾¢Õ§ÁÉ¢ ¯¨¼Â¡§É! «Æ¢ì¸×õ ¬ì¸×õ ÅøÄ¡ý ¿£§Â ±É ¯¨É ±ñ½¢ Á¸¢Æ¡¾¡÷¸Ç¢ý «ï»¡É ÓôÒÃí¸¨Ç Á¢¸ ±Ç¢¾¡¸ ±Ã¢òÐ øÄ¡Ð §À¡ì¸¢ÂÅ§É! ãú¸¢ ÌÇ¢ôÀ¡÷ À¡Åí¸¨Ç ±øÄ¡õ §À¡ì¸ÅøÄ ¦Àñ¨½ ¬üÈ¢ý ¦¾ýÀ¡ø ¾¢¸Øõ ¾¢Õ¦Åñ¦½ö ¿øæ÷ «Õû Ð¨ÈÂ¡¸¢Â ¿øæÃ¢ø Å¢ÇíÌ§Å¡§É! ¾ÉìÌò ¾¡§É ¾¨ÄÅÉ¡ö ¿¢ü¸¢ýÈ «ñ½¡§Å! É¢ ±ôÀÊ ¿¡ý ¯ÉìÌ ¬û «ø§Äý ±Éì ÜÚÅÐ? ÓÊÂ¡Ð ±ýÈÅ¡Ú
Or Thou who hast disclosed thyself as the ONE wearing the crescent moon that cools the spirit! Oh though who hast disclosed thyself as the ONE with a body of FIRE that destroys every dirt! Oh Thou who singenth to ashes the castles of IGNORANCE of those who do not understand that thou art the force of both destruction and regeneration! Oh Thou who graceth the Temple of Nalluur, on the southern banks of the river PeNNai that cleanses the soul of those who bath in it, how can I ever say that I am not already in service to you?
taNNaar mati cuudii : t Oh Thou the ONE wearing the crescent moon
tazal poolun tirumenii: O Thou with the body like that of fire
eNNaar puram muunRum eriyuNNa nakai ceytaay: thou hast singed to ashes the three castles of those who are ignorant of Thy presence and essence
maNNaar peNNait tenpaal veNNey Nalluur arud duRaiyul : pervading the Temple of Nallur, on the Southern banks of PeNNai, the river that cleanses the soul of those who bath in it
aNNaa : the loftiest of the lofty
unakaaLaay ini alleen enlaamee: how can I ever deny being already in service to you.
In this verse , a new theme, something that gets repeated many times over in many other hymns, is being introduced. BEING has been called as MOTHER so far because of the KINDNESS Siva had shown towards Sundarar. HE has been called also the Pitta!, the mysterious, the Crazy and so forth because of the mysterious ways in which he works and redeems the suffering and erring souls.
But here BEING is articulated as the most POWERFUL, the ALMIGHTY, He who has no powers above HIM, i.e ANNaa!. This term as ancient as Tamil culture itself and goes back to the Sumerian times where BEING was called AN, the most distant and the ONE who grants POWER (mey) to all including Inanna, the Creatrix, but who is NOT in need of such blessings. Thirumular describes the same notion in terms of "taanee tanakkut talaivan", the leader unto Himself, ie. someone who does not have anyone above HIM.
This understanding of BEING is consonant with the notion that He is the AGENT of the FUNDAMENTAL processes of destruction and regeneration. The POWER that destroys HAS TO BE the POWER that regenerates. And as such, this POWER is the ABSOLUTE, there cannot be any other power in opposition to it or even along with it. HE is the ONLY ONE when seen as the POWER that destroys and regenerates, the fundamental understanding that distingushes Saivism from other metaphysical creeds.
Any metaphysical system that does not accomodate this and religion based on it has to be a FALSE religion, the religion of imaginative citadels , the Mup Puram , the castles the men of small minds build to safegurad their pet metaphysical notions. These citadels are "mummala kaariyam" as described by the perceptive Thirumular, where the Mumalam are maaya malam, kanma malam and aNava malam.
The maya malam is born of attachments to the physical world and the castle built by such people are those that safeguard their materialism or physicalism. Through a twisted logic of their own, they uphold that only the sensorial world is real, and this narrowness of thinking is DESTROYED by BEING probably through a meaninglessness for existence that such a view is allowed to generate out of itself. The spirit simply dries up without any joy in it.
The karma malam is that which makes them persue selfish goals and hence continue being born again and again, suffer unending existenttial repetitions. The castle they built is a twisted sense of the heavenly, a imaginative life in which the Paradise is seen as full of worldlypleasures and which they enjoy in an everlasting manner in a life presumed to be available for the believers after death.
This castle is desroyed by showing that death is real and hence rebirth and hence suffering the worldly life repeatedly , contiunosly.
The third castle is that which pertains to the aaNava malam, that which introduces BLINDNESS and hence INABILTY to see TRUTHS. It is also the source of human arrogance , the I-ness and My-ness . And this castle is destroyed by violance-- any arrogant individual will be combated and fought with by someone else. For ARROGANCE invites combat and therefore violant turn to existence.
We see this everywhere in the world, in the past as well as now. Wars battles disputes are endless and the most devastating ones are the religious wars and which BEING appears as the one who demands SACRIFICE.
So Sundarar understands that BEING is not only the MOTHER, the benign source of creativity and regeneration and which is incorporated into the crescent moon, but also the FIRE that burns and destroys and hence the ONE who is also capable of VIOLANCE, the Rudra taaNdavam
And the mentioning of a dib in the rivers that purifies also has a symbolic significance of a peculiar kind here. It is certainly symbolic but the signifance is that we must wash away these malams, the sources of false metaphysics that can distort our understanding of BEING, that BEING is the MOST POWERFUL in view of the fact that HE is the POWER behind the destructive-generative processes that constitute what the world is.
°É¡ö ¯Â¢Ã¡ö ¯¼Ä¡É¡ö ¯Ä¸É¡ö
Å¡É¡ö ¿¢ÄÉ¡ö ¸¼Ä¡É¡ö Á¨ÄÂ¡É¡ö
§¾É¡÷ ¦Àñ¨Éò ¦¾ýÀ¡ø ¦Åñ¦Éö ¿øæ÷ «Õð Î¨ÈÔû
¬É¡ö ¯Éì¸¡Ç¡ö É¢ «ø§Äý ±ÉÄ¡§Á
uunaay uyiraay udalaanaay ulakanaay
vaanaay nilanaay kadalnaay mailaiyaanaay
teenaar peNNait tenpaal veNNey nalluur arud duRaiyuL
aanaay unakkaaLaay ini alleen enalaamee
´ýÚÁ¢øÄ¡¾ Íò¾ ÕðÊ§Ä ¸¢¼ó¾ ±ý ¬ýÁ¡Å¢üÌ º¨¾ô À¢ñ¼Á¡¸¢Ôõ ¯Â¢÷ôÀ¡¸¢Ôõ º¢ó¾¨É ÅÇÃ ¸ÕòÐÄ¸¡Ôõ ¬É¡ö. «ò§¾¡Î ùÅ¡Ú Íò¾ «Íò¾ Á¡¨ÂÂ¢ý ¾¢Ã¢Ò¸ÙìÌ ¬Ç¡¸¢ Õì¸ ¦¾¡¼÷óÐ Å¡ú¾üÌ Å¡É¡ö ¿¢ÄÉ¡ö ¸¼Ä¡ö Á¨ÄÔõ «Ð§À¡ýÈ À¢È×õ ¬É¡ö. «ò§¾¡Î ¿¢øÄ¡Ð ýÀôÒº¢ôÀ¢ôÀ¢üÌ ¸¡Ã½Á¡ö §¾É¡÷ ¦Àñ¨ÉÂ¡üÈ¢ý ¦¾ýÀ¡ø ¯ûÇ ¦Åñ¦Éö ¿øæ÷ «Õû Ð¨ÈÔû ¦ÅÇ¢ÀðÎ ¿¢ýÈÕÙõ ¦¾öÅÓõ ¬É¡ö. ùÅ¡È¢Õì¸ ¯Éì§¸ ¬û «ø§Äý ±É ±ôÀÊì ÜÚÅÐ? ÓÊÂ¡Ð ±ýÈÅ¡Ú.
The anma in itself is nothing and it lives as «a creature only becuase BEING blesses it with the flesh, with breathing and the biological body along with a mental world for to it live. BEING also provides the necessary ecological settings that enables LIVING by becoming the sky, the earth, the seas, the hills and all such elements. And over and above this He also DISCLOSES Himself in the Temple of VeNNey Nallur girdled by the ever pleasant PeNNai River. And Thus obligated how can I ever deny being already in service to THEE ? Really cannot.
uunaay uyiraay udalaanaay ulakanaay: Thou hast become the flesh, the breath , the body and the mental world
vaanaay nilanaay kadalnaay mailaiyaanaay: Thou hast become the sky, the earth, the seas , the hills and so forth
teenaar peNNait tenpaal veNNey nalluur arud duRaiyuL : in the Temple of VeNNai Nalluur, on the Southern banks of PeNNai river that is always with sweet waters.
aanaay unakkuaaLaay ini alleen enalaamee : thou hast BECOME VISIBLE and as such how can I deny being already in service to Thee?
There is an evolution in understanding of BEING. Before we come to the final stage, we interprete BEING as the Lord, the King, the Tyrant, the Magician, the Supremely Generous, Lord of all the Wealth -- the Indra capable of granting all the riches in the world, t he Kameshwaran capable of granting sexual happiness < The Bull of supreme Virilty, The Woman who enchants with spells and what not.
Desires after desires arise in the bosom with these desires controlling our interpretive processes with which we UNDERSTAND BEING in all these ways. These are NOT fictions of the mind for human mind in itself is NOTHING if nor for the provision of the various apparatus that makes possible the cognitive functioning : a physical body, breathing that enables LIVING and a world of ideas that sets going the cognitive processes etc. BEING presents Himself in innumerable archetypal forms to STIMULATE thinking and through that enble the EVOLUTION of UNDERSTANDING through the purification of consciousness. The consciousness of BEING is absolutely PURE CONSCIOUSNESS, the Cutta Caitanyam and human consciousness is made to evolve in this direction.
Thus BEING becomes everything that is biological and also all that will be necessary to function as living entity -- the necessary ecological settings to EXIST as such . It is out of our IGNORANCE and metaphysical immaturity that we remain ignorant of the fact that BEING provides and has provoded all long long before even we were ready to ASK anything at all. The asking imploring beseeching and sometimes even demanding this and that in terms of prayers is totally misplaced. HE blesses and continues to bless whether we ask or not. HE gives even if fail to knock at the doors and ask.
When this UNDERSTADING emerges, then we STOP demanding asking and supremely delighted with all that is already given just simply PRAISE HIM thankful for all that He has already granted. And Sundarar, to whom this comes as life tranforming insight goes a bit further. On the realization of this TRUTH, he choses to serve HIM without any courage to deny it.
²üÈ¡÷ÒÃõ ãýÚõ¦ÁÃ¢ Ôñ½îº¢¨Ä ¦¾¡ð¼¡ö
§¾üÈ¡¾É ¦º¡øÄ¢ò ¾¢Ã¢§Å§É¡ ¦ºì¸÷ Å¡ý ¿£÷
²üÈ¡ö ¦Àñ¨½ò ¦¾ýÀ¡ø ¦Åñ¦½ö ¿øÖ÷ «Õû Ð¨ÈÔû
¬üÈ¡ö ¯ÉìÌ ¬Ç¡ö É¢ «ø§Äý ±ÉÄ¡§Á
eeRRaar puram muunRum eriyuNNaic cilai toddaay
teeRRaatana collit tiriveennoo cekkar vaan niir
eeRRaay peNNait tenpaal veNNey nalluur aruL tuRaiyuL
aaRRaay unakku aaLaay ini alleen enalaamee
¿øÅÆ¢ Â¡¦¾ýÚ «¨ÉÅÕìÌõ ¸¡ðÎõ «Èò¾¢ý ¿øÄ¡üÈ¡ö! ¯ý «ÈÅÆ¢¨Â ±¾¢÷ìÌõ «Ãì¸ì Ì½ò¾Å÷¸Ç¢ý «ï»¡É ÓôÒÃí¸¨Ç «õÒ ±öÐ ¾£Â¢Ä¢ðÎ ±Ã¢ò¾Å§É! º¢Éò¾¢ý ¦ºì¸÷ Å¡¨ÉÔõ «ýÀ¢ý ¸í¨¸ ¿£¨ÃÔõ ¾É¾¡¸ ²üÚ Å¢ÇíÌÅ§É! ±øÄ¡ ¬üÈø¸¨ÇÔõ ¾ý§É¡Î ¦¸¡ñ¼ÅÉ¡ö ¦Àñ¨½¦¾ýÀ¡ø ¯ûÇ «Õû Ð¨ÈÔû ¦ÅÇ¢ôÀðÎ ¸¡ðÊ ¿¢ü¸¢ýÈ ³Â§É! ¨¾¦ÂøÄ¡õ ¯½÷ó¾ À¢ÈÌõ ¯ÉìÌ ¬û «ø§Äý ±Éì ÜÚ¾ø Â¡í¹Éõ? ÓÊÂ¡Ð ±ýÈÅ¡Ú.
Oh Thou of the righteous path! Thou who singes to ashes the fortresses of those who defy Thee with the bow of Fire! On knowing this will I continue wandering around saying things that are nothing else but false? Oh Thou who hast as yours the red sky of anger as well as the cool waters of pacification and who pervades this Grace of Ground of Nalluur on the Southern banks of the River Pennai, how can I ever say that I am NOT already in service to you?
eeRRaar puram muunRum eriyuNNaic cilai toddaay: Thou who singsd to ashes the fortresses of those who are opposed to your righteous Way;
teeRRaatana collit tiriveennoo : knowing this will I ever wander around saying things that are nothing but false?
cekkar vaan niir eeRRaay : Thou who hast taken both the red sky (of anger) and the cool waters (of pacification)
peNNait tenpaal veNNey nalluur aruL tuRaiyuL: in the Grace Ground of Nalluur on the Southern banks of the River PeNNai;
aaRRaay : Thou art the Most Powerful!
unakku aaLaay ini alleen enalaamee: how can I deny being already in service to you?
Here Sundarar touches upon the important social issue of why there are conflicts ,battles and wars among people that seems to be endless. It is one thing to lament and get worked up emotionally and shed tears and another to GAIN an UNDERSTANDING about the root causes of it.
There is the WAY as the way of BEING, the Way that was called TiruneRi by Sambantar and Samayam by Tirumukar as something already there as a part of the fabrique of existence. The TRUE RELIGION is NOT an invention of man, it has NO FOUNDER and hence not at all something historical. It remains TRANSHISTORICAL, always ABOVE history hence something that men comprehend differently at different times but out of ignorance claim finality to their own understanding and FORCE it upon others.
This is how the religions of men , the religions of Books come to be . Each such a religion DISTRACTS the people from the TRUE religion of which they have only partial insights but the pratiality of which they are ignorant . They pronounce their understanding as the FINAL by way of understanding what religion is and institute NOT reason but preaching and conversion for "saving " people.
Sundarar claims that these are the kind of people who are eRRaar, those who raise themselves to the position of God, who claim that they are either God incarnate or someone specialy privileged in the eyes of BEING.
The root cause of religious conflicts is the arrogance of such indivduals, individuals who out of their Ego, usurp the place of God for themselves. And there certainly will be conflicts for BEING supremely angry with such individuals will aim the arrow of FIRE amidst them and which results in wars of distruction. The false religions , the religions of those who want to usurp the place of BEINFG will be enemies of REASON, for if REASON is cultivated propagandist method of communication will cease and educative method of instruction will come prevail and along with it NO AUTHORITY at all. Pedagogy insists on learning and thinking and hence will NOT accept propogandist rhetorics that arrest thinking and may even kill it.
BEING throws the FIRE which issues forth in various kinds of conflicts because it is only in the thick of conflicts that preaching ceases and man pauses to REFLECT and THINK meaningfully! With some humility!
But BEING is not only He who discloses
Himself as the burning Sky but also the cool waters that PACIFY!
Existence alternates dialectically between conflicts and compromises; after
killings and bloodshed there will emerge voices of moderation and
which will also bring about a new level of culture where man
is likely to be LESS arrogant than he was before.
SATISH SETHI wrote:
> My friend:
> That is a great reproduction of even greater philosophical thoughts; untill
> we are enlightened enough to understand the gobbledygook[wordy jargon];
> kindly tell us in "your own plain words" how to live and how does hinduism,
> if it is even a religion, helps; this is not an effrontry I come in earnest
> seeking answers for the labyrinth of life; I am not a troubled soul by any
> Jagte Raho!
> 404 373 1707
I am still searching on how to live in a way that is satisfactory
to me. All
my studies in philosophies are directed at finding the RIGHT WAY if there is
one. One thing that I learned from Hinduism which is a labyrinth by itself is
that I must think deeply and metaphysically and no matter what. My seeking must
be along the lines of Mey KaaNal, TRUTH Seeing. It does matter at all whether I
call myself Hindu or do not. Seeking TRUTH and living in TRUTH transcends
whatever religious and cultural prejudices with which I function. Hinduism or
at least Agamism that I see as the core of it, is peculiar in that it promotes
becoming PURE, becoming an individual without any labels
This TRUTH seeking , I have noticed , is also PURIFYING in the sense
prejudice FREE and which shows itself in seeing everything in true objectivity
-- NOT in terms of Aryan or Dravidian, NOT in terms of Muslim or Hindu NOT in
terms European or Indian. I begin to see everything as simply human, different
human beings trying in their own way to come to terms with TRUTH. And I study
them just to LEARN how their struggles went on.
I must also admit that I find the Scriptural Corpus in Tamil that I
trying to translate into English by way of penetrating into their inner depths
something gratifying in the sense that here I find the kind of thinking that
reinforces my personal search and provides the necessay illuminations to
sustain my journey, my yatra in that direction.
I do not want to preach but simply want to communicate my understanding
hope that someone else too may find it interesting.
I concur here with Sundarar: there is a WAY and as long we are along
there is a kind of inner peace, as a kind of feedback from within. But when we
deviate from it, there are mechanisms in the world already there to set us
along the right path. The sources of social and personal conflicts are
ultimately to be traced here.
For this reason, I believe that conflicts, personal social and
unavoidable and that in the face of them , we must sit back and seek to
UNDERSTAND the root causes of such problems. We should NOT run away from them
or close the doors so that they become invisible to us and hence something that
do not concern us any more. This is the kind of thing the weak minds do, minds
that FEAR change --personal and social, minds that fear tearing away from the
pet prejudices and becoming FREE of them
Thinking in the midst of conflicts and seeking out the real causes --
consists the genuinely THINKING life and we should be thinkers of this sort;
cease to concern ourselves with how to be a Hindu or a Muslim or a Christian and what
not. UNDERSTANDING through this kind of Deep Thinking (that I call metaphysical
thinking, tattuva njanam) is MORE important than religious affliliations -
being a good Hindu, Muslim ,Christian and what not. And this is simply being a
human being which becomes something so easily forgotten especially when we
are more concerned with labels as to what our identity is. This concern with
identity is a kind EGOTISM and when we succumb to it , we become the eeRRaar,
that Sundarar mentions here.
ÁØÅ¡û ÅÄý ²ó¾£ Á¨È§Â¡¾£ Áí¨¸Àí¸¡
¦¾¡ØÅ¡÷ «Å÷ ÐÂÃ¡Â¢É ¾£÷ò¾ø ¯É¦¾¡Æ¢§Ä
¦ºØÅ¡÷ ¦Àñ¨½ò ¦¾ýÀ¡ø ¦Åñ¦½ö ¿øæ÷ «Õû Ð¨ÈÔû
«Æ¸¡ ¯ÉìÌ ¬Ç¡ö É¢ «ø§Äý ±ÉÄ¡§Á
mazuvaaL valan eentii maRaiyootii mangkaipangkaa
tozuvaar avar tuyaraayina tiirttal unatozilee
cezuvaar peNnait tenpaal veNNey nalluur aruL tuRaiyuL
azakaa unakku aaLaay alleen enalaamee
¬ýÁ¡ì¸Ç¢ý ¯Çò¾¨¼¸¨Ç ¦ÅðÊÅ£úòÐõ ÁØÅ¡û ÅÄôÀì¸õ ²ó¾£, ¾¨¼¿£ì¸ôÀð¼¡÷ìÌ Á¨ÈÂ¡¸§Å
ÄíÌõ »¡Éò¨¾ µ¾¢ ¦¾Ç¢×ÚòÐ§Å¡§É! Â¡ñÎõ ¯¨ÁÂõ¨Á¨Âò ¾ý ºÃ¢À¡¾¢Â¡¸
¨Åò¾¢ÕìÌõ Áí¨¸Àí¸¡! ¬½Åò ¾¢Á¢÷ «¼í¸¢ ¯¨Éò ¦¾¡ØÅ÷ «Å÷¸Ç¢ý ÐÂ÷¸¨Ç¦ÂøÄ¡õ
¾£÷ò¾¨Ä§Â ¯ý ¦¾¡Æ¢Ä¡¸ì ¦¸¡ñ¼¡ö! ¯Ä¸òÐî ¦ºØ¨Á ¾ýÀ¡ø Å¢Çí¸ì¦¸¡ñÊÕìÌõ
¦Àñ¨½Â¡üÈ¢ý ¦¾ýÀ¡ø ¦Åñ¦½ö ¿øæ÷ «Õû Ð¨ÈÔû, ¸ºÎ¸û §À¡ì¸¢Â¾¢ý «Æ¦¸øÄ¡õ
¾¡É¡¸ ¿¢üÌõ «Æ¸¡! ¯ÉìÌ ¬Ç¡ö É¢ «ø§Äý ±ýÚ ±ôÀÊì ÜÚÅÐ? ÓÊÂ¡Ð ±ýÈÅ¡Ú
Oh Thou who wieldest the axe that severes the inner resistances in the mind of the creatures, on your right side! And Thou who illuminates by instructing on the concealed TRUTHS for such individuals! Thou who hast as thy function the relieving of the pains for those who approach you in becoming humility! Oh Thou the most Handsome! who pervades the Grace Ground of VeNNai Nalluur, on the Southern banks of the luxuriance -abounding river PeNNi! How can I deny now that I am already in service to you?
mazuvaaL valan eentii : weilding the axe on your right
maRaiyootii : He who instructs on the concealed wisdom
mangkaipangkaa: He who has the WOMAN as His one-half
tozuvaar avar tuyaraayina tiirttal unatozilee: You have as your job the relieving of pains of those who pray unto you
cezuvaar peNnait tenpaal veNNey nalluur aruL tuRaiyuL: pervading the Grace Ground of VeNNai Nalluur on the Southern banks of luxuriance-abounding PeNNai river
azakaa unakku aaLaay alleen enalaamee : Oh Thou the Most Handsome! How can I deny now being already in service to you?
The most arresting term in this verse is 'azakan", BEING-as-BEAUTIFUL which is also a standrad term for BEING-as-VISHNU, or BEING-as-the Manifest. This is a term in aesthetics and normally also used in conjunction with the WOMAN and so a bit strange in connection with the MAN, the source of the Masculine in nature. However as progress in metaphysical understandingis made , the bifurcation and polarisation of creatures into MALE and FEMALE collapses and it reaches a position where every soul is seen BOTH male and female, the androgynous., and which is indicated here by noting BEING as mangkaipangkan, as ONE having the WOMAN as His own half.
The evolution of man into the higher species belongs to both illuminations and aesthetics. For a person to evolve into the higher of kiond being it is NOT sufficient to grow intellectually , acquire knowledge in as many domains as possible-- it is also necessary to grow aesthetically, to evolve as someone who is BEAUTIFUL, someone who CAPTIVATES by disclosing charms of a kind that draws people unto him naturally. But the sourece of all these higher charms, the vacittuvam - the nannayam, is BEING Hiself and for which reason Sundarar addresses Him as the Most Handsome -- the azakan!
But He is also the weilder of the AXE and who keeps it always on his RIGHT side and hence ever ready to use it. For there are forces that makes a person UGLY-- dirty, filthy , despicable, evil etc-- and in order to make a person aesthelicaaly appealing these forces of ugliness must be chopped off , cut off from being present in the soul. The weapons of War of BEING are in fact as Pillai Lokacariya describes --Nittya Cuuri -- permanant illuminators-- that function for the GOOD of the person. The weapons of destruction of BEING destroy not that which is GOOD which but only that which make a person UGLY-- agressive, ferocious beastly violent despicable brutish and supremely immoral and unethical.
Individual and social productivity as symbolised by the luxuriance-abounding river, is possible only when the BEAUTUFUL in a person is RELEASED from their captivity and the weapons of War of BEING are there precisely for this purpose.
The greedy and ugly man appropriates these weapons ALREADY there and in the light of which he fashions many murderous weapons just to kill others opposed to his ways. And the ignorant and unthingking individuals then gaze at the Weapons of War of BEING and project their own miserable HUMAN intentions to BEING!
The shallowness of such individuals is surprising
and perhaps Sundarar is praying here for the AXE of BEING to fall
on their neck!
¸¡å÷ ÒÉø ±ö¾¢ì ¸¨Ã¸øÄ¢ò ¾¢¨Ã ¨¸Â¡ø
À¡å÷ Ò¸ú ±ö¾¢ò ¾¢¸ú Àý Á¡Á½¢ ¯ó¾¢î
º£å÷ ¦Àñ¨½ò ¦¾ýÀ¡ø ¦Åñ¨É ¿øæ÷ «Õû Ð¨ÈÔû
¬åÃý ±õ ¦ÀÕÁ¡üÌ ¬û «ø§Äý ±ÉÄ¡§Á
kaaruur punal eytik karai kallit tirai kaiyaal
paaruur pukaz eytit tikaz pan maamaNi untic
ciiruur peNNait tenpaal veNNey nalluur aruL tuRaiyuL
aaruuran em perumaaRku aaL alleen enalaamee
¸Õ¨Á ¿¢Èó¾¢¸ú §Á¸í¸û ¦¸¡ñÎûÇ ÒÉø Á¨ÆÂ¡öì ¦¸¡ð¼, ¦ÅûÇô ¦ÀÕì¸¢ø ¸¨ÃÂ¢¨É ì Ìò¾¢ ¾¢¨Ã¦ÂÉô À¼÷óÐ ôÀ¡Ã¢ø ÀÄ ¼í¸ÙìÌô ÀÃóÐ «¾É¢ý Ò¸ú ±öÐÅ§¾¡Î , Áì¸ÙìÌ ¯Åô¨Àò ¾Õõ ÀÄÅ¨¸Â¡É ¸¢¨¼ò¾ü¸Ã¢Â ÀÄ Á¡Á½¢¸¨Ç «ó¾ ¦ÅûÇô¦ÀÕì¸¢ø ¦¸¡ñÎ ÅóÐ Áì¸û ÀÄÅ¡Ú «¾¨Éò Ð¾¢òÐ Á¸¢ØõÀÊ µÎõ ¦Àñ¨½Â¡üÈ¢ý ¦¾ýÀ¡ø ¦Åñ¨É ¿øæ÷ «Õû Ð¨ÈÔû, ùÅ¡Ú Å¢Âì¸ò¾ì¸ ¬÷ ÀÄ °Õõ ±ý ¦ÀÕÁ¡üÌ ¬û «ø§Äý ±É ±ùÅ¡Ú ÜÚ§Åý? ÓÊÂ¡Ð ±ýÈÅ¡Ú.
The rains pour from the dark clouds and the waters swelling into a flood erode the the banks and branching into many tributaries runs into the lands and thus gets praised by the people. And over and above all this PeNNai river also carries along with it precious stones of various kinds and gets praised again for this munificence. And how can I say that I am not already in service to BEING who like this river flows with all kinds of blessings for the people and who pervades thus in the Grace Ground of VeNNai Nalluur , on the Southern banks of this River?
kaaruur punal eytik: the rains pouring from the dark clouds
karai kallit : eroding the banks
tirai kaiyaal paaruur pukaz eytit : like waving hands spreading out into the lands and gets praised because of this
tikaz panmaamaNi untic: forwarding many kinds of precious stones
ciiruur peNNait : the PeNNai river that is thus glorious
tenpaal veNNey nalluur aruL tuRaiyuL: pervading in the Grace Ground of VeNNey Nalluur, on the Southern banks( of PeNNai)
aaruuran em perumaaRku aaL alleen enalaamee: how can I say that I am NOT in service to the BEING full of such surprises?
BEING is a benevolent RIVER -- that's the metaphor that Sundarar brings to articulate his understanding of how BEING fuctions and why , having undserstood this, he cannot but be in service to Him.
The GRACE of ARUL flows like the river PeNNai where the waters are dark clouds in the sky. The darkness here could indicate the MYSTERY, the CONCEALMENT within which BEING functions. It can also be taken as that primordial condition of the universe where it was eneveloped in DARKNESS, the dartkness created by the Dominance of ANavam, that which swallows everything from existence and breeds only an emptiness. It can also be taken as the initial DARKNESS in the understanding of the creatures, that which introduces a BLINDNESS and ignorance as a constitution of understanding.
Out of immense LOVE for the creatures, BEING violates this darkness at all levels and pours out as the rain waters his GRACE-- that which nourishes the understanding and fertilises it. And as one stands to gain more and more of this Grace , it swells as a flood that erodes away the earthly attachments, tha banks that continuosly impose CONSTRAINTS and hence makes the person function as the FINITE individual, an individual with many prejudices. tha binds him with an narrow identity.
When the prejudices are weakned and slowly destroyed the understanding FLOWS FREELY, unhampered by any narrow patriotisms -- political, religious, linguistic , national, ethnic and what not. The understanding breaks out from its confines and flows freely into new new worlds and therby LEARNS about so many things that were BEYOND its reach before.
And the understanding thus expanded and made to flow freely , interestingly enough discovers the PRECIOUS STONES -- deep and awe inspiring ILLUMINATIONS that bring about SUPREME BLISS for it is such deep insights that finally settle the ever restless human mind, that which is always in search for something or other and always wanting this and that and diseased with a restlessness. The deep illuminations that river of Grace brings for the individuals caught in flood is that which finally cures them of this disease and enables them to enjoy a kind of Happiness impossible otherwise.
BEING becomes on this account, the aar- uuran, HE who flows with SURPRISES for HE is there to BLESS all provided they allow themselves to be caught in this Flood, in this DELUGE of Grace.