In the Ivaiyum Avaiyum thiruvaimozhi (1-9), we find the following pasuram:
mAyan en nenjinuLLAn maRRum yavarkku madhuvE
kAyamum seevanum thAnE kAlu meriyu mavanE
sEya naNiyan yavarkkum sindhaikkum kOsara mallan
thUyan thuyakkan mayakka nennudaith thOLiNai yAnE
Periyavachan Pillai offers the following preamble to this pasuram in his 24,000 padi vyakhyanam:
ஸர்வாந்தராத்மாவாய், அநாச்த்ரிதர்க்கு அரியனாய், ஆச்ரிதர்க்கு எளியனானவன் என் தோளைப் பற்றி விடுகிறிலன் என்றார்
That is, Emperuman, who is the soul of all living and non-living beings, who is inconstruable by those who have not surrendered to Him and who is easily accessible to His protégés, has held Azhwar’s shoulder and is not in a position to let him go.
In this pasuram, corresponding to the words thuyakkan and mayakkan in the last line, Nampillai offers the following explanation in his Eedu:
உகவாதார்க்கு ஸம்சய விபர்யயங்களைப் பிறப்பிக்கும்
That is, those, who conduct themselves unfavourably to Emperuman will be driven by Him, as their inner controller, to develop doubts and misapprehensions in the knowledge that they have gained.
We shall now see how Nammazhwar’s word goes in line with sruti-based scriptures as demonstrated by the following explanation corresponding to ParayathAdhikaraNam in Sri Bhashyam (2-3-41):
At the beginning of every action that the soul performs, it is (first) given the independence to decide its course. When it chooses to conduct itself in the path advocated by the scriptures (dharma sAstras), it becomes favourable (anukoola) to the Supreme Lord (paramAtma). On the other hand, when the individual soul conducts itself in a manner not recommended by the scriptures, it becomes unfavourable (pratikoola) to the Supreme Lord. This initial decision made by the soul, at the beginning of every action, determines its journey to achieving salvation.
If the individual soul conducts itself in line with the prescriptions of the scriptures, the Supreme Lord, subsequently, as its internal controller (antaryAmi), directs it to perform deeds that will result in good karma (and thereby eventually leads it to salvation). If the individual soul conducts itself in a manner not authorized by the scriptures when given independence, the Supreme Lord, as its internal controller, directs the soul to engage in deeds that will augment its negative karma.
In the Adayavalanjan arumpadham corresponding to this pasuram, an interesting anecdote from the life of Parasara Bhattar is demonstrated:
A person well-versed in the sastras (hereinafter referred to as ‘sastri’) performed the kainkaryam of tidying up Bhattar’s thirumaligai. Whenever he used to visit Bhattar’s thirumaligai, the latter used to just greet him momentarily and that too with disapassion. On the other hand, when a particular Srivaishnava used to visit Bhattar’s thirumaligai to have the latter’s blessings, Bhattar used to receive him favourably and talk to him with a lot of affection. Having noticed this for quite sometime, one of his disciples asked Bhattar the reason behind this behaviour. Bhattar offered to clarify himself to his disciple the next day when the two arrive at his thirumaligai.
The next day, when the sastri arrived at Bhattar’s thirumaligai, the latter queried him: “Who do you consider as the Supreme Entity?” to which the sastri replied: “The vedas have certain portions which ascribe supremacy to Brahma, some ascribing supremacy to Vishnu and some ascribing supremacy to Rudra. Hence, it will be impossible for me to answer you emphatically”. As the sastri left, Bhattar asked the same question to the Srivaishnava who in turn said: “The only Supreme Lord that I know of is Sriman Narayana”. When Bhattar egged him further by asking him “What is our refuge?”, the Srivaishnava responded by saying that the feet of Emperumanar are our sole refuge.
After the Srivaishnava left his thirumaligai, Bhattar turned to his disciple and asked if he now understood the difference between the two. Hence, Bhattar’s behaviour towards the Srivaishnava reflected the latter’s clarity of the means and the end while his indifference towards the sastri reflected the latter’s lack of clarity in the means and the end despite being well-versed in the sastras.
Our purvacharyas emphasized knowing the essence of the vedas (i.e. Ashtakshara) more than possessing knowledge of the vedas itself. Hence, according to them, a saragnar or essence-knower is more favourable to them as opposed to someone having mere knowledge of sastras. This thought is corroborated by Azhagiya Manavala Perumal Nayanar in his Acharya Hrudhayam (Sutram 38):
இந்தவுட்பொருள் கற்றுணர்ந்து மேலைத்தலைமறையோராகாதாரை அயற்சதுப்பேதிமாரென்று உத்பத்தி நிரூபிக்கும்