It was said earlier that EDU, one of the commentaries of Thiruvaimozhi, is outstanding piece of scholarship. This commentary was recorded in a language called Manipravalam that contains an admixture of Tamil and Sanskrit languages. The commentary primarily explains the import of Nammazhwar’s verses interspersed with quotes from the Upanishads, Itihasas, Puranas and other ancillary scriptures. In addition, the commentary also includes anecdotes (itihya) indicating conversations between earlier preceptors of Srivaishnavism. Nampillai reports certain happenings in the context of particular verses and points to multifarious interpretations that are possible to the same verses, thereby adding great credibility to his work. Further, the author points to the coherence between different decads of Thiruvaimozhi and explains the logical order of the hymns that represent the emotional journey of Nammazhwar. Finally, as described earlier, the commentary of Nampillai also posits the philosophical concepts that underlie practical Srivaishnavism. The value of this commentary can only be appreciated if we go into nuances and finer details in the commentary pattern of Nampillai. We shall delve into some of them in further detail:
Nampillai took over the reins of Srivaishnavism and its propagation from his preceptor Nanjiyar. He began delivering lectures on Nanjiyar’s onpatinayirappadi commentary on the Thiruvaimozhi in addition to adding his own examples and quotations from the scriptures. These lectures were transcribed on a palm-left by one of Nampillai’s disciples by the name Vadakku Thiruveedhi Pillai. When the latter submitted this commentary at the feet of his preceptor, Nampillai took possession of it as it was written without his permission. He then gave this commentary to another of his disciples by the name Eyunni Madhava Perumal at a later date. Eyunni Madhava Perumal taught this EDU commentary to this son Padmanabha Perumal. Padmanabha Perumal taught this to Nalur Pillai, who in turn taught his son Nalur Achan Pillai. The commentary finally reached Mamunigal’s preceptor Srisailesa through divine intervention in Lord Devaraja temple, Kanchipuram.
From the preceding ‘Oonil Vaazh uyirae’ thiruvaimozhi, we get to know that Azhwar has experienced and enjoyed Divine Union as he refers to ‘parugik kalithEnE’ (பருகிக் களித்தேனே) in one of the pasurams. However, we also saw towards the end of the padhigam that Azhwar was overcome with grief once again- this time due to his inability to join the nityasuris (eternals) for sharing his experience. Overwhelmed with sorrow, Azhwar has now become unable to communicate his state of being all by himself and therefore summons the help of people close to him to convey his distress. Thus, we see Azhwar’s mother engaging in a dialogue with Emperuman and bringing the pitiable plight of Azhwar (who has currently assumed nayikA bhavam) to His attention.