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 explain 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:
Of the multiple incarnations of Sriman Narayana, it is visibly the Krishnavatara that has captured the imagination of all the Alvars. It is nigh impossible to find a work among the twenty-four divya prabandhas that does not carry a reference to the Lord’s Krishnavatara in one way or the other. Though the Lord’s incarnation as Rama lasted for a longer duration than His incarnation as Krishna, it is in this latter episode that the Lord demonstrated the unbounded limits of His easy accessibility (saulabhya). It is this possibility that the Supreme Lord – whose greatness spans a vast expanse that the Vedas fail to successfully describe (yata vaco nivartante) – and whose abode remains unattainable to seers performing rigorous austerities, can descend down this earth, walk amongst cowherds, engage in memorable pastimes, and above all, demystify the Upanisads to posterity in the form of Bhagavad Gita, that makes Him celebrate-worthy. Has there been a more generous and an easily approachable God?
In the preceding Aadi-Aadi Thiruvaimozhi, we noticed that Azhvar was overwhelmed with grief, owing to his inability to commune with the eternals (nityasuris) in Srivaikuntam. In this Anthaamathanbu thiruvaimozhi, Azhvar explains how he achieved communion with the Lord, who reached out to Azhvar in the company of the eternals. In this entire decad, Azhvar goes about explaining how the Lord revealed his (a) supernal appearance (svarupa), (b) divine form (rupa) bedecked with auspicious jewels and weaponry, and (c) auspicious attributes of longingness (pranayitva) and gentleness (sausilya) during the communion. Azhvar sings this entire decad recounting the limitless pleasure he experienced in witnessing the Lord’s satisfaction resulting from the communion.