The Glory of Tiruvirutham

Nammazhwar being graced by the causeless mercy of the Supreme was able to realise the defects of this world, the misery associated with the cycle of births and deaths and the eternal happiness awaiting one in the Lord’s upper abode (Vaikuntam). However, the Supreme Lord’s grace notwithstanding, Nammazhwar continued to remain in this very world and the defects of material existence deterred his stay here. Having attained the knowledge of discerning the right from the wrong, Nammazhwar pleaded to the Lord to remove him from this world and to take him up to the VAikunTam. On the one hand, Nammazhwar was happy that he had realized the Lord in His true form while on the other hand, he was forlorn that he was still being kept in this world in a physical body associated with earthly defects. It is this longing of Nammazhwar that runs throughout the Tiruvirutham. Nampillai demonstrates this to us from Nammazhwar’s choice of words from the first song ‘inninra neermai’ to the last one ‘polla aruvinai’, indicating that his plea to the Lord, to remove the impediments to salvation, goes on forever.

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URM – Pasurams 39-45 – Thiruvaimozhi Vaibhavam

piLLAn nanjeeyar periyavAchchAn piLLai
theLLAr vadakkuth thiruveedhip piLLai
maNavALa yOgi thiruvAimozhiyak kAththa
guNavALarendRu nenjE koru

Oh my mind! May you appreciate the contribution of the fivesome – Thirukkurugai Piraan Pillaan, Nanjeeyar, Periyavachan Pillai, the illustrious Vadakku Thiruveedhi Pillai and Vadhikesari Azhagiya Manavala Jeeyar, who, by writing commentaries on the Thiruvaimozhi, have played a significant role in safeguarding and preserving this work for posterity.

mundhuRavE piLLAn mudhalAnOr seidharuLum
andha vyAkkiyaigaL andRAgil – andhO
thiruvAimozhiyin poruLai thErndhuraikka valla
guruvAr ikkAlam nenjE koru

If not for the commentaries of the abovementioned fivesome on the Thiruvaimozhi, how could the acharyas of today learn and propagate the inner spiritual meanings enshrined in the grantham? Oh my mind, you may deliberate upon this!

theLLArum nyAnath thirukkurugaip pirAn
piLLAn ethirAsar pEraruLAl – uLLArum
anbudanE mARan maRaipporuLai andRuraiththadhu
inbamigum ARayiram

Thirukkurugai Piran Pillan, a disciple of Sri. Ramanuja and one with spotless knowledge, with the special grace of his acharya and out of his abounding devotion to Nammazhwar, blessed us with his commentary on Thiruvaimozhi (with all of its inner meanings) in what is titled “Aarayirappadi” vyakhyanam.

thanjeerai nyAnigaL thAmpugazhum vEdhAnthi
nanjeeyar thAmbhattar nallarulAL – enjAdha
aarvamudan mARan maRaipporuLai aaindhuraiththadhu

Nanjeeyar, the one with unparalled glory that people having knowledge of the Tattvas will acknowledge, by the grace of his acharyan Parasara Bhattar and with utmost devotion to Nammazhwar’s Thiruvaimozhi, blessed us with his commentary which came to be called as “Onbadhinaayirappadi” vyakhyanam.

nampiLLai thamadhu nallaruLAle viyidap
pin periyavAchan piLLai adhanAl – inba
varubaththi mARan maraipporuLai sonnadhu
irubaththi nAlAyiram

With his acharyan Nampillai requesting him with his abounding mercy, Periyavachan Pillai, in obedience, blessed us with his commentary on the divine Thiruvaimozhi, the nectar of devotion sung by Nammazhwar. This commentary came to be called as “Irubathinaalayirappadi” vyakhyanam.

theLLiyadhA nampiLLai cheppu neRi thannai
vaLLaL vadakku thiruveedhip piLLai indha
nAdaRiya mARan maRaipporuLai nanguraiththadhu
eedu muppathi ARayiram

The generous Vadakku Thiruveedhippillai, following the path shown by his acharyan Nampillai, blessed the people of this world with his commentary on the inner truths of Thiruvaimozhi in what came to be hailed as “Muppathiaarayirappadi” vyakhyanam.

anbOdu azhagiya manavALa cheeyar
pinbOrum kaRRaRindhu pEsugaikkAth – thamperiya
pOdhamudan mARan maRaiyin poruLai uraiththa
thEdhamil pannErAyiram

In order that the people who follow him can practise and preach, Vadhikesari Azhagiya Manavala Jeeyar, out of his abounding love and erudition, offered to the people of the world the inner truths of Thiruvaimozhi in his “Panneeraayirappadi” vyakhyanam.

Source: Pillailokam Jeeyar Vyakhyanam

Note: 1 padi = 32 words. Thus, a commentary titled 6000 padi contains 6000*32 words and so forth.

URM – Pasurams 34-36 – Establishing the Superiority of Arulichcheyals


AzhwArgal yERRam aruLichcheyal yERRam
thAzhvAdhum indRiyavai thAmvaLarththOr – yEzhpArum
uyya avargaL sei vyAkkiyaigaL uLLadhellAm
vaiyam aRiya pagarvOm vAindhu

It is my duty to point out to the people of the world that the glory of the AzhwArs and their divine outpourings – the divya prabandham, cannot be belittled. It is also my duty to talk about the AchAryAs who wrote commentaries on AzhwArs’ works and offered it to the people of the seven worlds for their spiritual upliftment.

AzhwArgalayum aruLichcheyalgaLaiyum
thAzhvA ninaippavargaL thAm naragil – veezhvArgaL
endRu ninaiththu nenjE eppozhudhum nee avar pAl
sendRaNugak koosith thiri

O’ my mind! Please understand that the people who belittle the AzhwArs and their divine outpourings will beget hell. Avoid the company of such people at all times!

theRuL aRRa AzhwArgaL seermai aRivArAr
aruLichcheyalai aRivArAr – aruL peRRa
nAthamuni mudhalAna nam desikarai allal
pEdhai manamE undO pEsu

Who are those who understand the glory of the Azhwars – the repositories of spiritual knowledge? Who are those who understand the glory of the divine outpourings of the Azhwars? Are there any one in this world other than our AcharyAs beginning from Sri. Nathamuni who possess knowledge about the AzhwArs and their devotional hymns? O’ foolish mind! May you deliberate on this.

Tamil translation here.