Posted in Eedu Anubhavam, Naalayiram

Eedu Anubhavam – Anthaamathanbu

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.

The inability to enjoy divine experience in the community of eternals filled Azhvar with deep grief. Nampillai compares this grief to the travails of elephant Gajendra when the latter’s foot was held by a crocodile on his way to daily worship. The pious Gajendra once visited a lake to pick a lotus stalk for his daily offering to Lord Varada. During that time, his foot was seized by a crocodile that dragged him into the water. Gajendra tried to extricate himself from the clutches of the crocodile in an iconic struggle that lasted a thousand years. Unable to free himself, the elephant let out his call for the Lord, who came rushing in from His abode (Srivaikuntam), safely pulled the elephant and crocodile out of water, and killed the crocodile by using His discus (chakra). Having vanquished the crocodile that harmed His devotee, He pulled out his upper garment, blew hot air into a portion of it, and treated the elephant’s wound. Azhvar equates the pleasure experienced by him to the one experienced by Gajendra when the Lord personally attended to his wound. He is overjoyed that the Lord bestowed upon him the kind of experience that is reserved solely for exalted souls in Srivaikuntam. The Lord consummated with Azhvar in the manner comparable to how the eternals consummate with Him in Srivaikuntam.

பரமபதத்திலுள்ளார்பக்கலிலே பண்ணக்கடவ ஸ்நேஹத்தை என்பக்கலிலே பண்ணி ஒரு விபூதியில்லுள்ளார்பக்கலிலே பண்ணக்கடவ ஸ்நேஹத்தை கிடீர் என் ஒருவன்பக்கலிலும் பண்ணிற்று

Azhvar is awed at the possibility that the Lord, from whose association the entire world draws it existence, can be elated from His communion with a person like him. He was able to observe a sparkling lustre in the Lord’s form resulting from the union. He wonders how the Lord’s supernal form, which is radiance (tejorupa) itself, can sparkle further as a result of this communion. Nampillai explains that unlike the glittering material forms, the sparkling radiance emanating from the Lord’s form is not a result of deeds (karma) because He is beyond them. On the contrary, the Lord’s existence as the master of the twin worlds – the nitya and lila vibhutis – is empirically established only after He attended to the call of Azhvar lurking in bondage (lila vibhuti). It is His assertion, as the Master of the universe, and the subsequent union he achieved with Azhvar, that shines through His supernal form.

வகுத்த ஸ்வாமியாகையாலே, நித்யவிபூதியிளுள்ளாரோபாதி லீலாவிபூதியிலுள்ளார்க்கும் வந்து முகங்கொட வேண்டும் ப்ராப்தியையுடயவன். இவரைப் பெற்றபின்பாயிற்று அவன் ஸர்வேச்வரனாயிற்று

How can the Lord be said to have lacked existence prior to His union with Azhvar? Isn’t He omnipresent and beyond the concepts of time and space? Doesn’t all things material that exist in the world of bondage indirectly prove His existence? Nampillai reasons out that it is the Lord’s longingness for his devotees (pranayitva) that underscores His very existence. The longingness that the Lord displayed for Azhvar was so intense that He seemed to metaphorically not exist prior to reclaiming Azhvar’s soul.

இவன் இவரைக் கலவாதபோது ஸத்தையின்றிக்கேயிருப்பது ப்ரணயித்வ குணத்தாலே

Similarly, Nampillai explains how the conch (panchajanya), the discus (sudarsana) and the sacred thread (yajnopavita) adorning the Lord, representing eternals themselves, can be said to lack existence prior to the Lord’s union with Azhvar. When a tree has dried out, is it even necessary to say that its branches and fruits are dead (lack existence)? Similarly, when the Lord is said to have lacked existence prior to His union with Azhvar, is it even necessary to say the eternals themselves lacked existence, considering their existence is contingent on His’?

Azhvar concludes the decad by indicating that he is at a loss for words to describe the greatness of the Lord that he consummated with. He hails the Supreme Lord as ‘Purushottama’ – one who is unparalleled in mastery and glory among all groups of sentient and insentient beings. The epistemological tools that we usually employ to understand men, women and transgenders become insufficient to express His personality.

ஆணல்லன், பெண்ணல்லன் என்கிற இத்தால் – ஸஜாதீயவிஜாதீய நிஷேதம் பண்ணினபடி. ஆண், பெண், அலி என்கிற இவற்றைக் காணும் பிரமாணங்களால் காணப்படாதான். இத்தால் ஏகப்ரமாண கம்யத்வ ஸாம்யமுமில்லை என்கை  

In sum, Azhvar is left wonderstuck by the Lord, who despite having no unfulfilled desires by His very nature (avapta samasta kama:), pretended to have achieved consummation after His union with Azhvar, thereby emphasizing His unbridled generosity.

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