Verse 5    Word For Word  Translation  Commentary  Errors

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5. maayanai mannu

Simple Word for Word meanings
maayanai      mannu            vata     mathurai     main^thanaith *
magical deeds (the doer of) ,  Northern MathurA (the) son (of)

thUya peru nIr   yamunaith       thuRaivanai *
pure great river yamunA  , (the) hermit (of)

aayar   kulaththinil           thOnRum             aNi    viLakkaith *
cowherd community  ,  (He who) appeared in (as a)  sacred light

thaayaik                  kutal viLakkam ceytha                              thaamOtharanaith *
(He who) (to his) mother  [womb brighten did] brought maternal honor, (that) Lord Damodara

thUyOm aay             van^thu naam thU   malar   thUvith       thozhuthu *
clean  becoming (and)  coming  we   clean flowers sprayed (and) worshipped  (by)

vaayinaal paati         manaththinaal cin^thikkap *
Orally    singing (and) mentally      thinking .

pOya pizhaiyum   pukutharuvaan ninRanavum *
Past sins  (and) yet to come unintentional sins

thIyinil      thUc    aakum                   ceppu
in flame (as) swadust will become (so)(let us) say  (his names)

El                                Or empaavaay
Come (Let us do) (the penance of) paavai nOmbu

Translation   By Dr. V.K.S.N. Raghavan

(All of our sins vanish like a blade of grass thrown into fire , when we sing in praise of KrishNan and worship Him ). Him--the mysterious Lord ; the young courageous Lord born at north MathurA , the One who sports in the pure waters of the great river , YamunA ; the emerald-like shining Lamp that has risen from the race of cowherds; and the Lord DaamOdharA (the One
bound by the rope around the waist) who has brought high esteem to His mother YasOdhA (literally, who illumined the mother's womb)--Him let us approach with sincerity (purity--physical and mental); let us worship Him with fresh and fragrant flowers; let us pay our obesiance to Him; let us sing in praise of Him , by words of mouth; let us think of Him in our mind; if we do so  approaching   worshipping , obeying, singing and thinking of Him alone), our sins of past , present and future will vanish like straw put into fire. Therefore let us sing His glory.

Commentary   By Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchari Sadagopan

 The Vratham has begun. The Gopis were worried about completing it without any hindrance (vignam).One of the knowledgable Gopi pointed out that the Vignams will be banished , if the Vratham is performed with Bhagavan Naama UccharaNam (recitation of the name of the Lord). The Gopis therefore invoked the name of NaarAyanan , KshIrAbhdhi Naathan, Vaamanan , Thrivikraman , DhAmOdharan and concluded that all those names are that of KrishNan , who is Aapath BhAndhavan and anAtha Rakshakan. In this fifth paasuram , the Gopis invoke the name of DhAmOdharan and reflect in the subsequent paasurams on the Maayams (mysterious , wonderful  acts) of KrishNan as celebrated by Swamy NammazhwAr (PiRanthavARum VaLarnthavARum-- seyuthu pOna MaayankaLum).

The Inner Meanings of this Paasuram

 Maayanai  Of the One who is the Swami of   Moola Prakruthi as LeelA VibUthi  Naathan
  mannu Of the Para VaasudEva MUrthi 
 Vada Mathurai 
Of Sri VaikunTanAthan from whose  sacred feet the nectar of bliss flows
 Thooya Peru neer
Yamunai ThuRaivanai
Of the One , who resides at the bank of VirajA river (in  Sri Vaikuntam )
 ThAyai Kudal 
ViLakkam seytha
Of the One ,who explained  the "nama: Bharga" section of Gaayathri manthram , which is equal in sacredness to one's own  Mother during His avathAram as NaarAyaNA at BadrikAsramam to perform upaEsam for Naran
 DhAmOdharanai  Of the One, who got Himself tied up with a small rope by a cowherd woman  because of the Bhakthi of that devotee
 ThUyOmAi Vanthu  if we approach that One ( BhagavAn) with purity of Vaak, Manas and KaraNams
 ThUmalar thoovi  and offer auspicious flowers (TuLasi) dear to Him (aanUpura paryantham )
Thozhuthu  and perform archanai with them 
 vAyinAl paadi 
and control our Indriyams so that Vaak,  mind and body will be fulfilled with  respect to their saasthrEic functions
 pOya pizhayum  (then) all of our accumulated sins 
 puhu taruvAn
(and) the ones (sins) acquired after SaraNAgathi consciously 
 theeyinil thUsAhum  all of them will be destroyed like  cotton thrown into the fire.

Special comments on Individual words of Paasuram

Our Lord is a MaayAvi. He hinted that much  in Githai: " sambhavaami aathma maayaya" .All the Maaya ChEstithams from His avathAram at Vada Mathurai to growth in Aayarpaadi, many leelais in Gokulam  and BrundhAvanam, His serving as the charioteer for ArjunA, converting day into night in the battle field of Kuru KshEthram, taking the disc in His hand inspite of His vow not to use weapons in that war, are examples of the MaayA of the MaayOn.Abhinava Desikan describes Maayai as Moola Prakruthi and SankalpAthi Jn~Anam.As the Controller, commander of this Maayai , through His sankalpa visEsham blesses the DevAs and incarnates as PadhmanAbhan in the milky ocean and later jumps out of the pillar as Lord Narasimhan ,goes to the Yaaga saalai of Bali as Vaamanan and transforms into Thiruvikraman and now incarnates as KaNNan, the MaayOn or adhbhuthan.

Swamy NammAzhwAr celebrates this Maayam of the Lord , which He performs through His AchAryAs, who remove the "Poy ninRa Jn~Anam " of ours and makes us qualified to receive SadAchAra Jn~Anam through the wondrous act of "Irumbai ponnAkkuthal" (SaraNAgathi) according to Sri PBA Swamy. Our Lord stands on top of this AchArya  Paramparai and is therefore MaayAthi Maayan.

ANDAL appropriately addresses Him next this MaayOn as " Mannu Vada Mathurai Mainthan".  Mannu stands for the place most desired and where the Lord has blessed through His long residence there. That place is Vada Mathurai with Bhagavath Saaniddhyam.  Mainthan means kumAran of VasudEvar and Devaki .

(2)"Thooya peru neer Yamunai":

YamunA is most sacred and pure. Infact , it is more sacred than GodhAvari , which failed to describe what it saw (SeethAbahranam by RaavaNan) to Raama , when He asked whether it had anything to say as to what had happened there. YamunA on the other hand cleaved and let VasudEvar walk across its sandy bed , when he was transporting baby KrishNan on His head during the dark rainy night of JanmAshtami.Yamunai also had deha sambhandham with the Lord through His Jala kreedais there with Gopis Our Lord came to be called Yamunai ThuRaivan or the Lord of Yamunai for these reasons.

(3)"Aayar Kulatthinil thOnRum aNi viLakkai":

Our Lord was born in Raaja Kulam with the parents of King VasudEvA and queen Devaki. He surfaced in the community of cowherds (AaypAdi). Lord has mentioned to ArjunA that He has had many janmams.
ANDAL does not agree. She says therefore here : "ThOnRum" instead of "PiRanthum" deliberately. "ThOnrum" means "aavirbavitthAn" /appeared instead of being born. Next, ANDAL saluted Him as " ThOnRum aNi ViLakkai" or the most beautiful, lustrous lamp that appeared amidst the aayar kulam . Another AzhwAr (KulasEkarar)  has commented in a similar way about Lord Raamachandran's appearance in Soorya Kulam as a beautiful , bright lamp (VemkathirOn kulatthiRkku Ohr aNi ViLakkAi).

(4)"ThAyai Kudal Vilakkam seytha DhAmOdharanai" :

KaNNan was caught by YasOdhA in the act of stealing butter and she wanted to punish Him by tying Him up with a rope to a mortar to keep Him stationary. YasOdhai was His mother and a Bhakthai. Hence , the Lord out of His Bhaktha paara-tanthryam permitted Himself to be bound (KaNNinuNN SiRutthAmpinAL KattuNNupatta peru Maayan). He is adiyavarkku yeLiyavan and therefore got Himself tied up with a DhAmam (rope) around His waist (udharam). This UdhAra Utthama Moorthy carried the welt marks (Thazhumpu) from that happening and came to be known as "DhAmOdharan". YasOdhA got all credit for managing Her "wild" son. AzhwArs described the glory of YasOdhA's role as His Mother this way:

" Ivanai peRra VayirudayAL"

"MaNi Vayiru VaaytthavaLE"

"Unnaik KaNDAr yenna nOnbhu  nORRArkaLO"

This helplessness of the Lord in being tied up by a human (mother) moved Swamy NammazhwAr so much that He stayed in a state of trance for six months. Such is His MaayA (MaayOn).Even today, One can see the three welt marks on the waist of Lord RanganAtha (Moolavar) bearing witness to this incident. ParAsara Bhattar refers to these welt marks in periya PerumAL's Udharam. It is generally accepted that the Moolavar at Srirangam is KrishNan and the Uthsavar is Raaman .

(5)"ThUyOmAi Vanthu ":

If we approach Him (DhAmOdharan) with suddhi (purity) through observance of nithya karmAs, abandoning proscribed acts (nishitthangaLai vittu), avoiding BhaagavathApachArams and knowing that SaraNAgathi done at His feet is only for attaining His grace , then we will be cleansed of all dhOshams.

(6)"ThUmalar thoovi thozhuthu , VaayinAL paadi, ManathinAl chinthikka":

Suddha pushpAnjali as at Thirumalai is Thoomalar Thoovuthal; Among the flowers , Utthama pushpam is the one grown by one in one's own garden (nandhavanam ) for the Lord like periyAzhwAr and ThoNDaradippodi); madhyama pushpam is one grown in common ground; the adhama pushpam is one , which are collected through yaachakam from others.TuLasi Pushpa samarpanam and manthra Pushpa samarpaNam are very dear to our Lord's heart. Hence ANDAL recommends them here. After PushpAnjali, the naama sankIrthanam (VaayinAL paadi) has to be conducted. Bhagavath guna  dhyAna Chinthanai (dhyAnam) follows next.AmbharIsha chakravarthy's dhyAnam of KrishNan (Sa vai Mana: KrishNa:) is the way to follow.

(7)" ManathinAl chinthikka, pOya Pizhayum , puhu taruvAn ninRanavum theeyinil thUsAhum CHEPPU":

If we offer pushpAnjali with a suddha manas, sing the glory of His naamAs and meditate on Him, all of our accumulated sins as well as the ones accrued after prapatthi will be burnt to ashes like the bale of cotton thrown into a blazing fire.

(8) "Cheppu":

The paasuram ends with the command, "cheppu" (say). When we perform a rite (sandhyAvandhanam, Yaagam, AarAdhanam et al), there are deficiencies such as KriyA lobham, Dhravya LObham and Niyama lObham . To overcome this deficencies , we do prAyachittha hOmam. Even there , deficencies may occur. To banish that too, we say "Sri KrishNAnu  smaraNam Param" as saathvika Thyaagam (KrishNArpanam). That KrishNa dhyAnam removes all aparAdhams and blesses one with auspiciousness. Therefore ANDAL ended the fifth Paasuram (from the first set of Sextet) dealing with the methods to perform nOnbhu with the word "Cheppu" to remind Her friends to utter the name of Lord KrishNA for sudhdi (KrishNAnu Smaranam param ). 

Additional information on artha panchakam concepts and their coverage in ThiruppAvai Paasurams as well as the deeeper meanings referred to in this introductory posting for the first set of five paasurams can be accessed in the 1996 Marghazhi postings archived in the Bhakthi List under AzhwArs/ANDAL section.Sri Venkat Iyengar's home page on SrivilliputthUr has also valuable additional information including beautiful images of ANDAL and RangamannAr.Please enjoy them. Sri Venkat (adiyen) Iyengar of Bharain has audio files of the ThiruvallikkENI GOshti headed by Sriman M.A. VenkataKrishNan Swamy reciting melodiously the Paasurams of ThiruppAvai in the most traditional manner. Please click here (GodaStutitpavai 1tpavai 2tpavai 3) to listen to them.

Soodikkoduttha NaacchiyAr ThiruvadigaLE Saranam ,
Sarvam KrushNArpanam asthu
RaamAnuja Daasan , Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri SatakOpan