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Emperuman’s simplicity

Sriman. R. Kannan, Bangalore


Simplicity (neermai) is a great person mixing freely with one lower in social strata. This
quality is rare to see. However, one can see this with Emperuman Sriman Narayanan.

Nammalwar says in Tiruvaimozhi, “ammaan aazhippiraan avan evvidatthaan? Yaan


yaar?”. Chetanas fear to approach Emperuman thinking “he is great, I am very lowly,
how can I approach him and seek moksha?” That is wrong. Even a worse sinner has
recourse.

“Who is Emperuman?”

He is sarvasmaath paran. He is superior to everyone. He is the Lord of nityavibhuti


and leelavibhuti. He is ubhaya vibhuti Nathan.

He is heya prathyaneeka kalyana guna dhaanan. He is replete with all auspicious


qualities, he is free of evil qualities.

He is Sri:pathi- Lord of Sri.

He is lotus eyed- the sarvesvaran.

He is vinnor karumanikkam

He is worshipped by all the celestials.

He is aravindhalochanan.

Alwars praise him as pongodham soozh puvaniyum vinnulakum ankaathum soraame


aalkindra emperuman.

“Who am I?”

Norra nonbilen nunnarivilen- I have not followed karmayoga or jnana yoga.

Ankurren allen inkurren allen enkurren allen- I have not followed any upaaya.

Naane naanaavidha naragam pukum paavam seithen nalanthaan onrumilen nallathor


aram seithumilen. Paavame seithu paaviyaanen.

Manatthilor thooimai illai vaayilor insol illai.

As alwars say, I am very lowly. I am a sinner. He is the one who punishes. How can I
approach him and attain moksha.
Chetanas fear him thinking so. Emperuman’s souseelyam or neermai removes this
fear.

Let us enjoy Desikan’s words in Srimadh Rahasyatraya saaram about Emperuman’s


simplicity. “souseelyamaavadhu thaan sarvaadhikanaaka vaitthu thanniyaraana
nishaadha (guhan) vaanara (sugreevan) gopaladhikal (cowherds) ivarkalode
neeranthara samslesham (merging like water) pannukai. Idhu ammaan aazhippiraan
avan evvidatthaan yaan yaar enru agalaadhe saarathya (driving the chariot)
dhoothyaathi (going as a messenger) paryanthamaaga (varai) apekshikkumpadi (like
listening) visvasneeyathaikku (for faith) uruppaam.

Even though Emperuman incarnated as Chakravarthi thirumagan he mixed with the


hunter Guhan, monkey king Sugreevan and rakshasa Vibhishana. He ate the fruits
given by Sabari, the hunter woman.

When he incarnated as Kannan he allowed the cowherd women to tie him and beat him.
All these announce his simplicity. If one loves him he will come forward to drive their
chariot and serve as their messenger. We can see this in Mahabharata. He ate in
Vidhura’s house ignoring the king Duriyodhana, the grand sire Bhishma and Acharya
Drona. All he expects is unwavering love.

When one approaches him with love he will run towards them. If we stand apart he will
also stand away from us.

Namalwar is praising this in thiruvaimozhi.

“agalil agalum anukil anukum”

Commentators explain Emperuman’s simplicity through a story. Let us enjoy it now.

Thiruvaimozhi pasuram 1-2-7

Adangezhil ampatthu adankakkandu eesan

Adankezhil ahthonru adankuka ulle

The essence of this verse is that “seeing that all the wealth in this world belongs to
Emperuman abide in it”. It is true that he is the lord of the wealth. Realizing this if we
also abide in that wealth there will be no problem. Hence, we should understand our
relationship with Sarveswaran. Parasara Bhattar explains this through a story.

A merchant whose wife was pregnant went abroad. He could not return home for many
years. In that time his wife begot a boy. He grew up and went abroad on business too.
Father and son returned at the same time. They arranged to sell their merchandise at
the same market. Without realizing their relationship they became bitter competitors.
Competition ended in a fight. A person who knew both of them said, “Why are you
fighting? You are father and son isn’t it?” After they knew their relationship they
became happy. They merged their products and sold them to earn a great profit.
Enmity ensued as they did not know their relationship. When their relationship was
revealed the fight stopped and happiness ensued.

Similarly, when we know our relationship with Sarveswaran we will not have any fear or
hesitation in approaching him. We should understand that the one who pacified the
father and the son was an Acharya.

Emperuman is our relative in all respects. We should not fear or hesitate to reach him.
Knowing our relationship with him we should approach him. He will come to us
immediately and accept us. Leaving Paramapadam and Paarkadal Emperuman lives in
our hearts. Why should we hesitate to approach him when he is so close?

He incarnates for our sake. He comes into this world and suffers in all sort of ways for
the sake of humans. Don’t we have to approach him, knowing his simplicity and easy
approachability?

Srimathe nigamantha maha desikaya namaha

Three hundred from our ancestors


Yagnam

वाग्दे वते त्वं ववहरस्यु दारा

वसन्तलक्ष्मीररव काननेषु

प्रसादयोगात् उवदतैः मरन्ैः

पुष्णावस पूर्ाा सुमनस्समूहान्


vāgdevate tvaṁ viharasyudārā

vasantalakṣmīriva kānaneṣu

prasādayogāt uditaiḥ marandaiḥ

puṣṇāsi pūrṇā sumanassamūhān


in Varadabyudhaya champu

Vakdevi and Vasanthasobha

Are udhaarai

Are playing in kaananam

Both have prasadha

Are filled by udhitha marandham

Both nurture sumanasa

Let us explain this further

Word First meaning Second meaning


Dhaara The great one, beautiful Philanthropist
one
Kaananeshu In the forests Among Brahma’s faces
Prasaadham Clarity Anugraha
Udhitha Mentioned That which arose
Sumanas Flower vidvan

First similarity: both are udhaaram. Amarakosam says udhaaro dhaathru mahato:
Thus it has two meanings. Vani is philanthropic (grants boons to devotees) Vasantha
Lakshmi is big, beautiful.

Second similarity: Kaananam means forests. Spring season plays here (trees bloom
during spring). Kaananan is split as ka aanana- then ka means Brahma, Vani plays in
kaananam- in the faces of Brahma, her consort. Vani plays on his face as he constantly
recites Vedas.

Third similarity: both have prasadham. Spring is clear unlike the slush of rainy season,
dryness of summer and cloudiness of winter. Vanidevi (towards her devotees) has
anugraha.

Fourth similarity: Due to the prasadham there are udhitha makarandham. The pollen
will rise in the flowers. Words will emerge due to Sarasvati’s grace. Both drip honey.

Fifth similarity: both nurture the sumanasa samuha through the udhitha makarandham.
The flowers look rich due to flower bunches. Groups of poets grow rich due to Vani’s
grace. If samuha is split as sam- ooham then it means the inferences will become rich.
It also means, the yoga that nurture the devas occur during spring. Thus the word
sumanasa samooha has four meanings.

Morals from this sloka:

1. Sarasvati is the god of knowledge. Poets praise her and become rich in their
knowledge. Sarasvati’s grace should be sought and obtained as mentioned by a
poet, “surthena yatnena cha vaak upaasithaa druvam karothyeva kamapi
anugraham”. We the Srivaishnava pray to Hayagriva’s consort Lakshmi.
Sarasvati is her amsam- this is not shown in the sloka.
2. Poets’ words are sweet like the flower pollen. Enjoy it, like we are enjoying now.
3. A poet needs imagination and inference. These qualities grow in a good heart.
This is from the term sumanas-sam oohaam.
4. It is important to have clear speech. Do not confuse others. Prasadha yogaath
udithai:
5. Poets’ words and pollen are not only sweet they have other similarities too. They
naturally rise up, they nurture sumanasa. They are also soft and attractive. One
should not judge all the kavya with the same yardstick. Those that have the
above qualities are superior.
6. What is a good way to nurture pandita? They can be praised with sweet words
that are like the pollen.
7. Benefit from philanthropists.
8. Some put in great efforts and compose an epic. For others, Vakdevi dances on
their tongue. They compose great works effortlessly. Know the quality.
9. Taking care of great souls is a dharmic action.

70. Double entendre between good souls and beautiful ladies.

सुदृशां श्रुवतपथसु भगं

करर्वगरामतनुशास्त्रवश्यानाम्

पुरुषोत्तमरवतभाजाम्

सधागवतष्वादरैः कथं न स्यात्


sudṛśāṁ śrutipathasubhagaṁ

karaṇagirāmatanuśāstravaśyānām

puruṣottamaratibhājām
sadhāgatiṣvādaraḥ kathaṁ na syāt

First meaning: How can they, good souls, speakers of words that nurture veda marga,
followers of sastra, enjoyers of Bhagavan, Purushotama, not welcome good souls?

Second meaning: How can those who have beautiful eyes, speak beautiful words that
bring sweetness to the ears, experts of manmadha sastra, enjoyers of rathi with good
men, not have interest in kamanam (supreme bliss)

Both are sudruk

The speech of both add beauty to sruti margam

Both abide by sastra

Both enjoy pleasure with Purusha utthama

Both have interest in sadhagatis.

List of meanings

Words First meaning Second meaning


Sudrusaam For good souls For beautiful women
Athanu In excess Manmatha’s
Sruti Veda Ear
Sadagati Always pleasure Arrival of good souls

First similarity: Good souls and those who are beautiful have the same title, sudruk.

Second similarity: Sruti marga is beautified by speech. Words of great souls add
beauty to sruti marga. Words of beautiful women add sweetness to the ears.

Third similarity: athanu- sastra vasya. Thanu means insignificant. Opposite of that is
athanu. Great souls abide by sastra. Tanu means body. Atanu is Manmatha who does
not have a body. His sastra is srungaram. Those who possess it are women with
beautiful eyes.

Fourth similarity: both are Purushotamarathi. Purushotaman is Vishnu. Great souls


have rati towards him. Beautiful women have rati towards their men. Even the word
purusha does not mean husband we can still get this meaning. Utthama rati towards
purusha.
Fifth similarity: sadagati aadharam. Sath-aagati- arrival of good people. Great souls
have aadharam in this. Sadagati- walking always. Beautiful women love to walk.

Morals from this sloka:

1. Some have evil ideas. Some are good. The intent is more important than the
action. Hence, we should have good intent. We should strive for it.
Sudrushaam gives this meaning.
2. Veda margam is supreme. We should add glory to this through our speech.
Srutipada subhagankarana giraam gives this meaning.
3. Speak sweet words. Speak auspicious words. Subhagam means good. This
advice is for everyone.
4. Beautiful women should speak sweet words. It is a part of being beautiful.
5. All of us abide by the sastras to various extents. Those who abide by it greatly
are supreme souls. Athanu gives this meaning.
6. There are several types of sastra. All of them have their own use. Manmatha
kala is a sastra. The name Athanusastra is fitting for it in two respects. It also
contains rules for dos and donts. Great souls have explained how to enjoy
physical pleasure. It is also a discipline, a knowledge.
7. Some are confused about whether rati is good or not. Love is good. There is
only confusion about who it should be directed towards. Mumukshus direct it
towards Purushotama.
8. Show support towards good souls. They can be our guests, well-wishers, or
advisors. Support them suitably. It is dharma to protect them.
9. Beauties should take care of their body and gait.
10. There are several types of bliss. Everyone seeks it. Even those who have
forsaken worldly pleasure seek the bliss of moksha. It is smart to seek utthama
rati instead of neecha rathi.
11. Good souls reap good benefits. Srutipadasaara enjoy sath gati.
12. You should not ignore good happenings. This moral is from the last term. Even
Vishnu bhakta do not ignore good happening. They will use that for their bhakti.
Simple pleasures are not hindrances for supreme pleasures if they are in line
with the sastra. Only, they should not cross the limit. Enjoy both abiding by the
sastra.
13. Subhagam means beautiful, lucky, happy. Poets! Make your speech subhagam.
Veda will help you do that.
14. There are several sastras. Sri Pancharatra Samhita alone are several hundreds.
Similarly, there are several smritis. The poet calls them athanusastram. We have
to abide by all these. We cannot disobey them. Sastra means books that control
us, rule us.
15. Do not think it is beneath you to abide by these. It is necessary.
16. It is better to be enchanted by Bhagavan’s commands than by anything else.
17. Sadagati means one who roams around, a vagabond. Orphans, sanyasins, and
public workers are all sadagati. We should support them.
18. This also means “when beautiful women get good fortune it should be supported”
and “when great souls get good fortune everyone will support it”.
19. Let the auspicious words of Vedics become yours.
20. Sastra vasyam means “one who is attracted by sastra” as well as “one who
attracts sastras”. One attracts sastras by knowledge. One gets attracted to
sastra due to honesty. Do both. Become sastra vidvan,
21. Sath means a lifeform. A good and beautiful woman will not say “I do not need a
baby, I will only enjoy physical pleasure” She will nurture sath (baby).
22. Vaishnava will support everyone. Purushotama’s devotees support everyone.
They will support sadagati.
23. Druk means jnana. Jnana, anushtana and bhakti- all the three are essential. He
refers to all the three by this term.
24. Good knowledge, abiding by sastra, devotion towards god- any one of these will
bring the other two. Will one with good knowledge not abide by sastra. Will he
be without devotion, will one who abides by sastra not have devotion, will a
devotee not have good knowledge, will a devotee not agree to sastras. All these
six questions are answered by this
25. Will one with good knowledge not support sadagati? Will one who abides by
sastra not support sadagati, will a Vishnu bhakta not support sadagati,- all these
questions are answered in the negative.
26. Sath means supreme entity. Sath-aagati means the state of moksha. Druk
means jnana yoga, srutipada means karma yogam, purushotthamarati means
bhakti yogam- those who do all these, won’t they have interest in bhagavan’s
arrival (aadaram). They are doing all these only because they are interested in
Bhagavan’s arrival. Let us also, as mumukshu, do ubaya anushtanam.
27. We can see one rule of manmatha kala. Bliss through the eyes first then through
the ears, then through the nose, the tongue and the skin. Last utthamarati or
suratham. Let this order not be broken. All the good will occur.
28. Beauty harms honesty. If a person is beautiful, can speak pleasantly and has the
chance to enjoy pleasure with men she will grow interest in wrong this. Be
careful.
29. Vedic statements are auspicious. They offer good path. Recite Veda and get
good benefits.
30. Sath means bhagavan. (the upanishadic statement sadeva somya conveys this).
Sath-aagati means sadaa sampanno bhavati, the state of moksha. Support
sadagati. Await it. Become mumukshu.
31. Four types of people are interested in the arrival of good souls
Those who are interested in good outcomes are interested as it confers
lokhakshemam.
Those who speak according to Vedas are interested in srothas’ arrival
Sastra vasya are interested because of sath sangamam sastra vihitham.
Purushotama bhaktas are interested due to bhagavat preeti.
32. Aarana nool has sevvazhi. Let that veda remain in your words. Recite Vedas.
Sadagati will occur.
33. There are two extreme states while coming under sastra’s control. Abiding by
them (following the dos and donts) and abiding by them greatly (following the
mukhya paksham). Both grant benefits.

The following five paragraphs are for those interested in Sanskrit.

Druk means sight, intent, eye, knowledge. Sudrushaam means those with beautiful
eyes, those who are knowledgeable, those who are with good intent, those who look
good.
Drushaam, giraam, vasyaanaam, bhaajaam- the four terms that end so are common
between masculine and feminine genders. (vidhushaam, ratimathaam- if these
paryaaya padam are added they are applicable to masculine).
Sruthi-pada-shubhagam-karana-giraam. Let us see all the meanings for this expression

Those who have words that beautify veda margam.

Those who have words that offer benefits as per the veda

Vedic statements that honor the marga.

Those who have words that sweeten the ears.

Good speech, that of Veda marga

Those who have the sweet words of the poorvacharya, the Vedamargis

Those who have words that grant benefit through the vedas.

Athanu means fulfilling. As it has the sixth case ending it means Manmatha’s. with
vasya it means third case ending. There are people who are enchanted by kamasastra.
Thus there are several meanings for athanu sastra vasyaanaam.

Uttamarati in purusha and rati with purushauttam.

Sadagati has several meanings.

Arrival of good souls


Obtaining benefits

Reaching Paramatma

Arrival of new lives

Walking always

Bad path.

There is also the meaning, vayu, but let us not invoke this here.