kiLaroLi iLamai - 1 - introduction

srimathE rAmAnujAya nama:
srimadh varavaramunayE nama:
sri vAnAchala mahAmunayE nama:

NammAzhwAr who is a parama kAruNikar talks about thirumAlirunchOlai emperumAn who is a parama dhayALu in thiruvAimozhi 2.10. In this padhigam, nammAzhwar explains artha panchakam very nicely. He says that one must understand emperumAn and the real self at an early age, act according to his svarUpa jnAnam (surrender to emperumAn and do kainkaryam in this life), avoid the hurdles and ultimately aim for serving emperumAn permanently in paramapadham.

In thiruAimozhi first padhigam, AzhwAr enjoys emperumAn (svAnumbhavam). Immediately, in the second padhigam, AzhwAr looking at the pitiful state of the samsAris who are full of ignorance, starts doing parOpadhEsam in veedu min muRRavum (1.2) padhigam. There he says - first give up the attachments to everything in this world and hold on to emperumAn immediately. This is AzhwAr's charama slOkam - sarva dharmAn parithyajya mAm (krishna) Ekam charaNam vraja. For AzhwAr, the samsAram is unbearable - while he himself has pure knowledge and enjoying emperumAn in his heart, when he looks at others he becomes very sad. An example is given by our pUrvAchAryas for this - when our neighbour's house is caught on fire, we may be safe, but still we also cry out "fire! fire!" out of fear. The same way, nammAzhwAr understanding the difficulties in samsAram by the grace of emperumAn cries out to save others.

In the kiLaroLi iLamai padhigam, AzhwAr explains that one should attempt to get svarUpa jnAnam at a very young age since this world is very temporary and we cannot predict anything. He follows the words of kannan emperumAn who in gIthai said that this samsAram is dhukkAlayam (place of sorrows) and asAsvatham (impermanent). 

AzhwAr, first starts with upadhEsam to us, saying that we should understand that when we are young and active we can easily reach out to emperumAn, but when we are old,  we will have a lot of difficulties and focussing on emperumAn will be very difficult. To illustrate this, we often hear the following example:
When some one is young and active they are fully engaged in loukIka activities, taking up material pursuits, etc - and  when some one says why dont you engage in kainkaryam, the reply we get is "let me do it after my retirement - I will have all the time for kainkaryam". But when we reach 50, we start having all sorts of physical issues like backpain, knee pain, etc - we wont be able to even sit in aruLicheyal or kAlakshEpam gOshti for even more than half an hour let alone think about doing any kainkaryam. We will also have family commitments (taking care of grand children, etc) which takes up a lot of our time. It is rare for someone to come out of these difficulties/bondage at the later part of their life. That is why AzhwAr says develop the attachment towards kainkaryam at an early age, so it stays forever with us.

In the final pAsuram of this padhigam, AzhwAr says:
poruLenRu ivvulakam padaiththavan pugazh mEl (பொருளென்று இவ்வுலகம் படைத்தவன் புகழ் மேல்)
maruLil vanNkurugUr vanNchatagOpan (மருளில் வண்குருகூர் வண்சடகோபன் )
theruLkoLLachchonna OrAyiraththuL ippaththu (தெருள்கொள்ளச்சொன்ன ஓராயிரத்துள் இப்பத்து)
aruLudayavan thAL anNaivikkum mudiththE (அருளுடயவன் தாள் அணைவிக்கும் முடித்தே)
Simple translation: EmperumAn is repeatedly doing srushti out of his vAtsalyam (pugazh) towards the jIvAthmAs, hoping that some day/some jIvAthmAs will use their body and senses in glorifying emperumAn and reaching him. By understanding what is sung by kurugur chatagOpan who has pure knowledge (without any defects) in 10 songs out of the 1000 to bring clarity in the minds of mumukshus, we will reach paramapadham purely by the grace (aruL) of emperumAn. This pAsuram itself explains artha panchakam:
  • emperumAn is the parmAthmA
  • mumukshu is the jIvAthma who is trying to reach emperumAn
  • emperumAn's aruL is the upAyam 
  • emperumAn's thAL (lotus feet) is the goal
  • our ignorance (maruL) is the virOdhi

AzhwAr also shows that we should develop vairAgyam towards Ishwarya/kaivalyam (wealth and AthmAnubhavam) in oru nAyagamAi padhigam - thiruvAimozhi 4.1 and we should develop vairAgyam towards samsAris in naNNAthAr muruvalippa padhigam - thiruvAimozhi 4.9.

Thirumangai AzhwAr also mentions the same thing in muRRa mUththuk kOl thunNaiyaa (முற்ற  மூத்துக் கோல் துணையா) in periya thirumozhi 1.3. He encourages every one to go and surrender to badhri emperumAn (this we can understand easily since when we are old it is even physically very difficult to go to badharikAshram).

When koorathAzhwAn started instructing thirumanthrArtham, he asked parAsara bhattar and vEdhavyAsa bhattar to leave the kAlakshEpa gOshti since they are direct disciples of embAr. But when they started leaving, AzhwAn called them in again and said that, this world is so temporary and something could happen to both of them in the time they walk to embAr's thirumALigai - so he himself instructed them that knowledge at once.

When it comes to understanding the self, there is svarUpa jnAnam and svarUpa yAthathmya jnAnam, let us see that in the next post.

adiyen is writing this article since one of adiyen's Athma bandhus asked adiyen to write on this topic. Request everyone to ignore the mistakes if any and just take the essence.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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