aippasi anubhavam - piLLai lOkAchAryar - srI vachana bhUshaNam - 1

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

We are in the midst of enjoying the divine glories of AzhwArs/AchAryas who appeared in this auspicious month of aippasi. Please view for full glories of this month. We shall now get a glimpse of our most merciful piLLai lOkAchAryar and his divine work srI vachana bhUshaNam through the most beautiful vyAkyAna avathArikai (introduction to commentary) of maNavALa mAmunigaL for this master piece. We have already seen the brief introduction to this glorious prabhandham and its thanians at

With this background, let us now see the translation of srI vachana bhUshaNam's wonderful introduction given by mAmunigaL.


thirumanthram is the essence of the whole of vEdham. The three words in thirumanthram reveals the three principles (ananyArha sEshathvam - being subservient to bhagavAn only, ananya sharaNathvam - accepting bhagavAn as the only refuge, ananya bhOgyathvam -  accepting bhagavAn as the only enjoyable aspect and is also explained as being an object of pleasure for bhagavAn only). These 3 principles are common for all jIvAthmAs. As mentioned in "yathra rshaya: prathama jAyE purANA:" (, even though all jIvAthmAs have the necessary qualification to be in paramapadham (which is fully pure) where every one's knowledge is fully blossomed/expanded, where there is eternal bliss which is derived out of constant engagement in bhagavAn's names, forms, qualities, etc., as said in "anAdhi mAyayA suptha:" (being covered by ignorance since time immemorial) and "thila thailavath dhAru vahnivath" (seemingly inseparable from matter like oil inside sesame and fire inside wood), jIvAthmAs (bound souls) being covered with the beginningless mAyA (which is controlled by bhagavAn) that covers the knowledge and due to beginningless ignorance which leads to accumulated and endless karmA (virtues and vices) which leads to countless births in sura (heavenly), nara (human), thiryak (animals) and sthAvara (plants). In every birth, they go through many pitfalls such as dhEhAthmAbimAnam (considering body as the self), svAthanthriyam (considering oneself as independent), anya sEshathvam (serving any one other than bhagavAn) and engage in efforts and results to fit such qualities. Such jIvAthmAs, with the vow to leave emperumAn in whatever possible manner, being greatly averse to bhagavAn who is the ultimate master and the best goal and means for jIvAthmAs. As a result, the jIvAthmA goes through the seven stages namely garbha (being in the womb), janma (taking birth), bhAlya (being a child who cannot take care of himself), yauvana (youth which is fully focussed on sense enjoyment), vArdhaka (old age), maraNa (death) and naraka (life in hellish planets) which lead to eternal and endless sorrows. Among those suffering souls, for a few who accepts the grace of bhagavAn which is given at the time of birth which subdues the rajO (passion) and thamO (ignorance) guNams (qualities) and sathvam (goodness) raises and the desire for mOksham (eternal upliftment) develops.

  • When one desires for mOksham, they have to understand thathvam (the nature of jIvAthmA being subservient to bhagavAn), hitham (the means)  and purushArtham (goal) to be uplifted.
  • When trying to understand these 3 principles through sAsthram (which is the primary source for this knowledge), vEdham which is the chief among sAsthrams is pursued. But, as mentioned in "ananthA vai vEdhA:", vEdham is end less. And to determine any principle from vEdham, one has to use certain methods such as "sarva shAkA prathyaya nyAyam" (determining the principle by going through various sections of vEdham to ensure perfect understanding), etc. All these are too difficult for people of limited intelligence.
  • Considering understanding the true principles from vEdham is too difficult, the next source is to go to the rishis (sages) such as vyAsa, etc., who have mastered the vEdham out of their own great efforts and compiled smrthi, ithihAsas and purANas. But in these, only capable persons will be able to distinguish between the essence and extraneous aspects.
  • bhagavAn who most mercifully accepts the role of an AchAryan and reveals the rahasya thrayam (thirumanthram, dhvayam, charama slOkam) for the upliftment of all jIvAthmAs. But those are too short and great meanings that are present in them are difficult to grasp for everyone.
  • AzhwArs (paraAngusa, parakAla, etc) who were divinely blessed with blemishless knowledge by bhagavAn himself out of his causeless mercy, understood the essence of the whole vEdham and revealed the same in the most precise manner through dhivya prabhandhams which are hailed as dhrAvida vEdham and its angam (part), upAngam (ancillary-part). Yet, people with limited intelligence could not fully understand the real purport of dhivya prabhandhams.

  • Seeing that even the ones who have taste for bhagavath vishayam are missing out on the essence due to their limited intelligence, AchAryas starting with nAthamunigaL who were divinely blessed by the causeless mercy of AzhwArs, who firmly established the sath sampradhAyam, who were expert in all of sAsthram and who were most compassionate, understood the essence of vEdham, etc and explained the same in precise manner so people of less intelligence can also understand the same. They also documented the sath sampradhAyam principles in various granthams.

  • Following in their foot steps, piLLai lOkAchAryar out of great compassion towards the suffering souls who are missing out on the wonderful opportunity to serve bhagavAn directly and eternally, for the upliftment of such souls, compiled many prabhandhams. These principles were transmitted through the AchArya paramparai. pUrvAchAryas, seeing the most valuable nature of the principles, taught this in a confidential manner to sishyas. Seeing the most glorious nature of the principles, they did not reveal them in public. But, piLLai lOkAchAryar, observing the fate of the future generation who may miss out on these valuable principles, out of his great compassion and based on the desire/orders of bhagavAn himself through svapnam (dream), reveals the most important principles through this grantham named srI vachana bhUshaNam.

Previously, pEraruLALa perumAL (kAnchIpuram varadharAja perumAL), out of his causeless mercy, specially blessed a srIvaishNava named nambi in the town named maNaRpAkkam. He explained some of the essential aspects of the sath sampradhAyam in the svapnam (dream) of maNaRpAkkathu nambi and then instructs him "Now, you go an stay in between the two rivers (srIrangam which is situated in between cauvery and koLLidam), I will reveal the same principles in full details".  nambi, following those instructions, arrive at srIrangam, stays there worshipping periya perumAL and without revealing his identity, just remains there constantly meditating on the principles originally revealed by pEraruLALan. 

 piLLai lOkAchAryar kAlakshEpa gOshti

Once when he was alone at kAttazhagiya singar temple (in srIrangam), piLLai lOkAchAryar arrives there along with his sishyas by the divine will of bhagavAn. Since the temple is remotely located with minimum disturbances, he starts explaining the rahasyArthams (confidential matters) of our sath sampradhAyam to his disciples. maNaRpAkkathu nambi who hears them (from a place where the others cannot see him) and understands that they resemble the same meanings that were revealed by pEraruLALa perumAL, becomes ecstatic. He comes out from inside and falls at the lotus feet of piLLai lOkAchAryar and asks him "Are you him?" and piLLai responds "Yes, what should be done?". nambi then explains that pEraruLALa perumAL explained the same principles first and directed him to srIrangam to understand the same in great detail. piLLai lOkAchArar feeling elated, accepts nambi (as a sishya) and nambi starts serving him and learning the principles in detail from him. Once emperumAn appears in the dream of nambi and instructs him to request piLLai lOkAchAryar to document these wonderful and most important principles in a prabhandham so that it is not forgotten over time. nambi goes to piLLai lOkAchAryar and reveals the desire of emperumAn and piLLai lOkAchAryar says "If that is his desire, I will do that" and compiled srI vachana bhUshaNam - this incident is well known and well established.

Just like an ornament that has many rathnams (gems) is named rathna bhUshaNam, since this prabhandham is filled with the words/phrases of our pUrvAchArayas and brings about great radiance of knowledge to the ones who meditate on this prabhandham, it is named srI vachana bhUshaNam.

piLLai lOkAchAryar, mAmunigaL - srIperumbUthUr

Thus ends the first part of most magnificient introduction section for srI vachana bhUshaNam. This grantham is greatly glorified for presenting the most important principles of our sath sampradhAyam in the simplest possible way. With mAmunigaL's beautiful and precise commentary, this is a great treasure for us to cherish. It is most beneficial if this grantham is heard under an AchArya to understand the principles fully. Let us bow down at the lotus feet of these great AchAryas and be blessed. 

In the subsequent articles we will see the continuation of this most wonderful introduction of mAmunigaL for srI vachana bhUshaNam.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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  1. swami
    awaiting further instalments......especially with Maamunivan vyaakhyaanam......dasan

  2. Respected swamy
    am happyto read srivachana booshanam in tamil. can you please guide me to get the tamil version of vyagyanam

  3. Please try in SrIvaishNavaSrI (chennai/srirangam) or puththUr press (puththur agraharam). It is available there.
    adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan