Nāṉmukaṉ Thiruvandhadhi | Thirumaḻisai
Nāṉmukaṉ Thiruvandhadhi | Thirumaḻisai Āḻvār
Single Invocatory verse by Śrī Ramappillai
Śrīman Nārāyaṇa created the four-faced Brahma.
Of that Brahma Was born Śiva who was full by ascetic discipline.
We will live reciting this renowned philosophic poetry carrying these words.
O' mind, praise the holy feet of the Pirāṉ of Thirumaḻisai, abounding with flowers.
Śrī Deśikan’s Verse dedicated to Śrī Thirumaḻisai Pirāṉ:
O' Śrī Pirāṉ of Thirumaḻisai! You took your incarnation
in the month of Thai on Magha Nakṣatra day.
After acquiring full knowledge of all other faiths,
you declared that there is no other God except Śrīman Nārāyaṇa,
the Lord with the most wondrous deeds.
You imparted this quintessence of the Vedas,
through the ninety-six verses of Nāṉmukaṉ Thiruvandhadhi
and the shining hundred and twenty verses
of Thiruchanda Virutham rich in philosophic content.
Please bless me, your servant so that I will keep reciting
and remembering these verses and their true meaning
without fail and without forgetting as I live in this world.
Lord Nārāyaṇa created Nāṉmukaṉ, the four-faced Brahma who taking the lead brought forth Śaṅkara. I brought out the deep meaning of this in the form of an Andadhi. Analyse and absorb this into your mind without losing its meaning.
On inquiry enlightened ones will state that Paramātma is only one. No one really knows His glories. The ultimate conclusion of all the Scriptural texts is also the same. Whatever discipline one follows, the result of divine grace arises only from the Lord carrying the discus.
That which reposed on the milky ocean, settled in ancient times in Śrī Rangam and that which slept on the banyan leaf, the primordial cause of the cosmos, shining truth to the eternal stars and the principal force of the ancient waters, Who can know Him as I do?
To say that one who has hidden the river in his hair locks is equal to the transcendental Lord of all is not acceptable for He stands alone with no compeers for He is the inner meaning of all the words and things denoted by them. Thus I described my Lord in short.
O' Lord with the sharp curved nails and broad shoulders which split the chest of the demon king who was undefeated on account of the many boons, Know, at the time of dissolution, withdrawing the cosmos unto You and again bringing them forth at dawn of creation, You become the four-fold lives.
Samānas do not know, Buddhists remain confused; Śaivas also remain low if one were to speak out. They remain low to date since they do not praise the all sweet and wondrous Lord who is all love for His devotees and who is the consort of Śrī.
Today tomorrow or may be sometime later but assured is your grace for me. You know for certain I do not have any other refuge but Yourself, O' Nārāyaṇa, You will not find anyone more in need than me.
O’Mind, no other support is there at times of distress except the lotus eyed Lord with bow which won against Rudra and whose sharp arrows destroyed Lanka of the ten-headed Rākṣasa who refused to yield.
Feeling incomplete the four-faced Brahma once washed the feet of the Lord of the Universe pouring water from his Kamaṇḍalu uttering benediction with the holy hymns and sprinkled the holy water on the head of Nīlakaṇṭha.
Then the enraged serpent brought forth poisonous flames hearing the noise. We are capable of seeing the resplendent Lord reposing on that beautiful serpent. But the lotus born and the one with long matted hairs are unable even to praise Him.
Let the tongue praise, the eyes see and the ears hear. Uninterruptedly worship with your head lowered and folded hands with cool flowers meditating on the Lord, whose long crown is adorned by Tulasī garlands and who has love for His devotees from time immemorial.
You willed those with no knowledge of You to be born among the four. You willed to erase the sorrow of Chandra. You willed to deploy Your discus to release the grip of the mighty crocodile residing in the pond resulting in the liberation of both.
Not knowing the way to liberation you run around Starving and harming the body by penance. The true means for liberation, is the foremost Lord as declared by the Vedas, the loving Lord of the eternal stars, Śrīman Nārāyaṇa.
Nārāyaṇa is my Lord who saves the devotees from the abyss of cycle of births and deaths. Many listening to those with dry faiths not blessed to utter the names of the loving Lord of Lakshmi wishing to live like them fall only to bad straits.
Those who offer flowers in benediction at the feet of the Lord who measured this earth and is worshipped by many devas would experience the same as Mārkaṇḍeya who saw the state of Rudra with neck stained by venom.
My mind rests in peace because of the Lord of the eternal stars, who once put Himself in the enemy ranks, caused many rulers to die in the battlefield and the earth to be engulfed in darkness by hiding the sun with His discus.
Under the shade of the banyan tree in a previous age, Rudra the true sage taught the path of dharma to four others, his practice of worship of the Lord reposing on the cosmic waters, Who measured the earth and rested on the banyan leaf.
The devotees with special adoration of the mighty Lord Nṛsiṁha Whose sharp nails spilt into two the chest of the demon who remained opposed, will even be excelled by the effects of devotion of those who live adoring the very same devotees.
Boons obtained by penance from the four-faced one destroyed by the discus carrying Lord that You are, You protect us with zeal. You are also the will to protect and You bestow Vaikuṇṭha to all living beings.
Thou art all the worlds. Thy grace sanctions permanence. Thou art the Lord of all who became devas by penance, Thou art the fire and the great mountains and all eight directions, and Thou art the sun and the moon of the universe.
Is this the mouth of the cave spitting wide flames of fire? Are these the eyes that are like fire balls, flaming red? Is this the beauty displayed by the Lord of the eternal stars as Nṛsiṁha with a body effulgent like the flame?
Beautiful is the Lord who came in Nrisimha form. Worship the feet of the same ancient Lord who both as a child and as a fish protected all life forms. He alone is the cause and the abode of all the seven worlds and its nature.
Is there any need to sow the seed in the ancient field of the Lord, Who tamed the wild bulls and Who kindles devotion towards Him? The black hued Lord whose form is like the dark dense clouds, the rain bearing dark sky would show us directly.
You shone through the four fold colours white, red, green and black. You got rid of the two demons and You praised Arjuna who was enraged into battle and as protector of his army carried out the war to its end as planned in your mind.
Without undue concern for means you repossessed the earth. Furthermore such actions of yours have no personal gain. You destroyed the enmity of Mahābali who had a big ego and who by special means used to ingest diamond extract.
There is no other deity whom I worship you will see for the one with matted hair locks will bear witness to. Please see O'Lord with the hue of the ocean, Such as I shall remain your devotee forever.
Will I consider anything else desirable O' fools, than my blessed heart wherein the Lord entered Himself so I can see His broad holy feet covered with flowers which even Rudra with ash covered body cannot see.
This bridge built to forewarn the doom of Lanka, this felling of animal Vali, this destruction of Lanka were all the sport of the One, who arched His bow "Śārṅga" and shot the arrow that broke the back of the proud Rāvaṇa wearing a cool flower garland.
His is the form desired by all, the form all effulgent, His is the form most wonderful, if one were to think, the Lord who hit with one arrow in great anger at one with eyebrows spanning almost a mile from each other.
The Lord of Śrī Raṅgam, who has taken me over in His grace will protect me and not let me into the theatre of life's drama. He has stood and stayed in my heart. Will that Lord repose any more on the serpent bed in the ocean?
Aeons ago the curse given by Brahma on Rudra was removed only by Nārāyaṇa as well known to all on this earth. O' fools who do not want to praise the Lord of the eternal stars, description of your woes of your birth will be a long story.
Itihāsas, Purāṇas and Smṛiti describe Lord Krishna's will. To spend even a moment in other things without dwelling on the Lord's auspicious qualities is only harmful. Fall at the holy feet of the ever glorious Lord.
He kicked Sakata with His holy feet, made the serpent dance, broke the tusk of the elephant, drank the poison off the breasts of the ogress and for the sake of Nappinnai with coral like lips and beautiful shoulders broke the horns of the wild bulls and by His will became the Lord.
My intention is to worship the Lord residing at Thirukkoṭṭiyur. My intention is also for good to happen to me. Will I ignore the Lord of Tiruvēṅkaṭam, whose holy feet have the nature of preventing and destroying body related affliction and karma.
Perhaps tired from measuring the world with His holy feet, not uttering a word and lying still, on the bed formed by the serpent with five heads and mouths is the Lord residing at Thiruvallikeni near the great Mylai where large waves of the ocean strike the shore.
On the serpent bed in Tirukuṭantai, Thiruvenkata and Thiruvevvul, on the serpent again in Thiruvarangam, Thirupper, Thiruanbil and on Ādiśeṣa in the ocean of milk lies the ancient cause, the loving Lord with the sole intention to get into the minds of His devotees.
The sky, the moving fire, the blowing wind, the large oceans, the huge mountains, the moving hot Sun, the cool moon, the clouds above, the life forms, the eight directions and the seven planes and all this cosmos is result of the will of the Lord of Śrī.
The Lord with the hue of the surfing waters of the ocean caused men of undistinguished wisdom to be caught in the six faiths. Should He be a trifle indifferent, whoever may be the devas, their ego, sacrifices and invocations will vanish in a trice.
I call the Lord of Tiruvēṅkaṭam so my eyes can feast. I draw the chance circles so I can unite with that mountain where large streams in rains wash down many glittering gems, feared by the elephants and snakes hurrying to hide.
Recounting many hills I called out also Vēṅkaṭam, stood certain of liberation in a pensive mood, remained bound to the holy feet of the Lord of Lakshmi, Who is caught inside the net of the Vedas, behold.
I desire to go and see Tiruvēṅkaṭam, rumbling with streams rolling down pearl stones and resounding with hymns of the devotees on Thiruvonam, although you have moved into my heart, O' Lord of Vēṅkaṭam.
Go and worship the great peaks of Tiruvēṅkaṭam, since by nature it purifies. At all times, there the lotus born four-faced Brahma and the three eyed One glorify the feet of the Lord with lotus flowers.
To Vāda Vēṅkaṭam with peaks reaching clouds, all devas go at the twilight hour to worship the Lord, while the one with moon adorning hair locks and the one seated on the lotus carry for Him the beautiful umbrellas decked in pearls.
Aeons ago, the Lord as a child lying on the lap of Brahma counted the ten heads of the demon with his foot. The same ever youthful Lord stands in the green hills of Vēṅkaṭam. O' youthful ones! Go to the same hills with love.
The Lord known all over for His towering qualities, at whose lotus feet devotees prostrate like felled trees in the forest, offering flowers and words of benediction with love, on the Veṅkaṭa hills, washed by cool streams, which is the cherished treasure of immortals and mortals alike.
On the Veṅkaṭa hill, where the elephants reach out their trunks to the bright moon to offer as an auspicious lamp to the Lord, when surrounded by the hunters from outside, are defended by the native Kaurāvas with their bows. It will augur well, if the people of the land, go round that hill dancing in prayerful worship.
Vēṅkaṭam is the abode of the Lord with complexion of a blue diamond, where mighty animals like the lions, gold, rubies and pearls, flowering trees and forest streams awash with shining gems, and monkeys and forest tribes abound.
Vēṅkaṭam alone is worshiped with true devotion by the eternal stars. Vēṅkaṭam alone eliminates effects of actions and disease afflicting life. Vēṅkaṭam alone is the mountain of the Lord, who destroys the demons with a mere touch of his Chakra for the protection of the devas.
Uttering the auspicious names of the Lord alone is best action for everyone. The Lord who as a turtle placed the mountain on His back, supporting the mountain top with His hand and using Vāsuki, the snake as the rope churned carefully the ocean of milk.
I understood the way so fear of death will not arise in me and results of sinful actions and ill name will not follow me since the words of the wonderful Lord Krishna, are firmly embedded in my mind, the Lord who reposes on the ocean and on the banks of the river.
Who in this world is comparable to me for I consider you alone as my refuge? Even you, the Lord of all who has none to equal, are not comparable to me. O' Lord with the hue of Kaayaam flower! None else knows you. Knowledge of you makes my mind priceless compared even to heavens.
Unwise enslave themselves for the sake of money, accepting diseases willing to sacrifice their heads for the sake of their financiers, not adoring the Lord who drank the poison off of the breasts of the ogress, remain ignorant like those who live borrowing beyond their means.
No one else is my Lord except Śrī Kākutstha who destroyed the ramparts of Lanka, which was abode to the ignorant demons. Do not consider as Lord those inauspicious of form and lacking divine qualities unworthy of adoration and those merely devas in name but without any connection to Śrī.
Among the devas as one of them, among all of them as one of the three Mūrtis, being His first Avatāra taken of His own will and also as all sentient beings and insentient matter stands Nārāyaṇa. If not understood as such by one, then all one's learning is futile in fact.
Many stand daily at the thresholds and fall at the feet of various deities to obtain short lasting happiness as with reaching higher worlds. O' Lord, with the colour of the oceans which surround this Earth, is there any one to fall at your feet and sing your glories?
Look! Nobody extraordinary or ordinary can match Kaṉṉapirāṉ, the Lord who is the father of Cupid. Even the one who swallowed the poison that came out of the salty ocean, despite his word of offering protection to Bāṇa, fought along with him and lost.
Truthfully speaking, the Lord who broke the large kurunda tree is the ruler of the effects of good and bad actions of the embodied soul. The near devas, the demons, the earth and the one in my heart are the same Lord of all. Is there anything that is not of Him?
The Lord who forever resides in my heart, Who removes all ignorance, my benefactor, once measured this earth terrifying all kings. He rejoiced only after removing the effect of the unrighteous act of the one who rides the bull, who failed to place Him in his heart. I spread the love for such a Lord.
You are Love sublime, the unsatiating nectar. You are my, your servant's Bliss and every kind of happiness. O' the Lord of Śrī Lakshmi, whose halo adds lustre to Thee. O' my Lord Śrī Keśava, I am your servant, thy eternal possession.
You are very eager to seek out your devotees. Grace so my thirst for the sight of Your sacred feet shall be everlasting. O' the Lord of Śrīraṅgam, the Ultimate Truth, unfathomable by any seeker on his own, my heart never stops pining for You.
No sorrow will befall the one that has taken refuge at the holy feet of the Lord Madhusūdana. Today the Lord who sustains the seven worlds, has on his own bestowed the great wealth of His Grace by entering my mind.
Those who do not realize that Nārāyaṇa is the transcendental Reality since Śrī resides in Him, teach the ignorant, pointing to others limited by birth. For He is known as Śrīdhara who bears "Śrī " on His heart and wears lovely, cool garland of Tulasī swarming with humming bees.
True knowledge about You who are the soul of Śrī Ādiśeṣa who has expounded in detail the great movements of the stars, has reached me through Your Grace, spending all my time meditating, writing, reading, listening, and worshipping.
Offer any kind of flower and worship the One with ears adorned by beautiful jewels, the primordial cause of all, the glorious Lord of all, the all compassionate Nārāyaṇa with sweet names that will cut asunder our seven fold births. Reciting His glorious names is the best means.
This is the best for me. Thus I became mentally determined remembering to my abilities the garland of words glorifying the Lord of Śrī who is at once the form of beauty and love. Please tell me if there is no place for me in Vaikuṇṭha?
Henceforth for the supreme Lord who has been hitherto lying on the bed formed by the multi-hooded serpent, my mind will be the residence. I will not consider Rudra with the crescent moon on the head and Brahma as transcendental. Due to my wisdom and strength, neither will I serve them.
Whether it gives strength or weakness, or bestows birth in good family or bad, I will not give up my nature of worshipping Lord Nārāyaṇa who governs my tongue, Who is the Lord of knowledge and full of auspicious qualities.
"Do not ever fail to carry out this command of mine. You must salute and be gentle as Sadhus towards all people who despite forgetting the Lord's name do not worship other devas", thus said Yama calling his close attendants and speaking into their ears.
Also pleasing to the ears is the name of the lotus eyed Lord. His name is the refuge for all earthly beings. By a stroke of luck, I have gained Him who alone is full and worthy of praise in poetry. On closer reflection, the substratum of Vedas is also the same.
Taking the beautiful form, going as a mendicant celibate, this small boy who measured this huge world, once took the form of a boar brought forth this whole earth from under the deluging waters holding it by His teeth. Only I alone did not know this fact until now.
Unfathomable and yet easily accessible, small but yet great is the Lord, Who born as a cowherd became the great king of Dvārakā. He taught then those words which many in this world have not learnt and remain without true " knowledge " considering Him as their enemy.
Statements proclaiming the path of action suited for the householders, the path of knowledge for those who want to renounce and the other paths such as those of devotion to be the means for liberation are not truly valid. For these good paths as well as the paths stressed in the Vedas bear fruit only through the grace of Nārāyaṇa. Who can refute this truth?
Who can know the greatness of the One who is like an ocean, who swallowed all the worlds and brought them forth again. Śiva with the blue neck and Brahma with the eight eyes will not know His rich legacy, "The Charama śloka", the ancient treasure of "He" being "The Way".
The bright serpent Sumukha which sought shelter reaching the ocean with large waves fearing its natural enemy, the eagle king Garuda, was given shelter by the Lord, Who made the serpent climb over the strong body of the eagle without fear. My tongue will not sing the glory of any one else except that Lord with the most beautiful and auspicious form.
I will not sing hymns of praise on humans with my tongue meant only to sing the glory of the holy feet of the Lord of Śrī Vaikuṇṭha, Who is always worshipped with flowers by Rudra of fire-like red locks to the best of his capacity, although such worship does not add to His greatness.
Literature, music, historical Itihāsas, instructional Purāṇas, the element fire, the wide open space, the manusmrithi echoing even in the Vedas, the four Vedās recited precisely from time immemorial, all that is the truth born of the Will of the wonderful Lord.
Not recognizing my faults, the Lord who is blue like the ocean and Who built a bridge across the broad sea with rocks, mentally willed so that effects of all my bad karma would vanish and graced me so His heart would never turn away from me. What a wonder, all bad karma would vanish.
What will happen to those who get to worship Him directly, considering the exhilaration felt by the one who once reduced cupid to ashes by his penance, on listening to Uma recite the glorious name of the Lord with the long crown covered with flowers swarming with bees?
Those who are capable of keeping Him steady in their mind lovingly meditating on the ancient Lord desirous of reaching their supreme abode soon, will consider their physical body linked to their soul as, "a disease".
Hurry and reach the protective fold of Lord Krishna who aeons ago protected all the worlds from the deluge of waters at the time of dissolution. The great devotees far and wide dance and sing the glorious names of the Lord causing the doors of hell to fall shut.
My mind gave up the restlessness thinking about itself as both a hindrance and an aid in seeing the Lord. O'Lord, You by being the meaning of the words that I learnt, becoming one with me and seeding the great Tamil brought out this (garland of verses) from my heart.
The father of the beautiful cupid and the Lord of all devas, whose glories cannot be sung fully even by Śiva, the four-faced Brahma as well as the other devas who all worship Him with fresh flowers, has merged completely in my heart. Is there anything better than this?
The Lord who carries the discus and who is the very form of love, Himself provides help in many ways to those who seek Him by becoming the ruling king, the devas, the heaven, the joys of heaven, the relatives and even the mother and yet being not content with what He has done, bestows the ultimate bliss of liberation.
I do not have a restless mind. I am equal to Rudra in knowledge. However he is not comparable to me for I have lovingly taken up as my daily task the worship of Lord Krishna, the king of kings who wears the victorious anklets with resounding bells.
My main avocation is to sing the glorious names of that ancient Lord for me that alone is enough to spend the time. The great archer Lord Rama who vanquished the pride of the mighty and angry monkey king Vali, has graced me by residing in my heart.
O' my good mind, the Supreme Lord is always there to protect us without expecting any return. Note that He resides permanently in the hearts of those who let their minds dwell on Him. Note that the same Lord who is comparable to only Himself, is my refuge and for others like me, who have no recourse.
Who protected when He himself partook of the usual feast as big as the Himalaya made for Indra? Who gave the Vedic faiths in ancient days and who protected them from deterioration? Who protects Śiva and Brahma from grave dangers? Who protected the worlds and the life forms by swallowing them during the time of dissolution?
Those who choose to live singing the glorious names of the Lord who hurries to remove all sufferings of the soul when it leaves the body along with the vital air, taking Him as the way and feeling that there is nothing to be gained by any action truly live. The life of those who follow paths with ego centred actions resulting in bondage is wasted.
I learnt of one faultless way. Those who choose to meet and live adoring the devotees who forever worship flawlessly the holy feet of the Lord of the ocean of milk, attain the supreme abode, rid of all effects of action, and shine in excellence.
Living well in this world with a desire to reach the supreme abode are surely those who serve the Lord of Tiruvēṅkaṭam offering a variety of flowers at His holy feet. Living even better, are those favoured by the Lord's devotees who following the Lord's will and acting with love remain in service of the Lord only.
Those who have taken the dark hued Lord as the way and are forever devoted to Him offering flowers at His lotus feet and singing His glories with a desire to reach them, are devas even to the one seated on the lotus, the one who wears the dancing serpents, and to all others including the eternal attendants of the Lord.
I will never ever forget that Lord to whom I am a servant keeping Him always in my heart standing, sitting and in all other states, Lord Śrīdhara in whose heart forever resides mother Lakshmi, having been under His protective fold from the days of my sojourn in the womb..
I will not forget the saving grace of Lord Krishna who is both the means and the end. In that deluge, for all the souls bereft of the physical bodies and the senses, O' Lord You blessed them with physical forms. O' Lord with the most auspicious qualities! Those who understand your real nature will not let go of you.
What cannot be done by those who are knowledgeable? You helped Pāṇḍavas, your devotees and eliminated in the battlefield, Duryodhana and others fit to be reduced to ashes. O' Lord, you then laid down on the sweet bed of the bright hooded serpent. If you desire, you can grace me Thy servant, for when there is a need even neem leaf can be cooked as an edible dish.
I accepted Thy service and became free of ego arising out of birth, blessed with devotion and knowledge, unapproachable even to devas. Giving up the heavens and the earth, I am now filled with the highest devotion to reach and experience Śrī Vaikuṇṭha, the supreme abode of all the devotees.
O' my Lord, now I firmly understand that Thou art God to Śiva and Brahma. Now I realize Thy real nature. Thou art the cause of everything. Thou art all that is known and to be known. Thou art Nārāyaṇa, the support of all and the provider of unconditional protection. I understand all of this well.
Benedictory Verse on Śrī Thirumaḻisai Pirāṉ
Long live the One, who sang with love the Andadhi of ninety-six
Long live the One who resided in the beautiful Thirumaḻisai
Long live the One who incarnated on Magham in the pleasant month of Thai
Long live the One who gave
the lovely Chaṇḍa Virutham of one hundred and twenty
Long live the sage who came into this world in the previous Yuga
Long live the One whose words
floated upstream of the bulging river Cauvery
Long live the One who spent
four thousand and seven hundred years in this good earth
Long live the holy feet of our Bhaktisara.