Author Topic: Azhwar Songs  (Read 7832 times)

Nagaraj

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Azhwar Songs
« on: December 23, 2012, 08:09:02 PM »
I open a thread dedicated to the Azhwars.



Azhwar means one who is "immersed" in the experience of God. They really, deeply immersed themselves in their devotion and bhakti towards the Lord Sriman Narayanan. Tradition reckons 12 Azhwars. All these Azhwars are one of the Amsams of Lord Vishnu, ,namely, the weapons, the Vanamaali, the GarudA, et al. There is a view that even the great Rishis are no match to the greatness of the Azhwars because the Rishis got their 'jnAnam' ( wisdom) as a result of their own actions of 'spiritual merit' ( Punyam) whereas the wisdom of the Alwars was the direct result of the Lord's divine grace and therefore called ' Divyam'. It is because of this that the works of Azhwars are called ' Divya Prabandham'.

Out of these 12 Azhwars one was a woman and two were kings. The first three Azhwars,viz., Poigai Azhwar, Boothath Azhwar and Pei Azhwar were called as "Mudhal Azhwars" as they lived during the same period and were born in the same year, same month and contiguous stars (Thiruvonam, Avittam and Sadhayam).

The period of the Azhwars based on Indian Historians range from 500 A.D for Poigai Aazhvaar, Bhoothatthaazvaar, Peyaazhvaar and Thirumazhisai aazhvaar ; 550 A.D. for Nammaazhvaar and Madhurakavi aazhvaar ; 600 A.D. for Kulasekaraazhvaar and Periaazhvaar ; 650 A.D. for Sri Aandaal ; 700 A.D. for Thoddaradippodi aazhwarand ThiruppaaNaazhvaar and 750 A.D. for Thirumangai aazhvaar

There are about 3800 compositions (known as Paasurams) of the 12 Azhwars available now. The well known 30 songs of Thiruppaavai are among the 173 composed by Andal, probably the first female composer of the world. The style of the 1360 compositions of Thirumangai mannan (Thirumangai Azhwar) is believed to be specially suited for music and dance. Ariakkudi Ramanuja Iyengar is responsible for re-introducing Thiruppaavai into Classical Music of South India. Late Shri V.V. Sadagopan, Musicologist, Professor of Carnatic Music, Delhi University, dedicated his life to bringing back many more Azhvaar Pasurams into the Musical realm.


Pray to Him to take it over.

« Last Edit: December 23, 2012, 08:10:34 PM by Nagaraj »
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Nagaraj

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Re: Azhwar Songs
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2012, 09:24:18 PM »
என்று கடல் கடைந்தது? எவ்வுலகம் நிரெற்றது?
ஒன்றும் அதனை உணரென் நான் = அன்று அது
அடைத்தது உடைத்து படுத்த ஆழி இது நி
படைத்து இடந்து உண்டு உமிழ்ந்த பார்


When did You churn the milky ocean; For which world - did You receive the water;
I don't know even a little bit about these. That ocean is the ocean, where You are always resting,
on which during Sri Rama's time You built a dam and then broke it (after killing Ravana). This world
is the Earth, that You created, lifted (as Sri Varaha) swallowed (during praLaya), and brought forth.


In this pasuram, Azhvar states that would not His acts such as churning the
milky ocean, measuring the worlds, building a bridge across the ocean, breaking that
bridge, resting on the ocean, creating the world, lifting it, swallowing it and bringing it
back forth, show that He is the supreme.

(Poygai Azhvar, Pasuram 2)

Author: madhurakavi dAsan TCA Venkatesan
Based on the vyakhyanam of Swami Periyavachchan Pillai

॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Nagaraj

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Re: Azhwar Songs
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2012, 10:51:12 PM »
நெறி வாசல் தானெயாய் நின்றானை ஐந்து
பொறி வாசல் பொர்க்கதவம் சார்த்தி - அறிவானம்
ஆலமர நிழல் அறம் நால்வர்க்கு அன்று உரைத்த
ஆலம் அமர கண்டத்தரன்


neRi vAsal thAnEyAy ninRAnai aindhu
poRi vAsal pOrkkadhavam sArththi - aRivAnAm
Alamara nIzhal aRam nAlvarkku anRu uraiththa
Alam amar kaNdaththaran

Shiva, who has the Alahala poison in his throat, at one time in the shadow of the banyan tree,
taught Dharma to four sages By closing the unshuttable doors to the five senses,
will he understand the Lord who is both the means and the end.


(Pasuram 4)



This verse impacted me much, at first instance, it may seem that the poet is subtly belittling Shiva, who is described in the form of Dakshinamurthy. But, this verse verily is most bewildering, that attempts to describe the cause of Mounam, silence. Comparing with the scriptural quote - He who know, knows not and he who knows not, knows!

That is not knowable, the conclusion of which, becomes known.

« Last Edit: December 23, 2012, 10:54:45 PM by Nagaraj »
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

atmavichar100

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Re: Azhwar Songs
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2012, 07:10:36 AM »
Nagaraj

Is there any online source where one can get all the Alwar songs - the tamil text , english translations as put up by you here .If so kindly share the source of the same .

Om Peace 
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha

Ravi.N

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Re: Azhwar Songs
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2012, 07:13:57 AM »
Nagaraj/Friends,
I am posting the verse 4 of muthaRRiruvandhadhi of poigai Azhwaar.Andhadhi means that the antha(end) will become the Adhi(Beginning)of the next verse.
நெறிவாசல் தானேயாய் நின்றானை, ஐந்து
பொறிவாசல் போர்க்கதவம் சார்த்தி, - அறிவானாம்
ஆலமர நீழல் அறம்நால்வர்க் கன்றுரைத்த,
ஆலமமர் கண்டத் தரன்.

நெறிவாசல் தானேயாய் நின்றானை=The Way,The Door to Self.We may refer to the Words of Lord Jesus Christ:
"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me".

Poigai Azhwar,to me, is not questioning whether Lord Dakshinamoorthy understands who The Lord is.He is emphasizing that Dakshinamoorthy is pointing to the same Lord-The Lord who is both the means and the end.
By shutting the doors to the warring senses Five,Lord Shiva who has the poison in his throat,in the Form of Dakshinamoorthy taught this truth to the the Four Sages.He taught them by Being this Truth.
Poigai Azhwar is saying that the Supreme Lord that he is singing this anthathi is this Very same Being -who is not just Being but also the Becoming.

The Iyengars may have their own interpretation which may be partisan but we need to steer clear of this.If we consider that both the Nayanmars and the Azhwars belong to the same period and inspired the Resurrection of Bhakti(Inwardly Jnana)in the wake of Intellectual polemics of Buddhism and Jainism,we may understand that both referred to the same Supreme Being.

Thanks very much for initiating this thread.
Namaskar.

« Last Edit: December 24, 2012, 07:20:49 AM by Ravi.N »

Nagaraj

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Re: Azhwar Songs
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2012, 09:29:05 AM »
நெறிவாசல் தானேயாய் நின்றானை=The Way,The Door to Self.We may refer to the Words of Lord Jesus Christ:
"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me".

Poigai Azhwar,to me, is not questioning whether Lord Dakshinamoorthy understands who The Lord is.He is emphasizing that Dakshinamoorthy is pointing to the same Lord-The Lord who is both the means and the end.
By shutting the doors to the warring senses Five,Lord Shiva who has the poison in his throat,in the Form of Dakshinamoorthy taught this truth to the the Four Sages.He taught them by Being this Truth.
Poigai Azhwar is saying that the Supreme Lord that he is singing this anthathi is this Very same Being -who is not just Being but also the Becoming.

The Iyengars may have their own interpretation which may be partisan but we need to steer clear of this.If we consider that both the Nayanmars and the Azhwars belong to the same period and inspired the Resurrection of Bhakti(Inwardly Jnana)in the wake of Intellectual polemics of Buddhism and Jainism,we may understand that both referred to the same Supreme Being.

Sri Ravi, thanks so much, yes, the commentator of this work is not universal in his approach in his interpretation, whereas the original expression are no where even closer to what has been conveyed by the commentator in many other verses as well. Thanks that, you are here, subramanian sir are here, to provide some light.

Infact, the reason why i have been unable to provide quotes from Quran thread, easily is due to the interpretation in English, that can no where be true from the original Arabic, so much mis-interpretations, in due course, that does not resonate.

I am reproducing the commentary of this verse of the commentator:

May be Azhvar cannot experience such an act of the Lord; would Rudra with his great
knowledge and capacity to teach others as Dakshinamurthy understand Him? Azhvar
replies - "I gained the flawless knowledge by His grace and even I am unable to fathom
His greatness; how is it that Rudra, who gained knowledge and power through penance,
assume that he can understand Him and even begin to teach others about it?"


Sri Atmavichar, I am referring from this link - http://acharya.org/desk.html If i find a better one, shall keep you updated, the commentary of some verses may not be universal.

« Last Edit: December 24, 2012, 09:35:34 AM by Nagaraj »
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

atmavichar100

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Re: Azhwar Songs
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2012, 09:45:20 AM »
Quote
Sri Atmavichar, I am referring from this link - http://acharya.org/desk.html If i find a better one, shall keep you updated, the commentary of some verses may not be universal.

Thanks Nagaraj for the link . It has word by word explanation for the pasurams .
Om Peace .
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha

Subramanian.R

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Re: Azhwar Songs
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2012, 09:55:42 AM »
Dear Ravi, Nagaraj, atmavichar100,

See these two verses from Tiruvaimozhi of Nammazhwar:
If both Saivites and Sri Vaishnavites could understand the true import of Nammazhwar's verses, then there is no
quarrel at all.

 
2816
யாருமோர் நிலைமைய னெனவறி வரிய வெம்பெருமான்,
யாருமோர் நிலைமைய னெனவறி வெளியவெம் பெருமான்,
பேருமோ ராயிரம் பிறபல வுடையவெம் பெருமான்,
பேருமோ ருருவமு முளதில்லை யிலதில்லை பிணக்கே. 1.3.4

2817
பிணக்கற அறுவகைச் சமயமும் நெறியுள்ளி யுரைத்த,
கணக்கறு நலத்தனன் அந்தமி லாதியம் பகவன்,
வணக்குடைத் தவநெறி வழிநின்று புறநெறி களைகட்டு,
உணக்குமின் பசையற அவனுடை, யுணர்வுகொண் டுணர்ந்தே. 1.3.5

Arunachala Siva.

Nagaraj

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Re: Azhwar Songs
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2012, 02:28:40 PM »
Dear Sir,

I present the english translations of the verses provided by you.

2816

My Emperumaan- Even a Great Gnani can not say firmly that He has one nature; At the
same time Even a fool (like me!) can easily say He is of this form and nature;
such a simple Lord; The names the forms are so many thousands for Him; "He does
not have one name and one form". claims many who do not love Him most; "Not that;
He is of this name and form only"- claims those who are His bhakthAs- and their
arguments will continue for ever and ever"


2817

Emperumaan gave us the vEdhas and their ways; He is full of kalyANa guNAs; He is the
primordial Lord who has no end; He is equipped with beautiful Great GnAnam; - Follow
the respected Bhakti way for Him and leave all "other" ways; Realise the Gnanam which
He has granted us; and get rid of the poorva vaasanAs (praaraptha karmaas).


॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Subramanian.R

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Re: Azhwar Songs
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2012, 02:45:23 PM »
Dear Nagaraj,

Thank you for the translation given.

Arunachala Siva.

Subramanian.R

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Re: Azhwar Songs
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2012, 05:30:44 PM »
See this verse of Kulasekhara Azhwar:

 
ஊரிலேன் காணி யில்லை
உறவுமற் றொருவ ரில்லை,
பாரில்நின் பாத மூலம்
பற்றிலேன் பரம மூர்த்தி,
காரொளி வண்ண னே.(என்)
கண்ணனே. கதறு கின்றேன்,
ஆருளர்க் களைக் ணம்மா.
அரங்கமா நகரு ளானே. (29)


I have no town of my own. I have no land. I have no relations even one is not there;
In this world Your Golden Feet alone am I holding as my Refuge.
O with the hue of dark clouds, Kanna,
I am wailing,
Who is there to remove my misery?
O Lord of Srirangam!

Arunachala Siva.   

Subramanian.R

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Re: Azhwar Songs
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2012, 05:59:47 PM »
937:
கண்ணி நுண்சிறுத் தாம்பினால் கட்டுண்ணப்
பண்ணி யபெரு மாயன்,என் னப்பனில்,
நண்ணித் தென்குரு கூர்நம்பி யென்றக்கால்,
அண்ணிக் கும்அமு தூறுமென் நாவுக்கே. (2) (1)

This above verse from Madurakavi Azhwar. He considers only Nammazhwar as his Guru. He came north and found
Nammazhwar in Azhwar Tirunagar in deep down South India, with a light in the sky guiding him.

Arunachala Siva. 

Subramanian.R

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Re: Azhwar Songs
« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2012, 12:55:40 PM »
This beautiful verse is from Tirumangai Azhwar. It is modeled as a lady-love, who always sheds tears of love for Narayana,
who loses her sleep due to constant contemplation about Him.   



2063:
நெஞ்சுருகிக் கண்பனிப்ப நிற்கும் சோரும்
நெடிதுயிர்க்கும் உண்டறியாள் உறக்கம் பேணாள்,
நஞ்சரவில் துயிலமர்ந்த நம்பீ. என்னும்
வம்பார்பூம் வயலாலி மைந்தா என்னும்,
அஞ்சிறைய புட்கொடியே யாடும் பாடும்
அணியரங்க மாடுதுமோ தோழீ என்னும்,
எஞ்சிறகின் கீழடங்காப் பெண்ணைப் பெற்றேன்
இருநிலத்துஓர் பழிபடைத்தேன் ஏபா வம்மே. 12


Arunachala Siva.

Subramanian.R

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Re: Azhwar Songs
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2012, 02:00:37 PM »
This is from Kulasekhara Azshwar describing some of the avataras of Vishnu.

  ஏறடர்த்ததும் ஏனமாய்நிலம்
கீண்டதும்முன்னி ராமனாய்
மாறடர்த்ததும் மண்ணளந்ததும்
சொல்லிப்பாடிவண் பொன்னிப்பே
ராறுபோல்வரும் கண்ணநீர்கொண்ட
ரங்கன்கோயில் திருமுற்றம்
சேறுசெய்தொண்டர் சேவடிச்செழுஞ்
சேறெஞ்சென்னிக் கணிவனே 2.3

Arunachala Siva.

Subramanian.R

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Re: Azhwar Songs
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2012, 04:15:41 PM »
This is again from Tirumangai Azwhar. He says that Narayana removed the curse of Siva who goes house after house and
asks for alms,  This is about the story of Siva where he had a curse from an asura and he ran away from him to save himself.
Narayana removed this curse of chase by that asura and kept Siva safe. This is in Tirukandiyur near Tiruvaiyaru, where Narayana
is called  Hara Sabha Vimochagar.  Similarly the place where Narayana plucked his eye and used it as one of the lotuses when
1000 lotuses were short by one. Siva appreciated his gesture, and left him unharmed in Daksha Yagna. In  this place,
Siva is called Hari Netra arpaneswarar. This is also near Thanjavur.         

பிண்டியார் மண்டை ஏந்திப்
பிறர்மனை திரிதந் துண்ணும்,
உண்டியான் சாபம் தீர்த்த
ஒருவனூர், உலக மேத்தும்
கண்டியூர் அரங்கம் மெய்யம்
கச்சிபேர் மல்லை என்று
மண்டினார், உய்யல் அல்லால்
மற்றையார்க் குய்ய லாமே?

In Daruka forest story, it is Hari who came as Mohini (consort of Siva) and lured the rishis who were thinking that karma
alone would confer liberation. This is the starting point and Murugnar requested Sri Bhagavan to complete the story and
Siva's advice on Jnana Marga is Upadesa Undiyar.

Narayna coming as Mohini is also in Bhagavatam. This Daruka jungle story is described in Kunchitanghri Stavm, also

*****

Arunachala Siva.