by S. Satyamurthi Ayyangar | 388,514 words
This is the English translation of the Tiruvaymoli (or, Thiruvaimozhi): An ancient Tamil text consisting of 1102 verses which were sung by the poet-saint Nammalvar as an expression of his devotion to Vishnu. Hence, it is an important devotional book in Vaishnavism. Nammalvar is one of the twelve traditional saints of Tamil Nadu (Southern India), kn...
It was out of deep compassion of unique dimensions that Saint Nammāḻvār did, in the midst of his mystic experience, par excellence, turn his attention on the people around, from time to time, in order to turn them God-ward. No doubt, he found them distressingly unresponsive and at one stage (vide stanza 25 of “Periya Tiruvantāti”, the third of Nammāḻvār’s four hymnals), he observed that it would be next to impossible to wean away the worldlings, the incorrigibles and make them God-bent. And yet, so great was his tender solicitude that he went on exhorting them to realise the utter futility of worldly possessions and sensual pleasures and take refuge at the lovely feet of the Supreme Lord, Śrīman Nārāyaṇa, the surest and the easiest way of securing release from the bondage of ‘Saṃsāra We could see this great gesture of the Āḻvār, in every centum of this grand hymnal, from I-2 onwards. This is, however, the last decad in which he tenders advice to the world around and a little hence, we will see him marching to heaven through the exalted and exhilarating route, known as the ‘Arcirādhi mārga’, the route of great distinction, earmarked for the released souls, heaven-bound. It is characteristic of the magnanimous elders of great eminence to say a few golden words, on the eve of their exit from this world, by way of parting advice to the near and dear ones around. The Āḻvār, who is overwhelmingly conscious of the Lord’s eagerness to lift him up to His Heavenly abode and the almost immediate prospect of his ascent to Heaven, tenders such parting advice in this decad, the very last of the series of lectures, delivered by him, for the edification and elevation of the earth-bound, sense-buried men of the world, c.f. Vibhīṣaṇa’s advice to Rāvaṇa, even while leaving Laṅkā, bound for Lord Rāma’s Camp—“na naśyanthaṃ upekṣeyam pradīptam śaraṇam yadhā” (Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa, VI.16.22).
The advice conveyed, in this swan-song of the Āḻvār, is short and sweet, the quintessence of ‘Tirumantra’ and ‘Dvaya’, calling upon the worldly men to chant Lord Nārāyaṇa’s holy name and serve Him, in conjunction with Mahālakṣmī, the Divine Mother, by word (singing), deed (offering choice flowers) and thought (loving meditation), vide aphorism 228 of Ācārya Hṛdayam).