TVM 1-8: Odum Pulleri

In the previous ‘Piravithuyar Ara’ padhigam, Azhwar highlighted the ‘Ashrayana Bhogyatvam’ trait of the Supreme Lord. Continuing the trend of highlighting the auspicious attributes of the Lord, Azhwar highlights emperuman’s quality of ‘Rectitude’ or ‘Arjavam’ in this padhigam.

There are two nirvahams to this Thiruvaimozhi. One school, owing allegiance to Thirukkurugai Piran Pillan, identifies this padhigam to be highlighting the Lord’s wealth (Aishvaryam) while the other, that owes allegiance to Parasara Bhattar, identifies this padhigam to be highlighting the Lord’s Rectitude (Arjavam).

Why should the Lord’s Arjavam be considered an independent trait? Can’t it be subsumed under Saulabhyam and Sausilyam?

Emperuman leaving behind the experience of Srivaikuntam to come to this world of Samsaram and be easily accessible to us chethanas points to His saulabhyam:

சௌலப்யமாவது ஸ்ரீவைகுண்டம் கலவிருக்கையாக வுடையவன், அங்குநின்றும் ஸம்ஸாரி சேதனாநின்ற இடத்தே வந்து அவதரித்து எளியனாகை

Emperuman is unmindful of the fact that He has made Himself accessible to chethanas, without an iota of condescension. On the contrary, He enjoys the fact that He had to lower Himself in stature to make Himself accessible to chethanas. This points to His Sausilyam:

இப்படி தாழவிட்டால் ‘சிரியாரளவில் நமை தாழவிட்டோமே’ என்று தன் திருவுள்ளத்திலு மின்றிக்கேயிருக்கை

Nampillai opines that the Lord’s Arjavam is superior (from our perspective) to Saulabhyam and Sausilyam.

Arjavam refers to transparency in word, deed and thought without any sophistry, duplicity, mental reservation, inhibition or mysterious distortion etc. In addition, this Arjavam trait of the Lord is object-specific; i.e. the Lord’s Arjavam depends upon the expectations of the seeker and is irrespective of whether the latter is a baddha (bounded soul), mukta (liberated soul) or a nitya (eternal):

அவர்கள் போன வழி தனக்கு வழியாம்படி தான் அவர்களுக்கு செவ்வியனாய்ப் பரிமாறுகை

It is this distinguishing feature of the Lord’s Arjavam that makes it superior to Saulabhyam and Sauseelyam. The Lord’s Arjavam is also brought out by Alavandar as ‘ruju:’ in his stotra ratnam. Andal brings out this trait using the words ‘Cheppam’, ‘Thiral’ etc. in her Thiruppavai.

The Lord would never mean one thing, say another and do a third thing. When Surpanaka met Sri Rama at Panchavati and enquired about His personal history, there would have been nothing wrong if He tactfully withheld the information. However, considering that Rama abounded with Arjava guna, He gave out the actual facts to her with utmost sincerity.


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