The Poruma Neelpadai thiruvaimozhi brings out the essence of Srivaishnava Sampradhayam by explaining the concept of the Lord’s causeless grace (நிர்ஹேதுக க்ருபை).
In the previous ‘Ivaiyum avaiyum’ thiruvaimozhi, we saw how azhwar describes His union with the Supreme Lord (ஸர்வாங்க ஸம்ச்லேஷம்) by highlighting the auspicious attribute Satyma Bhoga Pradatvam. Moving forward, in this thiruvaimozhi, we shall see how Azhwar rationalizes his own actions and ends up praising the Lord’s causeless grace that was instrumental in azhwar experiencing unprecedented, inexplicable and infinite bliss in His union.
The bliss experienced by azhwar in the Lord’s company was so satisfying that azhwar considered it to be the heights/ends of fulfillment. The only thing Azhwar desired at that moment was its uninterrupted continuance.
பேற்றில் இனி இதுக்கு அவ்வருகு ஏற்றமாகச் செய்துகொடுக்கலாவது ஒன்றுமில்லை; இனி இதனுடைய அவிச்சேதத்தை பண்ணிக்கொடுக்கையே உள்ளது
Since what azhwar experienced during the union with the Lord was disproportionate to the effort(s) he had put in, he began rationalizing his actions that led to this enjoyment. He was able to conclude that he hasn’t done anything worthwhile to be a recipient of the Lord’s abounding grace.
பேறு கனத்திருந்தது; இப்பேற்றின் கனத்திற்கு ஈடாயிருப்பதொரு நன்மை தம்தலையில் இன்றிக்கேயிருந்தது
At best, Azhwar did not have repugnance towards the Lord and maybe displayed a slight inclination towards seeking His feet. However, considering the magnitude of enjoyment Azhwar has been blessed with, the absence of repugnance and the slight inclination he displayed towards seeking the Lord’s feet could hardly be counted as actions that can serve as means to salvation. Nampillai compares this to a trade where one takes possession of a kingdom by offering a lemon in return for the transaction.
ஒருவன் ஓர் எலுமிச்சம்பழம் கொடுத்து ராஜ்யத்தைப் பெற்றால் அது விலையாயிராதே
In essence, Nampillai informs us that our efforts (சாத்யோபாயங்கள்) can hardly constitute the means to salvation. It is emperuman’s causeless grace alone that can help us attain His divine feet.
ஸர்வேச்வரன் அடியாக வரும் பேற்றுக்கு இத்தலையால் ஓரடி நிரூபிக்கலாயிராதே
Pillai Lokacharyar brings out the essence of the same concept in the following Srivachanabhushana sutram:
இழவுக்கு அடி கர்மம். பேற்றுக்கு அடி க்ருபை
It was emperuman who brought us forth into this world. He was the one who gave us the knowledge and the independence to act according to the prescriptions of the sastras. Also, if we did not develop repugnance towards Him and developed an inclination to reach His feet, the credit for that too should go to Him alone, as He directs us being our Inner Controller. Tomorrow, if He elevates us to His divine abode and gives us a status equal to that of the celestials, it can again be only due to His causeless grace and not because of any initiation from our end.