Ana Guru

Srimathe Ramanujaya Nama:

A Pasuram from Mamunigal’s Upadesa Raththinamalai:

njAnam anuttAnam ivai nanRAgavE udaiyan
Ana guruvai adainthakkAl - mAnilaththIr!
thEnAr kamalath thirumAmagaL kozhunan
thAne vaikuntham tharum

1. The simplest interpretation for this is: njAnam and anuttanam are adjectives for the guru (acharya). So the disciple has to choose the right acharya with these qualities. And when they do, the Lord will give paramapadam automatically.

But, is this a path that our pUrvAcharyas would set? Would they ask that the disciples evaluate acharyas and then surrender to them? The answer has to be a no.

So, what is the meaning of this phrase?

2. The explanation for this that adiyEn has heard which is in tune with our acharyas thinking is thus. njAnam and anuttAnam are adjectives for the sishya (not the acharya). The silent word in the pasuram is “thanakku”. So, if the disciple with the right qualities reaches the guru meant for him (njAnam anuttAnam ivai nanRAgavE udaiyan [Ana sishyan, thanakku] Ana guruvai adainthakkAl …), then the Lord will give paramapadam automatically. And the ‘thanakku Ana’ meshes perfectly with His nirhetuka krupa. It is the Lord who then brings the appropriate acharya and sishya together.

3. Sri U Ve P B Annangarachariar Swami takes this one step further. Who is the sishya who has the right qualities of njAnam and anuttAnam? If these are qualities that are required in a sishya, then we are all sure to fail. Does that mean that we cannot reach paramapadam? Surely that cannot be the case.

So, who is this sishya who has appropriate njAnam and anuttAnam? There is only one who fits that bill fully. And, that is Namperumal Himself. Recall the Mumukshuppadi churnai here - “sishyan irukkum iruppu nAttAr aRiyAmaiyAlE aththai aRivikkaikAga”.  And who is the ‘Ana’ acharya for Namperumal? It is none other than our dear Swami Manavala Mamunigal. Therefore, the hidden message in this pasuram is that, if we reach Manavala Mamunigal, then the Lord will automatically give paramapadam to us.

For sure, the humble Mamunigal would not refer to himself this way in his pasurams. But, the Lord must have written it this way through Mamunigal. What an amazing explanation by PBA Swami!  

Written in Nov 2004

Azhvar Emberumanar Jeeyar Thiruvadigale Sharanam