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A Nine-Gemmed Bouquet to the Mother (Janani Navarathna Manjari)-Class I

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Sree Narayana Guru wrote this divine poem in the year 1909 during the occasion of foundation stone laying of Sarada Temple situated at Sivagiri Mutt. This hymn written in the ‘Mattebham‘ metre is one of the Guru’s greatest poems perfectly filled with philosophical thoughts, which delivers with brilliant words’ usage equally harmonized on doctrinal clarity, presentation style, linguistic beauty, rhythm and tempo.
Sarada is Goddess of Knowledge. In this poem, Sarada is viewed as Supreme Knowledge, which is also termed as Supreme Truth. The Supreme Truth with its own illusion or ‘Maya’ created the universe. Supreme Truth is the Origin of everything in the cosmic world. Therefore Devi is seen as Point of Origin or Prime Cause. This is the pure concept of Devi in Indian context. The nine verses in this poem represent nine Gems. ‘Janani Navarathna Manjari’ is thus a Nine-Gemmed Bouquet colorfully adorned to the Supreme Mother.
Translation & explanation of Verse-1
From the one Great Consciousness
Arise tri-basic factors
In their thousands,
(“Onnaya Maamathiyilninnu Aayiram Thriputi”):
The Prime Cause is One for all living beings and that is seen here as Supreme Mother implying Supreme Knowledge. ‘Thriputi’ is a terminology in Vedanta, which means three fold or tri-basic factors. Accordingly, Knowledge consists of three components namely, (1) That which is Known, (2) The act of Knowing and (3) The Knower. I am one among those tri-basic factors representing ‘the Knower’. Every living being while experiencing any kind of action passes through these three different aspects. This approach can be applied to the case of enjoying a thing or an event; .i.e. (1) That which is Enjoyed, (2) The act of Enjoyment and (3) the Enjoyer. The same aspect is expanded to numerous cases of needs, which indicates ‘Aayiram Thriputi’.
And lo and anon!
It results in one forgetting
Being Consciousness in essence;
(“Vannaashu Thanmathi Marannu”):
When such tri-basic factors started coming fast, I forgot my position that I am one of the forms of Supreme Mother. This is because, I being the Knower, Enjoyer, Doer etc. engaged in the material world of comfort-living and influenced by several external conditionings lost the truthful path. This is also termed as ignorance of Non-duality (Advaitham).

There arises love for food and such
Making one fall into
The ocean of miseries.
(“Annadiyil Priyamuyarnnadalaam Kadalil Onnayi Veenu Valayum”):
This implies my over-enjoyment on food and similar things and its’ extreme desire leading to the ocean of difficulties and falling together in sadness. (Annam=food; Aadi=similar to it; Priyamuyarnnu=increased desires; Adalaam Kadalil=unstable & dissatisfied life due to search for material comforts leading to even alcoholics & intoxication; Onnayi Veenu Valayum= falling together in the ocean of difficulties and sadness). The message here is very clear that the food and various needs are meant only to sustain our good health, ideal life etc. and not to go for luxurious levels that will lead to miseries.
Tell me, O Mother,
When shall my inner being
Regain the path of the hope
Of becoming merged
In the core of the radiance
Of pure word-import
That outspreads bereft
Of all the tri-basic factors,
To be reabsorbed
In communion cool
And ever to remain therein?
(“Ennashayam Gathiperum Nada Bhoomiyil Amarnavirabha padarum;
Chinnaabhiyil Thriputi Ennanarum Padikalarnnu Aaridunnu Janani”):
Now my mind has sensed the rightness and understood my mistakes when I followed the proper path to reach you. (Ennashayam = my mind; Gathiperum = Saviour path). Therefore my most important objective is to realize you that gives me eternal peace and happiness. (Nada Bhoomiyil=the condition when one perceives God’s blessings and feel the peaceful voice; Amarnnu Aavir Aabhapadarum = coming to an end to my unwise desires due to Mothers’ Light of Knowledge spread across the universe). My excessive desires are getting stopped now. Mother, your Light of Knowledge directs me to the ideal life for salvation.
The omnipresent Light of Yours has a central point (Chithu=Light of knowledge, Naabhiyil=in the core). Having understood that it is a very long way to attain that Core of Knowledge, I always seek your blessings O Supreme Mother. When shall I be calmly recovered from the tri-basic factors (Thriputi) of this cosmic world, with my inner Self regaining the path of attaining oneness with the Supreme Knowledge and ever remaining therein?
* * *

Do not wish anybody’s wealth
When Sahodaran Ayyappan protested against the advise of Isavasya Upanishad which says ‘Do not wish anybody’s wealth’, Narayana Guru replied:
“Could you understand that this advise is for the rich, who saved all these wealth which belongs to the poor?
-From the book Sree narayana Guru Vaikhari
- by Dr. T Bhaskaran

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