Translated from Yatindra Pravana Prabhavam
Based on the vyakhyanam by Pillai Lokam Jeeyar
Manavala Mamunigal (Periya Jeeyar) had surrendered to his acharya Thiruvaymozhip Pillai ("vAzhi thiruvAymozhip piLLai mAthagavAl vAzhum maNavALa mAmunivan") and obtained Thiruvaymozhi and its meanings from him. He then decided to teach these great meanings to others so that they too can gain upliftment and was involved in that. At this time, Namperumal, through an archaka, asked Mamunigal to explain the meanings of Thiruvaymozhi in His presence and His devotees presence in Periya Thirumandapam. Mamunigal accepted the order and did discourses for an year starting at "uyarvaRa uyaranalam" and ending at "avAvarac sUzh". Pleased by this Namperumal gave him the name "muppaththARAyirap perukkar" and also presented the "srishailesha dayApAtram" thaniyan to him.
Mamunigal speaks of His causeless grace in selecting him for this purpose in the pasuram:
nAmAr? periya thirumaNdapamAr? namperumAL
thAmAga nammaith thaniththazhaiththu - nI mARan
senthamizh vEdhaththin sezhumporuLai nALumingE
vanthurai enREvuvathE vAynthu
The meaning of the srishailesha thaniyan is: "I salute that Azhagiya Manavala Jeeyar, who is the target of the grace of Thiruvaymozhip Pillai, who is the ocean of gnAna, bhakti and vairAgya and who is entirely devoted to Ramanuja".
Ramanuja is the divine feet of Nammazhvar by his grace. Thiruvaymozhip Pillai is one who always praises the divine feet of Ramanuja. Manavala Mamunigal is the most appropriate recepient of that Thiruvaymozhip Pillai's grace. From Srishaila Purna (Periya Thirumalai Nambi) and Srishaila Desika (Thiruvaymozhip Pillai), Mamunigal obtained Ramayana and Thiruvaymozhi. That is, first he obtained Ramayana as Ramanuja and later he obtained Thiruvaymozhi as Mamunigal.
Mamunigal is the ocean of qualities such as knowledge, devotion and determination (in keeping away from matters of this world). In prior forms too, such as Ilaiya Perumal (Lakshmana) and IlaiyAzhvAr (Ramanuja), these qualities were complete in him. But, as Mamunigal, they were doubled in him.
This shows the height of inclination toward Namperumal which is being inclined to Emberumanar. Ramanuja is Parankusha Bhakta. Mamunigal is Yatindra Pravana. It is only due to that, that everyone seeks Mamunigal.
vande ramya jAmAtaram munim:
His divine name Azhagiya Manavala Mamuni is being said and he is being saluted.
Thus, this thaniyan which is like a stuti to him, praises his greatness. Just as praNavam is recited at the beginning and end of Vedas, this thaniyan too is recited at the beginning and end of Divya Prabandham recitation, their vyakhyanams and the rahasya granthas which carry their essence, in all divyadesams.
In the praNavam, the akAra stands for the Lord, the makAra stands for the chetana and the ukAra shows the relationship between the two. It is said "avvAnavarkku mavvAnavar ellAm uvvAnavar adimai enRuraiththAr". This meaning can be seen in each of the terms of this thaniyan.
srishailesha stands for the Lord who is akAra vAcya. dayApAtram shows that the chetana who is for no one but Him, is the target for His grace.
gnAna, bhakti and vairAgya are nothing but being focused on Him alone, as in "thAmaraiyAL kELvan oruvanaiyE nOkkum uNarvu", "athiyanj sOthikkE ArAtha kAthal" and "unniththu maRRoru dheyvam thozhAL". That bhagavat sEshatvam that is said in the akAra is shown by bhakti. svarUpam is the knowledge of the Lord as in "unniNaith thAmaraikatku anbuRugi niRkumathE". Therefore, knowledge of bhagavat sEshatvam is the true knowledge. vairAgya is the determination in seeking only Him and no one else.
Being yatIndra is not thinking about one's self (being a paratantra), and correcting others who are doing nothing and making them as the Lord's servants. Through this, Mamunigal has devotion to Ramanuja. Being subservient to the Lord means it should go up to His devotees. Also, normally Yatindra stands for Ramanuja. Through Rama the Lord is said and through anuja the chetana's svarUpa, which is being a kainkaryapara, is said. The state of prAvaNya is being as in "rAmAnujam yatipatim praNamAmi mUrdhnA".
vande ramya jAmAtaram munim:
ramya jAmAtru shows the Lord who is akAra vAcya. muni shows the parama chetana who has the true knowledge of being the Lord's servant only.
Therefore all parts of this thaniyan can be seen as praNavArtha.