26. ithu thannil sollugiRa arththam - SvarUpamum SvarupAnurUpamAna prApyamum; SvarUpamum upAyamum palamumennavumAm.
The meanings of the Thirumanthra are: the nature of the soul which is being enslaved to Him and having no refuge but Him; and the kainkarya goal which is the natural order for the soul. The meanings are also brought out as: through the praNavam the nature of the soul is established; through the nama: the means which is the knowledge that there is no self-dependence is established; and through nArAyaNAya the goal seeked is established.
Sri PBA Swami's Sarartha Deepikai:
From this sutra on, the meanings of the Thirumanthra will be explained in detail.
First, the meanings of the words making up the Thirumanthra are explained in two ways. One way is that the Thirumanthra shows the nature of the soul and the goal; and the other way is that it shows the nature of the soul, the means, and the goal seeked.
The nature of the soul is that it is enslaved to the Lord and that it has no other refuge. The goal seeked is the nithya kainkaryam (eternal service) to Him. The praNavam and nama: in the Thirumanthra show this svarUpa of the soul and the nArAyaNAya shows the kainkarya goal seeked.
In the second way, instead of taking that praNavam and nama: together define the svarUpa of the soul, it is shown that pranaVa shows the svarUpa of the soul, the nama: shows the means (to the goal), and nArAyaNAya shows the goal seeked.
How does nama: show the means?
In order to reach Him, one has to lose the thought that one can save oneself; the knowledge of complete dependence on the Lord is the way to attaining the kainkarya phala. The false knowledge of self independence is removed in the the utterance of the nama: and as such it represents the means.