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Sri ANDAL-Sri RanganAtha KalyANam ; Part 7.1

From: Sadagopan (sgopan_at_computer.net)
Date: Tue Apr 14 1998 - 18:45:40 PDT

Dear BhakthAs of ANDAL and Sri RanganAthA :

This posting dealing with ANDAL-Sri Ranganatha ThirukkalyANam
will be based on ANDAL's own visualization of Her wedding .
The archival source would therefore is Her "VaaraNamAyiram "
paasurangals ( NaacchiyAr Thirumozhi 10.6 ) . 

In Sri VaishNavite weddings , during the occasion of 
" Pacchai poosuthal " , these paasurangaLs are sung 
to confer ANDAL's and Sri RanganAthA's blessings 
on the newly wedded couple for long , happy , 
harmonious wedded life blessed with children 
having Brahma Jn~Anam and Saathveeka 
GuNa Sampath . ANDAL herself describes the fruits of 
reciting these paasurangaLs of Hers this way :

AayanukkAha thaan kanta kanaavinai
 vEyar puhazh VilliputthUr kOn Godhai sonna 
thUya Tamizh maalai eerainthum vallavar 
 vaayu nanmakkaLaip peRRu makizhvArE 

ANDAL described here the auspicious boons that result
from reciting the paasurams dealing with Her 
dream of marrying  Lord KrishNA . NanmakkaL 
( progeney of unimpeachable good conduct )
are the anugrahams resulting fro such recitations.

The wedding scenes that ANDAL describes are full 
of beauty. They are very high in imagination .
They have the splendid fragrance of the Vedaas 
( Veda maNam kondavai ) . They are linked by the five
parts of marriage that are celebrated by Rg Vedam . 
Our purvAs have described succinctly those five parts
this way :

vAg dhAnam cha pradhAnam cha varaNam paaNi peetanam I
sapthapaatheethi panchAnghO VivAha: parikeerthitha: II

The sampradhAyic wedding according to the above slOkA 
has the following five angAs (parts ) : (1) Vaag DhAnam 
(2) KanyAdhAnam (3) Vara PrEkshaNam (4) PaaNigrahaNam 
and (5) saptha Pathi .

 Vaag dhAnam as a prelude to KanyAVaraNam
*****************************************

This first angam deals with the request for the hand 
of the bride by elders on behalf of the BrahmachAri ,
who wants to enter GrahasthAsramam at the end of his
Adhyaynam Of the VedAs under a proper guru .The BrahmachAri
requests the intercession of elders and asks them to
approach the father of the girl to grant his wish to 
marry his daughter to follow the vEdic way . 

Sri RanganAthA as the " BrahmachAri " seeking the hand of 
GOdhA piratti did some thing special . He appeared in 
the dream of PeriyAzhwAr , the father of GodhA PirAtti 
and suggested : " Umathu putthiri Godhaiyai kondu yem
ThirumuRRatthE vaareer . AvaLakku tahuthiyAha nAmE 
pANigrahaNam paNNUhiROm " ( Please bring your daughter ,
GodhA , to our court . We will marry Her in a superb 
manner befitting Her special status ) . 

Next thing , Sri RanganAthA did was to command His servants 
at Srirangam thru a dream and told them : " namm chatra 
chAmara taalavrunthAthi parijana paricchEthangalOdE
Sri VilliputthUrERp pOy ANDALai azhaitthukondu vArungOL "
( please go to Sri VilliputthUr and bring ANDAL here
with all of the Koil maryaadahis : My Umbrella , Fans ,
Percussion Instruments , naathasvaram music and 
my liveried servants ) . The Koil sippandhis( purOhithAs
and others ) went to Sri VilliputthUr with all the insignias 
of Sri RanganAthA for requesting the hand of ANDAL for
their Lord . The Veda manthram that Sri RanganAthA recited 
and today's BrahmachAris recite is as follows :

pra sugmanthA dhiyasAsanasya SakshaNi 
varEbhir varAgum abhishu prseedhatha: I
asmAkamindhra ubhayam jujOshathi 
yath sOmyasyAndhasO BhuBOdhathi II 

( Meaning) : O Elders ! please proceed with haste 
to the house of the father of the Kannikai and 
have my interests in your minds ! Please arrive there         
with a clear mind and sense of purpose about your 
mission . Please tell the father that Indran is waiting 
to partake off the Soma rasam of the Soma Yaagam that we 
plan to perform as husband and wife and wishes us well 
to engage in such pious activities . Please accomplish 
your mission on my behalf and return safe and successful ! 

Lord RanganAthA pleaded with the two Demi Gods , AryamA
and Bhagan to make the path of the elders going to 
PeriyAzhwAr's house free from thorns and sharp stones . He 
asked them to unite Him with His dear love , ANDAL 
in the Vedic way resonant with harmony and happiness .
The Veda manthram housing such thoughts is as follows :

anruksharA rujava:santhu panthA 
yEbhi: sakAyO yanthi nO varEyam I
samaryamaa sam BhagO nO nineeyAthsam 
jAspathyam suyamamasthu dEvA :II

(Meaning) : O Celestial ones ! May the path that 
our messengers travel to reach the house of the bride's
father , be smooth and straight . May the Lord of 
cosmic order ( aryamA ) and gracious Lord ( Bhaga ) 
conduct us , and may  the union of wife and husband
be easily accomplished .      

PeriyAzhwAr's response : KanyA varaNam 
***************************************

PeriyAzhwAr responded positively to the request
of the Lord sent through His kainkarya bharAs (elders)
and declared : DhanyOsmi ( Blessed am I ) .
He poured forth words in joy about his sowbhAgyam
to realize the Lord as his son-in-law : 

" ThribhuvanAtheesvarAya , AkilAntakOti 
BrahmAnda NaayakAya , TattvAtheethAya ,
Sakla nishkaLa svarUpAya , SurasurArchitha
paadha padhma yugaLAya , akilOnnatha pavithrAya ,
ArdhrathrANa pArAyaNAya , paravyUha vibhavantharyAmyarchA-
svarUpiNE , Chandra pushakaraNi tatsthithAya ,
SaraNAgatha santhrANa tathparAya , SRI RANGANAATHAAYA 
mama kanyA dhattham " .

( Meaning ) : To the Lord of the three worlds ,
to the Master of the entire universes and its crores of 
beings , to the one beyond all TattvAs , 
to the one of the form totally free from any blemish ,
to the One , whose pair of lotus feet are worshipped by 
the DevAs and the asurAs alike , to the supreme principle ,
which is the most sacred among the sacred  , to the One 
supreme being which has taken the vow to come to the rescue 
of the distressed , to the one who is of the pentad forms 
(viz., ) Para , VyUha , Vibhava , ArchA and antharyAmi ,
to the One who resides on the banks of Chandra PushkaraNi ,
the one whose vratham is to protect those , who seek 
refuge under His feet , to that Sri RanganAthA , my
daughter ANDAL Is betrothed .

Sri RanganAthA's joy over the good news 
*****************************************

When the koil servants returned to Srirangam 
and informed the Lord that His request was 
accepted by PeriyAzhwAr , the Lord was delighted .
He rushed to SrivilliputthUr surrounded by 
thousands of His elephants and His other retinue .
There at the city gates , He found PeriyAzhwAr
standing to greet Him with pUrNakumbham along with 
the citizens of Sri VilliputthUr . ANDAL described
this joyous scene to Her dear friend : 

vAraNam aayiram soozha valamcheythu
NaaraNa nambi natakkiRAnenRu yethir
pUraNa porkudam vaitthup puRamenghum 
thOraNam naatak kanAk kandEn thozhI naan (NTM 10.6.1)

The whole town was decorated with banners 
and festoons for the forthcoming wedding .
The bridegroom had arrived for the NiscchiyathArtham
function . The wedding dais was decked with 
the areca nut saplings containing tender shoots .
Under that beautifully decorated wedding canopy ,
ANDAL saw Her beautiful Lord Narasimhan known also 
as Maadhavan , Govindhan and RanganAthan seated 
as a Youth brimming with sarva saamudhrikA lakshaNams:

naaLai vadhuvai maNamenRu naaLittu
paaLai kamuhu parisudaip panthaRkkeezh
kOLari Maadhavan Govindhan yenpAn , Ohr
kALai puhuthak kanAkkandEn thozhI naan (NTM 10.6.2)

Sri RanganAthA's dhOsha-sAnthi manthram utterance 
**************************************************

The Lord of Srirangam sat under the wedding canopy
and recited the manthrAs for banishing any defects,
imperfections in His bride-to-be and concluded 
the nischiyathArtham ceremony part of the VivAham . 
The mantrams recited by Him on that occasion and 
followed by us even today are from the dasama khAndam 
of Rg Vedam :

agOra chakshurapathignyEdhi sivA 
pasubhya: sumanA: suvarchA :I
veerasUr devakAmA syOnA sam nO bhava 
dhvipadhE sam chathushpadhE II ( Rg Vedam X.85.44 )

imAm tvamindra meeDva: suputhrAm subhagAm kruNu I
dasAsyAm puthrAnA dEhi pathimEkAdasam krudhi II 
---( X.85.45)

samrAj~i svasurE bhava samrAj~i svasravAm bhava I
nanAndhari samrAj~i bhava samrAj~i adhi dEvrushu II
---( X.65.46)

samanjanthu visvE dEvA :samApO hrudhayAni nou I
sam maatharisvA sam dhAthA samu dhEshtrI dhadhAtu nou II
---( X.85.47)

These four manthrams found in the X.85 canto of Rg vEdam 
are extraordinarily rich in meaning . The bridegrooms 
of today should recite them properly with the purOhithAs
and invoke with understanding the spirit of these 
ancient manthrams .The bridegroom should slow down 
the VaadhyArs and ask them to instrcut him to
recite it properly .

These manthrams follow prayers housed in the previous two verses
for abiding together and never to be separated . It prays for
a household full of children and grand children . It prays
for union until old age , free from all evils . It asks 
the bride to be the harbinger of prosperity to the bipeds 
and the quadrapeds . 

The meaning of the above four specific manthrams are as follows :

X.85.44: Oh Bride ! May you never cast an evil glance 
at your husband in your married life ; never ever be 
hostile to him and pull the oars in the opposite way ; 
be tender and kind to animals ; may you ever be amiable 
and cheerful as you go about your duties as the yajamAni
of the household ; be the mother of brave children ;
adore the divine powers ; be the source of happiness 
in the household ; bring prosperity to our bipeds and 
quadrapeds .

X.85.45: O generous Lord ! make her blessed with the bounties
of children and fortune ! give her ten sons ; and 
then her husband becomes the eleventh one ( Dvitheeya
saisavam ) .

X.85.46: Oh Bride ! be a queen to your father-in-law! 
be a queen to your mother-in-law! be a queen to your 
husband's sister! be a queen to your husband's brother ! 
( The word chosen by Vedam is " samrAj~ni " .What a respectful
envisioning of her role in the household to keep harmony ).

X.85.47 ( This one is a geat prayer ! ): 
May the entire congregation of the guests invited
and present at the wedding unite our hearts .may we be 
tranquil and united ! may we be calm and united like 
the mixed waters ( the waters of many rivers in the ocean
unite without their individual identities )! may we be united 
like vital breaths !( prANa vAyu in the body )may both of us 
be in unison like the creator and His creation !
may we be one like the AchAryan and his sishyan! 
may we both be loving and loyal to each other 
throughout their lives ! 

Sri RanganAthan invoked these manthrAs to bless
ANDAL and prepared Her for observing MangaLa snAnam
and wearing of the new pudavai ( koorai udutthal ).

ANDAL describes the nischithArtha manthraNa ceremony 
presided over by Her Lord in the midst of the assembled 
dEvAs this way in Her third paasuram of this decad: 

Indiran uLLitta dEvar kuzhAm yellAm
vanthirunthu yennai mahatp pesi manthiritthu 
manthirakkOdi udutthi maNa maalai
andhari sootak kanAk kanDEn thOzhi naan 

Here ANDAL refers to two events :(1) The nischiyiathArtha
manthrams recited by Sri ranganAthan and (2) the wearing of 
the koorai pudavai assisted by the sister of Her husband 
and wearing fragrant wedding garlands . 
  
( Vivaaham festivities will be continued )