You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : April 1999

nAcciyAr tirumozhi VIII - viNNIla mElAppu - Introduction

From: Kalyani Krishnamachari (
Date: Fri Apr 09 1999 - 21:20:08 PDT

      SrI ANDAL samEta SrI rangamannAr tiruvaDigaLE SaraNam

      nAcciyAr tirumozhi VIII - viNNIla mElAppu - Introduction 

A. Translation from SrImAn SaDagOpan's tamizh treatise 

godai does not get any response from the great pA~ncajanya 
AzhvAn in spite of all the praise that she heaped on him. Month 
after month passes ending in rainy season with the associated 
lightning and dark clouds. The dark, blue-hued clouds remind 
godai of kaNNan and cause even more pain in her heart.  At the 
time of vastrApaharaNam, He had made a promise to her that He 
will come back to her during the rainy season and disappeared 
from her sight. Now, ANDAL is suddenly sad that He has not kept 
His promise. She decides to tell her plight to the clouds and send 
them as her messenger to gOvindan, who is stationed in tirumalai. 

B. Some additional thoughts (from SrI PVP):

In the introduction to this tirumozhi, SrI PVP describes his 
anubhavam of ANDAL's progression from conversing with the 
pA~ncajanyam to appealing to the clouds to be her messenger.  He 
also discusses the natural advantage that ANDAL has in being able 
to express her extreme love towards bhagavAn in the role of a 
nAyaki, whereas the other AzhvAr-s have to assume this role 
which is not natural to them by their birth. 

In this tirumozhi, ANDAL declares her love for tiruvEnkaTam 
uDaiyAn and sends the clouds as her messenger.  In the previous 
tirumozhi, she conversed with SrI pA~ncajanyan.  This suggests 
the natural progression of a devotee whose thoughts are drawn 
closer and closer to bhagavAn as time progresses. The very 
utterance of His name is sufficient to result in the maturity of a 
devotee such that the devotee is drawn closer to Him.

The progression from pA~ncajanyam to the clouds can be also 
seen as a step up in the sense that the Sa~nkham has as its only 
reason for prominence its being associated with Him.  It is only a 
means to Him, like dharma being only the means to the dharmI 
who is the object to be attained through dharma.  SrI 
pA~ncajanyan is only a SeshabhUtan, as he is dependent on 
emperumAn, and emperumAn is the dharmi (prAkAri) without 
whom the Sa~nkham does not have any existence or appearance.

There is also a similarity between the clouds and the conch that we 
see in the mudal tiruvanTAdi by the mudal AzhvAr (poigai 
AzhvAr) - " kAr kODu paRRiyAn kai ".  One meaning for the 
word kAr is clouds, and one meaning for the word kODu is conch.  
SrI uttamUr vIrarAghavAcArya svAmi interprets kArkODu as 
referring to tiruvEnkaTa Hills (kAr = dark or black, kODu = hill) in 
the context of the pASuram.  But he also points out a possible 
alternative interpretation for the phrase as "One who holds in His 
hand the conch (kODu) that makes the great sound like the dark 
clouds (kAr)", thus establishing a relationship between the two.  

In tamizh literature, there is a stage of separation between the 
nAyakan and nAyaki where the former promises the later that he 
will be back during the rainy season, and the nAyaki suffers from 
separation when the nAyakan does not show up as promised.  
ANDAL is in this stage of separation from kaNNan who left her at 
the time of vastrApaharaNam, and now she sees the clouds but not 
kaNNan.  The color of the clouds reminds her of kaNNan, and 
their garjanai reminds her of the pA~ncajanyam in His hand.  So 
she thinks her kaNNan has come, but lo! Her kaNNan is not there. 
She asks the clouds about emperumAn.  Of course, they do not 
respond to her.  She becomes very sad and insists on sending them 
as her messenger since the clouds have a relationship with 
tiruvEnkaTam uDaiyAn by virtue of their living in the same 

In rAmAvatAram, sItA sends hanumAn, who knew five 
vyAkaraNams and was a great scholar, as her messenger to rAma.  
Since in vibhavAtAram the Lord could talk, embrace, etc., this 
made sense.  Now, in arcAvatAram, godai sends the clouds as her 
messenger, without even thinking that clouds cannot talk, and 
without realizing that all she can do is worship the arcAmUrti but 
not expect Him to embrace her etc.   How do we explain ANDAL's 
actions?   PuttUr SrI kr*shNasvAmi aiye~ngAr svAmi quotes a 
passage from meghadUtam (1.5) " kAmArthA hi prakr*ti 
kr*paNAS cetanA'cetaneshu " which says that those who are 
scorched by love are unaware of their actions and try to send 
messages to their partners through animate or inanimate objects 
such as the cloud etc.  

Then the question arises : "How is it that a person like ANDAL 
subjects herself to kAmam like wordly people?"  We should 
understand that in ANDAL's case it is her extreme bhakti to Him 
that expresses itself in this form.  Just as ordinary mortals who are 
in love cannot bear to live when separated from their loved one, 
the bhakta cannot live in the absence of bhagavAn.  
This being the case with pirATTi, the AzhvArs who were born 
men assumed the role of pirATTi and express their devotion in 
their pASuram-s.  ANDAL is doing nothing different, expect she 
does not have to assume any new role to be a nAyaki.  By birth she 
is a woman, and she can naturally express her devotion to Him in 
the role of a nAyaki. 

SrI kr*shNasvAmi aiye~ngAr describes this in the following 
terms:  "Expressing the bhakti towards emperumAn using the 
language of a nAyaki is like "paLLa maDai" for ANDAL; 
the love of the AzhvArs who try to use girl talk to 
emperumAn to show their extreme bhakti is like " meTTu maDai".

sarvam SrIman nArAyaNAyEti samarpayAmi.

Kalyani Krishnamachari
( <> )