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periya thirumadal question

varadhan_at_uswest.net
Date: Wed Aug 12 1998 - 01:43:34 PDT

Sri. MaNi writes -

-----start quote----
Where exactly in the PTM (periya thiru madal) does
thirumangai aazhvaar go into detail about why dharma,
artha, and moksha are inferior to kaama? And what,
in brief, is his justification for the first two
(I know about moksha from reading siRiya thiru madal)?

Learned bhaktas are requested to respond.
------end quote-----

Though I am not learned by any means, here is my
explanation -

In siriya thirumadal the AzhvAr says
'ipppArOr solappatta mUnRanRE
ammUnRum ArAyildhAnE aRam poruL inbam enRu -
ArAr ivaRRin idai adhanai eidhuvar
sIrAr irukalaiyum eidhuvar'

there are 3 purushArthams  for the people of this
earth - dharmam, artham (poruL, wealth) and kAmam -
ArAr ivaRRin edai adhanai eidhuvar should be read as
ivaRRinidai adhanai eidhuvar ArAr sIrAr iru kalaiyum
eidhuvar
i.e. of the three, those who have obtained kAmam
would have obtained dharmam and artham.

then he goes on to say that there are some people
who say that there is yet another purushArtham - mOksham
and he goes on to discount mOksham in favour of
archAvathAram - 'ErAr muyal vittuk kAkkaip pin pOvadhE'

In periya thirumadal, AzhvAr continues in the same
vein - (In both the madals, AzhvAr's intent is to
perform madal Urdhal for emperumAn because of his
kAmam for emperumAn)

AzhvAr begins periya thirumadal with  description of
perumAL, with the beautiful lotus flower on his
nAbhi; then he goes on to say that perumAL created
brahma on this lotus, and brahma created the 4 vEdas.

now is the part that is of concern to maNi's question-

ammaRai thAn mannum aRam poruL inbam vIdu enRu ulakil*
nal neRi mEmpattana nAnku anRE*

Those vEdas tell us that there are 4 purushArthams that
are siRappu in this earth - aRam (dharmam) poruL (artham)
inbam (kAmam) and vIdu (mOkshm).

A question may arise here - in siriya thirumadal, AzhvAr
says 'ammUnRum ArAyil dhAne aRam poRuL inbam anRu' -
here he says 'ammaRai thAn mannum aRam poruL inbam vIdu'.
So, is he contradicting himself? No. In siriya thirumadal,
AzhvAr goes on to say about mOksham and discounts it.
He does the same here in the following lines

'uLadhennil mannum kadun kadhirOn mandalaththin nannaduvuL*
annadhOr illiyin Udu pOy* vIdennum thon neRikaL senRAraich
solluminkaL sollAdhE* annadhE pEsum aRivil siRu manaththu*
Angu annavaraik kaRpippOm yAme adhu niRka*

if there is a something called mOkaham, show me somebody
who has gone through the hot rays of the sun to mOksham
and has come back! for those who cannot show me somebody
who came back, but keep telling me that the sAstrAs
say that there is a mOksham, I cannot clear their mind
of that thought {literally, I cannot teach them that
mOksham does not exist}!

adhu niRkamunna nAn sonna aRaththin vazhimuyanRa
annavarthAm........
let mOksham be there - let us see what the people who
follow the dharmam get - AzhvAr goes on to describe
that those who follow dharmam go on to enjoy the fruits
of that anushtAnam by going to the lOkam of indra and
spending time with beautiful apsarAs.

then he says
'idhu anRE anna aRaththin payan Avadhu*

After the description of the indralOkam and the apsarAs,
aZhvar says 'this is indeed the fruits of aRam (dharmam)'.
he goes on to say 'ONpoRuLum anna thiraththathE' - the
same is the fruit of artham.

The conclusion here is that both dharmam and artham lead
to a fruit that basically is kAmam.

he then says
'AdhalAl kAmaththin mannum vazhi muRaiyE niRRum nAm'

(Since both dharmam and arththam lead to kAmam), I
will (let us) adopt kAmam - He qualfies kAmam here by
'mannum vazhi muRaiyE'. mannum - nilai niRkum - something
that lasts - so, the kAmam that AzhvAr refers here is
that kind of kAmam that lasts forever - bhagavath vishaya
kAmam.


AzhvAr emperumAnAr jIyar thiruvadigaLE saraNam,
adiyEn madhurakavi dAsan,
Thirumalai Anandanpilai Varadhan