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MahA VidvAn Sri U.Ve. PerukkAraNai Swamy ' ThiruppAvai Monograph: Selected Excerpts: Part VII-> MahA pravEsam and First Paasuram ( Marghazhi ThingaL Dinam)

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Sat Dec 16 2000 - 04:36:59 PST

Srimathyai GodhAyai Nama:
SrimathE RaamAnujAya Nama:

Dear BhakthAs:

adiyEn will provide a short Introduction on MahA PravEsam
(Grand Entry ) to ThiruppAvai and cover the highlights of
the First slOkam . adiyEn will cover the literary meaning and
follow it by the section on Inner Meanings by Sri PerukkAranai
Swamy .In view of the very limited space to cover these articles , 
adiyEn will be very brief with respect to references to 
other commentaries.

MahA PravEsam( Grand Introduction )
" Every one of us is an ANDAL and like Her must long
for union with the Lord. This is SuddhAntha-SiddhAntham ,
the doctrine of King's harem , the doctrine of Bridal mysticism.
ANDAL was born as a girl and it was easy for Her to become 
a bride for the eternally youthful Bridegroom, Sri RanganAthan.
Other AzhwArs were males and they had to adopt the sentiments ,
language and dress of ANDAL to become the bride , which they 
did successfully (as Parankusa Naayaki/Swamy NammAzhwAr
and ParakAla Naayaki/Thirumangai AzhwAr) to a large extent.
THAT MUST BE OUR GOAL ; we must acquire right knowledge
sitting at the feet of a SadAchArya ;The AchAryan will transform 
us as a bride and offer us to the Lord , who is eager to
accept us. So long as we are in this world , we must try to
do KAIMKARYAM to BhagavAn and His devotees , which is like 
the foretaste of what we are going to enjoy ultimately in
the Transcendent World "-- Professor A.SrinivAsa Raaghavan(1986)

There are many , many commentaries for ThiruppAvai. They are
classified into different groups based on their length.
Twenty four padhams ( grantham in Sanskrit and PaDi in
Tamil) are the units of measurement . For instance ,
MoovAyirappadi commentary ( that of Swamy PeriyavAcchAn 
PiLlai ) has 3000x24 Padhams. The various ThiruppAvai 
Commentaries are :

(1) OrAyirappadi ( 1000x 24 padhams)
(2) IrAyirappadi of JananyAcchAr of Melkote (2000x24)
(3) MoovAyirappdi of Swamy PeriyavAcchAn PiLLai(3000x24)
(4) NalAyirappadi of JananyAcchAr of Melkote(4000x24)
(5) EiyAyirappadi ( 5000x 24 Padhaams)
(6) ArAyirappadi of Azhagiya MaNavALa PerumAL NaayanAr (6000x24)
(7) Upanishad BhAshyakAra Sri RangarAmAnuja's Sanskrit commentary
(8) Sri UtthamUr Swamy's Prabhandha Rakshai(1986)
(9) Sri PrathivAdhi Bhayankaram Swamy's ThiruppAvai NaRu manam(1983)
(10)Sri PerukkAraNai Swamy's SudhA SvAdham commentary (2000 A.D)

We have to be necessarily brief in these daily postings
and we refer you to these original commentaries and 
special articles on Bridal Mysticisms et al assembled 
under Bhakthi List Archives and Sri VaishNavA Home pages 
under ANDAL subtitle by Sri MaNi VaradarAjan.Sri Varadarajan's 
article on ANDAL's life and works there along with
the most beautiful home pages created for Srivilliputthur
By Sri Venkat Iyengar are most valuable for NhakthAs.  

The Saint-poetess ANDAL , the avathAram of BhUmi DEvi
observed Paavai Nonbhu ( Paavai vratham) to attain Lord 
KrishNA as Her Husband (BharthA). She observed a Vratham ,
which is a variation of the KaathyAyini Vratham described
in Srimath BhAgavatham.The Month chosen for the vratham 
was Marghazhi or Dhanur Maasam.This vratham takes a whole
Month to complete. ANDAL became one of the Gopis of
Gokulam -- who observed the Marghazhi Vratham --
and joined Her young friends to obtain the PurushArtham
( the choicest /Highest boon)  of Nithya Kaimkaryam (eternal
service to the Lord )and to have Him as their BharthA.
ANDAL addresses Her play mates and fellow Vratham 
observers as " yElOrempAvAi" . Sri UtthamUr Swamy has
explained that this "yElOrempAvai " refrain found in
the 29 of the 30 paasurams of ThiruppAvai as Yel+ ohr+
YempAvAi ( Oh My dear friend ! I will describe the facets of 
this Paavai Nonbhu and please understand them , accept 
their meanings and practise them ).

The words "NeerAdap pOthuveer" in this paasuram
and elsewhere has nothing to do with taking a bath 
in the YamunA river at early morning as an essentail
preparatory step of the Vratham. NeerAttam (Bathing )
means really the KrishNa samsLesham ( or Union with
Lord KrishNa). Sunai Aadal is an ancient expression 
denoting the same and has been used from Sanga Kaalam . 

ANDAl considered SrivilliputthUr of South as the AayarpAdi 
of North,the girls of Her birth place as Gopis and Herself 
as one of the Gopis and the temple of Vatapathra Saayee as 
NandhagOpar's ( father of KrishNa at Aayar Paadi )house 
and Lord VatapathrasAyee as Lord KrishNa Himself and 
performed the Vratham. This feeling state (Bhavaanai) 
ripened and yielded the sought-after fruits of that Vratham .
She blessed us to follow this vratham and be blessed.

First Paasuram:" Marghazhi ThingaL mathi niRaintha NannALAl.."

Literal Meaning by Dr.V.K.S.N.Raghavan: 
" It is the good full Moon day of the month of Marghazhi. 
Oh the well ornamented maidens ! Those desirous of taking the bath
(in the YamunA ) may please come on. Oh the prosperous young 
girls of AaypAdi ( Gokulam) that is rich and grand ( in beauty
and wealth) ! Lord NaarAyana will surely yield to us alone 
the drum (paRai). He is the son of King NandagOpa , of cruel 
deeds (towards the enemies), and holding a sharp spear in his
hand always. He (KrishNa) is the young lion-cub of Queen YasOdhA
with very charming eyes.He( Lord NaarAyaNa) has a dark cloud-like
divine complexion ,(lotus like) reddish eyes and (lustrous)
face (shining) like the bright Sun and Moon. ( This Lord 
NaarAyaNan alone is the Saviour). (Let us ) resort (to Him)
performing the Paavai-Nonbhu and get the benefit of praise 
from the people of the world. { (Oh dear freind , may You 
recite and learn this)-know the purport of this hymn}.
(Mention may  be made of the slOkam of Bhagavath GitA :
" mAsAnAm mArga-sirshOham--X.35); " Lord NaarAyanan alone 
will grant Moksha SaamrAjyam to the individual soul" is
indicated in the seventh line of this First paasuram ".

SvApadEsArtham (Inner Meanings) of the First Paasuram
There are many inner meanings to every word used by
ANDAL in this and every paasuram of ThiruppAvai.For reasons of 
brevity , we will give only the condensed meanings for 
the words of the paasuram as revealed by Sri U.Ve.PerukkAraNai
Swamy :

Seer malhum       The place where those blessed ones , 
                  who comprehend fully the anantha kalyANa 
                  GuNams of the Lord reside

AaypADi           In this dark SamsAric world

nErizhayeer       Oh People with the noble traits of Samam
                  and dhamam ( auspicious Aathma GuNams
                  of Tranquility and Control over the senses)!
NiRaintha-        On this day , which is like the Moon with
ThingaL Mathi     all its sixteen digits (kalai) just as 
                  the ShAdgunya SampoorNa BhagavAn Himself

NannALAl          Since it is such an auspicious day

Maarghazhi        Those who wish to follow the most noble 
Neerada           upAyam (means) of Prapatthi (self-surrender)!
pOthuveer         Please join us!
pOdhuminO !       

Koor vEl          The one with the sharp-pointed sankalpam
                  similar to the tip of a well honed spear 
                  or javelin

kodum Thozhilan   One who destroys our sins 

NandhagOpan       and is the eteranl Youth , who is 
Kumaran           the BrahmAnandha Svaroopan , who 
                  initiated BrahmA into the Vedams
                  and their meanings 

yErArntha KaNNI    the One , who adorns the beautiful  
                   flower garland known as Vaijayanthi

Yasodhai           the One , who has attained unquestionable 
                   fame (Yasas) by granting us BrahmAnandham

iLam Singham       One , who is like the powerful Lion
                   chasing away our sins and enemies

KaarmEni           One who has the hue of a dark blue rainy 
SenkaNN            cloud and has lotus like besutiful eyes

Kadhir madhiyam    One who has the lustrous face like  
pOl MuhatthAn      the radiant Sun and the cool Moon

NaarAYaNanE        That SarvEsvarn , who has incarnated
                   as Krishnan now amidst us

pArOr Puhazha      who is compassionate towards us and
padinthu           who is lauded by the world for His 
                   sensitivity about not failing in His 
                   duties to protect us always

NamakkE            for us , BhaagavathAs , who have
                   performed Bhara NyAsam (Aathma Samarpanam,
                   Prapatthi ) at His sacred feet


Other thoughts on selected key words of paasuram 1
(1)The sacred Month of Marghazhi has Kesavan ( the first of 
the 12 Upa-VyUha Moorthys) as the presiding deity .
Therefore , any Vratham , charity (dhAnam) , SnAnam ,
AarAdhanam performed in Marghazhi will quickly yield fruits
according to Swamy Desikan ( Taathparya Chandrikai).
That desired fruit is Parai or nithya kaimkaryam in 
His SaamrAjyam (Sri Vaikuntam).

(2) Swamy JnaanyaachAr summarizes the significance 
of the message of this paasuram as " PrApya PrApakangaL

(3) "yElOrempAvAi" --This refrain is the Chandas for
the Nonbhu according to Swamy JananAycchAr. Upanishad 
BhAshyakArar recognizes this Makutam of ThiruppAvai
as "Paadha PoorNArtham ".

(4)" PaRai TaruvAn ":As the Purushan with the greatest
affection for His Pathivrathai wife , Sriman NaarAyaNan
will bless us with the requirements(tools) for Kaimkaryam 
and Ubhaya anushtAnam such as Jn~Anam , Seelam and other 
auspicous Aathma GuNams ( Sri Abhinava Desikan ).

(5) " NaarAyaNanE--TharuvAn ": Lord NaarAyaNan Himself ,
 the inner meaning of Thiru AshtAksharam , will bless 
the ChEthanams (MakArArtha Jeevans)-- after being pleased 
with their AshtAkshara Japam -- will perform UpAya anushtAnam
for them (through a SadAchAryan)...(Sri Abhinava Desikan).

(6) The yEkAram in " NaarAyaNanE " and "NamakkE":
This yEkAram asserts that " SadhArchanE TantharuLa Vallan ;
SathsishyanE PeRatthahunthavan" ( The SadAchAryan ALONE
can bless us; the sath-sishyan alone is qualified
to receive that rarest of blessings " (Sri PBA Swamy).

Soodikkoduttha NaacchiyAr ThiruvadigaLE Saranam ,
Sarvam KrushNArpanam asthu
RaamAnuja Daasan , Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri SatakOpan    


           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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