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Re: thiru mazhisai aazhvaar and sivavaakkiyar

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani)
Date: Thu Dec 28 1995 - 13:24:14 PST

On Dec 27,  2:01pm, Badrinarayanan Seshadri wrote:
> thiru mazhisai aazhvaar uses numbers all over his poems
> which needs careful study:
> aaRum aaRum aaRumaay or ainthum ainthum ainthumaay,
> ERuseer iraNdum moonRum Ezhum aaRum ettumaay,
> vERu vERu NYaanam aagi meyyinodu poyyumaay,
> ooRodu Osaiyaaya ainthum aaya aaya maayanE!      (TCV - 2)
> Rough literal meaning goes like:
> Oh Lord with magical powers born in a shepherd family! You became (?)
> a six, a six and another six, a five, a five and another five
> in syllables, a two, a three, a seven, a six and an eight
> You became of various knowledge, truth and even falsehood too
> and all the people and the sound, and a five as well !!

K.C. Varadachari translated this paasuram in
his book ``Alvars of South India'', published
by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.  He does not mention
the source for his interpretation, so some of
this may not be traditional, but it is plausible.

	Being the six				1
	the six					2
	and the six				3
	being (worshipped) by the five,		4
	the five				5
	and the five				6
	He who is the excellent two,		7
	the three				8
	the seven				9
	the six					10
	and the eight				11
	having made distinct the knowledge	12
	being the True and the Untrue		13
	the Self of the five			14
	He is the Lord, the magician		15

By line:

1. The six are said to be the duties: adhyayanam, adhyaapanam,
   yajanam, yaajanam, daanam and pratigrahaNam. (Manu, I.88 ff)
2. The six are said to be the seasons: vasanta, grIshma, varsha,
   Sarat, hemanta, and SiSira.
3. The six refer to the yaagas such as aagneya, jyotishToma,
   viSvajit, etc.
4. The five are said to be the yajnas: bhUta, manuSya, pitR,
   deva, and brahma.  Manu III.70 adds a sixth, mahAyajna.
5. The five are said to be prANahutis.  It may refer to the
   five prANas -- prANa, apAna, vyAna, udAna and samAna.
6. These are the five agni-s, gArhapatya, Ahavaniya, dakshiNa,
   sabhdya, and avasatya.
7. The two are said to be God-knowledge and renunication of
   all the rest.  But see Manu IV.4-5 which mention Rtam and
   amRtam (or satyam) as the characteristics of the Divine.
8. The three are said to be lordship, liberation, and realization,
   but more truly the three may be said to be creation, sustention,
   and withdrawal or destruction. (Brahma-Sutras: janmAdy asya yatah,
9. The seven are said to refer the co-requisites of bhakti-yoga,
   i.e., practice of viveka, vimoka, abhyAsa, kriyA, kalyANa,
   anuddharsha, and anavasAda. (Sribhashya, I.i.1)
10. The six refer to jnAna, bala, aiSvarya, vIrya, Sakti, and tejas.
    These six attributes are preeminent among the kalyAna-guNas of
    the Lord.
11. The eight qualities refer to svarUpa of the Divine described in
    BrhadAraNyaka Upanishad: apahatapApma (freedom from sin), vijara
    (freedom from age), vimRtyu, (freedom from death), viSoka (freedom
    from sorrow), vijigIsa, (freedom from hunger), avipASa (freedom
    from thirst), satyakAma (desires are true), satyasankalpa (whose
    will is true). This also may refer to the eight qualities of
    Brahman from the Isa Upanishad.
12. As Isa 8 puts it, one perceives the real nature of things.
13. Revealing the good to the good and the bad to the bad.
14. Reference may be to the previous verse, where the five elements
    are mentioned, or to the five-fold manifestation of the Lord
    as para, vyuha, vibhava, arca, and antaryamin.