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thirup pAvai - oru poruL viLakkam - part 4

From: Sampath Rengarajan (
Date: Fri Dec 12 1997 - 07:18:30 PST

Dear bAgawathALs,

Sri ANDAL thiruvadikaLE saraNam

     It is said that pArvathi and Lord shiva once had vAkku vAtham
and Lord Shiva  cursed  pArvathi.  Soon  pArvathi  had to separate
from Lord  Shiva.  She  prayed to him for  remedy.  As advised  by
Shiva pArvathi, did a severe penance at thiruk kalvanoor,  seeking
Lord  vAmanA's  blessings.  The  penance was so severe and intense
that  pArvathi  stood on one leg and on top of the needle and surr
-ounded by fire all around.

	     Her  resolve  to seek the  blessings  of Lord  vAmanA
never  diminished.  On seeing her sincere  vratham Lord vAmana did
appear and  blessed  her to be  reunited  with Lord  Shiva.  Since
pArvathi did penance on Lord vAmanA and obtained the  blessings of
Lord vAmana she is called as "kAmakshi".

     Her name, "pArvathi" became pAvai, (due to her severe vratham
seeking  Lord  vAmanA's  thiru aruL) a generic  name for all woman
folk doing nOnbu and seeking the blessings of Lord uththaman (Lord
vAvaman  or Lord  Vishnu)  for  their  union  with  their  eternal
"purushan". Later the vratham or nOnbu was practiced  so sincerely
by such  women  generally  called  as  "pAvai",  and they made the
ilakkaNam or akarAthi or the rule book for "nOnbu"  itself.  i.e.,
there are vrathams  undertaken for so many purposes.  However this
pAvai  nOnbu is  undertaken  for  seeking  their  union with their
purushan.  This pAvai  nonbu was  undertaken  so  intensively  for
generations by these  pAvaiyar,or woman, such that the name "nOnbu
or vratham"  itself came to be known through them mainly and named
after them as "pAvai" and was  addressed as pAvai ever since.  The
word  nOnbu in tamil  means,  iRaivaNudaiya  thiru  aruLAkiya  oru
naRkathiyai  perum  theevira  muyarchci.  ie.,  it  is  a  sincere
"EFFORT"  by a jeevAtmA  seeking  the  blessings  of Lord known as
thiruaruL.  Thus  whenever  a woman  (jeevatma)  do a nOnbu  it is
addressed as a pAvai nOnbu or many times "pAvai" itself.

     Thus thiru pAvai means  thiru's  nOnbu or thiru's  vratham to
attain  the Lord.  ie.  thiru or  pirAtti's  nOnbu to  attain  the
parama  purushan  the Lord.  There is only one  "purushan"  in the
entire  universe and such is Lord  Krishna.  Thus ANDAL who is the
amsam of piraati  (boomi  devi) did a nonbu to attain her purushan
and  showed "us all" the way or mArgam for attaining  this "parama

      Another  reason  for the name  thirup  pAvai is  derived  as
follows.  Any  sincere  effort  a  woman  would  take to seek  the
blessings  of the lord to reunite  with her  purushan  is known as
nOnbu or pAvai nOnbu or pAvai.  pArvathi  performed  this  sincere
effort and sought the  blessings of the eternal God Lord  Vamanan,
to reunite with her purushan and named this effort as pAvai nOnbu.
While pirAtti (gOtha  pirAtti)  performed  this nOnbu (effort) and
sought the  blessings  of the  eternal  God Sri Krishna to reunite
with her eternal  purushan  the Lord  Krishna  HIMself.  Thus this
nOnbu or effort  became the most special  nOnbu of all and came to
be known as "thiuru  nOnbu" or "thiru  pAvai" or the "holiest  and
most special effort". Since this generic thiru nOnbu is a mArgam
for all jivAtmAs to follow the path shown by Sri ANDAL and attain
unity with the parama purushan. The nool itself got this name as
the act perfomed in this nool is nOnbu. Thus this nool (as similar
to thirup paLLi ezhuchchi - means awakening the Lord) obtained
its name from the very act being performed in these verses. This
act nOnbu to attain unity with the parama purushan is performed
through the little effort of this jivAtma known as saranAgathi.

Sri ANDAL thiruvadaikaLE saraNam
Sri Boomi dEvi thAyAr samEtha Sri Oppiliappan thiruvadikaLE
Sampath Rengarajan