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Date: Fri Dec 18 1998 - 14:57:09 PST


Dear Bhagavatas,
In this series, we do not propose to state the superficial / obvious meanings
which anyone with a basic knowledge of Tamil would be able to make out. This
is partly because of the space constraints. Also for this reason, we do not
propose to present all the various meanings or the Nirvahams of various
Acharyas which are far too numerous. 

There are several meanings for each of the words employed by our revered
Alwars and Acharyas in their works. And, Tiruppavai is hailed as the seed of
all Vedas-"Vedam Anaithukkum Vithu Aagum". 

Naturally, several layers of meanings have been expounded and several deeper
meanings are being discovered answering to the description of what are known
as -
Bahir Artha (Outer meaning), 
Bahya Artha (Surface Meaning), 
Prathama Artha (Main Meaning), 
Adhyaatma Artha (Soulful meaning), 
Swaapadesa Artha (Underlying meaning), 
Sookshma Artha (Subtle meaning), 
Para Artha (Highest or greatest meaning), 
Apara Artha (Matchless Artha), and many more 
explicit, implicit, implied and interpretive meanings.

To explain a single word or expression, our Acharyas used to take hours and
hours on end, stretching to 3 or 4 Kalakshepam classes. Such is the infinite
variety, richness, vastness, depth and kaleodoscopic scope of interpretations.

Any attempt to offer a short, simple and straight meaning of any particular
expression cannot adequately convey the purport of the Thiru Ullam of the
Alwars and Acharyas and especially so in the case of Sri Andal's Tiruppavai.

In the absence of long years of deep and devoted study of the multi-
dimensional import of the various expressions at the feet of qualified
Acharyas, any attempt at a translation or naive but short talk in a foreign
language can at best be truncated, dull, insipid and perfunctory and will fall
far short of even a modicum of the spirit of the originals. 

Of course, for those who have not had this opportunity, anything dished out
would be welcome because literally 'anything is fish that comes to the net'.

Even though, I had such a Bhagyam of listening to various Acharyas'
Kalakshepams, my absorption is zero and my memory power subzero, due perhaps
to my age. For these reasons, I cannot claim to offer any better
presentationthan what others have been contributing. 

There is not a single Poorva Acharya who has not enriched the verses of
Tiruppavai with their valuable commentaries. The space constraints in such a
short write up would not permit any leeway to explain in extenso all these
commentaries. Within these parameters, however, I shall attempt to address the
issue at hand. I do not claim to present all the categories of meanings nor
the views of all Acharyas.

We may perhaps have to have a series of Pravachanams for a considerable period
and in a face to face fashion. I do not know how far this will help besides
being  feasible and practical. Bhagavatas may give thought to this and if
called upon, I am prepared to do my best to place at your disposal the
treasures our Acharyas have provided in their Kalakshepams to the best of my

Anbil Ramaswamy
Jeeyar' reasons for the classification as 5 x 5 + 5= 30.

01 to 0 5: deemed to wake up the neophytes for doing Bhakti
0 6 to 10: deemed to wake up those who had Bhakti experience earlier but had
been separated from the samefor some reason
11 to 15 deemed to wake up those who did Bhakti earlier and continue to do now
16 to 20:deemed to wake up those in Nandagopan'smansion
21 to 25:deemed to wake up Kannan himself 
26 to 30:The final petition.

Another version of Distribution of the 30 verses is as follows:
Verse 1: explains the role of the Adhikari ( Jeeva), the Upaya (Means), the
Upeya ( goal) and the Kaalam (Time). The words ' Narayanane Namakke Parai
Taruvan' explains the Ashtaksharam.
Verse 2: explains the 'Anukulya Sankalpam' (Doing what is pleasing to the
Lord) and 'Partikulya Varjanam' (avoiding what displeases the Lord).
Verse 3: explains the benefits accruing from the ' Vrata' or 
' Nonbu' 
Verse 4: invokes God's mercy on the entire Universe.
Verse 5: explains the joy of singing the names of the Lord.
Verses 6 to 15: invoke the other Gopis to perform Purushaakaara

Verses 16 to 20: Approaching the members of the royal family to help in
arranging for an audience with the Lord
Verse 21 to 25: Addressing the Lord himself to listen
Verse 26 to 30: Submitting the ' Charter of Demands '
All Pramaanas declare that Lord Narayana is the PARAMATMA, (Supreme Being) 
His grace is the PARAMA HITAM (Supreme Means) and 
Serving at His feet is the PARAMA PURUSHARTHA (Supreme Goal). 

Andal proves all these. 
The PARATATTVAM is revealed in such terms as Narayanan, Paraman, Uthaman,
Maayan, Pullaraiyan, Devaati Devan etc.
The UPAAYAM is revealed in such expressions as 
' Unthannai Piravi Perunthannai Punniyam Yaam Udaiyom'- that He himself is the
means to attain Him. 
The PARAMA PURUSHARTAM is revealed when she says 
' Unthannodu Utrome Aavom Unakke Naam Aat Seivom' - That Kainkaryam at His
feet is THE GOAL (Parama PRAAPYAM). Thus, the Tattva, Hita and Purusharta
enunciated in the Vedas are presented in delectable Tamil.

Sri Parasara Bhattar says that as the Mother Cow compassionately yields milk
even to a dummy calf, What Lord Krishna granted to Andal, He will grant us
also even though we are bereft of Gnaana and Bhakti but do only the Anusantana
(study) of Tiruppavai.

(To Continue)