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MummaNik Kovai : Part I: Introduction

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Thu Dec 02 1999 - 11:58:08 PST

At 01:15 PM 12/1/99 +0800, you wrote:
>NarayananE namakkE parai tharuvAn>
>Dear Bhagavataas:
>Adiyen wishes to share the excitement on reading
>Swami Desikan's "Mum manik kovai".In this work, 
>Swami Desikan's 'definition' of our
>Lord is simply simple - and great!
>The 7th Paasuram reads like this:
>"payin madhi nEyA     payin madhi tharudhalin
>velliyun nEyA             vellyura nirralin

>Adiyen did shed some tears on reciting this pAsuram the
>first time.

Dear Sri Anand : 

MummaNIKKOvai is indeed the distillation of 
the essence of the genius of Swamy Desikan .
It is known as his Tamizh Kannik Kavithai ,
since this was the first (maiden) song in Tamil
composed by him during his residence at 
ThiruvahIdhrapuram.It was composed at the command 
of Lord DevanAthA .The Lord of Ahindra nagaram 
appeared in Swamy Desikan's dream and asked him
to compose sthOthrams on Him and to house in them 
the saarAmsam of the Four VedhAs .Swamy followed that 
niyamanam and records that effort with the statement:
" Munthai maRai moyya Vazhi Mozhi Nee YenRu Mukunthan 
aruL tantha payan peRREn naanE " . Swamy Desikan's 
bliss in executing the command of the Lord and 
the emanation of his Sri Sookthis with Vedha arthams
is housed in the above passage quoted . 
The Vedha garbham of the individual sections
of the MummaNik Kovai will become abundantly 
clear in the commentaries on each of these 
Paasurams .

Type of prabhandham :
There are 96 kinds of Prabhandhams in Tamizh .
Swamy Desikan picked the MummaNik Kovai among them
for his prabhandham to eulogize the dhivya Dampathis 
of ThiruvahIndhrapuram . 

What is a MummaNik Kovai ?
It is one, which must have AasiriyappA ,
VeNN Paa and KattaLaik KalitthuRai following 
each other to form 30 paadalkaL .Further all
the paaurams should be in the form of AndhAthis .

The uniqueness of MummaNik Kovai(MMK)

This is a great Tamizh Kaavyam . The three aspects 
of a MahA KhAvyam are :(1) VyankhyArtham in the words
chosen or the dhvani echoed through those choices of
words (2) The dominant rasam ; a khAvyam must have
Saanthi rasam as the DOMINANT one among the nine rasams.
This is true in the case of MMK ; there are also
SrungAra rasam , adhbhutha rasam , KaaruNyam and
Veeram as secondary rasams in MMK (3) AlankAram or aNi is 
another requirement of a MahA KhAvyam . Then there are 7 more 
lakshaNams for the MahA KhAvyams . All these like 
seRivu ,TheLivu are also abundantly present in MMK.
Therefore it is called a unique KhAvyam and is considered
a necklace made up of three kinds of gems ( mummaNI):
PurANa Rathnam, SthOthra Rathnam and manthra Rathnam . 

The Realtionship of MummaNik Kovai to NammAzhwAr's Sri Sookthis
Swamy NammAzhwAr's first three prabhnadhams are 
ThiruvAsiriyam , Periya ThiruvandhAthi and
Thiruviruttham . Swamy Desikan chose to follow
Swamy NammAzhwAr in every way in his life . 
Therefore Swamy Desikan followed the exact Yaappus
(metres) of Swamy NammazhwAr's Yaappus in
MummaNik Kovai . Further , Swamy Desikan 
condensed the meanings of the four Prabhandhams
(this includes ThiruvAimozhi as the fourth prabhandham)
in his Senthamizh work , MummaNIk Kovai. 

The Individual Prabhandhams of Swamy NammAzhwAr and MMK

Sri SatakOpar's mudhal prabhandham is Thiruviruttham 
in KaTTaLaik KalitthuRai . In this prabhandham , Swamy
NammAzhwAr deals with the ahapp poruLkaL that led to 
his deep attachment to the Lord . In the Paasurams
set in KattaLik KalitthuRai metre of MMK , we find
the same emphasis on ahapp poruL and that leading to
Swamy Desikan's deep Bhagavath anubhavam .

The second Prabhandham of SatakOpar is ThiruvAsiriyam.
This prabhandham deals with the ecsataic description of
Swamy NammazhwAr about the aprAkrutha ThirumEni of 
the Lord like a well strung kathambha Maalai with 
multi-hued flowers of exquisite fragrance . Aaasiriyap Paa 
is the metre chosen by Swamy NammAzhwAr for this prabhandham .
Swamy Desikan described his exquisite Bhagavath dhivyAnga-
Soundharya anubhavam of Sri DevanAthan in Aaasiriyappaa 
paatalkaL of MMK

The third prabhandham of Swamy NammAzhwAr is Periya
ThiruvanthAdhi in VeNN Paa metre.Here SatakOpar explained
the mulitfaceted relationship that he has with the Lord 
and meditated on that anandhaanubhavam . Swamy Desikan 
enjoyed similarly the bhAndhavyam ( uRavu) with the Lord
and reflected on that unique relationship.

The fourth Prabhandham of SatakOpar is ThiruvAimozhi ,
the illustrious Sri Sookthi , which is the statement 
of the anubhavam of the SaakshAthkAram of the Lord .
This enjoyment from direct experience of Lord DevanAthan
is captured in the tenth paattu of MMK. 

Thus Swamy NammazhwAr's experience of Bhagavath
anubhavam is echoed by Swamy Desikan in letter 
and spirit .This is the greatness of this maiden
Prabhandham of Swamy  Desikan revered as MuMMaNik Kovai.

Swamy Desikan ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam 
Daasan, Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri SadagOpan