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A 'mArgazhi' diary: some reflections-3

From: sampath kumar (
Date: Tue Dec 21 1999 - 03:04:44 PST

Dear friends on the bhakti-list,
Today (21st December) adiyen read Sriman Sadagopan
swami's  'anubhavam' of the tiruppAvai. What a
pleasure! How nicely Sadagopan Sir handles the pAsuram
"aazhi-mazhaikanna..." and how nicely he shows how the
Lord in 'mohini-alankAram' appeals to both 'nubile'
womenfolk and virile 'menfolk'. Thank you so much,
Sir, adiyen really enjoyed devarir's most erudite
post. It was so very informative.

Now adiyen continues with his own diarized little
notes on a layman's 'anubhavam' of a few pAsurams from
the tiruppAvai.

     **********   ********   ****** 
In the tiruppAvai, our divine poetess of
SriVilliputtur has written some truly exquisite lines
on "mazhai" rains) and "tooya perUneer" (pristine
river waters).

Expressions she uses like "teeng-inri nAdellAm
ting-gal mummAri peyydu..." (Verse 3),
"vAzha-ullaga-nil nee peydhi~Dai...",
"sArnga-udhaita-sara-mazhai pOl" and "... tooya
perUneer yamunai..." ... these are all phrases
reflective of a poet's extreme fascination for "rain"
and "stream-waters" and for the blessing of fertility
and plenitude they shower on the world at large. 

It is no surprise at all the subject of "rains" or
"streams" held a special and inspired place in pirAtti
heart and which drove her to the loftiest heights of
poetry. And it is therefore not without significance
that in the "gOdA-stuti", AndAl's person and
personality are both described by Swami Desikan in 
especially riverine metaphors:

   "shOnA-dharEpi kuchayOrapi tunghabhadrA
     vAchAm pravAhani-vahEpi sarasvatee tvam I
    aprAkrutai-rapi rasair-virajA svaBhAvAth
     gOdApi dEvi kamitur-nanu narmadAsi II

Desikan says, "Words fail in describing thee,O
Goda-devi! Should I liken your soft lips to the
scarlet Sone-river? Should I liken your ample breasts
to the heaving Tunghabhadra? Your sweet speech to me
is the sound of the gentle ripple of the Sarasvati! O
Devi! Your "svabhAva" shames the Viraja's purest
currents even? And if I must praise thee as the
beloved of thine Spouse how else should I compare thee
than liken you to the faithful Narmada?".      

*****     ******     *******

Whenever adiyen reads, again and again, the 2nd, 3rd,
4th and 5th verses of the tiruppAvai, adiyen marvels
at how beautifully pirAtti expands and develops the
theme of "human sacrifice" (e.g. 'mArgazhi-nOnbu',
'ekadasi-vratam','hOma-yag~nya kArya', etc.) and
skillfully associates it with the universal prayer of
humanity for "rains" and "riverine waters". 

(1) neyyunnOm pAlunnOm nAtkAle neerAdi
    maiyyittu-ezhudOm malariitu nAmudaiyyOm
   seyyAdana seyyOm teekurallai sendrOdOm..." (Verse

(2)"teeng-inri nAdellAm ting-gal mummAri peyydu..."
(Verse 3)

(3)"vAzha-ullaga-nil nee peydhi~Dai..."

(4)"... tooya perUneer yamunai...".

In the first of the above 4 passages, pirAtti with a
few deft, masterly poetic strokes covers the theme of
"sacrifice" as a great sustaining force in the human
world. Here she is echoing the the Vedic clarion call
for "yagn~ya" -- that supreme ("dhArmic") principle of
"sacrifice" on which all universe and all humanity
sustains itself and survives. Here one hears the
echoes of the Rg. suktam: "yagnyEna yagnya-maya jantA
devAh:, tAni dharmAni prathamAnnyAsann...etc.".

In the second of the above passages, AndAl uses the
expression "mummAri-peyydu"... an extremely evocative
expression. In adiyen's mind it never fails to
immediately trigger rapid and multiple images of the
monsoon-rain coming down in great white sheets from a
rumbling, darkened sky and sweeping majestically over
vast acres of lush paddy-fields surrounded by thick
and silent woodlands.... 

The 3rd and 4th of the above 4 passages again, in
scintillating terms, speak of the life-giving,
life-sustaining force of rain.

All the 4 passages above when read together clearly
underscore one of the most important messages of the

And what is that message? 

adiyen shall explain in the next page of this
'mArgazhi' diary.


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