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Re: A 'mArgazhi' diary: some reflections-4

From: sampath kumar (sampathkumar_2000_at_YAHOO.COM)
Date: Thu Dec 23 1999 - 02:39:00 PST

--- Mani Varadarajan <> wrote:
> It is very important to keep these ideas in mind. 
> If the paavai> nOnbu is not understood as merely a
pretext, and not> a method by> which to seek personal
favors, the entire intent of> Andal will> be lost.
> daasan,
> Mani

It is very interesting to see Sri.Mani raise some
points in response to adiyen's 'reflections'.

adiyen's feels Goda's poetry is a many-splendoured
gem. It appeals in a variety of ways to varied
literary tastes and religious dispositions. It offers
infinite scope for "yukti" and adiyen is not at all
pretending to offer authentic SriVaishnava achArya
"vyAkhyAnam". That is why adiyen is openly saying in
my posts that these are 'diarized reflections' of
mine. Nothing more, nothing less.

Be that all as it may, Sri.Mani must kindly note this:

The tiruppAvai 'vratam' is not for "personal
favours".(How Sri.Mani gets this impression from
adiyEn's few posts, I really don't know, especially
when adiyen had taken pains to indicate the exact

Goda asks for "teenginri nAdellAm tinggal mummAri
peyydu...". She is not asking for any personal gain
here. She is asking the rain-gods to shower their
bountiful blessings on all the world! And for that,
she says the "aayarpAdi" maidens have duly observed
the sacrificial norms of "neyy-unnOm, pAl-unnOm...
etc". In other words they have performed it all in the
true spirit of a Vedic "yagnyAm". Hence pirAtti boldly
asks the rain-devas to pour down and to honour their
obligations under the pact between mortals and
super-mortals hailed by Sri.Krishna in the "gita" as
"parasparam bhAvayantah:".

GodA thus shows how "yagnya-kAryam" like "vratam" etc.
are performed not for personal gain but for universal
welfare. The performer of "yagnyam" willingly subjects
himself/herself (like the "aayarpAdi" girls did) to
the pains of sacrifice for the sake of the larger good
of the world. He/she who does so is truly "uttaman",
for the definition of "uttaman", it has been said, is
he or she who strives for the welfare of others even
at his/her own expense.(Significantly, Andal uses this
very same extraordinary word: "Ongi-ullagalandha-
uttaman" in Verse3)

adiyen finds it very difficult to believe that
"vratam" and "yagnyam" are to be regarded as, what
Sri.Mani calls, "pretexts" in the 'tiruppAvai'. AndAl,
adiyen thinks, intended them as real. They ARE real.
Reading the lines of the "pasurams" you cannot deny
that there is a clear message viz.: "perform "yagnyam"
and reap universal welfare". 

If the tiruppAvai was all about a "vratam" which is
merely "pretext" then why would Goda-pirAtti have gone
to the extents she has done in the 30 pAsurams to
celebrate the "mArgazhi-nOnbu"? I find it rather
difficult to be persuaded by Sri.Mani's point of view.

adiyen suspects Sri.Mani perhaps is thinking that the
"vratam" or "yagnyam" adiyen talked about has some
sort of "kAmyArtha" colouring to it or has the fatal
blemish of selfishness attached to it.

Well, adiyen asks what is wrong? The Vedas wish well
for all Creation. And the Vedas are "brahma-
nisvasihitam" ... the Almighty's very breath. If Vedic
"yagnyam" can fetch rains and universal welfare for
all creatures on earth and it is, indeed,
"kAmyArtham", then should it not be welcomed
wholeheartedly? Surely, there is nothing shameful in
this special kind of "kAmyArtha" which secures the
good of the whole world?!

adiyen still believes that the subject-"pAsurams" of
the 'tiruppAvai' are categorical in the message they
send out viz.:

"Keep the fires of the "yagnyam" (sacrifice) burning.
And ye shall earn the blessings of the devas who are
your inseparable partners in life ("parasparam
bhAvayantah:"). They shall send down rains in the
seasons; there shall be cows and milk aplenty; and
this world shall remain ever happy and prosperous." 

adiyen quoted the following lines in Tamil yesterday:

 "vEdam Odhiya vEdiyyark-Or mazhai
      needhi-mannar nEriyinarkk-Or mazhai
    mAdhar karpudai mangaiyarkk-Or mazhai
      mAdham munru mazhai-ena pEyummE !"

THe same message of 'tiruppAvai' resounds in the above
words too. Three types of "sacrifical fires" (yagnyam)
must be kept burning in the land if we must have
"thrice-blest rains" ("mummAri-peyddhu"). The Vedic
practitioner keeps the "agni-hOtra" fire burning. The
king ensures the "kitchen fire" in every household in
the kingdom is ever lit.(i.e. there is no hunger in
his reign). And woman of the land keeps the "fire" of
her chastity burning ever bright. 

When such Vedic fire burns brightly in the land, the
rains shall surely bless us all.


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