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Sri RanganathA and AzhwAr Paasurams : Swamy NammAzhwAr--Part V

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Wed Dec 29 1999 - 18:28:48 PST

Swamy NammAzhwAr's ThiruvAimozhi Paasurams
In the 7.2 decad , Swamy NammAzhwAr speaks to us
through the mouth of ParAnkusa Naayaki's mother ,
who is utterly distraught over the heartless
way in which Sri RanganAthan has treated 
her daughter . Our AchAryAs have said that 
ParAsara Bhattar was so overcome with intense 
emotion on reflecting over this decad that he
(Bhattar ) commented :

" We are not fit to appreciate the AzhwAr's intensity 
of love (for the Lord) nor can we fathom his(AzhwAr's)
yearning and desire (Bhagavath Kaamam ) for the Lord.
We are simply reciting these verses without understanding 
even an iota of AzhwAr's true feelings ". 

The bridal mysticism and the intensity of suffering
from separation from her ( Parankusa Naayaki's) 
Lord are moving indeed as we hear the helpless
mother describing the plight of her young and
beautiful daughter . The mother appeals to
the Lord of Srirangam to have  heart , to take 
pity on the tender sapling of a daughter of hers .
We will study this decad and select paasuram 7.2.5
for additional commentaries as experienced by 
some of our PoorvAchAryALs in this posting .

The 7.2.5 Paasuram of Swamy NammAzhwAr 

Among all the moving paasurams of this decad , 
this paasuram appealed to adiyEn because of 
the intensity of the anubhavam of ParAnkusa Naayaki
as described by her Mother , who suffers with her
dear,distraught daughter . The Paasuram is as follows:

" sinthikkum thihaikkum thERum kaikkUppum 
      ThiruvarangatthuLLAi yennum vanthikkum,
aangE mazhaik kaNNIr malha vanthidAi yenRE mayangum ,
  anthipOthu avuNan udal idanthAnE alai kadal-
                        kadaintha AarAvamudhE 
santhitthu unn charaNam saarvathEvalittha thaiyalai
                        myaal seythAnE "

First of all , there are salutations to three
EmperumAns here : (1) SriranganAthan (ThiruvarangatthuLLAi)
(2) Ugra Narasimhan ( anthipOthu avuNan udal idainthAnE)
(3) AarAvamudhan ( kadal Kadaintha AarAvamudhE).

The intensity of suffering of the daughter over 
the frustrations in not having external union
(baahya samslEsham ) with her Lord is poignantly
decribed here .The kaledioscopic changes in the emotions 
of the daughter is described by the mother in  a state
of utter helplessness. Finally , the mother takes the Lord 
to task for His heartlessness and says: " This girl of
mine is lamenting over You . She is just about sustaining 
herself only in the hope of seeing You with her physical
eyes and having the joy of union with You. What a terrible
infatuation have You caused in my little daughter ? Who
can I appeal to ?".

Among the three forms of the Lord , whom the Mother 
appeals to , One is engaged in Yoga Nidhrai and 
seems not to know what mischief he has caused .
This is SriranganAthan . The Lord in the HiraNya
samhAram form (Narasimhan )is busy tearing the innards of 
the asuran , who offended His Bhakthan (PrahlAdhan )
and has no time for anything else during that period 
of dusk. The third form of the Lord is the amrutha 
mathana Moorthy , whose hands are busy holding 
the rope of Vaasuki , the serpent , to churn 
the milky ocean to bring out the nectar and
other items . Although , the amrutha mathana 
moorthy is Himself the embodiment of nectar ,
He is churning for another kind of amrutham . Alas , 
He is busy too with His tasks and does not have time 
to look at the sufferings of ParAnkusa Naayaki. 
The mother is the only one paying attention 
to the plight of the daughter and describes
harrowingly the intense mental anguish and 
the bewildering behavior of her distraught 
daughter.The Mother says:

Oh SriranganAthA ! My daughter thinks of You for a 
moment and the intensity of her longing for You makes
her swoon. I hold her and comfort her;she recovers anon.
On waking up, she folds her hands and screams aloud 
your name (Oh Sri RanganAthA ! )and tears roll down her
cheeks like copious rains . She shouts, Oh dearest One !
Pray come here and hold me . After that , she swoons 
again from these exertions . She wakes up again as I comfort
her. Oh RanganAthA ! Once You jumped out of a pillar 
in HiraNyakasipu's darbAr at evening time in response to
a Bhakthan of Yours and tore apart the offending asuran ,
who mistreated Your dear Bhakthan . Wont You show some 
mercy now and come to the rescue of this Bhakthai of Yours?
At another time , You blessed the DevAs through Your
intense labors to churn the milky ocean to bless 
them with life-giving nectar . Why wont You take 
pity on my daughter , whose life is hanging by 
a thin thread ? Why wont You be the life-sustaining 
nectar to her ? Oh my Lord ! What a life-threatening
infatuation You have caused to my daughter ? 

The moving appeals of the Mother to the Lord 

In each of the ten paasurams of this decad ,
we are moved by the beauty of the naamams  chosen
by the mother of ParAnkusa Naayaki to coax , cajole
and chastise the Lord .Here are some examples :

Paasuram 1: "Senkayal paai neer ThiruvarangatthAi !"
(Oh Lord of Srirangam with fertile paddy fields
that nurture the red fish in its cool waters )
" ivaL thiratthu yenn seyhinRAyO?" ( pray tell me what
you plan to do with this daughter of mine suffering 
immensely over You?)

Paasuram 2:" Yenn thAmaraikkaNNA ! Muhil VaNNA ! 
yenn kolO mudihinRathivatkkE ? "( Oh Lotus-eyed
One resting on Your comfotable bed ! Oh Lord with
the dark blue hue of the clouds of the rainy season !
I am shuddering to think as to what is going to happen 
to my daughter and where all of this is going to end ).

Paasuram 3: "KaaNumARu aruLAi , KaakutthA KaNNanE !
ivaL thiRatthen seythittAyE ?" . Here the Mother 
appeals both to the Moolavar (Sayana Moorthy ), who is 
recognized traditionally as KrishNan and the Uthsavar
(NamperumAL ), who is identified with Sri Ramachandran .
The Mother addresses the Lord in same breath as
" KaakuutthA ! KaNNanE !" She seems to hope that one
of them will respond to her appeal for fair treatment.
She says : " My daughter is undergoing all these sufferings 
just to see You with Her eyes. It is a pity to see her
wither away like this over You .What do you plan to
do as remedy to cure her sufferings ?".

Paasuram 4: " SittanE Sezhuneer ThiruvarangatthAi!
IvaL thiRatthen sinthitthAyE ?" : Oh fair Lord   
taking Your residence in the fertile Srirangam!
What do You propose to do in the case of my
pitiable daughter caught up in Your snares
of charm ! Please explain that to me .

Paasuram 5: The intense suffering of the daughter 
and the appeal of the mother on her behalf has been
covered already .

Paasuram 6: The angalAippu of the mother over
her tender shoot of  a daughter is poignant here .
The mother says : What  a sweet and tender girl !
what a terrible fate !

Paasuram 7:" paikoLL PaampaNayAi ! ivaL thiRatthu
aruLAi ! paaviyEn seyaRpaalathuvE ". Oh RanganAthA
resting comfortably on Your soft bed of AdhisEshan !
Please show mercy to my suffering daughter !She does 
not deserve this rough treatment. It is all because 
of my sins of yore .

Paasuram 8: "ThiruvarangatthAi ! Yenn seyhEn Yenn
ThirumahatkkE " Oh Lord of fertile Rangam ! What
is it that I can do for my dearest daughter , who is
verily MahA Lakshmi Herself in beauty ?

Paasuram 9: "TeLihilEn mudivivaL tanakkE "
The Mother is tormented by the sight of her
daughter's suffering and sighs aloud and 
states : " I do not know what end my
poor daughter is going to have " .

Paasurm 10 :" Vadivudai VaanOr ThalaivanE !
ivaL aNuhi adainthanaL Muhil vaNNan adiyE ! ".

Here the mother , who had almost given up on
her daughter recovering from  her woes , travails and 
sorrows caused by the Lord , is treated to a miracle . 
The relieved mother thanks the Lord as Aasritha rakshaNan 
and says : " When I was wondering how she would ever achieve
her insistent goal of seeing You in her intense state 
of grief , She has managed tocrawl to Your feet with 
the last vestiges of her strength . You too have showered 
on her Your rain of nectar-like mercy copiously 
and have saved her " .

Paasuram 11: In the concluding eleventh verse ,
the mother describes with joy about how her daughter 
achieved salvation by holding on her head the sacred 
feet of the Lord known for His limitless dayA to 
His devotees .

Thus ends the beautiful anubhavam of Sri RanganAthA
by Swamy NammAzhwAr as described through the words of
the mother of ParAnkusa Naayaki .

Swamy NammAzhwAr ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam ,
Sri RanganAtha ParabrahmaNE Nama:
Daasan , O.V.SadagOpan