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thiruppAvai - 1

From: Anand Karalapakkam (anand_at_engr.uconn.edu)
Date: Wed Feb 24 1999 - 19:35:33 PST

Sri:
Sri Lakshminrusimha Parabrahmane namaha
Sri Lakshminrusimha divya pAdukA sEvaka SrivaNN -
SatakOpa Sri nArAyaNa yateendra mahAdESikAya namaha

namO nArAyaNA.

                               ThiruppAvai
                              **********
 We have relished the glories of tiruppAvai and that too for the
first pAsuram very well - thanks to Sri Sampath RengarAjan  and
all other devotees who have kindly posted their sweet bhagavad
anubhavams. We shall relish some more - no end to the glories
of thiruppAvai.

adiyEn wants to point out that this series is fully based on the
upanyAsam of Sri U.Ve. VillUr KarunAkarn swAmy and all
the credits goes to that swAmy.

 Greatness of TiruppAvai :
*********************
TiruppAvai is very very sacred and all our AchAryAs have/had great
yeedupAdu with this divya prabandham. Lets see some of the salient
features which makes it so famous :

a. AndAL's unparalleled glories displayed through thiruppAvi
b. SwApadEsam ie. dhwani
c. SaraNAgathi nOnbu
d. seed for vEdAs
e. Combination of iyal, isai and nAdagam
f.  ThiruppAvai - a highly potent Mantram


a. AndAL's unparalleled glories from thiruppAvai :
   ************************************
   ( please take this with "nahi nindA" nyAyam ie. the objective/focus
      is  to glorify AndAL and not to disrespect others)

    In the 3000 padi,  vyAkyAna chakravarthy PeriavAcchAn piLLai says
    that when compared to AzhwArs, rishis are like dust/aNu and AzhwArs
    are like mountains (in glories/greatness). Then within AzhwArs, all
other
    AzhwArs are like aNu in comparison with PeriAzhwAr's greatness which

     is like mountain.

    PeriAzhwAr's greatness was that while PerumAL Himself gave the
    sEvai in garuda vAhanam (with pirAtti ofcourse) , after AzhwAr
firmly
   establishing about the supremacy of Sriman nArAyaNA, not only
  AzhwAr, but all the people were able to have that divine sEvai ; and
in
  that instance PeriAzhwAr delivered the glorious "pallAndu". This is
 known as the "mangaLAsAsanam" - a very esoteric concept in itself.

   Generally, people ask so many things from PerumAL. We shall leave
   them for now. Even NammAzhwAr in tiruviruttam says "meininru
   kEttaruLAi adiyEn seiyyum vinnappamE " ie. even when PerumAL
   gives the sEvai, nammAzhwAr wants Him to listen to his upanyAsam.
   But, PeriAzhwAr was in total shock as to why did the most pure
   PerumAL come to this samsAra sAkkadai and was deeply worried
   about the evil glances of the people towards Him (dhrusti pattudum )
!!!
  Out of great affection towards PerumAL, PeriAzhwAr sung PallAndu (
   Long Live). So, whenever we refer to AchAryA's visits to Divya
   dEsam, we say for eg. Azhagiyasingar performed mangaLAsAsanam
   to prahlAda varadan at ahobilam etc. ParamaikAntins goes to temples
   to perform mangaLAsAsanam to PerumAL who has taken the archA
   avatAram out of His unbounded mercy towards the samsAsrIs.

   Those who have read sAstrAs will say , "How come PerumAL will
    be affected by this world ? How can evil eyes of the people affect
    PerumAL? If  He is affected, He can't be PerumAL at all;
    What is the need for pallAndu to Him, who is already  eternal
....etc".

    Doesn't PeriAzhwAr know all these things????  Obviously AzhwAr
    knows in and out of sAstram. In the debate, PeriAzhwAr without any
    problem defeated all the opponents and established the true imports
    of the vEdAs. But, the "jn~Anam" of PeriAzhwAr has turned out into
    "bhagavad prEmai"  which is a great ornament for that "jn~Anam".
     The ajn~Anam resulting from not knowing about the actual realities
     established in the sAstrAs is not at all a desired thing. But, the
     "ajn~Anam" which occurs due to bhagavad prEmai is very much a
     desired one.

     Sri PiLLai lOkAchAryar beautifully says in Srivachana bhUshanam
     that one should get proper jn~Anam in the first place and should
then
     acquire this bhagavad prEmai which should stand on top of this
     jn~Anam. The illustrious AchArya Sri vAtsya VaradadESikar who was
     the greatest expert in SribAshyam ( well evident from
SrutaprakAsikA )
     was very much upset when PeraruLALan was served hot boiling milk.
     This AchArya very well knows that Varadan is the antaryAmi of that
     hot boiling milk also and nothing can affect Him etc etc. But, when

     this AchAryA lovingly made Varadan drink the milk in the optimum
     temparature (as fit to be given for a child - kutti kannan),
      PerumAL spontaneously reciprocated and fondingly called the
     AchAryA "yen ammA" - " Oh My Mother ! " and from then, the
     AchAryA came to be known as "ammAL"  ie. nadAdUr ammAL  -
     the one who truely had the feeling of giving milk to PerumAL and
not
     doing something mechanically .

    Now, the reason for PeriAzhwAr singing pallAndu is due to the great
    love - bhagavd prEmai. Normally, one will always be worried about
the
   welfare of their dear ones. For eg :  When a father hears that an
accident
   had happened in a particular main road to a person driving a
particulr
   scooter at a particular time,  he invariably gets the fear that his
son may
   be involved in that accident . Similarly, how much so ever the son
may
   be intelligent,capable etc, when the son is at US, the parents at
India
   will have the feeling "yenna panrAnO avan ; yeppadi samALikarAnO etc"

   ie. "How come he is managing all the things ....etc". So, this is a
natural
   feeling that arises with respect to very beloved ones.  Similarly,
PerumAL
   was the most beloved one to PeriAzhwAr and when AzhwAr saw
   PerumAL appearing in this samsAram, his anxiety grew exponentially
   and in order that no evil things should touch/affect PerumAL ( who is

   now in danger !! ) , AzhwAr started performing the mangaLAsAsanam -
   "pallAndu pallAndu ..." --  very very esoteric indeed to comprehend
!!

  But AndAL surpasses even all these things. AndAL  performs
  mangaLAsAsanams like "anRu ivvulagam aLandhAi adi pOttri ,
  chenranguth thenillangai chettRAI thiRal pOttri ........pOttri
....pOttri ...".
  Long back, PerumAL took the trivikrama avatAram. But AndAL is
  feeling very badly now, that she missed a most glorious pastime
(couldn't
  be there at the time when the avatAram took place) and performs
  the mangaLAsAsanam for that now ( Oh!! Its already late to sing the
  glories !! I missed the pastimes already !! ). Similarly, for the
avatAra
  leelAs of rAma, krishna and the like also,  AndAL started performing
  the mangaLAsAsanam.

  Not only this, AndAL goes far far and way ahead in this thiruppAvai ,
by
  even reminding the Supreme Lord Sriman NArAyaNA after duly waking
  Him up and making Him sit in the throne ,that,  all these jIvAtmAs
belong
  to Him and it is His duty to protect them !!! - in a way teaching the
Lord
  Himself that He should grant the kainkarya sAmrAjyam of moksham to
  those who surrender to Him. All other AzhwArs had their " mayarvaRa
  madhi nalam " blessed by PerumAL. But, in thiruppAvi, AndAL is giving
  that "mayarvaRa madhi nalam" to PerumAL Himself !!!!

  In the 2000 padi vyAkyAnam JananyAchAryar refers to an incident in the

  lifetime of the "tiruppAvai Jeeyar" (rAmAnujar). When the sishyAs
  requested rAmAnujar to give a discourse on thiruppAvai , rAmAnujar
  replied that even for hearing about pallAndu , we may find some, but
  for hearing about thiruppAvai, its very very difficult to find one
(fit enough
  to listen) . ThiruppAvai Jeeyar is of the view that  hardly can one
find a
  person fit enough to  give an upanyAsam on thiruppAvai and hardly can
  one find a person fit enough to listen to it !!!! Even rAmAnujar was
  thinking that he was unfit to speak about thiruppAvai !!!! What is the

  status of  the likes of adiyEn ???

  SwAmi DeSikan who knows the thiru uLLam of all the poorvAchAryAs
  like rAmAnujar beautifully prays to AndAL :
  " Oh GodA dEvi ! Your greatness transcending the reach of the
varieties
    of vEdAs, is indeed far out of reach. It cannot be comprehended by
    poor fellows like me, who attempt at composing hymns of praise. Even

    when being fully conscious of this limitation, what has disturbed my

    silence is the greatness of your qualities - which have actually
forced me
    to speak out "  ( GodAsthuti : 2 )

   Though one can speak out about thiruppAvai with this in the mind,
there
   may be so many faults,shortcomings  etc (due to one's
incomprehensibility
   of the glories of AndAL ). For that, SwAmi DeSikan  gives us the
   assurance that AndAL's vAtsalyam (motherly affection ) towards us is
   unbounded and one can indulgence in such an act  of blaberring about
   AndAL and thiruppAvai  according to one's own limited understanding :

   " Oh GodA dEvi ! A sinner that I am, still deserve to be excused and
    granted Your grace. It is in the fitness of things, since a mother
shows
    endurance when her suckling baby bites in the breast, because of her

    natural motherly love "  ( GodAsthuti : 27 ).

    Infact, this excellent verse is recited twice during the gOdAsthuti
    Uttsavam  at Sri VillipuththUr during the vaikAsi month. AndAL and
    Ranga mannAr comes to a special mandapam present for this uttsavam
    and most happily hears to the recitation of gOdAsthuti.

   Infact, SwAmi DeSikan says that Vishnuchittar is known as PeriAzhwAr
   ( great AzhwAr amongst the AzhwArs), only because of AndAL and
   thus makes the point that the glories and greatness of AndAL is well
   above all other AzhwArs ( GodAsthuti : 10 ) :

   " Your father sang hymns in hundreds, in praise of the Lord, who is
      however, easily pleased by the most minute praise ! Neverthless
the
      Lord didn't confer on Your father, the honorific, Peria-AzhwAr,
but
      did so only on His being pleased with the present of the garland
which
      had acquired the fragrance, by contact of Your locks of hair !".

  ---   to be cont ----

                             AndAL thiruvadigaLE SaraNam

  adiyEn rAmAnuja dAsan
  ananthapadmanAbha dAsan
  krishNArpaNam