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thiruppAvai - 2

From: Anand Karalapakkam (
Date: Thu Feb 25 1999 - 16:39:00 PST

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

namO nArAyaNA

Dear devotees,

    In the previous posting, the greatness of AndAL in
   comparison with all other AzhwArs and rishis was seen esp.
   in the context of thiruppAvai. Lets discuss the other
   extraordinary features of thiruppAvai that makes it so

b. SwApadEsam ie. dhwani :  This is the most interesting part
    of thiruppAvai. The gist of vEdAntA is beautifully explained
    in thiruppAvai , with layers and layers of deep meanings.
    All these hidden meanings, which are not easily evident on
   the surface are called as SwApadEsams.

   But, according to Sanskrit grammar, SwApadEsam can't
   be a word at all ! This word defies Sanskrit grammar. But,
   lets see how this well known word  got into the

   In sanskrit literature, there exists "anyApadEsam" .
   For example, the following slokam of SwAmi DeSikan
   exhibits this.
   context: A kavi who is a beggar is going to a mahArAja
   and his  intention is to get some money by begging. But, if
   one  begs directly, mahArAjA won't  like it and he
    won't give money. But, since he is a kavi, he is begging
    like this which propells the king to give even thousand
    gold coins :

  " Oh King! The Left portion of Lord ShivA has been
    taken up by pArvati , the right portion by nArAyaNa;
    (and thus Sivan doesn't exist now!! his properties are
    also distributed) the chandran adorning his head has been
    given to the sky, all the serpants which were around his
    neck went to pAdALam, ganges went to earth and Lord
    ShivA's Sarvajn~athvam and Iswarathvam has been given
    to you mahArAjA !! But, his begging bowl has been given
    to me !! "

    This is a classic example of "anyApadEsam". On the
     surface, it looks as though Lord Shiva is no more and
     his properties has been distributed to various persons.
     But, the kavi has no intention of speaking about Lord
     ShivA or whether he is no more or whether his properties
     have been distributed etc. All these descriptions about
     Lord ShivA etc are known as "anyApadEsam", while the
     intented thing viz. "begging "  is known as "dhwani" in
     sanskrit .

    "SwapadEsam" is just a coined word to denote that which
    is not "anyApadEsam". So, "SwApadEsam" is
    synonymous with "dhwami".

    The "anyApadEsam" in the previous example is not a
     reality at all and the kavi didn't intent that. But, all
     "anyApadEsams" needn't be like that. For example,
     Srimad RAmAyanam employs great deal of
    "anyApadEsam", which rich "swApadEsams" ( our
    AchAryAs have dealt a lot about this ; EmperumAnAr
    underwent rAmAyanam kAlakshEbam under thirumalai
    nambigaL for around 21 times !!! due to the richness
    of the "swApadEsam" which makes it fit to be
    called as saraNAgathi vEdam ). But, rAma avatAram
    is infact a reality and PerumAL performed all the
    avatAra leelAs to teach the baddha jIvAtmAs / give
    pleasure to His devotees etc. VAlmIki bhagavAn
    being a mahAkavi employed such swApadEsams
    for the devotees to relish them - this being the
    thiru uLLam of PerumAL Himself. In thiruvAimozhi,
    various roles like that of nAyaki (lover) ,
    thAyAr (mother), thOzhi (friend) etc  are employed
    by AzhwAr. These are also "anyApadEsams" (direct
    outward meanings) and they have the respective
    "swApadEsams". "anyApadEsam" is  thus something
    not always to be discarded. It may be very real and
    may carry profound implications/teachings.

     In the case of thiruvAimozhi and the like :  one may
     eat an orange directly (anyApadesam) ; one may
     drink its juice (swApadEsam) ; one may relish both
     the fruit and the juice. The anyApadEsams are the
     obvious direct meanings of the pAsurams , while
     the swApadEsams (hidden meanings) deal with
     the tattva,hita and purushArtam which are very
     essential to be known. So, in these cases, both
     anyApadEsmas and swApadEsams are highly
     relishable. But, knowing the vEdAntic truths is
     very important and one shouldn't have a
     sentimental devotion, without philosophical
     knowledge - which forms the basis for the

     Any highly eulogized literature will invariably have
     swApadEsams - this includes vEdAs also.
     vEdam is also known as "maRai" because of this
     reason. The profound truths are not very explicitly
     given  ( vEdam maRaichchu solum). But, to those
     who knows the context , actual import etc, they
    will derive great pleasure out of it - that
    anubhavam will be quite ecstatic ( just like we
    relished that beggar kavi's appeal) . If many a
    things are told "directly" (as a beggar begging
    directly, instead of making a poetic appeal ),
    that will upset all the rasikAs.  vEdAs addresses
    to these true rasikAs of  Brahman who is
    Sriman nArAyaNan. Only those  who belong to
    BAshyakArar's (rAmAnujar) sampradAyam are
    the true rasikAs who perfectly  relish all the
    beautiful anyApadEsams and  swApadEsams
    of vEdam, which describes about  EmperumAn
    and His attributes/glories  in various ways.
    But, those who don't get the correct import of the
    vEdAs, keep struggling as to how to reconcile
    various sruti vAkyAs viz. bhEda sruti, abhEda sruti
   and ghataka sruti , and thereby conceive something
   on their own which will fail to answer some part
   of the sruti.

     There is no limit to the amount of swApadEsams
     one can obtain from the works of mahAkavIs,
     because they invariably employ it. If the subject
     matter is related with sAstrAs, the swApadEsams
     should obviously be in accordance with the
     teachings of vEdAs and allied pramAnams and
     one shouldn't derive swApadEsams which
    contradict sAstrAs. By the blessings of AchAryAs,
    one can get profound inner meanings/teachings/
    instructions - which are unlimited.

   ThiruppAvai also has such very rich swApadEsams
   alias dhwani arthams/meanings which makes it
   highly relishable. Obviously, when AndAL is the
   mother-in-law of  even Saraswati dEvi, the wife of
   chaturmukha brahmA, Her shrewdness in selecting
   the most appropriate words and combining various
   such words to yield unlimited rich swApadEsams
   is not a wonder at all.

   For example, abhinava dESikan Uttamoor SwAmi
   has blessed us with a very rich swApadEsam
   derived from thiruppAvai. SwAmi beautifully
   explains how thiruppAvai propounds the panchakAla
   prakriyai - the five divisions of the day and the
   appropriate duty/kainkaryam to be performed by
   a Sri Vaishnava daily  :

   i. abhigamanam :  Morning prayer/saraNAgathi to
     PerumAL for making the day to be auspicious and
     free of obtacles to the bhagavad bhAgavatha
     kainkaryam ( After waking up in the brahma
     muhUrtham with hari nAma sankeertanam and
     allied anushtAnams).

 ii. upAdAnam :  Collecting  neccessary things like
     flowers etc for bhagavad ArAdhanam.

iii. Ijyai : Bhagavad ArAdhanam - both mAnasika and
    bahya ArAdhanam : waking up of
    PerumAL and others and performing ArAdhanam.

iv. SvAdhyAyam :  Study of  sAstrAs.

v. yOgam : Going to sleep through yOgam (deep
    meditation on PerumAL ).

   Uttamoor swAmy shows how AndAL is explaining
   all the minute details in the proper sequence.
   Thus, reciting thiruppAvai is _like_ performing
    all the duties of the day esp. the thiru ArAdhanam.

  In summary, anyApadEsams (which are the direct
  obvious meanings) and swApadEsams (hidden
  meanings, ie. opposite to that of direct obvious
  meanings) are both highly relishable in thiruppAvai
  and esp. the swApadEsams are unlimited in its
  scope - AndAL has packed the pAsurams with
  so many things !!

 ---  to be cont --

    AndAL thiruvadigaLE SaraNam

  adiyEn rAmAnuja dAsan
  ananthapadmanAbha dAsan