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thiruppAvai - 3

From: Anand Karalapakkam (anand_at_engr.uconn.edu)
Date: Sun Feb 28 1999 - 16:51:45 PST

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

namO nArAyaNA.

Dear devotees,

 So far, the two unique features of thiruppAvai viz. 
unparalleled greatness of AndAL esp. exhibited in 
thiruppAvai and the swApadEsam employed has been 
discussed. Lets see the other salient features of 
this most glorious divya prabandham.

c. SaraNAgathi nOnbu : In thiruppAvai, nAchchiyAr 
(AndAL) most  mercifully explains about the parama 
hitam viz.SaraNAgathi  alias Prapatti and how 
Sriman NArAyaNA acts as the  "upAyam" (means) and 
the "upEyam" (goal). This is the most important 
knowledge one should posses. All other knowledge 
if it doesn't make one finally understand this hitam, 
will invariably make one undergo the repeated birth 
and death cycle in this samsAra. Since thiruppAvai
explains the parama tattvam (Sriman NArAyaNa-
the supreme reality), parama hitam (prapatti) and
parama purushArtham (kainkarya sAmrAjyam at
Sri vaikuNTham) beautifully, it is very highly 
regarded by our AchAryAs.

d. Seed for vEdAs :  ThiruppAvai is rightly revered 
as the seed for vEdAs ie. "vEdam anaiththukkum 
viththAgum ". The rich swApadEsams from thiruppAvai 
makes it as a seed for explaining the whole gamut 
of vEdAs. Infact, one can go on and on about the 
various vEda vAkhyams explained by nAchchiyAr 
through the words and phrases appearing in the 
pAsurams. There are many phrases in thiruppAvai 
which were highly inspiring to our AchAryAs like 
ALavandAr and BhAshyakArar to interpret many 
upanishad vAkhyams properly. AndAL blesses one 
with the proper jn~Anam to understand vEdAs through
this thiruppAvai itself.

e.Combination of  iyal, isai and nAdagam : Another
most admiring feature of thiruppAvai is the most
wonderful combination of iyal( poetry), isai(music) 
and nAdagam (drama). NAcchiAr Herself says "sangath 
thamizh mAlai muppadum thappAmE". ThiruppAvai's 
poetic composition by itself is beyond words. Added
to that, thiruppAvai is a "pAmAlai" highly fit to
be sung. When these two combine, one will very
esily get bhagavad anubhavam. DrAmA is the
most effective medium of bringing out various
types of emotions related with bhagavad anubhavams
and thiruppAvai by itself is in the form of a 
drAmA (what happened so is presented as a drAmA).
Thus, when the great poetry and music is combined 
with the effect of drAmA ( "thiruppAvai pAttu ARu 
ainthum ", 6 scenes with 5 pAsurams for each scene), 
one's deep involvement with thiruppAvai is beyond 
any question. 

f. ThiruppAvai is a mantram : ThiruppAvai is a 
mantram that can benedict all the purushArthams (
but, most importantly, the reciter will be blessed
by AndAL to get sadAchArya sambandham and have
the prapatti performed  by the blessings of the
AchArya). The reciter of thiruppAvai becomes most 
dear to PerumAL. 

  Some may doubt as to whether Divya Prabandhams
will have the power of "mantrams". But, 
nAthamunigaL clearly demonstrated without any doubt
about the great power of divya prabandham - that
they too have the potency like that of a mantra.
nAthamunigaL being a great yOgi, performed the
japam of kanninunsiruththAmbu for thousands of 
times and obtained the sAkshAtkAram of NammAzhwAr.
Such is the glory of divya prabandhams.

 To know more about the glories of divya 
prabandhams, one needs to remember the incident
of govindar's ( empAr) conversion. By the trick
of yAdavaprakAsar, govindar, the cousin of rAmAnujar
 became a staunch shiva bhaktA and this pained the 
heart of emperumAnAr very much - since govindar was
so fortunate to take birth in a Srivaishnava family
and so close to obtain the kainkarya sAmrAjyam at
paramapadam, and now went far away from that path/
sampradAyam. Thus, thirumalai nambigaL took the 
task of converting govindar back to Srivaishnava
sampradAyam and started the upanyAsam on Srimad 
rAmAyanam, near to the place where govindar( a 
nAyanAr then) will procure flowers for shiva pUjA.
Since NambigaL was the greatest authority in 
rAmAyanam, it attracted many people's attention 
there and they were spell bound by the kalyANa guNAs
of rAmapirAn and were listening to it with tears in
their eyes. But, govindar never got disturbed by
rAmAyanam and just carried out his job routinely. 
NambigaL then started bhagavad gItA and explained 
well about the paratvam of PerumAL. Then also,
govindar was stubborn. As a last resort, NambigaL
started the upanyAsam on the drAvida vEdam 
thiruvAimozhi. The most nectarian pAsurams of
our dearmost nammAzhwAr started drilling the heart
of govindar and when it came to "emberumAnukkallAl
poovum poosanaiyum thagumE ? " (2.2.4) ie. 
"Except emperumAn nArAyaNan, which other deities
deserve worship through flowers?", govindar jumped
down from the tree and threw out the rudrAksha mAlai
and the flowers, and prostrated flat unto the 
thiruvadi of NambigaL with tons of tears from his 
eyes and repented a lot for his deeds - loudly 
uttering "thagAdhu thagAdhu (for anya dEvatAs) and 
emperumAnukkE thagum". 

 This is the power of divya prabandham. What the 
likes of rAmAyanam and gIta can't achieve, was 
easily achieved by the DrAvida vEda. Divya prabandham
deeply melts one's heart and makes the svaroopa 
jn~Anam blossom and obtain highest taste for bhagavad 
bhAgavatha kainkaryam.
 
ThiruppAvai especially is highly sacred. This is a 
highly mangaLakaramAna (very auspicious) divya 
prabandham. It is filled extensively with mangaLa
vAkhyams (AndAL Heself being a mangaLa dEvatai).
The vEda mantrams require so much discipline and
have strict rules and regulations to be recited.
But, our thiruppAvai is free of all such problems.
It is beyond any doubt and is a fact that for all
the problems in one's life , whatever be it,
thiruppAvai is the medicine. AndAL says "yengum
theiru aruL pettru inburuvar" - be it here in leelA
vibhUti OR at nitya vibhUti. 


  The six salient features of thiruppAvai discussed 
so far, amply explains why even bAshyakArar(rAmAnujar),
the master of all upanishads and the like, was deeply
attracted towards thiruppAvai and was reciting it
during unchavrutti. No wonder that rAmAnujar is revered
as "thiruppAvai jeeyar".

  ---  to be cont --

   AndAL thiruvadigaLE SaraNam

 adiyEn rAmAnuja dAsan
 ananthapadmanAbha dAsan
 krishNArpaNam