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Re: "pancha-sayanattin mEe-Eri"

From: Sridhar Srinivasan (ss_at_clihouston.com)
Date: Tue Jan 04 2000 - 06:22:32 PST

Dear Sri Sampathkumar:

I am surprised that your perusal of vyAkhyAnams and commentaries of 
pundits and Acharyas (that you constantly reference) did not unearth 
the reasoning for the application of 'methenra'.  In fact, swami 
periyavAchchAn piLLai, whose vyAkhyAnam you detailed in a rather 
colorful manner yesterday, does mention the application of 
reinforced mardavatvam in kuthuviLakkeriya.. vyAkhyAnam.

In the swApadeShartham (the inner meaning) provided by Suddhasatvam 
doDDAchAr (of the suthaprakAshika fame) about panchasayanathin 
refering to artha panchaka gnyAnam, there is a preceding reference 
to "methenra" as follows:

sEshatvAdi kartrutvarAhityathAlE mrudhuvAna 
arthapanchakagnyAnam - 
shuddha sattva mayama irukkaradhu 

meaning, the reinforced mardavatvam refers to - the recognition of 
ananyArha sEshatvam, ananya sharaNatvam et al, as well as avoidance 
of kartrutva buddhi - as qualities that provide the underpinning for 
arthapanchaka gnyAnam -  these qualities that provide the additional 
pakkvam (softness, if you will) to lead to a state of essential 
sattvam - hence methenra pancha sayanam.

> Sri Sampathkumar wrote:

> But adiyen would venture to speculate that Andal felt
> the need to introduce a redundant adjective like
> "metthenra" because perhaps even in those days
> mattresses came in different grades of quality! In the
> present day, for example, you may be familiar with
> housewives exclaiming "thickku "pAl"'... 

As a passing thought, I do not believe that there are any words in 
tiruppavai that can be termed as 'redundant'.  And poorvacharya 
vyAkhyAnams provide comprehensive and complete explanations for every 
phrase, every syllable, every sound, every suggestion, every unsaid 
response (such as those inpasurams 6-15).   There are no 
contradictions that are retracted later on, for this is not 
commonplace poetry generated by fertile minds of the hoi-polloi.

There is hardly a need for us to exercise our limited (I speak for 
yours truly and others of my ilk here) capabilities to come up with 
'speculative'  and often questionable interpretations.  We just have 
to make the effort to seek guidance from the wealth of material that 
is already available.  And our Acharya paramparai is kindness 
epitomized - as AnDAL celebrates in 'ninaithu mulai vazhiyE ninRu pAl 
sOra' and "mARRadhE pAl soriyum vALLal perum pasukkaL' - they have 
given us all that we need and more.  We just have to make the effort 
to not turn away from their grace.

Azhwaar Emberumaanaar Jeeyar AnDAL thiruvaDigaLE sharaNam

sridhar 


> 
> Dear Anbil Swamin,
> 
> Really very good question! And adiyen confesses he has
> no weighty answer.
> 
> But adiyen would venture to speculate that Andal felt
> the need to introduce a redundant adjective like
> "metthenra" because perhaps even in those days
> mattresses came in different grades of quality! In the
> present day, for example, you may be familiar with
> housewives exclaiming "thickku "pAl"'... meaning that
> milk is thick. Real milk is always thick (unless the
> cow is diseased or "mad" or both!) and ordinarily, it
> would be redundant to qualify it with the adjective
> "thickku" that housewives are always so fond of
> appending.
> 
> Nevertheless, Sir, if 'devarir' has any further light
> to throw on this matter adiyen would be delighted to
> know. Our enjoyment of "tiruppAvai" will be only
> enhanced by these little poetic tid-bits!
> 
.....................................................................
> Regards,
> dAsan,
> Sampathkumaran
>