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"pOtri", "pOtri and evermore "pOtri" -- (2 of 2)

From: sampath kumar (sampathkumar_2000_at_YAHOO.COM)
Date: Sat Jan 08 2000 - 11:27:37 PST

Dear friends,

Continuing from earlier post 1 of 2....
--------------------------------------------------------
Actually whenever adiyen reflects deeply on Stanza#24
of the "tiruppAvai" he does not find the behaviour of
the 'aayarpAdi' girls to be "unusual" at all. What
they did... or what AndAl made them do... i.e. break
out into a full-throated song of benediction to
Krishna when they were in his presence, instead of
expressing their real purpose of visit... viz. 
unburdening the troubles of their souls upon Him... is
not at all "unusual".

Many times adiyen has found himself doing the same
thing as the "aayarpAdi' girls did in Stanza#24 of the
"tiruppAvai". Adiyen has watched himself behave
exactly like them many a time at the great temple of
"tiruvEngada-mudaiyAn" at Tirupati-Tirumala. Perhaps
many of you also behave the same way too.... we
behaves like the 'aayarpAdi' girls yes, but not with
the same intensity of "bhakti". 

Let adiyen explain this a bit.

Usually, adiyen visits the temple of Tirupati once or
twice a year. Adiyen confesses unabashedly that he
uses the occasion to thank the Lord there for the
blessings received during the year by His Grace. And
adiyen also generally decides on those occasions to
quietly "slip in".. er... a small mental "wish-list"
to the Lord.... Nothing very great but a small
"wish-list" for simple things like good health, wealth
and prosperity for the children and, of course, "the
whole world".... ("sarvE janAh: sukhinO bhavantuh"
etc. etc.)

When adiyen stands in the queue at Tirupati for 3
hours or more outside the temple, usually there is
nothing much to do except to silently keep revising
and reviewing the content and length of the personal
"wish-list" that adiyen has carried with him inside
his mind.

By the time adiyen arrives by queue outside the
"bangAru-vAsal" (portals) of the temple, the "wish
list" becomes usually twice as long as it was in the
original draf because adiyen has added a few more
things that Lord Srinivasan is to be petitioned for.

When adiyen crosses the "kulasekhara-padi" (threshold)
inside the 'sanctum-sanctorum' of Venkateshwara, the
Lord Almighty becomes visible to the eyes. Then the
queue slowly moves up and adiyen also moves closer to
the Deity. At that moment adiyen finds usually finds
himself transfixed by the "darshan" of the Glorious
Lord! Like everyone there, adiyen too cannot simply
take his eyes off the resplendent Deity! Unknown to
himself, adiyen will involuntarily begin reciting
verses from "Daya-Satakam" and some "pAsuram-s" of
NammAzhwAr and Kulasekhara- AzhwAr... Unknown to him
adiyen also would have recited all the lines of
Stanza#24 of the "tiruppAvai".... all the time his
eyes hypnotised and riveted to the awesome figure of
the Lord there....!

By the time adiyen comes out of the momentary trance,
the queue, rudely prodded by temple officials
shouting, "jarugu-jarugu" ("Move it! Move it!"), the
queue is already wending its way out of the temple....

The blissful "darshan" is over as suddenly as it
began...!

And it is at that precise moment that adiyen realizes
that he has completely forgotten about his mental
"wish-list" which he had so carefully prepared to be
submited to "tiruvEngada-mudaiyAn".... !

"Gone... gone.... the moment of opportunity has
slipped by, never to return", adiyen will tell himself
a little ruefully! "Now, how will I present my
petitions to Lord Venkateshwara? How will He now know
about "yAm vanda-kariyam"?

Adiyen at that moment will also remember Stanza#24 of
the 'tiruppAvai' and comfort himself saying, "It's
alright! The opportunity has gone, so what? What
happened to me now, happened to the 'aayarpAdi"  girls
also in the "tiruppAvai"! They were not worse off for
having forgotten to present their petitions to Him.
Now why would I be any worse than them?".

So saying, adiyen will then recite once more Stanza#24
of the "tiruppAvai" while performing "pradakshina" to
Venkteshwara! After that adiyen will go home happily
like a "aayarpAdi" girl!

But that is adiyen's "anubhavam".

Let's now turn to more weighty matters ... a brief
summary of the "vyAkyAna-s" of the "muvAyirapadi" and
the "ArAyirapadi".

 ******      ********     *******
SriPVPillai says that he is not surprised that AndAl
suddenly broke out into a song of benediction to
Krishna in the middle of the "tiruppAvai" in
stanza#24:

"kathE jalE sethu-bandham thammappanArkum magallakkum
paNi" enru jeeyar arulliceyyvar." ("muvAyirapadi")

"ithan karuttu: mazhaikAllam kazhindhu jallam-ellAm
senra-pinn aNaicuttudal ivv-iruvarukkam paNi.
athAvadu, pEriAzhwArum AndAlum kazhinda
sarittirangalukkup-pallAndu pAdumavargal" 
 
Both AndAl and her father "periAzhwAr", according to
SriPVPillai above, were in the frequent habit of
recollecting all the past events of Krishna's
"avatAra' wherein He was faced by numerous threats of
harm  His enemies plotted. And when they so
recollected, they immediately broke out into singing
benedictions for the Lord's safety and long-life, as
if He were a mere child who could be kept away from
evil eyes and malicious intents by simply chanting
benedictory songs and incantations.

PeriAzhwAr sang his benediction through the famous
"tiruppallAndu" and AndAl sang it through Stanza#24 of
the "tiruppAvai".

Sri.PVP humorously compares this curious habit of both
PeriazhwAr and Andal,  with one who goes about
building bunds, 'anicuts' and sluice-gates long, long
after the waters of a great deluge have completely
drained away!

It is told by "purvAchArya-s" that those who are
completely immersed in "bhakti" often fall into the
same habit as the SriVilliputtur duo of father and
daughter. They will rapturously sing benedictions in
their own times to save child-Krishna from the dangers
which He faced long, long ago in His own times! 
Which is the reason why the "gopika-s" of the
"aayarpAdi" in the tiruppAvai also burst out into the
benediction they did in Stanza#24!

It must be observed that the girls sang out
benedictions for 6 different aspects of the Lord
Almighty:

First and foremost they blessed "adi-pOtri"... they
hailed the Feet of the Lord which as Trivikraman took
measure in 3 short paces all the Worlds of Creation

Second, they sang,"tiral pOtri"... they hailed the
Lord's great prowess who as Rama reduced Lanka to dust

Third, they sang of "pugazh pOtri"... they hailed His
eternal Fame as Krishna the slayer of the Evil
Sakatasura 

Fourth, they sang of "kazhal pOtri"... they hailed the
great skill with which He, Krishna, disposed off the
evil KapisthAsura and Vatsasura

Fifthly, they sang of "guNam pOtri"... they hailed the
great graciousness He showed the citizens of
Nandagopan's hamlet when he led them to the safety of
the Govardhana Hills when they were all threatened by
an apocalyptic deluge

And finally, sixth, they sang "nin kayil vEl pOtri"...
they hailed his weapon, the Spear, which Krishna, the
shepherd boy, always carried with him to destroy Evil
on earth.

Now, in the 'ArAyirapadi", the commentator says that
the 'aayarpAdi" girls thought it fit to hail the
aspects of the Lord Almighty in 6 different ways
because, 

"ivargal nAkkukku idUm shut-rasam irukkira-padi".... 

i.e. just as 6 kinds of tastes --- sweet, sour,
astringent, pungent, saltish and bitter --- are
essential to give one's tongue the fulfilment of
complete satisfaction, so also 6 kinds of blessings or
hallelujah were thought necessary by the "aayarpAdi"
girls to sing about in His praise, so that their souls
too may savour perfect satisfaction.

The commentaries of "muvAyirapadi" and "ArAiyarapadi"
on Stanza#24 too are indeed as delectable to our taste
as the six flavours -- the "shut-rasam"!

dAsan,
Sampathkumaran 
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