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"vEnduvana-kEttiyEl".."yAm perum sammAnam"(1 of2)

From: sampath kumar (sampathkumar_2000_at_yahoo.com)
Date: Tue Jan 11 2000 - 07:14:51 PST

Dear friends,

In Stanza#26 of the "tiruppAvai", the "aayarpAdi"
girls asketh.... "vEnduvana-kettiyEl..." 

And in Stanza#27, the Lord giveth..."yAm perum
sammAnam" !

Both stanzas are set against a wonderfully dramatic
backdrop and adiyen is sketching it below to the best
of his ability.
     
       *******   ******   ******

In Stanza#26, the girls beseech Krishna to provide
them with the wherewithal needed to complete their
sacrificial "vrata". They requisition 6 specific
pieces of equipment for the purpose:

"(1)"pOlvana sanghu" --- conches which they could blow
in order to herald their procession
(2) "sAlap-parai"--- drums to keep time and rhythm as
they sallied forth for their ritual bath
(3) "pallAndu-isaippArE" --- a band of benediction
chanteurs who would shower their blessings on us and
wish us success in our "vratam"
(4)"kOla-villakku" --- a tall vertical torch that
would glow and shed resplendent light along our
pathway
(5) "kOdi" --- a flag-post with our banner and
insignia emblazoned on it
(6) "vidAnamE" --- a canopy stretched above us to
shade us from the drenching mists of the morning."

The Lord patiently listens to the above demands and
then playfully asks the girls,"But tell me, my dear
girls, why are you all so keen to observe this
sacrificial "nOnbu"/"neerAtam" of yours?".

The girls answer in unison: "mArgazhi-neerAduvAn...
mElaiyAr seyyvanagal..!" i.e. "We must perform these
sacred "vrata-s" because our revered ancestors
("mElaiyAr") too observed them scrupulously since time
immemorial. These are "sishtAchArA-s"... the
conventions of life laid down by our elders... and we
must obey them as though they were Vedic
commandments."
(Here, "pirAtti" is stressing the importance of
faithfully adhering to our "dharmic" duties.)

The Lord is still in a mischievous mood and pulls
their leg once more, "But my dear girls, you ask me
for so many things to enable your "nOnbu"! What do you
think I am? A magician to conjure up all those things
for you? I am sorry I can't!".

To which the "aayarpadi" girls are very quick to
respond: "aalin-illaiyAy!"... and thus reduce Krishna
to shame-facedness. "O come on, Krishna!", they remind
Him, "Don't give us that humbug! You who could set
sail on a mere leaf-platter ("yillai-patram") on the
raging waters of the "Great Deluge" ("praLaya-kAla"),
you who accomplished a thing like that, surely, you
can gift us these little things?!". 

The Lord does not relent and continues the playful
banter with them.

"Tell me, you girls, but what is the benefit you hope
to reap if you were to receive all the things you ask
for? What will you all gain by completing your
"nOnbu"? 

The girls then cry out in succession and begin to
relate the numerous benefits they will reap: "We will
reap, O Lord, great and wonderful things if you grant
us our needs! We will have precious ornaments like
(1) "sudakamE" -- bracelets
(2) "tOlvaLayE"-- armlets
(3) "tOdE"     -- ear-pendants
(4) "sevvipuvE"-- ear-studs
(5) "padagamE" -- anklets
and not to mention "adAi" (a fine wardrobe) and
"pAl-soru" ("milk-&-rice" porridge fit for a King's
banquet!)! We will receive all these as reward for our
efforts... "yAm perum sammAnam!".

The Lord patiently listens to all this talk in a mood
of high amusement and humour not because of the
seemingly ridiculous gift of baubles they ask of Him,
but the endearingly naive manner in which they do so!
He sees the girls have all completely lost their
hearts to Him in an effusion of great "bhakti"... and
He is immensely pleased!   

   ****    *****     ******

The dramatic setting of the above 2 stanzas may apear
to be simple and idyllic. But their poetic symbolism
is very profound. The "gift of ridiculous baubles"
that the "aayarpAdi" girls ask of Krishna is no
ordinary gift.

If it is no ordinary gift then what is it?

In the accompanying post (2 of 2) adiyen will try and
frame the answer and also explain the poetic
symbolisms employed by our poetess of Villiputtur.

dAsan,
Sampathkumaran

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