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"sitran-siru-kAlE" -- Epilogue (1 of 2)

From: sampath kumar (
Date: Thu Jan 13 2000 - 02:00:33 PST

Dear friends,

Many of you who are quite familiar with the
"tiruppAvai" may have been a little surprised by
adiyen's posts yesterday where Stanza#28 ("karavaigal
pin-senru..") was hailed as being the "glorious
culmination" of AndAl's song celestial. Those of you
who are familiar with strictly traditional expositions
on the "tiruppAvai" have no doubt been taught that it
is Stanza#29 beginning with "sitran-siru- kAlE.."
which is the grand finale of the "tiruppAvai" and not,
as adiyen explained yesterday in his post, Stanza#28.

Adiyen has no quarrel at all with the traditional
preferences of orthodoxy but he himself chooses to
regard Stanza#28 as the real "curtain-downer" of the
tiruppAvai" and Stanza#29 to be AndAl's glorious

The story of "tiruppAvai" is an endearing tale of
love...God-love. And like any romantic story or ballad
anywhere in the world, it is all about the hero and
heroine yearning for each other, crossing innumerable
hurdles and being in the end united in one joyous,
climactic moment. Such a moment in the story (as we
all know only too well) is generally described in the
stock phrase, "... and then they lived happily ever
Adiyen strongly believes that in the "tiruppAvai", it
is in Stanza#28 that such a climactic moment of union
between hero and heroine takes place and not in

It is in Stanza#28, for the first time in the whole
song, that the intense relationship of eternal love
between the heroine(s) (i.e.the "aayarpAdi" girls) and
the hero (the Lord Almighty) emerges and also gets
instantly solemnized through AndAl in the resounding
expression, "undannodu utrayval namakku ingu

It is in Stanza#28 that the heroine(s) gives
uninhibited expression to her love and passion...
"anbinAl unnai siru-pEr-azhaithu".

It in Stanza#28 that the girls cry, "iraivA, nee
tArai!" (My beloved lord!) and openly acknowledge His
Lordsip over them! 

Stanza#28 is hence the exact point in the story of the
"tiruppAvai" where a script-writer of modern times
would think it fit to insert those final words:"...
and then they lived happily ever after!".

Stanza#29 beginning with "sitran-siru-kALe", on the
other hand, has all the characteristics of a fitting

It quickly follows the conclusion of the story i.e.
the celebrated moment of union between hero and

It describes what the hero and heroine do in the first
flush of their union and in the first few moments just
before setting out together, hand in hand ("kai-Odu-
kai-sErthu"), on their long and happy journey of life

It leaves a lasting impression in the mind of the
reader who, in effect, turns the last page of the
story, closes the book finally, heaves a pleasant sigh
and says to himself, "Gee! What a nice and warm story!
I wonder how the hero and heroine lived and spent all
those wonderful remaining days with each other!". 

The most fitting epilogue, at the end of a gripping
love-story, must leave the reader at the end to his
own imaginations.... and that is precisely what
Stanza#29 of AndAl's "tiruppAvai" eminently succeeds
in doing! 

Long after we have finished reading the tiruppAvai",
the words of the 29th "pAsuram" still ring in our ears
and mind. They leave us all still wistfully wondering
how, after being united finally with God, AndAl's
heroines, the "aayarpAdi" girls spent their endless
days of joy with their Hero...Krishna, their Lord
adiyen will try and cover that epilogue in the post (2
of 2) that immediately follows this one today.

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