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Fwd: "tiruppAvai" & "praNavam"

From: sampath kumar (
Date: Mon Jan 17 2000 - 03:38:58 PST

> Dear friends,
> "mArgazhi" has come and gone but adiyen is still
> suffering from the "tiruppAvai" fever!
> One young "bhAgavata" on the list has been privately
> discussing with adiyen certain aspects of the
> "tiruppAvai". One of those has been "tiruppAvai" and
> the use and invocation of the "praNavam" (A-U-M)in
> the
> hymn.
> This young bhAgavata told me something which adiyen
> had never heard before! From the standpoint of pure
> poetic appreciation, his view is indeed very
> revelatory! But adiyen does not know if it accords
> with tradition. 

> Perhaps someone really knowledgeable (like SrimAn
> Anbil, Sadagopan or Sempath Rengarajan or other) can
> throw some light on it.
> Here is what the young bhAgavatha says:
> "The whole of the "tiruppAvai" is actually in the
> form of the "praNavam" (in Tamil, "tiruppAvai
anaithum praNava-vadivvulE irukkinradu yenrE
> "praNavam" begins with ""a"-kAra-shabdam", "A" which
> is symbol for Isvara or God. It ends with ""ma"-kAra
> shabdham", "M" which symbolises "jeeva" or soul. And
> in the middle there is ""u"-kAra shabdam", "U" which
> is the symbol for the agency of divine intercession
> ("purushAkAram") that brings about the union between
> Isavara and jeeva."
> "The whole of "tiruppAvai" deals with "jeeva",
> Isvara and purushAkAra.
> "How is that?
> "Just look at the stanzas! They start with
> "mArgazhi-tinggal...", with the letter "M". Right
> from Stanza#1 until Stanza#17,the tiruppAvai's
principal focus is on the theme of what the
"aayarpAdi" girls do....And they actually represent
> individual souls.
> "Stanza#18 begins with "undhu-magallitran..." and
> with the the syllable "U". In this stanza and the
next two, the focus of the "tiruppAvai" is wholly on
> "napinnai", who is "thAyyAr" or the symbol of
"purushAkAram"... the agency of divine intercession
that enables "union" between jeeva and Isvara.
> In Stanza#22, for the first time in the entire
> sequence of the 'tiruppAvai", the "aayarpAdi" girls
> begin to address Lord Krishna directly. Thereafter,
> in the rest of the hymn right upto Stanza#30, the
focus remains fixed on the Lord or "Isvara". And quite
> signficantly, Stanza#22, we see, begins with
> "anganmAnAlath- arasar...." with the letter "A"...
> ""a"-kAra- shabdam"... the syllable denoting Isvara
> principle in the "praNavam" A-U-M!
> "So, we see how the "tiruppAvai" begins with
> examining the principle of "ma" (jIva), then procees
to deal next with the principle of "u" (purushAkAra)
and finally ends with essaying the Supreme principle
> "a" (Isvara). 
> "Thus the symbolic structure of the tiruppAvai is
> clearly founded on "ma", "u" and "a" which in
> reverse order is "a", "u" ,"ma" or the 3 phonetic
elements constituting the primordial sound, the
>     *******     **********     *******
> When adiyen heard the above interpretation, a small
> doubt struck him. We see that in the actual sequence
> of the "tiruppAvai", even before Stanza#22, in
> Stanza#21 itself ("Etra-kallangal..") the
> "tiruppAvai" talks of the Lord or Isvara. So how can
we say (rather conveniently) that it is in Stanza#22
that Isvara is first talked about? 
> So adiyen posed the above question to the young
> "bhAgavata" and his brilliant reply was:
> "Yes, Stanza#21 also deals with the Lord but it
> deals with Him in his "para-nilai"... His Distant
> Transcendent form... as indicated in the phrase
> "periyAy" in that stanza. But if you look carefully,
> it is only in Stanza 22("aganmAnAllat-arasar...")
> that the Lord is first talked of in His easy
> 'saulabhya-nilai" indicated in the phrase "nin
> palli-kattil keezhiyE"!. "Therefore, we should take
Stanza#22 and not Stanza#21 into reckoning when
determining where exactly the ""a"-kAra-shabdham" of
the "praNavam" begins in the natural sequence of the
>   *******      ********     ********
> Adiyen thinks the above is simply brilliantly
> conceived! It clearly shows how the whole of the
> "tiruppAvai" AndAl structured around the
> "praNava-tattvam"!
> What do other members think? Kindly give your
> comments, if any. Thanks,
> dAsan,
> Sampathkumaran

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