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Namaskaram - Introduction and a few thoughts on 'manaththukkiniyAn'

From: Hari Krishnan (
Date: Fri Jan 04 2002 - 04:23:03 PST

My humble namaskaram to all members.
My name is Hari Krishnan and I am a columnist in  I am writing a daily column on Ramayana, under the caption 'Religion'.  I was informed about this list by a reader and with the information so kindly provided by him, I joined the group recently.  I thank him sincerely for the information and the moderator for adding me to the list.
I am a member of a few mail groups, all of them mostly literary in nature, though religion is a natural part of it.  I find the members of this group interacting very politely and addressing others with respect in all sincerity.  This is not a familiar scene in many other groups.  The mails are scholarly, informative and interesting.  
I was tempted to respond to a mail from Sriman Sadagopan Iyengar under the caption 'manaththukiniyAn.'  That was a beautiful exposition.  Though I thought of adding a few words to his excellent interpretation, I restrained myself from doing so, initially, as I was hesitant.  I am encouraged by the free exchange of information in the group and thought I can share a few thoughts on the verse.  I feel that 'manaththukkiniyAn' should be read along with the words 'sinaththinAl then ilangaik kOmAnaich chetra' and need elaboration with that background, for Sri Rama is not known for anger, even in the battlefield.  Kamban does not fail to mention the smile of Sri Rama, in each and every place before Sri Rama takes the bow in hand.  
Even Ravana, who was mercifully sent back after the first war, returns to his palace, sits in isolation and ruminates over the events of the day.  The Poet captures a finer point here, through the mouth of Ravana himself.
eRiththa pOr arakkar aavi eNNilA veLLam enja
paRiththa pOthu ennai inthap paripavam muthukil paRRap 
poRiththa pOthu annAn anthak kUni kUn pOka uNdai
theRiththa pOthu oththathu anRi sinam uNmai therinthathu illai.
--(Kamba Sri Ramayana, Yuddha Kanda, KumbakarNan vadhai-p padalam)
Ravana says, 'Even when this fellow kills the enormous number of soldiers of my army in a trice and even when he caused me this agony by stamping an insult on my back with his arrow, I find that his countenance remains so calm and playful as it was when he shot clay-tipped arrows on the hunched back of Mantara, as though to straighten it.  **I do not find even a trace of anger in his face!**'  

There are a few places, though, where Sri Rama's anger knows no bounds.  But such anger does not last long.  They can be counted on fingers of one hand, may be needing one or two more fingers from the other hand.  Given this background, the attribute 'sinaththinAl then ilangaik kOmAnai-ch chetra' (He who slayed Ravana **out of anger**) must have some deeper significance.  I would be happy and thankful - indeed grateful - to receive your valued interpretations.  I shudder to venture into my own in such a scholarly gathering.
I do not find anyone referring to oneself with the pronoun 'I'.  Kindly bear with me and forgive me if I sound a little impolite in my references either to others or myself, since I am not very familiar with formal addresses that are used in Vaishnavite groups.  I hope to learn from scholars like you all.
Namaskaram again.


Hari Krishnan.

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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