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From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Sat Jan 06 1996 - 20:53:34 PST
Dear Members of the Prapatti Group: The deep meanings of the TVK of Thirumangai has been covered by Uttamur Swamigal in his Commentaries. Sri K.C.Varadachari'sBook on Alwars has few pages of translation of the lines of TVK. Dr.V.K.S.N.Raghavan has a lengthy article on TVK in the Volume 18 of the Indian Philosophical Annual of the years 1985-86. Hence I will focus on the poetry aspects and very few references to the Tattvas of Visishtadvaita here . The lines 22to 28 and the lines from 29to 36 are useful to illustrate these points. Part of line 22: Ezhulahai Eyirrinil Kondanai (reference to the SEVEN ; O Lord ! you have lifted the 7 worlds on your tusks during your Varaha Avatara! ) Part of line 23: Kooriya Arusuvai Payanumaaiyanai : (Reference here is to the SIX; As the scriptures declare, You are immanent in all objects and make them all enjoyable like ARUSUVAI, the sixtet of tastes: Salty, Sour, Sweet, Bitter, Astringent and Hot ; alternatively, your SIXFOLD noble attributes ,Viz., Wisdom, Power, Strength, Lordship, Valour and Splendour are indeed Parama Bhogyam or most enjoyable).Upanishads declare the Lord as Annam to be enjoyed. His Sakthi, Balam, Iswaryam, Veeryam, Tejas and Jnanam are the Six tasty aspects as Annam . Part of line 23/24 : Sudarvidum aimpadai angaiyul Amarndanai (Reference in this line in the descending order from 7 to 6 are Number 5.. The FIVE blazing weapons of the Lord on his Subasrayam (Auspicious Body), Viz., Sudarsanam, Panchajanyam, Mace , Nandakam /sword, and Sarangam/bow are saluted here. For your devotees, you become Annam with 6 types of Tastes.For the others, who do not appreciate your enjoyment and malign you, You wear and use the Panchaayudams to corrrect them . Lines 24/25 : Sundara NArroL Munneer Vanna! --- Here the salutation centers on aspects of the Lord using FOUR as the Number. Reference is to the four beautiful arms of the Lord representing the aspect of giving as a boon the 4 Purushaarthaas (ChaturNAm PurusharthAnaam Dhata Deva: Chaturbhuja: according to Appaya Dikshita ) ; He is also of the hue of the deep Blue Ocean . Here, the Number 3 is incorporated with the salutation Munneer Vanna . Munneer stands for Ocean made up of 3 Kinds of waters. Lines 25to 28: Ninneer adi Onriya ManatthAl (here the reference to the numbers 2 and 1; Lord's TWO feet are being pressed with ONE/Single- pointed mind by the TWO Devis at the THREE divisions of Time , Sandhyas. You are resting thus in Yoga Nidra. Lines 26 to 28 refer to ONE, TWO and THREE this way: Oru Madi Mukattu , Mangairuvarum Malarana Angaiyil Muppozhuthum Varuda Arituyil amarnthanai. Lines 29 to 36 ascend from FOUR to SVEN in the following manner: Neri murai Naal Vahai Varunamumayinai, Metakum Aim perum bhutamum niye! Arupadam muralum koondal kaaranam Ezhvidhai Adanaga ccherranai, Aruvahai Samayumum Arivaru Nilayinai, Aimpaal Odhiyai akattu irruttinai. Aram Mudal Naankavai-ay ,Moorthy Munrai iru vahai payan-ai , onru-ai virindu Ninranai. Here the the ascent is from 4 to 7 followed by the descent from 7 to 1 in six steps. The 4 in the first line refers to the 4 Varnas outlined in Purusha Suktam(Naal Vahai Varnamumayinai). Pancha Bhoothas are referred to next : Aimperum Bhothamum Niyeh . Six and Seven are incorporated in the lines Arupadam Muralum--- Ezh Vidai Adanga Ccherranai. For the sake of Nappinnai, whose natural fragrance of her tresses are coveted by the SIX footed bees, you destroyed the SEVEN powerful bulls in a contest and married her. Hereafter, the lines of the TVK descend from 7 to 6 to 5 to 4 to 3 to 2 and end with one. Thirumangai starts with SIX by referring to the Six alien schools of thought (Sankhya, Yoga,Nyaaya, Bauddha, Jaina et al ) not being able to comprehend the glory of Sriman Narayana. Veda Bahya Schools or those that can not go beyond Kaivalya are included here as imperfect here. Azhwar refers next to Five , when he states that the Lord has the Consort on his chest and that Maha Lakshmi has tresses with FIVE qualities: Black, Length, Coolness ,Fragrance and softness. FOUR kinds of Purusharthas (Dharma, Kama, Artha, Moksha ) follow next. THREE is included thereafter in terms of the Lord being the Antharyami of Indra, Brahma and Rudra. TWO fold fruit (Aihika an dAamushmika ) Giving appears next. In the beginning , You were the Only ONE (Sat) says the Aazhwar. After completing the Ratha Bhandham , the Azhwar moves on to a direct prayer to Aaraavamudhan in the following lines of TVK and concludes it with a description of Thirukkudanthai and states that the Holy feet of the Lord are resting in his mind always. Thus ends the great poem of the Azhwar, which is a testimony to his sharp poetic skills and deep Bhakthi of Sriman Narayana. Para Kaalan Thiruvadigale sharanam, Oppiliappan Koil Varadachari Sadagopan .