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Thirumangai AruliccheyalgaL --Part 2

From: V. Sadagopan (
Date: Sat Jan 20 1996 - 16:01:59 PST

Significance of today and tomorrow 
The memories of the Thirunangoor Manjal Neerattal and the 
Padinoru   Garuda Sevai of the Archa Murthys of 
Thirunangoor Divya Desams nudged me to post the sequel to
Part 1 (Thiruvezukkorrurikkai ) of Thirumangai .
 Significance of this weekend
Today is Thai AmaavAsyai and tomorrow is the day of the
Padinoru Garudasevai.Sri Dillepan's forwarded posting of the 
two events is moving tribute to the two events related to the 
Bhagavad Anubhavam of Thirumangai and the Bhagavata 
Anubhavam of Sriman Narayana enshrined at these temples 
as well as at Srirangam and Thirukkudanthai. Let us think of the 
holy feet of Thirumangai and offer our tribute on this special weekend.
The works of THirumangai
The Azhwar's works are six in number and have been called the six
Vedangas for the four Tamil Veda Samhitas of Nammazhwar. I am 
doing research on the Veda Samhita and Vedanga References . I will
share them with you later. In this and the  subsequent postings, I will
attempt to summarize the essence of (1) Siriya Thirumadal and Periya
Thirumadal (2) Thirukkurunthaandakam and the Thirunedumthaandakam.
I will leave the Periya Thirumozhi out, because the upcoming CD ROM
might  include references to many verses associated with the Archa 
Murthys of the various Divya Desams sung by the Azhwar.

Source Literature for the posting
The source Literature for these studies are:
1. Kamattuppaal: ThirukkuraL
2.Sri P.BAnnagaAcharyAr, Iyarpaa, Divyartha Dipikai, Granthamala Office, 
Vishnu Kanchipuram, 1959.
3.Utttamoor Veeraraghavaacchaariyar"s commentary (Prabhanda Rakshai), 
Vishitaadvaita Pracharani Sabha, Madras, 1979.
4.K.C.Varadachari, Azhwars of South India, Bhavan Press, 1966
5.The Thirumadals ofTHirumangai, A Study, Dr.R.Gopalakrishnan,
Journal of the Madras University: SectionA: Humanities,September 1983.
6.Naaliyira Divya Prabhandam, Mayilai Madhava Dasan, 1950.

The themes& structure of the two Thirumadals: Siriya and Periya Thirumadals 
Invocatory Verse for Siriya Thirumadal
The Taniyan for this Aruliccheyal is by Pillai Thirunarayoor Arayar.
It is appropriate an Arayar  associated with Thirunarayoor is the 
author of this  Taniyan inview of the special role played by the 
Archamurthy of Thirunarayoor( Sugnada Giri Nambi) ). 

The Taniyan is as follows:

MuLLicchezhumalaroh taaraan muLaimadhiyam
KoLLikkennuLLam kodhiyameh --vaLLal
ThiruvaaLan siirkkaliyan kaarkkaliyai vetti
MaruvaaLan tanthaan Madal.

(meaning ):  The  mighty Generous Thirumangai ,who wears both  the 
flower garland of  thorns and a becoming  sword in his hand is the most 
auspicious Azhwar. He has cut asunder the darkness generated by Kali
Yuga and given me the Madals so that my mind tortured by greif over the 
separation from my Lord will not boil uncontrollably at the sight of the rising 
moon . (Nayakis suffering from the painful  experience of pleasure -giving
during the times of separation from their Nayakas is alluded to here.)

The Rules of Tamil Poetry and the Madals& the Azhwar's breaking of the
The rules of Tamil poetry require that the Madals should be set in 
the KaliveNN paa meter.  PannirupAttiyal describes further  
the form and content of the ancient style of Madal poetry as one
set in KaliveNpaa and having the poetic features of Ethugai 
and Monai(Consonance and Rhyme).

The  grammar for this poetry 
also restricts the subject matter to focus on Inbam or Kamam at the 
expense of other three goals of life( Purushaarthams) such as Dharmam
(Aram), Artham (PoruL), Moksham (Veedu). In the Tamil poetry , Madal is 
a practise restricted to a Male lover , who has been spurned by his lady love.
ThiruvaLLuvar describes the Madal custom practised by the lover as follows:
" In ancient times  those who had failed in their love used to ride over a
horse- like 
carrier(contraption )  made of dry palm-leaves (Madal). The pain (Self-torture)
pricking ride they endured in preference to their pain in failure (to win the
hand of 
the lady-love) ." This unusual testimony of love was aimed to soften the heart
the woman  whom he loved and to win her over. Grief is shamelessly proclaimed 
in public through the stunt like act of riding on the jagged stems of palm
leaves to
shame the lady loveand  hopefully acheive  a change of her  attitude of
Clearly, the performance of Madal(Madalerutal)   is not recommended for women 
as an act of public  protest and lamentation against  her hard-hearted  lover ,
who did
not reciprocate her intense love. It was considered immodest for a woman
to engage in such public displays.

Thirumangai, Nammazhwar  assumed the Naayika Bhavam
in their respective Bhaghavad Anubhavams and adopted
 the practise of Madalerutal to express their intensity of suffering
 caused by their separations from their objects of Love(Viz) 
Sriman Narayana. Both of them rejected the Tamil  poetry 
traditions, which restricted Madalerutal to men , but followed the
Tamil grammar recommendations that this type of ancient poem 
should deal with the worldly love and that it should be set in KaliveNpaa.
Thirumangai justifies his practise of Madalerutal by referring to the 
extensive use of this type of demonstration in the Northern tradition and 
cites the behavior of Sita,Usha ,Vegavati and Ulupikai , the heroins of 
Ithihasas  like Ramayanam and Maha Bharatam . He says that they 
expressed openly their love and sought their company through a variety of 
means. He describes  in the Periya Thirumadal the behavior of  his role models 
this  way: " Sita followed Rama and lived with him in the forest (against the 
advices of the elders); Vegavati went in search of her lover into  the battle
not heedin gher brother's protest  and she enjoyed her lover's company.
Ulupikai , aNaga woman made Arjuna be a  prey to her lustful advances as 
alluded in Maha Bharatam. Usha , the daughter of Banaasura had her lover
transported by her friend ,Chitralekha.Above all Parvati rejected her parents
and engaged in arduous penance for union with Siva". 

Thirumangai   with his extraordinary mastery of Tamil poetry and its grammar
decided to portray his acute pangs of separation from her Nayaka and decided to
practise the ancient custom of Madalerutal , an act prohibited in south for
He had become Parakala Nayaki to express his pain of searation and to taunt the 
Lord for his act of abandonment. 

What Type of Madal is Thirumangai's Madal ?
Tolkaapiyam , an ancient and authoritative work on Tamil grammar distinguishes 
berween two kinds of Madal . One type of Madal DECLARES the intention of 
riding a Madal(IntiNai) and the other consists of actual mounting on the 
carrier made up of dry and prickly palm leaves and riding on it (PeruntiNai).
Madal literature of Thirumangai Azhwar belongs to the IntiNai variety of Madal.
a threat to shame the Lord and gain His change of mind. It has been pointed out
"the Azhwar might have wished to make a literary revolution on a spiritual
 He did break the convention (of Tamil rules of Poetry) an dintroduced a new
that a  love-smitten lady can  develop an inexhaustible and immortal love
towards the 
supreme Lord. If the lady fails in her endeavour to unite herself with the Lord
she resolves that she has no other alternative than to ride on a Madal."

Madal and Ninda Stuti
Another distinguishing feature of the Madals is the Ninda Stuti or praise in the
of censure are no aspersions  on the glory of the Lord,  but the outbursts of 
great bhakthas taking liberties with the Lord because of their special
 relationships with Him a stheir Nayaka. Traducing His name and fame
 throughout the world is their threat to gain Him back. The deep love of the 
Azhwar takes the forms  of both  Ninda or Negative  Stuti and postive stuti
in the two Madals of Parakala Nayaki. Negatively, the Azhwar abandons all 
human values (Purusharthas) as worthless except Kamam for Him  ; on the 
positive side, the Azhwar emphasizes the importance of Bhakti , Kainkaryam
(service )  and Thyagam(sacrifice ) of other temptations that take one away
from Him.  
Distinguishing features of Siriya and Periya Thirumadal
The two Madals differ in the length of lines. The breif statement
finding its home in Siriya Thirumadal is elaborated upon in
Periya Thirumadal(PTM). The second difference is that Siriya Thirumadal(STM)
is set as anarration of of the God-intoxicated experience of the Nayaki 
through some one else ; the Periya Thirumadal houses the profound 
experiences of the Nayaki a s statements  by the Nayaki herself.
In STM< the Nayaki overcome with love for the Nayaka does not know 
the identity of the one, who is causing her agony. The identity of 
the culprit  is revealed to the Nayaki through a sooth-sayer. Through 
the latter, The Azhwar praises the kalyana Gunas of the Lord and His sacred 
Divya Desams. In PTM, The Azhwar describes his harrowing experiences as 
the rejected lady and speaks out about her devotion.

Deeper Vaishnavite Meanings of the Madals of Thirumangai
The Rakshakatva (Ability to protect the Bhakta in distress) , the 
Saulabhya (ready accessibility ) , the Karpanya ( prostration born out of utter 
hopelesnes ) are identified by  Sri K.C.Varadachari as the inner meanings of the
He says that the Azhwar transfers his affection from his dearly loved wife , 
---who had been his teacher too-- to Sriman Narayana. He experiences in that 
state "a love most all-absorbing " , and appeals to His qualities of Mercy and
Grace  and come down from his divine heights to accept" the Love-offering
(Kama Pushpam ) from one, who has thrown away all concerns arising from
modesty   and Lokaabhavaadham. The Madal threatens to question the sincerity of
the Lord's assurnaces in Bhagavad Gita in the Sarama Sloka. Sri K.C.Varadachari
the assumptions of the Madals of the Azhwar this way: " God's assurance
to the soul (Jivan)  that loves Him alone and to whom the soul has 
totally dedicated itself,is of greatest spiritual value to the soul , and it 
is on this truth of God"s word that the madals revolve".

Special features of Periya Thirumadal
The taniyan was composed by Kambanaatazhwar, the author of
Kamba Ramayanam. One poet can appreciate another poet, it 
seems!  While the STM begins with the describtion of the Earth,
the PTM begins with an exquisite  describtion of Paramapadam 
and its resident, Sri Vaikundanathan attended by His Devis. on experiencing
the conjugal pleasures of the Lord in his supreme abode,the 
Azhwar suffers the pangs of separation and cries out: " If my body and soul
are not subservienbt to You,then, for waht else are they for? What is the use of

fragrant flowers grown in an uninhabited forest? Similar is the state of my
untouvched by the Lord."She looks for her Nayaka in the Divya Desams of 
Thiruvinnagar, Thirukkudantai ,Kurungudi, Aali nagar, Kannamangai, Vellarai,
Vallavazh , Srirangam, Idavendai,Tillai Chitrakootam, Mallai, Venkatam and many
THiruppathis. In the final verse, she complains that the Lord knows
all her sufferings . She threatens him that she will perform the act of Madal
if he does not come to her rescue and unite with her . She implies that she will
be a martyr for his love and become immortal through her sacrifice . After 
the practise of Karpanyam , the sixth limb of Saranagati through the vow of love
unto death,
Sri Varadachari points out that the Azhwar goes on to take the Dhandakam (staff)
Sriman Narayana to ascend and to reach Sriman narayana"s abode to become 
a Nitya Suri and to enjoy the eternal bliss of Kainkaryam to HIm . The
and the Thirunedumthaandakam are describtions of the lofty journey with the 
staff of the Lord. 

Azhwaar , Achaaryar, Emperumaanaar Thiruvadigaleh Saranam
Thirumangaimannan Thiruvadigaleh Saranam

Oppiliappankoil Varadachari Sadagopan