You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : January 1997

"Concept of Prapatthi as expressed by AndAL" ; 26th day of Marghazhi

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Fri Jan 10 1997 - 13:53:47 PST

Dear Members of the Prapatthi group :

This is the day connected with the 26th Paasuram of 
Thiruppavai starting with  an appeal  to " maalE maNivaNNA "
and concludes with the prayer for the boon of Parai (Bhagavdh
Samslesham ) this way : " aalinilaiyaai aruLElOlOrempaavaai ".
AndAL appeals to Vatapathra Sayee of the temple 
at Srivilliputthur here.

We will enjoy  together  "the concept of  Parapatthi as expressed 
in Thiruppavai " along the lines of presentation by Professor 
A.S. Raghavan . AndAL , the bridal mystic offers SaraNAgathi 
along the classical manner prescribed by the Upanishads and 
PaancharAtra SamhithAs and makes thus Her Thiruppavai become 
one of the sacred Upanishads (GodhOpanishad ) . 

Verses  1--5 
**************

The consort of the Lord that She is , AndAL does not elaborate 
upon the angAs of Prapatthi , but plunges right into the act of 
Prapatthi in Her AruLiccheyal. In this context  , She declares right 
away in the very FIRST PAASURAM of  Thiruppavai with profound certainity ,
" NaarayaNanE namakkE parai TharuvAn " . Here She states unambigously 
that NarAyaNA is the paramAthMa and his Daya and AnukampA alone 
will give us the sought after boon  : Nitya Kaimkaryam to Him and Him only .
This approach is taken by Her since she is driven by the conviction that  
His DayA is the central means (Upaayam ) and our prayer to this 
Parama KaaruNikan is  a subsidary anushtAnam 
to " induce " His DayA . 

The second verse ( Vyatthu VaazhveergAL ) covers the mental attitude that 
a Prapanna  should have as he or she approaches Sriman NaarAyaNA
for the boon of Kaimkaryam to Him . Aanukoolya sankalpam and 
Praathikoolya Varjanam are covered here . In the third verse
(ONgi UlahaLandha Uttaman pEr paadi  ) , AndAL describes 
as to what the aim of the person should be in observing 
the Paavai nonbhu ( Viz )., Universal Prosperity . In the fifth verse 
( Maayanai Mannu Vada Mathurai Maindhanai ) , She points out that 
this right mental attitude in approaching the Lord will result in 
KrishNa -premai / KrishNaThirst (KrishNa thrishNA ) , which in turn 
will annihilate totally the accumulated sins of the past and present .

Verses 6 to 17 of Thiruppavai
********************************

The God-minded BhagavathA always seek the company of other
BhagavathAs with whom they can experience Bhagavadh Vishayam and 
enjoy the divine bliss of Bhagavadh anubhavam through  sath sangam  just 
as the recently concluded one in Bufffalo , New York . In this context , AndAL
goes about the streets of Srivilliputthur (Gokulam ) to wake up Her
friends (Gopis ) so that all of them can approach the mansion of NandagOpA , 
where the Lord is engaged in Yoga nidrA (Pasurams 6-15 ) . In the sixteenth
verse , AndAL and friends make an appeal to the gatekeepers of 
NandagOpA's mansion to open the front door and let them in 
( Nayakanaai Ninra NandagOpanudaya ) . This step is symbolic of
the guidance of our AcharyAs , who help us  approach the domain of the Lord.
In the 17 th verse , AndAL and Her friends pray  to NandagOpA , YasOdhA 
and Bala RamA , since they are "dear and near " to their object of desire .

The  Verses 18-20 
********************

The triad of verses 18, 19 and 20 are central to the understanding 
of Prapatthi as practised by AndAL . These three verses deal with the 
divine couple and their relationship to us as Seshi Dampathi and 
the SaraNya Dampathi (Nappinai and KrishNa in Thiruppaavai ) . 

Verse 18
**********

Our supremely compassionate Mother, Maha Lakshmi , overlooks
our trespasses as erring children and pleads for us as mediatrix 
with Her Lord to forgive us and protect us . This is the PurushakAram
aspect of Her  celebrated by Yamuna Muni , RamAnuja Muni and all
the achAryAs that followed them . Displaying Her Vaatsalyam and 
PurushakAram , She points out to Her Lord that we as prodigal children 
will come around and ask for His mercy and forgivenness . In verse 18 
( Undhu MadakALiRRin ) , the appeal is made by GodhA 
to the PurushakAram of Nappinai , who is MahA Lakshmi Herself .     

Verses 19 and 20 ( Kutthu vilakku and Mupatthu moovar )
*************************************************************

These are the ONLY  verses in the entire Thiruppaavai ,
where  the Divya Dampathis are addressed  jointly in  the 
prayer of AndAL and her friends . Recognizing the  Divya Dampathis 
as their Upeyam and Upaayam  , the assembled BhagavathAs
headed by AndAL pray to them in their roles as Seshi Dampathi
and SaraNya Dampathi . 

The first of the twin verses (Kutthu Vilakku  yeriya ) describes 
the UPEYATHVAA  approach to the Ekaseshi Dampathis . As Seshi 
Dampathis , AndAL reminds us that loving kimkaryam to Them
is our supreme purushArtham and they are the targets (Upeyam ) .

The second verse ( Muppatthu moovar amararkku mun senru ) 
addresses Them as SaraNya Dampathis . Here UPAYATHVAA 
aspect is emphasized . We are reminded that the highet means 
for attaining  the supreme goal of  our lives is their INNATE GRACE
as SaraNya Dampathis . Besides Them being the Upaaya and Upeyaa ,
our most compassionate Mother ,  Maha Lakshmi , demonstrates 
Her  unique PurushakArA attribute and comes to our rescue .

These three aspects of UpAyathvam  and Upeyam of the Divya Dampathis
and the PurushakAram aspect of MahA Lakshmi are the central tenets
of Sri VaishNavism and the divine AndAL weaves all these strands 
into a harmonious whole prior to the performance of HER act of Prapatthi .


The UPEYATHVAM doctrine is clearly stated in the following portion
of the 19th verse :

" YetthanaiEnum pirivARRhillAyAl 
  Tattuvam , anru tahavu yElOrempaavAi "

(Meaning) : Thou can not be away from the Lord even for 
the smallest fraction of time. That is the philosophical doctrine! )
This Tattuvam  is also declared by AndAL's fellow Azhwaar
(NammaazhwAr ) in His paasuram passage offering SaraNAgathi
at the Lotus feet of ThiruvenkatamudayAn : " AhalahillEn Iraiyum
yenru AlarmEl mangai Urai maarbhA " . That the SaraNya dampathis are 
the targets , Lakshyam , Upeyam for us is brought out here .

The UPAAYAM aspect comes through strong and clear in the 20th
verse passage this way :

 " Nappinnai Nangaai ! ThiruvE ! ----
unn MaNALanai ippothE Yemmai neerAttu "

(Meaning ) : " The grace of Thyself and Thy groom is the ONLY MEANS
of redemption for us. O Nappinnai ! O Maha Lakshmi ! " 

Thus far , the preparation for  the observanc eof Prapatthi as well as 
the anushtanams to qualify them for that Prapatthi in the traditional 
manner prescribed by the Upanishads and PaancharAtra SamhitAs 
were covered  by the group of BhagavathAs led by AndAL .
In the remining Paasurams , She refers to the AngAs (accessories ) 
of Prapatthi and performs the Prapatthi itself. 

AndAL ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam .

Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan