You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : January 1999

thirup pAvai - part 38 - An unique style in grammer

From: Sampath Rengarajan (srengara_at_ford.com)
Date: Fri Jan 15 1999 - 13:11:07 PST

thirup pAvai - part 38 - An unique style in grammer for "kathir mathiyam"

Sri ANDAL thiruvadikaLE saraNam

Dear bAgawathAs,
	The usage of these two words together as "kathir mathiyam"
is known in tamil grammer as an "Ummai  thogai".  In tamil grammer
this  usage is called  "Ummai  thogai".  ie.,  when an  object  is
addressed  by two opposite  pathams  arranged  subsequent  to each
other, such arrangement forms a sepcific style in tamil ilakkanam.
This usage is very unique as many  object  cannot  represent  that
easily, the "equal" and  "opposite"  all in itself.  The  compound
noun "kathir  mathiyam"  meaning, "like that of sun and moon" is a
"uvamanam"  or  comparison  in which the two  nouns  "kathir"  and
"mathi" are conjoined as a Compound Noun and the meaning  given is
a  comparison  with  both sun and moon.  That is,  Lord's  face is
compared  with sun and  moon; The  extreme  brightness  of sun and
kuLircci   or  cooling   nature  of  moon.  It  is   therefore   a
Ummaittokai, a conjuctive form of comparison.


	In tamil there are places  where  sometimes  it is said as
"iravu  pagal" ie day and night.  But  actually it means  "iaravum
pagalum".,  ie., The day and moon.  A "um" is  adjoined at the end
of the noun when used in normal  sense.  But in poetical  language
the  "um" is not used for the  words in many  occassions.  In this
case the  "um" is not only  gone for the  first  word  but for the
second  word the "um" became  "am" in a poetical  language.  It is
very  important  to note that  though  ummaiththogai  is  somewhat
common but and ethirmarip peyar (opposite nouns) being referred to
an object is uncommon and is used in very extraordinary situations
mainly.

	    By  adapting  such a  sophisticated  usage  Sri  ANDAL
brings  out the  excellent  beauty  of the Lord and HIS  different
gunAthisayam  all in one line and as well the  beauty of the tamil
language and the tamil poetic style here that is very  unique.  In
tamil it is said that HIS face is appears as "punal uruvam".  (the
form of a newly  arriving  flood of water in a river  that  brings
happiness  to all those who thrives on that river or a water falls
or a river pool) (In  Tanjore  district  which is known as Kauveri
delta  there  is small  town  known  as  "punal  vAyil".  ie., the
thershold  or th  entrance  point for the water or river or canal.
In kerala there is a town known as punaloor ie.  the city of punal
or water hole.  ie Lord appears as a "punal" or "thadAkam" for HIS
adiyArs.  And "anal  uruvam" (form of the fire or scorching  heat)
for HIS "prathi koolar" or virOdhis.

	Sri ANDAL is not merely  satisfied  with this unique usage
of the tamil grammer  alone.  ie ., she is not satisfied with this
comparisons  and  continues  to address the face  itself by saying
"pOl  mugathhAn".  ie., She is  mentioning  the word  "mugatthAn".
"pol"  means  "pONRa" or  "appearing".  "pOl" also means  "similar
to".  The meaning of  "appearing"  conveys the  "vinai" or the act
these two opposite objects  "kathir" and "mathiyam" do (ie., scare
the enemies and stay  unapproachable  and stay  easily  accessible
(sowlabyam)  to HIS adiyArs,  while  "similar to"  represents  the
intensity  of their light and heat (for boys of kamsa and girls of
AaypAdi).

	The tamil word "mugatthAn"  means  "mugathhai  udaiyavan",
ie, one who has such face.  Though she used "kathir  mathiyam pOl"
earlier,  the usage of word  "mugam"  immediately  next to the two
"uvamAnam" or comparison  "kathir  mathiyam"  makes these usage as
these "ubamAnam  aRRathu" or makes it loose its  comparison.  ie.,
Such  face is  uncomparable  to  anything.  ie., The face has many
many  qualities  and these are  merely  two such  comparisons.  It
doesnot  mean that HIS face can be "equated" to these  comparisons
alone and that  nothing is equal to the beauty of this Lord who is
our Sri Krishna here  directly  and Sri  namperumAL  of  Srirangam
indirectly.  She is not satisfied  seeing the face of Sun and moon
and merely  comparing his parAkrama and  sowlabyam  alone.  She is
now directly  addressing  (looking)  at HIS face by using the word
"mugam"  in  "mugatthAn"   (nEtra   darsanam).  Sri  peria  AzhwAr
delivered the same patham as "etthani  seyyilum en magan muham nEr
OvvAi".  ie, in simple meaning, "What ever one can do, they cannot
match (the  beauty  of) my son's (Sri  KrishnA's)  face  straight.
ie., The beauty of Sri KrishnA's face is  uncomparable  and cannot
be  explained  in some simple  comparisons  alone.  ie., It is not
enough a place to tell about "kathir  mathiyam pOl  mugatthAn" and
its  mahAthmiyam  and sum up the beauty of our Lord Sri  KrishnA's
(Sri namperumAL's) face in a couple of sentences.(**)

Sri ANDAL thiruvadikaLE saraNam
Sampath Rengarajan

(**)
There  is  so much in it to deal. I am at loss of words in this
medium of English to adequately express the beauty of this face.
If this is a tamil writing or lecture I would do some justice.