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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.