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Re: material pursuits

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani_at_be.com)
Date: Thu Jul 08 1999 - 17:09:28 PDT

Anand Karalapakkam wrote:
>   Infact, 
>   our AchAryAs have given such an exalted status to the nAyaki bhAva 
>   that, they haven't composed such pAsurams/stotrams (only very rare). 

I don't know if Anand includes this in his "very rare" category,
but much of Vedanta Desika's Tamil works contain the nAyikA bhAvam.
(By the way, the term most used is "_nAyikA_ bhAvam", not "nAyaki".)
The mummaNikkOvai on Devanayaka PerumaaL of Tiruvahindrapuram is
a perfect example:

   The God of Love will shower a rain of flower-tipped
   arrows from his charming bow
   of sugar-cane

   at that tender girl who longs for the soft feet
   of the God of Truth:

   Mercy gushes
   from his side-long glances.

   He stands here, a sea of sweet nectar,
   saying to those who long
   to plunge into him: "Come, dive deep!"

   He has come to Tiruvahindrapuram,
   where those who speak speak
   only the essence
   of the three
   Vedas  

       -- Mummanikkovai 3, translated by Stephen Hopkins

It is assumed that Desika (Venkatanatha) himself plays the lovelorn 
girl in these poems, so the commentators call her "Venkata Nayaki".
Some of Desika's Sanskrit stotras also contain a quite a bit of
SringAra-rasa (erotic sentiment).  Interestingly, most of his SringAra
is directed towards Devanayakan.

I am sure other acharyas have also explored this sentiment, perhaps
to a lesser extent. This needs to be studied a little more. 

In short, I don't think our acharyas, many of whom had great anubhavam 
of their own, consciously avoided the nAyikA bhAvam.  In fact, how *can* 
one avoid it, when one things of PerumaaL?

Mani