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question on ninda stuti

From: Thirumalai Anandanpillai (
Date: Tue Mar 19 1996 - 15:52:01 PST

Dear members of the group,

I have a question regarding the ninda stuti of thirumangai aazhwaar 
in siriya thirumadal. I had sent an email to Sri.Sadagopan regarding this
and on his suggestion, am posting the email to the group so that 
knowledgeable  people in this group can give their thoughts.


---------------------------------begin attachment-------------------------
Dear Sri.Sadagopan

Regards. I was reading through some of the bhakti archives in some detail and
was reading through the post on kaliyan's works by you. I have had some
interest in kaliyan's paasurams and am particularly interested in the madals.
(In Kanchipuram, every Friday evening(except on special occasions and during
the brahmotsavam), PerundEvi Thaayar's purapaadu
will take place from the thottam inside the Varadharaajar temple, around the
main pradhakshinaM and back to Her sannadhi. During the procession, siriya thirumadal
will be sung by the goshti. Siriya thirumadal is usually one of the first
paasurams that anyone who grows up in Kanchipuram learns.  It is a great sight 
to see the thaayar just before sunset ('manjaL veyyil') with the goshti singing
siriya thirumadal. Especially because the way siriya thirumadal is sung by the
goshti is very slow and flowing......)

I have a few questions regarding the following paragraph.

-----------------------------start quote------------------------------------
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.  
 -----------------------------end quote------------------------------------

My question is regarding the ninda stuti.
   My understanding of where aazhwaar uses the ninda stuti is that
   he uses ninda stuti in the first few lines of siriya thirumadal to
   establish the greatness of the archamoorthys on this earth as compared
   to SriVaikuntam/paramapadam.

   I am quoting the siriya thrumadal here, and my understanding of it. I do not
know where I am missing something. That is why I thought I would quote the relevant
portion of the siriya thirumadal and my understanding of it. My understanding
of the siriya thirumadal is solely based on P.B.Annangaraachaaryaar's works
and my grandfather's teaching of the siriya thirumadal to me (of course
corrupted by my own interpretation of the siriya thirumadal and what our
aazhvaar says).
Please bear with me on this.

'kaaraarvarai kongai kaNNar kadaludukkai
seerarsudar chutti seNgaLuzhipperaaRRu                          
peraaramaarbin perumaamazhaikkundhal
neeraaraveli nilamaNgaiyennum -- ip                             
paaroor solappattamoonnanre --ammoonrum
aarayilthaane aramporuLinbamenru'

In the above few lines, our aazhwaar describes Bhoomidevi and says that there
are three purushaarthaas for the people that inhabit this earth - aRam, poruL
and inbam (i.e dharmam, arththam and kaamam).

'aaraarivaRRinitaiyadhanai eidhuvaar
cheeraar irukalayum eithuvar '

Here aazhwaar says that kaaman is the one that has the most 'sirappu' among
the three purushaarthaas.  (My understanding is that 'kaamam' here is bhagavath
vishaya kaamam )
Those who have attained this purushaartha will have had attained
the other two purushaarthaas.

aaraanumundembaar enbadhuthaanadhuvum 
oraamaiyandre? ulagathaar sollumsol                             

Some not so learned people say that there is a fourth purushaartham - 
i.e. moksHam or paramapadam or Vaikuntam. Let me(aazhvaar)  tell you why mokshavaadham
has no basis (or why 'mokshavaadam' is not based on deep research - I guess
this is a more appropriate meaning - Varadhan).

'kaaraarpuraviyezh poondhathaniyaazhi                            
theraar niraikadhiron mandalathaikkendu pukku

To attain moksham one has to go through the soorya mandalam (That sooryan who
rides on a charriot that is drawn by 7 horses and has one wheel??) After one
goes through all this, they say that one attains moksha .


And those who do attain moksha after going through all that do not come back.

yeraarmuyalvittu kaakkaippin povadhe?'

With all the archamoorthys in this earth, why would one go to great lengths to
achieve moksham?


I think that aazhwaar in the last few lines quoted above uses nahininda nyaayam 
to go to the extent of even questioning the existence of moksham to express the
greatness of the archamoorthys on this earth. 
(i.e.there is a remote possibility of a 7-horse drawn charriot
with one wheel , it is very difficult for anyone to go through sooryamandalam 
unscorched- and those that they say have attained moksham have never come
back to tell us about it - so there may/may not be a moksham itself?)

This is where I think the ninda stuti is used. I do not understand how
the ninda stuti is used to abandon all other human values (i.e. aRam and poruL
)  other than kaamam. I think that bhagavath vishaya kaamam is a positive
purushaartham rather than negative one.

That is where I think I am missing something. Can you please (when you get time), 
take time to clear my understanding of the above?

My apologies for the inconvenience,