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thiruppAvai - 5

From: Anand Karalapakkam (
Date: Wed Mar 03 1999 - 14:47:05 PST

Sri Lakshminrusimha Parabrahmane namaha
Sri Lakshminrusimha divya pAdukA sEvaka SrivaNN-
SatakOpa Sri nArAyaNa yateendra mahAdESikAya namaha

namO nArAyaNA.

ThiruppAvai UpanyAsam of Sri U.Ve.VillUr KarunAkaran swAmi 

In the previous posting, the complete transformation of 
AndAL as the leader of gOpIs to perfrom the nOnbu was
discussed. Lets now get into the nature of the nOnbu

 Did AndAL perform kAtyAyani nOnbu ??

In Srimad BhAgavatham, Sukabrahma maharishi says that
gOpIs observed "kAtyAyani nOnbu" wherein they made the
image of pArvati dEvi through sand (at the banks of 
river yamunA) and worshipped her in the early morning 
and prayed to obtain Krishnar as their husband. The
objective of AndAL and Her friends is also the same
thing and is also true that AndAL transformed Herself
as a gOpI. 

Did then AndAL adopt kAtyAyani nOnbu ?? All the 
paramaikAntins will in one voice say that AndAL didn't
observe kAtyAyani nOnbu. Though the desired objective
is very good, praying to anya dEvata (demi-gods) for 
that is a _big_ minus point. ParamaikAntins never ever 
pray to anya dEvatAs(*), whatever their objective may be.
For paramaikAntins, Sriman nArAyaNA Himself is the
upAyam and the upEyam. They act as a pati vrata sthrI
and do not pray to anya dEvatAs. This is also very
important for those who are desirous to obtain moksham
and perform eternal kainkaryam to the divya dampati
at Sri VaikuNTham.
Needless to say, AndAL is a paramaikAntin. So, AndAL
didn't pray to pArvati (**) and the prayer was to 
PerumAL Himself, to attain Him ( "nArAyaNanE nammakku
paRai tharuvAn", "unnakkE nAm At cheivOm" etc). 
Then, which nOnbu did AndAL adopt, if it was not 
kAtyAyani nOnbu ?  

This issue was settled once for all by the great mahAn
"abhinava dESika Uttamoor vAtsya VeerarAghavArya 
mahAdESikan" in swAmi's wonderful commentry (prabandha
rakshai) on thiruppAvai.

Uttamoor swAmi gives the reference to skAnda purANam
wherein the mArghazhi nOnbu (mArgaseersha mAhAtmyam)
is explained by PerumAL Himself to chaturmukha brahmA.

PerumAL says that the mArgazhi nOnbu is a very great
vrattam; but dEvAs inorder to confuse people( so that
everyone won't observe it in the correct way and thus
won't proceed that quickly to Sri VaikuNTham) have
introduced many fake-mArgazhi vrattams.

PerumAL explains about the actual mArgazhi nOnbu. 
Herein, snAnam, wearing of OordhvapuNdram, tuLasi 
mAlai etc are also mentioned. Thirumanjanam to PerumAL
with the blow of conch will make the pitrus
(ancestors) attain svargam. Charity of cow, food and
performance of Uttsavam to PerumAL durinmg mArgazhi
pournami will immensely please Him ( AndAL refers
to them as "nAtkAlE neerAdi", "aiyamum pichchiyum
ANdanaiyum kaikAtti,"pAnchajanyamE pOlvana SankangaL",
"ambaramE, thaNNeerE, soRE yaRam seiyyum" etc ).

PerumAL gives a case study as that of gOpIs at gOkulam,
who observed this nOnbu ( by taking bath early in the
morning, performed worship, offered Him food (pongal) 
etc) and obtained Himself.     

When Lord BrahmA asked PerumAL about the place at which
this nOnbu has to be observed, PerumAL answered 
"MathurA" !! This is the biggest problem with PerumAL.
He is the one who also told emperumAnAr to be at 
SriRangam itself. This confused all the Sri VaishnavAs
as to whether everyone has to pack themselves and 
settle at Sri Rangam OR is it allright to stay at other
divya dEsams etc. SwAmi Desikan in Srimad Rahasya Traya
sAram explains the thiru uLLam of PerumAL that 
"Srirangam" is only a upalakshanam and that one can stay
at any place where ParamaikAntins(prapannAs) are present
and discussing about the glories of PerumAL.

Eventhough PerumAL will let out such statements, AndAL
won't. She made an amendment to the statement of PerumAL,
since it is not possible for everyone to go to mathurA
and perform the nOnbu. AndAL thus said "yengum thiru 
aruL pettru inburuvar" and one can perform this nOnbu
from anywhere.  
In skAnda purANam, it is not explicitly said that rain 
will be one of the results of this vrattam. But, for 
AndAL, the nonbu that she observes should result in rain 
also (as per the wishes of village people). Uttamoor 
swAmi says that may be AndAL knew of some pramAnam by 
which gOpIs used this nOnbu (which can grant many a 
wishes) to result in rain OR AndAL Herself had some 
sAkshAtkAram of some aspects of the nOnbu OR introduced 
some of Her own.

Thus, this nOnbu is _not_ that of kAtyAyani vrattam
and is very much different from it. 

(*): Names of anya dEvatAs do appear in 
sandhyAvandanam, yaj~nAs etc. But paramaikAntins do not
worship anya dEvatAs then also. They take the primary
meaning of those names which refers to Sriman nArAyaNA,
the parabrahman, and thus worship Him only. But, in
certain circumstances, a specific anya dEvata is 
supposed to be meditated upon with the antaryAmi as
nArAyaNA - this appears in sandhyAvandanam ; there are
also brahma vidyAs like this. Since these are sAstric
injunctions which one has to perform while adopting it,
there is nothing wrong - still the worship is for the 
antaryAmi only. But, there is no sAstric injunction to
pray to anya dEvatA for obtaining krishna etc. So,
paramaikAntins will not adopt it, even as a prayer
to the antaryAmi(nArAyaNA pervading the body of pArvati
dEvi and present along with the jIvAtmA having the post 
of pArvati dEvi) of pArvati dEvi. what to speak of
praying to her directly !! 

(**) : In nAchchiyAr thirumozhi, AndAL doesn't pray to
 the anya dEvata manmadhan, rather to the manmadha
 manmadhan kannapirAn (krishnar). Krishnar is the 
 kAma dEvan. Only paramaikAntins can understand the
 thiru uLLam of AndAL. Refer to Uttamoor swAmi's
 vyAkyAnam(ie.commentry) for a detailed discussion 
 on these issues.    

  -- to be cont --
            AndAL thiruvadigaLE SaraNam
 adiyEn rAmAnuja dAsan
ananthapadmanAbha dAsan