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Few questions

From: Sadagopan (sgopan_at_computer.net)
Date: Wed Mar 24 1999 - 17:28:56 PST

Dear Friends : A respected Vaishnavite Scholar and 
friend invited me to comment on the significance of 
the BhOgi and Kanu Pandigais . I will try .

I thought number of you might have some insights 
on the origin of these names for the two pandigais 
that we celebrated in January .Please join in and 
comment . My views are semi-speculative.

Here are my observations .The origianal inquiry 
is attached below :     

>I have just been perusing the bhakti archives to get an answer to a
>particular question.  What are the exact meanings of the words bhogi and
>kanu for the pandigais?  Is bhogi simply the Sanskrit word?  i was wondering
>about the history of these terms.  I have also not been able to understand
>the meaning of kanu and the significance of praying for one's brothers.
>Also Andal tirukkalyanam seems to be celebrated both on bhogi and later in
>the year?  Is this common in all divya desams? (this is more than one
>particular question!) 

1. Bhogi : This is indeed a Sanskrit word Bhogin
( Bhoga+ini). This word has a variety of meanings :
Rich, Opulent , One devoted to enjoyment . After the winter
harvest , the mood is for enjoyment of Bhagavaan's blessings 
and take time to thank Him . It could also be viewed as 
a Pandigai for the Seshan thanking the SarvasEshi , who is 
the BhOgyan of the Jeevan .

2.Kanu Pandigai is the one , where colored rice balls are 
offered to janthus on roof tops or at pushkarINi banks. 
During the Margazhi month , the lady of the house cleanses 
the front of  the house , draws colorful kolams in honor 
of the Dhanur Maasam and places the pumpkin flowers as decorations .
The rice flour is for the ants and the flowers are for cows .
The significance is that all creations of the Lord from
ants (six footed )to other four footed ones are offered
food in the spirit of LokA: SamasthA :SukhinO Bhavanthu .
The colored rice balls are for Crows . 

In Thirukkudanthai ,PaDi ThANDA pathni , Sri KomaLavalli 
ThAyAr joins with Her friends ( Sri Vijayavalli and 
Sri SithA Piratti )to place the Kanu pidis on 
the steps of Hema PushkaraNi . The Archakar steps out and
places the kanu pidis on behalf of Sri Komalavalli ThAyaar , 
who stays behind the steps of the western gopuram .

The origin of the word kanu: KanI in Sanskrit means 
a daughter or  a girl.Kanyakaa (KanyA )also means a girl .
The Vedic (archaic) term kanIna  means Young one.
KanInaka means maiden.Thus , one can extrapolate the 
word Kanu by association to some  thing related to 
a Young girl.A festival perhaps associated with 
a young girl's prayer for the welfare of her
dear ones and her community . kanIyas means to lessen 
or make smaller .Another flight of imagination will
lead us to the small balls of colored rice involved in
the offering by the young  maiden .This is a reasonable(!) 
speculation on my part for this old Tamilian festival
based on etymological basis .

3. At Kanchipuram and elsewhere , ANDAL KalyANam
is celebrated during BhOgi .BhakthAs familiar with 
festivals at Sri Villiputthur and Kanchipuram 
might wish to comment on the ThirukkalyANams outside 
Bhogi pandikai dinam for ANDAL .

4. The link of praying for the welfare of the brother 
thru the celebration of the Kanu Pandigai : By  a stretch
of imagination , one can think of GodhA thanking 
GodhAgrajar ( Sri RaamAnujA ) for fulfilling Her vows
to Lord Sundararajan of ThirumAlirumchOlai to offer 
1,000 vessels filled with akkaravadisal.We know that 
She stepped out of Her Garbhagruham to greet Her caring
"elder brother " and has stayed in the ardha mantapam 
since then.

V.Sadagopan