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Date: Tue May 14 1996 - 12:11:18 PDT
Dear Bhagavatas, Please find enclosed Part I Alwars - Section 2.9.3 on Andal. I am trying my best to bring out the Bahya Arthas, Swapadesas etc. But I myself am not satisfied in this effort because- ( i ) Space constraints deter further elaborations ( ii ) My translations in a foreign language may be inadequate in bringing forth the full force, spirit and expressions peculiar and native to the original language and ( iii ) My own commissions and omissions, which please excuse. I am sure that some of the erudite scholors in the group would be better able to elucidate Dasoham Anbil Ramaswamy PART I ALWARS - SECTION 2.9.3 ON ANDAL Verses 6 to 15: IN ANYAAPADESA OR BAHYA ARTHA (What appears on the surface ), Andal is seen as giving a ' wake up call ' to other Gopis to join her in enjoying Krishna Anubhava. The question is ' Can she not go it alone? It is not proper to enjoy pleasant experiences all alone but should be shared; Also, in her broad minded concern that none should miss the experience - an experience that can be better appreciated only in the company of likeminded Bhaktas, she invokes the ' Bhagavatotthamas'. IN SWAPADESA ( Inner meanings) these verses are considered as paying obeisance to the other Alwars. IN PARA ARTHA , she is seen to refer in particular, to the glories of Acharyas, where they are equated with the Lord Himself. Let us see the clues as to how Andal has brought out these aspects. Verse 6 : PULLUM SILAMBINA KAAN PULLARAIYAN etc This verse is deemed to refer to her father PERIYAALWAR. PULLUM SILAMBINA...PULLARAIYAN: Periyaalwar was the incarnation of Garuda; Pull means the bird. It is customary to refer to Acharyas as birds. Though all of us are also like birds, the speciality in the case of Acharyas is that they have very strong wings like Garuda (representing Gnanam and Anushtanam) wheras we are practically WINGLESS birds. PEI MULAI NANJU UNDU and KALLA SAKADAM KALAKKAZHIYA KAAL OACHI : Because Andal feels that by mentioning the two dangers (of Putana and Sakataasura), to the hearing of the sleeping Gopi, the sleeping Gopi would wake up with anxiety in her concern that the Lord should not be exposed to any further dangers. Is she not the daughter of the one who sang Pallaandu in his anxiety that the Lord should not be affected by ' evil eye' ? VITHINAI : indicates that the Lord is the material, instrumental and supportive cause of the Universe. Hence, the reference to 'Seed'. HARI ENRA PER ARAVAM : ' Harir Harathi Paapaani . He is Hari because he removes all sins. ULLAM PUGUNTHU KULIRNDU : The heart (Ullam) that is parched by 'Viragam' (separation from the Lord) will be cooled by the cool flood of recitation of the Lord's names. VERSE 7 : KEESU KEESU ENRU... ANAI CHAATHAAN This verse is said to refer to KULASEKARA ALWAR. Three interjections are employed by Andal viz., Peip Penne, Naayakap Pen Pillaai and Tesam Udaiyaai. In Perumal Tirumozhi, the Alwar says ' Yes! I am crazy! ' Empiraanukke Peyanaai Ozhindhen '. Hence, PEIPENNE. He comes right in the middle of the lineage of Alwars with the Mudhal Alwars, Mazhisai, Maaran and Madhurakavi before him and Bhattarpiraan, Godhai, Thondar Adip Podi, Paanar and Kaliyan following him. Hence, NAAYAKAPENPILLAAI. He shone as Kshatriya; By his Bhagavad Bhakti and Bhaagavata Seshatva, his birth became lustrous. Hence, TESAM UDAIYAAI.. KALANDU PESINA PECHARAVAM : Anaichaathaan is a bird known for the beauty of its eyes. This refers to the great Acharyas endowed with the beautiful eyes of wisdom ( Gnanak Kan). NARAYANAN MOORTHI KESAVANAI : ' Kaha iti Brahmano Nama, Eesoham Sarva Dehinaam / Aavaam Tava Angeshu Sambuthou/ Tasmaath Kesave Naamavaan'. The all knowing Rudra admits that both himself and Brahma were born out of the limbs of Narayana. Hence, he is called Kesava'. Acharya is the very incarnation of Kesava. VERSE 8 : KEEZH VAANAM VELLENRU ERUMAI : This verse is said to refer to NAMMALWAR. He proved that more than the Chetana loving the Lord, it is the Lord who deems it a great honour to love the Chetana.The Alwar himself is the very embodiment of the thirst for Krishna- ' Krishna Thrishnaa Tattvamiva Udhitham'. He represented ' Krishna Cnsciousness' through a state of unsurpassed joy. Hence, KOTHUKALAM UDAIYA PAAVAAI' KEEZH VAANAM VELLENRU ERUMAI SIRU VEEDU MEYVAAN PARANDANA KAAN : The Gopis trying to wake up a Gopi who is sleeping say that the day had dawned and cite the movement of huge buffalos for grazing.The Gopi does not accept this as a sign. She says that they are mistaking the movement of dark clouds being dispelled by the light of their bright faces. Delusion is of two kinds. When there is a confusion of the Lord's ' Swarupa Nirupaka Dharmas' (Intrinsic Qualities) it is called ' Viparita Gnana'. When there is a confusion of the Lord's ' Nirupita Swarupa Viseshanas' (Specialities that have become manifest) it is called 'Anyathaa Gnanam'. [These terms are explained in in our Chapter " Who is God? " For want of space, we are not explaining them here ] Sastras say that we are living in the dark -' Irul Tharu Maa gnaalam' and only in Vaikuntam, even the darkest night gets converted into the brightest day. "Athi Raatram Uthamam Ahar Bhavati". It is only the grace of the Acharya ' - Acharya Kadaksham' that can transport us from this darkness to light.- cf 'Tamaso Maa Jyotir Gamaya' MAAVAAIP PILANDHAANAI MALLARAI MAATTIYA : The one who vanquished the twin wrestlers (Mushtika and Chaanura) The Acharyas are those who have vanquished the twin sins of ' Aham Kara' ( I-ness) and ' Mama Kara' ( Mine -ness). DEAVAATI DEVANAI SENRU NAAM SEVITHAAL AHA ENRU ARAINDU ARULEL: Acharya is even greater than Bhagavan Himself. Hence, they are referred to as Devaati Devan - If we approach such Acharyas, they will review our fitness and if found fit, will instruct us the esoteric meanings of the Sastras. VERSE 9 : THOO MANI MAADATHU SUTRUM VILAKKU ERIYA : This is said to refer to TIRUMAZHISAI ALWAR. He wakes up Aravamudhan of Tiruk Kudantai who is reclining on the serpent couch saying ' Nadantha Kaalgal Nondhavo ! Nadunga Gnaalam Enamaai ? Idantha Mei Kulungavo etc. cf PERUM THUYIL MANTHIRAP PATTAALO ? Also, when the Brahmins who were reciting the verses forgot where they left a particular line, like a mute person, the Alwar by sign language signalled the exact context by slitting a grain of paddy reminding them of the line ' Krishna Nama Varheenaam Nakha Nirbinnam'. Here " OOMAIYO ANRI SEVIDO ANANTHALO ?' THOO MANI MAADAM, SUTRUM VILAKKU ERIYA, DHOOPAM KAMAZHA THUYIL ANAI MEL :The couch is decorated with blemishless gems secured as fief from other kings defeated in war and the stands of the cot are decorated with the fragrant Sandal wood with lights and perfumes around bespeaking of the prosperity of Nandagopa. KAN VALARUM : An euphimistic way of saying 'sleeping ' said out of respect for the greatness of the Bhagavata being woken up. With reference to the Acharyas, the light indicates their Gnana and the perfumes their Anushtana. Gnana is always referred to as light (e.g) ' Gnana Deepena Bhaaswata'. Gnana without Anushtanam is as useless as the tail of a dog. ' Sunah Pucham Iva Anartham Paandityam Dharma Varjitam' cf ' Karkak Kasadu Ara; Karra Pin Nirka Atharkku Thaga' (Tiruvalluvar) OOMAIYO ANRI SEVIDO etc:The Acharya is blind in finding faults in others; mute in avoiding talking about worldly interests, deaf in refusing to hear faults in others, and like a eunuch in relation to womenfolk. " Para Anthreshu Jaatya Anthaha, Para Dhaareshu Vapumsakaha, Paree Vaadeshu Ye Moodaaha, Thedeeva Dayithaa Mama" ANANTHAL : Laziness: Alwar compares Prapannas who are ' Krita Krityaas' ( Those who have done what ought to be done) to lazy ones for they have nothing else to do than waiting patiently for the day of deliverance. cf " Kadai Thalai Irundhu Vaazhum Sombarai" VERSE 10 : NOTRU SUVARGAM PUGUKINRA AMMANAAI This is said to refer to PEY ALWAR. He was the last of the three Mudal Alwars to occupy the pial of the house at Tirukkovilur. Since there was space only for three and that too just to stand, the door had been closed to guard against a fourth person from intruding. Hence, VAASAL THIRAVAADHAAR. Closed or not, the Lord, did intrude !. Also, the Alwar refers to Tulasi (divine basil) in his last verse " Thanduzhaai Thaazhvara Maarban" Here: ' NAATRA THUZHAAI MUDI ' SUVARGAM here neans Krishna Anubhavam. UTTAMUR SWAMI here gives an interesting interpretation. The Gopis asked- 'Poor Kumbakarna did severe penance only to secure a deep long sleep. Did you also perform any such penance? ' THOTRUM UNAKKE PERUM THUYIL THAAN THANTHAANO?: It is customary for the vanquished to surrender their precious possessions to the victor. Parasurama did this. Later, in verse 24 Andal says ' NIN KAIYIL VEL POTRI '. How does Krishna get a Vel (spear) in his hands? Is it possible that the renowned wielder of Vel had surrendered it to him?- This is the question posed by VELUKKUDI SWAMI. ARUM KALAME : When the Gopis compared her to Kumbakarna, the Gopi closed her ears saying ' Krishna, Krishna'. On hearing this, the Gopis called her Precious- Arumkalame. There is a hidden message here. When a person surrenders repenting for his earlier faults, it would be UnVaishnavite to disrespect him on the basis of his past; It will then tantamount to disregarding the mercy of the Lord. cf ' Duraachaaaropi Sarveshu Kritagnah Naastikah Puraa / Samaasrayeth Aadhi Devam Sraddhayaa Saranam Yadhi / Nirdosham Viddhi Tham Jantum Prabhaavaath Paramaatmanah / However big a sinner, once he surrenders thinking Vaasudeva is everything- the means and the goal-such a one is fit to be venerated. VERSE 11 KATRUKARAVAI GANANGAL PALA KARANDU PORKODIYE : This is said to refer to BUDAT ALWAR. He considered himself as a creeper when he sang " Kole Thedi Odum Kozhundhe Ponrathe / Maal Thedi Odum Manam"- a mind that seeks the Lord like a creeper that seeks a pole for support. KUTRAM ONRUM ILLAATHA KOVALAR : The 3 Alwars. KATRUKKARAVAI etc: You can never see an old, decrepit or sterile cow in Gokulam because of ' Bhagavad Sambandam'. There are certain things which have no limitations (e,g) Auspicious qualities of the Lord, the number of Avatars of the Lord, Our endless births, Quantum of our sins etc. One more is the multitudes of herds of Cows in Gokulam, that baffle any attempt at census and the quantum of milk they yield. SETRAAR THIRAL AZHIYA SENRU SERU SEYYUM : For Bhagavaan, any one who disrespects his Bhakta is His enemy; For the Bhakta, anyone who disregards Bhagavaan is his enemy. PURAVALKUL : indicates the physical beauty of the Gopis; PUNAMAYIL: the beauty of their ' hair do' MUTRAM PUGUNTHU : Only that place is sacred to the Bhagavata which is pleasing to the Lord. Your Mutram is the most favorite place for the Lord because you are His most beloved wife SELVAP PENDAATTI NEE. Hence, we have come here. Applied to Acharyas, ' Karru' means we should learn from them. ' Bahubhyaha Srotavyam, Bahudhaa Srotavyam' Karavai Ganankal : Acharyas are spoken of as cows. Swami Desikan says " Karakkum Karuthudai Desikar Kanru Ena Nammai Enni Surakkum Surabhikal Pol Solkinranar Sollamudhe'. Acharyas deem us as calves and feed us profusely. SETRAAR: Those who do not adhere to the authority of Vedas, those who are misguided and those who misinterpret the Vedas ( Kudrishti). Our Acharyas vanquished them not with a view to gain name, fame or fortune but in their infinite compassion to save them also and make them worthy of the grace of the Lord. Therefore, our Acharyas are ' Kutram Onrum Illatha Kovalar'. Kovalar : Those who protect the Sri Suktis . PORKODI also indicates their humility. PUNAMAYIL : Acharyas are like Peacocks. No poisonous insects dare come near peacocks. Like the peacock which will not yield its feather on demand but would have to be got with great efforts, Vidya can be obtained from Acharyas only when approached in an appropriate manner cf ' Tad Viddhi Pratipadena Pariprasnena Sevayaa'. Like peacock that dances on seeing the clouds, the Acharyas dance with joy on seeing the cloud- colored Lord. VERSE 12: KANAITHU ILAM KARRERUMAI ... This is said to refer to POIGAI ALWAR. He was born in a flower that grows in the muddy tank. He wails ' Pazhudhe Pal Pagalum Poyina Enru Anji Azhudhen ' The tears shed incessantly on having wasted his days in other pursuits - had made his home muddy like the tank. Here : NANAITHU ILLAM SER AAKKUM The mother buffalo is so concerned about the timely feeding of her calf that in due time she gives milk even if the calf were not anywhere around. The milk thus flowing makes the place muddy. MANATHUKKU INIYAAN : is Sri Rama. Why? Unlike Krishna who tormented the Gopis and his names tormented their lovelorn minds, Sri Rama was the one who angrily destroyed Lanka- all for the sake of a woman- Sri Sita. Hence, Manthukku Iniyaan. In Sanskrit, the word Mahishi means both buffalo and Queen. Here, Sita is referred as Mahishi cf ' Deva Deva Divya Mahishi ' This is a poetic form called 'Lakshita Lakshanai'. Like buffalos, Acharyas take pity on the Sishyas and impart knowledge. PANITHALAI KEEZH NIN VAASAL KADAI PATRI : If we reach out to Acharyas, Knowledge would reach out to us. VERSE 13:PULLIN VAIK KEENDANAI POLLA ARAKKANAI This is said to refer to TONDAR ADIP PODI ALWAR. Referring to himself, the Alwar says ' Kallan Soodhanaai,, Kalvan Aagi, Kallame Kaadhal Seidu, Kallathen Nanum Thondaai' speaks about his playing duplicity. Here: KALLAM THAVIRNDU KALANDEL The verse relates two incidents the killing of Bakaasura by Krishna and Ravana by Sri Rama. KILLIK KALAINDHAANAI shows how effortlessly the evil doers were destroyed as if by tip of the finger cf ' Angulya Agrena Thaan Hanyaam'. cf also ' Athira Arakkan Mudi Pathum Oru Kothena Udirtha Thiralone'. VELLI EZHUNDU VYAAZHAM URANGITRU : The Gopis give one more evidence of dawn saying that Sukra has dawned on the skies. The Gopi refutes this also saying it might be false Sukra. Then, they say that even the birds have started out for their routine. PODHARIK KANNINAAI : has several connotations. It connotes honeybees, flowers and deer. It can also be taken to mean that the the beauty of the eyes of the Gopis were competing with these. PODU means ' Time' and ARI means 'spend '. So, spending time usefully-which is what is meany by the term' Kaala Kshepam.' KALLAM THAVIRNDU : If we think what belongs to the Lord belongs to us, it is nothing but theft. Leave this Kallam (Wrong notion). Also, Krishna Anubhavam should be shared by everybody. Don't be selfish in enjoying it all by yourself - they say. Applied to Acharya, it shows that Acharya is the one who won over selfish cranelike persons or the Ravana like evil minded ones. Ravana had ten faces. Mind has ten Indriyas. Lanka is surrounded by sea; Mind is surrounded by the ocean of Samsara. Both Ravana and Mind seek to severe connections with Bhagavan. It is Acharya who controls the mind and reestablishes the union of the Jiva with Paramatma. VERSE 14 UNGAL PUZHAKADAI THOTTATHU VAAVIYUL This is said to refer to TIRUP PAAN ALWAR. When Lokasarangamuni, a brahmin offered to carry him on his shoulders as directed by the Lord, the Alwar never felt proud but addressed the Lord saying ' Adiyaarkku Ennai Aat Paduthiya Vimalan'.Amalan Aadhi Piran = Paratvam. Adiyarku Aat Paduthiya= Purushartham Here the Gopis wake up one who challenged on the previous night that she would get up before everyone else but did not. SENGAL PADI KOORAI VEN PAL THAVATHAVAR According to EMBAR, even the sluggish folk who have no Vairaghyam and are lazy have got up, brushed their teeth and set out on their work. You seem to be worse than them. According to TIRUMALAI NAMBI, the Saatvikas have got ready to perform their Nityakarmas. Hence, this is the proof of dawn. NAAVUDAIYAI : The Gopis now say whether you are shameless (Naanaathaai) or no, you are clever in arguing and we are no match to you in this. Relating to Acharyas, because they are perfect they can be called ' Nangaai'. Naan also means I- ness (Ahamkara). Acharyas are bereft of this. Hence, NAANAATHAAI. NAAVUDAIYAI : Everyone has tongue. But, it is Achrayas who utilize their tongues properly in reciting the Lord's glory all the time. Hence, they only have tongue in the real sense. Ours is for ornament, not for use. VEEDU means both House and Moksham VAAVI means Well and also Heart. As the well is important for a house, the heart is important for attaining Moksham. VERSE 15 : ELLE ! ILAM KILIYE ! This is said to refer to THIRUMANGAI ALWAR. He called himself a parrot. Parrotlike, he repeated Maaran in his Padhikam ' Manamaru Men Nokki '. cf ' Maaran panitha Tamizh Maraikku Mangaiyarkone Arangam Koora' Hence, ILAM KILI PRATIVAADI BHAYAMKARAM SWAMI used to admire the ' question and answer session ' between the Gopis outside and the Gopi inside when the former give a ' wake up call' to the latter. ELLE! is a colloquial exclamation peculiar to the native place of Andal. The rural fragrance is captured so picturequely in this simple powerful expression ! The Gopi inside is so immersed in the thoughts of Krishna that she feels the call itself as a disturbance. Bhattar is reported to have remarked that even the procession of the Lord when it passes his house on the street looked like a disturbance to the progress of Kalakshepam. NAANETHAAN AYIDUGA : It is said that that this verse is " Tiruppavai within Tiruppavai". The words ' Naanethaan Ayiduga' are particularly significant. Normally, most people would not admit their faults; Some might do so when cornered; Some others might readily accept. But, the rare ones are those who readily accept even when unjustly accused of faults they had never committed. Like Bharata who owned responsibility for what his parents did in banishing Sri Rama. He says " Math Paapam Eva Nimittham Aaseeth" and cf " Tunbathukku Ethu Anen". This is considered to be the very essence of SRI VAISHNAVA LAKSHANAM - charcteristic trait of Srivaishnava.