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Date: Wed May 22 1996 - 08:37:34 PDT
PART I ALWARS - SECTION 2.9.6 ON ANDAL Dear Bhagavatas, Please find enclosed the last 4 verses of Andal's Tiruppavai which contain the essence of the whole work. They bring out in vivid detail what exactly is the ' Purausharta ', how the relationship of the Jivatma with Paramatma is inalienable and interminable and what amount of joy and bliss accrue from the realization of this relationship. Hope you have enjoyed the postings. I would appreciate your feedback to improve the quality of my postings. If you approve of this ANNOTATIVE PRESENTATION, I have material enough to attempt a similar exercise with the entire gamut of the Arulicheyals of Alwars covering the all the 4,000 hymns of Divya Prabhandams. This will naturally be exhaustive but, I hope, will not be exhausing. Dasoham Anbil Ramaswamy VERSE 27 : KOODAARAI VELLUM SEER GOVINDA... KOODAARAI VELLUM : " You can win over even those hostile to you and will stand won by your devotees - the former by your prowess and the latter by your love. While delivering the Charama sloka, the Lord revealed at once His ' Paratvam" in 'Aham' and His ' Soulabyam' in 'Maam'. This is seen in His vanquishing Ravana who challenged saying " Na Nameyam Thu Kasyachit " and in His not only accepting but in following the advice of Vibishana who surrendered to the Lord saying " Nivedaya Maam... Raghavaya Bhavat Gatham Rajyam Cha" etc. Did he not follow Vibishana's advice to surrender to Samudraraja even though it was a surrender to an unworthy and incapable person ? SEER : Perfection. What is perfection in demeanour is explained by Valmiki - ' One who wins the world by truth, the poor by gifts, the preceptor by service, the valourous foes by his bow and arrow in battle" " Satyena Lokaan Jayathi, Dheenaan Dhaanena Raghava/ Gurun Susrushayaa, Dheeraah Dhanushaa Ha Yudhi Chaatravaan" GOVINDA : The word 'GO' has several meanings. One who protects cows. If we are all Satviks like the cows, He will save us. YAAM PERUM SAMMAANAM : What do we get by surrendering to the Lord? SOODAKAM : The string smeared with turmeric symbolically worn while taking a vow. THOL VALAI : indicates Pancha Samskaram including the ceremonial branding of the shapes of Sangu and Chakram on the shoulders in token of initiation into the Srivaishnava brotherhood.cf. Periyalwar's comments on Mukti Dhaanam.- " Theeyil Poliginra SenChudar Aazhith Thigazh Tirchakkarathaan Koyir Poriyaale Otrundu Ninru Kudi Kudi Aat Seikinromey " THODU : The eight lettered Ashtakshara Mantra. Ashtaaksharam both by sound and sense content invest the knowledge of Atmaswarupam etc. Hence 'Gananaparam' SEVIPPOO :Dwaya Mantram indicates the practice of 'Anushtana' (Conduct) of Kainkarya (Service). Hence, ' Bhaktiparam '. PAADAKAM : The anklets represent Charamasloka which explains what should be given up. Hence, ' Vairaghyaparam' An interesting point to note is that Soodakam and Tholvalai are both ornaments worn on the arms - They represent Tirumantram which confers Gnana. Thosdu abd Sevippoo are worn in the ears where the Acharya whispers the Dwaya Mantra indicating the twin aspects of Upaya and Phala. Charamasloka points to surrender at His feet. AADAI UDUPPOM : indicates our consciousness of Seshatvam to the Lord - a symbolic wearing of dress worn by Him. In Baghavad Gita the Lord himself refers to Sarira as dress " Vaasaamsi Jeernaani yatha Vihaaya Navaani Grihnaati Naroparaani "etcThe Gopis pray for ' Mukta Sarira ' PAAL SORU MOODA NEI PEIDHU:" By this 'Seshatva Gnana' we will get rid of our 'Taapatraya'- the triple miseries of Aadhy Atmika, Aadhi Bouthika and Aadhi Deivika and become 'Bhogya vasthu'-(enjoyable) enjoying you, the ' Nitya Bhokta'. Because of our separation from you we said earlier," Nei Unnom, Paal Unnom' etc. Because we are now with you, we would enjoy all that there is to enjoy". This verse is said to contain the essence of Visishtadvaita. KOODI IRUNDHU : Since Kannan is ' Unnum Sorum, parugu Neerum ' etc, they proceed to refer to Kannan in the company of Bhagavatas. The emphasis is on the significance that the enjoyment of the Lord should always be in the company of ' Bhagavata Goshti'. VERSE 28 : KARAVAIGAL PINN SENRU... Having clarified what they desire, they proceed to define what qualifications they have to be eligible for securing what they desired. This is an important tenet of Srivaishnavism. For the one who seeks to do Prapatti, the only qualification is the absence of any qualification !. Incapacity to follow Bhakti or any other means, recognition of one's own utter helplessness (Karpanyam), unflinching faith in the Lord as the ONLY saviour ( Maha Viawasam, Ananya Gatitvam and Ananya Saranatvam etc. They explain how they are fully qualified in these. KARAVAIGAL PINN SENRU : " We know nothing. All that we know is to go after the cows to the forest for grazing. All that we do is to eat in the company of peers. We are inacapable of doing Tapas etc. We have no chance to mingle with seers and sages who can impart true knowledge. There is absolutely no opportunity for us to involve in Bhaktiyoga or Karmayoga. We are as ignorant as the cows we follow." cf Parasara's statement " Gnaanena Heenah Pasubhih Samaanah". We follow the cows, help ourseves with eartthly pleasures and thus lost ' Atma Anubhava '. Therefore, again and again we get involved in the wheel of lifes and deaths. cf " Tasmaath Lokaath Punar yethi Asmai Lokaaya Karmane ' ARIVONRUM ILLAADHA : We are totally ignorant. The ending "UM" in Onrum is significant.Not a single qualification ! Contrast this with the later reference to another "UM" in another Onrum- " Kuari Onrum Illadha Govinda"- The one who is totally auspicious and devoid of even a single blemish ! Cf Andal's ''NarayananE and NamakkE ' in the very first verse. UNTHANNAI PIRAVI PERUM THANNAI PUNNIYAM YAAM UDAIYOM : The Lord asks " Then, how do you take bold to aspire attaining me?" They reply " We have one great merit. We are blessed with your birth in our midst. The subtle reference is to the fact that the Rishis desired to enjoy Rama. As he was wedded to the vow of monogamy in Ramavatara ( Ekapathnivrata) he would fulfill their desire in a subsequent Avatar as Krishna when they all would be born as Gopis. That they acquired this merit is like securing a ' Sadachaarya ' by the grace of the Lord and by accidental merit as explained in the Pramanas." Easwarasya Cha Souhaardham Yadrichaa Sukritham Thatha" GOVINDA ! : The Lord has one grievance ! He himself admits this when he said " Sa Mahaatma Su Durlabhaha". The Bhakta does not have that grievance since as AALAVANDAAR put it - " Atra Paratras Chaapi Nityam Yadheeya Saranou Saranam Madheeyam " Both here and hereafter, the Sishya's relationship with his Acharya is permanent. UNTHANNODU URAVEL NAMAKKU INGU OZHIKKA OZHIYAADHU : " Neither You nor we can ever terminate this relationship because it is ' Nirupaadhikam ' ( unconditional) whereas other relationships are ' Oupaadhikam '( conditional) depending on Jaati, Kulam, Gotram etc.What is this relationship? The bondage between the ' Niyanta ' ( controller) and ' Niyamatva' (controlled). PILLAI LOKACHARYA has listed 9 kinds of relationships : 1. MathaPitha- Putrah = Parents-children 2. Rakshaka- Rakshya ' = Protector- Protected 3. Seshi - Sesha := Master - Servant 4. Bhartru - Bhaarya = Husband - Wife 5. Gneya- Gnaatru = Knowledge- Knower 6. Swami- Swam = Possessor- Possession 7. Aanma - Aanmeega = Life- Body 8. Aadhara - Aadheya = Supporter - Supported 9. Bhokta - Bhoghyam = Enjoyer - Enjoyed " You cannot give up all these nor can we" SIRUPER AZHAITHANAVUM : Just like Arjuna scared of the Viswarupam of the Lord prayed to him to resume his normal form and begged to be excused, we also beg you to forgive us for not referring to your ' Paratvam ' but preferring to call you by the more proximate term familiar to us. ARIYAATHA PILLAIKAL YAAM ANBINAAL AZHAITHOM. But, we also called you so out of our love and ignorance So, please don't be offended" Another interpretation is - " This is an Avatar in which your objective is to prove your ' Soulabhya ' (accessability). Hence, calling you Govinda will be O.K. But, it would be improper to call you by the name Narayana which is reimiscent of your omniscience ' Paratvam ' and it is like ' calling you names " Referring to Acharya, it suggests that our regarding the Acharya also as a human being just like any of us is totally wrong because the Acharya is the one who has come down to us to lift us up to the feet of the Lord. And, therefore, should be regarded as equal to, nay, as the very Lord himself. " So, O ! Acharya ! Don't be displeased with us for our indiscretion" SEERI ARULAATHE : Even his wrath seems to be benign VERSE 29 : SITRAM SIRU KAALE VANDHU UNNAI ... SITRM SIRU KAALE : The state of ' Gnanadasa ' that follows the disappearence of ' Agnanadasa ' but before the emergence of ' Praaptidasa '; The time when ' Satva' quality takes over; The time when one beholds the light in ' Bhagavad Vishayam '; the stage of ' Mumukshutva '-the dawn of desire for ' Moksha ' which precedes the attainment of ' Mukti'. Indicates the 'Tvara '- extreme eagerness which makes them unmindful of the biting morning cold. SEVITHU / POTRI : " Why do we prostrate before your feet and praise you ? " KELAAI : " Listen !" The word reminds how an Acharya would command a Sishya when he commences his exposition in the morning session. There is a role reversal of Guru and Sishya relationship. What an imagination !.Did not Bhattar say " Paraardhyam svam Sruti Satha Siras Siddham Adhyaapayanti' ?" PETRAM MEITHU UNNUM KULAM : " If you do not utilize our service your very Avatar will be a sheer waste" - they seem to say. The 5 things calles Artha Panchakam that should be known from Sastras .viz 1.The nature of the Supreme soul,2. the nature of the individual soiul, 3.the means of the integration of the individual soul with the Universal soul, 4.the result of such integration and 5.the factors impeding such integration are very clearly brought out by Andal in this verse cf. " Praaapyasya Brahmano Rupam, Praaptus Cha Pratyakaatmana, Praapti Upaayam, Phalam Chaiva Thatha Praapti Virodhi Cha, Vadanthi Sakalaa Vedaah Sa Itihaasa Puraanakah" cf also " Mikka Irai Nilaiyum, Meyyaam Uyir Nilaiyum, Thakka Neriyum, Thadaiyaagi Thokkiyalum Oozh Vinaiyum Vazh Vinaiyum " 1. By referring to His being filled with infinite mercy, His being spoken of by all the Vedas especially Varaaha Avatara in which He saved the earth (Un Potraamalar Adi ) she refers to His 'Paramatma Swarupam'; 2. By referring to His birth in the Yadava Kula ( Petram Meithunnum kulam and Unthannodu Utrome Yaavom etc she indicates their 'Jeevatma Swarupam'; 3. By Sitram Sirukaale Vandhu Unnai Sevithu, she refers to the 'Upaaya Swarupam'; 4.By Unakke Naam Aat Seivom,she explains 'Phala Swarupam' and 5. By Matrai Nam Kaamangal Maatru, she points out the 'Virodhi Swarupam'. ITRAI PARAI KOLVAAN ANRU KAAN : " Look !" they say "Don't think that we are here only for securing a Parai you may offer just for the day. If one asks for water to drink, it does not mean water alone. Because, we wanted to meet you, we made a pretext of ' Parai '. What we mean is much greater than mere Parai. You caanot just send us away by giving Parai. Do you see ? " ETRAIKKUM YEZH YEZH PIRAVIKKUM : " What we want is permanent service to you, not merely in this birth only but in all our lives." It does not mean 7x7=49 lives as some misinterpret;It means that in the innumerable lifetimes that emerge time and again and without end - Ezhum Ezhum Piravikkum UNTHANNODU UTROME AAVOM : " just like Piraatti took birth along with you in every Avatar, We would like to be born with you any number of times cf " Devathve Deva Deheyam, Manushyatve Cha Maanushi ". Another interpretation is that we should have with you all the relationships one could expect in this world cf " Matha Pitha Bandhu Sakhaa Guru" cf also " Matha, Pitha, Braatha, Nivaasas, Saranam, Suhrit, Gathir, Narayana Mama Raghava" MATRAI NAM KAAMANGAL MATRU : Correct us and accept us cf "Thiruthip Pani Kolvaan". Anything else is an impediment. Please remove them. In Baghavad Gita, Krishna says " Tad Prasaadaath Param Saanthim Sthaanam Praapsyasi Saaswatham"- By his grace only one attains Supreme and eternal station and bliss. This is what Andal means by Matru. According to the NIRVAHAM of NAMJEEYAR this refers to ' Bhaagavata Seshatvam' as practiced by Madhura Kavi who delighted in his service to Nammalwar as the ' Prayojana ' or ' Phalam' as nothing else could vouch. VERSE 30 : VANGAK KADAL KADAINTHA : ACCORDING TO 6,000 PADI, Andal seems to suggest that " His part in the churning of the milky ocean though for all appearances looked as if it was for helping the Devas, in reality it was for securing Mahalakshmi for Himself".cf Tirumangai Alwar's " Vinnnavar Amudu Unna Amudhil Varu Penn Amudu Unda Emperumaane" Applied to Acharya, Vangam means the ocean of Vedas; With the churndashery of their wisdom, he churns it and takes out nectar of butter for the benefit of humanity. MADHAVAN : One who does great penance KESAVAN : One who killed the horse shaped demon called Kesi Applied to Acharya, it means it is he who controlled the wild horse of Indriyas harnessed to the vehicle of the body THAN THERIYAL : The one who wore a garland dense with the divine basil ( Tulasi) SANGA THAMIZH : SAM- That which is auspicious; GAM- Aakaasam (i.e) Vaikuntam MUPPATUM THAPPAAME : BHATTAR says " Just like a cow gives milk even to a dummy calf, the Lord would grant the same bliss that he bestowed on Andal to us also who are bereft of any merit- if only we read these 30 verses of Andal. 'Madhavanai Irainji' shows the first half of Dwayam; 'SelvaTirumaalaal Inburuvar' shows the second half of Dwayam Sridevi and her spouse will grant us all happiness. She uses the word THIRU 4 times in this verse to emphasize that it is only e through the Purushakara of Piraati on can attain this wealth and Supreme bliss. THANIANS ON TIRUPPAVAI 1. Composed by Parasara Bhattar Neela Thunga Sthana Giri Thadee Suptam Utpodhya Krishnam Paaraardhyam Swam Sruti Satha Siras Siddham Adhyaapayanthi Svochishtaayaam Srati Nigalitham Yaa Bhalaatkritya Bhaunkte Godhaa Tasyai Namah Idam Idam Bhuya Yeva Asthu Bhuyah "This repeated salutation is to Godha on whose robust mountainlike breasts the Lord rests his head; the one whose garland of flowers became enjoyable because she had worn it earlier; the one whose garland of verses brought out the greatness of the Lord and her own total dependence on Him and the one who on her own accord forcefully embraces and enjoys the Lord" 2. Composed by Uyyak Kondar Anna Vayal Puduvai Andal - Arangarkku Pannu Tiruppavai Pal Padhiyam - Innisaiyaal Paadik Koduthaal Paa Maalai - Poo Maalai Soodik Koduthaalai Sollu Always speak about Andal, born in Srivilliputtur where swans roam about in the water-filled fields, who composed the garland of Tiruppavai and offered it with the garland of flowers worn by her earler. 3. Composed by Uyyak Kondar Soodik Kodutha Sudar Kodiye - Thol Paavaai Paadi Arula Valla Pal Valaiyaai - Naadi Nee Venkadavarkku Ennai Vidhi Enra Im Matram Naan Kadavaa Vanname Nalgu "O ! Andal ! You offered the garland of flowers worn by you earlier to the Lord. You are bright like the golden creeper. You brought out the age old custom of ' Paavai Nonbu ' through your musical hymns. You wear jingling bangles which announce to the world the grace of God. Just as you declared not to become the spouse of anyone other than the Lord of Tiruvenkadam, please let us follow your footsteps in this regard without faltering".