You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : May 1998

thiruk kaNNan kudi - part 8 - "vanga mA munneer" - thirumangai pAsuram

From: Sampath Rengarajan (srengara_at_ford.com)
Date: Fri May 15 1998 - 11:51:57 PDT

Sri MaNavALa  mAmunigaL  did  mangalA sAsanam at this divya dEsam.
Sri  Pillai perumAL iyengar has also delivered his pAsuram on this
Lord. Thirumangai AzhwAr is the only AzwhAr who delivered prabandhams
on this Lord among the 12 AzhwArs. Thirumangai delivered 10 pAsurams.


vanga mA munneer vari niRap periya
vAL aravin anai mEvich
changamAr angaith thadamalar unthich
sAma mAmEni en thalaivan
angam ARau ainthu vELvi nAl vEtham
arum kalai payinRu eri moonRum
sengaiyAl valarkkum thuLakkam il
manaththOr thiruk kannan kudiyuL ninrAnE
                periya thiru mozhi (9-1-1)


Vangak  kadal :  An  explanation:  Vanga in tamil  means  white or
veNmai.  It is the  color of the milk and  hence it is  called  in
sanskrit  as sheera  sAgaram and in tamil as pArk pakal (pAl means
milk).

vangak  kadal  kadaintha  mAthavanai  - means one who churned  the
sheera  sAgaram or thirup pAr kadal (paR or pAl here is denoted by
vangam or white) during His koorma avathAram as Lord Sri Koorma.

vangam also means thooymai in tamil ie., cleanliness or purity.

vangam also has two other meanings in tamil that are not related to
the current context.

The term vanga dEsam and the adjacent sea known as vangak kadal or
bay of Bengal is a term that was derived in the later years.

vangam  also means ship in tamil.  munneer  means  kadal or ocean.
In this pasuram  vanga ma muneer means at surface  level a similar
sea like bay  of bengal where  huge  ships  float.   AzhwAr  draws
parallel to this ocean and transforms the scene in this pasuram in
the inner layer of meaning to sheera  sAgram or thirup  pARk kadal
by showing the similarity of the ocean. One should not mistake that
there are huge ships that are floating in thirup pARk kadal.


meaning:  There are huge  ships  (vanga)  that  floats in the high
sea.  In such  similar  sea, ie thirup  pARk kadal  thiru  anantha
azhwAn Sri Adi sEshan,  appears with beautiful lines or stripes on
HIS thiru mEni.  On Such adisEshan, our lord is appearing with HIS
Sri  Changam and Sri Chakram  and the lotus in HIS naabi or navel.
Such Lord  appears  in HIS  shyAmala  vaNNam  (ie blue in  color).
There are anthanars or brahmins who are knowledgable in six angams
(six  vedAngams)  and  ithihaas  (Srimadh  rAmAyanam  and  Srimadh
bAgavatham)  and who are also  experienced in conducting  the five
yAgAs (vELvi).  They pray all the three agni as prescribed in four
vEdAs.  Such  mahAns  who  have  unwavering  or  unflinched   mind
(thulakkam  il manatthOr)  towards the Lord  live  here in  thiruk
kaNNan kudi and our Lord  appeared   there  in the  midst  of such
mahAns  and is  living there in nitya vAsam.

There is a reason  to choose  this  pAsuram  among the 10  pAsuram
delivered by  thirumangai  on this Lord.  This is the first in the
decad.  And also that our next part will deal on an encounter that
thirumangai  and his  parivAram  had during their  journey to this
place with the mariners of Sea Trading.  Thirumangai  delivers the
last decad of the 7m patthu  (7th  centum)  on Lord  thiruk  kaNNa
mangai and then proceed to thiruk kaNNa puram and delivers a whole
100  pasurams on the  Lord Sowri Rajan of thiruk kaNNa  puram.  On
completion  of this, AzhwAr  delivers the first  decad  of the 9th
centum (9m patthu) on the Lord of thiruk  kaNNan  kudi.  This is a
coastal  belt on bay of Bengal and must have been scenic as AzhwAr
passed through this belt.  He delivers about the beauty of the sea
first that his vision  captured and identifies the shipping  trade
(due to his citation as "many  boats")  that took place during his
era.  Sea trade or kadal  vANibam  took place  even much  prior to
thirumangai's era(**). We must not stray our thoughts on the basis of
modern  historians who may deal very little about bhAratha kandams
historical truth that were *recorded* in  our  sAthvika  purANams.
Instead   we must have  faith  in  our poorvAchaAryAL'S vyAkyAnams
and follow them.

Sri lOka nAyaki samEtha Sri lOka nAyakan thiru vadikaLE
saraNam
Sampath Rengarajan


note:  (*) There are always  controversies  that are raised by the
historians on the actual period of AzhwArs incarnation.  There was
a historian  who tried to identify  that ANDAL must belong to 8 th
century AD as the lines "veLLi ezhunthu viyAzhan  urangiRRu".  ie,
as per some  westerner  this level of  astronomical  knowledge was
available  only after 8 th century  AD.  By saying so the  western
view point totally  missed to take into account the entire  Indian
purAnic and mythological  explanations of the Indian  astronomical
nyAnam.  The  verse of ANDAL  was  about  the  Venus  and  Jupiter
positions  on the early  morning  sky when these  pasurams  on the
paavai nOnbu was sung by HER.

	Unfortunately  it is believed  that this led a famous late
Indian  politician to publicly  question that the thirup pAvai was
sung by periAzhwAr  and not by ANDAL.  Our Sri Putthur  Swami gave
such a hard hitting reply to which the questioner believed to have
withdrawn   his  question  and   accepted   Sri  putthur   swami's
explanation.  adiyEn have  privately  explained this to a few last
December  when the same was raised in this forum. In this authorship
question What was quoted by some as "authentic  truth" as similar to
announcement in "sanga kAlap palakai" turned out to be "untrue". This
issue on authorship of thirup  pAvai was set to rest by Sri Putthur
Swami more than twenty years ago.  One can find such explanations of
Sri Putthur swamigaL from his publications. Due to my own owe and as
well due to the fact that the politician is not alive, I donot want
to write the details about this in the net. Please forgive me for any
apachArams committed by bringing out this truth.


(**) As per Tamil Historians the shipping and trade across the seas
of chOla sEra pAndiyan kingdoms took place many many centuries ago.