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Re: Shrii Venkatesha Suprabhaatam - 1

From: Mani Varadarajan (
Date: Wed Sep 16 1998 - 12:27:30 PDT

Sri Srinivasan of Colorado wrote:
>> shrii ve.nkaTesha suprabhaatam

>> translation by Dr. K. Sethu Rameswara Datta

>> kausalyaasuprajaaraama puurvaa sandhyaa pravartate |
>> uttiShTa narashaarduula kartavya.m daivamaahnikam || 1 ||

>> O Raama, Kausalya's auspicious child! Twilight is appearing in the East. O
>> best of men (i.e., Purushottama)! Wake up, the divine daily rituals have to
>> be performed.

>      In the above translation,  "purva sandhya" is referred to as "twilight".
> Isn't this actually  "dawn", since we are referring to the period prior or right
> before sunrise, and not after sunset.
> Thought I will share this..

> srinivasan

Dear Srinivasan,

Colloquially, you are correct, that twilight normally means
the evening. Technically, however, twilight refers to any
time when there is a transition between night and day or
vice verse.  In this case, "twilight" is the literal 
translation of "sandhyA".

Dr. K.S.R. Datta's translation is literally accurate;
however, one can only get a true appreciation for these and
other stotrams, when someone demonstrates the direct influence
of the themes of the Alvars on the authors.  SrI kAncIpuram
svAmi, SrI vELukkuDi varadAcAryar svAmi, and SrI D. rAmasvAmi
ayyangAr were exceptional in pointing out these connections
and generated a profound new appreciation for the stotrams
in me.

In many cases,
certain expressions are direct translations of phrases from
the Prabandham. The example that comes readily to my mind
is the phrase "atRpty-amRta-rUpa", from the venkaTESa mangaLam,
meaning of the form of unsatiating nectar.  

This is nothing but a translation of
Nammalvar's unique phrase "ArAvamudhE", and one needs to go
to that section of the tiruvAymozhi to appreciate the nuances
conveyed by the Alvar in using this expression. The later
authors took this phrase and translated it having the 
Alvar's mood in mind; hence the importance to make the connection
to the original to understand the stotrams.

aDiyEn iraamaanusa daasan