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Periavachan pillai

From: Velukkudi Krishnan (
Date: Sun Sep 05 1999 - 10:49:30 PDT

Fm: Velukkudi Krishnan.

September 3rd, AvaNi rOhiNi.

SrImat krishnasamAhvaya namO yAmuna sUnave
yat katAkshyaika lakshyAnAm sulabhaha srIdharaha sadA

avatAra rahasyam.

Tirumangai alwar sung in praise of Lord Krishna at tirukkannamangai and 
finally gave an offer to him "ven sangam onru Endiya kanna - nintanakkum 
kurippagil karkalam kaviyin poruntane " Krishna ! if you want to learn from 
me the meanings of my prabandhams , you are welcome, please do so . Lord 
Krishna in fact wanted to become the sishya of tirumangai alwar. Since he 
was in archa samAdhi he could not do so immediately. But gave his word to T. 
alwar, "in your next birth this would happen - I would be your sishya." 
Krishna kept up his word. T. alwar born in Kartigai month kartigai 
nakshatram took birth again as Swamy Nampillai in the same Kartigai month 
kartigai nakshatram. Krishna who was born on avani rohini took birth again 
as Periavachan pillai in avani rohini and was named as Krishna. Periavachan 
pillai was the sishya of Nampillai. Thus, Krishna fulfilled his wish.

vyAkyana cakravarty

A cakravarty is called so because he lives in the midst(centre) of his 
Kingdom (cakram - mandalam - kingdom). Here Periavachan pillai is called as 
vyAkyana cakravarti because he too lives in the centre stage of his kingdom 
which is nothing but his commentaries. Moreover, he also lives in the centre 
of vyAkhyatAha - the commentators as their leader. He is called the emperor 
of commentator because of his proficiency in 4 sets of commentaries -1. 4000 
2. Srimad ramayana 3. stotras and 4. rahasyas.

An example of his commentating power.
Tirumangai alwar in his verses for Tiru ashtabhujam says "vaay tirandu onru 
panittadu undu". The Lord with 8 hands came near the nayika (parakala 
nayika) and said something "onru panittadu undu". It is not said in the 
pasuram as to what was said by the Lord.

Why alwar did not explicitly say ?
1. Nayaka says something with love to nayaki. Will she in turn say the same 
to her mother and friends. No.
2. Moreover, nayika, while the Lord came to say something, she was only 
watching the beauty of his mouth and lips movement that she could not 
recognise or remember anything that he said. He heard some words, but in the 
beauty of their delivery she missed the actual meaning.

Periavachan pillai does not stop with this. He further adds what the Lord 
said to parakala nayika. HE said "idai odiya ninradu tangattuma"
"O nayika ! your hips are so slender that they might break. Can I with my 
eight hands support it ? ". What does "idai or iduppu" mean here ? Alwar 
says " marungul nerunga nokki vaay tirandu onru panittadu undu" This is not 
just lowkika kama where a nayaka speaks about nayika's hips. "idai" would 
mean the part of the body that is in the middle (madhyama). Which in turn 
means "idai word" (middle word) in tirumandiram as swapadesartha - which is 
"namaha". In the three worded tirumandiram "om namo narayanaya" the middle 
word is namaha. This word if split would read as "maha + m + na" which means 
I am not for me. I cannot protect myself. You are my protector. Now parakala 
nayika is one who is thorough in the meaning of this word. So she always 
looks upon the Lord to protect her. Now the Lord came to know of this and 
said "o girl ! it seems your idai is slender and beautiful (ie. your namaha 
knowledge is beautiful). So can I support it with my hands " (i.e. as per 
namaha I am supposed to protect and support you - shall I do that ?)

Dear bhaktas. Can we any day understand all these meanings just by reading 
the text ? Without the commentary of Periavachan pillai this would have been 
impossible. He was able to comment even  on what tirumangai alwar left 
unsaid. How is this possible. After all the alwars left, it was Swamy 
Nammalwar who came back again and gave 4000 with the inner meanings to 
Nathamunigal. And then right through the guruparampara, our purvacharyas, 
gave all the inner meanings of these verses to their sishyas and thus 
Periavachan pillai also begot the same. This is how he is able to comment on 

Periavachan pillai tiruvadigale saranam.

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