SrI ANDAL samEta SrI rangamannAr tiruvaDigaLE SaraNam

SrI ANDAL arulic ceyda nAcciyAr tirumozhi

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Sri Andal


nAcciyAr tirumozhi VI - vAraNam Ayiram

- Introduction

A. Translation from SrImAn SaDagOpan's tamizh treatise

In spite of godai's constant pleas to call her kaNNan, the cuckoo totally ignores her. godai's sorrow increases beyond limits. kaNNan now feels sorry for her plight and out of compassion, bestows a pleasant dream on godai, who is sleeping after crying for a long time. In this divine dream, He shows her the scenes happening to them in the wedding between Him and godai. ANDAL in her ecstasy, describes her dream to her friends and thus emerges the sixth tirumozhi.

This tirumozhi, which starts with "vAraNam Ayiram" is a very well-known tirumozhi. Even today, this sixth tirumozhi is being sung in all the vedic weddings during the time called "paccai pUSUdal". It is a belief that due to the conducting of this routine, the newly wedded couple's lives will for ever remain sweet. godai herself has declared that those chant this tirumozhi will beget children with brahma g~nAnam and sAtvIka guNam.

The wedding scenes that godai describes are full of beauty, superb in imagination and have a divine vedic flavor. SrImAn SaDagopan has summarized the aspects of a vedic wedding in his previous postings. These can be found in

B. Some additional thoughts (from SrI PVP):

1. The stages of para bhakti, para j~nAna, and param bhakti:
ANDAL is at the stage where she cannot continue to live without Him. It is not that He does not know this. But still He is not coming. Why not?

SrI PVP explains that BhagavAn leads the jIva through stages of para-bhakti, para-j~nAna, and parama bhakti, and then only unites the jIvAtmA with Him. This is what he did to nammAzhvAr, who had the j~nAnam and bhakti (mayarvaRa madi nalam aRuLinan - tivAimozhi 1-1-1) even when he started the first pASuram, but who was awarded vIDu (paramapadam) only in the last pASuram of tiruvAimozhi (avAvaRRu vIDu peRRa kurugUr Sadagopan - tiruvAimozhi 10-10-11). SrI PVP compares this to applying the dye to a white cloth in several steps and gradually.

2. The blessing of svapna anubhavam for ANDAL:

In the case of ANDAL, perumAL does not come, and this tortures her to the point that she won't be able to keep living. Her suffering is so intense that now if BhagavAn presents Himself to her in a hurry she may not be able to bear the shock of this also. So He decides to appear in her dream and give an anubhavam (namely that of marrying Him) that will make her happy and make her live for a while, so that He can take her to His abode at the appropriate time.

3. sItA pirATTi's and ANDAL's experiences:

SrI PVP observes that in this anubhavam, ANDAL was more blessed than even sItA pirAtti, who also suffered like ANDAL but who was not blessed even with a dream of union with Lord rAma.

svapnEpi yad-yaham vIram rAghavam saha lakshmaNam | paSyEyam yadi jIvEyam svapnOpi mama matsarI || (rAmAyaNam sundara kaNdam 34-21)
(I will live at least if I get to see rAma and lakshmaNa in my dream, but even the dream has become my enemy).

One can ask: How did sitA pirATTi continue to keep herself alive in the absence of the anubhavam of svapna? BhagavAn blessed sitA pirATTi with a different kind of anubhavam, which would not have worked in the case of ANDAL. sItA pirATTi is blessed with the words of consolation from trijaTA, hanumAn, etc., which is what her alive. But godai will not just listen to someone's consoling words and live; so, emperumAn blesses her with the svapna anubhavam instead.

Thus, this tirumozhi talks about the dream anubhavam that He gave her.

4. ANDAL's svapna anubhavam vs. others' svapna anubhavam:

In the case of ordinary mortals, bhagavAn gives some dream experiences based on their karma so that they can have this experience as a reward of their karma-s. The svapna anubhavam of ANDAL is not in this category viz,. karma phala. In her case, since she wishes to have the anubhavam of BhagavAn Himself, He gives her an anubhavam in the dream that is complete in every sense including all the steps involved in their marriage, and ANDAL in turn rejoices in narrating this experience to her friends and continues to be alive in the hopes of this dream.

pASuram 6.1 (sixth tirumozhi - pAsuram 1 vAraNam Ayiram)

A. Translation from SrImAn SaDagOpan's tamizh treatise:
In the very first pASuram of "vAraNam Ayiram", godai starts describing beautifully to her friend, the divine dream that she just had before waking up. "Oh my dear sakhi! I had this wonderful dream; I saw nAraNan (SrI ranganAthan), surrounded by thousands of elephants, going around SrI villiputtUr. My father, periyAzhwAr, and the citizens of the village are ready to extend a grand welcome to Him with pURNa kumbhams placed on their heads. The whole village is decorated with tOraNams (streamers) to mark the festive occasion."

vAraNam Ayiram SUzha valam Seidu 
nAraNan nambi naDakkinRAn enRedir
pUraNa poRkuDam vaittup puRam e~ngum 
tOraNam nAttak kanAk kaNdEN tOzhi nAn

B. Some additional thoughts (from SrI PVP):

ANDAL is not just looking for the pleasure of His nearness after He comes to her; she wants to have the anubhavam of the scene of His coming to her, and so she sees in her dream all the preparations and decorations in the town to receive Him.

vAraNam: tiru AyppADi has only cows and calves; where do the elephants come from? SrI PVP explains that vasudevar had these elephants as part of his army to defend against enemies - ANDAL herself says in tiuppAvai 18 "unDu maDakkaLiRRan". Since nandagopan ane vasudevan were close friends, they shared each other's wealth very freely. Their friendship was like that between rAma and sugrIva -

"ekham duhkam sukhama canou -you are my very close friend; 
we will share our pleasures and sorrows alike"
rAmayaNam kishkindA kAndaM 5-18).

Also, kaNNan gets the wealth of both His natural father and His father who brought Him up.

vAraNam Ayiram: why a thousand elephants? As periyAzhwAr said in tirumozhi 3-1-1, "tannErAyiram piLLaigaLODu taLar naDai iTTu varuvAn" - kaNNan has these thousand friends, and will not bear to see any of them in any way less comfortable than Him. So here are the thousand elephants, one for each so that they can also ride the elephant with Him. emperumAn's soulabhyam is such that He will keep His devotees who reach Him in an equivalent position as He is (periya tirumozhi 11-3-5 - "tammaiyE nALum vaNa~ngit tozhuvARkku tammaiyE okka aRuL Seyvar").

valam Seydu: godai is guessing that He is coming around the village, from the sound coming from the vAdya gOshTi (nAdaswaram, drums etc.) that are preceding Him.

nambi nAraNan - nArAyaNa who is brimming with Supreme qualities. When kaNNan (the king of mathurA and tiru AyppADi) is walking, it is like nArAyaNan (ubhaya vibhUti nAthan) walking. His supreme qualities are expressly visible only in avatAra kAlams, when He has to mix with imperfect and deficient samsAri-s. His soulabhyam (the ease with which He can be approached), His SouSilyam (the ease with which He mixes with others), and His Arjavam (open-heartedness) cannot be noticed in a setting like paramapadam where only the Realized great nitya mukta-s live. These great qualities of empirAn shine like the lamp in a dark room only when He gives Himself to the samsAri-s of the world.

naDakkinRan: Just as hanumAn's word that rAma was approaching ayodhyA was sufficient to keep bharata alive, ANDAL is able to keep herself alive even by the thought that kaNNan was in town and walking towards her with his vAraNa-s (from SrI T.S. rAjagopAlan).

Also, in the case of rAma, viSvAmitra had to bring Him to sItA; in ANDAL's case, kaNNan is coming by His own free will, and so this is special.

tOraNam nATTa: When people from bhUlOkam go to paramapadam, the residents of paramapadam welcome them with tOraNams (decorate with streamers) - "tOraNam niraittu en~gum tozhudanar" - tiruvAimozhi 10-9-2). Similarly, when paramapada nAthan comes here, the people of this world are welcoming Him with tOraNams.

kanAk kaNdEn: For sItA, trijaTA had to first see Lord rAma coming to sItA, and she had to then communicate that dream to sItA pirATTi. In ANDAL's case she did not have to depend on her tozhi or some other well-wisher to communicate their dream to her. She did not have to depend on her indriya-s to get this anubhavam, and it was all her experience through her own heart, to the extent that she could now communicate it to her tozhi.

pASuram 6.2 (sixth tirumozhi - pAsuram 2 nALai vaduvai)

A. Translation from SrImAn SaDagOpan's tamizh treatise:
godai continues describing the next scene in her dream: "Tomorrow is the day that has been fixed for the wedding; I saw a handsome young youth, who goes by the names narasihman, mAdhavan & gOvindan, enter the wedding dais, decorated with betel-nut trees, in order to participate in the niScayatArtha (finalization of the wedding between bride and groom) ceremony.

"nALai vaduvai maNam enRu nAL iTTu 
pALai kamugu pariSuDaip pandanR kIzh
kOLari mAdhavan gOvindan enbAn Or 
kALai pugudak kanAk kaNdEn tOzhi! nAn

B. Some additional thoughts (from SrI PVP): nALai vaduvai maNam enRu nAL iTTu: What is the reason why the wedding is tomorrow and not today or 4 days later? SrI PVP's aruLicceyal is that if it is today, godai will become too excited with happiness, and like a thirsty person who drinks water very fast and chokes and dies in the process, she cannot hold the excitement. If it is a few days later, it is too long a wait for her, and she cannot stand it either. Hence the day is fixed for tomorrow.

Here SrI PVP reminds us of the conversation between hanumAn and sItA pirATTi after Lord rAma's victory over rAvaNa: "praharshENAvaruddhA sA vyajahAra na ki~ncana" - rAmAyaNam yuddha kANdam 116-15,16).

When hanumAn relays to pirATTi the news about rAma's great victory over rAvana, pirATTi is speechless and choking as a result of extreme happiness. In order to make her speak, hanumAn had to tactically try to lessen the extreme happiness in her and so asked her: "kim tvam cintayasE dEvi" (what are you thinking? Is the news not to your liking? Please say something". Immediately, sIta pirATTi's joy shrunk quite a bit, and she responded: "I started choking because of the happiness and could not talk". But, godai, on the other hand, is not speechless; she shares her happiness with her sakhi.

kOLari: like the majestic lion. His majestic walk displays His pride in being the pathi of SrI. " apramEyam hi tattEja: yasya sA janakAtmajA"- (rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 37-18) (janakA's daughter belongs to Him, whose tejas is immeasurable) - these are mArIca's words in describing rAma to rAvaNa. Since ANDAL belongs to emperumAn, His pride of this fact shows in His walk like a kOLari when He is walking towards the wedding dais.

mAdhavan: mAyAh dhavah mAdhavah - being periya pirATTi's nAthan, He is walking as if displaying His great taste. gOvindan: having extreme soulabhyam as to treat cattle and Ayars with great love at their level. SrI PVP remarks that it is as if He is subdued and is treating everyone with the utmost respect and equality here in order to ward off any obstruction to the wedding from anyone. He is trying to be pleasant to all and moves with them without any reservation. kALai: Even in the absence of all the above greatness, the very fact that He is an extremely attractive young man with great soundaryam. godai's friends, relatives and parents cannot say "the bridegroom is not the rightmatch for the bride".

pASuram 6.3 (sixth tirumozhi - pAsuram 3   indiran uLLiTTa dEvar)

A. Translation from SrImAn SaDagOpan's tamizh treatise:

ANDAL continues with the next part of her dream to her friend. " indra and the other devAs gather together and make the proposal to offer me in marriage to Lord ra~nganAtha. Then the sambandhi-s converse with each other to agree on all arrangements. Then durgA, kri*shNa's sister, helps me wear the kURaip puDavai (the sari worn at wedding time) and I am also decorated with exquisitely smelling flower garland"

.indiran uLLiTTa dEvar kuzhAm ellAm 
vandu irundu ennai magaL pESi mandiruttu
mandirak kODi uDutti maNa mAlai 
andari SUTTak kanak kaNdEn tOzhi! nAn

Additional reference: SrI Sadagopan has nicely explained the details of the vedic mantra-s that are chanted during the niScayatartha ceremony. The details can be found in the bhakti list archives. Please refer to the following locations:

B. Some additional thoughts (from SrI PVP):

indiran uLLITTA: SrI PVP comments that indra and all the other deva-s came to this earth to arrange ANDAL's marriage to kr*shNa, because SrI kr*shNAvatAra has aspects of both ISvaratvam and mAnushatvam. In fact, nammAzhvAr describes indra's appearance even at the time of kr*shNa's birth - indiran tAnum ezhiluDaik kiNkiNi tanduvanAi ninRAn tAlElO (reference from SrI T.S. rAjagopAlan). Unlike this, in rAmA incarnation, rAma had decided to present Himself as a "mere human") - rAma tells the dEvas that He considers Himself a human and as daSaratha's son - "AtmAnam manusham manyE" - rAmAyaNam yuddha kANdaM 120-11. So indra avoided appearing before SrI rAma in Sarabhanga ASramam (because it was not appropriate for him to present himself as a deva when bhagavAn is appearing in the form of a human being. brahma etc. came to the earth only after rAvaNa vadham to express their gratitude to Lord rAma.

dEvar kuzhAm ellAm vandu irundu: In spite of their natural way of not touching the ground with their feet, they came and stood determined that they will not leave till the marriage is conducted.

mandiruttu: The reference here is to the secret discussions that go on behind the scenes in a marriage arrangement. Note that ANDAL's dream is very detailed in all finer aspects of a marriage.

mandirak kODi uDutti: pArvati, nArAyaNa's sister, decorated ANDAL with the wedding sari right away because she wanted to ward off any delay as implied by the famous saying that good deeds are wrought with many obstacles - SreyAmsi bahu-vighnAni bhavanti - SrI kr*shNasvAmi aiye~ngAr. mandirak-kODi refers to the wedding sari santified by the chanting of the vedic mantra-s.

antari - The reference here is to durgA "who disappeared in the sky" - who became "antardhAna" in antara or antariksha - and declared to kamsa that he will be slain by devaki's eight son. Because she was born to yasoda, she is the sister of kr*shNa and thus the sister-in-law (nAttanAr) for ANDAL.

antari SUTTa: To godA, kr*shNa's sister's sparSam (touch) itself is sweet, next to His own sparSam. She proudly declares to her tOzhi: "I got to wear the garland that His sister helped me wear by touching me." In koushIdakI 1-34, there is a description of how a mukta jIva is decorated by five hundred beautiful damsels in preparation for this mukta jIva's journey to SrIvaikunTham - tam pa~ncaSatAnyapsarasAm pratidhAvanti ... tam brahmAlankAreNa ala~nkurvanti - "when the mukta purushan goes to heaven, five hundred beautiful women rush to him; hundred of them take garlands in their hands, hundred of them carry eyetex with them; hundred of them carry good-smelling powder, hundred of them take clothes with them and dress the mukta jIva withdivine alankAram. In the same way, ANDAL gets decorated by durgai.

pASuram 6.4 (sixth tirumozhi - pAsuram 4 nARRiSai tIrtham)

A. Translation from SrImAn SaDagOpan's tamizh treatise:
"Several brAhmaNa SrEshTha-s bring holy waters from all the four directions; brahma, periyAzhwAr and the sapta-rishis and vedic scholars take the tIrtham that has been purified with udakaSAnti mantrams and sprinkle it on my head and chant ASIrvAdam for me. I see Lord ranganAtha, who stands like a sarvA~nga sundaran, decorated with colorful garland. I saw in my dream, my hand and His hand being tied together with ka~nkaNam.

"nARRiSai tIrtham koNarndu nani nalgi 
pArppanac ciTTargaL pallAr eDuttEttip
pUppunaik kaNNip punidanODu en tannaik 
kAppu nAN kaTTak kanAk kaNDEn tozhi! nAn

B. Some additional thoughts (from SrI PVP):

nARRiSai tIrtham koNarndu: Just as the vanara-s brought water from the four oceans for SrI rAmapirAN's pattAbhishekam, ANDAL in her dream sees that the holy waters are being brought for her marriage from all four directions. nani nalgi: This refers to the holy waters being sprinkled well. SAstra-s say that if holy water is sprinkled well, it will bring long life; so, the elders do tIrtha prOkshaNam on godai.

pArppanac-ciTTargal - The reference here is not just to brAhmins, but the best among them, who have learned well the veda-s, and who are well respected by all.

pUp-punai kaNNip-puniDan: SrI PVP's anubhavam here is wonderful. Unlike godai who is all dressed up with ornaments, kaNNan is wearing a single garland after His bath, and is coming for the vedic ceremonies wearing a pavitram in His finger; He is walking very carefully, holding His dress to make sure it does not come in contact with anybody. He even declares to everyone around "Don't come near me and touch me", and with great AcAram, comes to godai with extreme purity. Why does kaNNan observe this much AcAram? He thinks if AcAram is not observed, periyAzhwAr might not give his daughter in marriage to Him. ennaik kAppu nAN kaTTa - Even though ANDAL really wants to have the sparSam from kaNNan, and even though this has not materialized, she is happy that she had the touch of the purohita who had contact with kaNNan when he tied the ka~nkaNam for kaNNan.

pASuram 6.5 (sixth tirumozhi - pAsuram 5 kadiroLi dIpam)

A. Translation from SrImAn SaDagOpan's tamizh treatise:

"In my dream I saw many beautiful young girls, carrying mangaLa dIpam-s which shine like the bright Sun and with golden kalaSams. They were welcoming mathurai mannan (kaNNan) who was walking with His sacred sandals on with the majesty and firmness that made the earth shake.

"kadiroLi dIpam kalaSamuDan Endi 
SaDiriLa ma~ngaiyar tAm vandu edir koLLa
mathuraiyAr mannan aDi nilai toTTu 
e~ngum adirap pugudak kanAk kaNdEn tozhi! nAn

B. Some additional thoughts (from SrI PVP & SrI PBA):

kadiroLi dIpam kalaSamuDan Endi: The ma~ngala dIpa-s are compared to the Sun because the Sun never loses its brilliance, and so also the ma~ngala dIpam is such that it will not lose its brightness and thus in any way infer any inauspicious omen. So also the reference to golden kalaSams suggests that they will never tarnish.

Sadir iLa ma~ngaiyar: ANDAL's reference to the beautiful young damsels welcoming kaNNan in this world is compared by PVP to the way the beautiful young damsels welcome the mukta jIva-s to SrIvaikunTham - "niRai kuDa viLakkamum madi muga maDandaiyar Endinar vandE" (tiruvAimozhi 10-9-10). Just like a muktAtmA is welcomed in paramapadam, emperumAn is given a grand welcome on earth.

mathuuraiyAr mannan: mathurai has a special significance in that He left paramapadam to come and take over kingship here. ANDAL herself likes to call Him "mannu vaDa mathurai maindanai" (tiruppAvai - 5). Here, SrI PVP narrates a story: a SrI vaishNava installed a kr*shNa vigraham and was wondering what should be the name of this perumAL. perumAL came to him in his dream and said: Don't call me "aduvE, iduvE" (this and that); call me mathurai mannan".

aDi nilai toTTu: SrI PVP explains that bhagavAn is coming with His sacred sandals as He walks to the wedding hall. An alternate interpretation is given by SrI T.S. rAjagopAlan that kr*shNa removes His sandals as He approaches the wedding hall, and walks majestically such that the earth vibrates.

e~gum adirap puguda: why is He walking making a noise that kind of shakes the bhUmi? SrI PVP refers to a conversation between SrI BhaTTar and SrI na~njIyar. na~njIyar asked BhaTTar why the earth shook when bhgavAn came to mahAbali during the vAmana incarnation (referring to a slokam in vishNudharmam). BhaTTar explained that BhagavAn was very perturbed when He came to receive something from bali, since His Nature was only to give and never to receive anything. SrI PVP's anubhavam is that if He was so perturbed just to ask for some land, it is no wonder that He is very perturbed and walks such that the whole earth is shaking when He comes to ask for ANDAL.

SrI PBA gives yet another anubhavam for "adirap pugundu". He points out that the earth was shaking because kr*shNa was walking with great excitement and happiness to get ANDAL.

click here for the remaining pasurams of varanamaiyiram

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