SrI ANDAL samEta SrI rangamannAr tiruvaDigaLE SaraNam

SrI ANDAL arulic ceyda nAcciyAr tirumozhi

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Sri Andal

 

nAcciyAr tirumozhi VII - karuppUram nARumO

- Introduction

A. Translation from SrImAn SaDagOpan's tamizh treatise

In the sixth tirumozhi, ANDAL described to her friend, her dream about marrying the "kUDArai vellum SIr gOvindan" and being happy with Him. The sleep is over and the dream is over too. When she wakes up from svapna anubhavam, she has a question now: who is the best authority on telling her about kaNNan's adarAmr*tam. She remembers:

"vishNOr mukhottAnila pUritasya yasya dhvanir-dAnava darpa hantA |
tam pA~ncajanyam SaSikoTi Subhram Sa~nkham sadA'ham SaraNam prapadye || "

(SrI pa~ncAydha stotram). She gets an answer to her question: the big and famous Sa~nkham (conch - pAncajanyam), which is always decorating kaNNan's left hand, will know the taste and smell of His mouth. She then determines to ask this pAncajanyam, which is whiter than the whiteness of thousands of moons.

B. Some additional thoughts (from SrI PVP):

SrI PVP compares godai's and sItA pirATTi's experience; sitA asked hanumAN, whom she had never seen or known before, "What does rAma look like? What is His build like? How are His hands? What does lakshmaNa look like?" (rAmAyaNam sundara kANDam 35-4). godai's bhAgyam is much better; In order to attain emperumAn, she gets to ask pAncajanyam, who is like a dESikar - showing the way to reach Him.

In her dream about the wedding between kaNNan and herself, godai had His adarAmr*tam only for a brief time. BhagavAn interrupted this experience in order to increase ANDAL's Arti or intense anguish because of not attaining Him. What she experienced in her dream is very small like a firefly flying; it will not be staying in her heart for ever. But, at the same time, since the dream is a divine one involving emperumAn, it is not possible to forget Him also. Hence, she is asking SrI pA~ncajanya AzhvAr about the anubhavam that she is now missing, namely enjoying kaNNan's adaram.

Why is godai choosing SrI pAncajanyam, when there are the other nitya sUris like garuDan, vishvaksenar etc? SrI PVP gives seven reasons for this:

1. When an emperor is alone with his nAyaki behind the curtain, certain people like aged hunchbacks, short ones etc, are allowed to be inside. Just like them, pAncajanyam is always in emperumAn's hand.

2. Just like ANDAL, His nAyaki who enjoys His vAyamudam, pAncajanyan is enjoying the flavor of His mouth, by being very close to it.

3. Unlike her, who can mingle with Him only once in a while, pAncajanyam is always having His sambandham.

4. Even though cakkarattAzhvAn is always seated on one of His hands, if the need arises, he leaves His hand and goes after the target "karudum iDam porudu kai ninRa cakkarattan" (tiruvAimozhi 10-6-8). But, pAncajanyan will never leave His hand; instead, when occasion arises, he will start drinking His vAyamudam.

5. emperumAn likes to show Himself with Sankhu and cakkaram to the girls who love Him; As His Sankhu, he goes and sits on His tiruppavaLa vAi (mouth) and makes a huge noise, the loudness of which destroys all the enemies. The only time the Sankhu disappears from emperumAn's hand is when He is requested to make His appearance without the four hands to hide His identity from the likes of kamsa by devaki.

"upasamhara sarvAtman! rUpam Etat caturbhujam |
jAnAtu mA'vatAram tE kamsOyam diti janmaja: || "
(vishNu purANam 5-3-13)

6. When everyone is enjoying empirAn's dark-hued tirumEni, pAncajanyam with his extremely white color adds beauty to His black charm; so, it is only proper that he is to be enjoyed along with emperumAn. pAncajanyan has Suddha svabhAvam along with his extreme whiteness. That is why godai is always thinking about pAncajanyam -  
"tAmugakkum tam kaiyil SangamE pOlAvO" (nAcciyAr tirumozhi 11-1), 
"veLLai viLi Sangu iDa~nkaiyil koNDa vimalan" (nAcciyAr tirumozhi 5-2 kuyil pASuram), 
"pAlanna vaNNattu un pAncajanniyamE pOlvana SankangaL" (tiruppAvai 26).

7. The sound of pA~ncajanyam is very sweet like emperumAn's words.
Because of these seven reasons, ANDAL asks pA~ncajanyam instead of going to the other nitya sUris.

pASuram 7.1 (seventh tirumozhi - pAsuram 1 karuppUram nARumO)

A. Translation from SrImAn SaDagOpan's tamizh treatise:

In the first pASruam of the seventh tirumozhi, godai asks pAncajanyam, with great longing for kaNNan's adharAmr*tam: "Oh, white conch, who has the blessing of getting the sambandham of kaNNan's beautiful lips. I would like to ask you this: please tell me how the taste of the adhara-s (lips) of kaNNapirAn (who killed the elephant, kuvalayApIDam, by breaking its tusks) is, since you are the most experienced one in this regard. Does the fragrance of bhagavAn's mouth resemble that of kaRpUram (paccaik kaRpURam in tamizh)? Or, is it like the sugandham emanating from blossomed lotus flower? Do the mugil vaNNan's red lips taste sweet like rock candy? Please explain to me clearly how His mouth tastes and how it smells, for I am longing for the anubhavam of these.

"karuppUram nARumO kamalappU nARumO
tiruppavaLa SevvAi tAn tittittu irukkumO
maruppu oSitta mAdhavan tan vAic cuvaiyum nARRamum
viruppuRRu kETkinREn Sol Azhi veN San~ge

B. Additional thoughts (from SrI PVP ):

karuppUram nARumO kamalappU nARumO: the smell of kaRppUram (paccaik kaRpURam) is stinging and has a hotness (kAram in tamizh); lotus flower always smells cool. kaNNan's tiruppavaLa SevvAi's smell will not have any of the defects of these two objects, but will have only the good aspects. He is described in the veda-s as sarva-gandhah sarva-rasah - (chAndogya 3.14.2). These lips and mouth that ANDAL is longing for are the part of this great tirumEni.

tiruppavaLac-cevvAi tAn tittittu irukkumO: ANDAL gave two alternatives when she was asking about the smell of His tiru-adharam, but is now giving only one choice when it came to asking about the taste of bhagavAn's mouth. It is as if the person who is immersed in water can't think of anything else. Now godai is already lost in His anubhavam, and is not able to think of several things. So she is not asking whether His mouth tastes like honey or rock candy or etc. In fact, the minute she saw His red lips, she has not been able to concentrate on anything else. He is the abode of the best of the sapta sparSa rUpa rasa ganda-s and so He is the food for all the indriya-s. (Note that He is hr*shIkeSa or hr*shIkAnAm ISah - He controls our indriya-s as He wishes).

maruppu oSitta mAdhavan - When rAma destroyed several rAkshasa-s including kara and dUshNa single-handedly, sItA pirATTi could not control her great joy, and embraced rAma and hugged Him. 
"tam dhrushtvA satrujantAram maharshINam sukAvaham | 
babhUva hrushtvA vaidEhI bhartAram parishasvajE ||" 
(rAmAyaNam AraNya kANDam 30-40).
Here ANDAL has the same feeling and wants to embrace closely her kaNNan for His brave act of destroying kuvalayApIDam. viruppuRRu kETkinREn: In gItA 9.1, bhagavAn tells arjuna that the reason He is teaching the great secret about bhakti yoga and the knowledge to free oneself from all evil, because he is free from asUyA - because he sees the qualities of bhagavAn as they are meant to be seen - as kalyANa guNa-s, and not find faults or defect in them instead. In gItA 18.67, Lord kr*shNa tells arjuna that the SAstra that has been taught to him should never be revealed to anyone who is not austere, not a devotee, or does not wish to listen to the knowledge about Him, but certainly not to one who analyzes His qualities and finds faults in them. This last category is a definite NO-NO (idam te nAtapaskAya). In the case of ANDAL, she does not need to be told that first she has to accept His guNa-s without finding fault with them, and then only desire to know His qualities.

She does not have to first get rid of her "jealousy" and then develop a love, thereby prolonging the time to get to emperumAn. One doesn't have to tell her about loving Him. godai doesn't have to be told, because she already has great love towards Him and thus she is proceeding to the next step viz. asking the Sa~nkam for the knowledge about bhagavAn.

Azhi veN San~ge: The veN-Sa~ngu is huge in shape; ANDAL says that now the conch has to behave in a broad-minded way, and respond to her questions. The Sa~ngu was born in the Ocean which serves to support a multitude of life-forms; ANDAL expects the conch to now tell her all about bhagavAn so that it can continue to live listening to these. The bright white color of the veN Sa~ngu is so striking that it registers in ANDAL's mind; she now expects the response from the conch such that it really registers in her mind and pleases her. veN San~ge: SrI PVP gives another explanation also: The Sa~ngu keeps getting whiter and whiter (i.e., paler and paler) in spite of being constantly associated with Him (meaning Sangam is having viraga tApam and is becoming whiter and paler from love, even though it has the constant accompaniment of emperumAn); so, the veN Sa~ngu should certainly understand ANDAL's pining in love for Him.

pASuram 7.2 (seventh tirumozhi - pAsuram 2 kaDalil piRandu)

A. Translation from SrImAn SaDagOpan's tamizh treatise:

"Oh! Beautiful Sa~ngE! How lucky you are that even though you had a very ordinary birth and life initially (born in the salty ocean and growing up in the body of the rAkshasa by name pa~ncajanan), you have the bhAgyam of leading your life in the highest of places one can aspire for, viz. bhagavAn's Hands, and you now induce terror in the hearts of these evil asura-s".

kaDalil piRandu karudAdu pa~ncajanan
uDalil vaLarndu pOi UzhiyAn kait-talattuiDaril
kuDiyErit-tIya aSurar
naDalaip paDa muzha~ngum tORRattAi naR-ca~nge

B. Additional thoughts (from SrIman SaDagOpan):

Through the phrase "tIya asurar naDalaip-paDa muzha~ngum tORRattAi", ANDAL echoes the meaning of the phrase "yasya dhvanir dAnava darpa-hantA" in pa~ncAyudha stotram, which means "the sound emanating from which (conch) puts an end to the pride of the asura-s".

C. Additional thoughts (from SrI PVP ):

ANDAL is appealing to pA~ncajanyam that just as he is inducing terror into the hearts of the evil asura-s, he should induce joy into the hearts of the devotees like her. Just as his sound destroys those who do not love emperumAn, he should make those who love Him, lead a good life. Instead of taking the reference to the birth of pA~ncajanyam in the salty ocean with a negative connotation, one can also interpret that pA~ncajanyam was born in the ocean which nurtures enormous forms of life and thus serves a selfless purpose for the sake of these life forms. ANDAL reminds pa~ncajayam of the selfless nature of the place of his birth, and echo this and selflessly help others like her.

Just as the Sa~nkham grew up in the asura's body, ignoring his dosham, it must help godai also, ignoring her faults. pa~ncajanan uDalil vaLarndu: Sa~nkam earned the name pA~ncajanyam because of growing in the asuran pAncajanan's body. When kaNNan came to rescue His teacher SAntIpini's son, He killed the asura, took the Sa~nkam from hisstomach and owned it.

tIya aSurar naDalaip paDa muzhangum tORRattAi:

SrI PVP draws a parallel between the life of kaNNan and that of pA~ncajanyam, and suggests that it is no wonder that pA~ncajanya AzhvAr has the paratvam similar to perumAL (in one sense, even better than perumAL - see next paragraph). kaNNan was born in one place (in the prison to devaki), grew up in a different place (tiruvAIppADi), settled in a third place (dvArakA), and destroyed the asura kamsan and others. So also, pA~cajanyam was born in the ocean, grew up in an asura's body, lived in bhagavAn's tiruk-kai, and terrorized the asura-s by its very ghosham. "sagOshO dhArtharAshtrAnAm h*rdayAni vyadArayat" (gItA 1-19) - that pAncajanya sound tore apart the hearts of dhr*tarAshtra's sons. "yasya nAdEna daityAnAm bhalahAnirajAyata" (vishNu purANam 5-21-29) - with pAncajanyam's sound, the aSura's strength was vanquished. nal Sa~ngE: In a sense, the Sa~nkam is one step better than emperumAn, who creates this world based on karmA, calculating the good and bad that the created beings do, and rewarding the good and punishing for the bad; the Sa~nkam treats even the bad as good (it grew even in the aSuran's stomach).

godai's talking about pA~ncajanyan as being born in one place, being brought up in another and staying put in a third place reminds SrI PVP of na~njIyar, who left all his wealth and came to SrI BhaTTar to serve him. anantAzhwAn told nanjIyar that for the latter to have a real new birth, he should be born in tirumantram (get svarUpa j~nAnam - namely, he should realize that he belongs only to emperumAn and he should serve only Him), should grow up in dvayam (know that emperumAn who has pirATTi with Him is his only upAyam) and stay put in the meaning of dvayam (do all kaimkaryams with this knowledge).

pASuram 7.3 (seventh tirumozhi - pAsuram 3 taDavaraiyin mIdE)

A. Translation from SrImAn SaDagOpan's tamizh treatise:

"Oh, big and beautiful Sa~ngE! Just as the moon rises on a paurNami day in the autumn season with eye-sparkling brilliant whiteness atop the eastern mountain, you also appear majestically in the hands of vaDa-maduraiyAr mannan, kaNNan"

taDavaraiyin mIdE sarat kAla candiran
iDai uvAvil vandu ezhundAlE pOla nIyum
vaDa maduraiyAr mannan vAsudEvan kaiyil
kuDiyERi vIRRirundAi kOlap perum Sa~ngE

B. Additional thoughts (from SrIman SaDagOpan):

In this pASuram, ANDAL is revealing the meaning of the third part relating to pA~ncajanyam in SrI pancAyudha stOtram "tam pA~ncajanyam SaSi kOTi Subhram Sa~nkham sadA'ham SaraNam prapadyE" The special luster of the sarat kAla candran is called "sarat candra DavaLam". godai prays to the Sangam: "You are so lucky to live in the hands of vAsudEvan every day. How can I describe your bhAgyam? Without making a big fuss, please describe that vAsudEvan's triuppavaLa vaI-'s guNa viSeshams".

C. Additional thoughts (from SrI PVP ):

taDavaraiyin mIdE: godai's father, periyAzhvAr refers to emperumAn's shoulder as "taDavarait tOL" (periyAzhvAr tirumozhi 5-4-4). The scene of pA~ncajanyam sitting on His shoulder looks like the moon appearing on top ofthe mountain. saratkAla candran: during sarat kAlam (autumn), the sky is clear of clouds; thus, the moon appears extraordinarily white. godai compares the whiteness of the Sa~nkham to this extremely white moon.

vaDa-maduraiyAr mannan ...: The Sa~nkham's greatness is all the more pronounced because it has permanently and inseparably made as its dwelling the tiruk-kai of vAsudeva, the blessed son of vasudeva and the chief of thepeople in mathurA. kOlap perum Sa~ngE: The Sa~nkham is not only beautiful by itself, it adds to the beauty of bhagavAn because of its presence in His hands.

SrI kr*shNasvAmi aiye~ngAr:

vaDa maduraiyAr mannan vAsudEvan kaiyil: "vaDa maduraiyAr mannan" shows His greatness, vAsudevan (vasudeva's son) refers to His nIrmai ( a composite word representing many of His kalyANa guNam-s - for a detailed explanation of this word, please refer to the May 98 bhakti archives under SrI Sampath RangarAjan's write-up) and kaiyil symbolizes His beauty. AzhvArs have the anubhavam of referring to these three together.

pASuram 7.4 (seventh tirumozhi - pAsuram 4 candira maNDalam)

A. Translation from SrImAn SaDagOpan's tamizh treatise:

"Oh, valampuri Sa~ngE! When you are permanently seated in dAmOdaran's divine hand, like the candra maNDalam, it appears as if you are murmuring some secret into emperumAn's ear. Your soubhAgyam is much higher than dEvarAjan indiran's wealth; even indiran cannot vie for your luck.

"candira maNDalam pOl dAmOdaran kaiyil
andaram onRu inRi ERi avan Seviyil
mandiram koLvAyE pOlum valampuriyE
indiranum unnODu Selvattukku ElAnE

B. Additional thoughts (from SrIman SaDagOpan):

BaghavAn has given you His adarasambandham, and now He has given you karNa (ear) sambandham also.

C. Additional thoughts (from SrI PVP ):

candira maNDalam kaiyil - BhagavAn carrying the Sa~nkham which resembles the candra maNDalam in His hand looks like the rich princes carrying a container (pani nIrk-kuppi in tamizh - a container of cold water?) in their hands to comfort themselves periodically.

dAmOdaran: (kaNNi nuN SiRuttAmbinAl kaTTuNNap paNNiya perumAyan) - The rope mark in His stomach suggests that He was a bhavyan (very obedient child) to yaSodA, and allowed her tie Him up. godai tells pA~ncajanyan: "shouldn't you also be respectful and obedient to His aDiyArgaL and help us?" andaram onRu inRi ERi: Unlike even His nAyakis who may be away from Him intermittently, His Sa~nkham is with Him constantly without fail. We can also take this to mean that the Sa~nkham does not behave like unworthy relatives who cling to people when they are doing well and leave them when disaster strikes. avan Seviyil mandiram koLvAyE pOlum: It appears as if you are doing secret mandira AlOcanai in His ear, saying "there are several devotees who cannot bear any separation from you". Please let Him know about me too.

valampuriyE: while most Sa~nkams are iDampuri (with a circle that goes anti-clockwise), you are valampuri (with a circle that goes clockwise) and thus you are special. You must show this specialty in your actions also viz. by uniting with Him the likes of me who have no other interest than Him.

indiranum unnODu Selvattukku ElAnE: Why would godai consider indra to be a wealthy person to start with? SrI PVP's anubhavam is that godai is in the state of mind of a gopi. indra was able to control the rain as he wished, giving the impression to the cowherd girls that indra had such powers that he was to be considered an ArAdhya devatA, and deserved to have celebrations offering worship to him. - "indiranukku enRu AyargaL eDutta ezhil vizhavu" (periya tirumozhi 2-3-4). SrI PVP offers an alternate anubhavam also. periyAzhvAr is a parama vEdANti "vEdAnta vizhupporuLin mElirunda viLakkai viTTucittan virittananE" (periyAzhwAr tirumozhi 4-3-11). ANDAL being the daughter of the great periAzhvAr, knew the paratvam of perumAl and knew that the antaryAmi in indra was none other than bhagavAn, and so was fully aware that any reference to indra was really only a reference to bhagavAn directly or indirectly.

indiranum unnODu Selvattukku ElAnE - Taking the reference to indra as a reference to vishNu, the wealth of pA~ncajanyma is still superior to that of bhagavAn. bhagavAn's walth is His svAtantriyam or Independence. But this independence is lost the moment a prapanna surrenders to Him, because bhagavAn immediately becomes subservient to this prapannan. Thus His aiSvaryam is not permanent in this sense. However, the aiSvaryam of pA~ncajanya AzhvAr is purely in being subservient to bhagavAn, and so this is permanent and never ceases. SrI PVP gives the example of iLaiya perumAL, who crowned himself with mara uri for his vana vAsam as soon as he knew that Lord rAma has agreed to give up His crown. This how lakshmaNa is called lakshmi-sampannan by vAlmIki (lakshmaNo lakshmi-sampannah) even though lakshmaNa refused the offer of being crowned the crown-prince. D. Additional thoughts from SrI Kr*shNasvAmy aiye~ngAr:

andaram onRu inRi ERi: tiruvAzhi AzhvAn, who is in His other tirukkai has to leave Him during times of war: "karudum iDam porudu kain-ninRa cakkarattan (tiruvAimozhi 10-6-8). Sa~nkam does not have that ill luck; instead, the Sa~nkham gets to stay in His hand and in His mouth. inner meaning of the pASuram: ANDAL tells pA~ncajanyar: "You are capable of saying secret words into His ear; you must tell Him about me".

pASuram 7.5 (seventh tirumozhi - pAsuram 5 unnODu uDanE

A. Translation from SrImAn SaDagOpan's tamizh treatise:

Oh pA~ncajanya! Countless number of other conches were born along with you in the same ocean; but nobody even gives as much as an independent name to them, or thinks about their svabhAvam as an independent entity. You are the most blessed of all, because since long you have been having the parama bhAgyam of tasting the vAi amudam of madhusUdanan, who is the Lord of all.

unnODu uDanE oru kaDalil vAzhvArai
innAr inaiyAr enRu eNNuvAr illai kAN
mannAgi ninRa madhuSudan vAi amudam
pannALum uNginrAi pA~ncaSanniyamE!

B. Additional thoughts (from SrIman SaDagOpan):

godai tells pAncajanyam: " you have the bhAgyam of staying permanently in the left hand of bhagavAn and you have given Him the tirunAmam "iDangai Sa~ngam uDaiyAn".

C. Additional thoughts (from SrI PVP ):

mannAgi ninRa: BhagavAn is the King of all kings; He is the brahmasvarUpi; He is the ISvarar and the father of all and the prajApati.

"rAjAdhi rAjas sarvEshAm vishNur brahmamayO mahAn |
ISvaram tam vijAnIma: sa pitA sa prajApati: || (bhAra - ASva 43-13)

madhusUdan - The Slayer of the asura by name madhu. This is not to be just seen as a name for this reason, but it signifies bhagavAn's guNa of removing the obstacles of His devotees always.

pannALum uNginRAi: It is as if ANDAL is telling pA~ncajanyam - While it is ANDAL and the nAyaki-s of emperumAn who should be having His vAi amudam every day, instead the Sa~nkham is enjoying it every day, thereby depriving the anubhavam to His nAyaki-s and making it available to them only rarely. pA~ncajanniyamE: godai, who is the daughter of periyAzhvAr, is falling at the feet of pA~ncajanyan, born in the body of the aSuran - pa~ncajanan! The saying "birth in a higher lineage will bring greatness, and in a lower lineage will bring lowliness" has been falsified now. The Sa~nkham born from pa~ncajanan's body is having nityAnubhavam of emperumAn, and ANDAL is struggling to get pA~ncajanyan's attention.

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