Introduction to the Second ThiruppAvai Paasuram

Play Song (Click if back-ground music does not start playing)

vaiyaththu vaazhveergaaL naamum nampaavaikku(ch) 
cheyyum kirisaigaL kELeerO paaRkadaluL 
paiya(th) thuyinRa paramanadi paadi 
neyyuNNOm paaluNNOm naatkaalE neeraadi 
maiyittu ezhudhOm malarittu naam mudiyOm 
seyyaadhana seyyOm theekkuRaLai(ch) chenROdhOm 
aiyamum pichchaiyum aandhanaiyum kai kaatti 
uyyumaaR eNNi ugandhElOr empaavaay.

 In the first Paasuram , ANDAL described that Sriman NaarAyaNan ALONE is our Saviour with the statement : "NaarAyaNaE NamakkE Parai TharuvAN". Our Lord's Thiruvadi was revealed by ANDAL as "PrApya PrApaka Sangraham ",the essence of the means and the ultimate goal (PurushArtham ) for our Moksham in the spirit of Swamy NammAzhwAr's Paasuram set in KuraL VeNNpA (KuraL Metre):

KaNNan kazahliNai-- naNNUm manamudayeer
YeNNUm ThirunAmam-- tiNNam NaaraNamE
--ThiruvAimozhi: 10.5.1

(meaning): Oh People of the World (Vyatthu-VaazhveerkAL) aspiring to reach as the Supreme goal of this life on Earth , the sacred feet of Lord KrishNA , meditate on His most important naamam , NaarAyaNA . Do it without fail. That meditation will be rewarded most assuredly by Sriman NaarAyanan.

In the second Paasuram ( Vaitthu VaazhveerkAL), ANDAL describes about what is KARTHAVYAM( to be done) and what is THYAAJYAM ( to be discarded ). ANDAL mentioned in the first paasuram , what the Lord will do for the ChEthanams and in the second Paasuram , She lists what chEthanams should do to qualify for His grace.

The Meaning of the Second SlOkam by Sr.V.K.S.N.Raghavan

" Oh People who reside in this world! May You listen to our austerities, which we are to follow during our Paavai Nonbhu.(We will observe this routine). We will sing in praise of the holy feet of Paraman (the Supreme Purushan) that has taken to sleep (YoganidhrA) merrily on the milky ocean. We will refrain from consuming ghee and milk (till the end of our Nonbhu). At the early small hours of the day  (dawn) , we will bathe (getting ourselves  immersed )in the river; we will refrain from applying collyrium (anjanam) to our eyes; we will not decorate  our locks of hair (lit. bind our hairs ) with flowers;  (we will abide by the holy text books (ShaasthrAs );  we will refrain from performing proscribed duties;  we will not speak painful untruth; we will give liberally
alms to those people , who seek for it and even to those ,  who do not seek for it (to SanyAsis);we will always  contemplate upon the fair method to achieve the aim of  purposeful life( Bhagavath-BhAgavatha-AchArya Kaimkaryams);  and we will (thus)live a contented life . (This way ,  Oh dear girl, You may know our routine). { Refraining from doing wrong acts, through the path of VairAgyA (dispassion)  one should adore the feet of KshIrAbdhisAyin (PaaRkkadaluL paiya-thyuinRa Paramandi paadi) is what is prescribed/insisted upon in this second paasuram)}.

Kathavyam and ThyAjyam : Kaayakam, Vaachikam & Maanasam

 Observances to be practised during Marghazhi Nonbhu

(1)ANDL refers to KIRISAIGAL (Observances) in this paasuram. Karthavya kirisaikaL to be performed are of three kinds:
Vaachikam , Kaayikam and Maanasam ( by one's speech , limbs and mind).Singing /naama Sankeerthanam (paadi) is  Vachika kaaryam ;taking bath , giving alms are kaayikam kaaryams; thinking about Him (yeNNi/reflecting on Him ) is the maanasika kaaryam.

(2) " aiyyamum Picchayum Andhanayum kai kaatti UyyumARu yeNNi Uhanthu" Here the power of DhAnam (charities and
giving away wealth and time in spirit of Kaimkaryam ) is described in the context of Marghazhi Vratham .

" aiyyam " refers to samarpanams to AchAryan."Picchai" refers to samarpaNams to SanyAsis and charities to BrahmachAris. SanyAsi can also be an AchAryan in many cases like Srimath Azhagiya Singar ,Srimath ANDavans , Sri VaanamAmalai Jeeyar ,Sriman NaarAyaNa Jeeyar and many other YathivarAs.

It is also said that description of BhagavAn's glories to His BhaagavathAs is "eiyyam" and the sharing of BhagavathA's glories with the Lord is "Picchai".

"Aandhanayum Kai Kaatti UyyumARu YeNNi ": To share our wealth to the limit of our capacity is what is intended here ("SraddhayA dhEyam" and "asraddhayA dEyam " of Taittiriya Upanishad is the context ). "Illai yennAthu eethalE nanRU"
is the Old Tamil proverb . " arthina: prathamE tasya charamAn paryapUrayan " is Swamy Desikan's decription of King Yathu , when it came to giving dhAnams to the limit to those who sought them .

"UyyumARu YeNNi" : Our reason for sustenance (Ujjevanam) is immersion in the limitless , auspicious GuNams of our Lord in the spirit of Upanishadic statement: "RasO Vai Saha"

"UyyimARu YeNNi" has also been split this way "Uyyum+aaRu+ yeNNi" and commented upon. Uyyum means the way to Moksham . "aaRu YeNNi " means  repeated reflections on those six doctrines that Lord VaradarAjA gave to AchArya RaamAnujA through Thirukkacchi Nampi . We seek the life of ParamaikAnthi through conductance of our lives with these six guidelines given by Lord VaradarAja of Kaanchi to AchArya RaamAnujA .

The "aaRU " referred to by ANDAL to Her fellow gopis are the six mangaLa vasthus for women :

(1) Mettu in toes (Silver aabharanam for the toes)
(2) Valai ( bangles ) in hands
(3) Nose screw
(4) ThirumAngalyam or sacred thread on the neck
(5) Tilakam on the forehead and
(6)Pushpam in their hair.

Acts to be discarded during the Marghazhi Nonbhu

 Vaachika , Kaayika , maanasika thyAjyams (acts to be abandoned/rejected) are :

(1)"TheekkuRalaic-chenROdhOm " ( we will not speak painful untruth and engage in purposeless talk ) is vaachika ThyAjyam ( to be abandoned by our speech).

(2)"SeyyAthana seyyOm": We will not think on subjects that will lead us astray.(PraathikUlya Varjanam of SaraNAgathi anushtAnam is referred not only here but in all thyAjyams referred to above and below).

(3) NeyyuNNOm PaaluNNOm": We will not consume ghee and milk, which are day to day items in the lives of Gopis.
(It is easy to reject exotic items in our lives rather than some thing that is part of "the pleasures of daily life"). Bhagavan Naama Sankeerthanam takes the vratham observers's appetite away in the spirit of ANDAL's father's (PriyAzhvAr's Paasura Vaakhyams) statements: "uNNA nALL PasiyAvathu onRillai (NDP:438)" and  "nedumayAl ulahEzhum aLanthAi--KooRai sORivai VeNDuvathillai.." (NDP: 436). Before, Ghee and Milk were Taarakam (nourishment)for them; now Bhagavan Naama SankIrthanam and Hari KathA PaarayaNam is their Taarakam .

The guidance here is: "EkAdasyAm Jaagaranam tathA  (One has to be wide awake in following the prescriptions and the proscriptions of EkAdasi Vratham). Similar to observing the rites and rejecting those that are not prescribed the Vratham is undertaken and completed. Here, ANDAL connects such Karthavyam and ThyAjyam to ThiruppAVai Vratham (Nonbhu).

As additional thyAjyams, ANDAL vows that She and Her fellow observants will not beautify themselves with flower in their hair and collyrium in their eyes (Mai ittu yezhuthOm, Malarittu naam mudiyOm).

"SeyyAthana SeyyOm" (Avoiding UpAya VirOdhis)

 ANDAL vows that during the Marghazhi Vratham, She and her friends will avoid Saasthra-Viruddha Kaaryams  (Those five acts prohibited for PrapannAs ):

(1) Akruthya KaraNam (Para Himsai, Para sthOthram,  Para ThAra parigruham, Para dhravya apahAram,  asathya Kathanam and abhakshya BhakshaNam /    Mental-Physical injury to others, praising human beings, coveting other's wives, stealing other's property , telling untruth and eating items prohibited by ShAsthrAs).

(2) Kruthya akaraNam (Abandoning the prescribed duties (according to their ability) ordained by ShAsthrAs.

(3) Bhagavath apachAram: DevathAnthara worship and  equating the glory of Sriman NaarAyaNA to other Gods, thought that Raama-KrishNa avathArams  as human births, UpAdhAna NirUpaNam in ArchAvathaaram of our Lord, AthtmApahAram (thinking of Jeevan  as our property and dEhAthma Brahamam, stealing of  the property of the Lord (temple wealth set aside for His worship), taking money from those who steal from BhagavAn's temples.

(4) BhAgavatha apachAram: Offending the hearts and minds of the dear devotees of our Lord.

(5) asahyApachAram: intolerance to matters relating to  BhagavAn and His devotees; AchArya apachAram .

" Seyyum KirisaikaL kELIrO ":

ANDAL Appeals to the fellow-gOpis in the spirit of "Bhadram karNEbhi: SruNuyAma:" (Listen to the glories of the Lord as an integral part of the Vratham) and asks them to observe the anushtAnams. These listening & observances are of three kinds:
(1) through Ears
(2) "Through Vaak " and
(3) Through Mind.

In the first paasuram, ANDAL advised us that we should perform SaraNAgathi at our Lord's feet with the utterance of Dhvaya manthram. Here, She points out who qualifies for such anushtAnam (observance) and Uttara kruthyams (the code of life after Prapatthi/ SaraNAgathi through a SadAchAryan).

Who Should we reflect upon?

ANDAL points out that we should meditate upon the Lord Sriman NaarAyaNan, who is sleeping joyously (with UllAsam) in the middle of Milky Ocean (MadhyE Ksheera PayOdhi Sesha SayanE).

That Sriman NaarAyaNan is "PARAMAN"

 The Greatest of the greatest One is our Lord, who performs Yoga Nidhrai on Adhi Seshan in the midst of the Milky Ocean reflecting on ways to come to our rescue ."Na Tath sama: Nabhyadhikasccha " ( There is none Equal to Him or Superior to Him). With Sri MahA lakshmi's sambhandham , He shines as Param JyOthi there and becomes Parama Purushan and  purushOtthaman .

ANDAL addressed us as " Vaitthu VaazhverkAL " or the BhAgyasaalis , who got the difficult-to-obtain Nara Janmam (Human birth) to observe the Vratham of SaraNAgathi and follow the life of PrapannA afterwards and qualify for Nithya Kaimkaryam in the Transcendent world of Sri Vaikuntam.

Soodikkoduttha NaacchiyAr ThiruvadigaLE Saranam ,
Sarvam KrushNArpanam asthu
RaamAnuja Daasan , Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri SatakOpan

 

Day-3 OngiUlagalanda