Twenty sixth Pasuram ( maalE maNi vaNNa..)

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maalE! maNivaNNaa! maargazhi neeraaduvaan 
mElaiyaar seyvanagaL vEnduvana kEttiyEl 
NYaalaththai ellaam nadunga muralvana 
paal anna vaNNaththu un paancha sanniyamE 
pOlvana sankangaL pOy(p) paadudaiyanavE 
saala(p) perum paRaiyE pallaandu isaippaarE 
kOla viLakkE kodiyE vidhaanamE 
aalin ilaiyaay aruLElOr embaavaay

Dear BhakthAs:

This 26th Paasuram is about Isvaran,  the 26th Tatthvam. The Upanishad points Him out as the 26th Tattvam ( Tamm shat-vimsakam ithyAhu:). The importance of the number 26 among the Tattvams  is seen at Hasthigiri of Lord VaradarAjan . The chEthanam  (the Jeevan as the 25th tattvam )climbs the 24 steps (SarIram with 24 tattvams , which is an obstacle  for mOksham ) to get to the sannidhi of Isvaran  on top of the Hasthigiri waiting for it (jeevan) pateiently as the 26th and the Supreme Tattvam.

Literal Meaning of "MaalE MaNivaNNA " Paasuram (Dr.Raghavan)
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(Here ,the young gOpis request the granting of drum , lamp , flag , canopy et al). Oh the embodiment of pure  disinterested love ! Oh Lord of wonderful colour of  the blue sapphire gem! May You listen to us

(1)who  perform the " bathing during Maargazhi", an observance the great ancient people followed and (2) who are in the need of following SIX things (for the vratham):

(a)superior conches similar to Your great Paanchajanyam, which have the white hue of milk and which through their tumultous sound shakes all the worlds
(b) giant size drums/bhEris
(c) PallANDu singers
(d)decorative lamps
(e)dhvajam-banner& flags and
(f)a big canopy .

Oh Lord MaayAvin! the One who just reposed as a baby on a banyan leaf  (Vatapathra-saayin) in the waters of PraLayam ! Kindly bless us  with these six vrathOpakaraNams through Your limitless grace.

BhUvarAhAcchAr Swamy's observations about his paasuram
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Lord KrishNA seated on His simhAsanam asks the Gopis to explain the self-contradiction in their appeals:

" Oh Gopis ! You say You have come to get materials from me  for Your nOnbhu and in the same breath say that You have come to enjoy My company. Those who desire my company  need to eschew all other desires . Moreover, What is  this nOnbhu that You refer to ? Who has prescribed it and what are the accessories recommended for that nOnbhu?".

Gopis respond:

" Oh Lord , the Cowherds proposed this vratham to gain auspiciousness. We readily responded since it came handy to see Your face and sing about Your glories . We observe this nOnbhu also to express our gratitude towards those cowherds , who have brought about our union under this pretext".

Although there is no direct Vedic injunction (to perform this nOnbhu), we do it bacuse our ancestors have performed it  (mElayAr seyvanagaL). We give more importance to our learned ancestors than to any other injunctions ".

ANDAL is giving us the message (upadesam) that age old  customs , traditions and practises of our AchAryAs  are to be respected and observed with great care.

By enumerating all the accessories for the nOnbhu , ANDAL  is speaking about SAAMYAPPATTHI --where the liberated soul gets emblems and insignias similar to that of the Lord , Sri VaikuntanAthan.

The address of the Lord as  " MaalE "  is to depict the Lord's unlimited love and concern for the Jeevan. It is the stand-in for the word " Maam " (MAmEkam SaraNam Vraja )in the Charama  SlOkam .

The address of the Lord as "AalinilayAi" in the final paadham of this paasuram refers to His immense prowess as revealed by the word "AHAM " in the same charama slOkam (AHAM thvaa sarva paapEbhyO MokshayishyAmi maa  sucha:)."Maam" shows His easy accessibility (Soulabhyam) and "AHAM " , His omnipotence.

The Inner meanings of the Paasuram (Abhinava Desikan )
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We perform hrudh-Yaagam (mAnasIka aarAdhanam) first and then engage in BhAhyArAdhanam ( external aarAdhanam). Latter has six steps (aasanams) as established by sishtAgresarars ( done by the leaders of righteous conduct: mElayAr seyvanakaL) . The word group "mElayAr seyvanakaL vENDuvana " is the essence of this paasuram , where  sishtAchAram (Conductof the noble ones)is celebrated  as the way to follow ,whenever one is in doubt.

The six Aasanams are:

(1) manthrAsanam
(2) SnAnAsanam
(3)alankArAsanam
(4)bhOjyAsanam
(5) punar-manthrAsanam and
(6) paryankAsanam .

We have to seat the Lord in each of the six aasanams and offer upachArams. The six accesories desired by Gopis for the AaarAdhanam match with the six aasanams :

(1) blowing of the conch (pranava nAtham) is manthrAsanam
(2)Vadhya ghOsham is performed in SnAnAsanam/ Thirumanjanam
(3)during alankArAsanam , manthra pushpam  and recitation of aruLiccheyalkaL & Vedic chanting.This is  equivalent to singing PallANDu
(4) The samarpaNam of  NaivEdhyam for the Lord is known as lighting a lamp
(5)During punar-manthrAsanam , vij~nApanam is made  whether the Lord desires any sanchaaram on Garudan , His kodi (Dhvajam) and
(6) in paryankAsanam , the vidhAnam (canopy)is spread over the Lord's bed . Thus , the six  upakaraNams ( Sankhu , Parai, PallANDU-isaippAr , Kola ViLakku ,  Kodi and VidhAnam ) are mappable to the six Aasanams  prescribed for the six stages of external AarAdhanam for the Lord. This Bhagavath AarAdhana Kramam is covered  in detail in the AchArya RaamAnujA CD ROM released last year.

Inner meanings by Sri PBA Swamy
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The Gopis seek Maarga seersha AvagAhanam (Marghazhi neerAtam ) as the most illustrious  Bhagavath prApthi margam ( the means to attain  the Lord) , namely , resting under the comforting  doctrine of AchArya abhimAnam and total visvAsam in
that AchAryan .Swamy Desikan's NyAsa Tilakam  passages (viz), " andhO anandha grahaNa vachaka:" and " dhatthE Rangi nijamapi padham DesikAdEsa kaankshi" are cited as illustrations as how we should follow AchArya Niyamanam to attain full phalan of Prapatthi.

The Gopis driven by BhAva PradhAna nirdEsa nyAyam ( revealing their dominant bhAvanai/behavior of following AchArya Nishtai)  want to become the six accessories  that they seek : Sankhu ( to become suddha Saathvikars and not to leave Lord's hand ever);PaRai ( to become like sounding to clebrate the glories of achAryan and their paramparai);PallANDu isaippAr ( like PeriyAzhwAr to sing PallANDu to Him ); Kola ViLakku (to become  endowed with Svayam PrakAsam ); Kodi is Dhavajam ( to hold the flag of "Srimallakshmana YogIndhra siddhAntha Vijaya dhvajam );VidhAnam ( Like the nithya- sUri, Garudan , who is equated to VidhAnam by  Swamy AaLavanthAr in His sthOthra rathna slOkam : DaasassakhA vaahanamAsanam dhvajO VIDHAANAM  vyajanam ThrayImaya:). They seek like Garudan , " sarva desa , sarva Kaala , sarva avasthOcitha asEsha Kaimkaraya" anubhavam from KrishNA.

"mElayAr SeyvanakaL " is the jeeva naadi for this paasuram. ANDAL,  received Upadesam from Her AchAryan ,PeriyAzhwAr  the GarudAmsar , about the GithOpanishad slOkam 3.21and She blesses us with that upadEsam :

yadhyadhAcharathi srEshtastatthEvEtarO Jana:
sa YathpramANam kuruthE LokastadhanuvarthatE

(Meaning):" Whatever a great man does, other men also do.whichever standard he sets, the world follows it...With regard to any duty , which is being performed with all its ancillaries by an eminent personage, the people  with imncomplete knowledge will do it with the same ancillaries".

SvApadEsArthams by PerukkAraNai Swamy
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MaalE MaNivaNNA !   = Oh Lord of exquisite beauty  and who has unlimited love  for the chEthanams

Maarghazhi neerAduvAn         = for performing the superior act of SaraNAgathi

mElayAr vENDuvana seyvanaikaL kEttiyEl  = if You want to hear about the rites to be performed by us for that upAyam recommended by our noble ancestors, we will tell You about them.

pOlvana sankhangaL = The aanukoolya sankalpam arising from the sankha dhvani, which is like the Jn~Anam-giving Pranava nAdham

pOypAdudai paRayE = the prAthikoolya varjana sankalpam arising from the vast , apourushEya Vedam serving as the resonating BhEri (PaRai) naadham

pal aaNdu            =  for a long time

isaippArE            =  (accumulating )the pahala thyAgam arising from those with visvAsam

kOla VilakkE        =  having mahA visvAsam (in YOU)

kodi =  experiencing utter helplessness about our ability (to protect ourselves)and seeking Your grace like  a flag fluttering in the fierce wind (KaarpaNyam)

vidhAnam = (seeking )gopthruva varanam , all these angams of SaraNAgathi ,

aruL   = Oh Lord , please bless us with them.

PerukkAraNai Swamy has 30 pages of commentary on this paasuram .His elaborations on Karthavyam  (that which must be done), ThyAjyam ( That which  needs to be abandoned) , the daily duites of Men and Women as Sri VaishNavAs are very important areas for reflection . adiyEn can capture only a limited portion due to limits of space and time.

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

Day-27 koodaarai vellum seer Govinda