Monday, 31 December 2012

Thirupavai Pasuram 7

Continued from:

keesu keesu enRu engum aanai(ch) chaaththaan kalandhu
pEsina pEchcharavam kEttilaiyO pEy(p) peNNE
kaasum piRappum kalakalappa(k) kai pErththu
vaasa naRum kuzhal aaychchiyar maththinaal
Osai paduththa thayiraravam kEttilaiyO
naayaga(p) peN piLLaay naaraayaNan moorththi
kEsavanai(p) paadavum nee kEtta kidaththiyO
dhEsamudaiyaay thiRavElOr embaavaay

keesu keesu enRu engum aanai(ch) chaaththaan kalandhu
pEsina pEchcharavam kEttilaiyO pEy(p) penne

In the sixth pasuram Andal nachiar went to wake up the newest member. Now she is waking up an old member who always behaves like a newbie by not following the group rules. We know this because at first Nachiar calls the girl as “Pei Penne” and later on switches to “Nayaka Pen Pillay”.

The gopi girls went to the house of the next girl who hadn’t joined the group. Nachiar calls to the girl to join the group. The girl is inside mediatating on Lord Krishna. She feels blissfull and doesn’t want to be disturbed. She tries to avoid going out with the girls by stating that it is still night.
‘We just returned home from the banks of Yamuna! Come back when it is morning,’ said the girl without opening the door.
‘but it has dawned!’ exclaimed Andal Nachiar, ‘listen to the chirping conversation between the male and female Asian Drongo-Cuckoo (Anaichathan also known as Valiyan Kuruvi or karichan kuruvi in Tamil)! This is not the chirping sound they make upon waking up. This is the sound made when they converse with each other. If only we understood their language you would be able to listen to the female Drongo-cuckoo sending-off her mate to procure food!’

Andal Nachiar incarnated in the kingdom of Pandyas. The neighbouring kingdom was that of Cheras. Nachiar resided very close to the border and as a resulted infused few Malayalam words in her Pasuram. “Anaichathan” is the name given to the Asian Drongo-Cuckoo by the people who live in these border areas. The elephant trainer waits for this cuckoo to wake up before waking his elephants. Thus the birds came to be called as “Anaichathan” as “Anai or yanai” in Tamil is the name for elephants.
By specifically speaking about Anaichathan, Nachiar also shows us the importance of Thirupavai. This bird is known as Bharadwaja Pakshi in Sanskrit. The bird received this name because it would sing along with Sage Bharadwajar when he practised the Vedas.
Sage Bharadwajar wished to leatrn all four Vedas thoroughly. He spent 100 years of his life learning 1 branch of Vedas. When the sage completed his 100th birthday, Devendran visited the sage. Devendran wished to grant a boon to the sage as he was very happy that the sage had meticulously learnt the Vedas.
‘Dear sage please ask me for any boon,’
‘Could you please grant me a boon so that I can live for another 100 years and study the Vedas?’
‘granted!’ said Devendran and vanished from the sage’s view.
The sage spent the next hundred years learning the second branch of Vedas. On the day of the Sage’s two hundredth birthday Devendran returned and wished to grant a boon to the sage. The sage wished to live for another hundred years. Devendran returned for the third time and saw the three hundred year old sage reclined under a tree weakened by age but still studying the Vedas with enthusiasm.
‘Dear sage I have come once again but before I grant you another hundred years of life please tell me how you intend to spend your next 100 years?’
‘I will concentrate all the hundred years in learning the Vedas,’
‘Do you see those three mountains over there?’ asked Devendran pointing to three mighty mountains which had never been there and was a new addition to the surrounding landscape.
‘I had never seen these mountains! How did they appear here all of a sudden?’
‘Each of the three mountains represents 1 branch of the Vedas,’
‘Then, could you please show me if I have covered at least half of each mountain?’

Devendran asked the sage to wait. He collected three fists full of Earth from each of the mountain and deposited the dirt near the Sage’s feet.
‘These three fists full of Earth represent everything you have learned in the past three hundred years!’
The sage realized that he will never be able to learn the Vedas completely. Devendran then taught the sage “Savithri Vidhya” which contained the essence of all the three Vedas.

By referring to the Bharadwaja Pakshi as Anaichathan, Nachiar directs our attention to the above incident. She makes us realize that it is beyond our capacity to learn the Vedas completely. We can only learn the summary of the Vedas which is Thirupavai itself. This is why Thirupai is called as “Vedam anaithukum vithu” i.e. Thirupavai is the seed of Vedam. In 1 mango fruit we find one seed but if that seed is sowed we can get infinite number of mango fruits when the seed germinates and matures into a mango tree. Thus Thripavai is the “seed” we must learn in order to attain the infinite number of fruits which are the essence of the Vedas.
She addresses the girl as “Pei Penne” to indicate that the girl is overly enthusiastic and spends her time meditating upon Lord Krishna in solitude. By calling the girl as “pei” Nachiar calls her “selfish” because she refuses to share her divine experience with others. The word “pei” also shows us the girl’s enthusiasm in attaining the feet of the Lord.

kaasum piRappum kalakalappa(k) kai pErththu
vaasa naRum kuzhal aaychchiyar maththinaal
Osai paduththa thayiraravam kEttilaiyO

Picture from
‘Listen to the gopis churning butter!’ said Nachiar. ‘You can hear their jwellery jingle in tune to the churning sound.’

By kaasum pirappum Nachiar describes the wealthy status of the gopis. They are wearing jwellery given to them by their husband’s family (kaasum) as well as wearing jwellery given to them by their parents (pirappum).
Butter can only be churned early in the morning when the atmospheric temperature is low. Once the temperature increases butter will not form when curd is churned. Thus Andal Nachiar draws the girls attention to the churning noise to show her that it is really early in the morning.
She further describes the gopis who are churning butter.
‘The gopis are churning butter with enthusiasm. Their hairdo comes loose and their sweet smelling hair frames their face!’
Andal Nachiar does not describe the gopis as wearing flowers in their coiffure but she tells us that the hair of the gopis is naturally sweet smelling. Thus through this pasuram she full filled the wish of Goddess Parvati by establishing that women have naturally fragrant hair.

Prior to the incarnation of Andal Nachiar, the Pandya kingdom was ruled by Vallabha Pandyan. Once, the king was strolling through the palace garden with his wife. He was surprised to see bees buzz over the queen’s hairdo and was amazed to see that she was not wearing any flowers on her hair. The king was a poet. He composed a poem to describe the incident and sang about the queen’s naturally fragrant hair.
The king then announced a contest. He explained the situation to the contestants and promised 1000 gold coins to anyone who guessed the verse the king had composed.
Dharmi was a poor priest who performed pooja for Somasundareswar. He was a bachelor. He wished to get married but lacked money to give dowry to the girl’s family. When he heard about the contest, he prayed to Somasundareswar to help him. Lord Shiva appeared before Dharmi in the guise of an old man and gave him the verse composed by the king. Dharmi went to the king’s court and was declared the winner. As the king was about to award him the prize, the king’s guru Nakkeeran objected stating that the verse was absurd because women do not have naturally fragrant hair. The king thus refused to award the prize and Dharmi lacked the skills to argue that he had fulfilled the conditions of the contest by guessing the verse composed by the king. Dharmi couldn’t be held responsible for the errors in the verse composed by the king.
A dejected Dharmi went back to the temple and Somasundareswar once again appeared before Dharmi. Upon hearing about the king’s refusal to award Dharmi the prize amount, Somasundareswar went to the king’s court and challenged Nakeeran. Lord Shiva did not argue that Dharmi had full filled the contest rules but instead asked Nakeeran to accept the fact that Goddess Parvati had naturally sweet smelling hair. To everyone’s dismay Nakeeran refused and was inturn cursed by Lord Shiva.
As a result of the above events Goddess Parvati felt sad that Nakeeran had mentioned that even Goddess Parvati did not have sweet smelling hair. Goddess Bhumi Devi promised to emphasize the fragrant quality of women’s hair in general thus proving that Goddess Parvati also has naturally fragrant hair. Thus when Bhumi Devi incarnated as andal, she sang the seventh pasuram and establishes the fact that the women have naturally sweet smelling hair by singing “vaasa naRum kuzhal”

Perumal is very fragrant by nature. He refused the garland offered by Periazhwar to Him because the garland lacked fragrance as it had not touched the sweet smelling coiffure of Nachiar. The smell from Nachiar’s hairdo transferred to the garland lending fragrance to the garland.

Vedam has instructed us to wake up to the sounds of butter being churned to make our day auspicious. As no one spends time churning butter in the modern times we get the same benefit by chanting this pasuram whilevisvalizing the scene of gopis churning butter.

naayaga(p) peN piLLaay naaraayaNan moorththi
kEsavanai(p) paadavum nee kEtta kidaththiyO

‘Naayaka Pen Pillay,’ called Andal, ‘ please come with us to sing the glories of Kesavan who is none other than Narayana Moorthy. We can achieve good results only when you accompany us.’

Nachiar accepts the girl as their leader by calling her as Nayaka Pen Pillay.
‘Please join us immediately! We have to celebrate the victory of Krishna over Kesi in the same way by which Sita Devi celebrated Lord Rama’s victory when He single handedly defeated 14,000 Rakshasha in janasthanam by hugging Lord Rama!’
By using the name “Kesavan” to address Lord Krishna Andal Nachiar asks the girl to join them to sing about His victory when He killed the demon named Kesi. Andal calls Krishna as that Kesavan who is the physical form of Narayana Moorthy.
Narayanan is the name given to Perumal to show us that He is everywhere. It is difficult to see this form of Perumal but as Kesavan, Perumal has given shape to the form of Narayana and has appeared before the eyes of His devotees. Thus Nachiar urges the girl to not to muiss out on this unique oppoirtunity to see the beautiful physical form of Lord Narayanan.
The Lord’s omnipresent form as Narayanan is only available to Yogis. The bRahmins see the same Lord as Agni. Others who do not have the ability or knowledge to see the Lord as narayanan see His archai form in Temples where He exists as idols.
Once, Parasara Bhattar explained the above principles to a gathering. The lecture was interrupted because Bhattar had to leave the session to attend the Purapadu of Lord Ranganatha. As Bhattar got up to leave a man approached himand asked him.
‘You just told us that great people see God everywhere whereas fools see Him only in idols. Why are you then leaving to see the Lord at the temple? Are you not great?’
Bhattar answered the man carefully, ‘If with the help of a device water can be made to flow from a low lying area to high lying area is it not possible for water to flow down as well? If even fools can see the Lord easily at the temple then why will not great intelligent people be able to see the Lord easily?’
Narayanan means the one who resides in narams.  Jeevatmas are called as Narams. The name Narayana shows that He supports us. As He resided in us , jeevatmas can never be destroyed as then He loses His place of residence.
Andal Nachiar mentions the name Narayana thrice within the 1st ten Pasurams. In the first Pasuram she says that “Narayanane namake parai tharuvan” and in the second pasuram as “nattra thuzhai mudi Narayanan”.
The 1st Pasuram establishes Perumal as the supporter of jeevatma when Nachiar calls Him as Narayanan.  He is the resting place of all the jeevatmas. This is the meaning emphasized by Nachiar in the first pasuram. Narayanan equals Narangaluku Ayanam.
The seventh Pasuram refers to Narayana as the one who has the narangal as his irupidam i.e the jeevathmas known as narams are His residence.
The first pasuram reveals Narayanan as the target while the sewventh pasuram shows us that He never leaves us; He is present everywhere.

dhEsamudaiyaay thiRavElOr embaavaay
Andal Nachiar describes the gopi girl inside to be shining with radiance when she addresses her as “dhEsamudaiyaay”.  The girl is radiant because she is constantly thinking about the Lord.
When the girl didn’t open the door some of the girls peeped through the window to look at the girl. Earlier when Andal Nachiar asked the girl to listen to the noise of butter being churned , one of her friends narrated an encounter another gopi had with Krishna.
‘Krishna goes door to door when gopis churn butter. I heard that once child Krishna went to the house of a gopi. She was churning butter when Krishna hugged her shoulders with His little hands from behind. ‘what are you doing?’ He asked her innocently. She said that she was churning butter. ‘This is not the way to churn,’ He said and grabbed the churning ropes from behind her. He started to churn the curd as if He was once again churning the milky ocean. As the child was churning butter all of a sudden the gopi saw Him in front of her in the form of a handsome youth! Who knows maybe Krishna in the form of a handsome youth has appeared inside and maybe this is the reason she is refusing to open the door!’
The girl inside decided never to open the door especially after hearing her friends speak about her.
‘Let us look inside ,’ said one of the girls as they all crowded around the window to peep inside the house.
‘Oh! Look how radiant she looks!’ they commented.
‘Oh beautifully radiant girl, please open the door for us so that we can congratulate Krishna for killing the demon Kesi!’
The girl got up and joined her friends as she wanted to praise the Lord for killing Kesi.

Alternate Meaning:

Most people say that Nachiar awakens Kulasekar Azhwar through this pasuram. This is because Kulasekar Azhwar called himself as “pei”. The truth is Nachiar is awakening her role model Thirumahizhai Azhwar.
Andal wanted to wed Lord Ranganatha but her father Periazhwar tried to discourage her.
‘It is not possible for you to marry Lord Ranganatha. He is in archai form and hence will not even speak with you. Let me find you a good Sri Vaishnavan groom. After you get married you can perform kaimkaryams to the Lord along with your husband,’ said Periazhwar.
‘but father, you told me that the Lord Aramuthan of Thirukudanthai Divya Desam  spoke with Thirumahizhai Azhwar! Didn’t the archai form of Lord Aramuthan get up from His reclined posture when Thirumahizhai Azhwar asked Him to get-up and welcome the Azhwar? Isn’t this the reason why Aramudan Perumal is called as Aramudan Azhwan and Thirumahizhai Azhwar as Thirumahizhai Piran because the Lord obliged to Azhwar’s request by getting up from His reclined position? Even today we can worship Aramudan Perumal in His semi reclined posture. Didn’t you also narrate how Yathothakari Perumal got-up from His snake bed, packed His bed and followed the Azhwar out of the Pallava Kingdom? Isn’t this the reason why Yathothakari Perumal is called as “sonna vannam seida Perumal” in Tamil?’

Thus Andal considered Thirumahizhai Azhwar to be her role model since he conversed with Perumal in Archai form. She refers to this by “kallandu pesina pecharavam kettilayo”.
By “pei penne” she indicates to us that she is speaking about Thirumahizhai Azhwar as he was the disciple of Pei Azhwar.

Thirumahizhai Azhwar always used the style of “venba” for his pasurams since he ended his pasuram with the “oo” sound in Tamil. Andal thus gives us another clue by using the venba style for “kaasum pirappu” and ending the verse in “oo” sound.
Narayanan Moorthy is another clue about Thirumahizhai Azhwar since he explained about the meaning of Narayana Shabtham in Thiruchanda Vritham.
Azhwar was also the first Azhwar to explain the meaning of the name Kesavan as “Ka plus Isan” that is Lord Narayanan is the creator of Brahma known as “Ka” and Sivan known as “Isan”.

The final clue to the identity of Thirumahizhai Azhwar in the pasuram is when Nachiar calls the girl as “dhEsamudaiyaay “. Andal describes the girl to be radiant. Thirumahizhai Azhwar is the incarnation of the Lord’s Sudarsana Chakram and hence he is considered to be the most radiant amongst the Azhwars. 
Continued On:

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