Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Thirupavai Pasuram 18

Continued From:

Sri Rangam Sri Ranganayaki Thayar

undhu madha kaLitran Odaadha thOL valiyan
nandhagOpan marumagaLE nappinnaay

After waking up Nanda Gopalan and Yashoda, the gopis proceeded to wake Goddess Nappinnai who is the consort of Lord Krishna and the incarnation of Neela Devi Nachiar.
‘Oh daughter in law of Nanda Gopalan,’ addressed the girls.

Krishna’s wedding to Nappinnai

We know that Lord Krishna was only a child while residing in Vrindavan. Yashoda and Nanda Gopan hadn’t even performed the Upanayanam ceremony for Him. Then how did the Lord get married to Nappinnai while at Vrindavan?
After lord Krishna’s incarnation Neela Devi Nachiar incarnated as the daughter of Yashoda’s brother Kumban near Nepal.  As she incarnated after the Lord, she came to be called as “Pinnai” and as she is always good, the prefix “nal” was added to her name thus changing her name to Nappinnai.
As soon as Nappinnai incarnated the happy Kumban purchased seven identical male calves from the market.
‘I am going to raise these seven bulls with my daughter. The young man who controls these seven when my daughter comes off age will get her hand in marriage!’
The next day when Kumban visited the barn, he was surprised to see that the calves had grown into adult bulls overnight as they were Asuras in disguise. The bulls started to torment the people and Kumban was unable to find a person who could control them. Soon Nappinnai turned three years old when Yashoda visited her brother along with a five year old Krishna.
‘Your son is very beautiful! I can see that He will turn into a handsome youth. I wish I can promise Nappinnai to Him but I made a foolish vow that I will give her hand in marriage only to the man who can control all seven bulls tied in my barn,’ said Kumban.
‘Uncle, don’t worry,’ said Krishna, ‘I will subdue those bulls this very second!’
Kumban laughed at the sweet child but was terrified when Krishna went in search of the bulls. ‘Yashoda stop your son! I am afraid that He might get hurt!’
As Yashoda and Kumban rushed to the barn they found that Krishna had killed all seven bulls with one blow!
‘What a marvel!’ exclaimed Kumban.
As promised he gave Nappinnai in marriage to Krishna but as they were only children, Kumban allowed Yashoda to take Nappinnai with her so that she could raise the two together.
This story is mentioned by Swami Desikan in Yadhavabudhayam. Periazhwar sang about Nappinnai in his neeratam pasurams as shown below.

To the eyes of Yashoda and Nanda Gopan Nappinnai and Krishna appeared as children while existing as Perumal and Thayar in solitude.
Jayadevar in his ashtapathi mentions the following incident.
Once Nanda Gopalan had to supervise some work at his plantation and the two year old Krishna wished to go with him.
‘Krishna you can’t go with father!’ said Yashoda pulling the child away from Nanda Gopalan.
‘Let the child   come with me,’ said Nanda Gopalan.
‘Never! You will be caught up with your work and forget about Krishna. I won’t send Him with you!’
At that time the eighteen year old Radha entered their house.
‘Yashoda ma, may I baby sit Krishna for you today?’ she asked.
‘Radha, Krishna wants to go to the plantation with his father. Will you go with them and take care of Krishna?’
‘I would love to!’ said Radha.
Thus Radha carried baby Krishna on her hips and followed Nanda Gopalan. As they entered the plantation the sky darkened. Krishna started to cry as if He was afraid of the dark.
‘Radha, poor Krishna is afraid. Will you take Him back to Yashoda?’
Radha agreed to return home. In the evening Nanda Gopalan returned home and called eagerly for Krishna as he hadn’t seen Him all day.
Yashoda came running.
‘Why are you calling for Krishna? Why have you returned without my child?’
‘Radha took Krishna home as He started to cry. Haven’t they returned home yet?’
At that moment Radha’s father came looking for her.
‘Where is my daughter? I thought that she accompanied you to the plantation,’
As the three of them expressed their concern about their missing children, they saw Radha return home with baby Krishna.
‘Why didn’t you return home sooner?’ asked Radha’s father.
‘As I came out of the plantation the Sun came back. Krishna wanted to sit under a tree on the banks of Yamuna and listen to stories,’ said Radha.
They all believed Radha’s words but in reality as soon as they left the plantation Krishna turned Himself into a twenty year old youth and they had been frolicking on the banks of Yamuna.
Thus Nappinnai and Krishna appeared like children to Yashoda and Nanda Gopalan while existing as Perumal and Thayar when they were alone. They revealed their true selves only to the gopi girls.

Thayar’s Purushakaratvam Revealed:

Andal Nachiar instructs us to approach Perumal through Thayar in this pasuram since Thayar is the only one who has “purushakaram” i.e. she recommends to Perumal to grant us Moksham. If we approach Perumal directly, He will refuse to grant moksham since He has instructed that we should live according to the shastras. He refuses to accept us till we are thrown in hell to purify our sins. Thayar intercedes on our behalf and makes Him accept us with our sins as she points out to Him that He will be unable to find a single person who is free of sins. She uses her sweet words to make Perumal overlook our sins. This is mentioned by Sri Parasara Bhattar in Gunaratna Kosam. She even threatens to overrule His decision and grants us Moksham if He Himself doesn’t accept us. Thus Thayar works to help us by representing our requests to Perumal. There are six reasons behind Thayar’s name as “Sri Devi”. These six points are also part of Sri Suktam and anyone who mentions this pasuram gets the same fruit obtained by chanting Sri Suktam.
1.     She listens to our requests. This action is called as Shrunothi. The one who listens actively is named Sri. Perumal doesn’t listen to our requests as He has already reached a decision regarding our fate.
2.     She makes Him listen to our requests. This action is called as Shravayathi. The person who does this action is also known as Sri.

3.     She is very easily approachable. This is known as Shriyathe and hence her name is derived as Sri.
4.     She does prapatti at the Lord’s feet on our behalf. She is attained by us and this is called as Shrayathe. Thus her name can once again be derived as Sri.
5.     She removes our sins with her grace. This is called as Shrinathi and hence her name becomes Sri.
6.     She allows us to go along the path we have chosen even if it is wrong for us but she follows us closely and slowly leads us back on to the right path. This is Shrinathi and her name is derived as Sri.
Because of the above six actions performed by her, the number six is associated with her.
Swami Vedanta Desikan has mentioned about the above six qualities in his Tamil pasuram on Lord Devanayakan.
Usually Perumal is engulfed on either side by Ubhaya nachiars but in the above photo, Andal Nachiar is flanked by Rangamannar on one side and vatapatra Sayee on the other side. Only at Sri Villiputhur Piratti is seen with 2 Perumals!

undhu madha kaLitran Odaadha thOL valiyan reveals Shrayathe while the next line nandhagOpan marumagaLE nappinnaay shows Shrayathe since Nanda Gopalan and Yashoda obtained her as their daughter in law. kandham kamazhum kuzhali kadai thiRavaay showsshriyathe while maadhavi(p) pandhal mEl pal kaal kuyilinangaL koovina kaaN shows Shrunothi since she is asked to listen to the songs of the cuckoo.
vandhu thiRavaay reveals her  Shravayathi action since she is asked to open the doors so that the girls can go before Perumal accompanied by her. chendhaamarai(k) kaiyaal shows Shrinathi since by blessing us with her hand she removes our sins.

According to the Vedas a person who chants Sri Suktam every day is blessed with prosperity. As not everyone is allowed to chant Sri Suktam and even those people who learn Sri Suktam cannot chant it properly, Andal Nachiar has blessed us with this pasuram. By chanting this pasuram regularly we get the same benefit of chanting Sri Suktam.

 Pasuram Meaning:

undhu madha kaLitran Odaadha thOL valiyan
nandhagOpan marumagaLE nappinnaay

Thayar always wakes up to the sound of elephants trumpeting. Thus the gopi girls ask her to wake up. When Vasudevar was arrested by Kamsan, Nanda Gopan took charge of Vasudevar’s elephants. Thus the elephants were always tied on the courtyard of Nanda Gopalan. These were big bull elephants in musth. The elephants with their tusks were capable of pushing enemies.
The girls addressed Nappinnai Piratti as Nanda Gopan’s daughter in law and not as Kumbhan’s daughter since women change their gothram after their wedding to that of their husband’s gothram.

kandham kamazhum kuzhali kadai thiRavaay

‘How do you know that I am here?’ asked Piratti when the girls called her.
‘We can smell the fragrance emitted from your locks. Since we have taken a vow not to use beauty products the smell has to be from your naturally sweet smelling locks!’
Thayar’s locks are fragrant. The gopi girls have undertaken a vow to not use fragrance in order to get Krishna but as Thayar is always with Krishna her locks are fragrant. The girls request her to open the door.
vandhu engum kOzhi azhaiththana kaaN maadhavi(p)
pandhal mEl pal kaal kuyilinangaL koovina kaaN
‘I will definitely allow you inside but it is too early now as it hasn’t dawned,’ replied Nappinnai Piratti from inside.
‘It has dawned because the rooster is crowing!’ answered the girls.
‘You must have disturbed the rooster from its sleep,’ answered Piratti.
‘Come and see for yourself, it is not just here but everywhere the roosters are crowing. Also, the cuckoo birds perched on top of the jasmine arbour have started to sing!’
The word Madhavi also reminds us about the Madhavi Mandapam near Noopura Gangai where Lord Azhagar comes during every aipassi shukla paksha dwadashi to bath in the water falls with His consorts. Even today the utsavar idols are placed under the water fall. The water from the falls is medicinal and has the capacity to make the idols shiny.
 Sri Kallazhagar at Madhavi Mandapam under Noopura Gangai
pandhu aar virali un maiththunan pEr paada(ch)
The girls peeped through the door and saw Piratti sleeping with a ball in one hand while embracing Lord Krishna with her other hand. The ball represents this Universe and all of us and is thus equivalent to a child. To her, we are like her child. She acts as the bridge between us and Perumal and is represented by letter “oo” in Tamil. Perumal is represented by “Aa” while we are represented by “Ma”. Thus this pasuram is only about Piratti since it begins with “Oo”.
‘We can see that you won the ball game last night when you played with Krishna! We feel safer since you are holding the ball. Let us in so that we can sing about your victory over your husband.’
Swami Vedanta Desikan describes Perumal and Thayar play a game of chess in which we along with other devathas, kinnaras, rakshashas etc are the coins. The chess board is made of three colours according to colours of satva gunam rajo and tamo gunam.

Maithunan is the Tamil word for husband.
Thayar did not wish to keep the girls waiting outside. She was about to open the door from her bed remotely when the girls stopped her.
chendhaamarai(k) kaiyaal seeraar vaLai olippa
vandhu thiRavaay magizhndhElOr embaavaay.
‘Please don’t open the door from bed! We want to hear you walk toward the door and open the door while your bangles jingle melodiously. We are unable to wear bangles as we have become very skinny since we are not with Krishna; only you are able to wear bangles as you are always with Him. You should open the door with a smile showing that you are happy to see us!’
Thayar was about to get up from bed when Perumal pulled her back because He wished to be the one to grant the girl’s wishes. Thus they started to compete with each other as it will be seen on the next pasuram.
Continued On:

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 I have never been afraid to ask questions. My parents have always encouraged me to accept facts only if it makes sense to me. They have always been against superstitions and  trained me not to accept any views or ideas without proper analysis.The respect I feel toward my culture and tradition are a result of my upbringing.  The names of God mentioned in other religions are one of His many names. Everyone has their own way of worship based on their upbringing and tradition; I respect other religions.
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