thirunedunthANdakam – 11 – Part 1

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In the previous pAsuram he said with sadness ‘mudhal AnAyE’. With that fear, he reached the state of a female; that too she (as parakAla nAyaki) is unconscious and so not in a position to call on here own (mood); she is talking through someone else, as the prabandham proceeds further from here.

That is – as she (as pirAtti) united using the natural method (gAndharva type of wedding) [a type of wedding in which the man and his lady love get married without the consent of elders] and then got separated; due to that sadness – it kept happening that she would go into alternating states of consciousness and unconsciousness, and that too in incorrect ways (instead of feeling sad and fainting, she would faint and feel sad (ayarththu irangum)); her groups of relatives were not able to figure out that such and such could be done for this, or not done for this; not knowing the reason behind this disease, those with expertise in medicine and magic entered the scene and started their attempts to cure this disease; at that point, a diviner (kattuvichchi) who is devoted to emperumAn said ‘You are not understanding the reason for her disease; she got this disease due to emperumAn; it can be removed only by Him’.

AzhvAr divines about his state through this pAsuram as the words of the mother saying about the actions of her daughter and about the words of the diviner that she heard, to those who came to inquire.

If one objects – ‘But AzhvAr reaching the state of pirAtti is not fit’ – actually – it would fit very well; since for the pirAttis (divine consorts of emperumAn) and for AzhvAr there is a proper match of ananyArha SEshathvam (not belonging to anyone else but only to emperumAn), and since as said in ‘namakkum pUvin misai nangaikkum [thiruvAimozhi – 4.5.8]’, the enjoyment of Him are same for them, and since as said in ‘muhUrthamapi jeevAvO jalAn mathsyAvivOdhDhRuthou [SrI rAmAyaNam – ayOdhyA kANdam – 53-31](like how a fish separated from water would live only for a short time (till the time there is some supporting water in its body), seethA and I too would live only for a short time (till the time it takes to realize that Your mind is thinking of separation)), like what iLaiya perumAL (lakshmaNan) said about seethAp pirAtti while including himself (being a male) about their inability to survive His separation, it is matching for this AzhvAr also; so there is no problem in AzhvAr reaching the state of a female;

If asking – even then, is it possible for the perception of being a female to be born for AzhvAr (who is a male)? As said ‘svAmithva Athmathva SEshithva pumsvAdhyA: svAminO guNA:| svEbHyO dhAsathva dhEhathva SEshathva sthreethva dhAyina:’ (Lordship, being AthmA, getting benefits, being a male are emperumAn’s characteristics; these give to jIvAthmas, respectively, the characteristics of subservience, being the body (with emperumAn as AthmA), and being of help/giving to others, and being a female), since the maleness of emperumAn is of the nature of giving femaleness to others, it is acceptable to get the mindset that ‘I am a female’. Getting to the mindset of femaleness is not based on him having characteristics of a female body; it is based on love that female would get toward male.

If asking – where have we seen those of same gender getting the mindset of opposite gender? As said in ‘pAnchAlyA: padhmapathrAkShyA: snAyanthyA: jagHanam gHanam| yA: sthriyO dRushtavathyasthA: pumbhAvam manasA yayu:’ (When dhraupadhi, one with eyes like petals of lotus, was taking bath, the other women on seeing the big and beautiful backside of hers thought in their minds that they should become men), due to the greatness of her beauty, the passion that arises for men when seeing such women arose for these of same gender. Likewise, it is acceptable for passion to arise for AzhvAr also in the matter of purushOththaman (emperumAn) that which arises for women. It is the special quality in someone that brings the mindset of opposite gender in others. So he is getting into the state of a pirAtti (female consort).

Furthermore, what is the thought behind saying that AzhvAr fornicated with emperumAn based on natural ways (gAndharva type of marriage)? What it implies is – only based on the relationship that sarvESvaran is having towards the sentient, He takes them under His wings without any attempts from their side (nirhEthuka vishayeekAram). If asking How? – (thamizh texts explain fornication based on wedding in natural way (gAndharva wedding) in this way) – when a girl goes outside to a grove and is plucking flowers, her lover, in the name of going hunting, comes there, and her friends are also separated from her due to other activities, and now, only due to the reason of Him being a male and Her being a female, even though there is no one to remind them or join them, they fornicate; this is the natural way of fornication. Femininity is – the state being there fully for a male. Masculinity of the other party is – being the lord that befits the true nature of others (as servitors), and being the protector in all ways; so, this natural way is talking about His taking us without expecting any action from us.

But, when emperumAn is taking us up, (if saying nirhEthukam), why is there a need for some AchAryas who remind Him, and why is there is a need for ones like pirAtti who help in joining/recommending us? AchAryan reminding at that time is to highlight the relationship of ‘owner – property’ between emperumAn and jIvAthmAs. In jIvAthmAs, AchAryan removes the thought of considering body as AthmA, and the thought ‘I am independent’ which arises due to the connection of AthmA with body. pirAtti unites them to Him by making Him forgive their mistakes by reminding Him about His relationship with them and about the qualities like vAthsalayam in Him that arise based on such relationship.

Furthermore, what is the thought behind the words of this pAsuram that says there are people with medicine and magic that are trying to cure her disease without realizing her state, and there is a diviner (kattuvichchi) who tries to stop their activities? Disease that comes due to interest in worldly matters may be curable by other means (like medicine, magic); in case of disease due to interest in Him, it is He, who is the reason behind the disease, who has to come and cure it. (Since) the togetherness with Him will be there till the time there is AthmA (forever), and since this love is as per the true nature of them, it cannot be cured (if separated, or, by other means).

AzhvAr is speaking as Himself first (in first 10 pAsurams), and then is speaking as a mother in the next 10 pAsurams). How does this fit? When a river is flowing, when its water level increases, in addition to staying within its shores it would fill branching canals as well, all the while being full by itself and merge into the sea. Likewise, due to his overflowing love, when the words of mother also happens without any deficit, it would be fitting that his own words also happen in parallel without any deficit.Furthermore, when parakAla nAyaki (female name of thirumangai AzhvAr when he is in that state), is in fainted state, as said in ‘bHruSam bHavathi dhu:kHitha: [SrI rAmAyaNam – ayOdhyA kAndam – 2-40]’ (if seeing His people’s suffering, SrI rAman becomes sad (more than them)), when her mother is supposed to be even more sad, does it fit that she is saying the words with clarity in these pAsurams? When chakravarththy thirumagan was having sadness upon separation of (seethAp) pirAtti, iLaiyaperumAL’s sadness would have been double due to sadness of perumAL and due to the tiredness of performing services in the forest, iLaiya perumAL tolerated that based on understanding that it is time to do so, and spoke clearly to perumAL and consoled Him; likewise, it is appropriate for the mother here to speak clearly considering the survival of her daughter; while the one to be protected is sad, the protector though having equal sadness would need to do the hard task of tolerating it and speaking clearly.

How is the mother’s speech the reason for the daughter’s survival? Since kattuvichchi’s words are about emperumAn (which the mother tells others), and since her activities are based on detachment, and since the mother also talks about Him as ‘Oh this girl is suffering the suffering that He is supposed to undergo by seeing this girl’s beauty’, it is proper that these words will help the girl survive. Also, since this kattuvichchi is unlike the kattuvichchi in ‘theerppArai yAm ini [thiruvAimozhi – 4.6]’, but is like the kattuvichchi of siriya thirumadal who is devoted only to emperumAn, parakAla nAyaki thinks ‘even if my disease is not cured, it would be enough to get the touch of such kattuvichchi’, and so since the talk is about such kattuvichi, it would help in parakAla nAyaki’s survival.

Furthermore, the first ten pAsurams are his own words as AzhvAr; second ten pAsurams are mother’s words; third ten pAsurams are the words of pirAtti (AzhvAr as parakAla nAyaki). As said in ‘machchiththA: madhgathaprANA: bOdHayantha: parasparam [SrI bhagavath gIthA – 10.9]’ ((1) (they are having life) with their mind directed towards me, (2) having the life that is about me, and (3) and discuss among each other (about whatever characteristics they each enjoyed in me), these three phrases are the meanings for three Tens respectively (this is established by preceptors (pUrvAchAryas)).

machchiththA: is madhEkachiththA: (they have directed their mind Only toward me); without mixing of interest in other things, being there only for Him (ananyArha:), not having anything else as enjoyable (ananyabhOgya🙂 AzhvAr speaks as himself about emperumAn only, so the first ten is based on gyAnam (clear knowledge about facts). Second ten – due to the gyAnam came vairAgyam (no interest in other matters, staunchness in Him), through which it talks about the greatness of love of parakAla nAyaki towards emperumAn; Third ten – since the love is ebbing this way, it talks about spending time with other devotees while living here until the time of reaching Him.

madhgathaprANA: (them having their survival based on me)is the meaning shown by second ten pAsurams, since it is not being her words but she has fainted, and it is based on the words from the mouth of the mother.

bOdhayantha: parasparam – Third ten pAsurams are set as the discussion between parakala nAyaki and her female friend (thOzhi) about their experience towards emperumAn.

In this second ten pAsurams, first pAsuram, the mother is explaining to those who came inquiring, about the daughter’s lack of interest in other matters, and about the words of kattuvichchi (diviner). This pAsuram is having one phrase here telling the inquirers, and another phrase there expressing her wonder. ‘Oh what a deep lover she is towards emperumAn that she becomes so sad when separated from Him!’ is the internally running happiness in the mother.

If (the mother is) so happy in her heart, why does she not convey that to those who came inquiring? Since it is the natural union (gAndharva type wedding), she is unable to talk about that to them. She can say it only if the wedding happened through the recommendation of others; we can celebrate one’s relationship with emperumAn only if it happened through AchAryan’s advice.

(Isn’t the perturbation/fainting (parakAla nAyaki’s state) to be avoided?) – The perturbation, when he was one among the samsAris (people interested in worldly matters), was due to ignorance; after getting the true knowledge (through emperumAn’s thiruvashtAksharam), that got cleared; the perturbation that is present now is due to true knowledge, and it cannot be cleared till the time there is AthmA – is the meaning highlighted in this pAsuram.

pattudukkum ayarththirangum pAvai pENAL
pani nedunkaN neer thathumbap paLLi koLLAL
ettuNaipOdhu en kudankAL irukkakillAL
  emperumAn thiruvarangam engE? ennum
mattuvikki maNi vaNdu muralum kUndhal
  mada mAnai idhu seydhAr thammai, meyyE
kattuvichchi sol ennach chonnAL nangAy
  kadal vaNNar idhu seydhAr kAppAr ArE?                       11

Word by word meaning

pattu udukkum – She wears herself the silk saree;
ayarththu irangum – faints and feels sad;
pAvai pENAL – does not like (to play with) her wooden human toy (marappAchhi);
pani nedu kaN neer thathumba – with tears brimming in her long cool eyes,
paLLi koLLAL – she does not sleep;
en kudankAL irukka killAL – she is not able to stay put in my lap
eL thuNaip pOdhu – even for a second;
ennum – she asks –
enge – where is
thiru arangamthe divine place SrIrangam
emperumAn – of emperumAn;
kUndhal – she having hair
maNi vaNdu – with beautiful bees
muralum – buzzing
mattu vikki – with drunk honey choking them,
mada mAnai – this girl child who is like a beautiful deer,
kattuvhichchi ! – “Oh the (female) diviner!
idhu seydhAr thammai – who brought her to this state?
meyyE sol enna – Tell me the truth.”, as I asked her this,
kadal vaNNar idhu seydhAr (enRu) sonnAL – ‘The one having the color like that of the sea, perumAL, has created this state” – she said.
nangAy – Oh dear women (friends)! (If He, the protector has done this),
kAppAr ArE – who else is there who could remove this danger?


Started in part 2.


Translation by raghuram SrInivAsa dAsan

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