periya thirumadal – avathArikai – Part 2

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In thamizh literature it is said “kadalanna kAmaththarAgilum mAdhar madalUrAr maRRaiyAr mEl” (even if their lust is as deep as the sea, women will not engage in madal). Thus, while men are permitted to engage in madal, women are forbidden from engaging in it. When this is the case, why did parakAla nAyaki engage in madal? This should not be taken as something forbidden by vEdhas, just like the order of a king [king’s order should never be crossed]. Since lust lends itself to the wishes of individuals, there is nothing wrong if someone engages in madal in the matter of that person’s earnest desire. If it is forbidden by vEdhas, even lust should function just like obeying the order of a king. But we do not see it that way.

Who were the ones who had engaged in madal? SrI rAma, in SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 64-75 says “sadhEva gandharva manushya pannagam jagath saSailam parivarthayAmyaham” (I will invert the world which is inhabited by dhEvas, gandharvas (celestial entities), human beings and snakes). He also says in SrI rAmAyaNam AraNya kANdam 60-17 “aSOka sOkApanudhaSOkOpahatha chEthasam I thvan nAmAnam kuru priyAsandharSanEna mAm II” (Oh the aSOkA tree which removes the sorrow of all! By revealing the whereabouts of my beloved, turn me, who is hurt deeply, into one without sorrow, just like your name, aSOka); he says in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 124-7 “na mE snAnam bahumatham vasthrANyAbharaNAni cha I tham vinA kaikEyiputhram bharatham dharmachAriNam II” (without the righteous bharatha, the son of kaikEyi, I do not desire bath, dresses or ornaments) and further says in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 33-7 “yA na SakyA purA dhrashtum bhUthairAkASagairapi I thAmadhya sIthAm paSyanthi rAjamArgagathA janA: II ” (sIthA, who could not be seen by those who live in the skies too, is seen today by all on the regal path). Thus, those who had been smitten by love would engage in madal. We have seen similar behaviour in people such as vAsavadhaththai. We have seen only those who are belonging to regal families engaging in madal. Is this parakAla nAyaki too a rAjaputhri (daughter of a regal entity)?

SrI vishNu purANam 1-9-11 says “sa SlAghya: sa guNi dhanyas sa kulInas sa budhdhimAn I sa SUra: sa cha vikrAnthO yam thvam dhEvi nirIkshasE II” (Oh SrIdhEvi! Whoever you glance at mercifully is the greatest; he is the repository of all auspicious qualities; he is fortunate; he is born in a great clan; he is wise; he is valorous; he is brave). mUnRAm thiruvandhAdhi pAsuram 10 says “thEsum thiRalum thiruvum uruvamum mAsil kudippiRappum maRRavaiyum pEsil valam purindha vAn sangam koNdAn pErOdha nalam purindhu nangadaiyum vandhu ” (if one were to recite the divine names of the one who has the white conch which has curled towards the right, he or she will get all benefits such as esteem, capability to win over enemies, wealth, beauty, being born in a faultless clan and various others which have not been mentioned, with the benefits coming on their own). periya thirumozhi 1-1-9 says “kulam tharum selvam thandhidum adiyAr paduthuyar AyinavellAm nilandharam seyyum nILvisumbaruLum aruLodu perunilam aLikkum valam tharum maRRum thandhidum peRRa thAyinum Ayina seyyum nalam tharum sollai nAn kaNdukoNdEn nArAyaNA ennum nAmam” (By reciting the divine name nArAyaNa, one will get a great lineage, wealth, removal of all sorrows, paramapadham (SrI vaikuNtam), emperumAn’s mercy, kainkaryam to emperumAn, bravery, many other benefits which  have not been stated, more than what a mother will be able to do for her son; I found all these in the divine words namO nArAyaNa).  Just as it has been mentioned in these references, by a mere glance from SrIman nArAyaNa, she (parakAla nAyaki) will get all the greatness of a rajaputhri and hence there is no impediment in her engaging with madal.

She was like a withered garland, having been separated from bhagavAn. Having deep love for him, while she decided to engage with madal and ventured into it, her face was cool and beautiful similar to one who had had a bath and a satisfying feast, unlike the cruel face with anger of one who was fiery. This mood is similar to the one described in periya thirumozhi 2-7-2 “thuLambadu muRuval thOzhiyarkkaruLAL thuNaimulai sAndhu koNdaNiyAL kuLambadu kuvaLaik kaNNiNai ezhudhAL kOlananmalar kuzhaRkaNiyAL vaLambadu munnIr vaiyam munnaLandha mAlennum mAlinamozhiyAL” (This girl is having her speech aligned with her bewildered look. She is not smiling at her friends with her teeth which are like the seeds of pomegranate; she is not decorating her bosom with sandalwood paste; she is not applying black pigment to her eyes, which are like the purple lily in the pond; she is not wearing beautiful flowers on her hair; she is saying that emperumAn measured the worlds which are surrounded with oceans, which are the repository of invaluable gems).

bhImasEna told hanumAn that SrI rAma’s divine form with bow in his hand is manifested in hanumAn’s body as mentioned in mahAbhAratham AraNya parvam 149-8 “nirguNa paramAthmA’sau dhEham dhEvyApyathishtathi I thamaham gyAna vigyEyam nAvamanyE na langhayE II” (that supreme being SrI rAma, with bow which has not been drawn, is present in your body, having permeated it; I will not dishonour him and I will not cross him over). Just as bhImasEna told hanumAn that SrI rAma’s divine form is manifested in his body, parakAla nAyaki’s friend saw the firmness in nAyaki’s body that she will engage in madal. Knowing that the nAyaki is going to engage in madal just as mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 4-6-1OrppAl ivvoNNudhal uRRa nal nOy idhu thERinOm” (we are very confident that this girl who has a beautiful forehead is afflicted with a distinguished disease and we can prove it), the friend tried to dissuade her saying “ Considering your lineage, beauty and qualities and considering his greatness just as mentioned in SrI rAmAyaNam bAla kANdam 77-32 “thayA sa rAjarishi suthO’bhirAmAyA samEyivAnuththamarAjakanyayA I athIva rAma: SuSubhE’thikAmayA vibhU: SriyA vishNuivAmarESvara: II” (that SrI rAma, the son of rAjarishi dhaSaratha, being together with sIthAppirAtti who is beautiful and a regal lady, appeared like vishNu bhagavAn, who is the dhEva of all dhEvas, along with his consort SrIdhEvi), this firmness that you have of engaging in madal is not proper. The people of the town will despise you. Your father and mother too will give up on you. Responding to that, the nAyaki proves here that other than engaging in madal there is no other distinguished benefit for her birth, just as nammAzhwAr had mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 5-3-2enseyyum Uravar kavvai thOzhi ini nammai” (what will the slanderous words of the townspeople will do me in this matter?), in thiruvAimozhi 5-3-6annai enseyyilen Ur en sollilen” (what does it matter as to what my mother does to me or what the people of the town say?) and in thiruvAimozhi 5-3-10yAm madal Urndhum emmAzhiyangaip pirAnudaith thUmalar thaNNandhuzhAy malar koNdu sUduvOm” (even if I have to engage in madal, I will do that so that emperumAn who has beautiful and divine hand holding the divine chakra will grant me the cool garland of thuLasi which has sacred petals and I will adorn it on my head).

Instead of engaging in madal immediately, why is parakAla nAyaki responding to the questions of her friend and spending time?  Just as lakshmaNa came running once SrI rAma ordered him, as in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 21-22 “chApamAnaya saumithrE” (bring the bow, oh son of sumithrA!) and just as emperumAn came running as soon as AzhwAr mentioned in thiruvAimozhi 5-3-11iraikkum karum kadal vaNNan” (emperumAn who has the complexion of the resounding dark ocean), parakAla nAyaki thinks that emperumAn will be upset (if she engages in madal) and come running to her. Hence she threatens him like those who stand behind a screen and threaten others. Her friend is also playing her role in the hope that he will come at some point of time and spend time with the nAyaki.

We will next take up the first two lines of periya thirumadal pAsuram.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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