SrI: SrImathE SatakOpAya nama: SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama: SrImath varavaramunayE nama:
Highlights from avathArikai (Introduction)
Here, in this pAsuram, parakAla nAyaki is sending a beetle as messenger. She is saying “While your life is fulfilled, you have seen that my life is not so! Should you not inform emperumAn, who has arrived to eliminate my shortcomings?”
thUviriya malar uzhakkith thuNaiyOdum piriyAdhE
pUviriya madhu nugarum poRivariya siRu vaNdE!
thIviriya maRai vaLarkkum pugazhALar thiruvAli
Evari venjlaiyAnukku en nilaimai uraiyAyE
thU – wings
viriya – to spread
malar – well blossomed flowers
uzhakki – stomped
thuNaiyOdum – with your spouse
piriyAdhE – without separating
pU – flowers
viriya – as they blossom
madhu – the honey in those flowers
nugarum – drinking
poRi – dots
variya – having stripes
siRu vaNdE – Oh little beetle!
thI viriya – to have the fire rise
maRai – vaidhika boundaries
vaLarkkum pugazh ALar – those who are having fame due to conducting without any shortcomings, their
thiruvAli – eternally residing in thiruvAli
Evari venjilaiyAnukku – for sarvESvaran who is holding arrow and beautiful bow in his hands
en nilaimai – my situation
uraiyAy – you should inform.
Oh little beetle who stomped on well blossomed flowers to have your wings spread, who without separating from your spouse, are drinking honey in the flowers as they blossom, are having dots and stripes! You should inform my situation to sarvESvaran who is holding arrow and beautiful bow in his hands and is eternally residing in thiruvAli which is home to those who are having fame due to conducting [rituals], without any shortcomings for the vaidhika boundaries, to have the (sacrificial) fire always rise.
Highlights from vyAkyAnam (Commentary)
thUviriya malar uzhakki – thU viriya – to have the wings spread, stomping the flower; alternatively – thU viriya – thUydhAga virindha – that is stomping the well blossomed flower. Due to separation, she was avoiding to see the flower, and standing in a humble manner. The beetles, due to the joy of union, expanded their wings; SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 16.25 “naishA paSyathi rAkshasyO nEmAn pushpa pala dhrumAn | EkasthahrudhayA nUnam rAmamEvAnupaSyathi ||” (sIthA is not seeing the rAkshasis; she is not seeing the trees filled with flowers and fruits; with single-focused mind, she is only seeing SrI rAma) – for sIthAp pirAtti, there is no difference between seeing rAkshasis and seeing trees filled with flowers and fruits. SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 28.17 “nagOththamam pushpitham AsasAdha” (she approached the best trees) – just as someone approaches blazing fire, the well grown tree was filled with flowers. AsasAdha – Her detachment towards life is visible.
malar uzhakki – The flower which seems to be fire for parakAla nAyaki, is being treated by the beetle as mud. The flower, honey, buds and the fragrance mixed and was stomped. They [beetles] need not be carefully stepping on flowers. As said in thiruvAimozhi 6.1.6 “punnai mEl uRai pUnguyilgAL” (Oh young cuckoos who are residing on punnai flower!), the flowers which are the abodes for birds, feel like fire-place for her.
She enquired “Why does it feel like stepping on fire?” [She realised that] They have the manthram which will let them remain on fire without getting burnt; the manthram is,
thuNaiyOdum – When there is a couple, they can sustain on flower! Unlike me who is sending messenger, you are living along with your spouse!
thuNaiyOdum – She is thinking about her own state [where she is separated from emperumAn]. thuNai (companion) means one person protects and other is protected. It is said in thiruvAimozhi 10.3.4 “thuNai pirindhAr thuyaramum ninaigilai” (You did not think about my suffering, where I have separated from my companion (you)). siRiyAththAn would say “thuNai does not mean pair/couple; it only indicates a single person (who cares), i.e. the hero). Just as it was meant to say “unnaip pirindhAr“, here also thuNai means the male beetle.
piriyAdhE – We are fortunate to have the messengers remaining a couple and not having to face the same suffering.
thUviriya malar uzhakkith thuNaiyOdum piriyAdhE – What a strange desire to see the messengers also have same disease [of suffering in separation]! SrI rAmAyaNam kishkindhA kANdam 1.40 “mayUrasya vanE nUnam rakshasA na hruthA priyA” (Certainly, no one has abducted the peacock’s spouse). perumAL is saying “Has that evil person not come to this place where these peacocks are present?” perumAL thinks that rAvaNa will separate whoever is remaining as pairs.
pU viriya madhu nugarum – Just as prideful princes will abandon used mattress and climb a new mattress, the beetle is moving away from well blossomed flower to a newly blossomed flower and drinking honey; their entry and the flower blossoming happen at the same time. Just as southerly breeze, sun rays and time, the arrival of these beetles will also cause the flower to blossom. Just as two persons who have already spoken and made arrangements such that when one touches the door, the other will open, by the wind blowing from their wings, the flower is blossoming.
pU viriya – Their arrival is becoming the reason for the flower’s blossoming instead of shrinking.
madhu nugarum – SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 36.41 “namAmsam rAghavO bhungthE nachApi madhu sEvathE” (he is neither indulging in meat nor in alcohol) – your body is opposite to mine where I am weakened due to fasting! She is now blaming the beetle. They are drinking the honey, to have strength for their union with each other.
nugarum – They are not stopping the consumption of honey; they can stop drinking if it is for themselves; but here, they are drinking for each other; just as on particular occasions [like the day of marriage], the couple will eat from same plate [they are drinking together]; only when the honey goes below the throat will it satiate [one sucks the honey and gives to the other]; now, they are not drinking this honey to sustain themselves; are they not having it as a side-dish for their mutual enjoyment! Only when you make me also enjoy in this manner along with you, will your enjoyment be fulfilled. Is it not fair to feed those who have not eaten in the night? What kind of attitude is this to enjoy without sharing the joy with others!
poRi variya – Oh beetle who is having dots and stripes! The shine acquired by the union is visible in your body. The bodily features of the gatakas (those who unite) are as much goal as the noble qualities of their selves. One should not see inferiority based on one’s birth, in the case of those who unite us with emperumAn.
siRu vaNdE – To help parakAla nAyaki, the beetle’s body is already small. One need not assume a very small form at the time of execution [like hanumAn who had to make himself small while going to lankA]. hanuman reduced his body size as said in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 2.47 “prushadhamSaka mAthrassan” (With the body size that is equal to that of a cat). These beetles need not be mentioned as said in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam1.207 “chachAra nAnAvidha vEshadhArI” (He roamed around assuming different forms).
poRi variya … – As said in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 27.47 “prASamsatha mahAkapim” (She praised hanuman). hanuman’s greatness is similar to that of emperumAn as said in thiruvAimozhi 4.3.10 “Eththa Eththa engeydhum” (As we continue to praise, we cannot see the end); rishi is saying that to speak about the greatness of hanuman is to try and take out water from ocean to make it dry. [SlOkam 27.47 is explained here] thathassA – After hearing the story of SrI rAma from thiruvadi (hanuman), she regained her existence. hrImathi – As said in “sathi dharmiNi dharmAS chinthyanthE” (Only after the entity is established, its qualities can be analysed), after regaining her existence, the natural qualties of women started showing in her. bAlA – She was unable to bear overwhelming joy. bharthus sandhESa harshithA – She became joyful hearing the words of SrI rAma, her protector. parithushtA – the way the joy overflowed. viSAlAkshI prAchamsatha – She started praising. mahAkapim – Like a person trying to dry out an ocean with his hand, she tried to praise him.
Assuming that – hearing these, the beetle became shy and said “Why are you praising us who are waiting to execute your orders? Will the one who united with you and left you and is not showing mercy even after seeing your state, listen to our words? This is why we are hesitating”, parakAla nAyaki is speaking further.
thI viriya ... – Don’t you think like that. The residents of his town are very righteous. If you inform my situation, they will send him immediately; they will send him thinking “Are we worshipping someone who is very cruel towards woman?” So, informing my situation is only required. This is the abode where those who would look at the sufferers and say “Alas!” and who are engaged in apt activities, are gathered; they will definitely send him; once they send him, he has no other refuge than me.
thI viriya … – In thiruvAli which belongs to the brAhmaNas who are famous for conducting the fire without crossing the vaidhika boundaries and where the fire expands like blossomed lotus.
She says “This is the abode where people of noble qualities are gathered; you blame him showing your body and saying ‘he is tormentor of woman’ “; the beetles responded “Even if we went and informed, and even if he starts his journey, what can he do if he has hurdles on his way to you?” She says “No need to fear as long as he has his bow in his hand”. If he starts towards us, he won’t have any hurdles.
Evari vem silaiyAnukku – Is he not holding the bow in his hand to ensure that no one cries out in sorrow? [Message is] For SrI rAma who is having the bow which will engage anyone who holds it in a battle, which is beautiful due to having stripes and strong, and which will torment the stomach of the enemies in the way it is held.
The beetles ask her “You have explained our nature, where we are the ones going as messengers; you have explained the nature of the one to whom we are carrying the message; but what is your message which needs to be given to him?”
en nilaimai – How can I explain what cannot be explained in words! You have seen my form; now you have to use the apt words to explain my situation. She believes that more than herself, those who have seen her can explain her situation with words. She is considering this beetle to be as good as hanuman, who is aindhra vyAkaraNa paNdithan (very great scholar).
uraiyAyE – It is said that when a gandharva arrested dhuryOdhana and was carrying him away, dhuryOdhana called out for dharmaputhra and subsequently, dharmaputhra, out of compassion, rescued him; [she is saying] unlike that, is emperumAn of such nature that he will not help the one who desired for him and is suffering in separation from him?
uraiyAyE – You need not bring him; you just need to inform him – that is all I need; coming here is his responsibility; if he does not come, it will be a shortcoming, being a protector. After you inform him, he will follow your words and come.
In the next article we will enjoy the next pAsuram.
adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan
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