periya thirumadal

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

thirunaRaiyUr nambi with nAchchiyAr

parakAla nAyaki (thirumangai AzhwAr in feminine mood)

There are two thirumadal prabandhams (sacred hymns relating to the love that the nAyaki (lady) has towards the nAyaka (the man loved by the lady)) composed mercifully by thirumangai AzhwAr – siRiya thirumadal which deals with matters relating to krishNa and periya thirumadal, which deals with matters relating to thirunaRaiyUr nambi (emperumAn who resides as archA mUrthy (deity form) in thirunaRaiyur (a dhivyadhEsam or divine abode, near kumbakONam). The term madalUrdhal refers to the courage exhibited by the nAyaki (or nayAka), who, after finding that the nAyaka (or nAyaki) is not responding to her (or his) love, abuses him (her) for the all the world to see, so that the people of the world would help her (him) in uniting with him (her). thirumangai AzhwAr, who attains the emotional build-up of a woman, manifests such courage in these two madals. This is one of the ways in which a lady displays her emotions when her love becomes irrepressible and she forgets her basic nature. Our pUrvAchAryas (preceptors) would say that this (composing madal) along with fasting and mangaLASAsanam (praising emperumAn) should be considered as great behaviour since it is born out of ignorance caused by excessive devotion towards emperumAn which is complimented by knowledge about him. thirukkuRaL (a composition in thamizh) says “kadalanna kAmaththarAyinum mAdhar madalUrAr maRRaiyAr mEl” (women will not engage with madal even if they have love which is as deep as the ocean, towards their beloved) and “kadalanna kAmam uzhandhum madalERAp peNNiR perundhakkadhil” (there is nothing greater than a lady who does not engage in madal on her beloved even if her love is as deep as the ocean). But thirumangai AzhwAr, not subscribing to this view, says in this periya thirumadal that he subscribes to the view of the culture of the northerners (north of vindhya mountain)  in which it is accepted that irrespective of a person being man or woman, if the love becomes irrepressible, one can engage in madal. It should be appreciated that when desire for a person breaks out of the banks, like the river kAvEri in spate, it will shatter all the boundaries of stated rules and regulations.

In siRiya thirumadal, this AzhwAr had attempted to engage with madal on emperumAn krishNa. Since krishNa lived in a different age and he himself was lacking in a sense of honour [he didn’t mind being tied to a mortar by his mother for stealing butter, he put up with all the abuses which the herds-women hurled at him when he indulged in such mischief etc], it did not fructify. Hence, he attempts to compose a madal on the archAvathArap perumAL (emperumAn in deity form) at thirunaRaiyUr, who was very much present during his time, as a symbol of simplicity. Just as nammAzhwAr said in thiruvAimozhi 5-3-9madal Urdhum” (I will engage with madal), this AzhwAr too frightens emperumAn that he is going to engage with madal in order to make emperumAn to come to him. But in essence, he only frightened emperumAn but did not engage with madal and hence it could be said that there was no harm to the AzhwAr’s basic nature of total dependence on emperumAn.

periyavAchchAn piLLai

The vyAkyAnam for this pAsuram has been composed by periyavAchchAn piLLai as well as by azhagiya maNavALap perumAL nAyanAr. We will follow the vyAkyAnam of periyavAchchAn piLLai and add significant features mercifully given by azhagiya maNavALap perumAL nAyanAr wherever required.

Note: This Introduction is based on puththUr u vE krishNaswAmy iyengAr’s introduction to periya thirumadal vyAkyAnam.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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