Posted in Amalanaadhipiran, Naalayiram

Amalanaadhipiraan Song Seven: Kaiyinaar Suri Sangu

Preamble:
In keeping with the trend of the earlier songs, the Lord’s mouth, situated, a little above the neck, compels the Alvar’s attention. Is not the mouth the actual opening through which all the worlds, referred to, in the preceding song were gorged in ? The gulping of them all, down the throat, rooted in the neck is but a subsequent process. It is also noteworthy that Nammalvar has specifically addressed the Lord, atop Mount Venkatam, as the One with a mammoth mouth, which swallowed all the worlds (on this side of heaven) during the Deluge (Tiruvaymoli VI-10-1). In the present context, Pan Perumal gets reduced to the sad plight of the swimmer aided by a raft, halfway through. That is the Alvar, who had hitherto employed his mind for imbibing the exquisite charm of the Lord’s limbs, one by one, now stands dispossessed of his mind. How ? The mind was whisked away by the enchanting red lips of the Lord’s mouth, crying halt to further contemplation of the limbs upwards, right upto the Regal Crown, tall and majestic.

Text:
Kaiyinar curicankanalaliyar nilvarai pol
Meyyanar tulapavirayar kamalnilmuti em
Ayyanar Ani Aranganar aravinanai micai meya mayanar
Ceyyavay aiyo ennaic cintai kavarntatuve ! ||7||

Translation:
Alas ! my mind has away from me been whisked
By the coral lips of the wondorous Lord of exquisite charm,
Reposing on serpant-couch in ornate Arangam
Wearing the Crown tall with fragrant tulaci wreath bedecked
And holding spiral conch lovely and the fire-spitting discuss ||

Notes:
Kaiyinar curicankanalaliyar: The Supreme Lord has innumerable celestial weapons, of rare excellence (Sarva praharana ayudhah). However, He has always on His person, the five principal weapons, the Conch, Discus, Sword, Bow and Mace. These weapons are highly destructive as well as decorative. As the Alvar is now enjoying the enthralling beauty of the Lord, reference to the Conch and Discus in the song, is to the decorative (ornamental) aspect. The destructive part of it is also wholesome inasmuch as the destruction, wrought by the weapons, is of the enemies of the devout. For instance, when, on the battlefield at Kuruksetra, Lord Krsna blew the Conch to signify the commencement of the battle, the tumultuous sound rent the air, causing the sky and the earth to echo and re-echo, piercing as it were the hearts of Duryodhana and others. Again, the mighty Discus would, the moment the Lord thought of annihilating an opponent, dart forth, deal a lethal strike at the intended target, scorching it with furious flames and then get back to settle down on the Lord’s right hand, as before.

Well, weapons destroy our sins also. Are they (sins) not our opponents, standing between us and God as the worst impediments for attaining Him? Here is a thrilling anecdote. When Sri Parasara Bhattar was staying in Tirukottiyur, he overheard the following dialogue that ensued between two local residents, Terkalvan and Kolarialvan and got stunned. The former queried the latter, far from fastidious with regard to religious rites and rituals, whether he would not take a bath even on that day, marking the commencement of ‘Dakshinayanam’. Pat came the reply from him, “Well, sir! A hundred dips in the tank will not absolve me of my dense sins, which can however be rooted out by a single cut of the Lord’s Discus”.

Lord Ranganatha, in repose, referred to, as Periyaperumal, in Sri Vaisnava parlance, is seen by us all only with two hands. The extra couple of hands, sporting the Conch and Discus, referred to, in this song, are not at all visible to us. Was it then a mere figment of the Alvar’s imagination? No, not so. Such a rare vision is granted by the Lord, at His sweet volition, to devotees of the calibre of Pan Perumal and the Alvar Saints, in general, the hallowed mystics, blest by the Lord with the radiant joy of intuitive experience of this kind.

Sri Vedanta Desika has thrown additional light, namely, the Conch, with its configuration of ‘Pranava’, symbolizes that mantra while the Discus symbolizes mind. The two, viewed in juxtaposition, denote the ‘Mantra’ and the ‘Mind’, meditating on the former.

Nilvarai pol meyyanar: The Lord’s body resembles an outstretched emerald mountain, ready to crush down and pulverize our mountainous sins.

Ani Aranganar: Sri Vedanta Desika’s comments are, as follows: The Lord’s auspicious traits of amazing magnitude, dearest to the hearts of the devout, are very much in evidence in the ornamental setting here, the Lord’s bedstead beneath the golden dome (Sri Rangavimanam), beaming forth the Lord’s astounding simplicity. Yes, these attributes are far more manifest here than in His Transcendental Abode (Sri Vaikuntha) and ‘Milk – ocean’ (the seat of His creative activities) so as to make it appear that the heavenly abode, down below, in Srirangam is the common link, constituting, as it were, a single (monolithic) ornament – ‘ekabharanam’. Lord Ranganatha adorns such an ornament (it is not the ornament that adorns Him, who is infinitely charming, on His own), spanning both the spheres, namely, the ‘Nitya vibhuti’ (Eternal Land-Heaven) and the ‘Lila vibhuti’ (the sporting arena, embracing all the worlds, down below).

Aravinanai micai meya Mayanar: For the naked eyes, the Lord seems to be asleep on His sweet-smelling, cushiony Serpent-Couch. And yet, He looks very grand, a bewitching spectacle, deeply etched in the beholder’s mind, never to fade out of memory. See also Song twenty three of Tondaradippodi Alvar’s ‘Tirumalai’. This is in dire contrast to the slovenly state of disarray in which we, mortals, are noticed during sleep. But then, where is the question of the Lord, characterized by pure, unalloyed ‘Sattva’, succumbing to sleep, the domain of ‘Tamas’. Well, He is in ‘Yoga nidra’, seemingly asleep but actually revolving in His mind ‘ways and means’ of redeeming us all -the highest form of self-activisation of one’s psychic energy. But, what if He is asleep? Adisesa, His serpent-bed, serving the Lord in multifarious ways, is ever-alert and the mere sight of him is enough to scare away the enemies of the devout, the diabolic ones with their anti-God posture. This is like the petty animals getting scared away by the tiger in the lair, even when asleep. Yes, it is thus the wondrous setting of the wondrous Lord (Mayanar).

Ceyyavay, aiyo ! ennai cintai kavarntatuve! The lips are charming beyond description by dint of their tint and taste, red like lotus, sparkling like the coral reef and; tasty like the honey, shed by the lips in copious quantities. The Alvar’s mind was about to drink deep, both these, albeit like measuring the oceanic waters with a tiny measure which can hardly hold quarter litre. “Even that, alas ! has become impossible”, laments the Alvar, in this song, as his measuring gadget, the mind, has been stolen away by the Lord’s bewitching coral lips.

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