Author Topic: Tiruppavai - 26  (Read 1867 times)


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Tiruppavai - 26
« on: January 10, 2010, 10:42:25 AM »
Today, on the 26th day of Dhanur (Margazhi) month, the 26th
song of Tiruppavai is sung.  Here the saint-poetess AndaL asks
for various things for doing the Pavai Nonbu, i.e the penance
of the young girls in Margazhi.

O Mal!* the One with hue of a gem!**  The One who lies on the
banyan leaf.  We want to do the penance of Margazhi as per
the stipulations of the learned.  For this purpose, we want you
to confer us the requirements.  Please give us white conch-shells
like your Panchajanyam, big drum, as large as your glory, the crowd
of devotees with us who shall sing, Long Live, Long Live Narayana,
beautiful cute lamps, a banner and a pearl-studded umbrella (to
ward off the effect of mist falling on our heads).  Please grace us.

* Mal, or Tirumal or Perumal is the name for Narayana in Tamil.
Mal also means mad love.  Narayana is said to have great love
for his devotees. 

** Narayna is black in complexion.  AndaL merely calls him as
a gem.  There is no black gem.  However, the gem's colour is
not important.  He is precious like gem.
Here, the group is ready for going to the tank or river for early
morning bath.  It is still not day.  It is dark outside.  Hence, they
want lamps, they want conchshells to make sounds of their going
for the bath.  They want lamps to show light on the dark pathway
to river.  They want a pearl-studded umbrella.  The umbrella is
to ward off the chill effect of the misty morning.

Here, in this song, Sri Vaishnava commentators speak about
Pavai Nonbu concept.  Pavai is the girl or group of girls.  Nonbu
is the penance.  It is a Vratam of the girls.  Srimad Bhagavatam
calls it as Katyayani Vratham, a vratham where the girls pray
to Katyayani or Parvati for their weddings to noble men.  But
Sri Vaishnava commentators would not like to mention Parvati
by calling it as Katyayani Vratam.  But Srimad Bhagavatam
which has been written even before Sri Vaishanava philosophy
evolved,(13 C. AD)  had no such qualms.  They mention it as Katyayani Vratam.  Rukmini in Srimad Bhagavatam did Katyayani Vratam before her marriage, originally proposed to Sisupala, but later
consummated with Krishna.

The Katyayani Vratam, envisages certain requirements like
conch shells, drum, umbrella, banner and drums, so that the
girls could go as a group to the river for bath.

Arunachala Siva.