Sunday, May 27, 2007

திருப்பாவை - 29 (சிற்றம் சிறுகாலே)

சிற்றம் சிறுகாலே வந்துன்னைச் சேவித்துன்
பொற்றா மரையடியே போற்றும் பொருள் கேளாய்;
பெற்றம் மேய்த்துண்ணும் குலத்திற் பிறந்து நீ
குற்றேவல் எங்களைக் கொள்ளாமல் போகாது;
இற்றைப் பறைகொள்வான் அன்று காண் கோவிந்தா!
எற்றைக்கும் ஏழேழ் பிறவிக்கும் உன்தன்னோடு
உற்றோமே ஆவோம்; உனக்கே நா மாட்செய்வோம்;
மற்றைநம் காமங்கள் மாற்றேலோ ரெம்பாவாய்.

Govindha!, Listen (kELaay) to the reason (poruL) for our coming (vandhu) and worshipping (sEviththu) you and praising (pOtrum) your golden lotus (pon thaamarai) feet (adi) at such an early hour (sitram siRu kaalE). You (nee), who were born (piRandhu) in the community of people (kulaththil), who eat (uNNum) by rearing (mEyththu) cattle (petram), should not go away (pOgaadhu) refusing our (engaLai) offerings (kutru Eval). Look (kaaN), we are not (anRu) desiring your grace (paRai koLvaan) just for today (itrai). Forever (etraikkum), for sevens (Ezh Ezh) of births (piRavikkum), we will be (aavOm) in peace (utrOmE) with you (un thannOdu). We (naam) will let ourselves be ruled (aatcheyvOm) by you (unakkE). Please remove (maatru) our (nam) other (matrai) desires (kaamangaL).

Oh Lord Govinda (Krishna)! Why have we come so early at dawn to worship You and to adore your lotus feet? You have taken birth in our cowherd community and You live amidst us who tend cattle for a living. It is only proper that you permit us to render our humble service to You. It is not only today that we would seek your grace but in all our births to come. You and You alone we shall ever be committed to in servitude. Everything else is of no concern to us.

More Insight
This stanza clearly tells us of the highest Purushaartha (the end of human life), explaining the meaning of PARAI. Asking for Parai is a pretext; as the cowherds proposed this "nonbu' for getting rain and as it came in handy for Gopis (Andal) to keep looking at the face of Lord Krishna for as long as they liked, they accepted it. Their real intention is to get KAINKARYA (eternal service)at the lotus-feet of the Lord. The word NARAYANANE used in the first stanza was explained in the previous verse; the word PARAI is explained here.

Both "Means" and "End" are the same in Sri Vaishnava Sampradaaya;it is Sriman Narayana himself. If those who take Him as the "Means' have contact with other "Means" like Karmayoga etc, it is akin to pollution due to contact with a dead body(because Karma Yoga etc are by nature inert and need His Presence to give Result).And if they consider their act of Surrender to the Lord (Prapatti) itself to be the "Means", it is like accretion of sin due to contact with a chandaala (because anything which has the taint of the ego pollutes the purity of the Prapanna).

Similarly regarding the "End" also there are two mistakes which need to to be avoided: 1) Desiring other mundane things from Him, which would be like desiring to eat poisoned or contaminated food; and 2) serving the Lord for one's own enjoyment rather than exclusively for His pleasure (Swaartha Kainkarya), which would be like eating food left over from another eater (Uchchishtha Bhojana).

Both these types of Purities (UPAAYA SUDDHI and UPEYA SUDDHI) need to be strictly ensured by a Prapanna. The previous verse (28) speaks of UPAAYA SUDDHI -"UNTANNAI.... PUNNIYAM YAAM UDEYOM"- You ALONE are our Means. The present verse enjoins UPEYA SUDDHI - "UNAKKE NAAM AAT SEYVOM" - We serve you for the sake of your happiness ALONE, and we derive happiness on seeing your enjoyment.

Even the least trace of selfish enjoyment is to be totally erased in the service of God. It is just as in the case of sandal paste, cool breeze, flowers, ornaments, etc which give pleasure to man, without themselves feeling any; the only difference being that man not being inert like them feels happy looking at the pleasure of the Lord.

Krishna ordered His servants to bring the huge kettle-drum (PARAI).Then Andal says, "O Wonder! You have not understood us. We require only your everlasting, most enjoyable service. We wish to be always born along with you, and keep company with you always to serve you. (Like Lakshmana who served Rama whether He was in Ayodhya or in the forest.).Kindly guard us from evincing interest in anything except you."

Just as the body serves a man, the Soul, which is the body of the Lord (Yasya aatma sareeram), should serve Him. This is the natural law. This is the message of Andal in this crowning verse.

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