Nachiar Tirumozhi

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Nachiar Tirumozhi is a set of 143 verses composed by Andal, one of the twelve Azhwars in Vaishanvaite tradition. In her restlessness and eagerness to attain the Kannan, Anadal attempts various methods by which she can attain union with Kannan which forms the major part of work. Among the Thirumozhis, Vaaranamaiyiram is very well known and has a special significance. It details Andal's narration of her dream of her experiences with her friends on her way to achieve her purpose of birth (getting married to kannapiran).

These 143 verses are a part of the 4000 divine hymns of Nalayira Divya Prabandham. The verses are classified into fourteen decads namely, prayer to Kama, not to destroy sand castle, Vastapraharana, securing union with Lord, requesting cuckoo to call her Lord, Kothai's marriage, eulogizing Vishnu's conch, Megha Sandesa, prangs of separation from Lord, seeking help to attain Lord and in praise of Ranganatha.

Etymology[edit]

Thirumozhi literally means "Sacred Sayings" in a Tamil poetic style and "Nachiar" means goddess. Therefore, the title means "Sacred Sayings of the Goddess." This poem fully reveals Andal's intense longing for Vishnu, the divine beloved. Utilizing classical Tamil poetic conventions and interspersing stories from the Vedas and Puranas, Andal creates imagery that is possibly unparalleled in the whole gamut of Indian religious literature. ].[1][2][3]

Organized way of the verses[edit]

These 143 pasurams (verses) are organized in 14 segments and each one is called "Tirumozhi". Thus the first set of ten pasurams is called as first Tirumozhi. And is named after the first phrase of the first pasuram 'tai oru tingalum' (Tamil : தையொரு திங்கள்) .Similarly all the other Tirumozhis are named after the first phrase of first pasuram.And each Tirumozhi deals with one specific topic.[4] The first Thirumozhi, is called “tai oru ti’ngaLum”, based on the first phrase of the first pASuram. Similarly, all the other tirumozhi-s are named based on the first few words of the first pasuram of the Thirumozhi. The first decad is a set of verses to pray Kama (cupid) to seek Krishna as her husband. Andal expresses that she will lose her life if she is married to someone else other than Lord Krishna. The second decad is a compilation of Andal's prayer to preserver the sand castle she built on the river. The third decad is a set similar to the vastraprahana, the playful chapter in Krishna's life when he took away garments of Gopikas and their request to get them back. The fourth decad has poems where she expresses her union with Lord. Kuyil Pattu or cukoo's song forms the fifth decad where Andal requests cuckoo to sing in praise of Krishna. Experts attribute the verses to Pancharartra Agama, a mode of worship practiced in Vaishnavite temples. The sixth decad indicates her dream to marry Lord laying down the principles of spiritual dynamics. The 8th Thirumozhi called “Vinnila Melappu” deals with kOdai telling her plight to the clouds and sending them as her messenger to Govindan, who is stationed in Thirumalai. The remaining Thirumozhis are dedicated to different efforts by Andal to somehow speed up her union with Perumal. In the process, she goes through lots of impatient waiting, and finally in Patti Meindor Karerur Thirumozhi, she is reunited with Vishnu.[5]

Critic views[edit]

Some of Andal's verses express love for Lord Vishnu, written with bold sensuality and startlingly savage longing, hunger and inquiry, that even today many of her most erotic poems are rarely rendered publicly.[6] In one such verse Andal dispenses with metaphor and imagines that she herself in lying in the arms of Krishna, and making love to him:[7]

“My life will be spared / Only if he will come / To stay for me for one night / If he will enter me, / So as to leave / the imprint of his saffron paste / upon my breasts / Mixing, churning, maddening me inside, / Gathering my swollen ripeness / Spilling nectar, / As my body and blood / Bursts into flower.”
[8][9]

tell him I will survive
only if he will stay with me
for one day -
enter me
so as to wipe away
the saffron paste
adorning my breasts

(p.140)[10]

Andal whilst admiring herself wearing the garland which was meant for the deity,

the guilt glazed love lay on Andal's breasts.
thick and heavy as him.
frightened with force
and locked away, she conjured him every night,
her empurumaan, her emperor-man.

[11][12][13]

My surging breasts long to leap to the touch of his hand which holds aloft the flaming discus and the conch.

Coax the world-measurer to caress my waist, to encircle the twin globes of my breasts

[14][15]

In one of her poems, Andal says that her voluptuous breasts will swell for the lord alone, and scorns the idea of making love to mortal beings, comparing that with the sacrificial offering made by Brahmins being violated by jackals in the forest,[16] and in another verse she dedicates her swelling breasts to the Lord who carries a conch.[9][17]

In popular culture[edit]

The songs of Nalayira Divya Prabandham are regularly sung in all the Vishnu temples of South India daily and also during festivals.[18][19] Andal is worshiped as a God in South India and enshrined in all the Vishnu temples. The verses of Thirupavai and Nachiyar Thirumozhi are sung commonly in all the households and temples during the month of Margazhi (December - January).[20]

Redention of Vaaranam Aayiram was included in Ilaiyaraaja's score for Kamal Hassan's movie Hey Ram, with Shrivilliputhur Andal being acknowledged as one of the lyricists for the movie[21][22]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Rao, Shivshankar (31 March 2013). "Saints - Andal". Sushmajee: Dictionary Of Hindu Religion. US Brahman Group. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
  2. ^ Andal (14 October 2000). Andal: Tiruppavai/Nachiyar Tirumozhi. Penguin Books Australia. ISBN 0140245723. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
  3. ^ "Nachiyar aesthetically conceived". The Hindu. 5 January 2001. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
  4. ^ Sadagopan (2008). Nachiyar Thirumozhi (PDF). Retrieved 15 April 2018.
  5. ^ Vankeepuram|2005, pp. 9-12
  6. ^ Rajarajan, R K K (2015). "Art and Literature: Inseparable Links". The Quarterly Journal of the Mythic Society. 106 (4): 53–61. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  7. ^ Lakshmi, C S (7 December 2003). "Landscapes of the body". The Hindu. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  8. ^ Dalrymple, William (10 July 2015). "In search of Tamil Nadu's poet-preachers" (London). Financial Times. The Financial Times Limited. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
  9. ^ a b Chakravarty, Uma (1989). "The World of the Bhaktin in South Indian Traditions - The Body and Beyond" (PDF). Manushi. 50-51-52: 25. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  10. ^ Dehejia, Vidya (2008). The Body Adorned: Sacred and Profane in Indian Art. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 9780231512664. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  11. ^ Kandasamy, Meena (2010). Ms Militancy. Narayana. ISBN 9788189059347.
  12. ^ Mulchandani, Sandhya (2014). "Divine Love". The Indian Quarterly. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
  13. ^ Bilwakesh, Champa (16 March 2011). "Ms Militancy, by Meena Kandasamy". Archived from the original on 18 November 2015. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
  14. ^ Chabria, Priya Sarukkai (2016). Chabria, Priya Sarukkai; Shankar, Ravi, eds. Andal: The Autobiography of a Goddess. Zubaan Books. ISBN 9789384757670.
  15. ^ Venkatesh, Arundhati. "Andal: The Tamil Female Saint Brought To You In A Very Satisfying Translation [Book Review]". Women's Web. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  16. ^ Ghai, Anuj. "Reflections on Andal". Academia.edu. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  17. ^ Rajarajan, R.K.K. "Art and Literature: Inseparable Links". The Quarterly Journal of the Mythic Society.
  18. ^ Dalal 2011, pp. 20-21
  19. ^ Ramaswamy, Vijaya (2007). Historical Dictionary of the Tamils. Scarecrow Press. p. 211. ISBN 9780810864450.
  20. ^ "Emotional Ecstasy and Those Mystic Muses". New Delhi: Mint. 1 February 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2018 – via High Beam. (Subscription required (help)).
  21. ^ Rangan, Baradwaj (28 August 2015). "He taught me to sing with abandon". The Hindu. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  22. ^ "Hey! Ram (2000)". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 6 December 2018.

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