Nachiar Tirumozhi

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Nachiar Tirumozhi is a set of 143 verses. In her restlessness and eagerness to join with Kannan, Sri Andal attempts various methods by which she can attain union with Kannan which forms the major part of Nachiyar Thirumozhi. 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 thozhis(friends) on her way to achieve her purpose of birth (getting married to kannapiran).

One can view Nachiar Tirumozhi as godA devi’s advice to us on how a jIva in this life should dedicate itself single-mindedly to attaining the paramAtman. What we see at display is the intensity with which this effort should be undertaken, and the impatience that the jIva should feel in achieving this objective at all costs, until the objective is realized. In samskRt, this is called tvarA - it means unbearable haste or speed. An example given to illustrate tvarA is a fish out of water that tries to get back into the water one way or the other to save its life.

These 143 verses are a part of the 4000 hyms of Nalayira Divya Prabandham

"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. However, conservative Srivaishnavite institutions do not encourage the propagation of Nachiar Tirumozhi as much as they encourage Thiruppavai because Nachiar Tirumozhi belongs to an erotic genre of spirituality that is similar to Jayadeva's Gita Govinda.[1][2][3]

According to William Dalrymple, 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. In one such verse Andal dispenses with metaphor and imagines that she herself in lying in the the arms of Krishna, and making love to him:

“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.”[4]

Further, according to Meena Kandasamy, 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.

[5][6][7]

 
‘My voluptuous breasts swell for that lord alone. [If there is even talk of offering my body to mortal men, then I cannot live. It is equal in violence to a forest jackal stealthily entering and sniffing at the sacrificial food the learned Brahmins offer the gods in heaven.'[8]

Thirumozhis[edit]

The 143 pASurams are organized in 14 segments, each one called a tirumozhi. Thus, the first set of 10 pASurams – the first tirumozhi, 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 that tirumozhi.

Each tirumozhi deals with one specific topic. For example, the 8th tirumozhi called “viNNIla melAppu” deals with kOdai telling her plight to the clouds and sending them as her messenger to gOvindan, who is stationed in tirumalai. The first tirumozhi starts with a plea by Andal to kAmadevan for his help in uniting her with her nAthan, emperumAn. The remaining tirumozhi-s 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 kArERu tirumozhi, she is reunited with perumAL.

Trivia[edit]

1. vAraNam Ayiram, is a very renowned tirumozhi. Even today, this sixth tirumozhi is being sung in all the Vedic weddings during the time called paccai pUSuthal. Traditional belief is that when this ritual is performed, the newly wedded couple's lives will forever remain sweet. kOdai herself has declared that those who chant this tirumozhi will beget children with brahma jnAnam and sattva guNam. The wedding scenes that kOdai describes are full of beauty and superb in imagination, and have a divine vedic flavor.

2. Vaaranamaiyiram has also featured in a song in the film Keladi Kanmani. There is another song by P. Susheela in the movie thirumAl perumai with lyrics starting varanam ayiram . This song does not have the lyrics of 6th Thirumozhi. The 2012 film Vettai has few lines sung during the marriage scene between Madhavan and Sameera Reddy.

Audio Link[edit]

References[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. ^ Dalrymple, William (10 July 2015). "In search of Tamil Nadu’s poet-preachers" (London). Financial Times. The Financial Times Limited. Retrieved 13 July 2015. 
  5. ^ Kandasamy, Meena (2010). Ms Militancy. Narayana. ISBN 9788189059347. 
  6. ^ Mulchandani, Sandhya (2014). "Divine Love". The Indian Quaterly. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  7. ^ Bilwakesh, Champa (16 March 2011). "Ms Militancy, by Meena Kandasamy". Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  8. ^ Ghai, Anuj. "Reflections on Andal". Academia.edu. Retrieved 22 July 2015.