V.N. Vedanta Desikan
TIRUPPAVAI - Villakkavurai (Tamil): K.A. Manavalan; Pub. by Sri Ramanuja Siddhanta Cente, Old No 26, Thandavarayan Street, Triplicane, Chennai-600005. Rs. 30. A handy book on the holy hymn of Andal is surely bound to be a welcome publication, especially when it is from the pen of a scholar of the stature of Manavalan. The great saint poetess uses apparently simple Tamil dialect that was current in her own times; we might even comprehend, apparently though, what she says. But, in actuality, it could not be the composer's intent. The Vaishnavite commentators designate such a meaning, inner meaning at that, as Svapadesa. It is for this reason that learned scholars have been writing, elaborating, and discoursing, again and again, on the beauties of the Tiruppavai, without end. Tiruppavai is truly the epitome of all the Vedas. The author rightly thought it fit to reproduce the 'svapadesa' import, that was once published by the stalwart, Kanchi P.B. Annangaracharya, which is provided as an appendix. The style of presentation is simple and lively. It is suitable to the current-day layman. Regrettably there are quite a few printing errors. But then, what is more striking to this reviewer is that the author reproduces, sometimes, very crisp, but abstruse, extracts from commentator-scholars of the 13th Century A.D., which would admittedly be simply unintelligible to anyone but the rigorously initiated student of the religion. One could readily recommend the book to the pious student of religion to get initiated into the beauty of Tiruppavai and its message.