Faith

Greatness of Thiruppavai

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A verse in Thiruvaimozhi speaks of Nammazhvar’s greatness. It is a pasuram about the deity of Tholaivillimangalam in Tirunelveli district. Nammazhvar sings this pasuram as Parankusa Nayaki, a girl pining for the Lord’s love. The friend of Parankusa Nayaki says that Parankusa Nayaki’s words are praised the world over. And this is indeed true of Nammazhvar’s words. This is how Nampillai interprets a portion of the verse. Other commentators who agree with this interpretation are Peria Vachan Pillai, Vadakku Thiruveedhi Pillai and Pillan. Prativadhi Bhayankaram Annangarachar swami gives a different interpretation. For Nammazhvar’s words as Parankusa Nayaki, one commentary is insufficient. Many are needed.

As in the case of Nammazhvar’s Thiruvaimozhi, Andal’s verses also have several commentaries. That is why Thiruppavai is referred to the as the seed of the Vedas, said M.A. Venkatakrishnan in a discourse. Thiruvaimozhi is the essence of the Vedas, but Thiruppavai is the seed. This is not to suggest that the Vedas came from the Thiruppavai. The Vedas cannot be assigned a date. They have no fixed beginning. That being the case, how can the Thiruppavai be the seed of the Vedas? And yet, there is nothing illogical about the claim.

A tree bears fruits, which contain seeds. But we plant a seed and from it grows a tree. And all the parts of a tree are contained in that tiny seed. If we plant the seed of a mango, we get a mango tree. If we plant a jackfruit seed, we get a jackfruit tree. Thus the qualities of a mango tree are inherent in the mango seed. In the same way all the truths given in the Vedas are contained in the Thiruppavai, which is, therefore, the seed of the Vedas.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 9:48:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/greatness-of-thiruppavai/article30141234.ece

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