Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Kings and Conquests

11. paruppadatthukkayalpoRittha pANDiyar kulapadipOl - Like the Pandya King who marked the Meru mountain with his "fish" emblem

Courtesy: pbase ramanujadasargal

Periyazhwar has already been seen talking about Chelva Nambi, a fellow Srivaishnava of his times, in his hymns. From the hymns of invocation to Periyazhwar and from his history, it is understood that Periyazhwar established the supremacy of Srimannarayana upon the request of the Pandya King. King Malayadwajan was a devout Srivaishnava and worshipped the Lord of Thirumalirunsolai. Periyazhwar, himself says in Periyazhwar Thirumozhi 4-2-7, "konnavil kUrvEl kOn neDumARan thenkUDalkOn thennan koNDADun thenthirumAlirunsolaiyE!", describing the deep love of the king for Thirumalirunsolai. Swami Koorathazhwan quotes the same in Sundarabahusthavam, "idamimE SruNumO malayadwajam nrupamiha swayamEva hi sundara! caranasAtkrutavAniti".

The phrase of interest occurs in Periyazhwar Thirumozhi 5-4-7, "paruppadatthukkayalpoRittha pANDiyar kulapadipOl, thiruppolindha chEvaDi en chenniyinmEl poRitthAiy". The King Malayadwaja Pandiyan conquered the lands all the way to the Meru Mountain. To enable his subjects to travel with ease, he cleared the path to Meru and destroyed all the enemies on the way. He marked the Meru with His "fish" emblem as a symbol of his conquest.

Alright! A great king and devotee, no doubt, is King Malayadwajan. But, what is the use of this phrase in a compilation of figures of speech. We will come to that now. Periyazhwar uses the above described action of the king as a comparison to the action of emperumAn. How? EmperumAn cleared the path infested by forests of sins and destroyed the enemies (like prApya virOdhi - upAya virOdhi - swarUpa virOdhi) of Periyazhwar. To herald this victorious conquest over Periyazhwar's obstacles, emperumAn marked His divine feet on PeriyAzhwAr's head.

Periyazhwar beautifully compares the conquest of the king to the conquest of emperumAn, the former in the material domain and the latter in the spiritual domain, integrating the information about a devotee--king and the Saviour Lord in the one go!

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