The third in the series of Paripatal is a beautiful hymn (comprising of close to a 100 lines) that can be chanted every day in our daily prayer. Here the poet’s description of the Lord is similar to those found in ancient Sanskrit texts.
The third poem is characteristic of Sangam Poetry in respect of its brevity – Every Phrase/line has great meaning attached to it and requires detailed explanation. In this Paripatal, the poet Kattuvaan Ilaveyi Naanaan invokes Tirumaal as the dark complexioned lord whose feet destroy the cycle of birth. Lord is praised as the one who provides moksham and that all being including the celestial Gods are Tirumaal’s creation.
Poet describes his 8manifestations who were all created by him and sustained by him -, 5 Planets
(Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn), 12 Aadityas ( the offspring of Vithi), 2 Acuras (the issue of Diti), 8 Vacus ( who he refers to as blameless), 11 Rudras, the Ashwin twins (born to Tama, the leaping horse), God of Death and his messenger and all living beings in this triple 7 worlds are all his creation and manifestation of Tirumaal.
Garuda Mount – Ups and Downs
The poet describes the Lord’s mount and his lofty banner as the great bird Garuda, the son of Vinata and credits the bird for bringing Nectar from heaven to relieve the distress of his mother. When his mother Vinata was tricked to slavery by another wife of Kasyapar (Kathru), the mother of the Serpent race, it was Garuda who fought with Indra and brought Nectar from heaven to redeem his mother.
பயந்தோள் இடுக்கண் களைத்த புள்ளினை
பயந்தோள் இடுக்கண் களைத்த புள்ளின்
நிவந்து ஓங்கு உயர் கொடிச் சேவலோய்
நின் சேவடி தொழாகும் உற்ற அடியினை
However when Garuda who held the 1000 hooded serpent in his beak once became arrogant of his powers, the Lord made the bird repent for ages. Garuda in his arrogance had suggested that he was the reason for the Lord to move everywhere easily. To quell his ego, Lord Tirumaal asked him to carry one finger of the Lord. Howsoever, Garuda tried, he could not and fell down because of the enormous weight of the one finger. His wings fell down and he trembled down to earth and made him seek the Lord for ages.
Vamana and Varaha Avataras
He refers to Vamana avatara where he measured with one step the entire nether world. He also refers to Varaha avatara and his lifting of the entire earth from under the ocean.
Line 25 -Rare Incarnation
In Line 25, he refers to a rare incarnation of Lord as Great Cob-Swan who dried up with the beat of his mighty wings the torrential downpour.
மா விசும்பு ஒழுகு புனல் வரல அன்னச் சேவலாய்ச் சிறகர்ப் புலர்தியோய் எனவும்
Description of the Lord's innumerable hands
In several lines, the poet describes eloquently the greatness of the Lord with each succeeding line beating the previous one. His hands are seen as being countless, one of which gave nectar to the Devas. He is described as the lord with innumerable hands – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 100, 1000, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of hands.
நடுவு நிலை திரும்பிய நயம் இல் ஒரு கை
இரு கை மா அல் முக்கை முனிவா நாற்கை அண்ணல்
ஐங் கை மைந்த ஆறு கை நெடு வேள்
ஏழு கையாள என் கை ஏந்தல்
ஒன்பதிற்றிதுத் தடக் கை மண் பேரால
பதிற்றுக் கை மதவலி நூற்றுக் கை ஆற்றல்
ஆயிரம் விரித்த கைம் மாய மள்ள
பதினாயிரம் கை முதுமொழி முதல்வ
நாறாயிரம் கை ஆறு அறி கடவுள்
He is the Lord of the Vedas and the Chief of Devas. The poet praises him as the Lord of Eternity who quelled the arrogance of all things in existence. He is referred to as one who is pre existent to time itself and who controls the principle of time. He is of infinite form and is beyond count and numbers. He is both - everything as well as the essential quality of everything.
His indescribable greatness is known to none but himself. There is no birth he has not taken but we do not know who caused his birth.
With grace as the canopy and righteousness/dharma as the stem he fosters the universe. Vedas sing his greatness in wonder while we chant likewise marvelling at his might.
He is the nature of all things in creation: He is heat in fire, Fragrance in flowers, Radiance of gems, Essence of Vedas, Light of the Sun and Coolth of the Moon
The immanent form (Antaryami) of the Lord is brought out. The poet also says that the lord has taken every form of birth to create sustain and destroy, even though there is none to cause his birth.
The Lord in Numbers
Line 79-80: And it is all about numbers. With sheer numbers (Tamil Numbers like Onru and Tontu), the poet describes the greatness of Lord:
The Lord is the five elements, 5 sensory organs, 1 the Sound, 2 the Torch, 3 the Form, 4 the Taste, 5 the Smell, 6 the Sensory tools, 7 the Ahankara / Cosmic ego, 8 the Maan and 9 the Primal source.
Thus in mystic numbers the Lord’s greatness is spoken about by the poet.
Special Tamil Worlds of the Sangam Period
Words like Paal, Kaal, Paaku indicate Tattuvams (Paal= Void= Purusha, Kaal= 5 elements, Paaku= 5 Karmatreyas)
பாழ் என கால் என பாகு என
ஒன்று என இரண்டு என மூன்று என நான்கு என
ஐந்து என ஆறு என ஏழு என எட்டு என தொண்டு
என நால்வகை ஊழி எண் நவிற்றும் சிறப்பினை
In lines 81-82, he refers to the four Vyuka forms of Lord (Senkat Kari, Karunkan Vellai, Ponkat Pachai and Painkan Maal) and traces them to the red eyed Vasa Deva, dark eyed Shankarshana, ruddy complexioned Pradyumna and green hued Aniruddha.
செங் கட் காரீ கருங் கண் வெள்ளை
பொன் கட் பச்சை பைங் கண் மா அல்
In the last ten lines, he exhibits a passionate fervour. There is brevity of expression and rich allusiveness. There is reference to various personalities of the Lord and his appearances and exploits.
He concludes with a description of the Lord’s complexion and then the Krishna avatara and his activities there in.
Itavala, Kutovala, Koovala and Kaavala – the Lord who dances right and left with the Gopis, Krishna dancing with a pot, makes a mention of his dreaded weapon the plough. He is praised as the Lord of the herds of cattle and the Lord who protects all lives. Krishna who danced left and right with cowherds dance with a pot with dreaded weapon the plough. he is the lord of herd of cattle one who protects all lives. Finally he invokes the blessings for the Lord’s discus to keep the world safe.