Sunday, December 6, 2015

Varanam Aiyaram Nachiyar Thirumozhi

The Wedding Dreams
Andal dreams about his first touch and her beloved placing his hand on her feet as part of the wedding process
The two of them going around the streets on a grand procession atop the elephant

The most popular decad of the Nachiyari Thirumozhi provides insights into the typical happenings at a wedding event with bride Andal sharing her wedding dreams with her friends visualising the likely sequence of events.

At a Vaishnavite Wedding, ‘Seer Paadal’ is one of the important events during which these sacred verses from Varanam Aiyaram are recited. The Bride and Bridegroom sit opposite to each other with the relatives from both the families around them. While they roll the sacred coconuts towards each other, the relatives from both the families are formally introduced.

About the mood in her town
Andal is all excited. She visualises her beloved making his entry. The entire town is in festive mood, decorated all around. Everyone seems to be carrying golden vessels. It is time to welcome the handsome bridegroom into her city.

Andal describes the bridegroom (her beloved) entering the town in a most majestic way – to the beat of the drums and accompanied by 1000s of mighty royal elephants- through the streets in a lovely procession. She finds him like a roaring lion under a canopy.
வாரண மாயிரம் சூழ வலஞ் செய்து
நாரண நம்பி நடக்கின்றாநேன்று எதிர்
பூரண பொற் குடம் வைத்துப் புரமெங்கும்
தோரணம் நாட்டக்

கனாக் கண்டேன் தோழீ, நான்

Are they a suitable match?
It is all getting ready for the bridal ceremony tomorrow. Indra and celestials also land up from their heavenly abodes for a discussion with her parents. They find this a suitable match and stamp their approval to make her the bride. And the in law Anthiri then comes forward to adorn the bride with heaps of flowers and the beautiful wedding saree as well as the sacred garland.
இந்திர னுள்ளிட்ட தேவர் குழா மெல்லாம்
வந்திருந்தென்னை மகட்பேசி மந்திருத்து
மந்திரக் கோடி யுடுத்தி மணமாலை
அந்திரி சூட்ட

கனாக் கண்டேன் தோழீ நான்

The Sacred Prayers
It is time for the Prayers. The sages are present and start chanting the rituals on a high pitch that sends positive vibrations all around. The sacred water brought from the ‘Four Quarters’ is sprinkled and hymns recited with purity and devotion. And the event was now almost upon her, thus visualised Andal. The moment of tying the sacred thread on the wrist and exchanging the garland, of flowers with the pure and chaste Lord had arrived.

The noise levels in the entire town picked up. Drum beats, blowing of conches signified the festive mood of the people in celebration of her impending wedding.

To welcome him into her town, many young girls went out with divine lamps. Canopy was put up at all corners. It seemed to be studded with pearls and gems. And then she heard the earth tremble and knew instantly that the king of Mathura had arrived for the entire place resonated with the resounding steps of his sandaled feet.
மதுரையார் மன்னன் அடி நிலை தொட்டெங்கும்
அதிரப் புகுத

கனாக் கண்டேன் தோழீ நான்
The First Touch
And then she at last had a chance to have a glimpse of her lord who was to hold her hands shortly. To the huge beat of drums and the blowing of conches (she later in Nachiyar Thirumozhi dedicates an entire decad praising the greatness and speciality of the Conch), Lord Madhusudhan came to hold her by his hand that sends exciting love waves all over her.
மைத்துனன் நம்பி மதுசூதனன் வந்தென்னைக்
கைத்தலம் பற்ற

கனாக் கண்டேன் தோழீ நான்

And then she played out the next wedding ritual.

Around the Sacrificial Fire and the first touch
It was now time to be at the sacrificial fire. Learned priests chanted the sacred Vedas that seemed to vibrate in great harmony. They spread out the sacred darbhha grass and laid out the figs and firewood on it to light the sacrificial fire. And her lord came there like a raging elephant.

Her joy knew no bounds when he held her hand to go around the sacred fire. She was all excited by this first touch of his.
வாய் நல்லார் நல்ல மறையோதி மந்திரத்தால்
பாசிலை நாணற் படுத்துப் பரிதி வைத்து
காய்சின மாகளிறன்னான் என் கை பற்றி
தீவலம் செய்ய

கனாக் கண்டேன் தோழீ நான்

Touching her feet with his red hands
After having held her hand, her beloved who she praises as one with red lotus hands and as the sole refuge in our lives, now sent her into rapturous love as he held her leg with his soft red hands and placed it on the sacred grind stone.
செம்மை உடைய திரு கையால் தாள் பற்றி
அம்மி மிதிக்க

கனாக் கண்டேன் தோழீ நான்
Her brothers who she describes as being bright faced and with bow like eyebrows came up and took her around and made her stand the kindled fire. They took her hand and placed it over the Lord’s hands that she describes as being huge like the lion (an avatar that he had taken earlier). And the moment her hand touched the Lord’s, she went into a tizzy. And then they got ready grains to be poured into the sacrificial fire.

வரிசிலை வாள்முகத் தென்னை மார்தாம் வந்திட்டு
எரிமுகம் பாரித் தென்னை முன்னே நிறுத்தி

அறிமுகன் அச்சுதன் கிம் மெலன் கை வைத்து
பொரிமுகத் தட்ட

கனாக் கண்டேன் தோழீ நான்

Beautifying the Bride
And she visualises the activities surrounding the beautification process. They are likely to smear her with saffron and sandal paste ahead of the pompous ride through the city streets. As she dreams of this ride, she says there are no words to describe the event of the two jointly mounting the elephant.

The couple go around for the blessings
Seated atop the huge elephant alongside him, she was on an unmatched high in life, a state of mind that she had never before encountered.  And finally the two had a holy bath through the sprinkling of sacred water on them as part of the consecration.

குங்குமம் அப்பி குளிர் சாந்தம் மட்டித்து 
மங்கள வீதி வளம் செய்து மணநீர்
அங்கவ னோடு முடன் சென்றங்கானை மேல்
மஞ்சன மாட்ட

கனாக் கண்டேன் தோழீ நான்

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