Adhyayanotsavam Day 3: Tirukkurungudi

Adhyayanotsavam Day 3. Dec 21.
Texts of the Day: Tiruppavai and Nacciyar Tirumoli.

Today, Beautiful Nambi became both bride and groom–Andal and then himself, Rangamannar/Rajagopalan. As I sat listening to the recitation of the Tiruppavai and Nacciyar Tirumoli in the afternoon–it was a kind of resonant, languorous performance, with such care given to the long vowels–especially a and e–I found myself tumbling into the text in a kind of interstellar like moment. It was an odd, odd experience, characterized by a certain viscosity of feeling that suddenly gave way to clarity, as though infused by a shot of cool water. That viscosity was diluted, but not as a lessening of intensity, but as the freeing of emotion–a river undammed, I suppose. My least favorite section of the Nacciyar Tirumoli has always been Varanam Ayiram, (NT 6), the dream wedding, but yesterday as the gosti recited the line “tirukaiyal taal parri”–he cradled my foot in his beautiful hand–I just couldn’t hold back the tears.

The first alankara was Andal, and Nambi’s goddesses looked to me like Andal’s gopis.

The second alankara of the day was Rangamannar/Rajagopalan. As Tirunarayanaswami explained, Andal sang that they glimpsed him in Vrindavan (vrdinavanathe kandome), hence this alankara.

The festival layers complexity upon complexity–recitation, alankara, prasada–each sense engaged, heightened, polished. Complete, total immersion.