Proper focus of the senses


A Thirumangai Azhvar pasuram can be seen in the context of the tenth mantra of Apratiratha Sutra, to conclude that the mantra refers to the Vishnu temple in Thirukkurungudi. V.S. Karunakarachariar expanded an explanation given by HH Srimad Srimushnam Andavan for the pasuram.

Thirumangai Azhvar imagines himself to be a lovelorn girl Parakala Nayaki, who pines for Nambi, the Lord of Thirukkurungudi. Parakala Nayaki is tormented by five things — the moon, the ocean, the breeze carrying the fragrance of flowers, the cries of the andril bird separated from its male partner and the pleasing winter weather. She cannot sleep because of Manmatha’s arrows aimed at her. Manmatha is said to use five flowers as arrows — asoka, lotus, jasmine, mango, and blue water lily. The lovely form of Nambi of Thirukkurungudi distresses Parakala Nayaki. The five forms of Nambi in Thirukkurungudi have made Parakala Nayaki yearn for Him. The pasuram says that His form has resulted in five good things happening to Parakala Nayaki. Her five senses are turned towards the Lord.

This is what those who seek moksha desire. The tenth mantra of Apratiratha Sukta’s praise of five (ishavah) can be taken as a praise of five senses with proper focus, as seen in the case of Parakala Nayaki’s love for Thirukkurungudi Nambi.

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