Friday, 27 November 2009

Snake God at Naagar nagar!

The poem is continued.
This part describes the festivities that took place at the temple of the snake god.
Nature is at its musical best with insects making sound (around the flowers) on the one hand
and clouds and water falls making their presence heard on the other.
The men and women also are seen dancing and singing.
Generally the people who come to this temple seem to be happy with their desires fulfilled.
In such a surrounding, the snake God looks fully decorated with the earth held on His head.

வண்டொடு தும்பியும் வண் தொடை யாழ் ஆர்ப்ப, .
விண்ட கட கரி மேகமொடு அதிரத்
தண்டா அருவியடு இரு முழவு ஆர்ப்ப,
அரி உண்ட கண்ணாரொடு ஆடவர் கூடிப்
புரி வுண்ட பாடலொடு ஆடலும் தோன்ற,
சூடு நறவொடு தாமம் முகிழ் விரியச்

சூடா நறவொடு காமம் விரும்ப,
இனைய பிறவும், இவை போல்வனவும்,
அனையவை எல்லாம் இயையும்-புனை இழைப்
பூ முடி நாகர் நகர்.

(வண்டும் , தும்பியும் யாழிசையுடன் போட்டி போட்டுக் கொண்டு இசை பரப்ப , கரு மேகங்களும் அதிரடியுடன் ஒலிக்க, அதற்குப் போட்டியாய் அருவிகளும் ஒலி எழுப்ப, அந்த இசைப் பின்னணியில் , மை தீட்டிய பெண்களுடன் , மணம் கமழும் மலர் மாலைகளை அணிந்த ஆடவரும் , பாடிக் கொண்டும் , ஆடிக் கொண்டும் இருக்க , பலவகைப் பட்ட விருப்பங்களுடனும் , விரும்பியவற்றைப் பெற்ற மகிழ்ச்சியுடனும் , பலரும் வணங்கும் வண்ணம் ஆங்கே தலை மீது சிறப்பாக அணிவகைகள் செய்தவண்ணமும், பூமகளைத் தன் தலை மீது அணிந்தவருமான நாகர் வீற்றிருக்கும் நகரமாக , அந்த செல்வன் நகர் திகழ்ந்தது .)

The poem describes the song and dance sequences that were seen in the temple of the serpent.
From the astrological texts we come to know that arranging song and dance concerts is a way of propitiation for sarpa dosha (curse of snakes).
Though we don’t find this in practice today, from this song in Paripaadal we come to know that such a practice was indeed prevalent in those days.

The poet first describes the song and dance sequences found in Nature,
before describing how it was done by the people.
The honey bees and beetles were doing the dancing and singing as they moved around the flowers.
This shows the presence of flower gardens (நந்தவனம் ) around the temple.
Their music competed with the music of the string instruments such as yaazh - யாழ் (similar to Veena).
This shows that instrumental music was also arranged in the temple.

The high decibel background music was given by the thundering dark clouds
and the dropping water falls.
This describes the season to be rainy or a generally damp climate
that is experienced near the mountains.
This also reiterates the notion conveyed in the first paragraph that
there was a mountain near the temple
from which rainwater flowed down and entered the city of Naan maadak koodal as a river.
This place of Thirumaal, Irunthaiyur seems to be located close to the mountain
by the side of which a river (Vaigai) flowed down to Madurai (நான் மாடக் கூடல் )

In addition to the display of musical talents by Nature,
the men and women also presented their talents in front of this snake god.
The eyes of the women are described in this poem – perhaps due to the captivating abhinaya shown by the eyes.
The men are described for the garlands they wore.
Perhaps the sweet smell of the flowers of the garlands and the jumping fashion of those garlands,
as men made huge steps when they danced, is captured by the poet.

In such a scenario there were people who came with lots of desires –
in the form of prayers to the snake god.
There were people who looked content
because they have had their wishes fulfilled by the God.

In such a place one can see the Serpent god with the Mother Earth (பூ மகள் )
held in the head (hood)
with all decorations done to the hood.
(புனை இழைப்
பூ முடி நாகர் நகர்.)

The festivities and the rush of devotees to this place were such that
it made the poet call this place as “Naagar nagar” -நாகர் நகர் - the ‘city of the Serpent’.

Related post
on the astrological recommendation of arranging musical converts
as a way to propitiate snake god:-

Curse of snakes (sarpa dosha)

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