Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Aksharamanamalai - Invocation

O Ganapati, the bestower of grace, protect me by giving Your helping hands so that I may make and offer a Bridal Garland of Letters worthy of the bridegroom,

karuṇā ākara kaṇapatiyē – Ganapati, Ocean of compassion! 
karam aruḷi – Graciously bestowing your hand, 
kāppāyē – may you protect [me], 
akṣara maṇa mālai cāṟṟa – to speak (i.e. that I may speak) the Marital Garland of Letters, 
aruṇācala varaṟku ēṟṟa – such that it is fitting for the Great One / the Bridegroom Aruṇācala! 



Ganesha , Ocean of Compassion, extend your helping hand and protect me, that I may offer to, and adorn as befits Him, my Lord Arunachala, my beloved, the best among all bridegrooms, with this Marital Garland of Letters.


Poetic licence has here been employed to change the word cāttal – to adorn to cāṟṟal – to speak, tell, so as to create a pun upon the two meanings to adorn and to compose a text. 

varaṉ [can mean] great one or husband, bridegroom. mālai cāṟṟa [means] to relate a work in the form of a garland. 

karuṇākaram [can also mean] hand of compassion, hand of grace; further karam [can mean] ray, consciousness. 

Split as aruṇācala araṉ [the meaning is] Arunachala Siva. araṉ [Sanskrit hara – the Destroyer] is a derivative, causal name for Siva, as destroying the suffering of his devotees. ‘The Lord who, as the Destroyer [of suffering], bestows grace upon the devotees who follow Him, when suffering follows on their heels and assails them.’ (Appar, Tēvāram, [5:51, v. 8]). 

It was Ganapati [Lord Ganesha] who facilitated the marriage between Valli and [his younger brother] Skanda [Murugan]; note therefore that this Invocation possesses this special significance, in addition to the general one of facilitating the marriage between devotees and his father, Arunachala.

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