Which form is more beautiful?

Sri U Ve Maha Vidwan Prativadi Bhayankaram Annangaracharyar Swami

Translated by TCA Venkatesan

Through Hanuman, Sita sends a message to Sri Rama from Asokha Vana. Hanuman gave that message to Sri Rama: "jIvitamtAra yishyAmi mAsam dasarAtmaja" and "Urtvam mA sAnna jIvEyam".

That is, Sita says that "I will survive only one more month. I cannot live beyond that".

Sri Rama said "na jIvEyam kshaNamapi vinA tAm asitEkshaNAm". He says "She can survive a month without being with me (if She can survive a month, may be She can do it even longer). But I cannot survive even a moment without Her".

Looking at these two statements together, it might appear that Rama is to be considered greater than Sita in the matter of "not surviving when separated".

During Nampillai's time, some folks were talking thus: Is Sita's statement appropriate? Is She not the one who says that She would never separate from the Lord even for a moment (as said by Azhvar "agalakillEn iRaiyumenRu alarmEl mangai uRai mArbA")? Is She not the one who should have then said "na jIvEyam kshaNamapi"? How is that Valmiki has written that She says that She can handle the separation for a month and Rama says that He cannot handle it even for one moment. When Nampillai heard this, through him, a great meaning was revealed.

Looking at the statements by the divine couple carefully, it can be seen that the greatness belongs to pirAtti more than the Lord. How is that?

Here, it is seen that Her beauty is far greater than that Lord's beauty which was described as "pumsAm drushti cittApahAri". Her greatness is seen from the fact that the Lord cannot tolerate separation from Her even for a moment. In contrast, since She said that She could tolerate separation for one month, it is seen that His beauty is not as great as Her's.

In the vyakhyanam for the Thiruvaymozhi pasuram 6-6-6 ("en viRpuruvakkodi thORRadhu meyyE"), Nampillai states that "showing the lesser beauty ("Urtvam mAsAt na jIvishyE"), He stole the greater beauty ("na jIvEyam kshaNamapi").