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From: usdeiva (usdeiva_at_ix.netcom.com)
Date: Mon Apr 28 1997 - 21:25:06 PDT
Memphis April 28 1997. Dear Shri Mani Varadarajan, This is to ack yr message 23rd accepting Sri UchANi Deivachilai's request made on my behalf. May I say thanks to you, Shri Mani, and to Shri Dileepan Parthasarathy, for so cordially admitting me to yr conversation about Srivaishnavam. As required in yr message, hereunder =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o= SPEAKING OF MYSELF ~~ T.S. Sundara Rajan, =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o= My name wd read TIRUMANJANAM Srinivasa Sundara Rajan. I am the father-in-law of Shri UchANi Deivachilai who has introduced me. The Lord at the 'divya-desam' TiruppullANi (near the setu) has been christened by Tirumangai-mannan as DeivacchilaiyAr. This is a data in paranthesis for those who have not been to TiruppullANi, or have not come upon the relevant Peria Tirumozhi verse. UchANi is a native of AzhvAr Tirunagari; my wife and I belong to Srirangam where I have returned & settled down, in retirement after 34 yrs in Government of India in New Delhi as Under Secretary in Ministry of Human Resource Development. The family name Tirumanjanam stands for the service of organising the ceremonial bath of the deity namperumAL (= azhaGiamaNavALan = SrirangarAja-svAmi) of Srirangam. This honorofic attached to one of the 'sthalattAr' functionaries (administrators) of the Srirangam Peria Koil; he was also among the personal attendants ('kinkara') of 'udaiyavar' (Sri rAmAnuja). The Tirumanjanam is of the fortunate many counted among the disciples of the House of Sri Mudali ANDAn, the nephew of Sri rAmAnuja and the principal of the 74 'simhAsana-adhipati' preceptors identified by Udaiyavar. My sparse but precious knowledge of the Srivaishnava 'sampradAya' is owed to my father's extraordinary book collections and my mother's unobtrusive devotion and, not the least, that the Lord had granted unto me to meet some of the great personages of our times. I have received Grace in one particular respect: both while in service and out of it, there were opportunities for me to make my small contributions to the 'sampradAyam' either through crucial writing or supporting important publications. Lately (at the request of the district collector of Tiruchirappalli) I wrote a handy booklet entitled 'The Great Temple of SRIRANGAM ~~ an Introduction'; this was presented to the President of India, Shankar Dayal Sharma, when he visited the Temple on Oct 26 1996. I shall be glad to disseminate this booklet through this internet eventually. I am pleased to receive A.K. rAmAnujan's translation of "kaRpAr". I recall I did an interview of A.K.R. in the HINDUSTAN TIMES in 1969 when he had just published his rendering of the Sangham classic 'kuruntogai' and 'Speaking of Siva'. I wrote to him to attempt the Tiru-voy-mozhi, and I like to believe that his eventual rendering of Tiru-voy-mozhi resulted from this. My wife and I are visiting my daughter in Memphis, and plan to return to Srirangam by end of July'97. ======================================================================= The text: "seththadin vayiRRil siRiyadu piRandAl, eththai thinRu engE kidakkum?" occurs in the account of madhurakavi AzhvAr incorporated in the chapter on Sri nammAzhvAr in the 'Guru-paramparA prabhAvam' (pinbazhagia-perumAL jeeyar). The note thereunder goes like this: 'seththadu' is the inorganic and the 'siRiyadu' is the diminutive, that is the soul. The soul animates and subsists on the corporeal. Dileepan, Mani and Krishna Kalale have made a triangular seminar on this text. Kalale points out this text is not from the body of the arulic- cheyal (divya-prabandham) itself. (Is Shri Kalale possibly a native marAThi-speaker? If so, it is gratifying evidence that discussions on AzhvAr theme are enlisting scholars outside of the Tamil heartland!) That the text is not from the divya-prabandham (but figures in the Guru- paramparA-prabhAvam) does not diminish its importance as a philosophic episode. The GPP would have the same relationship with the Divya.P as 'smrti' has with 'sruti'; cf 'itihAsa-purANAbhyAm vedam samupa-brhmayet' ~~ a dictum which occurs not only in the opening chapter of MahAbhArata but in every PurANam as well. The text is a verbal vignette of the 'jeeva' (the soul) situated in the 'Sareera' (the body, or its material abode). This would eventually provide the title and framework ('SAreeraka-meemAmsA') for the later Sribhashyam of Udaiyavar. Apart from this, two additional metaphors can also possibly emerge from the text; 'padma-patram ivAmbhasA' (like the lotus leaf arising from water but remaining un-wetted), ~~ and 'dvA suparNAh' (like the bird that passively looks on while its companion pecks at the berries off the branch where they rest), ~~ both from the Bhagavad GeetA ~~ of being with it but not of it. [This is not the same as modern management principles of motivation & involvement or lack of them.] If one can think about it aright, then one is lodged in karma-yoga. The two metaphors available in the Bhagavad Geeta can also represent the jeeva-para (the soul individuate and the soul absolute) equation; the 'siRiyadu' signifying the Absolute, going by "angushTha-mAtrah purusho janAnAm hrdaye sannivishtah", and "aNoh aNeeyaan" of the upanishad. On this text, I sign off for the while. ============================================================================ Kalale makes an incidental remark, "if we strive towards spiritual progress, we may reach arciradi marga". Good action has, no doubt, its built-in good effect, but in my humble opinion, a life of spiritual protocol is not to be regarded in terms of input-output situation. We are to practise the religious observances merely because they are prescribed in the sAstra: sAsan trAyate iti sAstram (it protects by ordaining). There is always the question whether we speak of the authentic sAstram, or get beguiled by false and cynical texts ('poi noolaiye mei noolenRu', in the words of Tirumangai mannan). For the present, I will merely cite two texts: "yameva esha vrNute tena hi labhyah" and, "aduvum avanadu innarule". ============================================================================ Mani Varadarajan has asked for the right 'sabda-roopam' (orthography) of brahma (God absolute, in neuter gender, and if the terminal ma is not accented, ~~ or, the deity of that name, in masculine gender, and if the terminal is accented); vahni (fire); and jahnu (the rshi who held the Ganga in spate in his ear). I am glad that Mani has asked about this, since it is important to know the words in correct form. 'yadakshara-pada-bhrashtam...' and 'visarga- bindu-mAtrANi...', is how we have worried about knowing the words aright! I have written the correct forms. In Sanskrt, the phonetics is built into the spelling, hence you pronounce as it is written. "brhat iti brahma" is the 'vyutpatti', (Brahm because it is large). bram-ha has, as such, no sense. Further, the suffix 'haa' is archaic (Arsha-prayogam) for 'slayer'; as 'Indro vrtra-hA' in the vedam; the vedic 'hA' becomes 'ghnah' in PaNini, as in Satru-ghnah. Nara-simha is right, and not -sihma. The Hindi politicians solicit yr votes for their 'chinha' (emblem); we cannot oblige, since we want to vote for someone's 'chihna'. One renders the ShrAddham (and not 'ShrArddham') on the anniversary of a parent's demise. The temple prasAdam consists of puLi-orai (and not puliyodarai), and dadhyodanam (and not dadhyonnam). We are all devoted to Vaishnavam (or Vishnuism), and NOT Vaishnavism; in Sanskrit, Vaishnavam is the sufficient inflexion to signify the sixth case of declension; in English, the early Indologists properly referred to it as Vishnu-ism (by adding the suffix abstraction). Can someone secure a project assistance for compiling a Dictionary of Errors, please? ~~ we need such a dictionary in Tamil. =========================================================================== I am a little uncertain about writing Tamil or Sanskrit texts over the English language key-board, without diacritical support. I have carefully gone thro the 'bhakti' messages and tried to adopt the phonetic system to the extent I understood. T.S. Sundara Rajan, care UchANi Deivachilai, Memphis. Phone 901-367-2185.