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AzhwAr AruLiccheyalgals on Sri RanganAthan : Part 14

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Wed Apr 29 1998 - 16:10:16 PDT

Dear Fellow students of AzhwAr's MangaLAsAsanams :

In the remaining few Postings  concluding  
on AchArya RaamAnujA's birthday ( May 1 ) , I will
select illustrative Paasurams from all the AzhwArs ,
who have performed MangaLAsAsanams on the Lord of Srirangam .
There are 247 bhakthi-laden paasurams from eleven of 
the twelve AzhwArs. Madhurakavi , who sang only about 
his AchAryA , NammAzhwAr is the only exception in this list.
We will enjoy selected paasurams from each of the eleven 
AzhwArs on Lord RanganAthA next .

Mudal AzhwArs : Poygai , BhUtham and PEy Azhwars 

Between the three of them , they contributed SEVEN
Paasurams . Poygai AzhwAr has one paasuram about Sri
RanganAthan that addresses all those , who have 
a poor understanding of the mahimai of Sriman NaarAyaNA 
as the ParamAthman and DevAthi Devan . He addresses these 
poor folks as " yEzhaikAL " , or the sppiritually poor ,
who have lost sight of the imperishable wealth , Sriman
NaarAyaNA as their one and only Lord .

Poygai AzhwAr's (The Embodiment of Para Bhakthi) Paasuram

onRu maRanthu aRiyEN Otha Neer VaNNanai naan
inRu maRappEnO yEzhaikAL ! -anRu 
karuvarangatthuL kidanthu kai thozuthEn kaNdEn 
ThiruvarangamEyAn thisai 
 --- Mudal ThiruvandhAthi: Paasuram-6 

Poygai was born at ThiruvehhA in a lotus pond inside 
a golden lotus during Iyppasi SravaNam as the amsam
of the Lord's Paanchajanyam .He states in this paasuram
that  he has never been without the thought of Sri Ranganaatha
at any time in his life including the time he spent inside
the golden lotus as a foetus .He states that he turned 
his head even during the foetal stage towards the direction 
of Sri Ranganaathan at Srirangam . He was in garba rangam 
( womb of the Golden lotus ) and he turned towards Sri Rangam
even then and offerd his anjali .

SaashtrAs say that the child growing in the mother's
womb has the correct j~nanam and VairAghyam . When it 
leaves the mother's womb and enters this world , it 
loses all that it was blessed to possess before . 
AzhwAr has this fact in mind and reminds the spiritually
poor that he has not lost that J~nanam and VairAghyam 
even now as in the case of other children . He remembers 
turning His head even as a foetus towards the Lord of 
Srirangam and saluting Him with folded hands.He says
that he recognized the neela mEgha ShyAmaLa RanganAthan
as the supreme Brahmman and therefore has not turned 
his gaze away from the direction of the Lord of Srirangam .
He asks a rhetorical question : If I did so then as a foetus
already , do you think I am going to turn in the direction 
of devathAntharams now ?

BhUthatthAzhwAr's ( The ebodiment of Para J~nAnam)Paasuram

This AzhwAr was born inside a Maadhavi pushpam 
as ayOnijar at Talasayana Thiruppathi during Iyppasi 
avittam as the amsam of Sri GoumEdhakI ( the gathai 
that we see on the lower left hand of Sri RanganAthA ).
He was called BhUtham in the spirit of " yEvam bhUthOsmi"
or I remain as the the Bhutham of Maadhavan or the servant
of the Lord . BhUtham in Tamil means " Iruppai peRRa ),
one that has the status of some thing ; in this case , 
as the one , who is fully cognizant of its status as 
the daasa bhUthan to the Sarva sEshi , the Lord of Srirangam .
BhuthatthAzhwAr performed MangaLAsAsanam of Sri RanganAthan
with four paasurams . The one that reminds one of
Parama Padham and its gates opened on Vaikunta EkAdasi
day at Srirangam is my favorite one of this AzhwAr :

thiRambiRRu ini aRinthEn Tennarangatthu yenthai 
tiRampA vazhi senRArkku allAl -tiRampA
cchetinarakai neengit thAmm selvathan munn vAnOr 
kadinakara vaasaRkkathavu 
--- Second ThiruvandhAthi : Paasuram 88

Azhwar equates Srirangam and Sri Vaikuntam here .
They are equal to each other .Why ? Both have seven
prAkArams and thousand pillared halls . One is BhUlOka
Vaikuntam ; the other is the residence of the nithya sUris ,
" vaanOr kadinakaram " (i-e)., Parama padham . The first
door of Sri Vaikuntam would not open to any one , 
who did not follow the noble Veda , Saashtra PramANams
established by Sri RanganAthA .Therefore , they can not
succeed in entering Sri Vaikuntam . AzhwAr reminds us here that 
Sri RanganAthan is the Lord of Saasvatha dharmams . This
truth is emphasized in Sri VishNu sahasra Naamam :

aachAra prathamO dharmO dharmasya Prabhurachyutha:

vEdA:sAstrANi vij~nAnam yethath sarvam JanaardhanAth 

bhajanthi yE pushkarAksham na tE yaanthi parAbahvam 

The " tiRampA Vazhi " referred to by Bhutham is 
the sAsvatha dharma maargam established by the Lord .
When those that do not follow the above dhArmic way , 
the front door of Sri Vaikuntam will bang shut as 
they approach . It wont let them in .Where will these
folks end up ? " tiRampA cheti narahu " ( the smsAric
hell with the dense & dark forests ) will be their lot .

PEy AzhwAr :( The embodiment of parama bhakthi ) 

This AzhwAr was born again as an ayOnijar in  a red lilly
blossoming inside the well at the temple of Adhi Kesavap perumAL
at Myalpore during an Iypaasi sathayam . He performed 
MangaLAsAsanam for the Lord of Srirangam with two
paasurams .He was the amsam of the Lord's sword , nadhakam .
My favorite among the two paasurams is the sixty second
paasuram of the third thiruvandhAthi :

ViNNagaram VehhA viri thirai neer Venkatam 
maNNagaram maamAda VeLukkai -maNNahattha
Then Kudanthai thEnAr Thiruvarangam thenkOtti 
tann kudangai neerERRAn thAzhvu 

Here , the AzhwAr celebrates the soulabhyam and 
the souseelyam of the Lord , who is sarva swAmi .
Even though He is Sarva swAmi , he stretched His hand 
and received in the palm of the hand the water poured 
by " Emperor" MaahA Bali to solemnize the dhAnam of three 
feet of land measured by His Vaamana form . He put aside 
His parathvam and asked for the gift of the three feet
of land from MahA Bali . PEy AzhwAr points out that 
Souseelyam and the soulabhyam of the Lord is abundantly 
evident at Srirangam , ThiruviNNagar , ThiruvehhA , 
ThiruvEnkatam ,VELukkai , Thirukkudanthai and
ThirukkOshtiUr . Azhwar describes Srirangam as 
" thEn aar Thiruvarangam" . The divya dEsam of Srirangam 
filled with sweet honey is saluted here with the choice 
of words : " thEn aar Thiruvarangam " . The sweet honey 
at the center of Srirangam is none other than Sri RanganAthan .

We will cover the selected salutations of Thirumazhisai ,
ThiruppANar , Kulasekarar and Thondaradipodi next .

Sri RanganAtha Charanou SaraNam prapadhyE 
Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri SadagOpan