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From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Wed Aug 13 1997 - 19:08:26 PDT
Dear Members of the Bhakthi/Prapathi group : The following article might be of interest to you . V.Sadagopan ---------- Forwarded Message ---------- From: V. Sadagopan, 75041,3037 TO: MGP, INTERNET:email@example.com CC: ara, INTERNET:firstname.lastname@example.org MR, INTERNET:Ranga1@ix.netcom.com SR, INTERNET:Srengara@ford.com Vijay, INTERNET:vijay_Srinivasan@praxair.com DATE: 8/11/97 10:21 PM RE: Copy of: Swami Desikan"s MummaNikkOvai : His first Tamil prabhandham Dear Fellow BhakthAs : Swami Desikan's fluency and mastery of three languages (viz) ., Sanskrit , Tamil and Prakrith is well known . With BhagavAn HayagreevA's blessings , he composed many a splendid work in these three languages . He had the Hayagreeva SaakshAthkAram at Thiruvaheendrapuram on Oushadha giri . Thereafter , he was deeply immersed with Bhagavdh anubhavam of Sri DevanAthan , the presiding lord of the divya dEsam of Thiruvaheendrapuram . He spent many years of his life at this divya kshEthram and blessed us with magnificinet compositions such as Achyutha Sathakam , Sri DevanAyaka panchAsath , MummaNikkOvai and other Tamil aruLicheyalgaL that are lo longer available to us . These are works that resulted from his anubhava janitha aanandhA pravAham . The extraordinary involvement of Swami Desikan with the anubhavam of the pUrNa shAtguNya Vigraham of Sri DevanAthan resulted in these magnificient composiitons . These works on Sri DevanAthan also resulted because of the direct command of the Lord that Swami Desikan alludes to in the eighth slOkam of Sri DeavanAyaka panchAsath : samrakshaNeeyam amarAdhipathE tvayaiva dhooram prayAthamapi dhusthyaja gAtabhandham I aakrushtavAnasi bhavanAnukampamAna : suthrAnubhaddha sakuni kramatha: svayam maam II (meaning ) : O DaivanAyakA ! You have pulled me back to You from the vast distances that I had wanderd to because of my ties to samsAram just as the owner of a bird , who has tied a thread to the leg of the bird that he owns yanks it back . I am the one , who deserves to be protected by You and out of Your compassion , You drew me back closer to You . This slokam and the sthOthram of Sri DaivanAyaka panchAsath arose as a result of an incident in Swami Desikan's life . He had resided many years at Thiruvaheendrapuram enjoyig the ArchA mUrthy of Sri DaivanAyakan . After that time , Swami Desikan decided to go on a journey to Kanchipuram to have the darsanam of Sri VaradarAjan . He started on his journey and rested for a night at a place on the banks of river PeNNAru . He had a dream in the morning , where Sri DaivanAyakan appeared in the dream of Swami Desikan and commanded him to return to Thiruvaheendrapuram and create Sri sUkthis on Him . Swami Desikan woke up with alacrity and immediately returned to Thiruvaheendrapuram and spent many more years there and created number of Divya Sookthis on Lord DaivanAthan in Sanskrit , Tamil and PrAkrutham and placed them at the lotus feet of the divya dampathis . Thus originated the beautiful Tamil prabhandham of MummaNikkOvai. Swami Desikan's deep devotion flows like a majestic river in the verses of MummaNikkOvai . There are 96 different types of prabhandhams with specific grammar in Tamil poetic tradition . One of them is the tradition of MummaNikkOvai . This category of poetry has to have thirty verses and they have to be set in three different kinds of architecture known as veNNpaa , AasiriyappA and kattaLai kalitthurai . Earlier NammAzhwAr had set three of his four prabhandhams -- ThiruvAsiriyam , Periya ThiruvanmdhAthi and Thiruviruttham -- in aasiriyappA , veNNpA and kattaLai kalitthurai . Inspired by the example set by the kulapathi , Swami Desikan followed that illustrious example and set MummaNikkOvai in the same manner and distilled the essence of the four prabhandhams of NammAzhwAr in his first Tamil composition . NammAzhwAr's first prabhandham is Thiruviruttham. It fits in the grammatical framework of kattaLai kalithturai . The Thiruviruttham of the great AzhwAr is an account of the journey of the soul to its transcendance , after overcoming its avidhyA , slumber and and sloth in which it was trapped before its union with the Lord . Several levels of ascent of the God-hungry soul and its fulfillement of its objective are covered in this magnificient aruLiccheyal of the AzhwAr . Swami Desikan's verses in KattaLai kalitthurai of the MummaNikkovai are moving accounts of his search for and attainment of Lord DaivanAyakan's blesings in the manner of NammAzhwAr's own search and realization . The second prabhandham of NammAzhwAr is ThiruvAsiriyam . This follows the grammar defined for AasiriyappA in Tamil poetry . These paasurams are a result of the AzhwAr's unparalleled enjoyment of the beauty of the subhAsrayam of Sriman NaarAyaNA . In a similar manner , Swami Desikan saluted the most sacred and beautiful bhagavathsvarUpam of Sri DaivanAyakan in aasiriyappA . The third prabhandham of NammAzhwAr , Periya ThiruvandhAthi takes the form of veNNpaa . Swami Desikan uses the veNNpaa in MummaNikkOvai to experience his deep involvement with the anantha kalyANa guNams of the Lord of Thiruvaheendrapuram just as NammAzhwar reflected on his own anubhavam of Sriman NaarAyaNA . In his fourth prabhandham , ThiruvAimozhi , NammAzhwAr poured out his sublime experience in paasurams that deal with his saakshAthkAram of the Lord and the delectable anubhavam . In a similar fashion , Swami Desiakn recorded his own unique bliss resulting from the divine darsanam of the Lord of Thiruvaheendrapuram in his tenth verse of MummaNikkOvai . Thus the ten verses of MummaNikkOvai is the distillation of the essence of the four prabhandhams of NammAzhwAr . They are the quintissence of the aruliccheyalaL of SatakOpa maamuni . Besides the strict adherence to the rules of Tamil poetry , the inner meanings of the ten verses of MummaNikkOvai are profound and echo the truths covered by the VedAs and Upanishads . The vyankyArthams or the symbolic meanings hinted have a very auspicious dhvani that is sacred and at the same time enchanting . MummaNikkOvai has also been identified as a kaavyam in Tamil . The jeevan or the life breath of a kaavyam is its rasam . Sri Desika Darsana Vijaya dhvaja , panditha bhooshaNa Bhagavadh vishaya vidwAn , Sri ChEtlUr NarasimhAchArya Swami has written a scholarly commentary on Swami Desiakn 's MummaNikkOvai . He has pointed out that saanthi rasam is the primary rasam of this kaavyam ; sringAram , adhbhutham , karuNai and veeram have been identified as auxillary rasams handled by Swami Desikan according to this great Srivaishnavite scholar . MummaNikkOvai in Tamil means the necklace made up of three gems or rathnams . Sri ChEtlUr Swamy has explained to us that the three gems are the sthOthra rathnam , purANa rathnam and manthra rathnam . I will cover the highlights of the ten verses of MummaNillOvai available to us today among the original thirty verses of MummaNikkOvai in the subsequent postings . Sri Taranga Mukha Nandinee HemAbhja NaayikA samEtha Sri DevanAtha ParabrhamaNE Nama: SrimathE VakuLa BhooshaNa MahA guravE nama: SrimathE BhaashyakArAya Nama : SrimathE NigamAntha MahA DesikAya Nama : Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan Sri ANDAL's ThirukkalyANa dinam , Isvara samvathsaram .