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SRIJAYANTI

From: usdeiva (usdeiva_at_ix.netcom.com)
Date: Tue Aug 19 1997 - 19:55:52 PDT

Ref: messages of Sri Satyan Nagu,
                 Smt Parimala Rangarajan, and
                 Sri V. Sadagopan.
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          SrImatE rAmAnujAya nama:

                 SRIJAYANTI

                 (T.S. Sundara Rajan)

According to the Srirangam kOyil vAkya-panchAngam, 
'SrI-pAncharAtra kOyil kaNNapirAn SrIjayanti' 
falls on Tuesday (AvaNi/simha 10) August 26 1997.
The asterism is indicated as 'rOhiNI'.

On this dear day in Srirangam, namperumAL visits 
the SrI-bhaNDAram 'manDapam' in the morning and
is offered 'tirumanjanam' and there is a day-long
'sEvai/darSanam' [can someone please suggest the 
English equivalent for this word-and-concept?]
for the sEvArthi/devotees. The dusk of SrIjayantI 
in SrIrangam cannot be replicated elsewhere.
Every home here, except one of recent grief or
disability, would put out a krshna-pagoda [designed
and decorated over days of excitement] taken
in procession in the chitra and the uttara streets.  

This is followed by the 'uRiyaDi' festival
[on Aug 28 this year].   This seems to be a folk
theatre blending two themes.   The first is, of
course, the celebration of Nativity of the 
endearing God-as-Child, SrIkrshNa, as joyously 
described in periyAzhvAr's 

  "eNNei-SuNNam edir-edir tUviDa,
   kaNNan muRRam kalandu aLar AyiRRE", and 

  "ODuvAr vizhuvAr ukandu AlippAr etc".  

The second theme is the butter-gorging pranks of
SrIkrshNa.

The SrIkrshNa shrine in SrIrangam is situated in
the south-eastern corner of the second enclosure 
(sEnai-mudaliyAr pradakshiNam, or, rAjamahEndran
tiruc-chuRRu).  The chubby krshNa in this shrine
[in 'tribhangI' pose] is indeed an enchanter,
"madhurAkrtih".   On the uRiyaDi morning, krshNa
romps around the chitra vIthi with brief stop-overs
for the 'oil sport' of scaling the 'greasy pole'.
In the afternoon, krshNa as well as namperumAL with
ubhaya-nAcchimAr visit the yAdava-manDapam on the 
banks of tirumanjana-kAvEri.  The return is by the
chitra-vIthi where the 'uRiyaDi' is enacted.

The bhAgavata-purANam describes the birth of 
krshNa in a soft metaphor:

  "dEvakyAm dEva-bhUtAyAm vishNuh sarva-guhASayah
   AvirAsIt yathA prAchyAm diSInduriva pushkalah"

(vishNu, the ultimate Mystery, occurred in dEvaki,
a divinity in herself, as the bright moon on the
east.)

On the occasion of christening the Child, the
yadu-preceptor, SrI garga, remarks:

  "bahUni santi nAmAni, rUpANi cha sutasya tE,
   guNa-karmAnurUpANi, tAnyaham vEda, no janah."

[Your son verily has numerous names which do
describe his characteristics and deeds;  I am
aware of this, not so the people of the world!]

SrI bhIshmAchArya will, in his time, administer
these names ['yAni nAmAni gauNAni'] to yudhishThira;
Sri garga's "tAnyaham vEda" reminds one of 
viSvAmitra's "aham vEdmi mahatmAnam rAmam" and
the purusha-sUktam "vEdAham Etam purusham mahAntam".

The vishNu-purANam verse,

   "Esha nArAyaNah SrImAn kshIrArNava-nikEtanah
    nAga-paryankam utsrjya-hyAgato mathurAm purIm!"

registers the wonder that the Lord should at all have
stirred out of his serpent-couch in the milk-ocean 
to opt for the city of Mathura (i.e.to be incarnated
as krshNa).  The same kind of wonderment as is echoed
by periyAzhvAr in the line,

  "panik-kaDalil paLLikOLaip-pazhakaviTTu ODi-vandu
   en manak-kaDalil vAzha-valla mAya-maNALa nambI!"

[Lord, that thou should have quit your repose in the
cool waters ~~ of kshIrAbdhi ~~ to come and dwell in
the waves of my heart!]  

We would have some glimpse of our SrIvaishNava heritage
when we remember that, apart from the vishNu-bhAgavata-
harivamSa purANam, periyAzhvAr tirumozhi is the very 
first 'kaiSOra-sAhityam' [poesy on the Child] in any of 
the Indian languages.   The combination of the several
excellences [viz., the AzhvAr, antiquity of the'piLLait-
tamizh', Tamil language, and the krshNa theme] makes it 
nonpareil.

'karshati iti krshNah' [enchanter, therefore krshNa].
Who can ever have his heart's content in speaking of
krshNa? To think of krshNa is like spending an evening
on the sea-shore;  one cannot measure the sea nor know
everything about it, but facing the sea of an 
evening yields its own fulfilment.   Some of the Lord's
roles came to my mind vividly, and I composed a modest
'anushTubh' which I offer humbly to the bhAgavata-s:

   "krshNAya vAsudEvAya gItA-SAstra-pradAyinE
    dEvakI-priya-bAlAya rukmiNyAh patayE nama:"

vAsudEva was not only His name as the Absolute, it was
the name most dear to Him too:  "vAsudEvas-sarvamiti 
sa mahAtmA sudurlabhah!" 

The Lord's gift of the gItA is forever, and would be a
single sufficient gesture of His love for His creatures.
The SrIkrshNa-charama-SlOkam [sarva-dharmAn parityajya]
should be the anchor-sheet of our career through life.

The sacred name of dEvakI establishes the Lord's 
"paratva" identity itself in the ChAndOgya upanishad 
[3:16:6]:  "ghOra Angirasa said, Be it for krshNa the
son of dEvakI, and became rid of his cravings."   Hence
the sahasra-nAma listing of this name, 

  "Atma-yOnih svayam jAtah vaikhAnah sAmagAyanah
   dEvakInandanah srashTA kshitISah pApanASanah."

The 'rukmiNi sandESam' in bhAgavatam is precious in 
itself (just like "vAraNam Ayiram..."), but doubly so 
for containing ['mA vIrabhAgam abhimarSatu'] a nugget 
of nAcchiyAr tirumozhi ['vAniDai vAzhum av-vAnavarkku'].  

                        -o0o-

SrIjayantI [AvaNi-rOhiNI] happens to be the 
tiru-nakshatram also of the 'vyAkhyAna-chakravarti', 
SrI periyavAcchAn piLLai, who was named 'krshNa' for this
reason.  He is the only AchArya to have written
commentary for the entirety of aruLiccheyal/
divyaprabandham;  his 'SrIrAmAyaNa-bhArata taniSlokI' is
a precious work offering rare insights into our two great
'itihAsam'.  There are some who feel that he immortalised
himself even with his miniscule work, 'SrIrAmAyaNam 
According to the divyaprabandham Verses'.   piLLai's 
shrine is a few steps to the east of svAmidESikan's 
shrine facing tAyAr sannidhi in Srirangam.  The temple in
his birth-place SanganallUr (district tanjAvUr) has been
renovated recently.  His 'taniyan' is ~~

"SrImat-krshNa-samAhvAya namO yAmuna-sUnavE
 yat-kaTAkshaika-lakshyANAm sulabhah SrIdharas-sadA."

==============================================================

Sotto voce to Sri V. Sadagopan.  Hats off to you for your
knowledge of astrology!   I was never good at reading the 
stars.  And, I believe, the stars have equally reciprocated
the indifference!  

aDiyEn rAmAnuja-dAsan, T.S. Sundara Rajan.