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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. ======================================================================= 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.