You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : August 1997

Upadesham-II

RANGASWAMY_at_plh.af.mil
Date: Thu Aug 21 1997 - 09:24:02 PDT

Dear Friends,

It was a rare treat to read the Upadesham of the 45th Jeeyar Swamigal of 
Ahobila Matham and his exposition of the meanings of the Ashtakshara 
Mantram from Sriman Dileepan's post. Sri Dileepan brought out the Jeeyar's 
message with consummate effect, i.e., the Ashtakshara Mantram provides 
Tatva, Hita and Purushartha. Thanks Sri Dileepan. Sri KrishNa KalaLe is 
uniquely previleged and extremely blessed to perform Gayathri Japam in front 
of Malolan in the company of Jeeyar Swamigal at Rishikesh. My praNamams to 
Srimans Dileepan and KalaLe.

The structure of the Ashtakshara Mantram is
brilliantly described in the NarayaNa Upanishad salutation "OmithyEkAksharam
Nama iti Dvae AksharE NarayaNayEti PanchAksharaNi" . Pilgrimage to the 
Kshetram of Salagramam is very difficult due to the ice covered paths. 
Tirumangai Azhwar successfully overcame the icy paths by constantly 
uttering the Ashtakshara Mantram. In the Krithi "Narayana Ninna Namada 
SmaraNeya" Purandara Dasa refers to the Ashtakshara Mantram in the line 
"Ashtakshara Maha Mantrava Namada" 

Lord Narayana explains the significance of Ashtakshara Kshetram 
(Tirukannapuram) in his Upadesham to Garuda through the following Shlokam:

Srirangam Venkatadrischa SrimushNam Totaparvatam
Salagramam Pushkarancha Nara-NarayaNAshramam
Naimithim Cheti Meh SthanAnyasow Mukti Pradanivai 
YetusvashtaksharaikAka: VarNamurthir VasAmyaham
Tishtami KrishNa KshetrE PuNya Sapthako gatha:
Ashtaksharasya Mantrasya Sarvaksharamaya Sada

(The Kshetrams of Srirangam, Tirupati, SrimushNam, Vanamamalai, Salagramam, 
Badrikashramam and NaimisharaNayam are Mukti granting places. I reside as 
one Aksharam of my Ashtaksharam in the form of the Murthis at these Kshetrams. 
I reside as my entire Ashtakshara at TirukaNNapuram). The Archa Murthy at 
TirukaNNapuram is Sowriraja Perumal. This Kshetram is considered to be 
very special for those seeking Ashtakshara Mantra Siddhi. In fact, Sri 
Tirumangai Azhwar was blessed with Upadesham of the Ashtakshara Mantram by 
the Lord himself, who appeared before the Azhwar along with his consort 
in the form of a newly wed couple. In previous postings, Srimans Sadagopan and 
Sampath Rengarajan have referred to the Pasurams of Tirumangai Mannan in 
praise of the Lord of this Kshetram. Their informative posts beautifully 
describe the connections between Garuda and this Kshetram. It is my request 
to them that they consider translating the Pasurams from Tirumangai Mannan
at their convenience.

Best Wishes,

Muralidhar Rangaswamy