You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : August 1998

Saazhal paasurams and Bhagavdhanubhavams

From: Sadagopan (sgopan_at_computer.net)
Date: Wed Aug 05 1998 - 04:51:53 PDT

Dear BhakthAs :

Yesterday I wrote about the Saazhal Paasurams 
of Thirumangai , where he enjoyed the Bhagavadh 
GuNAnubhavams of Vibhava moorthys , RaamA and 
KrishNA . During this Brahma mUhUrtham , I will 
write about another conversation between Gopis 
as reported this time by PeriyAzhwAr ( PeriyAzhwAr 
Thirumozhi: 3.9 ).

The Gopis engage here in another playful 
celebration centered around Bhagavadh 
GuNAnubhavanm known as "Unthi Paratthal " . 
The ChEshtithams (leelAs ) of KrishNAvatharam
and RaamAvathAram are celebratd here by a group of
Gopis . One Half of them are Raama ChaithanyAs 
and the other half are KrishNa ChaithanyAs .
This simultaneous hailing of the glories of 
the two Vibhava AvathArams at one times is 
considered equivalent to the Nithya Sooris taking
many bodies at Parama padham to serve the Lord in many
ways and praise His guNams thru such means .This 
situation is similar to the play of children ,
where they shout , my Father is stronger than
Yours , My father is richer than Yours etc .

Ishta DevathA prArthanai and NamaskaraNam is
a well documented phenomenon in the Bhakthi 
mode of celebrating our Lord . A great KrishNa
chaithanyA , LeelA Sukhar , the author of the sweet
KrishNa KarNAmrutham said to Sri RaamA , who appeared 
before him once to go away and come back with flute in
hand , peacock feather ( MaayUra Barham )and VanamAlai 
around His neck so that He can receive
LeelAsukhar's worship . The sloKam is as follows :

vihAya Kodhanda sarou muhUrtham 
gruhANa paaNou maNi chAru vENum 
maayUra bharham cha nijOtthamAngE 
SITAAPATHE tvAm praNayAmi pascchAth

LeelAsukhar Says " Oy ! SeethApathi ! 
Please put aside your KodhaNdam and arrows for a
short while , take on the beautiful flute
of in Your hand , wear the peacock feather in 
Your black tresses and THEN I will prostrate before
You ". 

Raama ChaithanyAs like Saint ThyagarAjA or 
the SankarAchAryA of Kanchi Paramparai , who
was another Raama ChaithanyA par excellenece
are Raama pathivrathAs . They asked KrishNA 
to go away and asked Him to assume the Vesaham
of Raaman so that they will pay attention . 

Coming back to PeriyAzhwAr's paasurams referred 
to above , the pala sruthi says that those who 
recite these ten paasurams would have no sufferings
of any kind in their lives ( Senthamizh Tenn Puthuvai
Vittuchitthan sol , iynthinodu Iynthum vallArkku 
ALLAL ILLAIYE ) . 

I will give two examples of these unthi paratthal
paasurams of Gopis as recorded by PeriyAzhwAr .

One Gopi says : " Hail the Glory of my Lord KrishNA ,
who in order to fulfil the desire of His beloved consort ,
SathyabhAmA moved the blooming PaarijAtham tree from 
the garden of IndrA and planted in the courtyard of 
SathyabhAmA . Let us praise His valour " .

The Other Gopi responds : " Hail the pourusham (Valor)
of my RaamA ,the son of DasarathA , who took away 
the power and bow of haughty ParasurAmA , who challenged
His valor ; and hail that Maha Veeran , who also killed
the demoness TatakA by wielding His KoDhandam " .

All of Divya Prabhandham , which in the assessment of 
Dr. S.M.S. Chari is the distillation of doctrines 
housed in Upanishads , the Paancha rAthra aagamam ,
the IthihAsAs and PurANAs and is rich in celebration 
of SavisEsha Brahma Vaadham aspects of saluting 
the Para Brahmam .The uniqueness of Sri VisishtAdhvaitham
as elaborated by AchArya RaamAnujA " identifies 
this metaphysical Absolute " with the personal God "
of our Darsanam .Thirumangai has correctly observed 
earlier  in this context that Our Lord Sriman NaarAyanA
as the One in the form of the sound of Tamil and who is also 
in the form of the Sanskrit Word ( senthiRatthat TamizhOsai
VadasollAhi--niRkum anthaNanai maRavAthenrum vAazhthiyEl
VaazhalAm maDa nenjE-- ThirunedumhtAnDakam : 4 ).

Dr.S.M.S. Chari Quotes in this context an assessment 
by the AchAryA of AchArya Hrudhayam about Bhagavadh
GuNAnubhavam being the heart of ThiruvAimozhi and links
the ten centums to the following ten Central themes :

1. ParathvA or NarAyaNaa as the supreme being 
2. KaaraNathvA or the Supreme Lord as the primamry cause 
   of this Universe
3. VyApakathvA or His abiding at all times and in all
   sentient and non-sentint entities both within and 
   outside .
4. NiyanthrythvA or He is the Controller of ALL.
5. KaaruNIkathvAm or His limitless compassion
6. SaraNyathvam or His role as the sole refuge for ALL.
7. Sakthithvam Or His unquestioned power to protect ALL.
8. SatyakAmathvam or He is endowed with KalyANa guNAs 
  (auspicious attributes ) and VibhUthis (auspicious wealth )
9. Aapathsakhathvam or His real friendship for the BhakthAs
   in distress .
10. Aarhtiharathvam or His unfailing response to His devotees,
    when they long to attain Him ( vde: Aarthi
    Prabhandham of MaNavALa Maamuni).

The entire Divya Prabhandham celebrating the three 
rahasyams symbolized by the EmperumAns of Srirangam
( mUla manthram ) , Kaanchi ( Dhvayam ) and 
ThiruvEnkatam ( Carama SlOkam ) is abundant with
Bhagavadh GuNAnubhavam by our " theistic mystics",
the great AzhwArs . 

The recent book of Dr.S.M.S. Chari that I referred to
frequently is one of the best books dealing with 
the "Theistic Mysticism " of AzhwArs and their unique status 
in our SampradhAyam .Actually , Dr.Chari has coined 
this word , "Theistic Mystics " to describe appropriately
the unquenes of the AzhwAr's anubhavams . 

Thanks to Sri KrishNa Kalale , I had the good fortune
to get a copy of this wonderful book , which has to be
read again and again to appreciate the enormous scholarship 
and insights of this great Sri VaishNavite Scholar , who
impartially analyses and soberly points out the essential
meanings of the life and works of the AzhwArs in his new book .

Dr. Chari's earlier book on Sri Vaishnavism is 
a Master piece in its own rights for those ,
who wish to know about the profound doctrines and 
ancient history of our Darsanam . This new book 
is a special and focussed study on AzhwArs and
their special brand of mysticism . Dr.Chari steers 
clear of traditional controversies and very unemotionally 
puts the facts in front of us and with his blemishless 
scholarship and the anugrahams of his great AchAryAs
( Sri Goshtipuram Swami and MathurAnthakam
Sri VeerarAghavAcchAr Swamy ). He has given us a truly
brilliant work on the Philosophy and Theistic 
Mysticism of the AzhwArs ." I pray to our SaraNyan 
to bless Dr.S.M.S. Chari for long and healthy life
to bless us with more such granthams .

AdiyEn , Oppilaippan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan 

P.S: Please do not Forget your support for AchArya
RaamAnujA CD ROM Kaimkaryam and rush your funds 
to Sri Dileepan . If Achaarya RaamAnujA had not 
directed PiLLaan to write the first commentary on 
Bhagavadh Vishayam , it is hard to imagine how 
the Ubhaya vedAntha SiddhAntham would have 
flourished . Thanks to you all supporters .