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Re: Question : Meaning of "vaikuNTa"

From: Sadagopan (sgopan_at_computer.net)
Date: Sat Aug 22 1998 - 06:13:07 PDT

Dear Sri Ram Gopalaswamy :

You had requested the etymological meaning 
of the word " VaikunTam " . Literal translation
of this word is the land of no hindrance , the 
parama padham of Sriman NaarAyaNA as saluted by 
AchArya RaamAnujA in Sri Vaikunta Gadhyam and 
Swami Sri Desikan in Sri Parama Padha sOpAnam 
( please refer to postings in recent issues of 
SaraNAgathi Journal ) . They have abundant material 
relating to the concept of "no hindrance Land " .

The word is derived from Vai and KuNTam .
Vai is derived from dhAtup xxii .24 ( vayati,
to become weary or exhausted ) Kuntaa means 
the opposite of the tattvam described in juxtaposition .
Therefore together , it means the opposite of being 
weary or being afflicted with samsAric distresses 
full of hindrances ( referred to by Sri MaadhavakkaNNan)
to seek and attain the lotus feet
of Parama Padha Naathan at His supreme abode . 

Hailing from ThiruviNNagara KshEthram , where
Sri VaikuntanAthan ( TannoppArillappan/AkAsa NagarIsan) 
is the ArchA mUrthy , I empathize with this intrepretation 
and cite it in favor of putting ThiruviNNagar 
KshEthram as the Number ONE among all the divya desams .

There are number of other reasons to support 
this choice , which I will come to after 
Sri Rangarajan's most scholarly postings on 
Sri Oppiliappan are completed . Actually , there will
be precious little for me to say after he gets done .

I must admit that I will end up co-ranking MaalOlan 
in the silver mantapam at Sri Sannidhi of
Ahobila Mutt with TannoppArillappan 
in this " Friendly contest /Saazhal series " 
among BhakthAs and defend it . This way , I will
be out of the dharma sankatam that many of us 
feel , while we offer our deep reverence to 
our archA mUrthys at different divya desams 
such as Sri Rangam , ThiruvEnkatam , 
ThiruvallikkENi , Ahobilam and gatikAchalam .
 
I look forward to that joyous  experience of 
the celebration of the anantha kalyANa guNAs 
of Sriya: Pathi .

V.Sadagopan