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tiruvEngadam

From: sudarshan (lucasfie_at_md2.vsnl.net.in)
Date: Sat Aug 22 1998 - 10:13:55 PDT

Dear "bhAgavatOttamA-s",

In the last post I'd quoted from the Daya-Satakam the following:

nisseema-vaiBhava-jushAm mishatAm guNAnAm
   sthOtur-dayE vrishagirIsha-guNE-shvarIm tvAm II
thairEva noonam-avasharai-aBhi-nanditam mE
   satyApitham tava balAdakutO-Bhayathvam      II

(My rough gist of the above: "I praise Thee, O Lord of Vrishagiri (O Daya),
I praise Thee full-heartedly in the presence of many other "gunA-s" and
excellences (possessed by other glorious deities) which all pale by
comparison. That I can stand here and render Thee praise in plenary measure
.... fearlessly and with impunity (in the assembly of such deities) ... is
it not tribute in itself these other gods pay Thee!")

I'd wrongly referred to the above as Verse#100. It is actually Verse#101.
Regret the error (I was quoting from memory).
                                          
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One member has stated the following:
"Also Swami Desikan may have done SaraNAgathi to SrinivAsan with his
     DayA sathakam, but note that when he composed dayA sathakam he had
     only Srinivasan in mind and hence the SlOkam was on SrinivAsan. But
     ThiruppANAzhwAr started off with SrinivAsan and ended up with saying
     what I have quoted above.

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The member, for all I know, may be quite right.

But then he must be gracious enough to also admit that the inverse
perspective on the matter can also be an equally valid argument i.e.:

He who worships at the "sannidhi" (altar) of "tiruvengada-mudaiyAn"
worships single-mindedly, without the distraction of a memory or impression
of another "divya-desam" like SriRangam or Kanchi ever flashing across his
mind. And having worshipped at Tirumalai he ceases to crave for any other
"sannidhis". In fact like Kulasekhara AzhwAr one is invariably loath to
leave the sanctum-sanctorum of Lord Srinivasan and wishes in fact to remain
ever rooted there as "padi-yAy kiddanthu Un pavaLa-vAy kAnbEnE!". (This is
the reason why we need the "jarugandi, jarugandi" brigade there ! The
Kulasekhara AzhwAr emotion overtakes almost everyone who appears in the
presence of the "divya-mangala archAmurthy" of the Seven Hills!)

If you to do a bit of deep reflection you will admit that while we have
instances of AzhwArs like TirupAnn reflecting on Tirumalai while in the
presence of SriRanganathan there are no similar instances of any AzhwAr
offering "magalAsAsanam" to "tiruvengada-mudaiyAn" with half his mind
transfixed elsewhere in another "divya-desam" like SriRangam or Kachhi or
KumbhakOnam.... ("anda-anubhavam tirumaliyil yErpadAthu!"). 

Next, take the great SriRamanujAcharyA.

 I would venture to say, "tirumalai" was never really far from his thoughts
during his tenure of residence at SriRangam in the close company of
"periya-perumAl". We know from history that while discoursing one evening
to his disciples on the TiruvoimOzhi "pasUram" "ozhivil kAlam-ellAm...." he
choked on the words,"sindhoo-poo maguzham tiruvEngadathu...." and collapsed
in tears recalling to mind the Lord of the Seven Hills. It was then that he
dispatched AnantAzhwAr forthwith from Srirangam to Tirumala to render
"pushpa-kainkaryam"..... the rest of the story is too well known to all of
you to bear repetition.

The point that cannot be missed is this: it is common to be afflicted with
a sense of pining for TiruVengadam while residing elsewhere; on the other
hand, while remaining in TiruvEngadam it is uncommon for anyone to want to
even think of any other "divya-desam". The cases of TirupAnnAzhwAr,
Kulasekhara AzhwAr and of our own dear "uDayavar" are clear testimony to
this!
---------------------------------------------

The same member also said : " Taking Swami Desikan's case itself, if he was
so entralled by
     SrinivAsan why did he not prefer to stay at Thirumalai but stayed at
     Srirangam. Even during the period of the Muslims attack on Srirangam,
     Swami Desikan prefered to stay in Thirunarayanapuram instead of
     Thirumalai. Actually Thirumalai was more safer to reside, at that time
     than compared to Thirunarayanapuram. "

I must beg the member to please grant Swami Desikan a modicum of plain
common-sense !

A man is on the run from marauder; he flees SriRangam, then the seat of
SriVaishnavism; now where would one wish to seek sanctuary under such
circumstances? In another great SriVaishnava capital like Tirumala which
would be the next most logical and likely place for the pursuers to
attack?! 

If one were to wish to escape the authorities in New Delhi where would one
tend to head if one wished to disappear underground? Another metro like
Madras or Bombay?! Or some remote ravine in the Chambal ravines of Madhya
Pradesh ?!! 

If you carefully examine the historical situation at that time
Tirunarayana-puram (relatively unknown at that time to the Muslims who in
all likelihood might have been unable to even pronounce the name properly
leave alone being able to fix its coordinates on a map !) was certainly a
safer "underground" sanctuary than the well-known "kshetra" of Tirupati.

---------------------------------

Finally, a week ago I had posted my view on Tondar-adi-podi's
"pacchai-mA-mali pOl mEni....." verse where I had declared that the AzhwAr
actually compares the "tirumEni" of Ranganathan to the emeraldine beauty of
VenkatAdri. Not many members have adequately responded to my quip!

It is a well-established Vedic ("tarka") convention to regard "upamAna"
being always superior to "upamEya" i.e. what is compared is inferior to
what it is compared with. (When we say that "a woman's face is as lovely as
the moon on a dark night" implicit in the statement is also the fact that
the moon must be more beautiful than her face, is it not?).

Similarly, if we agree with the statement that Tondar-adi-podi likened
Sriranganathan's "tirumEni" to the sylvan lustre of the Hills of
TiruvEngadam in the celebrated verse,"pachhai-mAmalai-pOl mEni....", then
we have no choice but to also accede that the "upamEya" of SriRangam is a
shade inferior to the "upamAna" of "tiruvEngadam"!

"tiruvEngadam" is therefore the Most Favoured Divya-Desam indeed !

Quod erat demonstrandum (Q E D).

adiyEn, 
sudarshan