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Srirangam IS No. 1

TV.Venkat_at_frco.com
Date: Tue Aug 25 1998 - 09:26:24 PDT

                          SrimathE NArAyNAya namaha

Let me first clarify that this is not a personal argument or attack on any one
in particular. With this in mind I request all the bhagavathas to read the
following.

On Date:    8/24/98 4:35 PM

Sri Sudarshan wrote.
--------------------------------Quote----------------------------------------

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.
-------------------------------Unquote-------------------------------------

Does this mean that all the bhagavatas, when worshipping in another divya
dEsam always worship with distraction on any other divya dEsam? I agree
that when I go to Thirumalai and see SrinivAsan, I am spell bound and don't
think of any other emberumAn. But the same is true with other divya dEsams
also. I request all bhagavathas to confirm this claim by Sri Sudarshan as
to whether they always think of SrinivAsan while worshipping at other divya
dEsams but not the reverse.

--------------------------------Quote-------------------------------------
 And having worshipped at Tirumalai he ceases to crave for any other
"sannidhis".
-------------------------------unquote -----------------------------------

This looks like after having worshipped at Thirumalai, no one would go to
any other divya dEsam just because their heart is filled with only
Srinivasan. Dear BhAgavathAs, is this true? Don't you go anywhere after
going to Thirumalai? On the other hand let me ask you all, another
question. After you attend the "Adyayana Utsavam" at Srirangam, would you
like to attend the same in any other divya dEsam, not only Thirumalai. Is
there any other divya dEsam that can match the splendour of Srirangam's
Adyayana Utsavam, eventhough it is being done in most of the divya dEsam.
Similarly would you like to attend the Panguni Uthiram Utsavam in any divya
dEsam other than Srirangam. Isn't Srirangam's Panguni Uthiram more great
than any other divya dEsam.

Like wise is there any Utsavam that is particularly good only at Thirumalai
but not at any divya dEsam. Please don't tell the PurattAsi BrahmOtsavam.
This is , if not more, atleast equally, grand in divya dEsams like
Kanchipuram and ThiruvallikkENi etc.,

I would say that SrinivAsan will certainly be envying Arangan and all other
divya dEsa emberumAns for celebrating all the utsavams with great
splendour. Poor SrinivAsan has to undergo the monotonous act of -Get
up-listen suprabhAtam-thOmAla sEvai- KalyAnam- sit in any of the vAhanam
for the day- back at oonjal- and likewise every day. And to add to that,
sleed only for 30 minutes in a day. Can he relax like Arangan or any other
divya dEsa emberumAn on a cool veedhi ula during the Pancha paruvam days
and like wise. No. One may say that SrinivAsan is pouring His blessings on
his BhaktAs untiringly. But are we to feel happy about our perumAL, who we
consider to be one in our family to work so untiringly? Will we be happy at
our father working for us day in and day out without any rest for our
welfare? Will we not feel sad about this?

-----------------------------------Quote----------------------------------

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!").

----------------------------------Unquote---------------------------------

Forget not, ThiruppANAzhwAr started with SrinivAsan but ended with Arangan
as the best. Actually all other AzhwArs have composed a minimum of near to
100 pAsurams excepting Thondar-adi-podi-AzhwAr and Madhurakavi AzhwAr whom
we need not take for comparison now. But pANan only had 10 pAsurams.
Actually he would have started of with SrinivAsan in mind but couldn't
resist from  thinking about Arangan as he finally finished with the
beautiful line "... en amudhinaik kaNda kaNgaL maRRonRinaik kANAvE".

Does this not bear testimony that Arangan was prevailing in the AzhwAr's mind
always. Also as Sri Sudarshan said, it is true that no other AzhwAr has done
this. So Arangan wins on Single vote majority in this comparision of mixed
reflections, since no other AzhwAr was thinking of SrinivAsan when singing
about Arangan.

Also we have one Azhwar completely dedicated to only Arangan, needless to
say who. Is there anybody who has done compositions only on SrinivAsan but
nobody else? What does this indicate?

------------------------------------Quote-----------------------------------
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.
-----------------------------------Unquote----------------------------------

I have nothing to comment against this. Yes it is true that RAmAnujar
choked on the pathigam "ozhivil kAlamellAm...". So am I. So are you and So
is every body. That is beautiful pAsuram and pathigam by NammAzhwAr. There
is no question to it. I am not arguing that no body is enthralled by
SrinivAsan. I am and we are, all enthralled by Him when we see Him. So
what is the big deal. A nature lover, who will dismiss Madras as a
"Concrete Jungle" will naturally be enthralled by the Sky Scrapers of New
York and Chicago and many places alike. So when one can get enthralled
just by a different creation of the Supreme, what is the big deal in
getting choked down in the beauty of another form of the Supreme Himself?
I mean to say that SrinivAsan is no body else but Arangan who is nobody
else but the Supreme Godhead, Sriman NArAyaNan. So just the choking of
RAmAnujar cannot alone be used to claim the supremacy of Thirumalai over
Srirangam.

----------------------------------Quote-----------------------------------
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".
------------------------------------Unquote-----------------------------

For this I have already thrown an open question in the beginning of this
post to all the BhAgavathAs to confirm this claim. Please do respond.

-------------------------------------Quote -----------------------------

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.

---------------------------------Unquote----------------------------------

The common sense issue is okay. But one should not forget that the attack
was only on Srirangam and the PerumAL vigrahams in the Koil, for all the
gold and other precious gems that adorn our PerumAL and not on Swami
Desikan. Little do the Muslim invaders know that there is a great AchAryan
by name Desikan and LokhAchAryan and that they should kill them, so that
they have to run for life. Actually Swami Desikan did not flee Srirangam
thinking that the attack was on him. He fled, just like any other common
man fled from the scene fearing the life due to the attack on the Temple.
So he could have very well stayed at Thirumalai. Also as pointed out by Sri
Mani and myself in my earlier post, Thirumalai became one of the most well
known divya dEsam to all other people, apart from SriVaishnavites, only
after Arangan reached there. Till then it was a known place to only the Sri
Vaishnavites and some Smarthas. But when did Arangan reach Thirumalai? Not
before 50 years after He left Srirangam. Actually, Arangan was lost in the
Chandragiri forest in the foothills of Thirumalai for a period of 40 years.
Only after 40 years, with the help of a General from Vijayanagar Kingdom,
Arangan was found in the forest and taken up the hill to Thirumalai and
pratishtai was done in the Ranga Mantapam.

So Thirumalai, hidden in the hills, was not a well known place at the point
of time to the invaders.

Again, let us assume that Thirumalai was a well known place, but remember
the attack was not on Swami Desikan in person so that he should think that
the attackers will certainly come to the next popular divya dEsam which,
for this argument, is Thirumalai. So once Swami Desikan, when he left
Srirangam, was safe in any part of India which, the invaders do not know
much about.

---------------------------------Quote------------------------------------

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!
----------------------------------Unquote--------------------------------

This is an unfortunate one. Actually, many bhAgavathAs including me, Sri
Viji and Sri Varadhan responded to it by clearly indicating that the word
"pachhai mAmalai" was NOT VEnkatAdri hills and that it was just an upamAnam
which anyone would use to describe the strength of the Hero of the song as
per the practice of any kavi(poet).

-----------------------------------Quote---------------------------------

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?).

-----------------------------------Unquote-------------------------------

If the upamAnam is inferior to the upamEyam, and proven that "pachhai
mAmalai" in the pAsuram is just ANY hill and NOT VEnkatAdri, does it mean
that Arangan, the upamEyam is inferior to just an ordinary upamAnam a hill
which is His own creation.

Okay, even if we are to take that, for argument sake, the AzhwAr was
referring to VEnkatAdri only, does it mean that the mountain which is His
own creation is superior one of His own forms which is Arangan. Under the
same argument everybody may please note that the upamAnam is a mountain and
not SrinivAsan.

------------------------------------Quote----------------------------------
we have no choice but to also accede that the "upamEya" of SriRangam is a
shade inferior to the "upamAna" of "tiruvEngadam"!
------------------------------------Unquote--------------------------------

Again, Sri Sudarshan has said "the upamEya of Srirangam". Please note that the
AzhwAr in this pAsuram is not talking about Srirangam. He is bringing out the
beauty of only Arangan in this pAsuram. So how can one say Srirangam is next
only to Thirumalai as per this pAsuram.

--------------------------------------Quote---------------------------------
Quod erat demonstrandum (Q E D).
-------------------------------------Unquote---------------------------------

I don't understand what this means. Can you please enlighten me.

So I hope, Dear BhAgavathAs, after reading this post, you will all agree
certainly  that Srirangam is the most favoured divya dEsam of our AzhwArs and
AchAryAs  and hence undoubtedly is the NUMBER ONE.

Also I hope whoever is the floor crosser as referred by Sri Muralidhar in his
earlier posting will come back and make supporters of other side to cross the
floor !!!!

Sri RanganAyaki thAyAr samEtha Sri RangarAjan thiruvadigaLE saraNam

adiyEn RAmAnuja dAsan

Thirumalai Vinjamoor Venkatesh