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Dhanur Masa Pooja Aarambha Dhinam

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Sat Dec 16 1995 - 06:49:39 PST

Dear Members of the Prapatti Group:

On this First Day of the Sacred month of Marghazi, It 
is my pleasure to extend to you all my greetings.
Charanaagati Sastra or Veda was taught to us by
Sri Andaal for us this month..She woke up Sri Krishna  from
His YogaNidra and reminded Him of His duty to protect erring 
Chetanas, who want to save themselves through the act of Prapatti.

Swami Desikan says in Godha Stuti that Andaal has a  special 
influence over Her Lord and it comes from Her service of preparing 
the flower garlands for His use by wearing them first . Swami 
Desikan hints that her  experience is superior to that of the
Azhwars based on the insightful Taniyan of Parasara Bhattar
for Andaal. The difference between the other Azhwars and 
Aandaal is that "the other Azhwars ,who were slumbering in
Samsaaraa were  awakened by God (Krishna) , but Godha 
awakened the Lord, who was in slumber" and reminded Him
of His sworn duties . She not only reminded Him of her
utter subservience (as that all Jivas)to Him as stated
 in all Upanishads; More than that , She reminded Him of His
duty to come to the rescue of erring souls seeking His protection.
Being Lord's consort, she had some special advantages
and she used that power over Him.

Swami Desikan composed Godha Stuti to pay homage to
the message of Aandal and pay his personal tribute to Her.
In one verse, he states that the Azhwars followed Godha Devi"s route
 in experiencing  Her Bhagavat Anubhavam, Preeti and Kainkaryam.
The Azhwars, especially Nammazhwar(Paraankusa Nayaki) and 
Thirumangai (Parakaala Nayaki) , followed the route of Bridal Mysticism
 of Aandaal and  experienced the intense Sringara ways of hers to 
relate to Sriman Narayana. Swami Desikan himself emulated Her
to become  a bride of the Lord and became Venkata Nayaki and 
used lilting ,mellifluos Prakratam(Mazhalai ) to express his love
 for "her" Lord in Achyuta satakam.

Swami Desikan like other Vaishnava Acharyas was fascinated by the 
relation between Sri and Sriya: Pathi . He ponders this question diplomatically
as he reminds himself of the  Garland Exchange Paasuram in Varanamaaiyram
of Andaal"s  Nacchiyar Thirumozhi. He says that there is a big debate among
the Rasikas ,who had the good fortune to witness the beautiful "Maalai Maarral "
between Rangamannaar and Andaal at Sri Villiputtur on Her wedding  day.
Swami Desikan states that the rasikas are debating whether Ranganatha
 is superior to Godha Devi , since She is in servitude to Him as a loving wife
or the other way around because of His Parama Preethi for Her
 or whether they are equal to each other in every aspect..Swami 
Desikan states that the din of the debate among Rasikas taking 
different sides on this matter continues even today. That observation will
form a nice introduction to the planned postings on the role of Sri 
in Sri Vaishanva Sampradhaayam.

In an excellent article  entitled "Concept of Prapatti as expressed 
by Andaal", Professor A.Srinivasa Raghavan commented on the place 
of the Divya Dampathi (divine Couple) In Sri Vaishanavam. He points
out that Andaal uses two  verses of Thiruppavai(Verses 19&20)
 to refer to the three Prapatti   aspects of this
 Divine Couple: Seshi Dhampathi role, 
Charanya Dhampathi role 
and Purushakaara role of Sri(Nappinnai in Thiruppavai).

The first verse depicts the Upeyatva of the Divya Dhampathis.
They are Seshi Dhampathi and loving service to them is
 the supreme goal of the Jivans.The second verse describes Their
Upaayatva in the role as Charanya Dhampathi , whose innate
grace is the highest means for the supreme goal. Both of them 
are Upaaya and Upeya and Lakshmi has the additional quality
of being the Purushakaara (an Interceder; mediatrix of Grace).

 
 
The Vyaakayana Chakravarti Periya Vaachaan Pillan  and other 
scholars have written commentaries on Aandaal"s two compositions
to illustrate how she wove in the doctrines of Prapatti in them. They state that
she does not elaborate on Prapatti and Angas in great detail, but
staright away adopts it and points us the  way to practise it.

Prapatti was kept as a secret by the Acharyas of early days. It was
Ramanuja, who proclaimed it  to the World and Swami Desikan, Pillai 
Lokaacharya and Manavala Maamuni  carried on the services of Ramanuja
and that service continues even today by our Acharyas of different 
Sampradhayaas.

Today is also known as the ThiruppaLLiyezucchi day according to 
Sri Rangam Panchaangam. Perhaps it is so  inview of the recollection
about another Devotee  and "Ranganatha Pathivrata " revered as
Sri Thondaradipodi Azhwaar. He also woke up the Lord of  Sri Rangam 
with his early morning salutations. The Ushat Kaala Pooja known as
Dhanur Masa Aaraadhanam takes place at all  the Sri Vaishanava
temples in their honor starting from today. The fragrance of VeN Pongal,
the Prasadam of the Lord chases its way towards Akkaravadisal.
All of these seasonal thoughts awaken our dormant spirit in the  purest
Brahma Muhartam of this  month  special to Sri Krishna ( Maasaanaam
Marghaseersham) and to Andal , the other Azhwars and our Acharyaas.

May we be blessed with success in our efforts to bring out the CD ROM On
108 Divya Desas and incorporate the "Thondar Kuzhaam" soon  to do other 
Kainkaryas such as support to the Divya Desams and other activities
petinent to advance the cause of our Sampradhayam from here to the best of our
ability  and means.

Sri Andaal Thiruvadigaleh Charanam..

Oppiliappan Koil Varadachari Sadagopan