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Date: Wed Dec 27 1995 - 13:09:23 PST

     Sri Ramesh Srinivasaraghavan writes:

     "avaravar ...."

     I think it is one of the stanzas in the "mudal patthu" of
     tiruvaimozhi. I also remember that these ten verses were quite a
     tongue-twister. I am sure the learned scholars who write in this group
     will clarify this point better.

     I have also heard from learned scholars that worship of other Gods
     involve such rajasic (and even tamasic) rituals that, it would be
     shocking to most of us today.....

     1. True, that stanza is from Thiruvaaimozhi. It goes:

        'avaravar thamathama tharivari vagaivagai,
         avaravar irayavar ena adi adaivargaL,
         avaravar irayavar kuraivilar irayavar,
         avaravar vidhivazhi adaya ninranarE'

        Simply put, Sri Nammaazhvaar shows his parama kaarunyam (tolerance)
     towards other forms of worship (not resorting to bigotry or passing
     derogatory comments), while still maintaining the greatness of Sri
     Vaishnavam. He says that people realize in their own ways and attain
     their own gods they worship, their gods not being in any way inferior,
     they attain salvation according to their destinies.

     2. If the remark is regarding Lord Muruga's worship, I would like to
     place before you the actual thatthva behind the 'commonly known as
     warlord's creation by Lord Shiva.

     Shiva, whose chief characteristic is his constant meditation on Sriman
     Naaraayanaa (the supreme source of power - Adi paraa shakti), as a
     tapasvi, creates Murugan (also called Shanmukhan - six-faced) with the
     sole purpose of saving devaas from the troublesome asura brothers -
     Soorapadhman and Singhamukhan.

     The six faces of Lord Murugan are the 5 faces of Lord Shiva -
     Roudhram, agOram etc. plus the shakti of Lord Naaraayanaa without
     which the universe cannot function. This power of Lord Vishnu is
     always needed by Lord Shiva whenever he needs to rescue devaas from
     such a crisis.

     Since the very purpose of creation of this anti-demonical force is for
     waging a war against that force, it has become a general belief that
     Murugan represents Raajasic qualities and so do his worshippers.

     Absolutely untrue. Murugan's qualities are as saathvic as his uncle
     (relationship arrived at from the age old definition that shakti as
     Vishnu's sister is married off to Shiva) Vishnu's. Murugan became a
     popular god with the common folk because of:
     a) folk-lore in His praise becoming popular
     b) the belief that He showers his blessings to even the least-devoted
     and is the cause of prosperity of the land (skanda puraanam depicts
     that he converted the vanquished Soora into sEval (cock) flag and His
     vehicle - peacock).

     The story of Lord Ayyappan (Hari-Hara putran)'s creation is quite
     similar except for the myth that Lord Vishnu takes the feminine form
     Mohini to combine his powers with Lord Shiva's.

     This is as much as I know about Lord Murugan.

     I entirely agree with the fact that Sri Vaishnavaites need not even
     have to know these myths, let alone subscribe to them or include Lord
     Murugan in their worship. Divya Dampathis are everything to Sri

     Sarvam Sri KrishnaarpaNamasthu.