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vaikuNda Ekaadasi

From: Badri Seshadri (badri_at_cricket.org)
Date: Fri Dec 20 1996 - 20:08:00 PST

Today's (vaikuNda Ekaadhasi) upanyaasam by Srimad Azhagiya Singar was
excellent. It was about the thiruppaavai paasuram 'maayanai'.

The upanyaasam was so elaborate that he had to stop it by the line
'thooya peru neer yamunaith thuRaivanai'.

I have to apologise as I can't really go in detail right now. I am
leaving for Sri Rangam in a few hours. In the following I will try to
give whatever I could retain from his upanyaasam.

'maayan' - in describing this epithet, Srimad Azhagiya Singar said His
'maayam' is such that not even Balaraman could understand that. Then
he related a story about Brahma stealing away the cows and calfs, as
well as the cowherd children, and how Krishna became them all and
playacted the roles of every little kid in the village and every
single cow in the village for one full year, and not even Balaraman
realised this.

The current azhagiya singar is a consummate story teller. He uses
several nice lowkika stories to drive home the point. We are indeed
fortunate to listen to his upanyaasam.

'vadamathurai maindhan' - For the word 'maindhan' Srimad azhagiya
singar gave the meaning as 'a man with enormous strength'.

'thooya peru neer yamunai' - Here the upanyaasam touched its heights.
Srimad azhagiya singar compared Godavari and Yamuna. When Sita was
abducted by Ravana, Sita cries and begs every little shrub in the
forest, and the river Godavari to inform Rama that she is being
abducted by Ravana. But the river Godavari does not inform Rama -
because she is afraid of Ravana even though he is so far away in
Lanka. But river Yamuna is not at all afraid, even when Kamsa is just
a couple of miles away. When Krishna is born, the river happily makes
a way for them. Therefore river Yamuna is the pureset river of them
all - "thooya peru neer".

River Ganga only has association with Lord Vishnu's feet. But River
Yamuna is associated with the entire body of Krishna! After all how
many times has Krishna bathed in river Yamuna?

'peru neer' - the river is huge, because it has to provide water to
bathe for the 5 lakh Gopis.

At this stage Srimad Azhagiya Singar talked about how the chains on
vasudEvar broke when Krishna was born, and quoted nammaazhvaar
paasuram 'thandhaiyin kaal vilangu', and then quoted a verse from
Swami Sri Desikan which makes fun of this above paasuram - Krishna is
capable of breaking even stronger chains - "the bonds that bind us to
the samsaara, what is the big deal about breaking an ordinary steel
chain and that too an old chain?" (vasudEvar was bound with those
chains during the birth of their first child, Krishna is only their
8th child, so the chain is old and rusty and breaking that off is
easy!).

For the word 'thooya', Srimad Azhagiya SIngar also quoted a verse from
kambaraamaayanam where kamban describes the 'thooymai' of 'paththinip
peNkaL'. At this point Srimad Azhagiya Singar narrated a funny story
which is quite popular and almost everyone of us would have heard
about it.

(this posting has already become too long... so let me end this with
something that made me pleasantly surprised)

Before even starting this paasuram, Srimad Azhagiya Singar had to
complete the previous day's paasuram. During the course of that, he
talked about the quality of a 'sishya'. For this, he quoted a verse
from mumukshupadi(!). Not only that, but more interestingly, the
commentary to this padi from maNavaaLa maamuni had quoted a verse from
Swami Sri Desikan. Then, he quoted verses by Swami Desikan praising
periya vaachchaan piLLai and other prominant "thenkalai" acharyas.
Srimad Azhagiya Singar then pleaded for the two sampradayas to unite
together and said even the primary acharyas of the two sampradayas
agree with each other, why not those of us who hardly know anything on
the philosophy! He also said that it is his dream that the two sects
will merge into one in future, and that in his aruL vaakku (in
Nrisimhapriya), he regularly quotes from works of both the
sampradayas.

You had to be there to see and hear those passionate words spoken by
Srimad Azhagiya Singar.

For me, this upanyaasam meant a lot more than stepping on the 'svarga
vaasal'.

--badri

(PS: I have typoed this on the fly, without checking the contents.
I apologise if I have made any mistakes. Any mistakes above
are my own creations. They weren't part of the upanyaasam by Srimad Azhagiya
Singar.)