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Re: Prabanda Parayanam

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani_at_be.com)
Date: Mon Dec 08 1997 - 11:46:42 PST

Satish wrote:
> On a different note, I am this question for quite some time:
> Almost all aazhwaars have ignored varadaraja perumal for some reason.
> I can recall only boothathaazhwaar (aththiyUraan..) singing in 
> praise of varadar. What was the reason for this? Please excuse me if
> this question has been already answered earlier.

Sri Sadagopan has already posted about some other
alvars who have mentioned Varadaraja PerumaaL.  But
you are right to notice the relative omission, compared
to Srirangam and Tirupati (vengadam), and particularly 
compared to how much later acharyas such as Kurattalvan
and Desika were enamored by this God.  

I can surmise a reason, based on my reading and talking
to some Kanchipuram locals.  It seems that at the time
of the alvars, the Varadaraja PerumaaL kOvil was not
nearly as grand or important as some of the other 
shrines.  In fact, thiru vehka (yathokta kAri svAmi,
sonna vaNNam seyda perumaaL) nearby in Kanchi seemed 
to be much more important to the first alvars (mudhal 
alvargaL).  Maybe our own Bhashyam Nallappa, who hails 
from thiru vehka, can clarify this.

Anyway, perhaps due to the association of great people
Tirukkacci Nambi, Ramanuja, and others, more and more
people became attached to Varadaraja PerumaaL, compared
to other local shrines in Kanchi (there are so many
temples there!), eventually leading to the situation
we have today where the Varadaraja Swami shrine is
simply known to Sri Vaishnavas as "perumaaL kOvil".

There are also those Kanchipuram natives who lovingly
and zealously believe that any mention in the Prabandham
to "Lord of the Devas", (as in amarargaL adhipathi, tvm 1.1.1)
refers specifically to Kanchi Varadaraja Swami (dheyvap
perumaaL)!

Mani