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Tiruppan Alvar

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani_at_be.com)
Date: Tue Dec 16 1997 - 14:56:02 PST

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Dear Mani

As per your request Sri E.S. Bhuvarahachariar Swami
has sent an article about TIRUPPANAZHWAR. I'm enclosing it.
The tirunakhshatram is today 13th.
adiyen
BHARAT

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                         SRI
                SRIMATE RAMANUJAYA NAMAH
           SRIMATE BALADHANVI MAHAGURAVE NAMAH
 
                    TIRUPPANAZHWAR
                 (by Sri E.S.Bhuvarahachariar)    
      
      Though this Azhwar did not belong to a high order in
      society, that did not prove a barrier to him in getting
      included among the TEN AZHWARS.The high degree of devotion
      to LORD SRIMAN NARAYANA with total renunciation of all
      worldly pleasures ,detachment in respect of his kith and kin
      and accepting in their place Sriman Narayana as the sole
      single relative - all these weighed very heavily in his 
      favour and made him an AZHWAR.This demonstrates the
      catholicity of outlook of SRI VAISHNAVA religion.Anyone
      irrespective of caste or creed or nationality is acceptable
      to Sri Vaishnavas,provided he possesses the virtues found
      in Azhwars and Acharyas.
 
      This Azhwar was born at URAIYUR a town on the bank of the
      river Kaveri and receiving the merciful gaze of Lord SRI
      RANGANATHA . Standing on the sandy soil of the river everyday
      he used to sing songs very melodiously for his own enjoyment
      to the accompaniment of a lyre (veena) played by himself.
      One day LOKA SARANGA MAHA MUNI a very revered devotee and
      an intimate attendant or priest of Lord SRI RANGA came to 
      the river to fetch water for the Lord's puja.Seeing the
      Azhwar and not knowing his inner merits,he took him at
      face value and ordered him to move away, to enable himself
      to fill pure unpolluted water in his pitcher.As this Azhwar
      was present only physically and his thoughts were hovering
      around the Lord the stern command did not reach him.The
      pious man,of course guided by sastras (vedic injunctions)
      threw a very tiny stone at him to bring him back to his
      mundane existence.His attempt was a success.Opening his
      eyes the Azhwar repented for his folly  and withdrew himself
      to a far off place.
 
      But when the priest reached the temple he was rebuked by
      the Lord who directed him to personally fetch the holy
      man,as that would be the proper atonement for him; just
      as Sri Rama ordered Sugriva,who had opposed tooth and nail
      his inclusion,to personally bring Vibhishana to Him.The
      Mahamuni went a step further by carrying him on his shoulders.
      The Azhwar agreed to ascend Loka Saranga's shoulder as
      implicit obedience was the very nature (Swarupa) of a
      Sri Vaishnava.
 
      On the way he recited nine stanzas of a poem and the tenth
      within the sanctum sanctorum: AMALAN-ADI-PIRAN is the name
      of this poem.He surpasses all other Azhwars in this respect
      namely,what others did in thousands of songs this Azhwar
      did within ten songs.The other Azhwars dilated on so many
      subjects:love-lorn ladies sending messages to the lover,
      exhortations to people,the Supremacy of Sriman Narayana and
      so on and so forth.But this Azhwar concentrated only on the
      handsomeness of the Lord as he reclined on His Serpent Couch;
      when he beheld the Invisible,the visibles became invisible.
 
      Within ten stanzas he enjoys the grandeur of the Lord's
      limbs,beginning with the Feet and ending with the Head.
      Finally he says," My eyes,having drunk deep the exquisite 
      charm of the Lord,are unable to discern any other object."
      Unlike the other Divine Poems,in the last stanza here we
      find neither the name of the author nor any mention of the
      reward obtainable through recital of the poem.
 
     " Vedic teachings in their entirety are condensed within
      ten capsules"- declared SRI VEDANTA DESIKA.Enamoured by
      its quality he wrote a commentary for this poem alone;
      which fact itself speaks volumes about this poem.Nothing
      more is needed.
 
      Let us pay our homage to this distinguished personality
      on his birthday - KARTIKAI month,ROHINI star - which falls
      on Saturday 12.13.97.
 
 

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