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thirup pAvai - part 20 - "thozhilan"

From: Sampath Rengarajan (
Date: Fri Dec 25 1998 - 06:00:32 PST

Dear bAgawathAs,			mArgazhi day 10, 5:50 AM

Sri ANDAL thiruvadikaLE saraNam
              "koor vEl kodun thozhilan"

        The inner most meaning here for this line is  tha AchArya
sthAnam  that  is  in  the  middle  rungs of  the ladder that the 
jivAtma ascends in its way to the Lord. It has been discussed  as 
to why a  Father  is  given  the  achArya  sthAnam  in  the HINDU 
marriage tradition. The Father is the one who has to initaite the
braham upadEsam to a son when he is young. or This is  the  first
mantra upadEsam a jivAtmA receives in his birth. Just as  similar 
to  that  the  jivAtmA  receives a  mantra  upadEsm a second time 
during saranAgathi and  this  time  from  the  AchAryA.  Hence an  
AchAryA is considered as  a Father and the fellow shishyALs of an 
AchAryA are considered as  brothers.  The  shishyALs  of the same 
AchAryA  must  serve  the cause  of  their AchAryA in  an  united 
way  just  as   similar   to  brothers in a joint family  sharing  
responisbilities. Swami Desikan emphasise this  in  Swami  Desika
prabnadam as "kurukkaL kuZhangaL". ie., He implies that the group
efforts of fellow  bAgwathAs  under  their  AchAryAs  command  is itself 
similar to  an  experience  in  Srivaikundam.   Sameway  a  Father is 
also considered as an AchAryA since he  is the  one who initaites this 
jivAtmA with the brahma updEsam. In Tamil thers is 
a proverb that is coined to capture this inner meanings, as

"thanthai sol mikka manthiram illai". ie the "word" of Father  is
itself a mantram and  that  one may  obey it  and conceive it and 
derive the palan from it.  It  also  means  that  what ever one's 
AchAryA  may  tell  them they must follow it as a mantra upadEsam 
itself. ie the command of an AchArya is so important  as  similar 
to the ANgYai of a Father to a son. 

   The ritual  saraNagathi  or baranyAsam itself  is considered a 
marriage with the Lord. Thus  in  the   marriage   of saranAgathi 
performed as a nOnbu by Sri ANDAL  (done  for  paving the way for 
the jivAtmAs), the  reference  to  Sri  Nandagopan is directed to 
AchAryan who performs this ritual.  In  this vyAkyAnam  the  word  
"sthAnam"  or "position" here is important. In an overall meaning 
a jivAtmA can attain  (through  the  nOnbu  or  marriage known as  
saranAgathi)  the Lord as  its   eternal purushan  mainly through  
the blessings of AchAryAn and  the  same  is realised through the mantra 
upadEsam (as the  conversaion between AchAryA and the Lord 
and repeated by  the  jivAtmA)  that  is  performed  during  this 
occassion. This is similar to a bride being  initiated  into  the 
holy matrimony by her father who will chant mantrams and do  this
kannigA dhAnam (a vyAjA).  

        Thus  the   knowledge of  AchAryan  comes  first  to  the 
jivAtmA through the "thiru aruL" of the Lord conveyed directly or 
through bAgawatha sambandham or  through  elders  in  the  family 
advising them. Then through the AchAryan  comes  the  realisation  
of  the eternal  bondage  with  the purushan   the  Lord  by  the  
mantra  upadEsam.  Thus  the reference is made to mantra upadEsam  
through  reference  to  the "Mother  yasOdhai"  only  after   the  
"achArya sthAnam".   This  realisation becomes complete and  full  
only  when  Lord's  thiru  uLLam  known  as   "siddha  upAyam" is 
bestowed upon.

         The  word  "thozhilan" here refers  to  the  position or 
occupation or sthAnam. What is the thozhil or occupation that the
AchArya  sthAnam  performs for a jivAtma in its ascendance to the
Lord? AchAryAs parichchayam or acquaintance brings the jivAtmA to
the limelight. The jivAtman is surrounded by the annyAnam that is
similar to a deep dark black hole and thick dark smoke. These are
the  "7"  screens  that  cover  the jivAtma in its realisation of 
self. Though the  jivAtma has the "pakkuvam" or maturity it still 
needs to fully realise  its  own self.  This is also similar to a 
cleansing  job,  ie., like  washing  a  vessel  with the cleaning 
liquid.  AchAryAs  vicinity itselves clears some of these screens 
of. However  the mantra upadEsam  and  the  anusanthAnam of  such 
mantram (ie.,dwayam mantram)  alone  makes  this  realisation  to  
almost near as "far" as the jivAtmA is considered.   

AchArya does  the  mantra upadEsam and baranyAsam as  a full time 
"thozhil" and  tirelessly for  so  many  jivAtmAs  who comes with  
the  desire to surrender to the Lord. In fact it is understood in 
Sri SampradhAyam  that they are "mandated" to perform  these  for  
the  matured  jivAtmAs as per the Angyai of the  Lord.  Thus  the 
"thozhilan" here is  the  AchAryan  who  has   the   "thozhil" of 
protecting  the jivAtmAs from their annyAnams taking the  toll on 

        In  Srivaishnavam  "AcharyA sthAnam" is given the  utmost 
importance. This can be very well seen from the thaniyan "Lakshmi 
nAtha  samArambAm". ie., It is said that Lord Himself facilitated 
the achArya pArampariyam as HE  HIMself being the first  achAryan 
for the thAyAr Sri Lakshmi.

        Coming to   the  pAsuram,  one may  ask  as to  why  such  
thozhil is referred as "kodum thozhil". Here the tamil word kodum 
is also seen in another way ie.,   as one that is not referred to 
some  thozhil. ie.,  this  sentence has to be split as "koor  vEl kodum"   
and  "thozhilan  nandagOpan"  and    kumaran.  The  word   "kodum"    is  
referred  to  the "annyAnam" that   is   destroyed   
by the "koor vEL" here known as the "thiru aruL" of the  AchAryAn.  
Why is the "annyAnam" so dangerous or kodum or torturing.  It  is 
because of the  fact that such annyAnam  prevented   the  jivAtmA  
all along from  fully  realising  the  nature  of  its  own self. 
Why is AchAryAs "thiru aruL"  so  sharp  as "koor   vEl", because 
it destroys  the  annyAnam  in  a  nodi.  

        ie., "nooRRAndu iruLaiyum nodiyilE  pOkkidum   OLiyAkum".  
ie,. the iruL  or the  darkness that has been  blanketting    the  
jivAtmA for  centuries ie., in its several births so far, will be 
pierced  in  just  one split  second  by  the  "oLi"  or   bright 
light that is passed from the  blessings  of  the  AchAryAL.  The 
breaking  the  screen  of annyAnam  is  first   important  and it  
is  implied as such that jivAtma couldnot have done   it  without 
achAryAs "thiru aruL". ie., the  "thiru aruL" of the Lord is made 
through  "AchAryA"  for  the jivAtma.  
        Such oLi or thiru aruL is usually attained  from  AchAryA  
by doing bAgwatha  kaimkaryam. ie.,Such  will  be  facilitated by 
being  in  the  company of  devout   and learned bAgwathALs (sath 
sangam). Then  one  will  be   able  to  learn  through  them the 
importance of AcharyAs and reach  the  "sath"  Acharya   and   do 
uninterrupted errand service to  them  and  attain  their  "thiru aruL". 
That is when, the jivAtma begins to realise by discovering 
the swaya swaroopam.

Sri ANDAL thiruvadikaLE saraNam 
Sampath Rengarajan        

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