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From: Sadagopan (sgopan_at_computer.net)
Date: Mon Dec 28 1998 - 07:00:10 PST
Dear Sriman NaarAyaNa DaasAs : Today is the day before Sri Vaikunta Ekaadasi . In seven hours time , Sri Rangarajan will enter Parama Padha Vaasal at Srirangam and bless all of us , who are blesssed to be there in person or join Him mentally in that procession from where ever we are . On this most sacred occasion , let us reflect on the mood of Swami Sri NammAzhwAr , who followed Veda PramANams and travelled by ArchirAdhi Maargam and joined SarvEswaran at Sri Vaikuntam and enjoyed the limitless bliss there (anthamil pErinbam ) through nithya kaimkarya sEvA BhAgyam . We will focus on the tenth decad of the tenth Centum , where Swami Sri NammAzhwAr describes his journey to Sri Vaikuntam to rejoin His Lord . This is celebrated as the NIGAMANA PATTHU of Swami Sri NammAzhwAr's Thiruvaaimozhi . The etymology of the word Nigamanam is worth an analysis.The root " NIGAM " has many substantive meanings . It means ," to go to , to acquire , to obtain , to enter , to be inserted ". NIGAMA: means Vedam or Vedic Text. Nigama: also means the divine words of a revered AchArya like Swami Sri NammAzhwAr. The other name for such an AchArya Purushan is :"NIGAMIN ", OR NigamAntha Desikan .The tenth decad of the tenth centum of ThiruvAimozhi (muniyE naanmukanE mukkaNNappA ) has been referred to earlier as " NIGAMANAM ". The word "nigamanam " has three meanings : (1) going into (here Sri Vaikuntam ) (2) The conclusion in a syllogism or a deduction in Tarka Saasthram ( the summing up in logical debate) (3) Quotation of a word from the VedAs or the word so quoted All the three definitions are relevant to the Nigamana Patthu . AzhwAr's entry through the climbing of the nine ladders to reach Paramapadham is indicated by the first definition . The second definition is connected with the logical debate between Swami Sri NammAzhwAr and the para Matha anusAris and the winning of this debate in a convincing manner with the celebration of the attainment of the boon of Moksham (apunar janma sAyujyam )through Prapatthi at the lotus feet of Sri Vaikunta Naathan . This is his avathAra kAraNam . The third definition of Nigamanam is in reference to the Veda Saamyam of his ThiruvAimozhi , which was the topic of Thirumangai's appeal to Sri RanganathA in the context of creation of the Thiru AdhyayanOthsavam at Srirangam , which concludes with NammAzhwAr's Thiruvadi Thozhal festival . The equivalence of Tamizh MaRai with the Saanskritic VedAs are established here . In the ninth centum of his ThiruvAimozhi , MaRan SatakOpan proved that Sriman NaarAyaNan is AvyAja Suhruth . In the tenth centum , AzhwAr senses the end of Thiruvaimozhi Kaimkaryam based on his assessment that his prapatthi has become fruitful and that he is going "home" to the parama padham of the Apunar Janma Saayujyathan . Like a recently married bride taking leave of her relatives of piranthaham , AzhwAr takes leave of the archA mUrthys of divya desams here and gets ready to enter pukkaham ( "her" husband's house ) by travel through archirAdhi maargam described by the Upanishads and Vedams .Thus the Veda Saamyam of the divya Prabhandhams is once again established. Swami Sri Desikan has summed up in his incisive way the essence of each of the ten paasurams of each of the ten decads of the tenth centum : 1. TaaLa ThAmarai -- (praNavam ) GathayE nama: 2. kedum idar --(PraNavam )vyadhvak klEsacchidhE nama : 3. vEymaru -----( " )apadha sankhAspadha rasAya nama: 4. saarvE-------( " ) bhajadhbhi: suprApAyaya nama: ) 5. KaNNan-------( " )vividha bhajana prakriyAya nama: 6. aruL peRuvAr ( " )phalE thIvra udhyOgAya nama: 7. senchorkavi ( " )sva vishya krutha adhyAdharAya nama: 8. Thirumaalirum ChOlai( " )yadhrucchA thushtAya nama : 9. soozhvisumpaNi ( " ) sathsaraNyE nama: 10.muniyE naanmukanE( " ) apunarjanma sayujE nama: It is appropriate to remember that the very last Brahma Soothram of BadarAyaNA ( anAvrutthi sabdhAth, anAvrutthi sabdhAth ) is about "apunarjanma sAyujyam ' of the Thiruvaimozhi tenth decad of the tenth centum as celebrated by ChAndhOgya Upanishad ( ChAndhOgyam :VIII.xv.1) and Srimadh Bhagavadh GitA ( chapter VIII.15-16 ). The above ten guNams of the Parama Padha Naathan are enjoyed afresh by Swami Sri Desikan in what is revered as " Taathparya rathnAvalyanurOdhEna DramidOpanishadhgamya GUNA NAMA SAHASRAARCHANAA . For the sake of brevity , we will refer to only four of the key salutations here : Thiruvaai Mozhi :10.10.4: " UmparanthaNN pAzhEyO " is summarized here as " akhila tanavE nama: " . The paasuram words are : "athanuL Biraman Aran nee , umparum yAthavarum padaittha muivan avan nee ". ThiruvAi Mozhi :10.10.9 : " "Muthal tani vitthEyO " is summarized by Swami Sri Desikan as " Mukthi- dhAyinE nama:" .Swami Sri NammAzhwAr pleads here for Mukthi (Moksham ) to the Moksha DhAyin .He says: " I should Join You ; I should enjoy Your unmatched beauty as SvarUpa GuNa BhUshaNAyudha mahishI parijana Visishta SubhAsrayan at Your Parama Padham .When am I to join You?". Swami Sri Desikan summarizes this moving plea as " Mukthi-dhAyinE nama: " . Thiruvaimozhoi : 10.10 .10 " SoozhnthaRAzhnthu uyarntha--" is summarized by Swami Sri Desikan as " MukthAnubhAvyAya nama:". Sri ThirukkuruhUr SatakOpa Maamuni extolls here the Mukthi anubhavam that he has been blessed with by AdhinAthan this way : "--periya sudar Jn~Ana inbhamEyO, soozhanthanil periya yennavA aRac chUznthAyE " Oh Polinthu ninRa pirAn ! Oh Sri VaikuntanAthA ! Thou art indeed the sole possessor of Sankalpa Jn~Anam ! That Jn~Anam is pure bliss(Aanandham ) in svarUpam and pervades all and beyond .It casts its halo everywhere , all the time .It is immeasurably vast indeed . My avaa (yearning ) to join You WAS even larger than Your limitless sankalpa Jn~Anam . But , You out of Your infininte DayA and Aasritha Vaathsalyam has united me with You and thus quenched my yearning .I have now become a drop in Your vastness of amruthak kadal (nectar of an ocean ). MY LONG TIME YEARNING HAS BEEN ANSWERED AND I FEEL FULFILLED . On the eve of the greatest of the great EkAdasis, On the eve of this BahudhA-anya Sri Vaikunta EkAdasi , let us meditate on " Sri Vaikunta Naathan as Sarva Lokha SaraNyan, niradhisaya oujvalya -sougandhya- soukumArya lAvaNya-youvanAth anantha guNa nidhi -divya rUpan " . May we meditate and hold on to Him in our DhyAnam as " Lakshmi -BhUmi-NeeLAdhi divya Mahishi sEvithan , adhyujjvala ramaNIya aparimitha divya bhUshaNa bhUshithan , niradhisaya kalyANa divya aayudhajAla sObhithan , sEsha sEshAsana Garuda nAnAvidhAnantha - divya parijana sEvitha CharaNa naLina yugaLan, aparimitha udhAra guNa sAgaran , Parama Purushan , Subha Vibhavan ,nithya bhOgyan ,upasamsOshakan, Bhava dhuritha-haran , dhAsya Saarasya hEthu , prakhyAtha preethi leelan ,paapa bhanjakan , RakshaNArtha avathAran , akhila phala pradhan , praNamadha anuguNan , anupama sushuman , ananya bhOgyAngri yugman , sathpatha prApakan , agatitha gatanan , Veda rUpa svakEthU , AchArya Bhakthi prakAsakan , Sandhra MOdhan , Sarva poorNan and niravadhika mahAnandha pradhAyakan ". May this Parama padha Naathan accept our Prapatthi performed for us by His most merciful DesikAs and grant us our place in His matchless Sri Vaikuntam and accept our nithya Kaimkaryam there . NaarAyaNa , NaarAyaNa , NaarAyaNa ! Swami Sri NammAzhwAr ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam Swami Sri NigamAntha MahA Desikan ThiruvadigalE SaraNam Swami Adhi VaNN SatakOpa YathIndhra MahA DesikAya nama: Swami Sri NaarayaNa YathIndhra MahA DesikAya Nama; DaasAnu Daasan , ThiruviNNagar VaradAchAri SadagOpan BahudhAnya Samavathsaram , Maargazhi Maasam 13th day , Sukla Paksha Dasami , Asvini Nakshathram , Siddha yOgam December 28,1998 .