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Thiru AdhyayanOthsavam : The many splendored meanings of the key word Adhyayanam

From: Sadagopan (sgopan_at_computer.net)
Date: Sat Dec 04 1999 - 18:05:44 PST

Dear BhakthAs getting ready to perform and
enjoy the AdhyayanOthsavam for Sri RanganAthA !

As a complimentary input for Sri RengarAjan's
excellent series of postings on the uthsavams at
Srirangam , adiyEn will comment on the etymology 
and the Vedic significance of the word " Adhyayanam "
and its connection to "AdhyayanOthsavam ". 

The prefix "adhee " means to study , to learn by heart ,
to remember what is learnt ( as in "adhee: BhagavO BrahmEthi" 
passage of TaitthirIya Upanishadh) ; it also means to teach ,
declare and understand .As is usual with Sanskrit 
words , there are a host of meanings depending 
on the context .

>From "adhee " , we move on to " adheetha " ,
which  means learnt , studied and remembered.

>From " adhee " derives "adheeyAna:" , which
means a student , who is learning VedhAs (Sruthis)
in the traditional way from an "adhyApAka "
or teacher .

>From "adhee" is also derived the word " adhIthin "
to denote a well-read , devoted scholar engaged 
in reciting sacred texts like Sruthis.

Now with this introduction to the root of "adhee" ,
we come to the key word "adhyayanam " , which means 
learning , study and rememberance of the Vedic passages.
This reference can be for Sanskritic VedhAs as well as
for the Tamizh VedhAs ( Tamizh MaRaikaL) or NammAzhwAr's
four dhivya prabhandhams with its six angams (Kaliyan's)
as well as the other 14 Dhivya Prabhandhams .Adhyayanam 
is not connected to the word " ayanam " meaning solistice 
as in DakshiNAyanam (Winter Solistice ).  

Adhyayanam is a must for three of the four classes
of people as indicated by Manu Smruthi: " adhyayanam 
cha aksharamAthra PaaDa ithi VaidikhA : ".Those who
not only learn Vedhic texts but understand the meanings
of these sacred ageless (anAdhi ) text are "arthaj~na:" 
Latter type (arthaj~na:) are supposed to derive all
auspiciousness (sakalam Bhadhram asnuthE ) according to
YakshA , who is the author Vedic etymology . They can be
recognized in Vedic terms as "Salakshana GhanapAtis". 
Azhwars always remind us in their phala sruthi slOkams 
to recite their dhivya Prabhandhams with knowledge of
the meanings of the paasurams eulogizing the anantha kalyANa 
GuNAs of the Lord to attain all soubhAgyams 
culminating in param hitham . One such Phala Sruthi 
indicating Sakala Bhadhram ( all types of auspiciousness
/sakalam bhadhram asnuthE )for the reciters of 
Kaliyan"s Tamizh Vedhangam is :

Poomaru PozhilaNi ViNNagar mEl
Kaamaru seerk KalikanRi sonna
Paamaru Tamizhivai Paada vallAr
Vaamanan aDi iNai MaruvavarE (Periya Thirumozhi 6.1.10)

Kaliyan refers to Paada VallAr or Otha VallAr or those
who are capable of reciting the Paasurams on 
ThiruviNNagarappan will attain the holy pair of 
feet of Vaamana Moorthy .

Swamy NammAzhwAr goes one step further about 
understanding the meanings of the Paasurams and describes
the supreme benefits obtained by the reciters of
his Paasuram ( adhyayanam) as gaining Parama Padham :

NaakaNaimisai NampirAn SaraNE SaraN namakkenRu ,nADORum
EkachinthayanAyk KyruhUr SatakOpan MaaRan,
aaha nooRavanthAyirautthuL ivaiyum ohr patthum vallAr
maaha Vaikunthatthu mahizhveyuthvar vaikalumE 

(meaning): " Whatever may happen , whatever be the troubles ,
the feet of the Supreme Lord reclining on AdhisEshA are 
the only resort to me. This is a conviction with me . 
The only path chosen is thus clinging to the Lord's feet .
It is in this spirit (and to sustain himself as a realized athmA)
that KuruhUr SatakOpan wove a thousand verses . Of them ,
this decad will ensure permanent VaikunthA stay to those 
who MASTER it".   

AdhyApAka: is the teacher of the VedhAs .
AdhyApanam is the act of teaching of the sacred 
Knowledge ( VedhAs et al). 

AdhyAya: means not only a chapter , but also reading, 
learning and study especially VedhAs . Adhyayanam 
derives from this word "adhyAya:" . AdhyAyana Uthavam 
is the festival of reciting by a AdhyApAka GhOshti ,
the group of such adhyApAkA: or adhyApayithrus 
or teacher/instructors ,who have mastered the studies
of VedhAs ( both Sanskritic and Tamizh VedhAs).

With Lord RanganAthA's blessings , this uthsavam
will prove to be a great kaimkaryam that will delight 
His heart and lead to the securing of His paripUrNa
anugraham to complete the construction of
the Temple for Him in the coming yearon
the banks of the Utthara CauvEri (Hudson River).

AzhwAr , AchAryAL ThiruvadigaLE saraNam ,
Daasan , Oppiliappan Koil VaradAhAri SdaagOpan