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From: Sadagopan (sgopan_at_computer.net)
Date: Sun Dec 19 1999 - 05:35:05 PST
Dear BhakthAs : on this holiest of holy days , it is a bhAgyam to reflect on Sri SampathkumAran's question for "men folk" as to what they should be doing in the month of Marghazhi in addition to Thiruppaavai study .The short answer is to recognize this day as the day of birth of Githai and perform GithA paarAyaNam . If all the 700 slOkams are hard to recite , atleast the 18th chapter housing the Charama slOkam should be recited.If that is too long , one should ( Men and Women) recite and reflect upon the Charama slOkam itself and derive comfort from the Lord's assurance given there . If one has more time , one can read the magnificient commentaries of the AchAryAs of their own sampradhAyams on the Charama slOkam . One can start with GithArtha Sangraham of AlavandhAr , move on to the GitA BhAshyam of AchArya RaamAnujA , Swamy Desikan's many commentaries in Desika Prabhandham , Chillarai Rahasyams and Srimath Rahasya Thraya Saaram ,Taathparya Chandrikai and PiLLai LokacchAr's rahasya granthams dealing with Charama slOkam . That would be a magnificient way to spend the day to compliment the daily anushtAnams . Coming back to the question of Sri Sampath Kumar , Sri Krishna Kalale seems to have anticipated this question and has asked us to do GitA paarAyaNam today on this Fourth day of Thiruppaavai Nonbu month .Our most compassionate ThaayAr has already hinted through the Paasuram of the day , as to whom we should pray to on this day .She starts Her Fourth paasuram of ThiruppAvai with the words : "Aazhimazhaik KaNNA -- " and gives us the clue. She concludes this paasuram with a request on behalf of all of us to Her most compassionate Lord : "Vaazha ulahinil peythidAi, naangaLum Maargazhi neerAda mahinzhthElOrempaavAi". The object of Her prayer is Aazhi Mazhail KaNNan, our GithAchAryan . The boon She seeks from the author of GithOpanishad in Her GodhOpanishad is the subiksham ( auspiciousness ) of the world and its beings through His aruL mazhai and assurance , " Maa Sucha:". That is the central message of " NeerAdal " for us . Regarding who is the one that we pray to for the life- giving rains , GitAchAryan ,as pointed out by our poorvAchAryAs, has already indicated in His upadEsam to Arjunan that He is THE nirvAhakan (Commnader, Ordainer) of the life giving Rains and thereby Namm Vaazhvu : " tapAmyahamaham varsham nigruNaamuthsrujAmi cha" . In this fourth ThiruppAvai paasuram , Andal also salutes three of the five aayudhams of PadhmanAbhan and seeks His protection in the context of asking for the blessings of the three rains during the month : "PaRpanAbhan kaiyyil AAZHI pOl minni , VALAMPURI pOl ninRathirnthu , ThAzhAthE SAARNGAM uthaittha sara mazhai pOl Vaazha ulahinil peythidAi--" The essence of the prayers of PanchAyudha SthOthram and Sri Dwaadasa Naama panchara SthOthram is the removal of one's fears and worries (Maa Sucha:). That message seems to be housed in this ThiruppAvai Paasuram. The resplendent disc(Sudarsanam ,the Chakram of the VishNu) , the Valampuri Sanghu ( Sasi kOti thulyam Paanchajanyam ) and the Saarngam ( the mighty KodhaNDam of the Lord , which drives away the fear of prapannAs immediately/ SurANAm chEthAmsi nirmuktha bhayAni sadhya:) are invoked here. These Aayudhams serve the Lord and obey His command to banish the fear of the Bhaktha Janams . When one thinks of the Lord's charama slOkam , the ArchA murthys of two divya dEsam come to my mind immediately : (1) ThiruviNNagarappan of Oppiliappan Koil , where NammAzhwAr peformed his Prapatthi ; here , the Lord standing tall displays the words from His charama slOkam: " MaamEkam SaraNam vraja". on His varadha Hastham (2) Lord VaradarAjan of Atthigiri , who displays on His right hand , the other important message for our Vaazhvu ,"Maa Sucha:" . he seems to say: "Please seek a sadAchAryan and perform prapatthi through him to Me and be rid of all your Bharams (burdens)". AdiyEn will conclude this Sri Vaikunta EkAdasi related posting during this Brahma muhUrtham with a response to another query from a dear BhakthA . His question was , " Why Bhagavaan gives His sevai to us in Mohini alankAram ?". This is also related to "Maa Sucha:" aspect of His upadEsam . Arayar sEvai on the 8th day of pahal patthu uthsavam seems to support the tatthvam behind this Mohini alankAram . The purANic episode enacted by the Arayars going back to the time of Thiruvarangap- PerumAL Arayar, the son of AlavandhAr , is amrutha mathanam or churning of the Milky Ocean ( ThiruppARkkadal/ KshIrAbdhi) to get nectar for the devAs and distracting the asurAs thru Mohini alnakAram .The asurAs lost out due to their precoccupaton with the feminine beauty of the Lord as Mohini , the enchantress . The tatthuvam behind the Mohini alankAram is the importance of removing three kinds of desires for a mumukshu ( one desiring Moksham ): maNNAsai , PonnAsai and PeNNAsai( the hankering for land/property , wealth and women). AzhwArs were men , with the exception of GodhA PirAtti . Her Kaamam was for Her Lord , GitAchAryan. She prays for us , when She says: "MaRRai namm KaamangaL MaaRRElOrempAvAi". AzhwArs like Thirumangai, ThoNDaraDippodi have been tempted by one or more of the above three desires and particularly by PeNNAsai (SiRRinbam).That is why, we hear at the very beginning of Kaliyan's Periya Thirumozhi (VaadinEn) , his regrets of having wasted his time on amorous pursuits and then being saved from ultimate destruction thru the upadEsam of AshtAksharam from the Lord Himself.In Periya Thirumozhi paasurams on Badari( PTM 1.3) , Kaliyan gives us his upadEsam again on the perils of chasing SiRRinbam. In the NaimichAraNyam paasurams(PTM 1.6) , this thought persists in the mind of kaliyan . He reverts to the concept of wasted days chasing SiRRinbam in the Thiruvenkatam paasurams( PTM 1.9.2) and states movingly , " theriyEn BaalakanAi pala theemaikaL seythumittEn". At the end of the decad of PTM 1.10 , Kaliyan is grateful for the blessings of the Lord of Thirumalai , which banished the three kinds of virOdhis for MokshAnubhavam , MaNNAsai, PonnAsai and PeNNAsai . Kaliyan declares hence with a with a great sense of relief: " vandhaai yenn manam puhunthAi manni ninRAi nandhAtha kozhum suDarE yengaL NampI ChinthAmaNiyE ThiruvEnkatam mEya- YenthAi ,ini yaann unnai YenRum VidEnE " Periya Thirumozhi: 1.10.9 Our Lord's sevai in Mohini alankAram is not only to delight us with His LaavaNyam but also to remind us of the lot of asurAs and their immense loss due to their hankerings after femenine beauty during the time of the distribution of the nectar of Moksham . Our Lord gave the DevAs the nectar to partake and for Himself enjoyed the PeNNamudhu , the other feminine nectar that arose from the milky Ocean, Sri MahA Lakshmi ThiruviNNagarappan Paasuram of kaliyan : "amuthi varum PeNnamudhuNda vempirAnE :PTM 6.1.2). The beautiful details of amrutha mathanam , MahA Lakshmi's appearance out of the Milky ocean , Her abhishEkam prior to marrying the Lord are described in the eighth canto of Srimath BhAgavatham and summarized in the 13th slOkam of Sri Sthuthi of Swamy Desikan. On the Sri Vaikunta EkAdasi day , NamperumAl through His Mohini alankAram is also reminding us about His consort as the essential nature of upAyam and UpEyam since She shares equally His Vibhuthvam ,Isvarathvam , Bhagavath Seshathvam and Paaratantryam .We will conclude this special posting for Sri Vaikunta EkAdasi day with a prayer to the " Sakala Bhuvana prArthanA Kaamadhenu ", Our ThAyAr , MahA Lakshmi: " maanAthITha praThitha vibhavAm MangaLam MangaLAnAm vaksha: peeDim MadhuvijayinO BhUshayanthIm svakAnthyA prathyakshaanusrvitha MahimA PrArta nInAm PrajAnAm SrEyOmUrthim SRIYAM ASARANA : THVAAM SARANYAAM PRAPADHYE " Sri Sthuthi of Swami Deikan: slOkam 1 Vasumathi SamEtha ThiruviNNagarappan ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam , Daasan ,Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan Pramaathi Sri Vaikunta EkAdasi dinam .