You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : December 1999

Sri RanganathA and AzhwAr Paasurams : Swamy NammAzhwAr--Part IV

From: Sadagopan (sgopan_at_computer.net)
Date: Tue Dec 28 1999 - 18:55:25 PST

Dear Sri RanganAtha BhakthAs :

After the limited coverage of the aspects of
the uniqueness of Sri Ranganathan and His dhivya Desam ,
adiyEn will start the salutations to the 11 AzhwArs ,
who blessed us with 247 Paasurams . These 247 are :

1) PeriyAzhwAr    : 35
2) AndaaL         : 10
3) KulasEkarA     : 31
4) Thirumazhisai  : 14
5) ThoNDaradippodi: 55
6) PaaNa naathan  : 10
7) Thirumangai    : 73
8) Poygai AzhwAr  :  1
9) BhUthatthAzhwAr:  4
10)Pey AzhwAr     :  2
11)NammAzhwAr     : 12
                  ------ 
Total Paasurams:    247
                  ------- 

Many lives would be needed to understand the layers
and layers of meanings of these 247 Paasurams on our
Aadhirangan .There are a few scholars on this sathsangam ,
who have more acumen to do justice to these beautiful
AzhwAr Paasurams steeped in parama Bhakthi for Sri RanganAthan.
Adiyen requests them to come forward and add their inputs
to expand the reach of our anubhavam of these Kula Dhanams .
As for adiyEn's part , the goal of these postings is to 
provide an overview by focusing on selected paasurams 
from the MangaLAsAsanams of the AzhwArs .Please bear
with adiyEn's insufficiencies  in this well meant Kaimkaryam 
to pay homage to Sri RanganAyaki SamEtha Sri RanganAtha 
Para Brahmam .

We will start with the anubhavam of Swamy NammAzhwAr ,
since all the other AzhwArs are considered to constitute
the limbs of Swamy NammAzhwAr .

The Twelve Paasurams of Swamy NammAzhwAr :
*******************************************
One of the twelve paasurams on Sri RanganAthA 
is housed in Thiruviruttham ( 28th Paasuram ) 
and the remaining 11 are found in ThiruvAimozhi 7.2 
section ( Kangulum Pahalum KaNDaRiyAL -- decad ). 

The Thiruviruttham Paasuram
****************************

Thiruviruttham has 100 paasurams . One of them 
(28th Paasuram ) is about Sri RanganAthan .Thiru Viruttham
is the first of the 4 Prabhandhams of Swamy NammAzhwAr ;
it is considered as the essence of Rg Vedham .Here ,
AzhwAr reminds the Lord that He is his Swamy and 
he (AzhwAr )is the "nithya Daasan " to Him . 

In this Prabhandham ,where Swamy NammAzhwAr assumes 
the role of ParAnkusa Naayaki (upto 88th Paasuram )
and begs the Lord , her Naayakan to listen to her 
appeal ( mey ninRu kEttaruLAi adiyEn seyyum ViNNappamE ). 
Nayaki's appeal is for obtaining the Lord as 
the Parama PurushArtham as a direct result of 
the banishmnet of obstacles associated with Prakruthi 
( Prakruthi sambhandham )with His grace .Parankusa Naayaki 
prays for the boon of freedom from DehAthma Bramam ( mistaking 
the body to be the AathmA ) , ahankAram , viparItha Jn~Anam 
that leads one to think that Jeevan has Svathanthram .
The very  first Paasuram of Thiruviruttham is recognized by
some AchAryAs as a referral to artha panchakam ( Isvaran,
Jeevan , UpAyam for prApthi , Phalan and the VirOdhi
for PrApthi).

In the 28th paasuram (TaNNam ThuzhAi vaLai koLvathu--), 
Paraankusa Naayaki  begs the Lord of Srirangam 
to instruct her on the truth about some thing that
confuses her .THis paasura Pahuthi is :

" YeNNam thuzhAvum idatthu paNDum inna anna 
uLavO aruLAi ". 

Nayaki asks : " Oh Lord of Srirangam ! My  mind 
inquires as to whether such things(this and that)
happened in previous times . Please instruct me on 
the truth about their happenings in the past ".

The "inna " (ippadippattavai / of this nature )
and " anna " (appadipattavai/of that nature )
that troubles the Nayaki are :

The Lord does not tolerate His BhakthAs to be
troubled by those , who have no connection to Him
( Bhaktha RakshaNam and Dushta Nigraham ). He does 
not also put up with His own devotees insulting those 
who are dear to Him ( Bhaagavatha apachAram ).
These are the "inna " and anna" items .Nayaki hints : 
If the Lord does not practise these cardinal 
vows that He has taken and does not come to 
the rescue of His Bhaktha Janam , then there will be
haani(harm) to His reputation . Naayaki says further 
that her mind is confused on these matters and begs 
the Lord to reveal the truth on these matters .She asks 
Him:

" Has it ever happened in ancient times that You
slacked from Your vratham of Prapanna Jana 
SamrakshaNam ?".This dialog of ParAnkusa
Naayaki with Her Lord , Sri RanganAthan ,
is housed in this Thiruviruttham Paasuram .

Swamy NammAzhwAr's ThiruvAimozhi Paasurams
*******************************************
In the 7.2 decad , Swamy NammAzhwAr speaks to us
through the mouth of ParAnkusa Naayaki's mother ,
who is utterly distraught about the heartless
way in which Sri RanganAthan has treated 
her daughter . Our AchAryAs have said that 
ParAsara Bhattar was overcome with intense 
emotion on reflecting on this decad 
and is said to have observed :

" We are not fit to appreciate the AzhwAr's intensity 
of love (for the Lord) nor can we fathom his(AzhwAr's)
yearning and desire (Bhagavath Kaamam ) for the Lord.
We are simply reciting these verses without understanding 
even an iota of AzhwAr's true feelings ". 

The bridal mysticism and the intensity of suffering
from separation from her ( Parankusa Naayaki's) 
Lord are moving indeed as we hear the helpless
mother describing the plight of her young and
beautiful daughter . The mother appeals to
the Lord of Srirangam to have a heart , to take 
pity on the tender sapling of a daughter of hers .
We will study this decad and select paasuram 7.2.5
for additional commentaries as experienced by 
some of our PoorvAchAryALs .
Sri RanganAyaka parabrahmaNE Nama:
Daasan , O.V.Sadagopan