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The Fourth day of the Soul's Journey to AchArya Peetam and Sriranga KshEthram :Feb 8, 2000 (Continued )

From: Sadagopan (sgopan_at_computer.net)
Date: Fri Feb 25 2000 - 19:51:01 PST

Sri Lakshmi Nrusimha ParabrahmaNE Nama:

Dear BhakthAs :

In the holy kshEthram of Srirangam known as
BhUlOka Vaikuntam , illustrious AchAryAs (pillars)of
Sri VaishNava darsanam have spent significant 
periods of their lives . Some were born here like
Paraasara Bhattar , Periya Nambi , Vadakku Thiruveedhi
PiLLai , PiLLai LOkAcchAr et al .Some ascended paramapadham 
from here like Thondaradippodi AzhwAr , AaLavandhAr , 
Udayavar , Sudarsana Soori and many others . Many Taniyans 
for dhivya prabhandhams were born here .The NithyOthsava-
SamAyuktha Sri Ranganathan with His divine consort 
has blessed many AchAryAs here , some times by speaking 
to them by breaking His ArchA SamAdhi and at other times 
through archaka mukham . One of the fundamental 
doctrines of Sri VaishNavam is that the SadAchArya 
anugraham is indispensable for gaining the blessings of 
the dhivya dampathis .Hence , we will focus on 
the reverence of AchAryAs for the SaraNya Dhampathis 
of Srirangam , who grew the sampradhAyam to 
illustrious heights in response to the niyamanam
(Command ) of the dhivya dampathis of srirangam .

The glories of this KshEthram have been celebrated earlier
in Bhakthi list by Srimans Thirumanjanam Sundararajan 
Swamy, Sampath Rengarajan and adiyEn in a series of 
postings ( March 29-May 2 , 1998) in the context of 
the construction of the temple for Sri RanganathA 
at Pomona , NY .Hence , adiyEn will focus here 
only on the Bhagavath GuNAanubhavam at Sri RanganAyaki 
and Sri Ranganaathan's sannidhis as experienced by AchAryAs 
and travel in the same path blessed by them .

Sri RangadhAmEswari
*********************

As adiyEn stood before Sri RanganAyaki ThAyAr's 
sannidhi , the first prayer that came to mind was
from Sri Lakshmi ashtOtthara satha naamAvaLi :

" LakshmIm Ksheera samudhra raaja tanayAm Sriranga dhAmEsvarIm 
daasI bhUtha samastha dEva vanithAm lOkaika dhIpAnkurAm "

adiyEn's next prayer followed from Sri MahA Lakshmi Ashtakam :

" siddhi bhuddhi prathE dEvi Bhukthi Mukthi pradhAyini
  Manthra mUrthE sadhA dEvi MAHALAKSHMI namOsthu thE "

MahA Lakshmi taking the form of Sri RanganAyaki here 
has been the object of praise of Sri AlavandhAr in 
the second half of the second slOkam of his ChathuslOki:

" thAmm thvAmm daasa ithi PRAPANNA 
  ithi cha sthOshyAmyaham nirbbhaya :
  lOkaikEswari lOkanAtha dhayithE 
  dhAnthE DAYAAM thE vidhan "

(meaning ): Oh the Mistress of this Universe ! 
Oh dear consort of the Lord of the Universe ! 
Knowing that You have dayA for me as a krupaNan
(Dheenan ) , adiyEn approaches You and eulogizes 
You as Your Daasan and Prapannan without any fear .

She is svathO nithyAnukUlai ( One who has the natural
disposition to bless Her children at all times ). 
AlavandhAr recognized this anukampA and PurushakAra 
aspects of Her and approached Her as Her Daasan and 
Prapannan . AdiyEn reflected on the profound nature
of this passage from ChathusslOki as adiyEn's eyes 
feasted on the uthsava moorthy (Sri RanganAyaki )and 
the two moola BhErams behind latter( Bhu Devi and Sri Devi).

My next prayer was from the last slOkam of KurEsan's 
Sri Sthavam :

"yasyA: KatAksha VeekshA kshaNa laksham lakshithA mahEsA:syu:
 Sri RangarAja Mahishee saa maamapi VeekshathAm Lakshmee "

(Meaning ): May adiyEn become a dhanyan through Your side
glances falling on adiyEn as in the case of those , who
have become the beneficiaries of great wealth (Isvaryam )
through such glances of Yours falling on them for 
the fraction of a second .

This prayer was followed by another by the sellap piLLai
of Sri RanganAyaki , Sri ParAsara Bhattar , the son of
KuResan , whose sannidhi is on the way to ThAyAr sannidhi.

In his GuNarathna KOsam , ParAsara Bhattar identifies 
Sri RanganAyaki as " an adolescent girl , who is just
in the confluence of childhood and Youth (Saisava-
youvana vyathikarA )". Bhattar salutes Her further
as BhU devi avathAram , SitA PirAtti ,which fits well
with the Bhu Devi moola bhEram in the sannidhi. Bhattar's
celebration of the dhivya soundharyam and the anantha
KalyANa GuNams of Sri RanganAyaki is matchless. 
In the 61st slOkam of Sri GuNarathna kOsam , Bhattar 
points out that Sri RanganAyaki is " the Mother , Father 
and all that one cherishes as near and dear" . Bhattar 
recognizes Her Supermacy and Her incomparable role and
states that the conferral of Her grace would free us 
of any worry or fear .

Swamy Desikan, who was given the birudhu of 
" Sarva Tantra Svathanthrar " by Sri RanganAyaki
has brilliantly summed up the three roles that 
She plays as the dear consort of Sri RanganAthan:

(1) She pleads for us as the mediatrix (purushakAram )
(2) She stands together with Her Lord as UpAyam 
during the occasion of Prapatthi performed by 
the chEthanams
(3) She stands with Her Lord as the fruit of that
Prapatthi (viz)., Moksham . 

Swami Desikan celebrated this yEkasEshithvam 
of the SaraNya Dhampathis and performed his
SaraNAgathi to this "Sakala Bhuvana prArthanA 
KaamadhEnu:" with the prayer :" SrEyOmUrthim
Sriyam asaraNa: thvAm SaraNyAm prapadhyE ".
Swami Desikan states here that he has no other 
recourse (asaraNa:) and therefore performs 
prapathti at the lotus feet of this embodiment
of auspiciousness , who delights in protecting
those , who seek refuge in Her . 

Comforted by these noble and reassuring thoughts
of AchAryAs over the centuries , adiyEn enjoyed
the sEvai of Sri RanganAyaki . There was a power 
cut and hence there were no artificial(electric) 
light in the Sannidhi. It was like old times , when
the illumination was solely from the lamps lit
with the wicks  soaked in fragrant ghee .AchAryAs 
must have been the beneficiaries of such sEvai ,
when there was no other illumination than
the MangaLa dhIpams lit with fresh ghee .

With adiyEn's mind filled with the memories of such 
an adhbhutha sevai of our Mother , the dayA vigraham ,
adiyEn reluctantly took leave of Her to offer my praNAmams
to Her Lord .

AdiyEn will continue with that anubhavam in
the next posting .

Azhagiya Singar ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam ,
Daasan , Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri SadagOpan