You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : February 2001

Input for AzhwAr CD ROM : Part III---> Bhoothatthaazhwaar

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Wed Jan 31 2001 - 11:57:48 PST

Bhoothatthaazhwaar: General comments
The second of the three Mudhal Azhwaars was born at 
Maamalla Puram ( Thirukkadanmallai Dhivya dEsam ). 
He is recognized as the amsam of Gadhai (mace) of
the Lord known as KoumEdhaki.He incarnated inside
a Maadhavi (Kurukkatthi) flower during an Iyppasi 
avitta nakshathram day .Poygai was born the previous day , 
when the SravaNa nakshathram was in ascendance. Pey AzhwAr 
was born on the day after Bhootham , when Sathaya nakshathram
was in ascendance .If Poygai had intuited the Lord's
presence amidst them at the dEhaLi through transcendent
knowledge(para Jn~Anam) , Bhootham succeded in achieving 
the same result through maturing gnosis passing into devotion
( para-Bhakthi).Bhootham saluted the Lord with another 
hundered verses set in anthAthi style , where the end 
(antha ) of one passuram provides the beginning for 
the subsequent paasuram .This anthaathi style assures 
that there is no break in the chain of thought as 
one moves from one passuram to the next.

Dr.K.C.Varadachari has quoted the Gita SlOkam (XI.54)
to compare the states of approach to the Lord by
the three Mudhal Azhwaars this way: " Knowing , 
seeing and entering into Him with One's own entire
being are the three processes that bear comparison 
with the three Azhwaars: Poygai, Bhootham and pEy".
Poygai saluted the Lord as Ubhaya Vibhoothi Naathan 
and Sarva Seshi through his power of para-jn~Anam ;
Bhootham described his anubhavam of the Lord as 
the para-bhakthi ( para-Jn~Anam transforming into
supreme devotion) anubhavam.

Bhoothattaazhwaar performed mangaLaasaasanam for 
thirteen dhivya dEsams:(1)Ayoddhi (2) Srirangam 
(3)Thiruk-Kadanmallai Tala Sayanam (4)Thiruk-kudanthai 
(5) Thiruk-kOttiUr (6)Thiruk-kOvaloor (7)Thiru-Tanjai 
MaamaNikkOil (8) Thirut-TaNNkaal (9)Thiruneermalai 
(10)Thiruppaatakam (11)ThiruppaaRkkadal(12)ThirumaalirumchOlai 
and (13)ThiruvEnkatam .

Tell me More section for Second ThiruvanthAthi
The very first paasuram of Bhootham takes the same
form of Poygai's first paasuram :
" Devotion as the lamp-bowl, aspiration as ghee ,
the mind that has melted out of delight as the wick ,
with melting soul I have lit the bright flame of
devotion to NaarAyaNA in the revealed Tamizh language
in verse".Azhwaar  describes himself as "Jn~Ana Tamizh purintha
naan" ( I who have chosen to construct a string of verses in 
Tamizh revealing supreme knowledge).

Illustrative paasurams of Bhootham revealing his para-Bhakthi
In his third paasuram ,Azhwaar describes the aprAkrutha 
dhivya lOkam of Sri Vaikuntam reached through supreme devotion
(Para-Bhakthi ): " Oh! What a great wonder ! Those who worship 
the One and Only Lord resting on AdhisEshan at the milky
ocean with fresh fragrant flowers are enabled to reach 
the self-effulgent Sri Vaikuntam , where nithyasooris
reside. Even pristine dEvaas including Brahma have only 
heard about it as being such and such , but have never
seen it (Sri Vaikuntam) even once"(Dr.V.N.VedAntha Desikan). 

In his 20th paasuram , Bhootham refers to the two types
of bhakthAs of the Lord ,who are destined to enjoy the bliss 
of life (Bhagavath anubhavam).The first type gets freed from
stigmas amd dhOshams and then engages in eulogy of the Lord
according to the way shown by the saasthraas. The second type
has jn~Anam about the sarva rakshaka Lord ( NaarAyana sabdha-
vaachyan)and comprehend the glories of His ThirunAmams and
recite them .This type is propelled by Bhakthi Ruchi arising 
from poorva janma sukruthams ( fruit of good deeds from
previous lives).

Bhootham praises the fruits of prapatthi in the twenty 
third paasuram  as the attainment of any boon one seeks (viz).,
Isvaryam, Kaivalyam or Mosham itself.

In the thirty third paasuram , Azhwaar describes his
blissful state through the engagement of his indhriyams 
in service to Him : " Oh Lord of Lakshmi! My heart 
rejoices because of being absorbed in You. My tongue 
(and speech) would revel in singing about Your holy feet.
My whole body too revels in a dance of joy ,circling 
round You and Your devotees , singing then the praise of
Your lovable weapons , chakram , sankham etal --with
abandon not minding what others would say ".

In the thirty seventh paasuram , AzhwAr performs 
upadesam for us: Out Lord's holy feet are very fit
objects for our aarAdhanam. Those , who do not 
seek these holy feet for protection would be born 
again and again in this samsAram and lead lives
filled with grief. He asks us to banish the vulgar 
pleasures of the world and choose instead a life
devoted to BhagavannAma SankIrthanam at all times .

In the 44th paasuram, AzhwAr reveals that the Lord
takes on His mighty shoulders the burden ( Bharam) 
of protection of those , who seek His lotus feet 
as refuge remembering His role as SaraNAgatha Rakshakan.

In the 46th paasuram , AzhwAr points out the action taken 
by the Lord for the benefit of those , who seek His holy
feet as refuge. AzhwAr describes that the Lord has already
taken His abode for our sake at ThirukkOttiyoor ,
Thiruvenkatam , ThirumAl-IrumchOlai and Thiruneermalai 
and is waiting for us at these dhivya desams .

In the ninety first paasuram , Azhwar gives us excellent
advise for our upliftment: " Oh Men of the World! You go
on committing various sinful acts that land you in cruel
narakam. If You want to escape this fate, perform prapatthi
at the feet of the Lord with an anjali. Do perform Prapatthi 
to our Lord , the most generous one , who will take
care of you and grant you mOksham .The performance of 
The pracise of His sworn dharmam as Sarva Loka SaraNyan 
and Jagath Rakshakan pleases him immensely.

In the concluding 100th paasuram , AzhwAr makes 
the most moving appeal to the Lord and shows us the way 
as well to appeal to Him for gaining His grace:
" Oh Supreme Lord with great attachment to 
Your devottes! Oh Lord of boundless greatness! 
Oh Lord of Nithyasooris! Oh 'wearer of lovable TuLasi 
garlands ! Oh destroyer of the enemies of Your devotees ! 
My love for You is not to stay within a limit.
It does not remain contained.It flows over and throws me 
down senseless.Please note that this love will not subside 
except until I have Your darsana soubhAgyam. Hence , Please 
grant me that boon and bliss " ( Dr.V.N.VedAntha Desikan) .

BhUthatthAzhwAr ThiruvadigaLE saraNam 
Daasan, Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri SatakOpan      

           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
To Post a message, send it to: