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AzhwAr CD Rom Inputs : Part II--> Poygai AzhwAr

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Tue Jan 30 2001 - 18:45:52 PST

General Introduction: Poygai AzhwAr
Poygai AzhwAr is the first of the trio of Mudhal AzhwArs.
He is the author of Mudhal Thiruvandhaathi.He was born inside 
a golden lotus in the temple tank (poygai) at the YathOkthakaari
Perumaal Koil at Kanchi.He is celebrated as the amsam of
Bhagavaan's divine conch(Paanchajanyam ). Together with 
the other two Mudal Azhwaars ( BhoothatthAzhwAr and Pey Azhwaar ) , 
Poygai was seeking shelter one day from a rain storm at 
the dEhaLi ( narrow space that links the outside and 
the inner chambers of a house )in ThirukkOyilUr .Poygai was 
the first one to arrive at that shelter and was followed next 
by Bhootham and Pey.There was not much of a space at the dehaLi 
to accomodate the three.They could barely find space to stand 
next to each other . While there , they were spending their 
time extolling the anantha kalyaaNa GuNams of the Lord.Suddenly , 
they felt the presence of  a fourth visitor in their midst 
at the narrow space of dEhaLi .Each of the three AzhwArs 
intuited the arrival of the Lord of ThirukkOyilUr 
as the fourth one (DehaLIsan) , who was mingling with them 
and pressing Himself against them in that crowded space. 
Poygai Azhwar broke out first into singing of one hundred 
Paasurams in the andhAthi style from the rapture of that 
experience of closeness with the Lord .These 100 paasurams 
are known as Mudhal ThiruvandhAthi. 

Dr.K.C.VaradachAri sums up the message of Mudhal ThiruvandhAthi
this way: " Poygai AzhwAr covers the gamut of religious 
consciousness by describing the nature of God , the nature of 
the soul and the means to reach Him (Bhagavath SamslEsham) 
that is natural to the soul and whose (Isavaran and 
Jeevan) separation is the cause of all sufferings ".

MangaLAsAsana Dhivya Desams
There are seven dhivya Desams that Poyghai 
performed MangaLAsAsanam : 

(1)Srirangam (2)ThirukkOvalUr (3) Thirupparama Padham 
(4)ThiruppARkkadal (5) ThiruviNNagaram (6)ThiruvEngaDam 
and (7) ThiruvehhA . 

Tell Me More section : Mudhal ThiruvandhAthi
As the first of the three Mudhal AzhwArs , Poygai ,
intuited Lord's presence/existence  through " his 
transcendent knowledge (Para Jn~Anam); the second AzhwAr 
( BhoothattAr)through maturing gnosis passing into devotion 
(para Bhakthi) ;and the third (PEy AzhwAr )through 
the intuitive conjoinment of Knowledge and Devotion 
(Parama Jn~Anam) attained the supreme bliss of the vision of 
the Lord with His PirAtti" .The paths chosen by the three 
AzhwArs to experience the Lord and His pirAtti are not 
exclusive and independent paths, but they are a continum 
and "form one unitary growth (steps) in God realization". 

Dr.K.C.Varadachari points out that "Gnosis knowledge , 
not inferential knowledge passes through imperceptibly 
into devotion for the Divine ,and this in turn progressively
becomes love-knowledge that is capable of knowing the Divine
in His Fullness , that is to say with the Mother Divine".

Swamy Desikan in his Sri DehaLIsa Sthuthi slOkams
( 6,7,9,11,16 and 17) celebrates the avathAram of 
the Three ThiruvandhAthis of the Mudal AzhwArs ,
the Souseelyam of the Lord of ThirukkOvalUr (DehaLIsan)
and the incomparable experience of the AzhwArs in
having the darsana soubhAgyam of the Lord with His
PirAtti (
aug97/0012.html). Bhakthi archives of August to November 97
contain 12 postings on Mudhal AzhwArs'anubhavam as
described by Swamy Desikan in his DehaLIsa Sthuthi.

Illustrative Verses of Poygai AzhwAr
The Mudhal Azhwars used SvAdhyAyam (Vedam)
and Yogam to see the Lord mingling with them 
in their heart lotuses . Poygai AzhwAr's magnificent
experience is contained in the first pasasuram set
on a cosmic scale:

" Deeming the world as bowl, the full sea as ghee,
the fierce-rayed Sun as the luminous wick, I have 
twined a garland of speech for the feet of Him , who wields
the red flaming discus so that there may be freedom from 
the ocean of (samsaaric) misery" (J.S.M. Hopper).

Out of his compassion for us , the suffering souls ,
Poygai perfomed uplifting UpdEsam in his 65th Paasuram :

" What was possible for me would be avialable to
any one else too! To our Lord , who is difficult to
meditate upon, who is afar (in Sri Vaikuntam) , who
has a thousand names , if one but folds his hands
(anjali mudhrA in front of Him ) , he will not be
oppressed by KarmA , nor will he go to hell , nor will
he tread the path  of pain even a bit" (J.S.M. Hooper &
Dr.V.N.Vedantha Desikan).

Poygai and his fellow AzhwAr's mahA visvAsam in
the power of the ArchA Moorthys of dhivya Desam 
to bless them with all isvaryams including Moksham
is etched in many of their paasurams. For instance ,
Poygai reveals to us the VenkatEsa Tatthvam and 
the sacrednes of His hills in the Twenty sixth 
paasuram of Mudhal ThiruvandhAthi:

" Three types of seekers resort to the Lord with 
sweet , cool TuLasi garlands (in hand) : the first, 
seeking more wealth , second seeking kaivalyam ; 
these two do not need the Lord any more ;the third
type ,ever clinging to Him with great delectation , 
set their goal only at Moksham , where service to
the Lord would be the bliss of life . All these three
types of seekers can secure their respective goals only 
if their stock of sins are consumed. The fire of sin 
has to be quenched. For this , one has to resort to 
the holy hill of the Lord of ThiruvEnkatam. And what is 
of added interest is that even the Nithyasooris in the midst of 
high beautitude in Vaikuntam come here and worship the hill 
(of the Lord), which in turn kindles their heart lamps to
unknown horizons ;such is the soulabhya quality-which
would not be evident to them in Vaikuntam"( Dr.VNV).

Poygai AzhwAr reminds us about the power of 
the ArchA Moorthis to destroy our sins in his 78th Paasuram:

" Those who recite the name of the shrines of the Lord 
get freed of their sins and grief. Say, therefore , 
Thiruvenkatam ,ThiruviNNagar , ThiruvehhA and
ThirukkOvalUr , wherein He reveals Himself in
different postures(ThirukkOlam) , namely , as standing ,
seated , reclining and walking .Your sins will vanish
if you say 'vanish' --the sins you have perhaps 
committed in your varying states, as standing , 
sitting etc." (Dr.VNV).

Poygai AzhwAr ThiruvadikaLE SaraNam ,
Daasan , Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri SatakOpan  





           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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