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Inputs for CD ROMs : Part X.1--> Madhura Kavi AzhwAr

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Mon Feb 12 2001 - 19:13:52 PST

Dear BhakthAs:

Srimath Azhagiya Singar has been giving a brilliant
series of tele-upanyAsams on the dhivya Prabhandham of 
Madhura Kavi Azhwar over the past few months. It will
come to a conclusion soon. I will summarize the Charithram 
and Dhivya Prabhandham of Madhura Kavi in this posting .
I will be following the essence of Srimadh Azhagiyasingar's
upanysams and Sri U.Ve. UtthamUr VeerarAghavAcchAr Swamy's 
commentary on "KaNNinuNN siRutthAmpu" in my efforts 
to compose a set of postings on Madhura Kavi AzhwAr's 
important prabhandham . Sriman T.C.A. Venaktesan , who
posted informative articles earlier on "AmalanAdhipiran"
has kindly agreed to expand on adiyEn's postings through
additional details from PoorvAchAryA's commentaries.  

Srimath Azhagiya Singar ThiruvadigaLE Saranam 
RaamAnuja Daasan, V.SatakOpan 

The Charithram of  Madhura Kavi AzhwAr 
ChaithrE ChitrA SamudhbhUtham PaaNdya dEsE GaNAmsakam
Sri ParAnkusa Sathbhaktham Madhuram KavimAsrayE 

Madhura Kavi Azhwar is Kumudaamsar and was born in
DhvApara Yugam , Isvara Samvathsaram  , Chitthirai
month , Sukla EkAdasi Friday , when the chithrA nakshathram
was in ascendance.He was born in the dhivya dEsam of 
ThirukkOLUr to a Purva SikhA Brahmin couple.Lord Krishna 
was still in Dhwaarakai at that time . Madhura Kavi 
mastered his Saakai of Saama Vedam and went thereafter 
on a dhivya desa Yaathrai to northern part of India. 
He was at AyOdhyA duirng this trip and one night he saw 
a bright light in the southern sky. He travelled south 
by night to find out more about this extraordinary jyOthi .
Madhura Kavi traced this divine jyOthi as arising from 
a  sixteen year old NammAzhwAr lost in deep yogic trance 
under a tamarind tree inside the temple of ThirukuruhUr 
AadhikEsavap PerumAl . 

Madhura Kavi was intrigued at the stillness of  NammAzhwAr , 
who had no interaction whatsoever with the outside world.
NammAzhwAr was taking no food or water. Madhura Kavi 
stood with folded hands before this still NammAzhwAr
and asked him the question: " If the soul born of Matter 
(settathin Vayadil siRiyathu piRanthAl ), what will it eat
and where will it rest ( yetthai thinRu yengu kidakkum?).
NammAzhwAr woke up from his trance on hearing this question 
and answered : " It eats That and there it rests (Atthai 
thinRu angE kidakkum)". Madhura Kavi immediately realized that 
NammAzhwAr was "eating "-- the Divine-spoken of by Upanishads
as the food of mystics-- (atthai thinRu) and was living in 
that Divinity (angE kidakkum ) , even if he had taken birth 
in the mortal body ( Setthathin VayiRRir )as " a siRiyathu"
( jeevan).NammAzhwAr was describing that emancipated souls 
are rooted in God and that God is its food, water , breath
mind and bliss. This profound statement made Madhura Kavi
realize the greatness of Swamy NammAzhwAr and begged for
acceptance as a disciple. Swamy NammAzhwAr initiated
Madhura Kavi in Bhakthi and Prapatthi margams and taught 
Madhura Kavi all his dhivya sookthis. The elated and fulfilled
Madhura Kavi took refuge at the sacred feet of Swamy 
NammAzhwAr alone and treated him as his Sarvam (Father ,
Mother , Master and God).Madhura Kavi  spent the rest of 
his life serving Swamy NammAzhwAr and singing his dhivya
Prabhandhams and spreading the message of Swamy NammazhwAr
to the world. Madhura Kavi has immortalized his AchArya
bhakthi in a prabhandham known as " KaNNinuNN SiRutthAmpu" , 
which is known for its celebration of AchArya Bhakthi.
There are only eleven paasurams in this dhivya prabhandham.

Madhura Kavi AzhwAr's prabhandham
This AzhwAr sought no identity other than being
the disciple of Swamy NammAzhwAr;he is revered hence 
by us as one of the 12 AzhwArs. The other eleven AzhwArs 
had mystic visions of the Lord and celebrated 
the anantha kalyANa GuNams of the dhivya dampathis 
and performed their prapatthis to them . Madhura Kavi on 
the other hand placed AchArya Kaimkaryam /AchAryabhimatham 
(devotion to and surrender at AchAryan's feet)above 
every thing else including Bhagavath dhyAnam and Kaimkaryam . 

In this context , it is appropriate to examine the importance
of an AchArya .Sri U.Ve. ChEtlUr SrivathsAngAcchAr Swamy , 
a direct disciple of Sri U.Ve.UtthamUr Swamy quotes 
a Taitthriya AraNyaka manthram in the context of the ills 
that come the way of one , who abandons his/her AchAryan :

yasthithyAjya sachividham sakhAyam na tasya vAchyapi BhAgO asthi
yadhIm sruNOthyalakam sruNothi na hi pravEda sukruthasya panTAm 

(meaning): Those who abandon their AchAryans , who performed 
SadhupadEsam for them about Veda-VedAntham , will not be
blessed with Jn~Anam/scholarly skills in future births.
Whatever he/she heard here will also become fruitless 
and incorrect .  

Importance of AchArya Bhakthi
The Lord does not accept one without AchArya sambhandham.
This is one of the cardinal doctrines of our SiddhAntham.
The Upanishads through their upadEsams ( AchArya dEvo Bahava/
TaitthirIyam )emphasize the importance of an AchAryan.
Great AchAryAs of Our tradition have practised 
the greatness of AchArya Kaimkaryam and have celebrated 
the extraordinary importance of AchArya Kaimkaryam in their 
Sri Sookthis:

(1)dEvamiva AchAryam upAseetha--Aaapasthampa Rishi
  ( Worship the AchAryan as the Lord Himself )

(2)AchAryAdhiha dEvathAm samAdhikam anyAm 
   na ManyAmahE--Swamy Desikan
  ( Here on this earth , we do not consider 
    any Gods equal or superior to my AchAryan). 

(3)GururEva Param Brahma , GururEva parAgathi:
   GururEva ParA vidhyA , GururEva parAyanam
   GururEva Para: Kaama:, GururEva param dhanam

(One's AchAryan is verily God;He is the ultimate refuge.
He is the supreme knowledge;He alone is to be extolled.
He is the one to be coveted supremely;He is the supreme 

Inview of the paramount importance of AchArya Bhakthi ,
many poorvAchAryAs like Nanjeeyar, NampiLlai , Periya-
VaacchAn PiLLai , Azhagiya MaNavALa PerumAL NaayanAr,
Swamy Desikan (now extinct Madhura Kavi hrudhayam) , 
Thirukkudanthai Desikan and others have blessed us 
with superb vyAkyAnams for Madhura Kavi AzhwAr's 
dhivya prabhandham.

AdiyEn will cover in detail the taniyans and 
the individual paasurams of KaNNinuNN SirutthAmpu
in the subsequent postings.

Srimath Azhagiya Singar ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam ,
RaamAnuja Daasan , Oppiliappan Koil VardachAri SatakOpan



           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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