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From: Parthasarati Dileepan (MFPD_at_UTCVM.UTC.EDU)
Date: Sat Feb 11 1995 - 18:44:46 PST

For the last several weeks I have been trying to recite
sri baashyakaarar's saraNaagathi gadhyam.  Each day, as
I follow the tape, I am reminded of sri srivatsaangaa chaar's
upanyaasams I attended each morning I was in Madras during
my last trip there more than 4 years ago.  His descriptions
of swami dEsikan's commentary on saraNaagathi gadhyam was
indeed a treat.  Further, starting from last chitthirai (April 94)
azhagiya singar is writing about the Lord's kalyaaNa guNaas
as described by sri raamaanuja.  With full of desire and with
complete lack of critical understanding I have begun collecting
some of these and posting them in SCT.  I am posting the same here
as well.  Please forgive me for my impetuousness.

regards,  Dileepan

According to visishtaadvaitham emperumaan (God) is a
ocean of sudhdha satvam.  In Sri Raamaanujaa's words,
He is a  kalyaaNa guNa gaNa mahaarNavaam.  What
ever one's beliefs may be, describing and understanding
some of these guNaas is in itself a delightful experience.
The opportunity to immerse in this ocean should not be
missed as Sri aaNdaaL metaphorically admonishes,
"kuLLak kuLira kudaindhu neeraadaadhE paLLi
kidatthiyO" (thiruppaavai 13).  (why are you still
sleeping and not immersing yourself from head to toe,
i.e. kudaindhu ...)  thondaradippodi aazvaar laments
missed opportunity of the past with, "un thirukkuNam
seppamaattEn" (thiru maalai 26).  (oh! I have not praised
your divine qualities.)   Periyaazhvaar counsels us, with
\bt "empiraan vanmaiyaip paadippaRa (3.9.1,) and
dhaasarathi thanmaiyai paadippaRa (3.9.2.)"  (sing in
praise of our Lord's mettle, sing in praise of the son of
dhasarathan's traits)

Among these dhivya guNaas, six are said to be primary,
NYaanam, balam, aisvaryam, veeryam, sakthi, and
thEjas.  From these six many other guNas flow out, of
which twelve are for showering His eternal love on us.
These are sowseelyam, vaathsalyam, mardhavam,
aarjavam, sowhaartham, saamyam, kaaruNyam,
maadhuryam, gaambeeryam, owdhaaryam, chaathuryam,
and sthairyam.  These and other kalyaaNa guNaas are
innate to brahman.  But it is through the great
avathaaraas described in ithihaasa puraaNaas, aazhvaar
paasurams, and commentaries of our achaaryaas that we
get a glimpse of some of them.  I hope I will be forgiven
for my temerity in venturing to present some paasurams
that describe these twelve guNaas.

sowseelyam:    Friendship shown by an exalted one
               towards a humble person without
               expecting anything in return.

Many examples of sowseelyam can be found in our
ithikaasa puraaNaas.  Sri Raamaa's friendship with
Guhan and Sri Krishnaa's friendship with arjunan fall
into this category.  Here is an interesting paasuram from
Thirumangai aazhvaar's periya thirumozhi (5.8.2) with
some hidden meanings:

vaadhamaamagan maRkadam vilangu
   maRROr saathiyen Rozhindhilai, ugandhu
kaadhalaatharam kadalinum perugac chey
  thagavinuk killai kaimmaa RenRu
kOthil vaaymaiyinaayodu mudanE
  uNban naanenRa vONporuL enakkum
aadhal vENdumen RadiyiNai yadaindhEn
  aNipozhil thiruvanangatthammaanE

vaadha            = vaayu
maa magan         = son with ahangaaram!
maRkadam          = monkey
kOthil vaaymaiyin = the one who speaks blemishless words, aancanEyar
uNban             = enjoy your embrace - act of friendship

"O! Lord of Sri Rangam, you proclaimed your friendship
to aancanEyar with your warm embrace surging with
ocean of love and kindness, without any regard for his
non-human status.  With the hope that I may be shown
the same friendship I take refuge in your lotus feet."

Those given to mischievous  arguments (kudhaRka
vaathigaL) might say this is not sowseelyam as raaman's
action was in return for what aancanEyar has
accomplaished.  This is where "vaadha maa magan" comes in.

One interpretation for "maa" is big, i.e. vaayu's big (first)
son.  But, with "vilangu maRkadam" there is no
mistaking that AncanEyar, not bheeman, is intended.  A
second interpretation for "vaadha maa magan," is the
strong headed son of vaayu.  This is consistent with
aancanEyar's attempt to swallow the sun, the first of
ishvaagu lineage.  But, more interestingly, AncanEyar
could not find seethai until he realizes and forsakes his
ahangaaram and recites, "namOSthu raamaaya Sa
lakshmaNaaya dhEvyyai cha thaSyai janagaathma
jaayai."  Without sri raaman's blessings hanuman could
not accomplish his task.  NYaanam being one of his
innate qualities, sri raman was fully aware of this.  Yet
he acts as though he is indebted to aancanEyar, "cey
thagavinukku illai kaimaaRu".    (This quality is
Gaambeeryam as we shall see later.)  With this
interpretation of "vaadha maa magan" the Lord's
sowseelyam gets revealed in this paasuram.

.... to be continued

This and other posts to follow in this subject are based
on the aruL mozhigaL of the 45th azhagiya singar of sri
aHObila madam, sri vaN satakOpa sri naaraayaNa
yatheendhra mahaa dEsikan, published in sri nrusimhap
priyaa starting with bava varusham, chitthirai maasam,
(April 1994), and commentaries of aazhvaar
prabhandams published by The Visishtadvaita Pracharini
Sabha, 27, Venkatesa Agraharam, Mylapore, Madras,
600 004.