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From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Sat Feb 03 1996 - 08:19:55 PST
Dear Members of the Prapatti Group: I will summarize the high points of Thirunedumthaandakam(TNT) in this post and comment on the Special significance of this work from Parasara Bhattar"s point of view. Sri Partha of Rice Univeristy had asked about Parasara Bhattar"s commentary (Bhagavad Guna Darpana) on Sri Vishnu Sahasranaamam at the same time. It was just a strange coincidence . I thought that it will be useful to summarize the life and works of Parasara Bhattar, the precocious son of Kuratthazhwar, the disciple of Sri Ramanuja. For Parasara Bhattar, Sri Ranganatha , Sri Ranganayaki, Vishnu Sahasra Namam, 4000 Divya Prabhandam in general and Thirumangai"s TNT in particular were the guiding compass..I will confine my comments on Bhattar here as it relates to TNT. As indicated earlier, he defeated an Advaitic Scholar at Melkote by using TNT as the basis for discussion and converted him to Visishtadvaitam . He accepted latter as his prime disciple and gave him the name of Namjeeyar. Bhattar returned to Srirangam with Namjeeyar and visited Sri Ranganatha at his sanctum sanctorium. He had the good fortune of conversing with the Lord of Srirangam like Thirukkacchi Nambi could speak with Sri Varadaraja. Both Rangantha and Varadaraja broke their Archa Silence to speak to their special devotees . Bhattar told the Lord as to what happened at Melkote and how he used TNT to defeat the Advaita Vedantin in a scholastic debate. Sri Ranganatha asked Bhattar to repeat the winning arguments. The Lord was very pleased with Bhattar's defense and blessed him. This event is celebrated even today at Srirangam on the eve of Adhyayana Utsavam by the Arayar,Who enacts the incident at Melkote before Sri Ranganatha .This festival at Srirangam is known as Thirunedumthaandakam. Guru Parampara states that the Divya Dampathis of Srirangam adopted Parasara Bhattar as their son. The name of Parasara was given by Sri Ranganatha Himself. Parasara is the author of Vishnu Puranam and the father of Veda Vyasa. Kuratthazhwar had named his son Ranganatha and the name given by the Lord (Parasara ) stuck over time. Since this Parasara was the Purohita for the Divya Dampathis, he was also known as Sri Rangesa Purohita or Parasara Bhattar. His lineal descendants are known as Veda Vyasa Bhattar and Parasara Bhattar even today. One of the Veda Vyasa Bhattar was officiating as a priest at the Malibu temple few years ago. Parasara Bhattar 's connection has extended thus to USA . ***Thirunedumthaandakam : This sublime work of Thirumangai has 30 verses. It is known as the Vedantha Sastram.It starts off with the description of Tattva, Hita and Purushaartha and continues with the celebration of the five forms of the Lord described in Paancharatra Agama. These Five Aagamic forms referred to in the many verses of TNT by the Azhwaar are: (A) PARA: This is the form of the Lord in Sri Vaikuntam enjoyed by the Muktas and Nityasuris. (B) VYUHA : These are four in number. Vasudeva, Sankarshana , Pradyumna and Aniruddha. Vyuha Vasudeva is the form of the Lord resting as Lakshmi Narayana in Milky ocean on the bed of Adisesha. There is no difference between Para and Vasudeva Vyuhas. He is considered to possess all the Six Gunas such as Jnana , Bala, Veerya,Iswarya , Tejas et al in Para Vyuha. Sankarshana is concerned with destruction and the preparation for Sastras. He has Jnana and Bala among the six Gunas. Pradhyumna is concerned with creation and the establishment of Dharma.He has Iswarya and Veerya gunaas. Aniruddha is associated with protection and the teaching of the divine principles. He has sakti and Tejas , the two of the six gunas. B.1 UPAVYUHAAS There are twelve Upavyuha forms of the Lord beginning with Kesava et al. Our body is constituted by Prakriti , which also forms the body of the Lord. Thus our body has the links to the Lord's body in this aspect of Prakriti sambhandham. The Upavyuha forms of the Lord reside in the various part of our bodies and we wear the ThirumaN to remember and celebrate that aspect of Upavyuham. The Upavyuha forms of the Lord, the name of His Consorts in that form and their locations in the limbs of the body are summarized below : B.1.1. Forehead: Om Kesavaya Nama:- Om Sriyai Nama: B.1.2.Lower Abdomen (Middle portion): Om NaarayaNaya nama:- Om Amrutothbhavayai Nama: B.1.3.Chest: Om MadhavAya Nama: -Om KamalAyai Nama: B.1.4.Front Neck (Middle): Om GovindhAya Nama: -Om Chandra Sobhinyai Nama: B.1.5.Lower Abdomen (Right): Om Vishnaveh Nama:- Om HarivalabhAyai Nama: B.1.6.Right Arm:Om Madhusudanya Nama:-Om Vishnupatnyai Nama: B.1.7.Neck(Right side): Om TrivikramAya Nama: -Om Vaishnavyai Nama: B.1.8.Lower Abdomen(Left); Om VamanAya Nama:- Om VarArohAyai Nama: B.1.9.Left Arm:Om SridharAya Nama;-Om Sarnginyai Nama: B.1.10.Back(lower Spine): Om PadmanabhAya nama:-Om Mahalakshmyai Nama; B.1.11. Back(Upper Spine); Om DamodharAya Nama:-Om Sura Sundaryai Nama: B.1.12. Top of the Head: Om VAsudevAya nama:-Om SarvAbhista PalapradhAyai Nama: (C) VIBHAVA : The ten Avataras are known as Vibhava. Some are sampoorna Avatharas, others are partial avatharas. By some counts, the Vibhava avatharas have been extended to a count of thirty nine.They cover from Sthaavara, Jangama to Maanusha . (D) ANTARYAAMI FORM : This is the form of the Lord , which resides in every individual and living being of the Universe. This covers both Achit and Chit including Devas, Human beings , birds, beasts , insects et al. This form is also known as Harda , since the Yogis realize Him in their hearts. (E) ARCHAA FORM : These are the consecrated murthys of the Lord celebrated by the Azhwars at the 106 Divya Desams and other Archa Murthys at Abhimana Sthalam and elsewhere. The Archa form can be grouped uder the four categories: E.1 SWAYAMVYAKTA FORMS : ( Saligramam, Triupathi Srinivasa, Sri Ranganatha, Badri Narayana, Thirunarayana of Melkote, Srimushnam Bhoovaraghavan, Puri Jagannath et al ). E.2 DAIVAA ARCHA FORMS : Installation of the Archa Murthy by the Devas as in the case of Guruvayurappan comes under this category. E.3 AARSHAA : Installation of the Archa Murthy by Rishis is covered here. Thiruvinnagar, Thiruvahindrapuram , Thirukkudanthai come under this category, since the Lord accepted to take permanent residence at the request of a Rishi like Maarkandeya, Hema ,Matanga et al. . E.4 MAANUSHAA : Here, the idols are consecrated by men according to Aagama Sastras. After covering the Tatva, Hita , Purusharthas , Para, Vyuha, Vibhava, Antaryami and Archa forms of the Lord in the first ten verses of TNT, Thirumangai goes on to declare his Seshatvam to the Lord of many forms through Nayaka-Nayikaa Bhavam in the remaining twenty verses . He becomes Parakala Nayaki and expresses his Apeksha(Desire) to the Lord . He says: " MInnum Maamazhai Tavazhum Megavanna, Vinnavar tam Perumaaneh! AruLaai ." What he seeks as boon is the Rakshakatvam of the Lord. Thus the mood of the verses of TNT is an extension of the mood of TKT. Thus the two AruLiccheyals of the Azhwaar are thematically intertwined. The individual verses of TNT focus on the follwing themes : A. Thirumangai's own statements on Tattvas/Hita/Purushartham (verses 1to 10). B. Verse 11-20 : The describtion of the mother of Parakala Nayaki about her daughter's distraught status as Nayikaa. C.Verse 21-30: Thozhi's intervention asking for the reason for Parakala nayaki's anguish and Parakala Nayaki's reply. A. Verses 1 to 10 Verse 1:Salutation to the Chit-Achit-Iswara principles of Sri Visishtaadvaitam. Verse 2:Srishti/Sthiti/Samharam duties of Trimurthys and the supermacy of Sriman Narayana over the duties of the Trimurthys and the functions of Pancha Bhootham. Verse 3: Para Vasudeva Rupam of the Lord with His consort and his different colors in each of the Four YugAs. Verse 4: Antaryami Roopam and Appeal to his mind to survive through the recitation of Ashtakshara Mantram. Ceaseless rememberance of the Lord thru the recitation of His Maha Mantram is pointed out for attaining Moksha Anugraham. Verse 5:Celebration of Vibhavam and the choice of Trivikrama Avathaaram as the first one for salutation inview of its Vedic connection. Verse 6: Invitation to offer worship to the Archa Murthy of Thirukkovilur, where Trivikrama form is consecrated. Indirect salutation to the Mudal AazhwArs. Verse 7: Continuation of Salutation to the Thirukkovilur Archaa Murthy. Verse 8: Salutations to the Archa Murthys at Neeragam, Thiruvenkatam , Nilaatthingal Thundam, Ooragam, Thiru Vehhaa , Kaaragam, Kaaarvaanam,Thirupper and Antaryami Swaroopam . He states clearly that he seeks the Lord"s holy feet for protection and offers his Saranaagati. Verse 9: Salutations to the Archaa Murthys of Thirukkadanmallai, Kanchi Varadarajan, Thiruppernagar, Pavalavannan, Thiruppaarkadal and reference to the Lord housing Sankara on his left side of the Body. He asks the Lord: where are You? I am searching for You eveywhere. Verse 10.Salutations to the Archa Murthy of Kerala Divya Desam, Thirumoozhikkulam. Recognition of the pervasiveness of the Lord in every direction and his Supermacy as the Mula Murthy . B. Verses 11 to 20 11Azhwaar"s transformation into Parakala Nayaki and the lamentations of her mother over her daughter's overwrought status from the separation form her (Parakala Nayaki's) object of intense desire,Viz., the Lord as her Nayaka. Verse 12.Mother's description of her daughter's fixation with the Archa Murthys of Thiru Aali and Srirangam. The mother's self-pity over her status of having a daughter, whose behavior causes scandal in her community . Verse 13: Mother"s description of her daughter"s fixation over the Archa Murthys of Ooragam, Thiru Vehhaa, Rama And Krishna Avathaarams of Vibhava lore. Verse 14: Mother's desription of her daughter"s focus on the Archa Murthys of Srirangam, ThiruttaNkA ,Thiruvehha, VilakkoLi PerumAl of ThiruttaNga Divya desam . Verse 15.Mother"s description of her daughter"s obsession with the Archa Murthys of Kacchi Varadarajan, Thirupparkadal Lakshmi Naarayanan(Vyuha Vasudevan) and Therazhundur Aamuruvi Appan. Verse 16.Mother's description of Para Kala Nayaki"s reflections on Archa Murthys of Thiru Aayppadi(Krishna Avatharam), Kannapuram,Thiruvenkatam and Thirunaryur. Verse 17:Mother"s description of the plight of her sorrowing daughter crying about her desire to join the Archa Murthys of ThiruttaNkaal,Kudanthai,Kovalur and Thirunaryur. Verse 18. Mother's description of Parakala Nayaki"s deep desire to go to Srirangam and Thiruneermalai to have a union with her Lord. Verse 19: Mother"s description of her Daughter's Dhyanam on the Archa Murthys of Srirangam, Thirupper, Kudanthai . Parakala Nayaki"s Mother asking the mother of Parankusa Nayaki(Nammazhwaar) whether her daughter is also causing such grief by not listening to her appeals. Verse 20: Mother's conclusion of her lamentations about her daughter's status . Her worry whether she had committed Bhagavathaapacharam by chiding her daughter. Her recognition of her own glorious status through having a great Bhagavatha as her Child. C.Verses 21 to 30 and conclusion of the TNT Verse 21: This is the verse that Parasara Bhattar used to bless us with his grantham on TNT and to reveal to us the Nature of TNT as Vedanta Sastram. The celebration of the Lord"s beauty, the Lord"s appearance before Parakala nayaki and her shudder about her inadequacy to unite with Him as her husband. Verse 22: Heightening of the Nayika Bhavam and loss of her jewelery to the Lord and her conversations with her Lord . His response to her query about how far the Lord"s temple is through the statement that it is near and is at Thiru Aali. Verse 23: Lord"s statement to Parakala Nayaki that Srirangam is the residence of you and me. His theft of Nayaki"s bangles and her color. Nayaki begging Him not to leave her. Verse 24and 25 : The Nayaka declares that Srirangam is the Divya Desam that I am heading for and disappears. Nayaki is left behind and she laments over her separation . Verse 26: Nayaki begs the Bee to go on a mission of mercy to Therazhundoor and asks it to convey her message of total love and surrender to the Lord of that Divya Desam, who is the cowherd of Krishnaavathaaram. Verse 27: Nayaki is not successful with the bee to be her messenger.She turns to the red footed Narai bird and asks it to undertake that mission of mercy to Thrukkannapuram. She pleads with the Naarai to describe to her lord about her love for Him. She promises the bird that she will feed it with all the food it wants, if it were to agree to undertake the requested mission. Verse 28 : Now, Parakala Nayaki turns to her Friend and describes her helpless state due to separation from her Lord .She remembers the times she was with him(Samslesahm) and says that she will prefer the sorrow of Vislesham(separation) for fear of getting him and losing Him again. Verse 29:Here, Parakala Nayaki thinks about the valor of the Archa Murthys enshrined at Thiruvinnagar and Thirukkudanthai during their Vibhava Avathaarams ( Rama and Krishna). She says that her lowly self (Naayen ) will think of that Purushotthaman ceaselessly. Dhruva Smrithi as a way of attaining the blessing of the Lord is referred to here. Verse 30: Thrumangai reminds the Lord here about her prayer as His Nayaki for the boon of union with Him through the thirty verses of Thirunedumthaandakam . He reveals to us that those who understand the meanings of the TNT verses as a Vedantha Saastram will completely cut asunder all their ancient, accumulated sins and attain Moksha Siddhi. In the magnificient verses of TNT, Thirumangai begs for the Raksha of the Lord with Maha Viswasam and hints that one has to ask for the protection and grace(Rakshaapekshaam Prathikshatheh ). Such request for help and intervention would destroy all the obstacles for reaching the highest purushaartham(Moksham )and land the requestors in the land of Sri Vaikuntam to enjoy the eternal bliss of Kainkaryam to Sriya: Pathi. Thrumangai Aazhwaar Thiruvadigqaleh Saranam. Oppiliappankoil Varadachari Sadagopan . .