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From: Sampath Rengarajan (srengara_at_ford.com)
Date: Sun Feb 23 1997 - 09:02:34 PST
Part 21 - thiru maal adi sErvarkaLE (conclusion) Logistics: This place is 12 miles from the city of Madurai. One can go to madurai by plane, train or bus. There are many town buses plying to this place from Madurai. One can stay in Madurai and have darshan of this Lord. Moolavar : azhagar, kaLLazhagar, Paramaswami, Sundara Rajan maalaangaarar, maal irum sOlai nambi Thaayaar : Sundara valli, Sridevi, (separate koil) Facing : East Facing theerththam : noobura gangai or silambARu sthala vruksham: vrushaba giri, santhana vruksham prathyaksham : malayathvaja pAndiyan, darma dEvathai ursavar: parimEl azhagar, kaLLazhagar both Moolavar and ursavar have pancha aayudhams. ANDAL sannithi: This is the only temple ANDAL is seen in sitting posture. vimaanam : soma chanda vimaanam Similarities with Srirangam: Sri Rangam and Thiru maal irum sOlai are similar in many ways. Both the temples have fort type entrances and mathil suvar or compound walls. Both temples have huge nel kuthir to store vast amount of nel (paddy) that comes from temple lands. Both the pradhAna vaayil or prominent entrance to the temples are called as "ayar pada vaasal". The ahaara niyamanam for both temples are observed similarly by using ghee that is made as a separate ney or ghee that is separated uniquely in the process for the Lord. (Remeber "selvar appam" of arangan !) Thirumangai delivered on thiru aranga mathils and periazhwaar deleivered on thiru maal irum sOlai mathil. Thiru arangan blessed Sri Ramanujar and Thiru maal irum sOlai ninRaan nambi blesses Sri koorath azhwaar Both the Lords are excelling in their beauty. Thiru Arangan is the most beautiful Lord in sayanak kOlam and thiru azhagar is the most beautiful lord in ninRa kOlam. Lord Arangan came here twice and was kept in th etemple well when Srirangam was attacked by the invaders. Since Arangan stayed here for sometime, it is believed that this kshEthram gives the palan of srirangam too ! Other features of this temple : The saaligrama worship is offered everyday and the abishEka theerththam is offered to bhakthaaLs as a prasAdham. Some important ANDAL pasurams on Lord Azhagar and some insights: In the path of ANDAL I have attempted to summarise the thala purAnam in 21 parts which can be equated to the love on all the 21 births. (iRRaikkum (7), EzhEzhu (7+7) piRavikkum). There are more specialities that one can keep on writing on this lord for many more days. However some important aspects include some of ANDAL's key pasurams. The itheeham is such that ANDAL's pAsurams are the essence of the 3 charama slOkas and the height of bhakti one can dream to have on Lord. ANDAL who is also the incarnation of Boomidevi naachiyaar had conveyed the varaha charama slOka avathAram's inner meanings as per the concluding verse of the decade on thiru maal irum sOlai as per sri periya vaachchaan pillai. That makes me take a closer look at these ten songs. As I was *attempting* to write the "vyAkyAnam" or patha vurai for the first pAsuram (taking into account other vyAkyaanams and my own insights) of this decade and started the series of post on thiru maal irum sOlai I wrote that I was seeking ANDAL's blessing. The same night as the post appeared a close friend of me and a very devout member of the group had a dream in which ANDAL appeared and had conveyed some message. This was conveyed to me ( as intended) as this person was not able to fully realise the dream and the message. However with the help of a very senior member of this group and my own analysis the dream was understood and the insights occurred to me more clearly. Incidentally in relation to my little combined attempt of insight on this first pAsuram my mentor called me from Madras and initiated me with one of the most important moola mantram of Lord's koorma avathAram as conveyed to this "upAsakar". What a coincidence my attempted writing earlier was containing some good insights on koorma avataharam not knowing the future that came through the dream and the mantram. This gave me the drive to go in as much detail as possible for this kshEthram. This is not for a viLambaram or self advertisement that I shared this in this post. If mere starting to write on this koil itself can bring many boons, dear BhakthaaLs you must visit this temple one day in your life and seek more from the Lord. Coming to ANDAL pasuram santhodu kaarakilum sumanthu thdanGaL poruthu vanth izhiyum silambArudai maal irun chOlai ninRa sundaranaich curumbAr kuazhaR kOthai thoguththu uRaiththa senthamizh paththum vallaar thiru maal adi sErvaargaLE. naachiyaar thiru mozhi In concise meaning ANDAL assures that if one can thoroughly understand and chant these 10 pAsurams on Lord Azhagar, they are sure to attain HIS holy feet. In detail, when a woman goes from her parents place (piranthaa agam or poranthaam) to her inlaws (manam puguntha agam or pukkaam) place, she always used to take seethanam or seer with her. Similarly the silambAru that originates in this hill and arrive at her puguntha agam of this temple carries in her waves with her all the sandal woods and other forest logs. And while coming so, she is running very fast such that she is eroding the banks and rushes to her pukkaam. This is similar to an elephant piercing the objects using its tusk (ie the veham or force). This silambARu for azhagar koil is similar to viraja nathi for parama patham. Thus the place that has this silmabaaRu has this sarvanga sundaran Lord Azhagar and this lady (ANDAL) who has her koonthal or her hair wherein vandugaL (bees) constantly come and would like to stay (due to its manam or fragrance and the flower that is on it and the garlands on her) sung these verses on this Lord. Thus she sung these verses as similar to making a garland (thoguththu uRaiththa) of rathnams and gems and stones. That is she compiled all the infinite kalayAna gunas of the lord azhagar in these verses in these ("senthamizh" ) romantic pAsurams that overflow with her love for the Lord. ie these pasurams became the most enjoyable tamil (sen thamaizh) due to the "love" conveyed in them. Those who can do anusanthaanam or chant these verses with the inner meanings in their mind will attain Lord's holy feet. That is those who want to do irrend or any other service or adimai sEvai at the feet of holy dampathis will not go through the pirivu that ANDAL herself is undergoing and they will get their desire fulfilled. ie They will attain the parama purushArtha kaimkaryam that they wanted to be the eternal servant of the Lord. Sri Periya vaachaan pillai compares this to "aham sishyaa cha dhaasee cha bhakthaa cha purushOththama" in varAha purAnam Booma Devi (currently as ANDAL) says to Lord Varahar on her being rescued that Oh Lord purushOththamaa, I will be your sishyai and dhaasi and bhakthai. ie When she was boomi piraati she wanted to be the dhaasi ie she wanted to be an irrend or a house servant when the Lord and periya piraati says "pick this up keep this there etc" and she wanted to just do that service for them. She also wanted that I will want to be born as the daughter (valaRpu magal) and sing in praise of you as your bhakthAL (Bhakti is the message in all her pasurams and she is the mother of all for bhakti maargam) . Can this be possible for boomi devi piraati to be born as all these three and as desired by her during vaRaha avatharam ? (yes) "Purushoththamaa, what ever extent you wanted to destroy the (samsAram of adiyaars) adiyaars from their bondage and they also get destroyed to that extent. Though when the water from the river flows all through the supporting irrigation canals and drainage, the end amount of water that merge with the ocean when the river ends there is never reduced. Similarly if one can enjoy the Lord as sishyai or as dhaasee or as bhakthai, the pleaure never diminishes and only grows for boomip piraati. ie as per Sri periya vaachchaan pillai these 10 verses convey that ANDAL fulfilled her own desire as sishyai and dhaasee and bhakthaaL (height of bhakti is poured in these verses) that she had as boomi devi piraati in varaha avatharam just by delivering these immensely loving pasurams on lord ahzagar and it is implied for us that such ANDAL's fulfilling pasurams are the essence of varaha charma slokam as well (the inner meanings as felt by ANDAL) and those who would chant them with the undrstanding of complete meaning will undoubtedly attain Lord's holy feet as similar to her ownself's fulfillment of desire. ie ANDAL have paved the shortest way for we bhakthaaLS through these verses and is asking us to chant them and assuring us with her own experience. ie thiru maal adi sErvarkaLE ! There are also 2 other pasurams of naachiyaar thiru mozhi that has to be dealt in this post as they have special and mantric significance. These were chanted by me at Buffalo conference in a note of thanks to ANDAL for having sent the clouds promptly to clear the snow during the clouds. Many may not have completely understood the significance of these pasurams that time. However I would provide a "brief" references to them here. MazhaiyE ! mazhaiyE ! maNpuRam poosi uLLAy ninRA mezhuh OORRinAR pOl OORRu nal vEngadaththuL ninRa azhagap piRAnAr thammai yen nenchaththu agappadath thazuva nin(Ru) ennaith thaiththuk kONdu ooRRavum vallaiyE naachiyaar thiru mozhi She calls the clouds to pour and cool her down mentally and unite her with the Lord. She calls mazhai twice as these clouds are hanging very high, up in the sky (cumulonimbus clouds that bring rains hang high in sky not cirrus clouds that bring the snow which hangs low in altitude) can hear her voice. ie she compares the process in which the candle is burnt and formed and the sEru or wet sand is applied at the outer shell as a coating to keep the formation inside in the statue or idol making procees. And she pleads to rain that her heart is warm with love for Lord Ahzgar and let the rain form the coating and keep her formation in tact.ie Simialrly, The Lord who makes me melt inside is this azhagar, who is standing in vEngadam. (thirup paanazhwaar sung that it was arangan who stood in vEngadam). Thus HE appeared in my heart and wished to embrace me but didn't (do so) get to me as I extended my arms and then appeared outside and made me hug HIM. ie he didn't appear to her heart when she wanted but appeared to her outside her heart in person. ( this seems like the clue as to who came "out" of Lord Arangan when ANDAL merged with him in kalYAnam at arangan sannithi. Refer to my previous post as to which lord came out and accepted her hand during this holy and auspicious moment). Further the insight as per Sri periya vachchan pillai is that ANDAL wished to the rains that 'please keep me and the lord in a cell as similar to keeping "ushaiyai" the daughter of baanAsura and Lord krishna's grand son aniruththan. And during such occasion of beingf together the warmth is so high. Can't you pour then so that it will be helpful during those warm moments to cool down?' ie She is urging the rains not to pour now and melt her down with the sights of the peacock dancing and other surroundings cooling down but to pour down and melt her further when she is in union with the lord. kadalE ! kadalE ! yunnaik kadainthu kalakkuRuththu udaLuL pugunthu ninRooRal aRuththavarkku ennaiyum udaluL pugunthu ninRooRal aRukkukinRa maayaRkku en nadalikaL ellaam naagaNaikkE senRu uRaiththiyE Naachiyaar thiru mozhi ie she saw the kadal or ocean and the alai or waves that starts back in the shore and request them to reach the nAgaNai ie the Lord's aNai made of nagam ie thirup pArkadal and asks the wave to goto the lord in this naganai or thirup paaRk kadal and tell HIM her plight. Similar to mazhaiyE mazhaiyE, the (twice) repeated calling here is said to be felt necessary by ANDAL because the muzhakkam or sound of the alai was so noisy and loud that they may not hear with just a one time call. And hence she makes a sound that is higher in decibels than these waves the second time (through her athman) so that they can really listen to her now. She says HE is using you the ocean as HIS bed but HE churned you too in koorma avathaaram. You sincerely helped HIM only by being HIS bed. Like those who destroys the opponent's war machinery with the first strike itself, (that is the force of churning by Lord Koorma) HE churned you in his very first prominent avatharam (very first prominent for us Srivaishnavas in Sri sampradaayam because it is now that Sri joined HIM). HE didn't even think that this is HIS bed. Since HE put the kal or stone or malai into the heart (ie here it is centre of universe where the mEru malai was placed to churn) of those who gave HIM a place to sleep and churned and extracted (Sri) the essence from their heart. Thus you also were churned by HIM as similar to me and what should I do ? ie the inner meaning is that when thirup paaRkadal was churned Lord attained Sri and it was a lesson to dEvas that what ever one will do it was for the benefit of Lord only that one will do anyhthing. ie the purpose of life is to serve sriman narayana only. Though the dEvas thought the churning was done to get them the amirtham the main purpose of churning was to get Sri to the Lord ! Similarly when ANDAL's heart is churned by the Lord the essence of purushaarthatham (as simialr to Sri's patham at HIS lotus feet) is brought out by this churning through these verses of ANDAL ! ANDAL first calls mazhai the rains and subsequenly calls the ocean where these rain water merge. This itself symbolizes what is the purushaarththam (rains) for us (ie we are simialr to rains) ie to merge with the Lord (the ocean) (ie th eLord is the ocean of mercy) and that her pasurams are the rivers of love that can take us to such ocean simply ! It is said that Sri thirumalai nambi used to be immersed in these two pasurams. *Since* then all our poorvaach chaaryaaLs also were very much involved with these 2 paasurams. Sri thiru malai nambi will do anusanthaanam of these 2 paasurams and water down through his eyes (immersed in deep bhakti) (ie kaNNerum kambalumaaka thEngi mownamaaka nirpaaraam) and will not utter even a single word and stay like that untill the end of the vyaakyaanam. Thus even today in ANDAL kaalalkshEbams it is best to do anusanthaanam of these 2 songs at the end and complete the session itself with that. That was the reason I did chant these 2 verses in Buffalo during my talk. It is also *believed* from the anubavam of Sri thirumalai nambi that one need not dwell on anyother pasuram of ANDAL if they can do anusanthaanam of these 2 paasurams with the understanding and realisation of complete meaning and stay muted with the bhakti alone. ie It can be derived that these 2 paasurams alone convey the complete essence of all ANDAL's paasurams of naachiyaar thirumozhi and thirup paavai when chanted with realisaton and bhakti and that one will attain the same patham that ANDAL desired to, both as ANDAL and as well as Boomi devi during koorma avathaaram. Having said all these, I would like to conclude my serial on Lord Azhagar by offering my prayers to HIM through a simple tamil pAsuram that I wrote on Lord Azhagar. The meaning of this slOkam transpires my insights on the ANDAL pasurams and my own state of bhakti on Lord. I will leave to the tamil friends to translate this. I encourage all the readers including the non tamil readers to simply chant these 2 pasurams of ANDAL (ANDAL's message) atleast once and think of azhagar malai (nammazhwaar's message). My simple pasuram on Lord azhagar: mazhalaith thamizh koNdu maalai onRu thoduththEn kazhal thannaik kaNdu kaalam kanRu kazhiththEn uzhal aadu nenchE ! unaik kadainthEn varanE ! nizhal tharum nedumaalE ninadainthEn saraNE ! Sri SridEvith thaayaar Sri ANDAL samEtha Sri kaLLazhagar paramswami sundara raaja perumaal thiruvadikaLE saraNam Sampath Rengarajan note: Please forgive me for some typos and ommissions in all the articles. I will try to revisit this topic with some small notes when desired by Lord.