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Periya Thirumozhi 1.3-Before the agony of old age strikes.....

From: Madhavakkannan V (srivaishnavan_at_hotmail.com)
Date: Tue Feb 02 1999 - 03:21:02 PST

Sri:

Dearest Sisters and Brothers,

AzhwAr in this ten proceeds to Badrikaasramam. Badari means "ilandhai" 
fruit. (Badari also is referred to as "Vadari" in Pure Tamil- like 
Hrishikesh is called as "IrudeekEsan"). Badrikaasramam (Vadari aasramam) 
is 187 km from Hrishikesh on Himalayas, by bus. One can reach Haridwar 
by train and from there one has to travel by road. 

The place is Badrinath. Moolavar: Badri Narayanan; Sitting posture 
(vEERRirundha ThirukkOlam); Thaayaar (Goddess): Aravindha valli; 
Prathyaksham to Naran. Tree is "ilandhai" (Badri). Sri BadriNarayanan 
shows Himself, with jadaa (tresses as rishi) and chathurbhujam (with 
Sanghu, Chakram, while the lower two hands showing Yoga mudhrA, ) in 
Padmasanam, in "thapasvi" posture. This is  Ashtaaksharam's avathaar 
sthalam. Since it is on Himalayas, and is a snowy area, it is closed on 
Deepavali and the temple reopens only on ChitrA pourNami (in April), due 
to heavy snowfalls and the road blockages. The best time for visiting 
this great sthalam is May or September, lest there will be rains/heavy 
winter. (There is a lovely picture of Badri Narayanan in this thapasvi 
posture in Srimad Pondareekapuram Andavan Ashramam!)

Let us enjoy now AzhwAr's pAsurams on this sthalam. (Note that AzhwAr 
went on foot all the way and advises us in this ten "Reach this sthalam 
before the old age strikes you!- The agony of old age is very 
beautifully described by ThirumangaiAzhwAr in this ten! It is not that 
we don't know; But we don't realise that we will one day become old!)

(As Vijay Triplicane suggested, please read the Tamil text to enjoy the 
meanings better; I do not write the transliterated text here only for 
space constraint- else, the post will be very long! and those who do not 
know Tamil will anyway not read them; because I know it is more 
difficult to read the transliteration, unless you have heard of the 
pAsurams before!)

1. Let us go to Badri and pay obeisance to the Lord- Emperumaan who 
sucked the life of Puthanai along with her breast milk, (when she had 
disguised herself like a mother, with an intention to kill KaNNan with 
her poisonous breast milk). Let us reach this place (Badri) before we 
get old, having to sit every now and then due to exertion in walking 
with the support of third leg (the stick) and legs stumbling due to old 
age; with the back hunched and the head always lowered to see the path 
(with a poor vision). Before such a situation creeps in, Let us reach 
Badrinath!

2. Holding the lower back with one hand due to pain, and holding the 
(walking) stick with the other, body slightly shaking and shivering due 
to its poor stamina and over exertion, eyes fading and losing its vision 
time and again, coughing loudly every minute (with terrible pain in the 
chest due to heavy coughing) - when you walk like that, the young women 
on the streets giggle and tease saying "hey! look at this "kizha bolt!" 
. Before such a situation arises, Let us go to Badri and pay obeisance 
to Badri Narayanan.  

3. The skin has dried completely and is wrinkled; the nerves all appear 
as if they are like Coconut strands ("thEngaay naar"); the mind is 
completely weak (due to the inability to carry out any active work by 
the body); the eyes ogling everywhere, to look for the correct, proper 
path (and is not able, to due to poor vision); the feet and legs 
refusing to proceed further with all the above problems and shake. Oh 
Mind! If you can think and realise this, right now, have bhakti and 
utter devotedly His Divine names and let us go and pay obeisance to 
Badri Narayanan. Come!

4. Due to old age, the eyes terribly lose its strength; and one becomes 
almost blind; the dirt from eyes along with tears (due to various 
reasons, may be a nick from the "dear" daughter-in-law!) roll down the 
cheeks; the mucus and bile aggravate and one coughs heavily; the legs 
(and knees) hit against each other when attempting to walk little 
longer; - before such a situation creeps in, let us go and obeisance to 
Badinath, - Emperumaan who had lifted the Govardhana mountain 
effortlessly, as a young boy, to save the cattle from torrential rains.

5. "Oh I had such a lovely time tasting the saliva of young women, and 
had the beautiful physique which they liked very much"- like that keeps 
on lamenting and in between unable to continue talking such long 
statements, coughing heavily; with legs shaking, trying to prevent from 
falling on the ground by holding the walking stick for support, unable 
to walk even a foot distance and being there for a long time and unable 
to walk a little longer- Before such an old age strikes, let us pay 
obeisance to Badri Emperumaan who wears the most fragrant ThuLasi (basil 
leaves) garland on His ever Youthful ThirumEni (Divine Body).

6. Before the body gets weaker and weaker with the mouth talking all 
rubbish like a mad man, with the body gets thinner and thinner (with the 
digestive system malfunctioning), with the mucus and phlegm choking and 
irritating the throat resulting in ceaseless coughing, with the weak, 
feeble voice due to poor strength and stamina,- Before all these happen, 
Come Let us go and pay obeisance to Badri Narayanan Emperumaan who is 
showing Himself at Badri, - our Father, - the Primordial Chief,- the 
dark hued Beautiful Lord, who had appeared for churning the Ocean to 
obtain nectar for the sake of Devas.  

7. The lump of phlegm intensifies in the throat and the coughing 
aggravates; "hey! See, your man- the one who was dear to you and was 
your mate a few years back" - like that the young women tease addressing 
each other and laugh at the dying oldies, saying mockingly "... 
peppa..peppE.." (AzhwAr says ""pappavappar").  Before such a thing 
happens, let us pay obeisance to Badri Narayanan who is the Most 
valuable treasure of ours, that always saves us. ("naasthi 
pithraarjitham kinchith; na mayaa kinchithaarjitham; hasthi mE hasthi 
sailaagrE vasthu paithaamaham dhanam" says Swami Desikan. There is an 
inherited wealth for me which I had inherited from my ancestors 
(grandfather) and that is Hastigiri Varadan. - The grandfather's 
property is legally the grandson's while father's is not necessarily!)  
- here AzhwAr says "vaippum vaazhuvum anaan"- i.e. He says "Emperumaan 
becomes the upaayam and upEyam (the means as well as the end for us).  

8. "You have become sickly coughing ceaselessly and you have thinned 
(like a skeleton); It is so gruesome to even look at you; Don't stay 
here; Walk off from this place"- Thus, with utter disrespect and scorn, 
the beautiful young women address- leave any semblance of love for such 
beings; - and if ever you wish to get saved, let us go pay obeisance to 
Emperumaan Badri Narayanan, who wears the most fragrant thuLasi maalai 
(garland).

9.The five sense organs (karma and jnana indriyas) lose their stamina 
and strengths due to old age; the mind feels conspicuous of his 
disability and is ashamed to even come out in front of others and show 
themselves; sitting alone and laments at the inability and agony of old 
age that has struck with the terrible coughing and spitting of phlegm, 
blabbering all that comes to mind with incoherent words and murmurs to 
himself- Before all this happens, let us all go and pay obeisance to 
Badri Narayanan who is worshipped by Bhagawathas offering him thulasi 
garlands and dancing and singing His (thousand) Divine names. 
(KulasekarAzhwAr in his "mukunda maalaa" 33rd verse sings on the same 
token "krishna tvadeeya pada pankaja ... kutasthE.." Oh Lord krishna! at 
this moment, let my mind (as a royal swan) enter into the Lotus Feet of 
yours; How will it be possible for me to remember you at the time of 
death, when my throat gets choked up with phlegm, mucus air and bile?" 
PeriyAzhwAr says " vaayoru pakkam vaanghi valippa vaarttha neer kuzhi 
kaNgaL mizhaRRa, thaayoru pakkam thandhai oru pakkam, thaaram oru pakkam 
araRRa, thee oru pakkam vandhu sEra..... appOdhaikku ippOdhE solli 
vaitthEn...")

10. About Badri Narayanan -Emperumaan, Thirumangai mannan recited these 
pAsurams and those who recite them devotedly singing and dancing, will 
be the rulers of even Paramapadham; They will never ever go to any other 
world and suffer any more.

Thirumangai AzhwAr ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam

Narayana Narayana

Regards

Narayana dAsan Madhavakkannan  


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