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Garland of Teachings -- "vaarththaamaalai"

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani_at_be.com)
Date: Mon Feb 22 1999 - 23:09:26 PST

Those bhAgavatas who have been members of this forum
for a few years may remember reading excerpts of
"vaarththaamaalai" posted by Sri M.G. Srinivasan. 
Sri Srinivasan was then a resident of Chicago and
now has the good fortune of the daily company of the 
Divya Dampatis in Srirangam.

I am indebted to Sri Srinivasan to introducing me to
this marvellous work.  Sri Pinpazhagiya PerumaaL Jeeyar,
the author of this "Garland of Sayings", records countless
teachings of Sri Ramanuja and his disciples that were
until then only part of spoken tradition.  Because of this,
"vaarththaamaalai" is indispensable in understanding the 
day-to-day mindset of our early acharyas.

I started reading "vaarththaamaalai" on the plane during
my recent trip to India.  As I perused the 450 and odd
"vaarththais" or teachings, several struck me as presenting
profound truths of our religion in very simple ways.
Sri P.P. Jeeyar either relates a short conversation
between an acharya and his disciple or presents short,
pithy statements that embody the highest teachings of
the tradition.  Many of them describe the "lakshaNas"
or qualities that a true Sri Vaishnava should have.
As such, I felt that I should share some of these
with this group.  I shall present translations of
some selected sections in no particular order as I
find time.

A brief note about Sri Pinpazhagiya PerumaaL Jeeyar
himself. Sri P.P. Jeeyar was a disciple of Nampillai,
the famous acharya whose lectures on the Tiruvaymoli
formed the basis of the famous "eedu" vyaakhyaanam.
Sri P.P. Jeeyar was also a junior contemporary of 
Periya Vaaccaan Pillai and Nadadur Ammal, the great
acharyas who flourished at the end of the 13th century.
Both of these saints are mentioned in this work.

P.P. Jeeyar himself was an erudite scholar.  His other
work, the 6000 guru parampara prabhAvam, is the first
extant history / hagiology of the Alvars and acharyas,
and abounds in references to the Upanishads, Itihasas
and Puranas, as well as the Divya Prabandham.

Enough for now. The work shall speak for itself in
successive posts.

| aazhvaar emberumaanaar dEsikan jeeyar tiruvaDigaLE SaraNam |

Mani