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svAmi mudali-ANDAn
Date: Sat Jan 08 2000 - 12:10:48 PST

SrImatE rAmAnujAya nama:

"pAdukE yati-rAjasya kathayanti yadAkhyayA
tasya dASarathE: pAdAu SirasA dhArayAmy-aham."

svAmi mudali-ANDAn / kandADai dASarathi.
[Outline sketch written by
 tirumanjanam Sundara Rajan.]

o================Part (1)=================o

svAmi mudali-ANDAn was SrI-ramanuja's bhAginEya
(sister's son), and was christened dASarathi at birth, 
his asterism being chaitra-mEsha punarvasu 
of SrI-rAmAvatAram.      He was born in 
'pacchAi-vAraNap-perumAL sannidhi' (referred to as 
'pETTai' to-day) situated off the
SrI-perumpudUr==Chennai highway.

While the 'tiruvaDi-nilai' (= the sanctified mount 
of the footwear ~~ pAdukA ~~ of divinity and holy 
personages) of the Lord is named after svAmi nammAzhvAr 
as 'SrI-SaThakOpam' or 'SaThAri', 

the tiruvaDi-nilai (we may also call it pAdukA-
pITham) of svAmi nammAzhvAr is known as rAmAnujan.
==[The exception is that, by the desire of uDaiyavar,
it is named 'madhura-kavikaL' in the AzhvAr sannidhi 
established by uDaiyavar himself in SRIRANGAM.]==

The name comes from the opening verse of nURRantAdi ~

pA-mannu-mARan aDi-paNindu u:indavan, pal-kalai-Or- 
tAm manna-vanda irAmAnuSan..."

Likewise, the pAdukA-pITham of svAmi emperumAnAr
is referred to as 'mudali-ANDAn'.   This honorofic
is cited in the 'taniyan' of SrI ANDAn which goes ~

"pAdukE yati-rAjasya kathayanti yad-AkhyayA
tasya dASarathE: pAdau SirasA dhArayAmy-aham".

svAmi mudali-ANDAn is accordingly referred to as the
rAmAnuja-pAdukA or yatirAja-pAdukA.   The short name
is simply 'ANDAn'for svAmi mudali-ANDAn, as 'AzhvAn' 
is for SrI-kUrattAzhvAn, 'mA-munikaL' for 
SrI-maNavALa-mahAmunikaL,dESikan for svAmi vEdAntAchArya 
vEnkaTanAtha,'bhaTTar' for SrI-parASara-bhaTTar,
'uDaiyavar' for svAmi emperumAnAr (=rAmAnuja),
'AzhvAr' for svAmi nammAzhvAr. 

svAmi dESikan on svAmi mudali-ANDAn.

The 'sampradAyam' is in debt to svAmi dESikan for 
having preserved in his 'rahasya-traya-sAram', 
a nugget SrI-sUkti (bon mot) of ANDAn, as the latter's 
metaphor for our association with uDaiyavar, as under,

~~mudaliyANDAn (a nephew and disciple of rAmAnuja) said:
"When a lion leaps from one hill to another, the
little insects on its body are transported with him.  
Similarly, when bhAshyakAra (rAmAnuja) leaped over the
cycle of birth and death, we were saved because of our
connection with him." ~~ 

(The Way and the Goal, 1987, Vasudha Narayanan.)

This terse exposition of AchArya-pratipatti stemmed
from ANDAn's unwavering faith in and unsullied devotion to
his preceptor.   Hence his unique identity as 
'yatirAja-pAdukA', verily the footwear of SrIrAmAnuja.

The others with such submissive proximity to uDaiyavar
were embAr gOvindap-perumAL described as rAmAnuja-
'padac-chhAyA' (silhouette of rAmAnuja's feet), and
anantAN-piLLai/anantAzhvAn as 'yati-nAtha-padASrita:'
(the one sheltered in rAmAnuja's feet).

What SrI-rAmAnuja did for SRIRANGAM.
In order to appreciate and reverence ANDAn's place
in the history of SrIvaishNava 'sampradAyam', it is
important to study the spiritual career of uDaiyavar

The city of SRIRANGAM was at all times universally 
regarded as the holy of holies of SrivaishNava religion, 
but few have paused to ponder in what socio-political
conditions and with what stock of human resources 
did SrI-rAmAnuja transform the place 
from a univalent pilgrimage centre 

~~ as tiruvEnkaTam-tirumalai has to-day been changed
into the focal site of votive offerings, as to lose
increasingly its 'sampradAya' animation ~~

to an unique seat of philosophic learning, 
of sophisticated theological disquisition, 
elegant communication and aesthetics, and 
sensitively cultured humanistic values. 
Verily the Athens of India, that is bhArata-varsham.

The backdrop of his times.
At the time of SrI-rAmAnuja's advent, the north Indian 
kingdoms were diminishing into principalities, and the 
fabric of polity was wearing off. The brute turk culture 
was just making inroads into this ancient civilisation. 
The only memorable event was the visit of Al Biruni from 
Baghdad, the orthodox muslim with unconcealed contempt for 
many things Indian as being outside the pale of his 'ummat', 
but a profound scholar and veritable chronicler who 
admired varAha-mihira's astronomy treatise, 
'sUrya-siddhAnta', as well as the UNALLOYED AND STEADY 
'Travels in India' is an important source-book of 
our history.    In the south, the classical chEra, chOzha 
and pANDian kingdoms had steadied themselves, but lacked
a vision of polity beyond territorial suzerainty.

The times were however auspicious for SrIvaishNava 
history, and the Lord had been so pleased, that the great 
AchArya should succeed with such achievements as he did.

'divya-trayam' : Three-fold Blessings.

The 'divya-prabandham' had been discovered by the venerable
AchArya Sri-nAthamuni ('bhakti' profound personified ~~
"paramArtha-samagra-bhakti-yOga:" ~~ as SrI ALavandAr
characterised nAthamuni), 

the 'divya-sUri' (AzhvAr-s) had come to be recognized 
as the theme of prophecy contained in bhAgavata-purANam 
("kalAu khalu bhavishyanti nArAyaNa-parAyaNAh...
dramiDEshu cha bhUriSa:"), 

but in the century subsequent to the great era of 
the AzhvAr-s, the sacred sites hymned by the AzhvAr-s
remained to be irrigated by the surging tide of 
devotionalism and thereby come into their own 
as 'divya-dESam'.   

It was SrIrAmAnuja who, inspired by a visit to the 
vIra-nArAyaNapuram reservoir of his time (situated in 
today's kATTu-mannAr-kOyil), had contemplated and 
executed the unique network of devotional irrigation 
for all the precious holy sites, enriched their 
salt and scent, so to say, and effectively established 
these as the precious 'divya-dESam' 
envisioned by the AzhvAr-s.