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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 o======================================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. NAME for SANCTIFIED FEET. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 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 ~ "...pukazh-malinta 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 himself. 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 MONOTHEISM OF VAISHNAVA RELIGION; his comprehensive '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.