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svAmi mudali-ANDAN (Part 3)
Date: Sun Jan 09 2000 - 09:55:03 PST

~~~~~~~~~~~~~svAmi mudali-ANDAN (Part 3)~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~written by tirumanjanam Sundara Rajan~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Towards mElkOTE.

uDaiyavar's exile from Srirangam, and eventual refuge in
mElkOTE-tirunArAyaNapuram, constitutes a poignant episode
in SrIvaishNava history.  The occasion once again
demonstrated the precious loyalty of ANDAn and AzhvAn
to uDaiyavar. ANDAn simply went with uDaiyavar on the 
virtually uncharted emergency evacuation from Srirangam, 
and AzhvAn (together with periya nambi) substituted 
for uDaiyavar to answer the vicious summons of the 
bigoted chOzha ruler; AzhvAn won the debate but the eyes 
of AzhvAn and periya-nambi were nevertheless gouged out 
by the mean loser.

The trudging journey of the exiles plotting through
woods, rivers and over the hills, must have been very
demanding.   Before reaching mElkOTE, the party had
halted at the place known as SaligrAmam ('SAlaigrAmam'?)
where they were baited and harassed by a cynical group 
of people.   uDaiyavar, it is said, directed ANDAn just 
to step into the waters of the local pool and come out.   
The villagers are said to have unknowingly been 
converted to gentle ways by imbibing the pool-water 
sanctified as the washing of ANDAn's feet 
(SrIpAda-tIrtham).   This was the place where
vaDuka-nambi (Andhra-pUrNa) had met uDaiyavar and 
been accepted into discipleship.

The creative genius that he was, uDaiyavar turned even
the adversity into a creative programme.  The conversion
of the great hoySaLa king bittidEva\vishNu-vardhana to
SrIvaishNavam was providential, but uDaiyavar availed of
the royal patronage to sponsor the admirable cause of 
getting him to build five temples. The temples are:-

~~ nambi-nArAyaNa at toNDanUr;
~~ tiru-nArAyaNa at mElkOTE\tirunArAyaNapuram;
~~ kIrti-nArAyaNa at talakADu;
~~ vijaya-nArAyaNA at bElUr;
~~ vIra-nArAyaNa at gaDag.

The 'pancha-nArAyaNa-pratishThA', as it came to be known, 
was not only the glory of vaishNava religion per se, but
the temples figure in the nation's cultural history as 
so many marvels of architecture and stone-crafting. This 
comprehensive project was got executed under the supervision 
of svAmi mudali-ANDAn and these temples stand, especially, 
as monuments to uDaiyavar's trust in the skills and 
integrity of ANDAn.  

ANDAn's modesty
ANDAn was instinctively self-effacing and left 
no written works as such, and the reason was obvious, 
that his hands were full in administering the 
Great Temple and in coordinating and executing the 
numerous and continuing assignments of uDaiyavar. ANDAn
is remembered through numerous references in our 
extensive 'vyAkhyA' (exegetic) literature, and in the
temple chronicle 'kOyil ozhugu' and hagiological works.

The ANDAn-AzhvAn pair was renowned for 
devotion and great concern for namperumAL.
Every time namperumAL returned to the AsthAnam (sanctum)
after sojourning in the holy streets, the two would, 
in the spirit of periAzhvAr, sigh and hold each other's hands 
in thanksgiving that the Lord returned to safety after
His festive wandering right in the sight of cynical men.

On the other hand, AzhvAn, if judged by his 
five grand hymns (pancha-stavam) alone, would rank as an 
intellectual par excellence in the SrIvaishNava 
'sampradAyam'.  He was, of course, the companion of uDaiyavar
when the latter undertook the arduous journey to the 
kAshmIra-SAradA-pITham (located in a place now included
in 'pak'-occupied Kashmir) in search of 'bOdhAyana-vrtti'
as source material for writing SrIbhAshyam.  AzhvAn's 
extraordinary mnemonic skills and philosophic comprehension
were utilised by uDaiyavar in writing his magnum opus,
and Azhvan also served as the amenuensis.   This joyful
and precious activity was interrupted by uDaiyavar's exile 
to mElkOTE, and eventually SrIvishNuchitta enkaLAzhvAn of
tiruveLLaRai took the place of AzhvAn to help uDaiyavar
complete the work. 

AzhvAn's unique intellectual powers were acknowledged
by all, but he himself thought that being one of the many
devoted disciples of uDaiyavar was the real thing to cherish.
Accordingly, he once exclaimed that he valued ANDAn's
natural birth-kinship with uDaiyavar as  much more 
precious than his own works.    

ANDAn's pedigree
ANDAn is the mUla-purusha of the vAdhUla-gOtra clan 
renowned as 'koyil-kandADai'(a Tamil-Sanskrit hybrid),
for being honoured with perumAL's fragrant robe.  The
clan is famous to the extent that a whole street 
[north mADa street] in SrIvilli-puttUr bears the name
'kandADaiyAr vIthi', perhaps ever since the name was
established in the 'sampradAyam' itself. 

The casting of the beautiful life-like icons of 
svAmi emperumAnAr and consecration at SrIperumpudUr
(during his life time), as well as at Srirangam 
(on his passing away), constitute the signal service 
of ANDAn's son, SrI kandADai ANDAn, to the SrIvaishNava

The proper recognition accorded to nampUr varadAcharya 
in Srirangam for his extraordinary discourses on
tiru-vAi-mozhi (later transcribed as the thirty-six
thousand) was the remarkable service rendered by
a later descendant of ANDAn, namely, kandADai tOzhappar.
It was he who lauded Sri-varada as 'nampiLLai'.

Branches of the family tree
The mudali-ANDAn tirumALikai is situated on the 
East Chitra street of SRIRANGAM, and Sri azhakiya-Singar
is worshipped here.  There are sub-tirumALikai in
kAnchIpuram, tirunArAyaNapuram and SingapperumAL kOyil.
The periya-tirumozhi decad 'ankaN n~Alam anja' 
is the tiru-mAlikai pASuram.

[[A substantive hagiography of svAmi mudali-ANDAn
remains to be written, though our eminent contemporary
savant, Dr Sri V.V. Ramanujam, has already put together
much source material in the souvenirs brought out
on the occasion of the 'shashTi-abdam' of 
svAmi mudali-ANDAn SrISailAcharya, and his younger
brother and successor kumAra-vEnkaTAchArya (whose son
SrIrAmAnujAchArya is the present incumbent).
The 'dASarathi su-prabhAtam' composed by (kIrti-mUrti)
tirumalai nallAn chakravarti rAmakrishna AiyangAr svAmi,
and the booklet on 'mudali-ANDAn' by 'SrIvaishNavaSri'
A. Krishnamachari svAmi of Srirangam are valuable 
supplementary material.  

[[Dr Ramanujam is exceptionally equipped to undertake
the writing since he has single-handedly and unfailingly
been publishing the mudali-ANDAn tirumALikai monthly
journal 'yatirAja-pAdukA' over long years now, and besides
has authored very perceptive works like 'sahasranAma-
bhAshyam' in Tamil, drawing upon both the 'bhagavad-guNa-
darpaNam' commentary of SrI-bhaTTar and the vast treasure
of our 'aruLic-cheyal-vyAkhyA' literature.

[[His address: Dr V.V. Ramanujam, 
               Editor, 'Yatiraja Paduka' monthly,
               68 T.P. Koil Street, Tiruvallikkeni,
               Chennai - 600005.
[[His residential 'phone No. may be ascertained from
Prof. M.A. Venkatakrishnan: Ph No.044-8570048.]]  

ANDAn Family Tree
The following are the well-known branches\'tiru-mALikai' 
of the ANDAn family tree surviving to-day:-

(*) aNNAvilappan, sannidhi street, kAnchIpuram.
(*) kOyil kandADai vAdhUla-dESika aNNan svAmi,
    East uttara Street, SrIrangam.
      [The svAmi-s of this tirumALikai are called out
       ~~ aruLap-pADu ~~ as 'vAdhUla-dESikar', for
       honours as the sthalAchArya in the periya-kOyil.
         Sri varada-nArAyaNa-guru was a distinguished
       scholar of this branch, and was among the
       ashTa-dik-gaja disciples of maNavALa-mAmuni.] 
(*) SrIrangAchArya, East Chitra St., Srirangam.
(*) SOLingapuram doDDAchArya / mahAchArya
      famed for authorship of the 'chanDamArutam' 
      gloss on svAmi-dESikan's 'Sata-dUshaNI'. 
      His services are briefly dramatised when
      dEvap-perumAL grandly sets out on garuDa-
      vAhanam during the "vAiyam kaNDa vAikASi utsavam".
      Besides his well-known gloss, he enlisted the 
      support of panchamata-bhanjanam tAtAchArya 
      to revive worship of SrIgOvindarAja perumAL 
      in tillai-tiruc-chitra-kUTam.
(*) tirumaNi appan svAmi.
      The present incumbent is SrI-dASarathi-svAmi
      whose father Sri KKA Venkatacharya (living 
      in tiruvallikkENi in retirement) had, 
      in collaboration with Mr Daniel Smith of Harvard,
      broken fresh ground in modern pAncharAtra studies,
      and rendered valuable service as the first
      director of the Anantacharya Institute of
      Indological Studies, Cuffe Parade, Mumbai.
(*) SrI-bhAvanAchArya, South Chitra St., Srirangam.          
The second 'taniyan' of svAmi mudaliANDAn sparkles
with the 'SrI' benediction occurring in each 
pAda (quarter) of the SlOkam:-

Sri-dASarathi: EratAm. 

May this benediction protect the sanctified House
of svAmi mudali-ANDAn, as indeed of every one of
our AchArya-purusha community, for they are the
custodians and disseminators of 

"SrIranganAthO jayatu, SrIrangaSrI-Scha vardhatAm!"

This is a modest outline sketch of the 
famed personality of svAmi mudaliANDAn and,
going only by the limitations of the writer,
would fall short of the real eminence of 
this great AchArya.

I beseech forgiveness for crucial omissions as may be.

aDiyEn rAmAnuja-dAsan, tirumanjanam Sundara Rajan.

'anRu ivvulakam aLandAi', pramAthi.