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Date: Tue Jan 11 2000 - 07:52:24 PST
SrImAn oppili-appan sannidhi varadAchAri Sadagopan is to be lauded for organising the offering of a gem-set 'tiruvaDi-nilai' ['pAdukA-pITham'] for SrIrAmAnuja at mElkOTE / tiru-nArAyaNa-puram. He is fervently supported in this noble endeavour by generous funding of his friends with an exceptional degree of devotion to the 'sampradAyam'; Sadagopan svAmi is evidently endowed with a charisma made up of two elements, organisation skill and a rare humility ('naichyAnusandhAnam') in service. SrI-yatirAja as manifest and worshipped in mElkOTE, and in tirumalai- tiruvEnkaTam, is associated with vital 'sAmpradAyika' memories. The very 'nAmakaraNam' (christening) of the Lord was done by svAmi emperumAnAr at these two places ~~ as sampat-kumAra / SelvappiLLai, and as SrInivAsa. There is the vital linkage of uDaiyavar with mElkOTE, that it was in this sacred site that SribhAshyakAra-svAmi genuflected before SelvappiLLai and unceasingly prayed, "SrIman, SrIranga-Sriyam anupadravAm anudinam samvardhaya !" In mElkOTE, uDaiyavar is seated facing south towards SrIrangam, and his prayer has acquired the status of 'mantram' ~~ "that which protects on contemplation", mananAt trAyata iti ~~ which is recited every day countless times by those fortunate to belong to the fraternity of prapanna-jana / SrIvaishNava. The intended offering at mElkOTE is accordingly appropriate manifold, and his efforts of the kind generates an ambience of the congregation of like-minded devotees ('paraspara-hitAishiNAm parisaram', in the precious phrasing of dEsikan) devoted to the SACRED FEET OF uDaiyavar. It is appropriate to recall two texts here :- "kASin-vAik-karam viRkilum karavAdu mARRili SORiTTu dESa-vArttai paDaikkum vaN-kaiyinArkaL vAzh tiruk-kOTTiyUr kESavA ! puruDOttamA ! kiLar-SOtiyA:i ! kuRaLA-venRu pESuvAr aDiyArkaL entammai viRkavum peRvArkaLE." [ periyAzhvAr 4:4:10. "abhigamya samyag-anaghA: sumEdhasa: yati-chakravarti-pada-padma-pattanam hari-bhakta-dAsya-rasikAh parasparam kraya-vikrayArha-daSayA samindhatE." [svAmidESikan, yatirAja-saptati 18. Since the sacred feet of SrIrAmAnuja are designated as ' mudali-ANDAn ' in the 'sampradAyam', Sri Sadagopan svAmi was pleased to requisition from me a write-up on ANDAn. I am beholden to him for the assignment, despite that I have nothing in terms of scholarship or perception to measure up to the majesty of the eminence of the AchArya forming the theme of assignment. I am especially in debt to Sadagopan svAmi for the kind words he has spoken of my posting on ANDAn. Mrs Vasudha Narayanan has supplied a moving episode from the life of ANDAn, vivifying his natural disposition of humility. I am happy to share it with everybody, as the etiquette is "Eka: svAdu na bhunjIta" ~~ not to savour any delicacy all by oneself ! <<< "Was it not the revered Mutali Andan who was sent by Udayavar as Attuzhai's stri dhana vellatti? Attuzhai's in-laws complained that she had no "servant" sent as part of her dowry. Her father, udayavar's teacher told her that Udayavar will take care of everything. Udayavar asked Mudali Andan to go as the "stri dhana vellatti" for her. If I remember right he served her in laws for several months until they realized who he was and were regretted it all. This is the great Mudali Andan we are celebrating today. <<< "I am also struck by the number 74 for the simhasana adhipatis. I had heard--and then my father did the research and confirmed it for me-- that the great Veeranam lake, when it was built had 4 very large weirs and 74 great outlets out of it. I recall that Udayavar, according to some biographies, is said to have appointed 4 principal teachers in addition to the 74 simhasana adhipatis. Quite striking. I don't have the reference for it in front of me, but I recall the reservoir being built during the time of the chola king, Rajendra (11th century). <<< "As you quite aptly put, it was indeed a kind of devotional irrigation, quite like how the Veeranam waters irrigated the local land! And of course, Sri Manavala Mamunigal wrote 74 verses in his Upadesa ratnamalai, watering other parched fields." >>> aDiyEn rAmAnuja-dAsan, tirumanjanam Sundara Rajan.