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Date: Tue Jan 18 2000 - 12:04:48 PST
In a message dated 1/9/00 1:10:57 PM Eastern Standard Time, Tssundararajan@aol.com writes: << Judged by his five grand hymns (pancha-stavam) alone, would rank as an intellectual par excellence in the SrIvaishNava 'sampradAyam'. >> Dear Bhagavatas I have had occasion to listen to Srivatsankachariar's discourses on these grand sthavams. In fact, based on these inputs, I spoke on one of these called "AthimAnusha Stavam" during the second SDDS Conference at Pomona in 1997. "Pancha Sthavams"- are marvelous in poetry, faithful in bringing out the basic esoteric tenets of our Siddhanta, and especially in the "AthimAnusha Sthavam" dexterous in challenging the claim of the Lord to be human (AthmAnam mAnusham manyE etc) while performing superhuman tasks !. The inimitable commentaries of Sri Srivatsankachariar throw new light on several aspects which most of us would not have come across and therefore are as interesting as they are revealing. If there is a good demand from Bhagavatas, I would like to summarize all the five Sthavams with these commentaries in a new series. I already have a few requests in this regard. Dasoham Anbil Ramaswamy
attached mail follows:
======================================================== ~~~~~~~~~~~~~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 sampradAyam. 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-vAishNava-SirO-bhUshA SrI-rAmAnuja-pAdukA SrI-vAdhUla-kulOttamsO 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 'rAmAnujArya-divyAjnA'. "SrIranganAthO jayatu, SrIrangaSrI-Scha vardhatAm!" --------------------------------------------------- NOTE: 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.