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Date: Mon Jan 24 2000 - 06:38:13 PST


Dear Bhagavatas
In connection with the Tirunakshatram of Sri KoorathAzhwAn on 26th January 
2000, it gives me great pleasure to commence a series on the works of this 
great AchAryan.

Every single SlOkam of the 400 plus SlOkas contained in the Pancha Sthavams 
is a gem. It is very difficult to pick and choose but due to space 
constraints and my own limitations, a random selection is attempted and 
presented in this series based on what I have heard during the KAlakshEpam 
discourses of U.Ve. VidwAn  PaiyambADi SEtlur V SrivatsAnkAchAriar SwAmi and 
his masterly comments  in the twin volumes written by him. 

The credit for all that is stated correctly goes to him and my AchAryas, HH 
Srimad ParavAkkOttai GOpAla MahA DEsikan of Poundarikapuram Andavan Ashramam 
and HH Azhagiya Singhar of AhObila Matam. All errors of commission and 
omission are entirely mine and I seek your indulgence in forgiving me for the 
Anbil Ramaswamy
Sri KoorathAzhwAn (N) was the son of Sri KoorathAzhwAr (R). He was also known 
as AzhwAn, KooranAthan, NaDamADum Pathanjali, SrivatsAnka Misrar, Srivatsa  
Chinhar etc. He was one of the direct disciples of Bhagavad RAmAnuja. He had 
two illustrious sons viz. Sri ParAsara BhaTTar and Sri Veda vyAsa BhaTTar. 
His Sishya was VaDuga Nambi.

Several works have been attributed to him e.g. Abigamana SAram, Charama SlOka 
vyAkhyAnam, Purusha Sooktha BhAshyam, SAreeraka SAra etc. The thanian  
beginning with  "LakshminAtha samArambhAm" was written by him. Several songs 
sung during weddings like Laali, Oonjal, yEsal as well as "Lakshmi KalyANa 
VaibhOghamE", "SrirAma, Jaya  Jaya Laali" etc. were also written by him. 
"KoorEsa Vijayam" and "Yamaka RathnAkaram" are also believed to be his works 
though some hold that these two were written by his father.

But, by far the most famous of his works are the 5 StOtras known as "Pancha 
Sthavams" which include-

1. Sri Sthavam (10 SlOkas) on Sri Ranga NAchiyAr 

2. Sri VaikunTa Sthavam (100 SlOkas) on ParamapadanAthan. The SAstra arthas 
contained in Sri Baashyam and other Rahasya granthas have been clearly 
brought out in this Sthavam without transgressing the preclusions  and 
exclusions ordained in the study of the vEdas, in such a manner that it used 
to be said "Sri VaikunTa Sthavam theriyAdhavan Sri VaishNavan allan" meaning- 
"one who does not know Sri VaikunTa Sthavam is not a Srivaishnavan at all"

3. AthimAnusha Sthavam (61 SlOkas). Here, the AzhwAn argues how though 
PerumAL claimed to be just human, He did superhuman feats in the various 
AvatAras. AzhwAn has unassailably proved with Tharkam (logic) PramANam 
(authority) and Anubhvam (experience) how EmperumAn is THE SarvEswaran.

4. Sri Sundara bAhu Sthavam (132 SlOkas) on Azhagar of TirumAlirum SOlai. 
History has it that this was composed when due to the harassment by the 
ChOzha King, AzhwAn had to stay at TirumAlirum sOlai which was then under 
PAndya kingdom.

5. Sri VaradarAja Sthavam (102 SlOkas) on Hasthigiri Varadan, This is 
considered to be he last StOtra composed by AzhwAn.

After appealing to PurushAkara ThAyAr in (1), AzhwAn proceeds to describe 
"Param" in (2).  In (4) and (5) we enjoy AzhwAn's anubhavam of "ArchA'.
(3) stands apart as AzhwAn's "magnum opus".

We will commence in the next posting with a short write up on "Sri Sthavam" 
the shortest of the 5 Sthavams. This is  because AzhwAn himself has commenced 
his Sthavams with a salutation first to Sri, in accordance with Sri Vaishnava 
Sampradayam of praying to the Purushakara 'Sri"- before offering our 
obeisance to PerumAL.