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Part XVIII: AzhwAr ascends to parama padham via archirAdhi maargam

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Fri Jan 04 2002 - 18:33:49 PST

Friday , January 4, 2001

Dear RasikAs of Swamy NammAzhwAr's Dhivya Prabhandhams:

Swamy NammAzhwAr MokshOthsavam has been linked to
the 10th paasuram of ThirumAlai , where ThoNDardippodi
Azhwar declars : " KaattinAn Thiruvarangam Uybhavarrku uyyum
VaNNam " ( Lord RanganAthan showed Thiruvarangam as 
the means for Moksham for the benefit of those , who longed
for the supreme goal of release form the cycles of 
births and  deaths. ThoNdardippodi is  referring to 
the samarpaNam of one's aathma at the Thiruvadi of 
Lord RanganAthan for Moksha anugraham . In view of this , 
the Maarghazhi Uthsavam at Srirangam is named MokshOthsavam. 
We just celebrated that MokshOthsavam at Lord RanganAthA's 
temple at Pomona, NY. 

Thirumangai, who lived after or during the time of 
ThoNdardippodi took to heart the message of Thondaradippodi
AzhwAr and appealed to Lord RanganAthan in this moving way :

" aNiyAr Pozhil Aranga-naharappA ! thuNiyEn ini 
ninn aruL allAthu , MaNi MaaNikkamE ! MadhusoodhA !
paNiyAi yennakku uyyum vahai ParamjyOthi !"

(Oh Lord of the dhivya dEsam of Sri Rangam with its
beautiful groves ! Oh most cherished gem ! MadhusoodhanA !
adiyEn can not carry on anymore without Your anugraham 
and grace. Oh Lord of Supreme Listre ! Please instruct me 
on the way for my upliftment to Moksham).

The Sannidhi Archakar , Utthama Nampi according to 
the command of Sri RanganAthan through a trance
speech revealed then the way and Thirumangai was very
happy with the blessings of the Lord thru His archakar
( archakasthu Hari: SaakshAth)and became tranquil. 
This was just before Maarghazhi. The Month was Kaarthikai,
the month of avathAram of Thirumangai Mannan . Lord
RanganAthan enjoyed the ThirukkArthikai DheepOthsavam
and revealed further the "JyOthi Tatthvam " of His 
that stands tall spanning and illuminating the world
and protecting the jeeva-raasis with its unique warmth . 
Lord RanganAthan revealed to Thirumangai AzhwAr that this 
"uyara ninRathOr JyOthi " Tatthvam is the Tatthvam that 
He had revealed earlier to NammazhwAr as MokshOpAyam .

Thirumangai was raptourous over the revelation of 
Lord RanganAthan and rushed to AzhwAr Thirunagari,
the birth place of Swamy NammAzhwAr and brought 
Him with all maryAdhais to Srirangam to conduct an
uthsavam to celebrate the ParamjyOthi /SvayamjyOthi
tatthvam of the Lord and to reveal this supreme tatthvam
of the Lord to the world . Thirumangai had another motivation 
in conducting this Thiruadhyayana Uthsavam at Srirangam
for the first time . He had requested Lord RanganAthan's 
permission for the recognition of ThiruvAimozhi's 
equivalence to the Sanskrit VedAs . Lord RanganAtha acceded to 
Thirumangai's request and invited Swamy NammazhwAr to come 
to Srirangam . This invitation of the Lord of Srirangam
was taken by Thirumangai to AzhwAr Thirunahari and
Swamy NammAzhwAr travelled with Thirumangai in pallAkku
to His Lord's side. Thiruvaaimozhi Uthsavam took place then
in the month of Maarghazhi . 

Swamy Naathamuni continued this uthsavam after he was
blessed to receive the NaalAyira Dhivya prabhandham 
through the special grace of Swamy NammazhwAr after
they were lost for many years. Swamy Naathamuni was in
charge of the Srirangam temple administration at that time
and he had set dhivya prabhandham to music and TaaLam and had
taught his two nephews this art of singing the Paasurams .
They created the Arayar sEvai after being given that 
title by the Lord and the present of Arayar kullAi (cap)
by the Lord Himself. The cymbals used in Arayar Sevai 
are called Naathamuni to pay tribute to him for 
blessing us with the Dhivya prabhandham through his 
tapas and for setting the dhivya prabhandham to music.
The Arayar kulam starts from the two nephews of Swamy 
Naathamuni. The grand son of Swamy Naathamuni was
Swamy AlavandhAr , who had a son , who was a famous 
Arayar besides being one of the five AchAryAs of
RaamAnujA . When RaamAnujA became Udayavar ,he inherited 
the rights of Srirangam Temple administration and 
continued the tradition of Arayar Sevai amd expanded
the arayar sevai for additional paasurams . The various
traditions enacted during the Pahal patthu and Iraa Patthu
were established . Mohini Sevai , the assignment of 
Utthama Nampi for conductance of the festival ,
the formal recognition for MaNiyakkArar, KanthAdai 
RaamAnuja Iyengaar and their vamsam , The Thiruvaranga
KoottatthAr and aruLappAdu for them , Brahma Ratham for 
Bhattar and Arayar were established and that tradition
continues even today . At Pomona Temple for Lord
RanganAthA , number of these traditions have been followed . 
next year, we hope to add additional features of Srirangam
Thiruadhyayana Uthsavam at Pomona , NY. We had our own 
maniyakkArar , SthAnikar and Utthama Nampi and Thiruvaranga 
KoottatthAr at Pomona temple , who  successfuly conducted
the First Thiruadhyayana Uthsavam .

In the subsequent postings , adiyEn will cover 
the significance of Mohini alankAram for PerumAl 
during this Uthsavam ,the various paasurams chosen by 
the Arayars for the specific days of the Thiruadhyayana 
Uthsavam , the special importance given to VarAha,
Vaamana and Thrivikrama avathArams in Arayar Sevai 
and special SaaRumuRais.

During February 1997,  a great Bhakthai by the name of 
Srimathi RanganAyaki KaLLapirAn asked me to write a forward
for her book entitled "AchArya PrabhAvam ". It was a great
privelege to be joining Srimath paramahamsa Sri Kaliyan
VaanamAmalai Sri RaamAnuja Jeeyar Swamy in contributing 
a foreword for this informative monograph . adiyEn learnt 
a lot from Srimathi RanganAyaki KaLLappirAn on the Srirangam 
Uthsavams and Arayar Sevai. adiyen has elaborated on 
the many fine points referrd to by Srimathi Ranganaayaki 
KaLLappirAn in this and other articles .adiyEn wishes to 
acknowledge this Bhakthai's upakAram.

Swamy NammAzhwAr ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam,
LokA: SamasthA: SukhinO Bhavanthu,
Daasan , Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri SaThakOpan 

           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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