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Fourth Pancharathnam of Saint ThyagarAjA in VarALi Raagam: Part 1

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Thu Jan 08 1998 - 06:05:36 PST

Isvara Samvatsaram , Margazhi Month 
Vaikunta EkAdasi Dinam
Anrivvulaham alanthAi adi pORRi ThiruppAvai Dinam 
January 8 , 1998 


Dear BhakthAs : 

As I went through  the tributes paid by ANDAL 
in Her ThiruppAvai to Sri RamachandrA on this 
"Anrivvulaham aLanthAi " day , my thoughts go back 
to the VarALi pancha-rathnam of Saint ThyagarAjA 
( Kana Kana ruchirA Kanaka Vasana ninnu ) ,
where he drank deep the sarvAnga Soundharyam 
of his Ishta dhaivam , Sri Ramachandran . 

KaruNA Rasam , Veera Rasam and Bhakthi 
************************************************** 

Our Sadhguru chose Jaala VarALI ( Rishi Chakra 
mELam ) for this pancha rathnam . This is the 39th
mELa karthA . It is filled with KaruNA rasam .  

As an aside , the Rasams ( emotional experience of 
beauty ) is divided into eight groups : SringAra , Haasya ,
KARUNAA , Raudra , Vira , Bhaayanaka ,Bhibhatsa and 
Adbhuta. Later , two more RasAs-- Shanta and Bhakti --
were added . ANDAL , AzhwArs and Saint ThyagarajA enjoyed
one or other of the RasAs , when they experienced BhagavAn
( Bhagavad anubhavam ) . There are interrealtionships between
these rasAs in Bhgavad anubhavam . For instance , Vira rasam
has overlap with KaruNA rasam . Vira Rasam has some overlap 
with Raudhram ( sinam )  . We will restrict ourselves to
a discussion on how the  Vira rasam celebrated by ANDAL 
in her ThiruppAvai has built-in links to KarunA rasam 
of Sri Ramachandran .

Vira Rasam and KarunA rasam 
**********************************

Dr. Suchitra Sen has pointed out that Sage BharathA ,
the author of Naatya Saasthram has divided Vira Rasam 
into four subdivisions :

(1) Daana Vira ( Giving away ; certainly
it takes courage and fortitude to give things away --ahankAram ,
mamakAram leading to Saathvika ThyAgam ) 

(2) Dharma Vira ( courage to follow the path of Dharma
against all obstructions ; Sri Rama was celebrated by 
Swami Desikan as DharmO vigrahavAn or the embodiment
of Dharmam ) 

(3) Yuddha Vira ( Valour in battle celerated in the Yuddha
khAndam of Srimadh RaamAyaNam by Sage Valmiki ) 

(4) DayA vira ( Expression of Mercy and compassion even to
offenders , once they perform SaraNAgathi ) .

Dr.Sen says: " Valour , generosity,courage , strength 
and righteousness are all qualities that are expected in 
heroes worthy of worship . These qualities are the very
essence of Vira Rasam . We can now see how ANDAL 's
worship of the Vira Rasam of Sri Ramachandran and 
Saint ThyagarajA's worship of His KaaruNyam and 
soundharyam overlap .

ANDAL's Salutaion to Sri VeerarAghavan
*********************************************

ANDAL has  saluted Ramachandran thrice in Her ThiruppAvai
and recalled the veeryam and bhaktha dAkshiNyam of 
Her Lord and experienced Adhbuta rasam as well  :

(1) SinatthinAl tennilankhaik kOmAnaiccheRRa ,
manatthukkiniyAnai ,----12 th ThiruppAvai 
( Sinam here includes Raudhra Rasam , which is
distinct from vira rasam ; cheRRa refers to Vira Rasam )

(2) pollA arakkanaik kiLLIkkiLanthAnaik keerthimaip paadi
     ---- 13 th ThiruppAvai
( KiLLIkiLanthAnai refers to the Yuddha Viram )

(3) senRangu tennilankhai seRRAi thiral pORRi 
     ----- 24 th ThiruppAvai ( Today's ThiruppAvai )

( Yuddha Viram , Dharma Viram and Dhana Viram 
is celebrated by ANDAL here . Sri Rama won the battle , 
estabished dharmam and gave away the kingdom 
that He won to VibhishaNA , HIs saraNAgathan 
and crowned him as the Lord of LankhA )  

The prowess( Viram ) of VeerarAghavan is celebrated 
here in all its four aspects . ANDAL saluted Vijaya Raghavan 
and His valor in the spirit of Her fellow AzhwArs :

KallAthavar Ilankai kattazhittha KaakutthanallAl
oru dhaivam yAnilEn--Thirumazhisai

silainAl Ilankai seRRA DevanEdEvanAvAn
---- Thondardipodi

nuDankidayai munnilankai vaitthAn muraNazhiya 
munnoru nALL tann vilankai vaitthAn thOL 
--- Poygai 

Tangayai mUkkum Tamayanai talayum taDitthavem
Daasarathi --- PeriyAzhwAr 

malai athanAl aNaikkatti mathiLalinkhai azhitthavanE
--- Kulasekarar 

KaRpAriramapirAnai allAl MARRUM kaRparO --
--- NammAzhwAr 

Ilankai mannan mudiyoru patthum thOLirupathum 
pOyudira tann nedumthiNN silai vaLaittha Dayarathan
sEy yenran saraN -- Thirumangai 

All of the passages from Divya Prabhandham quoted here
are salutations/celebrations of the Vira Rasam of
VeerarAghavan  in all its four aspects . 

Why Sri Ramachandran's Veeram was special to ANDAL?
*************************************************************** 
Sri Ramachandran is known for His Eka pathni , Eka BhANam
and Eka Vachanam vratham . He was no dvibhAshi . Once He gave
a promise and accepted one as SaraNAgathan, there was 
no need for Him to restate His intentions to execute His promise.
He did not need more than one arrow to destroy His target . He looked at 
other women as sisters and Mothers and observed Ekapathni vratham .
For ANDAL , this Eka pathni vratham is very sweet to reflect 
compared to all the harassment that she received ,
while dealing with KrishNA as a gOpi . He was married to 
sixteen thousand pathnis at Dwarakai as He obseved 
grahasthAsramam . Thus , Ramachandran  becomes 
" manatthukkiniyAn "  ( sweet to the mind to reflect upon ) for Her 
in this context . 

Saint ThyagarajA's anubhavam of "Manatthukkiniyan "
**********************************************************

For Saint ThygaarAjA , the chinthanA of Mohana Raman was like
tasting nectar . Sri Raamabhadran was indeed his 
" manatthukkiniyan " . He explains his bhagavad anubhavam
of the beauty of Raamachandran in his sowrAshtra krithi 
( nEramA ? Raama Raama! ) this way :

" Is it an unpardonable offense on my part , Oh the prop
of my life ( jeevAdhAra )! , if I had been forgetful in my mind 
for a short moment on seeing your unsurpassable  beauty ?
The fact was that in my ardent worship , I was at a loss to know 
whether I should hug Your blessed feet to my bosom or press them 
to my eyes , and overpowered by this supreme Bliss , I  lost control
over myself for the time " . 

He said in His AtANA krithi ( RaarA RaguveerA ) , 
" Oh RaghuveerA ! Every day I visualize You in my
mind and get transported with Anandham ( anudhinamananu
ninu manasunu kanugOni AnandhamAyE DhayALO ) 

In his SankarAbharaNa krithi , NaapAli Sri RaamA  , 
he confessed : " Oh My saviour RaamA ! ---- Your 
exquisite beauty , which can be matched only by 
myriads of ManmathAs , has firmly implanted itself
in my mind --"

In his ThOdi krithi , Ninnu vinA sukhamu gAna , 
he experineces  the beautiful form , powers  ,
His bow , arrows and mellifluous speech and sweet 
conversation  ( rUpamu prathApamu sara chApamu ,
sallapamuala KARUNAA RASA PARIPURNA VARADHA
mridhu vaarthalu gala raagarasika )  . He concludes
this anubhavam with the wonderment : " Oh what a delight 
to my mind ! My body is thrilled ! "

The origin of VaraaLi pancha-rathnam 
*******************************************

Oneday during his daily ArAdhanam , Saint ThyagarAjA 
completed Thirumanjanam for the Lord and dried the Lord's 
limbs from Thirumanjanam water . He dressed the Lord
in PeethAmbharam . He applied Vermillion and KasthUri
Tilakms . He adorned the Lord with flower garlands 
that he had constructed . As he saw the Lord shining
with Sarvanga Soundharyam , the flood gates of his emotion
broke lose and out poured the krithi , Kana Kana ruchirA ,
Kanaka vasana ninnu " in VarALi raagam to celebrate 
the Lord's unmatchable beauty . 

kasthUri TilakaOjvalam smithamukham chinmudhrayAlankrutham I
SeethA LakshmaNa Vaayu puthra sahitham SimhAsanasthm BhajE II

susnighdham neelakEsam 
sputamathuramukham SundarabhrUlalAtam I
dheerghAksham chArunAsAputamamala-
maNi srENikAdhanthapankthim II

bhimbhOshtam katinataramahOraskamAjAnubAhum 
mushtigraahyaavalagnam pruthughanamudhOru-
jangAngrimeeLE II

Saint ThyagarAjA offered his salutations in VarALi 
to this Lord, his Lord  with KasthUri tilakam , smiling face ,
long eyes , beautiful arms, charming eye brows and 
possessing all sAmudhrikA lakshaNams . We  will 
enjoy the beauty of the VaraaLi raaga pancha rathnam 
in the subsequent postings . 

Sri Ramachandra ParabrahmaNE Nama :
Sri Vaikunta NaathAya nama: 

ThiruviNNagar VaradAchAri Sadagopan 
  
 
    
On one day , Saint