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thirup pAvai - part 20 - "thozhilan"

From: Rengarajan (vasanthi_at_umich.edu)
Date: Sat Jan 10 1998 - 18:54:00 PST

Sri ANDAL thiruvadikaLE saraNam
              
              "koor vEl kodunthozhilan"

        The inner most meaning here for this line is  tha achArya
sthAnam  that  is  in  the  middle  rungs of  the ladder that the 
jivAtma ascends in its way to the Lord. It has been discussed  as 
to why a  Father  is  given  the  achArya  sthAnam  in  the HINDU 
marriage tradition. The ritual  saraNagathi  or baranyAsam itself 
is considered a marraige with the Lord. Thus in the  marriage  of
saranAgathi performed as a nOnbu by Sri ANDAL  (done  for  paving 
the way for the jivAtmAs), the  reference  to  Sri  Nandagopan is 
directed to achAryan. In this vyakyAnam  the  word  "sthAnam"  or 
"position" here is important. In an overall meaning a jivAtmA can
attain (through the nOnbu or marraige known as  saranAgathi)  the 
Lord as  its  eternal purushan  mainly through  the  blessings of 
achAryAn  and  the  same  is realised through the mantra upadEsam 
that is performed during this occassion.  

        Thus  the   knowledge of  achAryan  comes  first  to  the 
jivAtmA through the "thiru aruL" of the Lord.  Then  through  the 
achAryan  comes  the  realisation  of  the eternal  bondage  with  
the   purushan   the  Lord  by  the  mantra  upadEsam.  Thus  the  
reference is made to mantra upadEsam  through  reference  to  the 
"Mother  yasOdhai"  only   after   the  "achArya sthAnam".   This  
realisation becomes complete and full only  and  only  by  Lord's 
thiru uLLam knonw as "siddha upAyam". 

         The  word  "thozhilan" here refers  to  the  position or 
occupation or sthAnam. What is the thozhil or occupation that the
achArya  sthAnam  performs for a jivAtma in its ascendance to the
Lord. achAryAs parichchayam or acquaintance brings the jivAtmA to
the limelight. The jivAtman is surrounded by the annyAnam that is
similar to a deep dark black hole and thick dark smoke. These are
the  "7"  screens  that  cover  the jivAtma in its realisation of 
self. Though the  jivAtma has the "pakkuvam" or maturity it still 
needs to fully realise  its  own self.  This is also similar to a 
cleansing  job,  ie., like  washing  a  vessel  with the cleaning 
liquid.  AchAryAs  vicinity itselves clears some of these screens 
of. However the mantra upadEsam and the anusanthAnam such mantram
(ie.,dwayam mantram) alone makes this realisation to  almost near 
as "far" as the jivAtmA is considered.  AchArya does  the  mantra 
upadEsam and baranyAsam as  a full time "thozhil" and  tirelessly 
for so many  jivAtmAs  who comes with  the desire to surrender to 
the Lord.  In  fact  it is understood in  Sri  SampradhAyam  that 
they are "mandated" to perform these for  the  matured  jivAtmAs. 
Thus the "thozhilan" here is the achAryan who  has   the  thozhil  
of protecting  the jivAtmAs from their annyAnams taking the  toll  
on them.

        In  Srivaishnavam  "AcharyA sthAnam" is given the  utmost 
importance. This can be very well seen from the thaniyan "Lakshmi 
nAtha  samArambAm". ie., It is said that Lord Himself facilitated 
the achArya pArampariyam as HE  HIMself being the first  achAryan 
for the thAyAr Sri Lakshmi.

        Coming to   the  pAsuram,  one may  ask  as to  why  such  
thozhil is referred as "kodum thozhil". Here the tamil word kodum 
doesnot refer to some  thozhil. ie.,  this  sentence  has  to  be  
split  as  "koor  vEl  kodum"   and  "thozhilan  nandagOpan"  and  
kumaran.  The  word   "kodum"    is  referred  to  the "annyAnam" 
that  is  destroyed   by  the "koor vEL" here known as the "thiru 
aruL"  of  the  achAryAn.  Why  is   the "annyAnam" so  dangerous 
or kodum. It is because of the fact that such annyAnam  prevented  
the  jivAtmA  all along from  fully realising the nature  of  its 
own self. Why is achAryAs "thiru aruL" so  sharp  as "koor  vEl", 
because it destroys  the  annyAnam  in  a  nodi.  

        ie., "nooRRAndu iruLaiyum nodiyilE  pOkkidum   OLiyAkum".  
ie,. the iruL  or the  darkness that has been  blanketting    the  
jivAtmA for  centuries ie., in its several births so far, will be 
pierced  in  just  one split  second  by  the  "oLi"  or   bright 
light that is passed from the  blessings  of  the  achAryAL.  The 
breaking  the  screen  of annyAnam  is  first   important  and it  
is  implied as such that jivAtma couldnot have done   it  without 
achAryAs "thiru aruL". ie., the  "thiru aruL" of the Lord is made 
through  "achAryA"  for  the jivAtma.  
 
        Such oLi or thiru aruL is usually attained  from  achAryA  
by doing bAgwatha  kaimkaryam. ie.,Such  will  be  facilitated by 
being  in  the  company of  devout   and learned bAgwathALs (sath 
sangam). Then  one  will  be   able  to  learn  through  them the 
importance of acharyAs and reach  the  "sath"  acharya   and   do 
errand service  to  them and attain their "thiru aruL".  That  is  
when,  the jivAtma  begins  to  realise  by discovering the swaya 
swaroopam.


Sri ANDAL thiruvadikaLE saraNam 
Sampath Rengarajan