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Copy of: Sri Raaga pancharathnam of Saint ThyagarAjA : Greatness of BhagavathAs

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Sun Jan 25 1998 - 04:48:08 PST

Retransmittal
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From:   V. Sadagopan, 75041,3037
TO:     OM, INTERNET:BHAKTI@LISTS.BEST.COM
DATE:   1/23/98 9:16 AM

RE:     Copy of: Sri Raaga pancharathnam of Saint ThyagarAjA : Greatness of
BhagavathAs 

Isvara samvathsaram ,Thai 10th day 
Friday , KrishNa paksha dasami 
Anusha Nakshathram 
Jan 23, 1998 

Dear NaadhOpaasakAs & Raama BhakthAs : 

Saint ThyagarAjA used PottaNNA Bhagavatham and
Srimadh RaamAyaNam for pArAyaNam every day . 
His reverence for BhagavathAs was rooted in 
the following slOkam of Srimadh Bhagavatham :

naishAm mathisthavadhurukramAngrim
sprusathyanarthOpagamO yathartha : I
maheeyasAm PAADHA RAJOBHISHEKAM  
nishkinchanAnAm cha vruNeetha yAvath II

In the spirit of Thondardipodi , who followed the 
Bhagavatha dharmam and named himself the dust 
of the holy feet of thondars of Sriman NaarAyaNA ,
Saint ThyeagarAjA had the highest reverence for 
the BhagavathA's ( maheeyasAm ) paadha rENu 
( paadha rajObhishEkam ) . Wearing the dust of 
BhagavathA's feet , Saint ThyagarAjA went about his
life with the support of Unchivrutthi and nAma 
sankeerthanam of the Lord's rUpa ,GuNa mahimAs . 

The above Bhagavatha  slOkam providing the frame work of 
reference for the lives of Saint ThyagarAja and Thondardipodi AzhwAr 
and a host of others states : " There is only one sure way to
destroy the sins accumulated by the human beings in their 
life time. That is to wear on one's head with reverence the dust
from the feet of the BhagavathAs , who have  discarded the pursuit 
of material wealth and are humble and happy in service to 
Thrivikrama NaarAyaNan . Only then , they can comprehend 
the glory of the Lord and His celebration of His BhagavathAs .
The Lord's blessings can not be realized unless one offers 
the salutations to BhagavathAs and wear their PaadhAngri rENu .
These are the MahAnubhAvAs , who are the means for our salvation .

Yet another slokam points out the importance of Bhagavatha 
Kaimkaryam ( Sath sEvA ) and links to AchArya Vandanam :

sath sEvA guru sEvA cha dEva bhAvEna chEdh bhavEth I
tadaishA Bhagavadh Bhakthi : labhyathE kvachith II

( Meaning ) : Bhagavadh anugraham is realized only by
those , who revere BhagavathA MahAnubhAvAs and AchAryAs
and perform kaimkaryams to them and recognize them as 
walking Gods . No other means lead to Bhagavadh katAksham .

Saint ThyagarAjA recognized the central and supreme importance
of Hari DaasAs as revealed by the Vedams , PurANams , Agamams ,
Upanishads , AzhwArs and AchAryAs . As a Parama VaishNavA ,
he practised , what the scriptures , IthihAsAs and PurANAs 
taught him and has celebrated the greatness of Bhagavatha 
GhOshtis and singled out Bhagavatha LakshaNms in many 
of his krithis . Supreme among them is the Pancha Rathnam 
set in the auspicious Sri Raagam , EntharO MahAnubhAvu " . 
Here , he estalishes the necessity of Bhagavatha sathsangam .
We will cover as prelude the Saastraic passages celebrating 
Bhagavatha Mahimai before taking the Saahithya Vaakhyams
of this illustrious krithi .

SaamaVEdam's UttarArchika Rks & Bhagavatha Mahimai
***************************************************************

Saama vEdam grows our Jn~Anam with GhAnam and in many
of its rks , celebrates the special relationship between the Lord
and His BhagavathAs . Sama Veda rks are the most beautiful 
ones celebrating the greatness of BhagavAn and His BhagavathAs . 
Let us enjoy the salutations of Saama rks to BhagavathAs:

utha svarAjO adhithirabhdasya vrathasya yE I
mahO raajana eesathE II  

( Meaning ) : Those mahAnubhAvAs with unblemished 
character , who are resplendent through their tapas
( penance/soul-force ) by observing the inviolate laws
of the Lord become fit to rule over others through their
supermacy as BhagavathAs of the Lord .

These MahAnubhAvAs observe strict nishtai and are of
spotless character following dAsa maargam . Another 
Saama rk  celebrates their austerity and their spreading 
their nourishing warmth to the ones shivering in the cold
of samsArA :

kaNvA iva bhrugava: SooryA iva visvamiddheetamAsatha I
Indram sthOmEbhirmahayantha ayava: priyamEdhAsO asvaran II
                                       ---UttarArchika Saama rk : 1363

( Meaning ) : The tapasvis (austere learned people ) are like 
the rays of the Sun and these MahAnubhAvAs enjoy the world 
through their force of knowledge and meditation . These BhagavathAs
with refined intellect recite Vedic verses and worship God with 
songs of praise . 

AzhwAr's paasuram is an echo of the above Saama veda rk :

" naatthazhumbezha NaaraNAvenrazhaitthu 
mei thazhumbhat thozhuthEtthi , inburum 
Thondar sEvadiyEtthi vaazhtthum yennenjamE " 

This passage of paasuram connects very well the 
Bhagavatha ArAdhanam with Bhagavadh ArAdhanam .
AzhwAr states that his mind runs  after the BhagavathAs ,
who are in a state of bliss resulting from their calling 
the Lord's name ( NaarayaNA , NaarAyaNA ) and during
that process get their tongues thick with such an exercise . 
These are the ones , who reject sillundi gods ( siru dhaivam
sErEn ) and have attached themselves to the sacred feet of 
Sriman naarAyaNA . These MahAnubhAvAs are like light houses 
in the stormy night , when the strayed one can not find his way 
to the shore . These mahAnubhAvAs are maarga darsis and
through their practise of AhimsA , sathyam , AsthEyam ( not 
stealing ) , Brahmacharyam , Aparigruham ( not coveting
other's properties ) , Soucham ( body cleanliness) , 
Indriya Nigraham ( Control over their senses ) . These 
uttama BhagavathAs are the ones for us to approach and 
perform Bhagavatha Nishtai as the SaraNAgathi maargam
and attain salvation . 

Two other Saama rks in support of Bhagavatha Nishtai are :

yesha pavithrE aksharan sOmO dhEvEbhaya: sutha: I
VisvA dhAmAnyAvisan II

sushamiddhO na aa vaha dhEvAm AgnE havishmathE I
hOtha: Paavaka: Yakshi cha II --- Saama Rk 1347

The first Saama Rk  asserts tha BhagvAn manifests Himself
to the wise , learned persons ( BhagavahtAs ) and is realized
in various beautiful forms . The Lord pervades all places .

The second Saama rk makes the following prayer to the Lord :
Oh Paramathman with Svayam jyOthi ! BhagavathAs are very
dear to You . Oh Lord , who grants all the boons to Your devotees !
Please kindle and grow the flames of Bhagavatha Bhakthi in
our hearts and grant us the blessings of Sathsangam . Please 
link us with the Bhagavatha ghOshti .

Yet another Saama rk   celebrates the role of BhagavathAs :

sa punAn upa sUrE dhadhaana ObhE aprA rhOdasee veesha: aava: I
priyA chidhyasya priyamAsa uthi sathO dhanam kAriNE na pra yahumsath II
                                     -----UttarArchika Saaman : 1358 

( Meaning) : The BhagavathAs through their austerity and 
unconditional loyalty to the Lord meditate profoundly . 
Their tapas fills both the literate and the illiterate with
the glow of true learning and disclose various sorts of
knowledge about the greatness of the Lord . The pure 
and noble desires of the BhagavathAs are the shields for us 
against fears and debacles . May He grant us the excellent 
wealth of spiritual knowledge , as to His BhagavathAs 
through sathsangam . 

The above rk prays for a blessing similar to that attained
by BhagaavthAs . ThiruvaLLUvar has pointed out in his
illustrious work , ThirukkuraL that Bhagavatha aasrayaNam
and service to them will yield without doubt the blessings 
of the Lord . He salutes the BhagavathAs as , " yEnthiya
koLhaiyAr " , those  with avowed dedication to Bhagavatha 
Dharmam as the noble doctrine in the following KuraL :

" yEnthiya koLhayAr seeRin idai murinthu 
vEndanum vEnthu kedum " 

The KuraL asks not to committ BhagavathApachAram and 
end up in the wrong way . 

In the next posting on Sri Raaga Pancharathnam , We will
enjoy how our great AzhwArs have celebrated the glories of
BhagavathAs . They have very clearly stated that Bhagavadh
PrAvaNyam ( true attachment to the Lord )  will not happen 
unless one becomes Bhagavatha PravaNar ( sincere devotion
to His BhagavathAs ) . This is their ringing endorsement of 
Bhagavatha Nishtai , as one of the four accepted routes of
SaraNAgathi . 

Sri Sadh GuravE Nama: 
Sri Raamachandra parabrahmaNe Nama: 
Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan