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Sri Poundarikapuram Andavan's Upanyasam : Part 4(Conclusion )

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Mon Jan 04 1999 - 13:25:31 PST

Dear BhakthAs :

The fourth sub-theme of the revered Andavan's 
UpanyAsam dealt with Sri RanganAthA's beauty in 
ArchAvathAram and the power of SitA PirAtti's
KatAksham . Sri Andavan cited quotaions from
Kamba RaamAyaNam ( AyodhyA KhAnDam ) ,ThiruppANAzhwAr's 
AmalanAdhipiraan that celebrate the sarvAnga 
soundharyam of Sri Ranganathan . Andavan's  conclusion 
was that Sri Ranganathan"s beauty is the most
delectable among all other divya desa EmperumAns'soundharyams.
I am sure that the BhakthAs of other divya desa EmperumAns 
( Kanchi, ThiruviNNagar , Thiruppathy ) would understand
the adhisayOkthi behind such an anubhavam .  

Regarding ThAyAr's auspicious long eyes (VisAlAkshi )
rejuvenating and sanctifying all that She casts 
Her Katakshams on , the revered Andavan cited 
FOUR passages from Srimath RaamAyaNam , where 
Her consort, Sri RamachandrA , addresses Her 
as VisAlAkshi .

Sri Ramachandra in Vibhavam is Sri RanganAthA in
archai and SitA pirAtti in Vibhavam is Sri Devi 
Herself as Sri RanganAyaki according to Paraasara Bhattar 
as eulogized in his SriguNarathna Kosam slOkams . We will
refer to them as a foot note after covering Srimath Andavan's 
citations from Srimadh RaamAyaNam .

Slokam 1 : AyOdhyA KhAndham : Sargam 6 

Here Vasishta maharishi instructs Sri RaamA and SitA
to worship their kula dhaivam , Sri RamganAthA in 
preparation for the acceptance of responsibilities as 
the new king of AyOdhyA. Both Sri RamA and His consort went to 
Sri RanganAthA's sannidhi at their palace and worshipped 
the Lord reclining on AdhisEshan .When SitA enjoyed 
the beauty of the Lord , She turned around and looked 
intently at Sri RamA , since She knew that Her consort
was the most beautiful One ( ChitthApahAri ).Her intent look 
to compare the beauty of Her Lord in front of Her
and the ArchA mUrthy (Sri RanganAtha-NaarAyaNan ), 
that She was worshipping made her to look intently 
at both of them with wide open eyes 
(VisAlAkshi) according to Sage Valmiki :

saha pathnyA VisAlAkshyA NaarAyaNam upAgamath 

SlOkam 2 : AraNya KhAndham: 54th Sargam 

Here RavaNA commits the heinous crime and abducts 
SitA PirAtti and places Her in his aerial chariot 
and flies towards Lankhaa nagaram . The distraught ThAyAr 
sees a group of five monkey chieftains assembled on
the peak of malayA mountain .

She takes a portion of Her upper garment and 
when RavaNA was not looking , She tied some of Her 
personal jewelery and dropped it in the midst of the Monkey 
chieftains ( Sugrivan, HanumAn et al ) so that they can  recover it 
and perhaps give it to Sri Ramachandran to let Him know 
of Her forcible abduction by the evil RaavaNA . SitA PirAtti's
auspicious glances fell on these Vaanara SrEshtAs 
to bless them to participate successfully in 
the war  to come .Here again , Sri Valmiki 
uses the naamam of VisAlAkshi to salute that
auspicious glances of those broad eyes of ThAyAr :

tEshAm madhyE VisAlAkshi kousEyam kanaka Prabham
uttarIyam varArOhA subhAnyAbharaNAni cha 

mumOcha yadhi RaamAya samsEyurithi Bhamini
vasthramruthsrujya tanmadhyE nikshiptham sahabhUshaNam  

(Meaning ) : The lovely lady with large eyes took off 
Her silken upper garment , brilliant as gold , placed
the jewels in it and threw it in their midst to break 
the news of Her being carried away against Her will by
RaavaNA to Sri RaamA , if they ever met Him .

Slokams 3 & 4 ,Yuddha KhAndham : 123rd Sargam 

The public Yuddham and the personal anguish( Agni PravEsam)
are over .Sri RamA and Sri SitA are happily reunited and they 
start their journey northwards on the Pushpaka VimAnam placed
at their disposal by King VibhishaNan . Sri RaamA is
in an ebullient mood and recalls the tasks He undertook 
to retreive SitA from abduction and the heroic tasks that 
He completed on behalf of His Large/Broad Eyed ( VisAlAkshi ) 
consort :

tava hEtho: VisAlAkshi nihathO RaavaNO mayA 

As the VimAnam flies over LankhA in ruins ,
just after the war , Sri RaamA shows His dear
consort the ruins of LankhA , whose rulership
has now shifted to the hands of His parama Bhakthan,
VibhishaNan . He wants our ThAyaar"s benovolent
glances to fall on that burning  City so that it can flourish 
again under the rulership of the good VibhishaNan .
Therefore , He addresses His consort as VisAlAkshi 
and directs Her glances on the City .

As the VimAnam turns northwards and passes over
the Sethu dam built by NaLan , Sri RaamA once again
addresses His Broad-eyed consort as VisAlAkshi and 
mentions to her that He had the naLa sEthu built to enable
Him to cross over to retreive SitA PirAtti from 
Her prison in AshOka Vanam and bring Her home :

tavahEthO: VisAlakshi naLa sEthu : sudhushkaram
pasya Saagaram akshObhyam VaidEhi VaruNAlayam 

Here , Sri RamA wants VaidEhi to bless all of those ,
who took part in that "impossible " task of building 
a dam over the Ocean with sticks and stones .

These four references to the KatAksha Mahimai of 
SitA PirAtti are positioned in very special places of 
Srimadh RaamAyaNam .Srimath Andavan identified these 
occasions for us .

In my effort to summarize the One hour UpanyAsam of
the revered AchAryan , I have taken the liberty of
providing Text and Context for a fuller appreciation 
of this extraordinarily rich feast . All the errors
in understanding and comprehension are mine and seek
the revered AchAryan's KshamA for any incorrect 
recordings of his thought process. 

AdiyEn Oppilaippan Koil VaradAchAri SadagOpan

P.S : Many thoughts raced against my mind as the AchAryan 
referred to different doctrines related to the unique role 
of Sri Devi in our SampradhAyam . I will just record one
wave of thought on the specialty and power of ThAyAr's
KaruNA KatAkshams and conclude this series of postings .

The memory waves were about Sri Parasara Bhattar's 
SriguNa Rathna Kosam slOkams . Sri Bhattar , who was deeply 
moved by the Sri Sthavam of his father and the ChathusslOki
of ALavandhAr and the SaraNAgathi Gadhyam of AchArya RaamAnujA
had a special reverence for Sri Devi .To Him as Sri RangEsa 
purOhithar , Sri RanganAyaki ThAyar was none other than 
SitA PirAtti . He identifies himself as a resident of
Mithilai and salutes the parama soundharyam of 
Sri SitA pirAtti ( Sri RanganAyaki ) as an adolescent
girl at the border of childhood and youth stages 
( saisava - Youana - VyathikaraNam ) married to the Nithya 
YuvA ( iLam Kumaran/ Sri RanganAthan ). With great vinayam ,
Bhattar salutes the SitA pirAtti of Srirangam as 
the treasure house of forbearance ( KshAnthi) , magnAnimity 
( OudhAryam ) , compassion ( dayA ) and other KalyANa guNAs
that anticipate Swami Desikan"s Sri Sthuthi .He praises
the unique qualities of SitA piratti , the VisAlAkshi ,
such as mruDimA (softness of Heart ), prabhu paarAdhyam 
( obedience to Her Lord ) , apAra KaruNA ( Limitless 
compassion for us , Her children ) ,prIthi ( affection
for her erring children ) . She rejects the  milky 
ocean, Her father's home as well as Sri Vaikuntam ,
the celestial abode to be near us , Her children and 
makes Srirangam Her home .

In the 17th slOkam of SrigNa Rathna Kosam , Bhattar 
points out that wherever the KatAksham of this VisAlAkshi
falls , the wealth , bliss , jn~Anam , success , courage
and eloquence rush .He designates the Lord as Para Brahman
because of the profuse glances falling on Sri RanganAthan ;
others receiving one or two glances become minor gods 
like IndrA et al.Parasara Bhattar is overpowerd by 
the thoughts of the greatness of Sriranga-SitA devi 
( Sri RanganAyaki ) and points out that the infinite 
greatness of the Lord is due to the imprints of 
the Lotus feet of Sri Devi on His chest (Vakshasthala-
Vaasini ) . 

Parasara Bhattar rushes quickly to decribe the unique
relationship between the saraNya dampathis and suggests
their relationship is one of SamyukthAsrayaNam . He 
engages in His cosmic sports just to please Her .
Bhattar calls Sri RanganAyaki as our SitA and that She is 
the Mother , Father and sarva Vidha BHandhu . He assures us 
that we are saved as long as we have Her grace and 
karuNa KatAksham falls on us . Such is the 
greatness of this VisAlAshi  celebrated by
Srimath Andavan !

AchAryan , AzhwAr ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam
Sri Rangapura VihAra , Jaya KoDhaNda RaamA !