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From: Sadagopan (sgopan_at_computer.net)
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 !