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A SanyAsi ascends the Peetam: part 4

From: V. Sadagopan (
Date: Mon Jul 07 1997 - 18:57:17 PDT

Dear Sri Nrusimha PaadhukhA SevakAs :

In this posting , I will cover the MangaLa moothys
worshipped by the Azhagiya Singars at their Matam daily .
These moorthys have as their shrine , the silver mantapam 
that travels with the Azhagiya singhars . An article that 
appeared in the special issue associated with 
the samprOkshaNam at Chembur Sri Lakshmi Narasimhan 
temple is the source of information  for this posting .

The Divya mangaLa Vigrahams of AhObila Mutt
There are 24 Aaradhana  Moorthys of our poorvAchAryas
as well as a number of rare SaaLigrama Moorthys 
that have the silver mantapam as their garbha graham .
They receive the worship of the Azhagiya singars daily 
and bless us . It will be a great bhAgyam to stand close
to the Mantapam and have the darsanam of these archA
moorthys during the times of daily worship by the Jeeyar 
and the Sri Sannidhi aaradhakar . The central spot in the 
silver mantapam is occupied by the ArchA bhEram of 
Sri Lakshmi Narasimhan ( malOla Narasimhan)   
of upper AhObilam  

1. Sri Lakshmi Nrusimhan ( MaalOlan )

The chief archA morthy worshipped by the Jeeyars of 
AhObila Mutt is Sri Lakshmi Narasimhan known otherwise 
as MaalOlan . After the first Jeeyar , Adhi vaNN SatakOPa 
Jeeyar was initiated into sanyAsAsramam , he stayed at 
AhObila KshEthram and performed aarAdhanam for 
the Lord there. One day , he had the instructions from 
the Lord to travel with Him from village to village and bless 
the devotees , who would come to worship Him during such 
sanchArams and to spread the Bhagavdh RaamAnuja 
SiddhAntham . The Jeeyar was instructed to perform 
SamAsriyaNams, BaranyAsam and ManthrOpadesam 
to His dear  devotees and to nourish the ubhaya 
vEdanthA tradition . 

The Jeeyar was happy to receive this message from the Lord .
He was not however sure as to which one of the nine uthsava 
Nrusimha moorthys of AhObilam to take with him on 
the  sanchArams .

The Jeeyar seated all the nine ArchA bhEra Nrusimhans in 
one mantapam and prayed for guidance regarding the choice 
among them .

These nine Nrusimha moorthys of AhObilam are :

JwAlA , AhObila , MaalOla , KrODa , Kaarancha , Bhargava,
yOgAnandha , ChathravaDa and Paavana Nrusimhans . 

The sannidhis of Bhargava Narasimhan , yOga Narasimhan 
and ChathravaDa Narasimhan are at lower AhObilam . 
The sannidhis of the remaining six Narasimhans are 
at upper Ahobilam . All of them gave their adhbhutha sEvai 
to Sri SatakOpa Jeeyar . When the Jeeyar closed his eyes 
in dhyAnam , MaalOla Nrusimhan appeared on the hands of 
the Jeeyar with a  most beautiful smile. The Lord thus made 
the choice easy for the Jeeyar . This archA bhEram of MaalOlan 
has a sandal on His right foot indicating that He was ready for 
the travel from village to village with the Jeeyar. He has the most
beautiful smile  and embraces MahA Lakshmi with His left arm .
That ArchA bhEram sits at the center of the silver Mantapam 
in a swing ( dolai) . He has AdisEsha over His head and Garuda
Bhagavan at His sacred feet . 

2. Sri SvarNa Azhagiya Singar 
This is an ancient ArchA moorthy . During IjyAradhanam 
( mid day aarAdhanam ) , He is carried to the ThirumadaipaLLi
( kitchen , where the food is prepared for the Lord ) and He is
offered NaivEdhyam there. The prasAdham blessed by Him 
is what is offered to us in the tadhiyArAdhanam of the day .
The legend related to this SvarNa Nrusimhan is a sacred one.
There was once a king by the name , PrathApa Rudran , who was a
great Siva Bhakthan . Every day , his gold smith cast a fresh 
image of Lingam from the die for the king's pujA . The king
performed his pujA , gave food , clothes and cows to the Brahmins
and then partook prasAdham . During his travels , he was one day
at AhObila KshEthram . He asked his gold smith to make a svarNa
siva lingam for that day's pujA . When the gold smith completed his 
casting , he was surprised to find the cast image form the die for 
Lingam came out as Nrusimhan. The gold smith tried two more times 
and each time , he had the same result. The king understood the message
of the Lord of AhObilam and worshipped the svarNa Nrusimhan that day 
and had prathishtA for that vigraham at the AhObilam temple and
set aside funds for the daily aarAdhanam of that SvarNa azhagiya 
Singar . This moorthy is the one , we have the darsanam  today
inside the silver Mantapam .

3. MangaLagiri Nrusimhan 
He is revered as Paanaka Nrusimhan . PanakAradhanam
is an ancient tradition every night at Ahobila Mutt , just as in
MangaLa Giri kshEthram in Andhra PradEsh . He is sitting
in a mantapam of His own inside the Silver mantapam , which 
was offered by Kuricchi SanthAnam Iyengar in memory of the 
paramapadha Vaasi , Sri InjimEttu Azhaghiya Singar , the 42nd
Jeeyar of AhObila mutt. 

4. Lord KaNNan 

He is the one , who enjoys dOLOthsavam or the oonjal
(swing ) uthsavam at the home of devotees during the sanchAram
of the Azhagiya Singars . This Mangala Vigraham has bheejAksharams
( GopAla Manthram ) on His ThirumEni .It is believed that 
AdisEshA performs daily aarAdhanam to this divya mangaLa 
moorthy . It is also well known that AchArya RamAnujA 
conducted daily aarAdhanam to this ancient Moorthy .

5. Sri RanganAthan

Next to SvarNa Lakshmi Nrusimhan , we have the darsanam
of Lord RanganAtha resting on AdisEshA in Yoga NidrA pose. 
At His sacred feet , Sri Ranga Naayaki is seen offering kaimkaryam
to Her Lord. It is believed that this Vigraham was in the aarAdhanam
of Kovil KandAdai Sri ANNan Swamy and was given by him 
to the Matam . He was the renowned temple administrator and 
PurOhithA at the Periya Kovil at Srirangam .

6. Atthigiri VaradarAjan 

His MangaLa Vigraham was worshipped by 
the great Sri VaishNava AchArya , NadAthoor 
AmmAL , who earned his name as AmmAL 
(Mother ) of the Lord because of his deeply 
moving  milk naivEdhyam kaimkaryam to 
Sri VaradarAjA at Kaanchi . He made sure that the hot
milk offeed to the Lord was of the right temperature 
for His enjoyment .

The grand son of NadAthoor AmmAL , 
Sri KatikAsatham AmmAL
was the AchArya for the first Jeeyar of AhObila Matam,
Adhi vaNN SatakOpa Jeeyar. Sri KadikAsatham 
AmmAl gave his family aarAdhana Moorthy
( Sri VaradarAjA with Bhu Devi and Sri Devi ) to
his dear disciple , when he learnt about the 
blessings of Nrusimhan to his sishyan .

7. Sri SrinivAsan of Thiruppathi
In the silver mantapam , we have next the sEvai 
of Sri SrinivAsan with Sri AlarmEl Mangai thAyAr
on His chest .

8. Sri Sampath KumAran of MelkOte( ThirunArAyaNapuram)
Sri Sampath KumAran ( Selva Pillai ) is the presiding
deity of ThirunArAyaNapuram in KarnAtakA . The first 
Jeeyar was born at MelkOte during the year 1369 AD .
Sri RaamAnujA and Swami Desikan had spent many 
years there worshipping Thiru NaarAyaNan . The first 
Jeeyar's brindhAvanam ( place of internment ) is at 
MelkOte. Inview of all these reasons , it is not surprising
to see Sri Sampath KumAran residing with His Devi,
Yathugiri NaacchiyAr inside the siver mantapam and 
going on sanchAram with the SanyAsis of AhObila Mutt
to honor the native son of His KshEthram .

9. Sri ParimaLa RanganAthan with Bhumi and Sri Devis
Sri ParimaLa RanganAthan is the anthima Rangan among the 
Pancha Rangans , who rest on the banks of Cauveri starting 
from Sriranga Pattinam( aadhi Rangan ) , Thiru Anbil ,
Srirangam ( Kasthoori Rangan ) , Thirukkudanthai/
KumbakONam ( Hema Rangan ) and Thiru Indaloor 
( ParimaLa Rangan ) . At Thiru Indaloor , the sacred river
Cauveri ( Mother-in-Law of Sri RanganAthA ) joins Her 
Lord , samudhra Raajan after offering upachArams 
all along to Her son-in-law ( MappiLLai ) , Sri RanganAthA .
The  Divya MangalA moortham of ParimaLa Rangan is 
resident in the silver mantapam with other Rangans .

10. Sri AarAvamudhan of Thirukkudanthai 
Hema Rangan is another of the blessed  ArchA 
moorthys sanctifying the silver Mantapam of
Sri Lakshmi Nrusimhan . This moortham reminds one
of Kaarancha Nrusimhan in the sense that latter
wears Saarangam and chakram like Sri AarAvamudhan 
( Sri Saaranga PaaNi ) .

The other Divya MangaLa Vigrahams housed in 
the most holy silver mantapam are :

11. Sri Lakshmi VarAhan reminding one of Thiruvidaventhai
       Divya Desam .

12. Sri BhUvarAhan reminding one of Sri MushNam , the svyam-
       Vyaktha KshEthram .

13. Sri Adi Kesavan with ubhaya NaacchiyAr reminding us
       of the Lord of ThiruvAttAru , so dear to NammAzhwAr.

14. Sudarsana Moorthy 

15 -16 . Srivilliputtoor AaNdAL  and Sri Ranga MannAr ,
               who came from Srirangam to wed Her .

17.Sri SeethA LakshmaNa samEtha Sri Ramachandran

18. Sri Hayagreeva BhagavAn 

19 . VishvaksEnar

20 . NammAzhwAr 

21. Kaliyan ( Thirumangai AzhwAr )

22 . Sri BhAshyakArar of Sri Perumpoodoor 

23 . Sri VedAntha Desikan of Thuppul 

24 . Srimadh Adhi vaNN SatakOpa Jeeyar , the founder 
        of Ahobila Mutt at the command of BhagavAn
        NarasimhA Himself. 

Many SaaLagrAma Moorthams of a rare kind as well as 
silver and gem-bedecked gold Sataris are also seen inside 
the Silver Mantapam , where MaalOlan swings in His dolai .
The silver SatAri is used for honoring AzhwArs and AchAryAs
and the gold SatAri is used to bless all of us. 

I conclude this posting with the prayer of PrahlAdha to
Nrusimha Moorthy :

yathra kuthra kulE vaasO yEshu kEshu bhavOsthu mEh I
tava daasyaika bhOgE syAth sadhA sarvathra mEh mathi : II

(Meaning ) : Whatever kulam befalls my lot , whatever janmam
I am ordained to take , May I be blessed with the bliss of 
servitude to You , my Lord  , and may my mind be forever
and at all places be fixed in You .

Bhadhram KarNEbhi: SruNyAma: I
Bhadhram pasyEma akshabhi : II 

Sri Lakshmi Nrusimha Para BrahmaNE Nama :
Oppiliappan Kovil VaradAchAri Sadagopan