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FW: Madhurakavi Azhwar Article by Sri V. Kannan

From: Bharadwaj, Jaganath (
Date: Fri Jul 24 1998 - 11:59:14 PDT

This article was written by Sri V Kannan President, Sri Ramanuja
Mission, Inc for the April Issue of Nrsimha Priya of North America.  For
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>The year that has just drawn to a close is Eswara (1997-98) and the year
>beginning April 14, 1998 is known as Bahudanya.  The first month of the year
>is known as Chittirai.  In this month were born in Thiruvadurai star the
>great Ramanujacharya who systematized the Srivaishnavite philosophy otherwise
>known as Visishtadvaita Philosophy.  Another great saint known as Madhurakavi
>Azhwar was also born in this month in Chittirai Star.
>Madhurakavi Azhwar was born in Thirukkolur village about 3 miles south of
>Azhwar Thirunagari, the birth place of Nammazhwar.  He was born in Dwapara
>Yuga 863879 which corresponds to BC 3224.  The year was Eswara, chittirai
>month, chittirai star, falling on a Friday the fourteenth day from amavasya
>(Chaturdashi).  Madhurakavi Azhwar is an avataram of Sri Kumuda Ganesan, one
>of the commanders in the celestial army commanded by Sri Vishwaksena, the
>commander-in-chief of Sriman Narayana's army in Sri Vaikuntham.
>Sri Nammazhwar otherwise known as Parankusan was born in Azhwar Thirunagari
>village near Thirunelveli.  Nammazhwar was born on the 43rd day of Kaliyuga
>(BC3102), in Pramadi year Vaikasi month, Paurnami Friday in Visakham star.
>Madhurakavi Azhwar went to Dwaraka to have seva of Lord Sri Krishna who was
>living there at that time.  He however hurried back home without worshipping
>Lord Krishna since he saw a dazzling light - more dazzling than Lord Sri
>Krishna - in the southern end of the country.  Coming to Azhwar Thirunagari
>and on worshipping Nammazhwar who was the cause of the dazzling light, he
>became a disciple of Nammazhwar in preference to Lord Krishna.  Nammazhwar
>was verily the God to Madhurakavi Azhwar.
>The composition of Madhurakavi Azhwar consists of 11 verses called Kanninun
>Siruthambu.  In these verses Madhura Kavi Azhwar indicates by his own example
>the only safe path for all of us to follow.  This path directs us all to
>choose Nammazhwar as our sole goal, in preference to Lord Krishna, and will
>surely lead us to the supreme place wherein the Lord resides with His
>celestial spouse and other Bhagavathas.
>In essence, in this work, Madhurakavi Azhwar lists ten objectives, five for
>the jivas and five for the Lord.  The divine Lord, Sriman Narayana incarnated
>as the great cowherd Lord Krishna solely for the sake of His devotees.  The
>ten objectives listed by Madhurakavi Azhwar are the same as those pointed out
>by Nammazhwar in the ten decads (1,102 Pasurams) of thiruvoymozhi.
>Pasuram 1 - Kanninun Sirutambi...  The Lord is so very beautiful to the eyes
>and mind.  He is very easily accessible to the extent that a cowherd lady
>could bind Him with a rope.  His Divine attributes are countless.  Still
>Madhurakavi chose Nammazhwar as God.
>Pasuram 2 - nAvinAl  Having seen the beauty of the Lord, we should take
>refuge at His Lotus Feet.  The Vedas declare that the final resting place of
>all of us is His divine Charan Kamalam.  All the jivas should unconditionally
>surrender at His Lotus Feet only.  Nammazhwar's charana Kamalam will also
>save all jivas who surrender at His Feet.
>Pasuram 3 - The jivas are all supported by the Lord, controlled and directed
>by Him and are meant to do service to Him.  This is unconditional and
>eternal.  So the Jivas should long and crave for an everlasting relationship
>of service (kainkaryam) unto the Lord.  Nammazhwar stands on an equal footing
>with the Lord and should be so served by all Srivaishnavas.
>Pasuram 4 - God is related to all of us in many ways - as a father who does
>what is good; as a mother who does what is to our liking; as a preceptor who
>dispels ignorance from our minds; as a wife who comforts us; as our wealth by
>making Himself available to us, to be used in ways that will comfort us.
>Over and above all this, He gives us Divine knowledge through a Sadacharya
>which worldly possessions and relations are not capable of.  This gift of God
>shows us the way to Moksha.  Nammazhwar by His Pasurams instills in us the
>needed Divine knowledge to reach the Lord.
>Pasuram 5 - All of us hold as very dear, the worldly possessions and think
>our dear relations will support us in our times of need.  Yet at the time
>when we need help the most (at the last moment of our lives), no help ensues
>from our dear relatives and our wealth.  We should therefore start loving God
>the same way we have so far shown love and affection to our relatives and
>possessions.  God will surely come and lend His helping hand and Holy Feet at
>the proper time.  We should likewise love Nammazhwar also.
>Thus far, Madhurakavi Azhwar told us what we should do.  In the next five
>stanzas, he tells us what the Lord will do for us.  
>Pasuram 6 - The Lord will give us the Divine knowledge to know Him and make
>us long for Him, make us sing His Glory, make us so great that He will never
>allow us to return to our old way of life.  This Divine Love unto Him is for
>His own enjoyment and the identity of the souls will be lost in the Supreme
>Bliss of the Lord's mercy and enjoyment.  Nammazhwar's Grace is as potent and
>efficacious as that of the Lord.
>Pasuram 7 - The Lord will by His boundless Grace rid us all of our
>accumulated sins.  The souls cannot get rid of these sins by their efforts
>even if the time at their disposal extends to billions of years.
>Nammazhwar's Grace is so divine and powerful as to rid us all of our sins
>accumulated in countless births.
>Pasuram 8 - The Lord will show us His boundless and Infinite compassion.
>This is the core message of the Vedas as well.  The Jivas have recourse to
>this Supreme quality of the Lord to save themselves from Hell and to ascend
>to Paramapada (Sri Vaikuntham).  Nammazhwar has powers in this regard equal
>to those of the Lord.
>Pasuram 9 - The central and core message of the Vedas is that Sriman Narayana
>is the ultimate Supreme Person, who alone is fit to be meditated upon and
>whose Grace alone can save us all from the cycle of birth and death.  The
>accumulated sins of the Jivas prevent them from absorbing this crucial
>message.  His Divine Grace imbedded in the Pasurams of Nammazhwar banishes
>fully the ignorance from our minds and reveals the truth to us all.
>Pasuram 10 - The Lord's Grace takes us all into His Fold and on reaching
>Paramapada, all of us get in us the likeness of Him in all aspects of bliss
>and divine enjoyment.  As this bliss and enjoyment is supreme in every way,
>there is no question of our ever desiring to get away from the Lord or His
>Divine Paramapada.  Only the Lord and Nammazhwar are our Sole Refuge and to
>them ONLY should our love, regard and prayers be directed.
>Pasuram 11 - Madhurakavi Azhwar states that those who believe what he has
>stated in Kanninun Sirutambu will attain Vaikuntham.
>May Madhurakavi Azhwar reside in my heart always.  (Madhurakavi hridayE mama