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From: Bharadwaj, Jaganath (jbb0_at_nreca.org)
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 those of you who wish to subscribe to the free quarterly newsletter of Sri Ahobila Muth, please forward your name and mailing address to Sri Dileepan at Dileepan@cdc.net. For those wishing to get more information of Sri Ramanuja Mission Inc, please write to its Secretary Sri Nadadur Madhava dhasan at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (301)294-6206. > > >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 >virastu).