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thiru mAlai , some thoughts.. part 1

From: Rengarajan (vasanthi_at_umich.edu)
Date: Fri Jul 31 1998 - 17:42:01 PDT

Sri Chandrasekaran wrote as follows apologising. 

endhan siRu manam seidha pizhaiyinai
   maRandhuvandhu poRuppAi nAraNan than aNiyE!

adiyEn, chandrasekaran.  

***************************************************
There  were  quite  some interesting postings from Sri P. Dileepan 
and Sri Mani and Sri Anbil Ramaswamy and Sri V.Sadagopan. In  addition 
to all these, one thing I request Sri  Chandrasekar  to  understand  
and consider. Some more facts on "thiru mAlai" may help understand  
it some more.  

        thoNdar adi podi AzhwAr was not living a sannyAsi life that he  
be  compared  to  other  sanyAsins.  He is a surrendered soul  and  
hence one who is very dear to Sriman nArAyana. He is a "sAthu"  or 
a soft  person  basically  in  his nature. His  sarangathi to Lord 
Arangan was delviered in the form of a garland "thiru mAlai"  that 
has 5 strands and a pendant at the middle. This 5 strands not only 
stands  for  the  5 elements  that  are  form  this whole universe 
and the derivatives of  these  5 elements (ie.,  than mathriyams). 
This is explained in 

"puradan manivaramAy  ponnA murthy..  iru bootha vanamAlaiyAy...", 

pAsuram in "AdikAra Sangraham" (Sri RTS in tamil) by Swami Desikan.  
AzhwAr himself is considered to be an avathAram of the "vana mAlai" 
of the lord. He was doing "nandavana kaimkaryam" to  Lord  Arangan  
residing in the temple itself.

          The way it is looked by adiyEn is in a way different and  
if god willing and time permitting I will continue this study  and
present it with AchAryAs blessings ina later day. This  garland of 
"thiru  mAlai"  is   strung  in  such  a  way that each pAsuram is 
considered as a flower and is  connected to the preceding  pasuram 
in its flow, content and  as  well as  inner  meanings.  This  way 
of preparing a garland is known  as  "maalai thodutthal" in tamil. 
In presenting the vyAkyAnams  of  this  "thiru mAlai"  Sri Putthur 
SwamigaL  who  hails  from  the descendants of "thondar kulam" has 
made a similar work in  presenting the "arum patha urai" such that 
he  connects  the   current   pasuram  with  the previous pasuram.  
adiyEn  have  been  reading and re reading this wonderful   "thiru 
mAlai" for a while in the last two years and  had discussions with 
2  scholars  (Sri VN Gopala DesikAchar and  Sri Putthur  SwamigaL) 
on thondar adip podi AzhwAr during  my trip  to India as well.

This "thiru mAlai" is also made of 5 strands as  its  inner layers 
(inner meanings) and a pendant at the middle. Such are the 5 angAs  
of  prapatthi  and the pendant at the end is the Athma samarpanam. 
His "thiru mAlai" relfects the essence of saranAgtahi and its five 
angAS. This pasuram (and one other pasuram) reflects  the  "prathi 
koolya varjanam" angam.

There is an other pasuram in thiru mAlai that is currently   being   
presented in "Sarangathi Journal" is  on  his  anusanthAnam of his 
"naicchi" or in tamil "thAzmai" and "Akinchanyam" or in tamil "kai  
muthal illAmai". AzhwAr is no doubt that he is an akinchanyan  and
express his kArpanayam or inability in unmistakable  terms to Lord
Arangan and pleaded to HIM to prevail with HIS blessings.

thoNdar adip podi AzhwAr thiru vadikaLE saraNam
Sampath Rengarajan