You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : June 1998

Experiences at the Land Of Divya Desams - 4

From: Anand K Karalapakkam (anand_at_engr.uconn.edu)
Date: Mon Jun 22 1998 - 16:43:48 PDT

                                  Sri :
          
             Srimate  Sri Lakshmi Nrusimha Para Brahmane Namaha

                  Srimate Sri Kanakavalli nAyikA sametha Sri-
                       VeerarAghava Para Brahmane Namaha

                       Srimate  ShatagopAya Namaha                                    

                  Srimate  Bhagavad   RAmAnujAya  Namaha      

                  Srimate NigamAntha MahAdesikAya Namaha 

             Srimate Sri Lakshmi - Nrusimha Divya PAdukA Sevaka - 
         Srivan  Shatagopa  Sri NArAyana Yateendra MahAdesikAya Namaha      
             

     Dear  bhaktAs of Sriman NArAyanA,
    
     Namo NArAyanA . kindly accept adiyen's pranAmams. 

   --cont--

The very first day when Srimad AzhagiyaSingar & MAlolan graced the school
at West MAmbalam , adiyen was one amongst the fortunate souls to get their
divine blessings . Srimad AzhagiyaSingar was so kind & told that
the samAsrayanam article was really good (!) . Obviously , it is because
of the mercy of H.H.Jeeyar that, it is in whatever status it is. But
adiyen was very much moved at H.H.Jeeyar's  encouraging words .

MAlolan further made adiyen to get the blessings of VeerarAghava perumAL ,
our kula dhanam/perumAL at ThiruYevvuLoor (TiruvaLUr) . Then MAlolan made
arrangements for getting the blessings of ThiruvengadamudayAn , probably
to make adiyen remember about the prapatti of "prapanna jana kUtastar"
NammAzhvAr , for , it was the most merciful Thiruk kurugoor Nambi
(NammAzhvAr) who practically demonstrated the performance of this most
glorifiable UpAyA (Prapatti) for the benifit of all the suffering living
entities esp. in kali yugA. NammAzhvAr is the first AchArya in our Guru
paramparA to adopt & propagate prapatti mArgA (the previous AchAryAs are
at Sri Vaikuntam itself) . 

    MAlolan then made adiyen get the blessings of kAnchi varadan , the
bestower of all boons . It was our varadan who gave us the AchArya
sArvabhaumAs of the likes of Bhagavad RAmAnujA , NadAdUr AmmAL & SwAmi
Desikan , the three all-time greatest exponents of "prapatti" which is
without any doubt  the crown & culmination of all the sAstrAs . Bhagavad
RAmAnujA again practically demonstrated the way of performing
"prapatti"(recorded in the three gadyams for our benifit) . NadAdUr AmmAL
blessed us with the invaluable gem "Prapanna pArijAtA" , which was the
source for SwAmi Desikan to come up with his magnum opus - Srimad Rahasya
Traya SArA  , the encyclopedia of prapatti sAstrA & the most glorified
granthA that has A..Z of whatever needs to be known ( the topmost
essence/cream  of all knowledge) .

     Not stopping at this , MAlolan has further made adiyen seek the
blessings of bhAgavathOthamAs like Sri Purusai KrishnamAchAryA swAmi, Sri
PerukkAranai ChakravarthAchAryA swAmi & listen to the pastimes of
bhAgavathOthamAs like BheeshmAchAryA & Injimettu AzhagiyaSingar (42nd H.H.
Jeeyar , Sri Ahobila Mutt) . The pinnacle was the Upadesam of Sri
purusai swAmi on "prapatti" - a perfect culmination . Hearing about
"prapatti" & understanding it properly without any misconceptions &
doubts , is possible only after seeking the lotus feet of Sriman NArAyanA
, who directs us to the bhAgavathOtamAs/AchAryAs ( They inturn make us
devoted more towards Sriman NArAyanA ! what a cycle !! ). 

  Eventhough adiyen has just read in scriptures about these things , it
has now happened in reality to adiyen . One cannot gaurantee MahA VisvAsA
by the vast amount of knowledge one keeps accumulating . It is purely by
the mercy of bhAgavathOthamAs & AchAryAs that MahA visvAsA  arises &
dispels the cloud of ignorance that surrounds one regarding the efficacy
of prapatti. In other words , the sins that obstruct one from performing
prapatti , get burned by the divine blessings of bhAgavathOthamAs. 

      Adiyen woke up the next day in early morning & finished all the
basic anushtAnams as usual . The nithya thiru ArAdhana by adiyen's father
to sALagrAma perumALs & DwArakA shilA got over & we started to MAlolan's
sannidhi , after getting the bleesings from the PerumAL(s).

    It was 18th  of May with Sravanam (ThiruvOnam ) star . What a glorious
day ! Sravanam  is the "star" attributed to Sriman NArAyanA . It is also
the birthstar of SwAmi VedAnta Desikan , the ghantA avatArA of
ThiruvengadamudayAn . It was SwAmi Desikan who beautifully elaborated ,
explained & established  the eternal prapatti mArgA through his invaluable
granthAs ( numerous rahasyAs , stotrAs etc ) with undisputable authority
from sAstrAs , in his own inimitable way & made it appear crystal clear
to everyone. It was adiyen's bhAgyam to get prapatti performed on such an
auspicious day & adiyen took it as a sign of blessings from both MAlolan &
SwAmi Desikan . ( anyway , performance of prapatti is independent of
whatever the time , day etc is . It always yields its fruit of pleasing
Sriman NArAyanA to grant moksham , irrespective of the muhurtA ) 


     Be it samAsrayanam (pancha samskAram / initiation ) or prapatti or
any upadesam , a sishyA should remain in empty stomach (should not eat
anything from the morning till the AchArya performs the initiation /
prapatti/upadesam ).Usually , kAlakshebams for the sacred granthAs like
Sri BhAshyam , Sri GItA BhAshyam & others are also performed in empty
stomach .

      The hall in the school was filled with many devotees . Abhigamana
ArAdhanam to MAlolan was being performed by Srimad AzhagiyaSingar. It was
most enjoyable to observe the love with which AzhagiyaSingar did the
Thiru ArAdhanam . H.H.Jeeyar's eedupAdu (involvement as an ardent devotee)
in archA avatAram & esp. to MAlolan is _very_ well known . Actually 
,MAlolan rests over a small swing inside the "Silver mandapam" .It was
highly memorable to watch the way H.H.Jeeyar lovingly adjusted MAlolan's
garlands ,ornaments then & then ; make MAlolan swing etc ( parama rasikA
of archA avatAram).          
  
  Adiyen was highly fortunate to sit in the first row ( around 700 bhaktAs
were present ) & closely observe the ArAdhanam . One very interesting
incident happend . All the upachArams to MAlolan like dhoopam , dheepam ,
etc would be given by a kainkaryaparA to Srimad AzhagiyaSingar , who
inturn would offer them to MAlolan & other perumALs ( thiruArAdhanam is
for all the perumALs , but MAlolan has the predominant status). After
performing all the alankArams , MAlolan would be shown a "mirror" , for
Him to take a good look at the way in which the alankArams were performed
for Him. 

    As soon as the KainkaryaparA gave that mirror to AzhagiyaSingar ,
H.H.Jeeyar probably observed some black spots / dust etc in the mirror .
AzhagiyaSingar started blasting the kainkaryaparA : "EppidiyA kudukkaradhu
? pArthu kudukkamAtte ? sraddhaye kadayAdhu . perumALukku indha
lakshanathulayA kAmikkaradhu ? ....." ( Is it the way to offer to
MAlolan? Can't you see the mirror & give ? You totally lack sraddhA . How
can this mirror be shown to perumAL ? .... ). That poor (fortunate!)
kainkaryaparA  performs this same kainkaryam of helping AzhagiyaSingar in
the ThiruArAdhanam & does it very well ( pretty old aged bhAgavathA
only).But AzhagiyaSingar couldn't even tolerate even a small dust
somewhere in the corner of the mirror . Ofcourse the blastings were only
audible for probably first row ( adiyen made full efforts to hear the
words of AzhagiyaSingar) .

    It hit adiyen's heart. Adiyen very well knows the standard with
which the thiruArAdhanam is performed by adiyen here to sAlagrAma PerumAL
& dwArakA Shilai !!! The standard of sevA by the kainkaryaparA was very
high (one could see from his face & actions ). But the standard of sevA of
AzhagiyaSingar is beyond the reaches of the kainkaryaparA & other
devotees , since the love of H.H.Jeeyar towards MAlolan has no bounds. It
is not that the kainkaryaparA gave the mirror without wiping it . But ,
AzhagiyaSingar could spot the dusts present (however small in
proportion)  in a fraction of the second because of H.H.Jeeyar's  great
eedupAdu towards MAlolan . 

Love towards Sriman NArAyanA gets reflected in one's kainkaryam . The more
one loves NArAyanA , the stricter would be the standards with which one
serves Him . AzhagiyaSingar took the cloth & wiped it by himself .
H.H.Jeeyar was still unsatisfied . The mirror took two or three more
wipings . Atlast , AzhagiyaSingar was happy & then showed it to MAlolan
with great love . 

Adiyen learnt a lot form this incident . It made adiyen deeply realize the
exaltedness of parama hamsAs like AzhagiyaSingar . One can only wonder at
the ardent devotion & the standards they set in performing a kainkaryam .
One can easily say that AzhagiyaSingar is a great mahAn / parama hamsA
etc. But the answers to the questions like "how great a mahAn ? How great
a parama hamsA ? " is really based on one's realization . It is purely
"relative" . Only by close acquintance with mahA bhAgavathAs like Srimad
AzhagiyaSingar that one can really understand from the core of one's heart
 about the reason for calling H.H.Jeeyar as a parama HamsA .

      The mangaLa Arathi performed by AzhagiyaSIngar always makes everyone        
reach their peak of devotion. The beauty with which it is performed ,
supplimented by the beatings of the drums & other instruments , notably
the thiruch chinnam , makes one feel as if these divine sounds are
shattering the rAjasic & tAmasic tendencies of the body , & makes one
secure the cool glances of Lakshmi Nrusimhan (Adiyen still remembers the
rythm & music which is a characteristic of Ahobila Mutt MangaLa Arathi).

    SAttrumurai was then performed .PerumAL theertam was distributed to
everyone (goshti) by the kainkaryaparAs . In Ahobila Mutt , the "shatAri" 
is always blessed to a bhaktA by  AzhagiyaSingar himself ( Sri pAda
theertam is also given by Azhagiya Singar only) . Eventhough there were
many bhaktAs , AzhagiyaSingar patiently blessed everyone with shatAri.

( shatAri ie. enemy of shata vAyu, is none other than NammAzhvAr who is
the position of the thiruvadi (lotus feet) of Sriman NArAyanA due to his
unparalleled devotion. As we know , "shata vAyu " hits on top of the
head of all the babies that just come into this world from their mothers
woumb . It is this shata vAyu that makes one get attached to wordly
matters/karmA .NammAzhvAr conquered even that "shata vAyu" & was
unperturbed by the effects of prakruti. Infact NammAzhvAr didn't even
eat/drink etc as any normal human beings does !! )



     AzhagiyaSingar then started the UpanyAsam & simultaneously the goshti
viniyOgam of Abhigamana ArAdhana prasAdam took place . Adiyen left to the
nearby room for performing sankalpA etc for prapatti . First of all ,
Poonal (sacred thread) has to changed for all important events like
prapatti . Five or six more Sri VaishnavAs for whom prapatti is being
performed  were also present alongwith adiyen . A very old bhAgavathA
(kainkaryaparA) made us perform sankalpA etc. He was very merciful to give
a short Upadesam on Prapatti to us for about 15 minutes & told that Srimad
AzhagiyaSingar would do the Upadesam in an elaborated manner regarding the
important aspects of prapatti. Several times adiyen has noticed
this bhAgavthA performing japam in solitude in that room ( probably
AshtAksharam / Dvayam ). 
        
    Meanwhile , the UpanyAsam of AzhagiyaSingar got over . Adiyen also
remember the performance of samAsrayanam to around 25 Sri VaishnavAs
prior to the UpanyAsam. There is a "pAdukA sahasra" pArAyana group formed
by ladies (mothers/devIs to be appropriate ) . Adiyen's father Sri
K.G.Krishnan (*) has made the arrangements some years back for the
learning of pAdukA sahasram , Divya Prabandam , Lakshmi sahasram etc by
the ladies through an AchAryA (adhyApakA) .It is still going on in our
house .

Another group of ladies also are there in West MAmbalam who can do
pArAyanam on "pAdukA sahasram" . Basically , Sri SeshAdri (ULL Desikan
swAmi ) is instrumental in all these types of kainkaryams . Around 108
ladies perform the pArAyanam every sravanam or so (probably twice a month
also ). They were very happy to get the oppurtunity of performing the
pArAyanam in MAlolan Sannidhi . It was simply marvelous - the traditional
way of recition , with the unique rAgA delineating the various padams
....simply excellent . As we all know , pAdukA sahasram is a gem of a
composition  by SwAmi Desikan which was finished in just 3 hrs ( 1008
verses with unrepeated glories on simply the pAdukAs of RanganAthA ) .

 (*) Sri K.G.Krishnan is also running the Divya Prabandham classes (
morning & evening) for purushAs . The best AdhyApakA of Ahobila Mutt is
training everyone in the traditional recition of the nectarian
prabandhams. Many purushAs ( both Vadagalai & thengalai) eagerly learn
in our house . Some have completed all the 4000 . One of such sishyAs has
started the other branch nearby wherein many others are learning . 

  --to be continued---


   Namo NArAyanA

   Adiyen

   Anantha PadmanAbha dAsan  


                      Sarvam  Sri KrishnArpanamastu