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Date: Wed Mar 01 2000 - 19:20:57 PST

Dear Bhagavatas
Here is the last SlOkam (11th SlOkam) of Sri Sthavam, in which the AzhwAn who 
gave up his "Darsanam" for the sake of our "Darsanam" and who renounced 
wealth for the sake of DevAdhirAjan appears to pray for wealth! 
Let us see what wealth the desireless AzhwAn desired from ThAyAr.
Anbil Ramaswamy
YasyAh: katAksha veekshA kshaNa lakshyam lakshithA mahEsA; syu:/
Sri RangarAja mahishee sA mAmapi veekshathAm lakshmee://
(Sri Sthavam SlOkam 11)

"Let the Srirangam Periya PirAtti (Sri RangarAja mahishee) with whose 
millionth part of a microsecond (kshaNa lakshyam) of benign glance 
(katAkshaveekshA)  blessed those on whom it fell (lakshithAh:) to dizzy 
heights of wealth (mahEsAh:), shower me also (mAmapi) with Her graceful 
glance (veekshathAm)"

A cursory reading of this 11th and the last SlOkam of Sri Sthavam, might 
appear as if AzhwAn who was a "Parama Viraktha" who despised material wealth 
sought the same from Periya PirAtti. 

The word "mahEsA" used by AzhwAn has the same connotation as the Vedic 
statement "Sah: SwarAT bhavathi" which refers NOT to material wealth but to 
the "Kainkarya Sri" enjoyed by Nityasooris, 

It should be remembered that AzhwAn who was as rich as Kubera himself 
renounced all his belongings and dedicated everything of his worldly 
possessions at the feet of Lord DevapperumAL of Kancheepuram. He retired to 
Srirangam and preferred to eke out his existence by "Uncha vritti" with a 
begging bowl, on the streets of Tiruvarangam as per the tradition expected of 
and followed by Vedic Brahmins of his days. He could not have and did not 
pray for material wealth from Thiruvaranga ThirumagaL

It has been the traumatic experience of AchAryas like BhAshyakArar, 
KoorathAzhwAn and SwAmi Desikan to live in exile away from the Srirangam 
Divya Dhampathis for one reason or the other. There could not have been a 
greater tragedy for them than this deprivation of kainkaryam to the Lord. 

It was in a bout of misery caused by such "VislEsham" (separation from the 
Lord) that Swami Desika wrote his "Abheethi Sthavam" when he had to live in 
exile at SatyakAlam village as a sequel to ravages of Srirangam by Muslim 
marauders. His prayer at the end of the Sthavam is to grant him again the 
company of Bhagavtas to engage in Kainkaryam to the Lord. 

These great souls were not "afraid of death" as suggested by some; they were 
"afraid of life" bereft of the opportunity to serve the Lord. They deemed 
this deprivation so traumatic as to be worse than even death.

AzhwAn who gave up his entire possessions and gave up his "Darsanam" 
(eyesight) for the sake of our "Darsanam" (doctrine) could not have asked for 
mundane wealth but only this "Kainkaryasri".
                        SRI STHAVAM CONCLUDED

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