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From: Parthasarati Dileepan (MFPD_at_UTCVM.UTC.EDU)
Date: Sat Mar 04 1995 - 04:26:01 PST

11/12 chaathuryam

In this continuing series of twelve posts, twelve of the
many guNaas that are innate to Brahman is discussed
with illustrations from aazhvaar paasurams.  These
twelve guNaas demonstrate God's eternal love for us
jeevaathmaas.  They are sowseelyam, vaathsalyam,
maardhavam, aarjavam, sowhaartham, saamyam,
kaaruNyam, maadhuryam, gaambeeryam, owdhaaryam,
chaathuryam, and sthairyam.  The subject of this post is

chaathuryam:   deftness in bestowing the blessings
               we seek from the Lord.

Several interesting illustrations are given to describe this
guNam.  Let me present two.

vibeeshNan came to Lord raamaa with a wish to
surrender to Him.  Everyone protested, except of course
aancanEyar.  Lord raamaa could have simply overruled
these objections.  That may cause distrust among the
rank and file.  In stead, Lord raamaa deftly transformed
each and everyone of the objectors to heartily welcome
vibeeshNan with open arms and friendship.

Maadhali, indhiran's chariot driver, was looking for a
suitable groom for his daughter.  He found one,
Sumugan, in nagalOkam.  But there was a problem.  It
seems Sumugan was to be garudan's dinner in a month.
Undeterred, Maadhali approached indhiran with a
request for a small amount of amridham.  Unwilling to
part with amridham indhiran suggested that Sumugan
surrender to the Lord.  So he did.

A month later garudan went to nagalOkam and
demanded Sumugan be brought before him.  When he
realized what had happened he went straight to Lord
vishnu and insisted that Sumugan be handed over to him.
The Lord agreed!  He handed Sumugan over to garudan,
but also commanded garudan to protect Sumugan.  Thus,
our Lord kept his promise to protect Sumugan and also
avoided possible rivalry and quarrel  between these two
bhakthaas.  Here is how thirumangai aazhvaar cites this
story and seeks refuge at the lotus feet of Lord

nancu sOrvathOr vencina aravam
 veruvi vanthun^in saraNenach saraNaay,
nenciR kondun^in anciRaip paRavaik
 kadaikkalam koduththu aruLseythathu aRinthu
vencolaaLarkaL namanRamar kadiyaar
 kodiya seyvana vuLa,athaR kadiyEn
anci vanthun^innadiyiNai yadainthEn
aNipozhil thiruvarangaththam maanE.

     -- periya thiru mozhi  5.8.4

"nancu sOrvathOr vencina aravam" the snake that is
enraged and exuding venom, i.e. Sumugan;
"veruvi vanthun^in saraNenach saraNaay," fearful of
garudan, took refuge at your lotus feet;
"nenciR kondu" determined to protect Sumugan;
"n^in anciRaip paRavaikku adaikkalam koduththu,"
offered him (Sumugan)  to your own garudan and
commanded him to protect Sumugan;
"aruL seythathu aRinthu," aware of this blessing;
"vencolaaLarkaL naman dhamar kadiyaar" cruel
messengers from Yaman;
"kodiya seyvana vuLa," are ready for their vicious deeds;
"athaRku adiyEn anci vanthun^innadiyiNai yadainthEn,"
distressed by this thought I am surrendering at your lotus
"aNi pozhil thiruvarangatthammaanE," O!, the Lord of
enchanting sri rangam.

         .... to be continued

This and other posts to follow in this subject are based
on the aruL mozhigaL of the 45th azhagiya singar of sri
aHObila madam, sri vaN satakOpa sri naaraayaNa
yatheendhra mahaa dEsikan, published in sri nrusimhap
priyaa starting with bava varusham, chitthirai maasam,
(April 1994), and commentaries of aazhvaar
prabhandams published by The Visishtadvaita Pracharini
Sabha, 27, Venkatesa Agraharam, Mylapore, Madras,
600 004.