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Thiru naRaiyoor - Thiru naRiyooraan niyamaNamum thirumangai thirumaNamum - part 3A

From: Sampath Rengarajan (srengara_at_ford.com)
Date: Sun Mar 31 1996 - 09:36:16 PST

 Thiru Mangai was known as "Neelan" while he served the chOlan both as chief of
the command for Armed Forces and as well as the chief of all the Lords as
himself being one of such Lord ie Kuru nila Mannar. He was beleived to be the
intermediate source of recipient of all the Levies from the Lords and was
passing on the Same to the King as well. ie He was also paying a portion of the
levy to the cholan. Neelan came to know of a dEva kannigai (through the Lord)
who was stranded here near "thiru veLLk kuLam". He was encahnted by the beauty
of this apsarus. He asked her hand for marriage and she said that she will
marry only a SriVaishnaVan and that one who bears the holy marks of the Lord on
his shoulders only. Neelan prayed to the NaRaiyoor Nambi and and the lord
offered him the pancha samaskaaram HIMself and duly initiated him as a
Srivaishnavan. The Pancha samaskaaram are the 5 principles that are very
important and is considered the official step 1 for becoming a Srivaishnvaa
sseking mOksham. The 5 principles are summarised below for a quick reference.

1. Order of wearing 12 thirumans

Getting to know the "order" by which one will wear the 12 thiruman in his body
and getting to know the manthirams that are associated with the wearing of
thriumans. ie one has to chant these mantrams as he wears the thirumans. There
is also a way specified to chant these mantrams and that is also considered a
part of this "order".


2. Suiting a Sarmaa

Being named again with a different name other than the name given by
the parents if the birth name is not the name of either the Lord or his
Adiyaars. Achaaryaa who performs this will offer a suitable name if
required. Neelan was renamed by the Lord of NaRaiyoor here as
"thirumangai".

3. Wearing of Thiruch chinnam

Bearing the holy ayudha and aabaranam of the Lord on one's shoulder by marking
the skin with such imprints. This may be seen as the utmost loyalty in modern
and rational terms as this is very similar to getting tattooed one's favourite
symbol on one's body. The Chakram on the right and changu on the left shoulders
are printed as similar to Sriman NaaraayaNa who is here the most favourite
symbol of SriVaishnvaa and alike. The process is similar to applying a tattoo
but not that severe. ie. The template marks of these holy symbols are heated
and pressed onto the shoulders of the Srivaishnavaa. This act is supposed to
also purify the body.

4. Taking oath to serve the Lord

Taking the vow or undertaking that one will do thiru aaraadhanai every day and
will offer a prasaadham to the Lord first in the morning and break their fast
only after offering such prasaadham to the Lord. ie Pray the Lord first in the
morning and offer HIM a prasaadham with pure heart and worship HIM prior to
taking any food ourselves.


5. Understanding the Thirumanthiram

The thirumanthiram was initiated to thirumangai by the thiruk
KaNNapuram sowri raaja perumaal. However, as per the definition of
pancha samaskaaram it is unerstood that the NaRiyoor nambi got him
qualified to chant this mantram by detailing the artham or meaning of
this manthram. The qualification here also means the wearing the
thiruch chinnam physically and also wearing the spiritual thiruch
chinnam mentally!  prior to this one can only chant the name "naaraayanaa"
alone.


It is said that the Lord of "Badri"haasramam performed the role of both aasaan
or teacher or guru and also the student or sishayn. Some call him the aasaan
for all srivaishnavaa. However,  some expert Srivaishnavaa who critically
analyse these call naRaiyoor nambi as the paripooraNa aasaan as HE served only
the role of achaaryaaL here in offering the meanings of thirumanthiram.
 Thirumangai went to his fiancee kumudavaLLi and informed her of his initiation
as  a sriviashnavan. She said it is not enough and that she will marry only a
srivaishnavan who will offer amuthu to 1000 srivaishnvaas everyday for 1 year.
Thirumangai pleaded to her that he will do the same and that the "list" of
demands should end with this great task. She agreed that she will not demand
anything more. Thirumangai started his kainkaryam and was offering everyday the
thathi (adiyaar) aaraadhanam (offering  amuthu or food). SUch place this
kainkaryam took place is even now can be seen as a
small city known as mangai madam.

Soon he ran out of funds and he started using the money that was meant to be
paid to the king. ChoLan was not all happy about this and asked for proper
explanation from thriumangai. Since chOlan was not happy with his reply he
asked thirumangai to be kept in custody until he reveals the way to return his
Levy money. Thirumangai was held as a captive in naRaiyoor temple for three
days without food. Thirumangai prayed to the Lord to rescue him so that he can
continue his service to the srivaishnvaas. The Lord appeared in his dream and
said "there is a treaure on the river bed of vehavathi (river) ear marked only
for you (ie you only will know its place and you only can take it from there as
it belongs to you only) and ordered thirumangai that he use it for your current
endeavours (or pursual) and also to repay your dues to chOlan". On the fourth
day when the royal ministers came to interrogate, thirumangai offered them that
he will pay the dues from his treasure that he only knows. ChoLan allowed to
him to acquire the treasure and thirumangai not only cleared his dues to the
King but also fulfilled his promise to serve the 1000 srivaishnavaas and
married kumudhavalli. It was the niyamanam of the Lord HIMself that, Thus the
Lord of NaRaiyoor not only offered pancha samaskaaram but also provided the
necessary maargam or direction to fulfill his desires and pay his dues as well.
Thirumangai delivered a paasuram confirming his dream of this Lord of
naRaiyoor.

nanavil senRaarkkum naNNaR karai yaanai
naan adiyEn naRaiyoor ninRa nambiyai
kanavil kaNdEn inRu

ie he says adiyEn kanavil kaNdEn inRu. ie I saw HIM in my dream today.

Thirumnagai thiruvadikaLE saraNam
manjuLavalli samEthara naRaiyoor naMbi thiruvadikaLE saraNam
Sampath Rengarajan