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MaNavaaLA maamunigaL - Intro (0)

From: Thirumalai Anandanpillai (tananda_at_uswest.com)
Date: Fri Mar 14 1997 - 15:47:43 PST

MaNavaaLa maamunigaL - part 0.

This post may be seen as a 'prologue' to the series. This post gives
very 
brief & general information regarding the place of MaNavaaLa maamunigaL
in the guruparamparai.

SriVaishnavism is often called 'Thennachaarya sampradaayam'. We have the
Srutis, paancharaatra samhitaas, smritis, ithihaasaas & puraanaas and
the
aruLicheyals of our aazhwaars as the basis for SriVaishnavism. Of these,
the aruLicheyals occupy a very special place among the SriVaishnavites.
That is the reason why SriVaishnavism is often referred to as
thennaachaarya
sampradaayam. The aachaaryaas whose teachings are based on the tamizh
vEdam
are often affectionately called thennaachaaryas. The SV sampradaayam
started
with aazhwaars, and our aachaaryaas starting from Sriman NaadhamunigaL
through
Emperumaanaar through MaNavaaLa maamunigaL. Of all these aachaaryaas,
the two
aachaaryaas who are considered the pillars of the sampradaayam are Sri
PiLLai 
lOkaachaaryaar & Sri MaNavaaLa maamunigaL.

There are two typesof aachaaryaas (i) anuvruththip prasannaachaaryas and
(ii) krupaamaatra prasannaachaaryas. Anuvruththi prasannaachaaryaas are
those
who give their anugraham to their sishyaas after they spend quite a bit 
of time with the aachaaryaas & after making the sishyaas yearn for the
anugrahams.
 
Krupaamatra prasannaachaaryaas are those who, out of their inherent
kindness,
without being asked/requested, give their anugraham  to all (in the
spirit of
'payannanRaakilum paangallaraakilum seyal nanRaakath thiruththip
paNikoLvaan').

In our sampradaayam, Emperumaanaar was the first aachaarya in our
sampradaayam
to be widely called a Krupaamatra prasannacharya. However,
emperumaanaar, who
left us three treatises on the brahmasutras, did not leave us any
granthaas on
the rahasyaarthaams. SriBhaashyam & Githabaashyam, even though they deal
with 
the rahasyaarthams in many places, do not deal with the rahasyaarthams
per se.
That was a major want ('kurai') of SriVaishnavism of that time.

PiLLai LOkaachaaryaar, in his immeasurable kindness, was the first
aacharya 
to give the SriVaishnava community granthams on the rahsyaarthams. 
The title LOkaachaarya, is an apt title for this great aachaarya.
To remove the darkness of ignorance in this world, PiLLaiLOkaachaaryar
blessed 
us with his divya srisukthis. His srisukthis are collectively referred
to as ashtaadasa rahasyam (18 rahasyams). Of these 18, the three rahasya
granthams- srivachanabhooshaNam, mumukshuppadi & thathvath trayam are
the three most important granthams. PiLLailOkaacharyaar's younger
brother - azhagiya maNavaaLap perumaaL naayanaar gave us aachaarya
hrdayam. These four rahasya granthams form
the basis of the sampradaayam.

MaNavaaLa maamunigaL gave us vyaakhyaanams on these four granthams. Due
to the
clarity & simplicity of his vyaakhyaanams, maNavaaLa maamunigaL is often
referred
to as vishadavaak sigaamani. MaNavaaLA maamunigaL's vyaakhyaanams are
considered to be the foremost among any vyaakhyaanam in the SriVaishnava
sampradaayam.

With His grace, over the next few weeks, I will attempt to share with
the
group the vaibhavam of maNavaaLa maamunigaL.

My postings probably are going to be very simplistic in nature - I do
not
have the in-depth knowledge of sath-baashai to do a meaningful attempt
at
presenting MaNavaaLa maamunigaL's vaibhavam in a traditional
'guru-parampara-
prabhaavam' like manner. I request you to bear with me on this. All
errors that
you may find in the postings are mine.

Aazhwaar emperumaanaar jeeyar thiruvadigaLE saranam.

Varadhan