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MaNavaaLa maamunigaL's vaibhavam - part 1

From: Mohan Sagar (msagar_at_worldnet.att.net)
Date: Sat Mar 29 1997 - 20:01:13 PST

Forward from Varadhan:

Dear bhaagavathaas,

I have been a little bit tied up at work, and I could not continue the series
on MaNavaaLa maamunigaL's vaibhavam last week. By His grace, I have been
able to enjoy maamuni's vaibhavam in the past couple of days. This is the
next post.

Aazhwaar emperumaanaar jeeyar thiruvadigaLE saranam.
Varadhan

Place of MaNavaaLa maamunigaL in the Oraan vazhi guruparamparai:

Even though Emperumaanaar had hundreds of immediate sishyaas,
in our 'Oraan vazhi' guruparamparai, Embaar is our next aachaarya.
Embaar's sishya was paraasara bhattar. Nanjeear was Bhattar's
sishya - Next come Nampillai, Vadakku thiruveedhip piLLai, PiLLai
lOkaachaaryaar. PiLLai lOkaachaaryaar's sishya was thiruvaay mozhip piLLai.
MaNavaaLA maamunigaL follows Thiruvaay mozhip PiLLai in the Oraan vazhi
guruparamparai.

MaNavaaLa maamunigaL's Thiru avathaaram, vidhyaabhyaasam & aachaarya 
aasrayaNam:

To bless this world with sampradaaya granthams, and to make SriVaishnavism 
easily accessible to the commom man, thiruvanandhaazhwaan
(aadisEshan) came to this world as the son of thirunaaveeRudaya piraan
dhaasaraNNar at aazhwaar thirunagari, also known as thirukkurugoor.
(PBA describes thirukkurukoor as 'nallaar navil kurukoor' - 
nallaar is literally translated as good people. navil is a tamizh verb
for live. i.e. kurukoor, described as a place where good people live)
nallaar may also be, in this context, interpreted as SriVaishvanaas.

The day the he was born was aiyppasi moolam. The greatness of aippasi
moolam has been described by many aachaaryaas.  The folowing is a
tamizh verse that describes maNavaaLa maamunigaL's birth in aiyppasi
moolam day (author unknown).

  senthamizh vEdhiyar sindhai theLindhu siRandhu magizhnthidunaaL
      	seerulakaariyar seytharuLnaRkalai thEsupozhindhidunaaL
  mandhamadhippuvimaanidarthangaLai vaanil uyarththidu naaL
        maasaRu nyaaniyarsEr ethiraasar tham vaazhvu muLaindhidu naaL
  kandhamalar pozhilsoozh kurukaathipan kalaikaL  viLankidunaaL
      kaaramarmEni aranganagarkku iRai kaNkaL kaLiththidunaaL
  anthamil seer maNavaaLa munipparn avathaaram seyyunaaL
       azhagu thigazhndhidum aippasiyil thirumoolamathenu naaLE.

Rough translation (tamizh experts, please add to this):
On this day, people who are learned in the tamizh vEdam rejoice,
The aruLichcheyls of piLLai lOkachaariaar (ulakaariyar, ulakam + aariyar)
take on a special glow on this day;  Ethiraasar, the leader of flawess
learned people, was reborn on this day***; the aruLichcheyals of
the athipan of kurukoor - nammaazhwaar, glow on this day;
The eyes of the Lord of Srirangam, whose thirumEni is like the clouds,
rejoice on this day; MaNavaaLa maamuni was born on this day; this day is
aiyppasi moolam.

*** MaNavaaLa maamunigaL is considered to be  an avathaaram of Raamanujar,
(and by extension, anandhaanthaazhwaan - aadhisEshan).

 The elders named this child 'Azhagiya maNavaaLan' - after the Lord himself.
 azhagiya maNavaaLa naayanaar was the name that he was known by. 
All the samskaarams were done to this child as prescribed by the varnaas.
Azhagiya maNavaaLa naayanaar learnt the vEdas, vEdaangaas & all sastraas
from his father. He was a prime example of 'sollaar thamizhoru moonRum
suruthigaL naankum ellai illaa aRaneRi yaavum therinthavan' (one who knows
the prabhandham & the vEdaas and has a boundless knowledge of religion
(aRa neRi - literally translated is moral rules, but in this case, it can be
interpreted as religious knowledge - tamizh experts, please clarify).

 He undertook grahasthaashramam at the proper time & lived as a srivaishnava
sigaamaNi, as described by kulasEkaraazhwaar  
In perumaaL thirumozhi, kulasEkaraazhwaar describes srivaishnavaas as
'maranthigazhum manamozhiththu vanYchamaaRRi vanpulankaL adakki,
idar paarath thunpam thuRandhu, irumuppozhudEththi ellai illaath thonneRikaN
nilaininRa thoNdar'
KulasEkaraazhwaar describes sriVaishnavaas as those who
who have banished maRam (maRam is the antonym of aRam; can be taken
include anger (kOpam), cruelty (kodumai) and other undesirable qualities)
from their minds, those who have conquered the indriyams, those who have
overcome the unbearable weight of the sins [ as in 'paaramaaya pazhavinai
paRRaruththu in amalanaadhipiraan],  those who conduct their lives as
panchakaala paraayaNaas, those who conduct themselves according to the
neRi established by our elders.
MaNavaaLa maamunigaL lived as  a SriVaishnava sigaamaNi with all
the lakshaNams mentioned by kulasEkaraazwaar as above.

At this time, Thiruvaay mozhip piLLai (who got his name because of his
knowledge and love of nammaazhwaar's aruLicheyal, and who is adored
everyday by SriVaishnavaas all over the world daily in the sarrumarai - 
'namas sreesailanaadhaaya kundheenagara janmanE, prasaada labdha
paramappraapya kainkarya saalinE') who is also known as Thirumalai
aazhwaar, was looking for an adhikaari who can carry the torch of 
the srivaishnava darshanam. At the same time, Azhagiya maNavaaLa naayanaar,  
who wanted to be a sishyaa of this achaaryan, approached
Thiruvaay mozhip piLLai & prayed at his feet to accept him as his sishya.
('poruL allaadhavanaip poruLaakki adimai koLLa vENum' enRu). Thiruvaaymozhip
PiLLai, seeing the gnaanam and bhakti of azhagiya maNavaLA naayanaar
accepted him as his sishya and taught him all the granthaas 
and rahasyaas. 

aachaarya niyamanam:

When Azhagiya maNavaaLap perumaaL naayanaar had learnt the granthaas and
rahasyaas from thiruvaaymozhippiLLai, he said to Azhagiya maNavaaLap
perumaaL naayanaar:

'Azhagiya MaNaaaLap perumaaLE!, Just as periya nambi and 
Thirumaalai AaNdaan knew that emperumaanaar was an avataara purusha, and
had the good fortune to be his aachaaryaas, I happen to be in a position by
which
I am your aachaaryan. Our poorvachaaryas like aazhwaan (Kooraththaazhwaan),
bhattar,
nampiLLai, even though they were very learned in all the vEdaas and sastraas,
undertook the kainkaryam of immersing themselves  into our aazhwaas'
aruLicheyal 
anubhavams and undertook the upanyaasam of the prabhandham and the
commentaries on the prabhandham as their primary kainkaryam.  I would pray
that you 
also undertake the path of our  poorvaachaaryaas and become an authority on
the commentaries of the prabhandham and undertake the kainkaryam of upanyaasam.
You should clear all my worries by accepting this request of mine'.

Azhagiya maNavaaLap perumaaL naayanaar replied:  ' Do you have to tie my foot
down for me to drink sweet milk? I am willing to undertake this kainkaryam at 
swami's feet. You have to make this unqualified person (yOgyathai aRRa adiyEn)
qualified for this kainkaryam.'; and fell at the feet of Thirumalai Aazhwaan
like
a tree without roots.  From that day onwards,  Azhagiya maNavaaLa naayanaar,
like a shadow always at the feet of Thiruvaaymozhip PiLLai, learnt the 
prabhandham commentaries, granthams and rahasyams from his aachaaryan.

Aazhwaar emperumaanaar jeeyar thiruvadigaLE saranam.
Varadhan