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KulasekharA's Paasurams on the VitthuvakkOttu AmmAn: Part 3

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Mon Mar 09 1998 - 06:16:55 PST

Sixth Paasuram:The Lotus Flower & the Sun

In this paasuram , AzhwAr compares his relationship
to the Lord as similar to the one between the red lotus 
and the Suryan that makes it blossom in the morning .
The lotus flower can only react to the rays of the Sun 
to blossom . If one brings a red hot ember and brings it 
close to the closed lotus flower , it wont respond .
When the mighty Sun is there , the lotus does not
seek the help of the puny warmth of the tiny flame from
the red hot ember . Azhwar states in the context that 
he will not seek the help of chillarai daivams ,
when the Lord of VitthuvakkOdu is standing there 
fully eager as Visva paripAlanan and Jagath Rakshakan
to come to his rescue .Swami Desikan echos 
the sentiment of KulasekharA in his dilaog with 
Lord VaradarAjA of Kanchipuram :

kim vaa kareesa mayi rakshaNeeyE
dharmAdhi bAhya sahakAri gavashaNEna I
nanvasthi visvaparipAlana jAgarUka: 
sankalpa yeva bhavathO nipuNa:sahAya: II

Seventh Paasuram: The Crops and the rain clouds 

AzhwAr compares himself to the crops ( paimkoozhkaL),
that wait pateiently for the nourishing rain-bearing 
clouds ( maitthezhundha Maamuhil) . He says that he
will longingly wait for the shower of grace of the Lord  
and think of him with great affection ( chittam miha
unn paal vaippEn adiyEnE ) .

In a Daya sathaka slOkam , Swami Desikan evokes 
the mood of the crops , which are waiting to be 
nourished by the life-giving down pour of Daya Devi ,
who incorporates the auspicious kalyANa guNAs--
Vaatsalyam , Souseelyam  , Soulabhyam and
aasrtitha rakshaNam -- of ThiruvenkatamudayAn .
Daya Devi soaks the suffering people with her cool
and nourishing showers in a timely manner and 
protects the bhakthAs as visualized by Swami Desikan :

sAram labdhvA kamapi mahatha: SrinivAsAmbhurAsE :
kAlE kAlE ghana rasavathee KaaLikEvAnukampE I
vyakthOnmEshA mrugapathi girou visvamApyAyanthee 
seelOpagyam ksharathi bhavathee seethaLam sadhguNaougam II

SrinivAsa AmbhurAsi ( the vast Ocean named SrinivAsA)
is the source of the power of 
the life-giving down pour of rains originating 
from the dark Cloud  of DayA Devi that cool 
the world ( visvam aapyAyanthee) and creates
the invigorating seasonal floods made up
of the streams of the auspicious attributes 
of the Lord of seven hills ( kaalE kaalE 
seela upagyam , seethaLam sadh guNa Ogam ksharathi).
VitthuvakkOttu AmmAn is the same as " SrinivAsa
dayAmbhOdhi pareevAha ParamparA ".

Eighth Paasuram : Flow of the river of Daya 

Fascinated by the thought of the cool rains joining
together into small streams and then becoming a mighty
river that vends its way to the vast ocean , AzhwAr 
revels over the thought of the auspicious guNAs 
of the Lord rescuing him from the heat of SamsAram .
He says : " VitthuvakkOttammA ! unn pukkilangu
seer allAl pukkhilan kANN " . The waters that descended
from the rainy season clouds fall on the hill ,
form tributaries , blend together down stream and 
head towards the Ocean , the very souece of that rain 
carried by  the clouds .Whichever turn and twist
the rivers take , they end up finally in the ocean
and nowhere else .AzhwAr points out that a similar 
situation exists for him . Like the flowing rivers 
heading to the source , the Sea , Azhwar says that 
the KalyANa  guNAs of the Lord flow in His mind 
and end up travelling to the Lord without any 
distraction or deviation .

The seventh and the eighth paasurams 
realte to the subject of the nourishing
rain ( The Lord's DayA )that reaches us thru AchAryAs .
AchAryAs in their infinite compassion  for us 
absorb the essence of BhagavAn's dayA ( Saaram LabdhvA ).
EmperumAn is the vast assembly of water (Ocean ) ;
NammAzhwAr is the cloud , which drank deep and held
the water of DayA from that ocean. He showered those
waters on the mountain known as Naatha Muni and generated
the bhakthi pareevAham ( floods of Bhakthi ) .Those
floods broke up into two streams named uyyakkondAr 
and MaNakkAl nampi . Those two streams merged with 
the river named ALavanthAr . That river entered 
the lotus pond known as RaamAnujA .The waters of that 
never-drying pond flow into the fields and nourish them
to maintain life . Sri Rama DesikAchAr visulaizes 
the tradition nurtured by NammAzhwAr , KulasEkharar 
and through them to the present day AchAryAs ,
when he comments on the meaning of " Saaram LabdhvA ".
This is the same" SrinivAsa DayAmbhodhi pareevAha 
paramparA " that KulasEkharA invoked both at 
VitthuvakkOdu and on top of the seven hills .

Ninth Paasuram : Abject surrender at the Lord's sacred feet

Here AzhwAr declares that He will continue to 
think of the Lord ceaselessly , even if the Lord
in His sport as MaayAvi discards him . He says :
Oh Lord adorning the Sudarsanam shining like a bolt
of lightning in Your hand! Through Your MayA , 
I will ask for the strength to discard the temptations of  
material wealth and seek You instead as my permanent wealth .
Some times Your MayA will tempt me to think about
perishable wealth . I am determined with Your grace
to escape that temptation and seek You and You alone 
as the central goal and purpose of my life ". 

In eight of his Paasurams on the Lord of this
divya Desam , AzhwAr addresses the Lord as 
"AmmA , VitthuvakkOttu AmmA " . The reason perhaps is 
that he visualized the incomparable karuNA ( DayA )
of the Lord as a piraatti named DayA Devi .He 
stood at the feet of the Daya Devi of "Uyya Vantha 
PerumAL " of VitthuvakkOdu and inspired later 
Swami Desikan to invoke the blessings of the DayA Devi
of the Lord of Seven Hills . One can hear the resounding
echos of Swami Desikan's appeals to the Daya Devi 
of Lord SrinivAsA in the following passages of
the magnificient prayers housed in DayA Sathakam :

** svayam na: nijAbhiprEtham pradhiSasi

** jagat dhrushtyA hithamithi klupthai:
akluptha palAntharai: amathi vihithai: 
yadhrucchayA dharmAyithai: anyaisccha 

** tvayA yeva tvayi nyastha svarakshaNa 
bharam maam tvAm nAthE nivEsaya

These statements of Swami Desikan tie in with
the ananyArha SaraNAgathi ( NinnayE taan vEndi )
of KulasEkharA in his VithuvakkOdu Paasurams .

The essence of AzhwAr's upadEsam is that those 
who understand the linitless power of the DayA 
of the Lord and perform Prapatthi to Him with
MahA VisvAsam in Him as the one and only protector
will not fall into Narakam , but will end up 
in Sri Vaikuntam as a result of MokshAnugraham 
granted by the Lord . 

Tenth Pala Sruthi Paasuram

Here , the AzhwAr reminds once again the Lord
of VitthuvakkOdu that he will cling to His sacred
feet even if He ( the Lord) tries to extricate Himself 
from his hold (nee vEndAyEyAdinum maRRArum paRRilEn ) . 
He tells us that those , who recite these
ten verses dealing with his SaraNAgathi
to the Lord at this divya desam will never ever
land in narakam  ( NaRRamizh patthum vallAR
naNNAr narakamE ) . 

May we travel in  the path laid out for us 
clearly by KulasEkhara AzhwAr and the AchAryAs
that followed him ! namO nArAyaNA !

KulasEkhara PerumAL thiruvadigaLE SaraNam
Oppiliappan koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan