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Sri VaishNavam- 1

From: Madhavakkannan V (srivaishnavan_at_hotmail.com)
Date: Tue Mar 31 1998 - 22:06:25 PST

SRI:

SRIMATHE RAMANUJAYA NAMAH:

SRIMATHE NIGAMANTHA MAHADESIKAYA NAMAH:

SRIMATHE GOPALA DESIKA MAHA DESIKAYA NAMAH:

SRIMATHE RANGANAYIKA SAMETHA SRI RANGANATHA PARABHRAHMANE NAMAH:

Dearest Sisters and Brothers, the bhakthAs of Sriman NarayaNA! 

Ennuyir thandhu aLitthavaraich charNampukki/ yaanadaivE avargurukkaL 
niRai vaNanghi/
	PinnaruLaal perumpudhUr vandha vaLLal/ periya nambi Alavandhaar 
maNakkal nambi/
NanneRiyai avarkku uRaittha uyyakkoNdaar/ nathamuni sadagOpan sEnai 
nAthan/
	Innamudhath ThirumagaLenRu ivarai munnittu/ Emperumaan ThiruvadigaLai 
adaiginREnE!

It is my humble attempt to jot down all that I have heard and read about 
Sri VaishNavam. Though it is nothing new for our Bhakthi Group, all of 
these topics have been covered sometime or the other, it is still my 
sincere intent to reach the beginners and novices like me who are just 
in Kinder gardens of Sri VaishNavam; Today being the Most Auspicious day 
of Panguni RohiNI, The Thirunakshatthiram of my Most revered His 
Holiness Srimad Poundareekapuram ParavaakOttai Andavan Sri Gopala Desika 
MahA Desika Swami, it is my offering to His Lotus Feet. I have also 
tried to cover here at various places Swami's upadEsam also (when I was 
blessed with the performance of saraNAgathi at Swami's Feet.). Of 
course, it is all my free translation; It is most likely to have lot of 
errors; Please forgive me; It is all mine; any positive and good points 
in them- the credit goes to all AchAryALs and our rich 
traditions/scriptures. (It is requested that we should stick and abide 
by what our scriptures and AchAryALs say to the greatest possible 
extent). 

This may extend to a series of about 4  posts, I suppose. It is 
Emperumaan ThiruvuLLam and krupai for enabling me to undertake this 
naapAsai. (It is also  

Introduction

There are lots and lots of lives on this earth. Human beings, Animals, 
birds, insects, trees, plants, creepers, etc., etc., - there are so many 
varieties of lives living in this world. Every day- every minute, there 
are so many births of such lives and so are deaths. 

After taking so many lives (they say about 8,400,000 lives), we have 
come to this human life. Avvayaar, The Tamil poet, says : "aridhu aridhu 
maanidaraayp piRatthal aridhu"- It is extremely rare and precious to be 
born of human being. It is quite true that it is our fortune to be born 
a human being with the capacity of sixth sense. Let us make use of it 
for our upliftment further. What is good and bad- what to do and what 
not to do- only human beings are blessed with such discriminating 
capabilities- We have been given that capacity by Emperumaan. Shall we 
not make full use of it?

Bhagyam:

Even out of human beings, it is our pUrva janma puNyam and that of our 
ancestors for our being SrivaishNavAs. There are so many religions in 
the world; Even in Hindu religion, there are many sects; and there are 
hindus who worship many dEvatAs as their Gods. 

For us SrivaishNavAs, Sriman NarayaNan along with His consort Sri 
MahAlakshmi alone is the God (Deivam). He is the Primordial Chief. He is 
the Chief of all dEvAs, including Sivan and BrahmA. Vedas proclaim that 
Sriman NarayaNan is the ParamAthmA, PeramporuL and ParanjOthi. VedAs 
also say that except Him all including dEvas, Sivan, BrahmA and Indran 
are all jIvans. Being born a SrivaishNavA and/or a bhakthA of Sriman 
NarayaNA, we need not worship other devatAs. We are related to the Great 
King Himself; why to go and beg the army chief, minister or the Gate 
keeper? No doubt, all dEvAs are also His great bhaktAs sometime or the 
other; but they are NOT God. Sriman Narayanan is the God.  

VedAs and SaastrAs say that even to think of Sivan and BrahmA and other 
dEvas as equal to God is a great sin (mahApaapam). For that matter, 
Sivan and BrahmA themselves are great bhaktAs of Sriman NarayaNA. I am 
sure They themselves DO NOT RELISH being considered anywhere near the 
Adhimoolam- The Primordial Chief. When GajEndrA shouted for help 
"AdhimoolamE!" it is NOT any name of God-please note! It is just calling 
the Primordial Chief, the first one- the Parathvam! Nobody dared come 
claiming for "Adhimoolam" post, it is our Sweet Lord Sriya: Pathih 
Sriman Naraynan who appeared IMMDEIATELY on GarudA and saved the 
elephant. You may tell that it is only the name and rose by any name 
will smell as sweet. But it is vEdAs (which are eternal and 
apaurushEyam) that proclaim that Sriman Naraynana is the Supreme 
Godhead. It is not just a name. It is kaaraNa peyar; name with a meaning 
in it; naaram + ayaNam is Narayanan. Hence, we should worship only 
Sriman Narayanan. Even uttering His name alone will yield tremendous 
benefits both in this world and in the next. (as also vouched by the 
Great Adhi SankarAchArya sang the Bhaja Govindham song wherein he 
advises us to think of KrishNA and the Parama BhakthA of Sriman 
NarayaNA, Sivan, when he himself tells Parvathi to utter Rama naamam, 
which is equal to the Thousand names of VishNu. - Do we need any other 
proof?) 

For us, only vEdAs are the moola pramaaNam. (The proof). VedAs were not 
created by anybody. They are apaurushEyam. Vedas proclaim the Glories of 
Emperumaan Sriman NarayaNan.

AZHWARS:

 AzhwArs, 12 AzhwArs appeared in South India and composed Tamil pAsurams 
(about 4000) that are considered EQUAL to vEdAs. The Naalaayira Divya 
Prabhandham were composed for us to learn and understand the vEdAs in 
Tamil. As mentioned by Swami Vedanta Desikan "theLiyaadha maRainilangaL 
theLiginROmE!". By reading  these 4000 pAsurams, our concepts get 
clarified and we get to understand the incomprehensible vEdAs clearly. 
They are hence, called Tamil vEdam.  

AzhwArs were 12. Since they always were immersed (aazhndhu) in kalyANa 
guNAs (the Most Auspicious attributes) of Emperumaan Sriman NarayaNan, 
they are called AzhwArs. They were PoigaiAzhwAr, BhUthathAzhwAr, 
PEyAzhwAr, ThirumazhisaiAzhwAr, NammAzhwAr, PeriyAzhwAr, 
MadhurakaviAzhwAr, ThondaradippodiAzhwAr, KulasEkharAzhwAr, 
ThiruppANAzhwAr, AndAL, & ThirumangaiAzhwAr.

NammAzhwAr is considered the Most important and the Greatest AzhwAr; for 
his prabhandham (of Thiruvaaimozhi of 1000 pAsurams) which glorifies the 
prapatti (the surrender concept). He took refuge at the Lord's feet and 
performed prapatti. Hence, for all of us, VaishNavAs, NammAzhwAr is the 
Chief, since he leads us by example for performing prapatti at the 
Lord's Lotus Feet. He is Moola purushar. He is also addressed as the 
Prapanna santhaana koodasthar. His Thiruvaaimozhi's commentary is called 
Bhagavadh Vishayam. It is a Grantham that one has to do kAlakshEpam 
under the feet of his AchAryA. 


Guru paramparA:

Sriman Narayanan is the first AchArya for all of us. He is the Adhi 
Guru. Next comes Periya Piratti MahAlakshmi. VishvaksEnar (Senai 
Mudhali)( -no connection with Mudhaliar caste of present times) is the 
next AchAryan. He is the Chief of the Lord's army (sEnai). Next is 
NammAzhwAr. VishvaksEnar, it appears had come down to the earth to teach 
NammAzhwAr. Nathamuni is His sishyA. UyyakkoNdaar, MaNakkaal Nambi, 
Yamuna Muni (Alavandhaar), Periyanambi come in that lineage. Periya 
Nambi's sishyar is Our Most reverred YathirAjar, Sri RamanujAchAryA 
(lakshmaNa Muni). He is the Most important AchArya of VaishNava 
Siddhantham. He is also called Bhagavadh RamanujA. Rest is all that you 
are aware of and we can trace down to our present AchAryA. (ask your 
parent, if you are not sure who your present AchAryA is.)

Next part, we will talk about the Siddhaantham- tatvam - (if time 
permits, ) sarIra Athma bhAvam. 

AchAryAL ThiruvadigaLE saraNam

Ram Ram

With Best Regards

NarayaNa dAsan madhavakkannan


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