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ThErazhundhUr MahAthmyam : Part 8( DasAvathara anubhavam)

From: Sadagopan (sgopan_at_computer.net)
Date: Fri Mar 12 1999 - 20:04:58 PST

Dear BhakthAs :

Thirumangai celebrated DasAvathAra svarUpam of 
Sri Aamuruviappan in Periya Thriumozhi(PT) 7.5 and 7.8.
In the palasruthi Paasuram ( PT 7.8.10) , AzhwAr
pointed out that all those , who understand the meanings 
of his dasAvathaara Paasurams resulting from his immense
Bhakthi for the Lord of TherazhundhUr would become the Lords 
of this earth ; Kaliyan also observed that the Lord at this 
divya desam who created, protected and swallowed the universe 
blessed him with dasaavathAra sEvai , which  is adored by 
Brahman , Rudran and other gods :

PanRiyAi MeenAhi ariyAip paarai padaitthuk kaathu uNdu umizhintha paraman tannai
anRamararkku athipathiyum ayanum sEvum aDi paNiya aNi AzhundhUr ninRa kOvai
--Kali KanRi -- seytha inbha paadal vallAr --ulahALum umbar thAmE

One can find the echo of this paasuram in Swami Desikan's
twelfth slOkam of DasAvathAra sthOthram , where he pays tribute
to all the ten avathArams of the Lord at one place :

icchA Meena vihAra Kacchapa Mahaa POthrin yadhrucchA HarE 
rakshA Vaamana rOsha Raama karuNA Kaakuthstha hElA Halin 
kreeta Vallava Kalka vaahana dasA Kalkinnithi prathyaham 
Jalpantha: PurushA : punanthi bhuvanam puNyouga paNyApaNA :

Here Swami Desikan in his unique style adds 
appropriate adjectives to each of the ten avathArams 
of Sriman NaarAyaNA and puts the avathArams in perspective .

Swami Desikan says as an echo of AzhwAr's anubhavams :
Oh Lord , who out of your own sankalpam incarnated as 
matsyam (fish )! Oh Lord , who made the mandrA mountain 
the churning rod and rested it on Your back as a
giant tortoise  and playfully churned the milky ocean
later ! Oh Lord , who surrounded the world with your
gigantic form as VarAha mUrthy ! Oh EmperumAn, who 
appeared suddenly and unexpectedly as Nrusimhan !
Oh Bhagavan , who caused the birth of Gangai to
bless the three worlds as Thrivikraman! Oh angry Prabhu ,
who rooted out 21 generations of KshathriyAs as ParasurAman ! 
Oh most merciful One , who incarnated as Raamabhadran !
Oh Lord , who performed many wonderous deeds with your
weapon of axe as Balaraaman ! Oh Lord , who incarnated 
as KrishNaa and grew up among cowherds and performed
miraculous deeds ! Oh Lord , who is going to ascend 
a white horse as Kalki and establish dharmam ! When
mortals think about your glorious ten avathArams ,
they become puNya purushAs and sanctify this world .

A reverential study of the DasAvathAra paasurams of 
Kaliyan confers a similar blessing on bhakthAs of
TherazhundUr Aamuruviappan .

1. Vata pathra Saayee avathaaram of Aamuruviappan
  *************************************************

During the universal deluge , Sriman NaarAyaNan takes
the form of a little baby floating on a pupil leaf over 
the dangerous torrents of praLaya jalam . He protects 
all the universe and its beings by swallowing them 
in His tiny stomach and rests them there , while contemplating about 
their creation once again after the deluge by releasing 
the Universe and its beings from the safe storage place 
(viz)., His stomach . 

LeelA Sukhar in one of his Krishna KarNAmrutha 
slOkams describes the baby (Bala Mukhundhan )that floats on 
the pralaya waters on top of a pupil leaf after swallowing 
the universe and its contents for their protection :

karAravindhEna PadhAravindhE 
  mukhAravindhE vinivEsayantham
VaDasya pathrasya puDE sayAnam
  Baalam Mukhundham mansA smarAmi

(Meaning ) : With His lotus soft hands , 
our baby Mukhundhan has grabbed His
lotus like toe and placed it in His 
lotus red lips and sucks on it in amusement
as He rests on the tender shoot of a Pupil leaf 
contemplating on the next cycle of cration .

The above  vision of vaDapathra Saayee is a beautiful one .
His hands , feet and Face are like aravindham
( Lotus flower ). Like an innocent child , there 
He rests after completing the miraculous act of 
swallowing the Universe for safe keeping .

Kaliyan enjoys this sight in his mental eye
and that sight fills his heart also with Joy :

veLLatthuL OrAlilai mEl mEvi adiyEn manam puhunthu , yenn
uLLatthuLLum KaNNuLLum ninRAr ninRavUr pOlum --PTM: 7.5.4

In that state of vata pathra sayanam , there was no one
else and nothing else all around . Then , He became the Day and 
the night ; He represented the earth and the Sky ; He stood in
for the Sun, Moon and the Stars :

pahalum iravum thAnEyAi paarum ViNNUm thAnEyai 
niharil sudarAi irULAhi ninRaar ninRavUr pOlum --PTM 7.5.5

The reference here is to the Brahma Soothram : " DhrusyathE thu" .
This Soothram refers to the srushti vyApArams (acts of cration )
of our Lord . This concept of perishable universes appearing 
out of the eternal One is elaborated by MuNDaka Upanishad :

yathOrNAbhi: srujathE gruhNathE cha yathA pruthivyAM
Oshadhayaa: sambhavanthi , yathA satha: purushAth
kesa lOmAni tathA aksharAth . 

(meaning): Just as the spider stretches its legs and spins
the net , Just as the life-giving medicinal herbs rise out
of the BhUmi , Just as the hair comes out of a living human , 
the perishable Universes emanate from the imperishable 
Lord ( Akshara Brahman) .He creates the day and night, the sky 
and the earth ,the stars , the Sun and the Moon . All of them lay in
a subtle state inside Aamuruviappan prior to their creation
says Thirumangai here .This paasuram passage is based 
on Taittiriya Upanishad portion:

asadhvA idham agra aaseeth tathO vai sadhajAyatha ,
tadhAthmAnam svayamakurutha .

This Portion of the Upanishad asserts that the Universes 
were in a subtle (asadh ) form prior to srushti by the Lord.
After Creation, they attained gross forms(sadh ) and attained 
naama roopa visEshams . The subtle became gross due to Bhagavath
sankalpam .The upanishad goes on to say that one who understands
this tattvam and holds on to it without doubt will lose all fears
and attain Moksha siddhi :

yadhyEvaisha yEthasmin nadhrusyE naathmYe ,anirukthE anilayanE 
abhayam prathishtAm vindhathathaE sOabhayam bhavathi .

Those who believe with out a shade of doubt in this adhrusya ,
anAthmya , aniruktha nirguNa Brahamam would attain mOksham . 
It may not be easy for all but the Yogis to follow this route and 
meditate on the nirguNa Brahmam . Therefore , Aamuruviappan
takes on the easily comprehendable SaguNa Brahma roopam 
at TherazhundhUr to give the boon of Moksham to those,
who perform pancha anga saraNAgathi to Him and meditate
on Him as VaDapathra Saayee and understand the tattvam behind 
this avathAram .Those blessed souls are rid of samsAric fears 
and attain parama padham . Kaliyan cites his own blessings that
accrued from such an understanding of the avathAra rahasyam of 
Vadapathra Saayee at ThErazhundhUr and book marks it with 
the statement :

" aNiazhundhUr UdayAnai adiyEn adainthu uynthu pOnEnE ".

In the next posting , we will enjoy the HayagrIvAvathAram ,
which precedes all the ten avathArams .

Kaliyan ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam 
Oppiliappan Koil varadAchAri SadagOpan