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Swami Emberumanar

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani_at_alum.calberkeley.org)
Date: Thu May 03 2001 - 15:50:33 PDT

[ from Sri A. Bharat of Bangalore ]

  EmberumAnAr TiruvaDigaLE  SaraNam!
  
  Today being Swami EmberumAnAr's Tirunakshatram one
  must think about that Supreme Being and his glorious life
  on this earth.And in the manner of <Bodayantah Parasparam>
  talk about it to sahridayas also.
  
  <YatpadAmbOruha-dhyAna-.." begins Swami his Gita BhAshyam,
  with a tribute to his teacher,a teacher whom he had never once
  met and spoken with.But the connection between their minds was
  firmly there much more than it is with students and their immediate
  teachers.Accordingly Swami DESikan in his TAtparya Chandrika
  glosses on the word <dhyAna> ,
  <YAmunAchAryasya,DrONAchAryasya
  Ekalavya iva aham ityabhiprAyENa "dhyAna" Sabdah>
  
  Just as Ekalavya proved to be an even better student of Drona than Arjuna
  and others,so was Swami Ramnujar in comparison with Swami
  Alavandar's other students.
  
  Hence on this day we could begin by remembering the momentous
  occasion,faithfully recorded by Swami Nambillai in the Eedu,when
  Swami Emberumanar for the first time turned "disobedient" to his immediate
  teacher. As per the Niyamanam of Tirukkottiyur Nambi, Tirumaalai Andaan
  was teaching Tiruvaimozhi to Udaiyavar.When they came to pasuram
  2.3.3- "AriyAk-kAlattuLLe.." the first dark cloud loomed on the
  horizon.
  
  Andaan said,"Here Azhwar is complaining to the Lord- 'Even when I
  was a mere infant you revealed to me our sambandha-gnAnam,and
  THEN continued to keep me in this body which is designed to destroy
  knowledge- is this proper?' "
  
  When he saw that his pupil was not reacting at all and was merely looking at
  the floor,he asked a little sardonically,"Don't you think this is the
  correct
  interpretation of Azhwar's thoughts? Do you happen to have a better
  explanation?"
  
  Swami said diffidently,"If aDiyEn is permitted- it appears to aDiyEn that
  such a complaining stanza would not fit in between the earlier and later
  stanzas of this Padigam which are happy in tone.Instead if the words are
  slightly interchanged one would get the meaning-
  'Despite the fact that I was stuck inside this body whose nature is to bar
  knowledge,you managed to equip me with Knowledge even at the stage
  of my life when I was too young to acquire any knowledge'-
  Would this not be a true explanation of Azhwar's words ? And it would
  also reflect his sense of gratitude towards the Generosity of the Lord
  which is the theme of this Padigam."
  
  Andaan let it go at that.But when such opinions kept recurring he got really
  riled and abruptly stopped his tuition.
  
  Hearing about this Tirukkottiyur Nambi rushed to Srirangam and going
  straight to Andaan's house asked him about it.The latter said- "What
  a pupil you gave me! Instead of respectfully listening to the
  interpretations
  of our great teacher Swami Alavandar,he keeps coming out with his own
  Viswamitra-srishtis!"
  
  "Give me one instance where he gave a new explanation."
  
  When Andaan repeated it Nambi smiled and said,"there is nothing 'new' about
  it! I've myself heard our teacher mention this as an alternative explanation
  on one of the occasions." Then he told Andaan,"Kindly remember two
  things.Firstly this is not like any other teacher-pupil relationship.We
  are like aged Ministers who have been asked equip a young prince who has
  been left in their charge.Your teaching Ramanujar is no different from
  Sandipini's teaching of Krishna.Secondly remember that in the spiritual
  plane Swami Alavandar is already his teacher; and so nothing which he
  himself has not thought or taught would occur to your pupil.Our job
  is just to complete the assignments given to  us by our teacher."
  
  
  Such was the glory of our beloved Udaiyavar!
  
  Swami EmberumAnAr TiruvaDigaLE SaraNam!
  
  

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