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Sri RanganAtha Kaimkaryam : Part 18.1( NammAzhwAr Paasurams)

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Sat May 02 1998 - 09:08:07 PDT

Dear Sri RanganAtha BhakthAs :

Try as I might by racing against time , I could not
conclude the series of 18 postings yesterday . Sri RanganAthan
seems to want me to linger on and not to rush , when it comes to
the beloved paasurams of Thirumangai and NammAzhwAr .
Therefore , I will experience the blessed project overrun 
and conclude the series today with the blessings of 
the divya dampathis of Srirangam .

As I reach this final stretch of the 18 brick kaimkaryam , 
I thank all of you have responded by joining in this kaimkaryam
to build the one and only temple for Lord RanganathA in USA
and at the same time appeal most humbly to all of you , who 
have not participated to join in this life time opportunity . 
Please help and let your friends and relatives know of 
this exraordinary opportunity to be of service
to the Lord of Srirangam and raise your Kaimkarya Sri .
Thank you all .

NammAzhwAr's paasurams on Sri RanganAthan 

NammAzhwAr is fourth in the line of our AchAryAs
( AchArya paramparai ) after the Divya Dampathis 
and VishvaksEnar . He blessed us with 12 Srirangam 
paasurams , eleven of which are found in his Thiruvaimozhi ;
the twelfth one is positioned in the 28th verse
of Thiruviruttham , where he asks for the blesisngs
of the Lord of Srirangam resting in the island
of Srirangam ( peru neert thiruvarangA aruLAi ). 

Thiruvaimozhip paasurangaL : " kangulum pahalum " 
Introduction to this deacd (7.2) of ThiruvAimozhi
This decad dedicated to Sri RanganAthA in the words 
is set in the words of the mother of ParAnkusa Naayaki 
houses one of the high points of AzhwAr's
Bhagavadh anubhavam .It is important to understand
how AzhwAr built up  his appeal to the Lord progressively . 

In the Thruvaimozhi (TVM) 1.1 ( UyarvaRavyur ) ,
AzhwAr celebraratd the parathvam of Sriman NaarAyaNA . 
In TVM 1.3 ( patthudai ), he saluted the soulabhyam of 
our Lord . In TVM 1.5 ( vaLavEzhulahil ) , he observed 
his naicchAnusanthAnam and tried to remove himself 
from th presence of the Lord thinking about his lowliness. 
In TVM 6.2 ( Minnidai ) , as ParAnkusa Naayaki , he became 
angry at the Lord and in a mood of praNaya kOPam 
( SatakOpan's kOPam ) , She asked the Lord to remove 
Himself from her presence and stop tormenting 
her . In the next decad ( TVM 6.3) , the Lord came before
His dear BhakthA and united with him(her). This was at
ThiruviNNagar ( nalkuravum paasurangaL) . Here AzhwAr 
performed his saraNAgathi and acknowledged 
the Lord's acceptance : " ThiruviNNagar sErntha appan
tannoppArillappan tanthanan tanathALL nizhalE " .

AzhwAr progressed through the rest of the Sixth decad
and arrived at ThiruvEnkatam (TVM 6.10) and reminded 
the Lord of the SaraNAgathi that he had performed 
earlier at His feet at ThiruviNNagar and described 
his great hurry( dvarai, avasaram ) to reach 
the Lord's feet and perform nithya kaimkaryam
at Sri Vaikuntam .In the famous tenth verse of this decad
( ahalahillEn IRayum yenralarmEl Mangai uRai mArpA --
ThiruvenkatatthAnE , adiyEn unn adik keezh amarnthu 
puhunthEnE ) . 

In our purvAchAryA's commentaries , TVM 6.10 
on ThiruvEnkatam( Ulahamunda peruvAyA ) , TVM 7.1
( UNNIlAviya IyvarAl) and TVM 7.2 on Srirangam
( Kangulum pahalum ) are tightly knit . In their 
judegement , the connection between these successive 
decads is as follows :

TVM 6.10 On ThiruvEnkatavan ( Ulahamunda ) is PraNavArtham .
TVM 7.1 ( UNNilAviya Iyavari) represents the Nama: sabdham .
TVM 7.2 ( Kangulum pahalum ) is the sabdhArtham of "NaarAyaNAya ).

Together ,they are elaboration of the Mula manthram .
The Srirangam paasurams of NammaAzhwAr are then 
the celebration of the "NaarAyaNa sabdham " and the 
fourth vibhakthi ( chathurthi ) , which stands for
anubhava janitha preethi kaaritham , when one does 
Kaimkaryam for the Lord such as building a temple  
for him like us in USA , Thirumangai's building of the ramparts 
at Srirangam , H.H. the Jeeyar's building of the Raaja
gopuram , Thondardipodi's ThirumAlai kaimkaryam and so 
many others .

In the first paasuram, the mother of ParAnkusa Naayaki 
tells the Lord that her dear daughter has not slept for days 
and nights .She tells the Lord that her daughter is searching
for Him furiously everywhere . The mother then asks the Lord 
a blunt question : " Oh Lord of the fertile Srirangam !
What do you propose to do with of my dear daughter 
that You are tormenting ( IvaL tiRatthu yenn seyhinRAyE ?).

In the second paasuram, the deeply worried mother asks
the Lord : What is going to happen to my dear one and where is 
all this going to end ? In the third paasuram ,the mother 
persists in her line of questioning and asks the Lord to 
explain to her the purpose of the Lord's taking a permanent
abode at Srirangam . Is it for us to enjoy Your beauty ?
If so what have You done to my daughter and what remedy
do You propose to get her out of her suffering on behalf of You.

In the fourth paasuram , the mother does not pipe down.
She acts as a prosecutor and demands the Lord to tell her
what He in His infinite wisdom proposes to do . I do not
know what you have in mind . Please tell me about it demands
the harried mother. She marvels at the infatuation that 
the Lord has caused in the mind of her daughter and appeals 
now to the Lord : " Please take pity on my daughter. She
clearly does not deserve this treatment at Your hands .
Is what all you are doing (to cause pain to my daughter)
arise from my own past sins ? They say that You come to
the rescue of devotees , who seek after You . They say that 
You will not let them sink in morass. My daughter is 
a tender one going through all of these sufferings for
You . She is MahA Lakshmi herself . How can you have
such a hard heart and abandon her and not listen to
her soulful appeals .I know not what end she will have
due to Your heartlessness. 

As the mother was going on , some thing miraculous happened .
When the mother was wondering how her daughter was going to reach
her goal of union with the Lord of Srirangam , she found
out that her daughter had already reached the feet of the Lord 
with the hue of the rain-laden clouds . The mother concludes
on a happy note that like the rain-laden clouds bless
the world with the rejuvenatiing rains , The Parama DayALu of
Srirangam  has showered His benovolent compassion on 
her daughter and made her dreams come true. 

The key passages from the set of 10 paasurams 
of this decad according to Sri Vaathsalya 
AhObilAcchAr swamy are , The paasura Vaakhyams
are included in the paranthesis :

Paasuram 1 : He is the one to be worshipped and 
approached as Sevyan ( ThiruvarangatthAi ! sankusak
karangaL kai koopum: the little hands perform anjali )

Paasuram 2: Lord of Srirangam is the most delectable
to enjoy as athibhOgyan  : ( Muhil VaNNA ! ThAmaraik KaNNA !)

Paasuram 3: SaguNa mangaLa Vigrahan : ( KaaNumARu aruLAi!
KaNNanE ).

Paasuram 4: He is far superior to worldly wealth and enjoyemnts:
( sittanE ! Sezhu neert thiruvarangtthAi!). Here the beautifully
chosen word , sittan stands for Sri+ Ishtan =ThirumAl or 
MaalOlan and as such , the supreme wealth for all of us).

Paasuram 5: He is the PurushArtham and He is the one ,
who blesses that PurushArtham ( Himself ) to Us :
( alai kadal kadaintha aaramudhE ! santhitthu unn
SaraNam sArvathE ) ).

Paasuram 6:He is Soulabhyan for Prapatthi : ( veyya VaaLL
tandu sanku chakkaram vill yEnthum ViNNOr mudahl !
TaNN punal soozh ThiruvarangatthuLLAi ! )

Paasuram 7:He is the skilled one in banishing the sufferings
of those , who sought His refuge : ( tunba inbangal
padaitthAi ! TheerthanE ! paRRilAr PaRRa ninRAnE !)

Paasuram 8:YathOktha Kaari (who is sonna VaNNam seytha
PerumAL ) : ( KunrEnthi KOnirai kaatthavan ) 

Pasuram 9: He is the  NirupAdhika suhruth ( One interested 
in our happiness always: yenraikkumE namakku anban ) :
( Thiruvarangam koil kondAnE ! AaimahaL anbanE ! 
NilamahaL kELvanE ! ThirumahaL maar sErvanE !
Yennudai AaviyE ) 

Paasuram 10 : He is the One who assists us in reaching
the mahA padhavi of Sri Vaikunta Vaasam : ( MuvulahALi !
VaanOr TalaivanE ! IvaL aNuhi adainthanaL 
Muhil VaNNan adiyE ) .

Sri PiLLai Lokam Jeeyar has intrepreted these ten 
Sriranga Paasurams of NammAzhwar in yet another 
splendid way . 

He has equated the words of the paasurams
to the Lord's Paratthvam ( Supermacy ),
KaaraNathvam ( supreme Cause behind the universe),
VyApakthvam ( Pervasiveness as AntharAthmA ),
Niyanthrutthvam (Supreme Leadership as YajamAnA ),
KaaruNkatthvam ( embodiment of DayA ) ,
SaraNyathvam ( serving as Sarva lOka saraNyan ),
Sakthimathvam ( Omnipotency ) ,
Sathya Kaamatthvam ( true volition )  , 
Aapath sakatthvanm ( Helper of the distressed ) and 
aarthi haratthvam ( remover of the samsAric afflictions ) . 

The greatness of the Paasurams of NammAzhwAr are 
beyond description . It is a bhAgyam to write 
about them .
Subhamasthu ! 
Thiruvarangan ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam .
Oppilaipapn Koil VaradAchAri SadagOpan