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Thirumangai"s paasurams on Sri RanganAthA : Part 18.2

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Sat May 02 1998 - 19:52:48 PDT

Dear ReanganAtha BhakthAs :

This is the last in the series of postings on
the RanganAtha Temple kaimkaryam . I will cover
selected paasurams of Thriumangai, who had a very 
strong attachment to Sri RanganAtha and Srirangam .

Thirumangai is considered as " One of the romantic
personalities in the galaxy of mystics " . The other 
names for him are ParakAlan ( Beyond Time ) , Kalidvamsin
( destroyer of Kali DhOsham ) , Kaliyan , Naalu kavi perumAL
et al . He was a swashbuckling , dynamic petty chieftain 
of ChOla Desam prior to being inducted by Sriman NaarAyaNA 
Himself to Sri VaishNavism with AshtAkshara Manthra 
UpadEsam . Thereafter , he completely  changed 
and became a parama VaishNavA .He has given us 
six prabhandhams as Kula Dhanams and these 
are considered as the six angams of the 
four Tamizh marais of NammAzhwAr . 

Thirumangai's Paasurams

Thirumangai blessed us with 73 Paasurams on 
Sri RanganAthA .Most of them are found in 
Periya Thirumozhi and the rest are in SiRiya Thirumadal ,
PeRiya Thirumadal , Thiruk KurnthAndakam and 
Thiru NedunthAndakam . Some of the Periya Thirumozhi
paasurams are exclusively addressed to Sri RanganAthan .
The rest of the MangalAsAsanams for Sri RanganAthan 
are found in Paasurams of other divya desa EmperumAns .
It is as though Thirumangai's mind rushed back to Srirangam
while he was in the middle of saluting the EmperumAns of
ThiruvEnkaTam , ThiruvAli , ThiruveLLarai , ThirunaRayUr ,
ThirukkaNNapuram and ThirumAlirumchOlai .

ThirukkurnthAndakam ( 3 Paasurams )
ThirukkurunthAndakam ( TKT ) is essentially dealing with
Sri RanganAthA . Paasurams 12, 13 and 19 specifically
salute Sri RanganAthan . 

In the 12th Paasuram , AzhwAr states that even if he was
an anadhikAri , he recited the sacred mUla manthram of
the Lord and as a result became very uneasy about 
his daring act .He says: " But , the Lord of Srirangam out of 
His infinite dayA asked me not to be afraid and entered into 
the shut eyes of mine ". AzhwAr's words are :" Azhukku udampu 
yecchilvAyAl tollai naamam sollinEn . PaaviyEn pizhaittha 
AaRu anjinEn "( When I , who am in a dirty body with its
impure tongue recited out of my eagerness the Thirumanthiram ,
I was frightened about my apachAram and the sins arising from 
that daring act as an unqulified one. I closed my eyes out 
of fear . What happened next was amazing . The parama DayALU , 
Sri RanganAthan entered into my shut eyes and gave me His darsanam 
and aksed me not to be afraid ").

In the next paasuram, AzhwAr explains that all of his sins
were chased away by the Lord of Srirangam , when He entered 
inside his eyes ." My body got purified. I had a great desire 
to open my eyes and take in the supreme beauty of the Lord
of Srirangam .I did open my eyes and drank in the beauty of 
the Lord to my heart's content ". 

In the ninteenth Paasuram, AzhwAr celebrates the SarvEsvara
tattvam of Sri RanganAthan . He states that the anubhavam of 
the svarUpam of the ParamAthmA through Bhakthi YOgam 
practised by the sevai of ArchA mUrthys at Srirangam 
and other divya desams ALONE can redeem us . 

ThiruneunthAndakam ( Nine Paasurams )

This is the Prabhandham that ParAsara Bhattar 
used to defeat an Advithin in debate and transformed
him into a Sri VaishNavA and fondly named him Namjeeyar .

The paasurams dealing with Sri RanganAthan are : 
11, 12, 14, 18, 19 , 22, 23, 24 and 25 .

The Eleventh Paasuram of TKT

The eleventh paasuram is set in the context of 
a conversation between the worried mother of ParakAla Naayaki
and a Kattuvicchi ( the kuratthi , who reads the palms and
predicts the future ) . The mother is agitated about 
her young daughter's plight . The daughter has abndoned her
toys, silk sarees and refuses to sit still . She shreiks 
out for the residence of SarvEsvaran . She asks about 
directions to Srirangam .Her beautiful hair is unkempt . 

At this time , the Kattuvicchi enters the house of ParakAla
Naayaki . She is commanded by the mother to tell what spirit 
was possesing her dear daughter to cause such a strange behavior .
The kattuvicchi practises her trade and states that 
a beautiful Youth with the hue of the blue Ocean 
is causing all that confusion . The mother now lets
out a sigh and states in anguish : " Who is going to
save my daughter now , if Sri RanganAthan Himself is 
the root cause of my daughter's troubles " .The remaining
Sriranga Paasurams contain additional lamentations of 
the mother of ParakAla Naayaki about the lot of her
distraught daughter due to her unquenched love for 
the Lord of Srirangam and the daughter's desire to
rush to Srirangam to be with Sri RanganAthan .

SiRiya and PeRiya Thirumadals( 2 paasuram lines )

In SiRiya Thirumadal , Sriranga KshEthram is saluted as 
" aarAmam soozhntha Arangam " . Thirumangai recognizes 
the beauty of Srirangam surrounded by verdant sOlais 
as Thondardipodi did in his " Vandinamuralum sOlai "
paasuram . AarAmam means solaigaL .

In PeRiya Thirumadal , Thirumangai salutes the Lord as
" mannum Arangatthem MaamaNiyai " ( The Lord , the dark gem
hued One--KarumANicckam -- who sleeps enduringly at 
Srirangam as He does at ThiruppARkkadal ) .

Periya Thirumzhi PaasurangaL ( 59 Paasurams )

The fifty paasurams of Periya Thirumozhi (decads 5.4 to 5.8)
are exclusively devoted to Sri RanganAthan . The remining Nine 
paasurams relating to the Lord of Srirangam  are found
in Paasurams of other ArchA mUrthys ( ThiruvEnkatam ,
ThiruvAli , ThirukkaNNapuram , ThirumAlirumchOlai et al ) .

AzhwAr reognizes Sri RanganAthan as " ArangatthuRayum
inn thuNaivan " ( the sweet companion that rests on His
serpent bed at Srirangam ) . Number of Thirumangai's 
paasurams are cast as the anubhavam of ParakAla Naayaki
searching for her Lord and finding Him .

The 50 Paasurams of the decads 5.4 thru 5.8 of Periya Thirumozhi

In these beautiful paasurams , AzhwAr slautes the dasAvathArams
of the Lord of Srirangam , assumes ParakAlaAyaki form 
and describes her unrelenting search for her Lord and
performs upadesam to us about the anantha KalyANa guNams 
of the Lord of Sri RanganAthan . We will salute select
phrases from these paasurams for the sake of brevity .

Description of the Divya Desam of Srirangam ( decad 5.4)

" Vaiyam undu aalilai mEvu Maayan maNi neeNmudi
  paikoLL nAhatthaNayAn payilumidam--" Decad 5.4.1

(Meaning ) ; This is hte divya desam of the Lord ,
who during the MahA PraLayam devoured the Universes 
and retained tham safely in His stomach as He floated
on the swift waters of ParaLayam , while resting on 
the leaf of a pupil tree . The Lord , who performed
that miraculous deed as Vatapathra Saayee is now 
resting at Srirangam under the shade of the hoods of 
Adhi SEshan , who serves as His bed .The rest of 
the paasurams of decad 5.4 salute Sri Ranga KshEthram 
by making references to the incidents in the DasAvathArams
of Sri RanganAthan .

NaayikA Bhaavam : The words of the Mother of ParakAla Naayaki

Decad 5.5 is set in the words of the mother of ParakAla 
Naayaki . The mother complains bitterly to her friends
about the injustice done by  the Lord of Srirangam to her
little daughter . The mother complains that the Lord 
transformed her sweet , femenine daughter into a difficult
person displaying all the roughness of a male :

" AaipAdi vaLarntha Nambi aaNmahanAi yenn mahaLai 
seythanahaL ammanaimeer aRihilEnE ". 

( Meaning ) : My daughter does not want to wear 
flowers in her hair ; she does not comb and 
straighten her long , beautiful hair .She does not use
sandal paste; she refuses to wear her jewelery that she was
so fond of ; she does not pay attention to my words. She keeps
shouting , where is Sri RanganAthan , my lord , in a shameless
fashion . I can not fully comprehend the acts of the MaayAvi ,
who has trasformed my dear girl into a rough neck with 
male-dominant traits . 

In another paasuram of this decad , she laments 
about the injustices done by the Lord of Srirangam
to her little one :

ChandOkan Powzhian ainthazhalOmpu Taittiriyan Saama vEdi
anthO vanthen mahaLaic cheytanakaL ammanaimeer aRihilEnE 

(Meaning ) : My dear lady Neighbors !Annaimeer ! 
My daughter does not want to play anymore
with her toys , ball and rings. She has discarded
her wodden dolls ( marap paacchi ) . She has lost weight
from her worry of anticipating and longing Sri RanganAthan"s
arrival. Her bangles do not stay on her wrist anymore due
to her weight loss . Alas ! What a pity ! I never expected
the Lord saluted by Rg , Yajus and Saama Vedams and Kousheethiki
BrahmaNam to behave in this manner causing so much harm
to my tender shoot of a girl . 

Decad 5.6 ( KaimmAna ): the enjoyment of Lord as His PirAtti

ParakAla Naayaki arrives at Srirangam , enters her Lord's
koil and enjoys His beauty there to her heart's content .
In the first paasuram , she declares with great glee that
she had the darsana soubhAgyam of Her Lord at Srirangam :

" yemmAnai yenukkiniyAnai panikAttha ammAnai yaan kandathu
aNineert thennarangatthE " She describes the Lord that she
saluted and worshipped at Srirangam in the rest of the decad as:

" ulahEzhumundum  aarAthirunthAnaik kandathu thiruvarangatthE 
( I found my Lord at Srirangam ; he is the one , who still had 
room in His stomach after swallowing the seven worlds ) . 

TrivikramaavathAram & NarasimhAvathAram : " IraNiyanai
piLanthavanai , perunilameeradi neetip paNdoru nALL 
aLanthavani yaan kanDathu aNineer TennarangatthE ".

" anjiraip puttp paahanai yaan kandathu tennarangatthE "
( I saw Him ,the Garuda Vaahanan at Srirangam ) .

Decad 5.7 ( PanDai naanmaRai ): UpadEsam on Bhagavadh svarUpam

In this decad , AzhwAr instructs us in his role as AchAryan
about Sri RanganAthan's anantha KalyANa guNams and His
avathAra rahasyam .His omnipotency , omnipresence ,
omniscience , antharyAmithvam, Jagadh KaaraNathvam ,
sathya sanklapathvam , Sathya Kaamathvam and kaaruNyam 
are explained to us here . 

Decad 5.8( yEzhaiyEthalan ): Soulabhyam& souseelyam of the Lord

Thirumangai peforms SaraNAgathi at the sacred feet of
Sri RanganAthan strengthened by the rememberence of 
His dayA to the hunter Guhan in RaamAvathAram , where 
He elevated Guhan to the status equal to that of His
other three brothers ( Yempi umpi = My brother is your
brother from this day ).Thirumangai says that he remembered 
that souseelyam of the Lord and with that insight , he 
performed prapatthi with MahA VisvAsam at the lotus feet 
of Sri RanganAthan .

In the next paasuram , AzhwAr cites another 
instance of the Lord's souseelyam that emboldened 
him to peform prapatthi at the Lord's feet . This is the
instance of the honors that Sri RaamA did to HanumAn 
for bringing back the news about SitA pirAtti's location
in LankA and the news from Her to Her Lord . 

In yet another pasuram of this decad , AzhwAr 
remembers the hurry with which the Lord 
came to the rescue of His bhakthan , 
Gajendran , when the crocodile grabbed his foot and 
tried to drown him in the pond .AzhwAr concluded this
moving decad with the upadesam for us to recite 
these paasurams dealing with his saraNAgathi at the feet 
of Sri RanganAthan for the destruction of our sins .

Decad 11.8 : Paasurams 7 and 8 --AzhwAr's prayer

In the very last decad of his Periya Thirumozhi ,
Thirumangai , who already had the upadesam of 
AshtAksharam from the Lord Himself begs once more 
for the Lord's anugraham . He has understood the avathAra 
rahasyams of the Lord . He has completed His mangaLAsAsanams
of 86 out of 108 divya dEsams . Inspite of all these 
blessings , he just asks one more time for the anugraham
of the Lord as he gets ready to ascend to His parama padham .

Paasuram 11.8.7

aNiyAr pozhil soozh aranga naharappA
tuNiyEn ini ninnaruL alathu yenakku
maNiyE maNi mANicckamE MadhusUdhA !
paNiyAi yenakku uyyum vahai ParamjyOthi !

(Meaning) : Oh Lord of Srirangam surrounded by
verdant groves ! Oh Lord who is most enjoyable 
as the lustrous blue gem ! oh sarva SulabanE !
Oh Lord having the gem of a PirAtti as Your consort !
Oh Hayagreeva , who destroyed the demon Madhu and
recovered the VedAs ! After receiving VivEkam 
from Your anugraham , I will not look at anything 
as worthwhile other than Your aruL . Please bless 
me to cut asunder all my ties to prakruthi to 
reach Your Parama Padham .

Paasuram 11.8.8

nanthA narahatthu azhunthA vahai nALum 
YenthAi ! thondar aanavarkku innaruLL seyvAi
ChandhOgA ! TalaivaNE ! ThAmaraik KaNNA ! 
anthO adiyErkku aruLAi unnaruLE 

(Meaning ) : YennappanE ! Oh Lord standing as 
Para VaasudEvan ( chandOgan ) in Your Veda sr*unga
VimAnam ! Oh Lord , who blesses Your Thondars ,
( who performed ubhayAnushtAnam ) with the boon of
protction from the hell of SamsAram ! Oh Lord , who 
pervades all vEdAs ! Oh sarvEsvarA ! Oh Lotus-eyed One !
Please bless me to escape from the turbulent hell of 
SamsAram and give me Your hand to lift me upto Your
Parama Padham . 

Summary of the 18  Brick Kaimkaryam for the Lord of Srirangam

With the blesings of the Lord of Srirangam , I have now 
arrived at the finish line of the 18 brick kaimkaryam to
help raise funds for the construction of the one and only
temple for Sri RanganAthA in the North American Continent .
It has been said that the Lord of ThiruvEnkatam got tired 
of standing on top of the seven hills and came to rest at
Srirangam . We have many templeds for Sri VenkatEsA in this
country , but none for Sri RanganAthA . 

During this kaimkaryam, I had the good fortune 
to write about the divine anubhavams of AzhwArs, AchAryALs and 
NaadhOpAsakAs as well as the salutations by the four Vedams
and Upanishads to our Lord of Srirangam . I am grateful
for the opportunity to reflect on the limitless kalyANa 
guNams of Sri RanganAyaki SamEtha Sri RanganAthan during 
these past few days. I place this kaimkaryam at His lotus
feet and pray to Him to bless all the BhakthAs of this 
sathsangham and give them all the strength to complete
His Temple construction before too long .

Subamasthu ! sarva MangaLAni santhu ithi 
mahAntO anugrhaNNanthu ! 

Sri RanganAtha charanou SaraNam prapadhyE 
anantha kOti PraNAmams to Sri Rangapura VihAran 
Oppiliappan Sannidhi VaradAchAri SadagOpan