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aNNaNgarAcAryA's amudhamozhi Ayiram

From: Kalyani Krishnamachari (
Date: Wed May 27 1998 - 18:30:53 PDT

  	Some Excerpts from "aNNaNgarAcAryA's amudhamozhi Ayiram".

Dear bhakti members:

SrI M. SrInivAsan of our bhakti list was kind enough to get us a copy of a book
with the above title by T. KrishNamUrti, one of the followers of 
SrI P. B. aNNangarAcArya svAmi (shortened as SrI PBA in the rest of the 
article).  The book is a collection of small excerpts from different works 
and writings of SrI PBA over a span of time.  When I started going through 
the book, some of the thoughts captured in the book were extremely 
informative to me  (especially because of the examples given from 
AzhwArs' works).  I will share a few of these through a series of writings 
in this list. 

				1. kAla-kshepam.

The first topic is on kAla-kshepam. The literal meaning of the word 
kAla-kshepam is "to spend time" or "to pass time".  When our elders talk 
about "SrI bhAshya kAlakshepam" or "SrI rAmAyaNa kAlakshepam", they really 
mean "spending time with SrI bhAshyam", "spending time with SrI rAmAyaNam" 
etc.  SrI PBA points out that it is because of their good deeds over several 
births that some spend their times reading the works of our great ancestors, 
rather than doing other kinds of activities.  He gives a Slokam in support of 
this view:

	"kAvya SAstra vinodena kAlo gacchati dhImatAm    |
	 anyeshAm tu manushyANAm nidrayA nidayA vA       ||

	"The time of wise people is spent on kAvya-s and SAstra-s, whereas the 
time of others is spent on sleep or gossip".

Our AzhvArs' views on "Spending Time":

SrI kr*shNamUrti captures two of PBA's references to how our AzhvAr-s have 
viewed the issue of spending time.  

tirumazhiSai AzhvAr says in 'nAnmugan tiruvandAdi' (63),

"tarittirundenAgave ..... 
 ..........................................................  terittezhudi 
vAsittum kettum vaNangi vazhipattum 
pUSittum pOkkinen pOdu".

He says that he spent his time learning (about HIM), writing, reading,
listening, prostrating, praying and worshiping; otherwise,
he could not live. 

NammAzhwAr in the end of periya tiruvandAdi (86), says,

"kAr kalanda meniyAn kai kalanda AzhiyAn
 pAr kalanda valvayiRRAn pAmbaNaiyAn - SIr kalanda 
 sol ninaindu pOkkArel sUzhvinaiyin Azh tuyarai
 enninaindu pOkkuvar ippOdu?"

He implies here that even if we don't succeed in getting rid of our sorrows 
resulting from all our sins through contemplation on Him, having been born, 
we have the burden of spending our time in this world.  What else is there to 
do other than think of Him to spend all this time?

We cannot but be puzzled at this observation of nammAzhvAr, for we know real 
well that many of us can spend our time easily without ever thinking of Him!  
Why is our AzhvAr making this kind of statement?  It is because the AzhwAr 
is thinking of everyone else in his own terms.  The innocence of this 
behavior is illustrated by SrI PBA through an anecdotal story. 

An innocent SrI vaishNava brahmin had a coconut tree in his 
backyard. He realized one night that a thief was on his tree trying to steal
coconuts.  He wishes to run to the police station that is 2 miles
away from his house, but, it would take him at least an hour to go 
and come back.  He gets a great idea; he takes perumAL tIrttam from
his house and sprinkles all around the base of the tree and shouts 
(so that the thief can hear):  "this is perumAL tIrtham; no one should step 
on it since that will be tantamount to bhagavad apacAra".  He then runs to 
the police station and calls the police to come and catch the thief.  When 
the policeman tells him that the thief would have left by then, the innocent 
SrI vaishNava says: "I have sprinkled perumAL tIrtham around the base of the 
tree and I have announced it in a loud voice so the thief could hear; he 
will not step on the holy water; he will still be on the tree".

Just like the brahmin who thinks of the thief like himself, the AzhwAr 
extends his feelings on spending time to everyone else in the world.  We, 
who worship the AzhwArs, should know how to spend our times now.  Even if 
it doesn't materialize that way for us, it is enough if at least we desire 
to do so.

It would seem that in this world, there are some who are born with the good 
qualities that they will spend their time in good ways, and there are others 
who will continue to spend time in a wasteful way. However, SrI PBA appeals to 
those in the latter category to think a lit bit about the harm that can be 
caused to the great mahAns by such gossip and loose talk, and desist from 
spending time in the nindA of these great mahAns.   
Something to think about next time when we have some time to kill.

-Will Be Continued.

Kalyani Krishnamachari