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From: Krishna Kalale (kkalale_at_qualcomm.com)
Date: Mon Nov 10 1997 - 09:11:14 PST
Date: Sun, 9 Nov 1997 09:23:10 +0500 (GMT+0500) I am posting an article by Bhuvaracharya: From: Bharat A <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: kkalale Subject: from Bharat Dear Sri Krishna Kalale This being the week of the Thiru nakshatrams of the Three Mudal Azhwars,Sri Bhuvarahachariar Swamy has kindly written an article about them .I'm enclsosing it.Please put it on on the Net immly as it is topical. Please let me know also whether this reached you. With best wishes for your family BHARAT ************************************************************ SRI SRIMATHE RAMANUJAYA NAMAH THE FIRST THREE AZHWARS - BORN IN SUCCESSION DURING THIS TAMIL CALENDAR MONTH - TULA MASAM (AIPPASI) (an article by Sri E.S.Bhuvarahachariar Swami) SRIMAN NARAYANA the Supreme Deity of the Universe is so called because of His Lordship over the two worlds:one is the Nitya Loka (which is neither created nor destroyed by Him) and the other is this world created by Him for His sport and hence named as Leela Vibhuti.In Nitya Vibhuti all souls are steeped in everlasting joy along with their master SRIMAN NARAYANA. In this world,on the contrary,there is very little happiness,people are suffering owing to their ignorance- namely that they mistake their body for their soul and do not understand that the soul is permanent while the body is perishable as clearly perceived by them.The LORD, seeing this,gave them the Sastras namely Vedas etc,which would serve as beacon light to dispel their internal darkness and show them the right path to SI VAIKUNTHA LOKA.But this also went in vain.People discarded and disregarded all these Sastras and forgot all about them and the very purpose for which they themselves had been given their bodies by THE LORD.They also thought that it was well nigh impossible to practise all vedic injunctions.Hence THE LORD Himself took birth as SRI RAMA and SRI KRISHNA and showed to the human beings that it was not impossible to walk the path of the Sastra,by Himself walking the way laid down in the Sastras.Though He demonstrated the right life in this manner through His divine births the people were not ready to follow suit.THE LORD pondered over this and realised His mistake.As He did not belong to their group,(as he was not a bird of the same feather) the people cared very little for His birth,preachings and practice.To catch a wild beast another animal (a deer or goat) is required. Understanding this principle or the natural law of this land,THE LORD decided to bestow His benevolent grace on some souls at the time of their birth.The result is the birth of the AZHWARS. Thus the AZHWARS in SriVaishnavism are not foreigners,i.e., they are not some of the dwellers of the divine world, namely Vaikuntha Loka.They are some of the suffering souls repeatedly getting born and dying in this world.All Azhwars clearly say this in their works.But their greatness lies in this that they are THE CHOSEN FEW OF THE LORD meant for uplifting the other distressed souls who are plunged in the ocean of misery and ignorance.THE LORD gave them perfect knowledge of the three entities namely CHIT (soul),ACHIT (insentient beings or inert matter) and ISWARA (the supreme LORD SRIMAN NARAYANA).He also bestowed on them deep devotion for Him.Thus with the great gift of very clear perception of men,matter and THE LORD,the Azhwars perceived everything in the past,present and future.The curtain of Time was thus pulled down for them by THE LORD. So these Azhwars are not divine beings but only ordinary men chosen by THE LORD for delivering us from the worldly bondage consisting of the ever-revolving cycle of births and deaths.As they behaved,owing to their deep devotion to THE LORD,in a manner totally different from others, they were looked upon as immortals from Vaikuntha Loka, come down for our deliverance.This is only a fanciful imagination. AZHWAR means,those men who are immersed in the ocean of the Virtues of THE LORD SRIMAN NARAYANA and consequently those virtues alone sustained them in this world,and not food and water.Of the TEN AZHWARS the first three are - POYGAI AZHWAR, BHUTAT-AZHWAR and PEY-AZHWAR. 1. POYGAI AZHWAR was born in a Lotus Pond at the temple of Sri YATHOKTA-KAARI Swami (meaning the Almighty,who implicitly obeyed the commands of his great devotee THIRU-MAZHISAI-AZHWAR) in the famous city of Kanchi Puram.He and the next two Azhwars were not given birth to by women. (POYGAI= pond) 2.BHUTAT-AZHWAR came out of a flower at Mahabali-puram, the sea shore town. 3.PEY-AZHWAR sprang from a flower of the well in a temple dedicated to Sri KESAVA PERUMAL at Mylapore (Madras). These Azhwars were born during this month (Tula month) when the three stars THIRUVONAM,AVITTAM and SADAYAM were reigning supreme.(These most venerable days fall on 11.7.97, 11.8.97 and 11.9.97) These three great men,once they were made to realise the flimsy and ever transitory nature of the fleeting worldly pleasures and the most unreliable nature of men,prefered the jungle life rather than the city life.Repulsed by the corrupt practises and the insincere and ever impure heart of the people they retired to the forest and were wandering about separately without knowing one another.THE LORD was observing them and thought of a plan to bring them together as otherwise the purpose of His endowment of devotional knowledge to them would go waste.It was actually meant to benefit the people of this world. So one night as per His will there was heavy rain and blinding darkness.The first Azhwar had to resort to a shelter.Luckily he saw the hermitage of Mrikandu Sage at THIRUK-KOVALUR.On the veranda,which was very small in area,he lay down meditating on the qualities of God.Driven by the same circumstances Bhutat-azhwar came there (as it was the will of destiny) and sought shelter with all humility from the previous occupant of the place.The former said," One can lie down,Two can sit and that is the accomodation.Please come in,Sir!" The very polite reply invited the latter,making him realise that the gentleman inside was a very great SriVaishnava.Who would give shelter at that juncture,when the space was just sufficient for one man to sleep! While these two were sitting and chatting about God,the Third Azhwar,Pey-Azhwar arrived there and he also solicited shelter.Both of them replied in one voice earnestly praying for the Third Azhwar's delectable company.The three now had space only to stand.They spoke of the virtues of God,shedding profuse joyful tears with horripilation all over their bodies. THE ALMIGHTY took this opportunity to mingle with them.He came there along with His Spouse SRI MAHALAKSHMI and also His retinue.Naturally the Azhwars suffered due to the restricted space and being pressed hard by the large crowd. The First Azhwar,desiring to know the cause,lit a lamp;not an ordinary lamp but an extraordinary one.He took this world for the lamp,and the Water of the Oceans for the ghee,and the Sun for the wick and flame of the lamp. The Second Azhwar (BHUTAM) lighted in his own way another lamp; with his Devotion for THE LORD as the lamp,and his earnest longing for THE LORD as ghee,and his evermelting meditative thought of Him as the flame of the lamp. The Third Azhwar (PEY) declared having sighted the Supreme Being: "Oh! SRIMAN NARAYANA along with His followers are seen here." Thus Poygai Azhwar sang one hundred verses inlucid Tamil called MUDAL TIRUV-ANDADI;so also the Second Azhwar, IRANDAM TIRUV-ANDADI and the Third Azhwar,MOONRAM THIRUV-ANDADI. The First Azhwar declred in his centum that THE LORD has got Two Worlds (Sri Vaikuntha and this mortal world) for His property.The Second Azhwar said that His name was NARAYANA.The Third declared that He had as his consort SRI MAHALAKSHMI. All the three declared in one voice: "He alone is the Supreme Being and all others are subservient to Him.He alone can grant Salvation.Taking Refuge unto Him is the very best and the easiest means of reaching His Abode. The Final Goal of man is to reach His Eternal Abode and worship Him and serve Him." In unequivocal terms they all said that all other deities can give us only worldly pleasures which would only make us more and more involved in this world and cause more miseries and get us born again and again in this mortal world.The body is given to us by SRIMAN NARAYANA to make the effort needed to put a fullstop to te ever revolving cycle of birth and death.So we should hold fast to His Feet and snap the chain of Bondage. These sweet simple songs should be ever on the lips of all SriVaishnavas.That alone is the easiest means to earn His Grace. Do you wish to hear more about these sweet Divine Songs ? Kindly contact Prof E.S.BHUVARAHACHARYA, 114/3, Sri Ranga 4th Main Road,Between 9th and 10th cross,Malleswaram, BANGALORE 560003,INDIA. Kindly celebrate the birthday of these Azhwars,by lighting ghee lamps in front of Sriman Narayana at your residence which will drive away your ignorance (if any) and drive away the darkness of your sufferings. " REMEMBER THE THREE AZHWARS "