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part 2 - Re: 3-Alwars by Sri Bhuvarahacharya

From: Sampath Rengarajan (
Date: Thu Nov 13 1997 - 07:15:58 PST

On Nov 11, 10:40am, Mani Varadarajan wrote:
> Subject: Re: 3-Alwars by Sri Bhuvarahacharya
> Sri Anbil Ramaswamy writes:
> >
> > I do not know how he says that the Alwars were just suffering humans like
> > of us  but but maybe were endowed with superior vision.
> >
> > Swami Desika clearly says that the Alwars were HIS own incarnations
> > Dasaavataaram Panni - Vide Rahasya Traya Saram)
> >
> One needs to dig deeper and more broadly into our pUrvAcArya's
> works to see how they viewed the Alvars.
> Regarding Desikan himself: his statement from Guruparampara Saaram
> that the Alvars were a new daSa avatAra (10 incarnations) of the
> Lord needs to be properly understood in context.  Desikan is saying
> nothing different from Sri Bhuvarahachariar Swamy.  The Alvars
> were graced by the entrace of the Lord into their hearts, cutting
> asunder their ignorance and showing Him to them as He truly is.

	Coming  to  the  reference   from  swami  desikan  it  was
suggested indirectly that  swami  desikan  had meant the lord  entering  the
bodies of azwars  once  they are born as  baddha  jivas and not as
thiru  avathAram of lord HIMself.  From the the tamil i learnt for
several  years i can only get a  meaning  from the  lines of swami
desikan  "parAngusa  parakAlAthi   roobaththAlE   abinavamAga  oru
dasAvathAraththaip  paNNI", that the lord did take  incarnation of
dasAvathAram.  the word paNNi means "DID" or "having done".  Swami
desikan  didnot say  "dasAvathAramAga  pugunthu"  ie he didnot say
that he "entered" or pugunthu in the form of a dasA vathAram in 10
azwar's bodies.

I would request everyone to refer to Sri vangipuram swamigaL vyAkyA
nam for Srimad rahasya tray sAram of Swami desikan where these appears.
It is important to note that Sri vangipuram swamigaL has not only made
vyAkyAnams for srimad rahasya trya sAram but also for several swami desikan
slokams and most importantly swami desikan prabhandam. He has also
written vyAkyAnams on Lord Oppiliappan's suprapAdham, prapatti and
mangaLam. He also had thorough and indepthe knowledge of poorvAchAryAL's
work that is being mentioned above as the prerequisite. People wanting
to conclude on what they think as swami desikan might have meant
must first read these vyAkyAnams of Sri vangipuram swamigaL.

	Coming to thirup paNAzwAr it is uncomfortable to note
that there was a total
misconception  based  on lack of  comprehensive  understanding  of
swami  desikan's  works  was  presented  such that  swami  desikan
somehow  implied that  "thirup  pAnan" who simply  appeared as the
(avathAram  of Sri Krishna - as per our belief)
and who was not born in the normal way a
baddha  jivan  would be born, was a mere  baddha  jivan.  One must
read Swami desika  prabhandam  in detail if they want to draw some
conclusion as to how Swami desikan considred azwar's avatharam and
aruLich cheyALs  especially about thirup  pANazwAr.  This makes me
feel that i must write  about the 3 pAsurams on "nam paNa  NaTHAN"
that ends swami desikan's  prabhadham  "amirtha swathini" in great
detail, in  saraNagathi  journal at a later date.  *If commanded* by
Sri  Sadagopan  and Sri Anbil  Ramaswami, I will  consider it as a
bAgyam to present the numerous  insights and further and related
quotes of swami desikan on thirup pAnAzwAr.  It will run
into  several  posts  and  hence it will be  written  in the
SDDS journal  "saraNagathi"  that is blessed by achAryALs
and bagwathALs such as Sri Anbil Ramaswamy and Sri Sadagopan.

> In any case, Sri Bhuvarahachariar is an esteemed authority
> on Divya Prabandham and the traditional commentaries thereon.
> Very, very few scholars today can match his erudition.
> Mani

The following  arguments are  presented for everyone in this forum
understand as to what is popularity and scholarship , erudition
in tamil and being well known in tamil
circles.  It may be helpful for thsoe who enjoy
azwar  poetry and would love to discuss  them in this  forum.  One
may also want to expand  their understanding of tamil circle  and
tamil  works and
understand as who is considered  the most popular tamil author for
the TAMIL  language. It would be beneficial  also to know as to
what he delivered  about azwars when commanded by Lord Arangan.  I
would  not  otherwise  present  the  argument  in this way.  It is
impolite to imply to someone and ask them indirectly to accept
 someother  on
the basis of mere  popularity in certain  circle alone. If such was
not meant i aplogise for presenting this interesting observation in
this way. For now,  I may have to
take  the  same  line  that was  taken  earlier  ie..  the line of
popularity erudition and nyAnam in tamil and azwar poetry.

	Sri kambanAtAzwar was ordered by Lord Arangan when he went
to do samarpanam of his work Srimad kamba rAmayanam.  Lord Arangan
asked him "did you deliver about  sadagOpan  (nammAzwAr  ?)".  The
result was that as  instructed by Lord Arangan Sri Kamba  nAtAzwAR
delivered  sadagOpa  ranthAthi.

Srimad  kamba  nAttAzwar  is the  master  of all the  tamil  works
deliverd prior to his time and i donot  think Sri kamba  nAttAzwAr  is
any less to anyone  who are born then and are  living  now in 20th
century.  I am aware of many tamil scholars who are  proficient in
both  drAvida  vEdam  and  poorvachAryAL's   work.  I  studied  my
education in tamil medium and am exposed to the tamil community to
a large  extent  including  the  "kambar  sangam",  that did so much
research into Sri Kamban's work.

	The  paguththaRivu  kazhagam and dravida movement in tamil
nadu considred Sri Kamban as the forefather of all the tamil works
that were  delivered so far and to be delviered as Sri kamaban set
new  standards in nadai and  ilakkiyam  itself.  Infact  dravidian
leaders  such as Sri  M.KarunAnithi  (the CM of  tamil  nadu)  and
Justice Mohan, Justice Ismail (former chief justice of madras high
court) were all one time  president or thalaivar of kambar sangam.
The reason i am bringing this point is that even non religious and
non hindu persons were so much devoted to researching Sri Kamban's
work in  Tamil  country.  Hence  if some  one  thinks  of  proving
something  on  the  basis  of how  popular  a  person  in  certain
community,  one must see  without  fail Sri  Kamban  and his known
credentials in THE TAMIL SOCIETY. ie., If we see on the basis of
who is considred by all current tamil scholars in tamil circles as
the most knowledgable person in tamil poetry and as well as all
tamil works including azwar poems one must acknowledge without fail
that it is Sri Kamban. Whether or not our religion accepts Sri Kamban's
vyAkyAnams, it is important to note as to what he has delviered
about the azwars' birth when he was commanded by Lord Arangan

	I donot mean to disrespect Sri Boovaraga swami in anyway.
I  seek  hs  forgiveness  if  these  arguments  that  are  merely
presented to counter  someone's argument that was presented above
in some way. If it may be understood by someone as it
it implies  swami in  anyway i seek their forgivenss as well.
I am still a student of  prabhandam
and will  learn inner meanings of prabhandams from many  scholars
 such as him.  However,  it is
argued in implication in this  forum  that one may  consider  some
merely on the basis of how the  presenter is well known in certain
community.  The  community  to be considred is TAMIL  community in
chennai  and Sri Kamban is the scholar in azwAr  pAsurams  and was
even  commanded  by lord  Arangan  to deliver on  nammazwar.  Lord
OUR SRI KAMBANATTAZWAR.  We still think he is unshakable for years
to come.

	Having said that one can take a glance at the above  pasuram
from  sadagopar  anthAthi.

In  sadagopar  anthAthi  that  he
delivered that

"bAvagath thAlthan thiru avathAram pathinonRip
poovagth thAR aRiyAtha vaNNam thannaiyE pugaznthu
nAvagath thAR kavi Ayiram pAdi nayanthaLiththa
kOvagath thAR kanRi enpuRath thAr sey kuRRavElkaLE "
                        sadagOpar anthAthi 78

it is  said  that  the  Lord  took  10
thiruavathAram  (AndAL is boomi  devith  thAyAr's  avathAram)  and
without  these  mortals of boologam  knowing it (boo  vagath  thAr
aRiyAtha  vaNNam).  ie., at the time of HIS thiru  avathAram as 10
azwArs, HE took such thiru  avathArams  without the booLoga  vaasis
knowing  it.  And  then  Sri  kamba  nAAttAzwar  goes  on to  say,
thannaiyE pugaznthu" ie by taking such avathAramas azwars the lord
praised HIMself through these pAsurams.

My final observation:

We all see our many current day achAryAs from their poorvasaramam. Once they
become achAryAL we stop calling them baddha jivAs even though we may have seen
their life as similar to a baddha jiva's life in their initial days of
poorvasramam. When we discuss their birth (and life)  we still call as
avathAram and we no
more address them as baddha jivAtma. Same way even if we assume that the
Lord has simply chosen to enter their bodu only at the time of their birth,
or at the time of their appearance, we all know that they surrendered at the
feet of the lord and attained
mOksham. The moment the Lord supposedly entered their body they become
mukthAL. To my knowledge once they started delivering these pasurams
after becoming mukthAL, they never went back to their life of so called
baddha jivatams. Even if they were mere baddha jivAs prior to birth, when we
address them now after listening to their pAsurams that show us the path, can
we still call them as baddha jivAs ? Can't we not call them the same way as
similar to our achAryAs (who infact worship these azwArs) and address their
birth as avathAram whatever their poorvAsramam was ? I respected Sri Sudarsanam
iyengar when he conveyed me the same view of thenAchArya sampradhAyam with more
thorough analysis of swami deikan's work than presented earlier,
which i am not sharing here.

	I discussed the same briefly with Sri VN Gopala desikachAr and he came
out with very eloquent explanations of the same point as to how our vadakali
accepts azwars as avathArams of Lord. *Some* of us mere chElAs and we still
to learn from these scholars prior to concluding many things ourselves.
Finally i apologise to Sri Mani and many others if anyone is offended by these

Sri Kamba nAttAzwar thiruvadiukaLE saraNam
thirup pAN azwar thiruvadikaLE saraNam

Sampath Rengi