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Re: Azhwars Nitya suris or baddha jivatmas

From: Parthasarati Dileepan (
Date: Wed Nov 19 1997 - 14:23:40 PST

At 06:52 PM 11/18/97 -0800, Mani Varadarajan wrote:


>Swami Desika's intention in quoting this particular sloka 
>while discussing the advent of the Alvars should be apparent
>to the discerning reader. 

Unfortunately the above makes Sri Abinava Desika 
Veeraghavachariar, popularly known as Sri Utthamoor Swamy,
into a not very discerning reader of Swami Sri Desikan. 

Given below is a passage from Sri Uttamoor Swamy's commentary
on Sri Rahasya Thrayasaram known as "Saaravisthram".

Page 24:
"AzhvaargaL baddha jeevarkaLA, soorikaLA enRa vichaaramuNdu.
'AdhibhakthAsthu ananthagaruda dhIthAmiNcha vadhAgbhEdhA:
ithi purANa prasidhdham' enRu sadha dhooshaNiyil alEpaka padha
bhangaththil aruLich cheydhiruppadhaal soorikaLin avathaaramenpadhu

(Free translation: There is a question as to whether the
Azhvaars are baddhas or Nithyasoorees? Based on Swami 
Sri Desikan's words in Sadhadhooshani it is evident
that they are Nithyasoori avatharas.)

(Those with Sanskrit knowledge please translate the
sanskrit passage in the above)

>Perhaps not surprisingly, this very issue was discussed
>and settled hundreds of years back.  I am indebted to 
>Sri M. Srinivasan of Chicago for mentioning Puttur Swamy's
>explanation of Pinpazhagiya PerumaaL Jeeyar's "vaarththamaalai"
>no. 188:

Pinpazhigiya PerumaaL Jeeyar clearly states in GPP that the
Lord sent Azhvaars down to the earth due to "sva ichchai"
and not due to karma.  He also says that the azhvaars 
were characterized by sudhdha sathvam, an element unique 
to Vaikuntam and Vaikuntavaasees.  These are direct 
quotes and no interpretation is needed.  (Please see
my earlier post on this subject for the exact quotation.)

So, saying that this issue was settled hundreds of 
years in one particular way seems rather rash.

>It seems that our acharyas wrote and thought with more 
>subtlety and touching humanity than we sometimes give them

Then Sri Uththammor Swamy is guilty of missing these
subtleties and touching humanity, and failed to give 
credit to Swami Sri Desikan and PPJ.

Why would the Azhvaar's touching humanity be any less if 
they are considered nithyasoori avatharas escapes me.  
Then, would Lord Sri Rama be any less divine if He had
not wallowed in grief and self pity.

Finally, please, let us not be so sure of ourselves and 
make sweeping statements that may have unintended and 
unpleasant implication.

-- adiyEn