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Date: Sun Nov 23 1997 - 10:30:35 PST


Dear Bhagavatas,

Though I  did not want to revert to the topic again, certain observations
made compel me to place some facts  as explained by our Acharyas often in
their Kalakshepams.

Mr. Mani has observed that "One needs to dig deeper and more broadly into our
Puravacharya’s works to see how they viewed the Alwars" I think this applies
to Mr. Mani himself more than anyone else. None could have "dug deeper and
more broadly" than H.H Azhagiyasinghar, H.H Poundarikapuram Andavan, Uttamur
Abhinava Desikar and Srivatsankachariar. They have pronounced in no uncertain
terms that Alwars are indeed Nityasuris and NOT mere bhadda Jivas as held by
Bhuvarahachariar.. They have made this clear in all their Kalakshepams time
and again.

"Mayarvara Madhinalam Arulinan". When ? Even before their Avatara , Not after
- because they were Nityasuris, NOT Nitya Samsaris. They came into this world
with what is known as "Jayamaana Kadaaksha."(i.e) even at their Avatara; Not
that the Lord entered into them at some future date when they started singing
their soul stirring psalms.

I agree with the distinction mentioned by SR as between "Srishtithaan" for
Anya Devatas and "Avatarippithaan" for Alwars. "Avatara" means "Incarnation"
which happens before birth while creation takes place at or after birth.

If the Alwars lamented on their faults etc. it is nothing but
"Naichyaanusanthaanam" on their part. It is not that they were guilty of
faults. It should be understood that they were representing us and pleading
our case for Lord’s mercy by extrapolating our faults, foibles and failings
on themselves. 

Lord Rama, being the Lord Himself,  had no need to go about asking every tree
and river whether they had seen  Sita.. If he did so, it is only to show how
we WOULD react and how we SHOULD react.  

Similarly, If the life stories of Alwars point to any indiscretions, it is
only to show us (ordinary humans liable to such indiscretions),  the way by
which we can also hope to surmount them by the grace of  the Lord.
The term "Nityasamsari" with reference to Nammalwar is another way of
expressing the "Naichyanusanthanam" and should not be taken literally.

The statement that the Lord having realized his mistake during Vibhava
Avatara,  entered the souls of these "bhadda jivatmas" does not sound well.
Nammalwar, as per the Katapayadhi Samkhya, is said to have appeared on the
46th day after the commencement of Kaliyuga, the Mudal Alwars much earlier
with Tirumazhisai Alwar sometime in between - when Lord Krishna was very much
there. It is far fetched to conclude that the Lord took stock and passed a
judgment on his own failure and tried to ‘enter’ these souls who were very
much coeval with him to accomplish what he himself could not.

It is a tall claim to say that "very very few scholars today can match his
erudition". With due respects to Sri Bhuvarahachariar,   a RELATIVELY LESS
KNOWN personality,  in comparison to the great Yathivaras like H.H. the
Jeeyar, H.H. PP Andavan, H.H. Srimushnam Andavan , Parakaala Mutt Jeeayar,
and  Acharyas like Uttamur Swami and Sri Vatsankachariar and others - who are
recognized world wide for their depth of erudition. In view of this,  Sri
Bhuvarahacharya  himself would honestly admit  that. these stalwarts in the
galaxy of luminaries are certainly  better qualified as  Acharyas than

Let us remind ourselves of the warning that of the various impediments to
Moksha ( Virodi Swarupam) and Apacharas include-
i.  Deeming the Alwars and Acharyas as mere human beings like any of us and
ii.  Judging Archa murthis with reference to the material (stone, metal etc)
with which they are made.
I wonder if Sri. B and those who uphold his interpretations are aware of this
. We should learn to see the wood, not the trees, learn to see the elephant,
not the wood it is made of.

I entirely agree with Sri Sampath Rangarajan that one should not rush  to
conclusions based on knowledge gained by self-study of  books ( especially
the wrong kind of books). One should resort to the feet of one of the
Yathivaras or Acharyas like those listed earlier, serving  them for some
time, listen to their erudite expositions  to really comprehend the in-depth
meanings of the Vyaakhyaanams of Purvacharyas. Otherwise, one is apt to be
carried away by superficial understanding  and arrive at faulty conclusions.

Mr. Mani observes " I think it is wiser to use their writings as a basis and
come to a common agreement as to what makes sense rather than dogmatically
sticking what one thinks are Thenkalai or Vadakalais". 

Truth is not a matter of  negotiations, not one that could be settled by a
democratically demonstrated majority vote arriving at an agreement or a pact
among ourselves. We go strictly by what our Acharyas mentioned above have
said  in such matters- and they have said what ought to be said without any

.No further debating is needed when Sri Abhinava Desika, after intense study,
 has given his verdict
 " Soorikalin Avataaram Enpadhu PRAAMAANIKAM" and,  perhaps, none can claim
qualification enough to contradict this unequivocal statement.

Though I am pretty sure on the point repeatedly emphasized by our illustrious
 Acharyas during years and years of Kalakshepams at their feet, , I will
discuss again not only with PP Andavan (as suggested by Sri Rangarajan) but
also with all others Yathivaras and Acharyas during  my forthcoming visit to
India and get authoritative replies  for the benefit of our members

Meanwhile, as pointed out by Mr. Dileepan, let us not indulge in sweeping
statements that may have unintended and unpleasant implications.

Anbil Ramaswamy