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Oh,When!

From: sadagopan iyengar (sadagopaniyengar_at_yahoo.com)
Date: Wed Oct 03 2001 - 05:41:58 PDT

  Srimate SrivanSatakopa Sri Vedanta Desika Yatindra
Mahadesikaya Nama:

                                            Oh! When

   Adiyen was recently transferred from Chennai to
Coimbatore, and while leaving for the new place of
posting, adiyen went to the temple of Sri
Parthasarathy Swamy at Tiruvallikkeni, for saying
“Bye” to adiyen’s favourite Perumal, in whose temple
and surroundings adiyen had spent nearly rwo decades
and a half,right from adiyen’s childhood. Adiyen would
have taken part in innumerable utsavams in all those
long years, and Srin Parthasarathy was more a family
member, to whom one used to rush, be it with glad
tidings,ddifficulties, problems or just mundane
developments. And on the days that adiyen did not
visit the temple,the deit6y would come in search  of
me, on a tiurveedi purappadu.   Bhagavatas aquainted
with Tiruvallikkeni would vouchsafe for the fact that
few are the days that the Emperuman remains within the
temple confines-on some pretext or other-pancha
parvas, brahmotsavams , acharya tirunakshatrams, etc-
He is always awaiting an opportunity to go on a jaunt
in the mAda veedis- that was perhaps what prompted
Kodai Nachiar to exclaim, “VeediyAra varuvAnai
VirundAvanattE kandOmE”, and Swami Desikan to
proclaim,
 
  ’Turaga vihagarAja syandana AndOlikAdishu
   adhikam adhikam anyAm Atma shObhAm dadhAnam
   anavadhika vibhootim HastisailEsvaram tvAm
   anudinam animEshai: lOchanai:nirvisEyam”, 
and “Vaikunta vAsEpi namE abhilAsha:”

Adiyen is not a very emotional person, more inclined
to the type described by Sri Tondaradippodi AzhvAr as
“irumbu pOl valiya nenjam”. But on that day of
leave-taking, when adiyen stood before Sri
Parthasarathy, a weight descended in adiyen’s heart,
my throat clogged with emotion, and my eyes were
coated with a film of tears- all of it occasioned by
the thought of being away from Him and the uncertainty
of when we would meet again. For, though Coimbatore is
only 500 km away, official constraints and family
preoccupations would preclude frequent visits to
Chennai, and more particularly, to Tiruvallikkeni. An
unfathomable sadness seized adiyen, something adiyen
had not experienced even while taking leave of a host
of close relatives at Chennai. Controlling adiyen with
great difficulty, adiyen bid “au revoir” to Perumal,
and made adiyen’s way homewards.
The episode set adiyen thinking- if a
worthless,insincere,and  hypocritical  mortal like
adiyen could be so moved- even if only for a few
minutes- what would have been the state of mind of
Poorvacharyas like Sri Parasara Bhattar, Sri
Bhashyakara , Sri Desikan and others, who had to
endure  prolonged seperation from their ishta devatas,
what immeasurable pain they would have undergone for
each second of their seperation from Emperuman. One
could also understand the logic behind the decision of
Jaya and Vijaya,( the keepers of the Lord’s doors at
Sri Vaikuntam, when cursed to a mundane existence by
Bhrigu Maharshi), to be born thrice as the bitterest
enemies of the Lord, rather than take innumerable
janmAs as sAtvic mortals, which would have meant a
period of interminable seperation from Sria:pati.
 
Sri Bhattar, who was born and brought up in the
environs of SriRangam temple and who was acclaimed as
the veritable son SriRanganachiar,9 and whose
boundless bhakti towards the Divine Couple gave birth
to several gems like Sri Gunaratnakosam,Sri
Bhagavatguna darpanam,Sri Rangaraja Stavam,etc.),once
had to leave Srirangam due to a difference of opinion
with a chieftain of Srirangam, for a long sojourn at
Tirukkoshitiyur. Every day of his stay there, he pined
away for a glimpse of Azhagia Manaalan, and his
anguish at the seperation  found expression in the
form of a beautiful stotram (it is indeed remarkable
how the sorrow of great people is often translated
into immortal epics-Sri Valmiki is a shining example).
  
Listen to these stanzas-
 
“Kastoori kalita oordhvapundra tilakam -, karnAnta
lOlEkshaNam
  mugdAsmera manOharAdalam muktA kireetOjvalam
 pasyan mAnasa pasyatO hararuche: paryAya pankEruham
 SriRangAdhipatE: kadAnu vadanam sEvEya bhooyOpyaham”
Sri Bhattar,unable to see Periya Perumal physically,
recalls in his mind’s eye the enthralling details of
His bewitching tirumukham, resplendant with a
glittering tirumankappu, a sparkling headgear of
pearls, and eyes that have been the subject of endless
attempts at realistic description, and graphically
described by Sri Tiruppanazhvar as “ kariavAgi, pudai
parandu, milirndu, sevvariyOdi, neenda ap periavAya
kaNgaL”.
Overwhelmed by the thought of what he was missing, Sri
Bhattar wonders, “kadA” (OH<When!)- when indeed would
that sweet moment be, when he would have a glimpse of
the enchanting vadanam of Sri \Rangaraja.

Sri Bhattar misses not only Namperumal, but also the
sacred, purifying (Gangayil pundimAya) Cauvery, the
sandy dunes of Srirangam and its dense groves, all of
which form the abode of Azhagia Manavalan, in the
following verse-
 KadAham Cauvery vimala salilE veeta kalushO bhavEyam 
Tat teerE shramamushi vasEyam ghanavanE
KadA vA tam puNyE mahati pulinE bhajEyam RangEsam
kamala nayanam sEsha sdayanam”

Similar would have been the feelings of Sri
Bhashyakara when he spent several years in exile in
Karnataka, due to the harassment of Krikanta Chozhan,
and those again of Swami Desikan, during his long
sojourn at Satyamangalam and other places, when
Srirangam was under muslim occupation.

Our samparadAyic lore abounds in such instances of
such intense longing for Emperuman, that this piece
could be stretched much longer. However, rather than
test the readers’ patience,adiyen would like to end
here, with Sri Alavandar’s plaintive outpouring-
“KadA puna”shanka ratAnka kalpaka dvajAravindAnkusa
vajralAnchanam
 Trivikarama tvat charanAmbuja dvayam madeeya
moordhAnam alankarishyati”

Srimate SrilakshmiNrsimha divya paduka sevaka
SrivanSatakopa Sri Narayana Yatindra mahadesikaya
Nama:
 
---------------dasan,sadagopan..



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