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From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Sun Oct 15 1995 - 08:09:09 PDT
Sri Vaishnava and Vedantic Sampradhayam places a special significance to the number 32. Examples of the significance of 32 are : (1) The Vaishnava philosophy has 32 constituent parts or priniciples: It is made up of 23 Tattvas from Prithvi to Mahat, 3 principles such as Avyaktam, Aksharam and Tamas, three more such as Kalam, Nitya Vibhoothi and Dharma Bhuta Gynam, and the latter are crowned at the crest with the triad: Jeevan, Periya Piratti and Perummal.Together the 23+ 3+ 3+ 3 make up thus the total of 32. (2) Scriptures: A total of 32 from the combination of 18 chapters of Bhagavad Gita, 4 Adhyayas of Brahma Sutra and the 10 decads of Nammazhwar"s Thiruvaimozhi. (3) 32 Moksha Vidyas described by the Upanishads (4) 32 Apachaaras during the Aaraadhanaa of Sriman Naryana: These 32 are to be avoided (5) 32 Chapters of Srimad Rahasya Traya Saara as pointed out to me by Sri Krishna Kalale during the most recent celebration of the Birth day of Sri Vedantha Desikan at the Ranganatha Temple at Pomona , NY (6) 32 Chapters of Paadhuka Sahasram, symbolizing the 32 steps the Lord of Srirangam takes to walk towards HIS disciples as visulaized by Swami Desikan in the 32 chapters of his incomparable kavyam.The Sri Ranganatha Paaduka symbolizes for us the Sri Satari that we wear on our head to get the blessings of Nammazhwar, the Prapanna janakootastha. Acharya Ramanuja is said to be the satari (foot rest ) of Nammazhwar and the tradition continues all the way down to our Acharyas at the Andavan Asramam or Ahobila Matam or Parakala Matam. Thus the number 32 seems to have a special significance for the Prapannas and the Prapatti group. V.Sadagopan P.S: Among the thirty two chapters of the Paadhka Sahasram, the 14th chapter known as the Nada Paddhati has the largest number of verses (VIZ); 100 slokas. Rest of the chapters have 10 to 80 verses . It seems that Swami Desikan heard the Divine Nada raised by the Paadukas as the Lord took his proverbial 32 steps toward the Devotees. Hence, Swami Desikan's Kavyam can be considered to have been born out of his Nadhopaasana on the night that he composed the 1000+ verses of praise to the Lord"s holy Paadukas. Nadhopaasana/Nama Sakirtana has helped many Prapannas as an effective Upasana Marga to reach the Lord. The foremost among the Prapannas , who used Nadhopaasana is Saint Thyagaraja, whose compositions house his Cahranagati to Sri Rama in the classical manner of Prapatti done by a Sri Vaishnava. The relationship between sama Veda , Nadhopaasana and Prapatti has been referred to by Saint Thygaraja in many of his Kritis. I will summarize my thoughts on the above subject in a separate note to focus on another Upasana Method for offering one"s Prapatti to Sriman Narayana. P.P.S: While on the subject, the name of another Nadhopasaka /Nama sankirtana practioner comes into my mind, especially in the context of the recent exchange of notes on Saivas and Vishanvaas. That Acharya is Bodhendral, one of the Sankaracharyas of the Kanchipuram line. He gave up his Post as the head pontiff and retired to a village on the banks of Cauveri in Tanjore district & preached the efficacy of Rama Nama Siddhantha.His delectable verses contained in his work known as Rama Karnaamruta are a source of great joy to recite. He made Prapatti to Sri Rama. Adi sankara has made Prapatti to Lord Narasimha in times of great distress as evidenced by his Lakshmi Nrsimha Karaavalampana Stotram. Even today, The abode of the Sringeri Acharyas is known as Nrsimha Vanam. Adi Sankara has devoted a lot of his energy to compose other stotras on Vishnu. Infact, it is jocularly observed that Adi Sankara is " Anthar Saakta:, Bahir Saiva: Vyavahareshu Vaishnava:" According to hagiography, his travel in the sky over Guruvbayoor was arrested by Lord of that Temple to remind Adi Sankara as to who is the strength behind his blessings.Adi Sankara is said to have descended down to Earth and offered his worship to UnniKrishna and then proceed on his way. I think the general regard that Saivas have for Vishanvism is a direct result of Adi Sankara"s teachings emphasizing tolerance for the common man thru his stotras and his own practises. P>P>P>S: Another Prapanna/Nadhopasaka: Oothukkadu Venkatasubba Iyer. In an earlier note, it was mentioned that he composed Kritis only on Krishna. It is true that a majority of his Kritis are on Nartana Krishna enshrined at his village . He also composed kritis on Rama (eg) Kalyana Rama in Raga Hamsanadam.He has composed the Navavarana Kritis on Kamakshi . Bombay Sisters have rendered these Kritis beautifully in a tape. He worshipped Krishna as Sri Vidya Rajagopalan, a tradition practised in Mannargudi Temple, a famous temple close to his village of OOthukkadu. There Sri Rajagopala icon is standing on Sri Chakram , the Yantram of Worshippers of Sri Lalita Parameswari. Sri Chakram, the geometric pattern of worship of Sri Vidya is also the Yantram of Sri Devi as one can see from the coins distributed by the Ahobila Mutt. On one side of the Coin , you will see the current Acharya and on the other side the traditional Sri Chakram. There is agroup of Upasakas , who worship Krishna as Mohini or Madana Gopala Sundari. Besides Oothukkadu Kavi , Leela Sukhar , the author of Krishna Karaamrutam offered worship to Madana Gopala Sundari carrying the symbols of Krishna(Flute, Shepard"s stick , Sudarsana, Conch ) and Of Sri lalita(Cane sugar Bow, Ankusam, Flower arrows and noose). The mantram for this Murthy is made up of the fusion of Panchadasakshari Mantra and Rajagopala Mantram. This is for Tantric worshippers. The last item on Oothukkadu Kavi went to unknown destination in Cyberspace , last time I posted. Hence I am repostingit in the context of this note,. If by chance, you have recd it earlier, please disregard this section. Thanks.