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Thirumantram

From: Thirumalai Anandanpillai (tananda_at_uswest.com)
Date: Sat Oct 05 1996 - 20:59:13 PDT

It is true that there are certain kramas for meditating/reciting (for want
of a better word  in english - 'anusandhiththal'  in tamizh). I will quote 
from some of the relevant portions of mumukshupadi here. Anything with
double flower brackets {{....}}  is my attempt at translating the 
Thirumanthraartham (MaNavaaLa MaamunigaL's commentary on mumukshupadi).
 Other stuff is my comments.


mumukshupadi 3 says
{{ 'thirumantraththinudaya seermaikkup pOrumpadi prEmaththOdE pENi
  anusandhikkavENum'

 One should meditate on the thirumantram with the love & devotion that is 
 appropriate to its greatness ('seermai')

 One has to meditate on the thirumantram, not with an empty heart, but 
 with an understanding of its greatness & with love towards. One should
 take care that one meditates on it without the thirumantram being heard
 by the non-adhikaaris ('anadhikaarikaL')
}}

 It is important to note who the adikaaris & the non-adhikaaris are.
 Mumukshupadi sutram 1 deals with who a mumukshu is & what a mumukshu
 must know.

Mumukshupadi 1:
{{  'mumukshuvukku aRiya vENdum rahasyam moonRu'

 There are three rahasyaas that a mumukshu must know.
 
 One who has a desire towards moksha is a mumukshu. i.e one who desires
 samsaara vimochanam. Even though aatmapraaptikaamas (people who have a 
 desire to attain an understanding of their souls) have mumukshutvam 
 they are not the adhikaaris addressed here.
 One who desires samsaara vimochanam as a result of
 bhagavath praapti kaamam (a desire to attain the Lord) is the mumukshu that
 is being addressed here.

}}

 One need not understand the meaning of the thirumantram to meditate on it.
 The thirumantram does not lose its svaroopam even if it is recited in any other
 way than it is supposed to be.

 mumukshupadi 17:
{{  'sollum kramam ozhiyach chonnaalum than svaroopam keda nillaadhu'

 As in Bhagavatham 6-2-14, Uttering the name of the Lord through
 calling somebody by their name or making fun of someone named after
 the Lord will lead to the removal of all sins.
 (SaankEthyam paarihaasyam cha sthObham hELanamEva va|
  vaikuNtanaamaGrahaNamasEshaaGaharam vidhu: ||)
 
 Reciting the thirumantram even in ways that are not prescribed as the kramam
 will not result in any lessening of the svaroopam of the thirumantram (which
 is rakshakam for those who meditate on it)
}}

So, in my understanding, the thirumantram can be meditated upon (or recited or
written, in our case) as long as it is within a community of the adhikaaris as
defined above i.e. mumukshus. The people in this mailing list, I would assume,
fit the above definition of adhikaari.  Even if it were to be picked up by
someone who is not an adhikaari, it does not lose its greatness(mahimai).
In fact, if a non-adhikaari picks up the thirumantram, 
the mantram will do him/her/it good as it is said in mumukshupadi 18,19 & 20.

Our poorvaachaaryaas were concerned with the thirumantram being misinterpreted &
misused by people who are not concerned, and that I think is the reason for
the qualifier. 


Daasaanu daasan,
Varadhan