You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : October 1997

Biographies of AzhwArs-Introduction

From: v.madhavakkannan (vxmadhav_at_bechtel.com)
Date: Sun Oct 19 1997 - 22:11:48 PDT

Respected sri vaishNavALs,
SrimAn vEnkata nAthArya kavitArkika kEsari /
vEdAntAchArya varyOmE sannidatthAm sadAhridi //

RamAnuja dayApAtram gnAna vairAgya bhooshaNam/
srimadh vEnkata nAthAryam vandhE vEdhantha dEsikam//

Lakshmi nadha samArambhAm nAdhayAmuna madhyamAm/
asmadhAchArya paryanthAm vandhE guruparamparAm//

With the blessings of Divya dampathis through various postings and
encouraging words spoken by Bhakti Group BhagavataLs, I have taken up the
Herculean task of narrating Biographies of our reverred panniRu (12)
AzhwArs who ate, drank, breathed sriya: pathi and vishnu patniís glories.
AzhwArs sang verses soaked with Bhakti rasam and enjoyed immensely. It is
our fortune that we are blessed with this birth of being born Sri
vaishNavAs and we should grab this opportunity to taste the nectar at least
one millionth portion of what AzhwArs conveyed to us and unearthed by
Nathamuni. It is our pUrva janma punyaM and those of our ancestors that we
are blessed of this srivaishnava janmam and there shall be no doubt about
it among us. As Lord KrishNa says in Gita, He will place the soul in an
appropriate conducive environment for the Development of the soul based on
its past actions; His mercy and dayA has put us in this fortunate birth. 

 All is due to His mercy and dayA and nothing else; If any of us think ( a
loud thinking) that we are better than others because we can understand all
this; know some few sthothrams; recite some pasurams; born of this kulam;
born of vangeepuram family; became an engineering graduate; having an
apartment in the heart of the city, etc., while others do not know any
pasuram can not pronounce sanskrit,; nor are they having inclination in
spite of our telling them; they do not believe this or that etc., etc., - 
I am just telling myself, brothers, Being proud of oneís kulam, kalvi,
selvam (kula cherukku, kalvi cherukku and selva cherukku  i.e. the
caste/sect, education or intelligence, and material wealth) is suicidal and
will not put us in our path towards prapatti yOgam ; We can only tell
people (fellow vaishnavAls) the richness of our tradition and the danam of
Sriman NArYaNan and that is all. If they come in our circle, good, we will
welcome. Else, let us proceed forward without talking anything ill or
othersí faults/deficiencies. As per Lord, We should learn to see Him in
everyone and in everything and see everyone and everything in Him.  By
talking to others (non believers)  it is not going to help, since they do
not want to listen; By thinking they are at fault will make us feel proud
that we do not have that fault or deficiency. Again ego creeps in. It is He
who chooses to turn us to what we are; When there is so much of an
entertainment on TV, net , etc., why should you all read this blabbering?
It is just that we are dragged to listen, read, write about Divya Dampathis
and His bhAgavathAls.

 With that little(!) note I would like to travel back into the History when
Great AzhwArs were born as incarnations of His variuos amsangaL (Ayudhangal
, vanamali,, etc.,) and sang verses in our sundara thamzh which are equal
to vEdAs if not better. They are better than vEdAs because; 1. It is a
language which we can attempt to understand  and 2. It is a definite proof
of "Having seen the God" (thisrukkandEn ponmEni kandEn....) whereas vEdAs
are talking in wild guessing about Him as " yato vAchO nivartantE aprA^pya
manasA sa:- Lordís glories are beyond comprehension.  They were born of
different castes and kulams ; but all of them were enriched with
indescribable amount of devotion, love and bhakti for our Lord. It is the
Lord who has again shown His dayA and extraordinary mercy on us to guide us
, to show us the correct path and to liberate us from these samsAric
afflictions, by ordering His amsangal to be born as AzwArs to propagate His
Glory. (dharmasamsthA bhanarthAya sambhavami yugE yugE- through some form
or the other appearing again and again). The AzhwArs had come to rule us
with their marvellous poems (pasurams) on the Lord (ALa vandhavaRgaL). 

The very fact that the Lord made AzheArs appear in different castes/jAthis,
proves to us that to pray to our Lord there is no difference/disparity or
partiality with respect to caste/creed/sex etc., Wherever and whatever you
are born as; when we become a Thondar (His and His bhaktALsí servant), we
are all one and equal.     

Ozhivil kalamellAm udanAi manni vazhuvilA adimai seyya vEndum nAAm
thezhi kural aruvi thiruvEnkadatthu ezhil koL jothi enthai thandhai
thandhaikkE. (3.3.1)

ThiruvEnkadavA, en appA(my fatherís fatherís father), who is standing as a
Beautiful, sparkling, Light at Tirumalai where Big noisy scenic waterfalls
are roaring "HHHOOO" rhyming "GovindhAAAAA" We should always (for infinite
amount of time- for ever) serve you by being with you and near you and
perform all sorts of kainkaryams.

God willing,  I will start off individual AzhwAr perumai in my next post in
this series.

It is all from what I heard from upanyasakALs,. My grandfather and father
and what I read later; It is only done in good fath to instill a desire for
a novice to read AzhwArs' pasurams and get enjoyment. Any mistake or
errors- Please bring them to my notice; It is all due to my
misunderstanding or lack of understanding/inability. Any positive
vibrations caused in you by reading them is attributable to Him and His
BhAgavatALs only (in spite of my posting them)

Thanks again for all your patience and encouraging words.

AzhwArgaL thiruvadigaLe saraNam

Ram Ram

madhava dAsan