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

ThiruppANAzhwAr - came, saw & conquered the Lord

From: V.MadhavakkaNNan (vxmadhav_at_bechtel.com)
Date: Thu Oct 30 1997 - 19:25:44 PST

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

poigaimuni bhoothathAr pEyAzhwAr thaN porunalvarunkurukEsan vittuchitthan/
tuyya kulasEkaran naM pANanAthan thondaradippodi mazhisaivandhajothi/
vaiyamellAm maraiviLanga vALvElEndhum mangaiyarkOnenRivargaL
magizhndhupAdum/
seyyatamizh mAlaigaL nAm theLiyavOdhith theLiyAdha maRainilaNgaL
theliginRomE/ (from AdhikAra sangragam by Srimad vEdAntha Desikan)

On a Kaisika EkAdasi day in the month of kArthigai, our ThiruppANAzhwAr, an
incarnation of Sri vatsa mark, the mole on Lord's Chest, where Sri
MahAlakshmi resides, appeared (as an "ayOnijA", one who is not born of
mortal beings) and was picked up and brought up by a childless pANar couple
who belong to pANar caste (untouchable "Harijan" caste)(in uRaiyoor near
SriRangam on the other side of river kAuvEri at Tirucchirappalli). PANars
were known for their sweet voice and singing in praise of BhagawAn Sriman
NarayaNan.

Our pANan also grew up singing in praise of Arangan. He used to come daily
to the banks of River KauvEri and stand there and sing for hours together
in trance enjoying the beauty of Srirangam temple from afar and imagining
the Lord's ThirumEni deeply(whom he had not seen since pANars were not
allowed to even enter the temple). 

On one such morning, the temple chief priest by name "sAranga muni" (known
as muni for his devotion and piety towards the Lord Arangan) came to the
River bank to collect water for NamperumAL's Thirumanjanam(Sacred Bath of
Archa moorthy). When he saw one pANan standing on the way, since he
belonged to untouchable category(as per the traditions existed then),
sAranga muni ordered him to give way and go away from that place. Our
bhAgavatA was totally lost in his world of Bhajan. sAranga muni shouted
angrily and even threw a small stone at him to make him come to senses(!).
The stone hit him on his forhead and it started bleeding! Our pANan
realized his blunder and apologised to muni and left the place immediately
feeling sorry for his action towards the priest of Arangan.
Muni came back to the temple and found the Lord's forehead bleeding and
muni was totally astonished and shocked. He felt really sorry for throwing
a stone at that pANan and recognised his apachAram. The entire place came
to know of the bleeding scene from Lord's idol; but not aware of the
reason. During his restless sleep, Arangan appeared and ordered the priest
to bring His bhaktA "pANAn" (whom he had scolded and wounded that day) to
the temple as a prAyaschittam for his apachAram to His bhaktA. Loka
sArangha muni realised the greatness of PANan and the next morning he
rushed to the river bank. He narrated the entire incident to pANan and
prostrated to pANan pleading for his pardon. pANan was very much embarassed
and was deeply moved by the Lord's grace and dayA on him. But he refused to
enter into the temple as he did not want to spoil the purity and sanctity
of the earth at Sri rangam. He said that he was not fit to set his foot in
the Holy place. Immediately muni carried our "pANan" on his shoulders!
(Dearest bhAgavatOttamALs, our muni is also a great person to immediately
realise his mistake and did all necessary things to do prAyaschittam
incuding carrying the pANan on his shoulders knowing fully well of the
superficial caste and untouchablity rules existed in the society. We wish
we too are blessed with such mentality to do immediate prAyachittams for
all our day to day apachArams without bothering about what others will
think of such actions).  

Our pANan was carried by Sarangha muni and was brought to Srirangam
RanganAthar sannidhi (the Sanctum sanctorum). People thronged to witness
this great scene (of a high caste individual none other than the Chief
priest bringing on his shoulders the lowest caste pANan to the sannidhi and
everyone was moved by Lord's greatness. Our pANan throughout the journey on
muni's shoulders was having his eyes closed since 1. he was highly
embarassed and 2. he was greatly moved by His daYA and His mercy with which
he has been blessed to enter into the temple, which otherwise would have
been impossible. That is the reason pANan is called MunivAhanar even today.
(Sri vEdAntha Desikan wrote a Sanskritized Tamil commentary in four verses
called "Muni vAhana Bhogam".)

On reaching the inner sannidhi of Arangan where the Majestic Lord Sri
Rangan, the Black Emerald is having His Yoga NidrA and on seeing that
Eternally Beautiful, Merciful Lord's ThirumEni our AzhwAn PANan got down
and stood with folded hands glued to each other; faced the Lord and was
looking at His entire Soiwlabhya ThirumEni. He thoroughly enjoyed His mEni
azhaghu and sang TEN EXCELLENT PASURAMS THEN AND THERE FOR WHICH THERE IS
NO COMPARISON AND PARALLEL. Out of 4000 pAsurams, this ThiruppANAzhwAr sang
just ten! and those ten are RATHINANGAL. One should recite these TEN
PASURAMS dialy and should atleast be blessed with one millionth enjoyment
of our Sri Rangan's ThirumEni azhaghu. All subsequent seers and AchAryAs
greatly pais regards to these pAsurams and ThiruppANAzhwAr. (Sri vEdAntha
Desikan composed BhagavadhyAna sOpAnam on similar lines admiring Lord
Arangan's ThirumEni azhaghu- One can see in the top verse mentoned herein
at the beginning of these posts, VedAntha Desikan refers to PANAN as
"NAMPAANANATHAN" (our pANanAthan)).

At the tenth pAsuram (the end) our ThiruppANAzhwAr says: "Lord RanganAthA
is the Supreme Sovereign of the Whole World and all the residents therein;
He, who is of the Black Colour and the Nature of (merciful) clouds; who ate
the stolen butter with his mouth and his sweet hands; who has stolen my
mind and the heart fully; and HAVING LOOKED AND ENJOYED HIS BEAUTY (I
swear) my eyes can NOT see and will never see any thing ELSE;"
With that excellent pAsuram OUR THIRUPPANAZHWAR merged and united with the
Lord Sri Ranganathar. 

(Sisters and brothers of Bhakti Group, Simply great AzhWar, Isn't he?-
Please recite these 10 pAsurams daily after bath in front of your Lord;
Just get up 10 minutes early; Please read the meanings of these 10 pAsurams
available in Bhakti Archives and appreciate and enjoy the richness of these
pAsurams - I remember to have read Sri V.Sadagopan's post on the meaning of
 ThiruppANAzhwAr's 10 GREAT pAsurams; However, If you need I can reproduce
for all your benefits as a kainkaryam to BhagavathALs. Please let me know)

ThiruppANAzhwAr thiruvadigaLE saranam
Ram Ram
adiyEn madhava dAsan