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Poygai AzhwAr Thirunakshathram(Birthday)

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Thu Oct 29 1998 - 18:20:02 PST

Dear BhakthAs :

Today is the day of Iypaasi SravaNam (VishNu
Nakshathram ) .On this day , Poygai AzhwAr was born 
inside a golden lotus flower in the PushkariNi (temple
Tank ) at Kanchipuram YathOkthakAri's temple as ayOnijar .
Since he was born in a Poygai ( pond ) , he is 
revered as Poygai AzhwAr .
He is considered the amsam of Sriman NaarAyaNA's 
Conch, Paanchajanyam .MudaliAndaan in his invocatory
paasuram (Taniyan ) salutes this AzhwAr as " Kavij~nar
pOrERu " (pOrkkALai ) or the Victorious fighting 
bull among the poets .MudaliAndAn summarizes the 
contributins of Poygai AzhwAr this way :
" vaitthu adiyavarhaL vAzha arum Tamizh 
nURRanthAdhi padi viLanga seythAn parinthu "
AzhwAr was a parama bhagavathar . Out of concern for 
the welfare of his fellow BhagavathAs of the world 
( Vaitthu adiyavarhaL vAzha ) , our AzhwAr composed
the most beautuiful 100 paasurams in the anthAdhi 
style , where the last word of the paasuram becomes 
the beginning word of the next paasuram .

MudaliAndAn describes the contribution of Poygai pirAn 
this way :" padi viLanga parinthu aru Tamizh nURRanthAdhi 
seythan ".The words "padi ViLanga" is important . AzhwAr's 
kaimkaryam is to help us comprehend clearly the steps 
that one takes to gain the benefits of learning Vedams 
and VedAngams , Karma YogAnushtAnams,Prapatthi yOgAnushtAnam , 
the ascent to Sri Vaikuntam by archirAdhi maargam through 
recognition of Sriman NaarAyaNA as the supreme one among 
the Gods with MahA visvAsam . 

MudaliAndAn points out that Poygai AzhwAr 
out of his overflowing Bhakthi (bhakthi parivAham ) 
for the Lord and compassion for the suffering humans 
blessed us with these "sonn maalais" ( Garlands made
of fragrant paasurams ). in this context , AzhwAr in
his very first paasuram states " seyya sudarAzhiyAnukkE
soottinEn sonn maalai , idarAzhi neenguhavE yenRu " .
He makes it clear that  these garlands are exclusively 
for the Lord adorning the Sudarsanam of shining flames
with the choice of the word " sudarAzhiyAnkkE " , similar
to ANDAL's clear statement in ThiruppAvai , "UnakkE
naamm aat chyvOm ". 

DevathAntharams are banished in the above vAkhyams and 
the Lord is recognized as AadhimUlam or the supreme One .
AzhwAr also points out that he had a motive in 
offering the word-garlands to Sriman NaarAyaNA .
That motive as a compassionate AchAryA is :
"idarAzhi neenguhavEyenRu ". Idar Aazhi means 
the ocean of misery and unhappiness that a bhaddha 
jeevan experiences in this samsAram . For the sole
purpose of drying up of that ocean (neenguhavE yenRu )
of misery, AzhwAr points out that he interceded with
the Lord through his garland samarpaNam .This is "parivu"
or compassionate intercession . 

Our Lord has the radiant Sudarsanam sending out hot rays 
to dry up the samsaric ocean . AzhwAr also does his part :
he makes the entire earth as the ahal( container )viLakku ,
the entire ocean as the ghee to fuel that lamp and the hot 
Sun as the lamp that shines there ( vaiyaam takaLiyA ,
vaar kadalE neyyAha , veyya kathirOn viLakku aaha ).

The grandest conception of invoking the entire earth
as the holding vessel , the oceans as the energizing 
ghee(fuel) and the Sun as the lustre of that lamp 
earns this AzhwAr and his two brethern the mangaLAsAsanam
of Swami Desikan in Srimadh Rahasya Traya Saaram
(AchArya KruthyAdhikAram ) , the collective title ,
" Paattukkuriya pazhayavar moovar " .Swami Desikan 
points out what the misison of these three AzhwArs were :
" naattukkiruL seha naanmaRaianthi nadai viLanga ".
Swami Desikan states that the ThirukkovalUr DehaLIsan
squeezed them tight in the short space of a dEhaLI
so that the three AzhwArs would banish the sorrows 
of the world thru their three Sri Sookthis , which
are the distillation of the three rahasyams encompassing
Tattvam, Hitham and PurushArtham .

AzhwAr's uninterrupted chinthanai of the Lord
(dhruva smrithi ) as he lay in the womb of the 
golden lotus at the ThiruvehhA poygai is referred 
to in another of his paasuram this way :
" anRu karu arangatthuL kidanthu kai thozuthEn 
kanDEn Thiruvaranga mEyAn disai ". Even before 
coming out of the Kanchana padmam (golden lotus)
and as he lay in the womb of that lotus , his head 
was already turned towards the direction of 
Sri KomaLavalli samEtha Sri Sonna VaNNam seytha 
perumAL in a mood of reverence and dhyAnam .

Sriman NaarAyaNA , who came to rescue the Brahma 
dEvan's Yaj~nam at Kaanchipuram laid down
as a dam (VehhaNai/vEgAsEthu) across the fast flowing 
Sarasvathi in the form of a river .He protcted the 
Yaagam of BrahmA the completion of which led to 
the appearance of Sri VaradarAjan in His PuNyakOti
VimAnam on top of Hasthigiri . Swami Desikan points
out that the very same ParamjyOthi is seen both at
the middle of Vegavathi river as well as on top
of Hasthigiri :

yEkam VegavathI madhyE HasthisailE cha dhrushtathi 
upAya Phala bhAvEna svyam vyaktham param maha :

This self-manifest jyOthi is not an antharjyOthi
seen in the middle of Srirangam , but the BhairjyOthi 
seen at ThiruvehhA .

I had the good fortune of visiting this divya desam 
associated with Poygai AzhwAr , Thirumazhisai AzhwAr
and YathOkthakAri PerumAL exactly two weeks ago .
The beauty of the Lord of ThiruvehhA is indescribable .
The fifteen Paasurams of the divya Prabhandham 
( one paasuram from Poygai, one paasuram from NammAzhwAr ,
Three from Thirumazhisai, four from pEy AzhwAr and 
six from Thirumangai ) on the Lord of ThiruvehhA are
beautiful ones to reflect upon .

In my next post , I will write about them .
Tomorrow is the combination of Avittm and 
Sathayam , the birth stars of BhUtham and
pEy AzhwArs. Betwen themselves , the three 
Mudal AzhwArs have performed MangaLAsAsanams
on EmperumAns of 35 of the 108 divya dEsams . 
Poygai has eulogized 7 divya dEsams , BhUtham has 
sung about the Lords of 13 divya dEsams and 
pEy AzhwAr has offered his salutations to the 
Moorthys of 15 divya desams .

Mudal AzhwAr ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam 
Daasan , Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan