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[sv-rituals] Panguni Uttaram

From: rangaswamy_m (mani_at_alum.calberkeley.org)
Date: Thu Mar 28 2002 - 12:38:48 PST

[ Take from the Oppiliappan group -- Moderator ] 

Sri:
SrimatE Gopaladesika MahadesikAya Namaha,
Dear Bhakthas,
On this most sacred Panguni Uttaram day,  adiyen wishes to share a 
few 
thoughts on the Divine Couple of Srirangam. Panguni Uttaram is 
the Tirunakshatram of Sri Ranganayaki Thayar. The month of Panguni 
is sacred since the Tirunakshatram of Lord Ranganatha 
and Sri Ranganayaki Thayar occur during this month. A number of 
important events transpired on Panguni Uttaram. The marriage of Lord 
Rama 
to Sita Piratti was solemnized by sage Vashishta at Mithila on 
this day. Some accounts of the Ramayana state that Hanuman returned 
from Lanka on this day and provided the glad tidings of locating 
Sita to Lord Rama. It is also believed that Lord Rama on this very 
day 
offered prayers to his Kula Dhanam (Lord Ranganatha) and began his 
campaign to destroy Ravana. This is the only day on which the Divya 
Dampatis of Srirangam are seen together in Utsavam. The Utsavam 
takes place at the royal court located at the western entrance of 
the great Temple of Lord Ranganatha. Interestingly, this is the only 
entrance which does not have a Rajagopuram. Incredibly  
Sri Ramanujacharya chose this blessed day for delivering the Gadya 
Trayam, unambiguously outlining the doctrine of SharaNagati-which is 
atma Vivaham (wedding of the jivAtma to the paramAtma). 

On the blessed Panguni Uttaram day, Sri Ramanujacharya gathered his 
disciples and 
visited the great Temple of Lord Ranganatha. Our Paramacharya was 
greatly moved by the majestic sight of the Divya Dampatis beautifully 
decorated in Utsavam at the Royal Court of Lord Ranganatha. As a 
result of this Anubhavam, Sri Ramanujacharya poured out his heart 
in an extremely soulful, highly intimate, and deeply intense 
SharaNagati in the Sharanagati Gadyam and the Sri Ranganatha Gadyam. 
As a result, he was blessed with an exquisite vision of Sri 
Vaikuntam,  
which is brilliantly mirrored in the Sri Vaikunta Gadyam. The Gadya 
trayam is our Paramacharya's Svanishtai Prapatti at the feet of the 
Divine couple. 

The Gadyam form of salutation is a prose-poem eulogy in which long 
strings of adjectives and epithets are interspersed with shorter 
strings to provide a mesmerizing effect on the both the listener and 
the person rendering it. This form of salutation is unique to 
the Srivaishnava tradition. Gadyam when recited along traditional 
lines 
with carefully selected stopping points creates a lilting
effect on the ear. Examples of such salutations are 
"TadanubhavajanitAnava dhikAtishaya PrItikAritAsheshAvastOchita 
SheshAsheshataikarati Rupa 
Nitya KinkarO Bhavani" of the Sri Ranganatha Gadyam, "Tanutara 
Vishika 
VithAdana ViGhataita VisharAru SharAru TatakA TatakEya" of the 
Raghuveera Gadyam, "Sheshachala Garudachala, Vrishabhachala 
Narayanachala Anjanachaladrishikari MAlAkulasya" of the Srinivasa 
Gadyam and "BheeshaNa Bhadra Simha Jaya Simha Roopa Simha, RaNa Simha 
Veera Simha" of the Narasimha Gadyam.

The SharaNagati Gadyam and Sri Ranganatha Gadyam are unparalleled in 
establishing the primordial doctrine of SharNagati, fundamental to 
Bhagavad Ramanuja Darshanam. Several references from Shruti can 
be associated with salutations contained in the Gadya Trayam. For 
example, the salutation "Sthairya" denoting the eternal and permanent 
nature of the Lord is reflective of the Narayana Sooktam Rk
"Patim VishvasyAtmeshvaragam Shashvatagam Shivamachyutam". The 
supremacy 
of Lord Narayana declared in the Gadya Trayam arises from 
the Narayana Sooktam salutation "Narayana Param Brahma Tatvam 
Narayana 
Para:" and the Narayana Upanishad salutation "NishkaLo NiranjanO 
NirvikalpO NirAkyatha: Shuddho Deva Eko Narayana: Na DvitiyOsti 
Kaschit". The eulogy "Evam Bhoota Bhumi NeeLa Nayaka" can be 
related to the Purusha Sooktam Rk "HrIscha TE LakshmIscha Patnyou" 
The Shuddha Satva permeating Sri Vaikuntam glorified in the Sri 
Vaikunta Gadyam is reflective of the Purusha Sooktam Rk "Tamasa: 
ParastAt". The act of unconditional surrender to the lotus feet of 
the Lord is described in the Narayana Upanishad as "Narayana 
SayujyamavApnOti Narayana SayujyamavApnOti". As a result of 
attaining the Lotus feet of the Lord one is blessed with the eternal 
bliss of Bhagavad and Bhagavata Kaimkaryam serving at the pleasure 
and for the pleasure of the Lord. This is described in the Vishnu 
Sooktam salutation "TadvishNoh Paramam Padagam SadA Pashyanti 
Soorayaha" and the Taittriya Upanishad salutation "Sa YekO 
BrahmaNanandA" 

H.H. Swami Rangapriya Mahadesikan Swami waxes eloquent on the 
distinction between a servant and a slave as "A servant is one who 
works for 
wages. He has a separate existence, separate life, home, and family
from his master. He only pleases his master with the view of earning 
more money and 
and asks Kim Kuru Kim Kuru?. However, one who has surrendered to 
Lord Narayana is eternally bound to the Lord like a slave. He has 
no separate existence, home, life or family from his master and most 
importantly does not desire or receive wages for his Kaimkaryam. 
He serves exclusively for the pleasure and at the pleasure of the 
Lord." 
One can see this from Sri Ramanujacharya's desire for eternal 
Kaimakaryam in the Sri Ranganatha Gadyam salutation 
nithya kaimkaryaikaratirUpa nithya dhAsyam dhAsyatIti 
vishvAsapUrvakam 
Bhagavantham nitya kinkarathAm prArthayE". 

The most detailed exposition and commentary on the Gadya Trayam was 
undertaken by Sri Periya VacchAn PiLLai in Sanskrit. In this posting 
adiyen will briefly outline the 
salient aspects of the three Gadyams. The SharaNagati 
Gadyam commences with a eulogy of Sri Ranganayaki Thayar. In it 
our Paramacharya seeks the blessings, support and grace of Thayar 
for his Svanishtai Prapatti to the Lord of Srirangam. The salutation 
Akhila Jagan Mataram Asman Mataram is noteworthy because, prior 
to seeking the favour of his father (PitAsi Lokasya), the Acharya 
points out that it is imperative to obtain the blessings and support 
of the Supreme Mother of the Universe. This also points to the 
exalted 
role of Mahalakshmi Thayar in the process of granting Prapatti. The 
process of granting SharaNagati is a Yajna performed by the Lord. In 
this Yajna, Thayar offers her help and support to the Lord as 
VishNu Patni. This is glorified in the neeLa sooktham rk "pruthivyA 
asyE shAna jagathO vishNu pathni". 
Thayar's merciful glances filled with Vatsalyam urge the 
Lord to rush to the succour of the Baddha JivAtma. It is this 
blessing 
that Sri Ramanujacharya seeks of Thayar in the opening salutation 
of the SharaNagati Gadyam. 

Having successfully received Thayar's Anugraham (asthu thE salutation 
from the SharaNagati gadyam), our Acharyan proceeds to glorify the 
Lord splendidly. Our Acharya extols the Lord's limitless 
auspicious attributes, various ornaments and jewels which adorn his 
Tirumeni (Kaustubha, PitAmbara, KarNa Kundala, MuktAdamodara). The 
Divya 
Ayudhas (Shanka, Chakra, Gada, Saranga, and Nandaka) are exquisitely 
praised. This is followed by NaichyanusandAnam on the part of the 
Acharya in which he confesses all of his shortcomings and traces it 
to 
his inextricable association with Karma on account of being immersed 
in 
the endless ocean of Samsara. He also admits to commiting Bhagavad 
Apacharam, Bhagavata Apacharam and nanavida Apacharam and seeks the 
Lord's forgiveness for all his sins.  Sri Ramanujacharya then 
requests the Lord for Para Bhakti, Para JnAna and 
Parama Bhakti and glorifies the Dvaya Mantram as he formally 
surrenders 
to the Lord's Lotus feet. The Acharya's 
request for Para Bhakti, Para JnAna and Parama Bhakti was granted 
when 
the Lord of Srirangam broke his Archa Samadhi and addressed the 
Acharya thus "dvayamArthAnusandhanEna saha sadaivam vaktA 
yavatsharira 
pAthamAthraIva srirangE suKhamAsva" (Remain in Srirangam 
engaged in constant recitation of the Dvaya Mantram until thy body 
falls to the earth). The conclusion of the SharaNagati Gadyam 
contains important 
salutations from the Ramayana (Ramo DvirnAbhi BhashatE)and Srimad 
Bhagavad Gita (Charma Shlokam) intended to reinforce mahAvisvAsam in 
all his ShishyAs. 

As a result of this Anubhavam and the Lord's command, our Paramcharya 
derived supreme bliss. He then craves for more of the same. Fearful 
of 
being disturbed from this esctatic state, the Acharya seeks a method 
for 
continued Bhagavad Anubhavam. He resolves that the best 
way of continued Anubhavam is by being of exalted service to the Lord 
at all times in all forms under all circumstances (tadhanubhava 
janithAnavaDhikAthishaya 
preetikArithAsheshAvastOchitAsheshAsheshataikarathi 
rupa). Accordingly, he requests this of the Lord in the Sri 
Ranganatha Gadyam. 

The structure of the Sri Ranganatha Gadyam is similar to the 
SharaNagati Gadyam in that it commences with a eulogy of the Lord 
and his limitless auspicious attributes, followed by a confession of 
shortcomings on account of association with SamsAra in a mood of 
intense Naichyanusandanam (the salutations thila thailavat dhAru 
vanhivath and samasthAthma guna viheena: reflect this), as a prelude 
to 
the formal SharaNagati to the Lord's Lotus feet at the conclusion of 
the 
Gadyam. As a result of this, the Acharya was blessed with a 
beautiful vision of Sri Vaikuntam which is brilliantly described 
in the Sri Vaikunta Gadyam.

The Vaikunta Gadyam is a description of Sri Vaikuntam through the 
eyes of a liberated one (Mukta Jivan). In it is contained the 
important message that Surrender to Lord Narayana's Lotus feet 
(Narayana Sayujyam) results in SAlOkyam (attaining the abode of 
Lord Narayana), SarUpyam (Shuddha Satvam) and Sameepyam (remaining 
close to the Lord). These aspects are brought out by our 
Paramacharyan with consummate effect. The eternal Kaimkaryam 
performed by Nityasooris like Ananta, Garuda, Vishvaksena and the 
Dwara Palakas to Sri Vaikuntam is most beautifully glorified and a 
brief glimpse of the bountiful treasure awaiting a muktha is provided 
by Sri Ramanujacharya in the Vaikunta Gadyam. Adiyen wishes to 
conclude this post reflect with gratitude on the "puna: puna: 
praNamya" salutation of our Paramacharyan, who most compassionately 
revealed the margam of prapatti for all his shishyas. 

Namo Narayana,

Sri Ranganayika Sametha Sri Ranganatha ParabrahmaNe Namaha,

SriMuralidhara Dasan



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