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tiru-k-kuRaL-appan (2 of 2).
Date: Sat Sep 09 2000 - 08:32:27 PDT

(tiru-k-kuRaL-appan :   2 of 2).

It happened that SrirAma paid a visit to
Sri vibheeshaNa in Srilanka just to renew memories
of a dear comraderie, and the latter was delighted
and was in a flutter to select appropriate gifts to
SrirAma as return of  honours.   At that moment, 
vAyu manifested and reported an interesting fact
to SrirAma.   Ever since mahAbali had been visited
by Sri vAmana, an image of the Lord had been made,
consecrated and been in the worship of the lankA's
rulers, down to the time of Sri vibheeshaNa.   (It is
to be assumed that SrirAmAyaNam does not report
this, as rAvaNa was given to degenerate ways and 
was not aware of the vAmana-vigraham, or would not
have cared.)

vAyu urged the Lord to take with him the vaishNava
'vigraham' for installation in the kingdom of 
kAnyA-kubjam where Satrughna ruled from its capital 

"ih/Asti vaishNavee-mUrti: 
  pUrvam baddhO balir-yayA
tAm nayasva mahA-bhAga, 
kAnyA-kubjE pratishThaya."

SrirAma gladly accepted the precious 'archA' image 
of SrivAmana, offered a 'tirumanjanam' (bath) and,
placing it in the 'pushpakam', reached mathurA and
installed SrivAmana with proper sacraments at the
place called 'mahOdayam' on the banks of river
gangA.  (The Uttar Pradesh government museum at
Mathura has a buff sandstone image of SrivAmana,
bearing Sankham, chakram,  gadA, and padmam 
in His four hands.   This was discovered in March 
1978 in a parcel of agricultural land in Meerut city 
irrigated by gangA, and included in what was once
known as kAnyA-kubjam.

One may say that with this, SrirAma and 
Sri vibheeshaNa, broke even by echanging the gifts
of Sriranganatha and of  SrivAmana.    If it is noted
that Lord Sriranganatha casts His tranquil glance of grace southward in the direction of SrivibheeshaNa's kingdom of SrilankA, it could well be more than fanciful to suggest that it was on the Lord's divine decree (divyAjnA) that the shrine of SrivAmana (tiru-k-kuRaL-appan) was got up at the southern portals of Srirangam city.   This would simply make for the profound cumulative ambience of SriranganAtha and SrirAma on the one hand, and of mahAbali-SrivibheeshaNa and SrivAmana on the other.   Alternatively, it is likely that SrivAmana (tiru-k-kuRaL-appan) was consecrated here by SrivibheeshaNa on one of his loving visits, as establishing his own heirloom in Srirangam which was the sacred site where he himself had reached 

In the Srirangam tiru-k-kuRaL-appan-sannidhi, 
SrivAmana (in his tranquil monolith 'archA')
stands facing the east.   He wears the tuft on his 
crown, an umbrella in his upheld left hand and the 
water-bottle (kamaNDalu)  held down in the right.


mahAbali is in the core of two precious thoughts,
the river gangA and the festival of deepAvali.
It was when Lord SrivAmana received mahAbali's
gift of three measures that the Lord shot into his
cosmic form of tri-vikrama, and strode up and down
the cosmos measuring just two feet.  It is well known
that  brahma-dEva washed the Lord's feet and the
washing cascaded down as river gangA, known as


As the Lord touched with His foot in blessing the 
bowed crown of mahAbali, he also granted that 
the great festival of lights (deepAvali) would begin
as mahAbali's  commemoration.

tava bhAvee mahOtsava:"

[The deepAvali is also the celebration of
SrirAma's return in glory to Sri ayOdhyA, 
after his victory over (and annihilation of) rAvaNa 
on the vijaya-daSamee day.

The third signficance of deepAvali attaches to 
SrikrishNa's grant of naraka's request to be
remembered for dying in battle with the Lord.]


svAmi-dESika addresses tiru-k-kuRaL-appan
as the protector ("rakshA-vAmana"), and 
SrijayadEva, author of geeta-gOvindam, as
the Wonder ("adbhuta-vAmana").   The author
of the Tamil classic, tiru-k-kuRaL, marvels at
the vastness of tri-vikrama's strides.

The kaThOpanishad points out that of the
vitalisms sustaining life in the body, the 'prANa'
flows upwards and 'apAna' netherwards.   The
greater, if subtler, fact is that the vitalisms are
themselves dependent on vAmana pulsating
in the centre ~ "madhyE vAmanam Aseenam
nitya-yuktA upAsatE".

SrivAmana's glory is beautifully instanced in 
Sri-rAmAyaNam and in periyAzhvAr tirumozhi.
When the hulky warrior of rAvaNa's army 
taunts Lakshmana as a weakling, the latter 
rebukes him and reminds him of how it was the 
diminutive lad SrivAmana who grew to take 
the entirety of the three worlds in his cosmic 

"bAlO/yam iti vijnAya 
na cha avajnAtum arhasi,
bAlEna vishNunA lOkA:
traya: krAntA: trivikramai:"

The inimitable periyAzhvAr gets into
the spirit of yaSOdA demanding of the 
moon in the sky to come down to divert her 
infant Krishna while she gives him feed.  
The moon, of course, stays in his orbit and
the fond mother is not too much pleased.

"SiRuvan enRu enn iLam-Singattai
      ikazhEl kaNDAi !
SiRumaiyin vArttaiyai mAvali-yiDai-c-
      chenRu kEL !"

("Dare you slight my darling as a mewling no-man!   
You would certainly want to talk to mahAbali what this no-man did unto him !")

SrivAmana (tiru-k-kuRaL-appan) is twin with trivikrama among the 'avatAram' (incarnations) of the Lord Sriman Narayana.  In the heart of the Great Temple of Srirangam, enshrined in the sanctum of the Sriranga-vimAnam, is the Pure Existence (Suddha-sattvam) as the Majestic  Principle (para-vastu), yet the 
Lord of felicitous access to his devotees, the Lord endearing as the azhakiya-maNavALan (the Bridegroom Beautiful).    

At the portals of this sacred city stands  
tiru-k-kuRaL-appan, 'vAmana'  the dainty 
enchanter and novice, the "kuraL-brahmachAri" showing the path to reach the Bridegroom Beautiful 
in the interior of the city.

Two of the Lord's names are "sukhada:" and
"nAikada:", the giver of happiness, giver of
plenty.   tiru-mazhiSai AzhvAr exalts  these very 
attributes of Lord SrivAmana:

"aRindu aRindu vAmanan aDi-yiNai vaNanginAl
SeRindu ezhunda jnAnamODu Selvamum SirandiDum
maRindezhunda teN-tiraiyuL mannu-mAlai vAzhttinAl
paRindezhundu tee-vinaikaL paR-R-aRudal pAn.maiyE."

                                  (tiru-c-Chanda-viruttam 74).

The Mahabharata sequel of  'hari-vamSam'  contains
the enchanting and mystical ('gadyam') hymn recited by Sri kaSyapa-prajApati when his wife Aditi gave birth to SrivAmana.   For those who are unable to find this, 
the following SlOkam is offered:

namO-nama: kAraNa-vAmanAya
namO/stu tasmAi purushOttamAya !

                      (SrivAmana-purANam Chap.95).


           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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