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Iraamaanusa Noorandhaadhi Upanyaasam - (Translated in English by VEDICS Team)
Date: Sat Sep 08 2001 - 14:27:44 PDT

Foreword :-

We from VEDICS Iraamaanusa Noorandhaadhi Team would first like to 
seek the blessings of all bhaagvathaas before proceeding in this 
small kaimkaryam of translating Iraamaanusa Nootrandhaadhi in English 
according to the upanyaasam rendered by U.Ve. Velukkudi Krishnan 
Swamy. We also request all bhaagavathhas, mahaanubhaavaas and other 
learned scholars to pardon us if we have scribbled something that may 
be incorrect. If we have done so, it is purely because of our 
ignorance, and lack of sampradaic knowledge. We further submit the 
forthcoming postings of Iraamaanusa Nootrandhaadhi to the lotus feet 
of Bhoomi, Neela, Lakshmi Devi sametha, Sriya: pathi Sriman 
Naraayanan and our beloved Emperumaanar and all Aazhwaars and 
Poorvaachaaryaas to accept this kainkaryam for themselves and guide 
us through the entire journey of this kainkaryam. We will not add, 
delete or modify any of the lines or anubhavams that U.Ve. Velukkudi 
Krishnam Swamy has given in his upanyaasam. We also seeks the 
anughrahams of U.Ve. Velukkudi Krishnan Swamy in fullfilling this 
kainkaryam without any hindrance.



Avathaarikai :-

Our beloved Lord, Bhoomi Neelaa Sri sametha Sriya: Pathi Sriman 
Narayanan, out of his extraordinary kaarunyam and love for us, has 
given us this birth as a jeevaathma with its full knowledge and 
brilliance, according to our karma in our previous births. We the
jeevaathmaas are born on this earth as a result of our paapams or 
punyams we did in our previous births. We are born as a maanusha 
janma in the first place, because of the punyams we did in the 
previous births. 

Even in this janmaa, we are born as a Srivaishnavaa because of the 
bhakthi and love that we would have shown to Emperumaan in our 
previous births. We need to understand that we are born as a 
Srivaishanavaa, in order to perform bhagavan nama sankeerthanam, and 
earnest service to bhaagavthaas; we also have to perform service to 
other living beings on this earth and show the same love and 
affection towards all living beings, the same way as our beloved Lord 
showers his love and affection on us.

Our emperumaan wants us to eradicate all our karma by doing 
saranagathi to His lotus feet and attain His feet at paramapadam, so 
that we never return to this ocean of samsaara.  We the jeevathmaas 
waste our time in materialistic pursuits instead, without realizing 
this fact. Perumaal on the other hand, showers his mercy even through 
the jeevathma's state of ignorance and yearns for the jeevathma to 
attain paramapadham.  

Even if we utter His name once, with sincere devotion, He becomes 
delighted and runs to our side at once.  This states that His 
affection for us is multifold than the affection we have for Him.  
But we forget to realize ourselves, and our true state, along with 
the extreme kaarunyam that emperumaan has towards us. We continue to 
experience and enjoy various temporary pleasures, without realizing 
that they are only for the body and not for the aathmaa. 

The aathmaa is unaffected by impurities. The aathmaa has enormous 
brilliance and knowledge about its true state. But because of 
emperumaan's maayai, all the brilliance and knowledge about aathmaa, 
is hidden to our mind. This barrier can be easily crossed by chanting 
bhagavan naamaa; doing earnest services to bhaagavthaas and 
emperumaan who will also help us in understanding our true self. Once 
we understand our Aathmaa then, we will never go behind earthly 
pleasures. But we fail to do so; hence emperumaan started thinking of 
a way to bring all of us (Jeevaathmaas) towards him. He gave all of 
us the great gift of Four Vedas, Smruthis and Suthraas, Shaastraas 
and Puraanaas. The jeevaathmaa however, fails to understand the 
meaning of these scriptures and misinterprets them in unwanted ways. 
Hence bhagavaan thinks that he failed in his attempt. As a next step, 
he thinks that, unless he is born on this earth, he cannot achieve 
his goal. So he takes his vibhavaavathaaram as said in the
following verse :-

"Meenodu Aamai kezhal ari, kuralaai, muunum iraamanaai, thaanaai, 
pinnum iraamanaai dhaamodharanaai karkiyum aanaan "

Meenodu - (Mathsya), Aamai -  (Koorma), Kezhal - (Varaaham), Ari - 
(Narasimham), Kuralaai (Vaamanam), Munnum Iraamanaai (Parasu Raman), 
Thaanaai (Rama), Pinnum Iramanaai (Bala Raman), Dhaamodharanaai 
(Krishnan), Karkiyum Aanaan (Kalki)

Here "Thaanaai" denotes Lord Rama. Even though the Lord was born as a 
normal manushyaa, He still manifested all the divine qualities of the 
supreme being.  Hence aazhwaar considers him as the supreme being 
itself and uses the word "Thaanaai". U.Ve. Velukkudi Swamy in his 
Upanyasam under the title "Aazhwaargalum Chakravarthi Thirumaganum" 
explained this quote during his recent visit to the United States.

Thus the lord came down to the earth as ten different manifestations 
to save us from this ocean of samsaaram, but he still felt that he 
couldn't attain his objective.

Bhagavaan says in bhagavadh gita "Hey Arjunaa! Even after trying 
innumerable methods to save the jeevaathmaas, they fail to realize 
that I came all the way to the earth from the heavenly abode to save 
them and I am the Supreme Being. They see me as that specific 
avataaram but not the actual Supreme Being who came down to earth as 
these vibhava avataarams. If I am born as krishnaa they neglect me by 
saying, "after all this is krishnaa who is born one amongst the 
people in gokulam"; if I show my power and brilliance from my 
heavenly abode, they say that I am unreachable. Hence I am neither 
able to show my supreme form nor the easiest form as a 
vibhavaavatharam. Since I showed only these two forms, I failed in 
this attempt. I'm still thinking of a method to save these 

Hence bhagavaan thinks that he cannot save these jeevaathmaas if he 
manifests himself as paramaathaa, because both are unequal in their 
qualities and characteristics. One cannot use the lion to catch the 
elephant, because the lion will eat the elephant. Hence the 
jeevaathmaa can be corrected only by another jeevaathmaa. So 
bhagavaan sends aazhwaars to this earth to save the jeevaathmaas. 
First comes the avataaram of perumaal's divya amsams as mudal 
aazhwaars: Poigai, Bootham, Peyaazhwaar and then pugazh mazhisai 
iyyan, arul maaran, seralar kon, thuyya bhatta nadhan, anbargaal 
thooli, narpaanan, and narkaliyan who gave us the essence of vedas. 
They did their duty in translating the vedaas as the Naalaayira Divya 
Prabandham in Tamil. But they never educated the jeevaathmaas by 
their guidance and upadesams except through their prabandhams. 
Instead they were immersed in their extreme love towards emperumaan 
themselves. They experienced emperumaan within themselves by singing 
his praise; they cried for liberation from this world, but none of 
them made an attempt to guide a normal jeevathmaa to make the 
jeevaathma realize emperumaan. Aazhwaar saw the state of the 
jeevathmaas and decided that they cannot guide these jeevaathmaas and 
instead, sought liberation from this world. They cried with love to 
emperumaan to take them away from this earth and they sang the sacred 
4000 and attained the lord's feet at paramapadam. So we had only the 
Prabandhams that they sung. This made bhagavaan think that he failed 
in this attempt also. Hence bhagavaan wanted someone to guide the 
jeevaathmaas throughout their life in understanding the inner 
meanings and intentions of vedaas, shaastraas, puraanaas and 
prabandhams.  This will make them realize the Supreme Being.
Hence bhagavaan thought of sending aachaaryaas who are like 
aazhwaars, since they were geared towards guiding the jeevaathmaa 
rather than experiencing the Supreme Being themselves, like the 

Hence emperumaan sent Sriman Naathamunigal to the earth first; 
Naathamunigal was born in Kaatu Mannaargudi. He obtained all the 
prabandhaams of aazhwaars from Swamy Nammaazhwaar, and along with 
this, Nammazhwar gave us the gift of our life to Sri Nathamunigal. 
Swamy Nammaazhwaar gave a Bhavisyadaachaaryar Vigraham of Bhagavadh 
Ramanuja to Sri Nathamunigal which can be still seen in the 
Thirukurugoor opposite to the Nammaazhwaar Sannidhi. So Nammaazhwaar 
already told nathamunigal that Bhagavad Ramanuja will be born in kali 
yuga to save the jeevaathmaas.  Bhagavad Ramanuja will be the 
lokaachaarya who will correct all jeevaathmaas and destroy the kali. 

The vigraham mentioned above was created by Sri Madurakavi Aazhwaar 
at the banks of the river Thaamraparani. When he actually wanted a 
vigraham of Nammaazhwaar, he got the vigraham of emperumaanaar 
instead. When asked, Nammazhwar replied that the vigraham appeared 
out of his own grace and anugraham and he also gave a Nammaazhwaar 
vigraham to Sri Madurakavi Aazhwaar. This vigraham has been 
maintained, and worshipped by the aachaaryaas in our lineage in 
Thirukkurugoor and is still being worshipped today. 

Swamy Vedantha Desikan in Yathiraja Sapthathi says 

 "Amunaa tapanaathishaayi bhoomnaa
  yathiraajena nibadhdha naayakasri:
  mahathi guru pankthi haara yashti:
  vibhudhaanaam hridyamgamaa vibhaathi:"

In the garland of our Guru Parampara, one side is decorated with the 
rathnaams which starts from emperumaan lakshmi nathan and other 
mudalaachaaryaas like Nathamuni, Sadagopan, Senai Nathan and on
the other side we have the rathnams like nanjeeyar, nampillai etc. 
Out of all these rathnams our emperumaanaar is like a naayaka rathnam 
who is in the middle of these rathnams. This is the condensed meaning 
of the verse above.

Swaamy Raamaanujar had a disciple called Sri Koorathaazhwaan. 
Koorathaazhwaan had a disciple named Thiruvarangathamudhanaar who 
composed a work called "Iraamaanusa Nootrandhaadhi" on
Emperumanaar. This work was heard by our beloved emperumaanaar when 
it was composed, and was accepted. One can do trikaala 
sandhyaavandhanam, one can keep performing brahma yagnyam, one can 
recite vedams but all this will only ensure that one is a true 
Braahmanaa. But to capture the mind of our beloved lord and become a 
Sri Vaishnavan, one has to recite the 108 verses of Iraamanusa 
Nootrandhaadhi every day. This is also called "The Prapanna 
Gaayathri". If not everyday, we must recite it at least once a week, 
once a month, once a year or at least once in a lifetime. If one does 
not recite this at least once in one's lifetime, emperumaan will not 
give Sri Vaikuntam to the jeevathma as we will not get Raamaanuja 
Sambandham. This ensures that we become emperumaan's adiyaar, as this 
has Sri Emperumaanaar's sambandham in it.

It has the word "Iraamaanusa" in each verse that establishes our 
relationship or sambandham with emperumaanaar. As we recite this 
every time with love and affection towards emperumaanaar, it 
establishes our sambhandam with emperumaan. 

Thiruvarangathamudhanaar was born in "Moongirkudi". He was the main 
kainkaryaparar in the Sri Rangam temple. He used to maintain the 
temple keys with him and used to read the puraanam for perumaal. But 
the temple organization was not satisfactory, as witnessed by 
emperumaanaar. Hence emperumanaar wanted to change the responsibility 
from Amudhanaar. Emperumaanar was waiting for the right time for this 
to happen. On the same night, emperumaanaar had a swapnam(dream) 
where emperumaan Sri Ranganatha came and told that "Amudanaar is 
entirely dependent on me and does kainkaryam. Hence I leave this 
issue to you". Emperumaan did not say anything else other than the 
above sentence. Hence Raamaanuja assumed that emperumaan doesn't want 
Amudanaar to be removed from the kainkaryam. 

So emperumaanaar decided to leave Sri Rangam and go to Kancheepuram 
along with Koorathaazhwaan. But koorathazhwaan thought for a while 
and said "Emperumaan's wish might not be what devareer thinks. He 
wanted devareer to correct amudanaar and make him devareer's 
disciple." Hence emperumaanaar thought that what aazhwaan suggested 
might be right. So Raamaanujar handed over the responsibility of 
correcting Amudanaar to Aazhwaan. Slowly aazhwaan corrected Amudanaar 
and brought him towards the kainkaryam of emperumaanaar. But still 
Amudanaar had the temple responsibility. Emperumaanaar thought that 
Amudanaar has to be involved in some other kainkaryam which 
emperumaanaar had in mind. If he still continued to take the 
responsibility of temple, he wouldn't be able to fulfill 
emperumaanaar's wish. In the mean time, Thiruvarangathamudhanaar's 
mother attained paramapadam. For the 11th day after her death, 
Amudanaar wanted someone to come to his gruham and participate in the 
event. On those days, if one goes for the 11th day to any house, they 
cannot participate in any koil kainkaryam or any festivals for 
another one year. To be precise they are not eligible to do anything 
for one year. Hence no one was ready to accept this offer. Amudaanaar 
approached emperumaanaar for a suitable person to come to his gruham. 
Emperumaanaar thought of this as the right time and sent 
Koorathazhwaan, reminding him of his plans to shift the temple 
responsibility from Amudanaar and correcting him at the same time.  
Accepting this as a command from his aachaaryan, azhwaan went to 
Amudanaar's griham for the 11th day kainkaryam. 

After having food at Amudanaar's house, Amudanaar asked whether 
Aazhwaan was satisfied with the food and other upachaarams. But 
Aazhwaan said that he was not satisfied. Amudannar asked aazhwaan as 
to what would satisfy Aazhwaan. Aazhwaan then asked for the temple 
keys from Amudanaar and that he should not recite puraanam for 
perumaal. He obtained both these kainkaryams and handed it over to 
emperumaanaar. Then emperumaanaar handed over the puraana patanam 
kainkaryam to koorathaazhwaan and handed over the temple key 
responsibility to mudaliyaandaan. Amudanaar was totally dejected and 
was not his normal self, which was witnessed by emperumaanaar.  
Emperumaanaar's intention was not to steal the kainkaryam from 
Amudanaar but to correct as per namperumaal's wish. 

One day when the Sapthaavaranam utsavam was being held where Pillai 
Thiruvaraga Perumaal araiyar, of Azwaar thiruvaranga Perumaal's 
lineage, was reciting prabandham in the arayar sevai. Emperumaanar 
went towards him and asked him for bhikshai.  Immediately surprised 
by this, arayar asked what he can do. Emperumaanar requested that the 
first 3000 should be recited by people of araiyar tradition as 
araiyar sevai, and the rest 1000 (Iyarpaa) along with Iraamaanusa 
Nootrandhaadhi will be recited by the kainkaryaparars from the 
Amudanaar's lineage. Even now, because of the lack of people in 
Amudanaar's tradition, the Iyarpaa is recited by normal adhyaapaka 
ghoshti and the rest 3000 by Araiyars. As requested, the araiyar 
accepted this offer and emperumaanaar handed over this kainkaryam to 
Amudanaar immediately. 

Thinking of this mahopakaaram that emperumaanaar has done for him, 
Amudanaar became extremly happy and wanted to compose a prabandham on
emprumaanaar. He composed a prabandham on emperumaanar which says  
that emperumaanar is the supreme being, emperumaanaar is 
ranganaathar, emperumaanar himself is devaathi rajan. 

After composing this, amudanaar showed it to emperumaanaar, but 
seeing the way the prabandham was composed; emperumaanaar rejected 
the prabandham saying that he doesn't want a prabandham composed in 
this manner. Dejected by this, amudanaar thought of composing a 
prabandham on emperumaanaar somehow. He took a oath to compose a 
prabandham in andhaadhi style, having the name "iraamaanusa" in each 
verse. The first half will have the name of a mahaanubhaavar who was 
worshipped by emperumaanar, and the second half will contain verses 
that says the mahaanubhaavar's thiruvadi is emperumaanaar, so that 
emperumaanar can accept this prabandham. Amudanaar chose a place near 
the adaiyavalanthaan veedhi, which is a coconut farm where he sat and 
wrote the nooranthathi. At the time of completion even without 
Amudanaar's knowledge, emperumaanar along with empaar, aazhwaan and 
mudaliyaandaan appeared and saw amudanaar composing this prabandham. 
At that time amudanaar had composed 105 verses and was about to start 
the famous saatru paasuram "Iruppidam, Inbutra, and Angayal paai" 
verses. Seeing this emperumaanaar felt that somehow amudanaar had 
established his wish of composing a prabandham on emperumaanar, which 
was also up to Emperumaanar's expectations. 

Hence amudanaar with the kataaksham of emperumaanaar composed the 
last three paasurams. To mark this occasion, unlike the traditional 
way where only last 2 paasurams will be recited during satrumurai, 
here the last three passurams were considered to be 
saatruppaasurangal with emperumaanaars anugraham.

One day, namperumaal decided that this prabandham should be 
propogated and asked emperumaanaar in his swapnam not to attend 
ghoshti on the sapthaavaranam day. The next day Iraamaanusa 
Nootrandhaadhi was recited in the absence of emperumaanaar with 
namperumaal's command. Even the naadhaswaram was stopped. From that 
day onward, on the Sapthaavaranam festival, only the Iraamaanusa 
Nootrandhaadhi will be recited as per namperumaal's command by normal 
adhyaabhaaga ghoshti rather than araiyar sevai.

Thus amudanaar's prabhandam was very happily accepted  by namperumaal 
since it was compsed on emperumaanaar. Even though initially 
amudanaar was the disciple of koorathaazhwaan, gradually by the 
brilliance and kaarunyam of emperumaanaar, he became his disciple and 
offered this great "Prapanna Gaayathri" at the lotus feet of his 
Aachaaryan; this work  was accepted and blessed so that it is 
propogated for the entire people of later generations and be the best 
amongst all prabandhams.

This journey of Iraamaanusa Nootrandhaadhi will continue and let us 
take an oath that we will do a japam of this "Prapanna Gaayathri" 
everyday, if not once in a month, or once in a year
or at least once in a each one of our lifetimes by reciting it with 
love and affection towards our beloved emperumaanaar and obtain 
raamaanuja sambandham.


(Thodarum..  Will Continue..)

Iraamaanusa Nootrandhaadhi Team
Bhaagyaa Murali Thirumalai, Narayanan K. Veeraraghavan & Mukundan 

           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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