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Re: paramanin aruL-arunagiri nadar.

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Mon Sep 07 1998 - 13:09:43 PDT

Dear Sri NarAyaNan KazhiyUr ;

As a part of my general studies on all 
siddhanthams that are relevant to appreciate
the greatness of Sri VisishtAdvaitham , I have read 
extensively the works of Saiva NaayanmArs and 
SekkizhAr as well as all the siddhars including
Raamalingha SwamigaL , who composed a 
moving poem on ThiruveLLUr Sri VeerarAghavan .

AruNagirinAthar's brilliant works including 
Thiruppukazh known for its literary excellence
and TaaLa intricacies are a class by
themselves , when it comes to anubhavam of 
a ShaNmugha Bhaktha. He paid ample tributes
to the uncle of ShaNmughan , Sri MahA VishNu .
Many of his poems end with the address ," PerumALE ".
He was originally from a Bengali family ,
who settled down in Tamil Naadu and became
adept at composition and filled with Bhakthi
after he was saved by Murughan , when 
he (the despondent Arunagiri) threw himself from 
the temple power at ThiruvaNNAmalai .
Until then , he had run after women and 
led a life chasing siRRibham .
Murughan blessed the bhakthan with 
His ShadAkashara manthram and gave him 
the power of composition and sangItha JnAnam 
and opened his eyes to pErinbham .

The Thiruppadi sevai at ThirutthaNi is 
the place to be on a new year's day for
ShaNmugha BhakthAs and the students of 
AruNagiri Naathar's Thiruppukazh , his 
major work .In the past , a great bhakthA
by the name of "THiruppukazh MaNi" led
the BhakthAs step by step up the hill 
to the temple of ThiruthtaNi Murughan 
and on eaxh step sang one Thiruppaukazh 
to the accompaniment of hand cymabals 
and TaaLam . Kandar Alankaaram ,
Kandar AnubhUthi et al are his
other beautiful works drenched in
Bhakthi for his UpAsanA mUrthy . 

The chantham in AruNagiri Nathar's 
Thiruppukazh is some what similar to 
the chantham in the Thirucchantha Viruttham of 
Thirumazhisai AzhwAr . This AzhwAr 
was once a SivA worshipper and gave it up 
to become the Parama BhakthA of Sriman NaarAyaNA .
He explains the hierarchy of the lineage
of MahA VishNu in his great work ,
Naan mukhan ThiruvanthAdhi and recognizes
and salutes Him as THE GRAND SIRE .Swami Desikan's
Chanthams ( rhythmic structure rooted in TaaLam)
as evidenced  in his Desika Prabhandham 
works are THE most moving and is a proof
of his Sarva Tanthra Swathanthravam 
with the layaa ( TaaLam ) aspects .  

Among the 63 NaayanmArs , the four , 
Appar , Sambhandar , Sundarar and 
MaaNickka Vaachakar are the most well known 
and their works were recovered from Chidamabharam
after many years of being lost . White ants had eaten 
quite a bit of the palm leaves and whatever was left 
were codified by a great VinAyaka BhakthA and 
are available today to us . Like Prabhandha 
GhOshti on Divya Prabhandham ,the OduvArs GhOshti sing
these beautiful ThevAra Pathikams set to ancient
PaNNs in uthsavams at great Saivite Temples
such as Lord NatarAjA at Chidambharam , ThiruvArUr
et al . They are moving to hear as recited by
the strictly trained OdhuvArs trained in classic 
centers like Dharmapuram in ChOLa nAdu .The sound
of hand cymbals beating rhythym is most appealing . 

Among the 4 NaayanmArs referred to above , 
Sambhandhar of SeerkAzhi and Appar  were 
contemproariries  of Thirumangai . Our 
Thirumangai AzhwAr coming from a small village
close to SeerkhAzhi( ThirukkurayalUr) defeated Sambhandhar ,
the teen ager in a poetic contest and gained the 
title of Naalu Kavi Pulavar. Sambhandhar lived only
for 16 years and is said to have to taken his 
parents and friends with their bodies to KailAsam
at the end of his earthly existence. Appar was a grand 
old man and was a convert from Jainism by his devout Sister 
into Saivism . He is affectionaltely hailed as 
ThirunAvukkarasar or the King of the scared tongue.

MaaNiccka Vaachakar was like the Rama Bhakthar , 
BhadrAchala Raama Das in that he diverted the King's 
money for God's service and was saved by the Lord 
in his time of travail , when the angry king was ready
to punish him .MaaNickka Vaachakar's ThiruvAchakam 
is a beautiful set of poems in Tamil literature 
dealing with Bhakthi , but he has some Veera saivam 
aspect sneaking in some of these pathikams
that mars this spirit of the total effect .
His ThiruvempAvai has some similiarity to
ThiruppAvai except that the girls who are 
being awakened in the early morning of 
Margazhi are asking for the blessing
of having husbands , who are Siva BhakthAs .
ANDAL on the other hand asked for the Nithya 
Kaimkaryam to Sriman NaarAyaNA and Him alone 
in her ThiruppAvai .

Sri VaishNavAs know Lord SivA as a great
BhakthA of His grandfather, Sriman NaarAyaNA 
and the author of Manthra Raaja Padha Sthothram on
Lord Narasimhan . The worship of SivA 
reaches our Lord NaarAyaNaa as indicated by the story
in MahA Bharatham , where ArjunA's Siva Pujai
ends up at the feet of Lord KrishNA . 

The Saivite NaayanmArs are fond of LingOthbhavar
story to establish the superiority of their 
Ishta Dhaivam . But the source of that incident 
is from Siva PurANams and it is not corroborated
elsewhere .Some of the sthala purANams of
VaishNavite Divya Desams relate to this incident ,
when they celebrate Sriman NaarAyaNA as 
Hara Saapa Vimochanan . Haran ( Sivan ) had 
the curse from His father , BrahmA for plucking 
one of His five heads in anger for lying . The kapaalam 
stuck to the palm of the Kapaali and Brahma Hatthi dhOsham 
resulted from such an act . At ThirukkaNdiyUr 
divya desam , Sriman NaarAyaNA filled the kapaalam
stuck to the hand of His grandson with His own blood
and that led to the Kapaalam getting detatched from 
the hand of Sivan (Haran ) and the Saapam (curse ) 
was removed ( vimOchanam).

Lord SivA's salutation to Sri VishNu in 
Sri VishNu Sahasra Naamam ( Sahasra naama
tatthulyam Raama Naama varAnanE ) is the ancient
PramANam . Adhi SankarA elcted to write commentary
for Sri VishNu sahasra naamam . 

You are absolutely correct in your assessment
that the NayanmArs are not "Advaithins" , but
SaguNa Brahma UpAsakars of Lord SivA with 
great Bhakthi .  

Hope these comments provide additional perspective ,


   At 05:00 AM 9/7/98 PDT, you wrote:
>Srimathe ramanujaya nama:
>Dear Bhagavatas,
>now our Mr.chandrasekar has talked about arunagiri nadar and thirupukaz.
>infact any person (incl. srivaishnavas) would appreciate if one reads 
>works in tamil by saivaite nayanmaras and esp. works by ramalingaswamy 
>here one should remember that, the philosophy of nyanmars and other 
>saivaite followers were not that of "ADVAITA"
>like srivaishnavas, they also outrightly rejected advaitin beliefs.
>the main difference between saivaites and sri vaishnavities could be of 
>who is the para brahman.
>further, with specifc ref to arunagiri nadar, he also composed hymns on 
>Sri varadaraja and tirumal eugulising his paratva.
>can the learned memebers in the group throw light on the same?
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