srimathE rAmAnujAya nama:
srimadh varavaramunayE nama:
sri vAnAchala mahAmunayE nama:
In the previous article (http://ponnadi.blogspot.in/2012/11/archavathara-anubhavam-thuirukkachi-nambi.html) we enjoyed thirukkachi nambi's archAvathAra anubhavam.
Let us now move on to see how emperumAnAr enjoyed archAvathAra emperumAns.
emperumAnAr had great attachment to dhivya dhEsa emperumAns. Through out his life we can see him doing direct kainkaryam to many dhivya dhEsa emperumAns such as dhEva perumAL, thiruvaranganAthan, thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn, thirunArAyaNan/chelva piLLai, thirumAlirunchOlai azhagar and many more. Wherever emperumAn goes, emperumAnAr being sAkshAth AdhisEshan, as explained by poigai AzhwAr in his mudhal thiruvanthAdhi "chenRAl kudaiyAm iruNthAl chinGgAchanamAm" (சென்றால் குடையாம் இருந்தால் சிங்காசனமாம்) pAsuram, he also follows and performs all services to him. So, emperumAnAr who knew the heart of emperumAn, showed great attachment for AzhwArs' pAsurams which are fully glorifying emperumAn's archAvathAram. emperumAnAr also physically performed various kainkaryams to dhivya dhEsa emperumAns which we shall see in due course of this article. thiruvarangathamudhanAr, who was a sishya of kUrathAzhwAn and who had great attachment towards emperumAnAr, sung 108 pAsurams glorifying emperumAnAr's vaibhavam. In many pAsurams, he brings out emperumAnAr's relationship with dhivya dhEsa emperumAns and his attachment towards them.
But, before going into emperumAnAr's archAvathAra anubhavam, let us enjoy how namperumAL enjoyed, appreciated and rewarded emperumAnAr as shown by mAmunigaL in upadhEsa rathina mAlai 38th pAsuram.
emperumAnAr dharichanam enRE ithaRku (எம்பெருமானார் தரிசனம் என்றே இதற்கு)
NamperumAL peyarittu NAtti vaiththAr (நம்பெருமாள் பெயரிட்டு நாட்டி வைத்தார்)
ampuviyOr iNthath dharichanaththai emperumAnAr vaLarththa (அம்புவியோர் இந்தத் தரிசனத்தை எம்பெருமானார் வளர்த்த)
aNthach cheyal aRigaikkA (அந்தச் செயல் அறிகைக்கா)
To reveal the greatness of emperumAnAr who groomed this great eternal sampradhAyam of srivaishnavam, NamperumAL declared that this sampradhAyam will be named as "emperumAnAr dharisanam".
In the vyAkyAnam, piLLai lOkam jIyar shows some beautiful points.
- emperumAnAr's specific greatness relate to his unconditional grace and mercy towards suffering jIvAthmAs. He revealed the prapathi mArgam to everyone, gave the divine meanings that were learnt from thirukkottiyUr nambi for everyone who had the desire to learn and was fully focussed on removing the biggest suffering (samsAram) for every one.
- He also wrote sribhAshyam to firmly establish the perfect of view of sAsthram and to protect the same from bhAhya (outsiders for vEdhic principles) and kudhrushtis (one who mis-interprets vEdhic principles).
parAsara bhattar in his sriranganAtha sthOthram glorifies emperumAnAr in relation to his attachment/visits to various dhivyadhEsams.
srIranGgam karisailam anYjanagirim thArkshyAhdri simhAchalau (ஸ்ரீரங்கம் கரிஸைலம் அஞ்ஜனகிரிம் தார்க்ஷ்யாஹ்ட்ரி ஸிம்ஹாசலௌ)
srIkUrmam purushOththamam cha badharINArAyanNam Naimisham (ஸ்ரீகூர்மம் புருஷோத்தமம் ச பதரீநாராயணம் நைமிஷம்)
srImadhdhvAravathI prayAga mathurA ayOdhyA gayA: pushkaram (ஸ்ரீமத்த்வாரவதீ ப்ரயாக மதுரா அயோத்யா கயா: புஷ்கரம்)
sALagrAmagirim NishEvya ramathE rAmAnujOyam muni: (ஸாளக்ராமகிரிம் நிஷேவ்ய ரமதே ராமானுஜோயம் முனி:)
sri rAmAnuja muni gets pleased by serving the emperumAns of various dhivyadhEsams such as srirangam, hasthigiri (kAnchipuram), thiruvEnkatam, ahObilam, simhAchalam, srikUrmam, purushOthama kshEthram (puri jagannAthar), bhadhrikAshramam, naimishAraNyam, dhvArakA, prayAg, mathurA, ayOdhya, gayA, pushkaram and sALagramam. emperumAnAr travelled all over the bhAratha dhEsam and established the srivaishnava sampradhAyam and visishtAdhvaitha sidhAntham.
ananthAzhwAn who is one of the most devoted disciples of emperumAnAr has written sri rAmAnuja chathuslOki (See http://acharya.org/vyakyanam/rcsloki/). In this beautiful prabhandham, he glorifies emperumAnAr in connection with kOil, thirumalai, perumAL kOil and thirunArAyaNapuram dhivya dhEsam and the emperumAns there.
Let us now see emperumAnAr's divine archAvathAra anubhavams.
It was here in thiruvallikkENi, kEsava sOmayAji (father of emperumAnAr) came and worshipped rukmiNi samEtha vEnkatakrishnan emperumAn and performed puthra kAmEshti yAgam to beget a child. emperumAn appeared to him and told him that he will himself take birth as his child. So, thiruvallikkENi emperumAn can be considered as the one who gave us the most valuable gift in the form of emperumAnAr.
amudhanAr glorifies the appearance of emperumAnAr in rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi 41st pAsuram. Let us enjoy that a little bit.
manNmichai yOnigaL thORum piRaNthu (மண்மிசை யோனிகள் தோறும் பிறந்து)
enGgaL mAyavanE kanNnNuRa NiRkilum kAnNagillA (எங்கள் மாயவனே கண்ணுற நிற்கிலும் காணகில்லா)
ulagOrgaLellAm anNnNal irAmAnuchan vaNthu thOnRiya appozhuthE (உலகோர்களெல்லாம் அண்ணல் இராமானுசன் வந்து தோன்றிய அப்பொழுதே)
NanNnNaru jnYAnam thalaikkonNdu NAranNaRkAyinarE (நண்ணரு ஜ்ஞானம் தலைக்கொண்டு நாரணற்காயினரே)
Even after emperumAn descending into this samsAram in many many avathArams, samsAris were unable to understand he is the sEshi (master) of everything. But as soon as rAmAnujar (who considers his adiyArs happiness/sorrow as his own) appeared, they were able to understand emperumAn and became subservient to him.
A few glimpses from the beautiful vyAkyAnam.
- Since "mAdhavan" is used to identify emperumAn, it is explained that emperumAn's krupai, kAruNyam, etc are due to pirAtti sambhandham. mAdhavan means one who is the husband of sri mahAlakshmi.
- emperumAn's efforts are explained here. emperumAn gives us karaNa kaLEbharam (body and senses), gives us jnAnam, gives us sAsthram, he takes avathArams himself as rAman, krishNAn, etc. He also instructs in gIthai in many places to worship him, etc as in "man manA bhava madh bhaktha: madh yAji mAm namaskuru ...". Even after this samsAris are not turning towards him. Not in the vyAkyAnam, but emperumAn himself becomes very upset with samsAris and says in gIthai (9.11) "avajAnanthi mAm mUdha..." - foolish men consider me human (during my avathArams) and they dont understand my supremacy.
- It is explained that samsAris realised the greatness of emperumAn as soon as emperumAnAr took birth (since when great personalities are born that has an impact in the environment). It is also explained that samsAris realised the greatness of emperumAn as soon as emperumAnAr showed them the greatness of emperumAn through his vyAkyAnams (sri bhAshyam, etc) and preaching.
This dhivya dhEsam has great importance for our sampradhAyam in relation to emperumAnAr. Let us see the reason now.
periyAzhwAr glorifies the srivaishnavas of this dhivyadhEsam in a beautiful way. selva nambi (who was glorified by periyAzhwAr) lived in this dhivya dhEsam. rAmAnujar had great attachment to thirukkOttiyUr nambi who was one of the main sishyas of ALavandhAr. ALavandhAr asked nambi to teach rahasyArthams to rAmAnujar.
rAmAnujar walked 18 times to thirukkOttiyUr to meet thirukkOttiyUr nambi to get charamaslOka artham. thirukkOttiyUr nambi finally gives out the meanings of charama slOkam to rAmAnujar and instructs them not to reveal this to anyone easily. rAmAnujar had other plans though. He was previously approached by many srivaishnavas who had great desire in learning whatever secret meanings he was going to receive. rAmAnujar called them over to the vimAnam (inner mandapam) and gave them the secret meanings. Hearing this, thirukkOttiyUr nambi was very upset and came running to rAmAnujar. He said that by revealing the meanings he has violated the commitment given to him and the punishment for disobeying AchAryan's words is narakam only. rAmAnujar says that he is willing to go to narakam if these meanings will bring great benediction for many jIvAthmAs. Being very moved with rAmAnujar's krupai and kAruNyam, thirukkOttiyur nambi declares that rAmAnujar is greater than emperumAn and will hence forth be called emperumAnAr. This is explained by mAmunigaL in mumukshupadi charama slOka prakaranam avathArikai that emperumAnAr got this name from thirukkottiyUr nambi after revealing the secret meanings of charama slOkam to the ones who desired to learn them.
In emperumAnAr's vAzhi thirunAmam it is said that "thennaranGgar chelvam muRRum thiruththi vaiththAn vAzhiyE" (தென்னரங்கர் செல்வம் முற்றும் திருத்தி வைத்தான் வாழியே). These words from none other than our visathavAk shikAmani in his Arthi prabhandham. It is emperumAnAr who established and developed the glories (kainkaryasrI) of srirangam. emperumAnAr showed to the whole world who sriranganAthan is and established/developed all the grandeur activities such as thiruvArAdhanam, upachArams, thaLigai amuthupadi, arayar sEvai, aruLicheyal and vEdha viNNappam, purappAdu, etc. Following his footsteps, even today, wherever we are, during sARRumurai, we are doing mangaLAsAsanam to srirangam's glories by reciting "sriman srirangasriyam anubhadhravAm anudhinam samvardhaya".
mAmunigaL also shows in his yathirAja vimsathi 2nd slOkam, "srirangarAja charaNAmbhuja rAja hamsam" which means emperumAnAr is like a beautiful swan that is very attached to srirangarAjan emperumAn's lotus feet.
thiruvarangathu amudhanAr had unflinching devotion towards emperumAnAr. In his rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi which is master piece, he glorifies emperumAnAr and his attachment towards thiruvaranganAthan. Let us enjoy a little glimpse of his work.
- amudhanAr shows that emperumAnAr will faint in ecstasy when he hears about thiruvaragam. In the 35th pAsuram he says "ponnaranGgam ennil mayalE perugum irAmAnuchan" (பொன்னரங்கம் என்னில் மயலே பெருகும் இராமானுசன்) - as soon as emperumAnAr hears he cannot control his emotions and becomes bewildered.
- In the 57th pAsuram, amudhanAr says "aranGgan malaradikku ALuRRavarE thanakku uRRavarAk koLLum" (அரங்கன் மலரடிக்கு ஆளுற்றவரே தனக்கு உற்றவராக் கொள்ளும்) - emperumAnAr is surrendered to AzhwArs and his pUrvAchAryas who were all surrendered to thiruvaranganAthan. emperumAnAr will consider those divined personalities as everything for him.
emperumAnAr gave a lecture in front of thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn to establish visishtAdhvaitha sidhAntham as explained in upanishadhs. This lecture is recorded as vEdhArtha sangraham and in its mangaLa slOkam (invocation), he calls out for thiruvaranganAthan as sEsha sAyi.
emperumAn also gave the title "udayavar" to emperumAnAr establishing that emperumAnAr has the same control and capability over both nithya vibhUthi and leelA vibhUthi just like emperumAn himself.
amudhanAr in the 76th pAsuram of rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi, identifies emperumAnAr's attachment to thiruvEnkatam along with parampadham and kshIrAbdhi. This pAsuram is one of the most important pAsurams in our sampradhAyam since it establishes that the ultimate object of enjoyment (goal) for a srivaishnava is to serve emperumAnAr.
NinRa vanNkIrththiyum NILpunalum NiRaivEnGkatap poRkunRamum (நின்ற வண்கீர்த்தியும் நீள்புனலும் நிறைவேங்கடப் பொற்குன்றமும்)
vaikuNthaNAdum kulaviya pARkadalum (வைகுந்தநாடும் குலவிய பாற்கடலும்)
unthanakku eththanai inbam tharum un inNaimalarththAL (உன்தனக்கு எத்தனை இன்பம் தரும் உன் இணைமலர்த்தாள்)
en thanakkum athu irAmAnuchA ivai IntharuLE (என் தனக்கும் அது இராமானுசா இவை ஈன்தருளே)
Oh rAmAnujA! Please give us your divine lotus feet which will give us the same enjoyment that you get by meditating on thiruvEnkatam, paramapadham and kshIrAbdhi. thiruvEnkatam is specifically glorified in this pAsuram as a place which has eternal glories (as revealed by AzhwArs) and a place filled with beautiful rivers.
In emperumAnAr's kattiyam/aruLappAdu, it is said that "appanukkuch chanGgAzhi aLiththa perumAL" (அப்பனுக்குச் சங்காழி அளித்த பெருமாள்) - one who gave changu and chakkaram to emperumAn himself. It was the time when bhAhyas and kudhrushtis were trying to establish that thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn was their own dhEvathai. emperumAnAr rushed to thirumalai, debated with them and tried to establish the facts. But since they did not stay neutral during the debates, in the end, it was agreed to keep the changu/chakkaram which are the established weapons/ornaments of emperumAn and other weapons/ornaments of other dhEvathai over night and lock the door. Whichever ones the deity accepts, every one will agree for that. emperumAnAr, in the night, took his svayam rUpam (Adhi sEshan), entered the sannidhi and decorated emperumAn with changu and chakkaram (thus becoming emperumAn's AchAryan as AchAryan is the one who decorates a sishyan's shoulder with changu/chakkaram). In the morning, every one was convinced when the saw emperumAn's true nature when they saw him being decorated with changu/chakkaram. So, the fact that we are enjoying thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn today is by the mercy of emperumAnAr only.
Once during his kAlakshEpam of ozhivil kAlamellAm padhigam in thiruvAimozhi, emperumAnAr was thinking that thiruvEnkatamudiayAn should be properly and continuously served. He was looking for some one to go to thirumalai and take care of the emperumAn there. Due to the difficult environment (forests, cold weather, presence of snakes/other animals, etc) no one volunteered to go there. At that time, ananthAzhwAn stood up and he wanted to go and fulfill emperumAnAr's desires. emperumAnAr was very pleased and gave him a great send off. ananthAzhwAn went to thirumalai, built a pond, created a garden, and served thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn until his last days without any break. Finally, he also installed emperumAnAr's divine thirumEni inside the temple itself - no other AzhwArs or AchAryas had their thirumEnis installed on thirumalai - it was emperumAnAr only who had that special grace from emperumAn due to his contribution to our sampradhAyam.
emperumAnAr wrote sribhashyam when he was in srirrangam. But in the first slOkam, some how thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn influenced him which is why emperumAnAr said "brahmaNi srInivAsE" - parabrahmam is the one in thiruvEnkatam.
amudhanAr shows emperumAnAr's attachment to dhEva perumAL in the 31st pAsuram. He says "kAnN thagu thOL anNnNal then aththiyUrar kazhalinNaikkIzh pUnNda anbhALan irAmAnuchan" (காண் தகு தோள் அண்ணல் தென் அத்தியூரர் கழலிணைக்கீழ் பூண்ட அன்பாளன் இராமானுசன்) - emperumAnAr is fully attached to dhEva perumAL who has the most beautiful shoulders and who is residing in the beautiful hasthigiri.
emperumAnAr was rescued by dhEva perumAL and perundhEvi thAyar from the forests in vindhya region and brought back to kAnchipuram. When he travelled with yAdhavaprakAsa and as yAdhavaprakAsa's sishyas tried to kill him because they were unable to tolerate his intellect, gOvindha perumAL (emperumAnAr's cousin) alerted him and got him to escape from the travelling group. But emperumAnAr was in the forest and did not know where to go. In the night time, the divine couple appears as a hunter and his wife, brings him directly near kAnchipuram and rescues him.
emperumAnAr started his kainkaryams to dhEva perumAL at a very young age under the guidance of thirukkachi nambi. emperumAnAr was bringing thirumanjana thIrtham from sAlai kiNaru every day for dhEva perumAL as per the instructions of thirukkachi nambi.
It was through thirukkachi nambi, emperumAnAr received the 6 vArthaigaL through which he established the main principles of our srivaishnava sampradhAyam and visishtAdhvaitha sidhAntham. We have already seen this in thirukkachi nambi's archAvathAra anubhavam in detail (http://ponnadi.blogspot.in/2012/11/archavathara-anubhavam-thuirukkachi-nambi.html).
During the saiva king's efforts to undermine srivaishnavam, emperumAnAr travelled to thirunArAyaNapuram and stayed there for about 12 years. During his stay there he first found the thirunArAyaNan emperumAn (mUlavar) from a hill after being revealed about that by emperumAn himself in his dream. He brought the emperumAn out and did prathishtai of the emperumAn in the temple. At that time, emperumAnAr being the step-mother of thiruvAimozhi (vaLartha ithath thAy), submitted oru nAyagam (thiruvAimozhi 4.1) padhigam to thirunAraNan emperumAn.
He also went up north to bring back the uthsava mUrthy from the muslim king. rAma priyan who is also known as sampath kumAran, the uthsava mUrthy, was staying in the muslim emperor's daughters anthapuram (residence) and the muslim emperor said emperumAnAr can carry him over if the emperumAn acknowledges him. Seeing emperumAnAr, emperumAn walked over and sat on the lap of emperumAnAr (thus he got the name chella piLLai). The muslim emperor was spell bound and with great respect, sent emperumAn with emperumAnAr.
In his last moments, he gives 6 instructions for all srivaishnavas to follow. In that he identifies the importance of building a hut and living in thirunArAyaNapuram. They are:
- Learning and teaching sribhAshyam.
- Leraning and teaching aruLicheyal.
- doing kainkaryam (thaLigai, alankAram, chandhana/pushpa kainkaryam, etc) in archAvathAra sthalams.
- always meditating on dhvaya mahA manthram
- fully depending on a parama bhAgavatha and serving him
- building a hut in thirunArAyaNapuram and staying there (serving emperumAn and his adiyArs)
emperumAnAr took up the task of offering 100 utensils of akkAra adisil and butter to thirumAlirunchOlai azhagar. It was the unfulfilled desire of ANdAL nAchiAr and emperumAnAr considering it as his foremost duty went to azhagar sannidhi and offered the same to him. azhagar was very pleased with emperumAnAr's act. ANdAL was also very pleased with emperumAnAr's act and she calls him "kOil aNNar" (my brother from srirangam).
azhagar subsequently revealed emperumAnAr's greatness in a couple of incidents.
- Once in azhagar sannidhi, during an uthsavam, there was an aruLappAdu for all of those who are subservient to emperumAnAr - "NammirAmAnuchamudaiyArkku aruLappAdu" (நம்மிராமானுசமுடையார்க்கு அருளப்பாடு). At that time, some of the descendants of periya nambi (who was the AchAryan of emperumAnAr) did not respond. When emperumAn asked why they did not come forward, they said "because we belong to the family of his AchAryan, we did not come forward". azhagar said at that time that if they dont consider themselves as subservient to emperumAnAr they will have no means to reach emperumAn.
- Once azhagar invites kidAmbi AchAn (one of the prime sishyas of emperumAnAr) and asks him to recite a pAsuram. He recites "na dharma nishtOsmi na chAthmavEdhi na bhakthimAn thvath charanNAraviNdhE akinchana: ananya gathi: sharaNya thvath pAdha mUlam sharaNam prapadhyE" from ALavandhAr's sthOthra rathnam. Hearing that, azhagar asks him "being subservient and dependent on emperumAnAr why are you saying ananya gathi:?".
During emperumAnAr's mangaLAsAsanam at thirukkurungudi nambi sannidhi, nambi asks emperumAnAr how he is able to convince many samsAris to become his bhakthas. For that emperumAnAr says he has to ask with the proper etiquette and he will explain the method. Hearing this, nambi steps down from his pItam and stands on a divine mat, gives emperumAnAr a simhAsanam to sit, and learns dhvaya mahA manthram from emperumAnAr (and of course it is through this dhvaya mahA manthram and its meaning emperumAnAr is attracting everyone towards emperumAn). At that time emperumAn reveals that he has now become the sishyan of emperumAnAr and emperumAnAr gives him the dhAsya nAmam "srivaishnava nambi". Even today this simhAsanam can be seen in the mUlavar sannidhi and also emperumAnAr has upadhEsa mudhrA in this dhivya dhEsam (similar to thirumalai where he took the position of AchAryan for thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn).
emperumAnAr went to thiruvananthapuram and performed mangaLAsAsanam for anantha sayanan emperumAn. He started thinking about converting the kshEthram to follow sri pAncharAthra Agamam, but emperumAn had other plans. During the night, emperumAn carried emperumAnAr over to thirukkurungudi and left near vatta pArai. emperumAnAr woke up in the morning and took his bath. He called out for vaduga nambi to help him during his Urdhva puNdra dhAraNam. But vaduga nambi was still in kEraLa side only. thirukkurungudi nambi took the form of vaduga nambi and performed kainkaryams for emperumAnAr.
Finally, emperumAnAr gave us "nithyam" (one of the nine jewels created by emperumAnAr) which explains the thiruvArAdhana kramam to ensure we take care of our gruhArchai (home perumAL). After all, it is emperumAn's manifestation of his ultimate saulabhyam to come and stay in our own homes to protect us.
Thus we have seen how emperumAnAr glorified various archAvathAra emperumAns and how archAvathAra emperumAns glorified emperumAnAr as well.
In the next article we will see kUrathAzhwAn's archAvathAra anubhavam.
adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan
sources: 6000 padi guru paramparA prabhAvam, vyAkyAnams, charama upAya nirNayam