Tirunakshatram of Swami MudaliAndan

Today (28/04/2012) chittirai punarvasu is varusha tirunakshatram of Swami MudaliAndan.

Sri Mudali AndAn was born in 1027 A.D Chithirai Month(mesha maasam), day of Punarpoosam with Lord Rama’s amsam. at Pachhai Vaarana Perumal Sannidhi (referred to as “NazarethPettai” today) in Thondai mandalam,near poonamalli. His parents, Anantha dIkshitar and Naachchiyaar (Sri Raamaanuja’s elder sister), named him as Daasarathi.  He was the first and Foremost disciple of Sri Raamaanuja. He was as Ramanuja’s Priya Bhagineya(dearer sister son).

Daasarathi became a pillar of support to Emberumaanar, acclaimed by him as being identical to his Tridandam – his staff of office as a sanyasi. One day, when Ramanujar sacrificed everything at the time of taking Sannyaasam (ascetic) he did not give up Daasarathi, as that order demanded that all kith and kin should be renounced. To this Raamaanuja replied that Daasarathi was an exception as he was his triplestaff (tirudanda) and added “If it is possible for me an ascetic to give up my staff only then can Daasarathi leave me. He, though a bodily relation, is yet a kin to my soul.” the same reason he gave to Tirukkottiyur Nambi ,When Sri Raamaanuja went to Triukottiyur Nambi for upadesam on Tiru mantram, he was asked the reason for bringing Daasarathi and Kuresa with him, inspite of his instruction to come alone. Sri Raamaanuja replied, saying, he had come with his Staff (tiru danda referring to Daasarthi) and Pennant (pavithram referring to Kuresa). Tirukkottiyur Nambi took all three of them and instructed them on the secrets of Tiru Mantram.

When Sri Ramanuja took sanyasam, Mudaliandan and Koorathalwan paid respects at his feet and obtained pancha samskarams from him. Sri Ramanujar taught Sribashyam and other rahasyartham to Swami Mudaliandan while his father Anandanarayana Dheekshidar taught him Divya prabandam.

Once, on Ramanuja’s instructions Andaan went to Periya Nambi’s daughter Athuzhai to her in-law’s house as “Attuzhai’s stri dhana vellatti”(Servants who are sent with bride to her In law’s house during olden times to work in groom’s house). Just to comply with his Acharya’s words, Aandaan served athuzhai’s and her in laws for several months until they realized who he was and regretted it all. This incident shows Andaan’s unabiding devotion to his acharya, which is the essence of our Sri Vasihanava sampradayam.

Ramanuja’s Passage to Melkote from Srirangam constitutes a poignant episode in SrIvaishNava history. ANDAn simply went with uDaiyavar on the virtually uncharted emergency evacuation from Srirangam. Before reaching mElkOTE, the Udayavar and Andaan halted at a place known as Thondanur where they were baited and harassed by a cynical group of people. Udaiyavar, directed Andan just to step into the waters of the local pool and come out. The villagers are said to have unknowingly been converted to gentle ways by imbibing the pool-water sanctified as the washing of Andan’s feet (SrIpada-tIrtham). That is why, even today, in Mudalinadan Thirumaligai, Sripada Theertham is administered to even those who has have not obtained Pancha Samaskaram.

Udayavar converted the great Hoysala king bittidEva\vishNu-vardhana to SrIvaishNavam and constructed Thirunarayana temple and then visited thondanur and won over mayavathis. On udayavar’s instructions Anadaan went to Belur and converted people to Srivaishnavism and installed pancha narayana temples.

The temples are:

  1. Vaan pugaz narayanan at Thazaikadu
  2. Sriman narayanan at Thondanur
  3. Veera narayanan at Kadookalam
  4. Vijaya narayanan at Vijayapuram; and
  5. Kesava narayanan at Belur

The ‘pancha-nArAyaNa-pratishThA’, as it came to be known, was not only the glory of vaishNava religion per se, but the temples figures in the nation’s cultural history as it has so many marvels of architecture and stone-crafting. This comprehensive project got executed under the supervision of svAmi mudali-ANDAn and these temples stand, especially, as monuments to uDaiyavar’s trust in the skills and integrity of ANDAn. Sri Ramanuja returned from Thirunarayanan puram and reached srirangam via thirumalai and thirumaliruncholai and received perumal mariyadai and sadari and theertha prasadam. On hearing ramanuja’s return, kulothugna chozan (son of kirimikanda chozan) fell at Ramanuja’s feet and surrendered the rights of srirangam temple to ramanuja and became a disciple of Andaan.

Emberumaanar kept him busy in many ways, as he was a capable executive and administrator. When Raamaanuja went to North India to collect the work of Brahma Sutra, he left the Srirangam temple activties in the hand of Daasarathi. As Daasarathi ruled the Srirangam Temple Administration like Senai Muthaliyaar (Sri Vishvaksena), Daasarathi was given the name Mudali-Aandaan by Ramanujar.

 Sri Mudaliandaan is most well known for his lapidary saying, here given in transliterated maNipraavaaLam:

“oru malaiyil ninru, oru malaiyil thaavum simha shareeraththil janthukkaL pole bhaashyakaarar samsaaralanganam paNNa avarOdundaana kudalthudakkaale naam udhdheerdaraavuthomenru muthaliyaandaruLi-ch-cheytha paasuram”.

When a lion leaps from one hill to another, the little insects on its body are transported with him. Similarly, when bhAshyakAra (rAmAnuja) leaped over the cycle of birth and death, we were saved because of our connection with him.”

This terse exposition of AchArya-pratipatti stemmed from ANDAn’s unwavering faith in and unsullied devotion to his preceptor. Hence his unique identity as ‘yatirAja-pAdukA’, verily the footwear of SrIrAmAnuja which was also revealed in his thaniyan .

Mudaliandan Dhanian(by Kandadai Aandan)

“pAdukE yati-rAjasya kathayanti yad-AkhyayA
tasya dASarathE: pAadav SirasA dhArayAam yaham”.
Meaning : Yathiraja’s paduka(Ramanuja’r Lotus feet) is what he is known as. Hence we pay our respect to Daasarathi’s paduka (Daasarathi’s Lotus feet).

He composed the taniyan to be sung before Mudal Tiruvandadi. He was very well educated in both the Sanskrit and Tamil Vedas and instructed many such as Embar and other on the meaning of Tiruvaimozhi and other paasurams of the 4000 Divya Prabandham.

Sri Kurathalvan, has expressed the greatness of Swami Mudaliandan by saying as,  Padakku Atma Sambandham Irundhalum, Uzhakku Deha Sambandham Illaye“,  meaning,
 “Though I have the Atma Sambandham(Spiritual relatiobship) with Ramanuja, I am not bodily related(Thega sampandam) to him like Mudaliandan is related to Ramanuja”.  Swami Mudaliandan has both Atma and Deha sambandham with jagataacharyan Raamanujar”

He was the foremost among the Seventy Four Simhasanadhipathis instituted by Swami Ramanuja. Sri U.Ve.K.K.V.A.Ramanujam Swamy, currently adorning the Acharya Peetam in the Thirumaligai, is residing in Thirumaligai in Singaperumal koil.

Swami Mudaliandan ascended to Sri Vaikuntam which is believed to be by the year 1136.

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