Today, Vikasi Anusham, May 25, 2012 is the varusha thirunakshatram of Sri ParAsara Bhattar.
Parasara and Vedavysa were born as divine Twins in the month of Vaikasi in the star of Anusham to Kurathazhwan and Andal as a blessing token of Aravani Prasadam of Namperumal.
Sri Ramanuja named them as Parasaran and VedaVyasan to complete his Acharyan Alavandar’swish.
The Divya Dampathis themselves acted as parents for Sri parasara bhattar, as he was born after his mother, Sri Andal, consumed “Prasadam” from the Sri Rangam temple .
Swamy parasara bhattar was the son of koorathAzhvan and a disciple of embar and was graced by swamy EmperumAnAr from his childhood.
His snubbing a scholar by a simple question when he was just five year old is widely quoted. He used to ask his father questions, used to find Vedic classes boring with the repetition of the lessons which he already knew and hence Kuresar himself taught him Vedas, thiruvaimohi etc and later became disiciple of Embar.
Ramanuja installed Bhattar on his own pontificial throne even when he was alive. At his behest, Bhattar later went to Mysore state to win over the great Vedantin and aristocrat Madhava to his fold. This vedantin subsequently became Bhattar disciple at Srirangam by the name of famous Nanjiyar. It seems that Bhattar had to leave Srirangam again for sometime to live in Tirukkottiyur as a protest against a chieftain Veerasundara Brahmarayar when he encroached the house of Pillai Pillai Alvan for building the Trivikrama enclosure for the temple. He returned to Srirangam only after Brhmarayar’s demise.
He spread Sri Visishtadvaita philosophy through out India and went till Gangotri in North India to bring people and pandits into Sri Vaishnava fold.
Bhattar wrote as many as 18 literary works. Some of these are listed as follows…
- Astasloki. This is a brief and clear explanation of the three rahasyas astaksara (tirumantaram), dvayam and caramaslokam, in eight slokas.
- Kriyadipa. This work, though not very popular, outlines the daily religious rites of Srivaishnavas in 72 slokas.
- Bhagavad gunadarpana. This is one of the masterly works of Sri Parasara Bhattar. This is commentary on Vishnu sahasranama expounding the meanings of the 1000 words of the Lord from a Visistadvaita standpoint.
- Sri Gunaratnakosha. This is a beautiful poem of 61 verses all dedicated to Goddess Sriranganayaki of Srirangam.
- Sri Ranganatha Stotra. This is a beautiful poem of 8 verses all in praise of the Lord Sri Ranaganatha of Srirangam. It is said that Parasara Bhattar composed this stotra while he was forced to go away from Srirangam due to the displeasure he incurred.
- Sri Rangarajastava. This is the longest and most important works of Sri Parasara Bhattar. The entire work is of 232 verses and is in two parts. The first part is composed of 127 verses and is known as Purvasataka. In this section sri Parasara Bhattar details the glories of Sri Ranganatha. The second part of 105 verses is known as Uttarasataka. In this part Sri Parasara Bhattar refutes the philosophies of advaita, buddhist and jaina traditions.
- Tirumanjana Kavi. These verses are recited in Srirangam temple on occasions like Ekadasi, Amavasya, Ayana, telugu & tamil new years day and Brahmotsavams. Only 28 of the 50 verses are available in print.
- Kaisikamahatmya: Commentary on Kaisikapurana. This is one of Sri Parasara Bhattar’s compositions in tamil. This works is composed of 92 verses and explains the importance of singing the glory of Lord Varaha. Kaisikapurana is a part of Varahapurana.
- Maivannanarungunji. This is an elaborate commentary in tamil on one stanza – Maivannanarungunji – forming part of Tirumangai azhvar’s Tiruneduntandakam.
There are many other works of Sri Parasara Bhattar that are lost or not available in its entirety. Some of these are: Tattvaratnakara, Adhyatmakhanda dvaya vivarana, Laksmikalyana, A commentary on Subalopanisad.
Apart the above literary works bhattar composed some thanians
Azhwargal thanian ie “ Bhootam sarasya ……”
Tiruppavai thanian ie “ nIla thunga ….”
TiruvAimozhi thanian ie “vAnthigazhum soolai….”
Bhattar lived a life for a spell nearer to 53 years in Srirangam. He is so attached to Namperumal and Srirangam that he breathed the air of Srirangam and lived in the thoughts of Namperumal alone. Because of his profound unparallel Bakthi, Namperumal and Thayar adopted him as their child. He was then called as “SriRengesa Prohitha::”
Once Namperumal showed Battar with his Mohini AlankAram (ie., Dressed like HIS female counterpart THAYAR).He asked Bhattar to tell opinion on HIS AlankAram?
Bhattar replied “O Lord! Everything is perfect. You look exactly like Thayar, but you can never be THAYAR in one aspect …”
Namperumal was annoyed and thought why Battar was telling like this. Then HE asked him what was missing…
Battar replied “You do not have the same merciful look in your eyes as THAYAR.”
such a close intimacy was enjoyed by periya bhattar with Namperumal and Thayar .
Bhattar had one son by name Uddanda Bhattar (Naduval Tiruvidhi bhattar).
Once during the Kaisika Ekadesi day, he was talking about Kaisika Purana to Lord Namperumal. He gave a number of meanings for each phrase in the purana. Namperumal in ecstasy gave HIS garland, HIS clothes, HIS jewels, and HIS throne. Till not being satisfied with that, Namperumal offered Battar ParamaPadam. And Bhattar gratefully accepted it.
But later, Bhattar told Namperumal that if he didn’t see the
Divine feet pressed on the lotus flower
Divine hand that removes fear
Divine Face with rich Fairness and Beauty
Divine Kasturi Thilakam on the forehead
of the LORD in Paramapadam (as seen in Namperumal), then would rip a hole in a corner of Paramapadam and jump down and come back. (to Srirangam)”. This shows the affinity he had with Namperumal and Srirangam.
Thus bhattar attained Paramapadam.
Periya bhattar Thaniyan –
mAdhavE mAsyanUrAdhA jAtham bhattArya desikam|
govinda gurupAdApjabrungarAja mahambhajE||
SriparAsarabhattArya: SrirangEsapurohita: |
SrivatsAngasUta: SrimAn srEyasE mEsthu bhuyasE ||
For more about Sri Parasara Bhattar, kindly also visit http://anudinam.org/2012/12/11/sri-parasara-bhattar-service-personified/