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Thuppul PiLLai: 14 – Swamy Desikan On Help [upakAram] Rendered by Divya Dampathi

Thirupullani Swami Desikan Andavan ashramamSrI:

SrImathE Nigamantha Mahadesikaya namah:

SrImAn venkatanAthAryaH kavitArkika kesarI |

vedAntAcArya-varyo me sannidhattAm sadA hRdi ||

During one of the upanyasams delivered by asmadhAchAryan, Swami mentioned beautifully about the upakAram [help] rendered by the Divya Dampathi on us- as explained by Swamy Desikan in his upakAra sangraham.

Swami Desikan has brilliantly summarized all of the upakArams in the first Tamizh Paasuram of UpakAra Sangraham. His Holiness anchored his first focus theme on the individual subsections of this verse that have very rich meanings:

anthamilA pErinbham arundha yERkkum

adiyOmai ARIVUDANE yenRum kaatthu

munthai vinai nirai vazhiyil ozhuhAthemmai

munnilayAm DESIKAR TAMM MUNNE SERTTHU

MANTHIRAMUM MANTHIRATTHIN VAZHIYUMK KATTI

vazhippadutthi VAAN YERRI ADIMAIK KOLLA

Tanthaiyena ninRa tanit ThirumAL ThALil

Talai vaitthOm SatakOpan aruLinAlE

This work of Swami Sri Desikan is understood as the VyAkhyAnam for the Sri Sookthi of NammAzhwAr revered as THIRUVIRUTTHAM and particularly its first paasuram (poy ninRa Jn~Amum –ViNNaPPamE ).

The revered AchAryA of Poundrikapuram Ashramam selected this paasuram of Swami Desikan and dwelt on the selected words in this paasuram and linked it to other powerful words from the other paasurams of NammAzhwAr’s ThiruvAimozhi{TVM }, (e-g)., ” annAL nee tantha AAKKAYIN vazhi uzhalvEn ” ( TVM: 3.2.1).

asmadhAchAryan Sri Paravakottai Andavan pointed out that the Divya Dampathis help us in every way. Mainly, there are 54 incomparable upkArams that are performed by them for us, SamsAris, with the view to join us to parama Padham in the spirit of NammAzhwAr’s TVM Vaakhyam:

” Vaikuntham puhuvathu maNNavar VidhiyE ” .

He reminded us of Sage MaarkanDEyA’s Vaakhyam in this context :lOkAnAm MaathA PithA cha MADHAVA:

The reference here was to ” Tanthai yena ninRa Tanit ThirumAL ‘, section of the above verse to the sarva vidha Bhandhu , SarvEswaran, Sriya: Pathi Sriman Narayanan .

Before He joins us to Sri His Vaikuntam for nithya kaimkaryam, The Lord performs many upakArAms that is hard for us even to keep track off (NaaraNan maayayai aRibhavar yArO –TVM: 1.3.3, AtthA nee seythana naan aRiyEnE! ).

His upakArams are giving us aakkai (sarIram ) to house the Jivan ; He bleesed the Jivan to be eternal ( nithyan ) in svarUpam and blesses the Jivan with Dharma BhUtha JnAnam and makes it the Jivan’s nithya guNam and protects thus the Jivan’s svarUpam and SvabhAvam .This is the connection to the paasura pasage , ” adiyOmai yenRum aRivudanE kaatthu ” in the UpakAra sangraham .

Srimath Andavan went on to explain the other key passages in that important paasuram of Swami Desikan .The meanings are :

anthamilAp pErinbham arundha yErkkum adiyOmai = for us , who are fit to enjoy the limitless bliss of the great Moksha anubhavam

arivudanE yenRum kaatthu , munthai vinai nirai vazhiyil

ozhuhAthu emmai munnilayAm Desikar tamm munnE sErtthu

blessing and protecting us with the eteranl dharma bhUtha Jn~Anam and also protecting us from drowning in the timeless flow of the river of karmAs and getting us to the safety of the bank by uniting us with SadAchAryAs for– manthiramum manthiratthin vazhiyum kaatti vazhippaditthi (by uniting us with the sadaachAryAs )for upadesam of Your redeeming sacred manthram , the AshtAksharam and for learning about the inner meanings of that manthram (viz)., the middle section of the manthram (nama: sabdham ) denoting Prapatthi and the end luptha chathurthi vibhakthi standing in for Bhagaavdh Kaimkaryam . The greatness of this acquisition of knowledge through upadesam has been celebrated may times by AzhwArs and AchAryAs :

 iha sangrahatha: SrimAn GopthA sEshi samAdhika dharidhra:

SaraNam sarva sarIri prApya; sEvyasccha saadhubhirbhAvya :

Srimath Rahasya Thraya Saaram , Moola manthrAdhikAram (Meaning ): Briefly , the Moola manthram recognizes our Lord as Sriya: Pathi (Srimaan )through akAra sabdham and rakshakan ( protector with many upakArams ) , in luptha chathurthi as sEshi , and as one who has no equal or superior, in namas sabdham as upAyam ( prapatthi ) , in NaarAyaNa sabdham as sarvAntharyAmi and in the final chathurthi as the One to be worshipped by Saadhu Janams as PrApyan and Sevyan .

Srimath Andavan referred to the paasura vAkhyam , otthAr mikkAr illAdha maamaayaa! ! There is no one equal to You or greater than You ( samAdhika Dharidhra : in the above Rahasya Thraya SlOkam ).

The VedAntha Jn~Anam imparted to us by SadaachAryAs (Mantharitthin vazhiyum kaati ) is another of these MahOpakArams of the Lord since it leads to the ultimate bliss of ascent by archirAdhi maargam ( vaanERRi adimaik koLLa) and nithya kaimkaryam. That is the nall Vaazhvu referred to by Thirumangai in his ThirunedumthANDakam (TNT ) paasuram passage :

 anthaNar maattu anti vaittha MANTHIRATTHAI MANTHIRATTHAAL

maravaathu YENrUM VAAZHUTHIYeL VaZHALaM –TNT pasuram :4

(Meaning ): Oh my foolish mind ! If you enjoy the Thirumanthiram, the saaram of the Vedantham , which is the wealth of the Brahmins, and if you reflect upon the meanings of that sacred manthiram, you will surely attain sadhgathi ( nall Vaazhvu ).

Srimath Andavan continued with the explanation of the fourth paadham of the UpakAra Sangraha SlOkam :

Tanthai ena ninRa tanit ThirumAl ThALil thalai vaitthOm SatakOpan aruLAlE

The Lord stood as the Forever-caring Father , who performs great upakArams ( tanthai ena ninRavan ). He is a matchless EmperumAn with the mahimai of PaadhAravindham that ha s no comparison in its redemptive and anugraha qualities ( Tanit ThirumAl ThALil ) .

Next Srimath Andavan explained as to what happened at these sacred feet of the Lord as a result of the grace of NammAzhwar our Prapanna SanthAna Jana kUtasthar. The paasura Vaakhyam is : Tanit ThirumAl ThALiltalai VaitthOm SatakOpan aruLAlE . Through the Parama KrupA of NammAzhwAr , we got to Sri Vaikuntam and laid our feet at the sacred feet of Sriman NaarAyaNA as the ultimate step in Moksha Siddhi rsultign from SadAchArya Sambhandham and BhagavAn’s paramOpakArams .

NammAzhwAr is the One , who showed us the way through his Prabhandhams. He used the purvOpakArams done by the Lord to anticipate the future upakArams to come and showed us the way . He was blessed with Bhakthi and Jn~Anam from the Lord of Nithya Sooris . His enjoyment of the Lord blossomed as the Four divya prabhandhams . Thiruviruttham was the first of the Four prabhandhams .Here , he describes his varalARukaL (Virutthams )and thus this prabhandham came to be known as Thiruviruttham . In the very first paasuram ( Poy ninRa Jn~Amum– ViNNappamE ), NammAzhwAr reflects on the purvOpakArams (or the upakArams done earlier through conferral of aathma Jn~Anam , Dharma BhUtha Jn~Anam )and sets that up as Infrastructure for the ensuing paasurams and prabhandhams containing his requests for other upakArams that culminate in Moksha Siddhi at the end of ThiruvAimozhi.

In this Thiruviruttha Paasuram , NammAzhwaar addresses the Lord as ImayOr talaivA
(sarva Seshi ) and himself as adiyEn ( sesah bhUthan ). The sEsha-sEshi Sambhandham , Artha panchakam are covered here . The connection of Artha panchakam with brahma SvarUpam is known as Shadatha nirUpaNam . That was what NammAzhwAr instructed Swami Desikan wished to show us the paramount of this central message and created UpakAra Sangraham .

Srimath Andavan of PoundarIkapuram Aasramam selected this verse deftly as the first theme in his upanyAsam . We are indeed blessed. [The above translation of His Holiness upanyasam was done by Sri Satakopan Swamy, USA- about four years ago- Thanks to him for granting permission to send in this series for our enjoyment]

Swamy Desikan ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam

kavi-tArkika-simhAya kalyANa-guNa-SAline |

Srimate venkateSAya vedAntagurave namaH ||

Writeup by : Sri Madhavakannan

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