On ,27 December 2014; was day 12 of “ Tiruppavai and Tirunedunthandakam ” by Ubha Ve. Adoor Asuri Madhavachariar at Tirukudanthai Andavan Mani Mandapam. The 12th pasuram of Tiruppavai “Kanaithillam katru erumai ” was explained. The purport of this pasuram is that Krishnakainkaryam is the greatest dharma. It talks of a cowherd who forgets to milk a buffalo that has just calved because he is with Krishna. The buffalo wants to feed her new born calf and calls(moos) out to the cowherd. Milk starts oozing out of the udders and forms a puddle on the ground.This indicates that daybreak has advanced further as dewdrops are melting. Andal and friends address the gopi of this pasuram who is a Rama-bhakthai to join them in singing His praises. Rama is described as one who is pleasing to the heart. We are waiting outside your house in the cold with dewdrops falling on our head, wake up and join us in nama sankirtanam. Rama understands a woman unlike Krishna who lies conveniently and teases the gopikas causing many a heartbreak. Rama pines for Seetha when separated from Her and goes to the extent of asking trees, and river Godavari about Her whereabouts. Rama showed how to be an ideal man by example. His anger killed Ravana, and this anger was caused when He saw Hanuman taking all the arrows on his chest. The suffering and sacrifice of His devotee made Him angry. On the other hand Krishna captivates everyone by His charm. He is plesing to behold. Krishna darshan is sought by Swami Desikan during his last moments on earth. Thus the gopi of this pasuram joins the goshti. Sarveshvaran is the cowherd who milks the cow of upanishads with Parthan as the calf and the milk is Bhaghavadh Geetha. Acharyas impart gnanam to shishyas by upadeshams, kalakshepams and recording in writing for atma ujeevanam (redeeming atma).Worshipping acharyan is equal to worshipping Perumal Madurakaviazhwar sang only about Nammazhwar his acharyan yet he is considered an azhwar. Those who take ashrayam of Ramanuja’s Tiruvadis( feet) get the desire to take saranagathi. Guru bhakthi fosters knowledge.
This pasuram sings the glory of periazhwar who used to do garland kainkaryam for Srivilliputtur Vatapatrasayee. He was asked to go to the court of the Pandian king in Madurai to establish the supremacy of Sriman Narayana. Though there were pandithas(experts) in all fields this true devotee of the lord won the contest because Perumal the prathama guru( first acharyan) did upadesham to him. By referring to the pertinent Vedams and Dravida Vedams periazhwar convincingly established Paratatvam.
Pasuram -3 of Tirunedunthandakam was taken up next and Perumal’s roopam and varnam were discussed. Perumal takes up many forms and colours acording to the situation. He enters even into the small vigraham a devotee worships and has a sublime Tirumeni. Like a gem He is pleasing to others and exists for others.During samudra mathanam many unique and rare things emerged. It was Halahala(poison ) which came out first and was swallowed by Shiva. Airavathan the elephant was taken by Indra, kausthubha gem adorned Vishnu and all the gods received amrutham(ambrosia) but the actual amrutham was Mahalakshmi who walked straight up to Perumal’s chest to remain there permanently. Nanjeeyar questioned the appropriateness of Lakshmi walking up to His chest in public view . Bhattar answered that since all those assembled there were His parijanams( servitors) She had no qualms about occupying Her place on His chest right infront of them. Perumal’s hue during samudra mathanam was black and dark blue. He took several roopams (forms) during this period. He took Koorma (tortoise) roopam to form a firm platform for churning the ocean. He took one form to encourage the devas another to dissuade the asuras. He assumed Mohini roopam ( the form of a beautiful damsel) to distract the asuras and give amrutham to the devas. Thus there were several forms taken by Him in several colours. Perumal captures our attention with His alankaram and ornaments. One stands bewitched by Ranganatha’s alankarams. When we see His bejewelled feet, the different crowns He wears like Pandian kondai, Muthu kondai, the different pendants like Vimana padhakam, Mahalakshmi padhakam we observe Him more intently.. He is handsome in all respects. Andal calls Him as “kan azhagar “( beautiful eyes) Vay azhagar(beautiful mouth) etc. He is Beauty Personified and it is not possible for anyone to describe His handsomeness completely. Namperumal asked Bhattar who was partial to Thayar how good was His nachiyar tirukolam? He dresses up in Thayar’s clothes and ornaments on the day previous to Vaikunta ekadashi. Bhattar commented that though the disguise was perfect the eyes betrayed Him since only Her eyes were full of Karuna (mercy). Swami Desikan calls Ranganatha’s eyes as Divyam chakshu:(divine eyes) and says He welcomes us with His eyes (swaghatho dhara nethram). Ranganathan and Aravamudhan attract by their Tirumeni Beauty which calls for second and third looks. Yet it is not possible for anyone to describe Him in full. Because of our limited intelligence and the constraints of Time and space no one can describe fully His forms, gunams ,greatness or beauty. This is possible only in Paramapadam where all mukthatmas will get a divine body and intelligence to comprehend Him. In sum He cannot be contained in essays or poems or shlokas.
Writeup & Video : Vyjayanthi & Sundararajan