At Tirukudanthai Andavan Manimandapam Srirangam Ubha. Ve. Adoor Asuri Madhavachariar swami took up Pasuram-16 of Tirumangaiazhwar’s Tirunedunthandakam on 29/1/2015. He began the lecture by defining “parama bhakthi” The desire to have Perumal anubhavam continuously is Parama bhakthi. Tirumangaiazhwar had this longing for all archa forms of Perumal. Parama bhakthi makes one do saranagathi. Parama bhakthi after prappathi is not for moksham. Only one upayam should be done for moksham. Nama samkirtanam alone will not beget moksham. Nama samkirtanam will burn the papams which prevent us from getting close to Perumal. Samanya bhakthi will lead to jignasya (the thirst to know more).Likewise divyadesavasam (living in a divyadesam) will evoke our interest in knowing about Him. Anjali (folding palms) will fetch Vishnu anugraham and will foster gnanam which will culminate in attaining Him.
In the 16th pasuram beginning “kanru meythu” Tirumangai azhwar says The One who grazed cows and calves with love and care was like a charging bull to enemies. Having taken avatharam in the family of cowherds He proudly and happily followed His varnashrama dharma. Doing Vedhadhyayanam( studying Vedams) is swadharma for Brahmins and a Brahmin attains fulfilment on completing vedic studies. A kshatriya gets fulfilment by winning territories and a vaishya on getting profits in his trade. Following swadharma makes the doer happy as also Perumal. When people do not follow varnashrama dharma Perumal gets angry .Krishna took to the job of tending cows happily inorder to show by example the importance of following varnashrama dharma.
After talking about Krishna (vibhavam) azhwar takes us to Tirukannapuram (archanubhavam). Souriraja Perumal is not different from Krishna. He has Sousheelyam and Saulabhyam and archamurthis converse with us through archakar swamis or those surrounding Him. Krishna used to dance with the gopas and gopis at the cross-roads of Vrindavan. Gopas-gopis used to congregate on the streets and lanes to talk about Krishna. Sastra-kalakshepams and purana-pravachanams wake-up the bhakthi feeling in us. Bhakthi is durlabham (rare commodity) says Adi Sankaracharya. From Krishna’s dance in Dwaparayugam Tirumangaiazhwar’s mind goes to Tirumalai the residence of Kali yuga varada Srinivasa Perumal. He was the slayer of asuras in vibhavam and resides in Tirunaraiyur. Tirumangaiazhwar goes to Krishnavatharam again and describes the thick black curly hair of Krishna. The baby with curly hair is My Swami says azhwar. The mother of Parakala nayaki who is in the state of Parankusa nayaki tells her friend” My daughter sometimes delves into vibhavam and then does archanubhavam. Her Viraha taapam (pangs of separation) makes her so exhausted that she bends on one side and is unable to sit straight.
Swami then proceeded to explain the inner meanings of the pasuram. At Tirumalai when utsavams are celebrated devotees from neighbouring towns like Srikakulam etc come in groups dressed up as SriRama, Krishna, Srinivasa and dance, sing and jump up to a great height in excitement. The devotees in disguise even do “Brahma vicharam”. Perumal enters the group and speaks through them. This is upaasana falam ( the result of worshipping a deity). This was how Krishna used to dance with the gopas and gopikas at the crossroads not bothering about anything and hearing nobody. This kind of Anandam( happiness) happens at Srivaikuntam but there the Anandam will be saswatham (permanent) . The asuras killed by Krishna are samharam of bhaktha virodhis( the enemies of bhakthas) The black curly locks on Krishna’s head represent His karuna (mercy). It is this daya gunam that instigates Perumal to do anugraham to His devotees. Krishna’s “Go-rakshanam” in Dwapara-yugam is the rakshanam(protection) of jeevathmas. He is mother, father, relative and friend . He exists as Vedas and Vedarthams. He is shabdam (the word) and shabdhartham (its meaning). Yet He is approachable and came down to the level of the common man as Krishna. This Krishna is there permanently as archaswaroopi in Tirukannapuram. At this juncture swami discussed an exquisite anubhavam of Parasara Bhattar- Krishna grazed numerous cows and calves and it was impossible to keep count of them. At the end of the day when He had to round off the cows He would go looking for those cows which had wandered far off and gone astray and bring them back to the group. Perumal has given us various indiriyas( sense-organs) and we let them wander . We go far away from Him .He looks for a way and brings us back to the fold. While on this mission He spots a cool grove and takes rest there. This grove says Bhattar is Tirukannapuram which is like Gokulam to Krishna. Here we have an instance of vibhavam worshipping archa. Other instances are of Rama worshipping Ranganatha and Lakshmana doing pranamams to the padhukas. Worship of archa (icons in temples) will lead the devotee to seek saranagathi. For a prappana archanubhavam will give “manashanthi” ( peace of mind). So time should be spent in archanubhavam(enjoying archa).
Writeup & Video : Vyjayanthi & Sundararajan