Avatharigai – an Introduction
Dr. S.Lakshmi kumara Tatachariyar(Pudukkotai Vasudevan) will be delivering upanyasam on Tiruppanazhwar’s Amalanadipuram specially for Anudinam readers and listeners. Feedback will be helpful in making neccessary improvements and are welcome. Since swami works Monday thru Friday the lectures will be delivered on Saturdays and Sundays and will be of an hour’s duration.
On 28/2/2015 swami began with Avatharikkai (introduction) to Amalanadipiran. Perumal exists in five forms: Para, Vyuham,Vibhavam, Antaryami and Archa. Perumal is endowed with two main qualities: Heyaprathyanikatvam (devoid of base qualities) and Paripoornakalyanagunatvam (reservoir of kalyanagunams).He has Paratvam (all powerful) yet has Saulabyam (approachable). These two opposite qualities exist together in Him alone. He is like a swarnapushpam (golden flower) with an exotic perfume. It is Saulabyam that makes Him assume archaswaroopam (the divyamangala murthis we worship in temples).
Sandilya smrithi says worship Him ‘aa peeta mouli paryantham’. That is if we worship Him from the pedestal to crown our papams(sins) vanish. That is how Tiruppanazhwar worships Ranganatha. Tiruppanazhwar took avatharam on Kartigai Rohini in Woraiyur. Everyday he used to sing on the banks of the Kaveri as he was belonged to the Paanar community (traditionl musicians) by birth. One day he was so lost in singing that he did not notice the temple priest call him. Angered Lokasaranga muni hit him with a pebble and went his way but the temple doors were closed and Ranganatha ordered Lokasarangamuni to carry Tiruppanazhwar on his shoulders and bring him to the sanctum sanctorum. Being Periya Perumal’s agnai (order) Tiruppanazhwar reluctantly went and had darshan of Periya Perumal and attained sayujyam with Perumal. Andal too attained sayujyam with Periya Perumal. Perumal being swatantran accepted thse two azhwars with their prakruthi tirumeni just as women wear vetiver (a sweet smelling root) on their hair along with its mud. What Tiruppanazhwar saw he sang in 10 pasurams. Vedarthams are contained in these ten pasurams. Periya Perumal is an ocean of saundaryam (Beauty),He shows His Lavanyam in each part of His Tirumeni.” Lavanyasa bhavaha” goes the saying. Can we call Him salty? The salty taste permeates equally through the salt, likewise His Beauty permeates everywhere and everything about Him is Beautiful. Bhakthi and Prappathi are the two means to attain Him. Narada Bhakthi Sutra describe Bhakthi Yogam as non-stop bhakthi till the attainment of siddhi (success). It should flow like ‘thaila-dhara'(oil flow). This is not easy to practise, The second route is Prappathi. Coming to archanubhavam we can worship Him from Feet to Head or from Head to Feet. Tiruppanazhwar follows the arohanakramam.Swami Desikan follows the path shown by Tiruppanazhwar in Bhaghavadh dhyana sopanam but in Hasthigiri Mahathmyam he describes Varadan emerging out of the agni Head first so he adopts the avarohanakramam. Swami Desikan says that Tiruppanazhwar was not interested in small things and has as his subject matter Sriman Narayana alone. To get this state of mind one should have jayamaana kataksham (seeing Perumal inside the mother’s womb). Is it possible to understand Him by listening to upanyasams? Can we know Him by studying under scholars? No, His kataksham (grace) alone can make one understand Him. Perumal’s kataksham falls on Tiruppanazhwar and He reveals Himself to him. Tiruppanazhwar wants to share his divine experience with us and the result is ‘Amalanadipiran’. It is neither too vast nor too short. There are no difficult words, no messengers, no contradictions, no naayika bhavam, no criticisms ,no restriction as in chanting Vedas. It is pure anubhavam ( experience). It is just rasanubhavam.
Video & Writeup : Vyjayanthi & Sundararajan