“Swamy Prativadi Bhayankaram Annan” Lord Venkateshwara’s Suprabhatham glories…


 Swamy  Mudumbai Nambee Ananthacharya  was one amongst the 74 Simhadipathees  nominated by Jagathacharyar  Swamy Ramanuja .

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Swamy Ananthacharyar  belonged to the illustrious family    of  the great srivaishnava stalwarts  Swamy Pillai Lokacharyar and Vadakku Thiruvidhi pillai . .

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   During 1360 , Swamy Ananthacharyar was blessed with a son who was named as Hasthagiri Ananthar Anna being ardent devotees of Lord Varadaraja . ( Lord Varadaraja has been giving darshan to the devotees at this holy place called “Hasthi giri”.  ‘Hasthi’ means elephant and “giri “ means hill) .    

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    The young  boy  was very attractive  and  devotional right from his childhood  .The boy was admitted in to the school of  Swamy Nayana varadacharyar  ,  the direct descendent of Swamy  Vedanta Desikar . He received the Vedic inputs from his Acharya and progressed in leaps and bounds by his sheer devotion .

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During this  period  , a staunch Advaitin Narasimha Mishra had come to Kancheepuram .  He decided to  debate with the learned scholars in that area in proving the supremacy of Advaitam and thus  convert the opponent and his  followers into his fold .

 As  his mission was incomplete , he invited  Swamy Nayana varadacharyar for a debate as was done during those days .The bet was announced that  the one who looses will follow others  faith along with his followers .  Swamy Nayana varadacharyar was not keen to interact with  the  scholar and  not able to decide how to ignore  his  request too . It was the last day .The young boy could see his Acharyar’s concern .

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He wanted to somehow make his Acharyar happy . He understood  from his senior disciples what made his Acharyar sad . He never wanted the rich heritage of Vishishtadwaitam being taken for a ride by  the  vedantin .It was a high time to make the world believe the glorious sampradaya  Jagathacharyar Swamy Ramanuja had given us . The young boy approached his Acharya and pleaded him to be allowed to take upon the vedantin .  Swamy  Nayanavaradacharyar was glad that the young boy was also thinking in the same lines .Confident of his victory , he blessed the child with Sri Hayagreeva Upadesa mantra and wished him the best .

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The young lad  Hasthagiri Anna  with the blessings of his Acharyar  walked into the debate hall   which had  revered scholars from different places   . The locals also assembled  to watch the Vedantins arguments. He looked at the learned scholars and the great  vedantin Narasimha Mehta .  He was amused with his looks and the arrogance in his speech . The vedantin chuckled at the boys entry  for his  age and size . He said this boy is of no match to me .Anyway as his guru has sent him on his behalf , let me bundle him up with simple questions  !! he thought .

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 Hasthagiri Anna looked at the vedantin and said .. Hey Vedantin .. Are you going to wage a war against me ? Why does size or stature matter to you .For a person like you  I am the best match .Let me not disturb my Gurudeva ..The debate is to convince you and all these so called scholars the illustrious sampradaya of Jagath Acharyar Swamy Ramanuja is supreme .If you have any doubts , questions ask me else accept the  sampradaya which will give you moksha .

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The Vedantin was surprised with the boys daring words . He decided to quiz him in shastras and then take him  on about the sampradaya . The outpouring of Vedic knowledge , apt recitation with intricate  meanings made vedantin shocked . The debate was almost looking like   a repeat of Swamy Yamunacharya debate with the Vedantin few hundred years ago and Swamy Yamunacharya was glorified as Alavandar  the King…

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 Few onlookers rushed to their Acharyar to inform him about Hasthagiri Annas  mastery in handling the vedantin with esoteric  truths  .The Old Acharyar walked along with his disciples to see the brave boy’s confidence  . Hasthagiri Anna presented many verses in the Vedic texts  to demonstrate the supreme position of  Swamy Ramanuja’s  Vishishitadwaitam . The debate ended with the vedantin accepting the supremacy of the sampradaya . All the scholars  unitedly agreed  with jubilations about the young boy defeating the arrogant vedantin in his own den.

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 Overjoyed the  Acharyar hugged Hasthagiri Anna and said henceforth you will be called as Prathivadi bhayanakaram Anna . Meanwhile the Vedantin  along with his followers rushed to Anna  accepting defeat and pleaded to be taken in their fold . The Acharyar blessed both of the disciples and handed over the reins of the school for him to take over due to his old age .

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Swamy Annan was carrying out the Theertha kainkaryam at Kancheepuram as done by our  Jagath Acharyar Swamy Ramanuja . One day he took permission from Lord Vardaraja for having darshanam of Lord Sreenivasa at Tirumala after getting immersed in the Nammazhwar’s description of Tirumala and Lord Srinivasa  in Thiruvamozhi .

 

Anna became associated with  Swami Ananthanpillai descendants and  was engaged in serving Lord Srinivasa by collecting and preparing the water required for His worship every day. 

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One day, while  returning from Akasha Ganga  after having  gathered  the holy water to be taken to the Lord, a devotee from Srirangam came across his path.  As divine will would have it, they entered into a conversation.  The devotee from Srirangam narrated the  glories of the  revered saint Svami Mamunigal  and his extraordinary service in Srirangam.  Anna was deeply moved on hearing  about Swamy’s devotion to Lordships and the zeal to carry out the mantle of Jagathacharyar Swamy Ramanuja’s philosophy  all over . In the process of hearing the satsangath , he completely forgot about the  holy water he was supposed to deliver to the Lord.

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Having exhausted  with their patience, the priests from the temple  came out in search of Anna and hurriedly collected  the pots of holy water from him and rushed back to the temple to complete the worship according to established protocol . Anna was confused and hence  rushed to the temple to inform the priests that he had not yet prepared the water by mixing in it fragrant substances, as  was the norms .  But as  it was too late  the worship had already begun and nearing  completion . Anna was cursing himself for overlooking the protocol that was followed . He was dejected for not compiling with the procedures thus committing an offence . Standing all alone inside the temple Anna was seeking forgivance  .

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  Lord Srinivasa  , all compassionate Lord , broke his  silence  .There was a divine voice coming  from the deity form,  addressing   him , “Oh My dear  Anna!  The  holy water you delivered today  had the best fragrance and quality.  I am pleased with your service!”   Don’t be dejected !!!

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This was a shock to Anna, who had not added any fragrance at all  that day.  On pondering  , Anna realized that the water must have got  fragnant by the mere mention of the account of Swami Manavala Mamunigal vaibhavam  .  Realizing the glory of the saint, Anna took permission from Lord Sreenivasa and  left  Tirumala  heading towards  south to srirangam to have Swami manavala maamuni’s darshanam .

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On reaching Srirangam , Anna has darshan of the Lordships and  goes straight to attend  the discourse of Swamy Manavala mamuni  which impresses him  very much . He waits  patiently for having  Acharyar’s darshanam . Amongst all the disciples , Swamy Manavala Mamuni calls him and asks  Oh! You are that srivaishnava called as Prathivadi Bhayankaran in a lighter vein .

Anna humbly offers obesiances and replies  Swamy ,  that he is Prathivadi Bhayankaran to his opponents  and a servant of servants to srivaishnavas .  Swamy is pleased with his commitment in protecting our rich sampradaya  and honours him with  another title “SrIvaishnava dAsan”.

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Later ,  Anna moves to Tirumala for   serving Lord Srinivasa . Swamy Manavalamamuni joins him at Tirumala  and  taken  by the glory of Lord Srinivasa,  he ordains his disciple Prathivadi Bhayankaram Anna to compose hymns on  Lord Srinivasa through which Lord’s  glory is well understood and enjoyed by all walks of people.  Anna taking his Acharyar’s command  composes  hymns on LORD   that shed light on the greatness of the Lord of the Seven Hills.

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Annan,  pens the   morning song suprabhatham  slokas comprising of             (29 verses , stotram  11 verses ,  prapatti  16 verses  and mangalam  14 verses)  The holy verses has four  aspects Suprabhatam, which is the actual awaking of  Lordships Sree and Vishnu,  Stotram, which is essentially a  glorifications and the last  Prapatti through Sree and the beautiful  Mangalam to Lordships  which serves as a conclusion.

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These  four hymnal renditions of Anna are the hallmark of worship that are  conducted  in Srivaishnava parlance.  The Vaishnava Agamas require the Lord to be worshipped and honoured at least as much as a king is.  The Suprabhatam or wishing of  an auspicious dawn is not only analogous to the service offered normally to the royalty but also an expression of Mangalasasanam. Mangalasasanam is the highest virtue recognized in Srivaishnavism. 

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It is It is the exalted state of devotion where the devotee is not worried about his own welfare or the welfare of others, but only about the welfare of the Lord (which automatically ensures the well being of everyone and everything else).  He serves the Lord, sings His benediction and longs for His auspiciousness always   and the Prapatti is another core concept of Srivaishnavism that teaches the complete resignation to the saving grace of the Lord. The final goal of a Srivaishnava is to please the Lord with one’s services.  One of the most important forms of service is the service of singing the Lord’s praise.  He is sthavapriya: or one who is pleased with stotrams.  The Venkatesa Stotram serves this purpose. Through the four works, Anna captures the entire essence of Srivaishnavism as he sings the glory of Lord Venkatesa.  The pleased Lord listens to these hymns several times every day during the course of His worship in several temples…

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 Swamy Manavala  Mamuni then ordered his disciples  , that every day except in the month  of Margazhi, these four stotras must  be recited at the time  of opening of the temple sanctorum  in the morning which is being religiously followed till date .

Thus we have an advanced  Acharyar  Swamy Prativadi Bhayankaram Annan of Tirupati Suprabhatam fame  who was a disciple of both  Swamy Vedantha Desika’s son and Swamy Manavaala Maamunigal, indicating that there was no remarkable differences in following  between the  two sects . His treatises establishing the unifying nature of all of our acharyas are a treasure for several generations .

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A detailed description of THIRUMANJANA SEVA at Tirumala is appended in the below linked post

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2016/09/08/at-tirumala-lord-venkateshwara-abhisheka-vaibhavam-venkatadri-samam-sthanam-brahmande-nasti-kinchana-venkatesa-samo-devo-na-bhuto-na-bhavisyati/

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Swamy Prativadi Bhayankaram Annan  Thiruadigale sharanam

Check few more divine incidents  about Lord Venkateshwara in the below appended posts .

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2016/09/08/at-tirumala-lord-venkateshwara-abhisheka-vaibhavam-venkatadri-samam-sthanam-brahmande-nasti-kinchana-venkatesa-samo-devo-na-bhuto-na-bhavisyati/

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2016/07/16/at-tirumala-when-the-screens-opened-by-themselves/

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/the-divine-crowbar-at-the-entrance-of-tirumala-temple/

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2015/01/22/the-devotee-who-played-dice-with-lord/

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2016/07/07/azhwar-theertham-at-tirupati/

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2015/10/31/ekantha-seva-at-tirumala-tallapaka-vari-lali-tarigondavari-harathi/

 

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

Picture credits : Google images/antaryami.org

Video credits   : Thallapaka Annamacharyulu garu /  Keerthi / Baba and other devotees

 

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…….The Unconditional surrender …..


Swamy  Parasara Bhattar, the famous acharya   in Srivaishnavam  Sampradaya was the eldest son of Swami  Koorathazhvan. .   Bhattar  was  the chief priest  at Srirangam temple and  appeared  out of the grace of the Lord of Srirangam.  Swami parASara bhaTTar  appeared  in this world through the divine aravanai prasadam (the prasadam that is offered to the Lord just before the nightly closing of the temple) of Namperumal, which was offered to Andal, the wife of swami Kurathazhvan. Not only by birth did swami bhattar, as he is addressed by all, show his greatness, but also by his  sharp intelligence, kind actions and  inspiring  spiritual  practices throughout his life.

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 A toughest  enemy would also  adore Bhattar on listening to him.  Bhattar’s  skill in answering a person’s question even before the questioner has finished asking the question was  marvelous, and offers food for our thoughts  , thus pondering the filthy mind which  always rests in the ocean of egoistic approach . Two divine pastimes mentioned below awakens one to work on our approach and seek Lord’s lotus feet unconditionally .

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Once Bhattar went to a  temple with his disciples to worship his beloved Lord Ranganatha . Unfortunately, the shrine was closed to the general public. In those times, the closing of the shrine to the public was usually expressed through a divine servant shouting out the words “netrapaani, netrapaani”.

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While this was happening, swami Bhattar was inside the enclosure created by the screen that separates namperumAL’s shrine and the outside. One of the close servants  in the temple , without knowing the divine closeness of Bhattar with  Lord Namperumal, shouted at Bhattar and uttered inappropriate words  much to the surprise of the crowd . Bhattar simply smiled at him.  but , the  disciples of Bhattar  couldnt accept and hence started to shout back at  the person .

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 Bhattar   looked at  his disciples and  politely asked them “Why are you taking revenge at me?”

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The disciples were  shocked and  taken aback,. They were confused on hearing these  unusual words from  their guru Bhattar. One of the disciples, with a bit of courage, asked Bhattar “Swami, we are not taking revenge at you, but only at the person who inappropriately,  misbehaved  at you”.

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 Bhattar explained to them “The person at whom you are shouting has done a great favour to me . And by shouting at him, you are showing ungratefulness and are becoming a nuisance to him by shouting at him”. All the disciples were stunned; Bhattar simply continued – “It is the duty of every Sri Vaishnava, while worshipping the Lord, to  speak out his own bad qualities  and the Lord’s kalyana guNas.

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Our Namperumal is very busy with so many utsavams and does not find enough time to listen to my  bad qualities  which are innumerable to be told completely. Given that this is the case, this swami  serving the LORD has indirectly  helped me and has taken up my task in his shoulder and put forth  the bad qualities   of me before the Lord and the Lord is also very pleased to hear. Why are you disturbing him from doing a favor to me?”

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  Swami Parasara bhattar,  simply smiled at that  person who committed the slip , took one valuable necklaces from his neck, and offered it to that swami and told him “Swami – Even though this will not equal the favor done by you for me, it is my humble offering to you”.Please keep it with you …

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 Once Swamy was proceeding to attend a festival in nearby temple away from Srirangam . He had to walk into deep bushes .   En route   he met a hunter.  The hunter was spellbound looking at Bhattars composure and tejas . He immediately offered obesiances  to Swamys lotus feet  and offered  a seat to Swamin . Srivaishnava acharyas had  the unique trait of looking at everyone with  respect and hence Bhattar also made him sit along with him . 

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A srivaishnava is  a person who  never cast anyone as low or high by how he looks or where he lives. The instinctive prejudice that has diseased the society was never in their midst and hence the respect and love from the common folk was visible .

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 Having taken his seat, Swamy, with his usual inquisitiveness, asked  the hunter of the daily routine in and  around the forest. The hunter  was excited to have the audience of  the distinguished seer and sharing dais with his holiness .He mentally rehearsed what  he can  reveal and decided to tell a strange  incident that he came across . 

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He  humbly  said   “Swamy, a few days back, I did not get food throughout the day.  Due to pangs of hunger ,  I decided to find food at any cost and headed towards a rabbit habitat.  I  was overjoyed when I found a little baby rabbit . 

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Holding it by the ears, I  started walking home. Having walked a few steps, I sensed something nibbling at my feet. To my surprise, I found the mother of this rabbit  was at my feet. Its behavior was very strange. It kept nibbling at my toes and quickly ran around my feet and came back to the toes. This kept  on happening for some time and I couldn’t put a foot forward. 

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A strange feeling  entered  in my heart.  Feeling pity  at the behavior of the Mother rabbit I suppose , my heart felt for the little one and her mother  My mind stubbornly directed me to make my supper with the rabbit  BUT  my heart  overruled  the mind and demanded the release of the little rabbit.

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I was  overcome with compassion and remorse that I put down the child rabbit. Both the rabbits went around me a couple of times and  merrily jumped may be  blessing me  for letting them go safely .And to my surprise, this feeling overpowered my hunger and I was feeling my stomach seemed full.

RabbitQ1MBJMThe Acharya listened to the entire narration with eyes wide open and exclaimed

“Oh  Lord Ranga!

How can we narrow down the concept of Surrender  to a certain set of rules?  This small incident  where  a  man devoid of any shastric learning melts down to the surrender of a rabbit and forgoes his hunger.

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A rabbit, absolutely devoid of any sort of tatva gnyanam instinctively surrenders at the feet of the hunter and seeks the release of its child! How can  unconditional surrender have stringent rules?

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It is a simple yet highly effective concept for  the mankind to  learn   from the rabbit to surrender  seeking Lords Lotus Feet  unconditionally .

 Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

Pics credits : Google images

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Lord glorified as Kallar –piran/Chora-nathar (head of thieves)


 

Near Tirunelveli -Thiruchendur route at the northern banks of the holy river  Tambaraparani river , there is a glorious temple of  Lord Vaikuntanathar .

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Lord rests on Aadhishesha facing the east holding a wonderful mace in his divine lotus hand .

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In this small village few hundred years ago there was a thief ,kaladhooshakan .He was a nice devotee of the Lord .He used to visit the temple in the day and  pray Lord for a good booty in the night .It was a one to one conversation. He made it a practice to offer fifty percent of  his loot for some service to the Lord. Though it was always petty thefts , he wished he somehow looted the royal chambers .He ardently prayed LORD for his mission to be accomplished .He meanwhile worked with a plan to navigate the royal chambers for the d-day in his looting expedition.  Days were passing and his prayers became more frequent.

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It  was Karthika Pournami day . He went to temple and offered his obeisances to the great Lord. He said , Lord ! Today I will be entering the royal chambers and with this loot , I would offer you a majestic diamond studded crown .Please be with me .. You have always been with me all my life … Very energetic and enthusiastic , he moved out of the temple . He called his friends and said . Friends …Today is very special day for us …With this  royal loot we would be forever happy . I want all of you to coordinate as per our plan and make this loot memorable and bounty full . I am sure we will be successful as Lord has assured all the support as he is doing already . Lets all assemble before the temple tonight before we leave to the royal palace .

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 It was midnight .  The moon was glowing in full radiance . Kaaladhooshakan arrived  in disguise .He was at the temple doors .Ardently praying , he looked at the temple top and with reverence bowed down seeking Lord’s permission to proceed .His friends quickly joined him with all the tools needed for the challenging task. Together they crawled in the dark night in different routes  to reach the destined place as per their plan .

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The royal palace was huge  and the compound walls were  strong . Kaaladhooshakan  was waiting for this day .It was an Olympics moment . He  waited for his friends to arrive meanwhile working out his mind how best can his mission can be accomplished . As his friends approached , he said .. My dear friends !! This is a wonderful opportunity . Just be with me I will make your lives happy forever without any one to do petty works . Just signal me If the guards are approaching me . Each one of you will transmit some cheeky noise for me to be alert . I shall go there inside those royal chambers and all of you have to just keep a vigil no one comes while I am on my job.    All of them  agreed to follow the plan meticulously .

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Kaaladhooshakan  managed to climb  the compound wall with a strong rope . He looked around to see If their were any guards watching him . Thus, managed to quickly reach the royal chambers . Not having much problem with the darkness as the moon was always following him giving sufficient light to trace his  jewellery destination he  crawled  into the dark night  .  The huge balcony was unguarded . He managed to make  his way into the room .The room was full of ivory cupboards and had royal touch . Kaaladhooshakan  was stunned to see the opulence . He quickly looked into  the ivory cupboards that had precious  jewellery.  Every jewellery he picked , his mind raced to  adorn the Lord with them  . All the time he imagined each  jewellery would have been more attractive had it been with our Lord  . He started quickly  pushing all those jewellery  into his gunny bag .The bag was full with the precious jewellery .His mission was accomplished . Thanking LORD for his support , he quickly marched towards the compound walls for making his way back home.

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  The dogs looking at his friends who were waiting near the compound wall , started barking . The guards immediately pounced on them and questioned . Looking at their speech and body language the guards arrested them for further questioning .At the royal chambers , the  theft was noticed the next day . The guards paraded Kaaladhooshakan friends before the King .

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 At the village , Kaaladhooshakan got nervous . As the sun rose , He quickly  rushed  towards the temple and pleaded LORD to save him .  All compassionate Lord appeared before him as a  Priest and assured him everything will be for his own good . Kaaladhooshakan promptly left the temple with an assurance from Lord . 

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Meanwhile as per the directions of  the friends who were already caught , the guards reached the temple to find about the whereabouts of Kaaladhooshakan .  Lord  now appeared before the guards as Kaaladhooshakan and submitted before the King in all opulence .

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The King was stunned to see Kaaladhooshakan  .  The bewitching smile and the magnetic aura he carried made the entire court spellbound  .The eyes carried a special  effect.  The King was just watching his glowing face .Meanwhile ,  the minister  questioned  him for  the reason his stealing .  The thief ( LORD ) said I have stole that part of the wealth  which is as per dharma. Your majesty has not protected the dharma as a King and hence we had to interfere .The King was shocked to hear Kaaladhooshakan quoting vedic scriptures and thus proving his innocence . The spark in the eyes of Kaaladhooshakan made the King keep looking at him without any whisper .He realized  he was not an ordinary thief but LORD himself  who had come to enlighten him . He immediately ordered his minister to renovate the temple and  release Kaaladhooshan and his friends and  ensure  they had  a decent living .

For the divine leela enacted ,Lord  is glorified as Kallar –piran/Chora-nathar(head of thieves) A rare incident happens during the 6th day of Chithirai month . Sun rays falls directly on the  lotus feet of Lord Vaikuntanathar .Lord is also glorified as Paal pandiyan as a  token of acceptance from the  pandyan  king who had  constructed this  temple  and arranged for daily milk  abhishekam  to the Lordships.

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This temple  Lordships is glorified by our Nammazhwar .The temple is one of the 108  srivaishnava divya desams . The temple is also classified as a  Navatirupathy , the nine temples revered by Nammazhwar located in the banks of  Tambaraparani  river. There are as such Eight Divyadesam but nine temples called as  Navathirupathi which are situated at north bank of tambarabarani river and last three divyadesams are situated at south bank

1. Srivaikuntam
2. Varagunamangai
3.Thirupuliyangkudi
4.Tholaivillimangalam(Irattai thirupathi,two temple)
5.Perungulam
6.Thenthiruperai
7.Thirukolur
8.Alwarthirunagari.

Nava Garuda sevai post appended below describing the grand event

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2016/05/16/nava-garuda-sevai-vaibhavam-at-azhwar-thirunagari/

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The glory of Thirukkolur appended in the below post

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2015/06/14/the-glory-of-thirukkolur/

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

Pics : Courtesy google images

 

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The soul is for the sake of the Lord ….


Swamy Nampillai submitted him, Acharya ! Tell us something which I should ever remember as the sole refuge”. NanJeeyar replied …..

Do not think that the Lord is for the sake of the soul but think that the soul is for the sake of the Lord…..

kazhiyur varadan's web blog

 During the last days  of his illustrious sainthood ,  Nanjeeyar   was  bedridden. One new  disciple  came to him and pleaded Acharyar “May I now request you Swamin,  to chant the  “Dwaya Mantra”?

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Nanjeeyar looked at him and said  Child ! “Why do you recommend the chanting to me? Do you not want it?” Is the holy mantra  be chanted only by a bedridden man and not by a wandering soul?” The disciple on hearing this became dumb founded and felt ashamed of himself. Nanjeeyar continued

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“Dwayam Mantra”  must  be chanted by all times irrespective of  any condition of the body . As  body  needs oxygen to survive , soul needs Dwayam to progress ..

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Another disciple of  Nanjeeyar  was  hearing the conversation .He thought that there was some  unfulfilled  wish  of  Acharyar .   He humbly  approached his Acharyar   and asked respectfully Swamin ! Kindly give us the opportunity to fulfill …

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..  The divine incident when Lord accepts the Shankhu and Chakra from his dear devotee Swamy Ramanuja ………… Thirumalai-Appanukku Sanku-Aazhi alhiththa Acharya-perumaan Emberumaanaar Jaya Vijayee bhava.”


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“Srivaikunta Virakthaaya Swami Pushkarini Thatey

Ramaya Rama maanaya Venkatesaya mangalam”

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The above famous Mangala sloka  recited in every  temple and household glorifies the Lord of Seven Hills (Tirumala)  Lord Venkateshwara  as “ the  Lord   who out of deep love for his devotees vacated  Sri Vaikuntam along with Goddess  and  choose to  reside on the banks of Swami Pushkarini  in Tirumala ” the sacred hills which is also glorified  as Adivaraha kshetram.. (cluster of seven Hills )

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Various puranas describe  about the appearance of the Lord in the Seven Hills. Adiseshan with seven hoods is believed to have assumed the form of the Nallamalai hills for Lord’s ascent .

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Tirumala is considered to be the head of Adhisesha while Ahobilam is considered as the middle part and Srisailam as the tail of the adiseshan. An aerial view of the hills authenticate the shape of the hills in the form of a  divine snake.

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Those were the days when the famous king Thondaman Chakravarthy was ruling the  southern Kingdom  .  


The King a great devotee of the LORD VENKATESHWARA  ,he used to worship the LORD by reaching the Hills and engage himself in deep meditation at the inner sanctum of Tirumala temple . Most of the time he used to engage  himself in hearing about Lord’s divine  pastimes  from his advisors.  It is believed that there was a secret tunnel for the King to reach the holy abode during some emergencies for seeking solace .

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It was the  auspicious month of Purattasi .The King decided to spend the entire month at Tirumala conducting the Brahmotsavam festival   for the Lord as per Agamas with personnel supervision and  directions . The atmosphere was filled with devotional aura  with the King himself  supervising the grand festival  . The King used to enter the temple inner sanctum and engage in  deep meditation with the Lordships after the days festival  .He used to speak to the Lord for his guidance in conducting the festival in a grander manner .

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Hearing about the King’s  absence, the neighboring state kings decided to invade the Kingdom with the support of a mighty asura  simhanada . As the King was far away from the capital , they decided it was the right time to plunder the kingdom . In the absence of the King , the  armies fought a pitched battle but could not vanquish the enemies .  


Meanwhile an army general rushed to Tirumala to inform the King about the devastation .   On knowing about the actual scenario and the efforts taken by the army , the King Thondaman Chakravarthy ran up to the temple inner sanctum and  surrendered to Lord for his intervention . Firmly holding Lord’s lotus feet he cried for his help as the enemies who besieged the kingdom seemed mightier than his own  army .

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Lord  pleased with his devotion and unconditional  surrender  replied to his earnest prayer ..

My child …  Thondaman !

Dont panic .. …….. ……………….

.he ordered the divine weapons Shankhu and Chakra to take control of the situation .  Always ready to obey Lord’s command ,  the divine weapons rushed to the  battle spot and finished the task of eliminating the dreaded asuras and the enemies in fraction of few  seconds . This happened even before the Army generals  reached the battle field . 

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Once task  was accomplished the   weapons  once again returned back to the Lord  with utmost submission .

Now the Kingdom remained with no enemies .

Thondaiman Chakaravarthy amazed with the  ( divine weapons ) lightening happenings bowed down  and looking at Lord submitted ..

Oh Lord of Lords ! Am blessed to be graced by you with so much mercy on me .

Lord …I have a small prayer  to be  fulfilled.

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I beg your Highness not to show those divine weapons in your hand to the people of this world. I wish  that the coming generations  in this kaliyuga   know that your highness  had sent them to protect me and my kingdom. This  episode will inspire several devotees to surrender to your lotus feet  in the coming years thus making the world know how fortunate I was with your constant friendship.

The Lord smiled and said . ……

If that was your wish ……..Let that be so …..

and continued …

TTRRY

My child !! In this Kali age ..the  devotees  would  offer a shrine and other paraphernalia  soon … and for your sake   I would definitely accept the Shanku and Chakra  them thus fulfilling your desire too .

Thus the famous emperor Thondaman whose birth had been prophesied in the Puranas  lived in the beginning  of Tirumala history . after the great King Vikramaditya I .Thus to make the people  in the world know this divine incident and make people in this world know he was ready to help his devotees ,Lord graced all of the devotees  by giving darshan without his divine weapons  ( Not able to see the weapons with the  mortal eyes )

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According to Brahmanda Purana the Lord’s appearance was known to the humans somewhere during the First Century. It was  SriRanganatha Yadavaraya after facing the troublesome period of Malik Kafur and Tuglaq invasion restored this grand  holy place .

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Those were the   troubled  times . The cruel Kali age held sway and thus people became indifferent to the duties  cast on them befitting their dharma and sadly the Kings too were prone to sinful acts .People became  hostile towards the sacred teachings of vedas . Few were aghast with true knowledge and with poor understanding started destroying temples targeting HARI  .   Modern  self proclaimed religions with self glorification of individuals  flourished which led to degeneration.

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Lord HARI out of abundant compassion to his children   called his most confidential Assistant who served LORD as a seat  a  bed..

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Lord spoke ……..

My dear Anantha

We are concerned for the happenings there in the other world

Azhwars have appeared and attempted to establish vedic dharma among st them but what I see is slow degeneration in the human kind…


I wish  you take this opportunity  to appear amongst them and establish vedic dharma so that my children realize their purpose of life .

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 Anantha ….. Please go and protect the dharma , vanquish those who are hostile to the vedas and the ones who misinterpret them . Go  !!  protect the dharma and restore the agamic methods of worship as of yore in our temples and establish the kingdom and the command of  us  for the benefit of man kind …

TYRR

And as per LORD’s command 4118 years from the advent of Kaliyuga Adishesha appeared at Sriperambadhoor  as Ramanuja .  He grew up into a great devotee of LORD and mastered Sanskrit and Tamil vedas . By the mercy of LORD he vanquished all the opposition and restored purity in the worship by traveling all over and preaching the essence of Vedic dharma .

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Those days  Tirumala was being ruled  by a  Yadava king . The vaikhanasa priests serving the Lord were very few . Due to unforeseen conditions  , they left Tirumala . The temple worship was now left to the available  priests  living around  Tirumala .

During the same  period the great Saiva saints Thirugyana sambandhar , Appar and Sundarar  had  glorified Paramasivan in their sweet compositions  at Thirupparankunram, Thiruvanmiyur , Kalahasthi and other nearby holy places around  Chitoor  but   omitted the reference to Tirumala…..( thus emphasising  Tirumala was a SriVaishnava shrine) .

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The  Saiva  Priests were asked to take over the  worshiping the Lord. The King knowing about the sudden disappearance of the Vaikhanasa priests appointed  the new priests to officiate the worship uninterruptedly .

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Slowly over a period of time the saivites impressed the King about the sacred Hills and  claimed that the Lord worshipped is Skanda  .They further emphasized that even the Pushkarini ( temple tank )  also carries the name Swamy Pushkarini . To make their stance clear ,  they provided the Vamana Purana quotes  . The King was  requested to permit them to carry out the temple  worship as per Saiva Agamas instead of Vaikanasa Agamas  .

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The King  was confused . As he had seen all his  predecesor kings  had continuously worshipped Tirumala Lordships  as per vaikanasa agamas , it was news for him to hear  about a different worship.  He called for a discussion amongst the elite scholars..

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Thirumalai nambi  the grandson of Yamunacharyar and the maternal uncle and preceptor of Swamy Ramanujar and Anantazhwan-the famous disciple of Swamy Ramanujar who were highly knowledgeable  could have refuted but realizing that Lord Srinivasar had a divine plan waited for   Swamy Ramanujar’s arrival. Lord Srinivasar too  wanted to have Ramanuja sambhandham and thus created this situation!!!!

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The elite scholars were also  very confused .Not being very competent to to establish their case in the royal court , the news was conveyed to Jagath Acharyar Swamy Ramanujar   who  was on a sojourn towards Northern  India for bringing the Bodhayana Vritti .

En route he took the road towards Varanaasi , Purushottama Kshetra , Srikurmam and reached Tirumala after coming to know about the worshipping practices .  Moreover, on the authority of the previous worship and practices the King was influenced to mark the place as a Saiva shrine .

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Swamy Ramanujar immediately took leave and reached Tirupathy. He met the Yadava King and blessed him . The King was wonder stuck with the emitting radiance from Swamy Ramanuja  .

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Swamy Ramanuja spoke ..My dear King !! I have come from Srirangam to remove the doubts and ignorance about the great great LORD here in Tirumala

Let all those men who created confusion  assemble here in your presence . We shall establish the divine truth and remove all the doubts  creeping them.

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The King was enlightened .He was thankful  to Acharyar for his kind words and intervention. The King announced about the Acharyars arrival and asked all the priests to assemble for detailed discussions .

The Priests came in huge numbers . Swamy Ramanujar along with few of his disciples were seated besides the King’s  throne .

The Priests were wonder stuck seeing Swamy Ramanuja’s radiance and the benevolent smile .  Swamy Ramanujar looked at the King and said . My dear King  ! Let the  doubts expressed by these men be put forth .

The King continued ,  My dear Priests ! We have among us most revered Acharyar who has specially arrived to clear the doubts and establish vedic dharma in our temple .Please submit your points for broader views about worshipping the LORD as per saiva Agamas instead of the existing Vaikanasa agamas.   

The royal court was packed with elite scholars and priests .

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One Priest arose and humbly submitted .

Oh ! King !! We  have authentic proofs  that Tirumala is a Saiva Kshetram and the Lord here is “Kumara swamy” . The Vamana Purana quotes that It was as per Paramasivan’s command Subramanya swamy meditated at the banks of Pushkarini on the highest truth . He was engaged in deep penance standing and appeared with a matted hair without wearing his weapons and hence we strongly admit the Lord here is Subramanya swamy himself  and as the deity is  without shankhu and Chakra he cannot be Mahavishnu .


 Also , the Lord wears a serpent band and worshiped with bilva leaves .Everything here proves this place to be a Saiva sthalam.

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Another Priest got up and said , Oh King !  Also .. In the  4000 divya prabhandam   Pey Azhwar glorifies Lord here as below…..

oN mazhuvum  ….. chakkaramum  …..

sUzh aravum  …..  pon nANum…… 

thOndRum  mAL……………………………………..

   Azhwar  means  LORD is  having  a jadai ( matted lock of hairs )  associated with Paramasivan ,  and the mazhu ( a weapon  Paramasivan carries )  the ornaments Nagabharanam and then the golden waist thread . Thus this description addresses Lord in  the  form  of  Paramasivan   .

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All of us in one voice proclaim this is a saiva kshetra ..Please allow us to worship the Lord as per Saiva agamas .

Swamy Ramanuja smiled at his speech and patiently listened to  all of them  speak in full.  The King was patiently  was awaiting for Swamy Ramanuja to reply .

After all of them raised several doubts and claimed their stance…..

Swamy Ramanuja replied … My dear children  !   We shall take the same  Vamana Purana,   for reference ….  In 2nd chapter , Skanda asks Paramasivan ,  Father !! which is holiest place where the sacred waters flow that  would  wash away the brahmahatti dosha gained   by me due to killing of Tarakasura.

 

Also  in the  same  chapter,  Paramasivan  replies to Skanda that  the holiest place on earth is Thiruvenkatam ( Tirumala)  as Siddhars and Rishis constantly do penance and this the Holiest place where Lord Narayana resides as Adhivaraha.   My son ! Lord reveals himself along with Goddess Mahalakshmi in this holy abode . And thus this place is glorifies as Varaha Kshetra . And my son ,  the holiest mantra is  Sri Vishnu Rama taraka mantra .

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Swamy Ramanuja continued …

Swamy Pushkarini means the holy tank which is Lord of all the tanks indicating its superiority . Skanda performed penance near this holy tank 

Kon is       LORD and        eri is   tank

In Varaha Purana Lord Varaha states Bhumadevi that Swami Pushkarini is the chief among all the theerthas .

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(  it  is said that Saraswati devi the chief of all the holy rivers  once requested Lord that all the  three and half crores of holy waters  pray her for their purification to get rid of the acquired sins caused due to the people taking a bath   . Lord advised her that let all the waters come here to Adhi Varaha Kshetra  for their purification …

 

She continued ..Oh Lord !   In that case ….Please permit  me to advise them to do the same at the holy waters in Tirumala to cleanse themselves and those waters which approach you at dawn on Shukla Paksha dwadasi during the month of Margazhee ( Dec – Jan ) may  become yours   always  . They will anoint and crown you as their chief

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My children ……This tank had appeared from Sri Vaikuntam . There are so many holy streams  Kapila , Jabali , Kumara  and many more  around the sacred hills .

The  Azhwar’s divine  verse emphasizes something very transcendental

Azhwar describes LORD having  a jadai ( matted lock of hairs ) usually associated with Paramasivan , and says Neela mudi ( associated to Lord Sri Hari )  and the long crown a clear indication of Lord Hari  and then the mazhu ( a weapon  Paramasivan carries ) and then Chakaram the discuss and the ornaments Nagabharanam and then the golden waist thread .

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Thus this description addresses Lord in both the forms of Sankara  and Sriman Narayana  . Elders perspective on this poetic verse is   Azhwar’s a special art in combining that which is different and cannot be joined .The opposites are made to look as one .. ….

 Dear King …!!!  In the Supreme LORD’s body , a place is assigned to Paramasivan in the same manner as his naval is assigned to Chaturmukha Brahma and the bosom is assigned to Goddess Maha lakshmee.

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Dear King !!! the Lord here glows with chaturbhuja and there are  several  Lord Vishnu Temples where the  the deity  Lord Vishnu  does not exhibit  Sanku and Chakra…(Udupi, Poori, Dwaraka etc) and hence he is not skanda as  the same Vamana Purana cities mentions that Skanda as per Paramasivas instructions left to Tirumala carrying his weapons for  meditation . 


My dear King !! Before the Lord  of Lord’s arrived here,  this great Varaha Kshetra was most opted by all devas who did severe penance to realise LORD as  initially Brahma Siva Indira Vayu . Rishis  Gandharvas Yakshas did severe penance to the LORD . Vamana Purana clearly states the appearance of Lord Varaha .

Swamy Ramanujar continued ..

My dear King !! the ultimate authority is vedas  which is eternal / faultless not authored by any person and not subjected to the limitations of the author , declare that this VENKATACHALA is the abode of Mahavishnu alone ..

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Swamy Ramanuja continued   . Varaha Purana  chapter 15  part 1  states Brahma  feasted his eyes with Lord Sreenivasar’s darshan with chaturbhuja.


 Chapter 10 of Padma Purana mentions ” Lord arrived with chaturbhujaas  two holding the divine discus and the conch , with varada hastha another pointing to his  lotus feet ready to grant boons . It  is also mentioned about the srivatsa mark on  Lord’s  chest , kausthuba , vanamala and Vyjayanthee

Chapter 63 of Garuda Purana states that the most fortunate Arundhathee worshipped LORD herein this sacred hills


In the Brahmanada purana chapter 9 , the chozha King Chakravarthy describes LORD  as dark cloud and  has a nestling place for Sri with the mole Srivatsa shining like a jewel on HIS chest holding  two hands aloft carrying the divine weapons .

And as for Skanda the great devotee of LORD , he is ever resident in the region of the kumara dhara in this sacred hills and  he visits the banks frequently and worships the LORD……


And dear King                 

  the Bilva leaves are dear to Lakshmee .. the sloka

adityavarney tapasotijato vanaspatistava vrikshota bilvaha ..

meaning

Oh Sree with a crimson brilliance like the sun by your wish the bilva tree great among trees became very auspicious . For this reason one of the 108 names of Mahalakshmi is Bilvanilaya and it is stated the Archana with bilva nd tulasi leaves is done during Margaseersha month in the early hours  .

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Swamy Ramanujar elucidated his stance further  by quoting various pasurams from Naalayira divyaprabhandham glorified by Azhwars who appeared during 2 nd century to 6 th century who visualized the Lord as Vishnu holding Sankhu and Chakram. Among 12 azhwars, 10 azhwars have glorified this Lord in 202 pasurams.


He referred to Kulasekara Azhwar ‘s pasuram in Peria Thirumozhi where Azhwar dedicated 10 pasurams to Lord Thiruvengadamudaiyan. In the fourth set of ten pasurams (pasuram 677) , he refers to the Lord as the one who is holding Sankhu in HIS left hand “kooneru sangam idathaan….”

Andal refers to the Lord of Tirumala as the one holding Sankhu in HIS left hand in the very first pasuram of Naachiyar Thirumozhi

“Thaiyoru thingkaLum tharai viLakkith *

thaN maNdalamittu mAsi munnAL *

aiya nuNmaNaR koNdu theruvaNindhu *

azhaginukku alangkariththu anangka dhEvA!

** uyyavumAngkolO enRu solli *

unnaiyum umbiyaiyum thozhudhEn *

veyyadhOr thazhal umizh chakkarak kai * vEngkadavaRku

ennai vidhikkiRRiyE “


She has dedicated the first pasuram to the Lord of Thiruvengadam(vengadavarku ennai….) as the

Lord who is holding Sankhu and Chakram . Nammazhwar has referred to this Lord in all his prabhandams. In Thiruvaimozhi, third decad (3-2)

starting with

“Ozhivil kaalam ellam….”,

In “Kundram Endhi kulir mazhi kaathavan… pasuram”,

Azhwar refers to the incident where the Lord who uplifted the goverdhana mountain to protect the folks from torrential rains,the one who measured the whole world with HIS steps , has now come to Thiruvengadam 


In pasuram 3326 , Nammazhwar in sixth decad of Thiruvaimozhi addresses the Lord as the one who has Sridevi on His chest who is inseparable from HIM”Agalagilene Iraiyum Endru….” clearly emphasizing that it is Lord Vishnu who gives darshan in Thiruvengadam and who is the sole refuge for us to get liberation. In these set of 10 pasurams, Azhwar surrenders to the lotus feet of the Lord to attain salvation.


Pey Azhwar visualized the Lord as siva- Vishnu swaroopam in Moondram Thiruvandhaadhi

“Thaazh  sadaiyum, pOn mavuzhum…..”

as ParamaShivan is also part of Vishwaroopam .

Thirumazhisai Azhwar has clearly mentioned in one verse 

Naangam Thiruvandhaadhi” Narayanan  Naanmuganai padaithaan……

He says that Lord Narayanan created the four faced Brahma who in turn created Siva, Indra and other demigods…

So, this clearly proves that Lord  Maha Vishnu is the Lord of the Universe.

The Lord is known as “Eswaran” in a broader sense as the Lord of the Universe and does not mean Siva here . As HE wipes out all the accumulated sins(Vem), HE is addressed as Venkateswaran. The Viswaroopam of the Lord shown to Arjuna during Mahabharatam was also taken as a reference wherein the Lord proved that Shiva and other demigods were part of HIM.


Thus by quoting various references from Brahmanda puranam, Paadma puranam and azhwars pasurams, Swamy Ramanujar clearly established the fact that this Lord is Vishnu swaroopam. The king was convinced and submitted himself to Swamy Ramanujar.

However, the ignorant  priests   expressed Swamy Ramanujar has thrown a spell on them and  thus they could not debate with him.

 Swamy Ramanuja  concluded the debate  with this sloka 

Araayee kaaney Vikatery girim  gachha sadanvey

Sirim  bitasya satvabhi thebhishtwa chaathayaamasee

This is a Rig Veda mantra .. which says this is a vedic mountain

A jeevatma desirous of various fruits like dharma , artha kama  and moksha is taught of the means to attain the desired fruit ..

Oh Jeeva ..twayee aaraaye sati ..

If you are devoid of wealth of this or other worlds

twayi kaane ..sati..

If you are devoid of insight or physical sight ,

 twayi sadanve sati ...

If you are prevented  by obstacles  hindering your realisations Srimibitasya gireem gacha  reach the holy mountains of  Lord Venkatesa and in order to be freed from the above mentioned ills 

twa tebhih sirimbitam chatayamasi ..

meaning amongst the devotees worship the divine LORD

The purport …

When you suffer from the difficulties outlines , seek the company of Lord’s devotees reach the Hills and then pray for deliverance as per veda  Since the vedic formula explicitly asks people to go to the sacred hills of Lord Sreenivasa and approach Lord and in his company of devotees .

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Thus the darkness was dispelled by the aura of swamy Ramanuja ..

Oh King !! These criteria irrefutably establishes that  Lord of Lords ..Sriman Narayana is showering his grace at this place 

The King was wonder stuck  at the cogent arguments presented by Swamy Ramanuja which the learned pundits could not digest . However  much more had to happen as per the divine plan .

The King profusely submitted……

Oh Respected sage .. You have refuted the  opponents and established your views with vedic proofs soundly . The devil of doubts accumulated due to these pundits made me confused .

I am fully convinced .However  I  beg to pray your holiness if you could kindly agree to prove by some means to the satisfaction of the common man as well as the several generations hereafter Lord here is  Venkateshwara himself..

Please accept my request to refute the statements of all these learned men ..

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Hearing the King’s plea .. Swamy Ramanuja smiled and said this was Lords  divine plan may be…………

as stated  in the Brahmanda Purana Chapter 11 ,  Lord  who had vowed to accept his weapons designed on earth  was keen to fulfill the wish of his devotee  and there would be no reason for Lord to deny  now ..

Lord is fond of his devotees and he would definitely concede our request always

Swamy Ramanuja said ……Oh King !! Please listen ..As per your desire ….

Let us place the unique weapons of Lord the divine discus  and the conch .

Let  the pundits  place the unique weapons pasam and ankusam and allow

LORD himself to decide .

The King was extremely happy and agreed immediately to the  Acharyar’s  plan.

 Amongst the august audience

 Acharyar Ramanuja submitted to the Glorious Lord …….

…”Hail  Lord Venkatakrishna,  We understand very well that you are the Krishna here… even though not exhibiting your Divya-Ayudhas Sanku and Chakra.

 

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Contrarily   Oh Lord !  here  at Tirumala  you have to grace us with your  darshan

…we want to recite prayers as well as worship accordingly, with your guidance .

So …Oh Lord !!!!   please let us know… whether you want us to pray as Sankara-Narayarana or Viswaroopa-Krishna as you showed yourselves to Arjuna as the Unified form of all Vedic Gods within one Vishnu the Supreme Lord….

 Lord !!!!


If You are Sankara Narayana…  please adore the  Trishula and damaruka  .By this we will hand over this temple to Saivites…and …similar to all the other Sankara-Narayana temples in the Saivites domain, the worship shall be followed

And Lord !!!!

 if you grace us  in the Viswaroopa Krishna  darshan … then please accept the Sanku and Chakra…

…and show to your devotees as the constant and eternal proof of authenticity… giving the least room for even a trace of doubt nor complication ever in future.

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So we all your devotees of both the sects as Saivites and Vaishnavites are placing before you… both these pairs of options… leaving to your discretion.

Please shower your mercy by showing openly to all the devotees… not only the present… but also the posterity….

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Thus JagathAcharyar Swamy  Ramanuja  impartially spoke out… in the presence of the Saivites as well as the Thondai-mandala Raja,  the King …and left out the Sannidhi.

The divine weapons were placed in the sanctum and locked  .

The next day , all the devotees assembled . While the Sannidhi door was opened in  the presence of the King  and the Pontiffs  and both the Saivites and Vaishnavites…

 

All of them sang ..

How wonderful !!     How  wonderful !!     How majestic …

 

 Our Lord who is on the sacred Hills which is bathed by the great mountain streams surrounding the holy place on all sides shower his graceful looks along with the divine abharanams shankhu .chakraa …

 

..they all were convinced that it is Lord Venkata-Krishna… since he had chosen to adore  Shanka and Chakra…

Swamy  Ramanuja’s joy knew no bounds .His eyes streaming with tears of delight at the miraculous event  thanking Lord for his mercy  fell flat like an uprooted tree …

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Swamy Ramanujacharya  submitted to   Lord Venkateswara to  clarify openly to all… as to what does it indicate.

Then by Asareeri voice…  Lord Venkateswara declared openly

“Oh ……Ramanuja, my Acharya I am your Student  now …

 

You are my  Acharya because you have taught and enlightened me as to what is the best form undisputable exposition during Kaliyuga…

Besides, for one more reason too, I honour you as my Acharyar .

.. You are my Acharya because you have performed Samashrayanam to me by giving me Shanka and Chakra…

 

The King was overjoyed .He rushed towards  Swamy Ramanuja and obediently bowed his head and pleaded the Acharyar to take over the temple administration . Swamy Ramanuja remained in Tirumala and supervised the Mahasamprokshanam ceremonies as per Sri Vaikhanasa agamas and arranged uninteruptted daily worship to the Lord .

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Swamy Ramanujar was thus  instrumental in offering Sankhu and Chakram to the Lord. To avoid such incidents in future, Swamy Ramanujar instructed  his dearest disciple Swamy Ananathazhwan to make a kavacham for the sankhu and chakram submitted  by Ramanujar.  The original sankhu chakram  offered  by Swamy Ramanujar  was later on covered by  another kavacham by  Swamy Anantazhwan form an integral part of the Lordships and are never removed. 


Swamy Ramanujar reinstated the various practices as per Vaiganasa Agamam and all rituals  is performed as per Vaikhanasa agama. He was instrumental in renovating the temple. It is stated in Varaha Puranam 7 th canto, that Vyuha lakshmi- Mahalakshmi seated on lotus in Padmasanam with two hands on Perumal’s chest is very dear to the Lord. So, Swamy Ramanujar arranged for a Lakshmi haaram and adorned the same to Perumal on Shukla Paksha Dwadasi on a Friday in the month of Panguni when it coincided with Thayar’s thirunakshatiram-Uttaram.

During  Abhishekam   to Lordships on Fridays, when the Lakshmi haaram had to be removed for giving separate  Abhishekam  to  Goddess (Thayar) , he ordered  recitation of Naachiyar Thirumozhi which emphasizes Thayar’s craving for reunion with the Lord to be recited .


Namperumal, Varadarajar, Srinivasar, Thirukurungudi Nambi , Andal have all expressed their association with Swamy Ramanujar.

Namperumal made Swamy Ramanujar as the incharge of ubhaya vibhuthis- nitya vibhuti(Vaikuntam) and Leela vibhuti(material world) and conferred the right to grant moksham  to mortal beings .

Lord Varadarajar declared to Thirukachi nambigal that all those who had Ramanuja sambhandam would be granted moksha

Andal came out of the moolasthanam  at  her srivalliputhoor and greeted Ramanujar as “Anna”.

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Saraswati-the goddess of learning  pleased with the commentary given by Ramanujar inSribhasyam for Brahmasutras addressed him as “Bhashyakaarar”.

Swamy Ramanujar is glorified  by this name in  Tirumala ( Thiruvengadam).


Lord Thirukurungudi nambi chose to be Swamy Ramanujar’s disciple by getting mantropadesam and Urdhva pundra dhaaranam by Swamy Ramanujar (the two samskarams which are done during samasrayanam)

Lord Srinivasar chose to get sankhu and chakram from Swamy Ramanujar and thus enacted this beautiful leela.

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Lord Venkatesa adorned the sankhu and chakram by Swamy Ramanujar and thus established Ramanuja sambhandham. Lord Srinivasa also bestowed the special privilege of having sannidhi for his acharyar, Ramanujar in the temple precincts. It may be observed that there is no Azhwar or Acharyar sannidhi within Tirumala temple except Swamy Ramanujar. Also, it may be noted that Ramanujar sannidhi is in an elevated position as he is the acharyar for our Gitacharyar “Lord Srinivasar”.

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The  practice of worship LORD at Tirumala starts at Swamy Ramanujar’s sannidhee. The Guruparampara account reveals that the shrine  for Swamy Ramanuja  at Tirumala opposite to the present Hundi  was constructed by Pillai Thirumala Nambi worshipped as  Bhashyakarar Sanithee.

 

It is believed the worship of the great Lord  is done with the guidance of Swamy Ramanuja even today . This can be observed during Saatrumarai seva. Also, Lord conceded Anantazhwan’s request to give special status to glorification of Swamy Ramanuja in the pasurams ” Ramanuja Nootrandhadhi-” the  wonderful composition comprising of 108 pasurams on  Jagath Acharyar Swamy Ramanujar composed by Thiruvarangathu Amudanar .

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During adhyayana utsavam performed during Maargazhi month(Dec-Jan), the Lord listens exclusively to Ramanuja Nootrandhadhi on the last day.

Hail to Swamy Ramanujar !!

This incident is reflected in Ramanuja Gattiyam which is usually recited during Thirumanjanam for  our dear Jagadacharyar

“APPANUKU SANKHU AAZHI ALITHAAN VAAZHIYE”….

The great saint poet Annamaya  of Tirumala in one of his sweet  composition sings about the  glory of  LORD  VENKATESHWARA which is truly divine …..

Oh Lord! Your devotees visualize You in many ways. They want to see You in different forms and ways. However, the deeper one’s heart envisions You, the more shallower is Your grace felt!

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Vaishnavites assume and believe You profoundly to be Lord Vishnu;
Vedantis envisage You as the ‘Supreme Lord’ or ‘Parambrahma’;
ShAivites and some others deem You as Lord Shiva;
Kaumalikas pray and revere You as Adi Bhairava;
Shaaktheyas presume You to be the incarnation of Shakthi;
You bless all of them in the form they desire You to be in !!

 

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 In this way, Your devotees revere and prostrate before You, giving you the form and shape they wish to see You in.

 To those devotees who see You in the tiniest form, You are the tiniest to them;
Likewise, those who revere you with high esteem, You are the greatest and all-in-all for them.

There is no dearth of anything in this world if only YOU  are beside me!

 Just as a lotus plant creeps all over the span of water (in a pond/lake/river or wherever it is) leaving no space for anything else,

Just as the wells around the great Bhagirathi river never dry up (because the wells are always fed with water from this river beside)

hathirraaaam

(    I pray to You,     Oh Lord!        Please be beside me!     )
If YOU are the Lord incarnated on the Venkatadri mount, YOU are bound to be by my side!
It is You, Oh Lord, who have made me to become Your devotee;
It is You, Oh Lord, who have knocked my doors ~ only to grant me the Protective asylum under Your Lotus Feet;
You are the ONE who enlightened me;
This is the eternal bliss for me!
This is the Para-Tattvam for me!
This is my moksha-marga (and salvation)!

thyagarajaa

 Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

Pics credits : Google images

The experts taken from Sri Venketeshwara Ithihasa mala by Swamy Anantharaya.

 

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” Thirukkolur Pen Pillai Rahasyam”…. …..insights for a aspiring devotee to spiritually progress in this material world.


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Once , Swamy Ramanuja proceeds  along with his disciples to Azhwar Tirunagari near Thirunelvelli ,   the appearance place of Swamy Nammazhwar and  offers  his obeisances to Lord Aadi deva perumal .   Further he proceeds  towards  Thirukkolur with the object of having darshan of Lord Vaithamanidhi Perumal . Divyakavi Pillai Iyengar in 108 Tirupati Andhadhi  reveals  that it is of no use enjoying luxurious life and eating good food if the tongue does not utter the word “Thirukurugoor” atleast once in a lifetime.  Blessed are those who utter this  sacred word  Thirukurugoor and attain “moksha”

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Being the appearance place of Madhurakavi Azhwar it had special significance  and  is believed that one who reaches this place and has  darshan  of the Lord here seldom wishes  to leave the place  due to the incomparable divine beauty of the  LORD at this place .

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This is the place where Nammazhwar imagined himself as a beautiful maiden and sings the wonderful pasuram ..

Unnum sorum..  pasuram ……..

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Recollecting the  below sweet verses Swamy Ramanuja  walking along  with his disciples  to have Lord’s darshan .  En route , all people from the  nearby  villages  had arrived to seek  Jagathacharyar blessings  .Among them a  lady humbly   prostrated and offered obeisances .  Swamy Ramanuja  pleased with her devotion asked her as to where was she coming from.

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The lady  replied that  she was leaving  Thirukkolur once for all .  Swamy Ramanuja smiled and quoted a line from Nammazhwar’s paasuram

 

and said  my child !!

how is  that when all women are waiting  here to go to Thirukkolur whereas  you have  decided to leave the  divine  place

My child !!  You know ….Thirukkolur is a holy place and most sought by the devotees who rush to be among the wonderful people there worshiping the Lordships .

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The lady who was glowing with effulgence  replied eloquently in a free flowing and unimpeded manner   a set of eighty rhetorical questions, which referred to various  divine incidents in the lives of sages, saints and the Lordships  on her eligibility to stay at Thirukolur  .

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In each of the questions  she compares the depth of devotion displayed by the  immortal characters  and thus   submits  her ineligibility  to  worship the Lordships  and had no right to expect that Lord  would treat her in a special way.

This  great  work is called ” Thirukkolur Pen Pillai Rahasyam”  written by  the great Acharyar Swamy Thiruvaimozhi Pillai  provides deep insights for a aspiring devotee to spiritually progress in a material world.

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The 81 questions referred have been briefly reflected  below along with english translations .

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( The inner meanings  and reflections shared by advance devotees in their discourses shall be shared separately in the coming posts )

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The Thirukkolur Pen Pillai Ammals questions …….

Holy sire !!! What is my eligibity in staying at this holy place …??

Did  I go on a holy mission like  the great devotee Akrura ?

Azhaiththu varugiren endreno akroorarai pOle…

Did I entertain Vidhura in my home ?

Agamozhiththu vitteno vithurarai pole…

Did I cast off my body like the Rishi’s wife ?

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Dhegaththai vitteno rishi paththiniyai pole…

Did I cause a  demon Ravana to be killed like Sita

Dhasamuganai setrenO piraattiyai pOle…

Did I raise like the dead like Tondaman Chakravarthy

PiNam ezhuppi vittenO thoNdaimaanai pOle…

Did I offer a corpse like Ghantakarana

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PiNavirundhittenO gantaakarNanai pOle…

Did I adorn   Goddess Sita like Anusuya

ThaaikkOlam seydhenO anasooyaiyai pOle…

Did I seek a father like Dhruva

Thandhai engE endREnO Dhruvanai pOle…

Did I repeat the 3 lettered  name like Kshatrabandhu

Moondrezhuththu sonneno kshathra bandhuvai pOle…

Did I get trodden like Ahalya

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Mudhaladiyai petREnO agaligaiyai pOle…

Did I ripen while yet raw like Andal

Pinjaai pazhuththEnO aaNdaaLai pOle…

Did I  glorify Lord Narayana like Peria Azhwar

Did I ransack religions like Thirumisai Azhwar ?

Aaraaindhu vittEnO thirumazhisaiyaar pOle

Did I realise  LORDSHIPS  as the subtlest like Nammazhwar

Avan (Naan) siriyan endREnO aazhwaarai pOle

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Did I say anything like Kulasekhara Azhwar

Edhenum endreno kulasekararai pOle…

Did I say  !  I pledge my word like little krishna

Yaan saththiyam endreno krishnanai pOle…

Did I give clues to  Lord Rama like Kabandha

Adaiyaalam sonneno kabandhanai pOle…

Did I reveal secrets like Trijatha

Andharangam sonnenO thirijadaiyai pOle…

Did I recognize LORD like Mandodari

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Avan dheivam endREnO mandodhariyai pOle…

Did I say   know thee like sage Vishwamitra

Aham vEdhmi endREnO vishwaamiththirarai pOle…

Did I say I know “No god”  like Madhurakavi Azhwar

ThEvu matRaRiyEnO madhurakaviyaarai pOle…

Did I give birth like Devaki

Dheivaththai petREnO dhEvakiyai pOle…

Did i say conceal thy discuss like vasudeva

Aazhi marai endREnO vasudhevarai pOle…

Did I bring up the cowherd like Yasoda

Aayanaai (Aayanai) valarthEno yasodhayai pOle…

Did I do a mite of service like the squirrels..

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Anuyaathirai seydheno anilangalai pOle…

Did I take beaten  rice like Kuchela

Aval poriyai eendhEnO kuchelarai pOle…

Did I bestow weapons like Agastaya

Aayudhangal eendheno agasthiyarai pOle…

Could I enter the  war mentally  like sanjaya

Andharangam pukkeno sanjayanai pOle…

Could I by works obtain bliss like Janaka

Karmaththaal petREnO janakarai pOle…

Did I bite the toe and see HIM like Kaliyan ( Thirumangai Azhwar )

Kadiththu avanai kandeno thirumangaiyaarai pOle

Did I become an Umbrella like Adhisheshan

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Kudai mudhalaanadhu aaneeno ananthaazhwaanai pOle…

Did I carry HIM like Garuda

Kondu thirindhEno thiruvadiyai pOle…

Did I keep up the promise like Nampaduvan

Ilaippu vidaai theertheno nampaaduvaanai pOle…

Did I behold HIM in a nook like the foremost Azhwars

Idai kazhiyil kandEnO mudhalaazhwaargalai pOle…

Did I guard the two princess like sage valmiki

Iru mannarai petREnO vaalmeekarai pOle…

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Did I offer the two garlands like Tondaradipodi Azhwar

Iru maalai eendhEno thondaradipodi Aazhwaar pOle…

Did I obtain truths like Thirukachi Nambee

Avan uraikka petREnO thirukkachchiyaarai pOle…

Was I absorbed into God like Tiruppan Azhwar

Avan mEni aanEno thiruppaanarai pOle…

Did I say send them  like vashista

Anuppi vaiyum endREnO vasishtarai pOle……….

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Did I worship sandals like Kongil Piratee

Adi vaanginEno kongil piraattiyai pOle…

Did I offer clay flowers like Kuruva Nambi

Mann poovai ittEno kurava nambiyai pOle…

Did I exclaim Oh ! The originator like Gajendra

Moolam endru azhaithEno gajaraajanai pOle

Poosa koduthEno kooniyai pOle…

Did I offer wreaths like Malakara

Did I keep my assigned place like Bharata….

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Vaiththa idaththu irundhEno bharathanai pOle…

Did I serve on the way like lakshmana

Vazhiyadimai seydhEno lakshmananai pOle…

Did I land on the other shore like Guha

Akkaraikke vittEno guhaperumaaLai pOle…

Did I fight with the demon Jatayu ?

Arakkanudan porudhEno periyavudaiyaarai pOle…

Did I land on this shore like Vibhishina

Ikkaraikke sendrEno vibheeshananai pOle…

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Did I offer sweet fruits like Sabari

Iniyadhendru vaiththEno sabariyai pOle

Did I say Here he is like Prahalada

Ingum undu endrEno prahlaadhanai pOle…

Did I hide Little Krishna like  Dhadhibandha the cowherd

Ingillai endrEno Dhadhipaandanai pOle…

Did I go to the forest like Lord Rama’s followers

Kaattukku pOnEno perumaalai pOle…….

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Did I proclaim discovery of Mother Sita like Hanumanjee

Kandu vandhEn endrEno thiruvadiyai pOle…

Did I relinquish both hands like Draupadi

Iru kaiyyum vittEnO Dhraupadhiyai pOle…

Did I say the excuse Milk boils over like Vaduga nambee

Ingu paal pongum endrEno vaduga nambiyai pOle…

Did I hold my throat like Selva pilai

Iru midaru pidiththEno Selva pillaiyai pOle…

Did I deserve the command STOP HERE as Idaiyaitrukkudi nambi

Nillena petrEno idaiyaatroor nambiyai pOle…

Did I carry the message He is dead like Marutiyandan

Avan pOnAn endrEnO maaruthi AndAnai pOle…

Did I go in pursuit like Nathamiunigal

Nedundhooram pOnEno naatha munigalai pOle…

Did I say I want HIM not like kuresa

Anukoolam sonnEno maalyavaanai pOle………

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Did I refute Advaita like swamy Ramanuja

adadhwaitham vendrEnO emperumAnArai pOle…

Ananthapuram pukkEno aaLavandhaarai pOle…

Did I go to Anantapuram like Alavandar

Did I feel separation like Teyvavariyanden

Aariyanai  pirindhEno dheivaari aandaanai pOle…

Did  I compose Andhadee like Malyavan

Andhaadhi sonnEno amudhanaarai pOle…

jai jai

Did I opine mere ocean roar like Mahapurna

SooLuravu kondEno thirukkottiyooraarai pOle…

Did I exact promise like Goshtipurna

yaan siriyan endrEnO Thirumalai nambiyai pOle…

Did I obtain mercy like a dumb person

Uyiraaya petrEno Oomaiayai pOle…

Did I give up my body like Tirunariyurariyar

Udambai veruththEno thirunaraiyooraararai pOle…

Did I profuse insignificantly like srisailapurna

Sutri kidandhEno thirumaalaiyaandaanai pOle…

Did I  force my finger into snakes mouth like Embar

Vaayil kaiyittEno embaarai pOle…

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Did I vanquish a pundit by showing marks on arm like Bhattaraya

ThoL kaatti vandhEno battarai pOle

Did I seek secluded spot like Villiputhur bhagavathar

Turai veru seydhEno bagavarai pOle…

Did I jump into water like kannapurattammal

On hearing these questions and her deep understanding  , Swamy Ramanuja was thunderstruck. Swamy Ramanuja  delivered a sweet discourse that made her reconsider her hasty decision in leaving the holy place .

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The lady very respectfully offered obeisance’s to Swamy Ramanuja and requested Swamy to initiate a system to be adopted at the temple where the Lord is  offered traditional poojas daily ,  fortnightly ,monthly and annual festivals with pomp and show . This would increase the glory of the holy place and force the people to stay there forever .

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Swamy Ramanuja ,Ammai along with the disciples entered the holy place  Thirukolur The pious  lady invited Swamy Ramanuja to her house and offered prasada to be honoured by Jagathacharya  . Swamy gladly accepted the same .  Later all of them went to the  temple at Thirukoloor and offered prayers to the Lordships.

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Thus the glory of Thirukolur spread and the great spiritual treasure……

Thirukolur Penpillai rahasyam (Thirukkolur Ammal Varththaigal ) became a legendary guideline  for ardent devotees   seeking Lords lotus feet .

He blessed her and saw to  that the due performance of all festivals connected with LORDSHIPS and Madhurakavi Azhwar are celebrated grandly as emphasised by shastras .

( The inner meanings  and reflections shared by advance devotees in their discourses shall be shared separately in the coming posts in detail very soon by Acharyar’ s abundant mercy )

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Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

Photos credits :   Google images

Video credits :   Thanks to  “Sharp videos” / Thirukoshtiyar Vembu/                                     4000 divyaprabhandam