We are in the Rettai Thiruppati Kshetram also known as Thirutholaivillimangalam.
There are two temples wit two Leading Deities. This place is situated on the
Northern banks of Thambraparani River. Yesterday we were in the Sri Aravindalochanan
sannidhi. Today we are at Sri Devarpiran sannidhi. The former is on the North and
the latter on the South. Once a sage came here from North and was meditating in this
Kshetram. Daily he used to perform homam [holy fire] and in the end he used to offer
the Havirbaga [food for the gods offered in the fire]. The Devas [gods] used to
accept this and since the Lord of this Kshetram was responsible, the Lord here is
named Sri Devarpiran. Piran in Tamil means helping. Since He helped the Devas to get
their dues in the Homa, He got this name. The Moolavar is called Sri Srinivasan and
the Uthsavar is Sri Devarpiran. The sage used to gather many lotus flowers and used
to make beautiful garlands and decorate the Lord here. Earlier only this Sri
Devarpiran sannidhi existed. Once Sri Devarpiran, without the knowledge of the sage
followed him to see how such handsome garlands are done. He saw the sage gathering
flowers in the garden near the river. While He was watching, the sage suddenly turned
back and saw Sri Devarpiran. He was enchanted by the Lotus like eyes of the Lord and
prostrating before Him, requested Him to appear with the Lotus eyes always here. So
the Lord agreed and from that time another sannidhi got up for the Lord as Sri Aravi
ndalochanan. Thus this place got twin sannidhi. Already we saw that the Lord here is
very close to Nammalwar. In the last pasuram of Thiruvaimozhi [6.5] he says sindhai
yaalum sollaalum seygaiyinaalum* thEva piraanaiyE,* thandhai thaayenRadaindha*
Nammalwar says that he reached Sri Devarpiran as his mind, words and body [organs] always regarded Him as father and mother. There is yet another interesting incidence connected with this Kshetram. In Srirangam, the Adyanothsavam is celebrated in Tamil month Margazhi [Dec-Jan]. It is of 20 days duration with Vaikunta Ekadasi as the eleventh day festival. On the 21st day is the final day when the Iyarpa of Nalayira Divya Prabhandam is recited. Though at present an icon of Nammalwar is available in Srirangam, some centuries back- before the time of Swami Ramanuja- the Nammalwar idol used to be brought from Alwar Thirunagari for the festival in Srirangam. After the festival ended the idol used to be returned to Alwar Thirunagari. Since it used to take considerable time for such transportation, by the time the idol of Nammalwar reached this place it would be the Tamil month Masi [Feb-March]. Therefore even now the Adyanothsavam for this place is on three days corresponding to the star constellations Swati, Visakam and Anusham. After this Namalwar idol would reach Alwar Thirunagari. This is yet another example of the intimacy between the Lord here and Nammalwar. Though Alwar talks of beautiful fortress and buildings of the temple, until a few years back this and other temples of Navathiruppati were in shambles. But a person, not interested in publicity, out of pure devotion, repaired and rebuilt all these temples and today we witness a marvelous getup of the entire kshetram. We pray that this selfless and unassuming person’s such noble works should continue. Like Alwar, if we can devote our action, speech and thoughts in Him, we would have controlled our organs. In the last two slokas –62 and 63- we saw how by not devoting ourselves in Him, we tumble down and plunge to the bottom. Now we will see the 64th sloka
visayan indriyais caran
"But a person free from all attachment and aversion is able to control his senses and skips materialistic lures and controls mind resulting in pure mind by the mercy of the Lord."
What greatness one achieves by such devotion to the Lord? Here He explains how gradually the atman is climbing in steps to reach pinnacle. By thinking of Him, the rajo and tamo qualities in our mind are cleared and the mind is purified. Only satva quality would dominate in us. By doing Aradhana [Pooja] and consuming only that food offered to Him, rajo and tamo gunas get reduced and satva qualities flourish. The first step reached by devotion to God, is we are relieved of raga and dvesha. By concentrating our thoughts in Him, by singing His names, by hearing His names, by performing Aradhana and by consuming only the food offered to Him, satva qualities thrive and the other two qualities fade. This will get rid of raga and dvesha. As told earlier, raga is the desire to acquire or expecting some pleasing incidence. Dvesha is hatred or enemity. Both these are housed in us. We do not like even good things rendered by those we hate and accept bad things from our dear ones. This is because of rajo and tamo gunas. If we have uprightness in our mind then we will accept good things irrespective of who did that. With raga and dvesha removed, all are our dear ones and all actions are impartially looked into. This will result in the control of organs and they will not be after the pleasures arising from smell, taste, sight, hearing and touch. If organs are to be disciplined we should be rid off likes and dislikes. By disciplining the organs, we stay away from the five sensual pleasures and their sources. After this atman, here it means mind, is in our control. Recapitulating, devoting ourselves to God and by proper food, rajo and tamo gunas are driven away and satva guna thrives. Raga and dvesha are destroyed. Organs are disciplined. Sensual and cheap pleasures are cast away. Mind gets controlled. Then we get prasadam. Prasadam means here serene and pure mind. This will take us near atman darshan. Contaminated mind is unable to properly perceive atman.
Devotionà Satva gunaà elimination of likes and dislikesà Control organsà Avoiding sensual appetite à Control mind à Mind purity à Atman Darshan. While 62nd and 63rd slokas explained how one plunges to degradation, 64th sloka details how the atman is uplifted. We can clear our doubts from Vedas, if we have that capacity to learn them. We can control our organs by deep meditation and yoga. These are possible for a few capable persons. But for ordinary people like us, devotion or bhakthi is the recourse. Thondaradipodi Alwar says he gets all doubts cleared by seeing God, Lord Sri Ranganatha. By looking at His feet, he knew he was His attendant. By looking at His abhaya hastha, he realizes He would protect him. By looking at His Crown he recognized that He was his ruler. Therefore it is necessary for us to dedicate ourselves to Him and serve Him. God’s image is made of satva guna only. So by looking at that image the satva guna in us grows. While in temple also, it is not correct to close the eyes while in front of God.