Thursday, September 20, 2007


In his Upadesa Rathnamalai, Swami Manavala Mamunigal says that while all the Alwars had care and devotion for the Lord, Perialwar had outpouring care and so he is called Perialwar. He was born in the Tamil month Aani and in star Swathi. We are today in the house of his descendants called Vedapiran Battar. They do lots of service in the temple. Sri Andal arrives at this house once a year. It is called Pachai Parappudal, which can be translated as spreading Green. Since She was the daughter of Perialwar, She is the girl of the house of Vedapiran Battar. In the Tamil month Margazhi, during the Adyayanotsavam festival, on the first day She arrives along with Sri Rangamannar at this house, situated in the sannidhi street. They are welcomed by the elders of the house. On the platform at the entrance, green vegetables are kept spread. The Divine Couple is given all the honours and She graces the vegetables spread out and this is called Pachai Parappudal. Normally the Lord of any temple is not offered the Prasadams prepared in a house, but here dal and condensed milk [ thirattuppal] are prepared in the kitchen in the house and offered. Afterwards, accepting the honours, the Divine Couple depart for the temple. Similarly on the Panguni Uthiram day which is Sri Andal's wedding day, the father Perialwar comes to this house and with the present descendants in Vedapiran Battar house, all proceed to the temple with Poornakumbam [Pot filled with sacred water] and coconuts and reach sannidhi of Swami Manavala Mamunigal. There the Lord is present alone. All the people there propose the marriage of Sri Andal with the Lord and pray to bless them with all good things. Accepting the honours the Lord conveys His nod for the marriage through the Archakas. Then the marriage function takes place. During marraige, it is customary to mention the antecedents of the bride. Here they will mention that She was the great grand daughter of LakshmiNarayana, grand daughter of Mukunda Battar and daughter of Vishnuchittar or Perialwar. This is a great previlege to the Vedapiran Battar family.
Arjuna asked six questions. First was, whether His birth was real or not, and the Lord in the 5th sloka confirmed it as real. Next was whether His greatness remained in tact or not and He confirmed the greatness remaining fully in every birth, in the first half of 6th sloka. For the 3rd question He replied that He takes appropriate body made of Sudha Satva mayam, in the same sloka. Now the fourth question whether He is also born out of karma or not. The Lord replies in the negative and says sambhavamy atma-mayaya. That is He says He is born out of His maya. Here the word atma mayaya has to be split into atmanaha + mayaya. The meaning of this is " My [Sri Krishna's] maya". Maya in normal course means magic or illusion. This will not fit here as He does not say He is born as an illusion. Here as per Sanskrit grammar, maya means a wonderful Gyana or unique knowledge. This is also called self determination or swayam sankalpam. This is not a simple knowledge but a unique and wonderful knowledge, which God possesses. Shastras say the mayaya praninam sobhaasubham vethi. It means that the Lord knows by His Maya which are good and bad for all living beings. Here maya can not mean false or illusion. It means the unique knowledge He possesses. Therefore He determines when and where to be born and not out of karma. He takes birth to redeem us who are at the bottom and do not know how to come up. This quality of the Lord is also called souseelyam. Such a great person He is, mingles with us to redeem us. In the start of the sloka He said ajaha, which means He is not born. Here He says sambavami, which means He is born. That is a birth less He is born. He has no birth to expend any karma but He is born at His will to redeem. He also says avyayatma, which means He has no end or death. But He is born. So He has no end on account of karma but He departs at His will and reappears at His will. He has no hunger or thirst, yet He does all these in His avatars just to please us. He chooses the time, place and parents to appear. Thus His birth is not like ours.

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