Wednesday, December 19, 2007


The name Thirukkurungudi came from the Tamil word kurugiya, meaning short. The Lord wantonly took a dwarf form and later He grew gigantically as Sri Trivikrama. Such is the greatness of this foremost Sri Ninra Nambi. Today's [20th December 2007] lecture is from the entrance to this sannidhi. Near this spot, there is a big bell, which was donated by Aditya Varma, a king of Kerala, in 1468A.D. The sound of this bell reverberates all over daily as though announcing the great qualities of the Lord. Inside the sannidhi also, there is a bell called Nadha Vinodha Mani in Tamil. The Lord is very much interested in music. Nammalwar's mother was Udaya Nangai and father Kaari. Udaya Nangai's native place was Thiruvann Parisaram [near Nagarkoil and is in Kerala]. It is one of the thirteen Divya Desam of Chera region. This couple used to visit many Kshetrams and prayed for a child. Once they came to this place and prayed to te Lord for a child. Granting the request, the Lord asked what type of child they needed and they requested a child like the Lord. The Lord thought that there was none equal to Him and so decided to be born as a child to this noble couple. So, Thirukkurungudi Nambi was born as Nammalwar, in star Visaka and in the month Vaikasi. Sri Nambi is Nammalwar here, and so there is no idol of Nammalwar in this temple. This being one more reason. Nammalwar has sung ten pasurams in praise of the Lord. Besides, Thirumazhisai Alwar, Perialwar and Thirumangai Alwar also composed pasurams on the Lord. So, the Lord is quite eager to listen to the singing of these pasurams by the Arayars set to melodious music. For some reasons the music by Arayars got stopped for some time and the Lord became restless without those songs. Devotees then decided to make a bell out of the brass cymbals used by Arayars. This is that Nada Vinoda Mani inside and thereafter the Lord was happy. Inside, the Lord graces the devotees in the most beautiful form and we can enjoy Organ by Organ or in Full, this Divya Mangala Vigraham of Sri Nambi. Acharya Swami Nayanar addresses the Lord as Ruchi Janaka Vibhava Lavanyam. The Lord tries to attract us to Him by various means and finally, He shows His beautiful image to us and we are conquered instantly. Once we look at His idol here our mind will never drift away. Lavanyam means the image in toto is beautiful. If we see the beauty part by part, then it is called soundaryam. So Sri Nambi has both Lavanyam and Soundaryam, though Lavanyam is more. Alwars and Acharyas praise and say that He has the combined luminiscence of all the bright objects in the World like, the Sun, the Moon, Gold, Diamonds, etc., and all added up. This can be felt only when one visits this temple. As mentioned earlier, the Moolavar Lord graces in many colours. Here the Utsava Moorthy does not hold the Mace[gadha]. It seems once due to some reasons, Sri Azhagar of Thirumaliruncholai had to reside here. When that Lord returned, the Mace of Sri Nambi also was sent along and so here the Lord does not hold the traditional mace. Earlier at the spot Thiruvattaparai, it was told that the Lord served Swami Ramanuja in the guise of his desciple Swami Vaduka Nambi and got the name Sri Vaishnava Nambi. Yet another reason is there for this name to this Lord. Near the Lord in the sanctus sanctorum, a seat is placed . Swami Ramanuja visited this place and after worshiping, was about to leave. The Lord then asked Swami Ramanuja as to how, what the Lord could not succeed in making people to worship Him inspite of His many Avatars and deputing Alwars to preach Vaishnavam, Swami Ramanuja was able to attract so many people to his philosophy and bhakti started a s torrent flood? The Lord wanted to know the secret. Swami Ramanuja replied that he could tell provided the Lord approached as a desciple and Swami Ramanuja was given proper seatbefitting an Acharya. Immediately, the Lord gave Swami Ramanuja a seat and He stood before him humbly with folded hands. Swami Ramanuja then sermoned on the three manthras [Ashtaksharam, Dwayam and Charama sloka of Gita]. In this world none believed if the Lord Himse He walf proclaimed that He was the Supreme. But the same people listened to Acharyas like Swami Ramanuja.This way also Sri Nambi became Sri Vaishnava Nambi. We will now see the 25th sloka:

labhante brahma-nirvanam
rsayah ksina-kalmasah
chinna-dvaidha yatatmanah
sarva-bhuta-hite ratah

"Those Karma yogi who cut off the dualities that arise from karma and whose minds are engaged in atman, are always busy working for the welfare of all living beings, and are free from all sins and achieve happiness from atman anubhavam."

From the sloka 20, Sri Krishna has been telling the various steps a person gets while practicing Karma yoga and attains atman sakshatkaram. In that series this is the last step, Samadhi. After getting atman sakshatkaram, sarva bhuta hite rata = wants to do good to all living beings, Chinna dvaidha = cutting off the twin [ the likes and dislikes mentioned in sloka 20], yatatmana= he regards atman as bhogyam, bhogasthanam and bhogopakaranam [ sloka 24]. By mentioning the stages in sloka 20 and sloka 24, it is understood that all the previous Five stages have been mentioned here. Rsaya = [rushi] the Karma yogi who is trying for atman sakshatkaram, ksina = destroys, kalmasha = all blemishes [ the beginninglss karma and the papa/punya accumulated is referred to here as blemishes], labhante = gains , brahma nirvanam = the happiness of atma anubhavam. Such a Karma yogi as he gets atman sakshatkaram, runs after all the living beings needing help.

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