Tuesday, July 15, 2008

BG 9.29


We are to have Darshan of Thirumangai Alwar. We are standing in a place called Neenila mutram [நீணிலா முற்றம்]. [நீள் + நிலா முற்றம் = long + courtyard, in moon light]. Alwar is facing South. Opposite the sannidhi is dwjasthambam. Only Three Alwars - Nammalwar in Alwar Thirunagari, Perialwar in Srivilliputhur and Thirumangai Alwar here -have the previlege of dwajasthambam opposite their sannidhis, like the Lord has. Festivals are also celebrated for them. Though Thirumangai Alwar has composed pasurams on the Lord in many temples [86], he had immense love for the Lord Sri Sowriraja Perumal of Thirukkannapuram. When Swami Somasiyandan says Ramanuja or Emperumanar it would be swee to the ears; when swami Parashara Bhatta says Azhagiya Manavala or Sri Ranganatha, it would be sweet to the ears; Nammalwar, when says, Sri Aravindalochana of Tholaivillimangalam [ Irattai Thiruppathi in Nava Thiruppathi], it would be sweet to the ears; likewise, when Thirumangai Alwar says Sri Sowriraja, it would be sweet to the ears. Thus each devotee has an unique taste for the Lord. Thirumangai Alwar had dedicated the entire 100 songs in 8th Century of Periya Thirumozhi for the Lord in Thirukkannapuram [திருக்கண்ண புரம்]. The first decade of 8th Century starts with the pasuram 'silai ilangu..[சிலை இலங்கு..]. Here the Alwar in the guise of the mother of a girl in deep love with the Lord says that 'her' daughter has seen the Lord of Thirukkannapuram and did not want to see anything else. 'Her' daughter had lost herself to the Lord. The Second decade starts with 'thelliyur devar...[தெள்ளியூர் தேவர்..]. Here also the 'mother' laments and asks the Lord, why He was teasing 'her' daughter like this. The 'mother' decides that if 'her' daughter had to survive then she should not see the Lord; and so decides to keep her away from the sight of the Lord, in a distant place. In the second pasuram of 2nd decade in 8th Century, the Alwar says ' neenila mutrathu minnudhal nokkinaal ...[நீணிலா முற்றத்து மின்னுதல் நோக்கினாள்...]. Though the daughter was kept away from the sight of the Lord of Thirukkannapuram, when the daughter looked South, she could see only the Lord in that long courtyard. She saw the Lord at that far off place. She invited her 'mother' and others to look at the Lord. If the Alwar could see the Lord from such a distance place, what to speak of the love of Alwar for Him or the mercy Lord had for the Alwar!! Thus this neenila mutram has a special status; therefore, in this sannidhi also, as the Alwar is facing South, it is presumed he is looking at the Lord of Thirukkannapuram and so this corridor has become the neenila mutram! This is like Sri Rangantha is facing South to grace Vibheeshana. In Thirunedunthandakam, the Alwar sends a bird as a messenger to the Lord. He tells the bird [pelican = நாரை in Tamil], to tell about 'her' love to the Lord at Thirukkannapuram. Swami Manavala Mamunigal came to this place and just near this sannidhi he was studying Periya Thirumozhi along with his disciples. When he was teaching the meaning of this pasuram [8.2.2], he thought that to understand the Alwar's love for the Lord, Swami Manavala Mamunigal should visit Thirukkannapuram and so immediately he started to go to that place along with his disciples. Though the Lord of Thirukkannapuram is captivating, perhaps the Alwar here is more beautiful.
We can see the handsome Alwar here. Among Alwars, it is Thirumangai Alwar, the most handsome. Among the idols of Acharyas, it is the idol of Swami Ramanuja at Sri Perumbhuthur [ near Madras], most beautiful. We do not have words to describe the beauty of this Alwar. We can see how Swami Manavala Mamunigal has portrayed the beauty of the Alwar:
அணைத்த வேலும், embracing spear
தொழுத கையும், folded hands
அழுந்திய திருநாமமும், well imprinted thiruman
ஓம் என்ற வாயும், mouth always chanting om
உயர்ந்த மூக்கும், long nose
குளிர்ந்த முகம், merciful face
பரந்த விழியும், broad eyes
பதிந்த நெற்றியும், broad forehead
நெறித்த புருவமும், well defined eye brows
சுருண்ட குழலும், curly hair
வடிந்த காதும், shapely ears
அசைந்த காது காப்பும், dangling ear rings
தாழ்ந்த செவியும், ears ready to listen to [mantras from the Lord]
சரிந்த கழுத்தும், flowing neck
அகன்ற மார்பும், broad chest
திரண்ட தோளும், bulging shoulders
நெடிந்த முதுகும், long back
குவிந்த இடையும், narrow stomach
அங்கி கயிறும், robes on stomach
தூக்கிய கருங் கோவையும், beautiful hairstyle
தொங்கல் தனி மாலையும், garlands
மிளிர நிற்கிற நிலையும், standing style
திருத்தண்டையும், ornament on feet
வீரக் கழலும், ornament on ankle
தஞ்சமான கால் இணையும், feet in attention
குந்தியிட்ட கணைக் காலும், slightly raised heels
குளிர வைத்த திருவடி மலரும். lotus feet capable of calming our miseries.
With Kumudavalli Nachiyar as consort, they appear as made for each other. After describing Alwar's beauty, Swami Manavala Mamunigal composed a 'long-live' [வாழித் திரு நாமம்] to ward off any evil effects cast on the Alwar [ ஐயன் அருள் மாரி செய்ய அடியிணைகள் வாழி,,,]. We will see next sloka of Gita later.

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