MANGAI MADAM TEMPLE.
SRI SENGKAMALAVALLI THAYAR: SRI VEERA NARASIMHA with UBHAYA NACHIYARS.
Sri Veera Narasimha, Moolavar, is showing abhaya by the right hand and beconing us to come near Him by the left arm [ahvahana mudra]. Utsavar, thogh small, is beautiful. His right arm is in abhaya mudra and left arm is in kati hastha mudra [hand on the lap]. His two Consorts are also gracing. Separate sannidhi is there for Sri Senkamalavalli Nachiyar. This Sri Nachiar is very ancient, with right arm in abhaya mudra and left arm is showing Her divine feet. Sculpting of the statue has been done so precisely that we can see holes made in the nose and ears to decorate with ornaments. Alwar and Kumudavalli Nachiar also are gracing in this temple. Nearby is the place Perunthottam [பெருந் தோட்டம்], from where vegetables for the daily feeding of 1000 Srivaishnavas, were gathered. Similarly, from the nearby place Ilaiamudhukoodam [இலை அமுது கூடம்], banana leaves were gathered for the mass feed. Thus this place exemplifies the greatness of annadhanam [free service of food]. Upanishads say that annam [food] should be served to all; not to waste food; honour food; not to insult food. Food is neceassary for all living beings and so is the source of life. Alwar lived to show the importance of feeding guests. It is said in Tamil that even if a single person starves then this world should be destroyed [தனி ஒரு மனிதனுக்கு உணவு இல்லை எனில் இந்த ஜகத்தினை அழித்திடுவோம் -Mahakavi Subramanya Bharati]. This Alwar not only sang in praise of the Lord, but also did social service by feeding on a large scale. We should also learn from the Alwar to feed cows with greens [அகத்திக் கீரை], feeding poor on occasions like marriages, etc. When spending thousands of rupees on such occasions, surely some amount can be spent on the poor and needy. Earlier we visited the Nava Narasimha in Ahobilam, counted among Northern Kshetrams. Now we are fortunate to visit the Pancha Narasimha in Chola region itself.
All the Nine Divine names of the Lord Sri Narasimha indicate the Five Narasimha here. Ugram, at Thirukkuraiyalur Sri Ugra Narasimha. Veeram, at Sri Veera Narasimha here in Mangaimadam. Mahavishnum, as Sri Yoga Narsimha in Thirunagari. Jwalantham and Sarvathomukham, as Sri Hiranya Narasimha in Thirunagari. Nrusimham, Bheeshanam and Bhadram, as Sri Lakshmi Narasimha in Thiruvali. Who was responsible for showing us Sri Narasimha? It is Prahalada. He was a child, son of a wicked person and belonged to Asura community. Yet because of his bhakti, he stands much above all. The Lord regarded him above Devas, Rishis and foremost among Bhaktas. This is stated by Sri Krishna in sloka 30:
api cet su-duracaro
bhajate mam ananya-bhak
sadhur eva sa mantavyah
samyag vyavasito hi sah
"Even if one commits the most abominable action, if he is engaged in devotional service he is to be considered saintly because he is properly situated in his determination."
Let us assume Bhakti is in a very lowly person. Could the Lord accept the Bhakti of Vibheeshana - a rakshasa, of Prahalada - an Asura child, of Hanuman - a monkey, of Gajendra - an elephant? People might think. This doubt is dispelled by the Lord. Duracharo api = even a bad cultured or evil disciplined person [acharam means daily disciplines or good character]. Cet = if, su = very [ evil charactered person], bhajate = worships, mam = Me [Sri Krishna], ananya bhak = without diverting the mind on anything else. This person does not need anybody else. Prahalada was like this. He requested the Lord to pacify His anger. Accepting, the Lord placed His blood stained hand on the head of Prahalada and asked Prahalada what he wanted from the Lord. When the Lord insisted Prahalada to demand anything, the child Bhakta requested that the Lord should grant him the boon of not demanding anything from Him! He did not want to expect anything from the Lord for the Bhakti. When the Lord further insisted, Prahalada requested that even if he were to have a rebirth as a lowly insect or worm, he should always have unwavering Bhakti in Him. He is ananya-bhak. Sa = such a person, sadhur eva = among devotees, mantavya = will be honoured. Samyak = firmly, vyavasita = determined, sa = he is. Such a person, who, though is uncultured, yet having unshakable devotion to the Lord, is considered among great devotees and is honoured; such a person is having firm loyalty in the Lord. What loyalty? This person was uncultured and having no good discipline; the Lord along with Sri Thayar has blessed him and diverted him to this righteous path. He considers the Lord as his father, mother and all close relatives and has immense faith in Him. The Lord says He forgives all the shortcomings like evil character or bad education or indiscipline or birth in bad surroundings, for the sake of this person's determination. Arjuna gets a doubt. Bhakti does not come easily and papa can not be that easily wiped off. Acharaprabhavo, dharmasya prabhrachyuta. Acharam [ஆசாரம்] is Dharma. And Sri Krishna is the Lord of Dharma. Then how a bad disciplined person could be ranked among sadhus? Also it is said that in so many births by practicing Karma yoga and Gyana yoga continuously, our sins are eliminated and Bhakti springs up. But here Sri Krishna is telling that even a person with sins, is being admitted in the sadhu category. How is that possible? Sri Krishna allays these doubts. To remove our papa there are two methods. One is to do prayaschittam [ repentence] or undergo punishment for the sins. Otherwise, with His blessings eliminate all papa. So this person with all evil character gets his papa eliminated by His blessings and he need not undergo many births to expend the papa. He gets the blessings of the Lord because of his Bhakti. By doing Bhakti, all his evil disciplines will stop. Bhakti has nothing to do with beauty or wealth or education. That person may be born as anything. The Lord says that once a person has become Bhakta, knowledge will grow ans others might draw inspiration. We will now take leave of this Kshetram.