sarva vaktatarancha tatvam vangmayam|
By this sloka, we understand the greatness of Ashtaksharam or Thirumandhiram [திரு மந்திரம்]. Thirumangai Alwar was preached this mantra by Sri Vayalali Manavalan. He grasped that mantra by lowering his head so that the Lord could chant the mantra in his right ear. This incident is happily narrated in his Periya Thirumozhi [பெரிய திருமொழி ], in the pasuram kulam tharum , he lists what all benefits will accrue, just by chanting Namo நாராயணாய. He says therefore, he has no miseries. In Sri Vaishnava Sampradhayam Thirumanndhiram, Dwayam and Charama sloka are considered as Rahasya traya and are regarded very important concepts. Though the Alwar got initiation in the mantra by Sri Vayalali Manavalan, this mantra came into existence long ago. In Badarikasrama [ Badrinath or வதரி in Tamil] the Lord as Sri Narayana, the Preacher, delivered this mantra to the same Lord as sri Nara, the initiated Listener. The Lord was both the Acharya and Sishya [disciple]. It is not easy to go to Badrinath and worship the Lord Sri Nara Narayana. Temple is open only for six months. Cold weather and hilly terrain make trip to Badrinath, difficult. Bathing in the ice cold Ganges water also is difficult. If one wants somehow to worship Him in the six month period, when the temple remains closed, what is the alternative? The Lord thought how to grace devotees as the Lord of Badrinath. So, He started off from Badrinath and came to this Kshetram - Manimada koil [மணி மாடக் கோயில்]- and graces as Sri Narayana. In this temple Swami Ramanuja and his Acharya who preached this Mantra to him, Swami Thirukkoshtiyur Nambi [திருக் கோஷ்டியூர் நம்பி ] are also gracing. Today's [7th August 2008] lecture is from this Acharya's sannidhi. This Acharya was born in Thirukkoshtiyur in the month of Vaikasi and in star Rohini, and was the disciple of Swami Alavandar and Acharya of Swami Ramanuja. This lecture was video recorded on Vaikasi - Rohini. To honour this Acharya, the Lord takes a procession on Garuda on this day. Since the temple is shaped like a madam [மாடம் ], it is called Mada koil. Mani indicates lamp. In fact, Alwar's நீர் எ this நீர் starts as nanda vilakke [நந்தா விளக்கே]. A lamp placed at ground level might not illuminate big area; while kept on a madam or upstairs will illuminate large area. So, the Lord illuminates entire Universe. The Lord has appeared before lord Rudra, Indra and Iravatha [ஐராவதம்]. Earlier we had seen that since lord Rudra, removed one head of lord Brahma, his father, he was gripped by brahmahatthi dosha, sin of hurting a person knowing Vedas. Lord Rudra was asked to go to Thirunangur and after bathing in the pushkarini, he should meditate on the Lord. He came accordingly and took Eleven forms and meditated. The Lord appeared before him, mounted on a divine chariot with the Four Vedas as Horses, lord Brahma as Chariot driver and pranavam [AUM] as Umbrella. In all these Eleven Kshetrams of Thirunangur, it was here that lord Rudra had the first Darshan of the Lord, at this pushkarini. Thus the pond is known as Rudra pushkarini. Heeding to the prayers of lord Rudra, the Lord made Himself available in all the Eleven Kshetrams to grace the devotees. Once Indra was on a procession and was mounted on the elephant Iravata. Sage Durvasa presented Indra with a garland he obtained from Sri MahaLakshmi. Indra carelessly put it on the elephant, which removed it and trampled on the garland. Durvasa got enraged and cursed both Indra and the elephant. Indra lost all his power and the elephant was born on this earth and underwent miseries. Indra came to this pond and after bath worshiped and meditated on the Lord and so it is also called Indra pushkarini. Later he regained his property. Iravatha elephant came here and tried to kill sage Udhanka, who knew the past history of the elephant and advised it to worship the Lord with flowers for one month in Masi month. Elephant was also blessed and so this pond is also known as Gajendra pushkarini. In fact because it was worshiped by an elephant [naga - நாக in Tamil], this place was known as Nagapuri, which got mutilated to Nangur. We will now see sloka 8:
aham sarvasya prabhavo
mattah sarvam pravartate
iti matva bhajante mam
"I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who perfectly know this engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts."
The Lord says that thus they worship Him with a steady mind. In the last sloka we saw that the Lord told that he who understands properly His vibhuti or wealth and His yogam or auspicious qualities, becomes a good Bhakta. We therefore, understand that all the things in this Universe are in His control and command. He is the repository of all auspicious qualities and no bad qualities are in Him. With this knowledge, Bhakti originates and grows. How Bhakti originates is explained in this sloka. Aham = I [Sri Krishna] am, the Lord Sriman Narayana, sarvasya = entire Universe, comprising of movable and non-movable, living and non-living beings, humans, animals, plants, etc., prabhava = source of origin. Everything originates from the Lord. Arjuna got a doubt that Brahma created all these. Matta = from Me [Sri Krishna] only, sarvam = everyone, including lord Brahma, Indra, anyone engaged in creation and destruction duties, pravartete = acts. Lord Brahma can not function without the permission and grace of the Lord. So whether it is lord Brahma creating or lord Rudra destroying or Varuna showering rains, etc., they can not function themselves without the command of the Lord residing in each and everyone of them. This is called niyanthruthvam [नियंत्रूत्वं]. The power to control and keep all at His command. Iti = this [ greatness], matva = well understood, bhajante = worship [Sri Krishna]. So by understanding His greatness of the sole proprietor of entire Universe and command over them and its contents, and knowing well His abundant auspicious qualities, make one to develop Bhakti in Him. For the word iti, Swami Ramanuja shows an excellent interpretation. Iti means not only the two great qualities, but the infinite auspicious qualities included in them, like His superiority, His kindness, His simplicity, His beauty, etc., are all included. Mam = Me [ Sri Krishna], to be worshiped and enjoyed. He is pleasing to be worshiped. Budha = well learned and intellectuals, bhava samanvita = great lovers [of Sri Krishna]. Those who knew the Lord is all for them - dharaka, poshaka and bhogya [உண்ணும் சோறு, பருகும் neer ]- and have the greatest love for Him, will worship Him. Such peple could be Alwars. Alwars are gyanis and Bhaktas. Similarly are the Acharyas. They have understood the Lord. Such a person was Swami Thirukkoshtoyur Nambi. This series of Kannanin Aramudu lectures actually started from Thirukkoshtiyur. There Swami Ramanuja was initiated with the Ashtakshara and Charama sloka.