Friday, September 12, 2008

BG 10.29

Thirumalai Ananthazhvan [திருமலை அனந்தாழ்வான்] is a great Acharya. He was one of the important disciples of Swami Ramanuja. His birth place is near Mysore. Today's [5th September 2008] lecture is from that place,which is about 3 Kms from Srirangapatna on the way to Pandavapura. It is known as Kurangur [குரங்கூர்] at present; but it was known as Siruputhur [சிறு புத்தூர்]earlier. Ananthan denotes the great serpent Adisesha. Anath also means without an end. The greatness of Anantazhvar also is endless. From here he left for Srirangam and became a disciple of Swami Ramanuja. He was conferred with an important responsibility. Once Swami Ramanuja was explaining the glory of the Lord of Thirumala, as praised by Alwars. It is believed that during the day time we mortals worship the Lord there and in the night Celestial beings from the Upper worlds arrive to worship the Lord. Nammalwar says that the Lord was served by offering flowers. While explaining this Swami Ramanuja thought that someone should serve the Lord in Thirumala with flowers. He therefore, asked whether any of his disciples would go and remain in Thirumala and serve the Lord with flowers. None was willing. At that time Swami Ananthazhvar prostrated before his teacher and offered to take up that responsibility. Swami Ramanuja was extremely happy and embracing Swami Ananthazhvar, he remarked he was the only male ["நீரே ஆண் பிள்ளை!"]. From then on, Ananthazhvar's descendents are given the title Ananthanpillai [அனந்த ஆண் பிள்ளை]. He was born in the month Chitra and in star Chitra. Among Alwars Madurakavi Alwar was born in Chitra month and in Chitra star. Both of them had a determiantion; that apart from faith in the Lord, they had resolute faith in their Acharyas. They considered their Acharya as their God. So, Swami Anathazhvar left for Thirumala immediately, along with his wife who was pregnant. There he built a pond and made a garden. For a long time he was harvesting flowers in his garden and offering to the Lord. Thus he came to be known as Thirumala Ananthazhvan. We would have noticed the chin of the Lord in Thirumala smeared with edible camphor [பச்சை கற்பூரம்]. In the beginning when Ananthazhvan went to Thirumala, he was digging the earth for creating pond and garden. Since there was no assistant, he asked his wife to carry the dug out mud to a distant place and dump it there. She was pregnant and found it difficult for this type of work. The Lord pitying on her and also wanting to participate in the duty assigned by Swami Ramanuja, approached Anathazhvar, in the guise of a young boy and offered to help in the formation of the garden. Swami Ananthazhvar refused to allow others to share the assignment. The Lord then approached the wife of Swami Ananthazhvar without the knowledge of him, and offered to carry the mud load from a distnca, not in the view of Ananthazhvar, to the dumping yard, so that she was helped. This arrangement went on for sometime. Ananthazhvar was surprised as the speed of the work increased. So, he found that the Boy was helping his wife. Anathazhvar chased the Boy who went round the temple in the anti-clock direction [அப்ரதிக்ஷனம்]. The Boy tried to run into the temple and Ananthazhvar threw the crow bar he was having at the Boy and the bar hit the Boy at His chin. To stop bleeding edible camphor was applied, and that practice continues even now. We can see the crow bar hanging as we enter the main gopuram in the temple. In Siruputhur temple the Lord is Sri Venkatesa with His Twin Consorts. We can worship Madurakavi Alwar. Since his birth day coincides with Swami Ananthazhvar, all the descendents are called Madurakavi Dasa. Swami Ramanuja also can be worshiped here; Swami Ramanuja is with folded hands and with tridandam. We can then worship Swami Ananthazhvar. Since he was engaged in the flower service to the Lord, we can notice the flower basket in his hands. We have to learn from him, the greatness of service. The sloka we are to see is also connected. Sloka 28:

ayudhanam aham vajram
dhenunam asmi kamadhuk
prajanas casmi kandarpah
sarpanam asmi vasukih

"Of weapons I am the thunderbolt; among cows I am the surabhi. Of causes for procreation I am Kandarpa, the god of love, and of serpents I am Vasuki."

Four groups are told. The Lord says He is the weapon Vajra among weapons. This weapon is held by Indra who got it made from the back bone of sage Dadeechi [ததீசி]. We have to note that the Lord speaks of weapons in the Three worlds and do not cover the weapons held by the Lord. Among cows the Lord is cow Kamadhenu, which grants whatever is desired. Prajama = creator of people. Among the creators of people, the Lord is kandarpa = Manmada, the love god. To beget children, male and female have to have intercourse and this is helped by Manmada. This way the world develops. He carries bow made of sugar cane and arrows made of flowers like lotus. Though Manmada is considered to be very handsome, even he is nothing before the beauty of the Lord. Among serpents the Lord is Vasuki [வாசுகி]. Here the Lord talks of single hooded serpents. Vasuki was used as rope to churn Milky ocean. Sloka 29:

anantas casmi naganam
varuno yadasam aham
pitrnam aryama casmi
yamah samyamatam aham

"Of the many-hooded Nagas I am Ananta, and among the aquatics I am the demigod Varuna. Of departed ancestors I am Aryama, and among the dispensers of law I am Yama, the lord of death."

Among snakes the Lord is Anantha or Adisesha. Sarpam is single hooded while nagam has multiple hoods. Anantha's glory is infinite. Adisesha means service. In senral kudaiyam [சென்றால் குடையாம்..] pasuram, Alwar says Adisesha serves the Lord as umbrella, throne, bed and chappals [paduka]. Swami Ramanuja is considered as incarnation of Adisesha, prime among His servants; Swami Ananthazhvar served Swami Ramanuja. Yadasam = among those living in water, the Lord is varuna = Varuna. Pitrnam = among deceased ancestors, aryama = Aryama, the Lord is. Samyamatam = among those awarding punishments for the crime or sins done, the Lord is, yama = lord Yama. Some are assigned the duty of awarding the just punishments for the criminals and other evil doers. Yama is the son of lord Surya. Just like we call the feet of the Lord placed on our heads as we worship in temples, as Satari, in Swami Ramanuja's sannidhi in Thirumala, it is called Ananthazhvan. We will now depart from Thirunarayanapuram region.

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