Vastutamubhayadoham yamuneyam namamitham||
This sloka was composed by Swami Ramanuja in praise of Swami Alavandar, also known as Swami Yamunacharya, who is regarded as the Acharya of Swami Ramanuja. Swami Nathamuni also was born in Kattumannar koil. His son was Eswara muni. His son was Yamunacharya or Yamunaithuraivar [யமுனைத் துறைவர்]. We will see briefly his history. Once the region where Yamunacharya lived was ruled by a King. There was one learned scholar Akiyazhvan [ஆக்கியாழ்வான்], in his court. The King had lot of faith in the scholar. He had the belief that none could defeat the scholar in arguments. The Royal couple had learnt that Yamunacharya also was well learned. The scholar wanted to defeat Yamunacharya also; and so a message was sent for him to attend the court. But Yamunacharya refused to attend as he felt he was not accorded proper honours to attend. The Royal couple discussed the issue and in the peak of their arguments they decided that if Yamunacharya were to win the debate with the scholar, he would be given half of the Kingdom. The King sent a palanquin to bring Yamunacharya. The scholar with pride sarcastically asked the young Yamunacharya, whether he had studied anything. Yamunacharya replied saying that keeping aside his learning, he would put forward certain statements and the scholar should refute and establish his argument. That is if Yamunacharya said something as true, the scholar should refute and prove that something was false; and, vice versa. Agreeing to this the debate started. Yamunacharya put forward Three statements:
- The scholar's mother was infertile or barren.
- The King was a a just ruler.
- The Queen was chaste.
- According to shastras, bearing only one child is equivalent to infertility. So, saying Scholar's mother was barren is acceptable, as he was her only child. It is like plaintain trees give only one bunch and mothers having only one child are called kathali vandhya in Sanskrit.
- According to Shastras, all crimes committed by subjects affect the King. So no King could call himself just.
- According to Shastras, again, a woman is considered chaste only if she followed her husband implicitly or absolutely. In this debate, the King was supporting the scholar, while the Queen was supporting Yamunacharya. Therfore, the Queen was not following the King implicitly and so she could not be termed chaste.
SWAMI YAMUNACHARYA (or) ALAVANDAR
We will now see sloka 35:
brihat-sama tatha samnam
gayatri chandasam aham
masanam marga-sirso ’ham
"Of the hymns in the Sama Veda I am the Brihat-sama, and of poetry I am the Gayatri. Of months I am Margasirsa [November-December], and of seasons I am flower-bearing spring."
Again, another group of four are mentioned by the Lord. Samanam = among sama veda, brihat-sama = [the Lord is] brihat sama. Earlier, the Lord told that He was Sama Veda among Vedas. In Rig Veda lots of mantras would be there. By singing them in proper tunes, they become Sama Veda. Every such tuned mantra is called sama. Of these samas, the Lord says He is brihat-sama. There are Two samas: Brihat-sama and Rasanchara-sama. Brihat sama governs mind while Rasanchara sama governed speech. From Brihat sama was born Rasanchara sama. These are mentioned in Upanishads. Chandasam = among metres, aham = I [Sri Krishna] am, gayatri = Gayatri [metre]. There are Seven types of metres for composing poems: Gayatri, Ushnuk, Anushtup, Brahati, Pankthi Thrushtup and Jagati. These are the Seven horses of Sun. Every sloka [poem] has Four padas or legs. The number of syllables in each pada decides the metre. Gayatri has the least number of syllables-6. So, the sloka would have 24 syllables. Each of the other chandas increases by one syllable in each pada. Thus, Ushnuk would have 7 syllables per pada and 28 syllables in one verse and so on. Jagati will have 12 syllables per pada and total of 48 syllables per sloka. The Lord says He is the Gayatri chandas. Gayatri is regarded as Mother. Gayatri mantra has a unique feature, that it has only Three padas and each pada will have 8 syllables making a total of 24 syllables for the mantra. Masanam = among months, aham = I [Sri Krishna] am, marga-sirsa = Margasirusham [ Tamil Margazhi மார்கழி ]. Margazhi is famous because of Sri Andal and Her Thiruppavai. It is also famous for Pongal! Margazhi is the brahma muhurtham time for Devas. Rtunam = among seasons, kusumakara = Vasantham or spring time. Of the six seasons, the Lord says He is Vasantha rutu, when all plants flower. It is the season when Sri Rama was born. We will now take leave of Kattumannar koil Kshetram.