Asesha jagadisastrim vande varada vallabham ||
This sloka was composed by Swami Nadathur Ammal. His real name was Vatsya Varadacharya. This sloka is about the Consort of Sri Varadaraja, Sri Mahadevi or Sri Perundevi or Sri Bhargavi. Though he was a male he was called 'ammal' [usually used to address mother]. He got this name because of his extreme care, while offering warm milk to the Lord at night; so that it was not too hot to burn the Lord's lips! Only a mother will take such care; and so, seeing the motherly care he was taking, the Lord Himself expressed he was His mother [ in Tamil Ammal]! From that time he was called Swami Nadathur Ammal [நடாதூர் அம்மாள்]. Today's [6th October 2008] lecture is from the sannidhi of Sri Perundevi Thayar[ஸ்ரீ பெருந்தேவி தாயார்]. Sage Bhrugu performed yagna and prayed the Lord to bless him with Sri Maha Lakshmi as his Daughter. This incident we have heard in other Kshetrams also. Opposite this sannidhi, is a pond exclusively for Sri Thayar. While She was a young Girl, She used to gather lotus flowers from the pond and give it to Her father, to perform pooja. The Lord later married this Daughter of the sage. The Lord is Sri Devadiraja or God of gods.She was a match to Him and so She was called Sri Perundevi [Sri Mahadevi]. We shall see the meaning of the sloka at the top. Oh! She, Who lives in Lotus fpower, possessing three qualities, entire Universe worshiping Her, salute Her, Darling of Sri Varadaraja. What are Her Three qualities? She ever serves the Lord; He is Her refuge; and, She is always pleasing Him. We worship Her.
SRI PERUNDEVI THAYAR
In this Kshetram the Lord observes Rettai Purappadu [இரட்டை புறப்பாடு] [Double procession]. On Fridays, Sri Thayar will have Her procession. She will visit the nandavanam [garden], where a mandapam is built; and after remaining there for sometime, She would return and grace the devotees from the Oonjal mandapam. The Lord observes His procession on Ekadasi and other important days. If these days happen to be Fridays, then there will be double processions of Sri Thayar and Lord. We can then worship the Divine Couple.
MAHA NAVAMI SERTHI SEVAI.
She allays our fears by Her Abhaya hastham. Her left arm is pointing to Her Divine feet for us to take refuge. That will secure the Lord's protection also. Swami Koorathalwan says to the Lord, that since he had taken refuge at Sri Thayar's feet, the Lord had to protect him, as He listened to Her always. Near Her sannidhi is a mandapam, where the Lord and Sri Thayar jointly grace the devotees on Maha Navami [மஹா நவமி ], the 9th Day of Navaratri. While the Lord will be directly glancing at the devotees, Sri Thayar would be partly looking at the Lord and partly on the devotees. She glances at us, to caution us from doing further sins and to surrender at the Lord's feet. She looks at the Lord to show mercy and accept the devotees' surrender. It is like a devoted mother embracing her husband and by the other hand fondling her child also [ஒரு கையால் தொட்டிலையும், இன்னொரு கையால் கட்டிலையும்..]. It is like the letter "U" in "AUM" [ஓம் ॐ ]. 'U', representing Sri Thayar, is in touch with 'A', representing the Lord; and is also in touch with 'M' representing Jeevatman. On Panguni Uthiram [பங்குனி உத்திரம்] day, again the Lord graces with all the Five consorts - Sri Sridevi, Sri Bhudevi, Sri Andal, Sri Malai Alum Nachiyar [ஸ்ரீ மலையாள நாச்சியார்] and Sri Perundevi Thayar - inside the garbha gruham. From this we learn that the Lord displays variety of forms on the various festivals and He appears with various Consorts. His alankaram or make-up varies with the day. The places where He graces are many. Prasadams are a variety. Like Laddu [or, ladu] is famous in Thirumala, Kanchipuram idly [காஞ்சிபுரம் இட்டிலி] is famous here. Nammalwar says he does not know what to call Him, as He represents everything. We will see sloka 6 of Chapter 11:
pasyadityan vasun rudran
asvinau marutas tatha
"O best of the Bharatas, see here the different manifestations of Adityas, Vasus, Rudras, Asvini-kumaras and all the other demigods. Behold the many wonderful things which no one has ever seen or heard of before."
"Look at My wonderful image", says Sri Krishna. Pasya = look. The Lord is yet to exhibit His Viswaroopam. He is going to enable Arjuna to see His wonderful image. He tells Arjuna to look various gods in His Viswaroopam. Alwar also says that lord Shiva, lord Brahma, Indra and all others, are all displayed in the Body of the Lord. Look at adityan = [Twelve] Adityas, vasun = [Eight] Vasu [வஸு], rudran = [eleven] Rudras, asvinau = Twins Asvini, marutas = [Forty Nine] Maruts, tata = and, bahuni = many, many, purvani = before, adrsta = never viewed ot sighted. This type of Image, Arjuna would have never seen earlier. That is, in the same image to see Adityas, Rudras, etc., simultaneously. In fact Arjuna had never heard of such an image. This image can not be seen directly, just as we see materials in this World [pratyaksham ப்ரத்யக்ஷம் ]; nor, we can deduce by logic [anumanam அனுமானம்]. Aascaryani = most wonderful. This image can not be imagined by the mind nor percievable by the sense organs. Can it be termed false, then? But such an image is proclaimed in Vedas. Sages have seen that image. Just because we do not see or can not imagine. how can we say it, as false? Thus Arjuna is going to be blessed with a never-before image of the Lord.