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Swami Nammazhwar Snippets - 4 (October 15, 2012)

A Peek Into Satakopa's Enrapturing Sentiments
Anbil Ramaswamy, U.S.A.

In the decad 4-10, the Azhwar, out of compassion, desires to correct those whom even the Lord could not! He first establishes how ‘Sriya: Pathi’ is The Supreme Lord and yet He was so accessible taking His abode at ThirukKurugur, the birthplace of the Azhwar himself.

Then, he points out how ignorant folks fall for the trivial and temporary benefits made available by petty deities. He then proceeds to implore them to realise the blend of supreme power with supreme mercy of ‘Sriya: Pathi’ who would grant not only ‘Moksha’ but also all that can be and those that cannot be granted by these petty deities.

At the outset, the Azhwar established the ‘Parathvam’ in ‘Uyarvara’ and in ‘Thinnan Veedu’, he asserted His ‘Vibhavam’. But, to no avail. He now gives a clarion call saying that in ThirukKurugur He is standing in all His ‘Soulabhyam’ in the Archaa form waiting patiently for them to return to Him.

ThirukKurugaip Piraan Pillaan, who wrote the 6000 Padi, marshals un-rebuttable ‘Pramaaanams’ in support of this position while explaining the import of this verse as also verse No. 3 of this decad — “Dheivam Matrillai Pesiumine”.

As the proofs are inexhaustible, he concludes by saying “We need not search for any more of them than what the Azhwar has declared in this verse “Ninra AadhipPiraan”.

It means the one who stands foremost in the Pramaanas. The way AadhipPiraan stands looks as if He were doing a penance! The Lord seems to think “Oh! I have given these people soul, body limbs and the Saasthras to guide. But, they do not seem to learn. Maybe, they will realise at some stage when only they will become mature enough. Let me give them a long rope and wait patiently.”

ThirukKurugaip Piraan Pillaan marvels referring to AadhipPiraan: “Can you ever imagine a Seshi (master) yearning like a Saadhaka bird (that waits patiently for the fresh rain water which alone it drinks) and waiting patiently for His “Sesha” (servant)? What a Soulabhyam? When such a one is waiting for you to grant whatever you want, your running after petty deities is like a person digging a well for water on the banks of the eternally-flowing Ganga.”

In the first century, the Azhwar established that Kainkaryam to the Lord is the Purushaartham. In the second, he overcame the impediments. In the third, he explained how Bhagavath Kainkaryam included Bhaagavatha Kainkaryam. In the fourth century, he advised how to get rid of the vulgar pleasures as also ‘Kaivalyam’ that stood in the way of Kainkaryams mentioned above.

In the fifth century, he establishes that it is Bhagavaan alone who can eliminate the hindrances.

கையார் சக்கரத்து என் கருமாணிக்கமே! என்றென்று
பொய்யே கைம்மை சொல்லிப் புறமே புறமே ஆடி
மெய்யே பெற்றொழிந்தேன் விதிவாய்க்கின்று காப்பார் ஆர்
ஐயோ! கண்ண பிரான்! அறையோ! இனிப் போனாலே.
(Thiruvoymozhi 5-1-1)

In this verse, he celebrates how by the unconditional grace of the Lord he got rid of all the sins accumulated over innumerable past lives from the beginning-less time as also those currently indulged in and how he was made instrumental in correcting others too in the world.

“Oh! The black gem who wields the divine Chakra! Being immersed in sensual pleasures, I acted as if I loved you. I deliberately defrauded you by uttering hypocritically false words of praise.”

Kaimmaai means very big lie. We feel it sacrilegious even to repeat what the Azhwar says here that he cheated God! By no stretch of imagination could we ever hold Azhwar guilty of this indiscretion. It should be understood that these are spoken on behalf of us who constantly delude ourselves into believing that we are smart enough to deceive God, claiming credit for anything that we deem as good and blaming God whenever anything goes wrong in our perception.

If we detach ourselves deliberately from mundane interests and attach ourselves to Him as our only refuge (Sarva Vidha Bandhu) He, on His part, would suspend His omnipotence (Sarva Swaamithvam) and independence (Sarva Swathanthrathvam) and become one with us in His infinite mercy.

“But”, proceeds the Azhwar, “You trusted even my falsehoods as true and showered your grace and made me fit to be ranked among your servitors!”

Vidhi Vaaikkinru Kaappaar Aar: “Goodness! Gracious! Who can prevent your grace and how can you ever leave me now?”

Vidhi: Fortune, Fate. Even as fate or destiny is inevitable, Bhagavath Krupa is more potent in its inevitability. When it flows none can avert or alter it and nothing can be done about it. Once He decides to show His grace on someone, He integrates Himself indistinguishably and therefore, there is no escape for Him even!

Embar avers that even the Lord has ignorance, forgetfulness and limitation to His omnipotence. How?

He himself explains: “The Lord said in the case of Vibheeshana “Forgetting his faults, if any (forgetfulness), ignoring his defects (ignorance), when once Vibheeshana has come seeking my hand of friendship, I can never let him down (limitation to His omnipotence).

So, when a person surrenders to the Lord, the Lord forgets all sins committed by him/her. Even after surrender, the Prapanna should commit any sins knowingly or unknowingly, the Lord would ignore them. Why? It is because of the Lord’s inability to go back and change His mind from grace to justice.

When one surrenders to the Lord, the Lord Himself suspends His Parathvam, Swaathanthryam in favour of the Prapanna.

“Oh! Kannapiraan! Where are you going? Acknowledge your defeat at my hands before running away! Shame! Shame!” says the Azhwar.

“Aiyo!” and “Araiyo!” are exclamations of jubilation uttered by the victor in a battle or in a game for putting the vanquished to shame.

Why “Kannapiraan” here? Because, as Kannapiraan, the Lord had a track record.

Was He not beaten up by the cowherd girls as He was caught red-handed while stealing butter and did He not plead with them tearfully?

In the 10 verses of this decad, we can notice what is known as ‘Saathvika Ahamkaaram’ (justified pride) in having secured God’s grace that even goes to the extent of challenging the “Swaathanthryam” of the Lord.

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Next in series: On November 15, 2012.

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The author is President, Swami Desika Darsana Satsangam (SDDS) and Editor,
Sri Ranga Sri (SRS) Electronic Journal, U.S.A.

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