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Editor's Note - 105 (February 1, 2017)

An Overview Of Thooppul Pillai’s Tamil Prabandhams - 13

Dear Fellow-Bhagavathas,

The essence of the Naalaayira Divya Prabandham, named by Swami Desika himself as ‘Prabandha Saaram’, is the next work in the order and is the penultimate one (வேதாந்த குரு மொழிந்த ப்ரபந்தசாரம்).

Even though this Prabandham has been covered as a one-off write-up in these columns, thought it fit to be included in this series, given its defining nature.

18. Prabandha Saaram

By composing ‘Prabandha Saaram’ (18 verses), Swami Desika categorically and unequivocally arrived at the exact tally of the Paasurams in Divya Prabandham (4,000) and the number of individual Prabandhams (24).

Much of the debate and differential interpretations revolved around Periyazhwar Thirumozhi, the Madals and Ramanusa Nootranthaadhi and our illustrious Acharya put his stamp of authority through ‘Prabandha Saaram’. When the ‘Kavi-thaarkika Simham’ (The Lion amongst Poets and Debaters) speaks, can there be any challenge worthy of note? It may be noted that only Swami Desika has come up with the perfect formula on the magic number of 4,000.

A couple of verses of considerable alliterative excellence form a fitting Thaniyan to ‘Prabandha Saaram’. Sri Desika announces the purpose of penning Prabandha Saaram right in the first Paasuram. He then proceeds to dedicate one Paasuram each to the 12 Azhwars, and then, one to Amudhanaar.

In each of these verses, the name of the Azhwar, day and place of birth, the Prabandham(s) composed by him and the number of Paasurams therein, etc. are enumerated. In Paasuram Nos. 15 and 16, the Azhwar-wise summary of Paasurams is given. The penultimate Paasuram is a recap of all the great names that contributed to the great work of 4,000 Paasurams. The 18th and final verse carries the author’s signature and Phala-Sruti.

The following table provides the gist of the Prabandham.

Sl. No.AzhwarPlace and Day of AvatharaNames of Prabandham(s) -
No. of verses
No. of
Total verses
1Poigai AzhwarThiruvehka,
Mudhal Thiruvanthaadhi - 1001 / 100
2Bhuthath-AzhwarThirukKadal Mallai,
Irandaam Thiruvanthaadhi - 1001 / 100
Moonraam Thiruvanthaadhi - 1001 / 100
4Thirumazhisai AzhwarThirumazhisai,
Naanmukan Thiruvanthaadhi - 96
Thiru-Chanda Viruththam - 120
1 / 216
Thiruviruththam - 100
Thiruvaasiriyam - 7
Periya Thiruvanthaadhi - 87
Thiruvoymozhi - 1102
4 / 1296
6Madhurakavi AzhwarThirukKolur,
KanniNun Siru-Thaambu - 111 / 11
7Kulasekhara AzhwarThiru VanjikKalam,
Perumal Thirumozhi - 1051/ 105
Periyazhwar Thirumozhi - 4731 / 473
ThirupPaavai - 30
Naachiyaar thirumozhi - 143
2 / 173
10Thondar-AdipPodi AzhwarThirumandankudi,
Thirumaalai - 45
ThirupPalli Ezhuchi - 10
2 / 55
11ThirupPaan AzhwarThiru Uraiyur,
Amalanaadhi Piraan - 101 / 10
12Thirumangai AzhwarThirukKuraiyalur,
Periya Thirumozhi - 1084
ThirukKurum Thaandakam - 20
ThiruNedum Thaandakam - 30
Thiruvezhu-Kootrirukkai - 1
Siriya Thirumadal - 40
Periya Thirumadal - 78
6 / 1253
13Sri Ramanuja*Sriperumpudhur,
Ramaanusa Nootranthaadhi - 1081 / 108
Grand Total24 / 4000
* The great Acharya is the subject matter of Amudhanaar's Prabandham

As conclusion, the author declares that those meditate on ‘Prabandha Saaram’ will be blessed with all auspiciousness, by the grace of Sriman Narayana.

19. Aahaara Niyamam

In 21 Paasurams, the Prabandham provides us specifies as regards what and what not to eat. This has been covered in Note No. 52.

Pillai Anthaadhi

This Kumara Varadacharya-composed Prabandham is to Desika Prabandham as Iraamaanusa Nootranthaadhi is to Divya Prabandham.

Pillai Anthaadhi is soaked in devotion with 20 verses oozing Thooppul Pillai’s virtues, feats and greatness that stemmed as much from his unflinching devotion to Bhagavath Ramanuja as the latter’s bountiful grace showered on him. A two-part write-up posted earlier in these columns is available in Note Nos. 88 & 89.

With this, the series ‘An Overview Of Thooppul Pillai’s Tamil Prabandhams’ draws to a conclusion.

Meet you in the next Note.

எங்கள் தூப்புல் பிள்ளை பாதம் என் சென்னியதே!

Natteri P. Srihari (a) Lakshmi Narasimhacharyar

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