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Editor's Note - 34 (March 1, 2011)

Periyazhwar’s In-Advance Submission To Arangan

Dear Fellow-Bhagavathas,

The Panguni-Uththiram day is approaching and inevitably the mind goes to inarguably the greatest of ’em all — Lord Ranganatha. The aura and grandeur of the Day of Union (with Ranga Naachiyaar) can only be felt and not easily be described in words. Even the nostalgia of the occasion would be too overwhelming for those who have had the taste of it.

Even generally, it would be a scintillating and awe-inspiring experience whenever one gets the opportunity to worship Him. Does anything need to be said about such a festive occasion? The gracious yet majestic presence of the Dhivya Dhampathis in the Gadhya-thraya Mantapam adjoining the Thayar Sanctum is a sight to behold.

What has given such an exalted and unique status to Srirangam? The reasons are innumerable. To list a few, Lord Ranganatha is celebrated as ‘Periya Perumal’. He is the Lord held as treasure of the Ikshvaahu clan (gifted by Brahma) and was worshipped by Sri Rama Himself. He is the only Lord whom all the Azhwars have sung. He is the Lord credited with the maximum number of Pasurams as Mangalaasaasanam by Azhwars. The Pranavaakaara Vimanam is a great pride of the temple. The Divyadesam is the chosen and cherished place of stay of many an Acharya. It is the abode of the evolution of the Sampradaya and a major hub of Srivaishnava activities.

We are all aware that the cardinal principle of our Sri Sampradayam so thoroughly propounded with profundity by Sri Ramanuja and established ingeniously by Swami Desika is ‘Self Surrender’. Put in simple terms, it is about reserving a place in the Lord’s abode (Sri Vaikunta) in advance.

Shifting the burden of responsibility squarely on the Lord is an inherent element of the Principle of Surrender. Periyazhwar showed the way in the decad ‘Thuppudaiyaarai’ (Periyazhwar Thirumoshi 4-10). In a classic expression of solemn and powerful appeal, the Azhwar puts the onus of saving him in his final days on the Lord of Arangam.

Swami Desika, ever one to faithfully tread the path shown by great sages, Azhwars and Poorvacharyas, the great Acharya embellished the Sampradaya with his incomparable works. In the fourth Sloka of Nyasa Dasakam he submits thus: "O! Consort of Sri, grantor of desired boons (Abhishta Varada!), I have surrendered to You; please lead me to Your feet when I am done with this body (after death)".

We shall have a look at Periyazhwar’s outpourings in this Note.

Periyazhwar makes this submission with a sound knowledge and supreme confidence that Arangan would surely oblige, and finally, in the Phala Sruthi, assures that those who recite this decad of his with purity of heart will become servants of the pure gem-Lord Himself.

Meet you in the next Note.

எங்கள் தூப்புல் பிள்ளை பாதம் என் சென்னியதே!

Natteri P. Srihari (a) Lakshmi Narasimhacharyar

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