upadhEsa raththina mAlai – avathArikai (Introduction)

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vyAkyAna avathArikai (Introduction)

periya jIyAr is the one who,

  • as said in ‘pinnAnAr vaNangum sOdhi [thirunedunthANdakam – 10]’, is followed by future generations,
  • can be said that he is one of the nithyasUris who would naturally have (without having to strain the mind) subservience, such greatness,
  • took shelter of the divine feet of thiruvAimozhip piLLai,
  • as said in ‘thEvu maRRaRiyEn [kaNNinuN chiruththAmbu – 2 (audio)], was extremely enthusiastic in serving thiruvAimozhip piLLAi,
  • due to his teachings became well versed in thiruvAimozhi and other prabandhams and their meanings which are rahasyams, and stayed thankful,
  • that same piLLai himself told – you hold as your support the divine feet of the one who is the central gem stone of the garland of guru paramparai: that is emperumAnAr – and because of that he (mAmunigaL) possessed extreme devotion toward udaiyavar’s divine feet,
  • having AzhvArs’ and AchAryas’ grace as the potent water for his growth,
  • and so only is having in him, in collective form, the characteristics of nammAzhvAr, thirumangai AzhvAr, periyAzhvAr and others, and also of srIman nAthamunigaL, yAmunAcharyar (ALavandhAr), emperumAnAr and others,
  • is enthusiastic at all times in well-being of the world’s people,
  • due to his nature of considering his purpose as the well-being of others, he is having the greatness of including the meanings of invaluable rahasyams in his prabandhams,
  • it can be said that on his qualities of subservience etc., there is no equal to maNavALa mAmunigaL in the seven material worlds and in the other world, that is ubhaya vibhUthi,
  • having the wealth of rangamangaLam and living in thiruvarangam as ‘thiruvarangam thiruppathiyE iruppAga’,
  • and due to that is known everywhere as ‘kOyil maNavALamamuni’,

he is such a swami, isn’t it?

mamunigal-srirangamkOyil maNavALa mAmuni

jIyar, that is maNavALa mAmunigAL who is having such great qualities, due to his noble kindness, because the incarnations of AzhvArs and AchAryas were in the past, as he said in ‘theruLuRRa AzhvArgaL seermai aRivArAr aruLichcheyalai aRivArAr [upadhEsa rathinamAlai – 36]’ (who would know (not many) the greatness of Azhvars, and their dhivya prabandhams), he saw that the greatness of incarnation of AzhvArs, their words and deeds, were all becoming lesser known, and saw that during that time the devotees were having less knowledge (of sampradhAyam etc.), so he firmly decided – we shall bring out the details of purpose, etc., of incarnation of AzhvArs, what their prabandhams are, and about those who know well both of these, that is, AchAryas – their teachings and actions, starting with all these details, and through that let us get these people to attain the higher plane, and decided that if it is done just by teachings only then it may not be useful for the future generations, as he wanted current and future generations to know these, he then announces such great details through this prabandham as an upadhEsa raththinamAlai, that is, based on the lineage of teachings of prior AchAryas, like a garland; so the name of this dhivya prabandham is upadhEsa raththinamAlai.

Azhvars

Since this prabandham announces the greatness of AzhvArs, AchAryas, and their dhivya prabandhams, it is great among the prabandhams. What is announced in this prabandham is about what thirumanthram says – not being subservient to others but being subservient to emperumAn only, holding emperumAn only as the support, and being enjoyable only by emperumAn – about those having these three qualities. So the base of this prabandham is thirumanthram.

Those who live according to the meanings of thirumanthram is explained in detail in ‘payilum sudaroLi [thiruvAimozhi 3.7]’, ‘nedumArkkadimai [thiruvAimozhi 8.10]’. Following along the same lines is the prabandham ‘kaNNinuN chiruth thAmbu’. Following along the same lines is the prabandham ‘rAmAnusa nURRanthAdhi’. The ways of these two prabandhams is explained in this prabandham, since it shows the glory of AzhvArs and of emperumAnAr. So this prabandham is the ultimate stage in the ultimate stage.

srivaishna-guruparamparai

Now, an analysis of the reason/justification for this prabandham to follow the thirunakshathrams (birth stars) of the AzhvArs among the noble ones mentioned in this prabandham is:

As emperumAn wished to get the quality of being an AchAryan, he provided bhagavath gIthA and abhaya pradhAnam (shelter/refuge) and he is considered as the first guru; to save the samsAris, what He incarnates in other sects in stars such as rOhiNi, punarvasu (punarpUsam), what in the months of chaithra (chiththirai), bhadra (purattAsi), etc., what in places like vada (north) mathurA, ayOdhyA that are near the rivers yamunA and sarayU; starting with these the details are mentioned in ithihAsam etc.; In the same vain, here too, the AzhvArs who incarnated to save the people, and got unblemished knowledge due to His causeless mercy, their birth stars and months which are great ones like sravaNa (thiruvONam), etc., and months of ashvina (aippasi) etc., in places like kAnchi that are talked as equivalent of ayOdhyA, mathurA, and near their places are rivers like kAviri (cauvEry) – all these are indicated in those ithihAsams as ‘kalaukalu bhavishyanthi’(would incarnate in kali yugam),and as ‘kvachith kvachith [bhAgavatham 11-5.38] (in there and there (places));

moreover, due to the greatness of getting unblemished knowledge AzhvArs were immersed in devotion and performed saraNAgathy (surrender), due to His wish they incarnated as 10 of them as an aspect of emperumAn and with full of devotion; as He is present in the dhivya dhEsams in archA form out of his love, they have also taken the befitting form, and are having dharsan of Him; and are giving dharsan to others; due to our connection with them, they are able to make us reach the destiny;

so these AzhvArs’ thirunakshathrams also can be celebrated equally;

Now, starting from ‘AzhvAr thirumagaLAr ANdAL [upadhEsa raththinamAlai]’, since the other three (ANdAL, madhurakavi AzhvAr, and emperumAnAr) are subservient to the other AzhvArs, and since they are much more glorious than other AzhvArs, it goes well to enumerate these nobles ones’ incarnation details along with the other AzhvArs. Since AchAryas understand and celebrate the glory of the aforementioned, they too are celebrated.

Now, the prabandham talks about the glories of those who are in the first stage of devotion like ‘vERAga Eththi iruppAr [nAnmugan thiruvanthAdhi 18]’ (those who praise emperumAn in amazing distinguished ways), that is, devotion towards emperumAn; and about the glories of those who are in the pinnacle stage of devotion like ‘maRRavaraich chARRi iruppAr [nAnmugan thiruvanthAdhi 18]’(~ those who depend on devotees), that is, devotion towards AchAryan, and about the greatness of their prabandhams, and about the ways of the rahasya granthams which provide the essence of the above two categories, and about the anushtAnams (deeds/actions) explained in such granthams, and ways of being firmly positioned under the divine feet of AchAryan, that is, charama parva nishtai; this prabandham also explains how those who are involved in the prabandham reached the goal of srIvaikuNtam by the grace of those who spread the path of prapaththi by advices and corresponding actions;

and so this prabandham completes the exclusive meanings, which are shown firmly, and by advising others; and by talking about the glory of this guru paramparai, the head of gurus that is maNavALa mAmunigaL helps by making everyone have connection with the guru paramparai to reach the ultimate state.

– – – –

English Translation: raghurAm srInivAsa dhAsan

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