Author Archives: sundara varadan

pUrva dhinacharyA – 12 and 13

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SlOkams 12 and 13

Bhavanthameva neerandram pasyan vasyena chethasa |
Mune varavara swamin muhursthvameva keerthayan ||

Thvadanya vishayasparsa vimukhairakhilendriyaihi |
Bhaveyam Bhava dukhkhanam asahyana manaspadam ||

Word to word meaning

  • Swamin  varavara –  To me, who is the property of yours, Mamunigale!
  • Mune  – As a Chief, a sage with great soul, who is showing kindness by thinking the means of accepting me,
  • Bhavanthameva  – Only your goodself, who is complete in the attributes of the beauty of Divya Mangala Vigraha, inherent quality of simplicity,
  • neerandram  – uninterruptedly,
  • pasyan  – looking,
  • vasyena chethasa  – with my controlled mind for your grace,
  • thvameva – to praise your goodself,
  • muhuhu – frequently,
  • keerthayan  – praising, (aham – myself),
  • Thvadanya vishayasparsa vimukhai – not seeing worldly matters other than your goodself, akhilendriyaihi – organs of perception like skin (thvach), tongue (rasana), eyes (chakshus), ear (karna) and nose (grana), and organs of action like mouth (vak) etc.
  • asahyanam –   not bearable with this,
  • bhava dukhkhanam  – the grief that emerges due to birth,
  • anaspadam – not subjected,
  • bhaveyam  -being.

Commentary

In these two Slokas, Erumbiappa prays Mamunigal that hereafter, he should not suffer with the fear of birth which emerged due to sense organs that yielded to mundane matter till now, as he was uninterruptedly worshipping the Acharya, praising him and directed his sense organs in the matter of Acharya only which qualified him for the salvation, moksha. Here, in the words ‘pa­syan’, ‘keerthayan’ the suffix in two places denote the meaning of respective causes i.e. looking and praying. With these words, the words bhavathukhkhanam anaspadam bhaveyam in next Sloka is to be added. Since  the meaning for suffix in the word bhaveyam is prayer, Erumbiappa says that by looking at Mamunigal, by praising him and by directing all sense organs towards Mamunigal, all these became eligible for liberation, and he prays Mamunigal to shower grace towards him to save him from the grief of samsara forever. It is to be noted that since the darsan of Acharya and praising him is the traditional cause which will erase the disciple’s suffering in samsara, he always look for Acharya, praise him which creates affection in the mind of Lord and eventually that will liberate the disciple.

Having said that all sense organs which are opposing to the other worldly matters, one can guess that they are bound to pray Mamunigal. The sense organs are always in the nature of indulging in something or other. Hence, for the sense organs the matter is Mamunigal.  Thus, Erumbiappa prays Mamunigal that all his sense organs be in constant favor of Mamunigal. Hence, he is eligible for liberation. Since it will not direct them in the world matters, the grief in birth is also negated. For which, Mamunigal has to shower his blessings. Shandilya Smrithi, Bharadwaja Parishistam and other Dharma Sastra texts say that the   organs of perception like skin (thvak), tongue (rasana), eyes (chakshus), ear (karna) and nose (grana), and organs of action like mouth (vak) etc. must be utilized in the service of Bhagavatas and Bhagavan.

Till now, the preface of this text is explained. Further, the following five parts i.e. accession (abhigamanam), application (upadanam), offerings (ejjay), studying the veda (swadhyayam), self concentration (yogam) to be done is particularly explained except ejjay. The word abhigamanam means to worship the Lord going ahead.  This is explained in Sloka 2 wherein Mamunigal was visiting the temple to worship the Chief of world Alagiya Manavalan. The word upadanam means to collect things that are to be submitted to the Lord.  This is explained in Sloka 11 wherein the soul is subservient to the Lord and attaining Him is the benefit of the soul and hence Mamunigal who accepted Erumbiappa, is to be accepted by the Lord to do service.  The word swadhyayam means to study Veda Mantras. This is explained in the Sloka 9, as Mamunigal’s lips always pronounce the Dvaya Mantra, which is great Mantra among Veda Mantras. The word yogam means to concentrate in the matter of Bhagavan, which is explained in the Sloka 9.  The real meaning of Dvaya Mantra which speaks about Goddess and the Lord or Bhagavat Ramanuja is being meditated by Mamunigal. In this way, among the five parts, the four parts are explained.  Hence, this preface is in short to explain the text. It is to be noted that the Sage Bharadwaja says that visiting the temple to worship the Lord, collecting things that are to be submitted to the Lord, study the Veda Mantras, concentrating the matter on Bhagavan – all these five parts are important to spend good time in life.

With this the introduction part of the text Dinacharya is ended.

Translation by Dr M Varadarajan

Source: http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org/index.php/2015/09/purva-dhinacharya-tamil-12-13/

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pUrva dhinacharyA – 11

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SlOkam 11

Atmalabhath param kinchith anyan nastheethi nischayath |
Angikarthumiva praptham akinchanamimam janam ||

Word to word meaning

  • Atmalabhath – for the Supreme,  who concerns more than in making
  • jivatma (soul) as his servant and attaining him,
  • anyath kinchith – other than that, param
  • nasthi – not much great benefit,
  • ethi nischayath – such constant thinking,
  • akinchanam – there are no good qualities which are the cause for accepting,
  • imam janam – in turn I am full of bad qualities which are to be erased,
  • Angikarthum – by rectifying my mistakes and to be a servant to Sriman Narayana,
  • praptham iva   – like  your goodself visiting when it was not expected…….

Commentary

As mentioned in earlier Sloka about the smile, benign look and sweet words, I guess for my sake, he visits the temple when I visit. He says that his association with Mamunigal is not natural. The word jana means He was born, akinchanaha means He has no character. Imam means He is the possessor of all mistakes. The meaning is based on musical sound for this word imam. Thus, Erumbiappa despised himself for being an additional weight to the earth by consuming the food and found his birth to be useless, never corrected himself and never attempted to develop good character. He was in deep awe for Mamunigal’s great grace in safeguarding him despite his inferiority.  Hence, in the word ‘praptamiva’,’ iva’ denotes not the simile, but it means conjecture.

Translation by Dr M Varadarajan

Source: http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org/index.php/2015/09/purva-dhinacharya-tamil-11/

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pUrva dhinacharyA – 10

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SlOkam 10

Smayamana mukhambhojam dayamana druganchalam |
Mayi prasada pravanam madhurodara bhashanam ||

Word to word meaning

  • Smayamana mukhambhojam  – Mamunigal, who has lotus like face always sporting a smile,
  • dayamana druganchalam  – with an elated benign look with grace,
  • Mayi  – to me who failed to notice Mamunigal all these days,
  • prasada pravanam  – one who  accepts to shower grace,
  • madhurodara bhashanam  – one whose words are with deep meaning and soothing to hear….

Commentary

In this Sloka, Acharya Erumbiappa narrates Mamunigal’s grace towards him by inference on the three actions of his indwelling smile of lips, along with a benign look and combined with sweet words. By this, Erumbiappa feels that Mamunigal smiles sweetly since he knows that the continuous meditation of the meaning of Dvaya would benefit him by fetching salvation. Apart from that, his smile reflects his sweet words. Mahans sport their happiness by a smile and then speak. The word daya means to feel the pain of others who are in trouble. Here the cause for Mamunigal’s sorrow is that he attained happiness by meditating the meaning of Dvaya, whereas the people of the world are not attaining and they are suffering in the cycle of birth. Apart from this, the reason is as informed earlier that his words are also sweet. Acharyas speak sweet words to their disciples. Happiness and kindness are important dharmas to practice. Sage Bharadwaja says that truth, purity, kindness, non-aversion, forbearance and happiness are important dharmas to be possessed by all people. There is another meaning for the words Mayi prasada pravanam that Erumbiappa was guilty of deliberately overlooking Mamunigal earlier and now realized his folly sought Mamunigal with great devotion. Medhathithi, a learned commentator of Manusmriti says that one has to speak soothing words to hear. Sage Shandilya also says that one has to speak words with deep meaning.  Here ‘deep meaning’ means that any word one speaks should have attention to the detail of the deep meaning of Dvaya.

Translation by Dr M Varadarajan

Source:  http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org/index.php/2015/09/purva-dhinacharya-tamil-10/

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pUrva dhinacharyA – 9

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SlOkam 9

Mantra ratna anusanthana santhatha spurithadharam |
Tadartha tattva nityana sannadhdha pulakothkamam ||

Word to word meaning

  • Mantra ratna anusanthana santhatha spurithadharam  –  His lips are  gently shaking always because he keeps pronouncing Dvaya, the crowning jewel among Mantras,
  • Tadartha tattva nityana sannadhdha pulakothkamam – Pulsating by thoroughly meditating the true meaning of Dvaya Mantra….

Commentary

In this Sloka, he describes the beauty of lips. Dvaya Mantra is as follows: Sriman Narayana Charanow Saranam Prapadhye / Srimathe Narayanaya Namaha //.  This is of a greater glory than Tirumantra – Om Namo Narayanaya, Moola Mantra is called Mantra Rajam and this is called Mantra Ratnam. Mantra Ratnam means that among the Mantras, this is a crowning jewel.

It is to be noted that Sage Parasara informs Narada as follows: Among the Mantras, this is the greatest mantra. Among the secrets, this is the greatest secret. Very quickly it will cross the ocean of birth. This will clarify the doubts that arise in Tirumantra. All sins will be wiped out. This Saranagati Mantra creates all prosperity and welfare. Hence this is called Mantra Ratna. Anusanthanam means slowly pronouncing.  Always Mamunigal keeps pronouncing Dvaya Mantra and hence his lips always shiver gently. Sage Parasara says that till our soul departs from the body, one has to pronounce Dvaya Mantra repeatedly. Since pronouncing the Mantra slowly, it is learnt that the Mantra should be safeguarded without hearing to others as codified in Sastra and Mamunigal takes due care.

Since pronouncing the Mantra without being aware of its meaning is not appropriate for adhikaris, it is stated that Mamunigal keeps pronouncing the Mantra with its meanings. The meaning of Dvaya is to seek the refuge of the Lord, accompanied with Goddess.  Further the truth is – due to the recommendation of Goddess and with Her help the emergence of attributes like vatsalya, in Sriman Narayana along with His Divya Mangala Vigraha and his holy feet constitute the holy combination. The word nityana means uninterruptedly thinking. The devotees of Lord, who uninterruptedly thought of the above truths will always be in bliss. Likewise Mamunigal experienced the same here. By thinking of Dvaya Mantra and its meaning, is actually prapatti and that prapatti is to be done for a single time and need not repeat. Though for the liberation, one can do prapatti for a single time, but for spending good time as well as experiencing the meanings of that Mantra uninterruptedly, it can be repeated. Hence Mamunigal keeps chanting it.

There is another method of giving the meaning for the word thathartha tattva nityanam. Periya Vachchan Pillai, a great commentator says as follows: Vishnu is Chief, who accepts the kainkarya of a devotee. His Divya Mangala Vigraha is manifested with several good attributes and Nammalvar called Sri Satari represents His feet, and Sri Ramanuja is manifested as the feet of Nammalvar. The word Guru applies to Sri Ramanuja only and not for anybody.  Accordingly, Sri Ramanuja is the meaning for the word  Charana in Dvaya Mantra – Sriman Narayana Charanow Saranam This is the meaning of thathartha tattvam. This means that the feet of Sriman Narayana is not of the Lord, but of Sri Bhagavath Ramanuja’s feet, which is the true purport of Dvaya Mantra.

Mamunigal is a devotee of Sri Ramanuja and considered his feet are to be thought of repeatedly, and this interpretation is more glorious compared to earlier meaning of Dvaya. In Sloka 12, Acharya Erumbiappa says that he desired to see Mamunigal who experienced the meditation of Dvaya and its meaning as notified in Vishnu Tattva.

Translation by Dr M Varadarajan

Source: http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org/index.php/2015/09/purva-dhinacharya-tamil-9/

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pUrva dhinacharyA – 8

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SlOkam 8

Kasmeera kesara sthoma kadara snigtha rochisha |
Kowseyena samindhanam skanda moolavalambina ||

Word to word meaning

  • Kasmeera kesara sthoma kadara snigtha rochisha  – Like assembly of saffron, red coloured with gleaming light,
  • skanda moolavalambina  – adorned in the arms,
  • Kowseyena  -by silk garment,
  • samindhanam  – appears more brightly…….

Commentary

Recalling narration about Mamunigal’s arms that were adorned with mark (tirumankappu) and silk garment, Erumbiappa narrates the same in this Sloka. Here, it is stated that he has adorned the silk cloth as upper garment. It is proclaimed that generally all Brahamins in the four Ashrams i.e. Brahmachari, house holder (Grahastha), Saint and religious hermit (vanaprasthan) can put on silk garments. It is to be noted that Sage Parasara says that Brahmins must wear the sacred thread, tuft, mark on forehead (thirumankappu), lotus beads garland and silk cloth. In this context, the need for upper garment is negated for non-vaishnava saints and not about the Srivaishnavas.  Hence the upper garment is for Mamunigal. Sage Chandilya says that the upper garment should not be put on while encircling the temple, performing puja to Devas, doing homam and prostrating before Acharya and Perumal. Here, the upper garment is in the colour of red, which is acceptable for saints.

Translation by Dr M Varadarajan

Source: http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org/index.php/2015/09/purva-dhinacharya-tamil-8/

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pUrva dhinacharyA –7

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SlOkam 7

Ambhoja beejamalabhihi abhijatha bhujantharam |
Urdhva pundraihi upachchishtam uchisthana lakshanaihi ||

Word to word meaning

  •  Ambhoja beejamalabhihi  – by arranging the garland with the lotus bead,
  • abhijatha bhujantharam – adorned in the beautiful arms and chest,
  • uchisthana lakshanaihi  – in the places of liver, gap between each other as codified in the Sastra,
  • Urdhva pundraihi  – the mark (tirumankappu) from downward to upward, suitably done…..

Commentary

Having narrated about the chest, arms, the sacred thread, Erumbiappa narrates about the garland made of lotus beads which is adorned  over the chest  and the sacred tirumankappu.  It is to be remembered that according to Sage Bharadwaja  one has to wear sacred garland made out of lotus bead, to stamp  the symbol of conch (Sanka) and the Discus (Chakra) on the shoulders and  name oneself as either Vishnu’s various names or His devotees names. Sage Parasara says that a Brahmin must wear sacred thread, keep a tuft, wear the holy mark on forehead (tirumankappau), put on garland made out of lotus bead and silk cloth.  If not lotus bead garland, one can add Tulasi garland and different coloured ceremonial garland made out of silk.  It is also to be remembered that Brahma Purana says that one has to adorn the garland made out of black thulasi stump, silk pavithras, garland made out of lotus bead to the Lord and as His Prasad,  one has to put them all.

Regarding mark (tirumankappu), Sri Pancharathra Parasara Samhitha says that a Brahmin must adorn tirumankappu as follows: in the base of the nose an inch length line and in the centre of the forehead there should be one and half inch  space between the lines  on both sides and the  side line should be one inch  thick. Padma Purana states that starting from the base of the nose; the face mark should be worn upto the forehead of white clay.  From the centre of the eye-brows there should be space between the lines and the space, about two inches and the two lines must be an inch thick each. Parasara Samhitha underlines that pure white clay must be brought from a Vishnu Kshetra, consecrated with Tirumantra and then adorn the sacred tirumankappu with that clay on the face and other places beginning from head in twelve places. Erumbiappa by mentioning tirumankappu implies Srichurnam also.  One can also notice that Parasara says that the Srichurnam made out of turmeric, which is liked by Goddess Sridevi,  must be applied in the space between the white clay marks.

Translation by Dr M Varadarajan

Source: http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org/index.php/2015/09/purva-dhinacharya-tamil-7/

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pUrva dhinacharyA – 6

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SlOkam 6

Mrunalathanthu santhana samsthana dhavaladhvisha |
Sobhitham yajnasuthrena nabhibhinbha sanbhina ||

Word to word meaning

  • Mrunalathanthu santhana samsthana dhavaladhvisha – glittering  white like the continuous  thread in the fibrous root of lotus,
  • nabhibhinbha sanbhina – possessing the circle shaped navel,
  • yajnasuthrena – by the sacred thread (yajnasutram), _
  • Sobhitham – adorned by…

Commentary

In this Sloka, he describes the sacred thread (yajnopaveeta) adorned over  the chest.  Dattatreya says that the white sacred thread must be prepared with fresh cotton.  Medhathiti, a learned commentator on Manusmriti, also says that saints must have teeth, jalapavitra (water strainer) and sacred thread – all the three to be always maintained in  pure white form. Maharishis say that the following are different names  of sacred thread: upavitham (Invested with the sacred thread), brahmasutra (sacred thread worn over the shoulder), sutram (thread), yajnopaveetham (sacred thread) and devalakshyam (brahmanical cord). – the singular word denotes that saint’s sacred thread is a combination  of three  strings. The sages Vyasa and Bharathwaja  stipulated one thread  for sanyasi, for brahmachari  also only one thread  attached with a piece of deer skin and for the house holder (grahastha) and a religious hermit (vanaprasthan) who lives with his wife and doing penance in the forest, there has to be  another thread in the form of  upper garment,  in addition to two threads; so in total three threads  have to be adorned.  It is to be  noted that Maharishis say that one whose  thread extends only up to upper part of navel will have  short lifespan; one whose  thread  extends below the navel, will lose his acquired powers.  Hence, knowledgeable person will have  the thread just up to navel.

Translation by Dr M Varadarajan

Source: http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org/index.php/2015/09/purva-dhinacharya-tamil-6/

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pUrva dhinacharyA – 5

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

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SlOkam 5

Amlana  komalakaram athamra vimalambaram |
Apeenavipuloraskam ajanubhujabhushanam ||

Word to word meaning

  • Amlana  komalakaram  – His divya mangala vigraha is like the unwithered  flower,
  • athamra vimalambaram – dressing thick red with pure cloth of saffron,
  • Apeenavipula uraskam  – with great widely extended chest,
  • ajanubhujabhushanam  hands extended upon knee, like jewel for the body……..

Commentary

In this Sloka, Erumbiappa experiences the softness of divya mangala vigraha of Mamunigal and suitable cloth for sainthood and other beauties of body. The flower is softer than a Mimosa flower. In the above Sloka, it is said that the feet is so soft and in this Sloka, the divya mangala vigraha is also soft.  Mamunigal is the reincarnation of Tiruvananthalwan.  Some say that amlana means Mimosa flower. The clothes suitable for a saint will be in red colour. Like milky ocean, Mamunigal’s Divya Mangala Vigraha is pure white and the red coloured clothes enrich beauty further. Apeenavipuloraskam – the nature of Uttama Purusha is to possess raised chest widely extended. ajanubhujabhushanam  – Here it is mentioned that he possesses  lengthy hands that extend up to his knee which is true.

Translation by Dr M Varadarajan

Source: http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org/index.php/2015/09/purva-dhinacharya-tamil-5/

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pUrva dhinacharyA – 4

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SlOkam 4

Parswathaha  Pani Padmabhyam Parigrahya bhavat priyayow |
Vinyasntham sanairangree mruthulow medhineethale ||

Word to word meaning

  • priyayow  – worthy acharyas like Koil Annan and his brother,
  • bhavat – of him [Mamunigal],
  • Parswathaha  – on both sides,
  • Pani Padmabhyam  – by the lotus like hands,
  • Parigrahya – clutched,
  • mruthulow – delicate, angree – feet,
  • medhineethale – in this earth, sanaihi – slowly,
  • Vinyasntham …. – put down…..

Commentary

In this Sloka, Erumbiappa magnifies Mamunigal who was approching him. Mamunigal stands by the three practices:  knowing that Acharya is the Chief, definitely He is the only means and servitude to him. Hence, Acharya Koil Annan, otherwise called Varada Narayana Guru and his brother Srinvasa Guru became loveable to Mamunigal.  By chastity and beauty, his hands are like lotus. Parigrahya means with love, Mamunigal clutched them. That means  he is not thinking that he is great and his disciples are low,  but with his blemish less character, he got hold of all of them.

Here, a question arises that if he had got hold of the disciples by his hands, he may not able to hold Trithandam? And it is a rule that saints should always hold the Trithandam. In Sri Pancharatra Tatvasagara Samhita, it is said that a saint must always hold the Trithandam, which is the image of Vishnu. In Vishnu Smrithi, it is said that a saint till the end of his life must always hold Yajnopaveetham, Trithandam, a water-pot, jalapavithram, a pudenda (kowpeenam) and a cord worn round the loins (arai nan). The answer is as follows: In the case of a fully knowledgeable saint, on a particularly cause and in a particular time, there is no fault in not holding Trithandam. One can notice the words of  Krathu, it is said that a saint who indulges in meditation, has good character, has thorough inquisitiveness, inherent knowledge, absence of desires, a dharma of saint and the power of controlling the world, there is no need to hold the Trithandam and so on. Further, visiting the temple is only with humble prostration of body like a stick in the earth. When prostrating on the earth, the two legs put together and two hands jointly worships i.e. called Namaskaram.  In such action, there is no possibility to hold the Trithandam at that time. Hence, there is no harm in not holding Trithandam when one visits the temple.  When one worships with folded hands without having anything in the midst of hands, there is no possibility of holding Trithandam. Hence, a saint must hold Trithandam which is a general rule, but it is exempted during the time of prostrating in the temple.

Medhineethale angree vinyasntham – Here instead of bhumithale, medhineethale is mentioned. When Vishnu destroyed the demons of Madhukaitaparas, their flesh touched the earth and hence earth is called medhinee. The earth which lost its purity by that gained the purity by the feet of Mamunigal.  Periyalwar also says in his Prabandham Periyalwar Tirumozhi (4.4.6) that the dust at the feet of devotees of Bhagavan touched the earth which gained by its prosperity.

Translation by Dr M Varadarajan

Source: http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org/index.php/2015/09/purva-dhinacharya-tamil-4/

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pUrva dhinacharyA – 3

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

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SlOkam 3

 

Sudha nidhimiva svairasveekruthothagraha vigraham |
Prasannarka pratheekasa prakasa pariveshtitham ||

Word to word meaning

  • svaira sweekrutha ugra vigraham – beautiful body which he himself
    desired to accept,
  • sudhanidhi miva (sthitham) – appears in white color like milky
    ocean,
  • prasanna arkka pratheekasa prakasa pariveshtitham – Mamunigal is like
    lustrous Sun which can be experienced by physical eye without getting
    disillusioned….

Commentary

There is a saying that a disciple has to meditate Acharya’s Divya Mangala Vigraha from feet to head and a disciple must have interest in prostrating the Divya Mangala Vigraha of Acharya. Accordingly, Erumbiappa narrates the Divya Mangala Vigraha of Manavala Mamunigal. Since, Mamunigal is the
avatara of Tiruvananthalwan, whose body is exceedingly white, he himself assumed the pure white Divya Mangala Vigraha like that of milky ocean. Since milky ocean is not exceedingly bright, the sun is compared to the Tejas of Divya Mangala Vigraha of Mammunigal. Since the Sun’s light is furious and scorching, to erase that, the word prasanna is added as an adjective to Sun. prasanna means clear and refreshing. Thus, a Sun emerges, that light is like Mamunigal surrounded
– in a rhetorical figure (abutha uvamai) it is said.

Translation by Dr M Varadarajan

Source: http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org/index.php/2015/09/purva-dhinacharya-tamil-3/

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