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Thirumangai Alwar TiruvengadamPasurams TTDArticle

Thirumangai Alwar TiruvengadamPasurams TTDArticle

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Published by raj
Article from Saptagiri magaz by TTD on Tirumangai Azhwar's praise of Tirupathi, Tiruvengadam Diety
Article from Saptagiri magaz by TTD on Tirumangai Azhwar's praise of Tirupathi, Tiruvengadam Diety

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Published by: raj on May 18, 2009
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11/25/2012

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Thirumangai Alwar's
Devotion to Lord Venkatesa
Thirumangai Alwar is one of the greatest exponents of the Sri Vaishnava cult of Bhakti or devotion to God as an easy way of approaching the Divine. He has left behind numerousnoble devotional poems. Of all the twelve Alwars the lion's part of the contribution ismade by Thirumangai Alwar. His pasurams shoot upto 1351 in the total four thousandhymns of Divya Prabhandam whereas the contribution of Nammalwar is 1296. Yet the poetry of Thirumangai Alwar is considered to be the exposition of the poems of  Nammalwar for it is elaborate in particulars.Thirumangai Alwar went on a pilgrimage from Himalayas to the South tillThirukkurungudi and invoked nearly 86 Divyadesams out of the one hundred and eightThirupathis. Wherever he went he sang in praise of the beauty and glory of the Godenshrined in that Tirupati profusely.
Alwar's literary contributions
The literary compositions of Thirumangai Alwar are six. They are Periya Thirumozhi,Tirukurunthandakam, Thirunedunthandakam, Thiruvazhuk Koorirupai, CiriyaThirumadal and Periya Thirumadal. These prabandams are considered to be six vedangas.Most of his compositions are highly poetic and esoteric. His outpourings are tinged withan atmosphere of service to the Lord. Thirumangai Alwar is an exemplar of Dasya Bhavafor he regards himself as the servant and slave of the Divine. He purifies his heart andsoul by constantly uttering the name of Lord Narayana. The Lord takes pity on him and pulls him out of the mire of worldly turmoils. This is the noble message conveyed by thisAlwar in his touching and emotional verses.
Significance of Tirupati
Down the ages the sacred hills of Thiruvenkadam also known as Tirupati has been animportant place of worship from the vedic and mythological times till to-day. Alwars andnumerous bhaktas have dedicated their lives to him singing in praise of His glory andsplendour. Thirumangai has sung of Lord Venkatesa in several pasurams. In all his prabhandams this Alwar refers to Lord Venkatesa at Thirupathi as Maha Vishnu in nearly23 places. He refers to Tirupati as the residing place of Sri Vishnu in 2 or 3 places. Heclaims that the Deity of Venkadam is none but Lord Krishna who helped the Pandavas.He mentions Tirupati as the light evanascent of veda in two places. A clear reference tothe mythological and historical incident regarding the construction of the temple is alsomade. Thiru-venkatanatha took the role of Guru to teach the secrets of Thirumantram tohis chief disciple Thondaman Chakravarthy who found out the Lord of Thirupathi and built him a temple.
 
An important Prabhandam
'Peria Thirumozhi' is said to be a comprehensive compendium of SriVaishnava cult andculture blended harmoniously with the extolment of the supreme Lord in his Archamanifestation. His experiences, the excellence of the Lord through the AshtaksharaMantra are dealt from divergent facets.Peria Thirumozhi consists of 1084 Pasurams divided into 11 decads. Fifty five Pasuramsare devoted to the Lord of Thiruvengada hills. The three Tirumozhis 8, 9, 10 consisting of hymns each and the first Thirumozhi of II decad of 10 Pattus. The preceding Tirumozhi isabout Tirumangai Alwar's visit to Sholingar. Proceeding from there, Thirumangai Alwar reaches the cool and enchanting glades of Thiruvengadam hills. His outlet in the form of verse depicts the thrilling scenes he witnessed on his way to see the Lord residing on thecrest of the venerated hills of Thiruvenkadam. Alwar catches a glimpse of the majesticand magnificent dark lined hill of Venkadam even at a distance. This vision renders animpressive effect on Alwar. Naturally his wonder and excitement make him burst into poems expressing his emotions, views and concepts. The welled up joy makes him comecloser to the revered Abode of Lord Venkatesa. Each hymn of the eight decad concludeswith a refrain in the way of encouraging his soul to reach Thiruvengadam.
Soul's desire
"Oh Mind! Reach Thiruvengadam" (
Tiruvengadam atai nenjame
). The desire of thelonging soul is expressed here. In the opening song of the eighth decad, Alwar tries to sethimself at ease on the beautiful hills of Vengadam. He then speaks of the scenario of thesacred hills of Venkadam. Here the red fishes frisk freely in the perennial cascades of water. After breaking the Kurunthai trees as the Lord of cowherds, He slumbers with hisLotus eyes closed on the Milky ocean. He alone tore asunder the mighty beak of thedemon Bakasura.The second song reveals the vyuha aspect of the Lord relaxing as an infant on the banyanleaf and also his vibhava manifestation as Lord Krishna. Even as a child he suckled todeath the demoness Puthana. His dazzling colours of resplendent white, ash grey and brilliant black were adored by sages and seers. This mischievous divine child Krishna isvisualised as the Lord of Thiruvenkadam in the subsequent stanzas too. Walking acrossthe Marudha trees he made them fall down. He lifted the huge Govardhana hill and protected the cows and cowherds from the wrath of Indra. This divinity holding thediscus (Sudarsanam) has Lotus - like feet worshipped by the Heavenly being. He hassettled down on Thiruvengadam hills about which Alwar's mind always longs to go.Waging war on behalf of the Pandava princes his omnipotence was victory. He becomesentrhoned in the hearts of the Ayarpadi Gopis, of his true devotees sporting chiefly indance. The Lord of Thiruvengadam dwells on the hills of Vengadam which abounds inrich powers enriched with water. As dwarfish brahmachari he begged Maha Bali, the kingof Asuras for three feet of land. As Rama his single arrow pierced through seven trees at asingle stroke. He rescued the elephant-God Gajendra from the powerful grip of the
 
crocodile. Extolling the magnificent avatars of the Lord as Vamana and Sri Rama, Alwar  brings to limelight several divya desams. As Narasimha, the man-lion, He defeatedHiranya tearing him to pieces with his powerful nails. This glorious Lord lives on thevenerated hills of Thiruvengadam.This great Lord manifests Himself in all the five elements (Buthams) such as air, water,ether, light and earth. This Lord is praised by thousand sacred names. He is the monarchof mortals and immortals. He is the companion and consort of Lakshmi (Sri Devi)adorning the Lotus flower.The last hymn speaks of the significance of the Ashtakshara Mantra with eight syllables.The citers of these songs of Kaliyan written in chaste and choicest of words are sure toattain the heavenly abode of the Lord. In this decad of ten hymns Alwar urges every oneto seek shelter in these sacred hills of Lord Venkatesa. A casual stay in this Tirupati willabsolve one of sins.
Attitude
Coming towards Tirupati (Vengadam hills) Alwar seems to get a feeling of exhilaration inwitnessing the Lord dwelling on Thirumalai hills. As he approaches he believes that theLord would receive him with love and sympathy. Reaching the threshold of the templeAlwar feels a sort of coldness. This formal attitude of the Lord baffled ThirumangaiAlwar. Yet he is reconciled with a ray of hope. Perhaps the thick fog of Alwar's activitieshas prevented the Lord from helping him or in rendering his blessings.The ninth decad of 10 hymns throw light on the ephemeral nature of worldly existenceand all its glamourous belongings. Alwar has accumulated sin upon sin by showeringlove on kith and kin. Naturally Alwar is pulled into the mire of Samsara. Feeling himself off, Alwar dedicates himself at the Lotus feet of the Lord. This separation alone rendershim succour from being drowned in the ocean of earthly bondage such as the sweetcompany of enchanting women with sparkling deer-like eyes. Alwar makes a clean breastof his numerous sexual adventures. He thus wasted his time, life and energy, beingenthralled by beguiling young damsels. He had neither mercy nor sweet word towards thehelpless ones. Consequently, he has been subjected to agony and misery undergoingseveral births and deaths. Shaking off his aloofness, Alwar feels an affinity and nearnesstowards Lord Venkatesa. In a passionate mood Alwar calls the Lord as 'father'. Heconsiders the hills around Thiruvenkadam as a casket made of copper (cheyyar) for it isthe costliest and most coveted of possessions one would desire.Thirumangai Alwar continues to pour out his feelings. The materialistic frame of theUniverse is made of the five primeval elements but they are vitiated by the viciousactivities of men like him. They deplete the soul which in turn becomes inert. The mercyof God alone revitalise his lost soul and charge it with life and energy. Alwar pleads withGod to accept him as an errant son. As a child he has done many an unpardonable act andalso as an adolsecent ever so many sinful deeds. He wants the Lord to save him from the

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