Monday, July 2, 2012

Sriman Nathamuni - the Acharya's Thirunakshathram

THANKS TO : SRI  "Madhavakkannan V" srivaishnavan SrI
Bhagavad Raamaanuja Vaibhavam- 4.28- Sriman NathamunigaL Thirunaksht Sun Jul 1, 2012 6:05 am (PDT) . Posted by: "Madhavakkannan V" srivaishnavan SrI:
SrImathE Ramanujaya nama:

Commemorating Bhagavad Ramanuja's 1000th birth year (in another five year) and Thirunakshathra vaibhavam of Periyazhwar
Dearest all,
Today is Aaani anusham - Sriman Nathamuni - the Peerless Acharya's Thirunakshathram.
Accodring to Srivaishnava Guru paramparA, Lord
VishvaksEnar forms the bridge to the Celestial Acharya
and the Acharyas who appeared in human form for our
sake. Senapathi VishvaksEnar himself came down to
Alwar Thirunagari, and gave pancha samskAram and
initiated Swami SatakOpa [Nammazhwar].
Swamy Vedantha Desikan pays his obeisance to Sriman
Nathamuni thus:
nAthEna muni nAthEna bhavEyam nathavan ahamam |
yasya naigamikam tatvam hastAmalakatam gatam ||
Sriman Nathamuni is the most benign master (Acharya )
for me. Sriman Nathamuni indeed availed the good
opportunity to perceive the true and purport of Vedas,
like a tiny amla fruit on one’s palm (uLLankai
nellikani). Let me pay my humble obeisance to Sri
Nathamuni by the folding of my palms.
Sriman Nathamuni [Sri Ranganathamuni] is the most
benign Acharya. Because of Sri Nathamuni alone, I
could boldly consider me as the one ever taken care by
a true Guardian. Sri Nathamuni, indeed, availed the
good opportunity to perceive the nigama tattva [the
true and subtle purport of Vedas] like a tiny fruit on
one’s palm [of the hand]. Let me convey my whole-
hearted reverence to Sriman Nathamuni by the folding
of my palms. May that supreme master protect me!
Sriman NathamunigaL was born in 824 CE in Aani anusham
star, in Kaattumannargudi, at veeranarayanapuram near
GangaikoNda chaozhapuram.
AzhwAr's paasurams (poems) called naalaayira divyap
prabhandam composed by twelve AzhwArs.
It was by divine grace of Sriman Narayanan that Sriman
Naathamuni came to know of the Tamil poems praising
Lord Vishnu. It is believed that Sriman Naathamuni
heard some devotees visiting his home town singing a
few (11) Tamil songs starting with "aaraa amudhE
adiyEn udalam" and ending with "... kuruhoor sadagOpan
kuzhalil maliyach sonna Or AyiratthuL ippatthum,
mazhalai theera vallaar kaamar maanEy nOkkiyarkE."
(NammAzhwAr's Thiruvaaymozhi 5.8.1 - 5.8.11)
Sriman Nathamuni was greatly excited and enchanted
with the exquisite beauty of the poems. He approached
the devotees and enquired about its origin. The ending
of the 11 poems, "aayiratthuL ippatthu,"(means this
ten of the thousand) suggested that there are many
more such poems (may be thousand?).
Unfortunately, the devotees were unaware of any other
poems besides the eleven they had just finished
reciting. However, they suggested to Sriman
Nathamuni that he may try enquiring in the town of
thiruk kuruhoor, present day AzhwAr thiru nagari near
thirunelvEli. So he set out to travel from
kaattumannarkudi to thiruk kurugoor, where he found
one paraangusa daasar.
From him, Sriman Nathamuni learnt 11 more paasurams
called kaNNinuN sirutthaambu. These were composed by
Madhurakavi AzhwAr and all 11 paasurams are in praise
of kurugoor SatakOpan(NammAzhwAr).
Paraangusa daasar suggested that he repeatedly recite
this great kaNNinuN sirutthaambu (sung in praise of
Sri Sadagopan- NammAzhwAr) in the hope of pleasing the
Lord. Sriman Naathamuni took his advice sincerely and
recited it about 12,000 times! It is said that
NammAzhwAr was impressed with Sriman Nathamuni's
persistence and appeared before him.
NammAzhwAr was so impressed that he revealed to Sriman
Nathamuni not just the 1102 paasurams of his own
"thiruvaay mozhi", but also all the rest of
the paasurams composed by the other eleven AzhwArs.
Sriman nathamuni set these 4000 to tune and music and
taught to Melai agatthAzhwAn and Keezhai agatthAzhwAn
(his nephews) and propagated the 4000 in various Divya
Desams. Nathamuni re arranged 4000 into four parts and
introduced the same as part of recitation in Divya
Desams, as part of worship. Following the teaching of
NammAzhwar, Sri Nathamuni seems to have
advocated the adoption of prapatti (self- surrender)
as the means of salvation in [place of rigorous bhakti
Sri Nathmuni wrote two works: Nyaya tatvam and Yoga
Both are not extant But Swamy Desikan and Ramanuja
have referred to nyAya tatvam in their works. Sri
Alavandhar in his Athmasiddhi says, nyAyatatvam is the
most wonderful composition..
Sri NathamunigaL has unalloyed devotion to Sri
Ranganthan. Once, Chozha Rajan (king chola), who is
also a sishya of Nathmuni, came to pay his
obeisance to Acharyan. He came in his chariot along
with his few devis (spouses).
When Raja got down with his spouses, in such great
ornaments, crown, and silk cloth, Sri Nathamuni for a
moment lost himself and thought Sri Krishna with His
devis have come from Dwarakai. He fell at the feet of
the king to prostrate. The king was shocked and
immediately sprung to lift Sri Nathamuni from the
ground. Later he came to know of the mind of Sri
Nathamuni, and why he fell at the feet.
Also, when on another occasion, the same king had
completed discussing with Sriman Nathamuni and he took
Acharya’s permission to leave. He started walking
towards the chariot. When he was about to board, (as
usual, the king used to call the chariot driver on
whose shoulder he sets his foot to jump into the
chariot), the driver was there for the king to jump
in. After he jumped in, he saw below and it was Sriman
Nathamuni’s shoulder. The king was stunned and got
down to apologize to Acharyan. What have I done!
Stepped on your shoulders! I am terribly sorry!.
Sriman Nathamuni then only came to this world. He had
thought it is Sri Rama who had come by the chariot
along with Sumanthrar. Hence, he offered his shoulders
for Rama to step into the chariot.
That was Sriman Nathamuni’s [akrithrima bhakti]
unalloyed devotion. No acting.. No show.. No
Swami YamunAchArya praises Sriman Nathamuni in the
first verse of Sthothra Rathnam saying: - Sriman
Nathamuni is the repository of jnAna, VairAgya and
namO(S)cinthya adhbhutha akliShta j~nAna vairAgya
rAshayE |
nAThAya munayE agADha bhagavadh bhakthi sinDhavE ||
How did he ever get this jnAnam? How much jnAnam does
he have? – However many times or ways one analyses, no
answer. Not understood. Thus such extent of jnAnam,
the manner in which the jnAnam was acquired, is beyond
understanding, it is athi Ascharyam- most wonderful,
marvellous, and excellent never heard or seen in the
world. It is rarest and hence apoorvam; hence
addressed as aklishtam. Also it is not acquired with
hard work or penance; it is effortless due to the
grace of the Lord, like Sanaka, Sanathkumaras. It is
the acquisition of jnAnam with complete accordance
with saasthrAs, running nowhere haywire towards other
religions, looking for the correct philosophy. Not a
single word is understood by Sriman nAtha muni is
wrong manner; everything in tandem with saasthrAs and
thus effortless, so naturally acquired. Thus, there is
no decaying or change in his jnAnam and always
consistent and coherent- not contradicting any other
word in saaathrAs, when one word or statement is
And such a characteristic is also due to his greatest
virAgyam [detachment and renunciation] as well; Due to
such rarest Para, avara tattva jnAnam, he is able to
take his mind away from worldly pleasures,
materialistic pursuits and hence jnAna, vairAgyam are
both essential and are found in Sriman nAThamuni as
the embodiment of both of them in one lot.
Thus on lower tattvams, he has vairAgyam, and on Para
tattvam, love and focus with paripoorna jnAnam and
hence bhakti is flooded in his heart for Sriman
Narayanan. Thus he becomes the repository of deep
ocean of great bhakti towards Sriman Narayanan and to
such greatest sage, Saint Sriman nAThamuni- I pay my
namaskarams says Sri Alavandhar wonderfully. He is
called RanganAthan; shortly called as nAThan; nAThan-
as he is nAThan [master] for all of us. How blessed am
I to be born in his family! Enjoys Sri Alavandhar on
his birth as Sri NAthamuni’s grand son.
kaaLam valampuriyanna naRkaadhal adiyavarkku
thaaLam vazhangit thamizh maRai innisai thandha vaLLal
mooLum thavaneRi naattiya nAthamuni kazhalE
naaLum thozhudhezhuvOm namakku aar nigar innaanilatthE
Swamy Deshikan says that, we bow at the holy feet of
Sriman Nathamuni, by becoming his subservient
(adiyan), who by means of his nephews has done great
service to our community by helping us to enjoy the
sweet nectar of bhagavat-vishayam. Who can be equal to
us who are thus bequethed with such GREATEST Acharya-
Sriman Nathamuni.
NathamunigaL is the vaLLal who gave us the 4000 the
insatiable nectar, set to music.. He is the One who
has passed to us the path of Saranagati through his
sishyas about whom we will see tomorrow.
Sriman Nathamuni ThiruvaDigaLE SaraNam
asmadhAchArya paryanthAm vandhE GuruparamparAm
Namo Narayana

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