Friday, February 11, 2011

Chapter 4 ShrI Alavandar - Part 2

ShrI RAmamisrar looking for the right time to teach

NAdamunigal had 8 disciples; the premier one being Uyya KondAr. He indicated to Uyya KondAr that he would like for him to impart all his knowledge about ShrI Vaishnavism to his grandson, the great genius AlavandAr. Uyya KondAr came to realize that he would become too old by the time the task was to be carried out and hence he entrusted his prime disciple ShrI RAmamisrar with the task. RAmamisra lived his life waiting for the opportune moment to impart all his knowledge according to his AchAryan's wishes. When he heard out AlavandAr winning the debt at the Royal Court, he was thrilled that the time had finally come. He went to AlavandAr's kingdom. He asked to see him, but was refused audience in the court. He made friend with some local Brahmins and found out that AlavandAr's favorite food was a type of greens called tUtulai. From that day on, RAmamisrar started supplying it to the Royal Kitchens. This went on for about 6 months and he was still unable to see his potential disciple. He became very distressed with the fact and came upon an idea. For 3 days he stopped supplying the tUtulai. When Alavandar dined, he asked the royal chefs why his favorite dish was not being served to which they indicated to him that the learned man who supplied it usually had not shown up for 3 days. AlavandAr then requested that when he did show up again, he be granted audience with him. Accordingly, when RAmamisrar came the next day, he was taken to AlavandAr.

When Alavandar saw his charm, he got up and welcomed him and said that he was so pleased with his action and offered to give him anything that he wanted. RAmamisrar good naturedly told him that he was not there to receive, rather to impart. He said that he had a task laid down by AlavandAr's ancestors themselves which had to be carried out at the opportune moment. He asked that he get the King's undivided attention to do just that and requested that all distractions be barred while this went on. AlavandAr was very happy and agreed to do just that.

The next day, the upadEsams started. AlavandAr was taken aback by all that he was larding. His bhakti grew by leaps and bounds. He was terribly disappointed for having wasted a portion of his lifetime not knowing all of this. He thanked RAmamisrar from the bottom of his heart and asked for his complete blessings. ShrI  RAmamisrar dutifully continued his teachings. When AlavandAr got his jnAnam, he went with his Guru to ShrIrangam and was ecstatic with the darshan of Lord RanganAtar. RAmamisrar told AlavandAr that this was the wealth that his ancestors bequeathed on him. In that very instant, according to the shAstram called 'YadaharEva VirajEt", AlavandAr took up sanyAsam there itself. He settled right there with his disciples and started imparting the knowledge of VisishtAdvaitam to all 15 of them: Periya Nambi, Tituk KOttaiyUr Nambi, TirumAlaiyAndAn, AlavandArAzhvAr, Tirumalai Nambi,EesAndAn, DeivavAriyAndAn, SiriyAndAn, TirumOksharappan, TirumOgUr NindrAr, Deiva PerumAl, TirumangayAliyAr, Pillai TirumAliruncholai DAsar, MARanEr Nambi and Aal Kondi.

Visiting Kurugai KAvalappan

ShrI RAmamisrar, sensing that his end of days was near, went up to Alavandar one day and told him what he should do next: NAdamunigal had learnt YOgarahasyam and all its powers from Kurugai KAvalappan in VIranArAyanapuram. He was the last master who knew it and no one else. So RAmamisrar asked that Alavandar go to him and learn this valuable art so that it would not be last forever. When AlavadAr went to see him, he was deep in meditation. Not wanting to disturb him, AlavandAr went and stood behind the hut in which he was meditation. After a few minutes, Kurugai KAvalappan asked "Is anyone from Sottai kulam here"? Alavandar was amazed at how he culled have recognized that he was a descendant of ShrI NAdamuni and humbly introduced himself before asking him the same. There he learned the secret of how Kurugai KAvalappan sensed his presence: He was enjoying the company of none other than Lord Krishna himself, when suddenly he noticed the Lord glance over his shoulder and look behind him a few times. KAvalappan deduced that the Lord only loved the Sottai kulam descendants more than he loved him since they belonged to the same kulam and hence s descendant of NAdamunigal must be there. Alavandar was beside himself and he told him the purpose of his visit. KAvalappan told him that he was to attain the lotus feet of the Lord on the coming Tai month Pushya star. And he wrote down a date on which he wanted AlavandAr to come to him so the knowledge transfer could take place. AlavandAr accepted the letter and went on a tour of temples.

He chanced to come to Tiruvanadapuram and get the darshan of Lord PadmanAbhan. He was enthralled by the divinity of the Lord and stayed there for a few days. Suddenly he remembered the letter he had forgotten to open and when he did it was too late - that was the exact day he was supposed to go and learn YOgarahasyam. He felt terrible. On that day, the secret of YOgarahasyam was lost to us forever.

1 comment:

  1. I am not sure, going by what I had heard in the Upanyasams, whether 1.NAdaMunigaL learnt YOgaSAsthram from KurugaiKAvalappan only and then proceeded to Azhvar Thirunagiri, where he recited KaNNinuN SiruththAmbu following the YogaSAstra or 2. whether .NAdaMunigaL had learnt or known YogaSAstra from any other source. Adiyen's grandfather's grand father, Venkatachariyar came from Kurugai Kavaloor, near VeeraNArAyanaPuram and settled in Thiruvali; his brother settled in Kodiyalam-we are Vathoola Gothras!! Adiyen Thiruvali