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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Restoring and renovating Sri Manavala Mamunigal Thiruvarasu at Thiruvarangam

It is possible that you would have seen posters in Thiruvallikkeni today…… there are posters and there are rare ones like these…. ~ it is about a meeting at Nampillai Sannathi at Peyalwar Kovil Street – a meeting organized by Hindu Makkal Katchi (Sri Arjun Sampath) and Divyadesa Parampariya Padukappu Peravai [Protection Force for the  traditions in Sri Vaishnava Divyadesams]….. somehow cannot understand it happening on Monday morning ~ anyway, it is not about the numbers or the groups – more about the noble aim … and significance for us (all Sri Vaishnavaites)

For a Srivaishnavaite, Kainkaryam is essential; Selfless and unconditional „kainkarya cleanses the soul of the performer. One must adore and be attached to their Acharyan and only the direction of Acharyar will lift us from all earthly evils.   ~ and everyday we must think of our Greatest Acharyar – Periya Jeeyar - Saint Vara Vara Muni, the last of the ‘Poorvacharyars’ in the grand galaxy of preceptors, known as Alagiya Manavala Nayanar, before he was ordained the holy order of  Sanyasa.  It is none other than our most adored Acharyar  “Swami Manavala Mamunigal” - the reincarnation of Sri Ramanuja who was himself an incarnation of Adisesha.
Thiruvallikkeni Mamunigal Sarrumurai purappadu.

It will be too rudimentary to write of the details of our Swami Maamunigal  - known as  ‘Yathindra Pravanar’ arising out of his irresistible attachment to the lotus feet of Sri Ramanujar known as ‘Yatheendrar’.  Sri  Manavala Mamunigal was born in Alwar Thirunagari, Tamilnadu in AD 1370.  At birth he was known as ‘Azhagiya Manavala Perumal Nayanaar’.  Later he was hailed in very many names such as ‘Yatheendra Pravanar’, Ramyajamathru, Saumyajamatru, Visada-Vak-Sikhamani  Varayogi, varavaramuni. He lived for 73 years on this earth performing many Kaimkaryams  at Sri Rangam and undertook many pilgrimages to many  Sri Vaishnava Divyadesams.

Of the many works, ‘Upadesa Rathinamalai’ is one which all of us should know and recite regularly.  There are 73 paasurams + thanian given  by Kovil Kandadai annan and another one to complete rendered by Erumbiappa. Upadesa Rathina Malai is a legendary work which provide complete details of month of the birth of Azhwars, the constellation in ascendance at the time of birth , the avathAra sthalams and the unique glories of each of them.  

The Jeeyar who established our Thennacharya Sampradhayam believed and practised the tenet of following the words of early Acharyars as they are [munnor mozhintha murai thappamal kettu]. Mamunigal’s commentaries are characterised by great clearness and completeness of exposition.  He had 8 famous disciples known as Ashtadig Gajas who were to take over the mantle and spread Sampradhayam for posterity.

More than hailing  the greatness of our Acharyar, there is some tinge of sadness to this post….

From inscriptions, books like Yathindra Pravana Prabhavam and the like, it is learnt that hundreds of years ago – there was the temple known as Adhi Kesava Perumal in Thiruvarangam to the east of  Adaiyavalainthan Street  ~ nearer this temple, our Great Acharyar after he left for heavenly abode of Paramapadam – his mortal remains were laid to rest [Thirupalli paduthutal].  This is Sri Mamunigal Thiruvarasu…

Over the years arising out of floods and natural happenings – the temple of Adhi Kesava Perumal and the thiruvarasu of Sri Manavala Mamunigal lost their sheen and were not properly taken care of. Places where musical notes and divyaprabandhams reverberated have fallen in to oblivion…

For sure, ‘Thiruvarasu’ is not any ordinary structure …… it is embodiment of our Acharyar and we need to transform it and restore to be the place where all Sri Vaishnavaites will rededicate to the cause of Sri Vaishnavism – doing kainkaryam to the Lord and to his devotees.   Thiruvarasu should be nerve cente for realization of our glorious Acharyar’s ideals – preaching and practicing what He taught us. 

The immediate need is to stand-by those who fight for our Cause and be with them in restoring our glory.  We must rise above all petty differences to ensure that our Sampradhayam flourishes and we sing the glory of our Acharyars and Arangan daily throughout the day…

If we ponder -  we  realise having  lost many things……… and mostly all these are due to our generations not properly adhering to the customs and rituals prescribed to our Sampradhayam by our elders and our Acharyars ~ there is no purpose blaming outsiders for the mess.

At least from now, let us try to live our lives as pious Sri Vaishnavaites – ever singing the glory of Sriman Narayana, practicing our sampradhayam and preaching the glory of our Emperuman, Emperumanaar and other Acharyars.  Let us learn our treasure of Divyaprabandham and other Grandhams – and ensure that our children also learn these and do not get away from the mainstream.  We must go to temple daily – support our sampradhaya activities.  We must visit Divyadesams and all other important places associated with our Acharyars and ensure that they are maintained properly and in this ….. we have to support – those who have been wedded to the ideals of our sampradhayam and maintaining our culture by doing yeoman service to Lord and to our culture, foregoing earthly material benefits for which many of us crave. 

Let us unite and be united all the time – with ill-will / hatred towards none …. and devotion to Acharyas and Sriman Narayana.

Srimathe Ramanujaya Namaha:
Sri Vara Vara Munayeh Namaha:
Azhwar, Emperumanaar, Jeeyar Thiruvadigale Saranam.
Adiyargal Vazha, Arangana Nagar vazha.......
Sri Manavala Mamunigale – innum pala noorrandu irum..
Adiyen Srinivasadhasan.

7th Dec. 2013.


  1. Sir, such issues are beyond doubt trouble the real Sri Vaishnavaite.... but while people at best would create turbulence (read ripple) in interenet.... just tell me - how many persons attended this meeting at Triplicane today.... just a handful ? - sure everyone would have excuse... but that is the bane of Sri Vaishnavaites and Hindus - Geetha

  2. Sad to read ... pained to be part of this great sampradhayam which does nothing to protect itself and becoming more and more of ritualistic perseverance and nothing more.... ask those inside temples of what they know of our Acharyars ? .... sad but truth .. Ramesh

  3. Sir, I remember Sujatha writing something on this... did not understand much... but now feeling sad to read about the sad state of affairs - Malini