Priya arangan adiyar,
It was the eve of Tamizh New year and the Srirangam temple authorities thought it perfect to organize a discourse in the celebrated Rangavilas mantapam of Srirangam temple. But they wanted it to be different, in the sense, they wanted a girl child to discourse. Our Trust has, since its inception, imparted sampradaya knowledge to a lot of girl children. Many girls have learnt the intricate aspects of Sampradayam and can discourse on various topics. It is not only knowledge but the cultural etiquette they have absorbed in this age of mindless pop culture. Knowing this well, the temple authorities came to our trust requesting for someone to discourse. It was a baghyam for the Trust to get involved in organizing a discourse inside the temple on the auspicious occasion of Tamizh New Year and accepted to send a volunteer to do the upanyasam. And when asked what topic to discourse on, the volunteer immediately and very aptly said “Tamizh and Ranganathar”.
And thus, at 5p.m, when the heat began to diminish its ferocity, the Rangavilas mantapam was packed with many Bhakthas for the interesting topic “Tamizhum Aranganum”.
The volunteer began by discussing what a language was. A language is the ability to acquire and use complex communication system. What makes a language a classical language? She beautifully quoted from the ancient Tamizh grammar work that a “Uyar thani chemmozhi” ( classical language) should reform according to times, draw into it the special words from other languages and even when stripped off the influence of other languages, stand on it own leg. Which Indian language carries this trait? Undoubtedly Sanskrit. But also Tamizh. These two classical languages are the basis for most other Indian languages. But for a certain period of time, Sanskrit ranked first. The reason was that, though Tamizh had all the elements of an exquisite and complete language in it, there was no Tamizh work that spoke in length the greatness of the Supreme Lord Sriman Narayana. But the Tamizh language bagged the first position once the Azhwars took birth in the banks of various rivers in the South. Their works were like the crystal clear water bodies that showed the true essence of the Vedanta. Tamizh encased in it the 64 arts and the Lord of Srirangam has within Him the Tamizh language due to the works of the Azhwars.
It is known to everyone that the most number of pasurams of the Azhwars have been dedicated to the Lord of Srirangam . But there are many other authors who have outpoured all their knowledge and skill in the glorification of the Lord of Srirangam. One such person was Sri Pillai Perumal Iyengar, a Tamil scholar of spectacular erudition. His life history itself is an example of His single minded devotion to the Lord of Srirangam. While he was working in the court of the King, on the day of Namperumals thiruther(car), he had a vision of fire breaking out in the ther. Sitting at the court, he, with his upper garment, put off the fire. The king seeing the Swamy swaying his uthreeyam in his court, was amused and asked him the reason for his behaviour. Iyengar narrated the happening to the king. The king was further amused and doubted the validity of the happening. But when the King got news from Srirangam that fire broke out in the ther and SriPillai Perumal Iyengar appeared there and put off the fire, the King was flabbergasted and his respects for the divine poet grew manifold. And Iyengar’s works on Lord Ranganatha are celebrated as one of the most monumental works in the history of Tamizh literature.
(….to be continued)