Thursday, July 18, 2013

Divya Thambadhigal

Srimathe Ramanujaya Nama:

Priya arangan adiyar,

Our body is an essential resource with which we are able to perform various activities. Right from birth, or even before, upto the time we grow up into a complete individual, our needs are taken care by parents, especially mother. Even before our birth, we lie as an embryo in our mother’s womb as inanimate as any other thing. We grow up there due to the nutrition and care provided by our mother. After the birth, needless to say, our mother feeds, bathes, sings lullabies and what not. We grow under her care wherein we learn to crawl, sit, stand, walk and talk. The kind of immense care and affection shown by our mother is just unexplainable through words.

But Thirumangai Azhwar in his Periya Thirumozhi says that Emberuman’s holy name showers more love, affection and care even than a mother. This is because a mother, in general, takes good care of the bodily needs of her child but not their spiritual needs. Moreover, we are related to this mother only since the beginning of this birth, whereas Emberuman is related to us since time immemorial. Similarly, the relationship with Bhagavathas is also very beneficial since they care for our spiritual well-being apart from our material well-being. Indeed, that is the reason they are even known as athma bandhu. One such a relation is the relation between Srimaan Bhattar Kuzham and its students.

Recently, a Bhattar Kuzham student got married. She belonged to one of the earliest batches of Bhattar Kuzham students who used to take part in all the activities of the trust. She had pursued an M.Sc in Mathematics and is working as a teacher. However, their family is not from a strong financial background and their mother has some health problems. So Srimaan Trust had helped that family in many ways. Now our Srimaan Trust decided to support the financial needs for the marriage. The volunteers of the Trust had gathered at the wedding reception to present the cheque to their family.

As said earlier, athma bandhus care not only for material needs, they go a step further and cater to the spiritual needs. Whenever there is an auspicious occasion, it requires the mangalasasanam (wishes) of other Bhagavathas. Having this in mind, an upanyasam on the topic was “Divya Thambadhigal” was also performed by another student of Bhattar Kuzham itself. Even though the term “Divya Thambadhigal” is commonly understood to refer to Periya Perumal and Pirattiyar, it is not restricted to them alone. Even Srivaishnava Thambadhigal who lead an esteemed life engaged in Kainkaryam also befit the term Divya Thambadhigal. The student then quoted classical examples for such Divya thambadhigal from the Srivaishnavite tradition some of which are shared below.

As we all know, Azhwan had lost his eyes at the court of Krumikantan due to the words of Nalooran. But later, Azhwan requests paramapadam even for that Nalooran. Such was the care which Azhwan had for his sishyas. Similarly, an incident relating to Azhwan’s Dharmapathni Andal shows a similar trait in her. There was a king named Veerasundara Brahmarayan who was a sishya of Azhwan, exiled Parasara Bhattar and committed a big blunder. Bhattar stayed at Thirukoshtiyur during that time. Once that king passed away, the residents of Srirangam were rejoicing Bhattar’s return. But Bhattar’s mother Andal lamented that Veerasundara Brahmarayan passed away without absolving his sin. This is just one example of the Srivaishnava lakshanam exhibited by Azhwan-Andal thambadhi.

Once a group of Srivaishnavites arrived at the Thirumaligai of Selvanambi. But he is not there at the Thirumaligai at that time and there is no rice available for cooking prasadam for Srivaishnavites. So his dharmapathni takes the paddy meant for sowing for preparing prasadam for the Srivaishnavites. Later, Selvanambi asked for the paddy meant to be sown for which his dharmapathni replies they have already been sowed. She says that she had sowed them in paramapadam along the banks of Viraja river and hearing that Selvanambi was very pleased.

Even in Emberumanar vaibhavam, we come across the vaibhavam of Dhanunurdasar and Ponnachiyar who were competing each other in being dedicated to Emberumanar. Paruthikollai Nachiyar had even dared to the extent of giving up samanya dharmam (ordinary rule) in order to follow visesha dharmam (special rule) of performing Thadheeyaradhanam for Srivaishnavites. The list of such Divya Thambadhigal is literally endless, out of which a few of them were elucidated in the upanyasam.

As an athma bandhu for the newly wed couple, we pray to the “Divya Thambadhigal” to bestow these noble virtues to them and make them lead a life which befits the term Divya Thambadhigal.

Kindly click the below link for few snaps taken during our own family function:

231, South Uttara Street, Srirangam
Trichy 620 006, Tamil Nadu
Ph 09150403470, 09150403471

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