Faith

Moving pasurams

Nammazhvar’s four works are considered the Tamil equivalent of the four Vedas, The Vedas have six angas, and the six works of Thirumangai Azhvar are the angas of Nammazhvar’s works. Thirumangai Azhvar not only expresses thoughts similar to those of Nammazhvar, but we find in some pasurams that he expresses them in the same manner. In one of Nammazhvar’s pasurams on the Lord of Thirumala, he says of himself — neesanaen , niraivondrumilaen. Here Nammazhvar describes himself as a sinner. The same naichya bhava is seen in Thirumangai Azhvar’s pasurams on Lord Srinivasa, said Koothapakkam Chakravarthi Ranganathachariar, in a discourse.

Thirumangai Azhvar refers to himself as a dog, and laments that he has wasted his life serving others. He had valued familial ties. Only later did he realise that there is only one permanent relative that anyone can have, and that is the Lord Himself. Thirumangai Azhvar composed verses in praise of the deities of more than 80 of the 108 special kshetras, revered by Sri Vaishnavas as Divya Desams. Of his many pasurams on the deities of various temples, the ones on Lord Srinivasa are among the most moving. While having darshan of Lord Narasimha of Ahobila, Thirumangai Azhvar was seized by a desire to worship the Lord of the Seven Hills. But travel takes time. So he first bid his manas to make haste and reach Tirumala. He would follow later.

Thirumangai Azhvar’s verses on Lord Srinivasa are not only steeped in bhakthi and love for the Lord, but they are also descriptive verses. They give us an idea of the beauty of the environment in which the temple is located. Thirumangai Azhvar marvels at the variety of flowers on the hills, and records that red fish abounded in the water bodies of Tirumala.


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Printable version | Jun 17, 2022 6:08:08 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/moving-pasurams/article65446817.ece