SrI: SrImathE SatakOpAya nama: SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama: SrImadh varavaramunayE nama:
Glory of periyavAchchAn piLLai
After nampiLLai ascended to thirunAdu (SrIvaikuNtam), periyavAchchAn piLLai took over the reins of dharSanam (SrIvaishNava philosophy) and gathered all the disciples of nampiLLai. naduvil thiruvIdhIppiLLai asked periyavAchchan piLLai “You are giving discourse to those who had given discourses on guruparamaparai and dhvayam and those who had heard the discourse, without any distinction. Why, would you think, are SrIvaishNavas, who are paramasAthvikars (totally pure), following you? ” periyavAchchAn piLLai replied “Since adiyEn is an ahankAri (egoist), adiyEn would think that in adiyEn’s opinion too, SrivaishNavathvam (philosophy of SrIvaishNavam) exists. Since this is a birth granted by ISvaran, adiyEn would think that adiyEn is a SrIvaishNavan. adiyEn would be wondering with shame ‘What are these people thinking?’ Since these people are following adiyEn, adiyEn would think that SrIvaishNavathvam exists in their opinion too. Thus, in all three opinions, adiyEn would think that adiyEn has SrIvaishNavathvam with three strands” This explains the greatness of his intellect which is without any self-appreciation of his having SrIvaishNavathvam in all three opinions.
His disciples asked him “Are we a matter for his [emperumAn’s] leelA [playfulness] or his compassion?” He responded saying “nithyars [permanent dwellers of SrIvaikuNtam] who are totally devoid of any connection with ego and mukthars [who have given up their ego] are matter for his sweetness. samsAris who have ahankAram and mamakAram (ego and possessive nature respectively) are material for his playfulness. We, who are looking forward to eliminating our ego and possessive nature through the mercy of bhagavAn aided by our AchAryan, are material for his compassion”. Thus, sarvESvaran makes all chEthanas (sentient entities) to rid themselves of their ego and possessive nature through his motherly compassion and utilises them for his kainkaryams.
Some SrIvaishNavas in his assembly asked periyavAchchAn piLLai “You should mercifully say a few words which will be refuge for us”. piLLai said “This place is full of one who is bewildered, that which bewilders, those who are always bewildered, one who clarifies, one who gets clarification and who is always clear. Here, one who is bewildered is jIvAthmA (chEthanan or sentient entity); that which bewilders the chEthanan is achith (insentient entity); those who are always bewildered are samsAris; one who clarifies is the AchAryan; one who gets clarification is chEthanan and one who is always clear is ISwaran. Hence, one who gets clarity through the discourse of AchAryan should reject (a) himself who gets bewildered, (b) prakruthi (primordial matter, achith) which causes bewilderment and (c) samsAris who are always bewildered, as refuge, and should hold on to AchAryan who clarifies and ISwaran, who is always clear. Understand that this is the svarUpam (basic nature) of jIvAthmA ”
periyavAchchAn piLLai composed commentary for the entire nAlAyira dhivya prabandham, starting with periyAzhwAr thirumozhi and uplifted the world. Reminiscing this, jIyar (maNavALa mAmunigaL) wrote in his upadhEsa raththinamAlai “periyavAchchAn piLLai pinbuLLavaikkum theriya viyAkkigaigaL seyvAl ariya aruLichcheyaRporuLai Ariyargatku ippOdhu aruLichcheyalAyththaRindhu” (periyavAchchAn piLLai, who is affectionately referred to as vyAkhyAnach chakravarthy (emperor among commentators) and who was a dear disciple of nampiLLai, wrote the commentaries for all the remaining 3000 dhivya prabandhams of AzhwArs such that everyone knows the meanings of all the pAsurams), periyavAchchAn piLLai composed rare commentaries for aruLichcheyal). Later on, he mercifully wrote many other works such as rahasyathraya vivaraNam, thathvathraya nirNayam etc.
One day one of his disciples, vAdhikEsari, who was then in gruhasthASramam (leading the life of a married person), asked a few persons who were engaged in analysing SAsthrams (religious treatises) as to what they were studying. Knowing that he was absolutely devoid of any education, they told him in a derisive manner “We are studying musalakisalayam”. Not knowing whether such a work existed, he approached periyavAchchAn piLLai and apprised him of it. periyavAchchAn piLLai smiled on hearing this and told him that they were mocking at his lack of education. vAdhikEsari felt ashamed, prostrated in front of periyavAchchAn piLLai and prayed to him ” You should make me an educated person, and an expert at that”. periyavAchchAn piLLai agreed and taught him in such a way that vAdhikEsari became a vidhwAn (expert) in SAsthram. vAdhikEsari wrote an epic in samskrutham, titled it as musalakisalayam, offered it to the two SrIvaishNavas who mocked him and asked them to read it. They shut their mouths and hung their heads down, in shame. vAdhikEsari became totally detached with samsAram, adopted sanyAsam (renouncing everything), won over many people in debates on the supremacy of emperumAn, earning the title vAdhikEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar. He pored over the previous commentaries of thiruvAimozhi, absorbed their subtle meanings and compiled a commentary for thiruvAimozhi called as pannIrAyirappadi (twelve thousand padi, with one padi referring to a metric in prose, composed of thirty two syllables) which was comprehensible and easy to learn for everyone. jIyar too wrote in the 45th SlOkam of his upadhEsa raththina mAlai “anbOdu azhagiya maNavALach chIyar ….Edhamil pannIrAyiram” (azhagiya maNavALachchIyar, with lot of affection, compiled the faultless 12000 padi…). Later on, he compiled other works such as dhIpaprakASa Satham, thathva nirUpaNam etc.
periyavAchchAn piLLai’s divine star (under which he was born) is rOhiNi in the thamizh month of AvaNi (simha mAsam). His thaniyan is:
SrImadh krishNa samAhvAya namO yAmuna sUnavE
yathkatAkshaika lakshyANAm sulabhaS SrIdharassadhA
(I bow down to SrImAn krishNar [periyavAchchAn piLLai], who is the son of yAmunar, and by whose divine glance a person will realise that sarvESvaran is always easy to approach)
adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan
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