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THIRUKOLUR PEN PILLAI RAGASIYAM - 58

“Was I asked to stand in the same place by Sri Rangaraja like Idayaathoor Nambi, when Idayaathoor Nambi became old and wanted to have HIS DARSHAN daily?” demanded Thirukolur peN piLLai.


(Nillenap petrEnO iDayAtthUr nambiyaip pole!)


**********


Idayaathoor Nambi was a great Rasika, one who has tremendous appreciation for the beauty of the Lord. Srirangam, also known in Tamil as Thiruvarangam, is considered Bhooloka VaikuNtam (Heaven on earth). Uthsavams take place in Srirangam everyday. Similar to the innumerable KalyaaNA GuNaas (auspicious qualities) of PerumaaL, one cannot count the number of Uthsavams in Thiruvarangam.

Uthsavams like kODai thirunaaL, Vasantha Uthsavam, Pavithra Uthsavam, etc., were celebrated throughout the year.


{kODai thirunAL= Summer festival

Vasantha Uthsavam = Spring festival

Pavithra Uthsavam = Sacred Uthsavam}


In these Uthsavams, Thiruveedhi ulaa (procession carrying Uthsava Murthy) will go along the street / procession route. Lord Ranganatha saunters in a leisurely gait with exquisite decorations, mounted on different Vaahanams.


There are many festivities all through the year - like


Chithrai Veedhi Ula (Chithrai street procession),

Utthara Veedhi Ula (Utthara street procession),

KaNNaadi Sevai (Mirror Darshan),

Mutthangi Sevai (Pearl Attire Darshan),

Serthi Sevai (PerumaaL and Piraatti granting Darshan together),

Araiyar Sevai (A musical dance-drama performed by a special group of Devotees known as Araiyars).


Shall we enjoy PerumaaL's adornments Keshadhi Paadam (Thiruvadi to Thirumudi - from Lotus Feet to Crown) ?


His beautiful Silk apparel (dress).


Sometimes the silk would be Peethaambaram - of yellow colour;
sometimes white silk ; sometimes of various hues like - red, green, etc.

The Kasavu, Jarikai and Madippu would be feast to the eyes.


{Kasavu = Intricate embroidery weave

Jarikai = Silver and Gold zari threads

Madippu = Folds, drape or decorative frills}


PerumaaL's Thirumudi would be adorned with a bewitching gold crown bedecked with Navarathnas (Nine Gemstones).


The Nethichutti or ChoodaamaNi, the forehead jewel, glistened on His forehead.


The beautiful Kasthuri Thilakam (the sacred mark of Kasthuri - i.e. Musk) attractively beckons us.


The beauty of Makara KuNdalam on His ears was beyond words.


{Makara KuNdalam = type of ear ornament having the shape of Makara - a sort of sea crocodile}


A broad diamond necklace and a long Navarathna necklace glittered around His neck.


Armlets (Keyooram) on His upper arm,

Bracelets (KangaNam) on His wrist,

Srivathsam, Kausthubam, Muththu (string of pearls), or of Pavazham (coral gems) on His neck,

Golden Thread and OddiyaaNam (golden belt) on His waist.


{Sri Vathsam is the sacred mark or curl of hair on Sri MahaavishNu's chest, which is considered as the esoteric insignia of Sri Mahaalakshmi.}


{Kausthubam is a divine gem worn by Sri MahaavishNu on his chest.}


ThaNdai, Kolusu (anklets) on His legs.



Besides all the above, beautiful garlands of various flowers of different colours, exuding pleasant fragrance, were adorning His neck. To top it all, an all-green ThuLasi Maalai (Basil garland), known as Vana Maalai (Forest garland), densely knit, was also adorning His neck.


Surpassing all these beauty, we can endlessly enjoy Keshadhi Paadam (from head to foot) with ecstasy !


His Compassionate Eyes, Smiling Lips and His Ever Radiant Thirumeni (divine body), wielding Sanku - Chakram (Conch and Discus) to assure protection to His Devotees.


Near Thiruvarangam lies a village by name Idayaatthangudi.


There lived a devotee named Idayaatthoor Nambi.


His love and devotion to Thiruvarangam PerumaaL was boundless and passionate.


He would come to Thiruvarangam everyday and participate in every festival.


He would come to Srirangam and enjoy not only every festival, but would enjoy PerumaaL with complete Prema.


He would go into rapture, enjoying PerumaaL inch by inch.


Besides enjoying PerumaaL, he would describe his experience with PerumaaL in a heart-to-heart conversation.


This is how he would share his enjoyment :
"Aho, PerumaaLe,
Today You were Beautiful in Thanga Maalai (gold haaram - pendant)."
"Today in Muthu Maalai, Pavazha Maalai (Pearl pendant, Coral pendant), You were wonderful."
"Your Kreedam (Crown) was brilliant."

Thus Nambi would enjoy PerumaaL without batting an eyelid and he would share with PerumaaL, his divine anubhavam of PerumaaL and His beauty.


Not only this.


After the festival was over and coming back to Idayaaththangudi, he would continue to visualise the beauty of PerumaaL in his mind and would enjoy it repeatedly, similar to the mastication of food by cattle.


As his age progressed, Nambi attained the age of 100.


At that ripe age, his bodily functions became weak. He could not leave his house.


At that time, Brahmothsavam preparations were afoot in the temple.


Nambi could not go to Thiruvarangam Temple because of his old age and bodily weakness. He was very sad.


Each day of the festival was passing.


PerumaaL Himself started searching for Nambi, and asked as to why Nambi did not come to see Him.


Meanwhile, five days passed.


Everyone there came to know that PerumaaL was searching for Nambi.


Nambi also became aware of that.


He decided to somehow go and see Arangan.


Early on the sixth day, Nambi left his house, walked very slowly with the support of a walking stick and reached Thiruvarangam.



At Thiruvarangam, he waited on the procession route of PerumaaL, in a Mandapam reclining and leaning on a pillar.
In spite of his fatigue, Nambi waited patiently to have the Darshan of PerumaaL and enjoy His Beauty!



PerumaaL also came in Veedhi ulaa, searching simultaneously for Nambi.


Searching here and there, PerumaaL spotted Nambi leaning on a pillar.


PerumaaL enquired, "Nambi, how are you? I have not seen you for so many days and I have been looking everywhere for you."


Nambi replied, "Oh, PerumaaL. I became very weak and could not move about. Because of my feeble condition , You can see, I have to lean on a pillar."


PerumaaL told Nambi, "You don't worry. You just stand there, leaning on the pillar."


Nambi accepted PerumaaL's Word as Vedavaakku (Scriptural injunction) and stood there, feasting himself on the Beauty & Benevolence of PerumaaL.

Standing there with PerumaaL's blessings, Nambi's Aathma left his mortal remains.


Leaving his body, Nambi departed to VaikuNtam to eternally enjoy PerumaaL's Beauty.



Thirukolur peN piLLai asked,


"Did I get the Bhaagyam (good fortune) of Idayaathoor Nambi ? Did PerumaaL instruct me to stand and thereby bestow Moksha Siddhi on me? Then what right do I have to remain in this place, Thirukolur ?"


Sri Ramanuja agreed with her and told,


"Similar to Idayaathoor Nambi, one should know how to appreciate PerumaaL and His every limb (Angam), every decoration without batting an eyelid. PerumaaL also Likes it."


"During Deepaaraadhanai, one should enjoy to one's heart's fill, in the light of Deepam,
The Glow of every ornament on PerumaaL,
His Benevolent Smile,
His Lustrous Eyes."

{Deepaaraadhanai = Aarathi - Light from wicks soaked in ghee (clarified butter) or camphor is offered to PerumaaL}


"During Deepaaraadhanai, one should enjoy PerumaaL's Beauty and should not close one's eyes."


"Idayaathoor Nambi attained Moksham, while enjoying PerumaaL's Beauty and sharing the same with PerumaaL."


**********


Then Sri Ramanujar asked peN piLLai :


"Whose story are you going to tell next ?"


Thirukolur peN replied :


"Did I go a long distance like Sage Nathamuni in search of two men, a lady and a Vaanaram (monkey), thinking that they were Sri Rama, Sri LakshmaNa, Sri Sita and Sri Hanuman?"

"neDun dUram pOnenO nAthamunigaLaip pOlE?”


"In the next episode we will hear a wonderful story and come upon a treasure!"



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