Devagaanam verses Manushya gaanam


Few hundred years ago   Gangaikonda Chozhapuram a place  in Tamil Nadu ,  was ruled by the Cholas  who  were active patrons of the arts , poetry, drama, music and  dance .  The Chola kingdom grew  into an extensive and well-knit empire, efficiently organized and administered by the King .

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One fine day  two courtesans from other kingdom  came  to meet the King for his generosity in encouraging their talents . One of them  could sing according to a  pattern  called deva‐gana (celestial mode) and  the other  could sing in the normal method   manushya gana (human mode). Each thought their music was the best  and   excelled the other. Their objective of having an audience with  the King was to settle the dispute  between them  as the King was well versed in those forms of art .

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The king  summoned his  royal artists and ordered  the  council to meet, for them to  perform .  In the process ,  the council of royal artists agreed that the courtesan who sung with manushya gana was better than the deva gana  . Thus   the dispute was decided in favor of  the manushya gana .  Rich presents  was  bestowed on that performer with all the honours  while the other was considered to have failed.

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The lady of the deva‐gana thought thus  “My method of singing, cannot be appreciated by normal  humans and hence  I shall  submit  the same to the Devas (celestial beings)” in all the temples . So with  deep concern ,  she went to the temples  from one Holy Shrine to another  displaying her art to the deity and seeking their blessings

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 In due course  she reached Viranarayanapuram a place near to Kattumannar koil .  She went to the Shrine of  Lord Veeranarayana Perumal  and  sang her song  among  the  opulence audience of our great  Sage Nathamuni  the torch bearer of Srivaishnavam . Nathamuni  was pleased with her recitation  and as a mark of his appreciation  blessed  her   with the tirtha and prasada of  Perumal and encouraged her  with blessings .

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The lady thanked  Swami Nathamuni for his  patience and accepting her song  and blessing  on her . Overjoyed ,  she then went to king Chola and said    Oh Highness !! Atlast  “there is one soul, at least in your kingdom , who can understand the inner truth  of my devaganam .  Swamy Nathamuni,  who is the blessed devotee of Lord Mannanar at Viranarayanapuram is the reason for your country’s prosperity .

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The king was curious to know about the sage . He sent  his messengers to  Swamy Nathamuni, begging him to visit his  royal palace .  Swamy  Nathamuni ,  on receiving the invitation, thought  “We have set the blessed Divya  Prabhandhas to exquisite music. Let us visit the king’s court, and take this opportunity of making these holy hymns  known to the world. Thus he went to the king’s court taking it as Lord’s command .

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On his arrival, the king rose and welcomed  the Sage with every mark of honor,  and offered him a suitable seat. Whereon the Sage blessed the king, and inquired as to his object in inviting him. The king  submitted  “Holy sage can you distinguish between the  two patterns of ragas sung by these courtesans  ? Can we be enlightened about this inner secret ?

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Swamy Nathamuni  requested that the performance be given  once again before the audience .  When this was done, he addressed the king  and said  “You all have ears  to receive the flow of  the manushya‐gana only.  The other one can be understood by  the Devas  only .

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 “But”, the king respectfully asked, how can we be made to hear it? There upon  Swamy Nathamuni  directed that the 400 kinds of tala (rhythm) be marked, and explained to the king the rate of each. The king understood from this explanation the  harmonical progression and symphony  in which this  is composed  to the deva‐gana music, which produced in him a bliss never  experienced before  .

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 A small demonstration was also shown among the elated arts lovers .A  pair of cymbals was placed near a consecrated post while  the deva‐ gana was sung. Over a period of time , it was found that the post began to melt. The singing was stopped  , and when an attempt was made to lift the cymbals, they stuck to the post  and when the music was once again played they came off.  It is said that Nathamuni directed a number of bronze cymbals of different weights to be sounded together and forthwith described correctly their different weights from a perception of the acute differences in the pitches of the notes. The king went into raptures over this, and falling at the feet of the Sage proposed to reward him abundantly.

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But the Sage, to whom even the offer of Lordship over worlds was no temptation, politely declined the presents offered and blessing the king, returned to Viranarayanapuram. Thus with this incident the King  became a disciple of Swamy Nathamuni and spent his time at Kattumannar learning the esoteric truths regularly .

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Swamy  Nathamuni set the 4000  Divya prabhandam to tune and music and taught to his dear disciples  Melai agatthazhwAn and Keezhai agatthazhwAn (his nephews) and propagated the divine nectar  in various divya desams. Nathamuni re arranged 4000 into four parts and introduced the same as part of recitation in Divya Desams, as part of worship.  

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Once , the King  got down  along with his wives to Viranarayanapuram temple . Looking at the Royal couple  in such great ornaments, crown, and silk cloth,  Nathamuni for a moment lost himself and thought  Lord Krishna with His devis have come from Dwarakai. He fell at the feet of the king to prostrate. The king was shocked and immediately sprung to lift  Nathamuni . The King realised the deep devotion of the Sage and submitted himself .

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During  another occasion, the king had  just completed discussing with the Sage about Lordships and  took Acharya’s permission to leave. He started walking towards the chariot. When he was about to board, (as usual, the king used to call the chariot driver on whose shoulder he  used to set  his foot to jump into the chariot), the driver was there for the king to jump in. After he jumped in, he saw below and it was  Nathamuni’s shoulder. The king was shocked . He got down to apologize  for his grave offence . He felt ashamed and said ! Swamin ….  “What have I done! Stepped on your shoulders! I have committed  a great apacharam!”

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Nathamuni thought it  was Lord  Rama who had come by the chariot along with Sumanthrar. Hence, he offered his shoulders for Lord  to step into the chariot. That was  Nathamuni’s unalloyed devotion who was always in transcendental bliss always seeing LORDSHIPS everywhere .

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One day  Nathamuni was in Samadhi Yoga. The  Chola  king  passed near Veeranarayanpura with his soldiers   after a hunting exercise.  The sage,  interrupted in his meditations by the attendant bustle, opened his eyes and, construing the party to be the divine Lord  Rama and his brother, on whom  his thoughts were wholly bent in meditation, followed the track of the party and walked with weary steps till the very gates of the Chola capital Gangaikondapuram  from Kattumannar Koil  and went searching ..

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Nathamuni  already in that bliss  imagined that Lord Rama with his brother Lakshmana and  Mother  Sita is have come to  grace him .

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He  fainted  at a place in a divine bliss  and  reached Lord’s abode  on an Ekadasi day.

More details about this great saint can be seen in the appended  linked post below

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2015/01/09/lakshmi-natha-samarambham-nathayamuna-madhyamam/

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All glories to Swamy Nathamunigal

 

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

Pics : Google images

Taket ( Nasik ) and Thiruputkuzhi……….Jatayu Moksha kshetram


Though Thiruputkuzhi at Kancheepuram is considered as Jatayu Mokshaa kshetram , as per Srimad Valmeekee Ramayanam , Taket near Nasik is considered as the holy place where Lord Rama met the great devotee Jatayu .

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This  Holy Dhaam is about 65 kms from Nasik on Igatpuri Road in Mumbai Highway road . Igatpuri is  in Daudhra village, Maharashtra,  which is about 45 kms from Nashik .A slight diversion from the Highway has to be taken to reach this village. This is the place where the devotee vulture, Jatayu Maharaj fought valiantly with the  demon  Ravana with the intention of rescuing  Mother Sitadevi and  gave his  life at the lotus feet of  Lord Sri Rama.

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In this holy place , a replica of the vulture made from cotton is hung at the temple entrance . A priest recapitulated all the incidents – how  Maharaj Jatayu fought valiantly with  the demon Ravana, and left his body in the arms of  Lord Sri Rama informing the whereabouts of Loka Matha Sita .

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Lord Rama performed last rites of Jatayu here . He  brought sacred water required for performing rites by shooting an arrow in the earth  , all sacred rivers assembled in the kund in front of the temple except for Prayag who is separted at a distance from the pond. (It is said that he hit the arrow into the ground for water and the kund here is therefore called  Sarva tirtha kund.)

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The water level in Prayag pond always remains the same at all times., A tree under where Loka matha Sitadevi was observing the valiant fight between Jatayu and Ravana can be  seen. Lord Rama consoles Jatayu who informs  about Sitadevi’s abduction before breathing his last. Srirama blesses Jatayu by sending him to Paramapadam while Lakshmana looks on . Lord Rama performs  the last rites to the bird devotee for 13 days. Even Dasaratha did not get this  fortune  as  he  could perform only Jala tharpanam at Chitakoot.

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 There is another Divyadesam which is connected to Jatayu.  Thiruputkuzhi is located 12kms west of Kanchipuram . It is the most sought vaishnava divya desam of Sri Vijaya Raaghava Perumal temple as it relates to the episode of Jataayu Moksham in the Srimad Raamaayana.

Another importance of this place Swami Raamaanuja learnt the advaitha lessons from Yaadava Prakaasar . The mandapam where he learnt his lessons still exist here. wp-image--969801810A unique feature of this temple is Sri Vijaya Raaghava Perumal is seen in a sitting posture, having the bird (Jataayu) on his thigh. Not able to bear the  grief caused by the final rites of the cremation of Jaatayu, Sri Devi Thaayar is said to have moved to the other side .JJJJJJ

 Lord Rama had got ready to perform the final obsequies on the banks of a pond (now known as Jatayu Pushkarini) when he realized that the Vedic ceremony needed the presence of his wife. He felt sad that he was helpless in the matter.

IMG-20170324-WA0000Immediately there arose a golden lotus in the tank with Bhuma Devi      (Sita is considered to be a manifestation of Mother Earth) who helped fulfil Rama’s desire to complete the rituals. Hence we find Bhuma Devi in the sanctum. She is seated, with a lotus in hand.

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At this temple, the Goddess is seen to the left of the Lord Vijayaraghava with her head slightly turned in the Lord’s direction (in all Divya Desams, Sri Devi Thaayar is seen to the right of the Lord).
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Also, the Thaayar Sannidhi is to the left of the Lord. The  ( Ashwa )Kutharai Vahaanam is a special attraction at this temple .

On few festive occasions, Lord Vijaya Raaghavan goes on street processions mounted on his ‘Horse Vaahanam’ which looks like a real Horse, (with its jumping stride and movements). The devotee  created this horse specifically for Lord Vijaya Raaghava was asked to make another horse. He refused to recreate his magic for anyone other than the Lord .

.facebook_1495543825704As a mark of blessing during Ashwa  Vahaanam ( Horse )  Lord marches into  the street where this devotee lived .fawn
The Priest (Koil Bhattar)  was kind to explain the vaibhavam of the temple during our recent pilgrimage yatrai.
Few devotees also say that It was Pullambothangudi which  is five km from Swamimalai, in Thanjavur district was the place where Jatayu got Moksham.
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Both the holy places bring tears to the pilgrims for the great kainkaryam a Bird could do .Jai Jatayu Maharajki …..
Jai Jai   Jai SreeRam ..

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan