“Swamy Prativadi Bhayankaram Annan” Lord Venkateshwara’s Suprabhatham glories…


 Swamy  Mudumbai Nambee Ananthacharya  was one amongst the 74 Simhadipathees  nominated by Jagathacharyar  Swamy Ramanuja .

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Swamy Ananthacharyar  belonged to the illustrious family    of  the great srivaishnava stalwarts  Swamy Pillai Lokacharyar and Vadakku Thiruvidhi pillai . .

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   During 1360 , Swamy Ananthacharyar was blessed with a son who was named as Hasthagiri Ananthar Anna being ardent devotees of Lord Varadaraja . ( Lord Varadaraja has been giving darshan to the devotees at this holy place called “Hasthi giri”.  ‘Hasthi’ means elephant and “giri “ means hill) .    

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    The young  boy  was very attractive  and  devotional right from his childhood  .The boy was admitted in to the school of  Swamy Nayana varadacharyar  ,  the direct descendent of Swamy  Vedanta Desikar . He received the Vedic inputs from his Acharya and progressed in leaps and bounds by his sheer devotion .

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During this  period  , a staunch Advaitin Narasimha Mishra had come to Kancheepuram .  He decided to  debate with the learned scholars in that area in proving the supremacy of Advaitam and thus  convert the opponent and his  followers into his fold .

 As  his mission was incomplete , he invited  Swamy Nayana varadacharyar for a debate as was done during those days .The bet was announced that  the one who looses will follow others  faith along with his followers .  Swamy Nayana varadacharyar was not keen to interact with  the  scholar and  not able to decide how to ignore  his  request too . It was the last day .The young boy could see his Acharyar’s concern .

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He wanted to somehow make his Acharyar happy . He understood  from his senior disciples what made his Acharyar sad . He never wanted the rich heritage of Vishishtadwaitam being taken for a ride by  the  vedantin .It was a high time to make the world believe the glorious sampradaya  Jagathacharyar Swamy Ramanuja had given us . The young boy approached his Acharya and pleaded him to be allowed to take upon the vedantin .  Swamy  Nayanavaradacharyar was glad that the young boy was also thinking in the same lines .Confident of his victory , he blessed the child with Sri Hayagreeva Upadesa mantra and wished him the best .

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The young lad  Hasthagiri Anna  with the blessings of his Acharyar  walked into the debate hall   which had  revered scholars from different places   . The locals also assembled  to watch the Vedantins arguments. He looked at the learned scholars and the great  vedantin Narasimha Mehta .  He was amused with his looks and the arrogance in his speech . The vedantin chuckled at the boys entry  for his  age and size . He said this boy is of no match to me .Anyway as his guru has sent him on his behalf , let me bundle him up with simple questions  !! he thought .

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 Hasthagiri Anna looked at the vedantin and said .. Hey Vedantin .. Are you going to wage a war against me ? Why does size or stature matter to you .For a person like you  I am the best match .Let me not disturb my Gurudeva ..The debate is to convince you and all these so called scholars the illustrious sampradaya of Jagath Acharyar Swamy Ramanuja is supreme .If you have any doubts , questions ask me else accept the  sampradaya which will give you moksha .

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The Vedantin was surprised with the boys daring words . He decided to quiz him in shastras and then take him  on about the sampradaya . The outpouring of Vedic knowledge , apt recitation with intricate  meanings made vedantin shocked . The debate was almost looking like   a repeat of Swamy Yamunacharya debate with the Vedantin few hundred years ago and Swamy Yamunacharya was glorified as Alavandar  the King…

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 Few onlookers rushed to their Acharyar to inform him about Hasthagiri Annas  mastery in handling the vedantin with esoteric  truths  .The Old Acharyar walked along with his disciples to see the brave boy’s confidence  . Hasthagiri Anna presented many verses in the Vedic texts  to demonstrate the supreme position of  Swamy Ramanuja’s  Vishishitadwaitam . The debate ended with the vedantin accepting the supremacy of the sampradaya . All the scholars  unitedly agreed  with jubilations about the young boy defeating the arrogant vedantin in his own den.

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 Overjoyed the  Acharyar hugged Hasthagiri Anna and said henceforth you will be called as Prathivadi bhayanakaram Anna . Meanwhile the Vedantin  along with his followers rushed to Anna  accepting defeat and pleaded to be taken in their fold . The Acharyar blessed both of the disciples and handed over the reins of the school for him to take over due to his old age .

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Swamy Annan was carrying out the Theertha kainkaryam at Kancheepuram as done by our  Jagath Acharyar Swamy Ramanuja . One day he took permission from Lord Vardaraja for having darshanam of Lord Sreenivasa at Tirumala after getting immersed in the Nammazhwar’s description of Tirumala and Lord Srinivasa  in Thiruvamozhi .

 

Anna became associated with  Swami Ananthanpillai descendants and  was engaged in serving Lord Srinivasa by collecting and preparing the water required for His worship every day. 

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One day, while  returning from Akasha Ganga  after having  gathered  the holy water to be taken to the Lord, a devotee from Srirangam came across his path.  As divine will would have it, they entered into a conversation.  The devotee from Srirangam narrated the  glories of the  revered saint Svami Mamunigal  and his extraordinary service in Srirangam.  Anna was deeply moved on hearing  about Swamy’s devotion to Lordships and the zeal to carry out the mantle of Jagathacharyar Swamy Ramanuja’s philosophy  all over . In the process of hearing the satsangath , he completely forgot about the  holy water he was supposed to deliver to the Lord.

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Having exhausted  with their patience, the priests from the temple  came out in search of Anna and hurriedly collected  the pots of holy water from him and rushed back to the temple to complete the worship according to established protocol . Anna was confused and hence  rushed to the temple to inform the priests that he had not yet prepared the water by mixing in it fragrant substances, as  was the norms .  But as  it was too late  the worship had already begun and nearing  completion . Anna was cursing himself for overlooking the protocol that was followed . He was dejected for not compiling with the procedures thus committing an offence . Standing all alone inside the temple Anna was seeking forgivance  .

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  Lord Srinivasa  , all compassionate Lord , broke his  silence  .There was a divine voice coming  from the deity form,  addressing   him , “Oh My dear  Anna!  The  holy water you delivered today  had the best fragrance and quality.  I am pleased with your service!”   Don’t be dejected !!!

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This was a shock to Anna, who had not added any fragrance at all  that day.  On pondering  , Anna realized that the water must have got  fragnant by the mere mention of the account of Swami Manavala Mamunigal vaibhavam  .  Realizing the glory of the saint, Anna took permission from Lord Sreenivasa and  left  Tirumala  heading towards  south to srirangam to have Swami manavala maamuni’s darshanam .

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On reaching Srirangam , Anna has darshan of the Lordships and  goes straight to attend  the discourse of Swamy Manavala mamuni  which impresses him  very much . He waits  patiently for having  Acharyar’s darshanam . Amongst all the disciples , Swamy Manavala Mamuni calls him and asks  Oh! You are that srivaishnava called as Prathivadi Bhayankaran in a lighter vein .

Anna humbly offers obesiances and replies  Swamy ,  that he is Prathivadi Bhayankaran to his opponents  and a servant of servants to srivaishnavas .  Swamy is pleased with his commitment in protecting our rich sampradaya  and honours him with  another title “SrIvaishnava dAsan”.

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Later ,  Anna moves to Tirumala for   serving Lord Srinivasa . Swamy Manavalamamuni joins him at Tirumala  and  taken  by the glory of Lord Srinivasa,  he ordains his disciple Prathivadi Bhayankaram Anna to compose hymns on  Lord Srinivasa through which Lord’s  glory is well understood and enjoyed by all walks of people.  Anna taking his Acharyar’s command  composes  hymns on LORD   that shed light on the greatness of the Lord of the Seven Hills.

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Annan,  pens the   morning song suprabhatham  slokas comprising of             (29 verses , stotram  11 verses ,  prapatti  16 verses  and mangalam  14 verses)  The holy verses has four  aspects Suprabhatam, which is the actual awaking of  Lordships Sree and Vishnu,  Stotram, which is essentially a  glorifications and the last  Prapatti through Sree and the beautiful  Mangalam to Lordships  which serves as a conclusion.

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These  four hymnal renditions of Anna are the hallmark of worship that are  conducted  in Srivaishnava parlance.  The Vaishnava Agamas require the Lord to be worshipped and honoured at least as much as a king is.  The Suprabhatam or wishing of  an auspicious dawn is not only analogous to the service offered normally to the royalty but also an expression of Mangalasasanam. Mangalasasanam is the highest virtue recognized in Srivaishnavism. 

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It is It is the exalted state of devotion where the devotee is not worried about his own welfare or the welfare of others, but only about the welfare of the Lord (which automatically ensures the well being of everyone and everything else).  He serves the Lord, sings His benediction and longs for His auspiciousness always   and the Prapatti is another core concept of Srivaishnavism that teaches the complete resignation to the saving grace of the Lord. The final goal of a Srivaishnava is to please the Lord with one’s services.  One of the most important forms of service is the service of singing the Lord’s praise.  He is sthavapriya: or one who is pleased with stotrams.  The Venkatesa Stotram serves this purpose. Through the four works, Anna captures the entire essence of Srivaishnavism as he sings the glory of Lord Venkatesa.  The pleased Lord listens to these hymns several times every day during the course of His worship in several temples…

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 Swamy Manavala  Mamuni then ordered his disciples  , that every day except in the month  of Margazhi, these four stotras must  be recited at the time  of opening of the temple sanctorum  in the morning which is being religiously followed till date .

Thus we have an advanced  Acharyar  Swamy Prativadi Bhayankaram Annan of Tirupati Suprabhatam fame  who was a disciple of both  Swamy Vedantha Desika’s son and Swamy Manavaala Maamunigal, indicating that there was no remarkable differences in following  between the  two sects .

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His treatises establishing the unifying nature of all of our acharyas are a treasure for several generations .

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A detailed description of THIRUMANJANA SEVA at Tirumala is appended in the below linked post

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2016/09/08/at-tirumala-lord-venkateshwara-abhisheka-vaibhavam-venkatadri-samam-sthanam-brahmande-nasti-kinchana-venkatesa-samo-devo-na-bhuto-na-bhavisyati/

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Swamy Prativadi Bhayankaram Annan  Thiruadigale sharanam

Check few more divine incidents  about Lord Venkateshwara in the below appended posts .

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2016/09/08/at-tirumala-lord-venkateshwara-abhisheka-vaibhavam-venkatadri-samam-sthanam-brahmande-nasti-kinchana-venkatesa-samo-devo-na-bhuto-na-bhavisyati/

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2016/07/16/at-tirumala-when-the-screens-opened-by-themselves/

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/the-divine-crowbar-at-the-entrance-of-tirumala-temple/

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2015/01/22/the-devotee-who-played-dice-with-lord/

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2016/07/07/azhwar-theertham-at-tirupati/

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2015/10/31/ekantha-seva-at-tirumala-tallapaka-vari-lali-tarigondavari-harathi/

 

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

Picture credits : Google images/antaryami.org

Video credits   : Thallapaka Annamacharyulu garu /  Keerthi / Baba and other devotees

 

At TIRUMALA… “ Its not the darshan you get . It is the darshan ” LORD” bestows”.


 The ardent desire of any devotee is to seek an everlasting darshan of Lord Venkateshwara at Tirumala  and…  

If this darshan is without any  physical disturbance or interference by the volunteers ,  the soul dances in ecstasy.

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There is no dearth of pilgrims who wouldn’t stop gushing about their opportune darshan lasting for even a  fraction of second or so with our  beloved LORD  while there are so many others who  excitedly wait  for  Lord’s  darshan patiently  even for days  .

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Tradition has it, that hands of man did not work for the dhruva bera  ( Main deity )of Lord Venkateswara .

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The Supreme Lord with abundant mercy manifested himself in the present form that could easily be worshiped by mortals. It is described in Mousala Parvam  of Sri Mahabharatam  that when  Supreme Lord Krishna decided to complete His incarnation, a divine play was enacted.   After the  fall of Yadu dynasty , Lord Krishna was resting under a tree  in a forest with his feet on one another.

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A hunter from behind the thick grasses saw only his sole and toes. Mistaking the sole of the foot and toes that were pinkish amidst the thick grass and due to the distance he assumed it for a deer grazing in the forest. He shot a poisoned arrow that struck Lord Krishna lotus feet. The repentant hunter apologized  and understood it was a divine providence that had the sanction  of LORD and he was just a participant in Lord’s divine play .

While  Lord  Krishna was preparing to ascend to Sri vaikuntam,  the  three crore demigods headed by Brahma and Paramasivan  arrived and started glorifying  LORD   by reciting Purusha Suktam.  LORD disappeared from this place Prabhasa Theertham near  Dwaraka , in the form of parama jyothi.

check the appended  blog post for more details

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2015/02/17/mukthi-dwaraka-prabhasa-theertham/

When the jyoti ( Efflugence )  reached Suryamandalam, it transformed into a deity and descended on Tirumala Hills .

The moment  Lord Krishna disappeared, Kali yugam began  and to save His devotees from Kali, Lord decided to manifest himself  at  Tirumala…

As the hymn reverberates……..

“Krite Nrisimha Bhoothosou ..

Tretaayaam Raghunandanah ….

Dwaapare Vaasudevas Cha ……

kalao Vemkatanaayakah………………….               

   meaning …

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“While Sri Narasimha was the Lord of Kritayuga, SriRama (Raghunandana) was the Lord of Treta yuga, SriKrishna (Vaasudeva) was Lord of Dwaapara yuga, it is SriVenkateshwara  (Venkata naayakah) who is the Lord of Kaliyuga.

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Thus , the devas as well as humans have HIS darshan at Tirumala. It is believed the devatas worship LORD in the  early morning  hours. 

Before closing the temple after Ekanta Seva , the priests at Tirumala temple fill the pancha paathirams with holy water for Brahma to worship the LORD .This holy water is distributed among devotees as theertham after Suprabhatam Darshan .

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According to the Bhavisthyottara puranam, the great sage Vaikhanasa Rishi was always in the mood of Krishna katha and thus got addicted to the playful leelas of Lord Krishna in Dwapara Yuga .

He did   severe penance to obtain darshan of Lord Krishna. The legend reveals that Lord Krishna pleased with his devotion, appeared and instructed  to worship HIM at Venkatachala (Tirumala) where he manifested for our upliftment.

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He further advised that a devotee named Rangadasa would help him to locate the holy place at Tirumala  . Vaikhanasa Rishi overjoyed   proceeded to Tirumala and with the help of the devotee Rangadasa   worshipped the LORD ardently.

Thus Vaikhanasa Rishi, according to the legend, is the first person to worship the Lord at Tirumala. Hence in this temple, to this day, worship is conducted according to the Vaikhanasa Agama (the guide lines instructed by the great sage Vaikhanasa ) almost since few thousand years ago.

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 The Pallavas of Kanchipuram, Cholas of Tanjore  , Pandyas  and Vijayanagara Kings, few Englishmen   like Thomas Munroe , Robert Clive , Williams were committed devotees of Lord Venkateswara .

Listen to the devotional pour of Archaka glorifying the holy place and the LORD who manifested only for uplifting the fallen souls

Long far-reaching queues do not matter to any of the pilgrim as long as they get to offer their prayers and remain in that bliss at this holy place. 

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People forget their economic status, caste, creed, and sex, they leave all the material designations,

chant the Lord’s holy name

  GOVINDA   GOVINDA   GOVINDA , 

and come before HIM surrendering .

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Lord being omnipotent and omniscient listens to an ardent devotee’s prayer.

The sincere thought of having darshan of LORD at TIRUMALA happens without any effort. 

Air / Train/ Bus  tickets get confirmed , accommodations are booked miraculously and darshan  happens as If……………………..

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LORD wanted to see you so soon ……………………………..

Every devotee has a  special experience to share about the darshan and LORD’s presence………

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  It’s a place of absolute happiness, and inexplicable moment of peace is felt .The soul identifies its purpose and gets twined in the aroma of the place. We go there as many times as possible as……… HE is ours for ever  …  

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Even atheists and rationalists admit a sense of humility and the presence of the Lord as soon as one approaches the sanctum .

 Ten  out of twelve Azhwars  have glorified the LORD with almost 202  nectarine pasurams. The famous devotee  composers  Thyagaraja, Purandaradasar, Annamacharyar have glorified LORD in several Kirtanas . Annamacharyar had composed almost 32000 kirtanas which have become prayer songs  in every house ….

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Its only the fortunate ones who develop faith in God and  blessed are those who surrender to our LORD VENKATESHWARA ….

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

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Pics :  Courtesy  : Google images

videos :  Thanks to Ramyagiri