01Rangarajyam

 The suzerainty of Lord Rangan

The sovereignty of Lord Rangan

Posted Date : 06:00 (10/04/2018)  Sakthi Vikatan April 10, 2018

Ranga Rajyam: New series

இந்திரா சௌந்தர்ராஜன்  Author: Indira Soundarrajan

படங்கள்: என்.ஜி.மணிகண்டன்  Photos: N.J. Manikandan

My Salutation to my Readers!

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Rangarajyam topic is a serial publication of articles about worship and adoration of Azvars, Sundara Kāṇdam, Kaṇṇaṉ Varuvāṉ…

     
Tiruvaraṅgam, the centerpiece of this series, is the first and the foremost among Divya Dēsams, known as Bhūlōka Vaikuntam. The Lord in the center is none other than Araṅganātha Perumāḷ who projects the appearance of sleeping in the state of Tāmasa Nidra.
Araṅgaṉ is not only the leading Lord of the series but also the Lord of the fourteen worlds. The background history of this temple occupied by the earthbound Bhagavan has a multitude of ambrosial news. It is the eponym for Kōil (Temple). We realize its primeness and greatness, historical significance and its reputation as the repository of wonders, compared to other earthbound temples.
But, this Tiruvaraṅgam Kōil goes beyond the ancient history, connected with Puranas and embodying multiple rare structures. Because of them, the eleven Āzvārs performed benedictions on this sacred temple. The temple is the reason for the attainment of Paramapadam by Srī Vēdānta Dēsikaṉ, Tiruppaṇāzvār, Srī Rāmānujam, and others.
This Bhumi has the fame to have given birth to Periya Nambhi, the Guru of Srī Rāmānujar, Lokāchāriyār, the repository of Vaishnavism. The seven courts having an abundance of subtle inner meaning are uniquely special for this temple.
When we think of the numeral seven, our thoughts expand to dwell on the seven births, seven wonders, seven Sabda Svarams, seven colors (of the rainbow), and seven Ṛṣis.
We are made of five elements and obtained intellect the sixth sense, because of which we have the blessing of the seventh faculty namely Sabda (Vaikari speech), and the eighth faculty of mind, which helps us reach the ninth namely the holy feet of God. These are the nine-step explanation of the numerals one to nine. Seven holds the preeminent place and in Tiruvaraṅgam constitutes the seven Prakārams. Circumambulation along these seven walkways and worship of Araṅgaṉ guarantee resolution of the merits and demerits accumulated over the seven births.

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Only upon resolution of Karma, we can take refuge at his holy feet. Such is the inner meanings of the subject. We are proud of the growth of Prabhandam Tamil. Ahead of us, we have a deal of matter regarding Araṅgaṉ to be apprehended in its subtilities. I humbly pay homage to Araṅgaperumāṉ. Follow the holy Araṅgaṉ of Tiruvaraṅgaṉ.
This world.
It was the time in this world of Ikṣvāku of the Solar race. In his period, the worshipful Tiruvaraṅga-p-Peruman, whom we celebrate having him on our head, came down from Satya Loka the world of Brahma to Bhūlōka (our world).
In this world of ours, there are countless temples, of which there are self-existent and human-made structures. The latter example is the Rāja-rāja-Chōzan’s, Brihathīsvarar Temple. Tiruvaraṅga-p-Peruman Temple is the only one that descended from the heavens to the earth.
Ikṣvāku of the solar race provided it for the earth dwellers. We cannot ascertain his period of reign at Ayōdya as the capital. We can estimate an approximate period of his reign.
It is essential to learn about the 14 Manus. Knowing them will help us arrive at the estimated reign of Ikṣvāku. By this, we can ascertain ancient particulars of Tiruvaraṅga-p-Perumāṉ, to whom we offer our worship.
We are in the year 2018. If we go back from the beginning of the Christian era calendar by many thousands of years, we can offer an approximate estimate. Let us begin with our Emperuman. There were no oceans, no era, and no kingdoms. Before the lifeforms like fly, ant, worm, insect, rodents, birds, fish, and the legged came into existence, only Perumāṉ existed.
Perumāṉ created from himself the four-faced Braḥma, and from the latter, he again created the four Vedas, the universe of sound. Later, the fourteen worlds and the lifeforms came into existence.
The seven worlds above the earth are Bhuvaha, Suvaha, Janaha, Tapaha, and Satyam. Below the surface of the planet earth, Ataḷa, Vitaḷa, Sutaḷa, Rasātaḷa, Taḷā, Mātaḷa and Pātāḷa are the seven worlds. Besides these, Śrīraṅga Mahātmiyam states, there are starry heavens, Sapta ṛṣi Mandala, Vāyu, Agṉi, Varuṇa, Indra, Surya, and Chandra.
Altogether, 14 worlds, Vedas, Higher lifeforms, and the entity of Time came into being. Kṛta Yuga, Trēta Yuga, Dvāpara Yuga, and Kali Yuga came into being. Kali Yuga of the duration of 432,000 years, started on 18 February 3102 BCE. Dvāpara Yuga is double the duration of Kali Yuga. Treta Yuga is triple the length. Kṛta Yuga is quadruple the length.
We try to comprehend all these imaginations with our small brain; what we end up with is tiredness. Brahma appointed 14 Manus to preside over these Yugas. Vivasvān was the seventh Manu, whose son Ikṣvāku made it possible for Araṅganātha-p-Peruman to come down to earth in his divine holy Archa form seated in the shrine with Praṇava dome. Kali Yugas preceded by Dvapara, and Treta Yugas were the Yugas when SrīRāmaprāṉ was ascendant.
The erstwhile Dvāpara Yuga was the Mahabharata period when Krishna was on the ascent. Later, Kali Yuga began, and this is when and where we remain now. High imagination is required of us to visualize the erstwhile Yugas. Some calculated time periods based on the events of Mahabharata in Dvapara Yuga. We understand to a certain extent, for now, the beginning of the Bharata war.
Even before that Yuga, Emperuman’s Svayam-vyakta (spontaneous self- manifestation) holy body by the grace of Ikṣvāku came down to earth.
Why should it come down to earth from the heavens? Why did Ikṣvāku bring it down? Let us look at the events.
Duality rules life on earth: Night and day; happiness and grief. It will remain that way into the future. This duality presupposes and assures life is changeable and interesting. That is the nature of the world.
If there is sweetness, there is bitterness and so is the case with joy and grief; night and day; man and woman. We must add merit and demerit (sin) in this list. Man’s life revolves on the principle of duality.
Human life runs on the two wheels of merit and demerit. Only humans and not animals are subject to this duality. Man because of his rational intellect knows himself and the world and lives by the dictates of the past, the present, and the future. For other lifeforms, instinct rules their lives. Their intellect was meager. They lack the self-knowledge or the knowledge of the world. Therefore, they are not subject to merits or demerits.
Man, with the knowledge of self and the world he lives in, is subject to merits and demerits. Later, the experience of heaven, hell, and rebirth are the norms.
Life was conferred on us to divest ourselves of this duality and attain his sacred feet. Though we know of it, we live in this world by doing meritorious deeds, and we redeemed ourselves from the life of sin, they all appear insurmountable. To make this transcendence possible, Emperuman sent us the Gurus for our guidance and benefit. He establishes himself in the earth temples, makes us worship him, grants us spiritual knowledge, cuts the fetters of rebirth and liberates us.
In Ayodhya, having ruled in the solar race, Ikṣvāku the son of Vaivasvata Manu had the dawn of spiritual thoughts in his life. He saw and realized the inexorable changes in every fleeting second in his body and tissues, the ravages of time on his youth, the onset of old age, the unexpected maladies, and the death of the loving near and dear. All these adverse events impressed on him, ‘Mutability only is immutable in this world.’ These events made him realize the truth no one in this world ever lived or will ever live with eternal youth and inexhaustible power.
The thoughts that old age is imminent and life one day will end oppressed (bothered) him. This oppression raised the question, ‘What is the fulfilled and complete life?’ The answer came from his father, Manu.
Descending from the heavens, Manu addressed his son, ‘You seem to be in a reverie.’ He said, ‘Yes, father. One moment is dissimilar to the next moment. Sometimes, changes give joyousness and other times grief. I trembled and agonized with hunger, alone on my hunt. A question arose, “Was there a way to remain free of hunger?’
It dawned on me it is feasible to appreciate the taste and texture of food only when hunger strikes you. “Life revolves around duality. Is there a state other than duality?”
“Son! I understand your inquiry, which on your part is good in a way. If not, would you have raised the question with me?”
“Is this the answer to my question?”
“I will answer the question for you soon. The answer is not for you only. It is also for all beings born on this earth just like you.” With this introductory remark, Manu said Brahma living in Satyaloka was his creator and the daily worshipper of Srīmaṉ Nārāyaṇaṉ in his form of Yoga Nidra. Ikṣvāku listening to this was in amazement.
“Son, Braḥmaṉ was my father and mother. He blessed me with the Yoga Nidra form saying, ‘He was the cause of the creation of you and I. All forms came into being by his grace and effort. We came from him. Worship by me and others gives me joy.’ I offered flowers in the worship of his body enshrined in and associated with the Praṇava-shaped golden domelike turret. Because of it, I was the recipient of unalloyed joy and permission to worship him.’ Hearing this, Ikṣvāku looked at Manu with wonder.
“Why do you look at me like that?”
“Would I be a recipient of that joy and tranquillity?”
“The moment this question dawned on your mind, that moment you came to the place of the Muktaṉ. (Muktaṉ in Saivism is one who is liberated even before death [Jivan Mukti]. In Vaishnavism, Mukthi or liberation comes after the death of the deserving soul [Videha Mukti]. We all have our duties. Mine is that of administering the Yuga, while yours is maintaining your kingdom on earth. Go in search of the path for liberation, while you perform your duties. Your dedicated Guru Vasiṣṭha Muni will show you the correct path.” So, said the father. Ikṣvāku said, “Let the Guru’s grace and path remain in abeyance. Will you not bless me, and reveal the Mūrthy enshrined in Omkāra Vimāṇam (The domelike Om-shaped Turret as the roof of the sanctum housing Araṅga swāmy)?

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Vaivasvatha Manu said, “The wonder of wonders, I witnessed because of the grace and mercy of Brahma and my duty. Brahma had a vision of him because of his severe austerities. Based on the details I give you, build a mental temple and worship with your mind. Your desire in due course of time will bear fruits.” Manu described Tiruvaṅgaṉ and the sanctum with the Om-shaped dome wherein he lives.
Will Continues.

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Bhagavan’s Dasāvatāras (= 10 Avatars) teach us that in conformity with the biological evolution, the Avataras came down to earth.

மச்சாவதாரம்: நீரில் வசிக்கும் மீன். 

Matsya Avatar: The fish living in the water.

கூர்மம்: நீரிலும் நிலத்திலும் தென்படும் ஆமை.

Kūrma Avatar: The turtle in water and earth.

வராகம்: நிலத்தில் வசிக்கும் பன்றி.

Varākam: The earth-living boar.

நரசிம்மம்: விலங்கு நிலையும் மனித நிலையும் கலந்தது.

Narasimham: Animal-Man combination.

வாமனர் : குள்ள மனிதனாக இருந்து த்ரிவிக்ரமனாக விஸ்வரூபம் அடைந்தது உருவ வளர்ச்சியைக் குறிப்பது. 

Vāmaṉar: The Dwarf incarnate, that attained Viśvarūpam as Trivikrama, indicates growth of form.

பரசுராமர் : கோபம் கொண்ட மனித நிலை.

Paraśurāma: Man’s state in anger.

பலராமர் : சாதாரண மனித நிலை.

Balarāma: the state of ordinary man.

கிருஷ்ணன்: விளையாட்டும் வினையும் கலந்த மனிதத் தன்மை.

Krishna: Play and deed, the condition of man.

ராமன் : பொறுமையுடன் விவேகம் நிறைந்த மனிதத் தன்மை. 

Rama: Patience and wisdom in man.

கல்கி: மனித நிலையைக் கடந்தது. 

Kalki: A state beyond human nature.

- சிலம்பொலி செல்லப்பன் ஒரு சொற்பொழிவில் பேசியது. = Silapoli Sellappan expressed his observation in a lecture.

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