Famed navrathri festival starts from today and it is the beginning of a grandiose festival season.
WISHING ALL THE READERS HAPPY NAVRATHRI, POOJA CELEBRATIONS.
Each festival helps to enhance certain attributes of our life. Navrathri brings out appreciation of art, respect for women, concept of community celebration, respect for the skills, love for the job, and passion for learning, etc.
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Our previous episodes had stories about Nambur Varadhar’s exceptional memory skills and Lord Srinivasa granting salvation to Ramanujar. We shall now see a story from the life of another great vaishnavaite acharya Nadhamuni who predates Nambur Varadhar as well as Ramanujar.
Nadhamuni’s Persistence and Faith
Nadhamuni comes in the same vaishavaite acharyas lineage as that of Nambur Varadhar and Ramanujar (Nadhamuni, Uyyakondan, Manarkal Nambi, Alavandhar, Periya Nambi and Ramanujar). He is considered the foremost preceptor of Vishistaadvaita.
This is a mesmerizing story of Nadhamuni’s persistence in his efforts and his self confidence in achieving the goal he set for himself.
Nadhamuni was born as Sri Ranganatha in the 9th Century CE at Veeranarayanapuram (currently known as Kaattumannaar Koil).
Nadhamuni happened to hear a beautiful and meaningful tamil song sung by few devotees in praise of Lord Vishnu when they visited Veeranarayanapuram temple. Attracted by the song, Nadhamuni asked them to tell him more about the song. They just mentioned that they heard this song at Shri Sarangapani Perumal temple at Kumbakonam and they would not know anything more than that. Nadhamuni did not want to leave it at that.
He went to Shri Sarangapani temple at Kumbakonam where he heard 11 such hymns and the last one ended with “orayirathhul ippathum” (which in tamil means “of the one thousand, these ten poems”). Nadhamuni was not satisfied with the 10 and longed to learn all the 1000 songs and asked everyone in the temple about the 1000 songs referred in the hymn. Unfortunately, none had any idea about the referred 1000 songs except that the 11 songs in praise of Shri Sarangapani used to be sung traditionally in that temple. Nadhamuni set himself the target of collecting all the 1000.
He noticed the name “Kurugoor Sadakopan” in the song and understood from the meaning that the 1000 songs were compiled by Sadakopan from Kurugoor.
Nathamunigal then set out to Thirukkurugur, where he met Paraankusadasa who was from the family tree of one of the twelve azhwars, Madhurakavi Azhwar who was the direct disciple of Sadakopan aka Nammazhwar. Paraankusadasa though not aware of 1000 songs compiled by Nammazhwar, taught him the set of another 11 songs, Kanninun chiruthambu (the set of 11 songs starts with the phrase ‘kanninun chiruthambu’ the translation of which is Lord Kannan who allowed himself to be tied by thin pieces of rope) which was composed by Madhurakavi in praise of his guru Nammazhwar and preserved in the family tradition. He also informed Nathamuni about a family belief that Nammazhvar would appear before the person who could chant the compilation Kanninun Siruthambu 12,000 times. It was a well-preserved belief, but nobody tried to do as told.
There are two issues in attempting to chant these 11 songs 12,000 times. How is it possible for a normal human to recite 12,000 times. A lesser mortal would give up. Other issue is that how to keep the count of 12,000, 12,000 being such a large number. When Paraankusadasa explained the problems to Nadhamuni, Nadhamuni replied “I am determined to get the 1000 songs hence I don’t consider reciting 12,000 times as a pain. It is a pleasure for me. The second problem is not an issue at all. I will continue to recite until Nammazhwar appears before me and hence I don’t need to keep the count. I will stop the moment Nammazhvar appears before me”. Paraamkusadasa is astonished to hear his determination and the confidence in achieving the goal.
Nadhamuni kept reciting under the same tamarind tree in thirukurugoor used as his seat by Nammazhwar until Nammazhwar appeared before him. Nammazhwar taught him not just Thiruvaimozhi (1000 verses asked by Nadhamuni), but also his other three works and finally all the works of the remaining 11 Azhwars which amounted to a total of 4000 verses. Elated, Nadhamunigal returned to his place and submitted the entire work in front of Lord Mannanar, presiding deity of veeranarayanapuram, Thus Naalayira Divya Prabandham (4000 holy songs) was discovered because of the determination and confidence of Nadhamuni in the task taken up.
Naalayira divya prabandham is preserved as a treasure still and sung in all the Vishnu temples in South India. We must remember and revere Shri Nadhamunigal who brought this treasure to us because of his sheer perseverance to achieve the goal of retrieving 1000 songs and his self confidence that he will achieve the job. It is a self-established goal. Nobody established the target for him.
His love for that task gave him the strength to endure any amount of hardship. His self-confidence that he will surely complete 12,000 recitations gave him the courage to endure the hardships.
Nammazhwar is pleased with his determination and self-confidence that he gave not only the 1000 songs asked by Nadhamuni but entire 4000 songs.
You will also get more than what you ask for if you show that determination whilst facing the challenges and the confidence in achieving the goals.
Management and Leadership Topics covered in the previous posts
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