Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Naayagi Swamikal - 2

In the young age itself, Swamikal was a great person with great detachment. Even though he was born in Madurai, 12 years of his childhood were spent in Kumbakonam as his parents were living there. When he reached the marriage age, his parents started preparing for his marriage. He refused to get married and sang the song 'Nokko Ambo Mogo Horaadu - Mother; I do not want to get Married' (this song will be explained in one of future postings). He reached Madurai and spent around 12 years in severe penance in a cave on the backside of Thiruparankundram hill.

He received the blessings of Lord Muruga. As per His Direction, Swamikal met a Sivayogi named Sri Nagalinga Adigal at Paramakudi and became his disciple. He learned the methods of Pranaayaamaa (regulating the breath to acheive spiritual benefits) from Sri Nagalinga Adigal and became adept in it. From that time he was known as 'Sri Sadananda Siththar'. His songs touch the experiences he got during this period also.

He went for Theertha Yathra around Eastern and Southern Tamilnadu. When he reached Azhwaar Thirunagari Thirukurugoor, the birth place of the great Azhwar Nammaazhwaar, he got the Dharshanam of Sri Vadapathrasaayi Jeeyar who was a great Sanyaasi and Propagator of Sri Vishishtaadvaitha Philosophy. He was convinced by the words of Sri Vadapathrasaayi Jeeyar, that there is no other better path than Saranagathi in this Kaliyuga and Sri Kesava is the God who can give Moksha. He bacame the disciple of Araiyar and learned the Vishishtaadvaitha Philoshopy. Jeeyar gave a name 'Natanagopaalan' to Swamikal. He learned Naalaayira Divya Prabhandham, the divine songs of Alwaars. He decided that the Naayaka Naayaki Bhaava was the best among the nine types of Bhakthi to feel the Lord closest and hence started practising the Naayaki Bhaava. Seeing his great involvement and how natural it was for him to get into Naayaki Bhaava, Sri Vadapathrasaayi Jeeyar called him with the name 'Natanagopaala Naayaki'. From this point onwards, Swamikal referred to his Guru affectionately in all his songs, mentioning that due to the Grace of his Guru that he attained the Path to Liberation.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Naayagi Swamikal - 1

Natanagopaala Naayagi Swamikal was born in the year 1843 at Madhurai in Sourashtra Brahmin Community in the family of Chinnakonda, also known as 'Koppaan'. His parents were Sri Renkaaryar and Srimathi Lakshmi Ammaal. His parents gave him the name 'Raamabadhran'. He did not flourish in school studies. But his Bhakthi and Wisdom were beyond limits. Out of the nine types of Bhakthi the one that came naturally to him was 'Nayagi Bhaava Bhakthi'. In this type of Bhakthi, the devotee considers the Lord as the 'Naayagan' and himself/herself as the 'Naayagi'. He lived very naturally with this type of Bhakthi. He lived as 'Natanagopaala Naayagi' himself. It was very natural for him to be immersed in Bhakthi with tears flowing out from eyes due to the overflow of Bhakthi, falling down like a tree without any roots while dancing and singing His Glories, and always immersed in the contemplation of His Divine Lotus Feet. All his songs show his unlimited Bhakthi clearly.

He has sung thousands of songs in both Sourashtram, his mother tongue and Tamizh, the regional language. Unfortunately not all of them have been recorded. His devotees living in various parts of Tamilnadu are singing many of his songs regularly during their worship. Those songs are very simple in the way they describe the 'Thathvam - the facts about the Lord and the Universe, Hitham - the way to attain the Ultimate benefit for the living being, and Purushaartham - the Ultimate benefit to be attained, the Lord Himself'. Those songs explain clearly the exalted state of Swami's Bhakthi and these songs can easily make a person to immerse into Bhakthi.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Maduraiyin Jyothi Sri Natana Gopaala Naayaki Swamikal

Bhahoonaam Janmanaam Anthey Jnaanavaan Maam Prabhathyathey
Vaasudeva Sarvam ithi sa Mahaathmaa suthurlabha:

As Geethaachaaryaa said, only after involved in good actions in many lives, and after achieving the Grace of Lord, one attains the state of Wisdom that 'Everything is Vaasudeva - eating, sleeping, drinking, and all actions are indeed God Himself'. Also as Sri Krishna further said, such a Mahaathmaa is very rare indeed.

Such Mahaathmaas incarnated in various states of India during 19th Century and led the common man towards the righteousness by their example and wisdom. While Sri Raamakrishna Paramahamsaa and Swaami Vivekaanandaa were living in Bengal, a Mahaathamaa 'Sri Natana Gopaala Naayagi Swamikal' lived in Madurai of Tamilnadu and led the people in a life submerged in Bhakthi.

In this blog, we will see the meanings of his songs written in the Language 'Souraashtram'.

- summarized from the Tamil book 'Sri Natanagopaala Naayagi Swamikal Keerthanai'.