Ananthazhvar and Bhoothatthazhvar

Selected from a discourse by Sri P.B. Annangaracharyar Swami.

In his Tiruvandaadi, Sri Bhoothatthazhvaar describes an event occuring in the hills of Tirumalai as follows.

perugu mathavEzham maappidikku munninRu
irukaNiLamoongil vaangi arugiruntha
thEn kalanthu neettum thiruvEngadam kaNdeer
vaan kalantha vaNNan varai

The description of nature in this paasuram is, in the Tirumalai hills, a male elephant in musth, pulls off a bamboo shoot, dips it in a honeycomb nearby and extends it to its female elephant.

Tirumalai Ananthaazhvaar enjoyed this paasuram as follows.

On one occasion when Sri Ramanuja visisted Tiruvengadam, the devotees there requested that he give a discourse on the meaning of Dvayam. Sri Ramanuja agreed and did so; however, he also included the meanings of Tirumantram and Carama SlOkam in the discourse and as such the discourse became lengthy.

Upon seeing this, Ananthazhvar stated that on that day he understood the true meaning of Bhoothatthazhvar's paasuram, as follows.

The male elephant in mast is a description of Sri Ramanujar - the mast is the tears in his eyes as he enjoys the divine words of Swami Nammazhvar ("paNdaru maaRan pasunthamizh aanantham paaymathamaay viNdida engaL raamaanusamuni vEzham").

The female elephant represents the devotees in the gathering.

Moongil represents a delicious substance. Here it stands for dvayam. Amongst Tirumantram, Dvayam, and Carama SlOkam, Dvayam is the most delicious to Sriman Narayana's devotees. Also, since Azhvar said a moongil with two eyes (knots), it represents dvayam with its two parts.

The honey in the comb nearby refers to Tirumantram and Carama SlOkam near Dvayam.

The word neettum (extend) refers to the fact that the discourse was extended because Sri Ramanuja added the meanings of Tirumantram and Carama SlOkam to the meaning of Dvayam.

Thus the description of TiruvEngadam was that of Sri Ramanujar extending a lengthy discourse to His devotees on the meanings of Dvayam, Tirumantram and Carama SlOkam.