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Arunachala Akshara Mana Malai - 5
« on: November 16, 2008, 10:35:06 AM »
Then some more questions are raised about Akshara Mana Malai.
Why Bhagavan Ramana, composed it in Tamil?  Why there should
be 108 verses?

All saint poets composed poems only in their mother tongue.
Sankara composed it in Sanskrit, instead of in Tamil, (there was
no Malayalam language in those days.  Malayalam came around
10th Century AD.), because He was speaking in Sanskrit, and
Sanskrit was His mother tongue. Secondly, Tamil is as old as
Sanskrit.  While Sanskrit Stotras are always in the form of mantra-s,
these need special purity to sing.  Only a few Bhakti songs of Sankara
like Sivananda Lahari and Subrahmanya Bhujangam, are without any
built in mantra-s. Whereas, Tamil, and for that matter all non-Sanskrit
languages are for commoners, full of devotion and melting.  This
is fit for both Sadhus and devotees.  Hence Bhagavan Ramana sang
in Tamil.  He also composed in Telugu and Malayalam, a good number
of songs.  Tevarams say that both Sanskrit and Tamil are the eyes
of Siva.  All Sanskrit verses are Sastras and mantras, whereas Tamil
or non-Sanskrit verses are Stotras, prayers fit for any one.

Then, why 108 verses?  The Godhead as per Hindu pantheon is
adored with various groups of letters.  Siva, with five letters of
Panchakshari, Uma, with 15 letters of Sri Vidya Pancha Dasakshari,
Narayna, with eight letters of Ashtakshari, and Skanda with six
letters of Shadakshari, and Ganapati with a single letter of Om.
But for all these gods, 108 and 1008 names are usually given,
and verses are composed in 108 verses too.  Manikkavachagar
says in Tiruvachakam, "Let us sing Him, who has not got one name and
one form, but with 1000 names!   Hence Bhagavan Ramana also sang
108 verses in praise of Arunachala, in Akshara Mana Malai.       
(Source:  Arunachala Akshara Mana Malai, commentary by Muruganar.
Tamil.  Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai.)

Arunachala Siva.