Sunday, August 3, 2008

Swamy Desika’s Abheethi Sthavam - Verses on Absolute Freedom from Fear

Swamy Desika’s Abheethi Sthavam (Verses on absolute freedom from fear)
(Translated by Shri.Anbil Ramaswamy)

Swami Desika says to us the below message through beautifully composed 29 shlokas, and summary or saaram of each are as below-

1. If you surrender to Ranga, he will remove the fear of Samsara. Addressing the Lord, he continues-

2. As Sri Rama, you promised publicly protection for those who surrender unto you..

3. Though I did not do this poem conscious of your saving grace, I beseech you to be merciful enough to accept this as an act of dedication.

4. Vayu, Surya, Agni, Indra , Yama and others do their duty being afraid of disobeying your commands. Those who surrender to you, however, need have no fear even these Devas.

5. For the one who does anyone of the following viz., praises, prostrates, meditates, sings your names, circum-ambulates your Praakaarams, or thinks even one of your innumerable Kalyana Gunas, there can be no fear from anywhere, at any time.

6. Did you not declare in Varaaha Avataaram that even if the Prapanna does not remember you at the time of death, you would remember him and take him to Moksha ?

7. For one who recites anyone of your names or anyone of your six prime qualities- Where is the fear of Naraka ?

8. You make the place where a Bhaagavata (who turns away from worldly pleasures and turns to you only) lives as your very headquarters fit for performance of Punyakarmas like Bhagavad, Bhaagavata Kainkaryam without interruption.

9. Even if a Prapanna should err in carrying out his duties, you have vowed to remove the fear related to his lapses and to extend your hand of protection.

10. Due to Karma Vasanas, Chetanas get deeply involved in Samsara and are afraid of even your benign intervention and prefer to fall for the bait of Samsaric pleasures like fish that get hooked in the fishermans net. 11. I know why you are carrying weapons. Since you have yourself declared in Bhagavad Gita that the one who loves you is a Gnaani and your very Antaryaami. You need the weapons in protecting your Antaryaami. This amounts to Self- defense. Right ?

12. Only when one realizes that wife, sons, brothers, other relatives, servants and wealth are so transitory and fear generating that one turns to you for enjoying- the only permanent entity.

13. Garbhavaasam before birth, the hell after death, the miseries in between, the body made of flesh, blood, fat, bones etc.,- are all really nauseating. Compared to your Srivaikunta, even Swarga looks a veritable hell. Which of these does not cause fear ?

14. If you do not show mercy, who else can ? If I am not the most worthy of your mercy, who else is ?So, you should protect me.

15. Did you not give out a solemn vow as Sri Rama that if one surrenders to you even ONCE, you will guarantee full protection form all beings- Sarva Bhutebhyo? In fact, unlike Vibhishana and Sugriva who had their own vested interests in seeking your protection, I have none and nothing to call my own. So, I am the fit object for your grace. How can you repudiate your own solemn vow ?

16. Several Prayschittas are prescribed in the Sastras for the expatiation of sins. One falters and commits errors of commission and omission even while performing these Prayaschittas, thereby being incapable of completing even these. I am a classic example. I have no go. Only you have to exercise your Sankalpa to save me.

17. I am unable to give up the Vishaya Sukham which I know full well to be bad and impediment to enjoying your grace. Though I am afraid of continuing in this, I am unable to get out of the rut. Only you have to make up your mind that since despite all this, I am wholly dependent on you, it is your duty to save me.

18. The Upanishads declare that you have no Papa and so you have nothing to fear. But, even you have one fear ! You are scared of forfeiting the goodwill of a Prapanna whose wish you fail to fulfill !

19. You relieved Prahlada of the fear from his father; You relieved Kakasura from the fear of your own Brahmastra; You relieved Gajendra of his fear from the crocodile; You relieved Draupadhi from the fear of disgrace at the hands of Dussaasana and his gang; You relieved Vibhishana from his fear of Ravana; You relieved Kaalinga from the fear of being crushed to death when you danced on his hoods; you protected the cowherds from several dangers; You saved Ambarisha from the wrathful curse of Durvaasa. And, many others got rid of fears by surrendering at your feet. So, we will also be freed from all fears by placing ourselves at your feet.

20. The Paramaikantins living in your Tiruvarangam are now distressed that they are not able to perform their Nitya Aradhana and enjoying your Swayam Vyakta Archa murthi- thus, enjoying in this Bhooloka Vaikuntam what Nityasuris are enjoying in your Paramapadam. Please restore us this Bhaghyam.

21. Conscious of the fact that our divine mother is on our side to recommend and secure your protection for us, we have surrendered to you both. You should employ your resplendent Chakra and other weapons to dispel the distress of your Bhagavatas not only in Srirangam but in every other of your shrines. [ Note: That is why in all shrines of the Lord anywhere in the World, we recite not once but twice the words " Sriman ! Sriangasri, Anubadravam Anudinam Samvardhaya"]

22. Oh! Lord ! Buddhists and Charvakas tried to destroy our Siddhanta at intellectual and emotional levels by presenting their faulty tenets; The Turushkas and Yavanas , like the very messengers of Kalipurusha, are trying to destroy by physical force. Please save the situation if need be by using violence with all your five powerful weapons and restore peace of mind for us.

23. Your Chakra combines the brilliance of Agni, Chandra and Surya and is capable of dispelling the darkness both internal and external. It is your Chakra that should restore Vaidhika Dharma once again in Srirangam- your Headquarters on earth.

24. Your "Sri Ranga Vimaanam" has been propitiated by great souls like Manu and Maandaata. There is fear that these marauders who are worse than Asuras might cause damage to this Vimaanam. You have to dispel THIS fear.

25. You have a powerful retinue for whom nothing is impossible.-Anantha, Garuda, Vishwaksena, Kumuda and his hordes, Cityfathers who guard your Nityavibhuti, the Dwarapalakas who stand guard at your gates et al. Each one of them is capable of protecting not only Srirangam but the entire world. You may depute anyone of them to accomplish the task. Cant you ?

26. Neither Brahma, Nor Siva, Nor Indra, Nor Agni, Nor Yama nor any combination of these can save the one who commits Apacharams to you or your Bhagavatas. If you are determined to protect someone, none of these Devas either alone or in combination can cause the least harm to that person. Cant you quell these infidels who interrupt our seva to you ?

27. You measured the 3 worlds with just 3 steps; Kaitabhaasura fell like darkness before the Sun; Madhu was like a particle of dust caught swirling in the midst of a thunderstorm; You broke the hard mountain like heart of Hiranyakasipu; Kaalanemi was felled like a tree. There is no end to your acts of valor. Cant you quell those who prevent us from performing our daily chores of service to you ?

28. Oh! Lord ! I have spent my whole life in enjoying the sweet Srisuktis of Sri Bhaashyakaara; I have become old; the hairs on my head have turned milky white. All that I seek in the evening of my life, is to place me either in Srirangam or any other Divyadesam where there will be no enemies to prevent us from doing service to you. Place me amidst Satviks who always think of universal welfare without any tinge of jealousy or other base intentions. Finally, Swami Desika turns to us and advises-

29. " Read this ! Bhagavatottamas ! I Venkatanathan, have composed this Sthavam with the blessings of great Acharyas. The great ocean of mercy, Tiruvarangan will destroy all your fears. May you enjoy Mangalam"

" Read this" commands Swami Desika " if you want to get rid of fear" Vide his last stanza of this Sthavam. It is seen from Srimad Valmiki Ramayanam, that when the Devas surrendered to him, he promised them protection declaring" Bhayam Thyajatha ! Bhadram Vah " whereby Ramayana came to be known as Abhaya Pradhaana Saaram. As these words were spoken by Lord Ranganatha himself, this Sthavam is a tribute to Saranagathi.

Swami Desikan asks " How can there be any fear at all?"-" Kim Atra Na Bhayaaspadam?" when in all the 4 Charamaslokas of Varaha (sloka 6), Sri Rama (sloka 15), Sri Krishna (sloka 5) and Periya Piraatti ( sloka4), we have been promised time and again, full protection to those who surrender unto Him.

Swami Desika mentions that even if the Lord were to let him die, he would deem it a leela of the Lord and submit to it wholeheartedly. Vide Sloka 18 : "Tathah Srushtivath Bhavathi Samhrithi Kreeditham". In several other places in this and other Stotras, , he has expressed that there is no Yamabhaya for a Prapanna. (e.g) In Sloka 7 he asks "Na tasya Yama vasyathaa Naraka Paathah Bheethi Kuthah?"

Sloka 1 to 10 : praises the Lord, his auspicious qualities etc., and prayer for protection of those who worship Him and recite His names.

Slokas 11 to 18: describes the various kinds of fears one encounters while LIVING - which negate the Paripoorna Brahma Anubhavam like attachment to wife, children, kinsmen, worldly objects, bodily infirmities , hell (Naraka) and even heaven (Swarga) .

Slokas 19 to 27 : Swami Desika makes a fervent appeal to the Lord that He must save not only Srirangam but all the shrines in which His Archa murthis are installed and where Satvik devotees reside. It is in this part that a very casual reference is made about the invasion.

Sloka 19 catalogues how protection was granted to Saranagathas like Prahlada, Kakasura, Gajendra, Draupadi, Vibhishana, a serpant, Gopa damsels and Ambarisha- all of whom got rid of fear bedeviling them by seeking refuge at the feet of the Lord.

Slokas 28 and 29 are somewhat autobiographical and conclude with a moving appeal to grant him the company of pious souls who always pray for mutual welfare and away from the madding crowd of infidels.

The hymn begins with the word "Abheeti" (freedom from fear) and ends with the reassuring and comforting word "Gopayati" (The Lord protects).

Our Acharya, in his "28 Ratna Slaokangal" has selected 26th Sloka which Says- "Prabho ! Neither Brahma, nor the slayer of Tripurantaka (Paramasiva) nor the Chief of Devas (Indra), nor Agni (Lord of fire) nor Yama (the Lord of death) - NONE has the power either alone or in combination to protect one who is thy foe. If thou hast desired to protect one, there is nothing of which that person need be afraid of. Such a thou, Please put down and quell our foes in Srirangam and other places"

In this connection, our Acharya invites our attention to Paramarthya Adhikara of Rahasya Traya Saara in which Swami Desika says-" Even if the Devas intend to harm a Prapanna, the Lord true to His promise "Abhayam Sarva Bhootebhyo Dadaami, Yetat Vratham Mama" will certainly protect the Prapanna and destroy his/her foes.

Swamy Desikan TiruvadigaLe SharaNam,

Srimad Abhinava Vageesha Parakala Maha Desikan TiruvadigaLe SharaNam,



Interpretations of “Govinda” naama

Interpretations of “Govinda” naama

An Article written and provided by my friend and philosopher, Samskrita ShiromaNi Smt. Dr.Saroja Ramanujam.

Gaam Vindhati Iti Govindaha”

The word 'go' has several meanings in sanskrit such as earth, knowledge, indriya,svarga,or mokshaastra Cow, veda etc. Based on that the scholars explain the name thus:

1.Gaam(second case singular of 'go') , svargam or moksham vindhayathi,secures ithi govindhah. He is govindha because He bestows mukthi.

2.Gaam, ishum, meaning astras vindhathi - He acquired the astras from Visvamithra in Ramavathara.

3.Gaah(accusative plural of 'go', pasu.) vindhathi. He knew the cows, that is, He knew them to be the rshis of dandakaaranya in His krishnavathara.Balarama is also implied by the word cow as He went with Krishna for gorakshaNa

4.Gobhih (instrumental plural of 'go'meanind veda.) vindhyathe. He is known through the vedas.

5.Gaam, vajram, vindhayathi. He made it possible for indra to get vajrayudha by instructing him to approach Dhadheechi and beg him to give his backbone.

6.Gavaa (instrumental singular of 'go'meaning dhrk, look) dhrsaa vindhathi. He knows all by His dhrk or appropriate kataksha.Her knows how to look at every one and when.

7.Gaah nethraaNi vindhathi- He has thrinethra, three eyes as Nrsimha, and also eyes everywhere, 'sahasraakshassahasrapath'

8. Gaah, jwaalaah, vindhathi, has fiery form, being Suryamandala madhya varthi.Chandhogya upanishad describes Brahman as 'Ya eshahantharaadhithye hiraNmayah purushah dhrsyathe hiranyasmasru hiranya kesa aapraNakhaath sarva Eva suvarNah'.

The purusha seen inside the orb of the Sun with golden beard, golden hair andexceedingly effulgent even to the very tips of His nails. The purusha here is paramaathman or Narayana.This is the passage where the famous'kapyaasam pundarikam' occurs eferred to in the charitra of Bhashyakaara.

9.Gaam ,bhoomim vindhathi, brought the earth fronm the depth of the ocean, Vatrahavathara and also Parsurama as He wandered all over the earth and trivikrama as He measured the earth with His feet.

10. Gaam , jalam vindhathi. resorts to the waters, Mathsya and Koorma.

11. Gaam vedam vindhathi. He alone knows the real purport of the vedas. Refers to Hayagrivaavathara.

12. Gaam ,indhriyam vindhathi .The Lord of the indhriyas, Hrishikesah. Makes the indhriyas enter into appropriate vishaya.

There are even more meanings mentioned by the saintly commentators but These are the generally quoted meanings. Andal was fond of this nama is also shown by her mentioning it in the threwe of her main pasurams.

Srivilliputhur is referred to as Govindhan vaazumoor.Commentators say that Andal being the avathara of Bhudevi had more love for govindha nama as the Lord saved her in Varahavathara.

Gaam vindhathi.Govindha pattabhishekam is extolled as being even superior than that of Rama because Valmiki says 'vasavo vaasavam yathaa', of the coronation of Rama comparing it to that of Indra but here Indra himself did the abhisheka of Krishna as Govinda.

Bhagawan's tirunamam is greater than the lord, as it was govindanama which came to Draupadi's rescue when needed.

Sarvam Sri Lakshmi Hayagreeva preetyartham,


Dasharathi Dasan

Friday, May 16, 2008

Ascend to SrivakunTam and Bhagawad Anubhavam - Must Read

Ascend to SrivaikunTam and Bhagawad Anubhavam - Must Read

An Article based on works of "Rahasyartha Vivaranam" by Shri RamadEsikachAriyar Swami and "Life and works of Srimad Nigamanta Maha Desikan" by Prof. A. Srinivasaraghavan.

An ideal Prapanna, spends his/her days by fully enjoying the Lord. The ultimate objective of a Prapanna at the end of this life is to reach the highest destination => Paramapadam. To reach Srivaikundam, Swami Desika has given us nine steps in form of Paramapada sOpAnam.

ParamapadasOpanam is a short rahasya which gives in a nut shell all that a pious Srivaishnava should know and do for his emancipation

Let us skip the initial part, and concentrate on Ascend to SrivakunTam and Bhagawad Anubhavam experienced by the Mukta Jeevan which is the topic of this post.

A chetana performs Bhakthi or Prapatti as a prAyaschittam to the past karmas. These karmas are the reason for all samsAra bandams. When he performs this prAyaschittam, there are a lot of positive changes that take place in him.

He now wants to restrain from doing such karmas which results in punya and pApA. He realises that his mind, words and body has to be devoted only for Lord's kainkaryam. He controls his mind from getting distracted. He gets himself associated with bAgavatas and delinks himself from people who are not devoted.

He desires to have paripoorna anubhavam of the Lord like the nityasoories but is not successful. This failure makes him feel that he is being immersed in ThiruppArkadal without being able to drink milk because his mouth is tied!! His heart melts on seeing his own plight. Each nAzhigai at night moves like a kalpa. He does not sleep either in the morning or at night. He acknowledges that but for the Lord it would not be possible for him to escape this samsAram. With this state of mind he prays to the Lord to destroy his agjnana and sarira. The words spoken by him during Prapatti confirms the start of his journey to Srivaikundam. All the Karmas and attachments which were hindrances till now are destroyed and he gets Moksha!!

The end of his stay in this world comes closer. The Yoga sastras speak of the identifications that can be seen at the end of a persons life time. Seeing these identifications and realising that the day to reach Srivaikundam is getting reduced, the person feels extremely happy.

There are certain rules (based on the time, place etc of death) mentioned in the sastras based on which a persons state after death is analysed.

That is
1. A person who dies in UttarAyaNa, in sukla paksha, in the morning, in a good stala, in good saguna, will reach a good state (gadhi)
2. a person who dies in dakshiNAyana, krishna paksha, at night, in a bad place, in a bad omen will have a bad gadhi.

However, these restrictions are not there for a Prapanna. Swami Desika re-emphasises this in the 38th Sloka of Saranagathy Deepika " savyAnyanyOrayanayOrnishi vAsarE vA ..."

To a Prapanna irrespective of the place or moment for bodily existence to come to an end, it is auspicious. Without any hindrances and without rebirth the Lord grants Moksha. The Lord does Sankalpa during the time of Prapatti itself to destroy the Punya/ pApA's done before Prapatti, and to prevent the punya/ pApA's done unknowingly after Prapatti from sticking on to him. Those punyas and pApA's get switched over to others during his time of death i.e., the punyas and Papas of a Prapanna who is dying is transferred to his friends and enemies respectively. This is because of their behaviour towards him.

At the time of death, there is a restriction that one has to remember the Lord by his own efforts => only then there is palan. A prapanna does not have any necessity to take efforts to remember Lord at that state. During the time of death he lies unconscious like a wood or a stone. The Lord makes him think of the Lord alone. His desire to reach Srivaikundam does not reduce.

At this stage the Lord stands as a cause for the Jiva to be released from the sarIram. Yama dootas do not come to take him.

The Lord combines the karmEndriyAs, GjnanEndriyAs and the manas. This is combined with the prAna vAyu. This prAna vAyu is mixed with the Jiva. This combination, in this sarIram mixes with a small portion of pancha boodhas. All this combine with the antaryAmi residing in the hrudayakamalam. The antaryAmi (Lord) relieves one of the tiredness during release from the body.

So, our Lord does all these upakAras to us starting from taking the 10 IndriyAs .. to releasing the Jiva.. to making us relax from the tiredness.. To Prapannas, punyAtmas, Papi's and to everybody it is the same. These will happen irrespective of whether a Jiva goes to Moksha,Svarga or naraka.

In the body there are 101 nAdI's that branch from the heart. If the Jiva is released from any of the 100 nAdI's, it goes to Svarga, Naraka etc. The Lord does not allow the jeevan of a prapanna to exit the body through any of these 100 nAdI's. The 101st nAdi, the brahma nAdi the edge of this is the door step for Moksha. The Lord shows this in a way that jeevan of prapanna understands.

The Lord makes it (IndriyAs, prAnavAyu combined with sookshmA sarIras JivA) enter that nAdi. Later, from the hrudayakamala the Lord takes the Jiva further. The Lord resides in this stoola sarIram and so it is called as brahmapuram. In this stoola sarIra Brahmarantran is important.

The Final departure of the soul from the body is only by the grace of God through the Brahma nAdi and the Brahmarandhra in the skull.

The Lord also makes him get hold of the sooriya kiranas as a hold for the hand and then to go to Srivaikuntam makes him take the archirAdimArgam!

ArcirAdhi Parva, the seventh step to the transedental World is the next phase.

For a person who has performed Prapatti, punyAs are like golden hand-cuff's and pApA's are like iron hand-cuff's. He wants to get rid of both. At the time of death the Lord clears him of all this. The antaryAmi releases and carries him from the prison of stoola sarIram.

The Devas had accepted a lot of offerings in the form of yAgas and other karmas that have been performed by this Jiva earlier. They all are now happy to see his greatness. They are afraid to cause apachAram to him. They even offer him their salutations.

In the 85th Sloka of Achyuta Satakam "kadA amAnavAntA: angimukhA...", the longing of the released soul to leave this dark world of samsAra and ascend to Srivaikundam is expressed.

The Lord's retinue graded from Agni Devata to amAnava Devata lead the Mukta from this world to Srivaikundam in stages, through the respective territories of each one of them. People who lead the soul are called "AdhivAhikas".

In this list the first is Agni. He is also referred to as "Archis". Because Archis (agni) is the first among them, this path is referred to as ArchirAdi mArgam - the path of agni etc. This agni welcomes the mukta and offers various kinds of respects like poorna kumbam, offering light, singing, offering showers of flowers and takes him till the end of his region.

Swami has also mentioned this in sharanagathy Deepika in Sloka 39 "archirAdinam vishadapaksha vudakprayANam..".The same is conveyed in the AdikAra sangraha (28) of Srimad Rahasya thraya sAram - "nadai pera angi pagalOli nAl uttarAyaNam aandu ..."

  • After agni, the god of time, the god of suklapaksha, the god of uttarAyana and the god of rain welcome him and offer their respects.

  • vAyu, the wind God welcomes him next. After accepting vAyu's offerings he gets near the sun. After receiving the hospitality of Sun God he reaches the moon.

  • Then the God of Lightning leads him further. The Upanishads state that amAnava (the God of Lightning) hands over the chetana to the Brahmam.

  • Then varuna, Indra and PrajApathi join amAnava. Varuna, Indra and PrajApathi accompany only till their boundaries. But amAnava alone escorts the released soul completely.
This way, by Lord's mercy he nears the Viraja river. The Sruti's state that he crosses this divine river by his mind. "Mind" here should be understood as "Sankalpam". For a Mukta his mere Sankalpam is sufficient to create and enjoy what ever he wishes!

To summarise, the order is as follows - (1) Agni Devata(2) the god of time(3) the god of suklapaksha (bright fortnight)(4) the god of uttarAyana(5) the god of rain(6) Vaayu (wind God)(7) the Sun and(8) the moon. (9) The god of Lightning (10) VaruNa (11) Indra (12) Chaturmukha Brahma will guide the Jeevan with all respects and honour in Archiradri Margam upto their capacity

Each of them welcome the released soul when it enters their respective territories and escorts him till their boundary. Finally, amAnava (god of lightning) escorts the soul to the Lord who welcomes the soul warmly and in person.

The Sruti's emphasise that a person who reaches Moksha through the archirAdi mArgam can take forms according to their wish and will always be with the Lord. It is also mentioned that they will not be subject to re-birth and will not suffer happiness/ sorrow due to karmas.

Divya DEsa Prapti Parva, the next parva in phala Kanda is the eighth step to the transedental World.

For time immemorial the Jiva had involved himself into activities unacceptable to his svaroopam as a result of which he had to hang around in the samsAra. That life is an endless trouble! Having got rid of his troubles, this Jiva takes up the extraordinary archirAdhi mArgam and goes to paramapadam. He immerses himself in the clear, sweet smelling cool water of the viraja river which is full of nectar.

His Sookshma sarIram which came along gets destroyed. Amaanava, with his pure hand, now touches this mukta. This touch relieves the mukta of his old samsAra feelings. This Jiva is now in the paramapadam, the same place asthat of the Lord!!! He gets a form like the Lord => without any link to Prakritti.

It is impossible for a person without the required qualifications (vivEkam, mental urge, vairAgyam,) to reach Srivaikundam. Only a paramaikAntin who does not worship anybody other than our Lord and who does not seek anything other thanBagavad/ bAgavatha kainkaryam can get Moksha. Nitya soories always keep seeing paramapadam (their gjnana never contracts).

Srivaikundam is not affected by time => there is no concept of nAzhigai, day, month etc. Srivaikundam is million times brighter than Sun or Agni. This divine lOka is always bright, it has no limitations what so ever. It is impossible to comprehend the Sweetness of Srivaikundam. Even great yogis cannot think, speak or measure its greatness. Every thing in Srivaikundam is Suddha sattvam. The chetana now enters this place of unending happiness!

After the chetana crosses the viraja river he is received, welcomed, respected, loved and worshiped by those residing in Srivaikundam!

There are two water bases "aram" and "Nyam". This chetana sees the perfect gardens, the mountains (full of ratnas), rivers and lakes all full of suddhasatva. Earlier he had thought about these briefly after having read about them from the upanishads, Sri pAncharAtra sastras, Sri vaikunda gadyam etc. Now, he is blessed with a direct vision!

He sees yet another poigai called JarammadIyam. In a world of endless extreme happiness this Poigai is like a flood of happiness surrounding it. After this he approaches a beautiful divine arasa maram named sOmasavanam. The nithya soories keep prostrating to it!

Later the Lord sends 500 apsaras from Srivaikundam to welcome this mukta. They organise themselves in batches of 100's and offer him garlands of suddhasatvam, fragrant powders, dresses etc. At that time the sound of the tirucchinnam and valampuri changam reverberate everywhere. These apsaras do mangalAsasanam to the mukta. He is treated like a prince! They adorn him with different kinds of ornaments appropriate to visit Srivaikunta nAthan!!

From there he approaches a tree called "tilyam". After this he reaches "sAlajyam" a default mantapam. Later he arrives at a divine stAnam called "aparAjitam". At that time Srivaikuntanathan's divine fragrance, divine essence and divine tEjas comes to him.

His body becomes extremely bright like the fragrance of pArijAtha flower, amrutham and sun God melted and combined together! He approaches Srivaikundam which is far greater that the vishnu lOkas viz., AmOdam, pramOdam and sammOdam in the samsAra mandala.

The nithyasoories welcome him. He approaches the Gopuram adorned with flags. There are two dvArapAlakas in the entrance of the Gopura gate by name Indra and PrajApathi. They offer their salutations to him stating that, " You, who are a dasa to the Lord is a Swamy to us"! They request him to enter into the Gopura vAsal. This Gopura vAsal is always open to people who seek refuge in the Lord!

He proceeds beyond it. There are beautiful big streets, with the thirumAligai's of nithya soories on either side. The thirumAligai's are arranged in a row and look like mountains of ratnas. The nithyasoories consider the muktas arrival as their bAgyam and take him to their thirumAligai. They offer water to his feet in an appropriate manner.

Goddess Sri, Bhoomi and nIla Devi come with their attendants and welcome the mukta with the fragrant powders which had adorned Lords thirumEni. They offer him poorna kumbam and mangala deepam and welcome him.

We were in the Divya DEsa Prapti Parva, in phala Kanda the eighth step to the transedental World. We saw that Goddess Sri, Bhoomi and nIla Devi welcome the mukta and offer him poorna kumbam and mangala deepam.

The mukta then approaches the divine golden vehicle. At that time he gets all divine fame. Like the Lord, he also becomes an embodiment of fame. He then reaches the ThirumAmani mantapam. There he is welcomed with love and respects by kumudar, the head of the people in the sabhai and by the eight dvArapAlakas (sandar etc). Later, Vishvaksena, the head of the chEtanas instructs the nithya soories who are incharge of the sabha mandala administrations. Vishvaksena asks this Jiva also to join the kainkaryam. This Jiva offers salutations frequently and goes to the front side of the thirumAmani mantabam and climbs up.

Garuda (Peria Thiruvadi) stands in from of the Paramapada nAdhan. His thirumEni makes one feel that it is the huge mEru mountain (but made of gold) having two wings. His thirumEni is all divine. Garuda's thirumEni is full of tEjas that the reflection of Peria pirAtti who sits on the Lord's chest and the Lord can been seen on him as if he is a mirror to the Lord. The Jiva offers salutations to this Peria Thiruvadi.

There, a beautiful ghosti of nithyasoories sit and discuss about the kalyana gunAs of the Lord. In fact they even enter into arguments as to which kalyAna guna of the Lord is superior etc.. Their Love towards the Lord is so great that even in Srivaikundam they worry if something bad would happen to the Lord! Eternal happiness is evident in Nithya soories. The dreams of this Jiva now comes true. He was always eager to join the group of bAgavatAs and is now amidst them!

Later, the nithyasoories take different shapes for doing kainkaryam viz., kudai, sAmaram, weapons, ornaments. They take up a shape according to their work and serve from their respective places. This Jiva now reaches the peak of his wishes and wants to do all sorts of kainkaryam. He moves closer.

He sees his PoorvAcharyas near Lord's simhAsanam. On seeing him the Acharyas are happy and feel that the efforts taken by the Lord to refine this Jiva's soul has materialised! This Jiva states that but for his Acharyas he could have never choosen the right path. He makes a request to the PoorvAcharyas to place their feet on his head since they were instrumental in showing him the correct path and he prostrates to them with gratitude. The Archarya-sishya relationship is eternal !!!

Our EmberumAN rules both the leela vibhuti and the Nithya vibhuti. He is ever youthful and is a sArvabauman in Srivaikundam. The divine simhAsanam in which he sits is like a great cot with unlimited brightness. The Jiva now approaches that simhAsanam.

Some PramAnas state that, belonging to samsAra mandal and paramapadam, the foundation of all creations prakruti-mahAn -AhankAra, are parts of the sinhAsanam. The Paryankavidyai states that the tatvas that were existent or those that are yet to come are its parts. The PancharAtra sastras state that Dharma, artha etc are the parts of the sinhAsanam. This way, the Jiva clearly sees that the Lord has made all the tatvas into one SinhAsanam for his enjoyment.

There is a superior Lotus. It is as bright as Thousand crore suns and spreads such brightness. It has eight petals which see the eight directions. In that, vimalai, utkarshini, gjnana,

kriyA, yOgA, satyA, prapvI and yIshAnA stand in a row, hold a sAmaram in their hand and perform kainkaryam. On the front side of the Tamarai kAi a girl named anugrahai does tAmaram. Seeing these girls perform kainkaryam the Jiva gets great happiness. He had always wanted the Lord and Piratti to order him to do the sAmaram for them. Now he feels that he can do it.

There is a big kAi in the middle of this lotus. When one sees the width and height of it, one feels that even if a lakh of golden garlands join together it will not be sufficient even for a small portion of paramAnuvin.

On top of tha kAI, ThiruvananthAyvAn in an extraordinary way shows his divine appearance with unchanged while colour. ThiruvananthAyvAn has enough gjnanam and strength to bear the Lord who is the AdhAram for all vasthUs. He takes different forms based on the situation and performs all kinds of kainkaryams. Because he performs the work to be performed by a seshan(slave), he has been awarded the name seshan. Our Lord has no constraints based on place, time or Vasthu. ThiruvananthAyvAn's greatness is so much that he controls this unconstrained Lord in a small portion of his lap. This is the reason why he is called as ananthan!

Though our Lord has all kinds of divine fragrance, AdisEshan adds his divine fragrance too! Adiseshan is very soft and serves as a appropriate seat for the Lord and PirAtti when the three worlds offer salutations. The thousand padams ofAdisEshan look like thousand full moons made to stand in a line. The glow of the ratnAs in the padams look like the early morning sunlight. The Jiva prostrates to this thiruvananthAlvan.

This Jiva also wants to enjoy all these bOgas! ThiruvanantAlvan's katAksham (with his 2000 eyes) falls on this Jiva. This is like a nectarian rain to him! He now sees the ParamapadanAdhan who is on ThiruvanantAlvan. The Jiva now has unending gjnana and is capable of seeing anything. He moves very close and reaches the Lord.

Prapati-Parva is the last parva in phala Kanda. This is the last step to the transedental world!!!

The Jiva is now attracted to the divine seat of the Lord => Thiruvananthalvan. The Lord being seated on this soft Thiruvananthalvan, looks like a maragatha mountain seated on a silver mountain! The Lord who sits here rules over every thing!!!

Our Lord is ever youthful. We can imagine the tEjas of our Lord be to greater than lakhs and lakhs of suns put together => it is unimaginable! The consorts of our Lord sit beside Him. It looks like Lords karuna itself has taken the form of Periya PirAtti, His patience has taken the form of Bhoomi PirAtti and his unending vallal thanmai (kodai) has taken the form of NIla PirAtti!!!

Among His consorts there is a unique greatness for Periya PirAtti. Periya PirAtti's svaroopam, ThirumEni and kalyAna Gunas can be equated to that of our Lord's. They are permanent and there are no limitations to these. The Lord and Periya pIrAtti always keep seeing each other and are in a state where separation is impossible. Inspite of always being associated with Periya pirAtti, the Lord feels that this enjoyment is new! This is because of the unending greatness of Periya pirAtti! She is ever youthful and resides in Lord's chest.

She appeared from the nectarian ocean. Residing on the Lotus, she destroys everybody's sins. Chaturmukha Brahma and other Devas get their respective positions by Periya PirAtti's katAksham. Her Greatness is evident from the very fact that she is the consort of sarvEshvaran!

Periya PirAtti's karuna to us knows no bounds. When it comes to devotees her karuna over flows and her eyes are filled with tears!!! She hence gets hold of the right chest of our Lord! So, our Lord along with Periya PirAtti is our seshi, they together accept our kainkaryams. It is pleasing only if our Lord is enjoyed along withPeriya PirAtti. Kainkaryam has to be performed for both. Periya PirAtti assigns kainkaryams to the troops according to the requirements.

The Jiva then offers salutations to Bhoomi PirAtti. One seeing Bhoomi PirAtti it looks like Periya pirAtti has herself taken another form. Bhoomi PirAtti is always regarded and respected by every body. Her thirumEni is like the colour of a huge green mountain.

The complexion of nIla is karunEithal. We saw that Peria pirAtti captivates the Lord by all her bOgams. But this looks too small when we see NIla Devi's chAduryam. NilA Devi changes the Lord's state and makes him lie down on her and sleep.

All the consorts of the Lord are very compassionate to the Devotees. In order to make it convenient for the devotees to perform kainkaryam, the consorts magnanimously sit on the left side of the Lord and worship!

The ones who perform kainkarya to the Lord in this state (where he is with his consorts), realise the he is "Rasam" and he is the "form of Ananda" in the way the Upanishads state. Our Lord is possessed of incomparable sweetness !!! Our Lord is the natural seshi to whom devotees with naturally blooming knowledge perform kainkaryam.

It is interesting to note that the Lord himself likes his ThirumEni more than His svaroopam. Needless to say that our Lords ThirumEni looks extraordinary! The complexion of Lord's ThirumEni shines like that of dark clouds, karunEidhal, sea, peacock .. Lord's complexion is like a blue mani and PirAtti who is in Lord's chest is of Golden complexion. What a superb vision it would be to be blessed with a darshan of this combination !!!

Just as how, we in this leela Vibhuti are desirous of Moksha and try to perform only those actions that please the Lord, so also even those who have reached Moksha perform acts that pleases the Lord, and pray to him!

When each part of the ThirumEni is enjoyed, they get involved in that beauty. They are carried away by each part and the appropriate ornament that is worn by the Lord. They pray to the Lord enjoying each of his parts and the associated ornaments.

The process of enjoyment is beautiful and moving and there are appropriate quotations from the hymns of the Azhwars and the works of Acharyas.

They first enjoy Lord's kreedam because this confirms Lord as the sarvEshvaram. Lord's Thirumudi is straight and is in steps. On seeing Lords dark and thick Thirumudi it looks like night. But Lord's kreedam is full of tEjas like the combination of hundred suns. The Thirumudi and kreedam together makes one visualise day and night at the same time!!! Is it possible? The Lord has the capacity to combine things which can never be combined! They salute the kreedam and praise Lord's Thirumudi.

The Jiva sees the Lord's Thirukkuyal. They are curly. Lord's Thirukkuyal is so beautiful that the bees consider his Thirumugam as a lotus and they stand in a row in order to taste the nectar.

When this Thirukkuyal touches the bright forehead, it looks like the moon on the ashtami day = > brightness on one side and darkness on the other! This Jiva enjoys the white asthami moon!!!

As though to put a boundary to the beauty of the forehead, appear the two beautiful eyebrows of the Lord. He then sees the broad and big Thirukkangal (eyes) with red lines running on both the sides. On seeing Lord's Thirukkangal even those who think themselves to be independent will loose their independence and fall at the lord's feet.

PramAnas state that Lords breath is Vedas! This Jiva now salutes the Thirumooku (nose) that let out that breath. Lords ThirukabAlangal (cheeks) is like a ratna mirror for the consorts who are near him. The greatness and beauty of this cannot be explained. So, the parts surrounding it viz., Thirukkangal, thiru vAi, Thirupparkal, Thirukkundalam etc are alone discussed.

The Jiva then offers salutations to Lord's lips which is like a group of red pavayam. He wonders if they are some ripe fruits. It is so beautiful that he regrets having missed these enjoyments for so long due to his pApAs.

The Lord's Thirumugamandalam(face) is of exceptional beauty. Lord's mouth looks like a kOvai fruit, when our Lord smiles the beauty of the line of pearls (Thirupparkal) looks like an emission of swallowed lightning!

Both the thirusevigal (ears) are for the kAnthi of the face. The kuntalas are bright and is in the shape of a fish. The kuntalas are so bright that it makes one wonder if the thirusevi's have themselves become the magarakundalas!

The Jiva now has a complete anubhavam of the Lord's Thirumugam. Even the full moon which is completely surrounded by brightness is no where near the beauty of Lord's face. On seeing the Lords face the Jiva thinks that the beautiful lotus (Thirukkangal), karpaga creeper (Thiru mooku), pavazham (Thiruvadaram), bow (Thiru puruvam), Pearls (Thiruparkal), petal (Thirusevi), chandra kalai (Thirunetri) are all contained in one complete jyOthi mandalattAn!!!

After having a complete anubhavam of Lord's Thirumugam, the Jiva enjoys the Thirukkayuttu (neck).

Lord's Thirukkayuttu looks like a changu. It is of fertile colour because of the blue glow of Lords thirumEni. The mukta offers salutations to this Thirukkayuttu and is involved in its beauty which swallows all the lokas during pralaya.

The thirutOlgal (shoulders) of the Lord gives us, all the four fruits viz., Aram, porul, yinbam, veedu in plenty. But the Lord is not satisfied with this. With the help of Lord's thirutOlgal, the Lord hugs one who performs even a small service. Isn't the tight hug of the Lord greater that having all possible wealth!! The Jiva equates Lord's thirutOlgal to that of a garden of karpaga trees.

Our Lords ThirumArbu (chest) which is made of maragada ratnas attracts the Jiva next. Our Lord's srivatsam (thirumArbu), kausthuba ratnam, vanamAlai etc adds beauty to the chest. Periya PirAtti who is never separated even for a second reside in this right ThirumArbu. This way, the Jiva enjoys the ThirumArbu and gets enslaved to it.

The Thiruvayuru (stomach) of the Lord is very considerate to us. When the danger of mahA pralayam comes, the Lord keeps and protects this whole prapanjam in His Thiruvayu. Even after the Lord swallows so many things like clouds, sea, mountains, worlds etc. it looks like the Lord's stomach is still not full!!!

Lord's thirumEni stands like a maragada mountain. The PitAmbara on the Lord looks like the maragada mountain surrounded by the brightness of the mAnikka.

Every thing in our Lord is beautiful. Even the Lord's kanaikAl is so beautiful that the Jiva losses himself in its beauty. If one prostrates to Lord's kanaikAl, he can escape from the samsAra mArgam.

VedAnthas praise our Lord's thiruvadi. Lord's Thiruvadi is common for all Jivas. Everybody enjoys the beauty of Lord's feet as if it is a common property. Lord has the changu and chakaram inscribed on his thiruvadi.

Lord's thirumEni is like a black mAnikkam, Lord's ThirumArbu is like a pOigai. ThiruvAi, thirukkangal, thirukkaigal, thirunAbhi, thiruvadi, thirupItAmbaram ... are all beautiful, like a forest of Lotus! Lord's thirumEni complexion is like the colour of Blue clouds. Lord's ThiruvAbaranam is like a lightning that does not move. Each of this ornaments are the deities of the tatvas in the world. The Lord holds thiruvAyiyAlvan and thiruchangAzhvan on his 2 hands. The beauty of both thiruvAzhi's and thiruchangu increases when it combines with the other.

After enjoying Lords thiruvAbharanam, thiruvAyudam and divya mangala vigraham completely, the mukta now starts enjoying the Lords kalyAna gunas. A lot of qualities shows Lords greatness. Many reflect his simplicity. On seeing the kalyAna gunas of the Lord, the Jiva feels that there is nothing greater than that gjnanam, happiness etc. The mukta also enjoys the kalyAna gunA of the Lord which attracts even sinners.

The Jiva now proceeds near ParamapadanAthan's thiruvadi. The Jiva prays to the Lord to grant him his thiruvadi. On seeing him The Lord because of his karuna places the thiruvadi on this muktas head. All the desires of this chetana, not to worship any other devata and to always perform eternal kainkaryam to the Lords thiruvadi now gets satisfied. The Jiva relishes the happiness of having been blessed by Lord's feet. He dwells in this happiness.

At that time the Jiva wants to enjoy a closer association with Lord. This ParamapadhanAdhan stands as the gadhi for people who have no other gathi. The Jiva catches hold of his thiruvadi and climbs the cot of the ParamapadanAdhan. The Lotus eyed Lord who is our protector, mother and father, consider the mukta like a son who sits on their lap and hence they feel happy. The Lord grants him all his svabAvas. He accommodates this Jiva below his two thiruvadI's.

The Jiva considers itself as being Lord's seshan. Our Lord is a seshi to everybody. Though the Lord knows about the Jiva's current state of happiness he wants the Jiva to speak this out. The Lord hence questions the Jiva as to "who is he?" The Jiva is reminded of the pitiable plight he was earlier in. But now, because of Lord's karuna, he has got so many attributes of the Lord and is grateful to the Lord. He requests the Lord to eternally accept the kainkaryams that he performs.

The Lord who along with the PirAtti listens to the requests of this mukta and is extremely happy. The Lord's happiness is like the pride of the father when he listens to his son speak for the first time! The Lord immediately looks at pirAtti. Lord does all the acts only in accordance to PirAtti's mind. Then PerumAL and PirAtti bless the Mukta. Thus the mukta receives the blessings of the sarvasEshi Perumal and pirAtti.

The Lord by his very nature knows everything => his svaroopam, svabhAvam etc. Now, the mukta also gets the capacity to see these things directly. This is parabhakti. He gets an anubhavam to directly see and because of this process is continuous he acquires paragjnanam.

This anubhavam keeps on increasing. This is paramabhakthi. So, what kind of an anubhavam is it? It is a complete and clear anubhavam. There is no time limit and this is permanent. The mukta is so happy with this anubhavam that he does not seek anything else. Endless happiness overflows. Due to Bhagavad anubhavam there is overflowing happiness at all times and so a desire arises in him that he wants to perform all kainkaryams.

The mukta can take up a body also in order to perform kainkaryam, or if he wishes he can also take many forms. All these forms are suddha satvam. Kainkaryam can be performed even without sarIram. The mukta can jump with enthusiasm, dance, sing etc and demonstrate many leelas. We can go round and round and do pradakshanam to the Lord.

If the Jiva wants to perform kainkaryam along with his relatives (mother, father and other relatives) by his sankalpa he makes them appear => he can be with them and enjoy! We can always live with the Lord. When the Lord takes avatAras, the mukta can also accompany the Lord to this leela vibhuti. His knowledge does not contract even in leela vibhuti. After the objective of the visit is satisfied, just like the Lord, the mukta also ascends to Srivaikundam. He sings sAma gAnam. He also surrounds the Lord and sings Pallandu.

Swami Desika finally states that the muktas sing the paasurams of our Alvars in Srivaikundam for thousands of years. This way they please themselves and more importantly please Sriya:pathi!!!

Swami Desika's paramapadasOpAnam made us get the feel of being in Srivaikundam. ParamapadasOpAnam is almost like a summary of Swami's magnus opus => RahasyatrayasAram.

The above write up is based on "Rahasyartha Vivaranam" by Shri RamadEsikachAriyar Swami and "Life and works of Sri Nigamanta Maha Desika" by Prof. A. Srinivasaraghavan.

"Kavi Taarkika Simhaaya Kalyaana guna ShaalinE!SrimatE VenkateshAya VedAnta Gurave namaha !!"

Swamy dEsikan tiruvaDigaLE SharaNam,
Sarvam SriKrishnarpaNamasthu

Sunday, May 4, 2008

BASIC principles of Vishistaadvaitam and my views

The Six BASIC principles of Vishistaadvaitam and adiyen’s (my) views - By Dasharathi M S

1. Sriman Narayana is the supreme most self of all; unparalled and unsurpassed - "Ahameva Param Tatvam". ( This suggests that Sriman NarayaNa is the supreme godhead and is infinitely superior than other dieties or demi-gods.

The Lord's declaration of "Ahameva Param Tatvam" has deep inner meanings, and my opinion on this being
Ahameva - The Lord stresses that it is him (Lakshmi-NarayaNa) alone and none else
Param- The word Param can be understood here as Supreme most. Parama stands for the highest ever.
Tatvam- Stands for reality. Out of magnificient trinity Tatva-Hita-Purushartha,which stands for Reality-Means-Result or Phalam, its Tatva which is the one which has to be realised first

Hence, we can understand that Lord indeed declares that He is the one who is the supreme most self, who has to be realised and there are none else equal or greater than LakshmiNarayaNa. There is not a higher realisation than this to the entire mankind

2. The lord has all the insentient and sentient as his body, and He is the soul of everything - "Darshanam Bhedam Eve Cha".
( This means that our body and our soul are his body and he is the controller/soul of everything. Needless to say,he indeed is the soul of other devathas/demigods as well )
3. The way to get salvation is surrendering to the feet of the Lord - " Upayeshu Prapatisyaat".
4. There is NO need to adopt contemplation on the Lord during our final breath - "Anthima Smruthi Varjanam". (This means that it is NOT mandatory to remember the Lord at the time of death for prapannas as the Lord takes care of the rest once surrendered with COMPLETE FAITH. Faith is the key )
5. After the soul departs from the material body, it gets salvation WITHOUT A DOUBT if he/she adopted the means of surrender (sharanagathi) - "Dehaavasaane Mukthisyaat".
6. One should approach a qualified Sree Vaishnava acharya and get enlightened - "sadAchaaryam Samaashraya" meaning one must undergo SamashrayaNam asap.

Lord of Kanchi himself (Sri Varadaraja Perumal) told these six statements to Sri Bhagavad Ramanuja's assertive queries through Sri Thirukachi Nambi. Swami EmperumaaNNar asked these to the Lord to show to the world, what the real truth was.
Absolute truth which must be understood by EVERY INDIVIDUAL irrespective of caste, position, condition, age which one is currently in. These have been acknowledged by the lord himself, so have no doubts about this.

Being a Sreevaishnava, One has to realise :
The Absolute Brahman (Iswara) is Shreeman Naaraayanan who is
Ø Lord of Shree, Ever United with Shree
Ø Unchanging, knowledge-self, infinite, blissful, and absolute pure nature
Ø The material cause and instrumental cause of the universe (all sentient souls and insentient matter)
Ø Having the material worlds (universe) and transcendental world as his body and he being the soul
Ø Having divine transcendental body (in five modes - Para,Vyuha, Vibhava, Antaryaami Haarda Roopa and Archa)
Ø Untouched by all impurities of the universe
Ø Having infinite divine attributes
Ø Having as his sport, creation, sustenance, and destruction of all material worlds.

Having said all these, one can ask, what is the relationship between us and the lord to know so much. Well, with this current janma, one cannot get absolute knowledge as its very limited one can know, within that here is a glimpse from basics of Vishistadwaitham which EVERY SRIVAISHNAVA MUST KNOW..

Nava Sambandham with the Lord

We are related to the Lord in these 9 ways ( Basics derived from Paramatma Swaroopam from Vishistadwaita Upanyasams rendedred by the Acharyas)

> pita putra bhava, (father and son)
Since Bhagwan has created us (jeevatmas), he is the father and we are his children.
> rakshaka: rakshan (protector and protected)
Not every father should protect his children. In case of Bhagawan, he protects all his children and this relationship is eternal.

> sheshi sheshan (master and servant)
Perumal is the master and we (jeevathmas) are his eternal servants. We enjoy serving him eternally by nature and will be serving him uniterruptedly in SriVaikunTam once we are mukthas.

> bharthu bharya sambadham (husband and wife)
This is one of the very interesting relationships between us(jeevathma) and perumaL(paramatma). As per Sruthis and Smritis, all jeevathmas (whether we currently are male/ female ) are feminine. Shastras declare all jeevathmas as female, and paramathma alone is the paramapurusha.
Even during our marriages, vadhyars will specify the bridegroom while kanyadanam as "Vishnu Roopaya". This suggests that kanyadanam is performed with assuming goom as representation of Vishnu. This is since all kanyadanams must be invariably directed towards Vishnu as he is the bharthu for these bharyas eternally

Adiyen's(my) views on this very special relationship:
Sharanagati (Prapatti) is also an eternal marriage between jeevathma and paramathma, with a promise from the husband ( The Lord ) to take his wives(us) to his abode at the end of this life or immediately as requested by our Acharyas. PerumaL never ever steps back from his owe, this has to be lodged in our minds. Here Acharyas serve as one who performs kanyadanam of our atma with the Lord, and Lord accepts gracefully as it is recommeneded by our Acharya.
( On occasion of the first DeepavaLi, after prapatti, adiyen visited Ahobilam, an extremely beautiful divyadesham of Bhagawan. This is so co-incidental like married wives visiting their tavarooru during first year of marriage, isnt't it )

As married women do not desire any other external purusha (para purusha), we (prapannas) also do not desire any other demi-gods, not even in the wildest of our dreams. PerumaL is the sole protector of us. He is everything to us and we are everything to him, such is our intimate and extremely strong relationship.

Srivaishnavites are criticised in this aspect by others, that we are narrow lookers and do not have broad perspective. Where is the need for any other perspective, when you are married to Bhagavan himself?

If a wife is subservent to her husband alone, and do not even think of other purushas in similar lines is a "pativrata" and shall be praised to highest extent. Similarly, we too are pativratas in this aspect, and as paramekanthees we do not even desire any praise from others. All we are interested is to immensely praise the bhagavan rather.
> gnyea:gneya (known and knower)
Bhagawan is the one who has to be known through Vedas and we have to know them by listening to Sruthi, Upanyasams and reading Smrithis.

> sva swami (owner and owned)
He owns all jeevathmas, and we are owned by him. A general father never owns their children, but paramatma owns all jeevathmas and protects them.

> adhara adheya bhava ( bearer and bound )
A beautiful example provided by Lord SriKrishna being of string and beads. Bhagavan is the string which is holding all the beads. We are bound and paramathma is the bearer, the bearer of entire universe without which universe will collide.

When we observe beads and string combination, its just beads which are visible and string which holds them isn't visible. In this same way, Paramatma holds together all jeevathmas and is invisible. Remember there is only one string here ( na dwiteeyam ) which is flexible and long enough to hold all jeevas of universe.

Just as the string is invisible, but permeates and pervades all the beads in the malai, so is the Lord who is invisible and pervades and permeates through all of us.

With limited knoweldge, one can argue that its beads which hold the string inside as it is not visible as beads look bigger. When the string is removed, then the reality comes into picture as to who is the adhara and who is adheya. Such is the beauty of our relatiionship with the Lord

> shareera atma bhava (body and soul relationship)
We all know that soul penetrates, permeades and controls the body till the end of the dehavasana. In a similar fashion, paramathma penetrates, permeades and directls all over our jeevathmas (his body) only difference being his act is eternal and never ending.

> bhoktha bhogya(enjoyer and enjoyed)
He is the enjoyer and we are enjoyed, other way round is also possible. With whom else bhagavan can play, he has to play with jeevathmas and enjoy. We also enjoy seeing him and serving him eternally at SriVaikunTam. This relationship is completely displayed at SriVaikunTam, the eternal and magnificient heavenly abode of the Lord.
One could have come across these relationships, but not together. Emperumaan together displays all these relationship towards a jeevan, and hence is unique and exclusive than everyone.

PS: When we say bhagavan, Lord etc it invariably includes PiraTTi and PerumaL together, this is the beauty of Srivaishnavam.

With extremely small knowledge, Adiyen has penned down some of the basics we must try to understand and lodge them in our minds, based on the upanyasams I have heard and books I have come across. Please forgive for any mistakes, and correct me wherever necessary

Sarvam SriKrishnarpaNamastu
Dasharathi Dasan
( We say Adiyen meaning "I am at your(bhagawatha's) feet" as the pride of being what we are is destroyed due to the Lord's grace )

Friday, April 25, 2008

Decade on Prapatti - Based on Desika Prabhandam "Adaikkala Patthu)"

Decade on Prapatti (Adaikkala Patthu) - An exquisite poem from Swamy Vedanta Desikan. This is a translation from Swamy Desika Prabhandam, which is an exquisite pasuram explaining the doctrines of prapatti.

This is also a transliteration in making an effort to bring the Pasurams as English Poems. Please bear with the standard of the language in this post, which is not so good when compared to other posts. ( Source )

Eligibility for surrender is ineligibility on other means

Devotion and others for me * never resulted in reach of God *
Wandered around and fell * like a feeble crow with no guard *
Higher among holy seven * Kacchi that rewards the heaven *
Mercy of Lord is huge * at Hastigiri I appealed for my refuge *

Like Devotion (Bhakthi), many means (Upaayam) are available to attain the Lord (Moksham). But none of them bear any fruit for me. I tried in vain like the crow (Kaka asuran) in all directions without any protector (Rakshakan), lost the energy, finally came and fell on Your feet. Seven holy places acclaim the title of “gateway to heaven” (moksham) and among them Kanchi (Kancheepuram) is the primary. Lord Perarullalar (Lord of great compassion and blessings) who resides in a small hill (Hastigri hill) in the town of Kanchi, I take Your feet as the only refuge (saranagathi) for me.

Eligibility for surrender is harbor less

Rank and riches of dreadheaded, * four faced deity and others *
Realize how ephemeral are they * when vanished by past deeds *
Never separated, Lord of Kacchi * from fragrant flowered Sree *
Resides at Hastigri * at His two feet, I reached out on my knee *

Power and wealth of Siva, Brahma and other deities (Other devadas) are limited in time and scope due to their past deeds (karma) and are evaporated accordingly. I realized when their position itself is shaky, what can they offer me? Lord at Kacchi who is never separated from pleasantly smelling garlanded Sri (Goddess Maha Lakshmi) is residing at Hastigiri. I reached His two lotus feet and surrendered (prapatti). Note: First two lines indicates that no other refuge (ananya gathithvam) is necessary.

Everyone is qualified for surrender

Those aware of the distinction * and not try other means *
Pursue prescribed rules of scripts * and elders’ wise words *
Lord at Hastigiri blesses * anyone surrenders, without bias *
None other than His divine attributes * I will praise in pious *

Surrenders who understand the intricate differences between devotion (Bhakthi yoga) and total surrender (prapatti) are determined not to try any other way (uppaayam) to attain the Lord, and those who follow the prescribed according to their birth right (varnaasrama dharmam), follow holy scripts (saastrams includes Vedas, smrithis, ithikasa and puranas) and learned people’s writings – guru (Alzwar, Aacharya writings) are blessed without any discrimination. Whoever surrenders to the Lord with the above mentioned practice of rituals, they will certainly attain the supreme abode (Moksham) at the end of this birth. I will not even look at anything else (Pray), other than that Hastigri Lord’s divine attributes which provides everything for the surrenders.

Surrender awards all fruits

Crow, noble demon, wife to five * and Kshethra bhandu *
Serpent, son, his son * and other angels in lower heaven *
You blessed them all * with enjoyment and elevated place *
Hastigiri Lord, inspired I * surrender at Your feet of grace *

Crow (Kakasura), noble demon (Vibeeshana from the raakshasa family), wife to five (Draupathi), Kshethra Bhandu, Serpent (Kaaliyan), Son (Brahmma), his son (Siva), and to other angels, Lord You have showered them with earthly pleasures and heavenly home (Moksham). Inspired on this, I have come to You, Hastigiri Lord; I surrender at Your lotus feet. Note: One of the difficult components in total surrender (Prappati angam) is unshakeable faith (Maha viswaasam). To strengthen that thought, several examples are shown.

Components of surrender

Perform to Your penchants * and abstain from any aversions *
Recognize relation and attributes * keep faith with no reversions *
You, be my supporter, I beg * unfit for other means or refuge *
With this fortitude I surrender squarely * to Kacchi Lord clearly * (5)

Five required components of total surrender has been mentioned here
Do what is pleasing to the Lord – Aanukulya sangalpam
Abstain from aversions – Praathikulya varjanam
Faith with no reversions – Maha viswaasam
Pray to be my supporter – Goptrutva varnamam
No oher means or none else as refuge – Kaarpanyam
With these five parts, I surrender my soul (Athma samarppanam) to the Lord at Kacchi.

Four types of surrender (Nishtai )

Realized and wise do themselves * recite after gurus are some *
Blessed and learned are included * nicely in their gurus’ in sum *
Those like to return the stolen * are in by a devotee of the cluster *
Whoever reaches His feet * Hastigiri Lord bless them with luster * (6)

Total surrender can be performed in one of the four ways
Self surrender (sva nishtai) -- Understand the componets of surrender and perform by reciting the mantras by themselves. ( This is one of the rarest nishtais and Swamy Nammazhwar was an example, who performed Sva Nishtai. Extremely difficult to follow )
By Acharyas (Ukthi nishtai) -- When one does not not have intricate knowledge on the components of surrender, but has a firm faith on the Lord and His protection attributes, he then accesses an Acharya and seeks their blessings. During the procedure, they repeat the mantras as told by Acharyas.
Within Acharyas (Aacharya nishtai) -- When Acharya does the surrender, all followers are included within that that request. ( This is the one which is followed in 99% of cases of Prapatti)
Thorough Devotee (Bhaagavatha nishtai) – Anyone who understands the body-soul relation and and aer willing to stop the act of stealing Atma from the Lord, he then approaches to a true devotee and is included in the group (Sri Vaishanva bhagavavathas) as one among them and is contained within the surrender of that devotee. ( Eg, This is followed in Abroad as accessing an Acharya isnt easy Abroad )

Lord of mercy at Kanchi, accepts anyone of these four surrenders and bless all. The fruit is equal in all these cases, and we need to follow our respective Acharya's to learn about the same.

Surrender done only once for only one effect

For those, at one time said surrender * and reached Your lotus feet *
Revealed asylum by hand sign * approving, for results that is complete *
Offered everything Yours and Yourself * You prosper still with splendor *
Luminescent Lord of Grace * I take refuge at Your feet and surrender * (7)

In the past, when the bhagawathas surrendered to You by enchanting required mantras, You with Your big heart accepted it as sufficient and sanctioned them with moksham. You have exposed the approval through Abahya mudra. For those who have surrendered, You gave everything you own and not being satisfied, gave Yourself to them. After giving out everything, You still look dazzling with your radiance. Such wonderful, God of mercy at Hastigiri, I surrender at Your lotus feet.
Conduct after surrender (Post Prapatti)

Not to slack on trust * for wisdom and devotion to grow robust *
Not to forget truth on past deeds * to know reality and its thrust *
Not to give up on humility * to act cool, patient for deliverance *
Forget not merciful Lord’s text * generous scripts and essence * (8)

How the surrendered should act in their rest of their life is explained here. Surrendered (Prappaannan) should always explore on Lord’s great words (Bhagawath Geeth and Pancharatra Sastra) and scripts (Vedas, Upanishad and rahasyas). In addition, he should pray the Lord ONLY for the following.

I pray to You Lord for
· Not to get diluted on my unshakeable faith on You and Your assurance
· To grow my knowledge (Gnjanam) stronger and complete
· Not to forget about truth due to my antecedents (Karma).
· To understand better the realities (Thathvam) and its powerful importance.
· Not to move away from my humble status (Adiyen)
· To award calm and cool nature on worldly matters and
· Patience for deliverance until You make the decision for the right time.

We should only pray for bhakti and jnanam, as other wordly things are immaterial and impermanent. The lord has awarded us with Supreme everlasting gift, which he shall confer without fail at the end of this life, as was requested by Acharyas during Prapatti

Duties after surrender

Holy words of audacious * who knew scripts and memory well *
Learned and found refuge * on enticing words of wise gurus *
With prudence on reality * implored and cut off the ignorance *
To sun and moon eyed Lord * I surrender without any reluctance * (9)

The duties of the surrendered are explained in this stanza. People who are audacious (Alzwars and others) who knew scripts (vedas), memorised (smruthis) very well and gave holy words (Naalayira Prabhamadham etc.). I found great happiness and refuge under the thought provoking ideas of gurus (Aachryas like Bhagawath Ramanuja, Swami Desikan). With the understanding of realities (Thathava threyam), I have removed ignorance (Agnjnam). With all those ideas imprinted in my mind, I pray to Lord at Hastigiri who has Sun and moon as His eyes.

Surrender – Dedication of the soul

He has Sree and His form is divine * is astute and easy to attain *
Endows all the eternal links * and rules the infinite domain *
Action to close, continue and create * He does with no alarm *
I fall like an arrow on target * of the graceful Lord with charm * (10)

Lord is not separated from his beloved consort Sri. He is easily accessible (Saulabya) to His devotees and is extremely knowledgeable (gjnam). He is always ready to shower his divine blessings to all. Everything in this universe is related to Him in an endless fashion. His empire spans everywhere and there is nothing outside of it. He is responsible for the duties like creation, operation and destruction. Such a Lord is analluring target. I fell like an arrow released from a bow into the target, merciful God.

Concluding Verse from Desika Prabhandam

Route and result are alike * for all enriched devotees of God *
Route and result are like * done once and enjoy many times *
Route and result are these * found on Hastigiri Lord’s feet *
Told these flawless ten with traits * shiny forever and sweet * (11)

All His devotees understand that the means (Uppayam) and ends (upaeyam) to reach the Lord and to enjoy Him are not different. Amazing feature in that is that the means are carried only once and for one purpose, whereas the enjoyment is many times and for ever. I have explored everywhere and found that this means (prapaati) and ends (moksham) are the only plausible solution in my life. With that conclusion, on Lord of Grace at Kacchi, these ten, error-free, with divine attributes stanzas had been written. They are faultless, sweet and they will shine for ever.

Sri Nigamantha Maha Desika TiruvadigalE SharaNam