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 )

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