SrI: SrImathE SatakOpAya nama: SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama: SrImath varavaramunayE nama:
pravESam (Introduction) for SrIranga gadhyam
In the first chUrNai, bhagavadh SrI rAmAnuja prays for kainkaryam (service) to bhagavAn as purushArtham (benefit obtained through surrendering to him). As a prerequisite to carrying out this kainkaryam, he says in the 2nd chUrNai that he doesn’t have anything (meaning that he doesn’t have karma, gyAna, bhakthi yOgam). Not only does he not possess what is required for kainkaryam, but he confesses that he also has all the dhOshams (faults) in this chUrNai. But he still prays for bhagavAn’s exalted feet as a means for surrendering. In the 3rd, 4th and 5th chUrNais, he prays for being a servitor. He also prays again for kainkaryam with deep belief and trust. In the 6th chUrNai, SrI rAmAnuja says that since bhagavAn is full of mercy and countless other auspicious qualities, he alone can grant the deep belief to him so that SrI rAmAnuja can rest assured that he would be granted kainkaryam too. In the 7th and final chUrNai, he requests bhagavAn to enable the jIvAthmA, who is totally subservient only to bhagavAn and to no one else (ananyArha SEshabhUthan) to carryout kainkaryam as basic nature (svarUpam).
mumukshus (those who are interested in attaining mOksham (SrIvaikuNtam)), until their physical bodies fall down, should spend their time in
- carrying out kainkaryam to bhagavAn in dhivya dhESams (those places where AzhwArs have sung hymns in praise of bhagavAn) through repeatedly chanting bhagavAn’s many divine names, writing about him, reading what has been written, hearing from others, bowing to him (as in salutation) and praying to him. If this is not possible
- carrying out kainkaryam to bhagavAn’s adiyArs (devotees). If this is not possible,
- thinking and speaking about the auspicious qualities of bhagavAn. If even this is not possible
- constantly reciting dhvaya manthram, knowing its meaning.
Here, the vyAkhyAthA (commentator) periyavAchchAn piLLai has given another concession to us. In his vyAkhyAnam (commentary) he doesn’t stipulate that we should live in SrIrangam and recite dhvayam. He says that we can stay wherever we are and recite dhvayam.
SrI rAmAnuja had earlier recited the SaraNAgathi gadhyam so that his followers can recite it, thus fulfilling the fourth of the four options given above. This gadhyam is very expansive, and hence in order to make it easier for his followers and for namperumAL to listen in exclusivity, he recites SrIranga gadhyam, containing all the meanings mentioned in SaraNAgathi gadhyam, yet brief.
We shall next go on to the first chUrNai in SrIranga gadhyam.
Translation by krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan.
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