periya thirumozhi – 2.6 – naNNAdha

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periya thirumozhi >> Second Centum

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bhUthaththAzhwAr (thirukkadalmallai)

First pravESam (Introduction):

In pAncharAthra SAsthram, SaraNAgathi is defined as in ahirbudhnya samhithA 36-38 “aham asmi aparAdhAnAm AlayaO’kinchanO’gathi: | thvamEva upAyabhUthO mE bhavEthi prArthanAmathi: || SaraNAgathirithyukthA sA dhEvEsmin prayujyathAm ||” (The intellect which prays saying “I am an abode of all faults; have no other means; no other refuge too; you be my means” is SaraNAgathi. Let that be done towards this lord). This principle of SaraNAgathi was observed by this AzhwAr (thirumangai AzhwAr) in periya thirumozhi 1.6vANilA muRuval” and in periya thirumozhi 1.9thAyE thandhai“. He repeated the same in periya thirumozhi 2.5.7kANAdhu thiri tharuvEn kaNdu koNdEn” (I got to see such sarvESvaran, who was not seen and whom I searched) and periya thirumozhi 2.5.9thoNdanEn kaNdu koNdEn” (I, the servitor, have seen).

ahirbudhnya samhithA 37 – 27, 28 “shOdA hi vEdha vidhushO vadhanthyEnam mahAmunE | AnukUlyasya sankalpa: prAthikUlyasya varjanam || rakshishyathIthi viSvAsO gOpthruthva varaNam thathA | Athma nikshEpa kArpaNyE shadvidhA SaraNAgathi: ||” (Oh great sage! Those who know vEdham identify this SaraNAgathi in six ways. They are – vowing to remain favourable towards bhagavAn and bhAgavathas, refraining from unfavourable aspects, having faith that bhagavAn, the owner, will protect his belongings, praying to bhagavAn to protect the self, placing the self under his protection, being empty-handed) – this explains the natural outcome of surrendering to bhagavAn. AzhwAr is explaining in this decad that he has acquired these aspects.

Both of these cannot be said as SaraNAgathi’s lakshaNam (identity) since they are contradictory to each other as the former one says “thvamEva” highlighting upAya nairapEkshyam (non-expectation of anything from the person who surrenders) and the latter one explains SaraNAgathi to have limbs (expectation). Hence, the former one must be said as SaraNAgathi’s identity and the latter one to be said as natural outcome of SaraNAgathi.

It is said in bhArathvAja smruthi “paSur manushya: pakshIvA Echa vaishNava samSrayA: | thEnaiva thE prayAsyanthi thath vishNO: paramampadham ||” (Whoever it may be – four limbed animals, humans and birds, when surrendered to vaishNavas, due to that connection, one will attain vishNu’s highest abode of paramapadham, that connection with bhAgavathas is a means to reach bhagavAn irrespective of knowledge and conduct matching the knowledge. Even birds and animals are considered here [as those which can be delivered]. Are surrendering to bhagavAn [as seen in periya thirumozhi 1.6 and in periya thirumozhi 1.9] and surrendering to bhAgavathas [as seen here] different? Is surrendering to bhAgavathas not the ultimate stage of surrendering to bhagavAn? One can surrender to bhagavAn directly or through bhAgavathas. Here it is talking about this difference. [Still] Without surrendering to bhAgavathas, there is no way to engage in bhagavAn.

nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi 18mARAya dhAnavanai vaLLugirAl mArviraNdu kURAgak kIRiya kOLariyai vERAga EththiyiruppArai vellumE maRRavaraich chAththiyiruppar thavam” (The strong narasimha mUrthi split the chest of the demon hiraNya kashyap who is standing as an opponent, with sharp finger nails, into two; the good deed of the ultimate devotees of worshipping such emperumAn as distinguished entity, will be defeated by those who attain such devotees who worship him.

Who are vERAga Eththiyiruppar (the worshippers of the distinguished emperumAn)? Who are maRRu avaraich chAththiyiruppar (those who depend on such worshippers)? Do we have any example? Yes. vERAga Eththiyiruppar – Those who are like periyAzhwAr who do not care for self but show concern towards the well-being of sarvESvaran on seeing him; maRRu avaraich chAththiyiruppar – those who are like ANdAL who said in nAchchiyAr thirumozhi 10.10 “villi pudhuvai vittu siththar thangaL dhEvarai vallaparisu varuvipparEl adhu kANdumE” (if vittuchiththan (periyAzhwAr) calls out to emperumAn, then we will see and worship emperumAn).

Now, AzhwAr considers those who are engaged in the qualities such as simplicity of emperumAn in dhivyadhESams (where emperumAn resides joyfully) as bhAgavathas (devotees) and those who are indifferent towards such dhivyadhESams as abhAgavathas (non-devotees).

In this, AnukUlyasya sankalpa: – Vowing to engage in favourable aspects, does not end with doing a particular act. It continues forever, even after reaching paramapadham. But prAthikUlyasya varjanam – refraining from unfavourable aspects stops once one reaches paramapadham. Engaging in favourable aspects follows refraining from unfavourable aspects since refraining from unfavourable aspects must occur first. AzhwAr is highlighting how such refraining from unfavourable aspects occurred to him, in the first pAsuram. As one gives up unfavourable aspects, favourable aspects will naturally follow since the relationship with bhagavAn is eternal. One should only avoid what [unfavourable aspects] one imposed upon oneself.

Second pravESam (Introduction):

Note: This is seen in the commentary for second pAsuram.

In the matter of these chEthanas (sentient beings) who have been drowned in this samsAram (material world) forever, sarvESvaran, in his divine heart, made a kind gesture as said in SrI bhagavath gIthA 5.21 “suhrudham sarvabhUthAnAm” (one who is friendly towards all beings). If a jIvAthmA’s good deed leads to good result, it is obvious that bhagavAn’s mercy will also lead to a good result; hence, it will fructify some day in some situation. Due to that, the chEthana becomes favourable towards ISvara and based on that ISvara will specially shower his merciful glance at the chEthana. Subsequently, the chEthana develops taste and faith towards ISvara, and considers ISvara to be prApaka (means) and prApya (goal). AzhwAr explains how he became like that and how such a person remains in this world.

[Explanation about being together with bhAgavathas]

Now, in upAyam (means) – after pursuing sarvESvaran who is omniscient, omnipotent, the lord of both paramapadham and samsAram, who has no unfulfilled desires, as the upAyam, as he will assume all the burdens of the chEthana and manage that, and as the chEthana need not do anything in response to his [bhagavAn’s] act, he does not have anything to do for his well-being.

Since the upEyam (goal) is kainkaryam (service) to be done in the special abode of paramapadham, after shedding one’s body and traversing through the special path of archirAdhi gathi, this [being together with bhAgavathas] cannot be directly said as goal too.

When one does not have anything to do in prApakam (means) and being together with bhAgavathas does not get considered under prApyam (goal), will this be considered as worldly enjoyment? No, that is also not applicable, since the goal is already determined [as eternal kainkaryam to SrI mahAlakshmi and SrIman nArAyaNan] and the means is pursued for that specific goal. That is, detachment in fake goals will be a prerequisite for faith in the real goal. Hence, worldly enjoyment is to be totally kept away.

In SrI bhagavath gIthA 18.66 “sarva dharmAn parithyajya“, bhagavAn ordered to abandon all dharmams – both ordained acts and the acts which are done as atonement for sins. If that is the case, when we don’t atone for the sins, will they not keep accruing? No. They will not accrue, based on the true nature of bhagavAn who is the upAyam [who cannot tolerate his devotee suffering] and the true nature of the person who surrendered [who will not engage in sinful acts]. Also, since one is sure to attain the goal after shedding the body, the sins will not bother the person who surrendered. Now, since bhagavAn who is filled with all auspicious qualities is pursued as the means and there is nothing for the individual to perform acts which are bound by rules in SAsthram, with the consideration of such acts being the means, the acts which are performed by him after acquiring true knowledge, will not be contrary to the means pursued and the goal to be accomplished. [Hence the individual will abide by SAsthram and act accordingly, without considering any of his acts to be upAyam] That is because, he should remain different from the ignorant ones who act as they desire, without  any respect to the rules of SAsthram.

Just as a forthcoming flood in a river will be revealed ahead by some symptoms, as the enjoying bhagavAn along with bhAgavathas is shown as the goal, and since this is the last body for the surrendered person, it should be seen occurring here. What are those aspects to occur here? Being unable to mingle with abhAgavathas and being unable to sustain without bhAgavathas. AzhwAr is mercifully explaining [in this decad] how these aspects occurred to him. As a wife becomes more knowledgeable about her husband, she will develop attachment towards him; only when she desires for another man, she will be disliked by him; while explaining the identity of prapannas, it was said in nAnmugan thiruvandhAdhi 68thiruvadi than nAmam maRandhum puRam thozhA mAndhar” (even if they forgot emperumAn, they won’t worship any one other than emperumAn); as one develops knowledge that sarvESvaran is the desirable one, one may develop attachment towards bhAgavathas. As part of this knowledge, one should give up the relationship with abhAgavathas.

Now bhAgavathas are those who inform us in the beginning that bhagavAn is the upAyam, and hence remain purushakAra bhUthas (those who recommend and unite AthmAs with bhagavAn). This prapanna, being a chEthana, having taken their help, should remain grateful to them. In the ultimate stage, since they are the ultimate stage of goal, they are as desirable as bhagavAn. In the meantime [until one reaches paramapadham], since they will remain as said in SrI bhagavath gIthA 10-9bOdhayantha: parasparam” (discussing with each other), they are desirable at all stages for the prapannas.

It is explained in ahirbudhnya samhithA 37 – 27, 28 “shOdA hi vEdha vidhushO vadhanthyEnam mahAmunE | AnukUlyasya sankalpa: prAthikUlyasya varjanam || rakshishyathIthi viSvAsO gOpthruthva varaNam thathA | Athma nikshEpa kArpaNyE shadvidhA SaraNAgathi: ||” that SaraNAgathi is in six ways. It is also explained in ahirbudhnya samhithA 36-38 “aham asmi aparAdhAnAm AlayaO’kinchanO’gathi: | thvamEva upAyabhUthO mE bhavEthi prArthanAmathi: || SaraNAgathirithyukthA sA dhEvEsmin prayujyathAm ||” (The intellect which prays saying “I am an abode of all faults; have no other means; no other refuge too; you be my means” is SaraNAgathi. Let that be done towards this lord) that the prayer “You have to be my upAyam” highlights his Akinchanyam (having no other means). If we accept one of these and reject the other one, the rejected one will be aprAmANyam (not authentic). How can both of these be reconciled without missing any of the principles? Since, in “thvamEva” (You only), as the non-expectation of any other upAyam is visible, the definition of SaraNAgathi is given in the latter SlOkam; in the former SlOkam, the natural aspects which follow SaraNAgathi are highlighted. If we observe the true nature of SaraNAgathi, it will not tolerate any help from anyone else; if we observe bhagavAn who accepts the surrender of the jIvAthmA, it is obvious that the jIvAthmA should have these aspects.

While the SlOkam highlights these six aspects as limbs in “shadvidhA SaraNAgathi:“, why are these explained as natural outcome for the jIvAthmA? In “prArthanAmathi: SaraNAgathi:“, as the intellect doing the prayer is in the chEthana, the grantor of the goal is exclusively bhagavAn only. In the “AnukUlyasya sankalpa:” SlOkam, when these aspects are followed as per the rules and are considered as limbs, if the chEthana does not desire the goal, he can abandon these limbs. But because these aspects are according to the true nature of the chEthana, they can never be abandoned and if abandoned, it will damage the true nature of the self. [For example] When one does not desire to reach heaven, one can avoid performing jyOthishtOma, but one can never abandon the nithyAnushtAnams (daily rituals) which have no specific result based on the performer of those rituals [Similarly, for a chEthana, as per his nature, he has to be surrendered to bhagavAn and subsequently “AnukUlyasya sankalpa:” etc will occur as natural outcome].

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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About Sarathy Thothathri

Disciple of SrImath paramahamsa ithyAdhi pattarpirAn vAnamAmalai jIyar (29th pattam of thOthAdhri mutt). Descendant of komANdUr iLaiyavilli AchchAn (bAladhanvi swamy, a cousin of SrI ramAnuja). Born in AzhwArthirungari, grew up in thiruvallikkENi (chennai), presently living under the shade of the lotus feet of jagathAchArya SrI rAmAnuja, SrIperumbUthUr. Learned sampradhAyam principles from (varthamAna) vAdhi kEsari azhagiyamaNavALa sampathkumAra jIyar swamy, vELukkudi krishNan swamy, gOmatam sampathkumArAchArya swamy and many others. Full time sEvaka/servitor of SrIvaishNava sampradhAyam. Engaged in translating our AzhwArs/AchAryas works in Simple thamizh and English, and coordinating the translation effort in many other languages. Also engaged in teaching dhivyaprabandham, sthOthrams, bhagavath gIthA etc and giving lectures on various SrIvaishNava sampradhAyam related topics in thamizh and English regularly. Taking care of koyil.org portal, which is a humble offering to our pUrvAchAryas. koyil.org is part of SrI varavaramuni sambandhi Trust (varavaramuni.com) initiatives.

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