Author Archives: T N Krishnan

SaraNAgathi gadhyam – pravESam (Introduction)

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srI:
srImathE satakOpAya nama:
srImathE rAmAnujAya nama:
srImath varavaramunayE nama:

Full Series

thaniyans

namperumal-nachiar_serthi

Highlights from periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s vyAkhyAnam

srI rAmAnuja had expounded on bhakthi yOgam (path of bhakthi or devotion) in his treatise srI bhAshyam, to attain mOksham (liberation from materialistic realm) . This was meant to counter the hypothesis put forward by kudrishtis (those who give wrong interpretation of the vEdhas) who had said that only gyAna yOgam (path of knowledge) would lead to mOksham. srI rAmAnuja was concerned that his followers would also think that bhakthi yOgam only would liberate them from this samsAram (materialistic realm) and would follow that to attain mOksham.

In SaraNAgathi gadhyam, he emphasises on saraNAgathi (surrendering to srIman nArAyaNan) as a path to attain mOksham. One may ask, if saraNAgathi is the path to mOksham, why then did he not expound this in his srI bhAshyam to counter the kudhrishtis? The reason for this is that just as a brAhmaNa can not teach vEdha to a chathurtha varNika (4th class of people), one can not let out the sacred, rahasya (secretive) meanings of SaraNAgathi to everyone openly.

In what way is SaraNAgathi superior to bhakthi yOgam as a means for attaining mOksham?

  • bhakthi is limited to thraivarNikas (persons belonging to the first three varNas, viz., brAhmaNa, kshathriya and vaisya and even in these three classes, the males only) whereas SaraNAgathi can be carried out by anyone without any distinction.
  • bhakthi is a difficult method to follow while SaraNAgathi is very simple.
  • bhakthi gives results after the person who follows it exhausts all his prArabdha karmas (karmas, or deeds, are of two types, sanchita and prArabdha; sanchita karma is the sum total of all the karmas that the jIvAthmA (soul) had earned while being born repeatedly. prArabdha is that which God takes out as a portion from the full bundle of sanchita and lets the jIvAthmA to complete in a set of births in its term in the samsAram following the pApa / sin and puNya / virtue karmas with which it was sent to this earth). SaraNAgathi yields results in the same birth in which the AthmA had performed SaraNAgathi.
  • While following the path of bhakthi, one has to be very careful in not transgressing what is told in vEdhas. However that is not the case with SaraNAgathi as it is very simple to perform. One has to take lot of efforts to carry out bhakthi while in the case of SaraNAgathi, it is readily available for practicing.
  • bhakthi is not synchronous with the svarUpam (characteristics or basic nature) of AthmA while SaraNAgathi is. In other words, the svarUpam of AthmA is to be subservient (sEshabhUthan) to SrIman nArAyANan as well as to be dependent (pArathanthriyan) on him and these are fulfilled while following SaraNAgathi whereas bhakthi is attained through the self-efforts of AthmA which is not the svarUpam of AthmA.
  • And, bhakthi is not a match for the result which is attained while SaraNAgathi is.

SaraNAgathi is also mentioned in vEdhAntha. In yAgyikIya upanishad, twelve different characteristics are mentioned for a jIvAthmA and the highest place among the twelve is given to SaraNAgathi. It has been followed by pUrvAchAryas also and is dear to the heart of SrIman nArAyaNan. Thus, being acceptable to vEdhAntha, being aligned to the swarUpam of jIvAthma, having been followed by AzhwArs and pUrvAchAryas and being close to the heart of SrIman nArAyaNan, made srI rAmAnuja to expound it so that his followers would also be benefited by it.

He chose the panguni uthram day for performing SaraNAgathi when namperumAL and ranganAchchiyAr were seated next to each other. All the hurdles of samsAram were constantly going through in his mind and in order to get rid of these, he surrendered to the divya dhampathi. He had performed SaraNAgathi earlier when he took samAsrayaNam under his AchAryA periya nambi. While SaraNAgathi is to be performed only once, why did srI rAmAnuja perform it a second time? It was because of the fear that the samsAram was creating as well as the strong urge to be with God soon. Even AzhwArs performed SaraNAgathi repeatedly (nammAzhwAr did it 5 times and thirumangai AzhwAr, 10 times). Same is the case with AchAryas too. Hence in order to get rid of samsAram and to reach SrIvaikuNtam to perform kainkaryams (service) to the dhivya dhampathi he carried out SaraNAgathi.

We shall now move on to the 1st chUrNai of this treatise.

Translation by krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan.

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SaraNAgathi gadhyam – thaniyan

Published by:

srI:
srImathE satakOpAya nama:
srImathE rAmAnujAya nama:
srImath varavaramunayE nama:

Full Series

 ramanujar-periyavachanpillaisrI rAmAnuja – periyavAchchAn piLLai

periyavAchchAn piLLai’s thaniyan (we are including this to show our gratitude towards him for his commentary)

srImath krishNa samAhvAya namO yAmuna sUnavE
yath katAkshaika lakshyANam sulabha: srIdharas sadhA

Meaning: I worship periyavAchchAn piLLai who is the son of yAmunar and whose katAksham (graceful glance) will make emperumAn sriman nArAyanan‘s grace fall on us very easily.

thaniyan for saraNAgathi gadhyam

vandhE vEdhAntha karpUra chAmIkara karandakam
rAmAnujAryamAryANAm chUdAmaNimaharnisham

Meaning: I worship day and night, srI rAmAnuja, who is considered as the crown-jewel among all AchAryas, and who is like the golden chest that protects the camphor-like fragrance of vEdhAntha, retaining its sweet fragrance.

Translation by krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan.

archived in http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org

pramEyam (goal) – http://koyil.org
pramANam (scriptures) – http://srivaishnavagranthams.wordpress.com
pramAthA (preceptors) – http://guruparamparai.wordpress.com
srIvaishNava education/kids portal – http://pillai.koyil.org

SaraNAgathi gadhyam

Published by:

SrI:  SrImathE satakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

e-book: https://1drv.ms/b/s!AiNzc-LF3uwyggQN5jyXsoeoqKd_

bhagavath SrI rAmAnuja wrote 9 masterpieces – SrI bhAshyam, vEdhAntha sAram, vEdhAntha dhIpam, vEdhArtha sangraham, gIthA bhAshyam, nithya grantham, SaraNAgathi gadhyam, SrIranga gadhyam and SrIvaikuNta gadhyam.

The first three are related to brahma sUthram, the fourth deals with selected verses from vEdhAntham, the fifth is a vyAkyAnam on bhagavadh gIthA and the sixth deals with the daily rituals (specifically thiruvArAdhanam) to be carried out by srIvaishNavas.

The last three are the lifeline of our sidhdhAntham – They are a very lucid explanation to the swarUpam of SaraNAgathi and how to observe it. gadhyam means prosaic and thrayam means three. Since there are three gadhyams in this series, collectively they are called us gadhyathrayam. Our pUrvAchAryas gave lot of prominence to the three gadhyams. It is for this reason that even those who do not have the ability to grasp the meanings of the other granthams, should learn about these three gadhyams from their AchAryas. In this fast world, sometimes it may be difficult for the AchAryas to teach the meanings fully to their disciples. Hence an attempt is being made to explain the features of the three gadhyams through this series of articles.

namperumal-nachiyar-serthi  srIranga nAchchiyAr and srIranganAthan – srIrangam

ramanuja-srirangam SrI rAmAnuja – SrIrangam

SrI rAmAnuja chose the panguni uthram day, which is the thirunakshathram for periya pirAttiyAr at srI rangam, to surrender himself to the dhivya dhampathi and thus showed the way for his  disciples to follow. It is on this day that both SrIranganAthan and SrIranga nAchchiyAr share one simhAsanam (throne) and bless the thronging devotees. It is the only day when the dhivya dhampathi sit next to each other, in the whole year. With SrIranga nAchchiyAr by his side, SrIranganAthan sheds his tough stance and softens up to the devotees. Hence SrI rAmAnuja chose this day.

Initially he surrenders to periya pirAttiyAr, then to namperumAL. This is expounded in SaraNAgathi gadhyam. Then he recites srIranga gadhyam, which is specially devoted to namperumAL at srI rangam. In the third gadhyam (SrIvaikuNta gadhyam) he describes the features of SrIvaikuNtam so that the prapannan (the person who performs the act of prapaththi or SaraNAgathi) would know the importance of the place where he would go to, on attaining mOksham (liberation from samsAram or materialistic realm).

periyavachan-pillaiperiyavAchchAn piLLai

The meanings that are being attempted here are based on the vyAkhyAnam of paramakAruNikar, srI periyavAchchAn piLLai. There are 23 chUrNais in SaraNAgathi gadhyam (a chUrNai can be taken roughly as a paragraph). We shall give the meanings of words in each chUrNai and then give an overall summary of what SrI rAmANuja has conveyed in it, through periyavAchchAn piLLai’s vyAkyAnam. We are also thankful to vELukkudi SrI u vE krishNan swamy’s kAlakshEpam series which is of great help in understanding the wonderful vyAkhyAnam of periyavAchchAn piLLai.

We will start seeing the English translation for this wonderful grantham.

Translation by krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

archived in http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org

pramEyam (goal) – http://koyil.org
pramANam (scriptures) – http://granthams.koyil.org
pramAthA (preceptors) – http://acharyas.koyil.org
SrIvaishNava education/kids portal – http://pillai.koyil.org