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Sriranga gadhyam – 2nd chUrNai

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namperumal-thiruvadigal

avathArikai (Introduction):

In the previous chUrNai, SrI rAmAnuja prayed for kainkaryam (service). In this chUrNai, he says that he doesn’t have any other place to go, he doesn’t have anything in his hand , he has all the faults, yet he wants to surrender to bhagavAn so that he will be able to carry out kainkaryam thereafter.

chUrNai:
svAthma nithya niyAmya nithya dhAsyaikarasa – Athma
svabhAvAnusandhAna pUrvaka bhagavadhanavadhikAthiSaya
svAmyAdhyakila guNagaNAnubhavajanitha –  anavadhikAthiSaya
prIthikAritha – aSEshAvasthOchitha – aSEshaSEshathaikarathirUpa
nithya kainkarya prApthyupAya (bhUtha) bhakthi, thadhupAya samyak
gyAna, thadhupAya samIchInakriyA, thadhanuguNa sAthvikath 
AsthikyAdhi samasthAthma guNavihIna:, dhuruththarAnantha thadh
viparyaya gyAna kriyAnuguNa – anAdhi pApavAsanA
mahArNavAnthar nimagna:, thilathailavath dhAruvahnivath
dhurvivEcha thriguNa kshaNaksharaNa svabhAva – achEthana
prakruthi vyApthi rUpa dhurathyaya bhagavanmAyA thirOhitha
svaprAkaSa:, anAdhyavidhyA sanchitha – ananthASakya
visramsana karmapASa pragrathitha:, anAgathAnanthakAla
samIkshayApi adhrushta santhArOpAya:, nikhila janthu jAtha
SaraNya! SrIman! nArAyaNa! thava charaNAravindha yugalam
SaraNamaham prapadhyE II

Explanatory Notes: 
Sri rAmAnuja, in the first chUrNai of this gadhyam, had stated (a) his svarUpam (that he is always controlled by bhagavAn and that carrying out kainkaryam to bhagavAn is sweet to him), (b) bhagavAn’s auspicious qualities (3 qualities that he displays to all, 12 qualities that he displays only to his ASrithars (followers) and 3 qualities that he shows only to his and his ASrithar’s enemies) and (c) how he wishes to carry out kainkaryam to bhagavAn in all states, without interruption. In the 2nd chUrNai, he repeats these in the first part, starting from svAthma nithya niyAmya until nithya kainkarya. Why would he repeat something that he had just mentioned to bhagavAn? It is because of pArathanthriyam (dependence on bhagavAn) he wishes to restate his svarUpam; because of the superiority of bhagavAn, he wishes to restate bhagavAn’s auspicious qualities and because of the sweetness of carrying out kainkaryam he wishes to restate his desire for doing kainkaryam to bhagavAn. Not only that. In order to carry out this kainkaryam, he needs to make himself eligible for it. What is the enabler for doing kainkaryam? Is it not surrendering to bhagavAn? It is this that he is now asking for, from bhagavAn.

Let us briefly see the first part of this chUrNai, based on what we have seen in the first chUrNai (2nd part). SrI rAmAnuja says that being controlled by bhagavAn and being a servant to him are his svarUpam (basic nature). He then immerses himself in the auspicious qualities of bhagavAn (21 stated qualities that we have seen in detail). Born out of this experience is a loving desire (prIthi) to carry out  uninterrupted, unabated, exalted kainkaryam in all states, at all times, in all places.
Only one term is new in the repetitive words: anavadhikAthiSaya swAmy – bhagavAn is swAmy (master or lord or owner). What sort of swAmy is he? He is boundless and exalted. More than that, he is swAmy without any cause or reason. We have people on this earth who will be our swAmy for various reasons – be it giving us sustenance for living here (through employment) or our parents who take care of us for sometime, offering us protection or who give us gifts on festival occasions. But bhagavAn as lord or master is beyond all this. He takes care of all the needs of the jIvAthmA in this world; protects him in all ways; the relationship between bhagavAn and jIvAthmA is natural unlike the artificial ones that we have seen above as these last for specified period only.

In the first chUrNai, SrI rAmAnuja described all auspicious qualities of bhagavAn but did not mention the quality of bhagavAn which is being swAmy. Here he says that, indicating that this one quality is equivalent to all the other qualities mentioned in the earlier chUrNai.

prApthyupAya (bhUtha) bhakthi – prApthi – attained; upAya – through; bhUtha – being present; bhakthi – devotion. The kainkaryam that SrI rAmAnuja wishes to carry out is acquired through bhakthi.

thadhupAya samyag gyAnathadhupAya – that is attained through; samyag – well (defined); gyAna – knowledge.  bhakthi is achieved through gyAna (knowledge). It is that gyAna which differentiates between jIvAthmA (soul) and paramAthmA (bhagavAn) and not any ordinary gyAna. It is the knowledge which enables jIvAthmA to be pArathanthriyan (subservient) to paramAthmA.

thadhupAya samIchInakriyAthath – that; upAya – through; samIchIna – correct or proper; kriyA – deed. This gyAna is attained through proper deed. What is a proper deed? It is an act done knowing fully well about the AthmA‘s true knowledge and done with three renunciations – that I am the karthA (doer). that it is my duty, and that it is done with a benefit as its goal.

thadhanuguNa sAththvikadhAsthikyAdhi samasthAthma guNavihIna: – thath – that; anuguNa – suitable to; sAthvikath – having sAthvika (purely good) quality; Asthikya – believing in; samastha – all;  Athma – relating to AthmA (soul); guNa – quality; vihIna – deprived of. bhagavdh rAmAnuja lists a few qualities which are needed (basic) to carry out the previously stated deeds and ends up saying that he does not have these qualities. Let us look at these qualities;

thadhanuguNa – to be appropriate to the qualities mentioned in the previous sentence.

sAthvikath – full of sathva guNa (only good qualities, not mixed with unwanted qualities such as rajasic, passion or thamasic, ignorance)

Asthika – believing in bhagavAn/SAsthram and being faithful.

samasthAthma guNavihIna: – SrI rAmAnuja now says that he does not have any of these qualities related to AthmA.

dhuruththarAnantha thadh viparyaya gyAna kriyAnuguNa – anAdhi pApavAsanA
mahArNavAnthar nimagna: –  dhuruththara – not possible to cross; anantha – without end; thath – that; viparyaya – contrary to ; gyAna – knowledge; kriya – deed; anuguNa – appropriate to; anAdhi – from time immemorial; pApa – sins ; vAsanA – knowledge derived from memory; mahA – huge; ArNavam – ocean; anthar – right inside; nimagna: – sunk. SrI rAmAnuja says that contrary to the good knowledge and good deeds which are required for carrying out bhakthi and enjoying bhagavAn’s auspicious qualities, he possesses all the wrong knowledge and wrong deeds. Due to these, he has sunk right at the bottom of the huge ocean called samsAram. And, he doesn’t know how to come out of this endless ocean (here the reference is to the repeated births and deaths that an AthmA undergoes in its journey in samsAram).

thilathailavath dhAruvahnivath dhurvivEcha thila – sesame; thailavath – full of oil; dhAru – a type of wood; vahnivath – full of fire; dhurvivEcha – unable to separate. SrI rAmAnuja says that though AthmA is self-illuminating (due to his unbounded gyAna) it is not seen. It is not possible for him to separate AthmA from the physical body and see it separately. To understand this he quotes two examples: just as there is oil in sesame, but not seen by the eye; just as there is fire inside a type of wood but not seen by the eye. But why should he attempt to separate AthmA from body? In the previous sentence he mentioned that he is fully sunk in the deep ocean called samsAram and is unable to extricate himself from it. bhagavAn asks him as to why he can not separate himself from samsAram, also called as prakruthi (primordial matter). Responding to that, he says that only those who are desirous of separating the two (AthmA and body) and who can separate the two, can achieve it. Such people would have the mercy of bhagavAn and gyAna vAsanai ( deep impression in the mind about true knowledge). For the others, the body and soul can not be separated.

thriguNa kshaNaksharaNa svabhAvathriguNa –  three guNas; kshaNa – moment; ksharaNa – changing; svabhAva – basic nature. The AthmA which is inside the body, which in turn is composed of the three qualities of saththva (good), rajas (passionate) and thamas (ignorant), keeps changing every moment; i.e. keeps changing constantly.  This is its basic (the physical body’s) nature.

achEthana prakruthi vyApthi rUpaachEthana – insentient; prakruthi – primordial matter; vyApthi rUpa – pervading throughout. jIvAthmA has inseparable connection with prakruthi (samsAram) which is insentient and all-pervading.

dhurathyaya bhagavanmAyA thirOhitha svaprakASa:dhurathyaya – not able to cross; bhagavanmAyA – prakruthi; thirOhitha – hidden; sva – self; prakASa – illumination. jIvAthmA is hidden by prakruthi, due to which it is unable to emit its lustrous nature and is also unable to cross prakruthi (to reach SrIvaikuNtam).

anAdhyavidhyA sanchitha – ananthASakya visramsana karmapASa pragrathitha: anAdhi – without a beginning; avidhyA – ignorance; sanchitha – accumulated bundle; anantha – without an end; aSakya –  incapable; visramsana – to untie ; karma – deeds; pASa – rope; pragrathitha: – well tied down. SrI rAmAnuja says that he has been tied down properly by a rope. What is this rope? It is the rope of karma (deeds resulting in puNya (virtue) and pApa (sin)). What is it made of? It is made of ignorance that has been coming with him from time immemorial. Could it be untied? No, it is not possible for him to untie it. First he said that he is deeply sunk in an ocean which has the fine footprint of sins (pApa vAsanA mahArNavAnthar nimagna:). Then he said that his svarUpam has been totally hidden by prakruthi (bhagavanmAyA thirOhitha svaprakASa:). Now he says that he is well bound by the rope of karmA (karmapASa pragrathitha:). Thus the chain is anAdhi vAsanA (all the footprints carried from memory over long period of time or infinite births) – leading to agyAna (knowledge about bhagavAn is hidden) – leading to indulging  in wrongful actions or karma. In turn karma leads to janma (birth, carrying footprints from memory) and ends up in a vicious circle (anantha). Is there any path known to cross this samsAram?

anAgathAnanthakAla samIkshayApi adhrushta santhArOpAya: anAgatha – future; ananthakAla – endless time; samIkshyApi – even if looked at cautiously; adhrushta – not seen; santhAra- crossing; upAya – path. SrI rAmAnuja says that even if he were to look at the future, for a very long number of years, he is unable to see any way (path) by which he can cross this samsAram.

nikhila janthu jAtha SaraNya  – nikhila – without leaving leaving; janthu – all living beings; jAtha – born; SaraNya – refuge. SrI rAmAnuja confesses that not only does he not have good qualities, he also has all the bad qualities; despite this, he says that bhagavAn is the ultimate refuge for all people born in this samsAram. He implies that he too, having been born in the samsAram, qualifies to take refuge (surrender) under bhagavAn. This is similar to his saying in SaraNAgathi gadhyam “akhila jagath swAmin; asmath swAmin” (you are the lord and master of the entire universe; you are my swAmy too).

SrIman nArAyaNa thava charaNAravindha yugalam SaraNamaham prapadhyE  Sriman – consort of SrI (pirAtti, mahAlakshmi); nArAyaNa – protector; thava – your; charaNam – exalted feet; aravindham – lotus-like; yugalam – two of them; SaraNam – surrender; aham – I; prapadhyE – hold firmly onto. SrI rAmAnuja performs SaraNAgathi in this chUrNai, by surrendering to the exalted feet of bhagavAn. In the first chUrNai, he had prayed for kainkaryam. In this chUrNai, he carries out surrendering so that he will be granted kainkaryam.

SrIman – If the surrendering had been done only to nArAyaNan, he might have looked at all the faults and bad deeds that he had committed in earlier births. But SrI rAmAnuja is calling upon SrIman nArAyaNan – i.e. nArAyaNan who is always with mahAlakshmi.

nArAyana – when the AthmA was lying similar to achith during praLayam (deluge) bhagavAn had mercifully given him an opportunity to be born, learn about bhagavAn, carry out SaraNAgathi, and attain him ultimately. All these were possible because bhagavAn had decided to protect him somehow or the other. Thus, whether one looks at SrI (mahAlakshmi) or nArAyaNa, protection has to be granted.

thavacharaNAravindhayugalam – easily accessible, merciful, bhagavAn’s lotus-like two exalted feet are the means for attaining him. After attaining him, they are the unparalleled objects of desire too for carrying out kainkaryam. There can be no other path, apart from his exalted feet, for us to attain him.

SaraNam aham parapdhyE – As a path to attain you, I hold on to you firmly. This is not a physical action but an act carried out by mind (bhudhdhi).

This completes the 2nd chUrNai. We shall go forward to the 3rd chUrNai.

Translation by krishNa rAmAnujadhAsan.

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SrIranga gadhyam – 1st chUrNai Part 2

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lord-rama

We have so far seen 6 qualities of bhagavAn that he shows to everyone and 12 qualities that he exhibits only to his ASrithars (followers).  We shall now see the three guNas (qualities) that he exhibits only to his virOdhis (enemies).

dhairya Saurya parAkrama

dhairya – daring; he does not bother about his or his ASrithars’ enemies. In SrI rAmAyaNam, SrI rAma conducted pattAbhishEkam (coronation) for vibhIshaNa at thiruppullANi (near sEthu), before even crossing the ocean and knowing the strength / weakness of enemy (rAvaNa). This is his dhairyam. vAlmiki (the sage who composed SrI rAmAyaNam) writes that SrI rAma heaved a sigh of relief for having achieved the objective of what he set out to do on completion of vibhIshaNa’s coronation! Another example quoted by SrI periyavAchchAn piLLai in his vyAkhyAnam is in the battle ground in lankA when rAvaNa‘s mUlabhalam (his special army, capable of inflicting extensive damage to enemy’s army) came to the battle field.  On seeing such an army, SrI rAmA, without any change in his countenance, got ready to annihilate it. This is his dhairyam.

Saurya – the feeling that one would get when, on piercing the enemy’s vyUha (battle formation), looks around the enemy’s army and behaves as if he is amidst his own army, but goes on to create panic among the enemy’s warriors.

parAkrama – when he goes around his army before leaving for battlefield giving dharSan (audience) to his soldiers and checking last minute details, if his opponents see him at that time, they will not view him as an opponent but as their own leader. That is his parAkrama which literally means courage/valour/enterprise/heroism/strength etc.

Next SrI rAmAnuja lists four qualities of bhagavAn which are related to (a) his ASrithars (followers), (b) the fact that he is the upAyam (the path to attain bhagavAn) (c) the fact that he is the upEyam (objective or goal to be attained). These are:

sathyakAmasathya – true; kAma – desire; Here, sathya means nithya (forever; permanent). The meaning for sathyakAma is that he has qualities and wealth (nithya vibhUthi and leelA vibhUthi) which are there for ever and which his ASrithars are desirous of. Another meaning for sathyakAma is based on bhagavAn’s point of view. bhagavAn feels that he should protect his ASrithars and this becomes his desire. Since there is no one to prevent him from carrying this out, it becomes his permanent desire or sathyakAma.

sathyasankalpa – Whatever he vows, will happen. He keeps changing himself constantly to appear new to his ASrithars so that they can enjoy him better and better. Another meaning here is that in order for his ASrithars to see him, he takes various avathArams (incarnations) such as dhEva (celestial being), manushya (human being) etc through his sankalpam (vow)

kruthithva – When he gives something to his ASrithars and they get it, bhagavAn feels as if he himself has got it and feels happy. This guNa (quality) is called as kruthithvam. Doing what the ASrithar is expected to do, himself, is also kruthithvam.

kruthagyathA – to be thankful. We would have surrendered to him once, long time back. After that whatever mistakes we commit (unknowingly), he does not bother about these and thinks only about the act of surrender. Even after he gives quite a lot to the ASrithar who has surrendered, he feels that he has not done or given anything to him. He feels so thankful for having surrendered. This is his kruthagyathA.

Adhi – similar such qualities.

asankhyEya kalyANa guNAgaNaugha mahArNavamasankhyEya – countless; kalyANa – auspicious;  guNa – qualities; gaNa – bundles of such qualities; augha – flood or wave; mahArNavam – great ocean.

What has been stated among bhagavAn’s qualities is just a few. But there are countless auspicious qualities of bhagavAn which are like trying to count the particles of water in a great ocean.

parabrahmabhUtham purushOththamam – these are words which are widely quoted in vEdhAntham (upanishaths). parama – supreme; brahmam – absolute; bhUtham – being (entity). parabrahmabUtham – He is huge and he makes those who take refuge in him (surrender to him) huge. He gives his ASrithars the same level of happiness that he enjoys. He shares his 8 supreme qualities with those who attain mOksham (SrIvaikuNtam). Thus he is parabrahmabhUtham.

purushOththamam – supreme among purushas (jIvAthmA, mukthAthmA, nithyAthmA). In bhagavadh gIthA, krishNa says that he is different from achith (insentient) and chith (sentient – bhadhdhAthmA, mukthAthmA and nithyAthmA) and superior to them all. Also, purusha is defined as one who keeps on giving. Since he gives away everything to others, he is purushOththaman.

SrIrangaSAyinam – Instead of staying in some place where no one can see him, bhagavAn takes a simple form which can be seen by everyone. Thus he comes to SrIrangam and lies on the bed of AdhiSEsha.

asmathswAminam – my swAmy (my lord or one who owns me). He is not merely parabhramabhUthan or purushOththaman or SrIrangaSAyee. He is my swAmy. He is so beautiful and so simple. This defines the closeness of SrI rAmAnuja with bhagavAn. In SrI rAmAyaNam, lakshmaNa tells that he is servitor to SrI rAmA. Here, SrI rAmAnuja, who is punaravathAram (reincarnation) of lakshmaNa says that bhagavAn is his swAmy (lord), which means the same.

prabhudhdha nithyaniyAmya nithyadhAsyaikarasa AthmasvabhAvOhamprabhudhdha – high level of knowledge; nithya – for ever; niyAmya – controlled by bhagavAn; dhAsyaika – like a servant; rasa – being a servant is sweet too; Athma – soul; svabhAva – basic nature;  aham – I.

Here SrI rAmAnuja starts mentioning his qualities to carry out kainkaryam. He says that he knows fully well that he is completely controlled by bhagavAn and that he is his servant for ever. Being a servant to bhagavAn is very sweet to him. And this, he says, is his basic nature.

thadhEkAnubhava:thath – that; Eka – one; anubhava: – experience. Making only bhagavAn’s experience as a matter for gyAna (knowledge) (i.e. relevant to his knowledge). Nothing else matters. This is like the state of parabhakthi.

thadhEkapriya: – making bhagavAn’s experience as a matter for bhakthi (devotion). When gyAna matures, it becomes bhakthi. These words (anubhavam and prIthi) are born out of parabhakthi, paragyAna and paramabhakthi states, as we have seen several times in SaraNAgathi gadhyam. To recapture briefly, parabhakthi means having knowledge about bhagavAn; paragyAna means having vision of bhagavAn; paramabhakthi is attaining him. Another explanation for these three is: when one is with bhagavAn, one becomes happy. When bhagavAn leaves, that person becomes sad. This is parabhakthi. This is mere knowledge. paragyAna is craving constantly and taking efforts to be with bhagavAn. paramabhakthi is being always with bhagavAn, after attaining him.

paripUrNam bhagavantham viSadhathamAnubhavEna nirantharamanubhUyaparipUrNam – fully, completely; bhagavantham – to bhagavan; viSadhathama – very clearly; anubhavEna – that experience; nirantharam – without hurdles; anubhUya – having experienced.

bhagavAn is full of gyAna (knowledge) etc (gyAna, bala, aiSvarya, vIrya, Sakthi, thEjas etc that we have seen several times). SrI rAmAnuja wishes to enjoy that bhagavAn, in a very clear way (we shall see the meaning of this shortly). And, that experience should be without any hurdle. Thus, he is praying for having uninterrupted experience of bhagavAn, who is full of auspicious qualities, in a very clear way. Let us now look at some of the subtle meanings of these terms.

pUrNa anubhavam is subjecting bhagavAn’s svarUpa (basic nature), rUpa (physical form), guNa (auspicious qualities), vibhUthi (wealth, comprising nithya and leelA vibhUthis) to one’s experience. viSadha anubhavam is the experience of seeing bhagavAn right in front; this is equivalent to parabhakthi. viSadhathara anubhavam is equivalent to paragyAna anubhavam which is seeing bhagavAn when one closes one’s eyes. bhagavAn will disappear when eyes open; this happens when one is travelling in archirAdhi (bright) path towards SrIvaikuNtam. viSadhathama anubhavam  is paramabhakthi anubhavam which takes place when one reaches SrIvaikuNtam (being always with bhagavAn). niranthara anubhavam is having the experience without any hurdles. Here hurdles refer to the (five) sensory experience.

thadhanubhavajanitha anavadhikAthiSaya prIthikAritha aSEshAvasthOchitha aSEsha SEshathaikarathirUpa nithyakinkarO bhavAnithath – that; anubhava – experience; janitha – born out of; anavadhika – without limit; athiSaya – exalted; prIthikAritha – induced by love; aSEsha – without leaving anything; avastha – state; uchitha – appropriate; aSEsha SEshathaika – carrying out service without leaving anything; rathi rUpa – full of desire or love; nithya kinkarO bhava – make me a servitor forever.

bhagavadh rAmAnuja prays for being a servitor to bhagavAn to carry out kainkaryam (service) to him. This comes out of the love that is born out of paripUrNa, viSadhathama anubhavam (clear experience of bhagavAn who is full of auspicious qualities) that we have seen in the previous sentence. This experience should be there in all appropriate states, leaving out nothing. What are these states? When emperumAn is sitting, lying, standing, walking, speaking to nAchchiyArs (his consorts); in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, in the night; whether he goes to his antha:puram (retiring house, private quarters), thiruvOlakkam (public assembly), garden, lake etc. One may wonder, what kainkaryam can be done when bhagavAn retires in the night, to his antha:puram. nammAzhvAr says that when bhagavAn goes to antha:puram, he would be the cot, or lamp, or mattress, or flower used for decorating his bed, anything – i.e. achith (insentient) entity. This means, doing kainkaryam in all states, at all times, in all places, leaving out nothing. And this kainkaryam is carried out with loving desire because it is being rendered to bhagavAn and pirAttis (his consorts). While doing this kainkaryam, only one thought should be in the mind of the servitor, that he is the SEshabhUthan, SEshabhUthan, SEshabhUthan. The basis for all these is: gyAna (knowledge) about bhagavAn, mainly through kAlakshEpam and upanyAsam (listening to bhagavAn’s stories, his incarnations, his auspicious qualities etc) in our sampradhAyam; experiencing bhagavAn after acquiring this knowledge; leading to desire or love for bhagavAn, which ultimately takes one to carrying out kainkaryam. Hence knowledge or parabhakthi is the starting point. SrI rAmAnuja keeps stressing on this, every time he prays to bhagavAn. When he, who is such a gyAni, asks for gyAna, what can we say of ourselves!!    lakshmaNa, in SrI rAmAyaNam, did kainkaryam to SrI rAma in ayOdhyA (city), in dhandakAranyam (forest), in kishkinthA (mountainous region), in thiruppullANi (sea shore), while walking on sEthu (on the sea), while fighting (on the battle field), when rAma was alone, when he was with his sIthAppitAtti, when he was in court assembly, when he was in the battlefield, in the morning, in the evening, in the night, leaving out nothing. The same lakshmaNa, now re-born as  SrI rAmAnuja, asks for all these kainkaryams which he carried out in an earlier yuga (earlier age). The same was prayed for by nammAzhvAr in thiruvAimozhi 3.3.1 (ozhivil kAlamellAm udanAy manni…).

Do we need to wait till we reach SrIvaikuNtam to carry out kainkaryam to bhagavAn and pirAtti? No, we can do all these in our place itself, even in our house – doing nithya thiruvArAdhanam with love, decorating bhagavAn and pirAtti in our house itself. Going to the temple, sweeping the premises, cleaning it, making kOlam (patterns), stringing flowers for bhagavAn to make a garland, helping bhattar (priest) or parichArakar (one who cooks thiruvamudhu (food) for bhagavAn) or adhyApakas (those who recite pAsurams and vEdha in front of bhagavAn), accompanying uthsavar when he goes around town during uthsavams etc are the kainkaryams which one can do in this vibhUthi itself. For all these, despite being repetitive, the starting point is gyAna.

This brings us to the end of first chUrNai.

Translation by krishNa rAmAnujadhAsan.

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SrIranga gadhyam – 1st chUrNai Part 1

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bhagavan

avathArikai (Introduction):

In the first chUrNai, bhagavadh rAmAnuja expresses his desire for paramapurushArtham (highest objective to be attained through surrendering) which is kainkaryam to bhagavAn  SrIman nArAyaNa. There are several meanings for the word nArAyaNa – one who owns both nithya vibhUthi (SrIvaikuNtam) and leelA vibhUthi (materialistic realm); opposite of all faults; repository of all auspicious qualities and many more. Of these SrI rAmAnuja takes up the first, owning both vibhUthis, in this chUrNai.

Let us first look at the chUrNai.

svAdhIna thrividha chEthnAchEthanasvarUpa sthithi pravruththi bhEdham,
klESa karmAdhyaSEsha dhOshAsamsprushtam,
svAbhAvikAnavadhikAthiSaya gyAnabalaiSvarya vIrya
Sakthi thEjas sauSeelya vAthsalya mArdhavArjava
sauhArdha sAmya kAruNya mAdhurya gAmbhIryaudhArya
chAthurya sthairya dhairya Saurya parAkrama sathyakAma
sathyasankalpa kruthithva kruthagyAdhyasankhyEya
kalyANa guNagaNougha mahArNavam, parabrahmabhUtham,
purushOththamam, SrIranga SAyinam, asmath swAminam,
prabudhdha nithya niyAmya nithya dhAsyaikarasAthma svabhAvOham,
thadhEkAnubhava: thadhEkapriya:, paripUrNam
bhagavantham viSadhathamAnubhavEna nirantharamanubhUya, thadhanubhava janitha –
anavadhikAthiSaya prIthikAritha – aSEshavasthOchitha
aSEsha SEshathaikarathirUpa nithya kinkarO bhavAni II

Explanatory Notes:

svAdhIna thrividha chEthnAchEthanasvarUpa sthithi pravruththi bhEdham

sva – self; adhIna – control; thrividha – three types; chEthana – sentient entity; achEthana – insentient entity; svarUpa – basic nature; sthithi – sustenance (that through which it sustains itself); pravruththi – activity; bhEdham – difference. A simplified meaning is that bhagavAn controls the three types of chEthana and three types of achEthana entities, which are different in their basic nature, their sustenance and their activities.
The three types of chEthana entity are bhadhdha, muktha and nithya AthmAs – people still bound in this materialistic realm, people who were once in this world but who are now liberated and have reached SrIvaikuNtam, and people who are eternally in SrIvaikuNtam, without taking birth in materialistic realm due to past deeds, respectively.
The three types of achEthana entity are Sudhdha sathva (pure goodness), miSra sathva (mixture of sathva or goodness, rajas or passion and thamas or ignorance) and kAla thathvam (time).
For these two major entities, chEthana and achEthana, we need to look at their svarUpam, sthithi and pravruththi. svarUpam is basic identity or basic nature; sthithi is sustenance (how it survives) and pravruththi is activity.

First let us look at bhadhdhAthmA, among the chEthanas (sentient entity). bhadhdhAthmA’s svarUpam is that his gyAna (knowledge) is restrained. His sthithi (sustenance) is experiencing the fruit of pApa (sin) or puNya (virtue), which is either sadness or happiness. His pravruththi (activity) is doing karma (deed) which will end as either pApa or puNya.
For mukthAthmA, due to the causeless mercy of bhagavAn, losing the connection with physical body, which is the reason for cramping of knowledge, and being liberated, is its svarUpam. His sthithi is experiencing happiness by carrying out kainkaryam to bhagavAn. His pravruththi is experiencing bhagavAn’s auspicious qualities as well as constantly praying to bhagavAn by singing sAma gAnam (singing hymns from sAma vEdham) and doing physical kainkaryam too.
For nithyAthmA, the svarUpam is not having any contact with samsAram (materialistic realm). His sthithi is experiencing happiness by carrying out endless, multifarious kainkaryam. His pravruththi is having constant dharSan (vision) of bhagavAn, constantly offering salutation to bhagavAn and constantly praying to him (saying nama: (adiyEn belongs to you) and singing sAma gAnam).
Next we look at the svarUpa, sthithi and pravruththi for achEthana entities. The three major classifications of achAEthanas are sudhdha sathvam, miSra sathvam and kAla thathvam.
miSra sathvam
 (also known as prakruthi, the priomordial matter) is composed of three entities, sathva, rajas and thamas (goodness, passion and ignorance respectively). It keeps changing constantly. This is its svarUpam.  Its sthithi (sustenance) is to provide a body to jIvAthmA so that jIvAthmA can experience sadness or happiness when carrying out pApa or puNya activities based on its karma. Its pravruththi (activity) is to hide the nature of (a) jIvAthmA itself (b) bhagavAn (c) goal (reaching bhagavAn and carrying out kainkaryam) (d) path to reach bhagavAn (could be karma yOgam, gyAna yOgam, bhakthi yOgam or SaraNAgathi) and (e) relationship between jIvAthmA and bhagavAn (there are 9 different types of relationship between bhagavAn and jIvAthmA such as father-child, protector-protected, master-servitor, husband-wife etc). Not only does it hide all the good things, but it also highlights the enemy to reach bhagavAn so that jIvAthmA can enjoy all the forbidden activities and forget all about bhagavAn!
sudhdha sathvam (pure goodness), composed of five upanishaths, is devoid of rajas (passion) and thamas (ignorance/laziness). All the achEthana entities in SrIvaikuNtam are composed of sudhdha sathvam. Its svarUpam (basic nature) is that its rUpam (physical form) is constant (unlike achEthana entities in our world which keep changing form constantly). Its sthithi (sustenance) is (a) to be a tool for mukthAthmAs and nithyAthmAs to carry out kainkaryam (such as flower, garland, sandal paste, thiruvArAdhana vessel etc), (b) to be the physical form for bhagavAn when he descends to thiruppARkadal (kshIrAbdhi) or takes avathAram (incarnation) in leelA vibhUthi such as masthsya, kUrma, rAma, krishNa et al. Its pravruththi (activity) is to enlighten at all places it is present in, to induce kainkaryam among those present near it.
kAla thathvam (also called as sathva SUnyam) is different from prakruthi (primordial matter). Its svarUpam (basic nature) is that it does not change. In other words it can not be converted to anything else. It is composed of measures such a nimisham, kAshtA, nAzhigai, muhUrtham etc (these are measures of time such as second, minute, hour that we are familiar with). Its sthithi (sustenance) is controlling prAkrutha (achith) entities and jIvAthmAs. Their activities are determined by kAla thathvam. Its pravruththi (activity) is to be a factor for beginning and ending of all achEthana entities (for example, when will milk change into curd once it is set, or when will a jIvAthmA be born or when the jIvAthmA will leave the physical body taken).

bhagavAn controls all the six chEAthana and achEthana entities by being their antharAthmA (in-dwelling AthmA). He controls their svarUpam, sthithi and pravruththi. This also implies the fact that bhagavAn is the soul (SarIri) and we are all part of his physical body (SarIram).

klESa karmAdhyaSEsha dhOshAsamsprushtam

klESa – suffering ; karma – past deeds; Adhi – starting with these; aSEsha – without leaving anything; dOsha – fault; asamprushtam – not touching. Simplified meaning is that the suffering and past deeds of jIvAthmA will not affect bhagavAn who is dwelling inside the AthmA as its antharAthmA. Let us look at this in more detail.

At the end of the previous sentence, we have seen that bhagavAn is the SarIri (soul) and jIvAthmA is the SarIram (body). In that case, will not the faults of the body affect the soul? bhagavadh rAmAnuja says that these faults will not touch him. What are these faults? He mentions a few of them as given above, meanings of which are explained in more detail below:
klEsa – There are five kinds of suffering: 1) avidhyA (ignorance), 2) asmithA (ego), 3) abhinivESa (greed), 4) rAga (liking) and 5) dhvEsha (disliking or hatred).
karma – the above faults are the cause and effect of pApa and puNya (sin and virtue) arising out of bad and good deeds.
Adhi – many other faults such as vipAka – changes which take place when an AthmA takes various types of forms such as dhEva (heavenly), manushya (human), thiryak (animal) and sthAvara (plant) forms,  ASayam  – differences in the intellectual levels among these species, and many other such faults.
aSEsha – without leaving anything.
dOsha – All these faults
asamprushtam – He is not touched, right from the beginning, by any of these faults.

svAbhAvikAnavadhikAthiSaya gyAnabalaiSvarya vIrya Sakthi thEjas – Next, SrI rAmAnuja lists out various guNas (qualities) of bhagavAn, which are displayed as his svabhAvam (basic nature). Of these, the first 6 are of general nature which he exhibits to all people; the next 12 are exhibited only to his  ASrithars (followers) and the last 3, only to his enemies.  First in this set are the 6 characteristics that he displays to all:
svAbhAvika – of basic nature; anavadhika – without any limit; adhiSaya – wondrous, exalted; gyAna – knowledge; bala – strength; aiSvarya – control; vIrya – valour; Sakthi – energy; thEjas – radiance.
gyAna – bhagavAn’s ability to see all the entities which are present at various points of time, all at the same time right in front of his eyes. He sees the differences in the svarUpam of all the AthmAs, the differences in their karma, not only of the jIvAthmAs whch have currently taken birth and living in leelA vibhUthi (materialistic realm) but also of those which existed in leelA vibhUthi in the past and those which will take birth in future, all at the same time right in front of him.
bala – ability to bear the entire universe on his body through his sankalpam (will or vow)
aiSvarya – ability to control all the AthmAs and direct them.
vIrya – not displaying any change in his demeanour despite bearing the entire universe.
Sakthi – a) providing energy to all jIvAthmAs to carry out their tasks as per their karma. b) Also his ability to bind together things which can not be bound at all. For example, he can enter the smallest of objects (the Athma is of a size less than one hundredth of one hundredth of the sharp end of a paddy grain) as well as the largest of objects (large empty space that we call as sky). c) He is the reason for the creation of the universe (by his vow). This is also due to his Sakthi.
thEjas – ability to win over enemies effortlessly.

We shall now see the 12 guNas that he exhibits only to his ASrithars (followers).

sauSeelya vAthsalya mArdhavArjava sauhArdha sAmya kAruNya mAdhurya gAmbhIryaudhArya chAthurya sthairya 
sauSeelya – simplicity. He does not see difference between himself and others; even though he is much superior to all the others, he still moves as equals. He does this as his svabhAvam (basic nature).
vAthsalya – treating the fault in followers as a virtue.  The meaning of this is that he removes the fault and gives his good quality to the follower, just as a cow licks the dirt off its calf’s body with its tongue. Cow removes only the dirt, but bhagavAn removes the faults and gives his quality.
mArdhava – soft. But this is normally related to bodily (physical) feature. Here, the reference is to bhagavAn’s Athma guNa (quality of AthmA). Hence the meaning here is that his softness towards his followers is such that if the followers leave him, he feels sad. That’s how soft he is.
Arjava – honesty. He keeps his mind, speech and action focused in order to keep his followers with him. If there are any shortcomings in his followers, he makes up for that.
sauhArdha – thinking good for all. Whether his follower comes to his sannidhi (temple) or not, he thinks only good for them.
sAmya – equal to all and treating everyone equally. Not looking at the differences in caste/quality/activity of his followers and treating them equally.
kAruNya – without expecting anything for self, feeling sad for those who are in distress.
mAdhurya – graceful and charming in his svarUpam (basic nature), rUpam (physical being), guNa (qualities) and vibhUthi (wealth). Even if a person comes to kill him, that person feels the grace of bhagavAn.
gAmbhIrya – deep. If bhagavAn decides to help someone, no one can determine how much he will give or what he will give. He does not consider the lowliness of the receiver or his greatness to give. Even after giving everything, he keeps wondering whether he has done anything.
audhArya – Fulfilling the expectations of his followers. He calls his followers as donors because if they had not asked for, how could he give and  be called as a donor, he says.
chAthurya – Hiding the faults of his followers from pirAtti herself. If his follower has any doubt in his ability to protect him, removing that doubt is also chAthuryam. An example is the way he removed SugrIva’s doubt when SugrIva had doubt in his ability to take on vAli.
sthairya – If he has made up his mind to protect his follower, he will not step back even if a thousand hurdles come in his way. When many of his followers, starting with SugrIva wanted him not to grant protection to vibhIshaNa, he did not change his mind. Rather, he changed their opinions of vibhIshaNa and made them accept him.

With this we have completed the 12 virtues of bhagavAn that he exhibits towards his followers. We shall see the remainder of this chUrNai in the next part.

Translation by krishNa rAmAnujadhAsan.

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SrIranga gadhyam – thaniyan

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periyaperumAL-udayavar

chidhachithparathathvAnAm thathvayAthAthmya vEdhinE I
rAmAnujAya munayE namO mama garIyasE II

Meaning: chith – sentient (with gyAnam, knowledge); achith – insentient (without gyAnam); para – supreme (SrIman nArAyaNan); thathvAnAm – the true entities; thathva – true; yAthAthmya – as it is; vEdhinE – one who knows; rAmAnujAya – to rAmAnuja; munayE – sage; namO – salutation (bow to); mama – my; garIyasE – highly venerable AchAryan (teacher).

I bow to SrI rAmAnuja, who is my highly venerable AchAryan. He knows the true nature of the three thathvams (entities), namely chith (those which are sentient), achith (those which are insentient) and param (supreme entity, SrIman nArAyaNa) who is distinctly different from and superior to chith and achith.

Translation by krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan.

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SrIranga gadhyam

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periyaperumal-artSrIrangaAthan – mUlavar and uthsavar – SrIrangam

ramanuja-srirangam SrI rAmAnuja – SrIrangam

periyavachan-pillaiperiyavAchchAn piLLai

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After SaraNAgathi gadhyam, bhagavath rAmAnuja continues to recite SrIranga gadhyam in glorification of SrIranganAthan who is the presiding deity of SrIrangam. Let us enjoy this treatise now.

Translation by krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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SaraNAgathi gadhdyam – chUrNais 21 to 23

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21st chUrNai:

mA thE bhUdhathra samSaya: II

Explanatory Notes:

mA thE bhUdhathra samSaya:mA – no;  thE – to you; bhUth – to be; athra – here; samSaya: – doubt.

bhagavAn tells SrI rAmAnuja not to have any doubts at this stage. But why is he saying this when SrI rAmAnuja has not uttered a word? Sri rAmAnuja thinks over whatever has happened so far. He feels that what he has done (surrendering to bhagavAn) is a very small effort. The fruit of this labour, i.e. the benefit accrued out of this is very huge (getting mOksham, SrIvaikuNtam). And, the hurdles in getting there are monstrous (all the ills in samsAram, our world). In this world, even to get  a small benefit, one has to put in lot of efforts. Hence, would such an exalted benefit come to me for such a small effort, wonders SrI rAmAnuja. He doesn’t say this, but only thinks. And, is that not enough for sarvagyan (omniscient) to respond? bhagavAn says that he could expect this from someone who has tried to attain mOksham with his own efforts through upAyAntharams, the other paths (karma, gyAna, bhakthi yOga). But SrI rAmAnuja has given up everything else and surrendered to bhagavAn himself. Why then should he have this doubt? There is no need, says bhagavAn. The basic feature to be noticed here is that the effort that we think we have put in (in surrendering to bhagavAn) is not really our effort, but his mercy.

Let us now move on to the 22nd chUrNai:

anrutham nOktha pUrvam mE na cha vakshyE kadhAchana I
rAmO dhvir nAbhibhAshathE,
sakrudhEva prapannAya thavAsmIthi cha yAchathE I
abhayam sarva bhUthEbhyO dhadhamyEthadh vratham mama II
sarva dharmAn parithyajya mAmEkam SaraNam vraja I
aham thvA sarva pApEbhyO mOkshayishyAmi mA Sucha: II
ithi mayaiva  hyuktham II

Explanatory Notes:

There are three sentences, spoken by three different persons – the first is by namperumAL, the 2nd by SrI rAma and the 3rd by krishNa. In our sampradhAyam, namperumAL is considered to be SrI rAma and periya perumAL is krishNa.

anrutham nOktham pUrvam mE na cha vakshyE kadhAchana:anrutham – false; na – no; uktham – said; pUrvam – past; mE – by me; na – no; cha – also; vakshyE – future; kadhAchana – ever.

namperumal-nachiyar-serthi

namperumAL says that there has been no falsehood in whatever he has spoken in the past. It is not that it is due to some destiny. He doesn’t have even the smell of falsehood anywhere near him. When there is no connection at all with falsehood, how can he be expected to speak falsehood in future? That is also impossible (one may wonder whether he is presently speaking falsehood since he has ruled out falsehood both in the past and in the future; but then present is future when one is in the time-frame of past and it is past when one is in the frame of future; hence if past and future are mentioned, it goes without saying that present  is also included in these two). But SrI rAmAnuja still wonders that thiruppANAzhwAr had spoken of periya perumAL as krishNa…..And, krishNa has uttered falsehood many times, even ANdAL has said so in nAchchiyAr thirumozhi (143 verses sung by ANdAL)….

rAmO dhvir nAbhibhAshathE – rAma: – SrI rAma; dhvi – two; na – no; abhibhAshathE – utter.

This was uttered by SrI rAma himself amidst the merciful rushis (seers or ascetics) in dhaNadAraNyam (a forest area in present day madhya pradhESam). namperumAL says that he is the representative of SrI rAma and hence he will not say two things. SrI rAma had steadfastly held on to this (not speaking two words) throughout his avathAram (incarnation). SrI rAmAnuja now wonders as to where he had said as SrI rAma which did not require repetition. namperumAL says

sakrudhEva prapannAya thavAsmIthi cha yAchathE
abhayam sarva bhUthEbhyO dhadhamyEthadh vratham mama – sakruth – once; Eva – only; prapannAya – surrender to me; thavAsmi – I belong to you; cha – also; yAchathE – beg or solicit; abhayam – without fear; sarva – all; bhUthebhyO – from living beings ; dhadhAmi – I give; Ethath – this; vratham – vow; mama – my.

vibhishan-surrender-to-lord-ramSrI rAma says in SrI rAmAyaNam when vibhIshaNa comes to surrender to him at thiruppullANi shore (sEthukkarai) that it is his vow  to grant fearlessness from all living beings to a person who has surrendered to him once and who wholeheartedly feels that he (the person) belongs to him (SrI rAma). Now SrI rAmAnuja further wonders whether this is what he (namperumAL) said? namperumAL says that even as the next incarnation to SrI rAma, as krishNa he had said similarly. What is it that you had said as krishNa, wonders SrI rAmAnuja……

sarva dharmAn parithyajya mAmEkam SaraNam vraja
aham thvA sarva pApEbhyO mOkshayishyAmi mA Sucha: – sarva – all; dharmAn – dharmams (paths); parithyajya – giving up fully; mAm – me; Ekam – only; SaraNam – surrender; vraja – hold onto; aham – I; thvA – you; sarva – all; papEbhya: – sins; mOkshaishyAmi – shall liberate from; mA – no; Sucha – feel sad.

githai-karappangadu-wrapper

As charioteer for arjun, krishNa had said this charama SlOkam (ultimate verse) in the battlefield of kurukshEthra as part of bhagavadh gIthA. He had told arjun to leave all the other paths and hold on to him as the only path and that he would liberate him from all his sins and that he need not feel sad. Thus, namperumAL quotes from both rAmAvathAram and krishNAvathAram,  the two charama SlOkams. Still doubt lingers in Sri rAmAnuja’s mind as the two avathArams are different (in rAmAvathAram, he spoke only truths; in krishNAvathAram, he had spoken lies too) and would they not cancel each other? bhagavAn says that whether it was truth or lie that he spoke, he did so for his followers who surrendered to him and so long as they hold on to him, he will not let them down. And he further says…

ithi mayaiva hyuktham – ithi – this; mayA – by me; Eva – only; hi – surely; uktham – said.

namperumAL further assures that it was said only by him, whether it was said in vEdhas (scriptures) or by vaidhikas (those who follow scriptures). Since he is the one to whom his devotees surrender, his word is always correct.

Let us now move on to the next, and last chUrNai in this gadhyam, the 23rd:

athasthvam thava  thathvathO magyAna dharSana prApthishu
nissamSayas sukhamAsva II

Explanatory Notes:

athasthvam thava  thathvathO magyAna dharSana prApthishu
nissamSayas sukhamAsva atha – hence; thvam – you; thava – your; thathvatha: – truly; math – my; gyAna – knowledge; dharSana – vision; prApthishu – attain; nissamSaya: – without any doubt; sukhamAsva – be happy.

bhagavAn tells SrI rAmAnuja that a person such as SrI rAmAnuja who had surrendered himself fully to bhagavAn, will get full knowledge about him, have his dharSan (vision of bhagavAn) and will ultimately reach him (this is parabhakthi, paragyAna, paramabhakthi as we have seen several times). He assures him that this will happen and that he need not have any doubt about this and blesses him to remain happily for ever.

ramanuja-srirangam

With this we complete SaraNagathi gadhyam.

periya pirAttiyAr samEdha namperumAL thiruvadigaLE SaraNam
bhagavadh rAmAnujar thiruvadigaLE SaraNam
periyavAchchAn piLLai thiruvadigaLE SaraNam
jIyar thiruvadigaLE SaraNam

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Translation by krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan.

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SaraNAgathi gadhyam – chUrNai 20

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varaha_avatharvarAha perumAL who vowed to deliver his devotees at the time of their death

avathArikai (Introduction):

In the previous chUrNai, starting with Evam bhUthOsi, bhagavAn has narrated all that a person (bhagavadh SrI rAmAnuja)  who surrenders gets  and also what the person should do to spend the intervening period here until he dies. In this chUrNai, bhagavAn narrates about events happening during the time of separation from the body and how he takes care of him even if the person does not think of him in the final moments.

SarIrapAthasamayE thu kEvalam madhIyaiva dhayayA
athiprabudhdha: mAmEva avalOkayan aprachyutha pUrva
samskAra manOratha:, jIrNamiva vasthram sukhEna imAm
prakruthim sthUla sUkshma rUpAm visrujya, thadhAnImEva
math prasAdha labdha machcharaNAravindha yugala – aikAnthikAthyanthika
parabhakthi paragyAna paramabhakthikrutha paripUrNAnavaratha nithya
viSadha thama – ananyaprayOjana – anavadhikAthiSaya priya
madhanubhavasthvam thathAvidha madhanubhavajanitha – anavadhikASaya
prIthikAritha – aSEshAvasthOchitha – aSEsha SEshathaikarathirUpa nithya kinkarO bhavishyasi II

SarIrapAthasamayE thu kEvalam madhIyaiva dhayayA athiprabhudhdha: –  SarIra – body; pAtha – fall; samayE – time; kEvalam – only; madhIyaiva – only due to me; dhayayA – compassion; athiprabhudhdha: – highly enlightened.

bhagavAn says that around the time when the body finally comes to rest (when the soul is about to depart from the body), due to his (bhagavAn’s) grace, the person who surrenders reaches a highly enlightened state. bhagavadh rAmAnuja asks him whether this is happening due to his grace that he had mentioned earlier? (we had seen this in chUrNai 17). bhagavAn says that this is new. And, it does not happen because the person who surrenders has done something in this birth. It is absolutely causeless, due to his grace alone. In fact, one of the prerequisites for bhagavAn’s grace is that we should not have done anything (other than surrendering fully to him). Whether it is having experience of bhagavAn or getting hurdles removed or creating favourable conditions to reach bhagavAn, there is nothing that the jIvAthmA can do; he has only emptiness in him. It is only the grace of bhagavAn that gets him all these.

In the earlier chUrNai also, bhagavAn had granted gyAna (knowledge) to SrI rAmAnuja. Here also, he is giving him knowledge to a very high extent (athiprabhudhdha:). bhagavAn says that this is something special. What is it? SrI rAmAnuja wants to know…

mAmEva avalOkayan – mAm – me; Eva – only; avalOkayan – to look at continuously.

When earlier knowledge was granted, the jIvAthmA was still very much caught in samsAram; on the one hand, he had to look after the needs of the dhEham (body), even if minimal, and on the other hand, meditate on bhagavAn. Now, when the soul is about to depart, there is no need to look after the physical needs. The focus now is only bhagavAn. Hence this (athiprabhdudhdha:) knowledge is superior. Moreover…

aprachyutha pUrvasamskAra manOratha:aprachyutha – without slipping; pUrva – earlier; samskAra – ceremonial deeds; manOratha – wish or desire.

To wish that various ceremonial deeds carried out previously (before the last moments) would not slip away; that they would bear fruit after death. Let us assume that a person, after he performs samASrayaNam (a ceremony in which the person approaches his AchAryan (spriritual teacher) and undergoes five different stages of purification, one of which is reciting dhvayam, when he surrenders to bhagavAn), indulges in materialistic path, unmindful of what the AchAryan had told him to do, carrying out various misdeeds (apachArams, that we have seen several times before). Just when he is about to die, he starts wondering “am I going to die? How would bhagavAn be disposed towards me? Which path will I take after death – the archiraAdhi path that leads to mOksha or the dhUmAdhi path that leads to heaven or hell and would bring me to back to earth? Where all will I go next? What will I do?”

This is why bhagavAn reassures him, “don’t worry; only due to my grace”. Instead of feeling despondent at the time of death, as described above, what should I do? bhagavAn says that it is only due to his grace that he was able to approach an AchAryan, able to listen to the AchAryan‘s good words, able to carryout samAsrayaNam, able to get strong and deep belief that bhagavAn would take him one day under him, able to gradually mould himself to reach a stage where he craves to be with bhagavAn continuously. Hence he need not fear about losing all the good deeds done earlier. Not only this……

jIrNamiva vasthram sukEna imAm prakruthim sthUla sUkshmarUpAm visrujyajIrNam – torn; iva – like; vasthram – clothing; sukEna – with joy; imAm – this; prakruthim – here, it refers to the body which is connected to prakruthi (primordial matter); sthUla – the large, physical body; sUkshma – the subtle, infinitesimal body; rUpam – body; visrujya – to be disposed of.

bhagavAn further says that one should feel happy that one is discarding the sthUla (large, physical body) and the sUkshma (the subtle, infinitesimally small) body just as one would feel happy about discarding torn, dirty clothes. He says that the relationship between the body and AthmA (soul) is the same as that between the body and a torn dirty clothing. With contempt and disdain we discard the torn clothing. Why then should we feel unhappy about discarding this body, asks bhagavAn. Since death occurs due to his mercy, we should get rid of the body with ease. Not only this, further ripening starts taking place, says bhagavAn. How does that happen…..

thadhAnImEvathadhAnIm – at that time; Eva – only (itself).

Just at the moment that AthmA gets released from the body, various entities get ripened. For example, starting with parabhakthi (knowledge about bhagavAn) this matures into paragyAna (having vision of bhagavAn) and then on to paramabhakthi (attaining bhagavAn). Whether one gets such maturity or not is not going to decide on his attaining mOksham. If they are there, bhagavAn enjoys them as a source of enjoyment. If these are not there at the time of separation from body, they are granted by his sheer grace. In the case of a bhakthi yOgi (one who attempts to reach bhagavAn through bhakthi), if there is any shortcoming at the last moment, he has to take another birth and continue from where he left. But  in the case of a prapanna (one who has performed SaraNAgathi), due to bhagavAn’s grace, there is no such issue. SrI rAmAnuja wonders whether this is possible….

math prasAdha labdha  –  math – my; prasAdha – grace; labhdha – to get or attain.

Problems would come to one who decides on the path to reach bhagavAn (karma, gyAna, bhakthi yOga). But since the prapanna has left everything to bhagavAn, he need not get troubled by such problems. bhagavAn ensures that the prapanna gets everything due to his grace. There will be no hurdle in reaching mOksham too. bhagavadh rAmAnuja wishes to know what all one would get due to bhagavAn’s grace….

machcharANaravindhayugalaikAnthikAthyanthika parabhakthi paragyAna paramabhakthimath – my; charaNa – exalted feet; aravindha – lotus; yugala – two; aikAnthika – absolute or complete; athyanthika – endless; parabhakthi – knowledge on bhagavAn; paragyAna – vision of bhagavAn; paramabhakthi – reaching bhagavAn.

Due to bhagavAn‘s grace, he would get complete, endless knowledge on bhagavAn’s exalted feet (here the term ‘feet’ is indicative of his entire thirumEni, his exalted form) and would gradually get his dharSan (vision of bhagavAn) and would ultimately attain bhagavAn.

kruthaparipUrNAnavaratha nithya viSadhathama ananyaprayOjana anavadhikAthiSaya priya madhanubhavakrutha – obtained; paripUrNa – entire; anavaratha – incessant; nithya – permanent; viSadhathama – of  highest clarity; ananyaprayOjana – not mindful of other benefits (as purushArtham); anavadhika – without reducing even after taking repeatedly; athiSaya – wondrous; priya – full of love; math – my; anubhava – experience.

bhagavAn grants SrI rAmAnuja his experience. How is this experience? It is obtained from parabhakthi, paragyAna, paramabhakthi; it is complete; it is endless. viz without any break; it is permanent and is absolutely clear; it does not look at other benefits; it will never reduce even if SrI rAmAnuja goes on enjoying that experience; it is wondrous, i.e. of a very high stature; and, it is full of love.

janitha anavadhikAthiSaya prIthikAritha aSEshAvasthOchitha aSEsha SEshathaikarathirUpa nithya kinkarO bhavishyasijanitha – born out of; anavadhika – without reducing; athiSaya – wondrous; prIthi – love; kAritha – caused; aSesha – without leaving anything; avastha – situation; uchitha – proper; aSEsha – without leaving anything; SEshathaikarathirUpa – in  the form of loving kainkaryam; nithya – permanent; kinkarO – to be a servitor; bhavishyasi – you will become.

Carrying on from the previous verse, bhagavAn says that the prIthi (love) that he [SrI rAmAnuja] had got from his experience would propel him towards carrying out service that will be beyond abundance, of a very high order, full of love, leaving out nothing, in all situations, and that he (SrI rAmAnuja) will become a truly great servitor to bhagavAn. Thus parabhakthi, paragyAna, paramabhakthi will lead to getting anubhavam (experience) of bhagavAn. This experience will result in prIthi (unlimited love for bhagavAn) which will ultimately lead to permanent kainkaryam (service) at his exalted feet. This kainkaryam is given in a wondrous place from which no one ever returns (SrIvaikuNtam).

Thus far, whatever bhagavadh rAmAnuja had asked of bhagavAn, has been granted to him. What does he want next?

Let us explore that in the next chUrNai.

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Translation by krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan.

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SaraNAgathi gadhyam – chUrNai 19

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periyaperumAL-udayavar

avathArikai (Introduction):

bhagavadh rAmAnuja wonders how suddenly bhagavAn has granted all his wishes. bhagavAn says that it is because he has somehow recited dhvayam. rAmAnuja further asks bhagavAn whether it is that great. bhagavAn responds asking, what does it lack? By merely reciting dhvayam will I get so many benefits asks rAmAnuja. Yes, says bhagavAn, adding that because of that only, he told him in the 18th chUrNai Evam bhUthOsi (you get everything fully). Whatever kainkaryam you would get to do in SrIvaikuNtam, you have been granted the same kainkaryam [here itself] with this physical body of yours, says bhagavAn. rAmAnuja says that this body is enslaved by thApathrayam  (three tormentors that we had seen earlier, AdhyAthmika – physical and mental ailments; Adhibhauthika – ailments caused by animals, demons, human beings etc and Adhidhaivika – ailments due to nature such as heat, cold, storm etc). He further says that “I do not know when it will fall down (leave the samsAram), don’t know how to pass the time till I leave this place and I don’t know where to live”. When there are so many shortcomings, you say that I will have everything fully, laments rAmAnuja. bhagavAn says, “Oh, this is what you say! Hear from me what else you can do” and goes on to reveal these in the 19th chUrNai.

AdhyAthmika – Adhibauthika – Adhidhaivika dhu:kka 
vignagandha rahithasthvam dhvayam arthAnusandhAnEna
saha sadhaivam vakthA yAvachcharIrapAtham athraiva SrIrangE
sukhamAsva II

AdhyAthmika Adhibhauthika Adhidhaivika dhu:kka vigna gandha rahitha:AdhyAthmika – ailment due to AthmA caused by physical and mental issues; Adhibhauthika – ailment due to animals, birds, human beings, demons etc; Adhidhaivika – ailment due to nature, such as summer, winter, rain, storm etc. dhu:kka – sadness; vigna – obstacle; gandha – smell; rahitha: – devoid of.

bhagavAn says that SrI rAmAnuja will not be affected by any of the thApathrayams. Even their smell will not come anywhere near him, assures bhagavAn. rAmAnuja wonders how that is possible when he has this body. That is because that person happens to be….

thvam – you. bhagavAn says that it is “you!!”. When it is you, why should these ailments trouble you, asks bhagavAn. Here the reference is to the fact that bhagavadh rAmAnuja has surrendered himself to bhagavAn and hence these ailments will not trouble such a person. The person who surrenders has given up everything and has held on only to bhagavAn. All the happiness and sadness will no more trouble such a person as he has left everything to bhagavAn. bhagavAn says that he has granted SrI rAmAnuja “Evam bhUthOsi“. You are such a capable person. Once a person surrenders, the time (to reach bhagavAn) starts contracting; karma starts diminishing; he looks forward to being with bhagavAn very soon. Hence one need not bother about these ailments at all. SrI rAmAnuja says that even if that be so, how should be spend his time? bhagavAn responds…

dhvayamarthAnusandhAnEna sahadhvayam – the twin sentences; artham – meaning; anusandhAnEna – keep meditating/saying; saha – with.

bhagavAn tells bhagavadh rAmAnuja to keep repeating dhvayam continuously, with the meanings of the words. Keeping aside all relationships with people here, without getting involved in samsAram, praying for kainkaryam to bhagavAn, for a person who surrenders himself to SrIman nArAyanan, the only companion is dhvayam and he should keep repeating it, knowing fully, its meaning. Earlier, in order to grant him his wishes, bhagavAn had told SrI rAmAnuja that it was sufficient for him to have somehow recited dhvayam. But now, he is asking rAmAnuja to recite dhvayam knowing its meaning. Why such a difference? This is because, to get bhagavAn’s recognition, it is enough to recite it. But here, the need is different. rAmAnuja now wants to know how to spend the rest of his life. For this, bhagavAn tells him to recite dhvayam, but knowing fully well, its meaning. rAmAnuja wants to know how often he has to say dhvayam

sadhaivam vakthasadhA – always; Evam – like this; vaktha – say.

SrI rAmAnuja had surrendered to bhagavAn in three ways – (1) his way (as performed in gadhyam); (2) following the way of preceptors; (3) the way mentioned in ithihAsam (epics). We have seen these in 6th to 8th chUrNais. Of these three, bhagavAn is pleased with the way SrI rAmAnuja had surrendered in gadhyam and asks him to recite it in this way itself, always. vaktha – it is not enough to say it within oneself, in one’s mind or heart; it should be recited verbally because it is so sweet and enjoyable. Since SaraNAgathi gadhyam already contains the meaning of dhvayam, saying gadhyam is like saying dhvayam with all its meanings. But then why should it be said always? Is it not enough to say it once? bhagavAn himself, in rAmAvathAram, says that one should surrender once (sakrudhEva – only once). So why say it repeatedly? Living in this samsAram, we keep thinking of other paths to attain bhagavAn (upAyAntharam) and keep thinking of other benefits to ask of him (prayOjanAntharam). To ward off these evils, bhagavAn tells SrI rAmAnuja to  recite dhvayam, sadhA. Moreover, for the person living in samsAram, there is connection with both prakruthi (primordial matter) and with bhagavAn. While prakruthi connection will push us into worldly matters (prayOjanAntharam) leading to surrendering to the five senses, bhagavAth connection will make us realise our svarUpam and act accordingly. However, Sri rAmAnuja has now surrendered to bhagavAn; thus he need not fear about prakruthi. Since full-time kainkaryam will have to wait till he reaches SrIvaikuNtam, bhagavAn ordains him to recite dhvayam “sadhA” (always). SrI rAmAnuja now desires to know as to until when he should recite dhvayam. bhagavAn says…

yAvachchareerapAtham – yAvath – until; Sareera – body; pAtha – falls.

SrI rAmAnuja is not asking this question (until when?) seen in the previous verse because he is trying to attain bhagavAn through some other path (karma etc yOgam). He knows very well, as reiterated by nammAzhwAr that bhagavAn will grant mOksham (SrIvaikuNtam) when death occurs (thiruvAimozhi 9.10.5). He asks because of his craving for reaching mOksham (SrIvaikuNtam) and the apparent lengthy waiting time between the day of surrendering and the day of liberation. It is due to this that he compels bhagavAn. bhagavAn says he has to keep reciting dhvayam until the body falls down. rAmAnuja accepts it but says that he finds it difficult to stay in this samsAram (the materialistic realm) that breeds only ignorance. Having been told to recite dhvayam until the body falls down, rAmAnuja implores bhagavAn to also show him the place where he should stay. bhagavAn tells him that he need not stay in samsAram. Relieved, rAmAnuja asks him whether he is granting him SrIvaikuNtam immediately. bhagavAn says that it is not time yet for him to come to SrIvaikuNtam and at the same time, he need not stay in samsAram. Instead, he can stay in………

athraiva SrIrangE sukhamAsvaathra – here; Eva – only; SrIrangE – in SrIrangam; sukhamAsva – stay with happiness.

bhagavAn says that SrI rAmAnuja can stay in a place which is not part of samsAram as it is not touched by its ignorance. it is not a part of SrIvaikuNtam too as there are  times when it is touched by sadness prevalent in samsAram. rAmAnuja wants to know which place it is and bhagavAn tells him to stay comfortably in SrIrangam. It is neither a part of leelA vibhUthi nor a part of nithya vibhUthi but it is his third vibhUthi, also known as bhUlOka vaikuNtam (SrivaikuNtam on earth). People living here are different from samsAris as well as from nithya/mukthAthmAs. This is the right place for SrI rAmAnuja, says bhagavAn. It is a place which is incomparable to either of the two other vibhUthis (leelA and nithya). He adds, for someone who is living with this inimical body and who has experienced bhagavAn, no one from either of the two other vibhUthis would equal him.  bhagavAn adds that since he has left paramapadham (SrIvaikuNtam) and taken a posture in the temple (at SrIrangam), nothing in either of the two other vibhUthis would equal this SrIrangam. Hence he ordains SrI rAmAnuja to stay in SrIrangam without any shortcoming.

We shall proceed to the 20th chUrNai.

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SaraNAgathi gadhyam – chUrNai 17 Part 2 and 18th chUrNai

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In the previous part, we had seen bhagavAn informing bhagavadh rAmAnuja that inspite of rAmAnuja’s various misdeeds, he was fulling his desires only because SrI rAmAnuja recited dvayam, somehow or the other. We shall continue from there.

kEvalam madhIyaiva dhayayA niSSEsha vinashtasahEthukakEvalam – only; madhIyaiva dhayayA – my mercy alone; niSSEsha – without leaving anything; vinashta – completely removed; sahEthuka – with causes.

bhagavAn says that it was only due to his mercy that all the hurdles (without leaving anything) mentioned earlier were totally removed, along with their causative factors. By using the word “kEvalam” bhagavAn says that to remove the effect of the hurdles mentioned, there is no need to seek any remedy or atonement. His mercy alone is sufficient. What are these hurdles?

machcharaNAvindha yugalaikAnthikAthyanthika parabhakthi paragyAna paramabhakthi vignamath – my; charaNa – exalted feet; aravindha – lotus; yugala – two; aikAnthika – absolute or complete; athyanthika – endless; parabhakthi – knowledge about bhagavAn; paragyAna – ability to have dharshan (vision) of bhagavAn; paramabhakthi – attaining bhagavAn; vigna – hurdle.

The hurdles are those which prevented SrI rAmAnuja (all the sins and misdeeds that he had committed, as we had seen in the first part of this chUrNai) from realising parabhakthi, paragyAna, paramabhakthi at the two exalted lotus-like feet of bhagavAn and carrying out kainkaryam to him.

math prasAdha labhdhamath – my; prasAdha – grace; labhdha – obtain.

bhagavAn says that SrI rAmAnuja will get, out of his grace, these also. What are these?

machcharaNAvindha yugalaikAnthikAthyanthika parabhakthi paragyAna paramabhakthi – math – my; charaNa – exalted feet; aravindha – lotus; yugala – two; aikAnthika – absolute or complete; Athyanthika – endless; parabhakthi – knowledge about bhagavAn; paragyAna – ability to have dharshan (vision) of bhagavAn; paramabhakthi – attaining bhagavAn.

In the earlier verse, bhagavAn mentions about the removal of hurdles for carrying out kainkaryam to his exalted feet. In this verse, he says that SrI rAmAnuja will get complete and infinite knowledge about bhagavAn, have vision of bhagavAn and attain him so that he could carry out kainkaryam to his exalted feet. Not only these, but further also.

math prasAdhAdhEva sAkshAthkrutha yathAvasthitha mathsvarUparUpa guNavibhUthi leelOpakaraNa visthAra: math – my; prasAdha – grace; Eva – only; sAkshAthkrutha – obtain through one’s own eyes; yathAvasthitha – as it is; math – my; svarUpa – basic nature; rUpa – physical form; guNa – auspicious qualities; vibhUthi – SrIvaikuNtam; leelOpakaraNa – tool for my pastime; visthAra: – extent (dimensions or boundary).

bhagavAn says that only due to his grace, SrI rAmAnuja would be  able to see with his own eyes all the entities of bhagavAn – his basic nature, his wonderful physical beauty, his auspicious qualities, his wealth, both in the leelA vibhUthi (this world where we live) and nithya vibhUthi (SrIvaikuNtam) as they are. One may wonder, is there anything other than “as they are”? Can we also see things which aren’t there? vyAkyAthA periyavAchchAn piLLai says that in bruhadhAraNyaka upanishadh, under the chapter gArgy vidhyA, someone says that these are all bhagavAn’s entities, which are all false. Hence bhagavAn says that SrI rAmAnuja will see his entities as they exist. Also, if SrI rAmAnuja were to see on his own, he might not see the proper entities, and hence bhagavAn says mathprasAdhAdhEva – with my grace alone. More than that…….

aparOkshasidhdha manniyAmyathA madhdhAsyaika svabhAvAthmasvarUpa:aparOksha – perceptible; sidhdha – ready; math – my; niyAmyatha – control; math – my; dhAsyaika – servant only; svabhAva – nature; Athma – self; svarUpa – nature.

We can hear about bhagavAn; we can think about him and meditate continuously about him. But if we are able to see him directly with his grace, isn’t this far superior to the other methods (of hearing, thinking etc)?  Once his grace comes to us, our AthmasvarUpam (nature of oneself) blossoms in all its grandeur and we see ourselves for what we are: that we are under his control (he directs us from inside) and that we are his servitors (dhAsya). This is called us Athma svarUpa sAkshAthkAram (seeing/understanding the self as is). Once we get this AthmasvarUpa sAkshAthkAram…….

madhEkAnubhva: – math – my; Eka – only one; anubhava – experience.

Once we get this AthmasvarUpa sAkshAthkAram we can not stop without experiencing him. Once the knowledge about self dawns on us, it will not stop at knowing that AthmA is full of gyAna (knowledge) and Anandha (bliss). It will take us to svarUpa yAthAthmyam (knowing about self, as it is). What is this svarUpa yAthAthmyam? It is knowing that we are fully subsistent on bhagavAn for everything. It is not our nature to enjoy ourselves (kaivalyam or AthmA enjoying self). It is our nature to serve him always. This service to bhagavAn will make him happy. It is not our nature to feel happy that we are serving him. This is very important to understand. We should not enjoy ourselves as it becomes kailvalyam. We should not feel happy enjoying bhagavAn as it becomes svArtha param (benefit for one’s own purpose). We should feel happy that we have become an entity which bhagavAn will enjoy for his pleasure and his pleasure should be the cause for our happiness. We should be bhOgyam (entity for pleasure) and not bhOkthA (one who enjoys pleasure). Our happiness comes out of his happiness. We should not say that “he is my Lord”, but we should say that “I am his servitor”. While both mean the same, in the first part it is “I” who is prominent while in the second, it is “He” who is prominent.

madhdhAsyaikapriya:math – my; dhAsyaika – servant only; priya: – love

The AthmA’s love comes out of being bhagavAn’s servant. In thiruvAimozhi 3.3.1, nammAzhwAr says that throughout his life, he should be with bhagavAn and carry out faultless service. What is the fault in service? It is the thought that the service will bring happiness to me. kainkaryam results from love born out of experience. The experience is not mine but it is his.

paripUrNAnavaratha nithyaviSadhathamAnanyaprayOjanAnavadhikAdhiSaya priya madhanubhavasthvamparipUrNa – completely; anavaratha – incessantly; nithya – permanently; viSadhathama – very clearly; ananyaprayOjana – without any other benefit; anavadhika – unllimited; adhiSaya – wondrous; priya – loving; math – my; anubhavasthvam – experience.

bhagavAn blesses bhagavadh rAmAnuja with experience which is fulfilling, without any break, always permanent, which is very clear, not looking at other benefits, unlimited, absolutely wondrous and supreme, and is full of love.

thathAvidha madhanubhavajanithAnavadhikAthiSaya prIthikArithathathAvidha – like that; math – my; anubhava – experience; janitha – born out of; anavadhika – unlimited; adhiSaya – wondrous and supreme; prIthikAritha – caused by love.

aSEshavasthOchitASEsha SEshathaikarathirUpa nithyakinkarO bhava – aSEsha – without leaving anything; avasthOchitha – appropriate states; aSEsha – without leaving anything; SEshathaika – only serving; rathirUpa – in a loving form; nithya – permanent; kinkarO bhava – be servitor.

bhagavAn grants SrI rAmAnuja his wish. He tells rAmAnuja that he can carry out all services to him with the love born out of the experience that SrI rAmAnuja obtained from bhagavAn. This service would be rendered in all states, leaving nothing behind, would be permanent, unlimited, supreme. Thus bhagavAn fulfils all that Sri rAmAnuja had prayed to him, starting with removing all the hurdles in the path of getting parabhakthi, paramagyAna, paramabhakthi and ending with carrying out service in all situations with love born out of bhagavAn’s experience.

We shall now move on to the 18th chUrNai which is just one line (spoken by SrI ranganAtha):

Evam bhUthOsi – be like this (Let your desire become true).

bhagavAn grants SrI rAmAnuja’s prayer to be a servitor at his exalted feet, always like this.

We shall now go on to the 19th chUrNai.

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Translation by krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan.

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SaraNAgathi gadhyam – 16th chUrNai

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SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

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srinivasa-served-by-all

avathArikai (Introduction)

bhagavadh SrI rAmAnuja had asked for granting him kainkaryam (performing service) through parabhakthi, paragyAna and paramabhakthi in the 2nd chUrNai itself. By asking for it here (in this chUrNai) again, will he not commit the fault of repeating what he had said once? asks the vyAkyAtha (one who wrote the commentary for the original text), periyavAchchAn piLLai. Earlier (in the 2nd chUrNai), he had requested pirAtti to grant him the taste for kainkaryam (kainkarya ruchi) through parabhakthi etc, just prior to surrendering himself to pirAtti. He had talked about the swarUpam of kainkaryam there. Here he is praying for kainkaryam itself from bhagavAn after surrendering to him. Hence there is no fault here for repeating something that he had mentioned earlier, says periyavAchchAn piLLai..

Let us look at the chUrNai.

parabhakthi paragyAna paramabhakthikrutha – paripUrNAvaratha – nithya
viSadhathama – ananyaprayOjana – anavadhikAthiSaya priya
bhagavadhabhavOham thathAvidha bhagavadhanubhava janitha
– anavadhikAthiSaya preethikAritha – aSEshAvasthOchitha – aSEsha
SEshathaikarathirUpa – nithya kinkarO bhavAni II

Explanatory Notes:

parabhakthi paragyAna paramabhakthikrutha – parabhakthi – knowledge about bhagavAn, paragyAna – ability to have sAkshAthkAram of bhagavAn (ability to see bhagavAn as if he is right if front of us), paramabhakthi – attain bhagavan; krutha – being carried out. SrI rAmAnuja talks about the unbounded happiness that he gets out of carrying out kainkaryam to bhagavAn, based on parabhakthi, paragyAna and paramabhakthi.

paripUrNa – enjoying bhagavAn‘s svarUpa (basic nature), rUpa (physical form), guNa (auspicous qualities), vibhUthi (wealth) etc, completely

anavaratha – without any break; i.e. not diluted with anything other than bhagavAn. When we are thinking of bhagavAn, the entire thought process should be fully focused on bhagavAn alone and not on other things also.

nithya – always; until the AthmA is there (in other words for ever, since AthmA is indestructible).

viSadhathama – viSadha is enjoying in the state of parabhakthi; viSadhathara is enjoying in the state of paragyAna; viSadhathama is enjoying in the state of paramabhakthi. Enjoying what? Enjoying the svarUpa (true nature), rUpa (form), guNa (qualities), vibhUthi (wealth) etc of bhagavAn. When it is in the state of paramabhakthi, the enjoyment is complete, says periyavAchchAn piLLai.

ananyaprayOjana – without any other benefit; even the benefit of getting love or affection by the enjoyable experience is not required; and, the desire to carry out kainkaryam as a result of the love is also not required. The mere experience of enjoying bhagavAn‘s svarUpam, rUpam, guNam and vibhUthi is supreme and is enough.

anavadhikAthiSaya priya bhagavadhanubhavOhamanavadhika – without any boundary; athiSaya – wondrous or very exalted; priya – loving; bhagavadh anubhava – experience bhagavAn; aham – I. SrI rAmAnuja is praying for getting the experience of bhagavAn which is unbounded, supremely exalted and very dear. What will happen once he gets this experience?

thathAvidha bhagavadhanubhava janitha preethikArithASEshAvaschthOchithathathAvidha – like that; bhagavadh anubhava janitha – that which is obtained because of experiencing bhagavAn; preethi kAritha – resulting in joy; aSEsha – without leaving anything; avasthOchitha – proper situation. Extreme joy is obtained because of the bhagavadh anubhavam. What can be done with this joy?

aSEsha SEshathaikarathirUpa – aSEsha – without leaving anything; SEshathaika –  only as servitor; rathi – desire; rUpa – form. The joy leads to a strong desire to carry out kainkaryam (service to bhagavAn).

nithyakinkarO bhavAni – nithya – for ever; kinkara: – to be a servitor; bhavAni – to be. bhagavadh rAmAnuja prays to bhagavAn to make him as a servitor for ever. To get to this state, he asked for parabhakthi, paragyANa, paramabhakthi, and then preethi (loving devotion), and out of preethi, carry out kainkaryam. And he wants this kainkaryam in all states, without leaving anything.

With this, he has put forward to bhagavAn whatever he wanted bhagavAn to give him. Now namperumAL starts his response, which we shall see in the 17th chUrNai.

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Translation by krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan.

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