SrI: SrImathE SatakOpAya nama: SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama: SrImath varavaramunayE nama:
varAha perumAL who vowed to deliver his devotees at the time of their death
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 visrujya – jIrNam – 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…..
thadhAnImEva – thadhAnIm – 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 paramabhakthi – math – 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 madhanubhava – krutha – 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 bhavishyasi – janitha – 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.
Translation by krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan.
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