Category Archives: SaraNAgathi gadhyam

शरणागति गद्य – प्रवेश (परिचय खंड)

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श्री: श्रीमते शठकोपाय नमः श्रीमते रामानुजाय नमः श्रीमद्वरवरमुनये नमः

शरणागति गद्य

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namperumal-nachiar_serthiश्रीनम्पेरुमाल और श्रीरंगनाच्चियार – श्रीरंगम

श्रीपेरियवाच्चान पिल्लै के व्याख्यान का मुख्य आकर्षण

श्रीरामानुज स्वामीजी ने अपने प्रबंध श्रीभाष्य में मोक्ष (संसार से मुक्ति) प्राप्ति के लिए भक्ति योग की व्याख्या की है। श्रीभाष्य की रचना, कुदृष्टियों (वह जो वेदों का गलत अर्थ करते हैं) के तर्क का विरोध करने के लिए की गयी थी, जिनका मत था कि केवल ज्ञान योग से ही मोक्ष की प्राप्ति हो सकती है। श्रीरामानुज स्वामीजी इस बात से चिंतित थे कि श्रीभाष्य में वर्णित निर्णय से उनके अनुयायी और शिष्यजन यही विचार करेंगे कि मात्र भक्ति योग के द्वारा ही इस संसार से मुक्ति (मोक्ष) प्राप्त किया जा सकता है और वे मोक्ष प्राप्ति के लिए उसका ही अनुसरण करेंगे।

शरणागति गद्य में उन्होंने मोक्ष प्राप्ति के लिए शरणागति (भगवान श्रीमन्नारायण के आश्रित होना) के मार्ग पर विशेष ज़ोर दिया है। यहाँ एक प्रश्न मन में उठ सकता है कि जब शरणागति ही मोक्ष का मार्ग है, तब कूदृष्टियों के विरोध में “श्रीभाष्य” ग्रंथ में उन्होंने इस मार्ग की व्याख्या क्यों नहीं की? इसका कारण यह है कि जिस प्रकार एक ब्राह्मण चतुर्थ वर्ण के मनुष्य को वेद नहीं सिखा सकता, उसी प्रकार शरणागति के पवित्र रहस्य अर्थों को सर्वसामान्य में इस प्रकार प्रकट नहीं किया जा सकता।

मोक्ष प्राप्ति के लिए शरणागति, भक्ति योग से किस प्रकार से श्रेष्ठ है?

  • भक्ति, त्रयवर्णिकाओं तक ही सीमित है (प्रथम तीन वर्णों के लिए अर्थात- ब्राहमण, क्षत्रिय और वैश्य और इन तीन वर्णों में भी मात्र पुरुषों के लिए) परंतु शरणागति बिना किसी भेद के किसी भी प्राणी द्वारा की जा सकती है।
  • भक्ति का मार्ग कठिन है यद्यपि शरणागति का मार्ग अत्यंत सुलभ और सुगम है।
  • भक्ति के परिणाम, भक्त को तब प्राप्त होता है, जब उसके सभी प्रारब्ध कर्मों की समाप्ति होती है (कर्म दो प्रकार के होते हैं, संचित और प्रारब्ध :-
  • संचित कर्म उन सभी कर्मों का योग है, जो जीवात्मा ने अगणित जन्मों में उपार्जित किया है।
  • प्रारब्ध कर्म – संचित कर्म की गठरी से एक हिस्से के रूप में बाहर लेकर जीवात्मा को अपने कर्म के अनुसार पाप और पूण्य के रूप में इस संसार में बिताने की सुविधा दिया जाता है।
  • परंतु शरणागति का परिणाम उसी जन्म में प्राप्त होता है, जिस जन्म में आत्मा द्वारा शरणागति की जाती है।
  • भक्ति के मार्ग का अनुसरण करते हुए, भक्त को यह सावधानी रखनी चाहिए कि वेदों में कहे गए निर्देशों का उल्लंघन न हो। यद्यपि शरणागति के मार्ग में ऐसा नहीं है, क्यूंकि शरणागति करना तो अत्यंत सुगम है। भक्ति करने के लिए बहुत से प्रयास करने पड़ते हैं परंतु शरणागति सदा ही अभ्यास हेतु सहज है।
  • भक्ति का मार्ग आत्मा के स्वरुप के अनुरूप नहीं है, यद्यपि शरणागति स्वरुप अनुरूप है। अन्य शब्दों में, आत्मा का स्वरुप श्रीमन्नारायण भगवान के सेवक/ दास (शेषभूत) और उनके आश्रित (परतंत्र) बनकर रहना है और यह सभी शरणागति के मार्ग के अनुसरण से ही पूर्ण हो सकता है, जबकि भक्ति आत्मा द्वारा स्व-प्रयासों से की जाती है, जो आत्मा के स्वरुप के विपरीत है।
  • भक्ति मार्ग के माध्यम से जो परिणाम प्राप्त होता है ( मोक्ष अथवा भगवान के चरण कमल ) वो माध्यम इस परिणाम का लायक नहीं है किन्तु शरणागति माध्यम इस उच्च और श्रेष्ट परिणाम का यथोचित माध्यम है |

वेदांत में भी शरणागति का उल्लेख प्राप्त होता है। याग्निकीय उपनिषद् में, जीवात्मा के लिए द्वादश (१२) विशेष गुणों का उल्लेख किया गया है और उन सभी द्वादश गुणों में सबसे उंचा स्थान शरणागति को दिया गया है। शरणागति पूर्वाचार्यों द्वारा अनुसरण की गयी है और भगवान श्रीमन्नारायण को सबसे प्रिय है। इसलिए, वेदांत द्वारा स्वीकृत, जीवात्मा के स्वरुप के अनुरूप, आलवारों और पूर्वाचार्यों द्वारा अनुसरण की जाने वाली और भगवान श्रीमन्नारायण को प्रिय, शरणागति के इन गुणों को जानकार, श्रीरामानुज स्वामीजी ने शरणागति के विषय पर व्याख्या की, जिससे उनके अनुयायी भी शरणागति का लाभ ले सकें।

उन्होंने शरणागति के लिए उत्तर फाल्गुनी के दिन का चयन किया, जिस दिन श्रीनम्पेरुमाल और श्रीरंगनाच्चियार संग में विराजमान होकर दासों को दर्शन देते हैं। उनके मानस में संसार की सभी बाधाओं का सतत विचार चल रहा था और उनसे मुक्ति प्राप्त करने के लिए, उन्होंने दिव्य दंपत्ति के चरणों में शरणागति की। अपने आचार्य श्रीमहापूर्ण स्वामीजी द्वारा समाश्रयण प्राप्त करते हुए भी श्रीरामानुज स्वामीजी ने भगवान के चरणों में शरणागति की थी। जब शरणागति एक ही बार की जाती है, तब श्रीरामानुज स्वामीजी ने पुनः दिव्य दंपत्ति के चरणों में शरणागति क्यों की? संसार के भयानक रूप को जानकार और भगवान से शीघ्रातिशीघ्र मिलने की उत्कट चाहते हुए उन्होंने पुनः शरणागति की। यहाँ तक की आलवारों ने भी बारम्बार शरणागति की है (श्रीशठकोप स्वामीजी ने 5 बार और श्रीपरकाल स्वामीजी ने, 10 बार)। यही आचार्यों ने भी किया है। इसलिए इस संसार से मुक्ति प्राप्त करने के लिए और श्रीवैकुंठ में दिव्य दंपत्ति के कैंकर्य प्राप्ति हेतु, उन्होंने शरणागति की।

अब हम इस प्रबंध की प्रथम चूर्णिका की ओर अग्रसर होते हैं।

– अडियेन भगवती रामानुजदासी

आधार – http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org/index.php/2015/11/saranagathi-gadhyam-introduction/

प्रमेय (लक्ष्य) – http://koyil.org
प्रमाण (शास्त्र) – http://granthams.koyil.org
प्रमाता (आचार्य) – http://acharyas.koyil.org
श्रीवैष्णव शिक्षा/बालकों का पोर्टल – http://pillai.koyil.org

शरणागति गद्य- तनियन

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श्री:  श्रीमते शठकोपाय नमः  श्रीमते रामानुजाय नमः  श्रीमद्वरवरमुनये नमः

शरणागति गद्य
ramanujar-periyavachanpillai

श्रीरामानुज स्वामीजीश्रीपेरियवाच्चान पिल्लै

श्रीपेरियवाच्चान पिल्लै की तनियन (उनके अद्भुत व्याख्यान के प्रति कृतज्ञता प्रदर्शित करने के लिए यह तनियन प्रस्तुत की गयी है) –

श्रीमत कृष्ण समाह्वाय नमो यामुन शूनवे|
यत कटाक्षैक लक्ष्याणम् सुलभ: श्रीधरस्सदा ||

अर्थात: मैं श्रीपेरियवाच्चान पिल्लै स्वामीजी के चरणों की आराधना करता हूँ, जो श्रीयामुन के सुपुत्र है और जिनकी कृपाकटाक्ष से अत्यंत ही सुलभता से भगवान श्रीमन्नारायण की कृपा प्राप्त होती है।

शरणागति गद्य की तनियन –

वन्दे वेदांत कर्पूर चामीकर करंडकम
रामनुजार्यमार्याणाम चूड़ामणिमहर्निषम्

अर्थात: मैं, दिन-रात श्रीरामानुज स्वामीजी की आराधना करता हूँ, जो सभी आचार्यों के मुकुटमणि के समान है, और जो उस स्वर्णिम कोष के समान है- जो कपूर जैसी सुगंध वाले वेदांत की रक्षा करते है।

– अडियेन भगवती रामानुजदासी

आधार – http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org/index.php/2015/11/saranagathi-gadyam-thaniyans/

प्रमेय (लक्ष्य) – http://koyil.org
प्रमाण (शास्त्र) – http://granthams.koyil.org
प्रमाता (आचार्य) – http://acharyas.koyil.org
श्रीवैष्णव शिक्षा/बालकों का पोर्टल – http://pillai.koyil.org

शरणागति गद्य

Published by:

श्री: श्रीमते शठकोपाय नमः श्रीमते रामानुजाय नमः श्रीमद्वरवरमुनये नमः

भगवद श्रीरामानुज स्वामीजी ने नौ उत्कृष्ट ग्रंथों की रचना की– श्रीभाष्य, वेदांत सारम, वेदांत दीपम, वेदार्थ संग्रहम, गीता भाष्यम, नित्य ग्रंथ, शरणागति गद्यम, श्रीरंग गद्यम और श्रीवैकुंठ गद्यम।

प्रथम तीन ग्रंथ, ब्रह्म सूत्र से सम्बंधित है, चतुर्थ ग्रंथ, वेदांत के कुछ विशिष्ट छंदों से संबंधित है, पंचम ग्रंथ, भगवद गीता पर रचित व्याख्यान है और नित्य ग्रंथ, श्रीवैष्णवों द्वारा किये जाने वाले दैनिक अनुष्ठानों (विशेषतः तिरुवाराधन) से संबंधित है।

अंतिम तीन ग्रंथ हमारे सिद्धांत की जीवनरेखा हैं– यह शरणागति के स्वरुप और उसे कैसे अनुसरण किया जाता है, उस विषय में अत्यंत सुंदर वर्णन प्रदान करता है। गद्य अर्थात छंदरहित और त्रय अर्थात तीन। क्यूंकि इस श्रृंखला में त्रय/ तीन गद्य हैं, इसलिए एक रूप में इसे गद्य त्रय भी कहा जाता है। हमारे पूर्वाचार्यों ने इन गद्य त्रय को अत्यधिक महत्त्व प्रदान किया है। यही कारण है कि जिनमें अन्य दिव्य संप्रदाय ग्रंथों के सार को आत्मसात करने का सामर्थ्य नहीं है, वे भी अपने आचार्य की कृपा से इन तीन ग्रंथों का ज्ञान प्राप्त कर सकते हैं। आज की अत्यंत तेज जीवनशैली में, कभी-कभी आचार्य के लिए अपने अनुयायियों को इनके समस्त अर्थों का ज्ञान प्रदान करना कठिन हो जाता है। इसलिए इन तीन गद्यों की विशेषता को लेखों की श्रृंखला द्वारा समझाने का यह एक छोटा सा प्रयास है।

namperumal-nachiyar-serthiश्रीरंगनाच्चियार और श्रीरंगनाथ भगवान– श्रीरंगमramanuja-srirangam श्रीरामानुज स्वामीजी – श्रीरंगम

श्रीरामानुज स्वामीजी ने श्रीरंगम में पेरिय पिराट्टियार के तिरुनक्षत्र दिवस, उत्तर-फाल्गुन का चयन कर, उस दिन दिव्य दंपत्ति के श्रीचरणों में शरणागति की और अपने अनुयायियों को भी अनुकरणीय मार्ग दर्शाया। इस दिन श्रीरंगम में श्रीरंगनाथ भगवान और श्रीरंगनाच्चियार दोनों एक ही सिंहासन पर विराजमान होकर अपने दासों पर कृपा करते हैं। यह वर्ष का एकमात्र दिवस है, जब दिव्य दंपत्ति एक साथ विराजते हैं। श्रीरंगनाच्चियार के साथ विराजे भगवान श्रीरंगनाथ अपना सख्त स्वरुप त्यागकर, अपने दासों पर दया करते हैं। इसलिए श्रीरामानुज स्वामीजी ने इस दिन का चयन किया।

सर्वप्रथम उन्होंने पेरिय पिराट्टीयार के श्रीचरणों में शरणागति की, और तद्पश्चात नम्पेरुमाल के श्रीचरणों में। शरणागति गद्य में इसी की व्याख्या की गयी है। फिर उन्होंने श्रीरंग गद्य की रचना की, जो विशेषतः श्रीरंगम में विराजे नम्पेरुमाल के प्रति समर्पित है। तृतीय गद्य (श्रीवैकुंठ गद्य) में श्रीरामानुज स्वामीजी, श्रीवैकुंठ की विशेषताओं का वर्णन करते हैं, जिससे प्रपन्न (वह प्राणी जो प्रपत्ति अथवा शरणागति करता है) उस स्थान के महत्त्व को समझ सके जहाँ मोक्ष (लौकिक संसार से, जन्म मरण के चक्र से मुक्ति) प्राप्ति पर उन्हें जाना है।

periyavachan-pillaiश्रीपेरियवाच्चान पिल्लै

इस गद्य के अर्थों का प्रयास, परमकरुणाकर श्रीपेरियवाच्चान पिल्लै के व्याख्यान पर आधारित है। शरणागति गद्य में 23 चूर्णिकायें हैं (एक चूर्णिका लगभग एक परिच्छेद के समान है)। सर्वप्रथम प्रत्येक चूर्णिका के शब्दों का अर्थ समझाया गया है और फिर श्रीपेरियवाच्चान पिल्लै के व्याख्यान के माध्यम से श्रीरामानुज स्वामीजी द्वारा प्रकट किये गए सार को समझाया गया है। हम श्रीवेलुक्कुड़ी श्री उ.वे. कृष्णन स्वामीजी के आभारी हैं, जिनके कालक्षेप के द्वारा श्रीपेरियवाच्चान पिल्लै के अद्भुत व्याख्यान को समझने में सहायता प्राप्त हुई।

अब हम इस अद्भुत ग्रंथ के हिंदी अनुवाद को प्रारंभ करेंगे।

– अडियेन भगवती रामानुजदासी

अंग्रेजी संस्करण – http://divyaprabandham.koyil.org/index.php/2015/11/saranagathi-gadhyam/

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SrIvaikuNta gadhyam – pravESam

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paramapadhanathan

Let us now look at SrI periyavAchchAn piLLai‘s pravESam (introduction) for SrIvaikuNta gadhyam.

bhAshyakArar (another name of SrI rAmAnuja which means the author of SrI bhAshyam which is a detailed commentary for vEdha vyAsa’s brahma sUthram) feels that the meanings that sprang from his heart should not remain as the shadow of a palm tree (the shadow of a palm tree would give shelter only to the palm trunk and not to anyone else) but should be useful to humanity-at-large like the shadow of a kalpakatharu (a type of tree whose shadow covers a wide area and fulfills the wishes of those who pray under it). Hence, he acts as a pravarthakar (one who engages in doing something) to show the path as well as the fruit of attaining the path in SrIvaikuNta gadhyam. In SaraNAgathi gadhyam he prays to bhagavAn in general (not to any particular form of bhagavAn) about his wishes. In SrIranga gadhyam, he prays to SrIrangam periya perumAL who is the epitome of saulabhyam (easy to approach and attain) about his wishes. In SrIvaikuNta gadhyam, he discourses about SrIvaikuNtanAthan (lord of SrIvaikuNtam) to others.

periyavAchchAn piLLai digresses a bit at this stage to explain why SrI rAmAnuja emphasised on bhakthi mArgam (path of devotion) to attain bhagavAn in his SrIbhAshyam whereas he emphasises on SaraNagathi (surrendering) in gadhya thrayam. When bhagavadh rAmAnuja wrote SrIbhAshyam, there were many branches of sanAthana dharmam (traditional customs), each with its own followers. There was a sect which said that there is nothing called as vEdha (the four vEdhas, rig, yajur, sAma and atharvaNa) and not practicing any dharmam is the path to attain liberation (this sect is called as chAruvAka matham, a belief of smart talking). There was another sect which said that dhEvathAntharOpAsanam (worshipping other demi-Gods such as indhra, chandra, brahmA, Siva et al) is the path to attain liberation. Yet another sect preached that doing karma (following all the activities mentioned in vEdha), forgetting about God and demi-Gods, would liberate us (this sect was called as mImAmsaka matham). Another said that gyAna (knowledge) is the path to liberation. Another said that the combination of karma and gyAna is the path. All these people twisted the teachings of vEdha to suit their own ends. They were called as vEdha bhAhyA (not accepting vEdha) and vEdha kudhushti (twisting meanings of vEdha). SrI rAmAnuja had to counter these sects and he said that whatever they were saying was not correct and that bhakthi, aided by karma and gyAna (devotion supported by deed and knowledge) was the path to attain mOksham (liberation). He cited reasons and various pramANams (proofs) to support his arguments. SaraNAgathi has always been  cited in vEdha to attain mOksham. Yet SrI rAmAnuja cited bhakthi yOgam as the path. Why did he do this and not cite SaraNAgathi itself? We should consider the time (period) when all these were happening.  That was the age when people believed that they had to do something on their own to attain mOksham. If he had to say that there was no need to do anything and all that one had to do was to surrender to bhagavAn, no one would have taken his words since this did not involve doing something which was physical in nature. Hence he had to point out to one of the two paths mentioned in vEdha (bhakthi and prapaththi or SaraNAgathi). Once they were convinced that bhakthi would set them free, they started understanding it better. And, they also found that it was not easy to practice as it had several conditions (karma and gyAna should be attained in full prior to practicing bhakthi; all hurdles in the path of bhakthi had to be removed). Also, it would take many, many births before one could start practicing bhakthi. And at the last moment, one had to think of bhagavAn.  All these posed great difficulties. It was then that he told them that there was another path available and mentioned about prapaththi (or SaraNAgathi) in SaraNAgathi gadhyam. This is called as charama upAyam (ultimate path) and is suited for practicing bhakthi, not as a means for attaining mOksham but for enjoying various qualities of bhagavAn) and for attaining bhagavAn’s exalted feet and carrying out kainkaryam to him. He mentioned in SrIranga gadhyam that prapaththi is the prerequisite for carrying out bhakthi; but at the same time prapaththi does not expect anything else for yielding fruit, it is our svarUpam (aligns with our nature) and it is easy to perform. Now that clarity has been obtained on the path to be taken for getting liberated he mentions about the place that one would reach on getting liberated; the lord, bhagavAn, of the place (SrIvaikuNtanAthan), experiencing that bhagavAn; and carrying out kainkaryam, born out of that experience. He does all these so that those who hear this would get interested in carrying out all these and in the end he also blesses them. He mentions very briefly about the path (prapaththi) but mentions more expansively about the place (SrIvaikuNtam).

There are 6 chUrNais in SrivaikuNta gadhyam. In the 1st chUrNai, he describes the svarUpam (basic nature), rUpam (form) and vibhUthi (wealth) of bhagavAn as well as chEthnan‘s (sentient entity) faults; for such a chEthanan, prapaththi is the only path to reach bhagavAn who is the repository of all auspicious qualities such as souSeelya (simplicity personified) etc. In the 2nd chUrNai, he affirms that while reciting dhvayam once is sufficient to reach bhagavAn, the chEthanan will recite it everyday to ward off worries and to pass time purposefully. In the 3rd chUrNai, he mentions about the path that the chEthanan will take on getting liberated (archirAdhi mArgam or the path of radiance) including crossing the prakruthi boundary (materialistic realm); the greatness of nithya vibhUthi (SrIvaikuNtam) that he enters; its qualities; the decorations in that place; the resplendence with which bhagavAn gives dharSan (audience) there with his consorts (SrIdhEvi, bhUdhEvi and neeLAdhEvi); the elegance of bhagavAn with all exalted bodily features which are experienced by his consorts; the beauty of various decorative jewels that adorn bhagavAn, fitting to a nicety; the weaponry that protect all these; the nithyaSuris and mukthAthmAs who experience all these, taking various forms, and carrying out kainkaryam born out of love from that experience; the exalted seating of bhagavAn who is being served by these nithyAthmAs and mukthAthmAs without any break; the thought of chEthanan on seeing all these, wondering when he would get an opportunity to serve bhagavAn like this, and on attaining SrIvaikuNtam, praying to bhagavAn for granting him kainkaryam and offering himself to bhagavAn. In the 4th chUrNai, he mentions that bhagavAn grants chEthanan his wish and chEthanan starts carrying out kainkaryam. In the 5th chUrNai, he mentions about the chEthanan constantly having dharshan (vision) of bhagavAn, without batting an eyelid, to compensate for what he had lost all these years that he had missed. The 6th chUrNai describes how bhagavAn welcomes him, inquires him and blesses him by placing his exalted feet on the head of chEthanan who exults as a servitor in SrIvaikuNtam.

Let us next see the first chUrNai.

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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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SaraNAgathi gadhyam – chUrNai 19

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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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SaraNAgathi gadhyam – 16th chUrNai

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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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SaraNAgathi gadhyam – 14th & 15th chUrNais

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

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krishna-ramanuja

14th and 15th chUrNais are short ones and hence we shall see them together, First, the 14th chUrNai:

avathArikai (Introduction)

In the earlier chUrNai, SrI rAmAnuja prayed for gyAna, which is the prerequisite for parabhakthi, paragyAna and paramabhakthi. In this chUrNai, he is praying for  parabhakthi, paragyAna and paramabhakthi which are the prerequisites for kainkaryam (carrying out service to bhagavAn).

chUrNai: 

purushas sa para: pArtha bhakthyA labhyas thvananyayA
bhakthyA thvananyayA Sakya: madhbhakthim labhathE parAm
 – ithi sthAnanathrayOdhitha parabhakthi yuktham mAm kurushva II

Explanatory Notes

Here too, bhagavadh SrI rAmAnuja quotes from 3 SlOkas (verses) of bhagavadh gIthA, but taken from different Chapters. The first line is taken from the 22nd SlOka of 8th Chapter, the 1st half of second line from 54th SlOka of 11th Chapter and the second half from the 54th SlOka of 18th Chapter. Let us look at the meanings of these verses:

purushas sa para: pArtha bhakthyA labhyas thvananyayA: pArtha – arjun!  sa – that; para: purusha – the highest among the purushas (we have seen the meanings of these words in earlier chUrNais, there are 5 different types of purushas, the achith (apurusha), badhdhAthmA, the mukthAthmA, the nithyAthmA and bhagavAn, who is purushOththama); bhakthyA – through devotion; thu – only; labhya: – can be attained; ananyayA – not by any other means. SrI krishNa tells arjun that the supreme being can be attained only through bhakthi and through no other means.

bhakthyA thvananyayA Sakya:bhakthyA – through devotion; thu – only; ananyayA – not by other means; Sakya: – possible.

madh bhakthim labhathE parAmmadh – my; bhakthim – devotee; labhathE – attains; parAm – highest.

SrI krishNa further says that it is only through bhakthi (devotion) and not by any other means does my devotee attain the highest position.

ithi sthAnathryOdhitha parabhakthi yuktham mAm kurushva –  ithi – this; sthAna – place; thraya – three; udhitha – said; parabhakthi – high level of devotion; yuktham – to be with; mAm – me; kurushva – make. SrI rAmAnuja now pleads with bhagavAn to make him as one who has parabhakthi, paragyAna, paramabhakthi  just as he had mentioned of his devotee in 3 different places (in 8th, 11th and 18th Chapters) of the bhagavadh gIthA.

Let us now move on to the 15th chUrNai.

parabhakthi paragyAna paramabhakthyEka svabhAvam mAm kurushva II

Explanatory Notes

parabhakthi paragyAna paramabhakthyEka svabhAvam mAm kurushva – parabhakthi – to know about bhagavAn; paragyAna – to envision bhagavAn; paramabhakthi – to attain bhagavAn; Eka – only; svabhAvam – basic nature; mAm – me; kurushva – make. While SrI rAmAnuja had already prayed for being  granted parabhakthi, paragyAna and paramabhakthi, here he wants these three to be part of his svabhAvam (nature). It should be clearly understood here that he is asking for these three levels of bhakthi as a prerequisite for carrying out kainkaryam and not as upAyam (path to attain mOksham). One may wonder as to why he is asking for all three when paramabhakthi alone would be enough to carry out kainkaryam in SrIvaikuNtam. Let us look at it this way. We have food every day. The quality of food as prepared in the house would be  almost the same. The type of food is also almost the same. But every day before we sit down to eat, there is an expectation as to what is going to be served today, even though we know what would be as we have been eating for ages. Why do we have this feeling of expectation? It is because of the change in the type of hunger that we have each day. First we imagine what the food prepared for the day would be; then we see the actual food when we sit and are served food; the third is the pleasure that we get after partaking of the food. Every day all these three ingredients, the imagination, the actual seeing and the feeling of satisfaction after eating, are there in us. And we need all three to enjoy the food served. Now let us look at what happens (or will happen) in SrIvaikuNtam. Here bhagavAn, who is simile for food, is  not constant like food, but keeps changing. One day he will give dharshan (view) like varAha, one day like vAmana, one day like nrusimha, et al (varAha, vAmana, nrusimha are all various avathArams (incarnations) of bhagavAn on earth). And the expectation from nithyAthmAs and mukthAthmAs will be very high to know how bhagavAn would show himself up each day. Thus it is not enough to have only paramabhakthi, but it is equally important to have parabhakthi and paramagyAna to fully appreciate bhagavAn’s various forms and do kainkaryam to each of these [Thanks to vELukkudi SrI krishNan swAmy for explaining this lucidly in his upanyAsam on gadhya thrayam].

We shall now move on to the 16th chUrNai, which is the last chUrNai in which bhagavadh SrI rAmAnuja speaks to SrI ranganAtha. After that, from 17th chUrNai, till the 23rd chUrNai, it is only bhagavAn who speaks and SrI rAmAnuja only listens. It will be a wonderful experience to know what bhagavAn tells SrI rAmAnuja.

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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.or