Category Archives: SrIranga gadhyam

SrIranga gadhyam – 7th chUrNai

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

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avathArikai (Introduction)

SrI rAmAnuja now lists all the auspicious qualities of bhagavAn. He has been praying all along that he has nothing in himself, but he has the desire to carry out kainkaryam. bhagavAn asks him how he can grant him his wish if he has nothing. To which, SrI rAmAnuja says that bhagavAn has all the qualities in him to grant him his wish and starts reeling out his qualities. Let’s go through the chUrNai:

apAra karuNAmbudhE! anAlOchitha viSEsha – aSEsha
lOkaSaraNya! praNathArthihara! ASritha vAthsalyaika
mahOdhadhE! anavaratha vidhitha nikhila bhUthajAtha yAthAthmya!
sathyakAma! sathyasankalpa! Apathsaka! kAkuthstha! SrIman!
nArAyaNa! purushOththama! SrIranganAtha! mamanAtha!
namOsthu thE II

Explanatory Notes

apAra karuNAmbudhEapAra – boundless; karuNa – merciful; ambudhi – ocean. bhagavAn is like an ocean of mercy which has no shores. What is this mercy? It is that quality which will make him feel sad (he can not endure) when his ASrithars (followers) are in trouble or sorrow. Since this quality is boundless, SrI rAmAnuja equates it to an ocean. When does this quality become boundless? He shows this quality even to those who are not his ASrithars. It reflects on common man too. Hence you have show this quality towards me who is also a common man, says SrI rAmAnuja.

anAlOchitha viSEsha aSEsha lOka SaraNyaanAlOchitha – not differentiating; viSEsha – special; aSEsha – without leaving anything; lOka – people; SaraNya – refuge. bhagavAn does not see if a person is of a high or low birth; he does not see if the person has high or low level of knowledge; and he does not see if he is a good or poor practitioner of religious rites. He does not make a distinction among people based on their birth or knowledge or practice. Without leaving anyone, he is the SaraNyan (refuge) to all the persons living in this samsAram (materialistic realm). Taken with the previous words (apAra karuNAmbudhE) this confirms that the person who is merciful is also the only one to whom people can go, to take refuge.

praNathArthiharapraNatha – followers; Arthi – grief; hara – removing. Since he has mercy in abundance and he is also the refuge for the entire world, he removes the grief of those who take refuge in his exalted feet.

ASritha vAthsalyaika mahOdhadhEASritha – followers; vAthsalyaika – fond affection only; mahA – great; udhadhi – ocean. Just as a cow licks off all the dirt from the body of a calf that it had given birth to, bhagavAn removes the faults in his ASrithars. His affection towards his followers is like a great ocean and he forgives the faults of his ASrithars as his svabhAvam (his character). In the first line of this chUrNai, he had mentioned bhagavAn’s mercy as a boundless ocean (apAra karuNAmbhudhE). Now he terms his vAthsalyam (the quality of bhagavAn which treats the faults in ASrithars as virtues) as a great ocean (mahOdhadhE). His vAthsalyam towards his ASrithars is greater than the mercy that he shows towards them [A word of caution here is in order. Just because he is willing to overlook our faults, it should not be taken to mean that we can knowingly go in the wrong way (doing something forbidden by SAsthram or not doing something ordained by it), even after taking refuge under him. He has kept us in a high position and expects us to do only good things. If we slip and go to him for forgiving us, it will certainly create a bad taste in him about us. Hence we should not give way for such an eventuality and be ultra careful in our activities].

anavaratha vidhitha nikhila bhUthajAtha yAthAthmyaanavaratha – incessantly; vidhitha – known; nikhila – entire; bhUthajAtha – all living beings; yAthAthmya – in true states as they are. bhagavAn knows the true state of all the living beings, at all times. The inference here is that SrI rAmAnuja tells bhagavAn, since you know the truth about everyone, do I need to speak about my lowliness to you? You know it already and you should protect me.

sathyakAmasathya – nithya (forever); kAma – desire. bhagavAn is known as avAptha samastha kAman (one whose all desires have been fulfilled). Since he has no unfulfilled desire, he fulfills the desires of his ASrithars (followers).

sathyasankalpasathya – not wasted; sankalpa – will. If he wants to take a chEthanan (sentient) from samsAram and keep him in SrIvaikuNtam, no one can come in his way. His will (vow) always prevails.

ApathsakhaApath – danger; sakha – friend. When there is any danger to his follower, he stands by his ASrithar. If a danger comes from someone, he will help. But if the danger comes from bhagavAn himself, his ASrithars can still approach him for relief. This appears strange to bhagavAn and he queries SrI rAmAnuja as to why he is saying this. Is there any incident like this wherein a person approaches him for relief when he himself is after him. SrI rAmAnuja replies…..

kAkuthstha – one of the many names of SrI rAma. When kAkAsuran (a demon) wronged sIthA pirAtti (in SrI rAmAyaNam), SrI rAmA sent a dharbham (type of grass) after uttering brahmAsthra (a powerful manthram, hymn) after kAkAsuran to destroy him. When kAkAsuran fell at his feet after trying various refuges, SrI rAmA forgave him and spared his life.

SrIman – pirAtti’s swAmy (mahAlakshmi‘s consort). When SrI rAmA protected kAkAsuran, sIthA was sitting next to him. Thus, even if bhagavAn does not favour sparing someone, pirAtti pleads with him for the sake of the jIvAthmA and makes him protect the jIvAthmA. In the same incident involving kAkAsuran, it was sIthA pirAtti who changed the position of the asuran (demon) who fell with his feet touching SrI rAmA’s exalted feet and instead, made his head touch SrI rAmA’s thiruvadi (exalted feet).

nArAyaNa – even if pirAtti complains about ASrithars, he does not support her, but supports his ASrithars. SrI rAmAnuja subtly hints to bhagavAn that he and bhagavAn are connected by strong relationship (9 types of relationship between paramAthmA and jIvAthmA, such as husband-wife, father-son, owner-owned, master-servant etc) and bhagavAn has to protect him.

purushOththama – supreme among purushas (badhdha, muktha, nithya jIvAthmAs). bhagavAn gives to all living beings whatever they wish for, but still calls them as ‘generous’ because, if they do not ask him, how can he give and earn the name ‘generous’ for himself? Since he is so generous, he should protect me, says SrI rAmAnuja.

SriranganAtha – Lord of SrIrangam. If all the auspicious qualities described above had been manifested in some place where we can not see or approach bhagavAn, of what use would these qualities be to us? But instead of that, bhagavAn has manifested himself as SrIranganAthan, lying on AdhiSEsha, in SrIrangam, where we can all go and have dharshan (vision) of  him.

mama nAtha – my Lord. He is not only Lord of SrIrangam, but he is my Lord too. This is emphasised to bring out the relationship between bhagavAn and SrI rAmAnuja (Lord-servant).

namOsthu thE – salutations to you. Since the relationship is very clear, SrI rAmAnuja beseeches bhagavAn to grant  him his svarUpam (of being a servant to bhagavAn) and to enjoy him as an entity.

With this, we come to the end of SrIranga gadhyam. Our preceptors have included gadhya thrayam as part of nithyAnusandhAnam (to be recited every day along with other treatises such as select verses of 4000 dhivya prabhandham, upadhEsa rathinamAlai etc). If we fall short of time and are unable to recite SaraNAgathi gadhyam, we should find time to recite SrIranga gadhyam as emperumAn feels happy to hear us reciting this wonderful treatise.

SrIranganAthanSrIranga nAchchiyAr thiruvadigaLE SaraNam
emperumAnAr thiruvadigaLE SaraNam
periyavAchchAn piLLai thiruvadigaLE SaraNam
jIyar thiruvadigaLE SaraNam

Translation by krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan.

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SrIranga gadhyam – 6th chUrNai

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avathArikai (Introduction)

After SrI rAmAnuja had recited the 4th and 5th chUrNais (quoting from ithihAsam (epic)), bhagavAn wants to know whether he has the true knowledge of the ultimate fruit of surrendering (prApyam) and whether he has the desire for it. bhagavadh rAmAnuja says that bhagavAn himself has to shower the grace on him so that he gets firm belief and devotion in the true meaning of kainkaryam. bhagavAn wants to know why he should grant him this, and SrI rAmAnuja says that this is because he has recited the verse from ithihAsam. First, the chUrNai:

EvambhUtha thathvayAthAthmyAvabhOdha thadhichchArahithasyApi
EthadhuchchAraNa mAthrAvalambanEna uchyamAnArtha paramArtha
nishtam mE mana: thvamEva adhyaiyva kAraya II

Explanatory Notes:

EvambhUtha thathvayAthAthmyAvabhOdha thadhichchArahithasyApi  – EvambhUtha – like this; thathva – truth; yAthAthmya – true nature; avabhOdha – perception or knowledge; thath – that; ichchA – desire; rahitha – deprived of; api – also. Simple meaning: Even if I do not have the perception of true nature of truth. What is the truth that he is referring to? What is the svarUpam (basic nature) of jIvAthmA (soul), the svarUpam of paramAthmA (bhagavAn); what is the fruit of surrendering (kainkaryam) . Not only do I not know the true meaning of these; I do not have the desire in knowing it.

EthadhuchchAraNa mAthrAvalambanEna – Ethath – this; uchchAraNa – utterance; mAthra – merely; avalambanEna – holding onto in this manner. Simple meaning: Holding on to the mere utterance of the SlOkam which is to be recited. I did not know the inner meanings of the words in the SlOkam. I do not even have the desire to know it. But I merely uttered it. Since I uttered it, you should……

uchyamAnArtha paramArtha nishtam mE mana: uchyamAnArtham – meaning of the words uttered; paramArtham – deep meaning; nishtam – to be devoted; mE – my; mana: – mind. My mind should be fully immersed in the meaning of the words that I uttered. Not the mere superficial meaning, but the inner, deep meaning of the words. And, that should be told to my mind, which is always wandering from one thing to another, without any hold. bhagavAn wonders if this is possible…..

thvamEva adhyaiyva kAraya  – thvamEva – only you;  adhyaiva – this moment; kAraya – make it happen. SrI rAmAnuja says that bhagavAn should make it happen. bhagavAn says that rAmAnuja has requested him just now. I shall consider it after a few days. But SrI rAmAjuna does not want to wait. He says, do it now itself, without any delay. He says that bhagavAn doesn’t expect help from anyone else to carry out any task. SrI rAmAnuja says that he does not qualify to receive such a grace from bhagavAn and he is not going to get qualified a few days from now. Since neither bhagavAn expects support from anyone nor is rAmAnuja going to get qualified to receive his grace, why delay it? Please shower your mercy on me now itself so that I will be able to devote myself to the deep meanings of all the things stated above (true nature of his own svarUpam, bhagavAn’s svarUpam, benefit that he would get on surrendering to bhagavAn etc).

We shall next understand the 7th and last chUrNai in this gadhyam.

Translation by krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan.

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SrIranga gadhyam – 4th and 5th chUrNais

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avathArikai (Introduction)

In the previous chUrNai, bhagavadh SrI rAmAnuja had prayed for kainkaryam, on his own (words). He wonders whether bhagavAn will hear a non-entity such as he and grant him his wish. Hence he prays using previously stated SlOkams (hymns), from ithihAsam (epics such as SrI rAmAyaNam and mahAbhAratham) recited by great people (rishis). He quotes them since he is not sure as to for what bhagavAn would show consideration and also because he has strong urge and craving for carrying out kainkaryam. Since these are SlOkams, we shall see both chUrNai 4 and chUrNai 5 in this part itself. First, the 4th chUrNai:

thavAnubhUthi sambhUtha prIthikAritha dhAsathAm!
dhEhi mE krupayA nAtha! na jAnE gathimanyathA II

Explanatory Notes

thavAnubhUthi sambhUtha prIthikAritha dhAsathAm dhEhi thava – your; anubhUthi – experience; sambhUtha – proceeding from; prIthi – love; kAritha – caused by; dhAsathAm – servitude; dhEhi – give. Please give the dhAsyarasam (the flavour of servitude) that has been brought about by the love which, in turn, was obtained from experiencing you.

mE – to me, who has nothing other than desire for carrying out kainkaryam.

krupayA nAthakrupaya – please; nAtha – master or protector. I am in a deep state of distress; hence you have to show mercy on me. Also, there is an inevitable (unbreakable) relationship between us – you are the master and protector and I am your subject. All the more reason that you must grant me my wish.

na jAnE gathimanyathA – na jAnE – do not know; gathi – path; anyathA – other. I do not know any other means for reaching you and carrying out kainkaryam to you. Hence you have to give me.

Let us now move on to the 5th chUrNai

sarvAvasthOchithASEsha SEshathaikarathis thava I
bhavEyam puNdarIkAksha! thvamEvaivam kurushva mAm II

sarvAvasthOchithASEsha SEshathaikarathis thava – sarva – all; avasthA – states; uchitha – proper; aSEsha – without leaving anything; SEshathaika – only serving; rathi – desire; thava – your.
You have to enable me to have the desire, for carrying out all kainkaryams, without leaving anything, in all states.

bhavEyam puNdarIkAksha –  bhava – happen; iyam – this; puNadIkAksha – lotus-eyed. Oh lotus-eyed bhagavAn, make this (creating desire in me for carrying out kainkaryam to you) happen. By your mere glance, you have to make me have this desire.

thvamEvaivam kurushva mAm thvam – you; Evam – only; ivam – this; kurushva – make; mAm – to me.

I do not have anything in me and look up to you for having my desires fulfilled. Hence you have to grant me the desire to carry out kainkaryam to you.

We shall now move on to the 6th chUrNai.

Translation by krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan.

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Sriranga gadhyam – 3rd chUrNai

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avathArikai (Introduction)

Having surrendered to bhagavAn in the previous chUrNai, bhagavadh SrI rAmAnuja, now prays to him for granting kainkaryam (dhAsyarasam). But he had already prayed for kainkaryam in the first chUrNai (nithya kinkarO bhavAni). In the second chUrNai, in order to get that kainkaryam, he had surrendered to him (SaraNam aham prapadhyE). Why then pray for kainkaryam yet again? He feels that he has nothing in his hand and what he has asked for is so humongous. However, he has deep faith (mahAviSvAsam) in bhagavAn that he would grant him his wish. Keeping that deep faith in him, he prays for kainkaryam since he has merely mentioned that he has surrendered to bhagavAn (without knowing its full meaning). First the chUrNai:

Evam avasthithsayApi arthithva mAthrENa parama kAruNikO
bhagavAn svAnubhava prIthyA upanItha – aikAnthikAthyanthika nithya
kainkaryaikarathirUpa nithyadhAsyam dhAsyathIthi viSvAsa
pUrvakam bhagavantham nithya kinkarathAm prArthayE II

Explanatory Notes

Evam avasthithasyApiEvam – thus; avasthithasyApi – even if obeying or following. SrI rAmAnuja says that he has merely mentioned that he has surrendered, without knowing the deeper meanings of the action. Even for such a person…..

arthithva mAthrENa – arththva – having prayed for; mAthrENa – only. SrI rAmAnuja further says that he has yet not overcome desires in those which are hurdles in reaching bhagavAn (here the reference is to the five sensory perceptions) and he does not have the strong urge in carrying out kainkaryam to bhagavAn. But he merely has desire for kainkaryam and prays for it.

parama kAruNikO bhagavAnparama – very highly; kAruNikO – with mercy; bhagavAn – lord. bhagavAn looks at the mundane (worldly) sufferings of SrI rAmAnuja. Not only does he have mercy towards his ASrithars (followers), he also has the gyAna, Sakthi etc (knowledge, strength etc) to remove the sadness in his ASrithars. Since he has parama karuNai (he is full of mercy) and he is bhagavAn (having gyAna, bala, aiSvarya, vIrya, Sakthi, thEjas) he has all the qualities to provide succour to the suffering jIvAthmA. Hence SrI rAmAnuja prays to him for ……

svAnubhava prIthyOpanItha aikAnthika Athyanthika nithya kainkarya rathi rUpasva – self; anubhava – experience; prIthi – love; upanItha – initiated ; aikAnthika – of one end ; Athyanthika – without an end; nithya – permanent; kainkarya – service; rathi – affection; rUpa – form.  SrI rAmAnuja prays for a unique form. What is this form? With the love that has been initiated in him after experiencing bhagavAn, he wants that love to propel him into carrying out highly focused, endless, permanent kainkaryam. This love should take a form of desire to do kainkaryam and he wants that desire to be his form.

nithya dhAsyam dhAsyathIthinithya – forever; dhAsyam – servitude; dhAsyathIthi – to grant. He prays to bhagavAn to grant him kainkaryam till his AthmA lasts (i.e. for ever).

viSvAsa pUrvakamviSvAsa – strong belief; pUrvakam – as prelude. SrI rAmAnuja affirms that he has very strong belief in bhagavAn, and with that belief as prelude, he is praying for…..

bhagavantham nithya kinkarathAm prArththayE – bhagavantham – to bhagavAn; nithya kinkarathAm – permanent kainkaryam; prArthayE – pray for. SrI rAmAnuja affirms his belief in bhagavAn and prays to him to grant him permanent kainkaryam. He is calling him bhagavAn because he has all the qualities required of bhagavAn (gyAna, bhala, aiSvarya, vIrya, Sakthi, thEjas) and since he is bhagavAn, he can grant him his wish.

That brings us to the end of the third chUrNai. We shall now proceed to the 4th and 5th chUrNais.

Translation by krishNa rAmAnujadhAsan.

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Sriranga gadhyam – 2nd chUrNai

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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 sAthvika –
dhAsthikyAdhi 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 pArathanthryam (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 is 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 pArathanthryan (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 that 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 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 svabhAva – thriguNa –  three guNas; kshaNa – moment; ksharaNa – changing; svabhAva – basic nature. The AthmA which is inside the body, which in turn is composed of saththva (purely good), rajas (passionate) and thamas (ignorant), keeps changing every moment; i.e. keeps changing constantly.  This is its basic 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 qualifications; 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 – husband 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

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

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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 Sourya 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.

Sourya – 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) 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 (nithyavibhUthi and leelAvibhUthi) 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, 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 guNAgaNougha mahArNavam – asankhyEya – 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 (upanishadhs). 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 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. 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 nirantharanubhUyaparipUrNam – fully, completely; bhagavantham – bhagavan; viSadhathama – very clearly; anubhavEna – that experience; niranthara – without hurdles; anubhUya – having experienced.

bhagavAn is full of gyAna (knowledge) etc (gyAna, bhala, aiSwarya, 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 SrI vaikuNtam. 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 sIthA dhEvi, 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 temple, 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 adhyApaks (those who recite pAsurams and vEdha in front of bhagavAn), accompanying uthsavar when he goes around town during uthsavams etc. 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

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

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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 nArAyaNan. There are several meanings for the word nArAyaNan: one who owns both nithyavibhUthi (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 souSeelya vAthsalya mArdhavArjava
souhArdha sAmya kAruNya mAdhurya gAmbhIryoudhArya
chAthurya sthairya dhairya Sourya parAkrama sathyakAma
sathyasankalpa kruthithva kruthagyAdhyasankhyEya
kalyANa guNagaNougha mahArNavam, parabrahmabhUtham,
purushOththamam, SrIranga SAyinam, asmath swAminam,
prabudhdha nithya niyAmya nithya dhAsyaikasAthma 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 pure 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 chEthanars (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. 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 sthiti 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 classification of achAEthanams is 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 upanishadhs, is devoid of rajas (passion) and thamas (ignorance/laziness). All the achEthana entities in SrIvaikuNtam are 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 species 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 eye. 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).

souSeelya vAthsalya mArdhavArjava souhArdha sAmya kAruNya mAdhurya gAmbhIryoudhArya chAthurya sthairya 
souSeelya – 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.
souhArdha – 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.
oudhArya – 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

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

Full Series

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 three 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 nArAyaNan) who is distinctly different from and superior to chith and achith.

Translation by krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan.

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SrIranga gadhyam

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

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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