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

Word-by-Word meaning

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
thvam – you
dhvayam – the twin sentences
artham – meaning
anusandhAnEna – keep meditating/saying
saha – with.
sadhA – always
Evam – like this
vaktha – say
yAvath – until
Sareera – body
pAtha – falls
athra – here
Eva – only
SrIrangE – in SrIrangam
sukhamAsva – stay with happiness

Explanatory Note:

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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Translation by krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan.

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