sthOthra rathnam – 17

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

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Here ALavandhAr explains the variety of entities which are controlled by bhagavAn and which are required to be the target of his sarvESvarathva (lordship over everything) which was explained previously.

yadhaNdam aNdAthara gOcharam cha yath
dhaSOththarANyAvaraNAni yAni  cha |
guNA: pradhAnam purusha: param padham
parAthparam brahma cha thE vibhUthaya: ||

Word by word meaning

yath aNdam – that brahmANdam [the 14 layered oval shaped universe under the control of brahmA]
aNdAnthara gOcharam cha yath – whatever is inside the aNdam
dhaSa uththarANi AvaraNAni cha – those [seven] AvaraNas (enclosures) [which cover the aNdam] each of which is 10 times bigger in size than the previous one (all of these)
guNA: – qualities viz sathva (goodness), rajas (passion) and thamas (ignorance)
pradhAnam – and prakruthi (matter)
purusha: – and the collection of jIvAthmAs (sentient entities)
param padham – and SrIvaikuNtam (spiritual realm)
parAth param – the collection of nithyasUris who are greater than mukthAthmAs (who are greater than dhEvathAs starting with brahmA et al)
brahma cha – dhivya mangaLa vigraham (divine auspicious form)
thE vibhUthaya; – are your bodies/forms

Simple Translation

That brahmANdam [the 14 layered oval shaped universe under the control of brahmA], whatever is inside the aNdam, those [seven] AvaraNas (enclosures) [which cover the aNdam] each of which is 10 times bigger in size than the previous one and all of these, qualities viz sathva (goodness), rajas (passion) and thamas (ignorance), and prakruthi (matter), and the collection of jIvAthmAs (sentient entities), and SrIvaikuNtam (spiritual realm), and the collection of nithyasUris who are greater than mukthAthmAs (who are greater than dhEvathAs starting with brahmA et al), and the divine auspicious form(s) are all your bodies/forms.

vyAkyAnam (Commentary)

  • yadhaNdam – As each aNdam having 14 layers, and the countless such aNdams as said in SrIvishNu purANam 2.7.27 “aNdAnAnthu sahasrANAm” (thousands of aNdams).
  • aNdAnthara gOcharancha yath – the collection of entities such as the lord of the aNda [brahmA], indhra, the protectors of the directions, kings, plants, animals etc, which reside in the aNdam.
  • dhaSOththarANi … – Further the [seven] different enclosures, where each of them in the form of water, fire, wind, ether, bhUthAdhi (layer of ahankAra), mahAn (the great element), and prakruthi (matter), and where each of them is greater than the previous one by a factor of 10, in the order in which they have been mentioned.
  • guNA: – the three qualities viz sathva, rajas and thamas which are the cause for bondage, as the matter binds a chEthana (soul) through the three qualities.
  • pradhAnam – the changeless region [mUla prakruthi – primordial matter]. The reason for  separately identifying guNams and the matter which has those guNams, is to establish that the sAnkhya philosophy which says that the qualities are the cause for creation, is avaidhika (unacceptable as per vEdham).
  • purusha: – Collection of badhdhAthmAs (bound souls); Since “andAnthara gOcharam” already explains the bound souls in vyashti state [variegated creation by brahmA], this explains the bound souls in samashti state [collection of AthmAs during initial creation directly by bhagavAn].
  • param padham – parama padham (SrIvaikuNtam) which has abundance of bliss [unlike this materialistic realm where joy is mixed with sorrow]; muNdaka upanishath 2.2.10 “hiraNmayE parE lOkE … jyOthishAm jyOthis thadhyadhAthmavidhOvidhu:” (that world which is made of abundance of gold, … the brightest among the brightness is known by paramAthma gyAnis (those who know paramAthmA)); thaiththirIya brAhmaNam “paramE vyOman” (in the highest (spiritual) sky); thaiththirIya AraNyakam 1.2 “sOSnuthE sarvAn kAmAn saha brahmaNA vipaSchithA” (jIvAthmA enjoys all the auspicious qualities of bhagavAn, along with him); purusha sUktham 13 “thripAdhasyAmrutham dhivi” (parama padham has 3 quarters of his wealth [and material realm has 1 quarter of his wealth]); purusha sUktham 1.18 “… yathra pUrvE sAdhyAs santhi dhEvA:” (Those dhEvas in parama padham know that abode as a great one); mahAbhAratham AraNya parvam 136.18 and 136.23 “athyarkAnaladhIptham thath sthAnam vishNOr mahAthmana: | svayaiva prabhayA rAjan! dhushprEksham dhEvadhAnavai: || thathra gathvA punarnEmam lOkamAyAnthi bhAratha ||” (The abode of vishNu the great, is brighter than the brightness of sun and fire. Oh king! Due to such brightness it can not be seen by dhEvathAs and asuras. Oh descendant of bharatha! One who reaches that abode does not return to this material realm); in this manner, parama padham is explained.
  • parAth param – mukthas (liberated souls) are greater than brahmA et al; nithyas (eternally free souls) are greater than such mukthas.
  • brahma cha – The divine auspicious form which is indicated by the word “brahma”, which is abundant with pure goodness, abundant with radiance, being the abode of beauty, tenderness etc, being big and having the ability to make others big. SrIvishNu purANam 1.22.63 “sa paras sarvaSakthInAm brahmaNas samanantharam | mUrtham brahma …” (bhagavAn is greater than the strength of all (his forms such as bound souls, liberated souls, divine form etc). The divine form of vishNu which is known as brahmam is a confidante of him. Oh most fortunate! hari is the antharyAmi of everything which is known as brahmam). chathu:SlOkI 4SAnthAnantha mahavibhUthi paramam yadhbrahma rUpam harE: mUrtham brahma thathOpi thathpriyatharam rUpam yadhathydhbhutham | yAnyanyAni yathAsukam viharathO rUpANi sarvANi thAni Ahu: svairanurUparUpavibhavair gAdOpagUdAnithE ||” (hari’s svarUpam which is faultless, boundless, having the huge spiritual and material realm, which is great and is indicated by the word brahma; his divine auspicious forms are even more pleasing to himself, much more magnificent, and makes brahmam to be known as “with form”; his other forms which occur per his divine desire – it is said that all of these are embraced by your [SrI mahAlakshm’s] matching svarUpam (nature), rUpam (form) etc).
  • thE vibhUthaya: – Since the words vibhUthi and SarIra are synonyms,  his wealth is subservient to him like a body to the soul. SrIvishNu purANam 1.22.31 “vibhUthayO harErEthA jagathas srushtihEthava:” (Progenitors like brahmA, dhaksha et al, time, and all creatures of the world are the body of hari who is the cause of this creation); SrIvishNu purANam 1.22.86  “yAni mUrthAnyamUrthAni yAnyathrAnyathra vA kvachith | santhi vai vasthujAthAni thAni sarvANi thadhvapu: ||” (Whatever is with form or without form, the collection of all entities which are here, there and everywhere at any time, they are all bodies of that paramAthmA); SrIvishNu purANam 1.22.38 “… thath sarvam vai harEsthanu:” (Whatever is created, they are all bodies of hari) and so on. In this way, SAsthram popularly uses the word vibhUthi (wealth) and SarIram (body) as synonyms.

In the next article we will enjoy the next SlOkam.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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