mumukshuppadi – sUthrams 185-190

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ஸ்ரீ முமுக்ஷுப்படி மூலமும், மாமுனிகள் வ்யாக்யானமும்

SrI piLLai lOkAchAryar aruLichcheydha mumukshuppadi –
charama SlOka prakaraNam
mAmunigal Introduction to charama SlOkam

After detailing the meaning of dhvaya mahAmanthram, the middle esoteric secret (madhyama rahasya of rahasya thraya), lOkAchArya describes the meaning of the charama SlOka (the ultimate SlOka of bhagavath gIthA) which is the explanation for dhvaya, essence of bhagavath gIthA known as the gist of mahAbhAratha that is the fifth vEdha, as this SlOka :

  1. states in its first sentence the choice of means (upAya varaNam) in the words of the lord himself, that is acceptable for all, as he himself pronounces it;
  2. describes giving up of other means as the choice as part of means (upAya);
  3. emphasises giving up of perceiving the choice as a means and
  4. lists out release from all the sins that prohibit attainment of the goal (prApthi) in the second half of the SlOka.

Only to hear the meaning of this SlOka, emperumAnAr (rAmAnuja) trekked eighteen times to the abode of thirukkOshtiyUr nambi.

nambi also, considering the greatness of its meaning and also the rarity of appropriate personages to learn it, tested his interest in learning it by making him walk several times, putting him on fast for a month, and extracting a promise of secrecy, imparted its meaning to rAmAnuja.

Since only a person of extreme internal discipline, of intense feeling for the ISvara, of distaste for anything not related to him, and of extreme delight in listening to the lore of the lord, is qualified to learn the meaning of this SlOka, AchAryas before SrI rAmAnuja were not revealing it due to the rarity of authorities who can know and due to the value of the meaning of it. However, out of immense compassion, emperumAnAr revealed it to all, without looking at the value of its meaning, but at the incalculable damage samsAra was causing to the chEthanas.

Besides such teaching of this, lOkAchArya made it a point to describe its meaning in brief and in great detail in different granthas. Yet, he also made it so easy to learn for even women and children in this text only.


sUthram – 185

Introduction: In this, to  enlighten everyone about the greatness of the meaning of this SlOka, he states the reason for the SlOka to be called charama SlOka:

kIzhE sila upAya viSEshangaLai upadhESikka, avai dhuSSakangaL enRum svarUpa virOdhigaL enRum ninaiththu SOkAvishtanAna arjunanaik kuRiththu avanudaiya SOka nivruththi arththamAga ‘ini idhukku avvarugillai’ ennum padiyAna charamOpAyaththai aruLichcheygaiyAlE, charama SlOkam enRu idhukkup pErAy irukkiRadhu.

கீழே சில உபாய விஶேஷங்களை உபதேஶிக்க, அவை துஶ்ஶகங்களென்றும், ஸ்வரூப விரோதிகளென்றும் நினைத்து ஶோகாவிஷ்டனான அர்ஜூநனைக் குறித்து அவனுடைய ஶோக நிவ்ருத்த்யர்த்தமாக ‘இனி இதுக்கு அவ்வருகில்லை’என்னும்படியான சரமோபாயத்தை அருளிச்செய்கையாலே, சரமஶ்லோகமென்று இதுக்குப் பேராயிருக்கிறது.

Simple meaning: This is called charama SlOka, because, earlier to this he [krishNa] preached (arjuna) a few means (upAya) which arjuna thought  were difficult to practice and also violative of one’s intrinsic nature. Therefore krishNa taught this to quell his sorrow, as the ultimate instruction (charama upadhESa) beyond which nothing exists.

vyAkhyAnam: That is, before this SlOka, even though  in several chapters, some upAyas such as karma yOga, gyAna yOga, bhakthi yOga etc had been taught in detail, as they demand severe physical austerities, as control of sensory organs is difficult, as these require to be practiced for prolonged duration with difficulties, as these means have been found to be objectionable because  they amount to be self propelled and tainted by independence of the sentient, when arjuna was distressed about his grievous loss, for his comfort and dispelling his concern, krishNa taught this as an easy means suitable for his intrinsic nature as the ultimate means. Hence its name, charama SlOka.


sUthram – 186

Introduction: Now lOkAchArya proceeds to give the meaning for the two sentences which form this SlOka.

idhil pUrvArdhaththAlE adhikAri kruthyaththai aruLichcheygiRAn; uththarArdhaththAlE upAya kruthyaththai aruLichcheygiRAn.

இதில் பூர்வார்த்தத்தாலே அதிகாரி க்ருத்யத்தை அருளிச்செய்கிறான்; உத்தரார்த்தத்தாலே உபாயக்ருத்யத்தை அருளிச்செய்கிறான்.

Simple meaning: By the first half of this SlOkam, he describes what is done by the (surrendering) sentient and by the second half, what is done by the upAya (the one who is surrendered to).

vyAkhyAnam: That is, in the SlOka of two halves, in the first half, he describes what is to be done by the sentient who qualifies for this upAya and in the second half what is to be done by the upAya, the chosen identity.


sUthram – 187

Introduction: What is to be done by the qualifying sentient?  He describes:

adhikArikku kruthyamAvadhu upAya parigraham.
அதிகாரிக்கு க்ருத்யமாவது – உபாய பரிக்ரஹம்.

Simple meaning: The activity to be done by the qualified sentient is acceptance of the means (upAya parigraham).

vyAkhyAnam: That is, what the qualified sentient has to do is to accept the means.


sUthram – 188

Introduction: If so, why prescribe sacrificing other means, instead of mandating this?

aththai sAngamAga vidhikkiRAn.
அத்தை ஸாங்கமாக விதிக்கிறான்.

Simple meaning: He prescribes it (the rule) with its auxiliaries.

vyAkhyAnam: That is, ISvaran prescribes acceptance of means along with its auxiliary viz sacrificing other means. Just like washing of feet etc are preliminaries to Achamana cannot be discounted though they are only part of Achamana, acceptance of the means without giving up (sacrificing) other means, is incompatible as stated in SAsthra:

prakshALya pAdhA vAchAmEth snAthvA vidhivadharchayEth |
sthithvArghyam bhAnavE dhadhyAth dhyAthvA dhEvam japEn manum ||

(Achamanam can be performed only after washing the feet; worshipping as ordained can be done only after taking bath; arghyam can be given to sUrya only in standing posture; manthram can be recited only while meditating on the celestial entity)

Just as Achamanam cannot be performed without following its auxiliary of washing the feet, here too, accepting upAya without giving up the other means is incompatible. Therefore, the argument that “sarva dharmAn parithyajya” allows/supports  the other means along with the extant upAya (him) is not sustainable.


sUthram – 189

Introduction: But since this is easy to accept and pleasurable to  adopt,   does it still need some stipulations?

rAgaprApthamAna upAyam thAnE vaidhamAnAl kadugap parigrahikkaikku udalAy irukkumiRE.

ராகப்ராப்தமான உபாயந்தானே வைதமானால் கடுகப்பரிக்ரஹிக்கைக்கு உடலாயிருக்குமிறே.

Simple meaning: When an easy to adopt and pleasurable means is mandated, it hastens the process of acceptance.

vyAkhyAnam: That is, milk is liked for its enjoyment. When it is offered as medicine for intestinal issues, it hastens its acceptance. Similarly, this upAyam is preferred by the sentient because of its distinction. When he is ordained to accept it, it hastens the process of acceptance.


sUthram – 190

Introduction: Now, in order to give the meaning for each word of this SlOkam, he starts by giving the number of words in the first half.

idhil pUrvArdham ARu padham.
இதில் பூர்வார்த்தம் ஆறு பதம்.

Simple meaning: In this, the first half has six words.


adiyen sadagopa ramanuja dasan

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