SrIvachana bhUshaNam – sUthram 3

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avathArikai (Introduction)

piLLai lOkAchAryar is subsequently explaining to clarify the doubt “if there is any gradation in the uththarabhAga upabruhmaNam (ithihAsas and purANas which explain vEdhAntha)” Alternative explanation – piLLai lOkAchAryar himself voluntarily, explains thinking to highlight which among the two upabruhmaNams which speak about the single part (uththara bhAgam) have more strength (authority).

sUthram 3

ivai iraNdilum vaiththuk koNdu ithihAsam prabalam.

Simple Explanation

Among the two (ithihAsams and purANams), ithihAsams have more strength.

vyAkyAnam (Commentary)

ivai iraNdilum …

That is among the two (ithihAsams and purANams) which are seen together due to being explanation for the greater part, that is uththarabhAgam, for authenticity, ithihAsam are said to have greater strength than purANam.

ithihAsams carry more strength than purANams due to parigraha athiSayam (greater acceptance), madhyasthathA (being neutral) and karthurApthathamathvam (the trustworthiness of the author).

Among these, parigraha means acceptance in SAsthram. Even in many purANams, ithihAsams are glorified more than purANams as seen in:

  • skAndha purANam “vEdha vEdhyE parE pumsi jAthE dhaSarathAthmajE | vEdha: prAchEthasAdhAsIth sAkshAth rAmAyaNAthmanA ||” (As SrIman nArAyaNan, the supreme lord, who is to be understood from vEdham, incarnated as the son of dhaSaratha, vEdhams came into existence in the form of SrI rAmAyaNam from vAlmeeki maharishi who is the son of prachEthas)
  • vAyu spoke in Siva purANam “mathimandhAnam Avidhya yEnAsau Sruthi sAgarAth | jagath hithAya janithO mahAbhAratha chandhramA: ||” (This great moon of mahAbhAratha was created by churning the ocean of vEdham with the mortar of intelligence by vyAsa for the benefit of the world …)
  • mArkaNdEya purANam “vyAsa vAkya jalaughEna kudharma tharuhAriNA | vEdha SailAvathIrnEna nIrajaskA mahIkruthA ||” (The words of vyAsa which are similar to water which can knock down the trees which are the unrighteous aspects which arose from the mountain of vEdham, can remove the dirt on the earth).
  • bibhEthi gahanAchchAsthrAn naras thIvrAdhivaushadhAth | bhArathaS SAsthra sArO ayamatha: kAvyAthmanA krutha: ||” (this mahAbhAratham which is the essence of SAsthram, was created in the form of an epic for that man who fears for the incomprehensible SAsthram, considering it to be heavy medication [for such man])
  • bhavishyath purANam “vishNau vEdhEshu vidhvathsu gurushu brAhmaNEshu cha | bhakthir bhavathi kalyANI bhArathadhEva dhImathAm ||” (Through mahAbhAratham, auspicious bhakthi occurs for the wise ones, towards the omnipresent SrIman nArAyaNan, vEdhams which reveal him, the scholars who are well versed in such vEdhams, the teachers who explain those principles and towards the brAhmaNas).

madhyasththA means – brahmA who is the propagator of all purANams, depending upon the guNam (quality) among the three viz sathvam (goodness), rajas (passion) and thamas (ignorance) which was predominant at particular times, praised the dhEvathA who is having such guNam as said in mAthsya purANam “yasmin kalpEthu yathprOktham purANam brahmaNa purA thasya thasyathu mAhAthmyam thath svarUpENa varNyathE” (Previously, on the kalpa (day) when purANams were spoken by brahmA, the greatnesss of the dhEvathAs was spoken according to the particular quality). Hence the purANams are partial (having favouritism) in nature. Unlike the purANams, since ithihAsams are focussed on the principles of vEdham and general worldly principles, they are not partial towards anyone.

karthurApthathamathvam means the author of the prabandham (literature) should have the ability to see the truth as it is and have the ability to present the matters that are seen as they are.

This greater strength of ithihAsams over purANams is commonly (without naming any ithihAsam or purANam) spoken by uyyakkoNdAr (a disciple of bhagavath rAmAnuja) in his thathva nirNayam as in “athEthihAsa purANayOrithihAsA baleeyAmsa: kutha: parigrahAthirEkAth sarvathra mAdhyasthyEna | bhUthArtha prathIthE: vachana saushtavEna karthurApthathamathvAva gathEScha ||” (Further, among ithihAsams and purANams, ithihAsams have greater strength since 1) the ithihAsams have been specifically praised and accepted, 2) they are being neutral in worldly and scriptural aspects, 3) they speak about past incidents and 4) due to the authors being trustworthy having composed the literature with apt words).

parASara bhattar too explained the greatness of mahAbhAratham (specifically) over purANams in SrI sahasranAma bhAshyam due to greater acceptance and neutrality as in “mahAbhAratham hi parigraha viSEshAvasitham” (mahAbhAratham is greatly accepted in purANams), “dharmEchArthEcha kAmEcha mOkshEcha bharatharshabha | yadhi hAsthi thadhanyathra yan nEhAsthi nathath kvachith ||” (Oh dharmaputhra! In dharmam, artham, kAmam and mOksham, whatever meanings are explained elsewhere in vEdhams, all of those are present in mahAbhAratham, and if any principle is not given in this, it will not be found elsewhere) and in “ithi laukika vaidhika sakalArtha nirNayAdhi kruthathvEna | kvachidhapi apakshapAdhithvAchcha purANEbhyO balavaththaram ||” (Since it was determined that mahAbhAratham has been created to establish the scriptural and worldly principles and since there is no partiality anywhere in it, it is a greater authority than puraNams).

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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About sarathyt

Disciple of SrImath paramahamsa ithyAdhi pattarpirAn vAnamAmalai jIyar (29th pattam of thOthAdhri mutt). Descendant of komANdUr iLaiyavilli AchchAn (bAladhanvi swamy, a cousin of SrI ramAnuja). Born in AzhwArthirungari, grew up in thiruvallikkENi (chennai), lived in SrIperumbUthUr, presently living in SrIrangam. Learned sampradhAyam principles from (varthamAna) vAdhi kEsari azhagiyamaNavALa sampathkumAra jIyar swamy, vELukkudi krishNan swamy, gOmatam sampathkumArAchArya swamy and many others. Full time sEvaka/servitor of SrIvaishNava sampradhAyam. Engaged in translating our AzhwArs/AchAryas works in Simple thamizh and English, and coordinating the translation effort in many other languages. Also engaged in teaching dhivyaprabandham, sthOthrams, bhagavath gIthA etc and giving lectures on various SrIvaishNava sampradhAyam related topics in thamizh and English regularly. Taking care of koyil.org portal, which is a humble offering to our pUrvAchAryas. koyil.org is part of SrI varavaramuni sambandhi Trust (varavaramuni.com) initiatives.

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