SrIvachana bhUshaNam – sUthram 243

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avathArikai (Introduction)

Starting with sUthram 180 “thannaith thAnE mudikkaiyAvadhu“, up to here, the defects of ahankAram (pride) etc were explained; subsequently, the special daily routine of a person who considers that bhagavAn is both prApyam (goal) and prApakam (means) is explained.

sUthram 243

ippadi sarvaprakAraththAlum nASa hEthuvAna ahankAraththukkum, adhinudaiya kAryamAna vishaya prAvaNyaththukkum viLainilam thAn AgaiyAlE thannaik kaNdAl Sathruvaik kaNdAR pOlEyum avaRRukku vardhakarAna samsArigaLaik kaNdAl sarppaththaik kaNdAR pOlEyum, avaRRukku nivarthakarAna SrIvaishNavargaLaik kaNdAl bandhukkaLaik kaNdAR pOlEyum, ISvaranaik kaNdAl pithAvaik kaNdAR pOlEyum, AchAryanaik kaNdAl pasiyan sORRaik kaNdAR pOlEyum, Sishyanaik kaNdAl abhimatha vishayaththaik kaNdAR pOlEyum ninaiththu, ahankAra artha kAmangaL mUnRum, anukUlar pakkal anAdharaththaiyum, prathikUlar pakkal prAvaNyaththaiyum, upEkshikkumavargaL pakkal apEkshaiyaiyum piRappikkum enRanji, Athma guNangaL nammAlum, piRarAlum piRappiththuk koLLa oNNAdhu; sadhAchArya prasAdham adiyAga varugiRa bhagavath prasAdhaththAlE piRakkumaththanai enRu thuNindhu, dhEha yAthraiyil upEkshaiyum, Athma yAthraiyil apEkshaiyum, prAkrutha vasthukkaLil bhOgyathAbudhdhi nivruththiyum, dhEhadhAraNam paramAthma samArAdhAna samApthi prasAdha prathipaththi engiRa budhdhi viSEshamum thanakkoru klESam uNdAnAl karmapalam enRAdhal, krupApalam enRAdhal piRakkum prIthiyum svAnushtAnaththil sAdhanathva budhdhi nivruththiyum vilakshaNarudaiya gyAnAnushtAnangaLil vAnjaiyum, ugandharuLina nilangaLil AdharAthiSayamum, mangaLASAsanamum, ithara vishayangaLil aruchiyum, Arthiyum, anuvarthana niyathiyum, AhAra niyathiyum, anukUla sahavAsamum, prathikUla sahavAsa nivruththiyum sadhAchArya prasAdhaththAlE vardhikkumbadi paNNik koNdu pOrakkadavan.

Simple Explanation

The SrIvaishNava/prapanna should conduct himself so that he nurtures the following aspects by the grace of sadhAchArya (true AchArya):

In this manner, since self is the field where ahankAram which is the reason for self-destruction in all manners and vishaya prAvaNyam (attachment towards worldly pleasures) which is the result of such ahankAram, when one sees the self, are nurtured, one should see the self as the enemy; when one sees materialistic people who nurture such ahankAram and vishaya prAvaNyam, one should see them as snakes; when one sees SrIvaishNavas who remedy such ahankAram and vishaya prAvaNyam, one should see them as relatives; when one sees ISvara, one should see him as the father; when one sees AchArya, one should see him just as a hungry person will eagerly see food; when one sees a Sishya, one should see him as a beloved person; considering this way, one should

  • fear thinking “ahankAram, artham (wealth) and kAmam (worldly pleasures) will lead to detachment from favourable ones [SrIvaishNavas], attachment towards unfavourable ones and desire towards those who ignore us”
  • have firm faith in thinking “noble qualities cannot be created by self and others, and they can only be created by the grace of bhagavAn which comes through the grace of a sadhAchArya”
  • ignore the bodily journey
  • have attachment towards the journey of the AthmA (self)
  • be free from thinking that worldly objects are enjoyable
  • have the special thought that sustaining one’s body is part of the completion of worshipping bhagavAn and accepting prasAdham
  • be pleased when inflicted with suffering thinking that is due to karma palam (result of the individual’s karma) and krupA palam (result of bhagavAn’s mercy)
  • not have the thought of considering one’s anushtAnams (righteous conduct) as means to attain something
  • have great liking for the knowledge and conduct of distinguished personalities
  • have great attachment towards dhivyadhESams
  • perform mangaLASAsanam
  • have distaste in matters other than bhagavAn
  • have sorrow [in not reaching bhagavAn yet]
  • have restriction in who to follow
  • have restriction in food habits
  • have favourable friendship
  • avoid unfavourable friendship

vyAkyAnam (Commentary)

From “ippadi sarvaprakAraththAlum” till “sadhAchArya prasAdhaththAlE vardhikkumbadi paNNik koNdu pOrakkadavan“.

ippadi

piLLai lOkAchAryar is reflecting upon what was explained previously.

sarvaprakAraththAlum nASa hEthuvAna

Destroying on its own, destroying by causing enmity towards bhAgavathas, being hurdle for attaining bhagavAn, in all ways, ahankAram will turn the true nature of self to be as good as insentient as said in thaiththirIya upanishath “asannEva” (as insentient). ahankAram is seen in the form of dhEhAthma abhimAnam (considering the body and self to be the same) and svAthanthrya abhimAnam in AthmA (considering the self to be independent) – here, both aspects are considered.

adhinudaiya kAryamAna vishaya prAvaNyaththukkum

Since bodily identification of the self and considering self to be independent are the reasons to consider worldly pleasures to be enjoyable for self, vishaya prAvaNyam (attachment to worldly pleasures) is explained as an effect of ahankAram. By the word “vishayam“, what was identified previously as both favourable and unfavourable pleasures from ordained and forbidden activities respectively, are implied.

viLainilam thAn AgaiyAlE

Implies that the birth place for these favourable and unfavourable pleasures is the self who is together with a body which is an evolution of prakruthi (matter) which can conceal the true nature of bhagavAn and is filled with three qualities (sathvam – goodness, rajas – passion, thamas – ignorance) and where the effect of karma has started yielding result. It is the AthmA who is having his intelligence bewildered by the togetherness of the body which confuses the individual by rajas and thamas based on one’s karma, and considers the body which is not the self as the self and considers oneself which is not owned by the self to be independent and who has great attachment towards the aspects which lead to disaster for the self.

thannaik kaNdAl …

In this manner, when one sees the self who has been like this forever, and who still can remain the same way due to the connection with the body, one should be very frightened considering to have seen an armed enemy who is biting his teeth (in anger) and saying “I will not leave without killing you”.

When one sees samsAris (materialistic persons) who create bad impressions by their words and actions and nurture ahankAram etc, and who are bound by those two aspects, one should consider them to be as harmful as a very cruel serpent which will swallow those who go near it.

SrIvaishNavas are situated in madhyamapadha nishtai (middle word in thirumanthram which indicates bhAgavatha SEshathvam) and would make one realise the defects of ahankAram etc through their instructions and actions and will make one fear as soon as one hears about them and who will eliminate them completely along with the trace; when one sees such SrIvaishNavas, one should consider them to be trustworthy relatives with great eagerness and to be good companions, who would consider one’s disaster and desires as their own and will eliminate the evil aspects and engage in good aspects.

ISvaran is the one who first gave senses and body; he then showed SAsthram so that one is not misusing the senses and body and is following a noble path; he also reforms a person who engages in forbidden activities; he always looks out for the well-being of the AthmAs in all situations; when one sees such ISvaran in archAvathAra sthalams (divine abodes), one should consider him to be the father who gives birth, gives knowledge and conducts the child in a way that he does not deviate from good conduct and should have affection, fear and obedience towards such ISvaran and should consider him as the well-wisher.

AchAryan (teacher) is the one who changes an AthmA from being as said in thaiththirIya upanishath “asannEva” (as good as achith), by informing about bhagavAn and makes him exist, and would further nurture gyAnam (knowledge), bhakthi (devotion) and vairAgyam (detachment) through his instructions and shows the matters about bhagavAn as a fruit in one’s hand; such AchArya is a great benefactor and is the one who sustains, nurtures and gives joy to the Sishya through his qualities and form as said in rAmAnusa nURRandhAdhi 25 “un sIrE uyirkkuyirAy” (your qualities sustain my life) and in rAmAnusa nURRandhAdhi 104 “unRan meyyiR piRangiya sIranRi vENdilan” (I will not desire for anything other than the qualities which are in your form); when such AchArya is seen directly, one should fully enjoy him considering him to be dhAraka (sustenance) and bhOgya (enjoyable aspect), just as a very hungry person who is feeling dizzy due to the hunger would see the food which will sustain, nourish and give enjoyment to him.

When one sees a sath Sishya (true disciple) who has all good qualities such as sAdhyAnthara nivruththi (being free from any other goals than bhagavAn) etc, good knowledge and is very loving, one should consider him to be a beloved person who is dear to him and who gives pleasure to him, as such Sishya would give pleasure by eagerly listening to qualities of bhagavAn when shared, reiterate and become blissful.

ahankAra artha kAmangaL mUnRum …

Among these three, ahankAram will cause detachment from favourable persons; that is – the result of ahankAram is to drive out subservience from an individual; ahankAri (one with ahankAram) will remain as said in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 36.11 “na namEyam” (I will not worship) and not bow down to anyone; hence, if such ahankAram rises, when one sees SrIvaishNavas who will nurture the true nature of the self and are favourable, while not letting one to shiver and get up thinking “these are our lords” and offer obeisances etc, the ahankAram will make one to think that one is greater than them or at par with them, and make one to remain indifferent towards them.

artham (wealth) will cause attachment towards unfavourable persons; that is – wealth will make one to go and serve anyone and acquire some money somehow; hence, while one should fearfully run away while seeing samsAris who are unfavourable due to causing destruction for the true nature of the self, one will develop attachment towards them for the sake of getting some money, by having relationship with them, repeatedly visiting their places, inviting them for feasts and offering the same, singing their glories etc.

kAmam will cause desire towards those who despise us, as said in “kAmyatha ithi kAma:” (by the word kAma, physical union is indicated). Such kAmam will cause desire towards lowly aspects as said in periya thirumozhi 1.3.8Isi pOmin Ingu irEnmin irumiyiLaiththIr uLLam kUsiyittIr enRu pEsum kuvaLaiyam kaNNiyarpAl nAsamAna pAsam vittu nanneRi nOkkaluRil vAsam malgu thaNduzhAyAn vadhari vaNangudhumE” (Let us worship SrI badhari where sarvESvaran who is adorning fragrant, cool thiruththuzhAy (thuLasi) is permanently residing, while looking out for the noble path after giving up attachment which will lead to destruction, towards women who have beautiful eyes which resemble kuvaLai flower say “Go away! chI chI! (disgusting) Don’t stay here. Your body has weakened due to cough and you feel ashamed in your heart”), towards the women who despise a person due to his poverty and old-age, push him out, shut the doors on his back and scold him, as said in thiruvAimozhi 4.1.5Ezhaiyar thAm izhippach chelvar” (will themselves go back to those damsels who were desirous previously, in spite of those girls speaking insulting words towards them), considering those insulting words to be the goal, they will go back to those women, to be laughed at by distinguished persons on hearing that.

Thus, in this manner, thinking about the cruel nature of the three aspects namely ahankAram etc will make one show detachment towards those who nurture the true nature of the self, show attachment towards those who destroy the true nature of the self and make one desire those who insult one, on top of being destructive for the true nature of the self, and fearing for them thinking “what will those do to us?”

When recited as artha kAma abhimAnangaL …, as said in amara kOSam 1 “garvObhimAnOhankAra:” (words garva, abhimAna and ahankAra mean ahankAra), since abhimAna indicates ahankAra only, anukUlar pakkal … can be thought about as explained previously instead of “nirai nirai” (sequential) method.

Athma guNangaL …

Noble qualities such as Samam (control of internal sense), dhamam (control of external senses) etc cannot be acquired by the efforts of (a) self who has been the field for ahankAram etc since time immemorial, who intently accumulated evil qualities and who is bound by karma (b) others who are the nurturers of ahankAram etc which are hurdles for the creation of noble qualities and who are filled with evil qualities, and are bound by karma; sadhAchArya is the one who is the abode of all noble qualities, who originally accepted Sishyas through his causeless mercy, and who longs for our acquiring such noble qualities for Sishyas and prays for the same to bhagavAn; these noble qualities can only be acquired by the grace of such a sadhAchArya through the complete grace of bhagavAn who can eliminate our sins which are the hurdles for such acquiring of noble qualities, by his merciful, pure glance.

dhEha yAthraiyil upkEshai

Not having any interest in activities involving the caring for one’s body.

Athma yAthraiyil apEkshai

For the AthmA (soul/self) which is an embodiment of SEshathvam (subservience), not being content with the actions relating to enjoying bhagavAn’s qualities and serving him, and desiring for more of the same.

prAkrutha vasthukkaLil bhOgyathA budhdhi nivruththi

Giving up the thought of enjoyability which is the reason for attachment towards material objects towards acquiring food, clothes etc.

dhEha dhAraNam …

That is – in such materialistic objects, one should consume only as much to sustain the body and should have the thought that such food is the consumption of prasAdham which concludes the divine worship of sarvESvaran who is paramAthmA. Alternative explanation – the thought that consuming the food concludes the thiruvArAdhanam and it is his prasAdham (mercy).

thanakku …

That is – even for a mumukshu who is a prapanna, one cannot avoid thApa thrayam (three types of sorrows – sorrows caused by self, others and nature) as long as the body with karma to be exhausted, remains; hence, when one with a body is affected by any of the sorrows, one should think [about karma palam] “Isn’t this the result of prArabdha karma (karma which has started yielding results) which can only be exhausted by experiencing the result? Doesn’t emperumAn keep us with this body only till such karma is exhausted? At least, we got some karma, which are hurdles for the attainment of the goal, eliminated” or [krupA palam] “Due to past bad impressions, we are not ready to give up this body, are enjoying worldly pleasures, and are fitting well in samsAra; isn’t this the result of emperumAn’s krupai (mercy) where he gives us some sorrows and eradicates our attachment here and is seeking to carry us to parampadham?” and become pleased. For emperumAn who can eliminate pUrvAgam (karma before surrendering) and uththarAgam (karma after surrendering), it is not difficult to eliminate the karma which is committed in the present body; every individual will not agree to give up the body even while going through sufferings and even if emperumAn says “Give up your body”; when such emperumAn relieves the sufferings of such individual completely and lets him live in this world, the individual will only desire to live here for a long period or desire for another life in another body; hence emperumAn lets the individual to reap the sufferings in this body itself; thus, just as it is emperumAn’s krupai which eliminated all of the karmas of the individual to carry him to paramapadham quickly, the small portion of karma which is left in the individual which makes him realise the cruel nature of this world by experiencing sufferings, is also emperumAn’s krupai only. The sufferings endured all along in many births are due to bhagavAn’s anger; but this experience of suffering in the final body is due to bhagavAn’s mercy; he said in SrI rAmAyaNam yudhdha kANdam 36.11 “yasyAnugraham ichchAmi thasyaviththam harAmyaham” (To whom I desire to shower my mercy, I take away his wealth).

svAnushtAnaththil sAdhana budhdhi nivruththi

Not considering the good conduct/deeds, which are done as per the position of self being a prapanna, to be the means to attain the goal.

vilakshaNarudaiya gyAna anushtAnangaLil vAnchai

Since we have severed our relationship with worldly people and are surrendered to nArAyaNa, having the desire to acquire distinguished knowledge and practice of pUrvAchAryas who have pure knowledge and devotion.

ugandharuLina nilangaLil AdharAthiSayam

Great attachment where one should have one’s mind becoming very engaged in dhivyadhESams which are dear abodes for sarvESvaran as said in thirunedundhANdagam 6 “thAnugandha Ur” (places which are dear to him), as said in thirukkuRundhANdagam 19 “kaNdiyUr arangam kachchi pEr mallaiyenRu maNdinAr” (Those who are fully immersed in thirukkaNdiyUr, SrIrangam, kAnchIpuram, thiruppErnagar and thirukkadalmallai).

mangaLASAsanam

Observing the beauty of bhagavAn who lovingly resides in those dhivyadhESams, and that there is none who will care for such emperumAn understanding his greatness, and the abundance of enemies, being fearful, singing thiruppallANdu always, saying “What danger will befall upon him?”

ithara vishayangaLil aruchi

Not having desire for inferior aspects which are different from bhagavAn by seeing the defects in those aspects etc.

Arththi

The suffering due to (a) the situation similar to standing on a hot-surface, due to remaining in this darkness-giving huge world with this body which is the cause for attachment towards worldly pleasures, (b) the inability to tolerate the delay in attaining the goal, due to seeing the distinguished nature of bhagavAn.

anuvarthana niyathi

Not showing humility and speaking low of oneself towards worldly people even forgetfully, which are to be done towards bhagavAn and bhAgavathas matching one’s SEshathvam.

AhAra niyathi

Only accepting food remnants of bhagavAn and bhAgavathas which are not having defects based on jAthi (by nature/species), ASraya (due to being in contact of) and nimiththa (due to particular reasons) and not accepting any other food.

anukUla sahavAsam

Living without separating even for a moment from those who will nurture our knowledge and practice by their association with us.

prathikUla sahavAsa nivruththi

Not living even for a moment with those who will destroy our knowledge and practice by their association. piLLai lOkAchAryar explains subsequently as to who are the favourable and unfavourable ones.

sadhAchArya prasAdhaththAlE varthikkumpadi paNNikkoNdu pOrakkadavan

That is – all of the aspects explained thus far should be nurtured more and more by the all-auspicious mercy of sadhAchArya. That means – engaging in acts which will bring out the mercy of the sadhAchArya. These will be explained subsequently in the appropriate sections.

pOrakkadavan

It is given as an order to indicate the necessity of following these principles.

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), presently living under the shade of the lotus feet of jagathAchArya SrI rAmAnuja, SrIperumbUthUr. Learned sampradhAyam principles from vELukkudi krishNan swamy, gOmatam sampathkumArAchArya swamy and many others. Full time sEvaka/servitor of SrIvaishNava sampradhAyam. 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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