SrIvachana bhUshaNam – sUthram 278

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avathArikai (Introduction)

Subsequently, piLLai lOkAchAryar mercifully responds to the question “What do these two types of kainkaryam depend upon?”

sUthram 278

ishtAnishtangaL varNASramangaLaiyum Athma svarUpaththaiyum avalambiththirukkum.

Simple Explanation

Desirable and undesirable aspects depend upon one’s varNam and ASramam, and the true nature of the self.

vyAkyAnam (Commentary)

ishtAnishtangaL …

That is – the desirable and undesirable aspects of the two parties to the kainkaryam i.e., the jIvAthmA and paramAthmA/AchArya, will depend upon the jIvAthmA’s varNam and ASramam, and true nature of the self.

ishtAnishtangaL varNASramangaLaip paRRiyirukkai

It is desirable to perform the dharmas (righteous acts) for the welfare of others, matching one’s varNa and ASrama. It is undesirable to perform those acts for the sake of self.

Performing for the welfare of others implies compassionately performing those acts (a) to inspire the less-intelligent persons and (b) for the uplifting of disciples and children. This principle was explained by piLLai lOkAchArayar in thaniSlOkam (thani charamam) as follows “Now, in these righteous acts, our AchAryas are engaged only to the extent of uplifting their disciples and children; if one does not follow these acts, that will lead to destruction for the AthmAs who are present in this material world which is owned by bhagavAn, and hence the chEthana will not be liked by bhagavAn; hence, to the extent of inspiring others, and to the extent of facilitating uplifting, only such level should be considered; just as the pravruththi dharmam (mode of performing activities) became nivruththi dharmam (mode of abandoning everything) by the particular thoughtful approach, this nivruththi dharmam can also become the goal; here, not performing one’s deeds will lead to emperumAn’s dislike and self’s attainment of the goal”.

Performing for the sake of the self implies considering that if we don’t perform these acts which are matching our varNa and ASrama, we will incur sin of not performing ordained acts, and performing the same.

ishtAnishtangaL Athma svarUpaththaip paRRiyirukkai

As said in guruparamparA prabhAvam 6000 padi “ichchai svarUpam” (true nature is to follow the desire of bhagavAn) – while being engaged in action, it is desirable to act according to the desire of the lord, and it is undesirable to withdraw citing one’s SEshathvam (subservience) and remain unchanged citing one’s pArathanthryam (total dependence) when bhagavAn engages with the AthmA in an unconventional way (placing AthmA in an equal or higher position than him) .

Second explanation

It can also be considered that,

  • to engage in actions matching self’s varNa and ASrama is desirable, and to engage in actions which are contrary to self’s varNa and ASrama, is undesirable.
  • to engage in actions matching the true nature of the self is desirable, and to engage in actions which are contrary to the true nature of the self, is undesirable.

Third explanation

It is undesirable to be very attached to varNa and ASrama which are conditional and temporary, and is desirable to be very attached to Athma svarUpam (true nature) which is natural and eternal.

Here, instead of focussing on the level of attachment, if we try to directly say that undesirable actions will be based on varNa and ASrama, and desirable actions will be based on Athma svarUpam, it will contradict the words of sarvESvaran and pirAtti as seen in,

  • sarvESvaran saying in SrI pAncharAthram “Sruthis smruthir mamaivAgyA yasthAm ullangya varthathE – AgyAchchEdhi mama dhrOhI madhbhakthOpi navaishNava:” (vEdham and smruthis are my orders; one who lives crossing their boundaries, is a traitor; one who violates my orders, even if he is devoted towards me, is not a vaishNava).
  • pirAtti saying in lakshmI thanthram “aviplavAya dharmANAm pAlanAya kulasya cha | sangrahAya cha lOkasya maryAdhA sthApanAya cha || priyAya mama vishNOScha dhEvadhEvasya SArngiNa: | manishI vaidhikAchAram manasApi nalankayEth ||” (To have varNASrama dharmam live forever, to protect the kula dharmam, to sustain the world, to uphold the boundaries of SAsthram, and to cause happiness for vishNu, the all-pervading lord, who is the lord of all dhEvathAs and is the one who has the bow named SArnga,  and for me, the wise one who has won over the mind, should not violate these rules of vEdham, even in his mind). She further says “yathAhi vallabhO rAnchO nadhIm rAnchA pravarthithAm | lOkOpayOginIm ramyAm bahusasya vivardhinIm || lankayan sulamArOhEth anapEkshApi thAm prathi | Evam vilankayan marthyO maryAdhAm vEdha nirmithAm || priyOpi na priyO saumE madhAgyA vyathivarthanAth | upAyathva graham thathra varjayEn manasA sudhI: ||” (Though a person is dear to the king, and though he does not like a river which is beautiful, useful for the citizens and was created by the king, if he pollutes the river, the king will hang him to death; similarly, a person who violates the rules which were laid out by vEdham, though he is dear to me, will not be desired by me, since he violated those rules. A learned person should give up the thought that those actions are means to attain him. It belongs under the head of goal of bringing joy to bhagavAn)

It will also contradict the words and conduct of pUrvAchAryas. Hence, it should be understood as explained in the beginning of the third explanation.

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 portal, which is a humble offering to our pUrvAchAryas. is part of SrI varavaramuni sambandhi Trust ( initiatives.

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