SrI: SrImathE SatakOpAya nama: SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama: SrImadh varavaramunayE nama:
Let us continue with the second part of the avathArikai (introduction). In this section of the introduction, mAmunigaL explains the two types of classifications (6 sections and 9 sections) for this prabhandham.
piLLai lOkAchAryar, mAmunigaL – SrIperumbUthUr
First, let us see how this prabhandham is classified into six sections:
In this prabhandham, starting from (sUthram 1) “vEdhArtham aRudhiyiduvadhu” up to (sUthram 4) “aththAlE adhu muRpattadhu“, the authenticity of the pramANam (source of knowledge) is established. Thus, this section is the introduction for the prabhandham.
From (sUthram 5) “ithihAsa SrEshtam” up to (sUthram 22) “prapaththi upadhEsam paNNiRRum ivaLukkAga“, purushakAra vaibhavam and upAya vaibhavam are discussed. pirAtti‘s role is explained as purushakAram (advocacy/recommendation) – seeing the jIvAthmAs who are filled with defects, she constantly highlights to bhagavAn that his nature is to be merciful and uplift the ones who are surrendered unto him. This section also discusses bhagavAn as the upAyam (means) who is so merciful and this mercy of his is even more glorious than purushakAram.
From (sUthram 23) “prapathikku” up to (sUthram 79) “EkAnthI vyapathEshtavya:“, the nature of prapaththi is discussed in a detailed manner. prapaththi is the act of accepting bhagavAn as the upAyam. The following aspects are discussed:
- For this act of accepting bhagavAn as upAyam, there is no restriction based on place, time, method, qualification of the one performing prapaththi and the result.
- the one who accepts our prapaththi (to whom we surrender/approach) must be capable
- the three classifications of the persons who perform prapaththi
- the limitations of accepting prapaththi as the means (bhagavAn is the means – prapaththi is simply an act that fits the nature of jIvAthmA)
- collective explanation of prapaththi’s nature and ancillary aspects.
Thus, this section establishes that bhagavAn is the upAyam and his glories. In this, up to (sUthram 70) “prApthikku ugappAnum avanE” is the crux of the matter. 71-79 are supplementary.
From (sUthram 80) “upAyaththukku” up to (sUthram 307) “upEya virOdhigaLAyirukkum“, the code of conduct/behaviour of a prapanna is explained. This section discusses the following aspects:
- the mandatory qualities of the jIvAthmA who accepts bhagavAn as upAyam (means) and upEyam (goal)
- the need to give up attachment towards other upAyams and
- general do’s and dont’s for such persons
From (sUthram 308) “thAn hithOpadhEsam paNNumbOdhu” up to (sUthram 365) “ugappum upakAra smruthiyum nadakka vENum“, Sishya lakshaNam (the attitude of a disciple towards his AchArya) is explained in detail. This section discusses the following aspects:
- the nature of sidhdhOpAya nishtar (one who fully depends on bhagavAn who is the established means)
- the nature of a true AchArya
- the nature of a true Sishya and his total dependence on AchArya
- the interactions between AchArya and Sishya
- the Sishya’s gratitude towards AchArya who helped him to be uplifted.
From (sUthram 366) “svadhOshAnusandhAnam bhaya hEthu” up to (sUthram 406) “nivarthaka gyAnam abhaya hEthu“, bhagavAn‘s nirhEthuka krupai (causeless mercy) is explained. It is because of this causeless mercy of bhagavAn that one progresses to various stages – adhvEsham (not having hatred) to ultimate goal of performing eternal kainkaryam. It is established that one gets relieved of one’s sorrows by seeing the causeless mercy of bhagavAn which guarantees the liberation of the jIvAthmA.
From (sUthram 407) “svathanthranai upAyamAgap paRRina pOdhiRE” up to the end (sUthram 463) explains the ultimate stage of one’s faith, i.e. being fully dependent on AchArya. This principle is established as explained by madhurakavi AzhwAr in kaNNinuN chiruthAmbu 9 “mikka vEdhiyar vEdhaththin utporuL” – the true essence of the vEdham which is practiced by experts.
As it starts with “vEdhArtham aRudhiyiduvadhu” (the essence of SAsthram is established) and ends with “charama parva nishtai” (being fully dependent on AchArya), it is clearly established that being fully dependent on the AchArya’s mercy is the essence of vEdham.
Just like charama SlOkam (sarva dharmAn parithyajya…) is the essence of SrI bhagavath gIthA, the last prakaraNam (section) is the essence of this prabhandham. There (in SrI bhagavath gIthA), bhagavAn first shows various upAyams (karma, gyAna, bhakthi yOgams etc) and observing that arjuna is fearful of taking upon himself the independence to choose the right path, he shows the sidhdhOpAyam (himself as the established upAyam thrashing all other upAyams). Here, the glories of sidhdhOpAyam (bhagavAn as the means) are explained in detail and observing that there is the fear of bhagavAn’s independence (which could lead to favourable or unfavourable situations), the ultimate path of depending on AchArya (which is the safest means) is shown.
Thus, the 6 prakaraNams (sections) of the prabhandham which highlights 6 principles are explained.
Let us now see how this prabhandham is classified into 9 prakaraNams (sections).
The introduction section and the purushakAra/upAya vaibhavam discussed in 1 to 22 sUthrams are the same as explained previously.
Subsequently, starting from (sUthram 23) “prapaththikku” and ending at (sUthram 114) “bhagavath vishaya pravruththi sErum” – this section explains the principle of bhagavAn as upAyam (which was highlighted in the first prakaraNam) in a detailed manner.
From (sUthram 115) “prApakAnthara parithyAgaththukku” up to (sUthram 141) “AgaiyAlE sukharUpamAyirukkum” explains the defects of upAyams other than prapaththi. The discussion in this section about prapaththi’s greatness is ancillary.
From (sUthram 142) “ivanaip peRa ninaikkum pOdhu” up to (sUthram 242) “idaichchiyAy peRRuvidudhal seyyumbadiyAyirukkum” explains the glories of sidhdhOpAya nishtar (those who fully accept bhagavAn as the only means).
From (sUthram 243) “ippadi sarvaprakAraththAlum” up to (sUthram 307) “upEya virOdhigaLAyirukkum” explains the prapanna dhinacharyA (daily routine of a prapanna).
From (sUthram 308) “thAn hithOpadhEsam paNNum pOdhu” up to (sUthram 320) “chEthananudaiya ruchiyAlE varugaiyAlE” explains the sadhAchArya lakshaNam (the qualities of a true AchArya).
From (sUthram 321) “Sishyanenbadhu” up to (sUthram 365) “upakAra smruthiyum nadakka vENum” explains the sachchishya lakshaNam (the qualities of a true sishya).
From (sUthram 366) “svadhOshAnusandhAnam” up to (sUthram 406) “nivarththaka gyAnam abhaya hEthu” explains the aspect of bhagavAn pursuing/uplifting jIvAthmAs out of his causeless mercy.
From (sUthram 407) “svathanthranai” up to the end (sUthram 463) explains that AchAryan is the upAyam (means) and upEyam (goal).
In line with these 2 types of classifications, “pERu tharuvikkumavaL than perumai” (thaniyan explaining the 6 sections) and “thirumAmagaL than” (thaniyan explaining the 9 sections) were rendered in glorification of this prabhandham. Thus it is acceptable to understand this prabhandham in both types of classifications.
Thus we have seen the section in the glorious introduction by mAmunigaL for piLLai lOkAchAryar‘s SrIvachana bhUshaNam where the two types of classifications for this prabhandham are explained in detail.
In the subsequent articles we will see the continuation of this most wonderful introduction of mAmunigaL for piLLai lOkAchAryar‘s SrIvachana bhUshaNam.
adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan
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