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Swami Desika Ė Master of Analogy - 11 (June 15, 2009)

100 Gems from Srimath Rahasyathraya Saaram
S. Padmalatha, Chennai.

Analogical Gems 51 to 55

51. How a thing previously stolen and returned to the rightful owner was again stolen (Siddhopaaya Sodhana Adhikaaram):

களவுகொண்டு கொடுத்த த்ரவ்யத்தை மீளக் களவு கொண்டாற்போலே

A Prapanna should take care to avoid mixing with argumentative people who sound off for the sake of argument, avers Swami Desika.

Some people who like to hear the sound of their own voice, raise questions about the existence of God, how one can be sure that it is Sriman Narayana, whether the universe in fact exists, if so at whose mercy and so on and so forth. They donít go by the verbal testimony of the scriptures. If a Prapanna lets himself be influenced by these people, then the validity of his Prapathi is lost and so it would amount to stealing a personís property after it was returned to its rightful owner. This is a much more serious crime than petty pilfering. Once we have surrendered our soul to the Lord in full faith, to be assailed by doubts later on at the behest of these spurious philosophers would amount to reclaiming the soul again as ours, which is unpardonable.

52. How the great emperor indulges court jesters and clowns, which besides being the norm, is also an act of kindness (Siddhopaaya Sodhana Adhikaaram):

கூனர் குறளரைக் கொண்டாடி ரக்ஷிக்கை நிரபேக்ஷரான ராஜாக்களுக்கு
லீலையுமாய் க்ருபாகார்யமுமாய்க் காணாநின்றோமிரே

The Brahman is said to be in an eternal state of bliss as per the Sasthras. But it contradicts with the fact that Lord Rama was seen to be anguished and inconsolable at the loss of Sita. Swami says that it was only an act of pretense (as in a play) to confuse the Raakshasaas into thinking that he was indeed a man and not God. All acts of the Lord during His Avatharas are for the pleasure of His devotees and to the detriment of their enemies. These are also a source of amusement for the Brahman.

A question arises as to how the world could be construed as the playground for the Lord? This is illustrated by the example of a King who watches over the court jesters and clowns as is the norm but also with kindness. The creation, sustenance and destruction of the world are a sport (Lila) for the Lord but it is also an act of kindness. (Only after creation can the Jivas adopt a means to reach the Lord while after destruction the Jivas are rescued from further sins).

53. How a gem regains its lustre after being cleaned thoroughly, only by Godís will (Siddhopaaya Sodhana Adhikaaram):

ரத்நத்துக்கு அழுக்கற்றால் வரும் ஸ்வாபாவிகமான ப்ரபா-விகாஸமும் அதுக்கு அநுரூபமான பகவத்ஸங்கல்பமாத்ரத்தாலே ஆனாற்போலே

One might argue that if by Prapathi the obstacle to complete bliss is removed, then the Jivathma qualifies automatically for his blissful experience of the Lord, and there is no role for the Lord as such, and hence He cannot be called the Means to Himself.

This argument is invalid because of the fact that the Jivathma regains his natural blemishless state and qualifies for the Ultimate Blissful experience only due to Godís will that it be so. If a gem regains its lustre after being cleaned thoroughly, it was Godís will that the gem had lustre in the first place. Bhakthi and Prapathi are only means to please the Lord who is the prime means to Himself.

54. How it is enough for an infant to cry for being breast-fed by its mother and there is no question of paying her for it (Siddhopaaya Sodhana Adhikaaram):

தாய்முலைப்பாலுக்கு ஆர்த்தனாய் அழுதல் செய்யுமளவன்றிக்கே கூலி கொடுப்பாரைப் போலே

This analogy has to be studied carefully as Swami Desika uses it to buttress up the argument of the opponent and then proceeds to smash it.

ďAs we are all children of God, why should we adopt a means at all to reach Him? It would be like an infant trying to pay its mother for breast-feeds instead of just crying for it.Ē This is the argument put forth by those who are against Prapathi. Swami picks holes in this argument and says that in that case, there should have been no Samsara at all.

Because we have been children of God since time immemorial, He should have given Moksha to everyone. If the argument is that it is His prerogative to give Moksha to whomever He chooses, then he would be guilty of partiality and caprice. The answer to the question raised by this analogy is answered more fully through the next analogy.

55. How the infant has to actually drink its motherís milk to assuage its hunger (Siddhopaaya Sodhana Adhikaaram):

தாய்முலைப்பால் போலே வருகிற ஈச்வர ப்ரஸாதத்துக்கும்
ஸ்தநந்தயனுடைய முலையுண்கிற வ்யாபாரம் போலே

This is in continuation of the theme from the previous analogy. A motherís milk is always readily available to an infant. But the infant has to actually reach for the breast and drink the milk to have its hunger pangs relieved.

Similarly, Sriman Narayana is always there for us but we have to desire Him and surrender unto Him to reach Him. This does not take away the Lordís role as the Primary Means or Siddhopaaya.

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Next in series: Gems 56 to 60, on July 15, 2009.

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