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Swami Desika – Master of Analogy - 12 (July 15, 2009)

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

Analogical Gems 56 to 60

56. How there is natural effulgence in both the sun and its rays (Siddhopaaya Sodhana Adhikaaram):

பாஸ்கரநுக்கும் ப்ரபைக்கும் ஸ்வதஸித்தமான தேஜஸ்த்வம் போலே

Swami Desika emphasises that both Sri and Narayana are the Upaaya or means to attain Sri Vaikuntam. There is no room for argument in this regard.

Some people might question that since in our philosophy the Upaaya or means is said to be one how can two individuals make up one Upaaya?

Swami answers thus: Just as the Lord’s beautiful form and his innumerable attributes qualify him, Piraatti also qualifies Him and hence there is no contradiction in saying that Sriman Narayana is the only Upaaya. However, just as both the sun and its rays have their own natural effulgence (even though they cannot be differentiated by us) both Perumal and Piraatti have their own natural attributes too and complement each other to save us from Samsaara.

57. How the offerings in some Yagnas are meant for two Gods (Siddhopaaya Sodhana Adhikaaram):

ஹவிர்விசேஷங்களிலே அக்நிவிஷ்ணு ப்ரப்ருதிகளைப் போலே

This is in continuation of the previous analogy. A question arises that if Sri is qualifier to the Lord then how could she be the Absolute Reality herself? Our Purvaachaaryas have held that the ownership of the world rests in both Sri and Narayana. Both are the Material Cause, Primordial Cause & Supreme Reality. The Duality is the creator, sustainer and destroyer of the world. This can be easily understood by the example of husband and wife holding property together.

To give a more scriptural example, Swami shows that in some Yagnas the offerings are meant for two Gods irrespective of their position vis-a-vis each other. (As per the Vedas, in a Yagna called Agnirvaishnavam, the 11 cups of offerings are meant for both Agni and Vishnu even though Agni himself is a body to Sri Vishnu).

Similarly, the subservience inherent in the position of a wife does not hamper Piraatti’s right to be the Acceptor of our Saranaagathi along with the Lord. (The Saranaagathi itself is a Yagna with our soul being the offering as per the scriptures).

58. How some set of Vedic laws are applicable to everyone (Saadhyopaaya Sodhana Adhikaaram):

வைதிகங்களான ஸத்ய வசநாதிகள் போலே

As we saw in the previous analogy, Prapathi is also considered a Yagna in the Vedas with our soul being the offering. Since the privilege of conducting the Yagnas is restricted to certain people, how can everyone perform Prapathi?

Here, Swami Desika imparts many testimonies from various religious texts to establish that Prapathi can be performed by anyone without any restrictions. To prove his point, Swami says that while some rules in the Vedas are specifically meant for certain people, some set of rules are applicable to everyone.

For example, speak the truth always, conduct yourself as per Dharma, etc. apply to all human beings. Similarly, Prapathi is the means available to everyone irrespective of their caste, creed, position, social status, etc. One need not even be a human! Did we not see a crow surrender to Lord Rama in Srimath Ramayanam? (An Acharyan can perform Prapathi on behalf of animals & birds too as evidenced in our Guru Parampara literature)

59. How a hapless man surrenders to a strong and accessible person to save himself (Saadhyopaaya Sodhana Adhikaaram):

லோகத்தில் தன்னை ரக்ஷித்துக்கொள்ள விரகில்லாதே அழுந்துவான் ஒருவன், அப்போது ஸந்நிஹிதநான ரக்ஷணஸமர்த்தநைப் பற்றுமாப் போலே

This analogy is given by Swami to illustrate the idea of some people who are against specifically invoking Prapathi as a rite. Their argument is that there is no need to specifically invoke Prapathi because weak people naturally tend towards the strong to protect themselves and similarly, the mortals would automatically turn towards the All-powerful Lord once they realise their vulnerability, vis-a-vis the invincibility of the Lord.

60. How a hapless man, while surrendering to a strong one, does it in a certain way (Saadhyopaaya Sodhana Adhikaaram):

லோகத்தில் ஒருவனை ஒருவன் ஆச்ரயிக்கும்போது, இன்னபடியே ஆச்ரயித்தால் இவன் இரங்கும் என்னுமிடத்தை ஒரு ப்ரமாணத்தாலே அறிந்து ஆச்ரயிக்குமாப் போலே

This analogy is in reply to the question raised by the previous analogy. It is commonly seen that a weak person surrenders to a strong one to protect himself. But there is a certain procedure to it. Further, he has to be confident that the person to whom he is surrendering is capable and willing to protect him. This he might ascertain through friends, relatives, etc.

Similarly, there are certain pre-requisites, procedures, etc. for Prapathi also. The Prapanna has to be clear in his mind about his Prapathi which knowledge could be gained only through Saasthras. Only they can teach a person as to why, how, where, through whom and to whom he has to surrender.

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Next in series: Gems 61 to 65, on August 15, 2009.

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