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Swami Desika Master of Analogy - 16 (November 15, 2009)

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

Analogical Gems 76 to 80

76. How it is better to eat when one is hungry instead of eating as if in a contest (Prabhaava Vyavastha Adhikaaram):

இது பசித்து உண்பார் மாத்ரம். இங்ஙனல்லாத போது ஒட்டத்துக்கு அப்பம் தின்பார் மாத்ரம்

The Saathvika Thyaagam is part of our Nithya Karmas and it is said to be the recitation of the fact that those actions sanctioned by the Saasthras are done because of the Lord, for the Lord’s pleasure and there is no fruit involved for the doer.

Swami Desika cites the ultimate cornerstone of Saathvika Thaayagam as desisting from requesting even Moksha and carrying out the actions as fulfilling the Lord’s dictum since Moksha has already been granted by the Lord as the fruit of Prapathi. This is equivalent to the Kainkaryams of the Mukthas. This is how it should be for all Prapannas, i.e., a divine experience; otherwise it would be like participating in a pie-eating contest instead of assuaging one’s hunger.

In a contest, there would be no tasting of the food in the race against time whereas if one is hungry the food is really savoured. Hence, a Prapanna should relish his Kaingaryams and perform them with the sole aim of pleasing the Lord.

77. How a father disciplines his son through punishment (Prabhaava Raksha Adhikaaram):

ஸந்நிஹிதமான கசாதிகளைப் போலே துணையாகக் கொண்டு பித்ராதிகளைப் போலே

A question which may arise in our minds is answered by Swami Desika in this analogy. Prapannas are God’s favourite children and their mistakes are pardoned by the Lord indulgently. Moksha is assured for them. Why then should they suffer from miseries and difficulties during the rest of their stay on the earth? Why can’t they enjoy a blissful life without any problems?

Swami says that if it were so, a Prapanna would begin to love his materialistic life and become indifferent towards the Lord. Further, the sorrows and distress caused are due to his misdeeds in the previous births and they have to be borne so that he refrains from repeating them for fear of retribution.

Just like a father who disciplines his son through mild caning etc. with his welfare in mind, the Lord rebukes us by handing out these miseries and this is actually a blessing in disguise for the Prapanna.

78. How one must accord due respect to even fake Bhagavathas till such time their true colours are revealed (Prabhaava Raksha Adhikaaram):

உள்ளொரு பசையற்றுப் பசுத்தோல் போர்த்துப் புலிப்பாய்ச்சல் பாயும் கணக்கிலே பாகவத பாவநை பண்ணித் திரிவாரையும் உள்ளறியுமளவும் உபரிசராதிகள் அஸுராதிகளை ஆதரித்தாற் போலே

We all know the story of how once a tiger clad himself with the cow’s skin and jumped on unsuspecting cows to prey upon them. There are some people who bear the name and form of Bhagavathas without the real hallmarks — a kind heart or tolerant behaviour. They tend to show their true colours sooner or later. Till then, it is best to accord them due respect.

Bhagavatha Apacharam is so dangerous that it is to be avoided at all costs and hence it is best not to offend even those people who only seem like Bhagavathas in their outward appearance.

Here Swami Desika cites the examples of King Uparicharas who treated Asuras with respect when they approached him in the garb of Bhagavathas and Sita Piraatti who welcomed Ravana as per protocol when he came for alms in the guise of a Sannyasi.

79. How refreshing it would be when one sights an oasis amidst a desert (Prabhaava Raksha Adhikaaram):

மரு பூமியில் தண்ணீர் பெற்றாற் போலே

A Prapanna should look for good attributes in the Bhagavathas and gloss over their imperfections if any and rejoice in their company as if an oasis is sighted amidst a desert. He has to revere them with his body, mind and talk.

On this earth, it is rare to find Bhagavathas and they are to be considered superior even to the Lord. It is improper to sit in judgement about other Bhagavathas.

80. How Arjuna’ is the focal point in his chariot and Lord Krishna it is in Raasa Mandalam (Moola Manthra Adhikaaram):

அர்ஜுந ரதம் போலே ப்ரணவம் சேஷப்ரதாநமாகையாலும், ராஸ மண்டலம் போலே நாராயண சப்தமாகையாலும்

Swami Desika researches the etymology of Ashtaakshara and establishes that it is the foremost Manthra in our Sampradaya for grammatical reasons also. A query arises about whether it is repetitive to denote the Jivan in the second and third parts of the Manthra, namely, Nama: & Narayanaya (the “ma:” in Nama: and “nara” in Narayanaya denote the Jivathma).

Swami concludes that the Jivathma is proved by Paramathma and vice versa and in Nama:, the Jivathma is the focal point just like Arjuna is in his chariot because the Lord is seated down on the charioteer’s place and Arjuna gets to direct the course of the chariot. In Narayanaya, Sriman Narayana is the focal point just like the Raasa Mandalam in which Krishna was sandwiched between two Gopis. There is no repetition since the import is different in the two words.

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Next in series: Gems 81 to 85, on December 15, 2009.

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