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Swami Desika – Master of Analogy - 17 (December 15, 2009)


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


Analogical Gems 81 to 85


81. How one’s desire to serve the king does not automatically translate into a desire to serve his subjects (Moola Manthra Adhikaaram):

நரபதியைப் பற்ற கைங்கர்யத்தை அபேக்ஷித்தானென்றால் நரரைப் பற்றக் கைங்கர்யம் அபேக்ஷிதம் ஆகாதாப் போலே

Here Swami Desika answers a very interesting question. The etymology of the word Narayana indicates that He is the One residing in all sentient and non-sentient beings. So, if we pray to serve Him, does it mean that we pray to serve all sentient and non-sentient beings? If so, would it not include lesser gods, atheists and even animals?

Swami replies with a resounding ‘no’. If a person expresses a desire to serve the king and seeks his employ, it does not automatically mean that he wishes to serve the entire kingdom. Similarly, the Prapanna’s desire to serve the Lord as per the Saasthras would apply to the Lord and those who are dear to the Lord i.e., those who have accepted His supremacy and do not seek material things from Him. In effect, it would mean service to Sriman Narayana and Bhagavathas.


82. How the spreading of the effulgence natural to a gem is also due to the Lord’s wish (Moola Manthra Adhikaaram):

மாணிக்கத்தில் ஒளியும் நியதையான ஈச்வர இச்சையாலே பரம்புமாப் போலே

The effulgence of a gem which we consider natural to it is due to the Lord’s wish that it be so and its far and wide spread is also due to the same reason. Similarly, the inseparable attribute of knowledge present in our soul, its contraction upon birth in this world and the ultimate expansion of it in Sri Vaikuntam upon the performance of Bhakthi Yoga or Prapathi is per the Lord’s dictum. Even those things which are not limited by time (Jivaathmas) and space (time & ether) remain so only because of the Lord’s intent.

Hence, it is a given that the redemption of the soul and the resultant expansion of its attributive knowledge to its ultimate state of unlimitedness is dependent upon His will.


83. How the lady dove taught its mate that it was imperative to save a Saranaagatha even by sacrificing one’s own life (Dhvaya Adhikaaram):

கபோதத்தைக் கபோதி கேட்பித்தாற் போலே

This analogy pertains to a heart-rending story depicting the importance of Saranaagathi which is found in detail in Sri Abhaya Pradhaana Saaram (one of the Chillarai Rahasyas of Swami Desika from Srimath Ramayana).

The word ‘Sri’ which is Piraatti’s name has six meanings, one of which is that she compels her husband to listen to our entreaties at the proper time. In this respect, Swami cites the example of a lady dove which advised its mate that one should be prepared to sacrifice even one’s own life to protect or save a Saranaagatha.

A hunter who had unintentionally taken refuge from heavy rains under the tree in which the doves resided was considered as a Saranaagatha by the lady dove even though he had captured it. Upon the advice of the lady dove, the male dove lit a fire with sticks and fell on it so that it could become food for the hunter.

Our preceptors aver that Sri Rama left this earth with a grievance in his heart that the dove had bested him by forgiving and helping the hunter who had abducted its mate while he did not get the opportunity to forgive and accept Ravana into his fold since Ravana refused to surrender.


84. How Dhadhipandan adamantly refused to give up without getting Moksha for himself and his pot from Sri Krishna (Dhvaya Adhikaaram):

ததிபாண்டாதிகளைப் போலே ஹடாத்காரம் பண்ணியும் அநுபந்தி-பர்யங்கமாகப் பரமபுருஷார்த்தத்தை அபேக்ஷிக்கைக்கு உறுப்பாம்

This endearing story from Sri Krishnaavathara is cited by Swami Desika while explaining one of the twelve attributes of the Lord denoted by the word ‘Narayana’ in the first part of the Dhvaya Manthra.

The Lord is the greatest philanthropist who doesn’t compare unfavourably the easy means adopted by us in relation to the great benefit we get. In fact, he feels that He has not done enough. This quality emboldens us to demand and get our desire, namely, Moksha, just like Dhadhipaandan who helped little Krishna hide in his big pot to escape from his mother and demanded in exchange, Moksha not only for himself but also his pot!


85. How gambling etc is taken up by materialistic people (Charama Sloka Adhikaaram):

லௌகிகரானவர்கள் த்யூதாதிகள் பண்ணுமாப் போலே

This is a negative analogy to illustrate the point of view that ‘since a Prapanna is not like a materialistic person who takes up gambling for his own personal gain, why should he take up Kainkaryams which are not considered a must?‘

For example, Sandhyavandanam, Thiru Araadhanam, etc. are Nithya Karmas non-performance of which would result in great irredeemable sin. However some other Kainkaryams are given in the Saasthras which are beneficial but do not result in sin if not undertaken (e.g.: endowing temples, digging up a pond, well, etc. for use by Bhagavathas and so on).

These do not constitute Bhakthi Yoga, or a component of Prapathi; do not result in disfavour with the Lord if not done. A Prapanna needs neither fortunes nor virtues (Punyams) since they are also impediments to the ultimate goal of Moksha. Should he then desist from such Kainkaryams? Await the answer in the next analogy!


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Next in series: Gems 86 to 90, on January 15, 2010.



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