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Swami Desika Ė Master of Analogy - 18 (January 15, 2010)

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

Analogical Gems 86 to 90

86. How one cherishes the company of well-wishers, relatives, etc. (Charama Sloka Adhikaaram):

ஸுஹ்ருத்-புத்ராதி உபலாலநங்களிற் போலே

In the previous analogy, Swami Desika had raised a question as to the need for a Prapanna to take up Anugya Kainkaryams (unlike Nithya Karmas, these do not result in sin if not undertaken) when he has nothing else to wish for.

Swami answers the same with this analogy that if a person is in the company of his well-wishers, sons, relatives, etc. he celebrates with them playing the perfect host and making them feel welcome. Similarly, Sriman Narayana is the Only Relative to the Soul (Athma Bandhu) and for His pleasure a Prapanna might take up Kainkaryams like endowment of temples, digging up wells for public benefit etc., as per Saasthras.

Even though these Kainkaryams do not result in sin if not performed, they do result in His pleasure if undertaken, which is the ultimate fruit for all Prapannas.

87. How those taking up Sannyasa Asrama, are required to give up some rituals while taking up a few new ones (Charama Sloka Adhikaaram):

ஸந்ந்யாஸ ஆஸ்ரமத்தர்க்குப் பண்டுள்ளவை சிலவற்றை நிஷேதித்துப் புதியனவாகச் சிலவற்றை விதிக்குமாப் போலே

This is a very important analogy. Swami decries those arguments which condone the non-performance of Nithya-Naimiththika Karmas on the grounds that a Prapanna is a favourite of the God and has gained true knowledge of the soul; that he may or may not perform them; and that even if he does not, he would not attract any punishment except for His displeasure, and so on.

There are certain rituals laid down in the Saasthras for Gruhasthas (married people), Brahmacharis, Sannyasis, etc. A person while taking up Sannyasa is required to give up Agni Karyams (rituals involving fire) while it is incumbent upon him to take up new ones like Biksha (seeking alms), etc.

Similarly, a Prapanna is enjoined to take up certain things due to his status as a Bhagavatha and leave out certain things but these are strictly as laid down in the Saasthras as per his Varna and Asrama. He cannot take it up on his own to leave out Nithya Karmas like Sandhya Vandhanam, etc. with a holier-than-thou attitude on flimsy grounds that they contain Manthras pertaining to other lesser gods.

It is said in Dhaksha Smruthi that ďA person who does not perform Sandhya Vandhanam is unfit for any ritual and any ritual that he conducts will not be productiveĒ.

88. How grass is easily available yet cheap and the Meru Mountain is great yet unattainable (Charama Sloka Adhikaaram):

கேவல ஸுலபமான த்ருணாதிகளைப் போலன்றிக்கே ஸ்லாக்யனுமாய், துர்லபமான மேருவைப் போலுமன்றிக்கே ஸுலபனுமாய்

Here, Swami gives a combination analogy to show the Lordís easy accessibility and greatness and thus emphasises the importance of understanding that the purpose of Lordís descent into the world is only to uplift it.

Sriman Narayana is easily accessible to all during his Avatharas, as anybody can see Him with their bare eyes. Grass is available everywhere but it is of no value. The Lordís form and attributes are visible to all during his manifestation but they are innumerable and invaluable.

On the other side of the picture is the Meru mountain which is considered great due to its golden peaks and its immense height protecting the earth itself. However it is inaccessible to mere mortals. But the Lord, with his infinite quality of Mercy, is accessible in His human/animal form during the Avatharas to everyone.

This is what a Prapanna should meditate upon, the Lordís greatness yet accessibility (Avathara Rahasya) to spend the hours fruitfully during his remaining sojourn on the earth.

89. How the non-sentient too bear attributes as per the Lordís dictum (Charama Sloka Adhikaaram):

அசித்துக்கள் சப்தாதிகளை ஈச்வரன் உண்டாக்க சுமக்கிறாப் போலே

Some people raise this argument which seems intelligent Ė How can a Jiva who is entirely dependent upon the Lord for all his actions be ordered to perform Bhakthi Yoga/Prapathi as per the Saasthras? It is not in him to do anything on his own since the Lord controls his actions and thoughts. Only an independent person can be asked to do something as it is within his choice to accept or refuse.

In Sri Bhashyam Ė the commentary by Sri Ramanuja to the Brahma Suthras, it has been laid down clearly that the Jiva has independence in the first second of any action, to decide to proceed with it if it is Saasthraic and to desist from it if it is not. In the first second of any action, the Lord is just a spectator and he allows and helps the Jiva in whatever decision he takes, i.e., to proceed or desist.

Just as a non-sentient matter like Ether bearing the attribute of Sabdha or sound or air (Vayu) bearing the attribute of Sparsa or touch, the Jivas bear this moment of independence as per the Lordís will but within the spectrum of the Lordís Omnipotency.

Hence, in his every action a Jiva is subject to rules and regulations of the Saasthras which he can obey or disobey.

90. How a strong man helps carry the load of a weaker person (Charama Sloka Adhikaaram):

இளந்தலை சுமக்குமவனுக்குப் ப்ரபலன் பெருந்தலை சுமக்குமாப் போலே

Swami defines the five positions of the Lord vis-ŗ-vis a Jiva when he embarks upon any action. 1) He is an Enabler as without His will, the Jiva cannot even move; 2) He is the Doer in giving fruits for the Jivaís actions as per his Karma and in the creation, protection and destruction of the world, etc.; 3) He is the Indifferent one in that he doesnít prevent the Jiva from any action; 4) He is the Allower as he accepts the Jivaís decision to embark upon a particular action and 5) Last but not the least, He is the helper in all the Jivaís actions Ė Just like the strong man who helps to carry the load of a weaker person, the Lord assists the Jiva in all his actions so that he may complete it.

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Next in series: Gems 91 to 95, on February 15, 2010.

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