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Swami Desika – Master of Analogy - 19 (February 15, 2010)


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


Analogical Gems 91 to 95


91. How removing the obstacles in realising one’s desire and actually attaining it are two sides of the same coin (Charama Sloka Adhikaaram):

அநிஷ்ட நிவ்ருத்தியிலும் இஷ்ட ப்ராப்தியிலும் ஒன்றைச் சொல்ல இரண்டும் வருமாப் போலே

In his Charama Sloka Lord Krishna says “Maa Sucha:” – “Do not worry,” which is meant to galvanise us into adopting a means to reach Him. This in turn implies that one of the qualifications for adopting the means or Upaaya is to be concerned or worried about our salvation. However, in Jithanthe Stotra 1.8 and 1.6.4 of Periya Thirumozhi (Vambulam Koondhal), fear for our deplorable state in this Samsaara is slated as the qualification for doing Prapathi.

Swami Desika clarifies by saying that just like the attainment of one’s desire and removal of any obstacles thereof, being two mutually inclusive and dependent goals (one pre-supposes and follows the other), fear and worry are two inter-dependant states of the mind and when one is stated the other is implied too (worry arises from fear and fear follows the worry).


92. How the breast-milk of a lioness is unthinkable for any other animal except its cub (Acharya-Kruthya Adhikaram):

ஸிம்ஹி-ஸ்தந்யம் போலே

Swami Desika emphasises that the Acharyan is greater than the Lord and explains how a Sampradaya Acharya imparts knowledge only to worthy disciples.

Sriman Narayana is the first preceptor in our Sampradaya (which is a unique feature) and the precepts are handed down from Him in an unbroken lineage from time immemorial. Only the lion cub gets to taste the lioness’ milk as a matter of right and it is unthinkable for other animals to overpower the lioness to get at it.

Similarly, the illustrious concepts and doctrines of our Sampradaya are saved in the minds of our preceptors who do not divulge it to people of other Sampradayas as they may not appreciate them but these are handed down to devoted disciples without any constraint. (Kalakshepam of Rahasya Granthas is meant only for those who have had Pancha Samskaram (Samaasrayanam) from their Acharyan).


93. How water saved in a skeleton-head is unusable (Sishya-Kruthya Adhikaram):

கபாலஸ்த-தோயாதிகளைப் போலே

Sishya-Kruthya Adhikaram contains valuable instructions about how we should conduct ourselves towards our Acharyan and Swami reiterates forcefully, that one can never hope to recompense one’s Acharyan for all that he does for us.

Swami gives out strong analogies to point out what a Sishya should not do which is more important than what he ought to do. The first analogy is about how, even if one suffers from dehydration and thirst, one would not like to drink water saved in a skeleton-head.

Just as the container is as important as the content, a Sishya’s body and mind are as important as his soul and to protect the Rahasya Grantha knowledge, he should strive to keep his mind and body pure through Anushtaanams. If not, his knowledge would be wasted as it cannot be passed on.


94. How a prostitute’s make-up, sandal paste sold for profit, puffed rice scattered in the ground publicly, garland in a monkey’s hand, etc. are considered deplorable and appalling (Sishya-Kruthya Adhikaram):

கணிகாலங்காரம் ஆக்குதல் - விலைச்சாந்து ஆக்குதல் - அம்பலத்தில் அவற்பொதி ஆக்குதல் - குரங்கின் கையில் பூமாலை ஆக்குதல்

It is one of the foremost duties of a Sishya to protect the Rahasya Grantha knowledge and see to it that it does not fall into the hands of ignoramus who could exploit it for material gain. To impart such illustrious concepts for monetary gain is equivalent to 1) a prostitute’s make-up, as they may be couched in ornamental language for the listeners’ benefit; 2) sandal paste sold for profit which is dished out proportionately as per the monetary gain; 3) puffed rice scattered in the ground publicly for the use of all and sundry instead of being offered as alms to worthy people and 4) the famous example of garland in a monkey’s hand which proceeds to destroy it as it cannot appreciate the beauty and fragrance of the same.

In short, if a Sishya does not protect his knowledge but passes it on to the wrong person without examining his motives, he is guilty of sinning against his Acharya.


95. How one cannot wear a stolen ornament without fear (Sishya-Kruthya Adhikaram):

களவு கொண்டு ஆபரணம் பூண்டாற் போலே

This is a very apt analogy from our Swami who equates the knowledge gained through underhand means without the consent of the Acharyan to a stolen ornament. One cannot wear a stolen ornament in public as one would be scared of getting caught.

Similarly, if a Sishya gains Rahasya knowledge without requesting and getting express permission to do so either by listening outside doors or on his own by looking up the concepts from the books he cannot exhibit his knowledge freely without the fear of being contradicted. His knowledge is of no use as he would not be confident enough to answer queries for the fear of his understanding and interpretation being faulty.


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Next in series: Gems 96 to 100, on March 15, 2010.



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