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Swami Desika – Master of Analogy - 5 (December 15, 2008)

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

Analogical Gems 21 to 25

21. How even an inept person finds a treasure effortlessly (Kruthakruthya Adhikaaram):

அகிஞ்சநன் அயத்நமாக மஹாநிதியைப் பெறுமாப் போலே

Once a person has performed Prapathi, he has fulfilled all his obligations and hence there is nothing left for him to do in the sphere of attainment of Moksha. He is called “Kruthakruthyan”- (meaning “one who has done what he had to do”). He can spend the remaining years in the earth without any fear or fervour, imposing his faith on Lord Krishna’s words in the Charama Sloka – “Maa Sucha:” (do not worry). Sriman Narayana is the Ultimate Constant and Omnipotent and once He has taken a Prapanna into His fold, (which he does during Prapathi itself) the Prapanna can rest assured of his incredible fortune for the simple act of his done once.

It so happens that sometimes an inept person, without any effort, finds a treasure which is unattainable to others. Similarly, a Prapanna, who has renounced other fruits except Moksha and discarded other means of attaining of God, like Bhakti Yoga and reposed his faith in the Lord through Prapathi, gains the supreme fortune of reaching Sri Vaikuntam once he leaves the earth.

22. How when the king’s servants anoint garlands and jewels over his shirt, they know it is for the king’s pleasure and has nothing to do with the shirt (Kruthakruthya Adhikaaram):

ராஜஸேவகர் ராஜாவுக்குச் சட்டைமேலே மாலையையும் ஆபரணத்தையும் இட்டாலும்,
சட்டையில் துவக்கற்று ராஜாவின் ப்ரீதியே ப்ரயோஜநமாகத் தெளிந்திருக்குமாப் போலே

This is a wonderful analogy used in a lighter vein by Swami Desika, which answers a pertinent question that could arise in the minds of all Prapannas.

There is an oft-repeated query in the question-answer section of religious journals in our Sampradaya – “I have performed Prapathi as I have realised that Sriman Narayana is the Supreme Reality. So, is it correct that I pray to other Gods during my daily and routine ablutions, like Sandhyavandhanam and Amavasya Tharpanam, etc., as the Manthras seem to be in praise of other Gods?”

Swami Desika explains thus: When a servant adorns his master with garlands and jewels he has to necessarily anoint them over his shirt but he knows fully well that the adornment is not for the shirt but for the pleasure of the king! The lesser Gods or pretenders to Godliness are but bodies to Sriman Narayana.

Lord Krishna Himself declared thus in the Bhagavath Gita – “அஹம் ஹி ஸர்வ யஜ்நாநாம் போக்த ச ப்ரபு: ஏவ ச!” (I am the one who is worshipped in all Yajnaas”). So, all rituals are routed ultimately to Sriman Narayana only.

23. How the Lord’s dictum is understood by the Mukthas (Kruthakruthya Adhikaaram):

ப்ரத்யக்ஷ-விதித-பரமபுருஷ அபிப்ராயரான முக்தரைப் போலே

This is in continuation of the previous analogy. The whole edifice of our Sampradaya is built upon Sarira-Sariri bhava (i.e. our souls are bodies to Sriman Narayana’s Soul). So, any paeans to other Gods would ultimately end up with Sriman Narayana since they are also Jivas (sentients) just like us.

Sage Jaimini is of the view that all words if split up phonetically and studied, would be found to be referring to Sriman Narayana only. So, a person has to perform all the rituals and actions as laid down in the Saasthras with the prescribed Manthras. He need not concern himself with the presumed import as it is Sriman Narayana who is ultimately denoted by all the Manthras.

But a word of caution here: This principle holds good only for those rituals and actions as laid down in the Saasthras, since only they enlighten us about the Lord’s dictum. We cannot extend it so as to apply to all our other actions or those which are outside the scope of the Saasthras. We who live on the earth have to follow the Holy Scriptures which represent the Lord’s dictum as we cannot receive it directly like the Mukthas (those who reside in Sri Vaikuntam). But we are no less fortunate in that we have received it through the Saasthras as He Himself has stated “ச்ருதி ஸ்ம்ருதிர் மம ஏவ ஆஜ்நா” (the Vedas and Smruthis are only My orders).

24. How a person who has sold a major part of his native land and retained a small portion for sentimental reasons, feels towards his property (Utharakruthya Adhikaaram):

பழந்திருவிளையாட்டத்திலே சிறிதிடத்தை அடைத்துக்கொண்டிருப்பாரைப் போலே

Here Swami Desika delineates how a Prapanna should view his stay on this earth – Once a person has realised his true nature and performed Prapatti, his remaining sojourn on the Earth is as per the wish of the Lord and he has to be detached from all the happenings.

A person may have sold off a major portion of his inherited land but might have retained/rented out a small portion for himself for sustenance. He would display a sort of detached attachment towards his property – it serves him currently as means of livelihood but he is no longer the owner of it all. Similarly, a Prapanna cannot renounce everything and live like an ascetic as he has to make his livelihood till his end, and has to worship the Lord everyday with some offerings.

However, he should have no material desires and so shouldn’t consider anything as entirely his. He should spend his time in the study of scriptures, contemplation of the Lord’s nature, form, qualities, etc. and submit all his actions (karmas) for the pleasure of the Lord.

25. How a dam should be built in time to control sudden floods (Utharakruthya Adhikaaram):

வருகிற நீருக்கு அணை கோலும் கணக்கிலே

This analogy and the next one are in answer to the question of how a Prapanna should spend the rest of his life and what his thoughts should be. In effect, it is an instruction on the “Art of Living”.

We see that some people, who have performed Prapathi at an advanced age, lament that they wasted so many years of their life and they have little time left to experience the Lord’s mercy. Be that as it may, they should spend their life meditating upon the Lord’s mercy in gratitude of His acceptance now, and in anticipation of the wonderful fortune awaiting them. They should not lose sight of their obligations arising as per their Varna and Asrama and strive to fulfil them.

A dam should be built before the floods arrive and there is no point in building it once the floods have subsided after causing the havoc. Similarly, a Prapanna should not consider himself ineligible to approach the Lord in view of his past deeds, distance himself and drift away. He should not lose his perspective and has to perform his duties (kainkaryams) as per the Lord’s dictum explicitly laid down in the Saasthras.

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Next in series: Gems 26 to 30, on January 15, 2009.

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