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Swami Desika Master of Analogy - 6 (January 15, 2009)

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

Analogical Gems 26 to 30

26. How one has to follow the rules of the game even when it is played for fun (Utharakruthya Adhikaaram):

அக்கரையிலே அபிமத தேசத்துக்குப் போக ஓடம் பார்த்திருப்பார், நினைத்த போது விடவொண்ணாத பணபந்த த்யூதத்தில் இழியாதே, வேண்டின மட்டிலே தலைக்கட்டுகைக்கு ஈடான விஹார த்யூதத்திலே இழிந்தாலும், த்யூத சாஸ்த்ரத்தின் படியே அடிதப்பாதே கருவி வைக்குமாப் போலே

This is a fantastic analogy and Swami Desika paints a beautiful word-picture of the way Prapannas have to conduct themselves after Prapathi. It is a given that Prapannas have to do Kainkaryams without aspiring for anything as the Kainkaryams themselves are the end rather than the means but it is extremely important to bear in mind that the Kainkaryams should be done according to the Saasthras only. Further they should be undertaken relishingly and not as cumbersome duty.

For example, some people are sitting on the banks of the river awaiting the ferry to arrive from the other side and to while away the time, indulge in a game of cards or chess. If they were playing for money, they would not be able to quit as and when the boat arrives. So, they would ideally be playing for fun without stakes. Still, can they play mindlessly and in a haphazard manner? No. They would still have to comply with the rules of the game.

Similarly, Prapannas have a reserved place in Vaikuntam, across the Viraja River and they are awaiting the day of the Lord's Will for them to cross the ocean of Samsara. However, as long as their earthly sojourn is not ended, they have to play by the rules of the game, i.e., follow the path shown by the Saasthras.

That way, there will not be any delay once the day of reckoning approaches unlike the case wherein people do Kainkaryams to the Lord to get material things (In which case, the Karmas have to be continued till their fruition, like the game with stakes).

27. How a healthy person with a balanced diet enjoys the sweetness of milk much more than a person with ill-health who has been advised to drink it for medicinal purposes (Utharakruthya Adhikaaram):

பித்த பரிஹாரார்த்தமாக க்ஷீரஸேவை பண்ணுவாரைப் போலன்றிக்கே அயத்ந லப்தமான ஔஷதத்தாலே அவிலம்பிதமாக ஆரோக்யம் பெற்றவர்கள் பால் வார்த்து உண்ணுமாப் போலே

This analogy is for the second part of the previous concept, namely, the need to do the Kainkaryams with no other objective but to seek the pleasure of the Lord. The Saasthras have laid down the Kainkaryams that are to be submitted to the Lord as per the time and place and the Prapannas are bound by them.

These are not to be looked upon as entailments but as opportunities to serve the Lord in the way He desires. When one performs the Kainkaryams without seeking anything from the Lord, he is much more likely to enjoy them than the one who does them expecting specific rewards.

28. How the abode of king-in-waiting is illuminated the night before the crowning (Utharakruthya Adhikaaram):

அபிஷேகம் பண்ணப் போகிற ராஜகுமாரனுக்கு ராத்ரியில் விளக்கேற்றி வைக்குமாப் போலே

If a prince were to be crowned as the king the next day, then, his palace would be lit up with extravagant lamps and it will be all glow and radiance the previous night. Similarly, for Prapannas, the world is the dark place of Samsara and their Acharyas are the ones who with their luminous knowledge dispelled the darkness.

The crowning for the kingdom of Moksha is to take place in the future and till that time, one has to repeatedly acknowledge with gratitude the mercy of one's Acharya who is the sole reason for his good fortune. The Acharyan can never be repaid by any means. The least we can and must do is to serve our Acharyan with our mind, body, heart and soul.

29. How the king feels if his son is feted (Purushaarthakaashta Adhikaaram):

ராஜாவுக்கு ராஜகுமார உபலாலநம் போலே

This chapter of Purushartha kaashtaadhikaaram is devoted by Swami Desika to emphasise that Bhagavathas are more important than Bhagwan Himself and hence for our Kainkaryams to be complete, they should be submitted to Bhagavathas also. In short, the cornerstone of Kainkaryam to the Lord is Bhagavatha Kainkaryam.

Since Bhagavathas are close to his Heart, there is no contradiction of terms in that we are not paying obeisance to any other entity but to that of the Lord Himself. Just as the king is overjoyed to see his son being feted by his servants, and watches with pride and indulgence, Sriman Narayana is extremely pleased if we do service to the Bhagavathas.

30. How the king who receives many garlands and gifts distributes them to his servants and pets (Purushaarthakaashta Adhikaaram):

ஸ்வதந்த்ரனாய் ஸ்வச்சந்த லீலனான ராஜா, தான் பூண்ட ஆபரணத்தையும் இட்ட மாலையையும், அடியார்களுடையவும் ஆனை குதிரைகளுடையவும் கழுத்திலே இடுமாப் போலே

One might wonder as to how a Prapanna can accept another person albeit a Bhagavatha as his Master when he has already sworn his allegiance to the Lord alone. It is not only the Will of the Lord that we should treat other Bhagavathas as our Masters but they are in fact our Masters in that they are the soul of the Lord Himself. ("Jnani tu atmaiva me matham" I deem Jnani (the knowledgeable) to be Myself Bhagavath Gita 7.18).

Since Sriman Narayana is our Master, He can use us in any manner He desires and he can subject us to other Masters too. Just as the King, who has received many garlands, gifts, etc., magnanimously distributes them to his servants and pets, the Lord ordains that a Bhagavatha be the Master of another and His Will prevails as He is the Absolute Master. To draw a contemporary parallel, we see that politicians distribute the Ponnadais (shawls) given to them to his underlings!

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Next in series: Gems 31 to 35, on February 15, 2009.

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