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Swami Desika – Master of Analogy - 8 (March 15, 2009)

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

Analogical Gems 36 to 40

36. How it is only a matter of time before trees injected with asafoetida fade away (Aparaadha Parihaara Adhikaaram):

பெருங்காயம் வைத்த மரங்களுக்கு ஸ்தலாதி விசேஷங்களாலே வாட்டத்துக்குக் கால தாரதம்யம் உள்ள மாத்ரம்

This analogy is particularly interesting as it comes with a gardening tip! We saw that the Prapannas get small punishments disproportionate to the sins they commit. They too accrue only in case of dire offences which were not regretted and atoned. The sins that were committed unwittingly do not count as sins at all. Even those that were committed with intent are pardoned if they were occasioned by unavoidable or mitigating circumstances. There is no cause for concern regarding fruition of Prapathi even in the case of deliberate offences which were not atoned.

Swami Desika assures us that these are not powerful enough to stop us from reaching our Ultimate Destination (Sri Vaikunta). Just like the trees injected with asafoetida die sooner or later, the escape from the clutches of Samsara is a given thing, the difference being only the time of departure for the Prapannas depending upon their destiny.

37. How when the personal maid to the queen loses her job she loses much more (Aparaadha Parihaara Adhikaaram):

ஸைரந்த்ரிகைக்கு ஸேவை தப்பின போது தாதாத்விகமான பரிமளாதிகளையும் இழந்து பயாநுபவமும் உண்டாமாப் போலே

If a Prapanna is a famous person who influences people, then he has to atone for his sins publicly and not in the sly so as to not embolden others to commit offences. If he does not atone, it harms him in two ways. The Lord is displeased that he committed the sin and worse, he did not try to atone for it thereby signalling that he is ready to take punishment which is against the Saasthras.

A personal maid to the queen may try out perfumes, sandal paste and other beauty products etc. (officially) which are meant for the queen. But, if she loses her job, she loses these perks and fears the wrath of the queen too. Just like her two-fold loss, a Prapanna who commits an offence loses out on incurring the pleasure of the Lord and furthermore incurs His displeasure.

38. How there is an intrinsic difference between particular beings even if they belong to the same species (Aparaadha Parihaara Adhikaaram):

பகவத் பரிக்ரஹமான் கோ-கோபஜாதிகளுடையவும் துளஸீ-சம்பகாதிகளுடையவும் கோமய-ம்ருகமாதாதிகளுடையவும் வைஷம்யம் போலே

The most important offence that has to be steered clear of by the Prapannas is Bhagavatha Apacharam – sin against Sriman Narayana’s devotees. A Prapanna might be pardoned if he insults the Lord Himself but he would not be forgiven if he mistreats a Bhagavatha.

A Prapanna is in the same position as Sages Parasara, Vyasa, Suka, Sounaka, etc. insofar as his acceptance in Sri Vaikunta is considered, irrespective of the status as regards knowledge, qualities, creed, etc. However, just like the cow, basil leaf and cow-urine are considered sacred and superior to the buffalo, champak leaf and musk respectively, even though they belong to the same species, differences do exist among the Bhagavathas based upon their Varna and Asrama.

Hence, while it is imperative not to be offensive to a Bhagavatha, it also would not do to cross the boundaries and embrace proscribed actions in the name of honouring a Bhagavatha.

39. How a person trembles upon being caught in the jaws of death (Aparaadha Parihaara Adhikaaram):

ம்ருத்யுவின் கடைவாயிலே அகப்பட்டாற் போலே

This is a simple analogy which denotes that a Prapanna should treat a sin against or an offence to a Bhagavatha as being equal to be caught in the jaws of death and strive to avoid it at all costs. The only remedy available is to atone for it by profusely apologising to the Bhagavatha, regret whole-heartedly that it happened and take utmost care to see that it is not repeated.

It is to be clarified here that an offence against a Bhagavatha includes not only direct ones like physical abuse but even indirect ones like an evil thought against him, gossiping about him, using demeaning words, etc.

40. How two wooden pieces are pasted up so that not even a crack is seen (Aparaadha Parihaara Adhikaaram):

ஈர்த்த வாய் தெரியாமல் வஜ்ரலேப-கடிதமானாற் போலே

This is in continuation of the previous subject and Swami Desika quotes a beautiful incident from Srimath Ramayana to illustrate how two Bhagavathas should behave towards each other if an offence had been committed.

Lakshmana was furious with King Sugriva that he was immersed in experiencing to the full all pleasures that had been denied to him thus far and was not making any effort to start the search for Sita Piratti. He roared upon reaching the palace that the path which Vali had taken was not closed yet. Immediately, upon Hanuman’s wise counsel, Sugriva sent Tharai first to moderate Lakshmana’s anger and then came out himself and extended his heart-felt apologies. Lakshmana immediately apologised to Sugriva and said that he had been forced to use harsh words since he was disturbed by the out-pourings of the heart-broken Rama. Thus the mutual apologies cleared the air and the search was kick-started by a repentant Sugriva.

Similarly, two Bhagavathas who have grievances against each other should resolve it by openly and mutually apologising so that they remain esteemed. Just like two wooden pieces which have been stuck using good paste do not sport even a crack, the future relations between the two should ever remain cordial.

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Next in series: Gems 41 to 45, on April 15, 2009.

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