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Swami Desika – Master of Analogy - 9 (April 15, 2009)

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

Analogical Gems 41 to 45

41. How a person might stumble even while treading carefully (Niryaana Adhikaaram):

அவஹிதராய் நடப்பார் இடறுமாப் போலே

In this chapter (Niryaana Adhikaaram), Swami Desika talks about the final journey of the Jivan from which there is no come-back. For a Prapanna there is no cause for any delay after getting rid of his mortal coil (the body) in reaching Sri Vaikuntam. Unless he has committed any of the two irrevocable sins of praying to another God or an offence against a Bhagavatha, he can be confident of brooking no further delay in reaching the Lord.

But, even in those cases, the Lord offers some chances to the offender to redeem himself. The offender could atone for his sins and resort to Sriman Narayana with absolute faith in which case the Lord forgives him. A Prapanna would not be selfish or self-centred like an atheist. However, just as it is possible that a person might stumble even while treading carefully, a Prapanna might also slip up, but the Lord would ensure that he corrects himself.

42. How a hand-cuff is restricting irrespective of whether it is made of iron or gold (Niryaana Adhikaaram):

பொன்னும் இரும்புமான விலங்குகள் போலே

This is a very important analogy as it could give rise to many a question in the minds of laypersons like us and the context has to be understood properly.

While listing the series of aids conveyed upon the departing soul by the Lord to facilitate his journey towards Paramapadam, Swami avers that both the virtues and sins of the Prapanna were cleared at the time of Prapatthi itself leaving out only that portion of previous sins whose effect he has to experience in this birth alone. (This is called Praarabhda Karma).

Here, one may ask why virtues (Punyams) have to be cleared like sins as they are considered good in general parlance. Swami comes up with a striking parallel to ask if a golden hand-cuff is any less painful than an iron one. So, as far as keeping us in this earth to experience material things, virtues constitute as much good riddance as the sins. Both virtues and sins prevent us from escaping the clutches of Samsara and hence both have to be given up.

This might again give rise to another doubt whether a Prapanna should stop doing good deeds and rituals as it would add to his virtues. As per the Saasthras, any action/ritual done with Saathvika Thyagam (specific manthras which proclaim that it is being done for the pleasure of the Lord without expecting any benefit) would not result in the accrual of virtue that ought to be disposed of later.

43. How a King personally escorts the prince out of prison where he had been incarcerated for a previous offence, cutting off the shackles himself (Niryaana Adhikaaram):

சிறை கிடந்த ராஜகுமாரன் திறத்தில் ப்ரஸந்நனான ராஜா, விலங்கை வெட்டிச் சிறைக்கூடத்தினின்றும் கொண்டு புறப்படுமாப் போலே

This analogy is to explain the process by which the Lord takes the soul out from the body so that it may continue its onward journey towards rebirth or Moksha.

It is interesting to note that the process of separation of the soul from the body is the same for everyone irrespective of whether they have adopted any means for Moksha or not. The difference is that the timing and manner of death, i.e., whether it is a good one as per Saasthras like Uththarayanam, Sukla Paksham, etc. or a gruesome accident, etc. does not matter for a Prapanna as he is assured of reaching the Lord while these things matter for others who are on the course for re-birth.

Just like the king who previously had to put his son in prison for some offence, personally cuts the shackles and escorts him out, once the time has come for the Prapanna’s release, Sriman Narayana cuts off the shackles that bind him to this earth and escorts the soul out of the body, in his Haardha (one who resides in the heart) manifestation.

44. How a King strolls with an adorable baby in hand with cute baby talk (Gathi Visesha Adhikaaram):

வார்த்தை சொல்லக் கற்கிற முகவச்யனான ராஜகுமாரனை,
ராஜா எடுத்துக் கொண்டு உலவுமாப் போலே

This chapter (Gathi Visesha Adhikaaram) explains the actual route taken by the Prapanna to reach Sri Vaikuntam and his experiences forthwith. This analogy is in continuation of the previous one. Here the king strolls with a baby who is just learning to speak.

Similarly, the Lord coddles the Prapanna’s soul which is embarking upon this journey for the first time. (This route to Paramapadam called Archiraadhi Gathi is to be meditated upon by all Prapannas so that they can visualise all the treats in store for them and hence desist from getting entangled in the day-to-day happenings of their worldly life).

45. How the boat is left behind once the river has been crossed (Gathi Visesha Adhikaaram):

ஆறு கடக்கைக்கு பற்றின தெப்பம் போக விடுமாப் போலே

Once the Prapanna leaves his body behind after death, he is said to assume an unmanifest body just for the journey from this world to Paramapadam. This is called Sookshma Sareeram. But once he reaches Viraja River which separates this world from the other world, he drops off that body too.

Just as the boat is used only to cross the river and then is left behind, the function of the unmanifest body is to help the Prapanna cross over to the Viraja River.

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Next in series: Gems 46 to 50, on May 15, 2009.

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