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Editor's Note - 46 (March 1, 2012)



An Overview Of Some Salient Facets Of Our Sampradaya - II

Dear Fellow-Bhagavathas,

Some essential features of the Vedantha philosophy, with special reference to Visithaadvaitha, were delineated in the previous Note. We shall now continue from where we left.

Three Types of Jivaathmas: Jivaathmas can be classified into Badhdhas, Mukthas and Nithyas. 1. Badhdhas: Those who lay inextricably bound in this world and undergo the cycle of births and deaths. 2. Mukthas: Those who have attained Moksha through either Bhakthi or Prapathi. 3. Nithyas: Those who permanently reside in Srivaikunta and perform infinite service to the Lord. Aadhi Sesha, Garuda and Vishvaksena are examples of Nithyas.

Important Four (Grantha Chathustayam): There are four works that all Srivaishnavas must learn by way of Kalakshepam. They are: 1. Sri Bhashyam: Sri Ramanuja’s commentary for sage Vyasa’s Brahmasuthram. 2. Gita Bhashyam: Sri Ramanuja’s commentary for Lord Krishna’s Bhagavath Gita. 3. Srimath Rahasya-thraya Saaram: Swami Desika’s treatise dealing with great tenets of our Sampradaya, leading upto Moola Manthram, Dhvayam and Charama Sloka, the Three Great Secrets or the Esoteric Triads. 4. Bhagavath Vishayam: ThirukKurugai-Piraan Pillaan’s 6000 Padi commentary for Thiruvoymozhi.

Four Forms of Prapathi: Variously called as Saranaagathi, Bhara Samarpanam, etc., Prapathi can be performed in one of the four forms. They are: 1. Swanishtai: Self-surrender performed by qualified persons. 2. Ukthi Nishtai: Saranaagathi undertaken by persons who are generally not qualified to do the same himself, by repeating the submissions made by an Acharya on their behalf. 3. Acharya Nishtai: Saranaagathi performed by an Acharya on behalf of persons who are generally not qualified to do it himself. 4. Bhagavatha Nishtai: Saranaagathi performed by a Bhagavatha on behalf of persons who are not qualified to do it himself, usually under emergency situations.

Significant Five (Artha Panchakam): These are the most important things that one who is desirous of Moksha must comprehend. They are: 1. Paramaathma Swaroopam: The essential nature of Lord Supreme. 2. Jivaathma Swaroopam: The essential nature of the Individual Souls. 3. Virodhi Swaroopam: The essential nature of obstructions in the way of attaining Moksha. Upaaya Swaropam: The essential nature of the means to Moksha. 5. Upeya Swaroopam: The essential nature of the ultimate goal, the Moksha.

Five-Session Routines of a Day (Pancha-Kaala Prakriya): The religious chores a Srivaishnava must undertake everyday have been prescribed to be done in five distinctive sessions. They are: 1. Abhigamanam: The prayer to the Lord that the routines for the day are performed without obstructions. 2. Upaadhaanam: Gathering flowers, Thulasi, fruits, etc. for Nhagavath Aradhanam, the daily worship; Engaging in the Kalakshepam of the great scriptures like Ithihasas, Puranas, works of Azhwars and Acharyas. 3. Ijyai: Performing Thirivaradhanam to the Lord as prescribed in the Saasthras. 4. Swaadhyaayam: Chanting and familiarizing of the Vedas. 5. Yogam: Meditating upon the feet of the Lord at bed time.

Five Instructions of Sri Ramanuja for Srivaishnavas: Sri Ramanuja prescribed Five Kainkaryams to be undertaken by Srivaishnavas in the following order of priority based on ability:

  1. Study and preach Sri Bhashyam.
  2. Study and preach Divya Prabandham.
  3. Serve the Lord and Divyadesam temples by fetching flowers, making garlands, lighting lamps, etc. and serve His devotees.
  4. Reflect on the esoteric meaning of the Dhvayam.
  5. Live in the care and affection of a Bhagavatha.

Six Special Qualities of Sriman Narayana: Jnaanam (wisdom), Balam (power), Aiswaryam (wealth), Veeryam (valour), Sakthi (ability) and Thejas (radiance).

Six Words: The famous ‘Six Words’ obtained from Lord Varadaraja by ThirukKachi Nambigal and passed on to Bhagavath Ramanuja provided the guidelines for the latter to follow. They were:

  1. That Lord Narayana is the Supreme Lord.
  2. That the individual souls were different from the Supreme Lord.
  3. That Prapathi is the means to attain salvation.
  4. That the last remembrance of the Lord on the part of the departing soul was not necessary.
  5. That Moksha can be obtained only on laying off the mortal coils.
  6. That Sri Ramanuja should take refuge at the feet of Periya Nambi.

Seven Mukthi-Kshethrams (Holy Cities of Deliverance): Ayodhya, Mathura, Maaya, Kaasi, Kanchi, Avanthi and Dwaraka.

Six Elements of Prapathi:

  1. Aanukoolya Sankalpam (to resolve to do what would please the Lord).
  2. Praathikoolya Varjanam (to resolve to not do what would displease Him).
  3. Maha Viswaasam (unswerving faith in His grace)
  4. Kaarpanyam (realising one’s incapacity to do anything without his grace).
  5. Gopthruthva Varanam (explicitly seeking the Lord’s mercy in granting Moksha).
  6. Aathma Nivedhanam (surrendering one’s soul).

Eight Elements of Bhakthi:

  1. Yama (moral codes).
  2. Niyama (self-purification and study).
  3. Asana (posture).
  4. Praanayama (breath control).
  5. Prathyahara (sense control).
  6. Dharana (concentration).
  7. Dhyana (meditation).
  8. Samadhi (realisation of deliverance).

Nine types of Devotion (Nava Vidha Bhakthi) with respective prominent practitioner:

  1. Sravanam — Audition — Pariskhith.
  2. Keerthanam — Recapitulation — Suka.
  3. Smaranam — Meditation — Prahladha.
  4. Paadha Sevanam — Service at the feet of the Lord — Lakshmi.
  5. Archanam — Worship — Pruthu.
  6. Vandanam — Salutations with praise — Akrura.
  7. Daasyam — Service — Anjaneya.
  8. Sakhyam — Friendliness — Arjuna.
  9. Aathma Nivedanam — Surrendering oneself — Mahabali.

Nine Steps for Srivaikunta (Moksha):

  1. Vivekam — Discriminatory Knowledge.
  2. Nirvedham — Repentance.
  3. Virakthi — Asceticism.
  4. Bheethi — Consternation.
  5. Prasaadhanam — Practising a means (to Moksha).
  6. Uthkramanam — Departure of the Soul.
  7. Archiraadhi — Journey through the Archiraadhi Way.
  8. Divyadesa Praapthi — Arrival at the door step of Sri Vaikuntam.
  9. Praapthi — Realising Moksha.

Hope the two-part write-up serves well for a quick reference.

Meet you in the next Note.


எங்கள் தூப்புல் பிள்ளை பாதம் என் சென்னியதே!

Natteri P. Srihari (a) Lakshmi Narasimhacharyar

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