An Overview Of Some Salient Facets Of Our Sampradaya - II
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:
- Study and preach Sri Bhashyam.
- Study and preach Divya Prabandham.
- Serve the Lord and Divyadesam temples by fetching flowers, making garlands, lighting lamps, etc. and serve His devotees.
- Reflect on the esoteric meaning of the Dhvayam.
- 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:
- That Lord Narayana is the Supreme Lord.
- That the individual souls were different from the Supreme Lord.
- That Prapathi is the means to attain salvation.
- That the last remembrance of the Lord on the part of the departing soul was not necessary.
- That Moksha can be obtained only on laying off the mortal coils.
- 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:
- Aanukoolya Sankalpam (to resolve to do what would please the Lord).
- Praathikoolya Varjanam (to resolve to not do what would displease Him).
- Maha Viswaasam (unswerving faith in His grace)
- Kaarpanyam (realising one’s incapacity to do anything without his grace).
- Gopthruthva Varanam (explicitly seeking the Lord’s mercy in granting Moksha).
- Aathma Nivedhanam (surrendering one’s soul).
Eight Elements of Bhakthi:
- Yama (moral codes).
- Niyama (self-purification and study).
- Asana (posture).
- Praanayama (breath control).
- Prathyahara (sense control).
- Dharana (concentration).
- Dhyana (meditation).
- Samadhi (realisation of deliverance).
Nine types of Devotion (Nava Vidha Bhakthi) with respective prominent practitioner:
- Sravanam — Audition — Pariskhith.
- Keerthanam — Recapitulation — Suka.
- Smaranam — Meditation — Prahladha.
- Paadha Sevanam — Service at the feet of the Lord — Lakshmi.
- Archanam — Worship — Pruthu.
- Vandanam — Salutations with praise — Akrura.
- Daasyam — Service — Anjaneya.
- Sakhyam — Friendliness — Arjuna.
- Aathma Nivedanam — Surrendering oneself — Mahabali.
Nine Steps for Srivaikunta (Moksha):
- Vivekam — Discriminatory Knowledge.
- Nirvedham — Repentance.
- Virakthi — Asceticism.
- Bheethi — Consternation.
- Prasaadhanam — Practising a means (to Moksha).
- Uthkramanam — Departure of the Soul.
- Archiraadhi — Journey through the Archiraadhi Way.
- Divyadesa Praapthi — Arrival at the door step of Sri Vaikuntam.
- Praapthi — Realising Moksha.
Hope the two-part write-up serves well for a quick reference.
Meet you in the next Note.
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