Sri Vaishnavism - Basics and Principles
Dearest Sisters and Brothers,
It is my humble attempt to jot down all that I have heard and read about
Sri VaishNavam. Though it is nothing new for our Bhakthi Group, it
is still my sincere intent to reach the beginners and novices like me who
are just in Kinder gardens of Sri VaishNavam; I have also tried to cover
here at various places from His Holiness Srimad Poundareekapuram ParavaakOttai
Andavan Sri Gopala Desika MahA Desika Swami's upadEsam also (when I was
blessed with the performance of saraNAgathi at Swami's Feet.). Of
course, it is all my free translation; It is most likely to have lot of
errors; Please forgive me; It is all mine; any positive and good points
in them- the credit goes to all AchAryALs and our rich traditions/scriptures.
(It is requested that we should stick and abide by what our scriptures
and AchAryALs say to the greatest possible extent).
There are lots and lots of lives on this earth. Human beings, Animals, birds, insects, trees, plants, creepers, etc., etc., - there are so many varieties of lives living in this world. Every day- every minute, there are so many births of such lives and so are deaths.
After taking so many lives (they say about 8,400,000 lives), we have come to this human life. Avvayaar, The Tamil poet, says : "aridhu aridhu maanidaraayp piRatthal aridhu"- It is extremely rare and precious to be born of human being. It is quite true that it is our fortune to be born a human being with the capacity of sixth sense. Let us make use of it for our upliftment further. What is good and bad- what to do and what not to do- only human beings are blessed with such discriminating capabilities- We have been given that capacity by Emperumaan. Shall we not make full use of it?
Even out of human beings, it is our pUrva janma puNyam and that of our ancestors for our being SrivaishNavAs. There are so many religions in the world; Even in Hindu religion, there are many sects; and there are hindus who worship many dEvatAs as their Gods.
For us SrivaishNavAs, Sriman NarayaNan along with His consort Sri MahAlakshmi alone is the God (Deivam). He is the Primordial Chief. He is the Chief of all dEvAs, including Sivan and BrahmA. Vedas proclaim that Sriman NarayaNan is the ParamAthmA, PeramporuL and ParanjOthi. VedAs also say that except Him all including dEvas, Sivan, BrahmA and Indran are all jIvans. Being born a SrivaishNavA and/or a bhakthA of Sriman NarayaNA, we need not worship other devatAs. We are related to the Great King Himself; why to go and beg the army chief, minister or the Gate keeper? No doubt, all dEvAs are also His great bhaktAs sometime or the other; but they are NOT God. Sriman Narayanan is the God.
VedAs and SaastrAs say that even to think of Sivan and BrahmA and other dEvas as equal to God is a great sin (mahApaapam). For that matter, Sivan and BrahmA themselves are great bhaktAs of Sriman NarayaNA. I am sure They themselves DO NOT RELISH being considered anywhere near the Adhimoolam- The Primordial Chief. When GajEndrA shouted for help "AdhimoolamE!" it is NOT any name of God-please note! It is just calling the Primordial Chief, the first one- the Parathvam! Nobody dared come claiming for "Adhimoolam" post, it is our Sweet Lord Sriya: Pathih Sriman Naraynan who appeared IMMDEIATELY on GarudA and saved the elephant. You may tell that it is only the name and rose by any name will smell as sweet. But it is vEdAs (which are eternal and apaurushEyam) that proclaim that Sriman Naraynana is the Supreme Godhead. It is not just a name. It is kaaraNa peyar; name with a meaning in it; naaram + ayaNam is Narayanan. Hence, we should worship only Sriman Narayanan. Even uttering His name alone will yield tremendous benefits both in this world and in the next. (as also vouched by the Great Adhi SankarAchArya sang the Bhaja Govindham song wherein he advises us to think of KrishNA and the Parama BhakthA of Sriman NarayaNA, Sivan, when he himself tells Parvathi to utter Rama naamam, which is equal to the Thousand names of VishNu. - Do we need any other proof?)
For us, only vEdAs are the moola pramaaNam. (The proof). VedAs were not created by anybody. They are apaurushEyam. Vedas proclaim the Glories of Emperumaan Sriman NarayaNan.
AzhwArs, 12 AzhwArs appeared in South India and composed Tamil pAsurams (about 4000) that are considered EQUAL to vEdAs. The Naalaayira Divya Prabhandham were composed for us to learn and understand the vEdAs in Tamil. As mentioned by Swami Vedanta Desikan "theLiyaadha maRainilangaL theLiginROmE!". By reading these 4000 pAsurams, our concepts get clarified and we get to understand the incomprehensible vEdAs clearly. They are hence, called Tamil vEdam.
AzhwArs were 12. Since they always were immersed (aazhndhu) in kalyANa guNAs (the Most Auspicious attributes) of Emperumaan Sriman NarayaNan, they are called AzhwArs. They were PoigaiAzhwAr, BhUthathAzhwAr, PEyAzhwAr, ThirumazhisaiAzhwAr, NammAzhwAr, PeriyAzhwAr, MadhurakaviAzhwAr, ThondaradippodiAzhwAr, KulasEkharAzhwAr, ThiruppANAzhwAr, AndAL, & ThirumangaiAzhwAr.
NammAzhwAr is considered the Most important and the Greatest AzhwAr; for his prabhandham (of Thiruvaaimozhi of 1000 pAsurams) which glorifies the prapatti (the surrender concept). He took refuge at the Lord's feet and performed prapatti. Hence, for all of us, VaishNavAs, NammAzhwAr is the Chief, since he leads us by example for performing prapatti at the Lord's Lotus Feet. He is Moola purushar. He is also addressed as the Prapanna santhaana koodasthar. His Thiruvaaimozhi's commentary is called Bhagavadh Vishayam. It is a Grantham that one has to do kAlakshEpam under the feet of his AchAryA.
Sriman Narayanan is the first AchArya for all of us. He is the Adhi Guru. Next comes Periya Piratti MahAlakshmi. VishvaksEnar (Senai Mudhali)( -no connection with Mudhaliar caste of present times) is the next AchAryan. He is the Chief of the Lord's army (sEnai). Next is NammAzhwAr. VishvaksEnar, it appears had come down to the earth to teach NammAzhwAr. Nathamuni is His sishyA. UyyakkoNdaar, MaNakkaal Nambi, Yamuna Muni (Alavandhaar), Periyanambi come in that lineage. Periya Nambi's sishyar is Our Most reverred YathirAjar, Sri RamanujAchAryA (lakshmaNa Muni). He is the Most important AchArya of VaishNava Siddhantham. He is also called Bhagavadh RamanujA. Rest is all that you are aware of and we can trace down to our present AchAryA. (ask your parent, if you are not sure who your present AchAryA is.)
The True SiddhAntham
Our VaishNava SiddhAntham is the Most truthful SiddhAntham for its right interpretation of VedAs and the srutis. In previous yugAs, Paraasarar, VyAsar, BhOdhAyanar have all propagated and campaigned for this VaishNava SiddhAntham. Paraasarar (Vasishtar's Grandson) established this tradition of Visishtaadvaitam firmly in his VishNu PuraaNam. His son, VyAsar wrote Vedantha sUthram, wherein he ascertained the supremacy of Sriman Narayna in his sUtram, and raised his hands above his head three times and proclaimed that Sriman Narayna is the Parathvam. (sathyam sathyam punas sathyam ....vedAs saastrA param naasthi..na deivam kEsavaath param). This sUtram was detailed and commented to a great extent by BhOdhAyanar in his Brahma sUthram. After BrahmasUthram, Brahmanandhi (dunkar, Dhramidar, GuhadEvar) had also written purports for Brahma sUthram but are lost somewhere and are not available for us unfortunately. (Brahma sUthram was later unearthed and studied by Sri RamanujA and understood for his establishing the VishishtAdvaitaic traditions.) Sri Ramanujar established and re-organised the Sri VaishNava SiddhAntham and explained the conflicts and wrong interpretations in other SiddhAnthams and in other religions. He appointed 74 disciples to propagate the VishishtAdavtic SiddhAntham all over India. Sri Pillai Lokacharya and Sri Vedantha Desikar who were contemporaries, the descendants of Sri RamanujA, due to differences in schools of thought and interpretations, gave rise to Thenkalai and Vadagalai Sampradayams respectively. It is more appropriate to call as Sri Ramanuja SiddhAntham. Our reverence to all achAryAs, the giants of Sri Vaishnavam including Sri RamanujAchArya down to Sri Vedanta Desikan, ManavaaLa MamunigaL upto our present (respective) AchAryas is all the same and profound.
TatvAs are said to be of three forms; chEtanA, achEtanA and Iswaran.
chEtanA - It is also called as atmA, jIvAtmA, chit. This jIvAtmA is in every body of very being. It is only inside the body, but is dofferent from the body, mind and the intellect. It is smaller than the smallest that one can imagine and is smaller than the atomic particle. In every being, be it human, animal, plant, tree, bird, insect, ant, amoeba (unicellular organism), or whatever- be it any being, the jIvAtmA is in its body. It stays in it. Hence, it is NOT possible to count jIvAtmAs in the world or the universe. But, whatever may be the size of the body of the being, the jIvAtmA is of the same smallest atomic size. Even though the bodies of beings (like elephant, ant, human, tree, etc.,) differ, there is NO DIFFERENCE between the jIvAtmAs; But they are mutually exclusively (independent of each other) jIvAtmAs. They are all alike in its size, nature. They are all eternal- no end for jIvAtmAs; they exist since time immemorial; When the body perishes (or dies), the jIvAtmA does NOT end; If "it" had surrendered to Emperumaan, it goes to Srivaikuntam and gets the eternal salvation (mOksham). Else, "it" enters into some other body (in next birth) - it can be any "body"- need not be a human form- it can be a pig, a street dog, a dEvA, an ant, a tree, or a mosquito, a cockroach. It can be ANY BODY- depending on what all karmA you (as a jIvAtmA in your previous births) did and puNyAs or paapAs it had accumulated;
Sri KrishNa tells this to arjunA that no good action goes waste; whatever attempt you make to reach Me- however failure the attempts are- depending on efforts of your attempts-the quality and severity of them- you (jIvAtmA) will be made to enter in a conducive environment (or body) that will facilitate you (jIvAtmA) to continue from where you (jIvAtmA) had left in the last birth without your knowledge at all; (Now do you understand why we are being dragged into these discussions in Bhakti Group and talk about Sriman NarayaNA- it is all due to His grace/mercy/dayA on us (jIvAtmAs) for our getting benefited and uplifting ourselves.)
mOksham is SriVaikuntam. When we live in this world, in this human form- let us grab this opportunity to surrender to Emperumaan and prostrate at His Lotus Feet for His Grace on us; Let us approach our AchAryA and at His Feet, surrender to him and to the Feet of Sriman NarayaNA. That will ensure and ascertain our definite salvation and mOksham at the end of this life so that there at SriVaikuntam, we can eternally enjoy the Absloute Bliss of Sriman NarayNA, the Sriya: Pathi: and perform kaimaryam (render service) eternally to Divya Dampati forever and ever continuously. (Have NO DOUBTS ABOUT IT; It has been told and promised by SRI RAMA Himself; He is the Satya Vratan.-Parama kAruNyan- He was ready to forgive even rAvaNA, if he surrenders. Have we committed more paapam than rAvaNA? He will forgive us too- all that He wants is (y)our SURRENDER at His Lotus Feet)
This jIvAtmA, by its very nature has been blessed with limitless knowledge (jnAnam) and is of aanandha swarUpam". It is jIvAtmA's nature to be of Emperumaan's servant and render eternal kaimkaryam to the Lord. But, when jIvAtmA is in physical bodies, it gets attached to matter and forgets its Divine nature and belongingness to the Lord. Due to karmAs and actions, paapams and puNyams, due to vibharItha jnAnam that the body is permanent, all bliss and unbounded jnAnam are blocked and forgotten by jIvAtmA. i.e jIvAtmA enjoys the Divine Bliss and gets jnAnam only to certain extent (limited extent); After mOksham, it gets back to its original position. There is nothing new it gets; it gets back to where it belongs. It gets its natural paripoorNa aanandham, paripoorNa jnAnam.
These jIvAtmAs are of three types: 1. Bhatthar- they are trapped in samsaaric ills and are in viscious cycle of births and deaths, experiencing sorrows and pleasures alternately. They are bound by karmAs. 2. Mukthar: In this life, the human being, who gets to his AchAryA and with his grace and kataaksham, surrenders to the Lotus Feet of Sriya: Pathih and reaches SriVaikuntam after the life, and attains mOksham- he gets into Mukthar category. Mukthar renders eternal service to Sriya: Pathih. Mukthar is also (I was told) given liberty to stay with sUkshuma sarIram or with sthUla sarIram at SriVaikuntam. 3. Nityar- There is no bondage of karmAs for them and they always render service to Sriman Narayanan. GarudA, VishvaksEnar, AdhsEshan are all Nityar categories.
AchEtanA- There is no intelligence for achEtanA. Hence, it does not enjoy. It is always to be enjoyed by others. ChEtanAs enjoy the achEtanAs. AchEtanAs are classified into prakriti, kaalam and suddhasatvam.
Prakriti- This is also addressed as Moola Prakriti, ThriguNam, Avyaktham, or Pradhaanam etc.. This has three guNAs, i.e satva, rajas and thamas. This prakriti always undergoes changes. When the three guNAs become EQUAL in quantum, there comes the Cosmic Cycle end- i.e PraLayam. When they differ in quantum, there comes "mahat" tatvam out of Prakriti. Out of mahat comes Ahankaaram.
Kaalam- This expands and spans everywhere. This is constituted by Past Present and Future. But this does Not have satva, rajas, tamas. This is divided into various measures of time.
Suddha satvam- This has got ONLy satva guNam. SriVaikuntam is FULL OF THIS SUDDHA SATVAM. In thsi world, all archAvbathAra ThirumEni of Emperumaan in the temples are also of Suddha Satvam.
Iswaran: As described earlier, VedAs proclaim that Sriman NarayNan is the SarvEshwaran; Sarva Vallabhan, Sarvayagnan, Parathvam. He, by His unbounded, limitless, jnAnam, swarUpam, occupies everywhere in AnandhaswarUpam. He is the One who creates everything. He is the One who destroys everything; He is the Same one who protects everything; BrahmA only has been assigned by Sriman NarayaNA to do the creation work. So is Sivan for destruction. They are all at His command. Sriman Narayanan is the essence of everything and everyone at all times; Those who worship any other demigod or devathA or deities, get all their benefits through their devatAs from Sriman NarayaNan only (It is His own statement in GITA-Let us have NO DOUBTS ABOUT it).
Under all situations and in all avataars, He is always accompanied by Sri MahAlakshmi -Periya Piraatti. She stays in His chest. She is NiyAnapaayinee. She is also of same nature and powerful as Sriman NarayaNan and is also unbounded and limitless. (Being a mother, She is more merciful at us, the paapAtmAs and forgives us immediately and recommends us to Him for redemption). Except for Piraati and Sriman NarayaNan all others are jIvAtmAs. BrahmA and Sivan are also described as positions or posts/designations like IndrA, which the Greatest puNya jIvAtmAs occupy and get these glorified posts to render service to Sriya: pathih.(I have even heard that the next BrahmA is going to be AnjanEyA.)
ISwaran's Divine body (ThirumEni) is of five types., viz., Param, VyUham, Vibhavam, Antharyaami and Arcchai.
1. Param: The Lord who is at Sri Vaikuntam.
2. VyUham: The Four Moorthys addressed as VasudEvan, SankarshaNan, Pradhyumanan and Aniruddhan. (Explanation of these mUrthys is beyond the scope of this article.)
3. Vibhavam- Raman, KrishNan- such avataars - there are many avataars taken by the Lord; Out of them, the important ten are the DasAvathAram;- other are like., Hayagreevan, PadmanAbhan, Hamsam, et al.
4. Antharyaami- the sUkshma status of the Lord Who exists inside the cave of every being's heart. (Hrudaya kamalam).
5. Arcchai: In all Divya dEsams and in other temples- The Lord- Sriya: Pathih is the ArchAvataara ThirumEni.
SarIra - Athma bhAvam:
This is the most important concept in Sri Ramanuja Siddhaantham or SriVaishNava Siddhaantham i.e sarIra Athma bhAvam. That means: The chEtanan and the achEtanan (as described in earlier paragraphs) - these two tatvams - (that implies all beings and non-beings;) are all the sarIram (body) for Emperumaan and Emperumaan is the AthmA for these chEtan-AchEtanAs.
This concept has been described clearly by Vedas in great amount of details, with examples. This can even be called the life line of our Siddhaantham. So, let us have a closer look.
What do we call sarIram (body matter, mind and intellect- all Gross, Fine and Finer matter)? And AthmA?
1. AthmA is the support for sarIram - without AthmA, there is no sarIram- AthmA only holds the sarIram. As long as AthmA stays inside the sarIram, there is life.
2. AthmA only employs and directs the sarIram (body, mind and intellect). SarIram is being directed by the AthmA.
3.For the benefit and enjoyment of AthmA only, the sarIram (body, mind and the intellect) acts and does all; sarIram is a lifeless matter(achEtanam) and hence, there is no benefit or enjoyment exclusively for that. There is no bodily pleasure when there is no life; one can not satisfy his intellect by reading a book when he is dead; one can not see a scene and think about some joke and laugh, if there is no life; the sarIram is still there; but no athmA; He has gone; the same shoulders of the husband whom you hugged, are still there with the sarIram; you do not even want to go nearer- it stinks; because there is no AthmA anymore. SarIram is only achEtanam. The AthmA is the master for which the sarIram works for AthmA's enjoyment. By nature, there is NO ENJOYMENT for sarIram. Through sarIram, AthmA enjoys. (Clear? That is sarIram is the sEshan- servant - adimai- property for AthmA).
So, these three are the normal sarIra-AthmA relationship. Now, if it is clear, let us take a further step. (If it still not clear, read the above three points again and again, until it gets drilled into the head.)
As per our Siddhaantha, Emperumaan is the AthmA and holds all chEtanAs (the jIvAtmAs) and all achEtanAs in His ThirumEni . i.e. our AthmA as well as our sarIram are His Body. (interesting!).
Please Pay Attention! Thus, We, the sarIra of Emperumaan-our body, mind, intellect as well as our jIvAthmA are His servant, His body, His property- His sEshan (as was seen in point no.3 above) and are MEANT ONLY FOR HIS ENJOYMENT. We have to render service to the Master only and THERE IS NOTHING UNNATURAL ABOUT IT. THAT IS THE ONLY NATURAL THING. If we (our mind, body, and intellect as well as jIvAthmAs ) DO NOT carry out any activities for His enjoyment, THAT IS SOMETHING UNNATURAL AND UNORTHODOX. That is SOMETHING THAT WE ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO DO OR BE. )
Now, next step: If the sarIram of Emperumaan is jIvAtmAs and achEhatnAs, then logically the sarIram does not have any enjoyment. But DUE TO THE LIMITLESS, GRACE AND MERCY / DAYA of Emperumaan- our master, our sEshI, our AthmA, the Param AthmA the jIvAthmAs, i.e we are given free will, intellect, the sixth sense to experience enjoyment. IS IT NOT APPROPRIATE to utilise to the Greatest extent end enjoy the Absolute Bliss by rendering service to our AthmA (for which we are the body) and make Him enjoy and be pleased! Anything that jIvAthmA (by itself or thru' its body, mind and intellect - either here in this life or at SriVaikuntam ) does to please the Emperumaan, the master is thus, NATURAL. Anything else, IS NOT NATURAL and against the Law. Hence, this is called VishishtAdvaitam.
The upaayam-the means to attain mOksham is called Hitham. Such ways for attining mOksham are Bhakti yOgam and Prapatti (Surrender). (Bhakti Group members have discussed at length about Bhakti and Prapatti). Just a single statement to further supplement. If we pour a viscous oil, how uninterruptedly, without any gap, or porosity, the oil flows down the floor- like that the jIvAthmA has to keep thinking and meditating continuously on Sriman NarayNA from this moment upto the last consciousness ,without any gap, or interruption with the highest level of bhakti- that is Bhakti yOgham. We very well know it is next to impossible due to our "monkey-like" vacillating mind, Bhakti yOgham is extremely difficult to achieve. (Please note that we are talking about Bhakti yOgham; and not bhakti). There are so many NiyamAs for Bhakti Yogham. Since we are not capable of performing Bhakti yOgam, we are blessed with Prapatti (an act of surrender)which can facilitate us to attain mOksham. All that we have to do is to surrender unto Him and His Lotus Feet completely (as assured by Sri KrishNA in gItA). But, please again note- for Prapatti yOgham, too, what we need is MAHA VISWASAM. MAHAA- note Big, Terrific- Great, Tremendous-Complete- Enormous or whatever- We should have so much faith in Him. HE WILL SAVE US; HE WILL SAVE. HE WILL OF COURSE SAVE US; (That MahA Viswasam is not all that easy, dear ones!) . Prapatti, therefore also warrants our Great Faith in Him at all times under all situations; We should Never have any doubt about Him; His Parathvam; His Supremacy; His Capacity; Do all that pleases Him; Don't do anything that DOES NOT PLEASE HIM.
Prapatti is also addressed as bharaNyAsam, bharasamarppaNam, saraNAgathi, and athrushtam. One should approach his AchAryA and get to know about Bhagavadh VishyaNgaL. After, one should perform aurrender (Prapatti) at the Feetof AchAryA and surrender to the Lord. Through the AchAryA, we should perform Prapatti. Then we need not worry about the mOksham; we should only repose total, complete faith in Him. (This function of performing BharNyAsam is not followed by Thenkalai Sampradaayam). Just simply prostrating once at His Feet is enough; He, the Merciful one will save us: It is also correct - They do perform surrendering at the Lord's Lotus Feet; not as a function; it is only just a matter of opinion; Let us not go further into it; Because, any way at SriVaikuntam, all of us are going to be together rendering the same Beautiful eternal service at the Lotus Feet of Divya Dampati; (along with Parama bhAgawathAs like Sivan, BrahmA, AzhwArs, with our Great AchAryAs Sri RamanujA, Sri Vedanta Desika, Sri Pillai LokAchAryA, Sri ManavaaLa MaamunigaL, et al, together with all of them- Don't we feel EXCITED about it? How nice and Blissful it will be! Why to talk trivial issues!
As mentioned earlier, Sri VaishNavan, who wants to go on the right track, shall approach the AchAryA. AchAryA teaches him the sampradaaya vishayangaL. Then the SrivaishNavan shall carry out the Panch samskaaram (samAshrayaNam- Please read Sri Anand's excellent posts on samAshrayaNam - They are really lucid and descriptive). AchAryan applies the marks of sanghu and the chakrA on the Sri VaishNavan's shoulders, as a part of samAshrayaNam.(Please note that these Panch samskaarams ARE ALSO applicable to SriVaishNava ladies.
Every VaishNavan shall CERTAINLY carry out this Pancha Samskaaram. (Five Samskaarams).
1. Carrying the marks of Sanghu and ChakrA on his shoulders (as applied by his achAryA)
2. Applying 12 ThirumaN SrichoorNam on his body (please apply ThirumaN SrichoorNam at least one on his forehead daily- or even that is difficlut due to various reasons, at least on Saturdays and Sundays and holidays- But apply and cultivate that habit for your son - very essential- be an example- I have seen in Saudi Arabia, even the Chief Executive Director of a Petrochemical Complex a Saudi, who has graduated from the US, does not change from his traditional attire; nor does he forget the five times prayers during the day- no airs about that; why shall we be afraid of- embarrassed about- the guys who see us with ThirumaN srichoorNam are going to be seeing us for a fraction of a time in our entire life cycle- why do we give a damn to them- We belong to Emperumaan's party and let us have His chinnam on our forehead.- we are ready to wear the dress code as specified and as called for the occasion but why don't we wear the dress code as warranted by the sampradaayam- the Kaccham, the Oordhva puNdram- ThirumaNsrichoorNam- Please!)
3. Having the dAsya naamam, (as named by AchAryA- like NarAyaNa dAsan- PadmanAbha dAsan, etc.,)
4. getting upadEsam from AchAryA on the ManthrAs. (ahtAksharam, dwayam, charama slOkam)
5.UpadEsam for performing daily Thiru ArAdhAnam for Emperumaan with the three manthrAs as described earlier (even maanasIka ArAdhanA can be performed if one is not fortunate to get a saalagraamam or due to any other reasons).
Even during maanaseeka ArAdhaNA, one can do it in a couple of minutes or take an hour or so; right from waking the Dearest Emperumaan and Piraati from the Red Lotus considered to be bloomed to its full grown petals from an inverted heart of yours;
consider yourself seated at the corner at the feet of Divya dampati and one can visualise to his fullest satisfaction performing Thirumanjanam, most fragrant sambhiraNi smoke, agrbatthis, adorning Them with the most valuable vEshti and utthriyam with lots and lots of jarigai for Emperumaan and Great, Gorgeous looking Most colourful pattu pudavai (silk sari) with rettai pEttu jarigai and jarigai puttAh in the most beautiful bright, marvellous colour- adorning Them with the worlds costliest jewels, randging from diamond, MANickkam, Gold, Coral, Emerald, countless numbers of necklaces, rings, maalais, saharanaama malai, Most Fracgrant, Big, ThuLasi maalais, Diamond kireetams (crowns) etc., etc., - Just think of them; after all only imagining- Let us give Them the best that we can imagine; we can imagine and visualise Their smile while wearing all that we offer;
one can continue with the japam of those sacred manthrAs while decorating Divya Damati; one can visualise also his spouse taking part (we need not even ask them; that is also our imagination) in the alankaara kaimkaryam for the Piraati while the male member can decorate the Emperumaan with great love. One can imagine any avathaar or any ishta deivam Sri Sita Ram or Sri RukmiNi KrishNan or Sri RanganAyakI samEtha Sri RanganAthA or Sri BhUmi Piraatti samEtha Oppliliappan or Sri Lakshmi Narasimhan- any deity of Lord Sriman Narayana or any avathaar.;
while the alankaaram is about to be over, quickly one can (imagine) ask his spouse to bring from the kitchen, with a pure clothing and great love and bhakti, the Prasaadham to be offered to The Divya Dampati- This also- one may bring in variety of dishes and amudhu for our Dearest Lord- AkkAra adisil, navaneetham (butter), PuLiyOdharai, sakkarai Pongal, VeNpongal, kadalai paruppu suNdal (favourite for Sri Lakshmi Hayagreeva PerumAL), vadaparuppu, pAnakam (for Sri Rama Navami)- any or combination of them in big vessels so that we can offer Them sumptuously and also offer to other bhakthA and NityasUris present in Your Heart of Sri vaikuntam;
We have enough to offer to all 33 crores of dEvAs even; while They are all enjoying the prasaadhams, one may prostrate to Their Lotus Feet as many times as one can (not imagination- really!) and ask for Their pardon for all our apachaarams done knowingly and unknowingly.
one can make Them sit on a Oonjal also decorated so nicely with flowers and ThuLasi and gently swing it so that They look at each other and smile at our acting so much funny like the small kid tries to comb the mothers hair for fun; While They are having fun at the Oonjal, one may prostrate (without of course getting hit by the oonjal), at Their Lotus Feet; They may feel sleepy and like to relax - one may request Them to walk upto the amsa dhULikA manjam nearby (also in your heart), and ask Them to lie down- one should also request the Periya Piraatti to lie down next to the Lord and assure Her that we (you and your spouse) will gently press Their legs and calf muscles and perform kaimkaryam to Them.
we can continue the entire day activities with The Divya Damati and make this list bigger and bigger; It is all our anubhavam- We can do this only when there is less diturbance at home ; that is why we should try to get up before others get up especially the little ones at home - If you have no time, you can quicken the process and complete the entire activity in less than five minutes - He knows all our problems and understands too!)
2. Dwayam: one can recite this any number of times, anywhere wherever possible;
3. saramaslOkam- sarva dharmaan...maa su cha:- this gItA slokam (18 th chapter) is called sarama slOkam which stipualtes and gives leverage to us for performing prapatti (saranAgathy).
The Meanings of these three ManthrAs: ( only the meanings are going to be detailed; not the manthrAs)
1. AshtAksharam: Sriman NarAyaNan has got the limitless, unbounded, most auspicious (kalYANa guNAs). He is always with Periya Pairaatti Sri MahAlakshmi. He protects all. He is the essence of everything. He is the AthmA of chEthanAs and achEthnAs. For chEthanAs, He himself is the upaayam (means) and upEyam (end). He Himself is the Fruit for chEthanAs. JIvAthmA is the atom. He s also a jnAnaswarUpi. He is always the servant, by his nature, of Sriya: Pathi Sriman NarayaNan and Sri MahAlakshmi. Such a jIvAthmA, the servant, I(adiyEn), will always render service to PerumAL and Pratti for ever and ever.
2. Dwayam: I am surrendering at the Feet of Sriman NarayaNan, who is always with Periya Piraatti, Sri MahAlakshmi. This jIvAthmA is not mine; It is Sriman NarayaNans property. Its benefits that the jIvAthmA reaps also belong to Him. Always, I will keep rendering service to Emperumaan Sriman NarayaNan. For rendering that kaimkaryam- whatever bad thoughts, ill desires, hurdles or anything that precludes me to perform such kaimkaryam for Emperumaan will also get alleviated and destroyed by His grace.
3. Sarama slOkam: Lord KrishNA Himself says to ArjunA in Bhagavadh gItA : Due to your inability to follow other yOgAs for attaining mOksham, you have abandoned the other means to attain mOksham and considered only prapatti (surrendering to me). Do not worry. Surrender unto Me once with complete faith. I will gladly bless you and destroy all your sins and karmAs; Even if you try to remove these karmAs and sins accumulated over the ages, you just can not succeed in removing them completely. I will save you from all that. JUST SURRENDER UNTO ME ALONE COMPLETELY. I will grant you mOksham and Parama bhAghyam of rendering eternal service to Me at Srivaikuntam along with eternal absolute enjoyment. Do Not lament at all for any thing hereafter.
(Note that God's assurances to humanity, particularly that given to His ardent devotees, which are interspersed in sacred literature, will never go in vain. Many are His declarations but one among them brings cheer and hope to those who may at times get demoralised on account of continuous suffering.
``Listen to My oath. The heavens may fall from their height. The snowy peaks of the Himalayas may slip and come down. The seas may dry up. The earth may shiver into a million pieces. But the statements of Krishna will never be empty words.'' This promise was extended directly by Lord Krishna to a devotee who pinned all her hopes on Him, having been made to go through agonising and unimaginable experiences.
The Lord is ready to extend His grace to all devotees but in the case of a few who are extremely dear to Him, He makes them go through extreme trials, tests their tenacity and removes all their sins and takes them to His abode.)
The exact explanations and commentaries (as well as the upadEsams of these manthrAs) will have to be learnt at the Feet of AchAryA by doing kaalakshEpam. Everyday, one should recite these three manthrAs (as far as possible).
Recap: AshtAksharam: only after a bath-with pure body/mind and clothing. Dwayam: anywhere, anytime, any place- this can be recited. Always think and recite the sarama slOkam in order to remind ourselves the truthful, correct statement of the Lord. Always think of these meanings while reciting in order to enable you to more mind onto reciting them. (Even if you dont know the meaning, Lord will still be pleased!).
After Pancha samskaaram, SrivaishNavan is to do kaalakshEpam at the sannidhi of AchAryA at least one of the following granthAs:
1. Sri BhAshyam - Sri RamanujA?s vyAkhyaanam (purport) of bhramha sUthram of BhOdhaayanar (refer to first post).
2. Bhagavadh gItA BhAshyam of Sri RamanujA
3. Thiruvaaimozhi vyAkhyaanam of Thirukkurugaippiraan PiLLaan (Sri RamanujA?s sishya)
4. Sri Vedanta Desikar's Srimadh Rahsyatraya saaram (RTS)(thraya- means three- these rahasya manthrAs have been explained in these RTS. Just learning this will enable us to know about our traditions.
AchArya Mahimai (Greatness of AchAryA)
The AchArya who showed such a Grand route for us to attain mOksham and the eternal Bliss is to be greatly revered and respected. He is to be considered by us equal to the Lord or rather more than the Lord. We should always pay respects to him and always think of him (at least while praying to The Lord in the morning). If we are able to donate for his duties as AchAryA or render any sort of kaimkaryam to AchAryA, we SHOULD NEVER THINK THAT we are doing some help for him; or we have done our duty paying back for what he has done to us. What he has done to us can never be repaid. (even if we give the three worlds to him, it will not equal an iota of grace and mercy he has showered on us by his upadEsam and kataaksham- Maathru dEvO bhavA! Pithru dEvO bhavA! AchArya dEvO bhavA! Athithi dEvO bhavA! - Even our own parents are considered equal to AchAryA and God as well. Hence, SrivaishNavan should EQUALLY pay respects to the Parents and take care of them in their old age as much as we take care of our children. Any other prayer to Lord will not please Him if we forget the parents or AchAryA) We should have the same Bhakti with the AchAryA as we have on Bhagawaan.
One should always talk in praise of him; think of his mercy and qualities. Always at the back of our minds, we should think that there is no possibility of repaying him back for all that he has done to us. It is a fact, too. One should celebrate his birthday (thirunakshthram) in a grand manner and thank him for this spiritual life.
One should perform prapatti at AchAryA's Feet after doing kaalakshEpams (as explained earlier). The prapatti ceremony is NOT GRANTING us mOksham. It is the enjoyment that Lord gets by getting pleased with our act of surrender unto His Feet through His bhAgawathA, our AchAryA, is what that enables us attain mOksham. Hence, the cause for mOskahm is NOT prapatti, but the Lord who gets pleased! So, He is SiddhOpaayam. Whereas the Prapatti is called saadhyOpaayam.
Only Bhakti yOgham or Prapatti (surrender) can enable or facilitate us to attain mOksham- as vouched by saastrAs to a great extent. But, same saastrAs, at some places say that just by uttering the Lord's name will enable us attain mOksham or by taking bath in GangA or CauvEri or any other puNya sthalam will also facilitate to attain mOksham. Bhagawan Naama sangeerthanam is just adequate for attaining mOksham is also another school of thought. Staying at places like Srirangam is all that is required as told by few others. All that implies from the above is: Bhagawan Naama sangheerthanam, Punya nadhIs, puNya kshEthra vaasam- will all lead one a clearer mind, a purer atmosphere and will enable one to approach the AchArya for getting to know more; It will facilitate him to do good deeds, and do all that a sri vaishNava is required to do (as described above) and will perform sharaNAgathy. In the end, he attains mOksham. Thus, these DO YIELD mOksham; (like now we can add- one gets mOksham by joining in Bhakti Group- the saastrAs can be amended- because that facilitates us to now approach AchAryA- IT DEFINITELY DID FACILITATE ME! all posts of Bhakti group alone made me go on the faster track to my AchAryA. (uNmai- uNmai!)
Two Important Don'ts of SrivaishNavA:
1. BhAgawatha apachaaram. BhAgawathAs- are Emperumaan's devotees, bhakthAs- we should never commit any apachaaram to them in any fashion. Whatever may be their caste, colour, creed, sex, or form, whether they are beautiful or ugly, tall or short, learned or illiterate, we should pay respects to all bhakthAs of Lord Sriman Narayanan. Emperumaan will be totally pissed off and displeased with the apacharams done to them; He can even forgive apachaarams to Him; but will never forgive our apachaarams to His bhakthAs. If we serve the bhakthAs full heartedly and help them in any fashion, that DEFINITELY pleases Emperumaan. It is the kaimkaryam done to Him actually. He accepts as the antharyaami in their hearts.
2. We should never consider other deities equal to Him. (here please remember the first don't- if you consider the other deity as the bhAgawathA of Sriman NarayaNA- please go right ahead and prostrate at the deity's feet; means we accept Sriman NarayNa is the Supreme head; this deity is His bhAgawathA and in this deity (or bhakthA of Narayana) stays Lord Sriman Narayanan as the antharyaami. BUT PLEASE DON'T EQUATE ANY OTHER jIvAthmA to SRIMAN NARAYANA)
kaimkaryam- three types: Bhagawadh kaimkaryam, BhAgawatha kaimkaryam and AchArya kaimkaryam. AchArya kaimkaryam is the Greatest and foremost among them. We should try to do all these three kaimkaryams to please the Lord. (Posting to bhakti group any subject on Sriman Narayanan like Sri Sadagopan's is bhAgawatha kaimkaryam; Posting a request for Sillarai rahasyangal project (by Srimad Pondareekapuram Andavan Ashramam) is AchArya kaimkaryam done by Sri Ramesh. Posting a request for MaNickka koNdai for bhUmi piraati is bhagawadh kaimkaryam; by contributing to all these, we also render the respective kaimkaryams; SO IT IS CERTAIN THAT WE ARE GOING TO MEET AT THE LORD'S FEET!- Perhaps it will be He who will introduce each one of us to others of our Group- because we have not seen each other! But He is in all of us!)
BhagawathAs- three types:
1. Those who do not worship other demi-gods as equal to Lord; but pray to Sriman NarayNan for material benefits and other desires. - they are called Ekaanthis.
2. Those who do not pray to Lord Sriman Naraynan for any material pursuits except mOksham are called Paramaikaanthis.
3. Those Paramaikaanthis, who after performing prapatti, do not even ask for mOkshaanubhavam; all that they ask for is for rendering eternal kaimkaryam to Divya Dampati and do such kaimkaryams (to other bhakthAs, AchAryA and to archAvathArams and antharyaami with ArAdhanams) are the Greatest BhAgawathAs.
Some BhAgawathAs may have to earn money by working in the office and live in lowkika life/ environment to carry out their family welfare and to make both ends meet; We should not look down at such bhAgawathAs; they may even have vices; they may even have some wrong or bad habits; we should not hurt their feeling by looking down at us and commit apachaarams to them- (if they are His bhakthAs- even EkAnthis!) Since they are His bhakthAs, they will come on the right track soonest - not to worry.
SrivaishNavan- How he should be!
Yes. We have done Panch samskaaram- we have surrendered to the Lord through our AchAryA. We have become His bhakthAs. Now what & how we should be? (BhAgawatha apachaaram- idhara dEvathA- we have already talked about)
1. As per our saasthrAs, traditions, as stipulated, we should continue to do our Nitya karma anushtaanams (like trikaala sandhyaa vandhanams). There is no statement in our saastras that say that we need not perform our anushtaanams after surrendering to the Lord completely. (Even sanyaasis are required to do sandhyavandhanams as per Sri Ramanuja siddhaantham). Of course, there is mOksham for our surrender to the Lord; but, the karmAs (nitya karmAs) are His command to us; If we do not do that we are disobeying the Lord. And even after Prapatti, we should not antagonise the Lord- He may not punish us; " vaaL koNdu veesinaappOlE!" means ; He will take the sword and with a pretending anger He raises His sword at our neck but stops there! He scares us only; do we need that?- hence, do the sandhyavandhanams regularly)
2. We should live in a good place and should speak truth always; Speak softly and sweetly; (But by speaking truth we should never hurt other's feelings; if it amounts to that, let us be silent).
3. If someone scold us or shows disrespect to us, never get angry or feel bad; All that happens is His leelA, Bhagavadh sankalpam; Good or bad is His game; we are only His property.
4. We should be ALWAYS CLEAR ABOUT THE PARATHVAM OF SRIMAN NARAYANAN and know for sure that all others are only jIvAthmAs wherein He, Sriman Narayanan stays as antharyaami.
5. There is nothing wrong in gratification of desires that are not banned in saastrAs; (for example, marrying, having children, etc..), earning for livelihood, etc.. But we SHOULD NOT CRAVE FOR worldly pleasures and material pursuits.
6. When we get more money or wealth or position or promotion or whatever, we should always think that it is all HIS GRACE. His blessing and we should not unnecessarily jump with joy; nor should we feel unduly depressed and feel like committing suicide if we get failures or lose something or any calamity comes due to unforeseen circumstances; We should not lament and pray to Him for granting us the strength to withstand such sorrows. (In fact, we should even consider the fellow human beings, the poor, the orphans and the destitute and try to help them by sending little bit of our earnings regularly to charitable organisations; a good and non-religious, organisation in Madras is Udavum KarangaL (Helping Hands). (You may like to see the web page created by IIT Madras on this good organisation). (Should anyone need their bank A/c number to deposit, contact me)
7. We should NEVER FEEL PROUD and have ahankaaram that we have done kaalakshEpam, we have studied ph D, we are Engineers, we have a Mercedes Benz, We hail from Sri Rangam we belong to Vaishnava traditions, etc. etc., It is all His grace that there is nothing in us- We should consider ourselves lower than the lowest straw in the street; We should NEVER look down at others who have not done what we have done (or who are not blessed with what we are blessed with) or who do not understand the philosophy like what we do; NEVER HAVE KALVI, SELVA and KULA CHERUKKU. Being proud of one's education (or knowledge), one's wealth, or one's kulam is NOT GOOD, It is all His grace.
8. We should be kind to all including the animals, trees and plants; we should be kind hearted and never get jealous of others' growth or prosperity. Since Emperumaan is an antharyaami in all lives, all are to be considered equal to us; This should always be at the back of our minds.
9. We should do PaarAyaNam of any (or all of) VedAs, Divya Prapandham RamayaNam, BhAgawatham, Vishnu sahasranaamam, Slokas, etc.,
10. We should eat sAtvik food; Especially the food that increases the rajasic, thamasic qualities of ours (like onions, garlic, Drum stick, etc.,) shall be avoided. (of course Non vegetarian stuff shall completely be avoided. )
11. we should try to eat, as far as possible, at home and avoid hotel food because the food becomes the thought. At home, naturally (we hope), the food is prepared with affection and love for us; Then the mind will not go after rotten things.
12. we should offer whatever that we eat or drink to the Lord before we take in; That will naturally prelude us to avoid taking stuff that we, naturally do Not want to offer to the Lord (For example, can you offer a hot cup of coffee or a coke to the Lord) let us try to avoid the beverages like coffee and tea; (Not to talk about the alcoholic drinks; we SHOULD NOT drink them- Please don't)
13. we should try to fast on EkAdasi days (If not completely, at least eat only fruits, milk and avoid solid food like rice). Also try to persuade your spouse to cook at least poruccha saaRUmudhu on dwAdashi day (if someone does not know, I can send the recipe), because for having fasted on the previous day, one should not eat "turmeric" stuff for its negative effect on the stomach; Poruccha rasam is good for health. Of course, if one can get agatthi keerai, Nellikkaay pacchadi, suNdaikkay, its is great. - But never mind.)
14. We should not cheat, deceive, people and get benefited thereby. As far as possible, let us perform kaimkaryam to bhAgawathAs and AchAryA.
15. we should be scared and feel disgusted to do things against the saastrAs. (Now, we may not know all saastrA; if in doubt ask the Bhakti Group; there are great scholars; or if it pricks your conscience, it is against saastrAs- definite.)
16. We should always recite ( utter) the dwaya manthram.
17. We should perform kaimkaryams at the Lord's temples/sannidhis by lighting lamps, offering sandal paste, garlands, flowers, etc.,
18. When we see other bhAgawathAls, we should feel as if we have seen freshly bloomed flowers, the full bright moon, the lovely charming kid, etc., and feel so much happy. On the same token, when we see a nAsthikA (an atheist), or a person who hates Sriman NarayanA or one who considers the Primordial Chief Sriya: Pathih Sriman NarayaNan as equal to other demi Gods- we should ignore their presence and try to avoid them. (and not enter into arguments with them)
19. here again, when we see someone who does not recognise the Supremacy of The Lord, we should not feel proud that we are better off than them; That thinking will make us feel proud and make as inflate our ego; On the contrary, we should be thankful to the Lord for His mercy on us and pray to Him for showing such mercy on that person, too.
20. We should ignore and be indifferent to those who are also indifferent to Sriman Narayanan. They are worse than atheists.
All these are to be always followed by each and every staunch bhakthA of Sriman NarayanA.
Greatness of Prapatti (Surrender)
It is our fortune that the Lord was so compassionate to us and took a vow to save all of us if only we surrender to him unconditionally, completely, and take refuge at His Most Beautiful Lotus feet. He assured and promised that those who surrender to His Feet and Him alone will NEVER be deserted by Him; What He speaks is Truth because Sri Rama never talks twice; He is a Satya vrathan, He is Druda vrathan. He will never leave us once we surrender to Him and Him alone with complete faith in Him (mahAvishwasam). That is performing Prapatti. Prapatti is only an act of surrender. Once, we have surrendered to Him once, there is no need to do it again. He will DEFINITELY GRANT US MOKSHAM. The question is: what happens to the karmAs and paapams knowingly and unknowingly being committed after performing Prapatti ? (Whatever sins and karmAs committed during all our previous births before performing Prapatti are all removed by Lord KrishNA as promised and assured by Him). If due to lots of circumstances, we perform paapams (which we will definitely), they all will also be removed by the Lord for the prapatti which we had done before. If at all we have committed any sins KNOWINGLY, we are supposed to do Praayaschittam; Emperumaan accepts that.
But, if someone (a vidhaNdAvadhi), argues that what happens if someone performs Prapatti, and commit sins knowingly afterwards, will he still attain mOksham? Emperumaan is, no doubt, compassionate; But He is the Most Shrewdest maayavan KaNNan. He can understand all our ill-intentions crystal clear. If someone does any sins knowingly after performing Prapatti, and does Not do any Praayaschittam, He punishes them, in this birth itself (by making him disabled, or blind or lose his children, etc., etc., )and STILL grants him the fruit of mOksham for performing Prapatti (unconditionally and completely). VaaL koNdu veesinaap pOlE- As if someone is just raising the sword to cut our neck and kill us, but not actually killing us- That is the sort of punishment one gets.
But Please remember: All that we need is MAhA Viswaasam- the Complete Faith in Him; unflinching faith in Him; Prapatti is only the means for getting His grace. He is the One who grants us mOksham. Have faith in Him; Then, simply forget about all other births and deaths, He is sure to save us! Archiraadhi Maargam:
jIvAthmA, during the death- How does "It" leave the sarIram? As mentioned earlier, the five jnAnEndriyAs, five karmEndriyAs, are joined with mind by Emperumaan. The mind joins with the PrANa vaayu. Then, the prANan joins with the jIvAthmA. The jIvan is now with the sUkshuma amsanghaL of Pancha bhUthAs.
In the body, there are 101 naadis (Pulse?). The jIvAthmA, which had already surrendered to the Lord, to attain mOksham, goes through the Brahma Naadi (the 101st Naadi).
Such a jIvAthmA is welcomed by agni, The Sun, Vaayu, The Moon, The Goddess of Lightning, VaruNan, Indran, BrahmA and Sivan and send "It""of" to Sri Vaikuntam. This is called Archiraadhi Maargam.
The Prapanna jIvAthmA, thus, through the archiraadhi Maargham, reaches the river, that is full of nectar, the VrajA NadhI. There after crossing the VrajA nadhI, the Muktha jIvan, leaves "its" sUkshma sarIram also, and attains the new Divya sarIram. The jIvan losses all "its" karma vaasanAs. The jIvan attains the atomic swarUpa AvirbhAvam and shines again with samastha kalyANa guNAs that are actually ever existent with the jIvAthmA always. (sinlessness, lasting, changeless youth, immortality, freedom from sorrow, hunger, thirst, sathya kamathvam, sathya sankalpathvam, etc.,- How nice! I know we all are longing to go there IMMEDIATELY! First surrender with MahAvishwaasam and continue to think of the Lord's Lotus feet alaways.) There jIvan reaches the Irammadheeyam-the pond and enters the KINGDOM OF SRIVAIKUNTAM, The Eternal, The Blemishless, unlimited bhOghams. Then the jIvan approaches the pupil tree (arasa maram called sOmavanam), the tree worshipped by dEvAs. The flabbergasted, wonder struck jIvan now is simply not able to believe the exquisite beauty of Sri vaikuntam. At the mantapam called Prabhuvimitham, about 500 apsaras ladies welcome the jIvan with garlands, most fragrant deepams, lights, sandal paste, incenses, etc., and music from Divine musical instruments, to celebrate the arrival of the (successful) jIvan in Sri Vaikuntam. (nammAzhwAr's Thiruvaaimozhi 10.9 describes this most beautifully). The apsaras adorn the jIvan with the PeethAmbharam and offer him the food partaken by the Lord.
Sisters and Brothers, it is an excellent scene! Now the jIvan enters the Most Beautiful Divya MaNi maNdapam where Emperumaan Sriman Narayanan is gracefully seated along with Sri Devi, BhU Devi, and NeeLA Devi on the AdhisEshan. The NityasUris wash the feet of the jIvan in grateful recgnition if the arrival of that Sri VaishNavan. The consorts (Our dearest Goddesses, mothers) with Thier Most Beautiful moon-like faces offer the jIvan, Sri sadagOpam, Sri chUrNam, and welcome the jIvan with pUrNa kumbhams and dheepams.
Here the jIvan sees all his pUrvAchAryAs in front of the simhAsanam of Sriman Narayanan. They are all beaming with joy, not only due to their continuous enjoyment of Lord's beauty; also due to Lord's compassion on this jIvan's too. The jIvan offers "it's" salutation to Them and goes closer to Him. The jIvan seeks the permission of AdhisEshan and climbs on the 1000 head snake's body to sit on the LAP OF SRI VAIKUNTA NATHAN. (Simply wonderful! What a nice fragrance jIvan would be enjoying; I am sure jIvan would not know what to enjoy and where to take "it's" eyes from!)
The jIvan performs mangaLAsAsanam on the Most exquisite Divine Beauty of The Lord Sri Vaikunta Nathan and the KalyANa guNAs of the Lord and His consorts. The jIvan (Muktha jIvan) is totally OVERWHELMED by the unmatchable Beauty of the limbs of the Lord and enjoys completely part by part of the Lord's sowndharyam. The jIvan prays to the Lord for the boon and eternal Bliss of Lord's Lotus Feet. The Lord immediately agrees to that and keeps His Lotus Feet on the jIvan's head. The Divya Dampati shower their Blessings on the Muktha jIvan. The Mukhtha jIvan gets a COMPLTE BRAHMAANUBHAVAM and PARAMAANANDHAM at Sri vaikuntam and stays as a PERMANENT RESIDENT OF SRI VAIKUNTAM FOR EVER.
All the above, sisters and brothers are NOT SIMPLY Burudaa (or kattu kadhai); They are 100% TRUE , FACTUAL AND EXISTING; The vEdAs say all these; the Brahma sUthram says this; NammAzhwAr describes them; Sri RamanujA narrates them most beautifully in his Gadhya Trayam.
God's assurances to humanity, particularly that given to His ardent devotees, which are interspersed in sacred literature, will never go in vain. Many are His declarations but one among them brings cheer and hope to those who may at times get demoralised on account of continuous suffering.
``Listen to My oath. The heavens may fall from their height. The snowy peaks of the Himalayas may slip and come down. The seas may dry up. The earth may shiver into a million pieces. But the statements of Krishna will never be empty words.'' This promise was extended directly by Lord Krishna to a devotee who pinned all her hopes on Him, having been made to go through agonising and unimaginable experiences.
The Lord is ready to extend His grace to all devotees but in the case of a few who are extremely dear to Him, He makes them go through extreme trials, tests their tenacity and removes all their sins and takes them to His abode. AdiyEn tried to gather and wrote all that I could blabber on Sri VaishNavam; I would have definitely made LOTS AND LOTS Of mistakes; Please correct them and enable the readers to get the correct facts / interpretation. Please forgive me for all my errors and omissions. I consider as a privilege to write on this Sri VaishNavam; it is more for a beginner like me, so that we can get to know what all Sri VaishNavam talks about and what exactly does it say. It is our fortune, again, Dear ones, to be a BhakthA of Sriman NarayaNA and be a Sri VaishNavA. It is Emperumaan's grace that we talk about Him in this electronic media via Net.
Even after knowing all these, we should not still ignore Sandhyaa vandhanam, Pancha samskaaram, SamAshrayaNam, ManthrOpadEsam (from AchAryA), Prapatti (surrender) to Emperumaan's Lotus Feet, diong kaalakshEpam, carrying out kaimkaryams to bhakthAs, AchAryA and Emperumaan (at the temple). We should always recite the Dwaya Manthram wherever we are and whatever we are doing; We should always keep thinking of Emperumaan's Most Beautiful Just Bloomed Red Lotus like Feet. We should dance and sing His glories and names and forget ourselves in the process.
May Lord Sriya: Pathih Sriman Narayanan and MahAlakshmi keep showering His continuous Mercy and Grace on all of us for ever and ever and ever!
Sri RanganAyikA samEtha RanganAtha ParabhrahmaNE namah:
AchAryAL ThiruvadigaLE saraNam
NarayaNa dAsan MadhavakkaNNan
This article is compiled by Narayana dAsan Madhavakkannan.