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Varadaraja PancASat and other things

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani)
Date: Wed Aug 03 1994 - 20:09:40 PDT

Hi,

One more verse from Desika's VaradarAja PancASat will follow, but
I want to note my reaction to Krishna's discussion with Paramananda
Bharati regarding ultimate Unity and the relationship of Advaita to bhakti.

Nammalvar himself writes of the unitive nature of bhagavad-aanandam
in the pAsuram "kaDal ~nAlam ceydEnum yAnE; kaDal ~nAlam Avenum yAnE..."
The key point to note here is that this unity is *experiential*. 
Essential unity does not appear to be an ontological verity to 
Nammalvar; instead, his aikyam is a union of resolves and bliss.
Perhaps this can be termed "aananda-aikyam" or "svabhAva-aikyam"?

The question very well may arise (and I often have to remind myself
of the answer) -- why is Ramanuja (and consequently Srivaishnavism)
so insistent on maintaining some bit of difference? I suppose the
answer is that it is precisely this difference that lends any true 
meaning to the process of bhakti; it is difference that makes Nammalvar 
realize the wonderful feeling that PerumAL has graced him by "mingling" 
with him to such an extent that he himself has become infinitely 
glorified.  I believe there is a pAsuram (perhaps 8.8.x?) which 
describes how Nammalvar was distraught about how such an insignificant
and apparently unworthy one as himself could be the recipient of the
gift of union with the Lord.  He finally rejoices, because the Lord
shows Nammalvar that he indeed possesses his own individual beauty
and glory, so much so that the Lord is attracted to him! All this
becomes meaningless if my substantive individuality in the end is
an utter falsehood. 

Regarding the Para-brahman's being beyond any description, as Advaitins
so often like to repeat, I need only cite Sri Yamunacharya:

	namo namo vang-manasAti bhUmaye
	namo namo vang-manasaika bhUmaye

	Salutations to You, who is beyond all words and thought!
	Salutations to You, who is the only object of all words and thought!

I just realized how late it is, so I will followup tomorrow with
another sloka from the VaradarAja PancASat.

Yours,
Mani