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Re: Sri Bhashyakarar and Sri Vishnupuranam etc

From: Anand Karalapakkam (
Date: Fri Apr 14 2000 - 12:01:05 PDT

SrI Lakshminrusimha ParabrahmaNE namaha
SrI Lakshminrusimha divya pAdukA sEvaka SrIvaN SatakOpa -
SrI nArAyaNa yateendra mahAdESIkAya namaha

 Dear SrI Bharat and other devotees,
 namO nArAyaNa.
  Thanks for your posting. adiyEn would like to add few 
  points here. 

> Apart from this other reasons for use of Sri VP were:
> 2.It had a reputation as an authoritative text from
> very old times- it is mentioned in Sangam literature
> and in Banabhatta's Harsha Charitam for instance.
> whereas there was a constant controversy re the
> authorship of Sri Bhagavatam even upto Sri BhAshyakArar's
> times.
  adiyEn has firm belief that SrImad BhAgavatham was
  written by Sage VyAsa and thats what adiyEn has learnt
  from the AchAryas here at Chennai. 

> 4.More relevantly to our SampradAyam: In Sri VP there
> is an exclusive chapter to detail the greatness of
> PirAtti,where she is called "VishNoranapAyinI" and
> there is a Stuti also included therein.
> In direct contrast, in Sri Bhag. her position is very
> low and if one reads chapter 60 of DaSama Skandham
> one finds her equated to Prakriti itself.There is
> no question of "anapAyinItvam" there and in fact
> the Lord is mentioned as being totally self-immersed
> and indifferent to her! Obviously a book of that nature
> however exquisitely beautiful in its descriptions
> could hardly  be the authoritative text of the
> SRI VishishtAdwaita school!

  adiyEn humbly disagrees with SrI Bharat here. While
  there is no doubt that SrI ViSNu purANam is superior to
  SrImad BhAgavatham (Or any other purANam for that matter)
  with regard to the explanation of tattvas, BhAgavatham 
  doesn't contradict vEdAnta ie. ViSishtAdvaita. It is only 
  an expanded version of Sage ParAsara's VishNu PurANam, by
  his son Sage VyAsa.

  SrI Bharat, in the 60th chapter of 10th Canto in SrImad 
  BhAgavatham, our Lord KrishNa is teasing Rukmini pirAtti 
  and makes Her cry. During that episode of teasing, PerumAL
  says that He never married Her out of genuine love, but 
  only to teach a lesson to SisupAlan and his gang and curb
  their power etc. He then says that We (the men of Yadu 
  dynasty) actually never care for wife, children etc and 
  are self satrisfied with themselves. This made our pirAtti
  cry bitterly and faint. Then PerumAL consoles Her and
  says that it was simply "hAsya praudhim" ie. jovial in 
  import and not to be taken seriously. PerumAL says that,
  He wanted to see Rukmini dEVi's reaction to His teasings 
  and in particular enjoy Her face with lips trembling in 
  loving anger etc. He then concludes by saying that the
  greatest pleasure of householders is to tease their
  wives in a jovial way and enjoy their reaction. Then,
  pirAtti starts performing naicyAnusandAnam that She is 
  afterall a lowly person with guNAs of prakruti and how 
  such a fool can be compared with the master of all who
  delights in His own glory etc and starts glorifying 
  PerumAL in many a ways.

  SrI Bharat, you know pretty well on what adiyEn has
  written below and its not something new. But, adiyEn
  is writing for the sake of completion of adiyEn's views.
  Please don't mistake adiyEn.

  First of all, it is clearly told that its only a 
  intimate jovial play between PerumAL and pirAtti.
  PirAtti is also not making a statement about the 
  tattva as if She being "SrI", the consort of Lord NArAyaNa
  has only qualities of the prakruti and that Lord NArAyaNa
  never cares for Her and His devotees etc. They have first
  of all made an avatAram (vibhava) as KrishNa and Rukmini
  out of their infinite compassion to us and fulfill the
  wishes of great devotees etc by exhibiting their Sowseelya
  etc kalyANa guNas and also teach us about various aspects
  in tattva,hita and purushArta. When a rich person acts
  in a cinema as a beggar, he will act as a beggar. We 
  shouldn't be upset that he though being rich has acted
  as a beggar and delivered a dialogue corresponding to
  how a beggar will. Similarly, during the avatAras, its 
  the avatAra rahasya (secret) that pirAtti will play the 
  role of a jIva and teach us about prapatti, how to 
  approach PerumAL etc. 

  Well, we have to actually enjoy the great rasa involved
  in that episode and shouldn't conclude something 
  contradictory to tattva by imposing the known fact that
  Rukmini dEvi is not a baddha jIvAtma, but PirAtti Herself.

  For that matter, SrImad RAmAyanam will become still
  worse then. Lord Rama after killing rAvana says to SIta
  pirAtti that She can marry anyone of Lakshmana, Vibeeshana
  and the like and He is not prepared to accept Her back, for
  She has been at some other man's place for 10 months. Does 
  this mean that we have to reject SrImad rAmAyanam as 
  something contradictory to ViSishtAdvaita (which has 
  understood the great glories of "SrI"), because it 
  portrays pirAtti very lowly as if She is in separation from
  PerumAL, having sharp tongue while yelling at Lakshmana that
  He is only after Her and is a partner of bharata for
  a conspiracy against Herself and Lord rAma etc ? Ofcourse,
  these things are performed by the Divya Dampati, only to 
  teach us about the great sin of bhAgavata apachAram. Since
  sIta piled up untolerable words towards a great Lakshmana
  and accused another parama bhAgavata Bharata, and started
  beating Her breasts etc as if one is in hysteria, Lakshmana
  (a great devotee) was severly hurt esp. the accussation
  that he is after Her. The result of this bhAgavatha apachAram
  is the 10 month severe punishment for SIta making Her devoid
  of the company of Lord and undergo many sufferings and also
  finally make Her undergo agni pariksha etc. Thats why, Lord 
  RAma replied back (after killing rAvana) with strong words 
  that She (SIta pirAtti) can now marry anyone of Her choice.
  The message is that, Lord will be very furious towards those
  who commit offense to His devotees and will make them 
  undergo sufferings and esp. make them devoid of bhagavad 

  This doesn't mean all of the acts by the Divya Dampati
  in their vibhava avatAras are mere "drama". Its not a mere 
  "show/drAma" by the Lord in exhibiting His great kalyANa guNas 
  like Sowseelyam and Sowlabhyam in mingling/moving with the 
  likes of Guha, Sugreeva, Sabari, Hanuman, Vibeeshana and other 
  devotees. Its not like a (wicked) politician who just goes to 
  a village and talks/moves  with villagemen for a while, and 
  puts a drama for the media and the people as if he really cares 
  for the poor etc. The Divya Dampati's vAtsalyam towards their
  devotees are limitless and these are genuinely exhibited in
  the vibhava avatAras like RAma, KrishNa, Nrusimha and the like.

  The bottomline is that, adiyEn doesn't see anything 
  contradictory to VEdAnta in SrImad BhAgavatham. Infact,
  it is filled with great rasAnubhavam. But, SrImad BhAgavatham's 
  excellence in bhagavad anubhavam has been eclipsed by the 
  unparalleled beaquty of the Divya Prabandhams of Azhwars 
  and the outstanding commentries on it by our AchAryas.
  But, our AchAryas have certainly taken SrImad BhAgavatham
  to be a upabrahmana ie. its a valid pramAna for us. Infact,
  it is in SrImad BhAgavatham that prediction of the avatAra
  of Azhwars and our SrI Vaishnava AchAryas are there and it 
  has been quoted by SwAmi dESIkan in His SrImad Rahsya Traya
  SAram :

     "Kalau Khalu bhavishyanti nArAyaNa pArAyaNAha
      kvacit kvachin mahAbhAgha dramidEshu ca bhUrishaha
      tAmraparNi nadI yatra krutamAlA payasvini
      kAvEri ca mahA puNyA pratIcI ca mahAnadi "

   It explicitly states as to how especially in Dramida dESa 
   (ie. South India) great devotees of Lord nArAyaNa will be 
   born and in the banks of the rivers tAmraparNi, vaigai,
   pAlAr, CauvEri and mahAnadi at Kerala. Since NammAzhwAr
   is going to be the primary AchArya for establishing and 
   propagating VaidIka Matha / VEdAnta for Kali Yuga by 
   initiating SrI NAthamunigaL into Ubhaya-vEdAnta, Sage 
   VyAsa ( Or Sage Suka) mentions River TAmraparNi first,
   though there were many AzhwrAs before NammAzhwar born at
   other places, as far as history goes. Also, BhAgavatham
   states that even people from kruta yuga will be willing 
   to take birth in this kali yuga since one is going to
   become most fortunate by coming in contact with these 
   devotees ( AzhwArs and SrI VaishNava AchAryas). BhAgavatham
   is also explicit that these devotees are going to start 
   the "sankeertanam" which is going to have unparalleled 
   effects to the extent of attaining moksha. That sankeertanam 
   is nothing but the Divya Prabandhams of AzhwArs and Stotras 
   of our AchAryas.

   Also, SwAmi dESIkan explains by quoting only from SrImad 
   BhAgavatham that SAyujyam is the perfect description of 
   moksham and SAlOkyam etc are only partial in the sense that 
   SAlOkyam etc refers to the attainment of the vibhava lOkas 
   within the material world. 

   There are around four commentries on SrImad BhAgavatham
   by our AchAryas. 

   SrImad BhAgavatham is certainly a valid pramAna and our
   sampradAyam does give a very high status to it.
> As regards the second point of Sri BhAshyakArar's
> non-usage of Divya Prabandham quotations: surely
> the reason is obvious.He wrote exclusively in
> Sanskrit and no Skt text could include tamil
> quotations.

  This is one interesting issue. But, BhAshyakAra 
  (ie. Bhagavad RAmAnuja) certainly wrote directly the 
  teachings/interpretations of Azhwars in some places 
  of his commentries, apart from following the teachings
  in general.

   This is to just give a sample (as adiyEn learnt from
   SrI U.Ve. KarunAkaran SwAmi) :

   In the "vibhUti yOga" ie.10th chapter of Bhagavad GIta,
   BhAshyakAra comments for the word "dEvadEvA" of 15th 
   verse as 
    dEva dEva : 
   "daivatAnAm api parama daivata, yathA manushya-mruga-pakshi-
    sarIsrupAdeen Soundarya-Sowseelyadi-kalyANa-guNagaNaihi
    daivatAni ateetya vartantE tathA tAni sarvANi daivatAni api 
    taihi taihi guNaihi ateetya vartamAna "

   ie. " The Supreme Deity even of all divinities ! Just as 
         the (demi)gods surpass men, animals, birds,  
         reptiles etc in beauty (Soundarya), condescension
         (Sowseelya) and the host of auspicious qualities,
         You O Lord, in the same manner, transcend all these
         (demi) gods in all these attributes !

        < Refer Trans. by SrI AdidEvAnanda >. 

   What a beautiful and enjoyable commenty to the word 
   "dEvadEva" in sweet and simple sanskrit, really bringing out 
   the greatness of our PerumAL !! Lets see the  original 
   source of inspirartion for BhAshyakAra as well.
   This is exactly the direct commentry of the word "dEvadEva" 
   by NammAzhwAr during his outpourings (ThiruvAimozhi 8.1.5 ) :

   "aaruyirO! .... manisarkuth dEvar pOla dEvarkku dEvAvO ..." 
   " .......You are the Lord of dEvas like how dEvas lord 
     over humans ....". 

   Lets now enjoy the nectarian commentry by our dear PiLLAn, for
   this anubhavam of Azhwar :

   " ...aathmaguNangaLAlum rUpaguNangaLAlum manushyariR kAttil
     dEvargaL yetthanai vilakshaNarAyiruppAr, appadiyE dEvargaL
     manushyar yennumpadi andak guNangaLAl vilakshaNanAi ...." 
    The only change in the GIta BhAshya is that, instead
    of the term aatmagUNa, "sowseelya etc aatmaguNAs" is present
    and addition of animals,repltiles etc alongwith humans.
    What a beautiful way in which PiLLAn follows his AchArya 
    Bhagavad RAmAnuja in his commentry ! Ofcourse the commentry
    of PiLLAn is filled with many a typical outpourings of 
    Bhagavad RAmAnuja in nectarian sanskrit that mesmerizes the 
    reader and making him/her engorssed in the kalyANa guNas of
    SrIman nArAyaNa _without fail_. This is because, of the 
    direct influence of the traditional kAlakshEbam (discourses)
    and the divine grace of Bhagavad RAmAnuja.

>Even SwAmi DeSikan who quotes so copiously
> from DP in his tamil works,has to restrict himself
> to Skt quotations in his glosses on Stotra Ratnam etc

  SwAmi dESIkan actually goes a step ahead in His outstanding 
  commentry to Bhagavad RAmAnuja's GIta BhAshya, viz. GIta 
  TAtparya Chandrika. SwAmi dESikan must have felt that, only
  the tamil songs of Azhwars can't be quoted in Sanskrit 
  works, but why not translate the tamil song into Sanskrit 
  and quote it !!
  For the verse 17.10 in bhagavad gIta, SwAmi dESIkan quotes
  the following verse as that of BhaktAn~grirENu's 
  (Thondar-adip-podi Azhwar, literally meaning "Dust of Feet of 
  devotees") work, which is actually the translated version of 
  the 41st verse of Thondaradip-podi AzhwAr's ThirumAlai :

  "divyairavEdyavibhavEti yadi bruvanti -
      mAdhvImanOjn~yatulaseeka yadIti cAhuhu |
   OonakriyA api parAnapi kArayantO bhuktAdhikam -
      dadati tEd nanu (nana) tat pavitram ||

  Please refer to the analysis of SrI abhinava dESIka
  UttamUr swAmi in his commentry to this 41st pAsuram
  of ThirumAlai, for further details on the "Ucchishtam"
  referred to in ThirumAlai and the gIta bhAshya.

  adiyEn rAmAnuja dAsan,

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