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Musings on garUda/mantrA etc.-8C

From: M K Sudarshan (
Date: Wed Apr 09 1997 - 08:38:02 PDT

srimathE lakshmi-nrsumha parabrahmaNE namaha
sri vedanta desika guravE namaha

Dear "bhAgavatOttamA-s",

Just one more little post, please, on the idea of "reflectivity" and then we
will move on to the subject of Swami Desikan's "garUda" hymns and "mantrA".

In the last post on "reflectivity" we stated the following :

A : ".....the species HOMO SAPIENS somehow has been deeply ingrained by
nature --- or "programmed" if you like --- to always suspect everything
thing else other than "visual" modes ("pratyaksham") of validating the
truths of the experiential world."

B : ".....that "vEdic" experience of Truth becomes possible for us only IF,
and only AFTER, we have overcome our "reflexive" (and excessive, too!)
reliance on "pratakshyam" and, indeed, have switched to "aural" modes of
PERCEPTION/COGNITION prescribed in the vEdAs."


The point I was trying to make in the 2 statements above was that as long as
we are unable to shake-off the "reflexive" "pratyaksha"-bias in our
spiritual enquiry, we will always be sceptical of the truth of "vEdic"
experience distilled in a "mantrA". We will continue to struggle in life
with wonted and "visual" ways of thinking about Narayana and simply get
nowhere !

Without the "acoustic-key" of "mantrA" it will simply be impossible for us
to unlock the "doors of true perception" and begin to really "take in" Truth !

The above idea I have explained, I confess, is actually derived from the
wonderful words of our great Saint Tondar-adi-podi AzhwAr in Verse #15 of
the  "tirUmAlai" :

     meyyarkkE meyyanAgUm vidhiyilAv-ennaippOla
      poyyarkkE poyyanAgum putkodi-yUdaiya kOmAn,
     uyyappOm uNarvin-Arkatkku oruvan-enru uNarnda pinnai
      aiyappAdurruthu-thOnrUm azhaganUr arangam-anrE ?

(My free Tamil translation -- how "free" it is is up to you to judge):

"The Lord, whose flagstaff carries the insignia of Garuda, is REAL for those
who "know" Him to be Real (i.e. for those who have overcome "reflexivity"!)

"The Lord is 'UNREAL' to those who lead "unreal" existence themselves (i.e.
are unable to "break-free" from their world of "visuality" and enter into
the world of 'vEdi-c' experience and "aurality" !)

"The Lord readily reveals Himself to those who aspire for "UjjIvinam" by
cutting asunder their delusion and doubts (i.e. by throwing open the Doors
of Perception) and granting them Supreme Knowledge of Himself !"

The above verse of Saint Tondar-adi-podi is an extremely significant one in
the context of our current discussion, dear "bhAgavatOttamA-s", because as
you will notice, it makes a specific and pointed reference to
"putkodi-yUdaiya kOmAn" --- a clear reference to "peria-tirUvadi" !! 

The question to ask about this verse is : "Why should there be a specific
reference to "putkodi-yUdaiya kOmAn" by the AzhwAr while talking about the
delusion of disbelievers ("visual-centred seekers"!) ? 

The answer, I strongly believe, must lie in the possibility that
Tondar-adi-podi-yAr is hinting to us how importanct GarUda or the
"Garuda-mantrA" is to visual-centred "poyyarkkE-s" who wish to turn into
"mantrA-oriented" "meyyarkkE-s" !! 

srimathE srivan satagOpa sri narayana yathindra mahadesikaya namaha