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Re: Need to know

From: Sadagopan (sgopan_at_computer.net)
Date: Wed Aug 09 2000 - 16:49:52 PDT

At 03:16 AM 8/9/00 -0000, you wrote:
>Why do we all go to a temple....it is said ..the heart is the place 
>of god...then why temple...
>
Dear Srimathi Priya: 

Srimans MadhavakkaNNan, Hari , Venkatesh Elayavalli have
already given valuable inputs related to your question. 
They indicated that the Lord manifests Himself in 5 states
and described the ease of acces of the Lord in His archA
roopam at the temples. I will add a few more points on
the important question that you asked.

You referred to one of those five states : Haartha or 
AntharyAmi Roopam and asked about another(Archai),
who is resident in Temples consecrated by Aagamic rules. 

The Isvaran in the heart cavity is present in His
sookshma (most subtle) roopam . This is the AntharyAmi.
The sacred text known as AntharyAmi BraahmaNam 
states the the Lord is present in all sentients 
and insentients (ChEthana -achEthanams).The upanishadic 
text in support of this anthryAmi savrUpan
is: " Ya:  Aathma thishtan , aathmAnam antharO yamayathi".
The Sruthi Vaakhyam also explains the Lord being on top
of an agni jwAlai with the dimension of the head of a wheat
seed :" NeelathO yadhamadhyasthA--TasyA SikhAyA MadhyE 
ParamAthmA vyavasthitha:"

Achaarya RaamAnujA and other AchAryAs have saluted this 
Sookshma SvarUpi residing inside our heart lotus :

sEyam dahara PuNDarIka MadhyAkAsa VardhinI 
Vahni SkhA Svaantharnihitha NeelathOyadhApa 
PARAMAATHMA SVAROOPAA --(VedArhta Sangraham , 
AchArya RaamAnujA).

The skills obtained from the practise of
AshtAnga Yogam are indispensible for meditating
upon and seeing this AntharyAmi Brahmam . After
the success in Aathma (antharyAmi Brahma) 
SaakshAthkAram , One is qulaified to engage 
in Bhakthi Yogam. This is the most difficult 
route and only a very few upaasakAs can have
this SvAthma-SaakshAthkAram thru AshtAnga Yogam
after completing Karma Yogam and the Jn~Ana Yogam
steps as a prerequisite .Great Yogis like 
Sri Ranga PriyA Swamigal can and have succeded 
in these difficult efforts in modern times.
This route is not for us ,the simple folks ,
who do not have the qualifications to succeed in 
this effort to see the antharyAmi Brahmam 
and go on form there to practise Bhakthi Yogam 
to gain Moksha Sukham .

Because of His infinite DayA for us , the Lord 
takes on an easily accessible state known as
Archai or ArchAvathAram . "avatharathi " means that
He descends from Sri Vaikuntam to this earth and 
stays with His dhivya ThirumEni in consecrated 
Vigrahams . The Para and VyUha Roopa Moorthy
descends down to bless us and makes it easy for us 
to enjoy Him and perform AarAdhanai for Him. 
With His anugraham ,we get sadAchArya sambhandham 
and perform Prapatthi under their feet and qualify 
ourselves for Moksha Siddhi through an easier route 
(Prapatthi) than Bhakthi Yogam . 

This ArchAvathara PerumAL 's presence in
consecrated images has been described by 
Sawmi Desikan as:

"BhimbhAkruthyAthmanA BhimbhE SamAgathya 
 avathishtathE ". 

His saanidhyam (presence )is there in these 
consecrated images made of Gold, Silver, Granite, 
Wood or Clay. He enters into them and is present 
in His Suddha Sathva ThirumEni.Once He responds to 
the AavAhanam (invocation ) and enters in to 
the PrAkruthic metal or wooden images ,  
there is no difference anymore between 
this Suddha Sathva ThirumEni and the 
PrAkruthic material that He has entered.

Those who worship and meditate on this ArchA Moorthy
who is very visible to our maamsa Chakshus
( Flesh based eyes, Humna eyes) in contrast to
AntharyAmi Svaroopan are blessed to attain
sadAchAryan , perform prapatthi and gain
Moksham. 

The ArchA svarUpi at the Temples is therefore not
a metallic image or wodden image . Due to the power
of PrathishtA VisEsha Manthrams , that earthy material
gets transformed into Aprakruthic , Sudhda Sathva
dhravyam and has the presence of Para VaasudEvan in 
Sri Vaikuntam. That which is beyond the speech and
mind of the Yogis become accessible to our fleshy eyes
as revealed by Swami Desikan in his commentary on
Bhagavath Githai:

" athra YoginAm vaangmanasAgOcharamapi
  chakshurAdhikaraNai: ithivachanAth
  ArchAvathAra RoopEapi PararoopathavAnusandhAnam
  darsitham ".

That is why the AzhwArs lost themselves at 
the dhivya Desams and sang with ecstasy about 
the anantha kalyANa guNams of the Lord with His devis 
in their NaalAyira dhivya prabhandhams so movingly.

That is why our AchAryAs pointed the way for us 
by creating a temple-focused code of conduct.
The involvement of these AchAryAs
at the temples of Srirangam , ThiruvEnkatam ,
Kaanchi et al are legendary. Here were born
their Sri Sookthis . Some entered into sanyAsAsramam
in fornt of these ArchA Moorthys. Others spent their lives
in kaimkaryams to these ArchA moorthys , who talked
some times to these AchAryAs by breaking their 
ArchA Samaadhi. 

When we stand before Sri RanganAthA  and reflect 
upon the merger of Godhai and ThiruppANar with
Him , when we reflect upon the daily Maalai
Kaimkaryam of ThoNdardippodi AzhwAr , When we reflect
upon the SaraNAgathi Gadhyam of AchArya RaamAnujA 
on a Panguni Uttharam day ,we are transported to
another world .The thought of the sacredness of the dust 
from the holy feet of these AzhwArs and AchAryAs 
at our temples remind us of our links to this 
ancient tradition of temple-rooted culture.
 
The palpable fruits of worshipping ArchAvathAra
Moorthys , performing kaimkaryams to them , enjoying
their many uthsavams and spending  lives close 
to them  have been well illustrated by our 
AchArya Paramparai. That is why we worship 
the consecrated Moorthys at the temples instead of
traveling on  the well nigh impossible route of 
experiencing and worshipping the antharyAmi Brahmam 
for our Moksham.

Srimath Azhagiya Singar ThiruvadigaLE saraNam ,
Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri SatakOpan 
   
 


     
 


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