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Re: Pilgrimage - II: Upadesam

From: Krishna Kalale (
Date: Thu Aug 21 1997 - 02:55:48 PDT

Dear Devotees,

I enjoyed this article.  I did have the anugraham of our 45th jeer recently
who was kind enough to give me upadesam  of  Bhutasuddhi krama at Rishikesh
stalam,  which I visited two days back.  It was an unique opportunity for
me to gayathri japam 1008 times in front of Sri Lakshminrisimhan deity and
of course the other dieties of Krishna etc. who accompany our Malola
Nrsimhar (archamurthy).  Our acharya had hours to spend with me since only
one other family visited him that day.  I will write about some upadesams

Adiyen Krishna  kalale

At 09:09 AM 8/20/97 -0400, Parthasarati Dileepan wrote:
>Pilgrimage - II:  Upadesam
>(The following is a translation of selected parts of the upadesam given by
>Srimad Azhagiya Singar just prior to the perfromance of my Saranagathi.  I
>seek His forgiveness for any error in my free translation.)
>======Translation of selected parts of Srimad Azhagiya Singar's
>Thatvam, Hitham, and Purushartham are three concepts we all deal with in
>one form or another.  Roughly, Thathvam is to be known, Hitham is to be
>performed, and Purushartham is to be enjoyed.  For example, when suffering
>from an ailment, we must know who can provide relief.  But that is not
>enough.  We must then approach that person and diligently undertake the
>treatment he prescribes.  Then, the resulting good health must be enjoyed.
>In this example, the  physician is the Thathvam to be known.  Hitham is the
>treatment prescribed by the physician that must be undertaken.  Enjoyment
>of the resulting good health is the Purushartham.
>The most grievous of all ailments is the Samasara in which we are
>submerged.  The one who can deliver us from Samasara is the paramount
>Thathvam, or Paramathathvam we must know.  The treatment prescribed for the
>permanent release from Samsara is the paramount means (Upaya), or
>Paramahitham that we must perform.  The resulting state of permanent
>ecstacy is the paramount fortune or Paramapurushartham that we get to enjoy.
>There are a lot of confusing theories about Paramathathvam propagated by
>many.  Some say, it is Siva; others say it is Chaturnukha Brahmma; yet
>others argue it is not Siva or Vishnu or Brahmma, but another entity above
>them all, and so on.  If one studies Sastras, the absurdity of these claims
>will become obvious.  Paramathathvam is none other than Sriapathi, Sriman
>Narayana, the in-dweller of all sentient and non-sentient entities.
>Paramahitham, the only means (upaya) for gaining His grace, is Saranagathi.
> Paramapurushartham is servitude to Him and His devotees, i.e., bhgavath
>and bhaagavatha kainkaryam.
>All Sasthraas proclaim Sriman Narayana to be the only entity capable of
>providing release from Samsara and deliver us unto Moksham.  All others,
>starting from a blade of grass up to Brahmma are all bound in Samsara.  At
>the time of Pralaya all these entities are swallowed up by Sriman Narayana.
> This shows the supremacy of Sriman Narayana.  Further, the names Siva,
>Brahmma, Indra, etc. can mean other things.  For instance, Brahmma can also
>mean a great man.  Siva means auspicious.  Indran means a wealthy man.
>Thus, these names appearing in the Vedas are subject to differing
>interpretations.  But the name "Narayana" does not indicate anyone else but
>the Lord of Sri.  There is but one interpretation for this name appearing
>in the Vedas.  The names  Brahmma, Siva, Indra, etc., can indirectly mean
>Sriman Narayana as well.  But, the name Narayana can only mean Vishnu and
>no one else.  Thus, Sriman Narayana is the Paramathathvam.
>There are only two means for attaining Moksham.  They are Bhakthi Yoga and
>Saranagathi. There is no other way for Moksham.  Some say just
>Namasangeerthanam will take us to Moksham.  We also hear that Ganaga snanam
>will give us Moksham.  Living in some Dhivya Keshethras is said to take us
>to Moksham.  What we need to understand is that these will lead us to
>Moksham only in an indirect way.  They have a positive impact upon our
>minds and induce us to seek an Acharya and perform Saranagathi sooner or
>later.  Without Saranagathi there is no Moksham.  Otherwise, why should our
>Lord Krishna direct us to surrender unto Him with "Maamekam saranam vraja"
>in the Charama Sloka of Srimad Geethai?  Thus, Saranagathi is Paramahitham.
>Service to the Lord is Paramapurushartham.  To understand why this is so we
>need to look at the relationships that exist in this world.  For a mother
>taking care of her children is the source of satisfaction.  For a wife
>taking care of her husband gives the most pleasure.  But, mother, father,
>wife, husband, son, daughter are relationships that exist only in this
>birth.  These relationships are temporary and unitary.  That is, the mother
>to a child can only be the mother, not the father as well.  On the other
>hand, our Lord is all to us, not just in this birth but for ever.  He is
>our father, mother, brother, and friend.  This relationship to Him is
>permanent and cannot be undone.  Then, Paramapurushartham can be nothing
>but uninterrupted service to the Lord at all times and in all plcaes.
>About Saranagathi
>Saranam has three different meanings, namely, House, Rakshakan, and Upayam.
> In the current context, "House" is not relevant.  Rakshakan is appropriate
>but falls short of conveying the complete import.  Sriman Narayana is
>Rakshakan for everyone including the ones who seek His protection for
>material ends.  But only to those who surrender unto Him with only Moskham
>in his mind, is He Upayam as well.  Let me give an example.  There are two
>boys equally well qualified for a job.  Boy "A" has a certificate to prove
>his ability.  Boy "B" deos not.  Boy "A" shows his certificate and gets
>hired.  The manager who hires boy "A" can be thought of as "Rakshakan", but
>the reason the boy got the job is the certificate proving the boy's
>ability.  In this case, the certificate is the Upaya and the manager is
>just the Rakshakan.  Boy "B" pleads with the manager for the same job.  He
>clutches the feet of the manager and begs, "You are my only hope and you
>must give me that job and save my family."  Seeing this the manager relents
>and hires him.  In this instance, boy "B" gets the job because of the
>Karunyam of the manager.  Here the manager stands in place of the
>"certificate" and acts as Upaya.   Applying this example we see that for
>those who perform Bhakthi Yoga, the Lord acts only as a Rakshakan, but not
>Upaya.  Bhakthi Yoga is the Upaya.  But, for those who perform Saranagathi
>the Lord not only acts as Rakshakan but as Upaya as well.  Therefore, in
>our context, Saranam is to be understood as Upaya.  Then, Saranagathi means
>"the one who stands in place of Upayam", i.e. Lord Sriman Narayana.
>Who is eligible for Saranagathi?
>Only those who are desirous of Moksham and are unable to perform Bhakthi
>Yoga are eligible for Saranagathi.  The ability/inability to perform
>Bhakthi Yoga stems from four aspects.  They are:  (1) knowledge about the
>proper procedure, (2) physical and mental capacity,  (3) birth in the three
>varnas for chanting the required Vedic Manthras, and (4) the patience to
>wait through the many births that may be required for the Bhakthi Yoga's
>fruition.  Only those who lack any one of the above four requirements is
>eligible for Saranagathi.  Those who satisfy all the four requirements
>should perform Bhakthi Yoga for attaining Moksham, not Saranagathi.
>Three levels (angi) of  Saranagathi
>Saranagathi must be done at three levels.  From beginningless time we have
>been acting as though our Athma belongs to us.  This is akin to stealing
>the Jeevathma from Sriman Narayana.  The only way to compensate for this
>act of thievery is to return the stolen property to the true owner, Sriman
>Narayana.  The act of submitting our Athman at the lotus feet of Sriman
>Narayana is called Swaroopa or Athma Samarpanam.  The second is Bara
>Samarpanam.  At this level we submit the responsibility for delivering us
>from the bonds of Samasara at the feet of Sriman Narayana.  The third is
>Pala Samarpanam.  By this we submit the fruit of the Saranagathi to Sriman
>Narayana Himself.
>Five Attributes (angam) of Saranagathi
>(i) As you perform Saranagathi you must resolve to obey Sriman Narayana's
>commands as elaborated in Sasthras (Anukoolyasankalpam).  (ii) You must
>resolve not to commit any offenses that are forbidden
>(Prathikoolyavarjanam).  However, if you happen to commit any offense the
>Lord will be very lenient.  He will overlook transgressions committed
>unknowingly.  For other offenses He will meet out minor punishments in this
>birth itself.  These offenses will not render the Saranagathi ineffective.
>Saranagathi will be void only under two circumstances, (a) seeking the
>favor of any god other than Sriman Narayana, and (b) committing offenses
>against Bhagavathaas.   (iii) Saranagathi must be performed with the utmost
>sense of helplessness (Karpanyam).  Since we have no other Upaya but the
>Lord Himself, you must grasp His lotus feet tightly and sob for his
>protection.  (iv) You must have unshakable faith (Mahavisvasam) that our
>Lord Sriman Narayana will save you from the grip of Samasara and take you
>to Moksham.  In this day and age there are many opportunities for losing
>faith.  You should not fall prey to such influences.  Your faith in Lord
>Sriman Narayana must be unshakable.  (v) As you perform Saranagathi you
>must take the Lord to be your Upaya.  You must beg Him to stand in the
>place of Bhakthi Yoga which you are in no position to undertake.  This is
>=========End of Upadesam==============================================
>Immediately after our return to Madras from Azhvaar Thirun^agari we
>proceeded north for the nine Dhivya desams in Nepal, UP and Gujarat.  The
>next post will be about them.
>-- adiyEn Azhagiyasingar dhaasan