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TIruvarangam vs Tirumalai vs Athigiri etc

From: Ram Anbil (ramanbil_at_hotmail.com)
Date: Mon Aug 10 1998 - 16:09:42 PDT

Dear Bhagavatas,

I would like to submit a slightly different view on the raging debate on 
the most favored Divyadesam.
Dasoham
Anbil Ramaswamy
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Our Alwars and Acharyas have ad infinitum emphasized the importance of 
the three Rahasya Mantras for our SOS (Saving our Souls) of the 
Mumukshus (Those desirous of Moksha).
Viz., Ashtakshara, Dvaya and Charama Sloka. 

Swami Desika in his Rahasya Traya Saram (Sara Nishkarsha Adhikara 
advises in his Pasuram "Amaiyaa Evai Yennum Aasaiyinaal….Imayaa 
Imaiyavar Yethiya Ettu Irandu Enniya Nam Samayaasiriyar Sadirkkum Thani 
Nilai Thanthanare".

One can go on adding any number of degrees and doctorates behind one’s 
name  but they serve only to increase one’s burden (Thogai Evai Yenru) 
and cannot lead to true knowledge. What then is true knowledge? Our 
great Acharyas have taught that only an understanding of the "Ettu" 
(i.e). Ashtaksharam and "Erandu" (i.e.)the two other mantras of  Dvayam 
and Charamaslokam can lead one to the desired goal of Moksham.
(of course by making the Mumukshu to take recourse to Bhakti or 
Prapatti. That truly is the "Sadirkkum Nilai"- the redemption of our 
souls.

The Ashtakshara describes how Paravasudeva presides over the whole 
universe sitting on his throne in Paramapadam (Savyam Paadam 
Prasaarya….Vaikunta Naathah). 

Dvayam describes how Vyuha Vasudeva rules over the universe reclining on 
his serpent bed in Ksheerabdi (Ksheerambo Nidhiratna…Laksnmi Sa 
Narayanam). 

But, look at what Charamaslokam does?
This provides us immediate relevance to us in a manner we can readily 
understand. It projects (of course, through Arjuna) promise of Moksha, 
guarantee of protection and an unequivocal  reassurance ‘not to grieve’. 

Being on the subject of Charama Sloka, let us see what the three famous 
Charamaslokas seek to convey Viz., 1. Vraha Charama Sloka, 2. Rama 
Charama Sloka and 3. Krishna Charama Sloka.

1.  Varaha Charama Sloka conveys Lord’s intention in a suggestive manner 
that He would remember the Prapanna while lying like a stone or log of 
wood at the time of death provided the Prapanna  remembered him while in 
fine fettle.( Aham Smaraami Madbhaktam)

2.  Rama Charama Sloka assures protection to the one who surrenders 
‘freedom form fear of  all beings’ (Abhayam Sarva Bhutebhyoh Dadhaami)

3.  Krishna Charama Slokam not only commands directly "Maam Ekam Saranam 
Vraja" It also projects a solemn promise to release the Prapanna  from 
all Papas (Aham Tva….. Mokshayishyaami) and finally provides an 
unequivocal  reassurance  not to grieve (Maa Suchah)

It is said that this promise of Lord Krishna is inviolable. Why? 
Because the Lord himself is said to feel ‘ Nirveda’ (repentance) for not 
having rushed on time to protect those who had surrendered to him 
earlier at least on three occasions.

i)  In the case of Gajendra: Gajendra, a great Bhakta  had to fight the 
crocodile for one thousand years before the Lord would condescend to 
save him.

ii)  In the case of Vibishana, even though he surrendered himself, he 
was made to wait in mid-air even as Rama was engaged in a debate with 
his ministers of war whether to accept him or not.

iii)  In the case of Draupadi, she was already a surrendered soul as per 
the Mahabharata story. She had to undergo the traumatic dishonor of 
being dragged to the open assembly and wait for her savior till the last 
moment (i.e.)when she was about to be disrobed.

The Charama Slokam of Krishna is so emphatic that one can sense palpably 
the tinge of guilt he felt in the cases of Gajendra, Vibishana and 
Draupadi and his Sankalpam (determination)never again  to repeat the 
delay to any future jeeva that surrenders.  The Lord would never again 
delay us deliverance, once we surrender to him at his feet as per his 
command.

The commandment of Lord Krishna to us to surrender to him (Maam Ekam 
Saranam Vraja) , even leaving off all Dharmas (Sarva Dharmaan 
Parityajya); the solemn promise of ridding us from all Paapa (which 
includes Punyas - befitting one to reach Moksha)- (Sarva Paapebhyo  and 
Mokshayishyaami) and rounding it off with an inalienable assuaging 
reassurance (Maa Suchah) - all seeking to give us hope and to avoid any 
misgivings about the Lord’s granting Moksham to us.

And, who gave this command, this promise and this reassurance? 

Not Sri Ranganatha, Not Sri Srinivasa, Not Sri Varadaraja, Not Sri 
Tirunarayana, Not any of the Lords of any other Divya Desams.

It was Sri Parthasarathi, the Charioteer of Partha who delivered all 
these- promise of deliverance, reiteration of protection and the much 
needed consolation.

I would, therefore, vote for Tiru Allik Keni as the most favored Divya 
Desam.
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