You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : August 1998

Re: Questions

From: Sadagopan (sgopan_at_computer.net)
Date: Fri Aug 21 1998 - 06:53:09 PDT

>From: Mani Varadarajan <mani@be.com>
>Subject: Re: Questions
>Date: Mon, 17 Aug 1998 10:41:49 -0700

Dear Sri Mani Varadarajan :
>
>Sri Sadagopan wrote:
>> I recall a similar occasion with H.H. The DevanArvilAgam 
>> Jeeyar ( 43rd Jeeyar ). His mother , brother and wife
>> were totally opposed to Sri Lakshmi NarasimhAcchAr 
>> swamy  ( purvAsrama Name of the Jeeyar ) accepting the sanyAsa
>> aasramam at the behest of H.H. the InjimEttu Jeeyar (42nd Jeeyar).
>> They would not hear of it , but were helpless 
>> in stopping him .
>
>How is this possible? From what I recall about the
>process of taking sannyAsa, one must request and have
>the permission of one's parents (if one is unmarried,
>i.e., a brahmacAri) or one's wife (if one is married,
>i.e., a gRhastha) before one can enter sannyAsa ASrama.>
>If the 43rd jIyar's wife did not want him to enter
>the fourth ASrama when he was a gRhastha, should he
>not have refused?

My response to your query will touch on number of 
historical incidents to describe the pakkuvam
( perfection ) that one reaches to enter into
the fourth aasramam . This asramam is surely not for 
every one .When the krupA of the Lord falls 
on any one , then deha , kaala , dEsA visEshams
do not play any role .

Example of Aadhi SankarA 
************************

It is the general practise to seek the permission of 
one's parents to enter into SanyAsa Aasramam . Adhi Sankara
did so at the tender age of seven or eight . His widowed Mother 
naturally refused permission . She changed her mind only 
when there was a larger danger to her son's life at the riverside 
at Kaladi . The pleased Adhi Sankara promised to be 
at her side during her last moments ( Composition 
of Sri VishNu bhujangam to place her jeevan 
in the hands of VishNu kinkarAs ) and  did some thing 
special like cremating her dead body even if the SanyAsis 
are not allowed to do so . He rememberd his earlier pledge 
to his mother  .

His moving appeals in Bhaja Govindham are also relevant here 
in the context of " staying in " or"leaving the world " :

kasthvam kOham kutha aayatha:
kaa mE jananI kO mE taatha: 
ithi paribhaavaya sarvamasAram 
visvam tyakthvA----------------

(Meaning ) :Reflecting thus as to who I am  ,
Who you are ,whence did I originate , who is my
mother , who is my father and recognizing from 
such inquiries about the insubstantial 
aspect of samsAram and persuaded by that 
truth , one "leaves" the world . 

He also commented on the power and pull 
of the desires of life even for a SanyAsi 
and warned to keep the mind blissful over 
ceaseless smaraNam of Sriman NaarAyaNA . The two 
verses relevant to this line of thought are 
the one's dealing with the power of aasA paasam 
and the one about dhruva smruthi (ceaseless
rememberance ) of the Supreme in whatever
aasramaa one is in .

agrE vahni: prushtE bhAnu:
raathrou chupuka samarpitha jaanu :
kara tala bhikshastarutala  vaasa:
tadhApi na munchathyAsApAsa : 

(Meaning):The sanyaasi has the fire in front of him
( Most of the sanyAsis do not have agni rituals) 
and the sun beating with its hot rays behind
him . At night , he sleeps with his chin
resting on his knee to ward off the cold .
He has the begging bowl on his hands 
and makes his residence under the trees(homeless) 
and yet , his aasA paasam ( attachment 
to the world and desires ) do not leave him .  

yOgarathO vaa bhOgarathO vaa
sangarathO vaa sangavihIna :
yasya BrahmaNi ramathE chittham 
nandhathi nandhathi nandhathyEva 

(Meaning ) :He can be engaged in performance of 
Yogam ; he can be engaged in enjoying
sensual pleasures . He can be bonded to 
kith and kin or he can be without attachments
like a sanyAsi . As long as one's mind 
is sporting in the thoughts over the Supreme
one , then , that one has true bliss .

In these two slOkams of Bhaja Govindham , 
Adhi Sankara points out the futility of 
taking sanyAsa Vesahm ( KaashAyAmbhara 
bahu krutha Vesha : , Udhara nimmittham bahau
krutha Vesha :) , if one can not conquer
the temptations of worldly life and concludes :

sakrudhapi yEna MurAri samarchA 
kriyathE tasya yamEna na charchA 

(Meaning) :When one performs well 
AarAdhanam for MurAri even once , he has no 
arguments with Dharma RaajA .
He wins the arguments against
narakam .

The pre-disposed ones dread the repeated 
cycles of births and deaths and long for 
release from the samsAram thru mOksham :

punarapi jananam Punarapi maraNam
punarapi jananI jatirE sayanam 
iha samsArE bahu dusthArE 
krupayAaparE paahi MurArE 

The prayer here is to MurAri to
come to his rescue and save him 
from the terrors of samsAraam and the 
repeating cycles of births , deaths 
and garbah vaasam .

Sri VaishNavite AzhwArs and AchAryAs 
************************************

Our AzhwAr's and AchAryA's pleas are
in a similar vein . 

aanDai unaik kaaNpathOr aruLenakkaruLithiyEl
vEnDEn manai VaazhkayayaiViNNagar mEyavanE 
-- Thirumangai on ThiruviNNagarappan 

no body was more ardent than Thirumangai Mannan 
in seeking the hands of his dear love , Kumudhavalli ; 
when he got blessed with upadEsam from the Brahmma Guru ,
He turned away from that wedded life. Kumudhavalli's avathAra 
kaaryam was also completed by that time .

The pakkuvam comes at different stages
of one's life or over many births . 
He or She becomes a MahAthmA in
the spirit of GeethAchAryan's utterance :

Vaasudeva: sarvamithi sa mahAthma sudhurlabha:

Some times , the TuriyAasramamam is
blessed directly by  the Lord ( the First 
Jeeyar of Ahobila Mutt ) , some times 
during grave dangers confronted by one 
as in the case of Aadhi SankarA or 
NaarayaNa TheerthA . Some times out of aarthi 
as in the case of MaNavALa Maamuni or due
to asahyApachAram by the ones dear to them as 
in the case of AchArya RaamAnujA . 

As a result , one can say that age is no
guideline to elect  entrance into
sanyAsAsramam . Physical age and " mental age " 
also do not always coincide for human beings .

The case of NaarAyaNa TheerthA
*******************************    

NaarayaNa theertha , a haapily married man was rushing 
for reunion with his wife at her father's home . During that 
travel , he had to swim across a swollen river to reach 
the other side to get to his destination .Half way thru 
the swim , he was about to drown and did not want anymore future 
births and decided instantly to take  Aapath SanyAsam .
He plucked one hair from his tuft and uttered the PrEksha 
manthram . 

Few seconds later, he managed to find his strength
and swam ashore safely . He reached his father-in-law's home 
and  joined his wife's side . When his wife saluted him ,
she saw another person in him , who was far nobler and 
more pious in appearnace (a mahA purushA ) than the husband
that she knew until then . She was unsure of maintaining
the conjugal  relationship with such a mahA purushA . She was 
perplexed and asked her parents for help in resolving this 
mysterious change . Her father learned from the son-in-law 
as to what had happened in the middle of the river and 
understood that a transformation indeed had happened 
by divine intervention . The wife fell at the feet of 
her husband , who was blessed to enter into the new aasramam 
by Providence and bade farewell to him with a heavy heart . 

NarayaNa TheerthA left " home" and made 
the world his home thereafter .He went on 
to compose Sri KrishNa LeelA TarangiNi 
and had ankeekAram of his compositions
from the Lord of VarahUr temple , who thru the ringing
of the ankle bells ( kaal Silampoli ) indicated 
his acceptance. When he did not hear the feedback ,
NaarAyaNa theerthA did not include the unapproved songs .
The situation is very similar to that of
Sri NaarayaNa Bhattadhiri , who got approval from 
Sri GuruvAyUrappan for his Sri NaarayaNIyam slOkams.

The 43rd Jeeyar( 1901-1957) & his sanyAsam 
*******************************************

H.H the 43rd Jeeyar was born in the year 1901 .
He accepted sanyAsramam Feb 9, 1951 . He was 
FIFTY then . He did not need permission 
from his mother or wife in a saastraic 
sense . He had sveekaaram ( adoption ) of
his brother's son as his son , since he
did not have santhathi (progeny of his own ) .
He was coronated as the PeetAdhipathi 
on March 13, 1953 at the age of 52 .He reached 
Azhagiya Singar's lotus feet on 24th November ,1957 
at NaimisAraNyam , where the ancient sages assembled
many a time to perform great Yaj~nams and to hear 
Sukha Brahmam expound Srimadh Bhaagavatham .

H.H. The Jeeyar was born in the family of 
great servants of Sri Oppiliappan at DhEvanAr ViLAgam ,
which is one mile away from Oppiliappan Sannadhi .
His mother was born in PoundarIkapuram . 
He was given the naamam of " Sri LakshmI 
Narasimhan " at the command of Azhagiya Singar .

At that time of his birth ( 1901) , There was no
reigning peetAdhipathi at Ahobila Matam .The Matam was
in "receivership" and was administered by an
agent and Sri Sannadhi ParichArakar . Latter 
arrived at the home of the parents of the Jeeyar-to-be
and told the would-be father ( Sri ThiruvenaktAcchAr 
Swamy ) that a male child will be born the next day 
and he should be named after MaalOlan .
That is how , our Jeeyar got his name.

>From a temder age , his mind was rooted in
Bhagavadh AarAdhanam and Sri Oppiliappan's 
Kaimkaryam .His anushtAnam and AchArya Bhakthi 
were legendary .He has presided over many MaalOla 
Sadas . He has recited daily Thirumangai's
mangaLAsAsanam : " vEndEn manai vaazhkayai 
ViNNavar mEyavanE " and with the blessings 
of Sri Bhumi Devi SamEtha Oppiliappan 
entered SanyAsAsramam . He gained nithya 
Kaimkarya BhAgyam at Sri Vaikuntam at 
NaimisArANyam with the prayrs of Thirumangai 
in his lips : " NaaDi naan vanthun ThiruvaDi adainthEn 
NaimisAraNyatthuthuLenthAi " . He had observed 
earlier ChAthurmAsyam at HrishikEsh and worshipped
at BadarikAsramam prior to arrival at 
NaimisAraNyam . You might recall in this context that 
Thirumangai started his blessed Thirumozhi
with salutations to Badari NaarAyaNan , 
SaaLigrAmamam and NaimisAraNYatthu EmperumAns .
Our revered 43rd Jeeyar is verily an avathAram
of Thirumangai AzhwAr and followed his foot steps 
in more ways than one .

AzhwAr , AchAryAL ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam 
Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan