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From: V. Chandrasekaran (vcs_at_wipinfo.soft.net)
Date: Mon Aug 31 1998 - 01:35:39 PDT
Dear Members, Namaskarams. It is an interesting question why no quotes and thoughts were brought forward from any Vaishnava works under the subject of "dhyAna". I am sure learned vaishnavas of this list will have suitable response for this. I have read recently an article about a book on "yOga as propounded by nAdhamuni". I think the famous yOgi of today viz., Sri T.K.V.Desikachar is the author of that book. I am sure Vaishnavas must be knowing better regarding nAdhamuni being a great yOgi; I read in that article that he had a vision of nammAzhwAr through his yOgic powers and devotion. Has nAdhamuni delivered any ideas on this subject in his works? I would like to bring forward certain points with regard to the belief that the three great advaita munis mentioned in the original post viz., Sri Adhi Sankarar, Sri Ramakrishnar and Sri Ramanar preached ashtanga yoga for self-realisation. Though I am very little qualified to comment on this subject I will bring out some facts which I have come across during my scarce readings. Sorry if bhagavathas feel I am bringing in too many things `anniyam' to vaishNavam. All these three sages approved that bhakti is the superior margam to self-realisation. Sri Adhi Sankhara's Bhaja Govindam and numerous slokams on various deities are examples of his approving one-pointed, unqualified devotion as the margam for liberation. Sri Ramanar says "bhakti gn~yana mAthA"; nothing more need be said. Sri Ramanar started his spiritual pursuit at his young age as a staunch Siva bhakta upon dawn of knowledge while reading sEkkizhAr's "periya purANam", the nUl that talks of the life of 63 nAyanmArgaL. Sri Ramanar explains ideal bhakti in his Upadesa Saram. And as everyone knows Sri Ramakrishna was a great devotee of parAsakthi mAthA; he even went to the extent of beheading himself for not getting the dharsan of the Adhi sakthi. But as Sri Ramanar would say, it's only for the unrealised souls that there is differentiation between various margams. For jIvan mukthas it doesn't really matter because there is nothing to differentiate. They don't think about which margam they are in since they are already at the destination. But nothing like melting down in pure devotion for the Lord. The anubhavam that Thondaradi Podi Azhwar would have had when he sung that pasuram on Lord Ranganatha (posted by Sri Vijay Triplicane). "AiyO! en seigEn ulagatthIrE!" is simply something that will make one thaw down losing all senses. There are many such anubhavams nAyanmArs went through in devotion to Lord Siva. It's the parama Anandam and piravi payan. Swamy Thyagaraja would sing, "tapamu yOga phalamu nIvE, rAmA..." - meaning the phalam of my tapas in my earlier janmam is worshipping and enjoying you, Hey Rama!. Blessed are they who have unshakeable devotion to the Lord. adiyEn, chandrasekaran.