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Musings on #39 &#41 of Desikan's R.G

From: M K Sudarshan (
Date: Tue Dec 24 1996 - 23:09:15 PST

srimathE lakshmi-nrsumha parabrahmaNe namaha
sri vedanta desika gurave namaha

Dear bhagavatOttamA-s,

In Verse#39, Swami Desikan captures the soul-stirring moment when Lord Rama
performs the last rites for Jatayu, a mere bird, a lower form of life, a
"chetana" with one of the lowest calibre of both "dharma-buta-gnana" and
"dharmi-buta-gnana" (intrinsic and extrinsic levels of Self-Consciousness so
wonderfully explained by Sri.Anbil Ramaswamy in a separate series).

There is no greater proof than the Jatayu episode to show us that the Lord
will uplift us, if and only if He chooses to, inspite of our lacking the
"graces" or "lakshnA-s" of a "dharmAtmA".

There is no greater dignity in death that can ever be attained by a soul
than to have had the Lord Himself perform its obsequies. It is the supreme
of solemnest moments in the journey of a soul.

Talking of "dignity in death" I am reminded here of what I read about Mother
Teresa of Calcutta (who is presently battling with Death herself) sometime
ago. Some BBC reporter asked the Mother to sum up in one line her work in
the slums of Calcutta and for its destitutes. She is reported to have
answered unfalteringly :

"To provide dignity in death to those unfortunate ones who did not have it
in life."

It is the same noble action ('dharmA') of our beloved Lord Rama in the
'Jatayu episode' that I think even Mother Teresa, a Roman Catholic, was echoing.

To me, personally, it shows that the quintessence of our 'sanatana-dharma'
is Universal and cannot be simply tagged as "Hindu" or "Indian" or "Vedic"
or "Sri Vaishnava" .... Its majesty of message is by far and truly global!

srimathE srivan satagopa sri narayana yathindra mahadesikaya namaha