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Subhashita Nivi-8

From: muralidhar rangaswamy (
Date: Tue Dec 23 1997 - 13:48:49 PST

Dear Friends,

Enclosed is an attachment containing a summary of verses 85-96 of 
the Subhashita Nivi. 

Namo Narayana,

Muralidhar Rangaswamy

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Dear Friends,

In this post, I shall continue the summary of Swami Desikan's Subhashita Nivi. Swami 
Desikan  describes the path of the accessible in this set of twelve verses. The underlying 
theme in this set of twelve verses is the role of an Acharya in pointing a person to 
the path of Lord Narayana. By serving as an intermediary between a Baddha Jivatma 
and the Lord, the Acharya performs an extraordinary service to the aspirant. As a result,   
the aspirant is eternally indebted to the Acharyan. Swami Desikan glorifies the role of 
the Acharya by using several illustrative examples in this set of twelve verses. This 
set of tweleve verses is pregnant with several layers of meanings. These are readily 
uncovered when one learns about them from the feet of an Acharya.  

Very briefly, 
stated, these verses describe the plight of a Baddha Jivatma steeped in darkness on account of ignorance. Immersed in Samsara, the Baddha Jivatma thinks of evanescent 
material pleasures as permanent and forever seeks ways of gratifying the senses. Realization of these detrimental ways dawns when the Baddha Jivatma comes in contact 
with a worthy Acharya. As a result of this association, the Acharya intercedes with the 
Lord on behalf of his protégé and pleads with the Lord to destroy the latter's sins. 
Consequently, the Baddha Jivatma is  blessed with an Anubhavam of the Lord and is 
conferred with eternal bliss. The resulting benefits of  realizing the Lord (SArUpyam, 
SAmEpyam, and SAlOkyam) are succinctly described by Swami Desikan in verse 8. 
Swami Desikan lays out the doctrine of SharaNagati with conssumate effect in this 
set of twelve verses.  

1.  The mere sight of men of transcendent moral excellence and knowledge
        wipes out the sins of the wicked and makes them pure.

2.  Be he a king or a commoner, if he sits at the feet of a worthy virtuous man, 
      he will acquire true knowledge and will not be beset by passions and temptations. 

3.  Gracious precepts from learned elders and the resultant knowledge of reality will 
      eliminate various types of sins, such as pride, identification of the body with the 
      soul etc.

4.  Whatever obstructs a sinner's realization of the natural goodness of a truly 
      worthy person will increase his longing for the liberation from his sins.

5.  A parrot achieves distinction when taught to speak by a preceptor. A crow 
      on top of a golden mountain appears golden. Sage Vishwamitra was conferred 
      Brahminhood by fruitful contact with Vasishta.

6.  Compassionate instruction from a learned scholar to a sinner will eradicate the 
      latter's faults and ignorance and will make him attract others through his good 
      conduct; like the moon though spotted receives the rays from the Sun and emits 
      light to the earth dispelling darkness.

7.  Even the most self indulgent ignoramus when he finds his path to knowledge 
      strewn with obstacles will realize the true goals of human existence, if he 
      receives instruction at the feet of a worthy teacher.

8   A person who realizes the Supreme Lord Narayana through meditation and 
     spiritual effort attains bliss identical with him.

9.  A mere thread which links up precious gems, the sandals which adorn the holy 
      feet of sages and a blade of grass consecrated with Mantras deserve and receive 
      esteem. Even so those who follow the great are also worthy of respect.

10.  One who receives true knowledge from one eye or both eyes of  his preceptor 
       cannot get the same wisdom from several eyes of other ordinary persons.

11.  Drain water is purified by mingling with the waters of the sacred Ganges; a 
      kingdom gets renown if it is esteemed by the wise; a composition is glorified 
      if it is about the Supreme Lord; a body gets cleansed if it realizes the true nature 
      of the self; why, even sex is considered pure if it is for the sake of progeny; 
      sacrifice of animals is sanctified if it is for offering at sacred rites. Similarly, an 
      absolute dullard gets purified through studying under a preceptor.

12.  Even apparent flaws or transgressions in the conduct of the truly worthy and 
      great deserve utmost respect, like Lord Krishna stealing butter, breaking two 
      trees and releasing the imprisoned souls, bestowing salvation to illiterate Gopas 
      and Gopis, going to the Kaurava court as an emissary of the Pandavas, serving 
      as the charioteer of Arjuna, and even breaking his own promise not to take up 
      a weapon in the Kurukshetra war. 
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