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Conclude/PPS/Bharatha-nirvedam

From: M K Sudarshan (sudarsan_at_batelco.com.bh)
Date: Wed Feb 05 1997 - 06:10:51 PST

srimathE lakshmi-nrsumha parabrahmaNE namaha
sri vedanta desika gurave namaha

Dear 'bhAgavatOttamA-s',

We get an idea of Bharatha's 'nirvEdam' when we study closely the scene in
the 'Ayodhya-kAndam' where Bharatha learns, from Kaikeyi, about the details
of the palace-intrigue that created his great opportunity to ascend to
DasarathA's throne.

Both Srimad Valmiki's and Kamban's versions of the Ramayana tell us that
Bharatha's reaction, on learning from his mother about the tale of her
sordid manipulation, was one of utter 'nirvEdam'. There are several
well-known passages in Valmiki's and Kamban's versions of this scene in the
Ramayana where Bharatha's self-revulsion, regret and self-deprecation have
been poignantly described. 

Some of such passages resonate with the beauty and sentiments of the
'nirvEdam-pAsuram-s' of the Azhwars.

Those passages, dear 'bhAgavatOttamA-s', are in a special class of poetry
that surpasses the beauty of anything in the literature of our ancient land
known to successive generations of Indians. We can discuss and enjoy those
passages, perhaps on this list, on another occassion but here at this moment
we have time only to note that Sri.Bharatha's great 'nirvedam'-- his utter
self-loathing -- is evident from the expressions he uses in the passages
lamenting the fate of Ayodhya and of the IshvAku-family in the scene from
the Ramayana we are discussing. 

At one point in those passages -- and I paraphrase in my own words from the
abject smattering of Sanskrit I can be proud of -- Bharatha is heard to be
wailing :

 "Why, Oh why! should I be the one chosen to play the part of the
protagonist in this vicious plot to banish Lord Rama ?! I know the reason !
I know it is because, unknown to myself all these years, I have perhaps been
leading my life in a way suggestive to all Ayodhya that I was secretly
inimical to my brother, Rama; that I harboured nothing but malice and
evil-intentions for him; that my own happiness lay in the destruction of his
own !! And, perhaps, all that evil I harboured is indeed true; only hidden
it was, alas, from me even by the thin veil of my blood-relationship with
Rama !!"

 "Yes, perhaps, that is the reason why I have to come to be chosen by
Kaikeyi, Vasishta and my father, Dasaratha even, that I should be the
principal party to this act of treachery against Rama !"

 "I have been chosen for this great "honour" -- the throne of Ayodhya --
that Kaikeyi and Dasaratha want to bestow on me because I am seen by them,
and indeed by all Ayodhya, as the most eligible, the fittest one for it !!
And if such sheer villainy, which is what this "honour" certainly is, if
such villainy also happens to be my destiny, then, I am certain all my past
actions must have been truly so evil as to deserve this so-called "crowning
honour" !! That great throne of Ayodhya being offered to me now, alas,
cannot be anything but the fruition, the culmination, of the evil that I may
have perpetrated in the many years I have spent in youth !!"

Please compare, dear 'bhAgavatOttamA-s', the sentiments expressed by
Sri.Bharatha above with the way we saw 'nirvEdam' being defined in Swami
Desikan's "PPS" (my post of 30 January); I quote :

" ...the aspirant however cannot help a feeling of "utter regret" for the
foolish ways of his past. He recollects all the folly and profligacy of
youth spent in chasing the trivia of the world, in the mistaken belief that
they were the sources of enduring happiness on earth.

"...The aspirant further reflects on the petty ways he used to behave, the cheap
earthly things he had hankered after and the herculean efforts
('asAdhya-sramam') he had exerted to attain them all.

" ...When he recollects the time and effort lost in chasing unworthy baubles of
the past, the aspirant feels self-revulsion...."   

When you compare the above notes on 'nirvEdam' with Sri.Bharatha's own
lamentations, which too I have paraphrased above, you cannot help, dear
friends, but marvel at the singular way in which 'nirvEda-anubhavam' of the
'PPS' finds a perfect 'match' ("poRuttham") in "nirvEda-pramANam" of the
'ayodhya-kAndam' !

Such indeed is an instance of the genius of Swami Desikan !!

We shall explore the 'praMAnam' for "virakthi", "bheethi" and 'prasAda-hetu'
in yet another 'concluding' post of mine !!!

srimathE srivan satagopa sri narayana yathindra mahadesikaya namaha

sudarshan