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Re: aNutva of jeevatma ... question?

From: Anand K Karalapakkam (anand_at_engr.uconn.edu)
Date: Sun Feb 08 1998 - 17:20:57 PST

                                  Sri :
          
             Srimate  Sri Lakshmi Nrusimha Para Brahmane Namaha

                       Srimate  ShatagopAya Namaha                                    

                  Srimate  Bhagavad   RAmAnujAya  Namaha      

                  Srimate NigamAntha MahAdesikAya Namaha 

             Srimate Sri Lakshmi - Nrusimha Divya PAdukA Sevaka - 
         Srivan  Shatagopa  Sri NArAyana Yateendra MahAdesikAya Namaha      
             

     Dear  Sri Murali & other bhakti group members ,
    
     Namo NArAyanA . kindly accept adiyens pranAmams. 

   Adiyen is fortunate to have done kAlakshebam (whatever little bit)
under Sri U.Ve. V.S. KarunAkaran swAmy , the scion of nadAdhUr ammAL
paramparA . Whatever adiyen is writing in this mail is mostly based on
adiyen's kAlakshebam. 


On Wed, 4 Feb 1998, Rajagopalan, Murli wrote:

> Dear BhagawatAs,
> 
>   Our acharyas and rshis have shown that the vedAs 
> confirm the aNutva (monadic nature) of the jeevatma.  This is also 
> emphatically confirmed by some thiruvaymozhi paasurams by nammAzhwar 
>  (cannot quote the appropriate ones at this time).  As far as I have 
> understood, aNutva or monadic nature means the nature of being 
> not-all-pervasive.  Bhagawan and pirAtti are all-pervasive (vibhu). 
>  Loosely, the jeevatma can be considered as a speck of infinite 
> conciousness and bliss.  This being the case, how can a jeevatma exist 
> in two places - in paralokam as a nithyasUri and in ihalokam as an 
> azhwAr or acharya as is implied when we say that the azhwars and 
> acharyas are amsAs of nithyasUris?  Can the same jeevatma exist in 
> more than one sarira simultaneously?
>


     As mentioned , jIvAtmA's svaroopam ( svaroopa jn~Anam & Bliss) is
never affected by anything. Even when the jIvAtmA is in this material
world , associated with a material body ,its svaroopam doesn't change.
jIvAtmA is eternally a "sarIrA" to Sriman nArAyanA ie. nArAyanA is the
supporter & controller of jIvAtmA and jIvAtmA exists for the pleasure of
Sriman nArAyanA .


       But , we also see jIvAtmA's changing !! Once upon a time a person
would have never bothered about Sriman nArAyanA . After a while he becomes
a great Sri VaishnavA . Ones karmA changes the jIvAtmA . But , "what in
jIvAtmA does that change occur to ? ".

     Actually , the changes occur to the dharmabhoota jn~Anam of
jIvAtmA.It is this dharmabhoota  jn~Anam (different from the svaroopa
jn~Anam , which is unchanged) , using which the jIvAtmA perceives other
entities. Dharmabhoota jn~Anam is called as "Attributive Knowledge" &
Svaroopa jn~Anam is  called as "Innate Knowledge".

     This dharmabhoota jn~Anam contracts or expands according to the karmA
of the jIvAtmA. Once a jIvAtmA attains moksham (reaches Sri Vaikuntam) ,
it's dharmabhoota jn~Anam expands to the maximum limit possible ( ie.
infinite). Eventhough by svaroopam , a jIvAtmA is 'aNu' , it's
dharmabhoota jn~Anam extends to many places. Dharmabhoota jn~Anam expands  
everywhere (becomes infinitely spread)  _ONLY_ when the jIvAtmA reaches
Sri Vaikuntam. The extent of expansion of the dharmabhoota jn~Anam
associated with a  jIvAtmA in Sri VaiKuntam, is EQUAL to the extent of
expansion of dharmabhoota jn~Anam of Sriman nArAyanA. In other words ,
everyone's dharmabhoota jn~Anam in  Sri Vaikuntam (Parama padam) is
expanded infinitely.

      MuktAs (liberated souls at Sri Vaikuntam ) & Nitya SoorIs ( ever
liberated souls like Adiseshan , Garudan , SudarsanAzhvAr ie. Sudarsana
chakram , pAnchajanyam & others , who never took a materialistic body
ie. never affected by karmA ) have their dharmabhoota jn~Anam fully
expanded.

        Coming to the question , jIvAtmA's svaroopam ie. jivAtmA as such,
cannot  exist in two places since it is 'aNu' ( 'aNu' is usually  cruedly
translated as 'atomic' . please note that there is no appropriate english
word for 'aNu'. 'aNu' is something which cannot be further subdivided .
Materialistic scientists has given a name 'atom' to something & also  have
subdivided it => their 'atom' is divisible ).

    " But , jIvAtmA through it's dharmabhoota jn~AnA can exist in many
places ". The meaning of this statement is that , through the dharmabhoota
jn~Anam , the jIvAtmA can control many other bodies. This ofcourse is
possible for the jIvAtmA whose dharmabhoota jn~Anam is expanded to a great
extent. Saubhari Muni (jIvAtmA) was at one place only. But , his yogic
power has made his dharmabhoota jn~Anam expand & control various bodies.
             

 
> Also, we know that in an archA mUrthi of NarayaNa he exists in all his 
> divya man~gaLa rUpam (although our material eyes cannot perceive him). 
>  That should be easy for him because he is vibhu.  How about the 
> mUrthis of our Acharyas and our Azhwars?  We even do samproskaNa to 
> these mUrthis.  Does the jeevatma of our acharya exist in that mUrthi? 
>  And we may have several mUrthis.  Example ... you find Desikar 
> sannidhi in many major divya deshams.  What about then?
> 

    If even a Saubhari Muni , whose dharmabhoota jn~Anam is not fully
expanded , can control so many bodies , our AchAryAs & AzhvArs
(mukthAs/nityasoorIs) can control various bodies very easily. 

     A Very important difference between the archA thirumeni (ie.body) of  
our AchAryAs/AzhvArs & the body of Saubhari muni is that , the former is
made up of Suddha SattvA & the later is of materialistic elements
(prakruti).

     Let us take the example of SwAmi Desikan (as mentioned in the
question). An ardent devotee(s) of swAmi desikan would like to worship his
beloved AchAryA .So , he makes the image of swAmi desikan & does 
prathishtA according to Agama sAstrA . SwAmi Desikan knows about the
desires of his devotees since his dharmabhoota jn~Anam is fully expanded
ie. He is a sarvaj~nyA (all knower). SwAmi Desikan from Sri Vaikuntam
abides by the wishes of the sincere devotee(s)/sishyA(s)  . His (swAmi
desikan) presence is made in that archa vigrahA through his dharmabhoota
jn~Anam. Moreover , the archA thirumeni is no more of a materialistic
composition. It is of  "suddha sattvA " in nature (Similar to perumAL's
archA thirumeni).  Similarly , swAmi Desikan can fulfill the wishes of all
the sishyAs (at different divya desams).
   

   Other  Details/Consequences :
   
    * The archA mUrthi is worshippable (offering arghyam , pAdyam ,food
etc) ,only if it adheres to Agama sAstrA. Since mere photographs (a
product of modern technology) are not approved by AgamAs , rigorous
worship can't be performed in those cases.For Sriman nArAyanA to take an
archA avatAram , Agama sAstrAs themselves contain the detailed account on
all the procedures to be employed .Ofcourse , it is Sriman nArAyanA
Himself , who propagated the pAncharAtra AgamA. So , He would certainly
abide by it (Merciful Lord ! ).

      So, the mantra prathistA is required for archA avatAram , if it is
because of a devotee's desire to be fulfilled. Since Sriman nArAyanA is
highly merciful , He also takes archa avatAram on His own will ("svayam
vyaktA"). For instance , "sALagrAmA" is a svayam vyakta archAvatAram.There
is no need of any mantra prathistA in worshipping perumAL in His sALagrAma
form. When nArAyanA is already there in the sALagrAmA & has MADE THE
MATERIAL OF THE SUDDHA SATTVA TYPE , there is no need of a prathishtA. 

     Eventhough nArAyana svaroopam pervades everywhere (vibhu) , the
criterion of sAstric (Agama)  worship is based on whether nArAyanA has
accepted a suddha sattva sarIram (body) or not . Thats why offering food
etc to a picture ( photograph) of nArAyanA is not accepted in  sAstrAs .     

     
      The beautiful pictures of Sriman nArAyanA present in various Divya
Desams makes a devotee ecstatic. He can recite the nectarian prabandhams ,
stotrAs etc (any glorifications of nArAyanA) & worship in a way , not
violating sAstrAs (orders of nArAyanA) . The most merciful Lord Sriman
nArAyanA will certainly reciprocate with the devotee . 

    A clarification : A devotee can pray to nArAyanA even when he is
walking along a street /in his working place/in journey etc  & the Lord
is always merciful to accept the devotees prayers , eventhough he hasn't
prayed in front of His archA avatArA (temple) . Similarly , one can pray ,
sing & dance in front of pictures of nArAyanA . nArAyanA certainly accepts
the kainkaryams of His devotees  & reciprocates  with all of them lovingly
with intense vAtsalyam . The discussion in the previous paragraphs were
concerned with the "rigorous" worship as prescribed in sAstrAs. 


    *  The body of demigods like Lord ShivA , Lord Ganesha in
various temples are NOT made up of suddha sattvA , since the demigods  
haven't attained moksham . Moreover, nArAyanA is only the antaryAmi of the
jIvAtmA SHivA/Ganesha . So , nArAyanA is not present directly => not
worsippable (for Sri VaishnavAs , this is important . For those who want
to worship the demigods directly , Lord GaneshA /Lord ShivA is certainly
worshippable in various temples ). Here "non - worshippable" is told in a
sense that nArAyanA is not present in His divya mangala vigrahA. 

       If a person goes to the temple of GaneshA instead of a temple of
nArAyanA & still maintains that he is worshipping nArAyanA through ganeshA
, it is a blatant lie. When Sriman nArAyanA out of His great Sowlabhyam &
Sowseelyam has taken a beautiful divya mangala vigraham and is ever eager
to bestow His mercy,  where is the question of going to some demigod's
temple & worshipping nArAyanA there ? First of all he hasn't understood
about nArAyanA properly. 

        If that person then clarifies that "No. No. I go to both the
temples of nArAyanA & demigods , but through demigods , I worship nArAyanA
only". Again , he is not true to himself. The same question raised in the
previous paragraph still remains unanswered. What is the special neccesity
of taking all pains to walk towards the demigod's temple & worship 
nArAyanA  there ? He can as well go to nArAyanA's temple directly.

   Still ,  he may claim "I see nArAyanA through GaneshA" . But , this is
impossible. If he has reached that stage , he will be seeing nArAyanA
(nArAyana svaroopam) everywhere , since nArAyana svaroopam is all
pervading. He needn't go to ganeshA's temple to see the antaryAmI nArAyanA
, rather he should be able to see the same antaryAmI nArAyanA in anything
& everything. 

    So , one shouldn't go to the temple of demigods for worshipping them.
But , when we go through the streets , sometimes Lord shivA or other
demigods may be out there to bless their devotees. We should certainly
offer our pranAmams with respect because , demigods are also  devotees of
Sriman nArAyanA .  

    Under such circumstances ,some even choose to pay their prostration
to the antaryAmi of shivA/demigods , who is nothing but nArAyanA. In this
case ,the person didn't will to go Lord shivA's place. Neverthless , Lord shivA
is in front of him.So , eventhough one doesn't have the realization of
antaryAmi , he can do this & nArAyanA certainly accepts it. 


   Important note : NO JIVATMA IN THIS MATERIAL WORLD CAN HAVE THE
SAAKSHAATKAARAM ( REALIZATION ; NOT MERE KNOWLEDGE) OF NARAYANA
SVAROOPAM.ONLY IN SRI VAIKUNTAM CAN ONE ENJOY THE SVAROOPAM OF NARAYANA.


    nArAyana svaroopam is everywhere , but not present to materialistic
eyes. So being the case , how will a bhaktA (baddha jIvA , who is in
material world ) comprehend nArAyanA ? Here comes the greatest mercy of
Sriman nArAyanA. To make all His devotees happy & establish a loving
relationship , nArAyanA takes most wonderful divya mangala vigrahAs.

    Even in Sri Vaikuntam , nArAyanA has such a wonderful form of
bewitching beauty only for the devotees to enjoy it.nArAyanA HAS A TRUE
form . It is real & eternal. But , the form doesn't become nArAyanA.
nArAyanA has many auspicious qualities. But those auspicious qualities
doesn't become nAryanA.  

     ( adiyen will write more on nArAyanA in a different posting(s) .Sri
VijayarAghavan swAmi has given a kainkaryam to adiyen through his posting 
named "Antaryami" some days back. Please forgive adiyen for not
fulfilling it till now )

   nArAyanA thus takes forms in five stages (para,vyUha,antaryAmi
roopam,vibhava,archa). 

   In nArAyanA's  vibhava avatAram like rAmA & krishnA , all the devotees
were highly attracted to His divya mangala vigrahA. Infact , devotees
relish the divya mangala vigraham & is a source of immense ecstacy
(amalanAdhipirAn of  ThiruppAnAzhvAr has no parallel in describing the
beauty of the divya mangala vigrahA of Sriman nArAyanA ie. RanganAthA).   

      The whole greatness of archAvatAram is in the divine mangala vigrahA
of nArAyanA . When combined with His kalyAna GunAs ( mainly exhibited in
vibhava avatArams like nrusimhA , rAmA , krishnA etc) the devotee cannot
move from that place (like AzhvArs). For general devotees , AzhvAr's
anubhavams (experiences) through their pAsurams  are available. So , he
is also in very ecstatic mood.
        
 (kindly forgive adiyen for a total digression ). coming back to other
details ,

 *  PrathistA of archA vigrahams to great sages like vyAsA , vashistA etc
are not done by Sri VaishnavAs (anyway , not done by others also) because
they haven't attained moksham yet. Since the dharmabhoota jn~Anam of them
are not fully expanded , they cannot control the vigraham & make their
presence / make it suddha sattvA.

  * Lord hanumAn is an ardent devotee of Sri rAmA . Since he has chosen to
remain in this world itself (eventhough asked by nArAyanA /Sri rAmA to
come to Sri Vaikuntam ), he hasn't attained moksham yet. Lord HanumAn told
that he would be present at all those places where glories of Sri rAmA is
going on (rAmAyanam, rAma nAma sankeertanam etc) , with folded hands on
top of his heads & tears rolling on his eyes.
< yatra yatra raghunAtha keertanam tatra tatra krutavasthakAnjalim
  bhAshpavAri paripoornalochanam mArutim namatharAkshasAntakam >

         But , Sri vaishnavAs doesn't worship Lord HanumAn in the  temple
which is built exclusively for him ( same reasoning as above). But , when
Lord HanumAn is alongwith Lord rAmA & sitA pirAtti , because of the
association of perumAL , there are no botherations. 


 * As a general rule , prathistA of a vigrahA of an AchAryA while he is in
the LeelA vibhUti (material world) is not done .



   Namo NArAyanA

   Adiyen

   Anantha PadmanAbha dAsan  


                      Sarvam  Sri KrishnArpanamastu