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Sri VaishNava LakshaNam & Kaimkaryam

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Sun Feb 22 1998 - 17:03:43 PST

Dear Friends : 

Few days ago , Sri Vijayaraghavan of NavalpAkkam 
AchArya paramparai asked us to reflect on the attributes
and LakshaNam of a Sri VaishNavA and to share the  reflections 
in this sathsangham .This subject has been commented 
upon by fellow bhakthAs already . Within the limits of my
understanding , I would like to share some of my thoughts , 
which fits very well with some of the initatives that 
the members of this special group have already undertaken 
and are about to launch such as :

1. Sri Oppiliappan RathnAngi Mutthangi Kaimkaryam
2. 45th Jeeyar's Seventieth Birthday celebration
3. Launching of Nrusimha Priya of North America,
   NAMA Organization  
4. Release of SaraNAgathi Journal 
5. Creation & Maintenance of Bhakthi , Saranagathi ,
   Sri Vaishnava archives 
4. Organization of Bhaktha SammELanAs at Buffalo , 
   Pomona and Denver 
5. Thuppul BrahmOthsavam funds
6. KalyaNapuram JeerNOtthAranam funds
7. Sahasra kalasa AbhishEkam fund raising for 
   Kanakavalli SamEtha Sri VeerarAghavan 
8. Funds for the publication of the PurvAchArya
   commentaries on Thiruvaimozhi ( Sixth Patthu ) 
9. Funds for the Publication of the reprinting of 
   the Sillarai rahasyams of Swami Desikan - Part 3
10. Celebration of the 150th anniversary of 
    VeNNARangarai Andavan Swamy 
11. Creation & Maintenance of ThiruviNNagar Home page
12. Initiation of the 108 Divya Desam CD ROM project 
13. Abhinava Desikan"s 100th annivrsary celebration
14. MathurAnthakam Sanskrit Paatasaala support 
15. Sri Bhumi Devi MaaNiccka Kondai , Maragatha 
    Parrot and Golden Jata kothsu samarpaNam :
    Scheduled for SamarpaNam on the forthcoming 
    Panguni Uttharam day at Oppilaippan Koil 

PLanned Projects for 1998 and beyond :

1. Funds for the reprint of the First volume of
   Swami Desikan's chillarai Rahasyams , which is 
   out of print today 
2. Support for the Parakaala Mutt Nithya AarAdhanam
3. Last of the AabharaNa kainkaryam for the Uthsava
   divya Murthys of ThiruviNNagar ( Mutthangis for 
   Lord Ponnappan celebrated by NammAzhwAr in his 
   SaraNAgathi Pasuram and His consort , Bhumi Devi 
   ( scheduled for SamarpaNam on kaisika EkAdasi day 
    of 1998 ). Half a lakh of Rupees have been raised 
    already by the BhakthAs in India and the remaining 
    50 K Rupees need to beraised to complete that kaimkaryam .
    I will send a separate note on this project 
    for the benefit of those , who may wish to 
    participate .
4. nirmANam of Sri RanganAthA temple at Pomona , NY 
5 . Other projects to be cleared and supported by 
   the different Thondar Kulams of Sri VishnavA groups
   of North America .

After compiling this long list of projects undertaken 
and those in planning stage , one wonders what is the
underlying principles that have given life and pushti
to the above projects in the context of ancient practises
observed by our AchAryAs and purvAs . One comes to 
the conclusion that these are not haphazard activities ,
but are stricitly consistent with our Darsanam ,
which has been described as " akhila tama: karsanam
darsanam na: " ( the darsanam of ours that destroys
all the spiritual darkness ) . 

What are the "net net " of all what our sampradhAyam 
teaches us are three in number :

Bhagavdh -Bhagavatha SevA , AchArya Vandanam ,
ArchAvathaara Kaimkaryam 

In SarvArtha Siddhi , Swami Desikan has underlined 
the celebration of one's AchAryAs in our Darsanam
( Sri Bhagavadh RaamAnuja Darsanam ) and how it 
kindles and grows our own Bhakthi to the Lord :

yEthadh darsana pravarthakAchArya prasamsayA 

The glories of the AchAryAs of our Darsanam 
are intimately conencted with them shining as
embodiments of JnAna- AnushtAna- VairAghyam .
Their glories are captured by the following 
passage of sthOthram :

siddham sathsampradhAyE sthiradhiyam
anagham sthOthriyam Brahma Nishtam 

Thus they qualify to occupy an exalted place 
in our hearts and minds and are held in high
esteem as the veritable incarnations of the Lord .
Our Lord expects the recommendation of our 
AchAryAs for granting Moksham to a PrapannA :

dhatthE Rangee nijamapi padham
DesikAdesa kAnkshee 

Sri N.SrinivAsAchAr Swamy , the President
of RamakrishnA Mission academy and the President
of Sri Ahobila Mutt Samskrutha Abhivardhini SabhA
extolled the need for our unshakable faith in 
our AchAryAs thru celebration of their greatness , 
following their preachings and adhering to our
sampradhAyam and Sri Bhagavadh RaamAnuja Darsanam
this way :

asithila Guru Bhakthi: tathprasamsAdhiseela:
bahumathi : Kruthavith anagha Vrutthi : I
gopayan sampradhAyam sareeram artham prANam cha 
sadhgurubhyO nivEdayan II 

Our Body , Fortunes and lives have to be dedicated to
the service of our AchAryAs according to the above 
passage . Why ? The reasoning for such dedication
bearing great fruits for such kaimkaryam is 
explained this way by our pramANams :

adhyAthma Grantha NirmANam 
anEkEshAm cha BhOdhanam I
archAvathAra sEvA cha 
thEshAm yethadh MAHATH PALAM II

Our AchAryAs are always engaged in
Saasthra , SthOthra anuvAdha Grantha NirmANam ,
Grantha Chathushtya KaalakshEpam , VedAntha 
Pravachanam and in ArchAvathAra SevA and
AabhaharAnAthi Kaimkaryam . The celebration 
of and Sevice to the ArchAmUrthys eulogized 
by Our AzhwArs and PurvAchAryAs and presenting 
them with Vasthra , AbharaNamas , Pushpa/TuLasi
samarpaNa kaimkaryams are an integral part of 
their daily activities and to encourage us 
to travel on these well -trodden paths . 

In this context , what we have been blessed to do 
sofar as a group is due to purva SamskAram from this 
distance begins to connect to the sampradhAyic ways set 
by our AchAryAs . Let us seek their blessings
and that of the Divya Dampathis to continue to 
imbibe in us this Bhagavadh -Bhaagavatha 
Kaimkaryam so that we become rich in Kaimkarya Sri 
and become possessors of this SowbhAghyam .

It is appropriate to recall a Mahaan in 
Chennai revered as Desika Bhaktha Rathna  
SevA Swami , who has patterned his life 
according to the following five principles 
emphasized by Swami Desikan  :

1. Nithyam NiraparAdhEshu KAIMKARYESHU

( O Lord ! Direct me to tread the path
  of blemishless service )

2. Nithya yOgO mahAbhOgai : tvadhEkhAnthibhisthu na:
( May there be an inseparable union for all 
  with the truly great ) 

3.SaareerakhA pravachana vrathamAdhriyEthA :
  ( May I pursue as a religious vow , the preaching
    of Saareerika Saasthram championed by Sri RaamAnujA )

4. Paraspara HithaisheeNaam parisarEshu maam varthaya
   ( Lord ! May I be placed in the company of well wishing 
     BhaagavathAs by You ! ) 

5. upayukthEshu vaisadhyam thrivarga nirapEkshathA I
   karaNa thraya sArUpyam ithi soukhya rasAyanam II
   ( A clear knowledge of things to know , discarding 
     of the lower three purushArhtams, synergy in thought ,
     word and deed in pursuit of the fourth purushArtham : 
     these constitute an elixir of life and tonic for 
     the soul ) .

SevA Swami and other AchAryAs have been faithful 
followers of these ideals and living reminders of 
the importance of these central precepts for a 
Sri VaishNavA . Their lives of transparnet purity ,
exemplary humility and constant service in 
the dissemination of spiritual knowledge 
( adhyAdhtmya VidhyA ) are the central messages
for us all independent of our own deficiencies
in JnAnam , AchAram and AnushtAnam . 

Asmadh GurubhyO nama: 
SaraNAgatha Vathsala SwaaminE nama:

Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan