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nirvedam/paramapada sOpAnam

From: M K Sudarshan (sudarsan_at_batelco.com.bh)
Date: Wed Jan 29 1997 - 21:24:33 PST

srimathE lakshmi-nrsumha parabrahmaNE namaha
sri vedanta desika guravE namaha

Dear 'bhAgavatOttamA-s',

"vivEkam" -- awareness of "tattva-s" -- leads one automatically onto the
next higher "step" called "nirvEdam".

In the "PPS" Swami Desikan describes this phase in the life of a 'sAdhakA'
where an emotion named 'nirvEdam' besets him who has attained "vivEkam".

After attaining firm "discriminative" powers in life, the aspirant becomes
aware of what is really worth pursuing and what is undeserving of pursuit in
life ; what will serve his spiritual end and what will hamper it.

While this knowledge is, no doubt, cause for happiness, 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. 

It is this state of mind filled with intense self-revulsion which is
described by Swami Desikan as 'nirvEdam'.

In the "divya-prabhandham-s', as most of us know, several Azhwars had been
inspired by "nirvEdam" to expressions of utter regret for the days of folly
that filled their lives. Out of abject ignorance of the Truth and Glory of
the Lord, they had pursued and embraced the falsehoods of earthly life
('anartham').

Scholars like Sri.Anbil Ramaswamy, Sri.Sadagopan, Sri.Sampath Rengarajan and
many others on this list are more qualified than I to quote examples of
'nirvEdam-pAsuram-s' of the Azhwars, but I would here like to just recommend
to other fellow undergraduates of SriVaishnavism, like me on this list, to
take the trouble of studying/learning to recite a few of such heart-rending
'pAsuram-s' of Tirumangai AzhwAr and also some selected ones from
Tondar-adi-podi's "tirUmalai". 

Such 'pAsuram-s' give one a fair idea of the true nature of
'nirvEdam'-emotion that a soul, truly in search of Sriman Narayana, suffers.

We are no 'AzhwArs' and will never be, perhaps, but we too, from time to
time, in moments of personal travail or tragedy, undergo what is called
"dark nights of the soul", don't we ?  

In such moments we should recite a 'pAsuram' or two of the 'AzhwArs'.

If we can't do that, even remembering Step #2 of Swami Desikan's
"paramapada-sOpAnam" will do !!!

It will be tonic for the troubled heart and will definitely make it feel
better after consuming it.

We will discuss the next 'parianka' viz. "virakti", in the next posting.


srimathE srivan satagopa sri narayana yathindra mahadesikAya namaha

sudarshan