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What is service?

From: Parthasarati Dileepan (
Date: Sun Jan 25 1998 - 11:24:40 PST

Swami EmperumAnAr says in SaraNAgathi Gadhyam:

"asEshAvasthOchitha asEsha sEshathaika rathiroopa
nithya kainkarya prApthyapEkashayA"

A cursory interpretation for the above may land one into
thinking that as a Muktha one would get to perform all kinds
of service at all places and at all times.  If this is so, what
about the services such as the Lord's divine bed, a
function of AdhisEshan, and the Lord's vehicle, a function of
Garuda, or other services currently being performed by
Nithyas and Mukthaas already in Vaikuntam.  Will a Muktha
demand that he also be a bed to the Lord?  Will he say, "Why
can't I be the vehicle to the Lord?"

Swami Sri Desikan provides three clarifications for this.

(1) The service that a Mutkha would seek is "preethikAritha",
i.e. that which pleases him.  Now, what would be pleasing to
the Muktha?  The answer is, whatever pleases the Lord will
be pleasing to the Muktha.  Since the Muktha's jyana is not
contracted he will completely know that it pleases the Lord to
have the Nithyas and other Mukthas perform their assigned
duties.  Therefore, the Muktha will not feel that only one of
the services not available to him will be pleasing to him. 
Actually it is the other way around - it will be pleasing to the
recent Muktha to see the others perform those services, much
like we taking pleasure in the Bhattar performing
"Thirumanjanam" to the Lord in a temple.  Our pleasure is no
less compared to that of the Bhattar who is actually
performing the Thirumanjanam.  For example, in our recent
Denver meeting our pleasure watching and assisting our Sri
Vijayaraghavan perform the wonderful ThiruvAradhanai was
greater, or at least no less, than his own.

(2) The essential nature of a Jiva is to be a servant of the Lord
and other Bhagavathaas.  As a Muktha, the Jiva will be fully
cognizant of this essential nature.  Thus, a service that is
meant for another Bhagavatha will not give him any pleasure. 
Even in this world where the Swaroopa Jyanam of a
Mumukshu is contracted, one Bhagavatha does not seek to
perform the duties of another Bhagavathas.  For example, we
don't go to a temple and demand to perform the Aradhana
ourselves.  We understand our individual roles and do not find
pleasure in doing something that is not meant for us.  Then, in
Vaikuntam, where the Swaroopa Jyanam is fully manifest,
there is no question of a Muktha wanting to do something that
is not available to him.

(3) As a Muktha our pleasure in Vaikuntam is _not_
performing service to the Lord, but to see the Lord pleasured. 
Thus, a Muktha's goal is not doing service!  The goal is to see
the Lord pleasured.  When a Muktha sees our Lord pleasured
by the service provided by Nithyas and other Mukthas he
would not seek to disturb that.  He will only want to augment
it by performing services that are available to him.

p.s. The above is based on, not a translation of, pages 141 and
142 of Chapter 5 Thathva Thraiya Sinthana Athikaram of Srimad 
Rahasya Thraiya SAram Commentary by the 45th Jeeyar of Srimad 
Ahobila Mutt, published by Sri Nrusimha Priya Trust.

-- adiyEn Srivatsangachar dhasan

P. Dileepan
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