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Primary lesson of the Mahabharata

From: Bharadwaj, Jaganath (jbb0_at_nreca.org)
Date: Mon Jan 26 1998 - 11:20:40 PST

I was reading through this Telegu/English edition of Sri Nrsimha Priya
brought out from Hyderabad every alternate month.  Here is a translation
of Srimad Azhagiya Singar's arulmozhi.  Translation by Sri K.
Devanathan.

Sriman Narayana - The deity to be meditated upon.

We often write in Sri Nrsimha Priya on the supremacy of Sriman Narayana
and the deities subordinate to Him.  In the serial on Mahabharata
(Anusasana Parva) there is a reference to the effect that Lord Krishna
and Sage Vyasa glorify therein the greatness of Siva and that there is
no god superior to him.  There naturally arises a doubt whether we are
obstinate by writing about the pre-eminence of Lord Narayana.  It is not
so.  Let us put forth a few questions.

Who authored Mahabharata?  Was it not Veda Vyasa?  Do you know the
commencing shloka of that great epic?  Read this:
"Narayanam Namaskruthya Naranchaiva Narothamam		I
Devim Saraswatim Vacham tatho jayam Udeerayeth"		II

Namaskaram is made to Narayana first and this sloka ends with Jayam
(victory) with which the epic is to begin.  So it is understood at the
commencement of the Mahabharata that it is Narayana who is apt and
worthy of being worshipped.  Let us now see what the final and
concluding verse of this great epic says:

"Aalodya sarva-saastraani vicharya cha punah punah		I
Idam ekam sunishpannam Dhyeyo Narayano Sada"		II

Please observe carefully.  What does Vyasa Rishi say finally?
"Narayana: Sadah dhyeya:"  After a deep study of all the Sastras and
repeated inquiries into their purport, we come to the conclusion that
the deity to be meditated upon constantly is Narayana.

Sage Vyasa does not give room for ambiguity as to refer to other deities
like Siva etc.  Oh Men! he says, "My statement that Narayana is the
deity to be meditated upon, is not outward or superficial.  I have made
repeated study into the purport of all Sastras, had deep knowledge, and
constant investigation over all aspects and have finally come to the
conclusion that Narayana is the supreme deity to be worshipped.  Hence
nobody can question this nor is there any room for doubt. 

That none can shake the import, fact and substance of his statement is
amply clarified by Vyasa Himself.  We would again and again get inspired
by his judgement and conviction.  Idam ekam sunishpannam - This is a
matter clearly resolved.  Let us look into his (Vyasa's preceding sloka:

"Satyam Satyam punah Satyam Uddhrtya bhujam uchayate	I
Vedaat Sastram Param naasti na divam Kesavaat param"		II

Even before giving explanation for his Siddhanta, Sage Vyasa does not
want anyone to question or suspect the underlying meaning or definition
of his statement.  Hence, he raises his arms, in affirmation and solemn
pledge to proclaim the truthfulness of what he is about to state.  What
does he tell?

"Raising up my arms, I declare on oath that there is no scriptural text
greater than the Veda, and no deity superior to Kesava.  Again and
again, this true, is true, is true."

Veda is eminent scripture.  Kesava is eminent God.  Kesava is another
glorified name for Narayana.  How is this work Kesava derived?  Siva
himself answers in a sloka in Harivamsa:

Ka iti BrahmaNo nAma Isoham sarvade hinAm,
avAm tvAngasambhuthou tasmAt KesavanAmavAn		II

Siva tells thus in praise of Kesava:  "Ka refers to Chaturmukha Brahma.
Isan denotes myself (Siva).  We both were created from your (Bhagavan's
) body.  Hence, you are Kesava (Ka+Isa).  Please think and weigh.  When
Siva Himself says that he was created by Kesava.  How could he become
Eswara to all?  That he is Iswara to other beings subordinate to him can
perhaps be correct.  These affirmations are enough to prove the point of
Veda Vyasa that Narayana is the Supreme, being above all other deities.