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Re: The Ultimate sharaNagathi and personal beliefs ...

From: Sampath Rengarajan (srengara_at_ford.com)
Date: Wed Jul 23 1997 - 11:11:08 PDT

On Jul 23, 11:50am, Raja Krishnasamy wrote:
> Subject: Re: The Ultimate sharaNagathi and personal beliefs ...

>  My question
> assumes that sriman nArAyaNa is indeed the supreme Brahman, and that he is
the
> ultimate destiny.  However, having recognized this as fact, some of us
> specifically seem to be tied down to specific forms of the Lord.  By
> surrendering to the Ultimate Brahman, should I not visualize the
> nArAyaNathvam
> in all His various forms, as opposed to isolating them because of any
> particluar reason.

These questions are due to the fact that one stillhas to catch up on
what is charanAgathi or baranYasam performed in Srivaishnava sampradAyam.

While charanAgathi can be done for obtaining many purposes
Srivaishnavas do it for obtaining mOksham only.  Once we surrender or
undertake baranyAsam to one particular deity, it, itself means that we
trust in "that" deity for rendering us with or requested boon. In
(y)our case we "trust" this deity to deliver us mOksham through which
we agree to understand and enjoy the kalyAna gunAs of the Lord. It is
this "trust" or "mahAvisvAsam" that we assure doing baranyAsam and
undertake to keep our faith on "this" deity to deliver us. We have been
preached by our gurupArampariyam that once this mahAviswAsam is not
kept we invoke "aatma nirvEdam" in supreme Lord's mind.



> It is quite possible that these forms possess certain
> qualities that we must learn by example that will help us to understand the
> supreme goal.  We visualize and idolize Shri Rama for all his KalyANa guNams.
> He has indeed set supreme examples for a naran to attain srIman nArAyaNa.  We
> idolize srI nrisimhan as the supreme protector of his devotee ("tvai
rakshathi
> rakshakaihi kimanyai, tvai sA rakshathi rakshakahi kimanyai" from
> kAmAsikAshtakam).  Similarly will we not miss some of the qualities that may
be
> apparent in some other of His forms, but hidden to the agnAni in his form as
> sriman nArAyaNa.

Once we surrender to Sriman nArAyan we surrender even the thought
that we surrendered already. That being the case where is the necessity
to learn these kalyAna gunas "objectively" ? Secondly when HE possess
all kalyAna gunAs in HIMself why must one look to "others" for parts of
the deal ?


>  Should we not maintain an open mind, and seek the best
> qualities that have been exhibited by the various avathArams of our Lord -
> irrespective as to what kind of a religious following some of these forms may
> have.
>
>

Once BaranyAsam or charanAgathi is undertaken we realise that even our
soul belongs to HIM. There is no room there for any intellectual play
for the mind to seek something that is already sought through baranyAsam
or Ultimate sharaNagathi, once again with some "openness" in it.

> I have been doing some reading of works by srI chandrasEkhara sarasvathi of
> srIkAnchi kAmakOti pITam who attained mahAsannithAnam a few years back.  His
> discourses at various sadas have been compiled by the pITam in the form of
> fifteen volumes called "theivaththin kuRal".
>
> There are some sections in Volume 1 where he discusses the abhEdam in srIman
> nArAyaNa and srI paramEshvaran.  Again I am not trying to incite anyone's
> feelings here please.  In doing so he tells us that it is true that the
concept
> of one God has been propogated, but that is none else but the great
paramAtma.
> The paramAtma who is without form resides in all forms, and we as mortals are
> not able to imagine the absence of the lines that have been defined to focus
> one's efforts on following one path to the paraman, so we are not diverted
from
> our goals.  And when the AtmA attains that maturity, then such an AtmA is
> indeed pure and attains parama pAtham.
>
> He quotes srI pEyAzhvAr from moonRAm thiruvanthAthi (Verse 2344):
>
> "thaazsadaiyum neeNmudiyum,  oNmazuvum sakkaramum,
> soozaravum ponnaaNum, thOnRumaal, soozum
> thiraNdaruvi paayum thirumalaimEl enthaikku,iraNduruvu monRaay isainthu"
>
> While indeed there can be several literary interpretations to this verse, the
> great AchAryAl illustrates this as the duality of Lord Shiva and srIman
> nArAyaNa, where pEyAzhvAr describes the Lord at Thirumalai as none other than
> the union of the two divine forms.
>
> "mazuvu" would mean the "udukkai" that srI natarAja has in his hand.  While
> soozaravu could mean Adiseshan, it could also mean the snake that is around
> Lord Shiva's shoulders.  He says the Lord at Thirumalai composes these two
> divine forms into one beautiful pristine form, that of Sri VenkatEsA.
>
> The AchAryAl elsewhere explains to us the tale of two kings:  srI rangarAja
of
> thiruarangam and srI natarAja of thiruchithambaram, both of whom are the
Lords
> of the resptive sabha's (thiruarangam would mean the holy sabhai, and srI
> nataraja is also referred to sabhApathi).  They both have south facing
> thirumandalams, to signify the victory of fear over death and the concept of
> salvation from the cycle of birth, death and rebirth.  He says that while
these
> two are indeed worshipped by people of different walks of life, the learned
man
> would stop drawing the differes there, and understand the spiritual
> significance of the Lord having taken the two forms so he may educate the two
> kinds of people.



Our poorvAchAryAL vyAkyAnams are different.



I have not read the book you have mentioned. But between you and me, I
feel that it is good to note down some important differnces of these
south facing deities of chidambaram and Srirangam  prior to comparing
them.  The moolavar of Sriranganm was worshipped by Rama HIMself while
the moolavar Sri natarAjar of chidambaram worships SriRama himself who is
in nityAvAsam in the form of Sri gOvindaraJan (as per thala purAnam of
thiruch chithrak koodam and Sri Vishnu sahasra nAmam). Chidambaram
natarja is a mobile mangala vigraham and made of pancha Logam while Sri
RanganthA is permanently placed (Vibheeshanazwar could not move HIM) in
sudhdha sattvam and was given to IkshuvAku kulam by Lord Brahma who in
had earlier obtained this Ranganatha from HIS Fathar
aathimoolam Sriman nArAyana even prior to Lord Shiva was created.
Sri nataraja sannidhi is chronologically
later to Sri Govindaraja sannidhi as well.

> This does not mean that we should disrespect the dEvathAs
> by
> refusing to even look at them.

We are not disrespecting anyone. When we surrender to Sriman nArAyana
it is itself enough and one must only look at the eyes of SriKrishna in
all forms of Sriman nArAyanA only. Those devathAs who have been
installed as the deivam of everyone including Sriman nArAyana
contradict the para thaththuvam explained in vedham as derived by our
poorvachAryALS and nammAzhwAr. It is conceived that such contradictions
arrive due to their (those devathAs) being governed still under the
influence of Srivishnu mAya and that they have a karm bhAvam in them
that a surrendered SrivaishnaVaL will try to disaassociate with.
Surrendered souls donot want to contract this karma bhAvam which may
induce these surendered jivans who are still in this boolOgam under the
influence of mAya to err and  violate the protocol of having this
"trust".  Try reading Sri Koorath azhwar's sthuvam and its references
to peaks of thiru maal irum sOlai.  This can be understood by a mind
only when one surrenders to Sriman nArAyanA completely.



> The anology is of having several guests in a
> house, but rendering preferential treatments to a few.

Once we surrender to Sriman nArAyana, we are owned by HIM and we cannot
afford to have this thought that we have all these GODS as guests at our
disposal to treat them in anyway we want. On the other hand we undertake
to serve (bagwath kaimkaryam) the "Lord Sriman nArAyanA alone"
as eternal servants at Srivaikundam.



adiyEn
Sampath Rengarajan