You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : July 1998

ashtAksharam & dvayam - 3

From: Anand K Karalapakkam (
Date: Tue Jul 14 1998 - 15:39:43 PDT

        Srimate  Sri Lakshmi Nrusimha Para Brahmane Namaha
  Srimate Sri Lakshmi Nrusimha Divya pAdukA sevaka Srivan shatakopa -
           Sri  NArAyana Yateendra MahAdesikAya namaha  
  Dear Sri  Ram GopalswAmy &  other bhaktAs of  Sriman NArAyanA , 

   Namo NArAyanA . kindly accept adiyen's pranAmams .

  ---cont --
       We  shall   relish   some  more  glorifications  of   ashtAksharam
now . 

   HaritAsmruti  (  3.65)  declares " Whatever a man  ought  to  know  is
all   contained  in   ashtAksharA , that  is  the  VedAs   viz.   Rg ,
Yajur , sAmam  & the  atharvan  and  other   collection of  words  ".
The  meaning(s)  {  whether  considered as  one  sentence , two  or 
three  etc etc }    that  arise  out  of  ashtAksharam  is  the  final  
essence of  all  vedAs . All   the  tattvA , hitA  & purushArtA   is  made
crystal  clear   by  it .  One  will  remain  in  peace  &  with  ecstacy
be  performing  the  kainkaryams  to  the  Divya  Dampati , since all  the  
ignorance ,  confusions  etc  arising  out  of  studying   the  views  of
various  philosophers  ( vedic / non-vedic )  on  one^s  own  accord  &
building  castles  of  ignorant  speculatons  being   wiped  off  by  the
esoteric  meaning(s)  of  ashtAksharam -  the nectar (amrutam)   of   
 knowledge  churned  from  the  sea  of  upanishads .  Thats  why  sAstrAs
glorify  ashtAksharam  to  such  an  extent .  

   NAradIyam ( 1.10)  says " Whatever   fruit  is  gained  by  those  who
repeat  the  Rg , Yajus  &  sAma  vedAs   many  times -  that  fruit  is
gained  by  one  who  utters  the  ashtAkshara  mantrA only  once "  .
The  glories  of  ashtAksharam  are  beyond  words.  The  comparison   
shown  here  is  not  something  ordinary .  One  has  deeply  from  the
depth  of  one's  heart  should  understand the  esoteric  nature  of
ashtAksharam &  more  importantly  about  its   meanings .

 The  meanings  of  ashtAksharam  once  understood   will   yield  the
faultless  jn~Anam.  The   true  knowledge  with  no  doubts  whatsoever
,  with   unshakable  faith  &  with  ample clarity  on  UpAyA  ( means)
& Upeyam ( goal to be attained )   will   surely  evolve  out  after  
understanding  the  divine  meanings  of  ashtAksharam .  That   most
glorifiable   ashtAksharam  finally  leads  one  to  "prapatti" .  The
glories  of  prapatti  even  surpasses  the   glories  of  ashtAksharam ,
or in  other  words ,  ashtAksharam  is  glorified  mainly   because  
it  explains  the  esoteric  doctrine of  prapatti .

   Thats why   MahAbhArathA ( sAnti  parvA  150.11 )   says : 
  " He  has mounted  the  ( top  most )  storey  of  the  palace  of
knowledge  of  Tirumantra  and  has  obtained  freedom  all   anxiety (
about himself) . The  wise  man  looks   down  ( from  there)   at
ignorant  people   suffering  for  lack  of  this  knowledge , like  a
man  on  the top  of  a  mountain  looking  at   people  standing  below
(it) " .

     Yes!  Yes!!  Yes !!!   Its  verily  true  that  those  who  have
obtained  the  topmost knowledge  delineated  by  the  thirumantrA  has
nothing  more  to  be learnt,  for  he  knows   what  needs  to  be  known
.  But ,  a  prapannA  shall  not   look  down  upon  others  for  he  
knows  that  it  is  only  the  mercy   of  his  AchAryA   that  has  made
him  acquire  that   stage &  thus  would  pray  for  the  upliftment  of
all other  jIvAtmAs  also . vyAsar  says  like   that  to  only  make  one
understand  the   unparalled  supremacy  of  the  knowledge   obtained
from  thirumantrA . 

 The  reason for Thirukkoshtiyoor Nambi gaurding  the  sacred
meanings of the mantrAs , the  upadesam  of which   came  down  from
Sriman  NArAyanA  (  Divya Dampati implied in this name itself )  ,
Vishvaksenar ,  NammAzhvAr , NAthamunigaL ,   UyyakkondAr , ManakkAl
Nambi  &   ALavandAr , is  evident from many pramAnams cited above .
NammAzhvAr's upadesam on the three   rahasya  mantrams  & their
meanings ( ie. Prapatti  in  essence )  to  Sriman  NAthamunigaL   apart
from  the Divya  Prabandham  of AzhvArs &  yoga  ( bhakti yoga)  sAstrAs
,  is  an  atmost  merciful   act  that  guides  the jIvAtmAs  here  even
till  today .  

    The  seeker  of  eternal  communion  with  Sriman  NArAyanA  is  known
as mumukshu (desirous of moksham) .  His  only aim is  moksham  & builds
a  burning  desire  to  know  the   way  in  which  he can  possibly
achieve  it.  The  feelings  are  so  intense  that  he  feels himself
either  caught  in  the midst  of  a  great  forest  fire ( anyway  it is
true.  MumukshUs  realize it )  or  being  in the  state  of   sinking 
into   the  deep  sea  etc.  This  is  the  mood   which  one  has  to
develop  very deeply  before  listening to esoteric  matters.  AchAryAs   
tend  to develop these  feelings  into  their  disciples  & wait patiently
till  they  really attain the  stage  wherein  the  disciple  can  no
longer  sustain  the  pain . At  that   stage  AchAryA delivers  the
upadesam  on rahasya  meanings of   ashtAksharam  & the like  . 

The ardent mumukshu  having  got  the  greatest of  all  treasures   in
the true  mindset  , is simply  transformed  into  the  most  ecstatic
state   &  that true jn~Anam  disposes off  all the  ignorance . His  mind
then becomes steady &  unshakable by any amount of   disturbances   that
might  occur  in whatsoever angles .  That  jn~Anam  will  stay   for ever
&  result  in his  mahA visvAsam & the prapatti will be fruitful .  If
someone  reads  the meanings  like a novel  in  his whims & fancies  at
whatever time  he likes ,  that won't cause  the  intended  result  of  
mahA viswAsam & the like  in the mumukshu  ;  rather  he  will be  put
into  confusions etc &   will  still  be  wondering  about  tattva , hitA
& purushArthA .  Thats why ,  AchAryA's  upadesam   is powerful for
NArAyanA  reveals  to   the  mumukshu  truly  about  the  esoteric  
meanings in that case.  

If  someone  reads on his  own   ( nowadays  almost  all meanings  are
published ; originally   intended  for  sishyAs  having undergone
upadesams  to  keep  on  reading  them  , thereby   doesn^t  miss/ forget
the  nectar  etc & also  for  the help  of future  AchAryAs etc )  it
won't be  fruitful  for  it is finally  NArAyanA  who  reveals it &  not
we  know  it  out of  our  efforts .   Atleast ,  one  can read  esoteric
aspects of  sampradAyam ( for that matter , any granthA  of  our AchAryAs
)   with atmost sincerity  ie. After  performing  anushtAnams  like  
SandhyAvandanam , Bhagavad ArAdhanam etc &  recite taniyans  , meditate on
AchAryA's  mercy  etc & start reading  the   granthA .  Atleast , one can
hope  to  gain  steady  &  true   devotion & knowledge  by  the  blessings
of  nArAyanA  for  atleast showing  this  much   sincerity  ( since  one
is  not  serving  AchAryA  at his  thirumALigai  &  securing  his 
katAksham  through  direct  upadesam ) . 
  The  whole  of  Divya  Prabandham is nothing   but  the  explaination
of AshtAksharam with  each  1000  (  not literally  1000 pAsurams though
it is customary to call that way )  bringing  out the  meanings  of
pranavam , nama: ,  nArAyanA &  the dative suffix   respectively .  The  
 scriptures  themselves  talk  about  the  meanings of  these  sabdAs
though  at  different   places .  Our  AchAryAs  have  collected  them
together  in the first place &  gives   more   esoteric insight  into  the
meanings .  Whatever  vedAs  & allied  pramAnAs  says  can be   easily
shown  (rather   our AchAryAs have shown)  to  be   within  ashtAksharam .
Anyway ,  this is  a  ocean  in  itself .

  Essence :   sarvam  ashtAkshara  mayam .

  -- to be cont---

   Namo NArAyanA
   anantha padmanAbha dAsan
   sarvam  sri  krishnArpanamastu