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SrI acyuta Satakam - Part 4.

From: Narasimhan Krishnamachari (champakam_at_yahoo.com)
Date: Wed Jul 14 1999 - 16:00:11 PDT

		SrI deSika stotra-s - 17. SrI acyuta Satakam - Part 4.


16. BhagavAn's unlimited guNa-s:

A beautiful, simple, and high-level description of bhagavAn's infinite
kalyAna-guNa-s is given by svAmi deSikan through a few Sloka-s in this
stotram.

In the opening Slokam, svAmi deSikan showers praise on bhagavAn's
following guNa-s - sthira jyotih, acyutam, dAsAnAm satyam, tridaSAnAm
nAtham - The jyoti that never diminishes, He who will never forsake His
devotees, He who always bestows His devotees' wishes, and He who is the
God of all gods. 

BhagavAn is sarva-guNa-sampannan.  These guNa-s are flawless (nirmala),
countless (vigaNitam na Saknuvanti), and cannot be found in any other
god (ananya sulabhAni).  He is also the limit of perfection for these
guNa-s (Slokam 27).   

Hundreds of upanishad-s (upanishdAm SatAni) describe Him as kshapita
sakala heyam - devoid of any negative attribute of any kind, satya
j~nAna Anandam - He who is not subject to change or mutation,
Omniscient, and Supreme Bliss, and ulla'ngita trividha antam -
unlimited by the three constraints - space, Time, and shape.  Thus He
is not constrained by where He is at any given time and in what form He
exists (Slokam 8).  

Unsupported by anything else He creates everything while He Himself is
not created by anything else. He supports everything while He is not
supported by anything else.  He also destroys everything at the time of
pralaya while He cannot be destroyed by anything else - ananya kriyah
nidhilam karoshi, kenApi na kriyase; sthApayasi na samsthApsyase;
harasi na hriyase (Slokam 9).

He is everywhere and also inside everything that exists, including the
minutest atom.  Even when He is in the tiniest of things, His Power is
in no way diminished, and it is the same Absolute Power that controls
and governs everything.  This is the basis for the declaration in the
veda-s that bhagavAn is present in everything, completely and
absolutely (Slokam 10). 

He is the Creator of everything, He is the Supporter of everything, He
is the Lord of everything, He is the AtmA of everything, and everything
is His Body.  As the AtmA of everything, He causes them to function,
and since everything is His Body, He is the one who is really
functioning also.  The veda-s declare Him as sarvah - Everything
(Slokam 11).

Because He is both the prakRti and the jIva from which everything is
created, He is the material cause of this Universe - upAdAna kAraNa; 
because He is the Creator of everything, He is also the instrumental
cause of everything - nimitta kAraNa.  He is like both the clay that is
used to make the pot and the pot maker that makes the pot.  Everything
that exists e.g., the pot, has two such as causes for their existence,
and these two are never the same.  BhagavAn is the only exception and
wonder who happens to be both the upAdAna kAraNam and nimitta kAraNam
simultaneoulsy for creating a given object or being  (Slokam 12).

While BhagavAn is the common cause for the creation of everything,
still  everything that is created is unique and different from
everything else.  This is not because of any bias or partiality on His
part.   The beings are what they are because of the result of their
karma - which in turn results in a different combination of rAjasic,
sAttvic, and tamo guNa-s in each being, and this results in their being
different from each other (Slokam 13).

BhagavAn is impartial to everyone, and bestows the karma phalam to
everyone impartially.  He never breaks His promise to anyone.  But when
it comes to a devotee who has unconditionally surrendered to Him, then
He becomes the servant of this devotee, and will do whatever it takes
to protect the interests and welfare of the devotee.  This is how He
willingly performed the duty of a chariot-driver to arjuna, and went as
a messenger to the pANDava-s (Slokam 21).  This is also why He broke
His own promise not to take to weapons in the war against the
kaurava-s, viz. just to protect the promise of His devotee bhIshma, and
appeared in the pillar in a very unnatural form of half-man and
half-lion to keep the word of prahlAda. 

17. The Ultimate Knowledge:

There is only one thing that needs to be understood from the study of
all the veda-s and SAstra-s  - that there is nothing comparable to Him
or better than Him, that He is the One who protects everything, and
that He is the Only One to whom we have to surrender in order to attain
relief from all sorrows (Slokam 15).
 
His Greatness is such that even brahma cannot disobey His Will (Slokam
16).  The different gods for whom homa-s are prescribed in the veda-s
are ultimately directed to Him as their antaryAmi.  This is analogous
to the offering in the SrAddha, where a brAhmaNa is given the bhojanam,
but it is meant for the pitR-s (Slokam 17).

BhagavAn is the siddha-upAya, or the means that exists already without
any effort needed on our part, for attaining Him (Slokam 23).  This is
because He is sarva-Saktan, sarvaj~nan, and above all, He is the
parama-kAruNikan.  

Except for Him, no one else can bestow moksham.  Just as even a
thousand suns which are drawn on paper cannot remove darkenss, the
thousands of gods together can't bestow moksham, and only He, out of
His own Mercy, can bestow this on His devotee (Slokam 25).  

18. The Role of pirATTi:

The roles of pirATTi and bhagavAn in bestowing their karuNA on the
devotee-s is nicely explained by svAmi deSikan through a simple
example.  Lots of beautiful creepers have grown on the trunk of the
kalpaka vRksham and surround it tightly.  While the kalpaka vRksham
bestows anything the devotee asks for, the creepers provide the cool
and comforting shade for those that sit under it.  Similarly, pirATTi
is seated on the vaksha-sthalam of bhagavAn like the creeper
surrounding the kapaka vRksham and provides the purushakAratvam to the
devotee while bhagavAn bestows all the wishes of the devotee (Slokam
19).

19. A prapanna jIva's Ascend to SrIvaikunTham:

svAmi deSikan gives his anubhavam of how a prapanna is taken from this
world to SrIvaikunTham at the end of his life in this world in Sloka-s
82 to 90.  The prapanna is released from the effects of both his good
deeds and bad deeds as a consequence of prapatti (83). Note that the
good karma-s, when not performed with surrendering the benefit or phala
to Him, are as binding of the jIva to this world as the bad karma-s
are.  

At the end of this life, the jIva undergoes severe stress as a result
of the separation of jIva from the body (maraNa vedanai in tamizh), and
bhagavAn who is the antaryAmi in the prapanna is there ready and
waiting to embrace the jIva and comfort and relieve the strain of the
jIva.  There are 101 different worlds to which a jIva can be taken,
depending on the karma-s that have accumulated.  A prapanna's jIva is
not led in any of the 100 paths (nAdi's) that lead to loka-s other than
SrIvaikunTham, but instead through the 101st nADi which is called the
brahma nADi which leads the prapanna to SrIvaikunTham.  This path is
beautifully lit by the Sun's rays, and bhagavAn is anticipating the
arrival of this jIva like a parent looking at a child who is coming
towards him (84).   The prapanna is led in this path by the gods such
as agni, vAyu, sUrya, candra etc.   Each of these escort the jIva of
the prapanna up to the borders or spheres of their influence (85).  The
jIvAtmA then crosses the virajA river, and is bestowed with a divine
body that is of the nature of pure sattva guNa, and no rAjasic or
tAmasic qualities.  This divine body is then decorated with garllands,
beautiful clothes, fragrances, etc. worthy of a servant of bhagavAn in
SrIvaikunTham (86). BhagavAn welcomes and embraces the prapanna to His
heart just as He holds periya pirATTi dear to His heart (87).  This
jIvAtmA then is engaged in nitya kaimkaryam to emperumAn in
SrIvaikunTham just like the nitya sUri-s (89).  There is no rebirth for
this jIvAtmA in the sense of the jIva-s bound by karma;  they will
appear in this world along with bhagavAn whenever He takes an
incarnation, just to serve Him while He is in here, and will return
with Him back to SrIvaikunTham (90).

20. What We Can and Should Do:

Our relief from the eternal bondage of samsAra occurs because of His
samkalpam, and cannot happen without His samkalpam.  What is left for
us is to

-pray to Him for His samkalpam (91), 
-seek His forgiveness for all the apacAram-s that we keep committing
knowingly and unknowingly (92), 
-desist from going after the pleasures of this world and instead seek
His Grace for relief from the bondage of samsAra (93, 94, 96), 
-practice the a'nga-s of prapatti such as desisting from association
with those who are who are non-devotees (whose association is like the
poison that pours out at sight from a venomous serpent) and associating
ourselves with His devotees whose sight and talk are like a shower of
nectar pouring forth at us (95), 
-seek the protection of His Feet which alone will relieve us from all
our sufferings (97),  and
-seek the guidance of an AcArya and perform the Ultimate Surrender or
prapatti to Him (99) with the full faith that He has taken a vow to
protect those who have sought His protection (98) and with the full
realization that we are His belonging and He seeks to accept us and
protect us just as much as we seek His protection (100).  

21. Conclusion:

Thus has this composition with the title of acyuta Satakam been
composed by the kavi tArkika kesari vedAnatAcArya ve'nkatanAtha svAmi
deSikan for our benefit (101).  Needless to add that here is another
gem of collections of the fundamentals of the great viSishTAdvaita
philosophy summarized in simple form by svAmi deSikan for even the
simplest of minds to grasp and understand.  Every one of the stotra-s
that we have gone through so far has been an independent exposition of
the essentials of our great philosophy by svAmi deSikan in simple
terms.   He has composed these and given them to us because of his
infinite mercy towards us, and is aimed at our redemption from the
bondage of samsAra, and for uniting us with BhagavAn.  May we benefit
by His Grace.

-dasan kr*shNamAcAryan