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From: Narasimhan Krishnamachari (
Date: Fri Jul 16 1999 - 11:13:56 PDT

While the literal meaning of aDiyEn is "a servant of yours", as SrI
MaNi has pointed out, the spirit in which I understand its usage is
that it means "aDiyArkku aDiyan", dAsa dAso'ham", etc.  In other words,
when we offer ourselves as "aDiyEn" to another person, we recognize and
accept that this other person is dear to bhagavAn through his/her
kaimkaryam, and thus he/she is worthy of our worship, respect,
humility.  In our sampradAyam, bhagavAn Himself will become the
"servant" of His devotees (aDiyArkku meyyan, dAsa satyan, etc.).  I am
reminded of the story of how Lord ve'nkaTeSvara ended up with the
paccaikkaRpUram in His chin (it represents the dust that has the
association with the feet of His devotee, anantAzhvAn), how Lord kRshNa
asked for and accepted the dust that was associated with the gopikAs'
feet, etc. I am sure SrI MAdhavakkaNNan can come up with innumerable
instances where our AzhvArs have repeatedly emphasized the importance
of our serving the devotees of bhagavAn even more than our serving
bhagavAn Himself.  We have also come across instances of how bhagavAn
Himself respects His devotee - in the case of bhIshma, He broke His vow
not to take arms in the war just to keep BhIshma's promise true, and He
became a mere charioteer for arjuna just in order to serve him and
protect him.  Many more instances of this kind have been referred to by
svAmi deSikan in many places, which I will summarize in the future.  If
bhagavAn Himself respects His aDiyAr, then there is no question that we
are the aDiyAr's of the aDiyAr's of the aDiyAr's of these aDiyArs to
several generations.

Of course, SrI MaNi and SrI MAdhavakkakNNan are both right that this is
not what is meant in many instances.  We very frequently use it in our
list when we really mean exactly the opposite, especially when we
disagree with someone and want to tell them what "aDiyEn" thinks and
knows to be the correct view, and how misinformed, illiterate, etc. the
other person's view is when compared to "aDiyEn's" view.

-dAsan (and aDiyEn means it with full humility and respect and with the
realization that all the others in the list are worthy of aDiyEns'
respect because of their superior and dedicated kaimkaryam to Him
compared to aDiyEn)
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