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From: Velukkudi Krishnan (velukkudi_at_hotmail.com)
Date: Thu Jul 29 1999 - 13:13:25 PDT

Dear Bhagavathas,
We are celebrating the thirunakshatram of Swami Alavandar. His contributions 
to viSistadvaita are so great that we cannot find words to praise them. 
Eventhough he was a great scholar, he used to give live and simple examples 
to explain even complex matters in our sampradaya. Let me share with you all 
one such :

viSistadvaita -  viSista would mean 'koodiyadu' - that which is together and 
inseparable. viSistadvaita would mean "monism of that which is together". 
Once you say the word together -then we will have to answer who is together 
with whom ? Who is united with whom ? Paramatma is together with Chit and 
achit having them as his SarIra. Are they separarable ? - No. They are not.

Let us take two examples . dandI purushaha and Suklaha pataha i.e. man with 
a stick and cloth with white colour. Both examples denote a togetherness but 
with a difference. Stick can be separated from the man but not whiteness 
from the cloth. Paramatma and his SarIra are like the second example.

When we say that they are inseparable - Are they one and the same? No. 
Eventhough when we say that whiteness and cloth are inseparable we all agree 
that whiteness and cloth are not one and the same. Paramatma and his SarIra 
are also like this. This is called 'apruthaksiddhi' .

Now coming back to the explanation of viSistadvaita - advaita i.e. monism 
propagates that there is no second tatva . Yes it is true. There is no 
second tatva to the Brahmam which is together united with its sarIra (chit 
and achit).

Swami AlavandAr explains this in his siddhi trayam with a beutiful example. 
"yathA chola nrupaha samrAt advitIyaha asya bhUtale...". It is narrated as a 
story.
A poet once went to a King and sung in praise of him. He said "O! King. You 
have none second to you " . The king was pleased and rewarded him well. The 
poet went away.

Another poet came. He was jealous of the earlier poet getting a fabulous 
reward. So he told the King. "O! king. you have been cheated. The poet said 
'there is none second to you'. You got carried away by his words. Dont you 
have a wife , dont you have a son, dont you have servants, dont you have a 
kingdom - all these are second to you . The poet's saying would mean that 
you are an anatha without anyone."

On hearing this the king got angry and called for the poet to punish him. 
The poet came and immediately understood what had happened. He beautifully 
handled the situation saying that " O! king. I still say you have none 
second to you. i.e there is no second person like you who is bestowed and 
together with such a great wife, son, servant, chieftains and kingdoms. " . 
The king was overwhelmed with joy and rewarded him again.

Where is the difference here? 1. the king has no one other than him 2. the 
king has no one like him. If we say that there is no one other than him - it 
is advaita. If we say that there is no one like him - it is viSistadvaita. 
In advaita there is no one or nothing other than the brahmam - be it his 
mahishIs, gunas, vigraha, vibhUti etc. In viSistadvaita - there is no one 
like the brahmam that which is united with such great mahisis, gunas, vigrha 
and vibhUti.

Swami Alavandar's parama krupa made him explain all these things so simply 
to the dull headed like us.

Alavandar tiruvadigale Saranam.


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