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VMN 3: WHAT DOES A MUMUKSHU DO?

Ramanbil_at_aol.com
Date: Fri Jun 09 2000 - 07:57:34 PDT

VMN - 3: WHAT DOES A MUMUKSHU DO?
(Anbil Ramaswamy)
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First, let us see what Swami Desika has to say about this. 

In ADHIKARA 2 : SARA NISHKARSHA ADHIKARA (Determination of what is best) 
Swami says that having fixed the objective as the attainment of Moksha, the 
mumukshu should carefully avoid those that are either opposed to or are not 
conducive to the said goal. Indeed, there are innumerable things in this 
world to know, life is short and hindrances are many. Therefore, a wise 
person "desiring Moksha" should prefer *only what is always and 
unconditionally most valuable*, without frittering away time and energy on 
lesser or even harmful objectives. The things to be scrupulously avoided are:
(i) The philosophies of those opposed to the Vedas (like Charvakas, 
Buddhists, Jains , etc.), and the philosophies of heretics (like those who 
accept the Vedas but misinterpret its contents) .These are worthless (Asaara).
(ii) the philosophies contained in Karma kAnDa of the Vedas because they are 
only of very little value Alpasaara).
(iii) that part which deals with the attainment of Svarga (Heavens) after 
death though may appear valuable o some- does not lead to Moksha (Saara)
(iv) that part which deals with the realization of one's own self (Kaivalya) 
and the means to attain thereof, though a little more valuable than (iii) 
above is really not conducive to the attainment of Moksha (Saaratara)
(v) What is most valuable is that which deals with the supreme Brahman, the 
attainment of this Brahman and the means thereof (Saaratama).

In ADHIKARA  4: ARTHA PANCHAKA ADHIKARA
(The five things that should be known to the seeker of Salvation) Swami says 
that the  following five important things should be known to every seeker of 
salvation - called Artha Panchaka:-
(i)    ParamAtma Svarupa:   the characteristics of   the Supreme soul
(ii)   JeevAtma Svarupa:  the characteristics of the individual soul
(iii)  UpAya Svarupa: the means for the JeevAtma to reach the ParamAtma 
(i.e.) Moksha through  Bhakti or Prapatti (Note that RAjayOga, KarmayOga and 
JnAnayOga are not the direct means to attain Moksha.)
(iv)   Phala Svarupa: the ultimate purpose of existence of the JeevAtmas is 
to serve  (Daasatva) at the feet of ParamAtma on attaining Moksha and
(v)   VirOdhi Svarupa:  the nature of impediments on the path of the ultimate 
goal

In ADHIKARA 5.: TATTVA TRAYA CHINTANA ADHIKARA (The three reals) Swami lists 
the three 'reals' of ChEtana (Sentient), AchEtana (Non-sentient) and Isvara 
(All-sentient), their Svarupa (form) and Svabhava (nature) etc.

In ADHIKARA 6. PARA DEVATA PARAMARTHYA ADHIKARA
(Truth as to who is the ParamAtma - the Supreme deity)
We have seen that the ultimate aim and object of all ChEtanas is the 
attainment of Moksha (i,e) integrating with ParamAtma. It is, therefore, 
necessary to know who this ParamAtma is. The ParamAtma referred to is none 
other than SRIMAN NARAYANA.

Sri ERUMBIAPPA echoes Swami Desika and says:
The mumukshu is inspired by an inner urge to acquire knowledge of the 
following:

I. Tattva Trayam viz.,
(i) The Reals (Tattvam)
(ii) The Means (Hitham) and 
(iii) The End or Objective (PurushArtham)

II. The relationship between the three eternal entities viz., 
(i) The Sentient self (chEthana)
(ii) The Insentient matter (achEthana) and 
(iii) The All-sentient (Iswara)

III.    The nature of the five truths (Artha Panchakam) viz.,
(i) The nature of the Universal soul (mikka irai nilai)
(ii) The nature of the Individual soul (meyyAm uyir nilai)
(iii) The proper means for the individual soul to attain the Universal soul 
(thakka neri)
(iv) The sins that obstruct this means (thaDaiyAgum Oozhvinai) and
(v) The benefits accruing in achieving this integration (vAzhvinai)
These will be discussed in subsequent postings.

Acquisition of the knowledge of the above is called JnAnam.
Mere acquisition of knowledge (JnAnam) is not enough.
It should be reflected in appropriate conduct (AnushTAnam). 

" JnAnam without AnushTAnam is like being lame; 
AnushTAnam without JnAnam is like being blind. "

So long as this knowledge is not acquired, one will not understand the need 
and efficacy of AnushTAnam. And, so long as this knowledge is not translated 
into one's conduct (brought into AnushTAnam) in day to day life, such 
knowledge is useless tinsel and the soul will have to suffer in the cycle of 
repeated births, deaths and rebirths, called "SamsAra"

HOW DOES THE MUMUKSHU ACQUIRE THIS KNOWLEDGE? 
The mumukshu will seek a *Qualified* preceptor (AchArya), take refuge at his 
feet and beseech him to impart the required knowledge. 

WHO IS A *QUALIFIED ACHARYA*?
This will be discussed subsequently. 
For now, we can briefly state that he is -
* one well versed in vEda and vEdAnta
* steeped incessantly in the meditation of the ParamAtma 
* has an utter distaste for worldly pleasures (vairAghyam). 

The would - be AchArya should put the would - be Sishya to strict tests to 
verify and satisfy himself whether the aspirant is a *deserving* candidate 
for the transmission of this knowledge. Only if and when he is so satisfied, 
can he accept him as his disciple (Sishya) and impart the required knowledge.
 In Guru ParamparA sAram, Swami Desikan lays down that this is the 
sin-qua-non for an AchAryan in accepting a Sushya in these words:-

" petrathu guNamAga upadEsithAl, sishya pApam gurOrapi enkaiyAlE achAryanukku 
nishtai kulaiyum paDiyAm" 
meaning
"The AchArya will forfeit his greatness and superior state (nishTai), if he 
rushes to impart knowledge to all and sundry and without such examination, 
being carried away merely by the fact that he has acquired someone for 
instructing, and the sins of the such Sishyas will accrue to the AchArya"
He further observes -
"than nishTai kulaiyAmaikkAga, silvAna prayOjanangalai patra Sishya poorthi 
illAtha sabalarkku veliYIdAthE mantrathai migavum sEmikka prAptham" 
meaning
"The sacred mantras should not, for the sake of any material advantages, be 
revealed to the fickle-minded who do not possess all the qualities 
presc4ribed for a disciple". 

In other words, an AchArya is one who will not turn himself into a kind of 
recruiting agency running after the Sishyas for the sake of their money and 
other offerings.
 
It is thus obvious that not anybody can be a *Qualified Guru* nor anybody can 
be a *Deserving Sishya*.  Both the AchArya and the Sishya should have some  
basic ualifications. Otherwise, it will be a mockery of the Guru-Sishya 
relationship.
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To Continue: VMN 4: "WHO IS A DESERVING DISCIPLE?
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