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

aNNA svAmiyin amuda mozhival - 3. BhagavAn's "Blemishes".

From: Krishnamachari, N (Krish) (nkrish_at_lucent.com)
Date: Tue Jun 16 1998 - 13:06:59 PDT

		aNNA svAmiyin amuda mozhigal - 3. BhagavAn's "Blemishes".

Kalyani Krishnamachari had presented the first two write-ups in this series.
I am continuing with this third one.  We may both be writing under this
topic in the future.  

This topic deals with SrI PBA's plea to all people to desist from talking
ill of others.  We may recall that this is where we left off in the first
write-up, where he had made a plea that innuendos about others can cost the
subject enormously while gaining nothing to the person who indulges in them.
He points out that if we delve deep into our own self-consciousness, none of
us is absolute perfection with no blemishes, nor is there any one who is
absolutely full of blemishes.  So he suggests that we should learn to look
at the good in others and respect them for it, and ignore the deficiencies
in them.  When we love someone dearly, this is what we do all the time in
real life.  This love should extend to one and all.  

SrI PBA's thoughts above were evoked in the context of a pASuram of
nammAzhvAr in tiruvAi mozhi - 

	  kaDiyan koDiyan neDiya mAl ulagam koNDa 
	  aDiyan aRivaru mEno mAyattan Agilum
	  koDiya en ne~njam avan enRE kiDakkum ellE!
	  tuDi koL idai maDat tOzhI! annai en Seyyume?     (5-3-5)

Here, AzhvAr is pointing out that all the negatives that can be talked about
Him will not deter him from being interested in Him and nothing else.  In
truth, the fact that these 'negatives' are associated with Him already make
them meritorious qualities in his mind.  The 'negatives' that are referred
to in this pASuram are -

BhagavAn is kaDiyan - He is a greedy person or lubdhan who hides Himself
from those who seek Him, but if He wants and likes someone then He
avariciously clings to them.

koDiyan - krUran or harsh.  No matter how much we suffer and long for Him,
He does not care and gets away from us mercilessly.

neDiya mAl - atyanta dushprApan - One who becomes endlessly beyond our
reach whenever He feels like it.

ulagam koNDa aDiyan - One who 'cheated' mahAbali cakravarti by asking for
three feet of land and then usurping the whole of everything that mahAbali
had, and leaving nothing behind for the giver; He is the 'looter' who showed
His small feet and then just increased their size when the time came to
measure the three feet.

aRivaru mEni mAyattan - One who has a tirumEni that is beyond comprehension
of our intellect which He assumes by His own free will, and makes us lost in
His tirumEni's beauty resulting in our not knowing  Its true nature.

SrI uttamUr vIrarAghavAcArya svAmi in his vyAkhyAnam gives a beautiful
analysis of how His 'bad' qualities are exactly the reason why nammAzhvAr
falls in love all the more with BhagavAn.  The AzhvAr asks - So what?  Is it
wrong that He was greedy (kaDiyan) to the point that He enslaved me and then
refused to let me belong to anyone else?  If this is a bad quality in Him,
then I love Him all the more for it.  Granted that He put on a show and took
away everything from mahAbali by 'trickery', but in return He gave Him His
darSanam and ultimately moksham.  If this is a fault in Him, then I will
praise this 'bad' attribute forever with no problem.  It is true that He is
inaccessible to those who do not trust in Him, but it is also true that for
a SAraNAgatan He is full of Mercy with no reason to justify His dayA.  If
there are other bad qualities in Him that people want to tell me about, I
would love to know about them, and I know that these are all His great
qualities just because they are His qualities.

Thus, AzhvAr's life, thought, mind, word and deed are involved in Him
independent of His guNa-s, to the point that it may appear that his mind is
falling prey to the nirguNa-brahman of the mAya-vAdi-s.   Quite the
opposite. AzhvAr's thoughts are that the saguNa-brahman's attributes are all
good by definition, and there is no issue of accepting or rejecting Him
based on an analysis of His guNa-s, but on the contrary, "en ne~njam avan
enRe kiDakkum".  The truth is that all His guNa-s are for the good of us,
and every guNa or act of His is purely for the benefit of His creation viz.
us.  I am reminded of the repeated reference to this concept in dayA
Satakam, which we had reviewed as part of SrI veDanta deSika stotra-s.

Coming back to the lesson we need to learn from the above anubhavam of
nammAzhvAr, we should all learn to see the good in others, and not pay
attention to the 'faults' as we see them.  Even though the nature of humans
is to hide their own faults and exaggerate the good in themselves, instead
we should look inside our own conscience and realize and rectify our faults,
while seeing the good in others and respect them for it.  In fact, in many
cases, if people talk negatively about someone, it is because that person is
great in some way to start with, and is worthy of attention.  SrI PBA points
out that no one goes and throws stones at a tree that is bereft of any
fruit, but only on a tree that has something to give.  In this context, SrI
PBA gives the quote from rAmAnuja nURRantAdi - pazhikkil pugazh - in the
fifth pASUram, where tiruvarangattamunAr says that he will take it as a
praise if anyone criticizes or adversely comments on his work on SrI
rAmAnuja, because this itself means that the work is worthy of their
attention. 

-To be continued.

-dAsan kr*shNamAcAryan