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Srivaishnava lakshNam

From: Madhavakkannan V (srivaishnavan_at_hotmail.com)
Date: Wed May 23 2001 - 22:16:08 PDT

SrI:
SrImathE Gopaladesika mahadesikaya namah:

Dearest srivaishnavas,

I would like to remind myself of the qualities that we, as srivaishnavas 
need to inculcate and cultivate. It is difficult; but if one knows the true 
nature of jIva and the sEshathvam/dAsathavam to Emperumaan Sriya: Pathi 
Sriman Narayanan, there should be less difficulty in attempting this. Easier 
said than done:-)

Sri AndAl paved the way for this Srivaishnava lakshaNam- it is naanEthaan 
Ayiduga. (may I be at fault- fogive me for wrong translations)

This comes in the 15th verse of ThiruppAvai "ellE iLankiLiyE.". This is 
supposed to be how one should behave in BhAgawatha sannidhi, while 30th 
verse siRRam siRukaalE- is for Bhagavath sannidhi..

The words ' Naanethaan Ayiduga' are  quite significant and important.

A man is known by the
- books he reads;
- friends he has and
- the mistakes he admits

Normally, most people do not admit their faults; (I for one never..)
Some might do so when cornered (I get angry only even in this case)
Some will accept if found out. But, it is Srivaishnavas -the rare ones are 
those who need to accept even when unjustly accused of faults that they had 
never committed.

Sri Bharatha lamented, "It is only due to my fault of being born as Rama's 
brother, now Sri Rama is suffering in the forest.. What a quailty! He could 
have simply pointed the finger at kaikEyi or his father or even to the 
fate..

We should aim to be like Bharata who owned responsibility for what his 
parents did in banishing Sri Rama.

This is considered to be the very essence of SRI VAISHNAVA
LAKSHANAM - a charcteristic trait of Srivaishnava.

Swamy Desikan has elaborated this in Srimad Rahasyathrayasaram in 14th 
Chapter- Swanishtaabignaana adhikaaram. I am not qualified to even write 
this; however, I have been doing all that I should not be doing from time 
immemorial; Let me add this too to the list. At least it will do good to few 
(if not me) (this post- I had posted earlier last year- I am reproducing as 
this needs to be mulled over again and again day after day.. We need to 
remind ourselves of this as this is the most essential quaility we need to 
possess.

swarUpa nishtai:

1. If we happen to listen to the statements (derogatory) about us, like "He 
is short; He is dark; He is of ugly face; He is lame; He is stupid- not 
intelligent; He is of low caste" and any other abusive statements, do not 
worry. These statements are all for our body (sarIram) and nothing of that 
sort relates to our AthmA, which is permanent, pure always. Hence, we do not 
need to scold back or howl at them for such statement; nor we need to sulk 
and feel remorseful.

2. Further, if someone really scolds or abuses us with such statements as 
above, or any other disparaging remarks against us, feel sorry for him that 
he unnecessarily incurs paapams (sins) by such statements and pray to 
Emperumaan to have krupai on him (remember Sri KooratthAzhwAn forgiving 
Nalooraan).

3. Sometimes, we may not adhere to saaasthras (I always fall in this
category) and due to laziness, or exertion, may skip some deed; if someone 
finds us with that defect and corrects us, we should not get angry for being 
caught red handed; instead, we need to feel thankful and be grateful to him 
for correcting us at the most appropriate time. (Once ThirukkOshtiyUr Swamy 
due to feeling tired, leaned on a pillar in Srirangam temple during VaikuNTa 
EkAdashi festival, another person (like me, waiting to find someone at 
fault), approached Swamy and pointed that Swamy should not do that being an 
AchArya. (One is not supposed to lean on and relax in Bhagawath Sannidhi). 
Immediately Swamy apologized and thanked him for correcting him. He felt 
indebted to him for preventing him do that apacharam which he had committed 
without even realizing that he was doing.) What a quality! -I would have 
said "sardhaan pOm Swamin.. Unga vElayai paathuNdu pOvIngaLaa?")

4. Even when one finds us committing apacharams and tells us, we need to 
consider as if Emperumaan is speaking to us through him to correct us and 
consider it a Divine will. We should not think of any ill against such 
people. Even when it is false accusations, we should think that Emperumaan 
is only testing us for balanced mind to face insults.

5. When one accuses without proper analysis, and without any reason, only 
based on prejudices, we should feel delighted that our praarabhdha karma is 
getting dissolved by through his such false accusations and be thankful to 
Emperumaan for enabling us get dissolved of our praarabdha karma so easily.

UpAya nishtai:

1. Except for SarvEshawaran, Sriya: Pathi Sriman Narayanan, we and our
family (wife, children) are not servants or daasa bhUthars to anyone else.

2. Even when we are in the evening of our life, or suffering from deadly 
disease, and are going to die, since we have already surrendered to 
Emperumaan, we should feel happy that the time has come to unite with Him at 
SrivaikuNtam through archiraadhi maargam and gladly welcome death with 
smiling face. We should know fully well that we are going to be sitting on 
the soft lap of our Father Sri Parama padha nAthan looking and enjoying His 
red coral like lips and be along with His samastha parivaaram.- Nithyars and 
mukhthars.

3. Having surrendered to the Sriya: Pathi, we should not worry about our
protection and not be scared of any event happening. He is there to protect
us and whatever happens is His Divine will. (It need not be what we desire. 
It will be what He desires for us.)

4. Having surrendered to the Sriya: Pathi, we should not undertake any other 
means (like bhakti yOgam). We have surrendered to Him with an unflinching 
faith (mahAviswaasam). He has already taken a pledge to save us from all 
sins and has assured us Not to worry. (so why worry?) We should not do some 
yaagams /homams or any other karmas simply because it is going to give us 
some puNyam, but simply as Bhagawath preethyartham.

5. Having surrendered to the Sriya: Pathi, We should always think that it is 
all in Emperumaan's will to alleviate our sorrows and to grant us something 
good until our death. Whatever happens is for His will.

Purushaartha nishtai:

1. Having surrendered to the Sriya: Pathi, we should NEVER ever seek for 
material comforts, nor should we unduly be worried about some problems 
occurring at home with our family, - with a thinking that everything is 
happening only due to praarabhdha karma.

2. By worrying about anything, nothing gets resolved. It has to happen as 
per Bhagawath sankalpam. - With that jnAnam, we should not brood about the 
domestic problems occurring. (if we do, we become nAsthikan -athiests!)

3. If there is some unexpected wealth or comfort comes our way also (of
course through dharmic way), we should not shun them. We should consider 
them as Bhagawath sankalpam and think that that is way to get rid of 
(praarabdha karma phalam) puNyams as they will also be stumbling block for 
SrivaikuNTa prApthi.

4.  We should view both happiness and sorrows equally with a balanced mind 
and have ruchi (taste) only for kaimkaryam to Emperumaan Sriya: Pathi Sriman
Narayanan.

5. Having surrendered to the Sriya: Pathi, we should develop an intense
desire (tvarai) for the Paramapadha prApthi and utter Dwayam, (contemplating 
its esoteric deep meaning) at all times.

All above qualities are for us, Srivaishnavas, who have surrendered to
Emperumaan Sriya: Pathi Sriman Narayanan.

If we attempt to inculcate and cultivate these guNAs, Sri AndAL and AchArya 
saarva bhouman Swamy Desikan will be pleased.

Swamy Desikan also explains how a prapaannan (one who has unconditionally 
surrenedered to Sriya:Pathi Sriman Narayanan)should behave after his 
prappatti. This chapter (18th) is called "aparaadha parihaara adhikaaram 
(Atonement of Offences)

I have made use of Sriman Anbil mama's translation here (Thanks to him.) 
This describes how we need to atone for our sins /offences committed earlier 
and the ones that are being committed..

After Prapatti, a Prapanna will not indulge in committing any sins

(1) Should he commit any without intention, such sins will not accrue to him

(2) Sins knowingly and deliberately committed can be neutralized by 
atonement -prayaschitta prapatti (not for the purpose of mOskham)

(3) Should one indulge in sins deliberately and does not atone, minor 
punishments will be imposed on him like becoming blind, lame etc., or 
disobedience by spouse, children etc. In such an event also the Prapanna 
would not be denied Moksha because his papas will be
negatived by atonement or suffering punishment as aforesaid. It will only 
get delayed. Do we need that delay with more suffering? Koovik kollum kaalam 
innum kuRugaadhO? should be our
attitude.

(4) Even major sins except what is stated in (5) below will be excused by 
the Lord by inflicting a light punishment in exercise of his patience, love 
and compassion towards the Prapanna (vaaL koNdu veesinaapOlE..). That is the 
greatness of Emperumaan; and that does not
give us a clea chit to

(5) The only heinous and unpardonable sins which will nullify the effects of 
Prapatti are:

(a) Disrespect to Bhagavatas and Acharyas and
(b) Adherence to deities other than Bhagavan.

(6) Though the means and Phala of Moksha are identical as between a Prapanna 
and the great Nityas and Muktas like PARASARA,VYASA,SRI NATHAMUNI and 
others, the Prapanna should not arrogate himself by equating himself with 
these extraordinary luminaries since they are far
superior on account of their birth, character, knowledge, discipline etc 
which are not comparable to those of the Prapanna.

(7) THE PRAPANNA SHOULD NOT DISCRIMINATE ANY ONE AS INFERIOR ON ACCOUNT OF 
THE LATTER'S CASTE, CREED, SEX OR OTHER DIFFERENCES

(8) The Apacharas committed towards Bhagavatas can also be expiated but Only 
by seeking the forgiveness of the same Bhagavatas

None is Perfect except for Emperumaan (and His Divine Consort..) So, why to 
look for others' slips, mistakes, errors, and blow it up? When we point one 
finger towards others, three are towards us.. :-(

Please forgive me for any adhigaprasangitthanam.
Regards
Narayana Narayana
adiyEn Narayana dAsan madhavakkannan

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