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Recent Postings on Nirhethuka and Sahethuka Krupa of the Lord & Prapatthi

From: V. Sadagopan (
Date: Sat May 10 1997 - 19:04:57 PDT

Dear Members of the Prapatthi group : 

I read once more the erudite postings on the subject 
and wish to concur with Sri Mani Varadarajan that the 
philosophies of grace can not be reduced to stark ,
one dimensional points of view  . They are not black and white .
As in real life , there are  shades of gray . The two AcharyAs,
Sri PiLLai Lokachaar and Swami Desikan's views do  not  
differ too much about the Lord's ever-existent Daya 
and the need for us " to make  the proper mental 
affirmation for it to bear fruit ". 

As Sri Vidyasankar has referred to , many religions based 
on VedAs focus on the abundant saving grace of the Lord . In Saiva 
Siddhaantham , the cardinal text is " Thiruvarut Payan " .
These are  written as SutrAs and have been commented upon 
heavily to emphasize the Lord's infinite grace and " its interplay with
our Behavior " .MaaNickka vachakar's Thiruvaachakam and 
the works of othe rNaayanmArs are rich with thEvaara paNNgaLthat 
deal with this important subject . I will  focus in this posting on 
the concept of grace in Sri VaishNavism  as I understand it 
and relate it to recent postings to continue
the discussions on this important and cardinal doctrine .
Sri Mani has analysed the issues related to the two types of KrupAs
referred to in Sri Vaishnavite Philosophy  in depth in his 
informative  posting of May 7 . I agree with the statement that 
the Lord's grace is always there for us and our self-surrender is 
a VyajA to benefit from its full power . 

In one of the Acharya Hrudhayam SutrAs , the brother of 
Sri PiLLai LokAchAr , Sri Azhagiya MaNavALa erumAL
nAyanAr describes the agitated and impatient state of the Lord 
waiting for the dawning of the pakkuvam of NammAzhwAr . He compares 
the Lord's state to that of a very hungry man waiting by the fire side 
impatiently looking at the rice pot , where the rice  is being cooked 
and checking on the progress of cooking  constantly and eagerly 
waiting for the cooked rice to be ready for eating (padam )
enjoyment . The relevant sutram is :

" BhOgya paakadvarai teLindha sandhaikku munnil 
  moonRilum prakatam " .... Sutram 176 , Aacharya Hrudhayam 

The reference here is to the impatient waiting of the Lord 
at ThiruppuLingudi , VaraguNamangai and Sri Vaikuntam divya 
desams . AzhwAr is Bhogya boothar and the Lord is AnubhokthA .
The Lord has padaRRam (agitation and impatience ) since 
his grace is ready to flow and the " maturation " of the parama bhakthi 
of the Azhwaar is progressing ever so slowly towards its state of fruition 
and ultimate union with the Lord .

The author of Acharya Hrudhayam says that the Lord waited 
impatiently  first by stretching on Adiseshan at ThirupuLingudi , 
second by sitting  at VaraguNamangai 
and standing  at Sri Vaikuntam for His Nirhethuka KrupA to flow .
At these three divya desams , the Lord has sayana , Veerirundha 
and ninRa thirukkOlams .

The reference here is to the Thiruvaimozhi Paauram (9.2.4 ) ,
 where Azhwar says :

 " PuLingudi Kidanthu  VaraguNamangai irundhu 
VaikunthatthuL ninru , teLinthaven chinthaham kazhiyAthE 
Yennai aaLvAiyenakkuruLi ----" . 

At ThirukkAtkari divya desam , AzhwAr describes as to 
how the joyous Lord lifted him up 
and tightly embraced him and enjoyed him with great joy :

" aatkkoLvaanotthu yennuyir unda Maayan " , " Vaarikondunnai
vizhungavan kaaNileru aarvuRR yennai ozhiya yennil munnam
paaritthu taan yennai muRRa paruhinAn , kaarokkum 
Kaatkaraiappan " .

 The union between the Bhogya bhoothar 
(Azhwaar ) and anubhokthA (the Lord ) after pakkuvam 
or the maturation of the mental affirmation is described here .
Else where , we hear AzhwAr describing the Lord entering 
and pervading his " nenju " as a vyajam for his uttering the 
word , Thirumaalirumcholai and ThiruppErai  :  

" Thrumaalirumcholai malai yenREnenna
   Thirumaal vandhennenju niraya puhundaan --" TVM 10.8.1

" pErEyuraihinra pirAn inru vandhu
  pErEnenRennenju nirayappuhundaan "  --- TVM 10.1.2

In the next pasuram , BhOgya bhootha Azhwaar describes 
his joy over "catching "  the Lord firmly and holding Him in 
his heart with great aanandham. Azhwaar also wonders 
about the simplicity of his union  with Him and the banishment 
of the maayaa of Samsaaraic sorrow for him as a result  : 

" piditthEn piravi kedutthEn piNi saarEn 
  maditthEn manai vaazhkaiyuL niRpathOr maayayai
  kodikkopura maadangaL soozh ThiruppErAn
  adicchervathu yenakku yeLithAayinavARE "
                             ---- TVM 10.9.3

Here , Azhwar celebrates with thankfulness about how 
easy it became to rest at the feet of the Lord of ThiuppEr 
through the fruition of his SaraNAgathi thru the simple
act of uttering the name of the divya desam , 
Thirumaalirumcholai and ThiruppEr . 

Azhwaar is 28 paasurams away here from concluding his 
Thiruvaimozhi vaachika sevai and is about to describe his 
ascent to Parama padham via the archiraadhi margam .
His choice of words to describe his bhaagyam are very 
relevant for the ongoing discussions on sahethuka 
and nirhethuka krupaa and their effect on SaraNAgathi .

In the next posting , I will write furhter about the intertwining of 
the sahethuka and nirhethuka krupaas and the flow of
the Lord's sahaja and aparimitha karuNaa towards a prapannan . 

Azhwaar , AchaaryAL , Divya DampathigaL thiruvadigaLE saraNam,

Oppiliappn Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan