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Sriman Anbil Swamy's note on the Pittsburgh Meeting

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Fri May 29 1998 - 08:20:44 PDT

Dear Sri VenkatEsa BhakthAs  :
I appreciate very much the gracious comments of 
Sri Anbil Swamy . In my earlier note and also in 
person and on the dais , I have thanked most sincerely 
every one , who contributed to the success of 
the recent Bhagavath Kaimkaryam at Pittsburgh . 

As all of you appreciate , I am just a coordinator of this program
and the individual contributions of speakers from all parts
of the country and the gracious support by Sriman Narender 
Reddy and the Temple Officials from start to finish are 
the CENTRAL elements in the success of this Yaj~nam .

The devoted services of Sriman Rengarajan to help 
a disorganized individual like myself have been 
pivotal in chasing the myriad details of the two days .
I have thanked him in person many times and I will go on record
now and join with Sri Anbil Swamy in recognizing his 
special and much apprciated efforts as Kainkarya Thilakam . 

I have mentioned on the dais that our efforts are like
creating a Nava rathna KIreetam for the Lord , where 
every particpant's valued contribution at every level
is like the enmeshing of a rathnams to join the assembly.
This is very  much similar to the Navarathna kIreetam 
samarpaNam by King Thondaimaan of Yore . Sri VenkatEsA 
according to other legend accepted with more joy the mud flowers 
offered by a potter than the pushpams by a king . Our devotional
samarpaNam at His lotus feet belongs in the category of
the bhakthi-laden offering . Every one of you through 
your partcipation , presentation , services contributed
equally to bring this ratha yathrA to a successful conclusion .

I will conclude this posting with the prayer of Adi Sankara 
the VishNu bhakthA in his First SlOkam of 
ShatpadhI sthOthram .

avinayam apanaya VishNO dhamaya mana: 
samaya vishaya rasa thrushNam I
bhUthadhayAm visthAraya 
tAraya samsAra Saagaratha : II

Here The great AchAryA prays for five boons from
MahA VishNu . The first prayer is for removing 
AhankAram ( Avinayam apanaya ).This is the primary cause 
for all unhappiness for the humans that plague us all
at one time or other . Human beings are incapable of 
fully banishing it .That raises its head often . Only
the Lord can remove this aha and puRa iruL ( inner 
and outter darkness referred to by Sri RengarAjan
in his discourse on the Mudal AzhwArs ). Through the
sambhOdhanam ( invocation ) VishNu , who is sarvAntharyAmi and 
is pervasively present in the heart cavity , AchAryA 
suggests that He alone as the enveloper of the space
of mind and heart can successfully remove Avinayam .

The second prayer is : damaya Mana: ( Control your mind ).
Why ? ManO nigraham is the ankusam for ahankAra nivrutthi
( banishing of ego ). 

The third prayer is for the destruction of desire for
material things ( vishaya rasa thrushNA ). ManO nigraham can
only come about , when the burning desire for the material
pleasures and possessions is quelled(quenched ) .

In the first half of this slOkam , the venerated
Sri Lakshmi Nrusimha BhakthA , who composed the 
Sri Lakshmi Nrusimha KarAvalampana sthOthram
and VishNu bhujangam prayed to the Supreme One
to remove ahankAram and Aasura sampath and the granting
of Dhaiva Sampath leading to Moksham .

In the second half of this sthOthram , Adi SankarA 
prays for the boon of bhUtha dayA . Compassion for 
sarva Janthus , the bipeds and the quadrapeds and
all living entities as the creations of the Lord .
He asks the Lord to expand ( visthAraya ) the bhUtha
dayA .This is the fourth prayer .

The final prayer is "taaraya samsAra sAgaratha : " .
Please get me across this fierce ocean of SamsAram
is the heart of the prayer .This is the culmination 
of ahankara nivrutthi, manO nigraham , vishaya rasa
vairAgyam  and bhUtha dayA leading to mukthi or mOksham .

By using the word , Saagara : (ocean ) , the venerable
AchAryA visualizes our state to a log or splinter
that is ceaselessly tossed about with the low and 
high tides experiencing our puNyams and paapams
and being tossed about in different births and
going thru appropriate sukhams and dukkhams .
He wants rest from all these ceaseless tossing about at 
the holy feet of the Lord in His parama padham .

Isvara KrupA is essential for the travel across 
samsAra sAgaram . Even scholars get dragged by
their five strong senses towards the vishaya ruchi and 
the consequent lapse of  manO nigraham
( balavAn indriya grAma: vidvAmsaapi karshathi ) .
It has ben pointed out that it is easier to drink
all the waters of the Ocean ,to pull Meru mountain
out of its roots and to eat fire than controlling the mind 
from its ahankAra-mamakArams . Only the Bhagavath
and Bhaagavatha kaimkaryams and the Lord's dayA/
anukampA /krupA of the kind saluted by our dear 
Sri Vijaya Raaghavan in his talk at Pittsburgh 
and the experiencing of NirvEdam discussed 
by Sri Anbil Swamy could help us to overcome 
this obstacle  of Vishama: chittha nigraham . 
In this context , it is my personal conviction that
Bhagaavth Kaimkaryam and Bhagavatha Kaimkaryam means 
more to me than titles , which are manifestations of 
spontaneous burst of affection that fellow bhakthAs have 
for any  effort I make in the joyous journey to understand 
the beauty of our Kula dhanams . That is all !This is not a 
statement arising out of false modesty , while I 
thank Sri Nadadur Maadhavan for his spontaneous 
sentiment . 

What we did in unison at Pittsburgh is Govindha
naama sankeerthanam revealed to us by our AchAryAs:

rgvEdam maa yajusthAtha maa Saama pata kinchana
GovindhEthi HarErnAma gaayasva nithyasa : 

Meaning : There is no need to recite Rg, Yajur or Saama 
Vedam . But You must sing the Govindha naamam
of the Lord always . This was covered by Sriman Raaghavan"s
presentation on ANDAL Paasurams at Pittsburgh .

The intensity of desire to be anything on the Lord's
saptha giris covered by Sri Murali Rangaswami is 
another manifestation of the desire to be part of 
this yajnam of Govinda Naama sankeerthanam practised
by Sri Madhurai Sundar . 

The deep nirvEdam and NaiichAnusanthAnam 
experienced by Thirumangai AzhwAr was
brought before our our mind's eye beautifully by Sriman Varadhan 
and the need for MahA Viswasam in the Lord was saluted by 
Srimaan Venkat culminating in the profound SaraNAgathi as
aakinchanyan by NammAzhwAr elaborated so lovingly
by Sri NadAdur Madhavan will happen surely .You can
approach and experience the Lord as a Mother ( YasOdhA )
as pictured by Sriman SrikrishNan in his presentation
on the tender paasurams of PeriyAzhwAr or as a supplicant 
for His mercy as Sri Vijaya Raghavan did in covering 
DayA sathakam of the kavithArkika Simham or through
rigorous logic developed by AchArya RaamAnujA 
in his Sri BhAshyam and VedArtha Sangraham in
the spirit of Sri Krishna Kalale's dizzyingly 
delightful presentation .The easier route for most 
of us is thru enjoying the spirit of AdhyAthma sankerthanam
of AnnAmAchArya as demonstrated by Srimathi Mythili Krishnan 
and the tanmayathvam of Purandara dAsA and Kanaka DasA's
daasyam and SaraNAgathi to Govindhan as described to us
with feeling by Sri M.G.Prasad . 

This Govindha Naama Sankeerthanam and the power of it is 
revealed to us by another slOkam :

Achyutha kalpavrukshasccha anantha: kaamadhugh bhavEth 
chinthAmaNisthu GovindhO naamatrayam udhAhrutham 

( Meaning ) : The name Achyutha stands for the boon-giving
Kapa Vruksham ; Anantha , the limitless stands for
KaamadhEnu; Govindha stands for ChinthAmaNi rathnam .
This is the significance of these three naamAs .
That is why Sage VyAsA says : AchyuthAnantha Govindha --.

That is why in this kali yugam , we go to the hills 
of Pittsburgh and Saptha Giri following the foot steps of 
our AchAryAs and offer our kaimkaryam to kaliyuga Varadhan ,
Sri VenkataramaNa Govindhan :

kalim sabhAjanthyAryA : guNaj~nA SAARADARSINA:
yathra sankeerthanEnaiva sarvasvArtthO hi labhyathE 

( Meaing ) : Those great ones , who truly understand
the purport of kali salute the Kali Purushan specially .
It is because of their correct understanding that in
Kali yugam , all the sowbhAgyams come to us just from the 
mere sankeerthanam of Govindha  naamam .

Another AchAryA asserts that there are no other rites
neeeded by the Janthus :

RaamEthi varNa dvayamAdharENa sadhA smaran mukthim upaithi Janthu:
kalou yugE kalmasha maanasAnAm anyathra dharmE kalu naadhikAra: 

(Meaning ) : The Janthu that endearingly recites the taaraka
naamam containing the two aksharams , Raa and ma attains
mukthi surely . In this fierce Kali , for those full 
of blemishes in their hearts , there is no other prescription
to attain Moksham , other than Govindha nAma Sankeerthanam .

I conclude this posting with the final slOkam 
of the shatpathI sthOthram of Adi SankarA , where 
Adi Sankara performs his saraNAgathi at Sriman NaarAyaNA's 
lotus feet :

NaarAyaNa KaruNAmaya SaraNam karavANi taavakou CharaNou
Ithi ShatpathI madhIyE vadhana sarOjE sadhA vasathu 

Here , the AchAryA prays to the KaruNAmaya NaarAyaNan 
and performs his saraNAgathi at his sacred feet .

The Lord described by the six tAhtparya Linghams 
such as Upakramam , UpasamhAram et al and His 
paramAthma SvarUpam is understood as Shatpadh 
or the One with six legs like the honey bee .
AchArya prays for that Shatpadh to reside forever
on the lotus of his face ( Vadhana sarOjE vasathu )(i-e)., 
He prays for this sthOthram to reside forever on
his lips to grant him the five boons ( Removal
of avinayam, Mana damanam , vishaya rasa vairAgyam,
bhUtha dayA and safe journey across the ocean of
SamsAram on the safe boat of the Lord ). 

May we seek these five boons and rededicate our
Kaimkaryam at the Lotus feet of the Lord of
Sapthagiri , Sri PadmAvathi samEtha Sri VenaktEsan .

asmath gurubhyO nama :
Daasan , Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan