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Offering to Sriman Narayana "Directly"

Jay.Bharadwaj_at_nrecatao.nreca.org
Date: Thu Nov 02 1995 - 11:01:43 PST

While describing events associated with the life of Poigai and the
other two AzhwArs Sampath writes to the effect that the beginning of
the 4,000 Divya Prabhandas were offered to the Lord "directly".
Similarly in the 1992 special issue of Nrsimha Priya, while
describing the events associated with the life of the 33rd Jeer, the
author states: "This Jeer is supposed to have seen Lakshmi Nrsimha
directly...".  While such statements reflect the authors' desire to
praise the AzhwAr or Acharya in question, use of words like
"directly" gives the impression to the lay person that there is a
difference between Narayana when He chose to descend by Himself as He
did to the Azhwars or if He chose to have His archa Vigraha sculpted
and Prana Pratishtha done by human beings.

Sri Vedanta Desikar has explained in the Tattva Traya Culakam that
Isvara - who is the Purushottama and the consort of Sri has fivefold
forms as Para (as He is seen in Sri Vaikuntha), Vyooha (as in
VAsudeva, Samkarshana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha), Vibhava (includes
all incarnations), antaryAmi or Paramatma and ArchavatAra.  Regarding
archavatAra, Sri Vedanta Desikar says -"ArchavatAra or Consecrated
image is that state of MANIFESTATION of the Lord which is endowed
with the characteristic marks of PARA, VYOOHA and other forms.  IT IS
FREE FROM REMOTENESS OF PLACE, TIME, AND THE LIKE AND IS THEREFORE AN
OBJECT OF ENJOYMENT EVEN TO ORDINARY MORTALS WITH THE EYE OF FLESH IN
THE ASPECTS OF SVAYAM-VYAKTA AND OTHERS."  Svayam-Vyakta is self
manifested forms like Ranganath, Venkatesa, Panduranga etc.  The
"others" referred to by Sri Vedanta Desikar are Arsha i.e. Vigrahas
consecrated by Rishis and MAnusha or Vigrahas consecrated by men.

There is thus no difference between the NarayAna that Poigai AzhwAr
offered His Pasurams to and say the Malola Lakshmi Nrsimha
archavigraha to whom the 44th Jeer offered His Lakshmi Nrsimha
KarAvalambha stotram.

What Sri Vedanta Desikar considers to be an indirect manifestation of
Bhagavan are Vibhava-antara incarnations like Kapila who are Jivatmas
into whom the Lord enters and invest them with wonderful powers.

Jaganath.