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SAtvika AhamkAram 4.03: "DO YOU WANT TO ASCEND TO PARAMAPADAM?

Ramanbil_at_aol.com
Date: Mon Nov 22 1999 - 20:26:45 PST

SwAmi VedAnta Desika's "NaichyAnusanthAnam"
and "SAtvika AhamkAram"
(as gleaned from his StOtras)
Part 4. SAtvika AhamkAram
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Dear Bhagavatas
Your kind attention is invited to the Introduction to this Part posted on 
21st November 99 to appreciate this posting better and in the proper 
perspective.
(Anbil Ramaswamy)
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SAtvika AhamkAram 4.03:
"DO YOU WANT TO ASCEND THE STEPS UP TO PARAMAPADAM?
FOLLOW ME. I WILL TAKE YOU THERE!"
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RangAsthAnE rasika mahithE ranjithAsEsha chithE
vidwat sEva vimala manasA venkaTEsEna kliptham /
AklEsEna praNihitha dhiyAm AarurukshOravasthAm
Bhaktim ghADAm disathu bhagavad dhyAna sOpAnam Etath //
(Bhagavad DhyAna SOpAnam SlOkam 12)

Meaning
"This is BhoolOka VaikunTam called Srirangam.
This is hailed by all Bhagavatas as the ideal kshEtram to reside.
This DivyadEsam is delectable to all those who are fortunate to come and live 
here.
Brahmavidss (those who have known Brahman) like VenkaTEsa, AppuLLAr and 
others who took their residence here.
I have acquired pure and blemishless knowledge having faithfully served them. 

It is with these extraordinary qualifications that I have come forward to 
compose this StOtram.
If you desire to acquire deep devotion like the great yogis of yore and if 
you wish to ascend the steps to Paramapadam - 
Come one, Come all. 
Following me, recite this StOtram constantly with faith
You will acquire Bhakti at the feet of EmperumAn.
Do you know what will happen to you?
Without your realizing it, you will find yourself escalating step by step on 
the flights of steps leading to Paramapadam"

Comment:
SwAmi created two flights of steps -(SOpAnam means flights of steps) -
 "Bhagavad DhyAna SOpAnam" and "Paramapada SOpAnam". 
SwAmi himself is said to have named this StOtram as 
"Bahagavad DhyAna SOpAnam".

It is the function of the AchAryas to provide the ladder to lift the Sishya 
up to Paramapadam and then withdraw the ladder, so that the one who thus 
reaches Paramapadam would never ever have any chance to descend "down to 
earth" again.

"Bhakthim ghADAm" means "unswerved devotion"
Who can get this kind of devotion?
Only those who have purity of mind (Vimala manas)
Who can have this purity of mind?
Only those who have served truly their AchAryas (Vidwat Seva)

SwAmi seems to imply that one should -
 first resort to an AchArya, 
 then, serve him wholeheartedly, 
 thus, acquire a pure mind, and
 thereby develop steady devotion to the Lord
 culminating in performing SaraNAgathi
 which will directly lead one to Paramapadam.
How beautifully SwAmi takes us step by step to our goal!

Following TiruppANAzhwAr to whom he has special attachment and endearingly 
calls him "Nam PANa nAthar", he enjoys the "DivyamangaLa vigraham" of the 
Lord starting from the feet culminating at the crown of the Lord (PAdAdi kEsa 
varNanam).

"AkLEsEna praNihitha dhiyAm"- "akLEsa" means without any effort or pain. 
SwAmi seems to imply that while "BhaktiyOgam" is beset with insuperable and 
painful effort, the "Prapatti mArgam" to which this StOtra will lead will 
ultimately elevate one to supreme bliss *without any effort* at all!

Thus, in this StOtra, SwAmi not only lets us enjoy the pulchritude of the 
Lord's "DivyamangaLa vigraham" *here* but also packs in it the essence of 
"SaraNAgathi Tattvam" in each of its verses leading us to eternal bliss in 
the *hereafter* also. 

In the process, the SwAmi provides us a foretaste of the beatitude which we 
will be enjoying "again for the first time" in Paramapadam!
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To follow: Satvika AhamkAram 4.04: 
"WHY DO YOU FEAR, WHEN I AM HERE?"
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