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From: Venkatesh K. Elayavalli (vke_at_cypress.com)
Date: Fri Nov 26 1999 - 08:32:50 PST
Dear Members Archiradhi is one of the 18 rahasyas of Sri Pillai Lokacharya. This text describes the path to Vaikunth taken by a muktatma. This written in Manipravala Style and grouped in four prakaranas (or chapters). The first chapter address the typed of world and the longings of the soul to reach paramapadam. The second chapter describes the path the soul takes to reach paramapadam. The third chapter gives a detailed account of the Vaikunthanatha starting with the thirumeni all the way down to the toe nails. The final chapter describes a sample conversation between the muktatma and Perumal, before the atma is admitted into Vaikuntham. The translation presented here is from Ms.M. S. Ramesh's book on Divya Desams published by TTD. ---------------------- Sri Pillai Lokacharya wrote 18 rahasyas i.e. books expounding the fundamental vaishnavite philosophy and shastras. The Archiradhi is one such rahasya, written in manipravala style i.e. a mixture of Sanskrit and Tamil. It is believed that there are four ways or paths to attain moksha. They are: 1.Garbhagathi 2.Yama gathi 3.Dhooma gathi 4.Archiradhi gathi The first three are for ordinary, sinful mortals where the soul has o go through Narakanubhavam i.e. hell before attaining moksha, if at all it is blessed as to attain moksha. Archiradhi gathi however describes the path to moksha exclusively reserved for mumukshus i.e. great souls. Archiradhi means a praiseworthy, gathi means path to paramapada. Archiradhi gathi has four prakaranas (chapters). This describes the path taken by a muktatma (gnani) while ataining moksha. More or less the description given here of the route to Vaikuntha compares with what Nammalwar described in Soozh visumbu adi. Chapter 1: Lakshminayakan, the rahasya says is the master of the entire world. The world consists of nitya vibhooti and leela vibhooti. Nitya vibhooti is Paramapada. The rest of the world is leela vibhooti. The people living in the nitya vibhooti are also referred to as those residing in Bogha vibhooti that is to say, they are staying in Paramapada enjoying the company of Baghavan. They are under the suzeranity of Baghavan Who rules them seated under a white umbrella. That is to say God is the sole monarch in Paramapada. He is the ultimate and only master. The use of the words "Ekatha pathram" i.e. a white umbrella is used to denote the usual insignia of a king. In other words, it refers to Eka Chatradhipatyam or sweta chatradhipatyam. Those who are staying in leela vibhooti are in direct contrast to the lucky residents of Paramapada. Unlike the people in Paramapada those living in leela vibhooti are not accustomed to implicit obedience of orders. While those in Paramapada would bend their heads out of respect before the sincere devotees of Perumal, those in leela vibhooti will behave in the exact opposite manner and will show scant respect for the pious devotees. Instead each and everyone of them claim that they are the master. Having made the tall claim that they are the masters, they think that all the things in the world belong to them. While those in Paramapada worship only one God i.e. Narayana as the Supreme Lord, in sharp contrast those living in leela vibhooti sing the praises of any number of gods. In short, people in Leela vibhooti suffer from "aharnkara" and "mamakara" i.e. from the illnesses of arrogance and attachment. It is said that the behaviour of the people in leela vibhooti will be as follows: Unlike the people in Paramapada these residents will lay claim to fame or name. They are not intelligent. Unlike those in Paramapada whose body has a shining glow of purity, those living in leela vibhooti have a sinful body. While those in Paramapada will be praised by the devas as great souls and will always have the sole objective of doing kainkarya i.e. service to God, not so much to please themselves as to please Him, those in leela vibhooti do not know what it is to render service to God. Instead, they become the slaves of Manmadha and run behind sensual pleasures. They do not realise that God is the one and only whole truth. They do not bow down before the Perumal who holds the chakra and the shanku in His hand. Instead they follow the path dictated by their bodily pleasures. Instead of saying that their sole objective and purpose in life is to attain God, they find various methods to get separated from God and to go far away from God. They escape the long reach of the benign helpful hands of Bhagavan. They get lost in the evanascent pleasures of the world and go far away from the grace of the God. The above is the description of the people residing in the leela vibhooti as given by Sri Pillai Lokacharya in his book. It is painful and amazing that this description of the world given so long ago should hold good even today.