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Archiradhi of Sri Pillai Lokacharya - Part 2

From: Venkatesh K. Elayavalli (
Date: Fri Nov 26 1999 - 08:58:25 PST

Dear Members,

We contnue with the translation of Sri Pillai Lokacharya's Archiradhi by
Ms M. S. Ramesh


Pillai Lokacharya says that God sees this sorry state of affairs of
people living in leela vibhooti.  He does not throw up His hands and
give up hope. He does not also leave them to their fate.  As He is
associated with them ever since the origin of Creation He thinks of ways
and means of correcting and salvaging these erring souls which have
taken the wrong path. He, Who, is the friend, philosopher, guide and
protector of the entire creation is ever busy in trying to rescue these
pitiable souls. He makes them realise the ills of this world. He with
His abundant grace blesses these poor souls. Ever since His kataksha
rests on them, these poor souls start raving for salvation.  They learn
the beauty of advesha (universal love). They adopt vairagya. They are
blessed with gnana and viveka. They seek a good acharya and with his
help want to be inititated into doing kainkaiya (service) to the Lord.
The futility of this life with its ills, hits them in the eye. They
realise that life in this world is comparable to the life of a helpless
frog caught in the mouth of a snake. They understand they are like a doe
caught in a forest fire running hither and thither not knowing where
safety lies. They realise their fate is none better than that of a
helpless ant caught between the two ends of a burning stick. They are
like a rudder less ship tossed about in the turbulent waters of the sea.
They realise they are torn asunder by the five senses.

Similar thoughts were expressed by Thirumangai alvar in his Peria
Thirumozhi (Pasuram 2022). Thirumangai alvar as is well known was a
chieftain.  He had therefore enjoyed the pleasures of a king. In this
pasuram, he is seeking moksha from God. While addressing God he cries
out of the depths of his heart that he is like a tree on the bank of a
river which runs the risk of being washed away during heavy floods. He
says he is like a person who rushed to the roof top to escape from the
swirling flood waters only to find that he had to share that haven with
a vicious snake! He compares himself to a frightened ant caught on a
piece of wood which is burning furiously at both ends. He adds he is
like a fox which is caught in a flood in the forest. He says he is
worried to distraction and seeks the help of God to rescue him from this
world and confer moksha.

Similar thoughts are expressed by Pillai Lokacharya while describing the
thoughts of a reformed enlightened soul of leela vibbooti. With God's
kataksha when enlightenment dawns, the poor soul hates his surroundings.
His feeling of distaste to the life in this world is similar to the
feeling of revulsion that Sita Devi had when in Ashoka vana she was
surrounded by the despicable demonesses. They realise the folly in
pursuing good clothes and good food. They are able to clearly understand
that life is not permanent as they thought and that is only a maya and
short lived emphemeral glory. The realisation makes them turn a new

Having turned a new leaf, the individual devotee is impatient.  He is
looking forward to the day when he will be emanicipated and blessed with
salvation. He will be looking forward to the day when he could attain
the divine lotus feet of the Perumal. Every day's delay makes the hunger
for attaining the Lord more severe. As he is not able to see God, each
day looks like thousand pralaya kalam. The eye sight and the powers of
speech get weakened. He looks forward only to the day when he can give
up his mortal coils. Such is his impatience and eagerness to reach God.

>From the day the person changed his habits and started directing his
thoughts towards God, God became ever more keen to rescue him. Even as
the devotee started showing scant respect to his body and wanted to shed
the mortal coils and looks at God and says that he will not leave Him
till such time as he attains Him, that is to say he reaches the stage of
parama bhakti and wants to give up his body as he feels that the body is
the cause for all the sins, Perumal tries to teach patience to him and
impresses upon him that the same body which he hates can be made to
adopt practices which will take him towards salvation. The devotee
adopts saranagathi from that day. The devotee bends his head in
veneration and devotion so as to reach the divine feet of the Lord. The
God takes it as His prime task to see that the devotee attains his
objective. All the time, God is thinking as to how He could help this
devotee who is striving to attain salvation.  He realises that with
enlightenment the devotee is having a body which is as harmless as a
snake from whom the venom has been taken out. Yet the devotee is
mortally afraid that as long as he had got a body and there is aprakruti
sambanda, it is possible that he may commit sins. God realises these
fears of the devotee and tries to guide him in the proper path so as to
attain moksha.

It is said that if the thirst of the devotee for attaining salvation
occupies an area as big as the area covered by the hoof of a cow, the
desire and affection of God to see that this soul which is thirsting for
salvation attains his objective, covers an area which is a big as the
ocean! Thus God is more keen to take this reformed soul to Paramapada.
In brief it means that if the individual devotee takes atleast the first
small step towards attaining salvation, God extends the helping hand to
enable the giant leap to Moksha. The thirst of God for ensuring that
this soul attains salvation is more than the thirst of the individual
soul to attain moksha. Even as the devotee wants to reach God, God also
wants to help this reformed person and make him come to Paramapada.

To be continued ..........