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From: Venkatesh K. Elayavalli (vke_at_cypress.com)
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 leaf. 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 ..........