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Arciradhi - part 4 - Appearace of God in front of the Soul, end of Chapter 1

From: Venkatesh K. Elayavalli (vke_at_cypress.com)
Date: Fri Nov 26 1999 - 09:18:11 PST

Dear members

W continue with the translation of Archiradhi of Sri Pillai Lokacharya
by Ms M. S. Ramesh

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Thus, God has appeared before the soul and now starts the journey to
Paramapada. The path through which the Perumal guides this soul to
Paramapada is the archiraja path. Enroute the soul has for food the
Dwayamantra. The God Who is guiding him in this path is Azhagiya
Manavalan. (The beautiful Lord Ranganatha) The journey is long. The soul
is able to relax and get over its tiredness by stopping on the banks of
the river Viraja, or under the shade ofkalpaka viruksha. The place which
will be ultimately reached by this soul is Tirumamani mandapa. The
people who are accompanying this good soul are the archiraji purushas.
The sound made by the clouds in the sky is the prayana vadya i.e. the
welcome music. While starting on the journey Devadi deva who is
antaryamin in all of us shows the path.

The soul has to cross all the andas; 14 lokas constitute one anda. Only
after crossing all these can the soul reach Perumal and see Him Who has
eyes like that of lotus flowers, Whose mouth is red like a ripe fruit
and Who look like a dark cloud (kala megam) and Who has curly hair. That
Azhagia Manavalan is the ultimate goal. It is said that as the soul
starts on its journey it looks at the anda i.e. world which had held him
as a captive for a long time. It looks at the world with relief as it
has been able to shake off the shackless of that world and is on its way
to Paramapada. The long felt desire to reach Paramapada swells with the
passage of time, as well as in anticipation of reaching the end of the
journey viz. attaining Paramapada.

The next few paragraphs describes the anticipatory pleasure derived by
the soul on its onward journey. This pleasure is described to be similar
to the one which Sita devi experienced when leaving Lanka to rejoin Rama
after Havana was defeated. It is said that around the heart there are
101 nadis.  The antaryamin in this devotee is said to be happy that it
is proceeding to deva loka. Its mind is clear with enlightenment. As the
time  for shedding the mortal coils arrives, a light came to accompany
the soul on its onward journey. The sira kapala i.e. top of the head
breaks and there by the Moordhanya nadi which is located in the mid head
escapes, joins with theantaryamin and starts on its onward journey. It
followed the Surya kirana i.e. the Sun's rays. It got on to a chariot
known as Om. The mind was driving the chariot. As it was travelling in
the chariot the antaiyamin saw that the brilliance caused by the chakra
of God held in His hands gave a certain brightness to all the things.
The world itself looked different. When the soul started on its journey
the ocean is said to have danced. The churning of the waves brought mud
from the depths of the ocean to the top. It was as if the ocean was
dancing in excitement (sasambrahma nruttam). The lashing of the waves
provided the background music for the dance. The people living in the
other worlds came to offer welcome (satkaram). The entire, route was
beautified with thorana i.e. welcome arches. The entire akasa was said
to be full of clouds and gave an appearance as if pooroa kumbha  was
being offered to the soul. Scented dhoopa filled the air. It rained
flowers. The devas were vying with each other inviting this great soul
to visit their residences. Divine music reverbated in the entire area.
All the people residing enroute brought all their wealth to offer to
this liberated soul. Some sang songs. Some performed yagas, offered the
punya which accrued through those yagas to this soul. Some others
offered prayers. Some others sounded the thiru chinnam i.e. bugle.
Blowing of the shanku resounded all round. Damsels with beautiful eyefi
who were adi vahika patnis i.e. the wives of the devas welcomed this
soul. Mangalasasana i.e. words of-praise were sung welcoming the soul to
their world. The seven maruts and eight Vasus (they are devas) also
showed the way to Paramapada to this soul. The people accompanying this
soul were singing the stotras. Thus, this jeeva started its journey in
the archi marga accompanied by the purushas who had already reached
Paramapada.

This concludes the first chapter of archiradi gathi. The second chiapter
details the path to Paramapada.

Sri Pillai Lokacharyar thiruvadigalE Saranam

jeeyar thiruvadigalE Saranam

-Venkatesh Elayavalli