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care of the "sariram": sAtvika?

From: sampath kumar (sampathkumar_2000_at_yahoo.com)
Date: Fri Nov 26 1999 - 11:36:28 PST

Notes to Sri.Chandrasekharan,Vijayaraghvan and Kalale,

adiyen thanks you all very much for your comments.
Since my comments are for all of you adiyen is taking
the liberty of posting on list instead of responding
privately to you. Hope you don't mind.

I cannot see anything "vibareetam" or "avidya" in
one's desire to maintain "sareera" not only in a state
of good health but also "attractive" (not vain)
grooming. 

The soul or 'jeeva' is sublime. The body or "sareeram"
is gross. We are blessed with both "jeeva" and
'sareeram" by Him alone, Narayanan, the Supreme One.
In the journey of life we strive to make our
individual souls more "attractive" to Him by adopting
one of the "margA-s" like bhakti , karma yoga or
prappati-marga. By the same token why may we not
strive to make our "sareeram" too "attractive" to Him?

The bedrock of Ramanuja's philosophy is the
"sareera-sareeri" nexus. All the world and all
creation is "sareera" and the "sareeri" is the
Immanent One, "paramAtma". That "sareeram" is
"transitory" or "gross" is therefore not just reason
to reject it (as it is done in the tradition of the
Judaeo-Christian religions). 

This world is His 'sareeram', says Ramanuja. Which
makes the hills, the valleys, the forests, the oceans,
the streams and the animals all His "body". If
Narayana were the "sareeri" of all the world then
surely He would wish us to keep this world an
"attractive" one? If you were a landlord and had
rented out your house would you not expect your tenant
to maintain the property in "excellent condition"
besides paying the rent promptly?

Look at the degradation of the world around us today. 
Every year we destroy forestlands in the world roughly
the area of the Karnataka state. Every year Man
destroys about 80000 forms of animal-life. Some parts
of oceans have been made completely bankrupt of
marine-life. In a few years from now there may be
nothing left of what we now know as the Narmada river
valley.

We are not only making God's 'sareeram' 
"unattractive". We are destroying it. We are defiling
His "sareeram" in unspeakable ways.

When we go to a temple we stand before the
"archAmurthy" and sings paeans in praise of the Lord's
form and "sareeram" --- His eyes, His feet, His arms
and limbs, His thighs, His lips, His navel and so on.
Why do we do so?

Man conceived God in his own image. And have we not
made that conception the most "attractive" one ever
possible?

The beauty of Ramanuja's philosophy is that he rejects
nothing in the world. He does not reject the body as
anti-soul. The great "bhAshyakAra-r" was a
quintessential holist. To him the "sareera-sareeri"
bond was not merely an ontological proposition. It was
an all-encompassing world-view... and a supremely
aesthetic one too at that.

All of you perhaps misunderstood my post to have been
a slanted celebration of the "body" in its sensual
aspects. Is it adiyen's fault that you are prisoners
of your own pre-conceptions of the 'sareera" as a
"transitory" bag of woe? 

Who has understood "vibareetham" here? Who suffers
from "avidya" here?

dAsan,
Sampathkumaran

    




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