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Archiradhi - part 5 - Chapter 2: Description of the path taken by the soul

From: Venkatesh K. Elayavalli (vke_at_cypress.com)
Date: Sat Nov 27 1999 - 18:07:48 PST

Dear Members,

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

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Chapter 2

This chapter says that the soul which has started on its paramapada
prayan first becomes bright like a Sun. Later Sukla paksha devata and
Uttarayana devata, Samvatsara, Vayu devas accompany and show the route
to this soul. Later it breaks through Sniyamandala and proceeds further.
It is said that while passing through sniya mandala. Sun God with his
bright golden effulgence is seen riding in his chariot which has Time as
its wheels (kala chakram). The Surya mandala is so bright that one
cannot open one's eyes.  This soul breaks through Surya mandala and then
enters Chandra mandala, the abode of Lord Chandra who has the amrutham
with him.  Such a moon god also does upacharam to this soul. This Moon
god is the master (thalaivan) of the Navagrahas, the 27 and other
millions of stars and guides this soul through his land to the next part
of the journey. Later Varuna devata and Indra who is looking after the
three worlds also meet this soul which is traversing towards Paramapada.
Next the soul crosses the world of Prajapathis who are the masters of
Gandharvas, Yakshas and other rakshasas. Later it passes on to
Brahmandam. 14 lokas constitute one anda and avarana is an area which is
ten times an anda. The soul after having crossed brahmandam crosses the
17 avaranas. These avaranas are like roof over each anda. Finally, it is
heading towards Moolaprakruti.

At that stage of the description of the roof, the author describes what
are all the sufferings in the Yama dhootha world which was avoided by
the soul which is going through the Archiradhi gathi. In short, having
described the joy and the happenings and the welcome that awaited the
soul which took the path of archiradhi gathi, the troubles and turmoils
that await tie soul which goes to hell because of its sins is described.
It is a natural reaction of those who have had a safe sailing through
this world, to value their problemless path more, by knowing what are
the pitfalls which they have avoided in not having taken the other
route! Perhaps, that explains why in this book which describes the path
to Paramapada taken by the punyatmas, mention is also made of the path
taken by sinners - which is to be avoided.