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Archiradhi - part 6 - Ch 2: Descripton of "other" path, Glimps of Paramapadam

From: Venkatesh K. Elayavalli (vke_at_cypress.com)
Date: Sun Nov 28 1999 - 08:05:00 PST

Dear Members

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

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In the other path, there is no water neither is there any shade. The
Yama dhoodhas who act as the guides take one through a path where one
hears weird noises which make one tremble with fear even as one hears
the noise. The path is full of difficulties and ills. The Yama dhoothas
with their pasa rope drag one in that path. The ties of mamakaram,
thinking of the family, the wife and others makes the passage even more
difficult.  The path is long.  The dogs enroute catch us.  The weapons
like sakti, shanku etc. are used to hurt a person. One becomes mince
meat to the demons who are waiting like tigers to pounce upon their prey
and have their fill. The body bleeds with the wounds. Hunger and thirst
cause a lot of pain. The request to Yama dhoothas to give them food and
water only meets with derisive laughter. The nose, the face, the lips,
the teeth all get broken and hurt.  The hands and the legs also get
hurt. We are dragged along the path. This soul which is on its way to
Paramapada thinks of what all it has avoided by not going to Yamaloka.
It realises how the archiradhi gathi has ensured that it is met with
open arms enroute by the devas. It is given due dignity. This
description of the path to Yamaloka and the path to Paramapada reminds
one of what the prince of Denmark in Shakespeare's drama "Hamlet" told
his mother viz.  "Look at this picture and that".  It is said that
coming to know of the difficulties that lie on the path to Yama loka
this soul which is on its way to Paramapada is rushing even more
speedily towards Paramapada. It is crossing the seven worlds. The author
says that the quick pace at which this soul was rushing towards
Paramapada was comparable to the speed with which the dimunitive dwarf
Vamana assumed the viswaroopa. The soul is happy that it has escaped
from the bonds of samsara. There are three types of tapatrayam i.e.
difficulties in this world. They are Adyatmika, Adideivika and
Adibouthika. Adyatmika refers to the pain that results from the sins
committed by us. Adideivika refers to the pain that is caused by deiva
vasam. Adibouthika refers to the pain that is caused by sheer existence
in this world. All these three types of ills and consequential pains are
like a forest fire, to escape from which is very difficult. The soul
which is enroute to Paramapada has crossed all these hurdles when it
reaches Viraja nadhi and has its dip in the river. (The river in heaven
is known as Viraja nadhi while the river in hell is known as
Vaitharani). When the soul had a dip in Viraja nadhi it gets rid of all
the bonds of samsara. Actually the word that is used in this book is
that the soul which has the dip in the Viraja nadhi gets rid of "samsara
setru" (Tamil) i.e. a Quagmire. These two words convey graphically the
picture that the world is nothing but a pool of dirty liquid mud, almost
a cesspool. After the dip in Viraja nadhi, the soul gets cleansed. It is
almost as if till then the soul was like a Surya mandala covered by
clouds or a chandra mandala which was caught in the net of Rahu or like
a manikya i.e. a precious stone lying hidden in mud. Once the soul had
its bath in Viraja nadhi, all the doshas i.e. defects are washed away.
It gets the brightness as if many thousands of Suns have risen at the
same time. The soul gets the brightness due to the purity.

As soon as the soul had a dip in Vinya nadhi and shed its rajo and thamo
gunams, Vishnu dhoothas who look like Lord Vishnu, having four hands
with bright faces (They are known as Amanavan i.e. opposite to Manavan)
meet this liberated soul. They hold his hand and guide him on the path
to Paramapada. By the touch of the amanavan this soul also gets
transformed into a beautiful object. It is blessed with all kalyana
gunas. It has only the sudha satva guna. Kainkaryadaras and the Nitya
siddas approach him.  He is able to see Paramapada in the distance. He
bends his head and offers worship to Paramapada. That Paramapada is not
like Indra loka as Indra loka can be attained by performing Aswameda
yaga. But it can also be lost. But Paramapada is eternal. Paramapada can
be attained only with the help of Baghavath preethi i.e. Grace of God.
While people in Indra loka will have satva, raja and thamo gunas, those
in param padam will have only satva guna. They have clear jnana.
Paramapada has an aiswarya and wealth which cannot ever be measured. The
soul sees that glorious land viz. Paramapada and bows down and offers
namaskaram.