You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : November 1999

Archiradhi - Part 8: ch2 - The Soul enters the Tirumamani mandapam (Lord's residence)

From: Venkatesh K. Elayavalli (vke_at_cypress.com)
Date: Sun Nov 28 1999 - 08:22:38 PST

Dear Members

We continue with the translation of Sri P. Lokacharya's Archiradhi by
Ms. M. S. Ramesh. This post concludes the chapter 2. We will continue
with chapter 3, which describes the Lord in detail,  next week.

-------------

The atma is next welcomed by a number of divine damsels. They take him
around the Raja veedhis i.e. main streets in Vaikuntha. These damsels
offer the Sri Sadagopa i.e. Satari. divya churna (scented articles)
poorna kumbha, mangala dheepa etc. to this soul. The happiness felt by
these ladies while welcoming this atma is akin to the happiness a mother
experiences while welcoming her son who is returning after a long spell
of stay away from her. The faces of those divine damsels looked cool and
calm like the Moon God. Having traversed the main streets, the muktatma
enters a swarna mandir. He again offers his obesience, bows down his
head and says "Sri Vaikuntaya Divya Vimanaya Namaha". When this good
soul enters Vaikuntha, it is said the entire area became more green and
fresh as if it had just received refreshing welcome showers. The whole
of Vaikuntha is breathtakingly beautiful. The muktatma sights the punnai
vriksham (This is a devadaru vruksha i.e. a tree to be found only in
Vaikuntha) absolutely green as the entire tree is covered by fresh
leaves. Different coloured flowers had blossomed all over. These flowers
were something special to Vaikuntha and could not be seen anywhere else.

The area was full of karpaga virukshas.  The gem set mandapas radiated a
dazzling beauty. Vaikuntha was also full of kreeda parvaths i.e.  Hills
of enjoyment.  Vaikuntha was filled with beautiful things which provided
entertainment to Sri Vaikuntanatha Perumal and Goddess Mahalaksmi and
enabled them to while away their time with happiness.  The air in
Vaikuntha reverbated with the melodious Warbles of cuckoos and other
birds. The steps in Vaikuntha were inset with pearls, corals, rubies and
other precious stones. The divya theerthas in Vaikuntha were filled with
crystal clear water like the minds of the nithya mukthars. The trees
were dripping with honey. The tanks were filled with lotus flowers and
sengani neer flowers (it is a type of lotus) which were as beautiful as
the Moon like faces of the damsels in Vaikuntha. Nay they could only be
compared to the beautiful eyes of those damsels. What is more the entire
area covered with flowers presented a picture of a multicoloured soft
scented bed! The sucking of the honey by the bees from the honey filled
flowers produced a soft music. The divya ganam of the divya vandu (bees)
formed a musical back drop. Vaikuntha was full of udyana vanas which
captivated the minds of those who entered the place. The precious stones
lying strewn all over looked like a gem carpet. It had numerous pillars
inset with precious stones. The vast expanse could easily accommodate
all persons residing in' nitya vibhooti as well as leela vibhooti. Soft
breeze blew (Manda Marutam) wafting with it the gentle smell of full
blown lotus flowers, sengani neer flowers, chandan, camphor, etc. This
Thirumamani mandapa provided limitless, immeasurable anand i.e.
happiness. The muktatma reached this Tirumamani mandapa which is the
place where Perumal is seated. As soon as he reached  the mandapa, the
muktatma bows down to the mandapa and says "Ananda mayaya mandapa
rathnaya namaha".

When the muktatma reached Tirumamani mandapa the people there again
welcome him,  hug him and do atma samarpana to the new entrant. The
atmas in that place, have attained sameepya moksha i.e in their
appearance they resemble the Bhagavan. They will be constantly chanting
samagana and enjoying the great qualities of Perumal. As soon as this
new entrant enters the mamandapa, they point out to him the different
gunas of Perumal. It is said that Baghavath anubhava is like a big
river. The people who are already there point out the different
qualities of God which are meant to be enjoyed even as people plant
poles in a river as marks of identification to indicte the depth of the
river! They are constantly chanting the Ashtakshara mantra i.e. Om Namo
Narayanaya Namaha. They are reported to be as happy as Nammalwar was
when he sang the pasuram starting with the word "Urugumal nenjam"
(Thiruvaimozhi). They are steeped deep in the ananda sagara even as an
unfortunate soul gets drowned in the pralaya kala samudra. The atma
reaches the asana where the Perumal is seated. He is surrounded by divya
purushas who are the masters of astras and sastras (astra is a word that
is used to refer to mantra, Sastras is the word that is used for an
ayudham). The God Who is the Creator, the Sustainer and the Destroyer is
being worshipped by Visvaksena and others. The muktatma also reaches
that place.

This concludes chapter II of Archiradhi gathi.


Sri Pillai Lokacharyar thiruvadigalE Saranam
Jeeyar thirvadigalE Saranam

Adiyen

Venkatesh K. Elayavalli