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Re: Thirumantram

From: Krishna Kalale (
Date: Sun Oct 06 1996 - 15:38:25 PDT

Thirumalai Anandanpillai wrote

>It is true that there are certain kramas for meditating/reciting (for want
>of a better word  in english - 'anusandhiththal'  in tamizh). I will quote 
>from some of the relevant portions of mumukshupadi here. Anything with
>double flower brackets {{....}}  is my attempt at translating the 
>Thirumanthraartham (MaNavaaLa MaamunigaL's commentary on mumukshupadi).
> Other stuff is my comments.
>mumukshupadi 3 says
>{{ 'thirumantraththinudaya seermaikkup pOrumpadi prEmaththOdE pENi
>  anusandhikkavENum'
> One should meditate on the thirumantram with the love & devotion that is 
> appropriate to its greatness ('seermai')
> One has to meditate on the thirumantram, not with an empty heart, but 
> with an understanding of its greatness & with love towards. One should
> take care that one meditates on it without the thirumantram being heard
> by the non-adhikaaris ('anadhikaarikaL')
> It is important to note who the adikaaris & the non-adhikaaris are.
> Mumukshupadi sutram 1 deals with who a mumukshu is & what a mumukshu
> must know.
>Mumukshupadi 1:
>{{  'mumukshuvukku aRiya vENdum rahasyam moonRu'
> There are three rahasyaas that a mumukshu must know.
> One who has a desire towards moksha is a mumukshu. i.e one who desires
> samsaara vimochanam. Even though aatmapraaptikaamas (people who have a 
> desire to attain an understanding of their souls) have mumukshutvam 
> they are not the adhikaaris addressed here.
> One who desires samsaara vimochanam as a result of
> bhagavath praapti kaamam (a desire to attain the Lord) is the mumukshu that
> is being addressed here.
> One need not understand the meaning of the thirumantram to meditate on it.
> The thirumantram does not lose its svaroopam even if it is recited in any
> way than it is supposed to be.
> mumukshupadi 17:
>{{  'sollum kramam ozhiyach chonnaalum than svaroopam keda nillaadhu'
> As in Bhagavatham 6-2-14, Uttering the name of the Lord through
> calling somebody by their name or making fun of someone named after
> the Lord will lead to the removal of all sins.
> (SaankEthyam paarihaasyam cha sthObham hELanamEva va|
>  vaikuNtanaamaGrahaNamasEshaaGaharam vidhu: ||)
> Reciting the thirumantram even in ways that are not prescribed as the kramam
> will not result in any lessening of the svaroopam of the thirumantram (which
> is rakshakam for those who meditate on it)
>So, in my understanding, the thirumantram can be meditated upon (or recited or
>written, in our case) as long as it is within a community of the adhikaaris as
>defined above i.e. mumukshus.

The people in this mailing list, I would assume,
>fit the above definition of adhikaari.  Even if it were to be picked up by
>someone who is not an adhikaari, it does not lose its greatness(mahimai).
>In fact, if a non-adhikaari picks up the thirumantram, 
>the mantram will do him/her/it good as it is said in mumukshupadi 18,19 & 20.
>Our poorvaachaaryaas were concerned with the thirumantram being
misinterpreted &
>misused by people who are not concerned, and that I think is the reason for
>the qualifier. 
>Daasaanu daasan,

The contents of your mail are valid comments.  The reason I stated earlier
for "un-controlled" usage of tirumantram on the net are as follows:

1.  In this group, there are several folks who have not yet undertaken
prapatti whichever form you may want to think (the vadagalai way or the
tenkalai way of "sambandha jnana") or even samasrayanam.  The tirumantram
and other rahasya mantras are taught by a Acharya to a disciple during
initiation. In fact the disciple is supposed to learn the meanings of the
mantras also.  If one talks about this mantram on the phone, probably it is
ok since it is from a person to person.   If such mantrams are published on
the net.  Say some one knows about this mantram.  Say he goes to an Acharya
and gets mantropadesam.  He (by chance) may think "well I knew of this
mantra earlier. Why did I have to travel all the way to India to get
mantropadesam?  Anyway I did not have the time to really understand the
meanings of this mantra clearly.  In fact I dont need an acharya, I have
several of them on the network!".  This is a little exageration but you
never know with the human mind. 

What gaurantee do you have, that such mantras will be honored when you put
them on the net.  do you know how many people are on this group and do you
know all of them personally very well? do you know that all of us are
mumukshus?  if so there are two possibilities ( one set of people should
have done prapatti long time back as soon as they become mumuksus or the
other set of people should have mentally understood the sambandha jnana
(sharanam vraja) correctly). Is this true. Are you sure? and not all of us
(including me) understand the value of this mantra completely.  Please
remember that this group is not a closed group of only srivaishnavas.  This
group is open to all who have interest in srivaishnavism or even have a
reasonable "short time" interest. In fact can you gaurantee that everyone on
this network would be theists forever?  what if one of us (say me) becomes
an atheist later and then start questioning and even demeaning the mantras?
why cant people just keep the norms which are easy to follow? .  We may get
into arguments with some one and start quoting and saying half cooked
perceptions on this mantra to others. that will be apacharam to the mantra.
"mantram yatnena gopayet" is a dharmashastra issue. one should protect the
value and respect of mantras with great effort.  As you have quoted
mumukshuppadi, it is fine, the mantra does not lose value or even the person
who utters it without interest may get the benefit.  But all said and done,
I would appreciate if you or anyone can talk to your Acharya personally and
clearly explain the issue and let us know whether tirumantram can be put on
a network.  I know from that from the vedanta desika point of view it is
clearly a NO. I would not be comfortable using a commentary on mumukshuppadi
or srivachana bhusana to take a position on this because there are lot of
hidden meaning in such rich texts which are understood only during
kalakshepam under an acharya for some reasonable amount of time (not jut
couple of lectures). I would like to know from the practising Acharyas what
the right methodology is.

If such Acharyas feel that it is fine.  then I guess I understand that this
issue also is a point which is understood differently from different
acharyas of the post Ramanuja period. then I have no argument, but will
follow what I feel is right.

Dasan Krishna Kalale
Krishna Kalale
619-658-5612 (phone)
619-658-2115 (fax)