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SaraNAgathi Journal : Why ?

From: V. Sadagopan (
Date: Tue Oct 21 1997 - 18:52:55 PDT

SrimathE Vaatsya VaradArya MahA GuravE nama: 
GuravE VaradAryAya kurvImahi namskriyAm I
yath padhAmbhOja sEvA na: sudhE VedAntha sampathAm II

Dear Friends : 

NadAtUr ammAL is the other name of the great AchArya ,
who is revered as Vaatsa VaradArya MahA Guru . Lord
VaradarAjA Of Kanchi wondered loud , whether this
servant of His is His ammA ( Mother ) , because of 
the tenderness with which he served the Lord milk 
at the right temperature every day . It was, neither too hot 
nor too cold , but of the most enjoyable soodu ( parama hitham ) .
The Lord of Kanchi was moved by the solicitiousness
of His bahkthA for His comfort during the occasion of 
the drinking of the milk served at the right temperature
by NadAthur Vaatsya VaradAchAr  . Lord VaradarajA ,
who has no parents inquired appropriately , " yen 
ammAvO ? " . From then on , this parama bhakthA
of Kanchi VaradarAjan got the name of NadaathUr 
ammAL . He came from the agrahAram
of NadAthur near Kanchipuram . Such a personal relationship
and affectionate kaimkaryam to the Lord is typical of MahA 
BhakthAs of the Lord . Five centuries later ,
Saint ThyagarajA conversed with his upaasanA mUrthy ,  
Sri RamachandrA at ThiruvayAru , and  invited 
Sri RamA with affection to partake the milk that he 
had prepared for NaivEdhyam :" aaragimpavE ,
paalaragimpavE " ( Sri Rama ! my dear One ! 
pray drink this milk ) . 

Sri NadAthuR ammAL was a renowned occupier of 
the throne of intrepretation of Sri Bhaashyam of
AchArya RaamAnujA . Hence, he was revered as
Sri Bhaashya SimhAsanAdhipathi . He wanted to 
personally initate Sri VedAntha Desikan  . He felt 
however that he was too old to complete the initiation
of  Sri Vedantha Desikan .He recognized that 
the child that stood before him with unusual tejas 
in his kalakshEpa ghOshti at the temple of 
of Kanchi VaradarAjan will one day blossom into
a great Sri VaishNavite AchArya and therefore he
entrusted the ubhaya VedAnthA instruction of
Sri VedAntha Desikan to his disciple , KidAmbi
ApuLLAr . 

Sri NadAthur AmmAL blessed us with a grantham 
revered as " Prapanna PaarijAtham " . It contains 
150 slOkams put together by him as the essence of 
Lakshmi Tantram , VishvaksEna samhithai and 
other source works to help us understand the 
intricacies of SaraNAgathi .

PaarijAtham is the kalpaka vruksham that confers
the desired boons on those , who seek such boons from it. 
Since this grantham yields to the righteous (satthus)
prapannAs all they wish to know about the means of
attaining the Lord's sacred feet through prapatthi and
yields them ultimately Moksha Siddhi , it is called Prapanna-
paarijAtham . Commentators have observed that those
who read this grantham , understand it and observe 
the doctrines recommended for practise there become 
true prapannAs and attain Moksha siddhi . 

This work deals with the following sub-topics :

1. The righteousness ( sev-vai) and the majesty of 
the upAya Vishaya PramANam , Prapatthi 
( the chapter ,  PramANa prapatthi deals with 
the Vedic origins of Prapatthi )

2. The adhikAri for that Prapatthi
( AdhikAri prapatthi: Who is eligible ?)

3. The svarUpam of that Prapatthi 
( SvarUpa Prapatthi : Nature of Prapatthi )

4. The conduct of PrapannAs ( those who engaged 
in the practise of the Prapatthi yOgam ) towards :
(a) the AchAryAs (b) Lord / Thirumaal  (c) Nithya sUris 
and (d) BhagavathAs 

Guru UpAsana paddhathi , Bhagavadh paricharyA paddhathi ,
Bhagavdh parijanOpAsanA paddhathi , sadhupAsanA
paddhathi are the chapter headings for discussions 
on these topics.

(5) Their conduct in observing the most essential of the
recommendations of SaasthrAs (Vihitha VyavasthAna 
paddhathi )

(6) Observances and acts that must be discarded
by them ( Varjaneeya Paddhathi )

(7) The fruit of that Prapatthi  ( PalOdhaya Paddhathi ).

When one understands the SaraNAgathi/Prapatthi
vishayam assembled in the above chapters and 
observes them as revealed to us by this great AchAryan ,
there is no doubt about gaining the full fruit of Prapatthi
yOgam and getting the boon of Nithya Kaimkaryam
to the Divya Dampathis in parama padham in 
the company of Nithya sUris . 

The saraNAgathi magazine was started recently to focus 
on these areas to become familiar with source granthAs of 
AchAryAs that preceded and followed NadAthUr ammAL . 
Since the postings would be some what rich with original 
quotations and therefore would be somewhat "heavy " , 
this SaraNAgathi journal was coceived to be a  be 
a compliment to the more informal postings in the Bhakthi list . 

I will conclude this introductory posting with a definition of 
the Compound word " SaraNAgathi " . NaadAthur ammAL splits 
" saraNAgathi " into two words : SaraNam and aagathi .
SaraNam means upAyam ; aagathi means "varuhai " in
Tamil or arrival at the conclusion . When one unites the two
words , it refers to the conclusion of the PrapannA that 
the Lord is the only upAyam for his or her protection .
PrapannA states clearly that the Lord alone is his or her 
upAyam and concedes in a mature way that the rest of the upAyams
(means ) will not yield the fruit of moksham . The prapannan
lays thus  the burden of protecting himself and the fruits of 
such protection as not his , but that of the Lord as stated 
in the first slOkam of NyAsa Dasakam :

aham madhrakshaNabharO madhrakshaNa palam tathA I
na mama SripathErEvEthi aathmAnam nikshipEth bhudha :II 

Thus the prapannan practises saraNAgathi sAsthra anushtAnam 
( SvarUpa , Bhara and pala samarpaNams ) and becomes 
free from worries about his protection . This is the SaraNAgathi
with its five limbs ( AanukUlya sankalpam , PrAthkUlya
varjanam, KaarpaNyam , MahA vivAsam and gOpthruva
VaraNam ) known by its other names such as Bhara SamarpaNam , 
Aathma NikshEpam , Bhara NyAsam , Aathma nivEhanam 
and prapatthi .

Sri VaradArya mahA GuravE nama: 

ahimsA prathamam pushpam 
pushpam indriya nigraha: I
sarva bhUtha dayA pushpam 
kshamA pushpam visEshadha : I
j~nAnam pushpam Tapa: pushpam
DhyAnam pushpam tadhaiva cha I
sathyamashtavidham pushpam
VishNO: preethikaram bhavEth II

Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan