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Re: Couple of questions

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Sat Oct 09 1999 - 07:08:14 PDT

Dear BhakthAs : There were two questions 
by a bhakthA in another net . The answers 
to these questions may be of interest to you as well:

The questions were:

>>In the quest to learn more about our sampradhayam, i have a couple of
>questions.Often, membersrefer to terms such 
>as Sancharam and Sankalpam. Although, i do know the basic meaning of 
>>sankalpam, i would appreciate if members of this group can help 
>>shed more light on Sankalpam, and in particular 
>>the Chaturmaasya Sankalpam, and also Sancharam, 
>>and what all these entail.

A.SanchAram : The Paramahamsa ParivrAjaka Yathis are 
expected not to stay at one place too long lest they
develop attachments , which is anethma to their vows
to renounce every desire and attachment .Hence , in Yathi 
Dharmam , they are enjoined to move from place to place 
and pursue their sanyAsa Dharmam of ThuriyAsramam . 
Their travels from place to place is known as SanchAram .
The details are elaboratd in Yathi Dharmam by 
Yadhava PrakAsar , who was initiated into sanyasam
and Sri Vishnava dharmam by his former sishyan,
AchArya RaamAnujA . 

For the Ahobila mata SampradhAyins , SanchAram has 
a special meaning . Since the time 600 years ago,
when Sri Malolan jumped into the hands of 
AdhivaNN SatakOpan at Ahobilam hills and commanded 
the twenty year old lad , whom he had iniitated into
the utthamAsramam to go from Village to Village 
all over India  with Him and grow Bhagavadh 
RaamAnuja Darsanam , perform Pancha samskAram 
and BharanyAsam , SanchAram of the Ahobila Matam
started . MalOlan was in such a hurry to bless
the BhakthAs , he joined Adhi VaNN SatakOpan
with one PaadhukhA. he had no time to adorn
the other PaadhukhA .We are blesed since then to
benefit from Malolan's and Azhagiyasinghar's
grace from their joint sanchaarams .

Sankalpam and ChaathurmAsyam :

(A) Sankalpam :At the outset , We always have to link 
Sankalpam with Saathvika ThyAgam in our mind. Bhagavadh
(Isvara Sankalpam) Sankalpam and svEcchA to engage in 
His divya LeelAs are some thing different than our 
Sankalpams to perform certain KarmAs ordianed by 
the SaasthrAs and the Saasthra PaaNi , The Lord .

The intention here is to remove ahmakAra,
mamakArams (ego and the sense of mine) while
performing these rites. In this context , we consider
ourselves a sthe tools of the Lord and say therfore
at the commencement  and the conclusion of
these karmAs , "SvayamEva Kaarayathi and
svayamEva KaarithavAn " .We mean that the supreme being
caused the commencement of the karmA and got it 
accomplished with His grace . We acknowledge most 
sincerely in the sankalpam, " Sriman NaarAyaNa 
Preethyartham  ( purely /solely for the pleasure
of Sriman NaarAyaNaa) to renounce our ego and
the notion of mine in a spirit of Saathvika ThyAgam . 

What does SanklapA mean in this context ? The term 
can be understood in unmber of grammatical ways
to bring out the rich meanings associated :

A.1:In Parsmai and AtmanE padham ,The root  " Sankal " means 
to add ,or sum up , to deem , to grasp , to drive away 
and to rout. It is therefore a resolve seeking Lord's
blessings to drive us towards the upper reaches of 
SadhAnA and to remove all hindrances that affect
such a course in the spirit of NyAsa Dasakam .

A.2: " Sankalp " has Vedic and Upanishadic Connotations.
Here , it means 'to be brought about , to come into
existence , to be in order ,to create, to determine 
with will , urpose and resolve "

A.3:" Sankalpa " means conception , notion born in mind ,
a defenite intention , a determination , a rsolution ,
a solemn vow ". Lord's creation of the universes ,
protction and dissolution are thru His Sankalpam
(Sankalpamoolam and sankalpa Roopam ).Swami Desikan's
Sankalpa SuryOdhayam is the larger philosophical/allegorical
drama about the cardinal doctrines of VisishtAdhvaitham 
and the sun rise to banish all the obstacles for receiving
His grace thru the battle between sankalpams .

B.CHAATHURMAASYAM :ParivrAjaka SanyAsi (wandering mendicant)
is required not to stay in one place for too long for reasons
explained above. But they are allowed to stay at one place
for two months a year during rainy season (starting from
Aani full moon ). This is to avoid unintentional himsai
to PrANis , who are abundant at that time . Ahimsai to
Janthus is a main sankalpam of SanyAsis. That is why they do not
cook( causing death to insects and life in germinated grains , 
water , fuel et al) and do not pluck green leaves (TuLasi). 

During the two months ( four pakshAs =chaathur maasyam ),
they stay put and perform sankalpam in front of their
sishyAs to stay at aselected place for avoiding injury to 
prANis .Some times , the chAthurmAsyam is 3 months long ,
when two new moons happen in a solar year.The SanyAsi 
engages in DhyAna Yogam and VedAntha VichAram and blesses 
the sishyAs , who say at the commencement of Sankalpam
that will serve their AchAryan to the utmost of their ability
with joy ( YathA sakthi cha SusruUsham karishyAma: vayam mudhA ).
This is the context of Azhagiya Singar's ChAthurmasyam this
year at ThiruvhIndhrapuram at the sacred feet of the divya
Dampathis there and Swami Desikan . Such a chaathurmAsyam
at ThiruvahIndhrapuram happened after 100 years interval, 
when the last Azhagiya Singhar peformed ChaathurmAsyam at 
this divya desam .

NaarAyaNa , NaarAyaNa ,NaarAyaNa 

Daasan , V.Sadagopan