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PART I: SWAMI DESIKA EXPRESSES HIS ANGUISH - Anguish- Posting - 1 (1.1 to 1.3)

Date: Tue Sep 21 1999 - 06:59:03 PDT

(As gleaned from his StOtras) 
Anguish- Posting - 1 (1.1 to 1.3)
(Anbil Ramaswamy)
[As already mentioned in the Introduction, the NaichyAnusanthAnam is 
applicable to us only and NOT to Swami Desika, we have to substitute 
ourselves wherever Swami Desika extrapolates these to himself] 
1.1. "I am a sea of ignorance".

AgnAna vAridhim abhAya dhurandharam maam
AagnA vibhanjanam akinchana sArvabhoumam /
vindhan bhavAn vibutha nAtha ! samastha vedhee!
Kim nAma pAtram aparam manuthE kripaayaah ?//
(DEvanAyaka PanchAsat, SlOkam 49)

"Oh! DeivanAyaka !
I stand foremost among sinners. I always make it a point to transgress your 
commands in the SAstras. I know no means of redemption. For this very reason, 
I feel that I deserve your grace. When I am here so fully qualified for your 
"karuna" (compassion), why should you go after others?"
The implication is that Lord's mercy can have no use for those in 
Srivaikuntam but only to those who languish in SamsAra manDalam. Even so, it 
will have no effect for those who had Bhakti like ParAsara but will have 
value only with reference to those who have nothing to fall back upon.

Can the AchArya sArvabhouma call himself in this fashion? Yes. This is 
considered to be the farthest point in Naichya anusanthAnam  
(NaichyAnusanthAna parAkAshtai).
He has been following the footsteps of Azhwars and Poorvacharyas.
Cf. statements such as -
* Alavandar's Na Dharmanishtosmi etc.
"Dhig asuchim avineetham nirbhayam mAm alajjam amaryAdhah Kshudrah",
"VAdinEn vAdi, varundhinEn, neechanEn, niraivonrumillEn, nAyinEn"etc.
Swami Desika himself explains in Uthara Kritya AdhikAram thus-'kArpanyam 
kulaiyAmaikkAga sollthozhiya vEndumavatril pradhAnam AathmOtkarsham". 

1.2 "You are an Ocean of mercy"
(Characterizing himself as a sea of ignorance, in contrast, he addresses 
Achyutha as an Ocean of mercy.)

AgnAna nija karthavyam yadruchhayA gnAtheshu maAmapi prathikula gathim/
 iti nija swAbhAva vreelitham hAthum dAsAnAm satyah! na kalu thava yuktham //
(Achyutha Sathakam SlOka 80)

Oh!  One who is truthful to your devotees!
Several Karmas have been prescribed in the SAstras. I have not learned them 
fully. No doubt, I have understood just a tiny little of these. But, even 
them, I am not able to perform correctly. On the other hand, I do diligently 
just the contrary to what has been ordained. Now, having realized this, I 
feel ashamed of myself for my acts of commission and omission. As an ocean of 
mercy, you should ignore my failings and save me from drifting away.

The Ocean of mercy is pitted against the ocean of ignorance! An encounter of 
a rare kind, indeed!

1.3  "My sins are like an Ocean too - which cannot be wiped out by the 
expiatory rites!"

Anukshana samuthithE duritha vaaridou dustharE
yadhi kvachana nishkritir bhavathi sApi dOshAvilA /
thadithamagathou mayi prathividhAnamAdheeyathAm
Swa buddhi parikalpitham kimapi rangadhurya tvayA //
(Abheethi Sthavam SlOkam 16)

"The heinous crimes committed and being committed every passing moment in 
this world by men are like an unfathomable ocean. No doubt, expiatory rites 
(PrAyaschithams) have been prescribed for getting rid of these. 
Unfortunately, however, that while performing these rites, more and more sins 
accrue due to faulty or non-observance of the procedures. Therefore, even the 
Karmas attempted also get spoiled. I am one such incapable of doing either 
karma or atonement properly.  Thus, I stand aghast, shuddering and helpless. 
I have no go except to capitulating at your feet. You have to invent some 
means (kimapi) through your sheer determination (sankalpa) and save me"

In this SlOka, Swami Desika implores the Lord on our behalf to think out and 
devise a special procedure to save us like Nammazhwar who in his ArAvamudE 
PAsuram prays to the Lord to find out a "Soozhchi" or "Thanthiram"-a trick by 
which he can attain His feet. "UnathAL sErum vagaiyE Soozh kanDAi". As all 
known paths prescribed are of no avail, the great devotees thus plead to the 
Lord to invent some new manner to uplift them spiritually. This conveys a 
very important concept that lack of qualification is the ONLY qualification 
for Prapatti.
(To Continue)