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SRIMAD VEDANTA DESIKA GADHYAM Continued - Part 5 - (25 to 28)
Date: Sat Sep 25 1999 - 08:24:39 PDT

Continued - Part 5 - (25 to 28)
(Anbil Ramaswamy)
25. eka yAmini yAma nirmitha pAdhukAsahasra sravaNA sanjAtha vismaya rangEsa 
visrANitha kavithArkika simha samAkhyAvikhyAtha vaidagnya/

Pleased and Overwhelmed by hearing your magnificent production of PAduka 
Sahasram which you composed within one 'yAmam', Lord Ranganatha conferred on 
you the title of 'Kavi ThArkika Simham' and  brought you recognition in the 
whole world as 'vaidagna'- the one who has understood the Vedas thoroughly.

A 'NAzhigai' is equal to 24 minutes. In other words, 2  NAzhigais make one 
hour. A 'YAmam' is equal to 7 1/2 NAzhigais or 3 hours. SwAmi Desika poured 
out the entire PAduka Sahasram of 1000 stanzas in just one YAmam or just 
within 3 hours.

26. samsAra dhAvAnala santhapta sanjeevana sarasAmrutha pareeevAharupa - 
sAra-sAra, rahasya-traya-sAra , abhaya-pradhAn-asAra, sAra-sangraha, 
upakAra-sangraha, virOdha-parihAra,  pradhAna-sathaka, parama-pada-sOpAna, 
tattva-padhavee, rahasya-padhavee, tattva-navaneetha, rahasya-navaneetha,  
tattva-mAtruka, rahasya-mAtruka, tattva-sandEsa, rahasya-sandEsa, 
rahasya-sandEsa-vivaraNa, rahasya-sikhAmaNi, tattva-traya-suLaga, 
rahasya-traya-suLaga, muni-vAhana-bhOga, anjali-vaibhava, 
sampradAya-parisuddhi, hastigiri-mahAtmya,  para-matha-bhanga, 
tattva-ratnAvaLi, tattva-ratnAvaLi-prathipAdhya-sangraha, rahasya-ratnAvaLi, 
rahasya- ratnAvaLi-hridaya 
- ranjitha ramA sahAya nitya bahumatha /

Heartily pleased with your works which were like the cool waters of the lake 
that bring down the scorching heat of jeevas languishing in samsAra, you 
became eternally blessed with the grace of 'ramA'- Periya pirAtti. 

The names of the works are in the text  itself and hence not repeated here in 
the meaning portion

27. pancharAtra prathipAditha abhigamana upAdhAna ijyA swAdhyAya yoga roopa 
panchakAla parAyaNa/ 

You have been strictly and truly following the injunctions prescribed in 
PAncharAtram regarding the observance of the five duties of Abhigamana, 
UpAdhAna, Ijya, SwAdhyaya and yOga.

The daily routine of a Prapanna is as follows: 
The daytime is divided into 5 periods of say 2 1/2 to 3 hours from sunrise.
1st period: Abhigamana:     Praying to the Lord that the day's austerities  
                            should be carried on without any impediments.
2nd Period: UpAdhAna:       Gathering flowers, leaves, preparing sandal paste 
                            for the purpose of doing the Thiru Aradhana 
                            (Ritual worship). This includes purification  
both                                    physical and mental by uttrering the 
appropriate                                     Mantras.
3rd Period: Ijya:           Thiru ArAdhana proper according to Agama 
4th Period: SvAdhyAya:  Augmenting knowledge of philosophical truths 
                            by deep study of the scriptures
5th period: YOga:           Meditating on the feet of the Lord both during 
the                                     waking state and during the dream 

28. samyak pradarsitha  ashtAnga yoga/

You have shown us clearly the way to perform yoga through "AshTAngas"

Bhakti is called "AshTAnga yoga" comprising of 8 disciplines : 
i. VIVEKA :     Body purity maintained by avoiding impure and unclean food 
and                     taking food that would promote `Satva'. 
ii. VIMOHA :    Mental Purity (ie) Being free from desires in worldly things 
like                    wealth and pleasure. OF COURSE, IF GOD GIVES THESE,     
iii. ABHYAASA : Frequently meditating on God and his auspicious qualities. 
iv. KRIYA :         Carrying out the duties and rites prescribed in Sastras 
like `Pancha-               mahA-yagnas'. 
v. KALYAANA : Practicing `Ahimsa' - compassion, mercy, avoiding injury to all 
beings in thought, word and deed. Kriya which includes Pancha-mahA-yagnas and 
KalyANa emphasize the performance of good deeds - deeds meant to promote the 
welfare of the disadvantaged. Self effacing sacrifice for the benefit of 
others is inherent in it. Symbols, rituals, fasting, feasting, prayers, 
renunciation - all are but adjuncts to the upliftment of not only the self 
but also of the society in which the devotee is located. 

This seems to be in consonance with what St.Paul observed in `Corinthians 
13.1 - 
"If I have not charity, I am a noisy and a clanging cymbal". 

If in the height of religious ecstasy, you notice a sick or needy person, it 
would be more genuinely religious to forsake your rapture and provide relief 
to the needy than to remain in contemplative fervor for, after all, if as a 
true SrivaishnNava, you recognize the divinity in all beings, you  should not 
hesitate to rush to their rescue even if your `contemplation' is interrupted 

The word `athithi', in the list of the pancha mahA yagnas refers to a needy 
person who comes to you for any help (that is NOT repugnent to the SAstras) 
and rendering such help wholeheartedly and to the best of your capacity is 
'athithisatkara' -  not merely *feeding* him.. 
vi.  ANAVASAADA :   To be cheerful in weal and woe. 
vii. ANUDARSA :         To be free from pride and egotism (ahankara). 
viii. SAMAADHI :        Maintaining calmness in union with God. 

Though this is the final stage of Moksha, traditionally, it is included in 
the 8 Yogas of AshtAngayOga. The word 'SAM' has an equivalent in Greek prefix 
'SYN' (e.g.) synthesis. It means ' together with'. 'Adhi' which refers to God 
is akin to the Hebrew word for the Lord in the old testament viz., 'ADON' or 
'ADONI'. Samadhi is therefore 'being together with God'- a complete 
integration of the Bhakta's mind and soul with God. 

These disciplines have been differently classified elsewhere as follows : 
i.  YAMA;           Practicing truth, restraint, detachment, celibacy and 
avoiding                        thieving. 
ii.  NIYAMA :       Reciting Vedas daily, bodily purity, mental purity, 
observing                       vows (VRATA) and doing penance (TAPAS) - 
iii.  PRANAYAMA:    Breath Control. 
iv. PRATYAAKARA:Dissociating the senses from the sense objects. 
v.   DHAARANA :     Becoming one with God through meditation. 
vi.  AASANA :       Sitting in YOgic postures with concentration of mind. 
vii. DYAANA :       Have no other thoughts except God, A ceaseless meditative 
viii. SAMAADHI :    Integrative concentration in union with God. 

(To Continue)