Monday, March 14, 2011

VishitAdvaitam Basics - Conclusion

Let us look at JIvAtma swarUpA and ParamAtma swarUpA as per VishishtAdvaitam:

"Satyam nyAnam anatam brahma"

Brahmam - ParamAtmA is always eternal, never changing, full of knowledge, omni present, omni potent, pervasive, pevadive. PiLLai LOkAchAr a famous exponent of VishishtAdvaitam wrote the AashAdasa rahasya grantam. Sri vachana bushanam is the best out of it. Nava vida sammandham is one text which iterates the 9 diff types of relationship that I enjoy with ParamAtmA:

No individual has all 9 relationships to us - we would have come across each in  different people but never all in the same person.

PitAcha rakshakaha sEshi bhartA  gnyEyO ramA pathihi
swamyAdharO mamAtmacha bhoktAchadya manUditaha

Pita-putra BhAva: Parent-child relationship.
Rakshya-rakshaka BhAva: Just because one is a father, it doesn't mean he is also a protector. But ParamAtmA is also a protector and I am the protected. Protector-protected relationship.

PiLLa LOkAchar says: Eesvaranai ozhindavargal rakshagar allure enbadai prapanna paritrAnathilE sonnom.

It means: Except NArAyanA none else can protect you; we commonly believe that a father protects us till we turn 18, then a husband, then maybe a son. He negates all these beliefs. If f anther protects did HiraNyakashipu protect PrahlAdA? If a brother is a protector, did RAvaNA protect VibhIshanA? As a mother, KaikEyi did not protect BharatA. None of these relationships seem to protect. When these people were abandoned by their supposed protectors, SrIman NArAyanA stepped in to protect them. Only the wealth of BhagavAn will protect you.

Sesha-sEshi BhAva - this is important as per RAmAnujar. BhagavAn is sEshi (master) and I am His absolute servant. UnakkE nAm At cheiyvOm. Only objective of JIvAtmA is to serve ParamAtmA. SitA was ordered by Rama to stay in the kingdom. Sita said that cording to manna smrti a man has to perform veridic rites only with his wife, so she insisted on accompanying him to the forest. Same rule was also applicable to UrmilA, LakshmaNA's wife. Then why did she not accompany her husband to the forest? There are 2 types of rules: SAmAnya dharma and VisEsha dharmA.Whenever there is no conflict between a special rule and a common rule, you can follow the common rule; but when there is a dispute, the special rule applies. In LakshmaNA's case, the sAmAnyam was to perform rituals with wife. The VisEsham was to take care of Rama. If UrmiLA came along to the forest, serve to RAmA will be disrupted. LakshmaNA's priority was service to his brother. This RAma-LakshmaNa master-servant relationship is sEsha-sEshi.

Bharta-Bharya BhAva: Narayana is my husband and I am his wife. Irrespective of their sex, All JIvAtmAs are females and only ParamAtmA is PurushOttamA. The only supreme male. We are all married to ParamAtmA. During wedding, in the kannikA dhAnam, the varA is addressed as being Vishnu roopaya thathAmi. He represents Vishnu. All girls are only married to Vishnu. Mangala sutrAm in this case is tiru mantram: Om Namo Narayanaya. It is tied to the neck of the JIvAtmA by the ParamAtmA. JIvAtmA belongs only to ParamAtmA and nobody else. This JIvAtmA is not available for anyone else. Intimacy is thus confirmed. Vaishnavas are often criticized for this reason - we will only worship SrIman NArAyaNA and no one else. We are called narrow minded in our perspective. Will any wife ask why her husband alone is her husband? When a wife says that she has solely one husband, she is a Pati VrtA. When we as Vaishnavaites say that we won't look at anyone other than NArAyaNA, why are we called narrow minded? We need to be praised, not criticized and certainly not asked to consider other Gods as ParamAtmA. This is the husband-wife relationship.

GNyatru - GNYEa BhAva: The JIvAtmA is the knower with knowledge. The ParamAtmA is the known, the realized, the recognized. The guiding light is the shastra. Source of knowledge is shastra. Ramaa patithi  is the sheaf pati BhagavAn realized by me. The knower-known relationship.

Swas-swami BhAva. Owner vs owned relationship. This is not applicable to other 5 relationships. I am His belonging/property. He can use me to any way possible. After sattumorai, prasdam is distributed. It is called KandaruLa pannudal. Somehow it is shared perfectly as per the discretion of the archakar distributing it. Similarly, God can use me as a viniyOga prasAdam however he deems fit.

Swami - Aadhaaraha BhAva: ParamAtmA is the one bearing me and I am the one being borne. if he leaves me, I will fall below. The relationship of the holder vs. the held. The entire universe is borne by ParamAtmA as evident form the Gita verse: vishtabhyaaham idham krthsnam ekaamSena sThitho jagath. KrsnA says "Without missing one small object on this universe, I bear it all. Arjuna, I don't even move an inch to bear it. I don't change/ I am not influenced/ I am unaffected". We are connected to Him like beads are connected by a string. Krishna gives another example of this: "SootrE manigaNa via maya tatam via sarvam". The beads (JIvAtmAs) are connected to to a sutrA string (Brahmam). Many beads are connected to one string, just as many JIvAtmAs are connected to one ParamAtmA. You cannot see the string, but only the beads. Jagat is visible, AtmA is known, but the Bhrammam is invisible. The beads are heavier than the string. We would think the beads are holding the string. But when the string is pulled out, that is when we know the truth.

SharIrAtma BhAva: He is my atma, I am his sharIra. The body-soul relationship.

BhOktAcha manOsita BhAva: He is the enjoyer and I am the enjoyed. He plays with me, toys with me and amuses Himself. Enjoyer vs. enjoyed relationship.

These 9 relationships are inevitable to understand the concept of V.

UpAya swarUpA talks about ways available to reach Him. Saranagati is the preferred method. Other means are too difficult to practice. Bhakti yoga is hard to attain. On Panguni Utram, RAmAnujar performed saranAgati to RanganAta and RanganAyaki since only on this day, they both come together from the North and South Gate and have tirumanjanam. He surrendered to RanganAchiyar first and she led him to RanganAtA. We should all follow saraNAgati too.

VirOdhi SwarUpa: This is a familiar concept. The obstacles that stand in the way of attainment of MOkshA.. KAma krOda lObha mho mada mAtsarya ahankAra and mamakAra. The way to overcome this is to be in the company of bhagavata uttamas always. Jadabharatar and AazhvArs prescribe this. In their company, all our dirt is cleansed. BhAgavata samAgama, Bhakta sangama and Satsanga is the way to remove all our enemies.

Lastly, it is the PrApya SwarUpA: What do you do when you reach the abode of SrIman NArAyaNA? Kainkaryam, what else? PeriyAzhvar in this last song said " PallAndennu pavithirana paramEttiyai sArngamennum villAndaan thannai villiputtur vishnu chittan virumbiya sol". He meant "I would go there and choose the same service and continue it there". The service was singing pallaandu. Whatever you do here, you can do it there. Serivce is same-  whether I am in the company of ParamAtmA or not is the question. Service is hindered here, but there is nothing to stop us there. All obstacles are removed. The moment we have his darshan, all knots tied to us are removed and we beome very clear as the purest water/fire.

Swami says that this needs to be repeated to be retained. He advices us to read PUrvAchAryA commentaries since they are blessed by BhagavAn to guide us.

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