Srivaishnava lakshanam - 11

Srivaishnava dhinacharya (part 2)

srimathe ramanujaya nama:
srimad varavaramunaye nama:
sri vaanaachala mahamunaye nama:

In the previous article (, we observed the general instructions on how to conduct our daily routine. Now, we will understand in clear, crisp and specific explanation from pillai lOkaachaariar on our dhinacharya in srivachana bhUshana divya saastram.

Pillai lOkaachaariar in srivachana bhUshanam explains the greatness of bhaagvathas ( and cruelty of bhaagavatha apachaaram ( After explaining this, at the end of the second prakaranam in sUtram 243, he explains through his masterful words (which are nothing but collection of azhwars/acharyas srisUkthis), how a srivaishnava will conduct his/her daily routine. Let us see the gist of that lively sUtram which carries the essence of all our pUrvaachaaryas message.

  • First we have to understand that since we are in this samsaaram, we should think about
    • ourselves (our body mainly) as the aathmaa's main enemy - since this is the cause of our ahankaaram (sva svaathanthriyam) and interest in materialistic aspirations
    • samsaaris (materialistic people) as snakes that we should fear - since they will develop our materialistic aspirations and keep us in the samsaaram longer
    • srivaishnavas as real relatives - since they will help us to come out of materialistic aspirations and have spiritual aspirations/interest in bhagavad vishayam
    • emperumaan as father - since he is thinking/doing the real good for us all the time
    • acharayan as how a hungry person will think about food - since we are starved of spiritual food (knowledge) and acharyan is the provider of that
    • sishyan as some one whom we love very much - since with sishyan we can share bhagavadh anubhavam and he will relish it, enjoy it and make us enjoy bhagavad vishayam as well
  • With this mind set, we should think that:
    • ahankaaram will lead to detachment towards our real well wishers (srivaishnavas) - well wishers of the aathmaa.
    • artham (material wealth) will lead to attachment towards avaishnavas - the moment we start going behind wealth, we will have to start saluting everyone and start looking for favours from avaishnavas. In such cases, we will develop admiration towards such avaishnavas (who may be good in whatever they are doing) - but this admiration is very dangerous since simply it is not about bhagavad vishayam and it will lead us also towards such deeds.
    • kaamam (lust) will lead to attachment towards opposite sex (even when they ignore us) - Krishnan says in gIthai - from attachment we get lust, from lust we get desires, from that we become mad and our intelligence diminishes, by that we will fall to the bottom of samsaaram.
  • With this in mind, we should develop full confidence that aathma guNangaL (samam, dhamam, sattvam, etc) cannot be created by ones own efforts but we get them by the grace/mercy of emperumaan through our own acharyan and so we should:
    • give up attachment towards materialistic aspirations
    • develop attachment towards bhagavad vishayam
    • start understanding that worldly/materialistic things are not truly enjoyable
    • to consume prasaadham as much to sustain our body or to consider that we consume prasaadham since it is the final part of thiruvaaraadhanam (once we prepare food and offer to emperumaan it becomes prasaadham and we as the offerer needs to also consume some part of it).
    • think that if we get sorrows/difficulties in our life we should accept that with pleasure thinking it is
      • our karma palam - since we have done so many punya/paapam so far and we have to bear the outcome of that, and by bearing we are only reducing our own karma
      • emperumaan's krupaa palam - because we have surrendered to emperumaan, he has already forgiven all our sanchitha karma (the big baggage of karma) and he is only giving us a little bit of sorrow so that we will dislike this samsaaram and crave to reach paramapadham - if we just get a good life here, we may become too attached to samsaaram. So emperumaan out of his causeless mercy makes us suffer a little bit according to our karma and develops attachment to paramapadham.
    • give up the thinking that our anushtaanam is the upaayam to attain emperumaan and understand the favours done by emperumaan and do everything as kainkaryam to him.
    • have attachment towards the jnaanam and anushtaanam of pUrvaachaaryas and great srivaishnavas
    • have great attachment towards divyadhEsams - since they were occupied by emperumaan out of boundless love towards jIvaathmaas
    • do mangalaasaasanam - praying that nothing happens to emperumaan in this dangerous samsaaram  - as we can relate these days many archaa vigrahams are stolen, attacked/malformed, etc., - and we should always pray that emperumaan is safe. This is the highest level of bhakthi towards emperumaan as shown by periyaazhwaar, andal, emperumaanaar, etc.
    • have detachment in material things
    • have real desire to reach paramapadham - everyday we should be crying like nammaazhwar asking emperumaan when he is going to give us mOksham and kainkaryam in paramapadham for eternity
    • ensure that we practice humility in front of srivaishnavas and avoiding any service to avaishnavas
    • aspire for association with srivaishnavas
    • avoiding association with avaishnavas
It is said in the end of this sUtram that this is something every srivaishnava should try to practice in their life - i.e., it is not optional. If we have our daily routine based on this, it is guaranteed by our pUrvaachaaryas that we will develop the adhikaari pUrNathvam (full qualification to be a srivaishnava) eventually. Looking at this we may think it is very very difficult to follow most of these in the current situation. Yes, there is some truth in it - it is very very difficult to follow all of these principles - that is why we have to constantly remind ourselves how our purvaachaaryas lived and the high standards they have set for us based on their own lives. But there has to be some start in everyone's life, we can start taking small steps and emperumaan will make that work for us. As said above it is emperumaan who makes this happen - so as soon as he sees little attachment towards him in us, he will develop the other qualities in us.

While this may all seem theoretical to us, our pUrvaachaaryas fully put this in practice in their and we can see one of our pUrvaachaaryas who was/is a role model for these principles and how emperumaan loved and rewarded him in our next article.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan
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