anthimOpAya nishtai - 17 - Causeless mercy of bhAgavathas

srI:
srImathE rAmAnujAya nama:
srImadh varavaramunayE nama:
srI vAnAchala mahAmunayE nama:

In the previous article (http://ponnadi.blogspot.in/2013/07/anthimopaya-nishtai-16.html), we observed the glories of srIvaishNavas irrespective of their birth. We will continue with the next section where we see srIvaishNavas being glorified by emperumAn, AzhwArs and AchAryas and some incidents from our pUrvAchAryas lives which demonstrate the same.

bhagavAn himself highlights the glories of srIvaishNavas in many occassions.

lOkE kEchana madhbakthAs sadhdharmAmruthavarshiNa:
samayanthyagamathyugram mEgA iva thavAnalam

லோகே கேசந மத்பக்தாஸ் ஸத்தர்மாம்ருதவர்ஷிண:
ஸமயந்த்யகமத்யுக்ரம் மேகா இவ தவாநலம்

Simple translation:  It is those some devotees of mine who ward off the upcoming danger like rain clouds quelling the heat of fire.


krishNa attending his childhood friend sudhAma

gyAni thvAthmaiva mE matham

ஜ்ஞானி த்வாத்மைவ மே மதம்

Simple translation: A gyAni who is fully devoted to me is my soul - this is my opinion.

priyOhi gyAninOthyarththam aham sa cha mama priya:

ப்ரியோஹி ஜ்ஞாநிநோத்யர்த்தம் அஹம் ஸ ச மம ப்ரிய:

Simple translation: A gyAni who is devoted to me has so much attachment towards me - me too has the same (actually more) attachment towards him.


krishNa being the charioteer for arjuna in the mahAbhAratham battle

mama prANA hi pANdavA:

மம ப்ராணா ஹி பாண்டவா:

Simple translation: pANdavas are like my life breath.

nirapEksham munim sAntham nirvairam samadharsanam
anuvrajAmyaham nithyam pUyEyEthyangrirENupi:

நிரபேக்ஷம் முநிம் ஸாந்தம் நிர்வைரம் ஸமதர்சநம்
அநுவ்ரஜாம்யஹம் நித்யம் பூயேயேத்யங்க்ரிரேணுபி
:

Simple translation: I follow forever and accept the dust of the sage's lotus feet, who is without desire of selfish benefit, who is peaceful, who is without enemies, who has the vision of equality towards all souls.




srIranganAthan accepting mAmunigaL as his AchAryan - revealing his deep attachment/reverence towards periya jIyar

mama madhbhakthEshu prIthirabhyadhikA nrupa
thasmAn madh bhakthabhakthAscha pUjanIyA visEshatha:

மம மத்பக்தேஷு ப்ரீதிரப்யதிகா ந்ருப
தஸ்மாந் மத் பக்தபக்தாச்ச பூஜநீயா விசேஷத:

Simple translation: My love for my devotees is too great, so it is very special and dear to me when my devotees are worshipped.


krishNa and nammAzhwAr - divine revelation of loving attachment for each other

annAdhyam purathO nyastham dharsanAdhgruhyathE mayA
rasAn dhAsasya jihvAyAmasnAmi kamalOdhbhava

அந்நாத்யம் புரதோ ந்யஸ்தம் தர்நாத்க்ருஹ்யதே மயா
ரஸாந் தாஸஸ்ய ஜிஹ்வாயாமஸ்நாமி கமலோத்பவ

Simple translation:  O kamalOdbhava (brahma - born in a lotus flower)! I first partake the food offered to me by sight and then enjoy it through the tongue of my devotees.

madh bhaktha jana vAthsalyam pUjAyAm cha anumOdhanam
svayamabyarchchanam chaiva madharththE dambavarjanam
mathkathAsravaNE bhakthissvaranEthrAngavikriyA
mamAnusmaraNam nithyam yachcha mAm nOpajIvathi
bhakthirashtavidhA hyEshA yasmin mlEchchEpi varththathE
sa viprEndhrO munissrImAn sa yathissa cha paNditha:
thasmai dhEyam thathO grAhyam sa cha pUjyO yathA hyaham

மத் பக்த ஜந வாத்ஸல்யம் பூஜாயாம் ச அநுமோதநம்
ஸ்வயமப்யர்ச்சநம் சைவ மதர்த்தே டம்பவர்ஜநம்
மத்கதாஸ்ரவணே பக்திஸ்ஸ்வரநேத்ராந்கவிக்ரியா
மமாநுஸ்மரணம் நித்யம் யச்ச மாம் நோபஜீவதி
பக்திரஷ்டவிதா ஹ்யேஷா யஸ்மின் ம்லேச்சேபி வர்த்ததே
ஸ விப்ரேந்த்ரோ முநிஸ்ஸ்ரீமான் ஸ யதிஸ்ஸ ச பண்டித:
தஸ்மை தேயம் ததோ க்ராஹ்யம் ஸ ச பூஜ்யோ யதா ஹ்யஹம்

Simple translation: My bhakthas essentially have the following eight qualities - 1) unconditional love for bhakthas of emperumAn, 2) enjoying (others) worship of emperumAn, 3) worshipping emperumAn him/herself, 4) being without any pride, 5) having attachment in listening about emperumAn, 6) having bodily changes (like goose bumps, etc) when hearing/thinking/speaking about emperumAn, 7) always thinking about emperumAn, 8) not asking material benefits in return for worshipping emperumAn. Such bhakthas even if they are mlEchchas, they are worshippable at par with my own self by leaders of brAhmaNas, the meditators, the ones involved in kainkaryam and even sannyAsis and scholars. They are also eligible to give and accept knowledge from such scholars.

Thus, bhagavAn himself proclaims about his devotees, that 
  • they are capable of purifying the entire world
  • they are like my own soul 
  • they are like my life breath
  • I myself follow them and desire to have the dust of their lotus feet 
  • Any one honouring/serving them is very dear to me
  • I relish the taste of food, etc through the dealings with them
  • Even if they are born as mlEchchas they are as worshippable as myself

bhUmi pirAtti (bhUdhEvi thAyar) declares that her ultimate goal is to see, touch and discuss with mahAbhAgavathas; She also says that she is not fully capable of spelling out their divine and auspicious qualities and she cannot fully explain the glories of them. This is explained in the following slOkams:

akshNO: palam thAdhrusadharsanam hi thanvA: palam thAdhrusagAthrasangam
jihvApalam thAdhrusakIrththanancha sudhurlabA bhAgavathA hi lOkE

அக்ஷ்ணோ: பலம் தாத்ருசதர்சநம் ஹி தந்வா: பலம் தாத்ருசகாத்ரஸங்கம்
ஜிஹ்வாபலம் தாத்ருசகீர்த்தநந்ச ஸுதுர்லபா பாகவதா ஹி லோகே


Simple translation: The aim of eyes is to see great bhAgavathas; the aim of our body is to be touched by great bhAgavathas; the aim of our tongue is to glorify great bhAgavathas; Such bhAgavathas are rare to find in this world.

nAham samarththO bhagavath priyANAm vakthum guNAn padhma bhuvOpyagaNyAn
bhavathrabhAvam bhagavAn hi vEththi thathA bhavanthO bhagavath prabhAvam

நாஹம் ஸமர்த்தோ பகவத் ப்ரியாணாம் வக்தும் குணாந் பத்ம புவோப்யகண்யாந்
பவத்ரபாவம் பகவாந் ஹி வேத்தி ததா பவந்தோ பகவத் ப்ரபாவம்


Simple translation: I am incapable of speaking of the greatness of those who are devoted to bhagavAn.  The Lord alone knows their greatness and they alone know His.

AzhwArs also glorified the bhAgavathas and identified that yamabhatars (servants of yama dharma rAjan) has no control over them.

vishNu dhUthas protect ajAmiLa from the hands of yamabhatars

thirumazhisai AzhwAr - nAnmugan thiruvanthAdhi 68

thiRambEnmin kaNdIr 
thiruvadi than nAmam maRandhum puRanthozhA mAndhar 
iRainchiyum sAdhuvarAyp pOdhumingaL enRAn 
namanum than thUdhuvaraik kUvich chevikku 

திறம்பேன்மின் கண்டீர்
திருவடி தன் நாமம் மறந்தும் புறந்தொழா மாந்தர்
இறைஞ்சியும் சாதுவராய்ப் போதுமின்கள் என்றான்
நமனும் தன் தூதுவரைக் கூவிச் செவிக்கு


Simple translation:  yaman to his servants "Dont ignore this instruction. When you see srIvaishNavas who could even forget bhagavAn's names but never worship other dhEvathAs, you worship them, treat them with get respect and become purified". (Translator's note: Typical example given is - when there is disagreement between husband and wife, if the wife does not speak to the husband that is even accepted, but if she looks out for another man, that is totally unacceptable).

poigai AzhwAr - mudhal thiruvanthAdhi 55

avan thamar evvinaiyarAgilum 
engOn avan thamarE enRozhivadhu allAl 
naman thamarAl ArAyappattu aRiyAr kaNdIr 
aravaNai mEl pErAyaRku AtpattAr pEr  

அவன் தமர் எவ்வினையராகிலும்
எங்கோன் அவன் தமரே என்றொழிவது அல்லால்
நமன் தமரால் ஆராயப்பட்டு அறியார் கண்டீர்
அரவணை மேல் பேராயற்கு ஆட்பட்டார் பேர்   


Simple translation: Whatever may be their actions, srIvaishNavas are my masters since they are devoted to srIman nArAyaNan. Even yamabhatars are not qualified to analyse the defects of srIvaishNavas who are totally surrendered to bhagavAn who is lying on AdhisEshan and appeared as a cow-herd boy.

nammAzhwAr - thiruvAimozhi 5.2.1


emperumAnAr's grand procession - his appearance brought all auspiciousness for the entire world

poliga poliga poliga pOyiRRu valluyirch sAbam 
naliyum naragamum naindha namanukku ingu yAdhonRum illai 
kaliyum kedum kaNdu koNmin 
kadalvaNNan bUdhangaL maN mEl maliyap pugundhu isai pAdi Adi uzhi tharak kaNdOm

பொலிக பொலிக பொலிக போயிற்று வல்லுயிர்ச் சாபம்
நலியும் நரகமும் நைந்த நமனுக்கு இங்கு யாதொன்றும் இல்லை
கலியும் கெடும் கண்டு கொண்மின் 

கடல்வண்ணன் பூதங்கள் மண் மேல் மலியப் புகுந்து இசை பாடி ஆடி உழி தரக் கண்டோம்

Simple translation: I have witnessed the singing and dancing of abundance of bhAgavathas who are totally surrendered to bhagavAn who is most potent like the sea (which is filled with pearls, etc) and is most beautiful in sea-like bluish hue. Because of these bhAgavathas, the ignorance in the mind of people is vanquished. Since the ignorance is gone, there is no work for yama and his servants who punish the ignorants at hellish regions. The underlying reason which is the defects of kali yugam is also gone. Let this auspiciousness stay for ever.

thirumangai AzhwAr - periya thirumozhi 8.10.7

veLLai nIr veLLaththu aNaindha aravaNai mEl 
thuLLu nIr meLLath thuyinRa perumAnE! 
vaLLalE! un thamarkku enRum naman thamar
kaLLar pOl kaNNapuraththuRai ammAnE!

வெள்ளை நீர் வெள்ளத்து அணைந்த அரவணை மேல்
துள்ளு நீர் மெள்ளத் துயின்ற பெருமானே!
வள்ளலே! உன் தமர்க்கு என்றும் நமன் தமர்
கள்ளர் போல் கண்ணபுரத்துறை அம்மானே!


Simple translation: Oh my lord who is lying on AdhisEshan in kshIrAbdhi (milk ocean)! Oh the master of thirukkaNNapuram (right in front of me)! When yamabhatars see your devotees, they go in hiding just life robbers would hide from others.

AzhwArs (thoNdaradippodi AzhwAr) declare that "nAvalittu uzhitharuginROm namanthamar thalaigaL mIthE" (நாவலிட்டு உழிதருகின்றோம் நமன்தமர் தலைகள் மீதே - We make a victorious sound and walk over the heads of yamabhatars).

Thus AzhwArs establish that not only yamabhatars can look at srIvaishNavas to control them, they will also suffer severely if they try to engage in such acts. Such are the glories of srIvaishNavas.

"na kalu bhAgavathA yamavishayam gachchanthi" (ந கலு பாகவதா யமவிஷயம் கச்சந்தி - bhAgavathas and yama have nothing to do with each other) also explains the glories of bhAgavathas. In this matter, the following slOkam explains the dealings of yama, etc with bhAgavathas.

sva purusham api vIkshya pAchahastham vathathi yama: kila thasya karNamUlE
parihara madhusUdhana prapannAn prabhuraham anyanruNAm na vaishNavAnAm

kamalanayana vAsudhEva vishNO dharaNidharAchyudha sangachakrapANE
bhava saraNamithIrayanthi yE vai thyaja bhatadhUratharENa dhAnapApAn

ஸ்வ புருஷம் அபி வீக்ஷ்ய பாசஹஸ்தம் வததி யம: கில தஸ்ய கர்ணமூலே
பரிஹர மதுஸூதந ப்ரபந்நாந் ப்ரபுரஹம் அந்யந்ருணாம் ந வைஷ்ணவாநாம்


கமலநயந வாஸுதேவ விஷ்ணோ தரணிதராச்யுத ஸங்கசக்ரபாணே
பவ சரணமிதீரயந்தி யே வை த்யஜ படதூரதரேண தாநபாபாந்


Simple translation: yama invites his sevants closer and secretly explains to them that he is not the master of srIvaishNavas who are surrendered madhusUdhanan but others are under his control. He also tells them to be neutral towards srIvaishNavas and stay away from them since they are surrendered to bhagavAn who is known as lotus eyed (kamalanayana), vAsudhEva, visNu, dharNidharan (who holds the world) and the holder of sankam (conch) and chakram (disc) in his hands.

Thus yama dharma rAjan instructs his servants that they cannot control srIvaishNavas and asks them to stay away from srIvaishNavas to protect themselves from the anger of bhagavAn. All these glories about bhAgavathas are explained in srIvishNu purANam, etc.

Mixing with abhAgavathas will lead to separation from bhAgavathas and bhagavAn. Mixing with bhAgavathas will lead to union with bhagavAn, separation from abhAgavathas and will ultimately lead one to salvation. For the ones who stay under the supervision of a true AchAryan, they will never be bewildered about samsAram. But when the sishya moves out of such supervision, he will be eternally suffering in this samsAram. This is explained by AchAn piLLai in mANikka mAlai.

Thus, for a sishya, everything should be under the disposal of his AchArya. Instead, out of bewilderment, if he forgets the relationship with AchArya and out of his own accord if he indulges in akruthya karaNam (engaging in activities that are rejected in sAsthram), bhagavathapachAram (offending bhagavAn), bhAgavatha apachAram (offending bhAgavathas), asahya apachAram (reasonless offense towards bhagavAn-bhAgavatha) and as a result will become eligible to suffer in hellish regions such as raurava hell, etc. True AchArya, out of his causeless mercy, contemplating on the sufferings they have to go through, will purify even such fallen sishyas as identified in "payananRAgilum pAngallarAgilum cheyal nanRAgath thiruththip paNi koLvAn" (பயனன்றாகிலும் பாங்கல்லராகிலும் செயல் நன்றாகத் திருத்திப் பணி கொள்வான் - kaNNinuN chiruthAmbu 10 - madhurakavi AzhwAr says Even when I was of no use and totally immature, nammAzhwAr reformed me and engaged me in his service) - this is the quality of a true AchArya.

This principle of causeless mercy of AchAryas is explained through a few incidents in the lives of our pUrvAchAryas.

 AzwAn singing varadharAja sthavam per instructions of emperumAnAr and in the end requesting dhEva perumAL to bless nAlUrAn with paramapadham as well

It is due to this causeless mercy, when kUrathAzhwAn's sishyan nAlUrAn joined with kirumigaNtan in committing the biggest offense towards AzhwAn (who is nAlUrAn's AchAryan), perumAL becomes very upset with him and says "na kshamAmi" (I will never forgive you). But AzhwAn disagrees with perumAL and requests him that "nAlUrAn should get the same lOkam (paramapadham) like myself".

When one of the sishyas of bhattar becomes bewildered due to undesirable friendship, becomes very materialistically attached tells bhattar "bhattar! we have no relationship anymore" and tries to leave the lotus feet of bhattar. bhattar tells him "dear son! you may think like that. Even if you give up my relationship, I will not" and reforms him again.

nanjIyar the vEdhAnthi had a sishyar who was very dear to him, was very detached and was totally filled with auspicious nature. But due to consuming defective food, his ego, etc., raises and picks up the spear which he had before taking shelter of nanjIyar and goes back to serving the king. nanjIyar some how catches hold of him and brings him into a room in privacy and shuts the door to give him good instructions. srIvaishNavas who are attached to the lotus feet of nanIyar becomes worried and say "Oh! this is bad; nanjIyar should immediately leave the room where the man is with a spear in his hand which could be used to attack him". nanjIyar replies "I will not leave until he becomes purified; Either he should understand his spiritual position and be uplifted or I die at the hands of him by his spear".

 piLLai lOkAchAryar - epitome of all auspicious qualities

piLLai lOkAchAryar says in srIvachana bhUshaNa dhivya sAsthram that towards the ones who commit offenses against oneself, one should have poRai (compassion), krupai (mercy), chirippu (smile), ugappu (joy) and upakArasmruthi (gratitude). Not only that, he also personally conducts himself in the most dignified way and is the ultimate example of how a srIvaishNava should be.

svIkarOthi sadhAchAryas sarvAnapya visEshatha:
yathpunasthEshu vaishamyam thEshAm chingyAnavruththayO:

ஸ்வீகரோதி ஸதாசார்யஸ் ஸர்வாநப்ய விசேஷத:
யத்புநஸ்தேஷு வைஷம்யம் தேஷாம் சிஜ்ஜ்ஞாநவ்ருத்தயோ:


Simple translation: A good AchArya accepts everyone even those with no goodness.  The blemishes of the accepted souls after that are removed by teaching them the knowledge of the AthmA and corresponding anushtAnam (practical implementation with discipline). 

thEshAmEva hi dhOshOyam na chAsyEthi vinischitham
apakva padhmakOsAnAm avikAsO ravEryathA

தேஷாமேவ ஹி தோஷோயம் ந சாஸ்யேதி விநிஸ்சிதம்
அபக்வ பத்மகோசாநாம் அவிகாஸோ ரவேர்யதா


Simple translation: Just as the whorls of an immature lotus do not blossom by the rays of the sun, so also the acharya considers that the defects of the sishya are because of the shortcomings in maturity and not because of him (Considering that the sishya has to mature in knowledge, discipline, etc., the AchArya reforms him instead of rejecting him as bad).

As identified in the above slOkams, even if a sishya is surrendered to an AchArya, due to his lack of knowledge/conviction, again engages in undesirable activities to destroy ones own self, AchAryas would reform them and protect them out of their instructions as said in "skAlithyE sAsithAram" (ஸ்காலித்யே சாஸிதாரம் - correct the sishya by giving good instructions when he is committing mistakes) and their overwhelming mercy as said in "dhEsikO mE dhayAlu:" (தேசிகோ மே தயாலு: - AchAryan is most merciful to me).

vAsudhEvam prapannAnAm yAnyEva charithAni vai
thAnyEva dharmasAsthrANIthyEvam vEdha vidhO vidhu:

வாஸுதேவம் ப்ரபந்நாநாம் யாந்யேவ சரிதாநி வை
தாந்யேவ தர்மசாஸ்த்ராணீத்யேவம் வேத விதோ விது:


Simple translation:  Those who are well versed in the vedhas regard the very life of prapannas (totally surrendered devotees) of vAsudhEva as the dharma sAsthram.

All these special qualities of our pUrvAchAryas are fully manifested by our AchAryan (mAmunigaL). When he was resting in the OlamEchchAn mutt (a thatched hut) in AzhwAr thirunagari, evil hearted persons (like those chaNdAlas who poisoned the food given to emperumAnAr himself) who are jealous on mAmunigaL, in the middle of the night, sets fire to the mutt (Translator's note: mAmunigaL sneaks out in his AdhisEsha form from the burning mutt and stands outside eventually watching the burning mutt). The local administrators search out for the miscreants to punish them severely for their most henious crime. But, mAmunigaL as identified in the following pramANams, disagree with the administrators, forgive the miscreants and set them free (Translator's note: mAmunigaL is compared to sIthA pirAtti here who was most gracious and kindest towards the ones who harmed her - similarly mAmunigaL also showered his mercy towards the ones who tried to kill him and ultimately reformed them as well).


Most merciful nature of sIthA pirAtti and mAmunigaL (AzhwAr thirunagari)

pApAnAm vA subhAnAm vA vadhArhANAm plavangama
kAryam karuNamAryENa na kaschith na aparAdhyathi

பாபாநாம் வா சுபாநாம் வா வதார்ஹாணாம் ப்லவங்கம
கார்யம் கருணமார்யேண ந கச்சித் ந அபராத்யதி


Simple translation: sIthA pirAtti to hanuman - Oh hanuman! Kindness is to be shown by a noble person either towards a sinner or to a virtuous person or even to a person who deserves death, for, there is none who never commits a wrong.

bhavEyam saraNam hi va:

பவேயம் சரணம் ஹி வ:

Simple translation: sIthA pirAtti to rAkshasis - I will protect you in any case

ka: kupyEdh vAnarOththama:

க: குப்யேத் வாநரோத்தம:

Simple translation: sIthA pirAtti to hanuman - Who will be angry with servant-maids who are just performing per their master's orders?

Thus, mAmunigaL the most merciful AchArya, ensured that even those most fallen souls are not punished by the administrators - this incident is well known everywhere. Further our AchArya's most merciful nature and his avathAra visEsham (special nature of him being the incarnation of AdhisEsha and the second coming of srI rAmAnuja) could be understood by the incidents involving mangoose and parrot, vruksham (mAmunigaL blessing a tamarind tree with mOksham) and the many svapnams (dreams) of great personalities (like kOilaNNan, sAdhu srIvaishNavas in thiruppathi , etc - where many fore-see the greatness of mAmunigaL).


Translator's note: Thus, we have seen the divine glories of srIvaishNavas as identified by emperumAn, pirAtti, AzhwArs and AchAryas and some incidents which reflect the same. We also observed the unconditional kindness shown by sIthA pirAtti and mAmunigaL towards the ones who troubled them. We will now see the concluding section of this divine grantham.

Thanks to srI ranganAthan swamy for providing adequate translations for some of the samskritha pramANams

We will see the concluding section of this wonderful grantham in the next article.

Full series can be viewed at: http://ponnadi.blogspot.in/p/anthimopaya-nishtai.html.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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