Let us continue with the second part of the avathArikai (introduction). In this section of the introduction, mAmunigaL explains the two types of classifications (6 sections and 9 sections) for this prabhandham.
First, let us see how this prabhandham is classified in to six sections:
In this prabhandham, starting from (sUthram 1) "vEdhArtham aRuthiyiduvathu" (வேதார்த்தம் அறுதியிடுவது) upto (sUthram 4) "aththAlE athu muRpattathu" (அத்தாலே அது முற்பட்டது), the authencity of the pramANam (source of knowledge) is established. Thus, this section is the introduction for the prabhandham.
From (sUthram 5) "ithihAsa srEshtam" (இதிஹாஸ ச்ரேஷ்டம்) upto (sUthram 22) "prapathi upadhEsam paNNiRRum ivaLukkAga" (ப்ரபத்தி உபதேசம் பண்ணிற்றும் இவளுக்காக), purushakAra vaibhavam and upAya vaibhavam are discussed. pirAtti's role is explained as purushakAram (advocacy/recommendation) - seeing the jIvAthmAs who are filled with defects, she constantly highlights to bhagavAn that his nature is to be merciful and uplift the ones who are surrendered unto him. This section also discusses bhagavAn as the upAyam (means) who is so merciful and this mercy of him is even more glorious than purushakAram.
From (sUthram 23) "prapathikku" (ப்ரபத்திக்கு) upto (sUthram 79) "EkAnthI vyapathEshtavya:" (ஏகாந்தீ வ்யபதேஷ்டவ்ய:), the nature of prapathi is discussed in a detailed manner. prapathi is the act of accepting bhagavAn as the upAyam. The following aspects are discussed:
- For this act of accepting bhagavAn as upAyam, there is no restriction based on place, time, method, qualification of the one performing prapathi and the result.
- the object of prapthi (to whom we surrender/approach) must be capable
- the three classifications of the persons who perform prapathi
- the limitations of accepting prapathi as the means (bhagavAn is the means - prapathi is simply an act that fits the nature of jIvAthmA)
- collective explanation of prapathi's nature and ancillary aspects.
From (sUthram 80) "upAyathukku" (உபாயத்துக்கு) upto (sUthram 307) "upEya virOdhigaLAyirukkum" (உபேய விரோதிகளாயிருக்கும்), the code of conduct/behaviour of a prapanna is explained. This section discusses the following aspects:
- the need to give up attachment towards other upAyams and
- general do's and dont's for such persons
From (sUthram 308) "thAn hithOpadhEsam paNNumpOthu" (தான் ஹிதோபதேசம் பண்ணும்போது) upto (sUthram 365) "ugappum upakAra smruthiyum nadakka vENum" (உகப்பும் உபகார ஸ்ம்ருதியும் நடக்க வேணும்), sishya lakshaNam (the attitude of a disciple towards his AchArya) is explained in detail. This section discusses the following aspects:
- the nature of sidhOpAya nishtar (one who fully depends on bhagavAn who is the established means)
- the nature of a true AchArya
- the nature of a true sishya and his total dependence on AchArya
- the interactions between AchArya and sishya
- the sishya's gratitude towards AchArya who helped him to be uplifted.
From (sUthram 366) "svadhOshAnusandhAnam bhaya hEthu" (ஸ்வதோஷாநுஸந்தாநம் பய ஹேது) upto (sUthram 406) "nivarthaka gyAnam abhaya hEthu" (நிவர்த்தக ஜ்ஞானம் அபய ஹேது), bhagavAn's nirhEthuka krupai (causeless mercy) is explained. It is because of this causeless mercy of bhagavAn, one progresses to various stages - adhvEsham (not being unfavourable) to ultimate goal of performing eternal kainkaryam. It is established that one gets relieved of their sorrows by seeing the causeless mercy of bhagavAn which guarantees the upliftment of the jIvAthmA.
From (sUthram 407) "svathanthranai upAyamAgap paRRina pOthiRE" (ஸ்வதந்த்ரனை உபாயமாகப் பற்றின போதிறே) upto the end (sUthram 463) explains the ultimate stage of one's faith, i.e., being fully dependent on AchArya. This principle is established as explained by madhurakavi AzhwAr in kaNNinuN chiruthAmbu 9 "mikka vEdhiyar vEdhaththin utporuL" (மிக்க வேதியர் வேதத்தின் உட்பொருள்) - the true essence of the vEdham.
As it starts with "vEdhArtham aRuthiyiduvathu" (வேதார்த்தம் அறுதியிடுவது - the essence of sAsthram establishes...) and ends with "charama parva nishtai" (being fully dependent on AchArya), it is clearly established that being fully dependent on the AchArya's mercy is the essence of vEdham.
Just like charama slOkam (sarva dharmAn parithyajya...) is the essence of srI gIthai, the last prakaraNam (section) is the essence of this prabhandham. There (in srI gIthai), bhagavAn first shows various upAyams (karma, gyAna, bhakthi yOgams, etc) and observing that arjunan is fearful of taking on the independence to himself choose the right path, he shows the sidhOpAyam (himself as the established upAyam thrashing
all other upAyams). Here, the glories of sidhOpAyam (bhagavAn as the means) is explained in detail and observing that there is the fear of bhagavAn's independence (which could lead to favourable or unfavourable situations), the ultimate path of depending on AchArya (which is the safest means) is shown.
Thus, the 6 prakaraNams (sections) of the prabhandham which highlights 6 principles are explained.
Let us now see how this prabhandham is classified in to 9 prakaraNams (sections).
adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan