virOdhi parihArangaL - 19

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

emperumAnAr explains to vangi puratthu nambi the obstacles that are faced by srIvaishNavas in various aspects of day-to-day life. vangi puratthu nambi documents these instructions in a wonderful grantham with commentary named virOdhi parihArangaL (removal of obstacles). We are now viewing the English translation of this grantham with the help of the explanations given by srI u. vE. V V Ramanujam swamy. The whole series can be viewed at

Please see the previous article at

 nampiLLai kAlakshEpa gOshti - the most enchanting scholar who engaged many stalwarts into hearing the glories of emperumAn through his thiruvAimozhi lectures

50. kAlakshEpa virOdhi (காலக்ஷேப விரோதி) - Obstacles in passing/spending our time

kAlakshEpam generally means passing time. Our time should not be wasted. There are two aspects in passing time - dhEha yAthrA (time spent for the benefit of the body) and Athma yAthrA (time spent for the benefit of the soul). dhEha yAthrA includes any time spent to nurture the body and bodily relatives. Athma yAthrA means time spent to nurture the soul and its well-being. One should be focussed on the upliftment of the jIvAthmA (oneself). One needs to take care of the body needs in righteous way - this cannot be refused, yet one should simple not focus on food, shelter, clothing and bodily luxuries only. thirumazhisai AzhwAr and mAmunigaL have explained how ones time should be spent - these are to be understood, glorified and practised.

thirumazhisai AzhwAr says in nAnmugan thiruvanthAdhi 63rd pAsuram:

theriththu ezhuthi vaachiththu vaNangi vazhipattum pUchiththum pOkkinEn  pOthu (தெரித்து எழுதி வாசித்து வணங்கி வழிபட்டும் பூசித்தும் போக்கினேன்  போது)
I spend my time by thinking/meditating on emperumAn, writing about him, reading about him, hearing about him from others, worshiping him without any pride, doing thiruvArAdhanam to him.

mAmunigaL says in Arthi prabhandham 26th pAsuram:

paNdu pala Ariyarum pArulagOr uyyap parivuadanE cheydhu aruLum palkalaigaL thammaik  kaNdathellaam ezhudhi
avai kaRRu irunthum piRarkkuk kAthaludan kaRpiththum kAlaththaik kazhiththEn

பல ஆரியரும் பாருலகோர் உய்யப் பரிவுஅடனே செய்து அருளும் பல்கலைகள் தம்மைக் கண்டதெல்லாம் எழுதி
அவை கற்று இருந்தும் பிறர்க்குக் காதலுடன் கற்பித்தும் காலத்தைக் கழித்தேன்

I searched and collected all the pUrvAchArya granthams which were lost/distributed during muslim invasion. These granthams were written by the apAra kAruNyam  (great mercy) of pUrvAchAryas towards the hitham (well-being) of all the future generations. Whatever granthams I found, I wrote them personally in palm leaves, I learnt them from my Acharyans (thiruvAimozhi piLLai, etc), lived according to the instructions in those granthams, and taught those to my disciples.

Though kAlakshEpam is understood as "passing time" generally, we can understand here the focus is on learning pUrvAchArya granthams word-by-word and teaching them to others through lectures. Translator's note: srIvaishNava dhinacharyA (daily routine) is explained in detail in these following articles: and

  • Falling asleep while listening to kAlakshEpam out of thamO guNam is an obstacle. thoNdaradippodi AzhwAr says in thirumAlai pAsuram 3 "vEdha nUl pirAyam nURu manicharthAm puguvarElum pAdhiyum uRangippOgum" (வேத நூல் பிராயம் நூறு மனிசர்தாம் புகுவரேலும் பாதியும் உறங்கிப்போகும்) - Though jIvAthmA accepts a human body which is given 100 years of life, half that time would be spent in sleep. This sleeping is highlighted as an outcome of thamO guNam (ignorance). Though reasonable sleep is required (it is sufficient to have a 6 hours sleep in the available 24 hours), sleeping too much is not good. Translator's note: One must be very alert while hearing kAlakshEpam and focus on the principles that are explained in the lecture. 
  • After waking up, thinking about worldly matters and wasting the time is an obstacle. When we are awake, the time should be spent usefully. Just thinking/wishing ill for others is a great sin. Translator's note: In srI bhAgavatham, it is said that a bhAgavatha can engage in many activities such as sravaNam (hearing about emperumAn), kIrthanam (singing the glories of emperumAn), visNO: smaraNam (remembering his activities), pAdha sEvanam (serving his lotus feet), archanam (worshiping him), vandhanam (glorifying him), dhAsyam (serving him), sakyam (befriending him) and Athma nivEdhanam (offering oneself fully to him). When there are so many auspicious activities to engage, we should not waste our time in inauspicious activities. In periya thiruvanthAdhi, nammAzhwAr says "kAr kalandha mEniyAn kai kalandha AzhiyAn pAr kalandha valvayiRRAn pAmbaNaiyAn sIr kalandha sol ninaindhu pOkkArEl sUzh vinaiyin Azhthuyarai en ninaindhu pOkkuvar ippOdhu?" (கார் கலந்த மேனியான் கை கலந்த ஆழியான் பார் கலந்த வல்வயிற்றான் பாம்பணையான் சீர் கலந்த சொல் நினைந்து போக்காரேல் சூழ் வினையின் ஆழ்துயரை என் நினைந்து போக்குவர் இப்போது?) - When there are wonderful things to talk about the most auspicious qualities of bhagavAn who is blackish-blue like a cloud in complexion, who has sudharshan chakram in his hand, who protects the universe in his stomach during layam and who is lying on the serpent bed, how else can they spend their time without thinking about emperumAn? AzhwAr is thinking from his perspective and he does not know how to spend the time without thinking about emperumAn.
  • Spending ones time thinking about enjoying with women is an obstacle. Translator's note: Ultimate aim for materialism is to enjoy sex with the opposite gender. Right from the beginning of adult-hood, men and women are focussed on how to enjoy. This is explained by our pUrvAchAryas as "vishayAnthara prAvaNyam" (விஷயாந்தர ப்ராவண்யம்) - attachment to worldly pleasures. pEyAzhwAr explains a simple remedy to remove such sensual desires from ones mind. He says in mUnRAm thiruvanthAdhi pAsuram 14 "mARpAl manam chuzhippa mangaiyar thOL kai vittu" (மாற்பால் மனம் சுழிப்ப மங்கையர் தோள் கை விட்டு) - When we focus our mind and desires towards emperumAn, the attachment towards worldly pleasures will automatically disappear. bhagavAn is explained as "subhAsrayam" (சுபாச்ரயம்) - auspicious abode to focus on - when we focus on bhagavAn, automatically all auspiciousness will manifest in us too and all inauspiciousness will vanish.
  • Spending the time not thinking about the lotus feet of kariyAn kazhal (the lotus feet of the blackish-hued emperumAn). bhagavAn is explained as nIla mEga shyAmaLa (one with the form that resembles blackish-hued clouds). We should focus on emperumAn's lotus feet as stated by nammAzhwAr in thiruvAimozhi 3.6.10 "anRu thEr kataviya perumAn kanai kazhal kANbathenRukol kaNgaLE" (அன்று தேர் கடவிய பெருமான் கனை கழல் காண்பதென்றுகொல் கண்களே) - When am I going to see the lotus feet of the emperumAn who drove the chariot (for arjuna)?. Also, in thiruvAimozhi 3.8.4, nammAzhwAr manifests the divine craving to see emperumAn by saying "unnai meykoLLak kANa virumbumen kaNgaLE" (உன்னை மெய்கொள்ளக் காண விரும்புமென் கண்களே) - My eyes crave to see your divine form. nammAzhwAr also says in thiruvAimozhi pAsuram 8.5.1 "oru nAL kANa vArAyE" (ஒரு நாள் காண வாராயே) - please come once so I can see you.
  • Just spending ones time in sAmAnya karmams which are prescribed as per varNAsrama dharmam. This need not be taken as condemning the performance of vaidhIka karmAs. They should be done as bhagavath AgyA kainkaryam (that which are ordered by bhagavAn to be performed as kainkaryam). These are called "sAmAnya dharmam" (basic rules). Some karmAs (such as nithya (sandhyAvandhanam, etc), naimiththika (tharpaNam, etc) karmAs) are identified as "akaraNE prathyavAyam" (அகரணே ப்ரத்யவாயம்) - when such karmAs are not performed, that will lead to accumulation of sins for oneself. These karmAs must be performed. But one should not simply focus on such karmAs alone. We are also called thoNdakkulam (dhAsa kulam - the clan of servitors of bhagavAn and bhAgavathas). Our actions should be mainly focussed on that aspect and we should spend our time serving bhagavAn and bhAgavathas.
  • Spending ones time without contemplating on dhvaya mahA manthram is an obstacle. The best way to spend our time is to constantly recite the dhvaya mahA manthram and meditate on the divine meanings of the same. In saraNAgathi gadhyam, srIranganAthan orders emperumAnAr "dhvayamarththAnusandhAnEna saha yAvach charIrapAdham athraiva srIrangE  sukamAsva" (த்வயமர்த்தானுஸந்தாநேந ஸஹ யாவச் சரீரபாதம் அத்ரைவ ஸ்ரீரங்கே  ஸுகமாஸ்வ) - You stay at srIrangam until the end of your (this) life and constantly meditate on the divine meanings of dhvayam mahA manthram. In varavaramuni dhinacharyA, dhEvarAja guru (eRumbi appA) documents the divine activities of maNavALa mAmunigaL. In the 9th slOkam, he highlights "manthra rathna anusandhAna santhatha spurithAdharam; thadharththa thathva nidhyAna sannadhdha pulakOdhgamam" (மந்த்ர ரத்ந அநுஸந்தாந ஸந்தத ஸ்புரிதாதரம்; ததர்த்த தத்வ நித்யாந ஸந்நத்த புலகோத்கமம்) - mAmunigaL's lips are constantly reciting dhvaya mahA manthram (which is called the manthra rathanm - gem among manthrams). His body is manifesting divine reactions due to constant meditation of the meanings of dhvayam (which is nothing but thiruvAimozhi). Translator's note: It is to be remembered that dhvaya mahA manthram is never recited independently - we always have to recite guru paramparA manthram first and then only recite dhvaya mahA manthram. We have already seen this in previous postings.
  • Spending our time in performing dhEvathAnthara bhajanam and not worshiping bhagavAn all the time are obstacles. We should fully spend our time in worshiping emperumAn only. Translator's note: thirumazhisai AzhwAr explains that srIvaishNavas are "maRanthum puRam thozhA mAnthar" (மறந்தும் புறம் தொழா மாந்தர்) - the ones who dont worship anya dhEvathas at any cost. When we undergo pancha samskAram (samArayaNam), the AchAryan fully makes us realize our true relationship with bhagavAn. Just like a wife will be totally dependent on her husband only and will not have any attachment to any one else, srIvaishNavas will be totally dependent on bhagavAn only and no one else.
  • Spending time in sAmAnya sAsthram (common guidelines based on vEdham) and not spending time in hearing/meditating on thAthparya sAsthram (essence of vEdham which is thirumanthram, etc) are obstacles. sAmAnya sAsthram explains that sathyam vadha (speak truth only), dharma chara (be righteous), snAthvA bhunjItha (bathe before eating), perform nithya karmAnushtAnam, etc. These are certainly necessary but are not the ultimate goal. The ultimate goal is to understand the specific vaishNava dharmam and follow the same. We have already seen many such aspects in this grantham itself. Translator's note: In AchArya hrudhayam, azhagiya maNavALa perumAL nAyanAr, beautifully explains the difference between varNa dharmi (one who is focussed on varNAsrama dharmam only) and dhAsa vruththi (one who is focussed on kainkaryam to bhagavAn and bhAgavathas) in many chUrNikais. varNa dharmi is focussed on vEdham alone and does not understad the highest principles of sAsthram. dhAsa vruththi is full focussed on thirumanthram (dhvayam, charamaslOkam too) and understands the highest principle of sAsthram which is to serve bhagavAn and bhAgavathas all the time. nAyanAr calls the dhAsa vruththi as sArAgya (one who grasped the essence), adiyAr/thoNdar (servitor), maNdinAr (one who is fully attached to dhivya dhEsams), mikka vEdhiyar (one who is most knowledgable in sAsthram), etc. He calls the varNa dharmi as sAsthri (one who is attached to sAmAnya sAsthram), anthaNar/maRaiyOr (brAhmaNa/vaidhIka), maRRaiyAr (others who are not so focussed on dhivya dhEsams), vEdhavith (one who is learned in sAmAnya sAsthram), etc.
  • Spending time in earning for wordly pleasures and learning useless subject matters are obstacles. Also, not spending time to learn the subject matter that leads to ultimate upliftment of the AthmA is an obstacle. Focussing our lives on material wealth is destructive to the nature of the soul which should be focussing on service to bhagavAn and bhAgavathas.
  • Spending time in hurting others and not spending time in helping others. "na himsyAth sarvabhUthAni" (ந ஹிம்ஸ்யாத் ஸர்வபூதாநி) - Do not cause difficulty to any one is a common injunction of sAsthram. We should arrange our life in such a way that we dont cause disturbance to any one. It is also said that "parOpakArArththam idham sarIram" (பரோபகாரார்த்தம் இதம் சரீரம்) - this body is to help others. We can recollect the kapOtha upAkyAnam (the story of the pigeon) which is explained by srI rAma during vibhIshaNa saraNAgathi in srI rAmAyaNam. Translator's note: When vibhIshaNAzhwAn arrives to surrender unto srI rAma, sUgrIva and others protest to srI rAma and advises him not to accept vibhIshaNAzhwAn. At that time srI rAma explains an incident to establish that he will accept vibhIshaNAzhwAn even if vibhIshaNAzhwAn is coming with evil-intentions to hurt him. In a forest, once there lived a couple of doves on a tree. On a rainy day, a hunter arrives underneath the tree where they lived. Due to heavy rain he gets stuck underneath the tree for a long time. He feels very hungry and looks around and spots the birds on the tree. He hits the female-pigeon with an arrow, makes a fire and toasts that and eats the same. He is still stuck for some more time and unable to move out of that location. The male-pigeon who is greatly saddened by the loss of its companion, looks from above and thinks "here, I have a guest now and he is suffering from hunger, I have to some how welcome him and feed him something". It brings some dry leaves, etc., makes a fire for the hunter for him to warm himself up and jumps in to the fire and offers itself to the him. We can understand that the pigeon sacrificed itself to satisfy the hunger of the hunter who it considered as its guest. srI rAma then says "If I dont offer myself to vibhIshaNAzhwAn who has come all the way, will the world not consider me lower than that male-pigeon who sacrificed itself for its guest even after the hunter killed its companion?". sugrIva and others get completely satisfied with srI rAma's explanation and eventually welcomed srI rAma.
  • Spending time in simply eating at others' homes and not eating at ones own home is an obstacle. Translator's note: One must be very careful while eating outside ones own home. At home, one can ensure that the food stuffs are offered to emperumAn, AzhwArs and AchAryas. But outside it is not possible to ensure such things. So, our elders always maintained parAnna niyamam - not accepting food cooked by others. The only exception for this is generally for any prasAdham given at the temple, mutts, AchAryan thirumALigais, etc., where there is proper principles are followed in cooking and offering to emperumAn before distributing to others.
  • Spending time in contemplating about other women and developing detachment towards ones own wife due to such interest in other women is an obstacle. sAmAnya sAsthram (vEdham) explains and accepts communion with ones own wife with the intent of begetting righteous offsring (there are so many rules and regulations in sAsthram even for such communion). But seeking out other women is severly condemned in sAsthram. Yet, in sath sampradhAya literature such srI vachana bhUshaNam, even enjoying ones own wive is rejected - because enjoying worldly pleasures (in any form) is directly opposite to the true nature of the jIvAthmA who should only be focussed on bhagavAn's pleasure.
  • Spending time in stealing others properties and not donating ones own properties is an obstacle. One should engage in atleast some charitable activity such as helping the needy, etc.
  • Spending time in any form of gambling is an obstacle.
  • Not spending time in inquiring about bhagavAn, writing the glories of him, reading about him, listening about him, worshiping him, etc is an obstacle.
  • Not spending time at ones own home in worshiping emperumAn with proper anushtAnams, serving srIvaishNavas whenever possible and going to others homes just to indulge in gossipping, etc., are obstacles.
  • Spending time to take care of ones own livelihood by maintaining garden, farm, etc. While taking care of livelihood and basic needs are necessary, that should be the sole focus. 
  • One should maintain garden, etc as kainkaryam to ones own AchArya. We can consider that AchArya kainkaryam means bhagavath kainkaryam which pleases AchArya. For example, ananthAzhwAn created and maintained a beautiful garden as per the desire of his AchAryan emperumAnAr to offer flower garlands to thiruvEnkatamudaiyAn regularly. One should also offer flowers, etc., to AchAryan thirumALigai. Translator's note: nanjIyar who is the sishya of bhattar maintains a garden. Once when some one from bhattar's family arrives at the garden in nanjIyar's absence and asks from some flowers. The ones who were taking care of the garden refused to give the flowers citing that the nandhavanam (garden) is for emperumAn. nanjIyar comes to know about this and at once chastises the care-taker and tells him that the garden is only built for the pleasure of his AchAryan bhattar and his (and his family) needs must be fulfilled at all times. This incident is highlighted in pinbhazhagiya perumAL jIyar's 6000padi guruparamparA prabhAvam.
  • One should take care of the needs of AchAryan and AchAryan's thirumALigai (residence) - not doing so is an obstacle. It is the responsibility of the sishya to take care of AchAryan's bodily needs. One should not let ones AchAryan run around for his bodily needs - the sishya should fully facilitate the AchArya to focus on the spiritual needs of the sishyas. Translator's note: This principle is discussed in detail by piLLai lOkAchAryar in srI vachana bhUshaNa dhivya sAsthram and mAmunigaL explains the essence of the same in his upadhEsa rathina mAlai.
  • Spending time in simply nourishing ones own family and not taking care of AchAryan's family is an obstacle. One should consider AchAryan's family as ones own family and take care of their needs.
  • Spending time in taking care of ones own body and not taking care of AchAryan's body. mAmunigaL explains sishya lakshaNam in upadhEsa rathina mAlai pAsuram 65 "thEsArum sichchan avan sIrvadivai Asaiyudan nOkkumavan"  (தேசாரும் சிச்சன் அவன் சீர்வடிவை ஆசையுடன் நோக்குமவன்) - the realizes sishya will take care of his/her AchAryan's divine form with great affection.
  • Spending time in simply bathing/cleaning oneself and not assisting srIvaishNavas in their bathing, etc. This highlights the importance of serving srIvaishNavas in many ways.
  • Spending time in oneself eating rich foods (like high quality milk, ghee, etc) and not offering such rich foods to srIvaishNavas. Similar to previouos point.
  • Spending time in decorating oneself with high quality clothes, fragrances, etc., and not decorating oneself with the sandalwood paste that was offered to bhagavAn, wearing flowers that were worn by bhagavAn, wearing clothes that were worn by bhagavAn, etc., are obstacles. Whatever one uses/consumes, it should be first used/consumed by bhagavAn and AchAryas - one should only accept their prasAdham and consume that.
  • Spending time in viewing worldly entertainment and not spending time in enjoying the divine incidents of bhagavAn are obstacles. bhagavAn is called mAyan (most magnificient) - his leelAs (divine activities) are most cherishable to our hearts. We should spend our time reading/listening about such glorious activiites instead of wasting time on worldly pleasures.
  • Spending time in glorifying dhEvathAntharams and talking nonsense and not spending time in glorifying emperumAn through the divine pAsurams of AzhwArs (and AchAryas) are obstacles.
  • Spending time by simply travelling to common holy rivers and not seeking out for the srIpAdha thIrtham (charaNAmrutham - water that washed the lotus feet) of srIvaishNavas are obstacles. Here common holy rivers are gangA, etc. These are very pious rivers. But srIvaishNava srIpAdha thIrtham is most purifying. thiruvAimozhi is also highlighted as thIrtham (pAvanam - pure). It is said in thiruvAimozhi pAsuram 7.10.11 itself that "One who is well-versed with thiruvAimozhi will be worshipped by dhEvas". Starting with this point, distinction between following sAmAnya (dharma) sAsthram and visEsha (bhagavath) sAsthram is emphasised. sAmAnya sAsthram is essential to be followed. but visEsha sAsthram is more subtle. One should learn this properly from elders through study of scriptures and observing their practices. Here at times the importance of sAmAnya sAsthram/anushtAnam is seen to be reduced. But that does not mean that they should be completely given up. The purpose is to highlight the importance of visEsha dharmam. 
  • Spending time in simply visiting puNya kshEthrams (like kAsi, gayA, etc) and not visiting bhagavath kshEtram is an obstacle. kOyil (srIrangam), thirumalai (thiruvEnkatam), perumAL kOyil (kanchIpuram), thirunArAyaNapuram, etc., are special kshEthrams that are dear to AzhwArs and AchAryas. We can recollect srIranganAthan himself ordering emperumAnAr to stay in srIrangam for the rest of the life.
  • Spending time in ordinary kAvyam (poetry), nAtakam (drama), etc., only which are basic grammar/history and not spending time in srI rAmAyaNam which is bhagavath kAvyam (divine poetry). Generally, sAmAnya kAvyam is studied to master the knowledge. But, srI rAmAyaNam is called Adhi kAvyam (first poetic history). vAlmIkI rishi was divinely blessed to record the life of srI rAma as it is. It is also glorified as visEsha sAsthram (special scripture). Translator's note: srI rAmAyaNam is glorified as saraNAgathi sAsthram (the scripture of surrender) - there are plenty of surrenders discussed in detail in this. Our pUrvAchArayas have quoted extensively from srI rAmAyaNam in the vyAkyAnams (commentaries) to establish a number of principles. nampiLLai specifically was a great scholar of srI rAmAyaNam. periyavAchAn piLLai wrote a lengthy and in-depth commentary for many important slOkams of srI rAmAyaNam and this commentary is called srI rAmAyaNa thanislOkam.
  • Spending time in simply reading/discussing ithihAsas and purANas and not reading/discussing aruLicheyal (dhivya prabhandham). ithihAsams (srI rAmAyaNam and mahAbhAratham) and purANams (vishNu purANam, srI bhAgavatham, etc) are to be studied but one should not stop with that. One should understand the glories of AzhwArs and their dhivya prabhandhams and spend their time full on them. Translator's note: nampiLLai's glories are unlimited. periyavAchAn piLLai (who is known as vyAkyAna chakkaravarthy - the emperor among commentators), in the vyAkyAnam for periya thirumozhi 5.8.7 "OthuvAymaiyum" (ஓதுவாய்மையும்) pAsuram brings out the glories of nampiLLai beautifully. Here are periyavAchAn piLLai's own words: muRpada dhvayaththaik kEttu, ithihAsa purANangaLaiyum adhikariththu, parapaksha-prathikshEpaththukkudalAga nyAya mImAmsaigaLai adhikariththu, pOthu pOkkum aruLichcheyalilEyAmpadi piLLaiyaippOlE adhikarippikka vallanaiyirE 'oruththan' enbathu (முற்பட த்வயத்தைக் கேட்டு, இதிஹாஸ புராணங்களையும் அதிகரித்து, பரபக்ஷ-ப்ரதிக்ஷேபத்துக்குடலாக ந்யாய மீமாம்ஸைகளை அதிகரித்து, போது போக்கும் அருளிச்செயலிலேயாம்படி பிள்ளையைப்போலே அதிகரிப்பிக்க வல்லனையிரே 'ஒருத்தன்' என்பது). Here in this pAsuram, thirumangai AzhwAr is glorifying sAndIpani who is kaNNan emperumAn's AchAryan. To explain how an AchAryan should be, periyavAchAn piLLai highlights the qualities of nampiLLai and shows that he is the perfect AchAryan to follow. A true AchAran should be like nampiLLai who can fully educate his sishyas by - first hearing the meanings of dhvaya mahA manthram, then learning ithihAsams and purANams, then learn nyAya, mImAmsa, etc to understand other sidhAnthams and to establish our own sidhAntham and spends his own time by always engaging in discussing AzhwArs' dhivya prabhandhams and their meanings. Similarly, thiruvAimozhi piLLai ordered mAmunigaL to learn srI bhAshyam once but fully spend his life in propagating thiruvAimozhi and its vyAkyAnams (commentaries). mAmunigaL promptly obeyed the orders of his AchAryan and eventually got the name "Ittu perukkar" (ஈட்டு பெருக்கர்) - one who expounds nampiLLai's Idu vyAkyAnam for thiruvAimozhi.
  • Spending time in analysing pUrva paksha granthams and not spending enough time in ones own sidhAntha (philosophy) granthams are obstacles. pUrva paksha granthams means literature of other philosophical schools. It is necessary to learn that and understand the highlights of others' arguments, so that one can establish ones own sidhAntham clearly. But is a great mistake to constantly end up studying other sidhAntham literatures and ignore our sampradhAya sidhAntham. We should immerse into our emperumAnAr dharsanam which presents visishtAdhvaitha sidhAntham. Translator's note: We have seen that srI rAmAnuja studied pUrva paksham under yAdhava prakAsa - but eventually establishes visishtAdhvaitha sidhAntham and convinces and accepts yAdhava prakAsa as his own disciple. We have also seen the incident where kUrathAzhwAn (in his childhood) hearing to bhAhya (ones who dont accept vEdham as pramANam) grantham lecture for some time and arrives home late due to that and his father allows him inside only after purifying AzhwAn with srIpAdha thIrtham.
  • Spending time in serving bhagavAn only without serving ones sadhAchAryan (true AchAryan) is an obstacle. bhakthi (devotion) and kainkaryam (service) towards bhagavAn is initial level. The same towards AchAryan is the ultimate level. This is glorified as madhurakavi nishtai (the state of madhurakavi AzhwAr who was full surrendered to nammAzhwAr) and vaduga nambi padi (the state of vaduga nambi who was always serving emperumAnAr). This is explained in detail by mAmunigaL in upadhEsa rathina mAlai pAsurams 60 to 66. Translator's note: Please refer to anthimOpAya nishtai ( and charmOpAya nirNayam ( to understand AchArya nishtai properly.
We will continue with the next section in the next article.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

archived in

pramEyam (goal) -
pramANam (scriptures) -
pramAthA (preceptors) -


  1. Dear Sarathy Swamy,

    Srimathe ramanujaya namah:

    adiyen has learnt from many upanaysams that an individual comes forward towards learning about Brahmam and learn about ways of attaining Brahmam through upasana margam. This enquiry into the Brahmam vicharam is made only after thoroughly analyzing the karma and devata kandams (16 parts purva bhagam), after learning all the vedams with all its angams, all the mentioned yagams, anushtanams, all different devatas etc. Only after realizing the futility of all these karmic procedures and alpa and astira phalams, does the individual proceed forward for Brahmam enquiry.

    In our Sri-vaishnava sampradayam, through the nirhetuka krupai of Alwars, Acharyas and Bhagavan, we directly proceed towards understanding about Bhagavan and accepting the krupai of Bhagavan and accepting Bhagavan's thiruvadi's as sole upayam of reaching parama-purushartham in Sri-vaikuntam. The knowledge of alpa-astira nature of aishwarya anubhavam, the defects in karma margam which leads to repeated loitering in samsaram are taught completely by our purvAcharyas and we strongly cling onto Bhagavan's lotues feet. So, large amount of precious time is saved by not going through the hassles of analyzing the whole of vedas, learning all samanya anushtanams, kaamya yagyams etc. Instead, we dive deep into the nectarean pasurams of Alwars which deal directly with Bhagavad-anubhavam which is the eternal ever-increasing occupation of a soul.

    Dear Swamy, are the above points valid? Is it very necessary still to understand the purva-bhagams of vedam, follow them and then develop disinterestedness or follow directly in footsteps of MahatMas who are following Alwars, Acharyas upadesams and perform only those karMas which are minimum required and spend time completely in bhagavad-bhagavatha kainkaryams and anubhavam?

    Thanking you,
    adiyen ramanuja dasan

    1. dear swamy
      very good understanding.
      Our pUrvAchAryas have highlighted the importance of nithya/naimiththika karmAs (when there is no interference in bhagavath/bhAgavatha kainkaryam) and focus on bhagavath/bhAgavatha kainkaryam all the time. Even the authorized karmAs we do, we do them as kainkaryam to emperumAn. Thus, there is no indulgence in self-effort to uplift ourselves at all.
      adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan