Thursday, August 9, 2012


From: Ramanbil@...
Date: Sat Jun 2, 2001 2:19 am
Subject: Sri Ranga Sri Vol.2.04 d/06/02/01
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SrIman! SrI Ranga Sriyam anubadravam anudhinam samvardhaya/
SrIman! SrI Ranga Sriyam anubadravam anudhinam samvardhaya//
KAvEri VardhathAm kAlE, kAlE varshathu vAsava:/
SrI RanganAthO jayathu SrI Ranga SrIs cha VardhathAm//
    SRI RANGA SRI VOL. 2 / 04 DATED 2nd June 2001
In this Issue:
1. SRIBHASYAMRUTHAM: A brief summary of Adhikaranams 54 to 60 of
Adhyayam 1 (Paadam 3) of Sri Bhashyam based on "Sukha Bodhini" by Sri
Purisai Nadadur Krishnamachariar Swami, Editor & publisher
of "Nrisimhapriya", "Sri Bhashya Saaram" by Sri T.S. Rajagopalan
Swami (and published by Azhwargal Amudha Nilayam) and  "Sri Bhashya
Saaraswaathinee" by Vaikuntavasi Vidwan Tirupputkuzhi Narasimha
Tatachariar Swami of Sri Hayagriva Vidya Peetam, Chennai.
2. GITAMRUTHAM: The "Parama Saaram" of Adhyayam 1 of Bhagavad Gita
(Arjuna Vishaada yogam) as per Vaikuntavasi U. Ve. Vidwan
Saarasaarjna Tirukkallam Narasimha Raghava Chariar Swami.
3. "LEARN OUR TRADITION THE EASY WAY"- Sampradaya lessons for kids
for Grade 2 - Lesson 3 "Tradition"" written in Tamil by Desika Bhakta
Ratnam, U. Ve. Seva Srinivasa Raghavachariar Swami under
his "Jayamangala Paada Thittam" and translated by Sri M.K.Srinivasan
Swami of Vedanta Desika Research Center, Chennai.
By Sri M.R.Rajagopala Iyengar Swami.
{Note: Many of you may know that the Swami made a faithful English
translation of Swami Desika's "Srimad Rahasya Traya Saaram". But,
many may not know that he is the maternal grandfather of Smt.
Vaidehi, wife of Sri Vijayaraghavan Srinivasan Swami of Buffalo, who
hosted the first ever Sri Vaishnava Conference under the auspices of
Swami Desika Darsana Satsangam in December 1996 and who is a member
"Sri Ranga Sri" journal}
IF you are satisfied with the form and content of the Journal, please
spread the word among those interested and encourage them to join by
sending an email to

Alternatively, You may suggest us the email addresses of friends who
may be really interested so that we can directly add them to our
mailing list.
Anbil Ramaswamy
Editor & Publisher
"Sri Ranga Sri'
1. SRIBHASYAMRUTHAM: A brief summary of Adhikaranams 54 to 60 of
Adhyayam 1 (Paadam 3) of Sri Bhashyam based on "Sukha Bodhini" by Sri
Purisai Nadadur Krishnamachariar Swami, Editor & publisher
of "Nrisimhapriya", "Sri Bhashya Saaram" by Sri T.S. Rajagopalan
Swami (and published by Azhwargal Amudha Nilayam) and  "Sri Bhashya
Saaraswaathinee" by Vaikuntavasi Vidwan Tirupputkuzhi Narasimha
Tatachariar Swami of Sri Hayagriva Vidya Peetam, Chennai.
Chandokhyam while explaining creation with the words "Tad Aikshyatha
bahusyaam prajaayeya" does not mention "ether" (Akasa) but
mentions "light" (Tejas) as being the one first created.
Brihadaaranyakam says "vayus cha anthariksham cha yethath amritam"
which means that "air" and "ether" are indestructible. If "Akasa" has
no end, it could not have had a beginning also. Further, it has no
In Taittriyam, it is said "Aatmanaa Aakaasa: sambhootha:" which means
that Akasa was born from Paramaatma. Just because it has no form, it
cannot be said that it has no beginning. Since Sruthi Vaakhyam is
authentic, it is to be understood that Akasa has a beginning. The
expression "anthariksham cha amrutham" only means it exists for long
not that it has no end. The word "amara" with reference to Devas only
means that they live long, not that they cease to exist.

There are statements in the Upanishads which say-
"Vayor agni:, Agner aapa:, abhya: prithvi" which means "from air
arose fire; from fire - water; from water - the earth". Therefore,
Brahman does not directly create air, fire, water earth etc but they
seem to be related to one another like the relation between great
grandparent, grandparent, parent, children etc.
In Chandokhya (6.2.3,4) Tejas and Apah are said to have declared, "I
will become many". These are non-sentient and so they could not be
taken to have "decided" to become many. It is Bhagavan who has these
as His Sareeram who alone can be making such decisions by
His "Sankalpam". In fact, there are passages like "yasya prithvee
sareeram" (for whom earth is the body) and "tad anupravisya cha
tyachcha abhavath" He entered them and became as such. It is,
therefore, clear that Akaasa, Vaayu, Jalam, Bhoomi etc were created
only by Bhagavan directly not by means of genealogical descent

May be the achetanas were created by Bhagavan but not "Atmas"
(souls). When talking about Jivas, Sruti Vakhyas say "na jaayate
mriyate vaa vipaschith" which means, "sentient beings are neither
born nor do they die when the body dies". This shows that Bhagavan
could not have created the Jivas. How could a jiva, which has no
origin, be the result of Bhagavan's creation?
Sruti says "sadeva som yetham agra aseeth" which means "In the
beginning, there was only Brahman". Another says "thoyena
jeevanvyasasarja bhoomyaam" which means that Jivas were created along
with 5 elements. Another one says "yathO vaa imaani bhoothaani
jaayante" which means all these bhoothas were created by Bhagavan"
In the case of insentient things (Achetanas), when a thing changes
into a different state it is said to be created. In the case of
sentient beings (Chetanas), their innate nature of Jnaana, Ananda etc
do not disappear but they are subject to expansion and contraction
(Vikaasa and Sankocha). Both Chetanas and achetanas constitute
Sareeram of Bhagavan. During the deluge, they are in a subtle state
(Sookshma dasa). During creation, they issue forth with name, form
etc. (Sthoola dasa). In the case of Chetanas, when the Atma issues
forth with its body, it is considered "birth"; when the Atma gets rid
of its body, it is considered  "death". In this sense, Chetanas are
said to be "eternal".

There are Sruti Vakhyas that say – " Vigjnaanam yajnam thanuthe"
meaning "Jiva which has knowledge does sacrifice". Also, "Yo Vijnaane
thishtan" which means "one who stands with his natural cognition".
So "cognition" is his "nature" (svabhava) and cannot be called
a "quality" (Guna)
In other Upanishads, Jivan is clearly shown as one who sees, hears,
smells, tastes, thinks, knows and acts. An insentient thing cannot do
all these. Both in the bonded stage (bhaddha) and liberated stage
(mukta), the Jiva acts due to his cognition (Jnaana) as his quality
as well as by nature.

During sleep, there is no cognition; it becomes obvious only while
awake. Cognition is subject to the senses (indriyas). Therefore, Jiva
has no cognition by nature (svabhava)
During sleep intellect is not obvious but inherent; it becomes active
while in waking state. A man or woman realizes his manhood or her
womanhood only at the appropriate age of maturity. The position of
realization arises for intellect only at the time of awakening.

In the world, a jiva has to perform action and would have to use his
senses at all times and all places. Since this does not happen while
sleeping, jiva is also an achetana like a stone (Jatam).
That intellect does not manifest at times does not prove its absence;
since intellect acts through senses, it manifests itself when the
senses start functioning.

Jiva is atomic in size. When this atom is in one part of the body,
how could it experience pleasure and pain all over the body?
Sandal paste smeared on one part of the body spreads its fragrance
everywhere. Jiva residing at the heart is capable of experiencing
pleasure and pain all over.

When Srutis declare knowledge is natural (swarupam), how is it held
to be a quality (guna)?
The earth has the quality of smell. To identify this quality, we
speak of smell as if it were different from earth. We call
Bhagavan "Aanandan" since He is blissful (aanandamaya). Likewise,
Jiva, which has intellect as its quality, is known as the "Knower"

There is a statement in Katavalli (2.19) that "one who harms another
does not harm nor does the harmed one suffer any harm!" In Bhagavad
Gita (3.27 and 13.20), Bhagavan says that Jivan imagines himself as
a "do-er" due to "ahamkaaram". Thus, it is only "Prakriti" that
directs the action of the senses and Jiva cannot be deemed as the "do-
er" (Kartha)
The above statements were made in the context of proving that Jiva is
eternal. The BG SlOka only says that a Jiva acts as a result of the
interaction of the 3 Gunas of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. The BG SlOka
18.14 "Adhishtaanam" clearly says the body, the soul, the mind in
association with senses, the vital air and Bhagavan – are the five
agents that act together. Brahadaranyaka Upanishad 4.1.18 describes
how Jiva is the prime mover like a king moving with his subjects.
According to Sastras, oneself experiences the fruits of one's
actions. "Prakriti" does not enjoy the fruits of actions since it has
no action on its own. It is, therefore, clear that "Atma' is the "do-
er". Though a carpenter has all the materials and tools, he works on
them only as and when he desires. So also, though senses are the
tools, they can be put to work only if and when the Jiva desires
so. "Buddhi" by itself cannot be the cause of action since it can
have no desires or non-desires. It is clear that Jiva is the cause of
action and enjoys the fruits of its actions.

Since the Sastras stipulate the "Do"s and "Don't"s, it is agreed that
Jiva is the actor (Kartha). But, in performing action, it does so out
of its own volition and free will and not dependent on any other
SIDDHANTAM 1: Since Bhagavan is the Indweller (antharyami) as vouched
by BG, it is He who really motivates Jiva to act and that too in
accordance with Jiva's propensity.

If Bhagavan is the "do-er", why can't he Make people do only good
deeds (punyakarma). Why should he make them indulge in sinful acts
(Paapakarma) and then punish them?
Sastras say that effect of karma (good or bad) could be expended only
by experiencing the fruits thereof. Whatever we do is a result of our
actions in the past lives called "karma vaasana". So, we enjoy or
suffer in accordance with the results of such actions. Bhagavan
provides guidelines in the form of Sastras on how to lead a virtuous
life on earth and has bestowed a certain amount of freedom for the
Jiva to act. He does not interfere when the Jiva takes a decision
either in accordance with or against the guidelines. Depending upon
the propensity of the Jiva either way, He motivates the Jiva in the
direction of its preference.

If all Jivas are "amass" of Bhagavan, why should there be
discrimination as between Brahmins and Non-brahmins?
This differentiation is based on their relative status. It is the
duty of Brahmin to study and recite the Vedas. That is his specialty.
Though fire is the same, we perceive a difference between the fire in
the Sacrificial pit (Homakundam) and the fire in the burning ghat.
This differentiation should be regarded in this light.
2. GITAMRUTHAM: "Parama Saaram" of Adhyayam 1 of Bhagavad Gita
(Arjuna Vishaada yogam) The Summary of  Chapter 1 of Bhagavad Gita as
per Vaikuntavasi U. Ve. Vidwan Saarasaarjna Tirukkallam Narasimha
Raghava Chariar Swami.
The war between Kauravas and Pandavas was about to begin. . Sanjaya
could see the happenings and was giving a running commentary to
Dritarashtra. Dritarashtra, father of Kauravas asked Sanjaya to tell
him what his children and those of Pandu were doing on the
battlefield. Sanjaya retorted asking in turn what else would
opponents do on the battlefield other than fighting. Dritarashtra had
a reason for his query. Kurukshetra is such a holy place that it
could change the belligerent mentality of opposing forces thus
avoiding a head-on collision.

Sanjaya said: Duryodhana who entered the field with pomp and pride
got disheartened on seeing the army of Pandavas and approached Drona,
the Commander-in- Chief saying that he was scared to see the might of
the heroes like Drishtadhyumna, Bhishma, Arjuna and others who were
inter se equally valorous and would prove more than a match to
Kaurava army. To instill confidence in him, Drona, Bhishma and others
blew their conches in unison as if in a chorus signifying the
beginning of the war. On hearing this, unlike the Kauravas, Pandavas
also blew their conches loud and clear. Arjuna was mounted on the
Chariot gifted to him by fire god. Krishna blew his
conch "Paanchajanyam"; Arjuna his "Devadattam"; Bheema
his "Poundram"; Yudhishtara his "Ananthavijayam"; Nakula
his  "Sugosham" and Sahadeva his "Manipushpakam". The thunderous
sound of these conches reverberating one after the other struck
terror in the hearts of Kauravas.

When the two armies stood face to face with each other, Arjuna
ordered Krishna, his charioteer to take the Chariot to a vantage
point from which he could have a full view of the extent of the
armies on either side. Krishna who considered himself as a servant of
his devotees (Bhakta paraadheena) and acted as Arjuna's Chauffer
obeyed Arjuna's orders. Arjuna saw in the enemy camp people who were
like his father, grandfathers, close relatives like father-in-law,
brothers-in-law, trusted friends, even sons and grandsons all arrayed
against him and his army. Suddenly, he was gripped by a sentiment of
affection, love, respect, regard etc.

He told Krishna: "I am totally shaken at the prospect of having to
kill them all. My lips get parched; my body trembles; my bow,
Gandeepam slips from my hand. I do not see any meaning in fighting my
near and dear ones, my own kith and kin. I will give up fight"

Krishna: "If you give up fight now, you will forfeit your honorific
of being "Vijayan" (ever victorious)."
Arjuna: "I don't mind losing my fame"
Krishna: "If you do not fight you will not get your kingdom"
Arjuna: " I do not desire kingdom"
Krishna: "If you do not have kingdom, you cannot enjoy all the
pleasures it could provide"
Arjuna: "I have no desire at all for any kind of enjoyment"
Krishna: "You may get killed, if you do not offer resistance"
Arjuna: " I do not even wish to live and I am prepared to be killed"
Krishna: " Do you know that an "Aathathaayee" ought to be killed
without having a second thought about it"?
{Note: An "Aathathaayee" is one who has committed *anyone* of the
following crimes:
· One who indulges in arson;
· One who poisons another;
· One who unnecessarily wields a weapon at all times;
· One who cheats others by swindling their money;
· One who acquires property by dispossessing the rightful
· One who attempts to outrage the chastity of another's wife.
The implication is that the Kauravas had committed not one but
everyone of these crimes against Pandavas and so no sin would accrue,
if they were killed}
Arjuna:  " It is OK with regards others but this rule does not apply
to Acharyas who deserve to be respected and near and dear relatives
who should be loved"
Krishna: "If relatives are not to be killed, how come this thought
did not arise in the minds of Kauravas?"
Arjuna: "They are ignorant. And, if they do something wrong out of
ignorance, should we, enlightened people also be guilty of the same?"
Krishna: "Can you explain what is right and what is wrong?"
Arjuna: "If we also indulge in an unjust war and kill
Acharyas, "Dharma" will be rooted out; Adharma" will prevail; Women
would lose their chastity leading to an unholy mixing up of castes
and destroy the very social fabric on which our life is based. Those
who are instrumental for such depravity and those who become subject
to such ignominy will go to terrific and ever lasing hell. I do not
wish to be instrumental for this degradation. I will not fight"

So saying, he threw down his bow and arrow and moved to another spot
in the Chariot in utter despondence. Krishna commenced his counseling.
3. "LEARN OUR TRADITION THE EASY WAY"- Sampradaya lessons for kids
for Grade 2 - Lesson 3 "Tradition"" written in Tamil by Desika Bhakta
Ratnam, U. Ve. Seva Srinivasa Raghavachariar Swami under
his "Jayamangala Paada Thittam" and translated by Sri M.K.Srinivasan
Swami of Vedanta Desika Research Center, Chennai.
What is "Tradition"? Many people are ignorant of the real meaning of
this word. Some say it is custom or practice; others say it is
a "ritual". The Sanskrit word "Sampradayam" can be translated
as "that which has been well and truly handed over". It covers a wide
ground which includes "rituals" as also customs, practices,
utterances and even thoughts which have been carefully preserved and
handed over by preceptors to disciples over generations. Whenever an
Acharya communicates to his Sishya, he would say with great
respect "I learnt this from my Acharya. You should also preserve it
and transmit to your disciples with the same esteem and regard". Once
again, let us make it clear that "Sampradayam" or tradition covers
philosophy, religion, teaching and actions.

Our tradition is the Srivaishnava tradition. But, interpretations of
the tradition may differ depending on the practioners' views, which
have come down due to strict following of one's preceptor's words.
While we should follow what our preceptors have stated, we may
understand the differing views and perceptions of others without
dislike or hatred or condemnation.

Since Sampradayam or tradition owes its origin to Vedic times, it is
called "Satsampradayam" or Good tradition (Sath= Good). Swami Desika
has authored a work called "Sampradaya Parisuddhi" or "the purity of
tradition" from which we give some utterances that clearly spell out
certain basic facts for us to follow:
1. The exact meaning of Spiritual literature should be
determined only through the traditional teachings, which have come
through the hierarchy of preceptors.
2. Since the knowledge of the scriptures by oneself is difficult
and is likely to cause confusion, one should learn about the
supremacy of Lord Hari from one's preceptor and desist from other
thoughts and actions, which are not conducive to this knowledge.
3. Without adoption and practice of traditional means of
learning, it will be impossible to get the correct interpretations of
the Sastras. Even if it were easy, it will not be useful.
4. In cases which are not perceived by the senses, any tradition
which is not based on the scriptures and which is contrary to the
commonly accepted Sastras should not be relied upon as they are
unreliable, confusing and have no validity at all.
5. Hence, only that tradition should be adopted which the
preceptors from time immemorial have confirmed as rooted in the
Sastras and do not contradict them. That is the only authoritative
By these clarion utterances, Swami Desika has reinforced the
correctness and soundness of our tradition. Having inherited such a
unique tradition, should we lose it by not learning and following it?
1. Define "Sampradaya" and "Satsampradaya" in your own words?
2. Explain briefly why we should follow tradition?
3. How is tradition passed on?
4. What are the risks in not following traditional teachings?
5. To which tradition do we belong?
6. When does a tradition become unreliable?
(By Sri M.R. Rajagopala Iyengar Swami)
Sri Ramanuja and Sri Vedanta Desika are held in the greatest honor
and reverence by all followers of the Visishtadvaita system of
religious philosophy, the former as its founder and the latter as its
stalwart champion against its critics.

Both of them had the greatest devotion and reverence to their Gurus.
Sri Ramanuja looked upon his Gurus like Tirukkachi Nambi and
Mahaapoorna as semi divine. To Alavandar with whom he had no personal
contact, his reverence was boundless. He thought that he was raised
from his state of insignificance by a contemplation of the feet of
Alavandar. Desika had similar devotion to his uncle Atreya Ramanuja
under whom he studied the Sastras. He considered himself as the
Sishya of Sri Ramanuja also and dedicated himself to the defence of
his system from the criticism of rival schools of philosophy. In
the "Sankalpa Suryodaya" Act II, he introduces a character called
Sishya as the disciple of Ramanuja. Though two centuries intervened
between them, Desika was proud to call himself Ramanuja's Sishya.

Desika was a more versatile and prolific writer than Ramanuja whose
works including Sri Bhashya are only nine in number. Desika's works
are more than a hundred in number. They are in Sanskrit, in Tamil,
and in Manipravalam, which is Sanskritized Tamil. To Desika, Sanskrit
verse was as it were his mother tongue and he was truly a "Kavi
Simha". Even his philosophical writings like "Tattvamuktakalapa"
and "Adhikarana Saravali" flow easily into lengthy Sanskrit meters.
He mastered Tamil prosody and composed verses in Tamil explaining the
doctrines of Visishtadvaita and defending them from its opponents.
Ramanuja was content with writing only in Sanskrit and even in
Sanskrit he seems to have preferred prose to verse. It was his object
to be easily understood by even the layman who did not know much
Sanskrit. Ramanuja's Slokas in Sanskrit may not number more than a

The late Jawaharlal Nehru said in one of his writings that Sankara
was more intellectual than Ramanuja and that Ramanuja was emotional
rather than intellectual. This statement cannot be seriously
maintained. Anyone who has read Ramanuja's elaborate commentary of
Sri Bhashya will realize that he was as much a logician as Sankara.
Those who are acquainted with the seven reasons that he formulated
against Sankara's theory of "Maya" will have to admit that he was in
no way less intellectual than Sankara. But, there is much truth in
Nehru's remark that Ramanuja was emotional. Whenever he has to speak
of Bhagavan Narayana in his "Vedartha Sangraha", "Sri Bhashya and
prose writings, he rises to rapturous ecstasy.

With regard to Vedanta Desika, it is admitted on all hands that he
was a "Tarkika Simha, his mastery of logic and dialectic was profound
and unquestioned. His "Tattva mukta kalapam" and "Satadushani" bear
ample testimony to the keenness of his logic and dialectic. Desika
also wrote a large number of books and pamphlets in Tamil. He has
written eloquently in Tamil on "Divya Prabhanda" and has written
commentaries on it. Ramanuja on the other hand is scrupulously silent
in regard to Alwars and their views. This is because in his days
there was much prejudice against vernacular literature as being
inferior in quality and authority to Sanskrit works. As he was deeply
interested in Sri Bhashya making headway among scholars, he made no
reference to the Tamil writings of Alwars.

Ramanuja was a little more liberal in the matter of caste restriction
than Desika. We learn from "Guru Parampara" that in
his "grihasthasrama", he once invited to breakfast Tirukkachi Nambi
because he held him in great veneration. Nambi came earlier than
expected. Ramanuja was not in the house. The lady of the house served
the breakfast and after it was over, cleaned the house and all the
vessels and herself took a bath because Nambi was a Vaisya and not a
Brahmin. Ramanuja was greatly incensed when he returned to the house
and found no "uchishtam" (left overs) at all. Whether "uchishtam"
meant the leavings on the leaf or what remained in the vessels and
pots as Desika explains, it is clear that Ramanuja was for relaxing
caste restrictions in exceptional circumstances and in the case of
exceptional individuals. Desika, on the other hand, insisted on the
scrupulous observance of caste restrictions even in the case of
highly spiritual persons of the lower castes. "You may show them
great regard but not interdine or intermarry with them. As long as a
non-brahmin is in this body, his caste will remain.  He
writes:  "Surabhiyaanaalum Gotvam kazhiyaadhire" Even though Surabhi
is a temple cow whose milk serves as offering to the temple deity, on
that account its being a cow cannot be ignored" Similarly, *if the
Guruparampara may be relied upon*, Ramanuja proclaimed the Mulamantra
in the temple of Goshtipuram to all and sundry, so that everyone
might obtain salvation.

Ramanuja had what might be called personal magnetism and inspired his
countless followers not only with reverence but love and affection to
himself in their minds. Though scholar of Prathivadi Bhayankaram
Annangarachariar family who was a thenkalai Sishya of Desika tells us
that his master was full of generous kindness, Desika was perhaps
more reticent in outward manifestation of love to his disciples.
(Source: Swami Desika's 7th Centenary Commemoration Volume)

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