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This web site is a humble attempt to increase the awareness of youth on Ramanuja tradition of SriVaishnavism and the contribution of Aazhwaars and Poorvacharyas in the propogation of this great philosophy as given to us by Sri Manavala Mamunigal and for propagating the traditional srivaishnava sampradayam especially for the Telugu speaking members interested and attracted to Srivashnavism. The major works and purvacharya SriSukthis are mostly in Tamil and sanskrit. There are a few staunch Srivaishnava families who were originally from Thuppul of Kanchipuram, the famous birth place of Sri Vedanta Desikar. More than two centuries ago these families were asked by the great VAnamAmalai mutt direct establishment by great MaNavaLa MAmunikaL to go to Andhra coastal area for the propagation of Srivaishnava Sampradayam as preceptors for the various Kings and Jamindars etc. Till today, these families are following the traditions and continue to serve. However the present generation has lost the touch with Tamil langauage and are unable to enjoy the great legacy and the philosophy of our Azhwars and Acharyas. This is an attempt to rekindle the interest and provide the generation with the various inputs on our Sampradayam. It is requested that all to visit the web site and offer the suggestions for improving.

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   Srimaan Appalacharya Swami       Sribhashyam Srinivasacharyulu       Srimaan Raghunathacharya Swami   
Srimaan Appalacharya Swami Srimaan Sribhashyam Srinivasacharyulu Srimaan Raghunathacharya Swami

You can access the same article from Books & Articles > Regular Articles


Author: Srimaan Sribhashyam Srinivasacharyulu

Dear RAmAnuja DAsas and Asthikas,

In this posting we shall continue by taking up the 8th and 9th Mantras.
Sage BodhAyana maharishi was the first person who presented an excellent and voluminous
commentary for the Vedanta Sutras or Brahma Sutras of Sage VyAsa. He showed seven causes for
the upAsana the meditation to be successful. He had taken the various references from the
S'ruthis and confirmed that these causes are the essentials for achieving a meditation which
has the format of the unshakable and continuous visual perception of the meditated during the
meditation. Bhagavad RAmAnuja had taken the same and elaborated them in Sribhashyam. The text
of BodhAyana on this is as follows.

thallabdhih viveka-vimoka-abhyAsa-kriyA-kalyANa-anavasAda-anuddharshebhyah sambhavAnnirvachanAchcha.
Now let us go through these seven essentials for the successful meditation.
1. Vivekam
What is vivekam? Cleaning the mind by partaking the food that is not polluted by either its
association with Asraya-dosha, or by the instrument nimiththa dosha or by the race the
jAthi-dosha, is called as vivekam. jAthyAsraya nimiththA dushTAth annAth kAyasuddhih vivekah
is the definition given for cleansing the mind. It should be noted that In this context the
word kAya in the phrase kAyasuddhih denotes the mind or anthahkaraNa. Sri Varavara Muni
popularly known as Sri MaNavALa MAmuni had said in his commentary for the 2nd chapter of
AchArya HRidayam book as follows kAyasuddhih engiRa viDaththil kAyasabdaththAl
anthahkaraNaththai chchollugiRathu the word kAya in the phrase kAyasuddhi is denoting the
cleanliness of the anthahkaraNa or the mind. The Sruthi VAkya AhArasuddhau saththvasuddhih
demands that one should partake only such a food which is not polluted. By virtue of belonging
to the race or type the polluted or detrimental foods for a clean mind are the foods like
ganja, garlic, meat etc. which belong to a particular type. The pollution due to the
association is for the foods which are cultivated, and or stored and sold by a person who does
not have a clean and pious behaviour. The instrumental pollution of nimiththa dushTa is such
foods which are contaminated with hair, worms, partly eaten foods etc... By taking food which
is not contaminated or polluted by the above three types of pollution, will give rise to the
multitude of increase of saththva-guNa and decrease of the Rajas the egoistic and haughty
behaviour and thamo-gunA the stubbornness, ignorance etc. This helps the mind to be clean and
suitable to receive the right type of wisdom.

2. Vimokam.
This is defined as follows vimokah kAmAnabhishvangah. From the etymological
derivation kAmyatha ithi kAmah, the kAma means the pleasurable experience desired by the
human. An addiction for enjoying a particular mundane object, without which the person feels
that he cannot live, is called as abhishvangam. Absence of such a strong desire to experience
that object is called anabhishvangam. The substance of this definition is that absence of
addiction is called vimokam. This strong desire, to enjoy a particular object is called
abhishvangam. Absence of such abhishvangam is called anabhishvangam. A person who is afflicted
with abhishvangam will not be able to concentrate on his UpAsana since his mind will be
wavering due to the abhishvangam or a strong desire to enjoy the mundane objects. The substance
of this is that he should be free from such strong desires to enjoy the mundane objects.
Bhagavad RAmAnuja has explained elaborately the word kAma which occurs in the sentence sangAth
sanjAyathe kAmah of Gita (2-62) His explanation runs as below purusho (a) yAm dasAmApanno
vishayAn abhukthvA sthhAthum na saknothi sa kAmah. kAma or desire is that desire which
brings a person to a state of mind in which he is unable to stand without enjoying a particular
set of (mundane)objects. Sri Sudarsana Bhattar in his SruthaprakAsika defines the word
anabhishvanga as follows - vishayamabhukthvA sthhAthum na saknothi yena sa vikAro
abhishvangah a stage that is obtained by a person, who is unable to live without experiencing
the mundane objects, is called abhishvangam. thadabhAvo anabhishvangah absence of such a
state is called anabhishvanga. Thus, if one understands the meaning of both kAma and
anabhishvanga to be the same, it does not suit the phrase kAmAnabhishvangah of sage BodhAyana.
So in the present context, it will be apt to interpret the meaning of the word kAma (kAmyatha
ithi kAmah) as desire to experience an object.

3. ArambhaNasamseelanam punah punarabhyAsah.
ArambhaNam means refuge. In essence it means
that most auspiciously beautiful form of the Lord is the refuge of all the auspiciousness.
AbhyAsa means frequently repeated reviewing of the most auspicious and beautiful form of the
Lord in ones mind as said in the phrase sadA thadbhAvabhAvithah. Thus in other times also if
one is remembering the exquisite most auspiciously beautiful form of the Lord with affection,
that visualisation in the mind gives a unique concentration of the mind during which except the
most beautifully auspicious form of Him, no other extraneous forms or objects will occupy the
4. kriyA
It is defined as follows pancha mahAyajnAdyanu-shThAnam sakthithah kriyA. It
means that one should perform according to ones own capability, the five great ritualistic
yajnas is called kriyA. These five yajnas are 1. Deva yajna worship of ones deity. 2.
Brahma-yajna. Continuous study of the Vedas. 3. pithR yajna offering sacred pleasing waters
to please the pithR class of spirituals.

5. kalyANa.
The qualities mentioned as sathya Arjava, dayA, dAna, ahimsA and anabhidyA are
called the kalyANas the auspicious qualities. A speech which is good for all the living
beings is called as sathya the truth. Arjavam is having behaviour devoid of cunningness and
having the mind, body and word following the same object in unison. DayA is such tenderness in
the mind in which one is unable to bear the others miseries. Not causing injury to the others
by mind body and words is called as ahimsa. Not desiring to acquire others property is called
as anabhidya. All these qualities are required to be present in a person who is a meditator.

6. anavasAda
Mental despondency in adverse circumstances caused by unfavourable place,
time etc. is called anavasAda. Always being with enthusiasm and not getting bogged down with
such a mental despondency is essential for a meditator to have a successful meditation.

7. anuddharsha.
Being extremely happy is not suitable for a meditator to have a
successful meditation. Thus by following these seven types of practices one who meditates will be able to have a clean
and pious state of mind which is most suitable for serious meditation. A person who has such a
clean and pious mind only can visualise the paramAthman. This is the substance of the word
manomaya.The word prANa in the phrase prANa sareera-neTha indicates the JIva or the soul. nethA means
one who makes one to attain a body. Here, it is such a person who makes the JIva to have the
body. it is He only who makes each JIva to attain a body suitable to the deeds of that JIva.
It is said in the bhagavad Gita, anne prathishThathah, aham vaisvAnaro bhUthvA prANinaam
dehamAsrithah. prANApAnasamAyukthah pachAmyannam chathurvidham. The essence of these
statements is as follows The food that is eaten by all the living beings is transformed into
various parts of the body like blood, muscle, bones, mind (brain cells) etc by the Lord in the
form of a fire called jaTharAgni the fire which is in the stomach. Since the body gets all
the transformations due to the food which is taken, the word annam used here denotes the body
or sareera. hRidayam sannidhAya&thadvijnAnena etc. the wise, who know about the Brahman the
brahmaveththas, can have visual perception of the paramAthman, through their meditation by
concentration their mind on Him with single minded devotion and affection towards Him. This
practice is called as bhakthiyoga, dhyAna, upAsana etc. These words are all synonyms.
Brahmans form is stated to be the form of eternal bliss by thaiththireeya-Upanishad. It says
raso vai sah He is the essence of the eternal bliss. Further since it is devoid of any
transformations like the birth, old age, death etc., it is denoted by the word amRitha.

To continue

In the next posting, we shall continue with the detailed explanation of the sAdhana sapthakam.



Srinivasa RAmAnuja DAsan


Author: Srimaan Sribhashyam Srinivasacharyulu

Dear RAmAnuja DAsas and Asthikas,

In this posting we shall continue by taking up the 10th Mantra.

Mantra -10

bhidyathe hRidayagrandhih chhidyanthe sarva sams'ayAh|
ksheeyanthe chAsya karmANi thasmin dRishTe parAvare||

Word Meanings

parAvare thasmin = that parabrahman, who is the greatest one,
dRishTe = on being perceived by the meditation,
asya hRidayagrandhih = the states of love, hate etc. which are strongly settled in the meditators mind,
bhidyathe = are destroyed.
sarva samsayAh = all the doubts
chhidyanthe = are cleared
karmANi = All the deeds that were performed by him
ksheeyanthe cha = loose their capabilities to inflict their results.

parAvare thasmin all the powerful entities like the four-faced brahma etc. who are the residents of the great shell the brahmANDa are of lower status than that person, who is called parAvara the Brahman who is of the highest status.

dRishTe is perceived by the power of the meditation undertaken by the meditator. It may please be noted that the word dRishTe does not mean see Him physically. As said by the sruthi vAkya sadA pasyanthi sUrayah, achieving the capability of seeing Him with His extra-ordinarily beautiful and auspicious form is possible in that far off universe called srivaikunTham only. This was stated in the kaThopanishad, so adhvanah pAramApnothi thadvishNoh paramam padam the meditator reaches his goal which is the highest land belonging to that vishNu. That is the ultimate goal or destination. This word drishTe shows only the perception of the meditator during the meditation only. Hence this is not physical visualisation getting the view or visual perception of the Brahman. In the present statement dRishTe bhidyathe chhidyanthe ksheeyanthe, it is made clear that one shall on perceiving Him during his meditation, will be having the results stated in this sentence. Hence it is not that real seeing Him. Hence, this word dRishTe means only that in that meditation where the meditator perceives His form as if it is visual perception, these results of the desires getting destroyed etc do occur.

What is Bhakthi?

Bhagavad RAmAnuja had quoted this Sruthi vAkya in the beginning of Sribhashya and arrived at explaining the word Bhakthi. A synopsis of his explanation is given below

Some of the Sruthi vAkyas such as thamevaikam AthmAnam jAnathha, thamevam vidithvA athimRithyumethi, brahmaveda brahmaiva bhavathi etc. specify the (spiritual) knowledge as a tool for attaining liberation from the cycle of births and deaths. Some more like omithyAthmAnam dhyAyathha, AthmAnameva lokam upAseetha, nididhyAsithavyah etc. Some other statements as given next, say that visualisation of Brahman is the tool for release from the bondage of this prakRithi and cycle of births and deaths. These texts are nichAyya tham mRithyumukhAth pramuchyathe (nichAyya = after visualisation), thasmin dRishTe parAvare etc. If these statements and texts are to be understood properly, i.e., without any contradictions, one should co-ordinate these properly by using the sAmAnya visesha nyAya. This nyAya is illustrated below. There is a general rule in the scriptures which says one should perform a sacrifice using an animal. This does not specify which animal should be used. This is called the sAmAnya nyAya the general instructional logic. This statement has been further qualified by another sentence chAgasya vapAyAh medasah. This sentence qualifies as to which material is to be used in the sacrifice. In this vis'esha nyAya, the animal which was mentioned as a pasu in the general statement is identified as a Chaka ­ - a lamb. Thus both the sentences are to be read together to get the full meaning. This is what is known as sAmAnya visesha nyAya. In the same way, the words which denote in general, the knowledge and are being used to denote the prayer jAnathha Veda vidithvA, are to be considered to mean the various forms of prayer such as meditation, prayer etc. The words dhyAyathha and upAseetha are used in different contexts of the meditation etc. They mean same. However there is a subtle difference between the two. The dhyAna is a state in which one has continuity in the mental visualisation of the form of deity on whom he is meditating. There is no break in the visualisation and that stage is called the dhyAna. Such exercise of meditation or dhyAna if done repeatedly continuously is taken as upAsana. This has been specified in the Vedanta sutras of sage vyAsa in the axiom AvRiththih asakRith upadesAth. The meaning of this axiom is that one should do the upAsana by having repeated meditations the dhyAnas. Then how long should one do this? The Sruthi vAkya says nakhalvevam varthayan yAvadAyusham one should do this type of upAsana as long as he lives or till the death.

Another rule has been specified in the Purva meemAmsa in the second chapter at the end. This rule is called sarva sAkhAprathyaya nyAya. This rule specifies that the same type of specific ritual element has been specified in different major rituals in which a number of ritual elements are performed in a series to constitute a major sacrifice like ishTi or a yAga. Even though the elements have been mentioned in a number of major rituals, some of the details might have not been specified in some of these major rituals. However, all the details of the element might not have been mentioned in one but some details in one type of ritual and some more details which were not covered in one ritual might be detailed in another ritual etc. So to have a complete details of a particular element, one should consider all the various rituals in which this particular element has been specified to collect the complete details of the element. And after getting all the complete details of the element only, the performance of those major rituals like ishTi or sacrifice etc. should be undertaken. The Vedanta sutra sarva Vedanta prathyayam chodanAdyaviseshAth is similar to the above mentioned meemAmsA-nyAya. This is to include the rule in all studies in Upanishads. According to this rule, the characteristics and procedures of various types of upAsanas which are not specified comprehensively in one upAsana but in bits and segments in different upAsanas or meditative procedures, should be made comprehensive by adding all of them together and then only one should proceed with the meditation or upAsana. So from the quotes like nichAyya&. and thasmin dRishTe& etc. it becomes clear that this upAsana should be practised so that one can achieve an unbroken visualisation of the paramAtma. In other words, this meditation should turn out to be a form of continuous and unbroken visualisation seeing the form and characteristics of the paramAtma, as clearly as one sees in front of him in physical form. This is not seeing the paramAtma in physical form. Since the meditator is still in the stage of meditation only, it is only virtual vision, but it is as clear in minute details as though he is seeing in front of him in physical form. It is possible to attain such a state through unending and continuous practise. It is the same status of a person, who, enamoured by the unending thoughts of his consort or fiancé, as said in the Sanskrit classics prAsAde sA, pathhi pathhi cha sA, pRishThathassA, purassA she is there in the buildings he sees, she is seen in every route he takes, she is there behind him, she is there in front of him; visualises her in every moment. Is it physically seeing and beholding? No. this is the state of ecstasy one experiences in such a state of meditation always continuously having the paramAtma in his thoughts, words and deeds. In VAlmeeki Ramayana, VAlmeeki describes the mental state of MAreecha, who was tortured by Sri Rama in words spoken by MAreecha like vRikshe vRikshe cha pasyAmi I see Srirama in every tree and nook and corner, wherever my vision goes, I see Rama only there. So here also, such a state of visualisation of paramAtma by the meditator is spoken by the part of the Mantra thasmin dRishTe parAvare.


To continue

In the next posting, we shall continue with the treatise on Bhakthi.


Srinivasa RAmAnuja DAsan