ThiruppAvai – Vedam anaithukkum vithu – 12
(திருப்பாவை – வேதம் அனைத்துக்கும் வித்து)
We the human beings are caught up in the cycle of births and deaths. Salvation is the release from this cycle and attainment of moksham. For this, one must understand the Artha Panchakam, which comprises five doctrines – the nature of jeevAtmA, the nature of ParamAtmA, the means to reach Him, the obstacles that arise in attaining our goal and finally the nature of moksham. These five doctrines are woven splendidly by AndAl in Her ThiruppAvai.
We have seen so far that the very nature of the jeevAtmA is to perform kainkaryam to Sriman nArAyanan and to His enjoyment. Only in Vaikunta, a jeevAtmA can obtain this kainkaryam and act according to its nature without any interruption. Thus the foremost question would now be ‘How do we attain mOksham and perform kainkaryam without any interruption?’. In today’s posting we will find the answer to this burning question which is based on SwAmi Desikan’s Rahasya Traya sAram.
We get an indication of the means to reach Him when we read the stories of Gajendra, Vibishana and Draupadi. The famous Krishna Charama Sloka of Bhagavad Gita emphatically declares His determination for delivering us once we surrender to Him at His lotus feet as per His command. He promises that He will rid us from all pApa (which incidentally includes punyA as well – sarva pApebhyO) and enable us to reach mOkshA (mOkshayishyAmi). He gives reassurance (mA suchah) to all who surrender to Him. The sloka itself is not a secret; however its esoteric meaning is a secret. Hence it has to be learnt under a proper achAryA.
Lord KrishnA also says ‘mAm ekam. He declares that He is the means (upAya) and is also the object of attainment. Sriman nArAyanA who is the only means, is pleased when a jeevAtmA performs SaranAgati (prapatti – which is the easiest way ) and grants mOksham.
NammAzwAr in ThiruvAimozhi (5-7,8,9 and 10) affirms what sAstrAs talk about the means for mOksham. In 5-7-3, he fervently asserts that he does not need any technique or any person except Sriman NarAyanA Himself to reach Him.
என்னான் செய்கேன் யாரே களைகண் என்னை என் செய்கின்றாய உன்னாலல்லால் யாவராலும் ஒன்றும் குறை வேண்டேன்
And again in 5-7-7 he proclaims that Sriman NarAyana Himself enslaved him through His benign grace and requests Him to grant His feet and cut the cycle of birth and death.
பிரியா அடிமை என்னைக் கொண்டாய் குடந்தைத் திருமாலே
தரியேனினி உன் சரணம் தந்து என் சன்மம் களைந்து
Thus the reason for one’s moksham is the siddha upAyam Sriman nArAyanA. SwAmi DesikA very beautifully conveys this as நின் அருளாம் கதி இன்றி மற்றொன்று இல்லேன். (There is no other refuge for a prpannA other than the mercy of Sriman nArAyanA.
We have already seen in the earlier posts how a person desiring mOksham can perform SaranAgathi (prapatti) and how this prapatti is done with the five accessories (ThiruppAvai – Vedam anaithukkum vithu – 4) Everyone is eligible to perform prapatti regardless of caste, creed and sex. The only qualifications are a feeling of destituteness – lack of mental and physical strength to adopt any other means and seeking Him and only Him as the sole refuge.
In the next post we will see how AndAl uses mArgazhi nErAttam and pAvai nOnbu as excuses for approaching the lord (upAyam) and appeal to Him to bless the jeevAtmA to perform kainkaryam.
Will be continued……..
Azagiya Singer Thiruvadigale Saranam
AndAl Thiruvadigale Saranam
by Smt. Geetha Rangarajan