Three Minutes Series – Means and Ends

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Published from “Three Minutes” series written by A.S.Rajagopalan Swami of Ohio.

paranda sindai onRi ninRu ninna pAda pankayam nirandaram ninaippadAga nI
ninaikka vENDumE
(tirumazhisaiyAzhvAr, tiruccanda viruttam – 101)

இரந்துரைப்ப துண்டுவாழி ஏமநீர்தி றத்தமா வரர்தரும்தி ருக்குறிப்பில் வைத்ததாகில் மன்னுசீர்
பரந்தசிந்தை யொன்றிநின்று நின்னபாத பங்கயம் நிரந்தரம்நி னைப்பதாக நீநினைக்க வேண்டுமே. – திருமழிசை ஆழ்வார், திருச்சந்த விருத்தம் – 101

sindai = (Oh Lord! my) thoughts paranda = (are) spread out all over onRi = (instead it) should focus and ninRu = stick strongly ninaippattAga = and has to meditate ninna = (on) Your pankayam = lotus (like) pAda = feet, nirandaram = permanently. vENDumE = (for that) the requirement nI = (is) You
ninaikka = have to put Your mind.

tirumazhisaiyAzhvAr    brings    out complex concepts so easily in this verse, which is his second treatise called tiruccanda viruttam in nAlAyira divya Prabhandam. He is highly focused on establishing shrIman nArAyaNa as the sole, eternal authority    above    and    beyond everything else (para brahmam) and this vigor is transparent throughout his creative works. Here, he begs the Lord to rescue his mind and thoughts from the worldly matters and to bless him with the ability to permanently concentrate on His lotus feet.


AzhvAr is lamenting that his fragile mind is wandering in all directions. Powerful yet cheap earthly pleasures (shabdAdi viShayangaL – sensory pleasures) are attracting him. He, and everyone else knows that, in reality, they are all spontaneous, temporary (anityam) pleasures. Yet, however, no one can escape from them. Thus, he makes a desperate plea to the Lord to move his attention from those and to firmly concentrate only on the Lord’s beautiful two lotus feet forever. He prays to Him to assure that his thoughts and the enjoyment will be eternal. That insurmountable feat can’t achieved by the AzhvAr’s effort, abilities, or for that matter, any one else’s. It solely rests with the God. Only the Lord’s desire (bhagavad sa~nkalpam), and nothing else, primarily determines when, where, and how one can attain this permanent pleasure.

The    amazing    experience (anubhavam) brought out by the AzhvAr here is the realization of the Lord as both the means and ends (upAyam and upeyam). To ride on an elephant, you first need to climb on it. For that, you need the help from the same elephant. First, as a means (hitam), the elephant bends down for you to climb on and then as a result (puruShArtham), it allows you to sit on it and gives you a ride.

Bending    down    is    the    means (sAdanam) and giving you a ride is the rewards (sAdhyam).

In summary,
1. One needs Lord’s blessing even to think about Him. His unconditional grace without any specific reason (nirhetuka kR^ipA) on the individual soul (cit) is the trigger point. Then only comes the effect of soul’s accumulated good deeds and sins (karma), teachers’ blessings (AcArya kaTAkSham), presence in a good community (sat sa~ngam) etc.
2. Total surrender is the best means.
To get into the reward of meditating    on    Lord’s    feet permanently,    one    needs    to surrender to the same feet as the means.
3. Request utopia on earth itself.
Scripts (veda-s) proclaim, the eternals (nityasUri-s) who are abode in the permanent bliss (mokSha), where the concept of time is lost, look mesmerized at the Lord, without even blinking. AzhvAr is requesting that this utopia be granted to him on earth itself.    We    shrIvaiShnava-s, following his path, make the same    prayer    to    have    that enjoyment start from today and last forever.

God – means (to) rewards

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