Published from “Three Minutes” series written by A.S.Rajagopalan Swami of Ohio.
Today, we will look into the commands of bhagavat rAmAnuja. svAmi rAmAnuja has various names: shrI bhAShyakArar, uDaiyavar, emperumAnAr, lakShmaNa muni, yatirAjar etc. He is the divine incarnation of AdisheShan, the serpent bed for Lord shrIman nArAyaNa in shrIvaikuNTham. The main reason for rAmAnuja’s descent to earth (avatAram) was to stabilize the vedic concepts and to reestablish shrIvaiShNavam.
svAmi rAmAnuja was engaged for all of his life to prove unequivocally that shrIman nArAyaNa is the ultimate God (brahmam, Ishvaran), that He is the sole reason (jagat kAraNakan) for creation, sustenance and destruction of the universe (prapa~ncam), and that He possess infinite holy characters (ananta kalyANa guNAkaran). All sentient (cetana) and non sentient (acetana) entities form His inseparable body (sArIaka shAstram). The universe is real yet destroyable. The objective (puruShArtham) of any sentient is to reach the ultimate bliss (mokSham), which is beyond this primordial matter (prakR^iti), and perform endless service (nitya kaiMkaryam) to shrIman nArAyaNa. For that, only two routes (upAyam) are available – devotion (bhakti) or total surrender (prapatti), of which latter is the only plausible method for most of us.
Every sentient has a right to attain mokSham and enjoy performing service to the Lord (upeyam). Prapatti is the only universal method, that is applicable to anyone regardless of age, gender, race etc. There is only one eligibility criterion (adhikAram) for prapatti: a strong desire for mokSham. Once prapatti is done, then he (prapannan) has nothing more to do for mokSham. Having removed all the burdens, the prapannan should live peacefully and happily for the rest of the days on earth.
When svAmi rAmAnuja decided that his duty was over here, and was ready to ascend back to shrIvaikuNTham, his disciples were all desperately crying in sorrow of the impending separation. At that time, emperumAnAr consoled them and advised to follow these ten commandments and that he will be with them in spirit all the time.
1. Thou shall not worry about soul after prapatti.
2. Thou shall not worry about current karmic life after prapatti.
3. Thou shall not seek any means after prapatti for mokSham
4. Thou shall help the poor.
5. Thou shall propagate shrIbAShyam, propagate AzhvAr’s works, perform service at temples, chant dvaya mantra with meaning, or at least live under the glory of a true shrIvaiShNavan
6. Thou shall live in a divya desham (places that AzhvAr-s have graced)
7. Thou shall construct at least a hut and live in tiru nArAyaNapuram.
8. Thou shall live peacefully and happily.
9. Thou shall be grateful to AcArya and Lord who have offloaded you
10. Thou shall serve as a role model shrIvaiShNavan; show love and compassion to all, act without ego, and live with the moral support of other shrIvaiShNava-s.
Lets us see the brief explanation of the above.
1. Prapatti is a process of returning the stolen property (soul) to the owner(God). Prapannan (one who has performed the total surrender) has no need to worry over which he doesn’t even own.
2. Current life is the effect of past sins and good deeds (karma). You have least control over it. Quit complaining or over enjoying it.
3. Prapannan has no necessity to seek other means for mokSham. In fact, if you seek, then the prapatti you have done might be invalidated. (For mokSham, the request can be made only once
and the Lord guarantees the reward. No reason to ask again).
4. Help the poor. One should help those who are in need of food, shelter, health, knowledge etc.
5. Read and propagate shrI bhAShyam; if not qualified, then read and propagate AzhvAr’s works; if not qualified, then perform service at the temple (like cooking, cleaning, gathering flowers etc.); if not qualified for that, chant dvaya mantra with conscious mind about its meaning; if not qualified for that, at least live under the glory of a true shrIvaiShNavan, looking up to him as a mentor.
6. Divyadehsams are the places graced by AzhvAr-s in their nAlAyira divya prabhandam. One should go and spend the rest of the days there. 106 out of 108 sthalam-s are on earth and available for prapannan.
7. Build, at least a small hut in tiru nArAyaNapuram (Melkot) and live there.
8. Prapannan should live peacefully, without any doubts (nissaMshayaH) and happily (sukhamAsva)
9. Prapannan should ever be grateful to the AcArya who has rescued him from the glitches of birth/death cycle. He should always remember Lord’s sympathy and grace towards him.
10. Prapannan should display exemplified qualities of a shrIvaiShNavan. He should love all the animate and inanimate things without any animosity. Move with everyone without any self-pride. Live with the cooperation and moral support of other shrIvaiShNava-s.
Ramanuja Arya Divyajna Vardhatam Abhivardhatam ||.