Summarising the earlier posts on ThiruppAvai, we have seen so far that it offers the quintessence of Vedams in a simple language that is easily understood by everyone. AndAl is none other than Bhudevi Herself who has incarnated to divulge the simple instructions She received from VarAha PerumAl to the suffering jeevAtmAs so that they can follow these and attain Him. ThirruppAvai in its 30 verses encompasses several concepts of VisishtAdvaitam. So far we have seen how ThiruppAvai conveys the significance of NAma sankIrtanam, Rahasya Traya vivaranam and esoteric SaranAgathi in simple language.
Artha Panchakam (Five Doctrines)
There are five questions that are fundamental to anyone seeking true knowledge.
1. Who am I?
2. Who is my Lord and what is His/Her nature?
3. What is my goal?
4. How do I reach this goal?
5. What are the obstacles in attaining this goal?
As Sri VaishnavAs, we are blessed to have two eminent stalwarts, Sri VedAnta DesikA and Sri Pillai LokAchAryA who answered the above questions in great depth. Sri VedAta DesikA’s Rahasya Traya SAram and Pillai LokAchAryA’s Artha Panchakam are two gems of Sri VaishnavA literature that answer the above intricate and complex questions very elaborately . In fact Sri Pillai LokAchAryAr in his Mumukshupadi has indicated that all that one needs to know is covered by Artha panchakam (அறிய வேண்டும் அர்த்தமெல்லாம்). But it is ThiruppAvai that surpasses these two works in giving the same philosophy in a concise and succinct form that even a layman can understand!
We will see what these 5 doctrines are that are essential in getting the true knowledge which can lead one to unalloyed bliss (niradhisaya Anandha Hethu)
1. ParamAtmA SwarUpam – the characteristics of the Supreme person
2. JeevAtmA SwarUpam – the characteristics of the individual soul
3. UpAya SwarUpam – the means for the JeevAtmA to reach ParamAtmA
4. VirOdhi SwarUpam – the nature of impediments on the path to the ultimate goal
5. Phala SwarUpam – the ultimate purpose of existence of the JeevAtmA.
We will take up each doctrine and see how ThiruppAvai brilliantly embeds such deep philosophical thoughts in simple terms.
Will be continued……..
Azagiya Singer Thiruvadigale Saranam
AndAl Thiruvadigale Saranam
by Smt. Geetha Rangarajan