We have seen in the last post how Sriman NarAyanA Himself becomes the upAyam for a jeevAtma who desires mOksham and grants the boon of moksham. Poigai AzwAr narrates the glorious kainkaryam that Adi Seshan is able to implement in the following lines.
சென்றால் குடையாம் இருந்தால் சிங்காசனமாம்
Every jeevAtmA is entitled to reach Vaikuntam, attain total uninterrupted bliss and serve Sriman nArAyanan eternally just like Adi Seshan. But unfortunately, this is not the case. Not everyone is able to follow this upAyam. This indicates that there are obstacles or ‘virodhis’ to attaining mOksham and freedom from the cycle of births and rebirths. In this post we will see nature of those impediments ie. the VirOdhi SwarUpam, which is the fourth pentad of the Artha Panchakam.
NammAzwAr in ThiruvImozhi, also lamentss ‘I tasted that was unworthy, I am in deep stupor not knowing how to escape’ (அற்ப சாரங்கள் அவை சுவைத்து அகன்றொழிந்தேன்’ and again ‘பாவியேன் பல காலம் வழி திகைத்து அலமருகின்றேன்’ – TVM 3-2). So what are these viOdhis?
SwAmi rAmAnujA describes these virOdhIs in his SaranAthi Gadyam.
‘manovaakkaayai:,anaadhi kaala pravRuththa ………………………..anaathikaala pravRuththa, vipareethaj~Jaanam,aathma viShayam, kRuthsna jagadh viShayam cha,vipareethavRuththam cha,asheSha viShayam,adhyaapi varththamaanam varththiShyamaaNam cha’
A jeevAtmA has been committing the mistakes, blunders (apachArams) from time immemorial over several births through mind, body and language. These apachArams are of two types, the first is doing acts that are prohibited and should not be done and the next is not doing acts that are prescribed in the sAstrAs. These include
• Having a misconception and equating body to Atman and that it has independence. This is called avidyA/nescience or vibharItha gnAnam (விபரீத ஞானம், விபரீத அஹங்காரம்). This bodily concept gives rise to ahankAram and mamakAram.. ahankAram is a man’s ego and mamakAram is his sense of possessiveness. NammAzhaAr advises that these two vices must be eradicated to have the knowledge that the soul and the body are subservient to paramAmA. (நீர் நுமது என்றிவை வேர் முதல் மாய்த்து TVM 1-2)
• Attachment to material things that are temporary (மின்னின் நிலை இல மன்னுயிர் ஆக்கைகள் TVM 1-2 ). Falsely considering worldly and sensual pleasures as providing complete enjoyment.
• Attachment to the self-effulgent soul which is called kaivalya. (அற்றது பற்றெனில் உற்றது வீடுயிர் TVM 1-2) This attachment occurs when the attachment to sense gratification is ceased. This is also an impediment to god realization.
• pUrva janma karmAs and their residual effects. KarmAs are anAdi and give rise to current tendencies to commit aparAdhams.
• denial of paramAtman as the creator, sustainer and destroyer of all sentient and insentient beings. (இல்லதும் உள்ளதும் அல்லது அவனுரு TVM 1-2)
• Committing apachArams to the lord
• Committing apachArams to the bhAgavathAs
• Committing other unforgivable, unpardonable apachArams
After lamenting about the several virOdhis for mOksham, NammAzwAr, assures that once a jeevAtmA surrenders with complete dedication to Sriman nArAyanA, all the impediments will simply vanish. (ஒடுங்க அவன்கண் ஒடுங்கலுமெல்லாம் – TVM 1-2)
SwAmi rAmAnujA also echoing in similar lines, summarizes succinctly in Sri BhAshyam, this solacing truth that Sriman nArAyanA will cast His merciful glance at us and would allow Himself tied down in our control when one does saranAgati with complete mahAviswAsam at His lotus feet.
AndAl skillfully has interwoven the above concepts in Her masterpiece, ThiruppAvai which is considered as the seed of all vedAs. In the next post we will see these impediments (virOdhi’s) are elucidated by AndAl.
Will be continued……..
Azagiya Singer Thiruvadigale Saranam
AndAl Thiruvadigale Saranam
by Smt Geetha Rangarajan