Our Visistaadvaita Shree Vaishnava Matham is an eternal one and has origin in the eternal vedas. No one founded it. Bhagavat Raamaanuja Yatiraaja (who was born as an incarnation of Aadi Sesha at Shree Perum Butur (Maha Buta Puri) nearly 1000 years ago) once again established it that was already & eternally existing. He re-established it after conquering & destroying the falsehood of other sidhdantas like advaita, dvaita, dvaitaadvaita, Buddhism, Jainism, Saankya, Saivam, Saaktam, Charvaakam etc.,.
This Series of Article “Visishitadvaita for You and Me” gives us a clear insight about Visishitadvaita school of thought and is presented with simpler and lucid writing.
Visishtadvaita Philosophy for the modern age
We live in the age of reason. To a number of us, faith alone is not a big enough motivator to traverse the difficult path that our heritage has shown us. Many of us doubt if our philosophy and the way of living it professes, are of any relevance to our day-to-day lives.
This article proposes to communicate to both the serious and the casual reader alike, that SRI RAMANUJA’S philosophy is different from the other INDIAN philosophies in that —
a. It rests on a strong foundation of logic.
b. Though the concepts of our siddhanta are aimed completely at super-material well-being, they have immense practical value.
The works of our acharya-s —primarily those of Svami SRI DESIKA — would be of great assistance.
I plan to complement this with —
a. Insights from my interactions with people in my peer group.
b. To use tools and concepts to draw parallels and drive home concepts.
My basic intention is to induce the reader to become a serious Srivaishnavite who understands the importance of both jnana (knowledge) and anushthana (conduct).
We observe that many of our peers do not perform their obligatory duties (nitya karma-s) primarily because they believe that these karma-s are mere rituals that have no meaning. History textbooks have told us that the “superior” class of brahmin-s created these rituals to create a source of livelihood for themselves. Once the reader is convinced and begins performing his karma-s regularly, his perceptiveness to the other issues will automatically improve.
The need to perform rituals
The use of the word “rituals” is incorrect. Rituals are those that lack meaning. An illustration is, the tarpanam we perform for our forefathers. The sastra-s suggest that the tarpanam is performed close to the roots of trees. It says that when one offers water to one’s forefathers at the roots of trees, there are two positive effects. Undoubtedly, one’s forefathers are satisfied. At the same time, one inadvertently waters the trees one is sitting under.
Thus, the sastra-s always show us two benefits — the perceptible ones that can be seen with our own eyes (pratyaksha) like the trees being watered and the indirect ones that cannot be seen like the forefathers being satisfied (paroksha). It is time we rediscoverd our faith. One very common comment is that for a person who really believes in God and accepts His suzerainty, performing karma- s is unnecessary.
Let us take the case of cricket. The accessories one wears are to enable a person to play better. Even for an absolutely deft player to save himself from the worst of bowlers, is it not safe to wear a helmet? The karma-s we perform are like the helmet and pads the batsman wears. In our quest to attain God, these karma-s act as a source of protection.
Source: Nrusimhapriya,authored by: Mukundan Devarajan
To be continued….