Experiencing Swamy Desika -- #32
Shrimate Shri Lakshmi Nrusimha Parabrahmane Namaha:
Shrimate Shri Seetha Ramachandra Parabrahmane Namaha:
Shrimate Shri Ramanujaya Namaha:
Shrimate Nigamantha Maha Desikaya Namaha:
Shrimate Shrivan Satagopa Shri Narayana Yateendra Mahadesikaya Namaha:
After extensive study of several schools of thought
like Buddhism, Jainism, Paasupa, sAnkhya, yoga,
Vaiseshika, bhedAbheda, Advaita, etc Swami Desika
empathetically states that all these could give
him only knowledge. Only Shri yatirAjar's works
viz., Vedanta Sara, Vedanta Deepa and Sri Bhashya
(the commentaries on the Brahma Sutras),
Gita Bhashya, Vedartha Sangraha (a digest of
the Upanishads) and the three Gadyas (Saranagathy,
Sri Ranga and Vaikunta) made him devoted and
Swami extends this gratitude to yatirAja in many
places in yatirAja Saptati.
"parushAtivAda parivAda paishuna
prabruti prabUta patanIya pankilA!
swadate mamAdhya suBhagA saraswatI
yatirAja keerti katakairvishoditA !!"
-- yatirAja Saptati (19)
Swami Desika's qualities melts our heart! In spite of
all his greatness, Swami Desika says that he had
many vices like harshness, exaggeration, demeaning
others, carrying tales of others etc which
were great sins capable of dragging one to hell.
Swami with his greatest humility adds that after he
started speaking the greatness of Shri Ramanuja,
he was cleansed, just as how a "ThetAnkottai" in a jug
of water cleanses all the impurities in it!
Swami Desika speaks of the above mentioned vices,
in order to make us understand that even people
with many limitations get cleansed by learning
the greatness of Shri Ramanuja.
shira:sheNIjushtum tadiha drudabandam prabhavati!
avidhyAranyAnI kuhara vihAran mAmaka mana:
pramAdhyan mAtanga prathama nigalamam pAda yugalam !!"
-- yatirAja Saptati (59)
Swami Desika says that only those who realise
that the worldly pleasures are worthless (the
paramaikAnthins) can understand the greatness of
Shri Bashyakarar. With great devotion they place
Shri Ramanuja's "tiruvadi" (feet) on their
head and worship.
To emphasise the importance of Shri Ramanuja in his
life, Swami compares his mind to that of a wild
elephant. Just as how a wild elephant in a large
forest, will roam here and there and play as it
wishes, so also Swami say's his mind was roaming
about in the large forest of Ajnana. In order to
channelise and discipline the elephant it needs to
be chained at one place, similarly the feet
of Ramanuja proved to be an effective fetter on
Swami's mind to check him from going astray.
Though Swami Desika states that he was in a forest of
Ajnana, full of evil qualities etc, we have to understand
it in the correct perspective.
1. To make a line look small we draw a bigger line, this is
the principle used by Swami, to emphasise the greatness
of Shri Ramanuja, Swami undermines himself.
2. It is not that Swami Desika had all these evil qualities,
he has just reflected our qualities, and thus advises us to
get hold of the feet of Shri Ramanuja.
Swami Desika states that Shri Ramanuja has not helped
him alone but has helped our Lord himself !!!!!!
yatirAjar tiruvaDigaLE SaraNam
dEsikan tiruvaDigaLE SaraNam
Praveena nAmni Ramanuja dasi