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Experiencing Swamy Desika -- #94

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:

"SrimAn VenaktanAthArya: kavithArkika kEsarI!
VedAnthAchArya varyO mE sannidhatthAM sadhA hrudhi"!!

Acharya sambandham is an essential element on the arduous path of
spiritual effort, all the more in the case of Nyasa or Saranagathy.

The importance of adoring Acharyas has been dwelt with at a great
length in "Guruparampara Saaram" which is a prelude to Srimad
Rahasyatrayasaram. The first Sloka of Nyaasa Tilakam "gurubyastad
gurubyasca...", which starts with guru vandana is the first
sloka of Guruparampara saram also. Swami Desika begins his
Guruparampara Saram by referring to a Purana Sloka which runs thus:

"pApishta: Kshatrabandhu ca PundarIka:..."

"A sinner Kshatrabandhu and a righteous man PundarIka both attained
Moksha only by obtaining the grace of an Acharya. Hence it is up
to every one to seek and secure an Acharya."

One who desires to obtain (spiritual) true wealth and Prosperity
must wish to secure an Acharya with the following qualifications:
Swami has given these details in the very first Sloka of Nyasa
Vimsati " siddham satsampradAyE sthira ..."

(1) Siddham sat sampradAyE - One who firmly attaches himself to
and takes his stand on the sat sampradAyam => asmad dEsika
sampradAyam which in turn is elucidated as "mAnyam yatIshvara
mahA nasasampradAyam" in Sloka 1 of his Saranagathy Deepika, the
glorious and highly revered tradition that emanated from the
kitchen of Acharya Ramanuja.

(2) Sthiradhiyam - One who is possesed of steady and unflinching
intellect. Has firm knowledge and extends the tradition he imbibed
from his Acharya to his disciple.

(3) Anagham - One who is blemishless(in thought, word and deed).
He is spotless and pure. The purity must be such as to purify all
who come in contact with him.

(4) Shrotriam - One who has mastered the Vedas. Shrotriya is
one who has properly heard, learnt and mastered the Vedanta
i.e the Upanishad.

(5) Brahma nishta - One who is deeply attached to the Lord
and who lives, moves and has his being in Him. He is one
who is absorbed in and intent on the contemplation of Brahman,
the supreme being dealt with in the Upanishads.

(6) Satvastham - One who takes his stand in sattvaguna to
the total exclusion of Rajoguna and Tamoguna. It is sattva
guna alone that helps one to achieve what is good for him
and to others.

(7) SatyavAcham - One who ever speaks the truth and truth alone.

(8) samaya niyatayA sAdhu vrittyA samEtham - One who possesses
good conduct as per the pure tenets. Vritti means, means of
livelihood and also conduct. Samaya means time or occasion and
also a siddhanta or school of Philosophical thought. The way
the Acharya has to conduct himself must be in tune with the
times and also with the code adopted by the righteous.

(9) DambhAsooyaadi muktam - One who is totally free from vanity,
jealousy etc. Humility must be the hallmark of an Acharya.

(10) Jita-vishaya-gaNam - One who keeps under control the senses
prone to go after worldly pleasures.

(11) Deerghabandhun - one who regards the entire human race
as his relations. The relationship referred to here is not that
of the body alone but of the soul which looks upon the whole
world (including himself) as the body of the Lord.

(12) Dayaalum - One who is ever full of mercy and compassion.

(13) Skhaalitye ShAsithaaram - one who checks and corrects them
on seeing them swerve from the right path.

(14) Svaparahitaparam - One who always acts in a manner conductive
to the welfare of himself and of others.  As mentioned by sage
parasara in Sri Vishnu Puranam, he must pray for the lasting good
of one and all by the grace of god. "sa dishatu bagavAn asEsha
pumsAm harirapajanmajarAdikAm samrutdim"

We should respect such Acharyas as we respect our Lord. Swami Desika
explains the reason for this in the very next sloka of nyAsa vimsati.

The Acharyas should be venerated and worshipped as if he were the
Lord Himself. For both posses the same qualities, viz.

1. Ajnaana-dhwaantha-rodhaat - Dispelling the darkness of ignorance

2. Agahapariharanaat - Wiping out sins

3. AtmasaamyaatvahatvAt - Converting others into a likeliness of himself.

4. Janmapradhvamsi-janmaprada-garimatayaa - The excellent trait of
conferring a new life which does away with samsAric life for ever.

5. Divya drishti Pradaanat - By conferring Divine glances

6. Nishpratyoohaanrusamsyaat - By the flow of unobstructed compassion.

7. Niyatarasatayaa - By virtue of eternal sweetness.

8. Nityaseshitva yogaat - Because of the eternal bond of Seshi and Sesha.
The disciple must hence be imbued with the feeling that the help of the
Acharya is above recompense.

These eight fold qualities are common to the Lord and the Acharya.
The disciples should never think that the upakAra done by the Acharya
can be compensated. The sishya should serve the guru truly and
faithfully and offer himself and his possession to the extent
possible at the feet of the Acharya.

Nothing can ever be done to recompense for what our Acharya's has
done to us!!!

Swami Desika has been our ideal Acharya. In fact Swami's auspicious
qualities cannot be restricted to just the above 15 points => it is
infinite! Our Swami is certainly the avatAra of Lord ThiruvenkatamudayAn!

The above write up is based on Shri R.Ramaswamy Aiyangar's commentary on
Swami Desika's Nyasa Vimshati.

"Kavi Taarkika Simhaaya Kalyaana guna SaalinE!
SrimatE VenkateshAya VedAnta Gurave nama !!"

...To be continued!

dEsikan tiruvaDigaLE SaraNam

Praveena nAmni Ramanuja dasi