Parama Padha SopAnam

Taniyans for this Desika Prabahndham

Swamy  Desikan has blessed us with a detailed MaNipravALa ChillaRai Rahasyam with the name of " Parama Padha SopAnam " . This Desika Prabhandham carries the same name and has 21 Paasurams set in chaste Tamizh . It summarizes the content of the larger ManipravALa ChillaRai Rahasyam .

SopAnam means the steps of a ladder . One travels on the steps upwards to reach the rooms upstairs .  Swamy  Desikan has described the anubhavam of the Muktha Jevan travelling up via nine steps (sopAnams) to reach the
highest sTAnam , Parama Padham of the Lord (SrI Vaikuntam ) to perform nithya kaimakryam there to the Dhivya Dampatis.

These nine steps identified by Swamy  Desikan are:

(1) Clear comprehension of the threee Tatthvams and their Svaroopams
(2) becoming despondent over the SamsAric sorrows
(3) DevelopingVairAgyam over worldly pleasures
(4) Fearing the consequences ofth sins accumulated
(5) Performance of the Prapatthi UpAyam to gain Moksham
(6) the Jeevan exiting from the physical body
(7) Travel of the liberated Jeevan via archirAdhi mArgam
(8) Reaching the dhivya lOkam of SrI Vaikuntam and
(9) Enjoyment of ParipoorNa BrahmAnandham at SrI Vikuntam there in the company of the Dhivya Dampathis.

adiyEn's detailed postings on the MaNipravALa ChillaRia Rahasyam of Parama Padha sOpAnam are archived in the SaraNAgathy Journal through 7 separate postings : /sgati

Parts 1-7 on this grantham starting from the January 3 , 1997 to 30 May, 1998 are archived there .Please refer to them for details .

Taniyans for Parama Padha SopAnam
There are two Sanskrit Taniyans and one Tamil Taniyan for this Desika Prabhandham . Let us study them .

The first Sanskrit Taniyan
vyAjikruthya vimukthi-soudha-padahvaI - sOpAna-sadhvarNanam
  SarIrArNava-rathnajAtham-iha ya: prAchIkasath sarvasa:
Tasmin thishtathi VenkatEswara-kavou SrIbhAshyakArOpamE
  yamm kanchith purusham hyAupAsithumayE mAgA mana: svasthi tE

(Meaning ): Oh My Mind ! When the great poet and logician , SrI VenkatEsa Kavi resembling SrI BhAshyakArar shines with all his glories , why would you need to worship simple souls of inconsequentail achievements ? Please do not go anywehre else . May all auspiciousness come your way ! Swamy  Desikan used as an excuse , the  description of  the nine steps to ascend Parama Padham , to bless us on this earth with the entire assembly of gems
from the ocean of VedAntha Saaram .Oh My Mind !  SeerAr ThUppul ThiruvEngadamudayAn ThiruvadakalE SaraNam yena ninai .

Comments on the Taniyan
Swamy  Desikan's creation of this Prabhandham is saluted as Sadh-varNanam ( the Description of the auspicious subject ) of the steps to climb to reach SrI Vaikuntam . The author of the Taniyan states that Swamy Desikan used that Sadh-varNanam as an excuse ( VyAjeekruthya) to shed the light  on the splendour of the assembly of gems collected from the ocean-like , vast VedAntha Saasthrams  for the benefit of the residents of BhUlOkam ( iha SareerArNava-rathna-jAtham sarvasa: prAchIkasath ). The author salutes Swamy  Desikan as equivalent to SrI BhAshyakArar in his MahOpakAram to chEthanams (Tasmin BhAshyakArOpamE VenkatEsa Kavou ).
While this MahA Desikan is available , Oh my  mind , do not seek any insubstantial people for adoration ( VenkatEsa Kavou thishtathi , yamm kanchith purusham hi upAsithum maa gaa: ). If you were to follow
this suggestion  , all auspiciousness will come your way ( tE Svasthi: ).

The Second Sanskrit Taniyan
Tasmai NamOastu GuravE thAdhrusa-vibhavAya VenkatEsAya
prAvarthayath janAnAm Bhoomou Paramapadha-harmya-sOpAnam

(meaning): May our salutations be to SrI VenkatEsa Guru of such well known Vaibhavam ! He is the compassionate one , who revealed the nine steps to ascend to the upper lokam of SrI Viakuntam to enjoy
ParipoorNa BrahmAnandham there by us .

The Tamil Taniyan
tEn yERu thAmaRayAL ThirumArbhan-tann
 thiNN aruLAl Avan adiyil vivEham peRRu
inghu oonERu bhavakkuzhiyai veRuthathaR-pin
 oor viratthiyudan vinayin thiraLukku anjik-
koon yERu piRai iRayOn sApam theertthAn
 kurai kazhalE saraN adainthu kurambai vittu
vAnERum vazhip-padikaL adaivE kaNda
 VaNN pukazh ThUppul VaLLal aruL peRROmE

(meaning ): Due to the never failing and powerful  grace of the Lord with the lotus-abode divine Consort , MahA Lakshmi in His VakshasTalam  , we attained the discriminating intellect (vivEkam ) about the auspicousness of His Sacred feet . We gained true Jn~Anam and VairAgyam to empower us to reject the deep and dangerous
ditch of SamsAram. After that , we trembled with fear about the limitless bundles of sins that were weighing us down and sought the protective Thiruvadi of  our  Lord , who removed the curse attached to His grand son
with crescent Moon on His Jatai, Lord Sivan .  Next we became the object of mercy  of SrI VenkatEsa Kavi of illustrious fame and boundless generosity , born in ThUppul agrahAram , who revealed to us the nine steps climbed by a Jeevan step by step to reach our Lord's Supreme abode and to eternally serve Him there as Muktha Jeevan .

Comments on the Tamil Taniyan
The choice of words and assembly of those chosen words by the author of this Taniyan in to beautiful passages are
resonant with deep tatthvArTams covered in Swamy  Desikan's Prabhandham . Here are some examples of the skills of the poet , who composed this Taniyan to pay his tribute to Swamy Desikan's Prabhandham :

(1) Mahaa Lakshmi is saluted here as " tEn yERu ThAmarayAL " ( the auspicious lady with AakAra Thrayam having the beautiful lotus flower as Her chosen abode . That lotus flower is dripping with honey and sampath due to Her association (Sambhandham). Wherever She looks, the assemblies of wealth compete with each other to take their positions according to Swamy  Desikan 's SrI Sthuthi slOkam . The Veda Manthram of SrI Sooktam also echoes in our mind with this visualizationof the Lotus Lady as "ThAmarayAL " :

" Padhma-PriyE Padhmini Padhma HasthE
  PADHMAALAYE  Padhma-dhaLAyathAkshi
  VisvapriyE VishNumanOanukoolE Thvath
  Paadha Padhamam mayi sannidhathsva "

(2) The next salutation is to the Lord as SrInivAsan :

" ThAmarayAL Thiru-mArbhan " . SrInivAsa Tathvam  of the  Lord with MahA Lakshmi residing
on His vast chest  reminds us of the Salutation  of AchArya RaamAnuja to SrInivAsan at the beginning of
His SrI BhAshyam. His rakshA dheekshai (vow to protect us ) is made possible by Her proximate presence on His chest :

" akhila bhuvana janma-sTEma-bhangAdhileelE
  vinatha-vividha-bhUtha-vrAtha-rakshiaka dheekshE
  bhavathu mama parasmin sEmushi bhakthiroopA "

In offering their salutations to Lord SrInivAsan , the ArchakAs at Thirumalai recite the VakshasTala Lakshmi SthOthram to remind us about the Lord's lakshaNam as SrInivAsan . The author of this Taniyan follows this traditon here and addresses the Lord as "ThAmarayAL ThirumArbhan".

3) "ThAmarayAL tann tiNN aruLAl Avan adiyil vivEkam peRROm " says the author of the Taniyan in the first two lines. The powerful and firm (Unwavering ) KrupA of the Lord is recognized here as the primary cause for the birth of VivEkam (discriminative intellect about sAram and asAram ) to develop bhakthi at the SarvalOka SaraNyan's sacred feet .

4) That Jn~Anam about the redemptive power of those sacred feet of the Lord led to our rejection of samsAric attachments that increases our fondness for the perishable sarIram  and thereby throws us in to the deep pit of SamsAram and keeps us there in a hopeless, helpless state. These thoughts are housed in the third line of the Paasuram : " Avan adiyil vivEkam peRRu inghu oon yERu bhavak-kuzhiyai veRutthu"
All that VivEkam arose only because of the Krupai of the Lord .

5) The question arises as to what happened after developing this distaste for staying in the SamsAric pit . The composer of the Taniyan answers this question in the next line of the Paasuram: " Verutthathan pinn oor viratthiyudan vinayin tiraLukku anjinEn ". After developing disinterest in SamsAric "padhu kuzhi " , vairAgyam spread and fear about the power of the bundles of accumulated sins also grew .

6) That fear about the effect of the sins drove me (the jeevan) to the sacred feet of the Hara SApa VimOchana Moorthy , SrIman NaarAyaNan . In a fit of anger, Sivan plucked the fifth head of His father, BrahmA. The skull from that fifth head of BrahmA got stuck in the palm of Haran (Sivan) and  SrIman NaarAyaNa blessed Sivan to be rid of the Saapam given by Brahma DEvan , when Sivan performed SaraNAgathy to Him  . Sivan is described here as " koon yERu piRai iRayOn " , the One adorning the crescent Moon on his matted locks (Chandra Sekharan) .  Our Lord , the anugraha Moorthy is saluted as " Koon yERu piRai iRayOn sApam theerthavan". The author of
the Taniyan says that he performed SaraNAgathy at the sacred feet of the Lord , who came to the rescue of Sivan ( iRayOn sApam theertthAn kurai kazhalE saraNam adainthu ) ." Kurai kazhal " of the Lord is the Thiruvadi, which generates the delectable nAdham from the ankle ornaments .The author of the Taniyan says that he performed SaraNAgathy at those auspicous feet.

7) Next followed the help of the Lord to exit the Jeevan via the Brahma nAdi at the end of the earthly existence
and the ascent to Parama Padham by archirAdhi mArgam (kurambai vittu vAnn yErum ).

8) The nine steps to ascend Parama Padham were revealed by the most compassionate and generous AchAryan , Swamy  Desikan to us all. The author of this beautiful taniyan acknowledges the krupai of Swamy  Desikan in revealing this upward journey through climbing the nine steps : " vann yERum vazhip-padikaL adaivE kaNDa vaNN Puhazh ThUppul vaLLal aruL peRROm ". That Swamy  Desikan saw and described the nine steps sequentially is referred to as " Vazhip-padikaL adaivE kaNDa ". Swamy  Desikan is thanked for His mahOpakAram in revealing these flight of steps for our upliftment as " VaNN puhazh ThUppul VaLLal " . The Taniyan concludes in  a grateful mode : " ThUppul VaLLal aruL peRROm ". We became objects for the grace of the most generous AchAryan , who incarnated in ThUppul agrahAram .

In the next posting , adiyEn will start with the First of the Twenty one paasurams of the Prabhandham , "Parama Padha SopAnam ".

Paasuram 133-135

In today's posting, adiyEn will cover the Pothu ( general ) Paasuram extolling the path followed by our Sath SampradhAyam as well as the first two Paasurams of Parama Padha sOpAnam dealing with the first step of the ladder : VivEka Parvam.

Pothu Paasuram : The path taken by our Sath SampradhAyam
adal puLL arasinum anthaNar mAttinum inn amuthak-
  kadaRpaLL i tanninum Kaviri uLLam uhantha pirAn
idaip-piLLayAhi uraithathathu uraikkum YethivaranAr
  MadaippaLLi vantha MaNam YengaL vArtthayuL manniyathE

(Meaning ): SarvEswaran has GarudAzhwAn as His transport and seat . He is the indweller of the Vedams , which are the eternal wealth of the Brahmins. He lives always in the Milky Ocean, where His Divine Consort arose from . Inspite of all these famous places of residence , He prefers to live in choen dhivya dEsams like SrIrangam
and  delights His bhakthAs there . He blessed us with Bhagavath GitA, whose inner meanings were revealed to us by YathirAjar. ThirumadaipaLLI AcchAn (Kadambi AacchAn)  performed personal kaimkaryam to  YathirAjar and was initiated in to the esoteric meanings of our SampradhAya granthams by YathirAjar Himself . These essential meanings have come to us from MadaipaLLI AcchAn and their fragrance distinguishes our (Swamy  Desikan's ) SrI Sookthis.

Additional Notes
Our Lord's Five Roopams extolled in PaancharAthram ( Para , VyUha , Vibhava, ArchA and AntharyAmi Roopams) are referred to in this Paasuram . " PuLLarasilum " refers to the Para Ropam in Vaikuntam ; " anthaNar mAttilum " connects to antharyAmi roopam ; " KadaRpaLLi tannilum " links to VyUha roopam ;
"Kaaviri uLLUm " is connected to the archA roopam and "idaippiLLayAhi" links to Vibhava avathAram (of KrishNa) . Thus all the five roopams of SrIman NaarAyaNa  are saluted in this Paasuram .

AchArya RaamAnujA gave upadEsams to Kadaambi AacchAn on Veda-VedAntha rahasyArTams and through Kadambi AacchAn , thsoe esoteric meanings were released to the world. Since KadAmbi AacchAn performed MadaipaLLi kaimkaryam ( Kitchen Kaimakryam for AchArya RaamAnujA ), he came to be referred with revenrence as MadaipaLLi AacchAn in our Guru Parampara .His UpadEsams are described as "MadaippaLLI vantha MaNam " , the fragrance that originated from the MadaipaLLi of AchArya RaamAnujA.

134) VivEkam: The First step of the Ladder to Moksham
KaLLa manatthudan kaNDu muyanra kadu-vinayAl
   naLL iruL aazhiyil iynthu nall suvai yena naadiya ohr
aLLalil  nALum vizhunthu azhiyA vahai AaraNa nool
  VaLLal vazhangiya vAnn padiyAna vazhi ithuvE

(Meaning): Until now , we possessed  the distorted meanings of the Tathvams (viparItha Jn~Anam of the three Tatthvams ) and their Svaroopams ; we continued to engage in profoundly sinful acts and as a result were immersed in the darkness of nescience ; we got stuck in the mud and mire of insignificant material pleasures associated with the five senseory faculties ( roopam , rasam , sparsam , gandham and sabdham ). On us, who were hopelessly lost , Veda-VedAnthams took pity  and instructed us on VivEkam to uplift ourselves from the quagmire  of SamsAram. We (Swamy Desikan ) explained the first of the nine steps of the ladder to our Lord's
Parama Padham ( Supreme abode ).

The key passage of this Paasuram is : " eiynthu nall suvai yena naadiya ohr aLavil naaLum vizhunthu azhiyA vahai
AaraNa nool vazhangiya vAnn padiyAna vazhi ithuvE " . We thought that the the experience derived from the five
senses is parama bhOgyam and sought more and more of their ruchi and as a result got stuck in the mud of samsAram deeper and  deeper ; we were about to be destroyed . It is at this time that the most merciful Veda-VedAnthams came to our rescue and instructed us on the first step to Parama Padham as VivEkam and lifted us out of the mire of SamsAram .

135) The paramount importance of knowing about EmperumAn
aru  uru aanavai anaitthum aRivArEnum
   arum kalaikaL kaRRu uraikka vallArEnum
dharuma vazhi azhiyAmal kAppArEnum
   tani maRayin tARRpariyam taruvArEnum
iru vinayin ozhukkatthAl yEval ohrAthu
   inghE nAmm siRayiruntha yeenam theerkkum
ThirumahaLAr piriyAtha DEvan tiNNam
   tERAthAr tiNN padiyil yERAthArE

(Meaning) : Among the people of this world  , some might be conversant with the knowledge about the svaroopam of chEthanams and achEthanams ; there may be others , who might know about the fine points on the 64 kalais
and could have the competence  to instruct others on them; some might be capable to practise prescribed dharmAs and initiate others in following such observances ; some of them might be qualified  to  teach others about the essence of the meanings of the VedAs. Even with all these multiple skills and achievements , what is the use ? If they do not have the vivEkam about the Svaroopam and the SvabhAvam of Sriman NaarAyaNan , who alone can lift the chEthanams out of the terrors  of SamsAram , they can not hope to step on the ladder to Moksham .

Paasuram 136-137

136) Sorrow over the wasted time chasing worldly pleasures
maRut-taar Thiruvudan mArbhil daritthavan vAchakatthai
   maRutthAr mayakkamum maRRu athanaal vantha maa naraku
niRutthAr bhavatthil nedunALL uzhanRamai kaNDu athanAl
   veRutthu aaraNa neRiyE veLhiyODa  viraivarhaLE

(Meaning ): Our Lord adorns on His divine chest
the mole known as SrIvatsam , the Forest flower  garland known as Vyjayanthi and MahA Lakshmi
as His LakshaNams . Those who violate His Saasthraic commands due to their own ajn~Anam end up in fearful
narakams and suffer there. VivEkis think deeply about these  consequences of breaking the injunctions of the Lord .They feel ashamed about the time wasted that far in SamsAric life  chasing nonlasting and deceptively sweet sukhams and  will rush to follow the UpAyam ( SaraNAgathy or Bhakthi yOgam) prescribed by the VedAs .

The Key passage  in this Paasuram is : " Bhavatthil uzhanRamai KaNDU , athanAl veRutthu , veLhi , aaraNa neRiyE OhDa  viraivarkaL". ( Developing  disgust over life spent in chasing impermanent SamsAric pleasures until then  will rush to practise the upAyam prescribed by the Lord's SaasthrAs ).

137) The insignificance and triviality of SamsAra Sukham
vaann patta mann iruLil mayankumARum
   maRitthu oru kAl yenai oozhi senRAl anRU
oonn patta udal aazhi vinai ozhukkil
  oru karayum kaaNAthE ozhuhumArum
tEn patta vidam pOlat-titthikkinRa
  siRu payanE uRu payan yenRu arunthumARum
taann patta padi innEr taanE kaNDu
  taLarnthidumEl vaLarnthiDumE takkavARE

(Meaning): The second step in the ladder to Moksham is NirvEdham or contrition over his status as a Jeevan suffering  in SamsAram and rushing to the perform the chosen UpAyam  like SaraNAgathy .

The Jeevan will reflect on Four topics that lead him to  great sorrow over the things that happened to him form
anAdhi kaalam:

1) The Jeevan who gained VivEkam will now think about  the time , when he lost his sarIram and Indhriyams and
stayed united with the deep darkness (MahA Tamas )  in  a formless, nameles state  .

2) The Jevan will think about the myriad births that he took due to his karmAs from time immemorial in all yOnis and his being tossed about in the fierce flood of samsAram and  not finding the shore to rest .

(3) The Jeevan will reflect on the alpa sukhams of  samSAram that he is enjoying , which are indeed like poison
laced with honey to give the misleading impression  of sweetness.

(4) The Jeevan will sorrow over all the other pains that he is experiencing due to his karmAs in this prakruthi maNDalam.

As a direct result of these reflections, the Jeevan will now feel  dejected and rush to save himself through the anushtAnam (observance ) of the redeeming upAyam of SaraNAgathy .

This feeling of dejection(nirvEdham )  is thus the second step on  the ladder to Moksham .

Paasuram 138-1419

adiyEn will cover the Four Pasurams associated with the Third step of the sOpAnam ,  Virakthi paravam and
the Fourth step in the ladder to Parama Padham , Bheethi Parvam .

138) SamsAra Virakthi ( detatchment & disinterest in SamsAram )
ulahatthil uyarnthavar onRum payanil uRum thuyaRum
   alahil padAtha abbhOgam kavarnthu yzezhum ambhuyatthOn
kalahat-thozhil Madhu KaiDabarAl padum kattam yeNNil
   pala kaRRa meyyadiyAr padiyAr ikkaDum bahavatthE

(Meaning): On this karma bhUmi, the pleasures enjoyed by those  , whom we think highly off , are never of the unalloyed sukham. The sorrow is at the middle of these so called Sukhams. We think that Brahma Devan in his Sathya lOkam is the enjoyer of limitless bliss. The pain and anxiety that Brahma Devan experienced
from the attack of the two asurAs , Madhu and KaiDabhan intent always in engaging in Yuddham , is immeasurable. When the VivEkis reflect on these alpa and asTira Sukhams tinged always with inauspicopusness ,  they do not develop any attachment to SamsAram and reject it as a manifestation of their virakthi .

The Key passage of this Paasuram is : "  Pala kaRRa meyyadiAr ikkaDum bhavatthu padiyAr " ( True  BhAgavathAs conversant with the SaasthrAs of the Lord will not opt for the terrible SamsAric way of life ).

139) Svargam becoming like Narakam for VivEkis
tanthirangaL aLavilarAi dhanatthAl mikka
   taarvEnthar thozha vyaam aaNDAr mANDAr
chandiranum sooriyanum veeyum kaalam
   tArahayin vaDamum aRRu tani vann aaLum
Indiranum yERu uyarttha Isan thAnum
   yeer iraNDu muhatthAnum illaa annannAL
namm ThirumAlaik-kaNDAr naaham yellAm
  narahu yenRu naRRpadhamE nAduvArE

(Meaning ): Where are those mighty emperors (Manu,MaandhAthA et al) surrounded by many  kings who ruled
the universe with their vast armies today ?  All of them are dead and gone. Similarly , there will be  a time , when there will be no Moon, Sun, Stars, Indhran , Sivan , Brahma DEvan and others . That time is known as MahA PraLayam. At that time , the only abode that stays without demise is the Supreme abode of SrIman NaarAyaNan. When knowledgable and insightful scholars analyze these facts, they will equate the sukhams of Svargam to the sufferings in hell (narakam ) and will utterly reject SamsAra  Sukhams. This feeling state is re cognized as the third
step in the ladder to Parama Padham (MOksham ).

The key passage in this Paasuram is : " Namm ThirumAl nilai kaNDAr naakam yellAm narahu yenRu , nall padhamE nAduvAr ".

140) Fear about the fruits of KarmAs
thuRavaRamE thuNivAr thuNukku aRRa iLam thuNivOr
   uRavu ilar aathalinAm uyarnthArudan onRi ninROm
maRa vazhi mARRi yemm mayyalai theertthavar mann aruLAl
  kaRavai uhantha PirAn kazhal soodum karutthinamE

(Meaning ): The superior dharmams associated with gaining freedom from SamsAric shackles areknown as Nivrutthi dharmams. Those who adopt them will not mix with the ignoramus , who do not fear the terrors of SamsAram . Therefore , we minglerd only with those , who desire Moksham ( MUmukshus). We gained the firmness of purpose to serve the Lord , who engages joyously to graze the cattles even in SrI Vaikuntam as KaNNan . This was made possible through the glances (KadAksham ) of our AchAryAs  , who pull us away from travelling in the pathof sin and banish our ajn~Anam .

The key section of this Paasuram is: " MaRa vazhi mARRi yemm myyalai theertthavar mann aruLAl kaRavai uhantha PirAn kazhal soodum karutthinam " ( Our Most  Merciful SadAchAryas removed our ajn~Anam and pulled us out of engaging in sinful acts by casting their auspicious glances on us . Their anugraham led to
our determination to perform  nithya Kaimkaryam to GopAlan in His Supreme abode .

141) UpAya anushtAnam driven by the fear about the KarmAs
vanthana pOlvaruvanavum ananthamAhi
  mALAtha thyur taru valvinai neruppukku
intanamAi yeNNirantha kAlamellAm
  innamum ibbhavak-kuzhikkE izhiyA vaNNam
venthathu oru kuzhaviyai naRRk-kumaraNAkkum
  veRit-tuLava VittakanAr vithiyE koNDAr
pandhanamAm avai anaitthum pARuhaikkup-
  pazha maRayin parama neRi payiluvArE

(Meaning ):  There has been no limit to the sorrows experienced by the SamsAris. There is also no limit
to what they are going to experience in the future. This immense fire of karmAs (vinaikaL) burns the jeevans
by treatign them as firewood. The SamsAris keep on churning in this deep pit of SamsAram undergoing all
these sufferings . The people with sharp intellect reinforced by their viEkam and virakthi develop a fear fro these samsAric sorrows that would hold them under their control. They follow the command of the Lord to practise Bhakthi or Prapatthi yOgam to chase away all their karmAs and place the burden of their protection at the Lord's sacred feet .

The key passage of this Paasuram is : " PandhanamAm avai anaitthum piNikkum paaRukaikku pazha maRayin Parama neRi payiluvAr " ( The wise ones  break the handcuffs  that tie them to SamsAram  by performing the supremely auspicious act of Prapathti recommended in the VedAs ).

The power of the Lord to intervene and transform the embryo in the womb of Uttarai , which was turned in to
a piece of charcoal by the apANDavAsthram used  by AsvatthAma , the son of DhrONAchArya during the mighty
battle at KurukshEthram . Our Lord with the fragrant  TuLasi Maalai transformed that totally burnt child existing as a piece of charcoal in to a handsome prince known as ParIkshith through His matchless anugraha sakthi . BhagavAn is saluted as the powerful one performing mysterious deeds of anugraham for His dear ones ( venthathu oru kuzhaviyai  naRRk-KuamranAkkum veRit-tuLava VitthahanAr ).

The third and the fourth steps of the ladder to Moksham  (Parama Padha sOpAanam ) are covered throught hese four Paasurams . Next , we will study the PrasAdhana parvam dealing with the UpAya anushtAnam by the Jeevan ( The Fifth Step in the Ladder ).

Paasuram 142-145

Now, adiyEn will cover the Four Pasurams associated with the two sOpAnams of  PrasAdhana and uthkrAnthi Parvam. These are the fifth and the sixth steps in the ladder to MOksham.

The two Paasurams of  PrasAdhana Parvam (DEsika Prabhandham 142 and 143) deal with the observance of the UpAyam of SaraNAgathy with its five limbs (angams) . After SaraNAgathy and  at the end of one's earthly existence , our Lord helps the Prapanna Jeevan to exit from the body and start its journey to His Parama  Padham with all maryAdhais . The details of the exit of the Jeevan from the SarIram are covered by the two Paasurams of
UthkrAnthi Parvam( Desika Prabhandham 144 and 145 ).

142) Performance of the AnushtAnam/observance of  Prapatthi
karumAlayil  varum kattam kazhikkum karutthudayAr
   oru maal peruhum uyOgil muyanRum athu anRiyum
ThirumAl adiyiNai tiNN saraN aahum yena varitthum
  taru Maal iniyivai tAnE yena t-tahavu yeNNuvarE

(Meaning ) : The BhaagavathAs longing to destroy samsAric miseries like garbha vAsam ( stay in the wombs and rebirths in this world ) would practise Bhakthi yOgam ; their Bhagavath-anubhava-rasam ( enjoyement  of the bliss of meditating on Bhagavaan) would also be enhanced . Those who are unable to undertake the ardous Bhakthi yOgam would choose Prapatthi at the Lord's sacred feet . After practising one or the other of the above two upAyams , they will place their entire trust in the Lord's grace and protective power and will await His mercy to grant them the delectable bliss of Moksha Sukham .

Two unfailing  means are suggested for those , who do not want to be born again in this samsAra manDalam full of sorrows . One is the demanding Bhathi yOgam , where the observant's Bhakthi for the Lord flows without cessation . For those , who do not have the capabilities to observe Bhakthi yOgam  as the UpAyam for Moksham , the option is the performance of the rites of SaraNAgathy at the powerful , protective feet of SrIman NaarAyaNa. After practising Bhakthi or Prapatthi yOgam , the practioners -- the bhAgavathAs-- will believe that the Lord will perform His avowed duties of RakshaNam , grant them their stay at His Supreme Abode and will await His Mercy .They will have absolute faith in the infallibility of the Lord's scared feet to grant them nithya Kaimkaryam at SrI Vaikuntam and will cling on to them .

143) All sins leaving because of Prapatthi
munn seytha vinait-thiraLin muLaitthathu anRi
  muRRuLLa muthal arinthu muLaittha kooRRil
tann seyya ThiruvaruLAl isaivu pArtthu
  tazhal sErntha thoolam yenat-tAnE theertthup-
pinn seytha vinayl ninaivu onRAthu onRum
  pizhai poRutthu vERuLathu virahAl mARRum
yenn seyya tAmaraikaNN PerumAn yeNNam
  yeNNAthAr yettu iraNdum yeNNAthArE

(Meaning ): The karmAs (VinaikaL ) of the Jeevan are grouped under : (1) Sanchitham and (2) PrArabhdham .
Sanchitham is the one , which are the huge heaps  of sins that are waiting to give its phalans at a future date . Those karmAs, which are beginning to yield their fruits (phalans) already are the PrArabdha karmAs.

Bhakthi yOgam can eliminate only the Sanchitha karmAs. Prapatthi will not only banish all the sanchitha karmAs
but will also destroy PrArabdha karmAs except those we have to experience till the end of our earthly lives. Prapatthi burns the sins quickly like the fate of the bale of cotton that is thrown in to the fire.The act of Prapatthi also prevents the sins committed unknowingly by the Prapanna Jeevan from attaching to them  . PrAyascchittha Prapatthi destroys even those sins , which were accumulated consciously due to Kaala , dEsa viparIthams and emergencies . The aparAdha parihArAdhikAram of AdhikAra Sangraham ( Desika Prabahndham: 64th Paasuram ) describes the ways in which all these sins get removed from the back of the Prapannan.If the Prapannan committs sins deliberately after Prapatthi and yet does not perform PrAyascchittha Prapatthi, then he recieves a light  unishment from the Lord during his stay on earth and that way destroys this type of sin as well .

For those PrapannAs , who can not brook the delay in ascent to SrI Vaikuntam (AarTa PrapannAs) , the Lord responds to them and grants their wish to join him without delay.

Great indeed is the glory of Prapatthi !

Our Lord destroys every kind of sin of the Prapannan one way or the other and makes sure that the Prapannan never returns to this earth and instead stays close to Him at His Supreme Abode. Those who do not understand the most generous and merciful ThiruvuLLam (wish) of the Lord are indeed totally ignorant of the meanings of the Rahasya Thrayams.

The key passage here is : " EmperumAn yeNNam yeNNAthAr yettu iraNDum yeNNAthAr " ( Those who do not comprehend the merciful mental disposition of my Master do not know anything about the deep meanings of AshtAksharam , Dhvayam and Charama slOkam , the three rahasyams  ).

The corresponding Sanskrit slOkam that summarizes the ways in which different kinds of sins of the Prapannan
are destroyed is:

prArabhdhEtara poorva paapam akhilam prAmAdhikam chOttharam
  nyAsEna kshpayannanabhupagatha prArabdha khaNDam cha na:
dheerpoorvOtthara pApmAnam ajn~athEapi tannishkruthE:
 kouDilyE sathi sikshayAapyanagayan  krODeekarOthi Prabhu:

144) The Exit of the Jeevan from the Body
uRayitta vALL yena oonuL uRayum uyOgiyarai
naRai mattu ozhivaRRa nall tuLavu yEnthia Naayakan
niRai mattu ilAtha nedum payan kAtta ninainthu
udalacchiRai vetti vittu vazhippadutthum vahai seythidumE

(Meaning ): The analogy of the sword in its sheath is given usually to the jeevan residing in its karma sarIram. The sword housed inside the sheath of the body will have diminished lustre and will be powerless to perform its act. Similarly , the Jeevan inside the karma sarIram would find its inherent Jn~Anam shrunk and recognize that it does not have the power to perform Bhagavath Kiamkaryam to the full measure (ParipoorNa Bhagavath Kaimkaryam). Thus the jeevan under the total influence of KarmAs is granted Moksham , when that jeevan adopts the upAyam of Bhakthi or Prapatthi yOgam. Our Lord stands by with this noble intention to exit that jeevan  from its bodily prison and lead it to His Supreme Abode.

145) The Process by which the Jeevan is released from the Body
munn karuvi yeeraindhu manatthir-kootti
  mukkiyamAm marutthil avai sErtthathellA
nanku uNarum uyirinil sErtthu iym bhUthatthai
  naNNuvitthu tAnRanpAl vaikkum NaaTan
onpathudan vAsal iRaNdu udaiytthAuLLE
  oru kODi thuyar viLaykkum udampAi onRum
vann siRayin talai vAsal tiRanthu nammai
  vAnERa vazhippaduttha manamuRRAnE

The Sanskrit equivalent of this Paasuram is :

mansi karaNa-grAmam prANE mana: PurushE cha tamm
   jaDithi gaDayan bhthEshvEnam parE cha tamAthmani
svavidhavidhushOritthiTam saadharaNE saraNErmukhair-
  nayathi parathO nADibhEdhair-yaTOchitham Iswara:

( Combined meaning of both ): At the time of death , our Lord unites the JnAna Indhriyams (Ear , facuty of speech , eyes , nose and body ) as well as the Karma Indhriyams ( Mouth , hands , legs, mala dhvAram and Jala dhvAram)  of the Prapanna Jeevan with the mind; thereafter , our Lord unites the Mind with PrANa Vaayu (described as Mukhya PrANan by the Upanishads since it is the cause for the stable existence of the body and indhriyams). Next , the PrANa Vaayu is united with the JeevAthmA. This jeevan combined with Mukhya PrANan gets united with the pancha bhUthams. At this stage , our most merciful Lord removes the fatigue experienced by the Jeevan from all these exertions by embracing it closely. Finally , our Lord exits the Jeevan from its bodily cage with eleven holes ( two Eye holes , two ear orifices , two nostrils , mouth , mala dhvAram , Jala dhvAram ,  nAbhi dhvAram and Ucchi dhvAram or Brahma Randhram ). Our most compassionate Lord exits the Prapanna Jeevan through the primary door of Brahma Randhram or Brahma Naadi dhvAram , which is the first stage of travel via archirAdhi Maargam (the path of Light ).

The Exit from the body to enter ArchirAdhi Maargam is the sixth step in the ladder to Moksham.

Paasuram 146-149

adiyEn will cover the Four Prabhandha Pasurams (146-149) associated with the two sOpAnams of  ArchirAdhi and Dhivya dEsa PrApthi Parvams .These are the seventh and the eight  steps in the ladder to MOksham.

The two Paasurams of  ArchirAdhi Parvam (Desika Prabhandham 146 and 147) deal with the  travel by the Jeevan on the path of light (archirAdhi mArgam).  At the end of this travel via the archirAdhi mArgam , the liberated Jeevan arrives at SrI Vaikunta dhivya dEsam. That  arrival is covered by the two paasurams ( Desika Prabhandham 148 and 149) of the dhivya dEsa PrApthi parvam .

146) ArchirAdhi Maargam
teruLAr biramapuratthu iRai sErnthu idar theernthavar thAmm
arulAr biramapuracchiRai theerntha pinn vanthethir koNDu
aruLAl amarar nadattha immAyayai kadanathatharp-pinn
suruLAr bhava narahac-chuzhal aaRRin suzharcchiyilE

This paasuram set in KattaLai KalitthuRai  metre is an exceedingly beautiful one with bewitching imagery and
dhvani. The message of hope and assurance from Swamy Desikan housed in this Paasuram alone is sufficent to
chase away our SamsAric Bheethis and make us hasten to perform SaraNAgathy at our Dhivya Dampathi's ThiruvadikaL, if we have not already done so .

We have to keep repeating the key message of this Paasuram: " theruLAr biramapuratthu iRai sErnthavar , bahva naraha chuzhal aaRRin SuzharcchiyilE  suruaLAr "

Special Comments of SrI SrIrAma DesikAcchAr  Swamy  :
The Prapaana Jeevans are saluted here as " Therul aar " , as those filled with Jn~Anam . They have  now gotten
rid of their sorrows and are resting joyously ( idar theernthaar thAmm) since they are united with the Lord of the SarIram , the antharyAmi Brahman/ indweller ( "biramapuratthu iRai" ) .

Now that they are freed from the  prison of SarIram ("biramapurac-chiRai theerntha pinn) , they will cross
the prakruthi maNdalam( immAyai kadantha pinn) with the grace of the Lord and assisted by the  Lord's  adhivAhikAs  , who come forward sequentially and welcome them to the path of light (archirAdhi mArgam )  to SrI Vaikuntam ( " chiRai theerntha pinn , aruLAl , amarar yethir koNDu vanthu nadattha) .

It is the Lord's grace (aruL ) that makes this amarar-assisted travel to His Supreme Abode happen . After crossing the Maayai with the Lord's anugraham , the Jeevan will never ever get tossed about in the whirlpools of the firece river of SamsAram ( maayai kadantha pinn , bhava naraha suzhal AaRRin suzharcchiyilE suruLAr ).

"amararhaL" are AadhivAhikAs described in the 67th Paasuram of Desika Prabahndham (Gathi visEshAdhikAram Paasuram of AdhikAra Sangraham ). The AadhivAhikAs like Agni greet the muktha jeevan at the boundary of their domains and take them to the other boundary of the subsequent domain  ruled by the next  aadhivAhika.

The sarIram is called Braham Puram ( biramapuram) since the Jeevan is inside the sarIram and the Lord  (Brahmman ) is dwelling inside that Jeevan as antharyAmi .

The SarIram of the Jeevan is made up of five bhUthams (Pancha BhUthams). In the physical body , there are three
stout bones at the top of the back portion of the body (Mudhuhu). They are known as ThristhUNam . At the time of death , our Lord churns these three bones to squeeze out the subtle essence of Pancha bhUthams and unites that essence with the ready-to-depart Jeevan . This kind act of our Lord is known as " ThristhONa KshOpam ". The Jeevan will now experience pain as the Lord churns these bones . Our merciful Lord holds the Jeevan tight to overcome the pain . This churning is common to all jeevans at the time of departure from this world. After the churning  , the muktha jeevan enters Brahama naadi with the Lord's help and leaves the body to travel in  rchirAdhi
maargam . The bound jeevans exit the body via other nAdis to be born again in this samsAra MaNDalam. The exit routes are thus different for the Prapanna Jeevan and the baddha Jeevan bound to SamsAram .

147) Delight of the Jeevan on finding the path to Moksham
vizhi allAl vEl illai viNNin mAthar
  mEni allAl villillai meenavaRkku
mozhi allAl amuthilai yenRu munnAL
  mutthi vazhi munintadaintha mOham theernthOm
kazhi allAl kadal illai yenbAr pOlak-
  kAriyamE kAraNam yenRu uraippAr kAttum
vazhi allA vazhi yellAm kadanthOm maRRum
  vAnERum vazhi kaNDom mahinzhthittOmE

(Meaning ): Until now , due to our evil  karmAs , we did not pay attention to the path of Moksham . Manmathan made us fall under the influence of SiRRinbham by using the eyes of the apsaras as the spear to hold us and their bodies as the bows and we thought that the sweet speech of the apsaras as nectar and were deluded by the thought that the life in Svarga lOkam is the greatest thing to happen to us. Now , thanks to the KatAksham of our SadAchAryan , we overcame this delusion . We escaped form the other mathams (darsanams) which extoll the universe instead of offering their allegiance to the cause of this universe and escaped from the nets of   such misleading darsanams. The position of these confused mathams is like some one who mixes up the backwaters  of the ocean with the cause of them , the Ocean itself (kazhi allaal kadal illai yenpAr pOlE) and conclude that there is no ocean except the backwaters (kazhi neer ) . Kazhi neer  are the backwaters extending from the ocean ( uppam Kazhi )  . The foolish position taken by some mathams is that there is no ocean and there is only the the backwaters . They mix up the effect (Kaaryam ) with the kaaraNam (cause ) . We have now been blessed to be connected with the path of light leading to Parama Padham . We are now blessed to enjoy the pleasures of welcome offered by aadhivAhikAs in contrast to the pains that we suffered in SamsAra MaNDalam.We have arrived at the seventh step of the ladder leading to SrI Vaikuntam , which is now very much in sight .

148) Reaching Parama Padham
van paRRudan mayal pooNDu maRRu ohr gathiyAl ina
   naaL  peRRathu yenn? peRum dhAnamum yetthanai pOthu uLathAm ?
thunpu aRRa tann thuNivAl thuyar theerkkum ThuzhAi MudiyAn
   inpuRRa nall vazhiyAl yERRum nal padham yeNNUvamE

(Meaning ): What indeed are the fruits (phalans ) that we gained by engaging in the enjoyment of alpa sukhams of the world , while we travelled on  improper routes during our journey on this earth ? None. Even if we had gained the status of Brahma Devan  due to our puNyams , how long would that distinction have lasted? Very little time.
Therefore , let us aim for MOksham through the enactment of the rites (Bhakthi or Prapatthi yOgam ) prescribed for us by the Lord to enjoy the eternal and incomparable pleasures of  His SrI Vaikuntam.

Attaining SrI Vaikuntam is the eighth step in the ladder of Parama Padha sOpAnam .

149) The Description of the Lord at SrI Vaikuntam
paNdai iru vinaiaaRil padinthu paaram
   kANAthE ozhuhiya nAmm bhakkiyatthAl
vanDu amarum malar mAthar minnAy manna
  vaisayanthi maNi viLLai viLanga vaann sEr
koNdal aruL mazhai pozhiya vanthathu oppAm
  kuLirnthu  teLinthu amudhAya virasai aaRRaik-
kaNDaNuhik-karutthAlE kadanthu meeLAk-
  karai kaNDOr kathi yellAm katitthittOmE

(Meaning ): From time immemorial , we as bound Jeevans have been under the influence of PuNya as well as Paapa karmAs and suffered in this samsAram . We were blessed to practise one of the UpAyams (SaraNAgathy) and became Prapanna Jeevans . We travelled by archirAdhi mArgam and at the end of that joyous journey , we arrived at the banks of VirajA river and crossed it with our sankalpam and reached the other shore of SamsAram , SrI Vaikuntam.We are truly blessed to have this visEsha bhAgyam.

The poetic skills of Swamy  Desikan are extraordinarily displayed here  according to SrI SrIrAma DesikAcchAryaar :

In this paasuram , the Lord is compared to the dark cloud of the rainy season in the sky of Parama Padham pouring out as the rain of mercy ( vaan sEr koNDal mazhai pozhiya vanthathu oppAm ).

Periya PirAtti (SrI Vaikunta Naayaki) is compared to the lightning (minnal ) in that rainy  season cloud ( vaNdu amarum malar mAthar minnAy manna ).

The Vaijayanthi garland with its many colored flowers is compared to the multi-splendored rain bow in that cloud ( Vaisayanthi maNi villAy viLanga).

VirajA river marking the boundary between pruthvee maNdalam and SrI Vaikuntam is saluted as the cool nectarine river with clear waters ( kuLinrthu teLinthu amudhAya Virasai).

The Paasuram ends on an exalted note : " MeeLAk-Karai kaNDOr gathi yellAm bhAkkiyatthAl kathitthittOm "
( We reached the other shore of Viraja river (viz)., SrI Vaikuntam from where no one returns to SamsAra MaNDalam (Karma BhUmi) ; through our bhAgya visEsham , we are going to enjoy our life there serving the dhivya dampathis.

Paasuram 150-153

Today , adiyEn will cover the Four Prabhandha Pasurams (150-153) associated with the ninth an final  sOpAnams of  PrApthi Parvam. The eighth parvam was Dhivya dEsa prApthi parvam and the today's posting is about the enjoyemnt of ParipoorNa BrahmAnubhavam ( Prapthi paravam ) , which deals with the happenings at the SrI Vaikunta dhivya dEsam for the Muktha Jeevan after arrival there.

150) ParipoorNa BrahmAnubhavam
Poo vaLarum ThirumAthu puNarntha namm PuNNuyanAr
  ThAvaLamAna Tanit-thivam sErnthu TamarudanE
naa vaLarum peru nAnn maRai Odhiya geetham yelAm
  paa vaLarum Tamizh pallANDu isayudan paaduvamE

(Meaning ): May we join with the nithya sooris and other muktha jeevans serving the Lord and recite the sweet music of Saama ghAnam and AzhwAr's dhivya Prabhandhams  at the dhivya sTAnam of SrI Vaikuntam , where the Lord resides always with His PirAtti . May we enjoy the dhivya Dampathis and serve them without interruption always at Thier Parama Padham !

151) The six comparisons for the Muktha Jeevan
adal urakam uNDu umizhntha arukkan pOla
  azhukkuadaintha kazhuviya nal taraLam pOla
kadal ozhuhik-karai sErntha kalamE pOlak-
  kAtthut-theekku alanthu ozhindha kaLirE pOla
madal kavarum mayal kazhintha mAthar pOla
  vann siRai pOy mannar padham peRRAr pOla
udal mudalA uyir maRaikkum mAyai neengi
  uyarntha padham yEri uNarnthu onRinOm

(Meaning): The six comparisons help us understand the  immense joy and the great glory enjoyed by
the muktha jevan after the baddha jeevan is released from its samsAric sorrows. It shines with enormous
radiance after arriving at the Supreme abode of the Lord.

The six comparions of the enhancement of the radiance and
joy of the Muktha Jevan are :

(1) It would be like the enhanced radiance of the Sun after it is swallowed by the serpent Raahu and then released  .
Sun is described as having higher lustre after the grahaNams .

(2) It It would be like the increased brilliance of  the high class pearl after it is cleaned from its impure state and is restored to its original state of lustre .

(3) The Muktha Jevean's joy is like that of that of the travellers of a boat lost in the sea due to tempest  , who finally reach the shore safely .

(4) The joy of the Muktha Jeevan would be similar to the elephant that escapes  from a forest fire after the fire subsides due to  divine will.

(5) It would be like the joy of a Naayaki , who performs the ceremony of Madal Oorthal to regain successfully
her Naayakan , who spurned her  .

(6) The joy of the muktha jeevan would be like the joy of a king , who is released from the Jail after being falsely
accused of  misbehavior and is reinstated as the king .

Swamy  Desikan uses six comparisons to describe the infinite joy of the liberated Jeevan at SrI Vaikuntam as a result of its transformation from that of its erstwhile status (before Prapatthi ) as a Baddha Jeevan  to the current status as a Muktha Jeevan. The association with prakruthi that hid its true svaroopam is gone now and in the newly gained Mukthi state, the Jeevan experiences immense bliss in serving the Lord at SrI Vaikuntam and is radiant .This is the ninth and final step in the ladder to Moksham .

152) The Summary of all the Nine Steps in one Paasuram
maNNulahil mayal theernthu manam tathumbi
   mannAtha payan ihanthu MaalE anRik-
kaNN ilathu yenRu anji Avan KazhalE pooNDu
   kadum siRai pOyk-karai yERum gathiyE senRu
ViNNulahil viyappu yellAm viLangak-kaNDu
  ViNNavar tamm kuzhAngaLadun vEdam paadip-
PaNUlahir-pdiyAtha isayAl pAdum
  PallANDE PallANDum PaaduvOmE

(Meaning) : May we enjoy the many blessings of performing the Nithya Kaimkaryam to the dhivya dampathis in SrI Vaikuntam and enjoying ParipoorNa BrahmAnandham there after climbing the following nine steps of the ladder to Moksham :

(1) Gaining VivEkam in this Karma BhUmi through the SadAchArya KatAksham

(2) Developing  remorse over the time wasted in chasing the worldly pleasures and worthless pursuits

(3) Developing distaste for samsAra Sukhams

(4) Fearing the ensuing Naraka anubhavam linked to the bundles of sins accumulated

(5) Performing the Upaayam of Prapatthi or Bhakthi yOgam to gain MOksham

(6) Exiting from the SarIram with the help of the Lord via Brahma Randhram.

(7) Travelling via ArchirAdhi Maargam to SrI Vaikuntam

(8) Arriving at Parama Padham of the Lord after crossing the VirajA river

(9) Joining the Nithya and Muktha Jeevans to sing Saama GhAnam and Dhivya Prabhandha Paasurams of AzhwArs as divine ghAnam .

153) Why are we here in Karma BhUmi after our Prapatthi?
mALAtha vinai anaitthum maaLa nAmm pOy
   vAnERi malar mahaLAr anbhu pooNum
thOLAtha mAmaNikkut-thoNDu pooNDu
  Thozhuthu uhanthu tOtthirangaL paadi aadik-
kELAtha pazha maRayin geetham kEttuk-
  kidayAtha pErinbham peruha nALum
meeLAtha pEradimaikku anbu peRROm
  Medhiniyil irukkinRom VithiyinAlE

(Meaning ): We have now performed the UpAyam of SaraNAgathy and gotten rid of the ancient karamAs
that clung to us as a result of the power of the UpAyam adopted. We have recieved the anugraham of the Lord
to perform nithya kaimakryam to Him and His Divine consort at SrI Vaikuntam and to sing with joy the Vedams
and Prabahndhams there. Inspite of these blessings , we are still here and are unable to enjoy those immense pleasures waiting in store for us. Why is it that we are not able to enjoy those divine pleasures right now ? The reasons for us to prolong for our stay in this Karma BhUmi after Prapatthi are:

(1) SarvEswaran's sankalpam to inspire other chEthanams with our prescribed conduct during the Post-Prapatthi period.

(2) the conferral of BhAgyam to enjoy the Lord in His ArchA state at the dhivya dEsams .

(3) Sukrutha VisEsham to enjoy the beauty of the SrI Sookthis of AzhwArs (Dhivya Prabahndhams) and AchAryAs (SrI BhAshyam).

These are the reasons for stay here for a  while before enjoying our destiny of serving the Lord and His Divine
Consort at their Supreme Abode and experiencing ParipoorNa BrahmAnandham there with Nithya and Muktha Jeevans.


Contributed by Sri V Satakopan swami ,USA