Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Nine Relationships With the Lord

Srimathe Ramanujaya Namaha
Pillai Lokacharyar Thiruvadigale Charanam
Srimath Varavara Munaye Namaha
Srimathe Srivenkata Ramanuja Munaye Namaha

Thirumanthiram, also called the King of Mantras expresses nine relationships we share with the Lord as described by Swamu Pillai Lokacharyar in his "Navavida Sambandam". The nine relationships respectively are:

1. Akaaram signifies Father-Son Relationship (Pita-Putra)
2. "Ava" (Rakshane) daatu signfies Protector-Protected relationship (Rakshya-Rakshaka)
3. Hidden Chaturti Vibakti within the Pranavam signifies Master/Slave relationship (Sesha-Seshi)
4. Ukaaram signifies Husband-Wife relationship (Bhartru-Bhaaryaa)
5. Makaaram signifies Knowledge-Known relationship (Gnaatru-GnEya)
6. Namaha signifies Owner-Owned relationship (Swa:-Swaami)
7. Naara signifies Body-Owner of Body (Aatma) relationship (Shariira-Shariiri)
8. Ayana signifies Basis (Support)-Supported relationship (Adhaara-AdhEya)
9. Aaya signifies Enjoyer-Enjoyed (object of joy) relationship (Bhogktru-Bhogya)

Azhwar Emperumaanar Jeeyar Thiruvadigale Charanam

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Thiruvilakku Pichan and Periya Perumal

This painting below celebrates an interesting anectode that happened in Srirangam during Nampillai's period. Nampillai is the celebrated author of the EEDU vyakyanam (commentary) to Nammazhwar's Thiruvaimozhi.

There lived in Srirangam a simple devotee by name Thiruvilakku Pichan. Pichan's service to the Lord was to light the lamp in the sanctum (Garbhagraham) everyday and ensure it is lit during the time the temple is open to visitors.

Those days Nampillai was performing kalakshepam (verbal explanation) of the EEDU vyakhyanam to his disciples. The Lord had heard great reviews about Nampillai's vyakhyanam and was therefore very interested in attending the Kalashepa Goshti (group/gathering).

One day when the kalakshepam was going on, Thiruvulakku Pichan entered the sanctum to ensure the lamp was lit and was burning. He went in with a torch into the garbhagraham and did not find the Lord, Periya Perumal, as he is known in Srirangam, in his place!

Now he started to get worries and went in search of the Lord around the temple and found him near the kalakshepa ghoshti sitting and enjoying Nampillai's commentary. When Pichan saw this, he authoritatively commanded the Lord back to his seat in the garbhagraham stating that visitors are arriving to see him. The Lord was half-hearted, but heeded to Pichan's command and went back to his Sayana Thirukkolam (lying posture) in the garbhagraham.  In the picture you can see Thiruvilakku Pichan standing by the side of Periya Perumal with the torch in his hand.!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Story of Ganges

This photo of a painting from Sriperumpudur Temples summarizes the story of, and greatness of River Ganges.

She originated in Brahma's Satyaloka when Brahma washed the feet of Trivikraman when He was measuring the 7 higher lokas with one feet in response to Mahabali's grant of three feet of land, during Vamana Avatar. She remained in Satyaloka as a holy river for a long long time when one fine day Bhagiratha did penance towards Brahma to bring her to Earth in order to revive his brothers. When countered by Brahma that Bhoo-loka cannot withstand the ferociousness of her flow, Bhagiratha did penance towards Shiva urging him in help. Shiva decided to help by holding her in his locks and slowing down her ferociousness.

Her source of purity and ability to wash away our sins are owed to her origin of having washed Trivikraman's feet which in tamil we call "Trivikraman's Shree Paada Theertham" (Water that washed His holy feet).

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Pralaya Kaalam

Emperumaan during Pralaya Kaalam devouring Brahma-aadi devargal.The world (Leela vibhooti consisting of 2X7=14 Lokas from Bhoo: to Satya on the one side, and atala to paataala on the other side) is completely and safely preserved (not destroyed as most people think) in His Stomach. When he decides to create again (Srishti Dasai) he spits them all out which is depicted in the painting to the right side of this one.  The Painting is from Woraiyur Nachiar temple in Srirangam.

Assorted Q&A on Vishishtaadvaitam

I received some questions on Vishishtaadvaitam from a friend that I am posting here along with answers. 
My initial Post is in Blue.
The response from my friend is in Black.
My return response is in RED. 
Yes I understand that it is the sharira-aatma-bhavam & that the equation is sharira: atman :: atma:paramatma.

Yes, the realisation that I am the aatman comes to very few and that too not until the jivatma has suffered sufficiently assuming he is the body. It is very difficult to get rid of dehaatma abhimaanam.

They get angry or express other emotions when the body is harmed in any way by another person without realizing that the harm and subsequent unhappiness is really helping them reduce some of their past paap-karma. 
I agree with this but then every fraction of a second if one can realise he is the atman and forget his body, then this realisation comes and he ignores all the anger and hatred that others shower on him but is reaching this state that easy? We get angry and impatient even for petty reasons.
Refer to Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 6, Aatma Samyama Yogam:
After gradually building the case for visualizing the whole entire world of people with sama-bhaavam because of shariira-aatma bhavam, Bhagavaan says in shloka 31: 
य़ोमाम् पश्यति सर्वत्र सर्वन्च मयि पश्यति । तस्याहम् न प्रणश्यामि स च मॆन प्रणश्यति ॥
Immediately, Arjuna seized the opportunity to ask the same question that you are presently asking: (shlokas 33, and 34).  Here below is shloka 34:
चन्चलम् हि मन: क्रिष्ण प्रमाति बल्लवद्रुढम् । 
तस्याहम् निग्रहम् मन्ये वायॊरिव सुदुष्करम् ॥
Krishna responds in shloka 35:
असम्शयम् महाबाहॊ मनॊ दुर्निर्ग्रहम् चलम् । 
अभ्यासॆनतु कौन्तॆय वैराज्य़ॆण च ग्रुह्यतॆ ॥
i.e "Without doubt, mind is difficult to curb and restless, but it can be controlled by constant practice and vairaagyam".
This effort of constant practice the native has to undertake by exercising free-will and is not pre-destined!
Anyway it is great that everyone realises this since all our suffering is only due to sins committed in the past and present and if we have a way of burning those prarabdhas, it is best to ignore others provocations and this is best way to burn them very fast too.
That is right, - this realization comes to very few people especially since there are many that continue to live in deha-atma abhimaanam. Remember that as long as one lives in deha-aatma abhimaanam, one continues to do actions that attract papa or punya karma. One can only change one own-self instead of worrying about others and ignoring their provocations by realizing the truth that their provocations are rooted in deha-aatma abhimaanam (even though the other person may be talking profound philosophy!)
even after Moksha the Jeevatmas remain different from each other - Anantan is different from Sriman Narayanan who is different from Mahalakshmi who is different from Vishvaksenar etc. even in Moksha Saamraajyam.
This is interesting, I thought all become equal since the sharira sambandha is lost and atmas are all equal.
It is good to remember that the Jeevatma cannot exist without a shariiram. here on earth or in moksha. The mukta Jeevan when it loses the shariira here, takes on a sookshma shariira (invisible body) to travel to Sri Vaikuntham. There in the outskirts of that world is a River by name Virajaa. The Jeevatma in that sookshma shariira takes bath in Virajaa river - that is when it loses the karma-sambandha deham and acquires an apraakrita deham made of shuddha-sattva dravyam that exists only in that world. There is an elaborate welcome to that Jeevatma there which is then led to the thiru maa-mani mandapam where it goes to meet Sriman Narayana on whose right side would be Sridevi Mahaalakshmi thaayaar, and on his left side would be Bhoomi Piraatiyar and Neela Naachiyaar. Mahalakshmi thaayar is responsible to assign nithya kaingaryam that the Jeevatma would do to the Lord every day. That world being made of shudda-sattvam the mukta-aatmas are naturally endowed with knowledge and happiness. The Jeevatma acquires in that world "Saamyaapatti" (equanimity) with the Lord in the quality of Aanandam, and shad-gunangal, and in satya-sankalpatvam. It does not become HIM, but only attains saamyaapatti with him in that Aanandam. Being eternally his Servant (since we are all his shariiram) - here or there, is the purpose of the Jeevatma.

Artha Panchakam divides Jeevatmas to be of 5 types: Nitya, Mukta, Mumukshu, Baddha, and Kevala.
What about Nityasuris. They must be in the first, right? 
What happens to each of these groups after Mahapralayam?
Emperumaan is also called Ubhaya Vibhooti Nadan - the Lord of two worlds of existence - the temporary world he creates for his play (Leela-Vibhooti) and the permanent world for the enjoyment of muktaatmaas. (Nithya-Vibhooti). During Mahapralayam that happens at the end of Brahma's 100 years (about 311 trillion human years) entire leela vibhooti that includes Brahma, Shiva, and Devaas lokas and their residents, are theoretically destroyed. but that only means they go back to their original state. For example: clay becomes pot. you break the pot, it becomes clay again. The clay form is called pralaya dasai. the pot form is called shrishti dasai. In shrishti dasai there is naama-roopa vibhaagam for a purpose (vyaapaaram). (Naamaa roope vyaakaravaani as Chandogyam says). In Pralaya Dasai there is no naama-roopa-vibhaagam. In Shrishti dasai, the thee gunas that pervade prakriti are in unequal amounts. During pralaya dasai the three gunas are in equal state. Nitya Vibhooti does not have these two states - it simply remains as it is. That is why one who goes there never returns back to shrishti dasai. Pralayam simply means, the leela-vibhooti is swallowed by emperumaan, held in his stomach for a while and spit out when he decides to begin creation. There is an earlier photo I had posted on this forum depicting Sriman Naraayanan swallowing Brahma et al. That is a true depiction of Pralayam. The painting is in the Woraiyur Nachiar temple near Srirangam. There are also paintings showing him do the creation when the Brahma- et al are spit out.  
Most important to understand is: During pralayam the Jeevatma is not destroyed only the visible physical world of "Achit" tattvam reaches sookshma dasai (become invisible). Each Jeevatma's karma is not destroyed at that time - they come back into creation exactly with the same karma that they were left with at the time of pralayam.
Therefore during Pralayam, the only affected parties are Baddha and Kevala, (assuming the Mumukshu attains Moksham before the pralayam). The Baddha and Kevala return back along with prakriti into srishti dasai when the re-creation starts.

Sharanagati has to be done when one become cognizant of sharira-aatma bhaavam and Jeevatma's complete dependence on Paramatma i.e. paaraatantryam. 

It is ideal as above but even after saranagati I see atleast the people I know of, aspiring for money, fame etc. They do live a better life than they were before but still they do not reach the ideal state.

Please refer to Bhagvad Gita, Chapter 9, Shloka 30, 31, and 32. Please refrain from judging Sharanaagartgal and even bhaktiyoga nishtargal. The Lord will correct them as he pleases. They will reach the Lord definitely. We should only be bothered about whether we are doing what we should be doing! 

When you perform sharanagati through an acharyan, you will be taught the rahasyatrayam - or three secrets which become the most important (and only mantras) you need to recite in your life. Of course, they are secrets and you should get them only from an acharyan. At the time of Sharanagati, your entire sanchita and prarabdha karma is wiped out completely. You become eligible for moksha, but have to wait until He decides to recall you from here. One has to remember at this point, your moksha has now become the Lord's responsibility and is not your effort anymore! Your Protection in all aspects of your living also becomes His responsibility. 

I heard that the Acharyan takes away your sins and then it reaches higher and higher, from Acharyan to his acharyan and so on and finally reaches God where the prarabhda is burnt totally Is it so? 

What matters is getting there...please do not worry about the process. From what I know at the moment the Acharyan performs pancha-samskaaram the karma is destroyed right up to that point in time. That is because he has been pre-authorized by Emperumaan when he ascends to the position of Acharyan. The Kriyamaana karma we acquire afterwards we have live it out. While we live, we have to therefore be thankful to our Acharyan and then his Acharyan and so on right up to Emperumaan who is the Maha-Acharyan.  All that comes in the guru parampara shlokas that we recite everyday.

During that waiting period there is a definite possibility that everyone will commit sins. He knows that very well, but will wait to see how mature you are in dealing with those sins. Let us say for example you become angry with some one, and later after 10 minutes you realize you made a mistake in becoming angry - if you even mentally apologize for it He will remove that sin from the list. There are some unknown sins we commit - we live their consequences within this life. If you are cognizant of the mistake committed to an Bhagavada, you must apologize to him in person - because bhaagavada apacharam will not be cancelled by the Lord (like He made Durvasa go back to Ambariishan to apologize). 

Even without saranagati, most of us could feel that we should not have done so, or apologise for the mistakes done and cry to God, is it also pardoned ?

Part of it, may be

or is it that saranagati is to be done to show your total surrender to God and to say you are helpless.

We do Sharanaagati not because of helplessness - but because we understand the "structure" of existence - that through Shariira Aatma Bhaavam we are his Shariiram, and therefore by the nature of that "structure" that out primary purpose is to be engaged constantly in His Service. 

Despite such great ASSURANCES given by the Lord, only a minuscule percentage of readers will take interest in performing Sharanagati - and that is also His Will. Others will carry on their skepticism and cynicism and ridicule such writing, and carry on living in dehaatma abhimaanam. That is also His Will!

I agree to the above, it is possible that many of us do karmas which also include sins and we do this consiously, then there could be a fear that in this state, if we surrender and still do these sins, the punishment could be more. May be you could say that once we do this, God will take it as his duty to correct us, is it not He will show the way to come out of that state of continuing to committ such sins.

He will take care of the Sharanaagatan no matter what he does. Again, please refer to Bhagvad Gita Chapter 9, shlokas 30, 31, 32. He has his own ways of dealing with every single individual. 
Swami Koorattazhwaan's greatness cannot be written/perceived easily! His overflowing compassion for humankind in general cannot be easily written about.

Yes that is true. I did read some of that but can we not get a printable format? 
Sorry, I do not have it in printable PDF format. Please search the internet. This website may be useful :

Also can you tell me how many were elevated to the status of Alwars apart from the 12 Alwars who wrote the Divyaprabandham.

Like Kurattalwar, Garudalwar --

The Azhwar pattam for Koorathazhwar was given by Swami Raamaanujar. For nithyasoorigal, since they are constantly immersed in emperumaan kaingaryam, it has become a social practice to add azhwar to their names.  Azhwaars otherwise refers only to the 12. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012


He is not Ganesha, Shiva's son! He is Gajavaktran, one of the chieftains in Vishvaksenar's army, and one of the sentries in Sri Vaikuntam! Seen here are the Thirumazhisai Jagannatha Perumal Temple.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Sriman Narayana is the Brahman

Srimathe Raamaanujaaya Nama:
I bow to Kuresan, the mahatma that gave his eyes to save the SriSampradayam. who established in Kirumikanda cholan's court that Sriman Narayanan is the paratattvam when the King asked him to signoff on "shivaat parataram naasti"

1.The word Narayana means (naaraa: + ayana) “The basis of all things that exist.” By the meaning of the name, the Supreme Brahman, the cause of creation, the cause of this world's existence, in
whom all the universes will finally blend and rest (Please remember that this includes the
people of other religions on earth, and if there do exist, people of other religions that are
followed on other planets in other universes also!!!)

2.He is the propagator of Sattva guna, the guna that leads you to the “right” knowledge; On
the contrary compare with Brahma who is the propagator of Rajas, and Shiva the propagator of
Tamas. Worshipping them can only lead to incorrect knowledge about who is the root cause of
the universe, the only God our scriptures, the vedas, tell you to worship.

3.Sriman Narayana’s avatar is Vishnu. Vishnu comprehensively defeated Shiva in a celestial
war once upon a time. Brahma and the Devas were all witnesses to this war. Simply with the
sound of “Hoomm” Vishnu disarmed Shiva, who accepted his defeat and went back. This story is
told to Rama by Parasurama when the two meet after Rama’s marriage to Sita (in Sri Ramayana).

4.Again in Sri Ramayana, Ram (avatar of Sriman Narayana) breaks the “shiva bow” in the Sita
swayamvar.This bow originaly belonged to Shiva who gave it to Janaka's ancestors.

5.Shiva has killed his own Bhaktas (Tripurasuras). Sriman Narayana has always protected His
Bhaktas. Even when Brighu muni kicks Him on his chest, He held the muni’s leg and comforted
his leg which must have been in pain having kicked the Supreme Brahman! Many Shiva Bhaktas
were slain by Sriman Narayana. None of Sriman Narayan Bhaktas were or will ever be slain by

6.Shiva goes to cremation grounds every night and applies the ashes from burnt dead-bodies on
himself – a curious (tamasic) practice that his own wife Parvati questions and dislikes.

7.Shiva’s another name is Rudra. It means one who runs and cries. He got the name because he
thought he was a very unclean person and was not satisfied with the names that Brahma gave
him initially. So he cried and ran around asking for more names. That is when he was named as
Shiva, which means bestower of auspiciousness. None of Shiva’s name comes even close to the
meaning “basis of existence” that Narayana means.

8.“AUM” is the best mantra according to the Vedas and most people know that it is the mantra
that signifies creation. What does it mean? A stands for Narayana (akaaraartho Vishnu:, and
akshaaraaNaam akaarosmi), U stands for “Exists ONLY for" (U is called vyakta chaturthi
vibhakti. Reference: Sanskrit Grammer by Panini), M stands for Jeevatma. This mantra
establishes that the Jeevatma exists ONLY FOR Narayana. Therefore worshipping anybody else
other than Sriman Narayana is against the true nature of human beings who are all nothing but

9.Sriman Narayana transformed a part of HIS own body into the world that we live it. When the
whole entire world (universe) is part of HIS body, stating that He is the only God to be
worshipped is the truth and not radical! By that definition,all Gods worshipped in Hinduism,
and by other religions are also part of His body! (Remember, they are only but a miniscule
part of His body and not HIM ...equanimity with HIM is/was/will be never an option)

10.Sriman Narayana first created (from his body) the moola-prakirti, that transformed into
Mahan, that transformed into Ahankar, that then transformed into the 5 senses, 5 sense-
intellects, and 5 primary elements – space, air, water, fire, and land. After he created all
that, then he created Brahma, gave him the Vedas and told him to expand the creation.
Brahma's first sons were the Sanat Kumaras. Brahma asked them to expand the creation but they
refused stating that they want to meditate and dedicate their life to Sriman Narayana who is
the Supreme Brahman.

11.Brahma got angry with Sanat Kumaras and from the “anger” Shiva was born, from the intense
heat of Brahma’s forehead. That is why he is said to be "short-tempered".

12.Ravana of Sri Ramayana was a great Shiva Bhakta. He got numerous boons from Shiva.
However, when he asked for the ultimate boon of “Moksha”, Shiva refused stating that “That is
Sriman Narayana’s department”.

13.Markandeya was another great shiva Bhakta. When he wanted Moksha, Shiva referred him to
Sriman Narayana.

14.Gantakarna was a “pishach (type of ghost?)” but a great shiva bhakta and Vishnu hater that
he used to a wear a bell on his ear. Whenever he realized somebody was about to utter
Vishnu/Narayana’s name, he would turn his head and the bell would ring in his ear helping him
to avoid hearing Vishnu/Narayana’s name. Pleased with his devotion when Shiva asked him what
he wanted. When he asked for Moksha, Shiva referred him to Krishna. Gantakarna met Krishna at
Badrinath and attained Moksha. There is a shrine for Gantakarna at the Badrinath temple.

15.In the Banasura war, the entire Shiva family including Parvati, Skanda, and Ganesha fight
against Krishna. Parvati takes the form of Kaali to fight that war. Even Agni devata joins
the war on Shiva’s side. All of them were comprehensively beaten and chased away by Krishna.

16.Brahma used to have 5 heads. Shiva also had 5 heads. Feeling jealous of his own father,
Shiva took out one of Brahma’s heads. Brahma cursed Shiva that the head he took out will get
stuck to shiva’s hand. To get rid of the curse, Shiva travels the 14 worlds of this universe
begging for mercy. That is when he got the name “Kapaleeshwara”. That name was given to him
so that people worshipping him can remember his deed and his curse! That curse was finally
removed at Badrinath where a Sriman Narayana let a drop of his sweat fall on the skull in his
hand. The Skull cracked into several pieces and fell down. That place where one of the pieces
fell, near Bardinath is called Brahma Kapalam. You can still visit that place till today!
This story tells how auspicious is the bestower of auspiciousness.

17. Brahama has a life-span after which he will die. He lives 100 Brahma years which roughly
equals 311 trillion human years. The present Brahma is 51 years of age. That means roughly
155 trillion years have been completed in the present creation. Shiva also lives the same age
as Brahma. At the end of 100 Brahma years there will be a maha-pralayam. All the existing
universes will be destroyed. The order of destruction is the reverse order of creation. All
Jeevatmas right up to Shiva and Brahma will swallowed by Sriman Narayana.After that, He will
swallow the prakriti in that order it was created. Space is the last element that will be
swallowed in Prakriti. We famously called the trinity in Hinduism as creator, operator and
destroyer. If Sriman Narayana is swallowing Brahma and Shiva and destroying everything from
created world to even space, who is the real destroyer? Shiva or Narayana? If Narayana
created Brahma, who is the real-creator? Brahma or Narayana? Therefore Narayana is the real
creator, protector, and destroyer - the single trinity. Inside Brahma He exists as antaryami
with the name Anirudha. Within Shiva He exists as antaryami with the name Sankarshana.His
form as Pradhyumna becomes Vishnu the Protector.

17. The Vedas unanimously proclaim Sriman Narayana as the Supreme Brahman. (Purusha Sukta
sings His praise only) as the one without a second! When He is without a second, how can
anyone even proclaim there can be second GOD or anybody else as The GOD? Naaraayanopanishad
goes on further to state - "Ekohavai naaraayaNa aaseet, na brahma, na eesana:" It not only
estblishes that Only naaraayana was there, it even negates the prior existence of Brahma and
Shiva (Eesana here).

18. If you still disagree with that, and are a Shiva worshipper or a worshipper of anybody
other than “Sriman Narayana” (or belong to another religion) you can ask your respective God
itself to show you who the Supreme Brahman, the only God that is to be worshipped is. They
will all say, in unison, “Sriman Narayana”. However, you need a lot of Sattva Guna to hear
their answer! (BTW, Shiva and Brahma both are Narayana Bhaktas, know that He is the Supreme
Brahman, and both meditate on him regularly to achieve their own Mokshas. Neither of them
even know what Sri Vaikuntha looks like or where it is! They are also living their prarabdha
karma much like you and me!)

19. We are living in a world which was created from a part of Sriman Narayana’s body. You and
I are all a part of His Body! He lives within each of us as Antaryami, observing each of our
statements and action. What is wrong in considering us traitors if we don’t even acknowledge
the source of our origin (let alone His Supremacy)! When our Atma belongs to HIM and is His
property, if we consider it our own, are we not stealing something that belongs to HIM? Still worse, if we say it belongs to somebody else, not only are we stealing, but aslo telling a lie that the stolen object belongs to somebody else!

19. 99.99% of the world is asleep in Tamo guna running after everything else in life except
that antaryami sitting inside of us and observing each of our thoughts and actions. To a
world immersed in tamo guna, truth may sometimes sound radical. Can't help it!

20. Finally, I would like to share one good thing I have known in my life: my
request/prescription/suggestion to the world immersed in Tamo guna is "please make an attempt
to grow some sattva guna and as you keep growing in it, the true knowledge will reveal

I signoff - praying to Sriman Narayana, to bestow auspiciousness and happiness
on all life forms in leela-vibhuti.

Azhwar Thiruvadigale Charanam, Emperumaanar Thiruvadigale Charanam, Jeeyar Thiruvadigale
Charanam. Satyam Satyam puna: Satyam Yatiraajo Jagatguru:

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Sanchita Karma and Moksha

Srimathe Raamaanujaaya nama:

Sanchita Karma and Moksha

The Jeevatma is as timeless as the Paramatma the Creator of all the universes in existence. The Jeevatma carries with it timeless karma called sanchita karma. That makes sanchita karma uncountable. Even though I have stated an example in my earlier post of a bank with 100 gold coins and 1000 thorns, it was only to illustrate a point of how it works, and should not be misconstrued that you can count your sanchita karma and prarabdha karma. Even though the prarabhda karma is a sub-set of the sanchita karma, it cannot be counted. It can be said, you may succeed in counting the stars in the sky but you cannot succeed in counting your karma.

When it is so huge, timeless and uncountable, how can an individual Jeevatma aspire to exhaust the seemingly inexhaustible karma to achieve Moksha? Doesn’t it sound as if all Jeevatmas are therefore predestined and/or precondemned to repeated cycles of lives in the samsara sagara?

Here is where an important caveat is needed.
The important caveat is “On its own”!

That means, the Jeevatma cannot count its karma on its own. That means, the Jeevatma CANNOT BY ITS OWN EFFORT exhaust the sanchita karma! The Jeevatma needs external help from somebody that is capable of effective interference to make the sanchita karma finite such that the Jeevatma can manage it and finally attain moksha.  If there is somebody that can effectively interfere and make the sanchita finite, then that means that that somebody also possesses the capability to make the sanchita karma “zero”!

There is only one such being in this world that even has visibility into our karma – both sanchita and prarabhda – and that is the Creator, the Paramatma, Lord Sriman Narayana. Afterall the Jeevatma is nothing but an extension of his own body. Does He not know his own body?

Now that we know who can do it, let us see what we need to do in order for him cancel our karma and make way for our moksha.

First thing we need to do is karma. If we live according to what the shastra have said that pleases Him. The first steps we take in that direction, he starts revealing more about shastras. The more we learn about shastras, the more we get interested in living by it. If we reach that level, He cancels a part of the karma that has been obstructing us from performing Bhakti towards HIM. The moment that karma is removed, we reach the realization that Bhakti towards HIM is the way to Moksha. As we keep growing in that Bhakti, slowly, he starts cancelling our sanchita karma until we reach a stage when only prarabhda is left.

Please note that this growth of bhakti can go on for several more cycles of life. But it would be finite number of births – we cannot say how many. But the interesting thing is, with each birth, we re-start the bhakti from where we left in previous birth. This uniqueness of continuity from one life cycle to another is possible only with Bhakti Yoga. It is not possible with Jnana Yoga or Karma Yoga. With Bhakti, Jnana about the Supreme Brahman keeps growing side by side. So Bhakti is not blind – all the Bhakti Yoga practitioners – Swami Haridas, Sant Tukaram, Sant Tulsidas, Sant Surdas, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Srila Prabupada, the Tamil Azhwars etc. – all of them were equally Jnana yogis that have poured all that knowledge about the Supreme Brahmam in their literary works.  To consider them as simple Bhakti Yoga practitioners is entirely wrong. We read in our history book that these people were primarily associated with Bhakti Movement in Indian history. They were great awakeners that passed on indispensable knowledge about the Supreme Brahmam.
Therefore it may be concluded that through Bhakti, Jnana about the Supreme Brahmam grows. As we grow in that Bhakti and Jnana together, we become like a ripe fruit ready for Him to pluck and take with Him to the Nithya Vibhuti – aka Sri Vaikuntham, “That World” where everything is glorious – where we spend time with HIM, ever in His Service.

None of this is pre-destined!! It is we, in this flesh and blood, endowed with intelligence and freewill,  who have to become aware that our own effort is futile when it comes to exhausting our Karma, It is we who have to make the decision to plead to the Holiest Father of Holy Fathers for mercy to pardon our Sanchita karma, It is we who have make the effort learn the shastras and live by what it states so that we please HIM, It is we who have to walk the path of Bhakti when he responds with canceling the karma that has been obstructing us from doing Bhakti ….All these things we have to do with our free-will without questioning His Authority and without using futile rationality to judge the shastras. All of the shastras are absolutely valid in the same form as they exist in every yuga, yes, including in the present materialistic kaliyuga. No changes. Yes, it is possible to live according to the shastras in the materialistic Kaliyuga also.

Don’t forget, we are presently living in the 28th kaliyua of the present manvantara, the rule of the present Manu. That means, in the previous 27 chaturyugas also Manu Dharma Shastra has existed and people have lived by it. What makes the 28th kaliyuga unique? In the 27 kaliyugas in the past also billions of people existed and practiced what the vedas and shastras teach. There were many religions that coexisted even in those kaliyugas. Only they might have been known by another name. The same Britishers, Americans, Japanese, Christians, Muslims, Jews existed on earth in some form or other – some may have been plants, some insects, some human being out of which some may have been atheists, some may been theists, some may have been neutral…etc. Logic and rationality existed in the last 27 kaliyugas also. People made scientific progress then also. Therefore, to think that we have made some extraordinary progress in science and technology in the last 300 years is wrong. What we are able to see (or not see) through the Hubble, our rishis were able to see with naked eye or the mind’s eye or the intellegence-eye. Therefore, there is nothing unique about the 28th kaliyuga of the 8th Manvantara we are living in, in the 51st year of Brahma on a Brahma-day that we call as Shweta-varaha-kalpa. About 155 trillion years have passed since this Brahma took over as Brahma. There were Brahmas before him that lived full Brahma life of 311 trillion human years. There are going to be newer Brahmas and Shivas in future. Through all of this, the Primary Creator, The Brahmam, the Holiest of Holy Fathers, the Allah of all Allahs, Lord Sriman Narayana remains one and unique – “Ekameva Advitiyam” tell the vedas – He is indivisibly one, and all of us, including Hindus, Christians, Muslims, and all the 7 billion people living on earth form a miniscule part of His body! He does not discriminate. Everybody is a part of His body. All Jeevatmas are his children. Just because somebody refuses to tell His name proudly as Sriman Narayana, he does not get angry with them – instead, He has put business rules in place for the worlds to take care of themselves without His interference in its day to day affairs. That business rule is the theory of karma. He alone can help you exhaust your Sanchita karma – not your individual effort. It is far far far beyond individual effort to even understand how much sanchita karma is left in the baggage!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Q & A on Karma

Q&A based on Questions:
Q: “Is it possible to know when good and bad karma are exhausted? I am yet to find an exact answer through astrology.”

Astrology has its limitations and cannot answer this question. Astrology holds good for this world and present life. However the question belongs to “another world.” Your horoscope is a window into the prarabdha karma that you are born with in this life – NOT of the universal set, the Sanchita karma baggage.  The Jeevatma does not have a horoscope because it eternal – never born and will never die. It is timeless. So is the individual Jeevatma’s karma. So how can you describe that which is timeless in 12 squares?
Only Lord Sriman Narayana, the Supreme Brahman has the ability to know how much Sanchita is left.  No one else! Neither the individual Jeevatma, nor the 33 crore devatas starting from four-faced Brahma, followed by Shiva, Indira, the nava-grahas etc.! Sriman Narayana follows very strict privacy laws when it comes to karma – he will not reveal it even to you!

As far as the devatas are concerned, please be aware that that they are living their prarabdha very much like you and me!

On another note, What are you going to achieve by knowing how much sanchita karma is left? What is your goal?

Q: Present happiness is due to good deeds done by us in previous lives and so with present sufferings. It does seem logical. But is it?

A: Your understanding of karma theory is incorrect. Consider this example: In previous life you have performed a good deed that has resulted in a punya or positive karma being deposited in your bank account. Let us quantify this. Let us say each positive karma is equal to one gold coin. Now, you have done some bad deeds also in your past life. For these bad deeds you have been deposited in your account with thorns. Let us say you have 100 gold coins and 1000 thorns in your present prarabdha (karma at the beginning of life) that is your target to exhaust.

Now let us say you are going to do some activity in present life – let us say going to office in your car. Some environmental variables are at play here – you are using a car manufactured by Maruti Suzuki, known for using lower-than industry standard parts. As a result there is a mechanical failure and your car gets stranded in the middle of a busy-signal. You get delayed to go to work. Not only that, you hear all the other car-drivers/owners behind you shouting, scolding and swearing at you. It makes you unhappy and miserable as you try to get your car back on the road. The mechanical failure is not a result of 1000 thorns you have in your account (after all it is a bank account, how can the bank account cause mechanical failure?). The shouting, scolding, and swearing you had to hear from others is not a result of the 1000 thorns you have in your account. Suppose you had only 100 gold coins, does it mean the 50 car drivers stranded behind you are going to sing your praise? Never! The shouting, scolding, and swearing you heard are their karma they are committing in this life. Neither it is God’s will that they are shouting and scolding you! It is their conscious choice of free will that they are shouting at you! But you are feeling miserable! Who will you blame? The question is, do you need to blame anyone at all?

Uncertainty is one of the chief characteristics of life – of prakriti. Statistically, one in million maruti cars fail every day, and that day was your day! It is not fate. It is not pre-destined that your car should have failed on that day at that time. It is not Rahu or Ketu or Mercury or Mars that caused it! It is DEFINITELY NOT your past karma of having driven your car on the wrong side of the road causing an accident to a pedestrian in previous  life that is the cause of your car getting stranded in this life! Your car failed because of a manufacturing defect that Maruti will issue a recall for in the following month to fix. It is all a game of chance. That’s it!

So how does Karma Theory work? Your car got stranded because of Maruti’s manufacturing defect. This caused a traffic congestion. Because of the congestion other car drivers shouted, scolded, and sweared at you. They each collected a thorn in their account for their action. You felt miserable and unhappy. Therefore depending on how miserable you felt, you spent say, 10 thorns from your account. Therefore, after the incident you have only 990 thorns left in your account.

On the contrary let us say, all the signals were coordinated that you reached your office 5 minutes ahead of time. Your boss observed that you had already started your work for the day, and appreciated you for your commitment. You felt happy. Therefore you spent one gold coin from your bank.

So the equation is, when you are happy you are spending your good karma, and when you are sad, you are spending your negative karma. Happiness or sadness does not result from your balance of karma.

Q: So How a man will know that he is doing a good deed right now?

What is good and what is bad, which deed results in punya and which deed results in paap, and which deeds do not accrue neither punya nor paap is described in the shastras. When Krishna tells Arjuna to “Do your duty …” he expects everyone to understand what that duty is. That duty is enshrined, based on your varna-ashrama-dharma, in the shastras. It tells Brahmins to do something, Kshatriyas to do something, Vaishyas to do something, and Shudras to do something. Those are the “duties” per varna-ashrama-dharma. Performance of one’s duty will not lead to punya or paap. Non-performance of duty attracts penalty. Therefore if you do not do your varna-ashrama-dharma you accrue paap. Which is why when a brahmin performs sandhyavandan, he does not get any punya, but non-performance of sandhyavandan attracts paap. In all three former varnas are expected to perform sandyavandan everyday. Not many people know about this - and therefore on a day to day basis people belonging to the first three varnas who do not perform sandhyavandan every day are going on accruing paap potentially leading to a lower birth form in next life!

Performance of exemplary deeds other than what has been described in shastras as duty can give you punya. For example, dana (donation), performance of certain yagnas which are not described as duty, etc. can give you punya. Some acts can be done selfishly expecting the result – for example there is the yagna called “Jyotiyoma”. The shruti says ”Jyotishyomena Swargakamo Yajeta.” – i.e the one desirous of going to Swarga-loka should perform Jyotishyoma yagna. Now Jyotishyoma is not described as a duty for any of the four varnas. It is an optional yagna. All that you need in order to perform that yagna is the desire to go to Swarga-Loka, the land of Indira (what in other religions they call heaven).

So, to answer your question, you need knowledge of the shastras to know whether you are doing good or bad deed right now. Some of them we have inherited in India by “way of life” – Satyam Vada (speak the truth), Dharmam Chara (Do Dharma), etc. For that we should really thank our rishis who make the shastric teachings a way of life. Some teachings may have been lost – but most of it – more than 70%of it at least is still intact. You should have the hunger to learn the what is right and not right according to the shastras – in order to do that, you have contact elders, sadhus and others and try to learn from them. 

You may say you don’t have time because you are a very busy executive getting a 7 figure salary – but that is not the aim of life. The aim of life is to exhaust your karma so that you don’t take another birth – Imagine what all you have gone through in life since child hood – how hard you had to study in order to get a graduation and then struggle for job, and now struggling in job for promotion, salary increase, profits etc. Do you want to do all of that again and again and again, from the beginning everytime? All this knowledge is waste. Only true knowledge we can get is of shastras, what is karma, and how to exhaust our karma. Predictive astrology may have limited uses in present life – but that knowledge cannot give you moksha! It will make you think that life is pre-destined and that you have nothing in your control.  If everything is pre-destined, why is the Karma assigned to you and not to “destiny”? If the Lord is the doer of everything, why is the karma not assigned to him? Isn’t he the one that must get Moksha instead of us? So that premise is faulty and needs a more deeper understanding of how the Lord gets involved in our daily activities.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

More about Karma

What you are facing or enduring in this life is NOT the result of any past karma. Karma is a baggage. We live in the “prakriti-mandala”. Uncertainty is one of the primary characteristics of prakriti. Krishna calls prakriti as “maya” in BG while telling Arjuna that he cannot unravel the mystery of the prakriti mandala. While the body is part of prakriti mandala, the atma is not. What maya means in this context is “that which is capable is creating unique and surprising things”. That is why uncertainty is an essential attribute of prakriti. While we own our action having acted out of free-will, the outcome of the action is not governed by our karma. It is governed by the uncertainty in prakriti.

If the outcome of the action is as we expected, we experience happiness. If the outcome is not as we expected, we experience unhappiness. When we experience happiness, we are spending the good karma, and when we are experiencing unhappiness, we are spending our papa-karma. In this manner, we need to exhaust the entire prarabdha in this life, and entire sanchita in future lives.  This is the theory of karma!

Now imagine, while it takes one a life-time to exhaust the prarabdha which is but a spoonful of karma from our sanchita baggage, how long it would take for us to exhaust the sanchita! The only way to exhaust the prarabdha and sanchita in one shot is surrendering at the feet of Sriman Narayana, the supreme Brahman. 

Glory to the Azhwars! Glory to Swami Ramanuja! Glory to the Acharyas!

Karma - Again!

Srimathe Raamaanujaaya nama:
Let us try to get a handle on the larger perspective regarding Karma.

Firstly there is Sanchita Karma – the huge baggage of karma we are all carrying from the millions of previous births. This is the “Universal set” of the individual karma carried by each and every atma. The Sanchita karma is owned by the atma at all times into eternity, having acquired them over millions or billions or even trillions of births.

Even though all atmas equal in the eyes of the lord and there is no discrimination by caste, color, religion, sex etc. (which atmas do not have in any case), each atma is different in its sanchita karma. There are trillions, nay, countless such atmas that exist in existence.

The important thing to understand is that this bagful of karma is all mixed up – karma from previous birth, the one before, the one from millions of births ago etc.

Secondly, there is prarabdha karma. This is nothing more than tea-spoonful of karma drawn from the sanchita karma. This is the karma we are born with in this life. This tea-spoonful of karma is what the Supreme Brahman, the Lord of this universe, has determined we will spend in this life. With the objective and anticipation that you will succeed in exhausting this tea-spoonful of karma in this life, the Lord makes to take birth in a certain family at a certain place that, at the time of birth he has determined, will help you exhaust that spoonful of karma.  

The second important thing to understand is that this tea-spoonful of prarabdha karma is also all mixed up – some karma from previous birth, some from the one before, some from the one you took millions of births ago.

The Supreme Brahman’s target for you is – “exhaust this tea-spoonful of karma in this life!”.  It is in order for you to achieve this, It has given you intelligence! Having given you intelligence, and the vedas and shastras that it created before it started creation, it expects you to acquire knowledge of shastras and live your life in accordance to the what it says. If you do that (i.e live life as per what shastras say), you would have exhausted the tea-spoonful prarabdha karma by the end of this life. However, the vast majority of us choose to ignore the shastras and live whichever way we feel like! Instead of following the teachings of the shastras implicitly without questioning them, we go by the teachings of the Newtons, the Darwins, the Hawkings’, and the Dawkins’. Therefore, instead of exhausting that tea-spoonful of prarabdha karma, we end this life having acquired an additional table-spoonful of karma that gets added to the Sanchita.

Moksha is that state we achieve when we have exhausted the entire sanchita karma baggage.  However, if we go on acquiring table-spoons of karma in each life, our sanchita only keeps growing and not diminishing. Nevertheless, the Lord, the creator of this universe has immense patience!  He will give more births, some as animals and plants in which you can only exhaust karma and cannot gain more. Why is it so? Because shastras do not tell animals or plants how to live their life! They only instruct human beings! Because, only in the human-life you have the eligibility to be governed by the laws of the shastras. Isn’t it then clear that – if we live according to what shastras say, we can exhaust our prarabdha. If we do not live according to what shastras say, we acquire papa-karma!

In an astrology forum a friend of mine stated, “I had mentioned that leaving out people for whom this is the last janma (there may not be many I suppose), for others it is better that they find out their weaker planets and do some parihara …”

Well, well, well, it is not predestined that this is the last Janma for some! It is an individual’s choice that you can make in this life!  It is for the sake of this realization and for the sake of making that individual effort to make this your last Janma he has endowed each and every human being with intelligence and free-will.

Now, if this has motivated you enough to make the decision that you want this to be your last Janma, read on! However, If you are questioning this or negating this, remember that you are doing it out of your free-will (and not destiny) and making the individual decision that you want to enjoy more sansaric life either back on planet earth or one of the other universes where He has created lifes very similar to ours here! If you have made such a decision, please know that it could take several million birth cycles before you could get another human birth. Also please be ware that when you get the next human birth, I may not be here to write about it on a forum like this, and you may not be here to read it. 

Now, if you have decided out of your free-will (and not destiny) that you want this to be your last Janma (i.e you have reached the state of mind – I have had it enough. I do not want any more lives on earth!!), then you might want to know the next steps. Yes, there is a clearly defined procedure. If you would like to know about it, and if you are serious about wanting this to be your last Janma, Please email me at sudarshan.go at gmail dot com.

Yes, this life can you be your last Janma – and you have the free-will to choose this to be your last Janma! No need to trouble astrology or astrologers to guess who you are going to be in the next birth, or who you were and what you did in previous births. All that is for time-pass after ascertaining that this is your last Janma! Don’t’ delay! Do it today!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Who does not want to be happy? Is there any in the 7 billion that does not want to?
However, in practical experience we find limitations to this happiness we feel.  The most important limitation is the ‘time”. Human happiness is always short-lived – sometimes it lasts only minutes. Occasionally it may last a few hours. Rarely it might last a day or few days. Almost never can it last a life time!
Contrast this with the perpetual state of happiness that we can live in another world - “That world” to be precise!
In “that world” we achieve equanimity with the Creator of all these Universes, in several factors – The most outstanding of them being the quality of happiness we experience.
However much we try, as long as we live in this world, in this human body, we cannot know, or estimate even to the nearest billion the quality of the happiness we would experience in “that world”. The human body is precisely the limitation to happiness in this world!
Neither the richest man in this world, nor the poorest man, neither the happiest man, nor the saddest man, just nobody on earth can ever, at any time of their present or future lives, imagine what the happiness in “that world” is like!
All the happiness we experience in this world is nothing compared to “that happiness”!
Here is an approximate comparison of happiness of the various beings:
Human Happiness < Happiness of Demi-gods (E.g. Indira, Varuna, Shiva etc.) by a factor of over a million
Happiness of Demi-gods (Indira, Varuna, Shiva etc.) < Happiness of secondary creator (Four-faced Brahma) by a factor of over a million
Secondary Creator’s Happiness <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<… The Creator’s Happiness or the happiness we get to experience in “that world”!
The experience of happiness in “that world” is simply incomparable.
We have to reach “that world” in order to experience “that happiness”
There is only one path that can take us to “that world”. It is called “that path”.
The key that opens the doors to “that path” is meditating on the primary cause of the Universe. The Creator is the primary cause of all the universes.
In order to create the various universes obtained the material from His own Body!
The Creator is the doer of the creation – so He took material from him own body and from it made several universes, in one of which we live.
He created all the tools and equipment that He used to assist him in this creation from His own Body.
Therefore, everything we can see in this universe, and cannot see in this universe, and other universes, including matter, space, air, land, water, black matter, black energy, primordial matter from which the scientists say 14 billion years ago this universe was created out of a Big Bang, - all of them form nothing but a miniscule part of His Body – perhaps one hair and nothing more!
So Huge He Is!
“That World” is thrice as large as the size of the all the manifest universes put together! Therefore it is large enough to hold all the residents of the all the universes He has created!
The Lord, the creator of all these universes is the only source that can open the doors for us to walk “that path”
He opens the doors for us to walk “that path” when we meditate sufficiently on Him.
We must plead with Him and please Him with our effort before He will open the doors for us.
Vedas are the body of knowledge He has given us.  He created them before he started Creation. In that body of knowledge he has detailed how we should live, and what pleases Him.
If we go on ignoring this body of knowledge, how can we expect to walk “that path” to reach “that world” and experience “that happiness”. On the contrary, if we do not live by commandments enshrined in that body of knowledge, how could we expect him to become pleased!
To live our daily life in compliance with the commandments enshrined in that body of knowledge is called Karma Yoga.
Our ancient perceptors and forefathers have interpreted that body of knowledge and extracted what is relevant for our daily life and provided easy to follow instructions on how we should live our daily life in compliance with the commandments enshrined in the body of knowledge.
These instructions include, but not limited to, performing Sandhyavandan three times a day, performing Brahma Yagna once a day, performing Kandarishi Tarpanam once a day, performing Pitru Tarpanam on Amavasya and other days dedicated to pitrus, respecting and remembering our acharyas every day, refraining from telling lies at all times, refraining from doing anything the body of knowledge has forbidden us from doing at all times etc.
The body of knowledge is non-discriminatory in that it does not discriminate on nationality, caste, creed, color, race, etc. These instructions are applicable to all of human-kind irrespective of country  and religion one is born into!
This blog also does not discriminate its reader on nationality, religion, caste, creed, color, race etc. I share this for the benefit of all of human-kind.
Sarve Jana: Sukhino Bhavantu
May all living beings in all the universes created by the one and only Creator Lord Narayana, live happily and in peace ever after!