Srivachana Bhushana And Yatiraja Vimshathi


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(I) SRIVACHANA BHUSHANAM, by PILLA! LOKACHARYA, that
eminent preceptor, adoring the grand galaxy of Sri Vaishnava preceptors in apostolic succession, believed to be an incarnation of Lord Maliavislinu-a unique Jewel of rare excellence, set in choice diction, the rare gems of spiritual thoughts highlighting the doctrines of Visishtadvaita
philosophy, delivered, m camera^
by the Great Masters and tended by their trustworthy disciples, as closely guarded secrets, for fear of spilling such sparkling gems before all and sundries.
and (2) 'Yatiraja Vimsati’ by Saint Varavara Muni, a reincarnation of Saint Ramanuja-laudatory hymns, par excellence, in Sanskrit, very ably rendered in English by Sri S. Satyamurdii Swami of Gwalior, a retired ofiScer of the Indian Audit Department, author of several important religious books bearing on Visishtadvaita, whose chief exponent was Saint Ramanuja.
(3) This book also reproduces two inspired and illuminating lectures
on '^‘Love of God and God of love’% delivered by Sri S. Satyamurthi Swami at the Rama Krishna Ashram, Gwalior.

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By Sri Pillai Lokacharya

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Sri SatyamurtM Swami# Gwalior

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PREFACE
by
Nyaya Vedanta Vidwan T. A. Sampathkumaracharya, M. A. A HIDDEN TREASURE EXPOSED

It is a weli-knowB fact that in all teachings, secular, religious or philosophical, the highest truths are not taught to all, but to a select few,
who are deemed by the preceptor to have matured and fit enough to receive and digest them. These highest truths are looked upon as a treasure, which has te be guarded against immature and malicious persons, who are out to spoil them. The Vedas, whose very purpose is to bring the
highest truths to — light the word Veda means Knowledge (or the Source of
knowledge)— do not reveal those truths easily, but have preferred to keep
them aloof, for a limited or select few. A part of the Vedas, and a
tiny part at that, is called the Upanishad, because it is whispered into the ears of a disciple, sitting very close, In these Upanishads, we often hear of the teacher testing the pupiTs earnestness or thirst for acquiring the secret knowledge. There are also injunctions forbidding the teacher from revealing the secret teachings to an undeserving person. Did not the great
Gitacharya, who thought it fit to divulge so many philosophie truths to
Arjuna, under the pretext of solving his political, or at best moral difficulty, caution him at the end of the discourse, not to divulge those secrets
to an undeserving person, i. e , to one who does no penance, has no love for God and the teacher, and is jealous ? He who is not adept but handles a sensitive machine harms himself and spoils the machine as well. Similarly, an undeserving person, gaining access to a great truth harms himself by using it the wrong way and spoils the truth itself by misinterpretation and misrepresentation.
No wonder then, that the great Sri Vaishnava Acharyas like Sri
Nathamuni and Sri Yamunacharya, followed in the footsteps of the Upaoishadie teachers and preserved the secret teachings, by taking care to impart them only to a select few, who had reached the moral and mental maturity, the necessary qualifications for the higher ioitiatioo. But Sri

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Ramaniijaciiarya felt that his predecessors were too hard opon the disciplesj by putting them to very rigorous tests. So, he broke the tradition by dispensing with all these tests and imparting the teachings to all those
that merely asked for them. He felt that, otherwise, nobody might come
forward to learn these teachings, as a result of which, they would disappear altogether, in the long run.
But even this great, magnanimous teacher (Sri Ramanuja) dared not commit to writing what all be preached orally. He thought that unlike teaching, a written book is liable to fall into the hands of undesirable
elements and get spoiled. He has, no doubt, hinted at most of these
truths in his great Sri Bhashya, Gita Bhashya and the three Gadyas. But the beauty of it is that they are so cleverly introduced and so carefully worded that the average reader cannot fathom their depth.
After Sri Ramanuja, these teachings gained circulation among increa-
singly wider sections of the people, preparing the ground for their eventual
codification. It was at this stage, i.e., about two centuries after Sri Rama-
nuja, that another great teacher, called Sri Filial Lokacarya, thought it fit and necessary to put those teachings in black and white, as, otherwise, they might be lost in course of time or undergo undesirable changes. Thus, the credit of being the first teacher to write Rahasya texts, i.e. books dealing with the meanings of the three esoteric mantras and allied secret teachings of the great teachers before him, goes to Sri Pillai Lokacharya.
Of the eighteen works, known as ‘Ashtadasa Rahasyas* of Sri
Pillai Lokacharya, ‘Sri Vachana Bbushana’ is easily the grandest; Its name implies that it is intended to be an ornament (to be worn by the aspirant to salvation) made up of the gem-like sayings of our great teachers of yore. Sri Manavalamamuni, another great teacher, has written an extensive and beautiful commentary on this great work. These two works, the original and the commentary, contain the highest teachings pertaining to Sri Vaishnavism, as preached and practised by the long line of teachers.
Our forefathers used to teach these works to a selected few only, who were formally admitted to the fold of Sri Vaishnavism and desisted from giving public lectures on them. Thus, they regarded and guarded it as a great treasure, which has to be preserved with the utmost care. But under the modern environment, people have neither the opportunity nor leisure to sit down, at the feet of the Master, and learn these texts in the traditional way. They are not also able to read and follow the original, whose wordings and scholarly diction cannot be ordinarily understood by them. To help such people, who really have the desire to have a dip into
( ii )

this vast ocean of
the famous modern garacharya Swami in many languages.

nectar, but are deprived the opportunity to do so, scholar and teacher, Sri Jagadacharya P. B. Aonanhas brought out easy annotations and paraphrases

Sri Satyamurthi Ayyangar is well-versed in the Rshasva lore and has rendered many of them into beautiful English. His present attempt to give a readable, concise version of the ‘Sri Vachana Bhushanam' is really commendable. Generally speaking, translations lose the flavour and
vigour of the original. The style of Sri Vachana Bhushana and its comm-
entary are, moreover, inimitable Neve^theIess^ the present author has succeeded in presenting the original in a clear and concise form, bringing out all the essential points and giving up all digressions. In fact, he has done full justice to the subject and it is well nigh impossible to improve upon his thesis.
I am sure that any persan having a little background of Sri Vaish-
oava Religion and Philosophy, will greatly benefit by a deep study of this
work. He may, perhaps, feel some difficulty in following certain topics,
discussed herein, but that is inevitable, because they are unfamiliar^ strange ones. So, the reader will have to approach a proper teacher, to guide him further on.
A word of caution ! As already stated, the truths explained in the
Sri Vachana Bhushana are not meant for the use of the man-in-the street, who knows and cares for nothing beyond the worldly comforts and luxuries, but for a highly developed God-thirsty souL As the saying goes, one man’s food is another’s poison. So, it is harmful for less-developed souls to apply some of the doctrines, taught in this great work, indiscriminately; Again, if someone feels that some of these teachings cannot be appreciated or practised, let him understand that he has not reached the necessary state of moral development.
At the end, I reiterate my pleasure in recommending this book to the pursuit and study of all people, who yearn to know something about the
higher truths, l>ing beyond the worldly things.

Kaocheepuram
6- 11-72

T. A. Sampathkumaracharya;
( iii )

SRI¥ACHANA BHUSHANAM
INTmOUCTION
Our illostrious Preceptors (Poorvacharayas), well-versed ie all Shastras, preached, io an easily assimilable form, the inner meanings of the elaborate Vedic texts, bringing them within easy reach of even those with meagre intellect. And some of the later Teachers supplemented their efforts by writing lucid commentaries for the benefit of the yearning votaries* Of these, the secret doctrines (Rahasya Granthas) occupy the pride of
place* It has been enjoined that every Srivaishnava shall recite daily, the texts of at least threee of the eighteen esoteric works brought out by Sri Pillailokacharya, namely, ‘Srivachanabhushanam’, ‘Tattvatrayam’ and *Mumukshuppdi’ and the fourth, namely, ‘Acharyahridayam’, compiled by his equally eminent younger brother, as an integral part of a disciplined scheme of daily recitation-Nityanusandhan, on a par with the schematic
diurnal recitation of the core of ‘Divya Prabandham. The special importance of these texts can be perceived from the fact that Sri Manavala Mahamuni (the last of that pre-eminent galaxy of preceptors), the glorious glossator, wrote iilurhioating commentaries on each one of them* Both the text and the commentaries have to be necessarily studied in the pristine style, at the feet of great Masters, for a correct and proper appreciation of the gems of knowledge embedded therein. This would by-no-means be possible for a good many io the modern world of stress and strain. It is for the effortless grasp of these very people that Jagadacharya Simhasanadipathi P. B. Annangaracharya Swami has, with his wonted magnanimity, written brief,
yet brilliant commentaries for all these texts. Two of these, namely,
‘Mumukshuppadi’ and ‘Tattvatrya’ have already been rendered in English
by me. An attempt has now been made by me to present the English version of "Srivachanabhushanam’ also, a much more voluminous work than the
other two.
— (ii) Here is a unique jewel of rare excellence, set in choice diction the
rare gems of spiritual thoughts delivered, in camera, by the great Masters to their intimate and trustworthy disciples and tended by the latter, as closely
( iv )





guarded secrets, in keeping with their inherent — loiportaDce a jewel shedding
special lustre on those wearing it, that is, reciting the texts like unto a Jewel studded with gems and rubies prepared by the deft hand of a master
jeweller. This is precisely how the work in question has* been described by Sri Manavala Mamuni who has extolled the intrinsic merit and greatness of this work, in as many as seven stanzas in a row (53 to 59), in his "Upadesa Ratnamaalak
(iii) This compilation has been broadly divided into four cantos (Prakaranas) and yet, it can be regarded as comprising six distinct topics (aspects), as brought out in the following sloka;

(1)

(Purushakara vaibhavam) (aphorisms 5-22)-the great-

ness of Sri Mahalakshmi, the Divine Mother, the unfailing mediatrix, the

great intercessor betw'een the Supreme Lord, on the one hand, and the

teeming millions of His Subjects, steeped in countless trangressions of ail

sorts, on the other;

(2)

(Sadhanasya Gowravam) aphorisms 23-70-Tfae overwh-

elming merit of ‘Prapatti’ or the path of loving surrender to the Lord’s

voluntary or spontaneous grace vis-a-vis the other paths of discipline;

(3)

(Tadadikari Krityam)-aphorisms 80-307 - The code of

conduct set for the ‘Prapanna’-the one who has taken sole refuge in the

Lord’s redemptive grace;

(4)
manner in
eminence*

which

(asya satguroopa sevanam)-aphorisms 308-365— The this Subject should seek and serve a preceptor of

(5)

(Haridayam ahetukeem) aphorisms 366-4064he redem-

ptive grace of Hari, the Supreme Lord, flowing with sweet spontaniety; and

(6)

(Guroiupayatam) aphorisms 407-463-The part played

by the Preceptor in enabling the Subject to ford the vast expanse of

Samsara, the earthly bondage.

(iv) There is yet another grouping of the topics under nine headings, as shown below:

i V)

(1) The grandeur of Sri Mahalakshmi’s unsolicited Grace-the Divine Mother, as the unfailing mediatrix, the great intercessor between the supreme Lord and His subjects; (aphorisms 5-22) ;
(2) the efficacy of surrender unto the Supreme Lord (Thirumaal) as the sole means of attaining Him; (aphorisms 23-1 14);
(3) the relative inferiority of the other paths of discipline; (aphorisms 115-141);
(4) the prowess of those who pursue the true Path by pinning their faith solely on Him; (aphorisms 141-242);
(5) the code of conduct followed by the Subject in the above category, with a clear comprehension of the quintessence of the Vedic teachings; (aphorisms 243-307);
(6) the traits of the glorious preceptor who leads us on to the comely feet of Sriman Narayana, the Supreme Lord (aphorisms 308-320);
(7) the conduct of the true disciples towards their immaculate preceptor, the repository of divine effulgence; (aphorisms 321-365);
(8) the voluntary grace shed by the Supreme Lord on His Subjects (totally unrelated to their merit) in salving them; (aphorisms 366-406), and
— (9) the finale-the state of salvation the eternal bliss and beatitude and
the paramount need for reverence to the preceptor, even at that stage, as the unfailing medium for its attainment-the ‘Charama parva nishta^ as distinguished from ‘Pratama parva nishta’ or direct worship of the Lord; (aphorisms 407-463).
(v) The importance of ‘Upadesa Granthas’ like ‘Srivachana bhushanam* in the scheme of Shastraic learning can hardly be minimised or under-rated. If ever we attempted to study the Shastras by ourselves, dispensing with these «Upadesa Granthas’, it would be like seeking to
quench our thirst by drinking the salt water from the sea. On the other
hand, the ‘Upadesa Granthas’ like ‘Mumukshuppadi’, 'TattvatrayamL ‘Srivachana bhushanam’ and ^Acharya hridayam’, present in a clear and concise form, the cream and essence of knowledge spread over a vast and wide range of Shastras, like unto the sweet rain drops unleashed by the benevolent clouds condensing the brine from the sea. So theng we are
immensely beholden to those intellectual stalw'arts like Fillailokachariar, Ms younger brother, Alagiya Manavalapperumal Na^anar, Manavala Mahamuni etc., who, out of boundless compassion for us all, have brought
out and bequeathad to us these texts and commentaries. It seems appro-
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Srivachana Bhushana And Yatiraja Vimshathi