SrI: SrImathE SatakOpAya nama: SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama: SrImath varavaramunayE nama:
bhagavath rAmAnuja at AzhwArthirunagari, SrIperumbUthUr, SrIrangam and thirunArAyaNapuram
SRI RĀMĀNUJA’S VIŚISHTĀDVAITA COMMENTARY
THE FIFTEENTH LECTURE
THE WAY TO THE PRIMAL SPIRIT SUBLIME.
IN the Lecture (XIII), treating of the distinction between the natures of matter and soul in their relationship as Kshetra (the abode) and Kshetrajña (the abider) respectively, it was shown that the association of the pure and infinitely (essentially) conscious soul with matter as represented by the bodies of deva, man etc., —brought about by his attachment for eons to the qualities (of matter)— was one which has had no beginning.
In the next Lecture (XIV), the points treated of were that:—
- This association with matter in both its subtle and manifested forms, due to the attachment which the soul has for (matter’s) qualities— is by the decrees of the Blessed Lord Himself (XIV-3 and 4);
- The manner, in some detail, in which this association with the qualities is formed (XIV-6 to 25); and that
- The method by which to surmount these qualities and realise soul nature is by Loving Devotion to the Blessed Lord (XIV-26–27).
Now in this Lecture (XV), will be shown how the Worshippable Blessed Lord’s Sovereign glory of the Universe is constituted of kshara —transient bound souls1— and akshara —freed souls, for eternity2— and how from this twofold kshara and akshara souls constituting His Kosmos the Lord differs, He being the Supreme Person (Purushottama), supreme beyond description, and distinguished as He who is endowed with Glorious Attributes, as He Who is exempt from all that is evil. For the elucidation of this truth, the Blessed Lord takes the Aśvattha Tree as the symbol3, to represent the evolved material universe as one of bondage (or keeping the kshara souls in bondage) and as one which (i.e., the Tree) the souls ought to exterminate, so that the kshara souls may escape from the bondage (in this Tree of Samsara), to become the akshara souls of His glorious scheme of evolution. And this freedom (from the Tree of Samsara) is to be effected by cutting the Tree asunder by the weapon of non-attachment.
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