Chapter 1 – Arjuna vishāda yoga (Original)

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

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githacharya-2ramanujar-4-formsbhagavath rAmAnuja at AzhwArthirunagari, srIperumbUthUr, srIrangam and thirunArAyaNapuram

ARJUNA-VISHĀDA-YOGA

BOW TO BLEST ŚRĪ RĀMĀNUJA

Memorial verse in honor of Śrī Rāmānuja:

To the feet of Blest Rāmānuja,

Do I resort as (my) Refuge,–

Bhagavad – Rāmānuja, Mercy’s Ocean,

Who, from his love of the lotus-feet of Achyuta,

Regarded everything else as trivial.

PROEM BY RĀMĀNUJA:

The Lord of Śrī1; Whose essential nature is being the sole Reservoir of all illustrious Attributes, the Antithesis to all evil (hēya),–(such Attributes) as Wisdom (jñāna), and Bliss (ānanda);–Who is the great Ocean of the legions of the boundless, exalted and countless glorious qualities, behoving His (essential) nature, such as Omniscience (jñāna), Strength (bala), Sovereignty (aiśvarya), Constancy (vīrya), Power (śakti), and Lustre (tejas); Whose Divine Form is a mine of effulgence, beauty, comeliness, (eternal) youth, and other Perfections of the Person,–beyond conception, divine, wonderful, constant, uninjurable, and superb, which are immutable and accordant with His will–; Who is adorned in transcendental Ornaments,–diverse, marvellous, countless, wonderful and permanent, worthy of Him and perfect–; Who is accoutred in illustrious divine Weapons, agreeing with His nature,–innumerable, of inconceivable power, eternal, beyond injury and beyond praise–; Who is the beloved of Śrī,–Śrī, Who is perfect in all the multitude of limitless, marvelous and innumerable qualities such as amiability (śila) etc.,– harmonizing and coordinating with Him in nature, form, state (regal = vibhava), and plenitude or empire (aiśvarya)–; Who has at His feet, ever singing hallelujahs, countless Illuminated Angels, whose essence, being, and wonderful works are in accordance with His will;–their delight solely consisting in rendering all service to Him, possessed as they are of a multitude of vast, eternal, uninjurable and sublime attributes, past definition by speech or thought–; Who has His abode in the super-celestial Firmament called akshara (the imperishable),–conforming with His nature, diversified, strange, endless, and abounding in objects,–means,–and localities,–of enjoyment;–that Firmament, of infinite wonderment, infinite glory, infinite extension, ever-existent and removed from harm–; Whose will and pleasure, it is, to dramatically display the Universe in its modes of projection, sustentation, and dissolution–the Universe so replete with various and curious objects of enjoyment, and hosts of enjoyers thereof–; Who is Param Brahma2, Purushottama3, and Nārāyaṇa4;–He (the Lord of Śrī), having made the kosmos from Brahmā down to the immoveables, retired into His own Self, so that to the meditations and adorations of Brahma, the celestials (devas), and the mortals, He became incognizant. But He, being the vast Ocean of infinite Mercy and Condescension, Love and Bounty, willed to assume (material) forms similar to those of His creatures, without abandoning His own essential divine (immaterial) nature, and repeatedly made descents (among them) as Incarnations in the several spheres (where the creatures dwelt). (So accessible) To those by whom He was worshipped, He granted their desires, to wit, any of the four-fold aspirations of man, dharma (meritorious work done here carrying with it the virtue of bringing future happiness, mundane or otherwise), artha (riches and general prosperity), kama (enjoyments), moksha (deliverance or Salvation). The object of Incarnations is to relieve the earth of its burden (of sin and suffering), but at the same time no less is the Lord’s intention thereof that He should be within reach of even people of our (sinful), description. To fulfill this purpose, He manifested himself on earth so as to be actually an Object for all men’s sights to see, and performed such other wonderful acts as to captivate the hearts and the eyes of all creatures high and low. (For example, in the Avatar as Kṛishṇa) He destroyed (evil pests to society such as) Pūtana and Śakata, Yamala and Arjuna, Arishta, Pralamba and Dhenuka, Kāḷiya, Keśi and Kuvalayāpīda, Chāṇūra and Mushtika, Thōsala, Kamsa etc.

He delighted the worlds with His looks and language overflowing with the nectar of amity and love. Such men as Akrūra and Mālākāra became most godly (i.e., Saints) enraptured by the most agreeable Presence, the condescending deportment and numerous other qualities exhibited (by Lord Krishṇa).

Under the pretext of having to persuade Arjuna to fight, Śrī Kṛishṇa promulgated the doctrine of Bhakti-Yoga, — led up to by Jñāna and Karma, — or that Path of Loving-Devotion which is the burthen of all the Vedānta-teaching, and by which He is indicated as The Only Object of Love, and that, loved, He Himself is The Means to lead man to the climax of his ambitions, viz., Moksha (salvation or the final liberation from all ephemeral and conditioned existences).

Thus then, when Kauravas and Pānḍavas became belligerents, He, Bhagavān5, Purushottama and God of gods, appeared as Anthropomorph (Kṛishṇa), with a view to shower benefits on the world; and allowing Himself to be overpowered by love for His faithful dependents, gave Himself up to their service, and posted Pārtha in his war chariot, Himself undertaking the duty of the Charioteer so as to  be witnessed by the whole Universe.

Dhṛitaṛāshtra though knowing the state of affairs to be thus, yet totally blind (not merely physically blind,–which he was– but spiritually also) questioned Sañjaya, with a desire to learn of the victory of Suyodhana (his own son) thus:–

 

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  1. ŚRĪ is the name of the Lord’s Consort, esoterically the Sophia or the Logos, the eternally-united power of Īśvara, and doing the function of a Mediatrix between the souls and the Lord. Īśvara symbolizes JUSTICE, and Śrī, MERCY. Both are united in the God-head. Śrī is called Śraddhā as in “Śraddhayā devo devatvam aśnute” (Krishna Yajur Veda, Ka. I, Pra. 3, Pan. 11, Va. 9). For esoteric explanations, read, Uttara-gopāla-tāpani Upanishat, Vishṇu Purāṇa, I.9, 117-133, and Kenopanishat, III-12 (Śobhamānām u Mām, &c). Śrī is She who serves the Lord to serve Her creatures, vice versa.
  2. The Great, par excellence, the 669th name of God.
  3. ‘The Super-excellent Person’, the 24th name of God, (vide also, Pātañjala Yoga-Sūtra I.24, (which says purusha-viśesḥ) – Purusha is the common term to denote a thinking substance from an unthinking substance. Utpurusha=bound soul; uttara-purusha=liberated soul, uttama-purusha=the ever-free soul; Purushottama=Soul Supreme=God.
  4. The “All-Comprehending“, the 246th name of God (vide, footnote, p.2. Yogi Parthasārāthy Aiyangār’s Hinduism.
  5. Bhagavān is He Who has the 6 chief attributes, described earlier in this Proem. Vide Vishṇu Purāṇa VI-5, 79: ‘Jñana-śakti-balaiśvarya-vīrya-tejāmsy-aśeshataḥ‘, etc.

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