Bhagavad Vishayam – When can one be called ‘Truly Knowledgeable’

Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji, personification of divine knowledge and pure love is gracing us these two months with discourses on Bhagavad Vishayam, the king of all knowledge – the songs composed by Nammalwar 5000 years ago which carry the essence of Vedam in a beautiful way. While Nammalwar is the mother who gave birth to this extra-ordinary piece of work, Bhagavad Ramanuja Acharya is the one who raised this and preserved it for all of us. Swamiji is gracing us with amazing secrets of Vedic philosophy that can alleviate one from this bondage of limited and unpredictable life to a more secure, blissful and true state of happiness with God.

Brief excerpt of today’s discourse:

  • Nammalwar drenched himself in praying the divine feet of God. He immersed himself into it so much that he himself became God’s feet. He began to be called God’s feet and is offered to us as ‘Shata:ri’ in the temples.
  • Sottainambi who took refuge of the devotees of Nammalwar says, ‘I am in a state where there is no craving for anything else in this world. I am in a state where I am not bonded to anything else other than God’. This state is only because of the grace of the devotees of Nammalwar.
  • Bhagavad Ramanuja Acharya always preached and practiced the knowledge (love for God) as sung by Nammalwar. His heart was filled with the love for Nammalwar. His heart became the abode of Nammalwar’s feet. And therefore, when you go to Nammalwar sannidhi, we see Bhagavad Ramanuja as the symbolic feet given to us on our heads as we bow down.
  • Mudalai andan or Dasarathi devoted himself to Bhagavad Ramanuja in the same way. His love for Ramanuja filled his heart completely and inseparably. Therefore, when you go to Bhagavad Ramanuja sannidhi, you seek Mudalai andan as you bow down. There is one exception to this. In Thirupathi, when you go to Bhagavad Ramanuja Sannidhi – it is Anantha Alwan who we seek as we bow down because it was him who served Ramanuja in that kshetram.
  • If one wants to get the grace of someone, one should be able to bow to their feet.
  • The songs sung by Nammalwar carry the complete essence of Vedam in a very beautiful way. Hearts melt and become one with God as we hear the meanings of these songs.
  • All HIS songs had a goal of describing ‘Sri Ranganatha’, the deity presiding in Sri Rangam, the root of all deity forms of God. The deity forms in other divine places of worship knocked the heart of Nammalwar and pleaded him to sing them. And then, he wrote a few more songs on the deities of the other Divya Desas. His focus of prayer was at the feet of Lord Ranganatha!
  • Nammalwar’s songs carried the essence of Vedam. But, what is Vedam? It is a ‘Jnana ghani’ – An encapsulation of all knowledge. Anything and everything of Vedam is necessary. Example: A part of the Vedam exists to be known and understood as ‘what should be given up’. Another part of the Vedam exists to be known and understood as ‘what to be taken in’. For ex: We know that the shell and fiber of a coconut are not necessary for the purpose of quenching the thirst, but they are necessary for holding the water in it.
  • Vedam talks about God who can be understood in two forms.
    • One in the form that can be seen, ‘Vyaktha rupam’ (Paramapada nathudu seen by Nithya, Muktha ganas, Vyuha swarupam seen by Sanakasananda, Vibhavam seen by Prahlada, Sathyavratha etc.., Antharyami seen by yogis, Archa murthi seen in temples and prayer rooms of your house).
    • Another form is ‘Avyaktha rupam’ – a form that cannot be seen but exists everywhere – as described in Vedam.
  • What is the purpose of all of this knowledge given in Vedam?
  • The elaboration on Vedam is split into two sets of scriptures
    • One set dictates the rules or ways to read and understand it (Sikshya, Vyakaranam, Kalpam, Jyothisham, etc)
    • Another set describes the essence of Vedam (Smruthis, Ithihasas, Prabandham, Agama, etc)
  • Our Land has become home of scriptures that elaborate on true knowledge. Knowledge that helps us earn money or enjoy an elated physical state is knowledge that even animals and insects have. In fact, they are better practitioners of this basic knowledge. The real knowledge is when one knows the below FIVE topics.
      1. Who am I?
      2. What is my goal?
      3. How can I achieve it?
      4. What are the hurdles?
      5. Who can help me in this?
  • This knowledge is so great in fulfilling our hearts that it resembles the melodious and heartwarming notes of a flute.  This knowledge gives us a state of permanent bliss. Don’t we all want that?  A state of happiness that doesn’t fade. That state is what God wants us all to have. He is so powerful and yet so giving. That is what makes him ‘Bhagavan’.
  • Tomorrow, we will talk about three sriyah pathis that set the stage for teaching us on the five aspects listed above.