Pancha Prakaram of Sriman Narayanan
The five forms in which Sriman Narayana resides to bless the devotees are
PARA, VYOOHAM,VIBHAVAM, ANTHARYAAMI, ARCHAAVATHARAM
PARA – Bhagawan resides as Vaikunta Pathi at Paramapatham vaikuntam - with his divine consorts(Nachiars - Sri Devi, Bhoo Devi and Neela Devi), giving sevai for all the Nithya soorigal. Nithya Soorigal ke Adhi Sesha, Vishwaksena, Garuda, etc who would be ever in Vaikunta to serve the Lord.
The para can be viewed as the full and undifferentiated manifestation of the Lord in His complete and resplendent glory in which He has chosen to be unlimited by anything. He does not assume this form as a result of another object, and in this form He is endowed with the fullness of the six qualities - jnAna, bala, aisvarya, vIrya, sakti, teja. In this form, He is the shAdguNya paripUrNa, mahArNava, ni:sima - complete in all respects in the Six qualities, the Great Ocean of all that is perfect, unlimited by anything.
Sri Bhattar refers to the sAtvata samhita in explaining the para-vyuha, and vibhava forms."shAdguNya vigraham devam bhAsvajjvalana tejasam sarvatah pANi pAdam tat
iti upakramya param etat samAkhyAtam ekam sarvAsrayam vibhum".
"In the para form, the Lord has the body endowed with all six qualities; He shines with intense brilliance and luminosity, and has hands and feet all around. This form is unique, is the support of all, and is all-pervasive".
VYUHA/VYOOHAM - In the Thiru Par kadal bhagawan resides as Ksheeraabdhi Naathan in Aadhi Sesha Sayanam in Yoga Nidhrai at the ocean of Ksheeram(milk) with Sridevi at his lotus feet giving sevai to all the deva's including brahma. In the Vyuham form as Sankarshana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha.
In the vyuha manifestation, the Lord assumes different forms which are rich in some of the Six qualities, with different functions which emphasize these qualities. The vyuha forms can be viewed as the differentiated forms which arise from the para form. 1. pradyumna - aisvarya and vIrya - function of srshti or creation 2. aniruddha - sakti and tejas - function of sthiti or protection and preservation 3. samkarshaNa - jnAna and bala - function of samhAra or destruction Sri Bhattar refers to the sAtvata samhita which describes the vyuha forms as follows:etat pUrvam trayam ca anyat jnAnAdyaih bheditam guNai: |
viddhi etat vyuha samgjnam vai nissreyasa phala pradam ||
"From this para form emerge three other forms (SamkarshaNa, pradyumna, aniruddha), which are distinguished by the possession of knowledge and other qualities allotted to each one of them, and which bestow these benefits to the devotees".
VIBHAVAM - Avataram – Thousands of avataram of Bhagawan are called Vibhavangal – vibhavaavatharam. This form is for all the rishi's like vashista. Some are sampoorna Avatharams and others are partial avatharams.
Azhwar pasuram Periya Thirumozhi 8.8.10
"Meenodu Aamai kezhal ari, kuralaai, muunum iraamanaai, thaanaai,
pinnum iraamanaai dhaamodharanaai karkiyum aanaan "
Meenodu - (Mathsya), Aamai - (Koorma), Kezhal - (Varaaham), Ari -
(Narasimham), Kuralaai (Vaamanam), Munnum Iraamanaai (Parasu Raman),
Thaanaai (Rama), Pinnum Iramanaai (Bala Raman), Dhaamodharanaai
(Krishnan), Karkiyum Aanaan (Kalki).
The vibhava is that group of manifestations which are taken by BhagavAn in the form of god, man, animal, etc. (sura, nara, tiryagAdi). Vibhava is of two kinds:1. mukhya (vibhava)
2. anuvrtti (vibhava antara)
Vibhava occurs in one of four forms:
1. Some like matsya and kurma are direct manifestations
2. In some incarnations, the Lord enters into the bodies of distinguished sages such as Sri VyAsa.
3. In others, He invests His sakti for some period of time in others. The example of Puranjaya is given here.
4. There are others in which He manifests Himself in idols as for instance in the arcAvatAra.
ANTHARYAAMI - Bhagawan in this form resides in every individual and living being of the Universe. This covers both Achit and Chit including Devas, Human beings , birds, beasts ,insects et al. This form is also known as Harda , since the Yogis realize Him in their hearts. Bhagawan in sukusuma form dwells into everyone as antharyaami and does nithyavaasam at the centre of our heart(Hrudaya kamalam) which can be realized only by doing ashtaanga yogam which is one of the 32 Brahma kalai or called as Brahmaviddhais. He sits in a lotus at the centre of our heart with his divya mangala swaroopam which was realized by our saints or rishis by doing bhakthi yogam and by our aazhwaars and aachaaryaas. Thirumazhisai aazhwaar even requested emperumaan to show his from in his hridayam or heart to all those people who argues against existence of emperumaan and emperumaan gave that diva sevai to everyone in the centre of Thirumazhisai Aazhwaars heart. This form is for all the yogi's and rishi's who through the form of yogam could see the antharyaami bhagawan.
ARCHAAVATHARAM – This is the form of Bhagawan’s which we all can feel, experience, enjoy in our divya desam with his divya thirumeni and does kataaksham to all those who surrender at his feet doing Saranaagathai. This is the form he is in for people like us who is yet to realize our true nature. These are the consecrated murthys of the Lord celebrated by the Azhwars at the 106 Divya Desams and other Archa Murthys at Abhimana Sthalam and elsewhere. The Archa form can be grouped under the four categories:
1. SWAYAMVYAKTA FORMS – as available as saligramam, Triupathi Srinivasa, Sri Ranganatha, Badri Narayana,Thirunarayana of Melkote, Srimushnam Bhoovaraghavan, Puri Jagannath
2.DAIVAA ARCHA FORMS – archa’s(Idol) installed by Deva’s - Guruvayur
3.AARSHAA – archa’s installed by Rishi. Thiruvinnagar, Thiruvahindrapuram , Thirukkudanthai come under this category, since the Lord accepted to take permanent residence at the request of a Rishi like Maarkandeya, Hema ,Matanga
4.MAANUSHAA - the idols are consecrated by men according to Aagama Sastras.
TiruvAimozhi, where nammAzhvAr beautifully expresses this concept -
"viN mIdiruppAi! malai mEl niRpAi! KaDal SerppAi!
maN mIduzhalvAi! ivaRRuL e'ngum maRainduRaivAi!
eN mIdiyanRa puRavaNDattAi!. ."
TiruvAimozhi (6. 9. 5). He keeps moving about in all the three worlds in order to be easily accessible to everyone.
From Purusha Suktham
"sahasra sheerSHA puruSHa: | sahasrAksha: sahasrapAt |
sa bhoomim vishvato vrtvA | atyatiSHTad dashAngulam ||"
(sahasra) Thousands (sheerhsA) of heads has (puruSHa)
the great p. (sahasra) Thousands of (aksha) eyes has he,
(sahasra pAt) and thousands of legs. (sa) He (vrtva)
manifests (bhoomim) the world. (attyatiSHTad) He stands
beyond (dashAngulam) the count of ten fingers.
Sri Bhattar distinguishes the vibhava form from the Lord's creations such as the fourfaced Brahma, who are not manifestations of Bhagavan, but are the creations of Bhagavan. Sri Bhattar refers to the following from the Paushkara samhita to give us an understanding of the difference:
jnAnopadeshTA bhagavAn kapilAkshastu adhokshaja: |
vidyAmurti: caturvaktro brahmA vai loka pUjita: ||
tadamsa bhUto vai yasya visva vyanjana lakshaNa: ||
"The red-eyed BhagavAn, Adhokshaja, is the teacher of all knowledge. The four-faced BrahmA who is the embodiment of learning and who is worshiped by all worlds, is but a tiny amsa (part) of Bhagavan. He is the subordinate of BhagavAn, and he only propounds the knowledge he got from Bhagavan to all in the world".
These are distinguished as the prAdurbhAva and prAdurbhAvAntara forms. Here the prAdurbhAva is the adhokshaja form, and the prAdurbhAvAntara is Brahma. It is pointed out that the creations of the Lord such as Brahma, agni, etc., are to be understood at a different level than the manifestations of the
Lord in His para, vyuha, and vibhava forms. This is the basis for why those who have been initiated in the worship of acyuta are to worship only Acyuta and not the other gods (prAdurbhAvAnAm ArAdhyatvam .prAdurbhAvAntarANAm ArAdhana nishedhasca).