Why 4 question on Upayam – means?
Next 4 questions on Sadhanam - Upayam - means. Thatvam is one; Upeyam (goal) is one. But there are many ways to attain the ultimate goal so 4 questions on Upayam.
Further, the various scriptures indicate three means of attaining the ultimate goal – namely Karma yoga, Jnana yoga and Bhakti yoga. There are again confusions about these means of attaining the highest goal. Some people say the three means are mutually exclusive. Some others say they should all be treated / practiced together. Some say that one of three is the main way, and the other two are just limbs of it. With all these confusions in mind, it is naturally the best to inquire about the different ways of achieving the highest goal of life from a learned scholar.
Upayam or the means of attaining the goal are classified as
· SiddhOpAyam – established means
o lagUpAya sAdhya siddhOpAya - simple worship – e.g NamaSankeerthanam
o alagUpAya sAdhya siddhOpAya - detailed worship – e.g Azhwar’s Bhakthi
· SaadhyOpAyam – pursuablemeans – e.g Karma Yoga, Bhakthi Yoga,Jnana Yoga
· sAlambanOpAyam - Supported means – e.g Manthira Japam
The upAya or the means of attaining a certain result is of three types – siddha (established), saadhya (pursuable) and saalambana (supported).
1) siddhOpAyam (holding on to the readily available emperuman's feet and reaching the divine abode - saranagathi unto the divine feet of the lord) . If we choose Bhagawan Himself as the means and not our effort, then it is siddhOpAya . Prapatti/saranagathy is siddhOpAya.
siddhOpAyam - further divided as
· lagUpAya sAdhya siddhOpAya - sulabhamaga panni sathika padugira siddhopayam. siddhOpAya that can be achieved by a very simple means. lagu means sulabham. Sulabhamaga Sankeerthanam panni avanai santhosam pannarthu, avanai anandam pannarthu. Eg- Sankeerthanam
· alagUpAya sAdhya siddhOpAya - Kazta pattu panni sathika padugira siddhopayam. siddhOpAya that can be achieved by a little difficult means.. kazta pattu avanai bhakthi panni avanai santhosam pannarthu. Eg-Bhakthi as done by azhwar
SiddhOpAyam is a devatha. Aradhana roopamana seiyalale prithiyale palathai kudukum devatha. Karmam is not SiddhOpAyam . If we do something then it is not siddhopayam it will be sadhyopayam. SiddhOpAyam is a devatha and not a karyam. SiddhOpAyam need to exist on its own. Eg: one person going to Triplicane. Triplicane is Siddham. Me going to triplicane by my effort is Sadhyam.
Thanaga irupathu Siddham. Namaga prayathana pattu sathikarathu Sadhyam. So Siddhopayam is Thanaga irukkira Devathai.
Nama pannara aradhanathinale bhagawanai Preethiyadaithu santhosam pattu athunala avan prasadham kodukarthu. Siddham – it exists and we are not doing anything to to do it or acquire it.
siddhOpAyam, the ‘established’ way refers to verily the Godhead that provides the intended fruits upon due worship. This worship of the Godhead can further be classified into two subtypes, namely ‘simple worship’ (laghu) and ‘detailed worship’ (alaghu).
2) sAdhyOpAyam (reaching the divine abode by doing various sAdhanas (karma yoga, bhakthi yoga, jnana yoga etc) which requires a lot of effort). That which is accomplished through my efforts is sAdhyOpAya. bhakti is sAdhyOpAya. Saadhya , - Saadhyopayam is namaga seivathu/pannuvathu. Kazta pattu avanai vaseegaranam pannarthu.
Nama pannara aradhanathinale Bhagawanai vaseekaranam panni vera vazhi illai, ne kuduthu than aganam nu vaseekaram panni vangarthu. Sampradhaythule Siddhopayathaiye pattrinargal. Sadhyopayam thuranthu, perumale kazta pada vekkama Siddhopayathaiye pattrinargal. Why shud we trouble him? Instead let us make him happy and he will give it himself. Sadhyam – We need to take effort using “Manovakkayam” – Manam, Mei, Pecchu – Mediatate using your mind, Recite the namam using your mouth, Archanai using Hand. There are many such efforts and using these efforts we try to attract the devathas and get the fruits (devathaigalai nampal iirthu palanai perthuthal)
The ‘sAdhya’ upAya or the pursuable means refers to an absolute involvement of the three prime faculties called speech, mind and body in terms of chanting, meditating and worshipping respectively, in order to please the respective Godhead and gain the benefits.
3) sAlambanOpAya. There is a 3rd sub-classification - getting a mantram and repeat it stead-fastedly and achieve our goal. Eg-Japam. Salambhanam – Pattrukodaga gettiyaga pidikarthu. SAlambhanam means Nanna pudichindutar, pattru kombhu. Salambha. Japam, stotram, Divya mangala vigrahathuku -Pushpam, archanai pannarthu – this is salambhanopayam. Kazta pattu japam p.anni avanai santhosam pannarthu
Salambanopayam – Japam. Doing japam/stotram again again and getting it. Salambanam means pattru. For doing Japam, dynam, archnai we need pattru like God’s thirumeni, mantram, pasuram.
Salambanopayam - verbally supported means of achieving the goal. He inquires about the support of verbal chanting done along with the help of prayers, mantras, and the idol of the deity, sandal, flowers, and other things.
Questions on Upayam and which upayam they fall into
· Question 3 - stuvantah kam - lagUpAya sAdhya siddhOpAya
· Question 4 - kam archantah - alagUpAya sAdhya siddhOpAya
· Question 5 - ko dharma sarva dharmAnAm bhavatah paramo matah – sAdhyOpAya
· Question 6 - kim japan muchyate - sAlambanOpAya
Question 3 on Simple Worship Established Means lagUpAya sAdhya siddhOpAya
stuvantam kam prApnuyuh mAnavah subham?
Meaning: By glorifying whom, can man attain peace and prosperity? By praising which Deity's auspicious qualities will human beings attain prosperity in this world as well as bliss in the next? Upayam - yaara stotram panna vendum ? yaarai thozhugai/pujai(stuvanam) panna vendum.
· kaM stuvaMtaH’ – pleasing whom by prayers alone (only by singing the glories, praising the qualities) –> refers to the Established-Simple worship e.g Nama Sankeerthanam
· ‘mAnavAH’ – all ‘Humans’ – devoid of any restrictions in terms of race, clan, gender, age, etc
· ‘shubham’ – two types of auspicious results, namely ‘well-being in this world’, and ‘attainment of the Paramapadam (Vishnulokam)’
· ‘prApnuyuH’ – shall attain
Question is about: Upayam - lagUpAya sAdhya siddhOpAya(sulabhamaga panni sathika padugira siddhopayam)
Question 4 - on Detailed worship - Established means - alagUpAya sAdhya siddhOpAya
kam arcanat prApnuyuh mAnavaah subham?
Meaning: By worshipping whom can man reach auspiciousness?By meditating on which Deity will human beings attain prosperity in this world as well as bliss in the next? Upayam – Yaara archanai panna vendum.
- ‘kam archaMtaH’ – worshipping whom – in the form of upAsana – with utmost devotion –> refers to Established - detailed worship e.g Azhwar’s Bhakthi
- ‘mAnavAH’ – all ‘Humans’ – devoid of any restrictions in terms of race, clan, gender, age, etc
- shubham’ – two types of auspicious results, namely ‘well-being in this world’, and ‘attainment of the Paramapadam (Vishnulokam)’
- ‘prApnuyuH’ – shall attain
Question 5 - on Pursuable Means - SaadhyOpAyam
kO dharmah sarva dharmANaam bhavatah paramO matah?
Meaning: What is, in thy opinion, the greatest Dharma? By reciting which mantra will man be released from the bondage of the cycle of birth and death? Neer arintha dharmangalileye yethu siranthathana dharmam.
Yudhistra asks “Which – of all dharmas – is the loftiest, in your opinion?”, he means to ask “Of all the dharmas prescribed by the scriptures and connotative of all the aforesaid natures, which is the One – in your opinion – that is distinctly unique with no equal or superior dharmas to it, which is clearly proven and can be relied upon similar to Apaddhanam (wealth in times of dire need)?”
Question is about: Upayam – sAdhyOpAyam(Kazta pattu Perumalai vaseegaranam pannarthu using many sadhanas – Karma, Bhakthi, Gyana Yogam)
Explanation - Importance of Achayan’s words:
Tripura devi said I don’t know any pramanam/devam. Ramanujan told he is god we are following him. So follow acharyan and follow what he says eg – thirumanthiram, Dwayam, Charama slokam. Categorized as Shastra ruchi, Acharya ruchi, ishwara ruchi and are respectively given by shastram, acharyan and bhagawan. That is why dwayam has more important since it is given by acharyan. Dwayam has to be recited forever. Along these lines, Yudhistra is asking his acharyan(Bheesma) on what is the greatest dharma as per him.
The question asked is pretty direct asking “Ko dharmam..” . Samanyathile kelvi irukanum. Visheshathil bathil irukanum. So Yudhistra asked a simple straight question to Bheesma.
Two more example of a straight forward question…
Madurakaviazhwar Asked – “Sethatin Vayirril Siriyadu Pirandal, Ethai Tinru ENgu Kidakum”
Namzhwar replied – “Athai Thinru Ange Kidakkum”
Meaning : If a Soul takes birth in this lifeless material body, what will it eat, where will it exist? If the jeevatma (soul) is born in the body which is attached to the samsara, what will it feed on and where will it live? The answer: The soul will eat the alternating fruits of good and bad deeds done through the body and enjoy its existence in the samsara
Maithreyar asked Parasarar – “yethil irnthu thondrum ?” answer was “Vishnu vil irunthu thondrum”.
Like this Yudhistrar wanted straight direct answer from bheesma so he asked this questions.
Question 6 - on Supported Means - sAlambanOpAyam
kim japam mucyatE jantur janma samsAra bandhanAth?
Meaning: By doing Japa of what, can creature go beyond the bonds and cycle of birth and death? Of the three means referred to above (i.e., recitation, praise or archana, and meditation), which is the best means for attaining the grace of the Supreme Deity based on your vast experience and knowledge? . Yethai japam(Salambayana upayamaga kondu) seithu perumalai adaiya vendum.
Yethai Japam panni
Jananathaiye dharma maga kondavan yaro avane Jantu.
Janmathilerunthum samsarathu lerunthum vidu pada poravan yeppadi
Janmam – Karanam(Cause) – karma,avidhya, pirappu, vasanai
Samsaram - Effect – samsaram, birth, death
BY doing what japam, can the creatures who undergo birth and death cycle will get rid of jananam(cause) and samsaram(effect) ? Salambanopayapaga yethai pattri intha janma samsarathil irunthu vidu padugiran ?
Yudhistra in this question, inquires about the support of verbal chanting done along with the help of prayers, mantras, and the idol of the deity, sandal, flowers, and other things. He asks, “Having chanted which one, will all the born souls be released from the cycles of births and samsara?”
‘japaH’ – refers to the restricted and specialized repetitions of mantras and the like.
The Manu Smrithi declares: “Only by japa will a Brahmin attain all benefits/fruits; there’s no doubt about it. Whether a person practices anything else or not, he will be considered as a Brahmin only by his friendly nature”. The same scripture also says: “The worship with japa is ten times better than worship with physical objects”. Krishna, in his Bhagavadgeeta declares: “I am the japa-yajna among the modes of worship”. Since the loftiness of verbal ‘japa’ has been established with such assurances, the other modes of worship with mind and action are not being inquired by Yudhishtira.
‘jaMtu’ – that which is born
‘janma’ – the cycle of aging, death, and birth, and other pains as an effect of samsara are shown with this word
‘saMsAra’ – refers to the main causes due to which the soul is bound in this creation, namely ignorance, fruits of action, habits, tastes / desires, et al.
The ‘janma’ and ‘saMsAra’ are the two obstacles that are stopping a soul from attaining the ultimate goal of life called paramapadam. These obstacles will be warded off with the help of japa. The ‘moksha’ or salvation mentioned in this context is representative of all other auspicious benefits, since the various scriptures clearly mention both material as well as spiritual benefits in plenty for the japas that they prescribe.
Thus, beginning with phrases like “in entirety” (ashEShENa), “by all means” (sarvashaH) etc, and later on using more phrases such as “in the scriptures” (lOkE), “all humans” (mAnavAH), “auspicious material/spiritual benefits” (shubham), et al, these questions also clearly intend to highlight the best modes in terms of time, authority, limbs of action, and the fruits of action.
Question on: Upayam sAlambanOpAyam (Pattrukodaga gettiyaga pidikarthu, continue to do)
How to interpret these 4 questions on Upayam – means ?
Q 3. stuvantah kam - lagUpAya sAdhya siddhOpAya ;
Q 4. kam archantah - alagUpAya sAdhya siddhOpAya ;
Q 5. ko dharma sarva dharmAnAm bhavatah paramo matah – sAdhyOpAya ;
Q 6. kim japan muchyate – sAlambanOpAya
First Upeyam question – Stotram (Recitation – Vakku – Uttering slogam )
Second Upeyam question – Archanai – recitation and action- This includes stotram also. This is the bhakthi. Referred also as “Vayinal padi manasinal sinthinthu po malar thoovi” by andal.
Third – dharmam – dharmam refers to vakku, manasu , kayathale – Recitation, Action and Meditation. Vakkale stotram, manasale dyanam, kaigalale archanai. This is sAdhyOpAyam. Note that this is all done for vaseegaranam.
Fourth – japam – This includes stotram also. Stotram is used as swatatram(sole path) in the first upeyam and as an angam in all the other upeyam’s.