Sri Bhashya – Sri Ramanuja’s Commentary On Sri Brahma Sutra–Sri. U.Ve. Anantha Narasimachariar Swamy, Srirangam,-Athyaayam 4–(Phala )Paatham 1–(‘Avritti pada’)Summary-

So far three chapters have been covered out of the four chapters and the last chapter is being covered now.
The last chapter is called “Phala Adhyaya” which means the fruits that are going to be enjoyed by a person
who is called mumukshu ( one who desires to get liberated from the bondage of samsara and attain Moksha
and one who has done either Bhakthi yoga or Prapaththi.

As already said Bhakthi yoga is an Ashtanga yoga after doing karma yoga and Gnana yoga with seven ancillaries
called Sadhana Sapthaka as detailed in the third quarter of third chapter.
It was also said that in this Kaliyuga nobody has resorted to Bhakthi yoga because of its rigor and utter
inability to involve oneself in deep meditation.

Sri Bhagavad Ramanuja says in Sri Vaikuntha Gadya that to attain Moksha there is no means other than prapatti
even after thousand crore kalpas. But at the same time it should not be construed Bhakthi yoga has not be done
by any body in the previous yogas namely Dvapara Yuga, Thretha Yuga and Kritha yuga.
During these three yugas the environment was conducive for doing Bhakthi yoga.
The sages in Dandakaranya (Forest) in Thretha yuga attained Moksha by Bhakthi yoga only after
taking birth as gopies in Dwapara yuga. Similarly Dharma vyadha ( a hunter) and the lady sabari attained Moksha
by Bhakthi yoga which they started during their previous births in which they would have born
in any of the three castes namely Brahmana, Kshatriya or Vysya.

It should be noted that all of us can attain moksha only by resorting the prapatti at the lotus feet of
Lord Sriman Narayana who is in Archa form (Archa form means worshipable form that is in the form of deities
in Sri Vaishnavite temples or Sala grama form and idol form in the houses) through an Acharya.

In this 4th chapter there are four padas which are named as
Avritti pada, Utkrantha pada, Gathi pada and Phala pada.

In Avritti pada the manner of doing Bhakthi yoga is dealt with. Avritti means repetition that is
Bhakthi yoga has to be done repeatedly and it is not one time affair as in the case of prapatti.

Here one question arises When bhakthi yoga which is a means, upaya or sadhana for attaining moksha
has to be dealt with in the 3rd chapter called as Sadhana Adhyaya
why the Sutrakarar chose the first pada in this chapter to deal with that.
The reply is doing Bhakthi yoga means meditating the auspicious form otherwise called Divya Mangala Vigraha
and auspicious attributes (Kalyana gunas) of Lord Sriman Narayana.
This in other words means enjoyment of Lord Sriman Narayana with his Swarupa (intrinsic nature)
rupa (form that is Divya Mangala vigraha), Guna (auspicious attributes)
Vibhuthi (ownership of lila vibhuthi the entire universe) and Nitya vibhuthi (Sri Vaikunta Divya loka)
and Eishwarya (Controlling both the vibhuthies). As this enjoyment in the mind itself is
one of the fruits of meditation, the Sutrakarar thought it fit include the manner of doing Bhakthi yoga in this Averitti pada.

This Avritti pada has eleven adhikaranas.
The first adhikaranam is called Avritti adhikaranam.
In this adhikarana the topic for discussion is whether the meditation on paramatma is to be done
one time only or whether it should be done repeatedly.
As a prelude to this discussion three upanishadic statements are quoted to establish the fact that
meditation confers the fruit of Moksha on the meditator.

The opponent who is also called poorva pakshi says that meditation is an one time affair as there is no specific mention
in any upanishadic statements that it should be done repeatedly. He says that the fruits are two types.
The first is called visible fruit and the second is called invisible fruit.
Attainment of Svargaloka or Moksha is invisible fruit whereas attainment of worldly pleasure is visible fruit.
The means for attainment of a visible fruit is to be repeatedly done where as it is not so in the case of
invisible fruit otherwise called Adrishta phalam. So the poorvapakshi concludes his argument
saying for the invisible fruit of moksha meditation has to be done one time only.
[The poorvapakshi cites the example of paddy hulling which is repeatedly done to remove the husk for getting rice.
This is a visible fruit or drishta pala.]

The Sutrakara Sage Badarayana says in the sutra “Avritti Asakrith upadeshath”.
The meaning of this sutra is that bhakthi yoga which is also called as Brahma vidya should be done repeatedly
because of the preaching of upanishad to that effect. This requires elaboration which is as follows.
Taittariya upanishad says “Brahmavith attains brahman in Sri Vaikuntha Divya loka”.
Vith means knowing. This knowing is with a sense of devotional love towards Lord Sriman Narayana.
This knowing of Brahman with a sense of devotional love is called vedana.
There are upanishadic passages which say that this vedana is synonimous with the words upasana or Dhayana.
The word Dhayanam is derived from the root “Dhye chinthayam” which means Dhyanam is thinking
and this thinking is a continuous activity and not one time activity.
This continuous or repeated activity is Dhyanam or meditation.

In the Sutra Avrittih asakrith should be considered as Asakruth avritti.
Sakrith means one time. Asakrith means continuous or repeatedly.
So Vedana is same as dhyana, the bhakthi yoga which is meditation on Sriman Narayana has to be done repeatedly.

The next adhikarana in this pada is called Atmatva upasanadhikaranam.
In this the topic for discussion is whether paramatma who is the object of meditation is to be meditated
as entirely different from the jiva (Soul) who is the upasaka or whether the relationship that
Paramatma is the soul and the jiva is his body is to be meditated.

The purva pakshi contends that Paramatma should be meditated as entirely different from the jiva
who is the meditater or upasaka. His reasoning is that paramatma is entirely different from jiva.
There are several Brahma sutras which say that paramatma is entirely different from jiva.

In reply to poorvapakshi’s contention, the Sutrakara says in the sutra
“Atmethithu upagachchanthi grahayanthicha” meaning that
the upasaka or meditator should always meditate paramatma as his soul because the upanishadic scriptures
including Antharyami brahmanam in Brihadaranyaka upanishad say like that.
In antaryami brahmanam it has been clearly spelt that jiva is body and paramatma is the soul.

The third adhikaranam in this pada is called Pratheekadhikarana.
This and Adhikarana next to this are out of context.
But these two adhikaranas came in to being to clear some doubts which arose from out of previous adhikarana.

In the third quarter of third chapter a mention was made regarding pratheeka upasana.
Prateeka means an organ of a body or Avayava. It is said mind should be meditated upon thinking it or assuming it as Brahman.
This is called pratheeka upasana. In other words meditation of an object thinking it as brahman is called
pratheeka upasana and it is also called as Drishtividhi (Viewing an object as Brahman).
This upasana is not a brahma vidya and moksha cannot be attained by this upasana.
The fruit of this upasana is only wordly that is a fruit which can be enjoyed in this world itself.
Even the meditation of Mukyaprana or breath is pratheeka upasana.
Now the doubt arises here is that when in brahma vidya the meditation has to be done on paramatma thinking him
as soul and upasaka as jiva, is it necessary to consider the object of meditation as Atma in pratheeka upasana also.

The purva pakshi (opponent) contends that pratheeka upasana is also an upasana without any distinction
and the same rule of treating the object of meditation as Atma or soul is also applicable here also.

This is refuted by Sutrakarar in his sutra “Na prateeke Na hi sa:”
which means that in pratheeka upasanam the above rule is not applicable because
the pratheeka cannot be the soul or atma to the meditator.

The Sutrakara however says that thinking of an object as brahman is always superior.
In day to-day life considering an inferior object as superior will always yield good results where as
considering a superior object as interior will have undesirable effect. The practical example for this is
thinking a servant as master some times yields good result while thinking a master as servant produces disastrous results.

The next adhikarana is Adithyadimathy adhikarana.
Though this is also out of context as stated above the sutrakarar includes this adhikaranam
to clear point which arises out of the conclusion of the preceeding adhikarana.
It was said an interior object should be considered as a superior object and meditated upon.

The Upanishadic text that comes up for discussion here is a statement in the 3rd sub division of
first chapter in chandogyopanishad where it is said the one who shines must be meditated as udgeetha.
The one who shines is the sun udgeetha is pranava and udgeetha vidya is meditation on pranava
in several ways which has been elaborately dealt with in the first two chapters of Chandogyopanishad.
It is said if a yaga (Sacrifice) is done along with Udgeetha vidya it will produce
quick and much better results for the yaga performed.

Now the question is as to between Adithya (Sun) and Udgeetha vidya which is superior.
The poorva pakshi contends just because and as Udgeetha vidya is superior to aditya because
it is the means for attaining quicker and better fruits in a yaga and there is no fruit from adithya.
So Adithya should be meditated upon considering him as udgeetha.

This is refuted by Sutrakara in the sutra “Adityadimatha ya:cha Anga upapaththe:”
which means Aditya alone is superior to udgeetha because by worshipping Aditya (Sun God) the fruits
which we desire can be obtained for the yagas which are performed. So udgeetha has to be meditated considering it as adithya.

The fifth adhikarana is called Aseenadhikaranam.
In this adhikaranam the topic for discussion is in which posture the meditation has to be done.
The posture may be sitting, standing, walking or sleeping.
This adhikarana has direct link with and in continuation of the second adhikarana.

The poorva pakshi says that nothing specific has been told anywhere in the upanishad scriptures
that meditation has to be done in a particular posture only.

The Sutrakara says in the sutra “Aseena: Sambhavath”
which says that mental concentration is possible in sitting posture only
and this mental concentration is very necessary for meditation.
In standing and walking postures which requires special effort on the part of the person attention gets perted.
In the sleeping posture if the meditator goes a sleep the meditation gets interrupted.

In the third sutra of this adhikarana the Sutrakara says for deep meditation body should not move or shake.

In the fourth or and fifth sutras of this adhikaranam cites some slokas in Sri Bhagavad Geetha
and one saying in Svetasvatara upanishad which contain specifications for the place and seat of meditation.
According to them the place should be a levelled one without undulations.
It should be a very pure place not touched by undesirable people meditation has to be done on the purified wooden seat.
The wooden seat which is also called Koorma asana should be not very height and at the same time not very low.
Over the wooden seat dharba grass has to be spread over the above the skin of the deer has to be placed
over which a cloth has to be placed. The entire thing provides cushioning effect to the meditator.

The place of meditation should not be near a fire, water. It should not be sandy and should not have
pebbles (tiny pieces of stone). There should not be any sound which would disturb the concentration.
The timing and place of meditation should be conducive to have mental concentration.

The Sixth adhikarana is called Aprayana Adhikaranam.
This adhikarana gives a reply to the question how long should the meditation last or till what day it should be done.

The poorva pakshi says even though the meditation has to be done repeatedly having a continuous flow of thought
on the lotus feet of Lord Sriman Narayana without break it would suffice if it is done for a day.
In refutation of the centention of poorva pakshi the Sutrakara says in the sutra
“Aprayanath thathrapihi drishtam” which means
this bhakthi yoga which is in the form of meditation has to be done till the day of journey or
departure of jiva from the mortal body.

So Aprayanath means till death. Prayana means last journey.
It is said in Chandogyopanishad that this bhakthi yoga should be done throughout the life.
Here a subtle point is to be noted. In Sri Bhashya it is said Bhakthi yoga has to be done till death.
In bhakthi yoga it cannot be prisaisly said how many births the bhakthi yoganishta
(a person who resorts the Bhakthi yoga for attaining moksha) takes after commencement of Bhakthi yoga before he attains Moksha.
The term till death in Sri Bhashya should refer to the death immediately after which the bhakthi yoganishta attains moksha.
In Upaya vibhaga adhikara of Srimad Rahasya traya sara, Sri Vedanta Desika clearly says that
the word in Aprayana means till the day of journey to Sri Vaikunta Divya loka.

The Seventh Adhikarana in this pada is called Tadadhigamadhikarana.
From this adhikarana till the end of this pada, the fruits that are being enjoyed by the Bhakthi yoganishta in this world itself.
The moment of commencement of Bhakthi yoga is the mental realisation of Lord Sriman Narayana.
This is called Darsana samana akara. This means the experience that one gets in mind
equal to that one gets when he actually sees Lord Sriman Narayana by his naked eyes.

The topic for discussion in this adhikarana is as follows.
There are some Upanishadic statements dealing with the destruction of sins committed by Bhakthi yoganishta
before he commences Bhakthi yoga and inadvertent sins committed by him after the commencement of Bhakthi yoga not touching him.

Sri Ramanuja in Sri Bhasya cites two statements in upanishads for the former and two statements for the latter.

The eighth adhikarana in this pada is called as Itharadhikarana.
In the previous adhikarana it was established that for a person who commences Bhakthi yoga for attaining moksha
that is eternal bliss as a first reward for a Bhakthi yoga, Lord Sriman Narayana wills that sins committed by the
upasaka (meditator or who does bhakthi yoga) before the commencement of upasana shall vanish and the
inadvertent sins committed by him shall not touch him. That is Lord Sriman Narayana shall not give
any punishment to upasaka for committing in advertent sins.

In this adhikarana the Sutrakara says on the same analogy punya (virtuous deeds) done by upasaka
prior to commencement of Bhakthi yoga and after the commencement will also vanish because punya is also a hurdle to attain moksha.
If moksha is to be attained there should be neither punya nor papa.
The only difference between punya and papa is that punya will vanish after the upasaka leaves his mortal body
at the conclusion of the upasana. The reason for this is that punya is required for upasaka
because on account of his punya only there will be rain and this rains is for cultivation of crop
which will provide food to the upasaka to sustain his body during upasana.

The ninth adhikarana in this pada is called “Anarabdha karyadhikaranam”.
The topic for discussion is whether punya and papa done before the commencement of the upasana
get vanished in its entirely or not. There is room for doubt in this regard because the upanishadic passage
says that papa gets vanished entirely. Punya is also reckoned as papa because it is also a block for attaining moksha.
If both punya and papa get vanished completely the upasaka cannot remain in this world even for a moment.
So it is necessary to decide which portion of papa and punya get vanished and which portion he has to enjoy.

The punya and papa which an individual acquires in every janma or birth and they get accumulated or
built up into a mountain is called sanchitha which has not yet commenced to give fruits which is called as phala.
The phala of punya is happiness where as the phala of papa is misery or suffering both mental and physical.
Sanchitha means stored or accumulated. This is called Anarabdha karya. If out of this sanchitha a portion of
punya and papa begins to give phala, this portion is called as Arabdhakarya or prarabdha.
This is just similar to storing paddy of several years in a grannery which is similar to sanchitha
from out of which a portion is taken out and hulled in to rice for day to day use. This is similar to prarabdha.

The Sutrakara in this adhikarana clearly spells out that vanishing of papa which the Lord Sriman Narayana wills
is applicable to only Anarabdha karya that is sanchitha papa and not an Arabdha karya (Prarabdha).
The reason cited by Sutrakara for the above is a passage in the sixth chapter of Chandogya upanishad
in which it is said that an upasaka cannot attain moksha until he is liberated from the bondage of punya , papa.

When in the Tadadhigamadhikarana it was clearly said as per an upanishadic passage in Chandogyopanishad
that sins (punya and papa) committed by upasaka prior to the commencement of upasana (Bhakthi yoga)
get destroyed like bales of cotton perish in a fire. The above two statements appear to be mutually contradicting.
To remove this contradiction it should be said that vanishing of punya and papa at the time of commencement of
upasana refers to Anarabdha karya and getting liberated from punya and papa just before the upasaka
that is jiva (who has done upasana) leaves the body must refer to Arabdha karya only that is Prarabdha karma comprising both punya and papa.

The tenth adhikarana in this pada is called Agnihothra dyadhikaranam.
In this another point arising out of disposal of punya and papa karma of an upasaka is also discussed.

In the 8th adhikarana the punya karma done by upasaka after the commencement of Bhakthi yoga does not touch
the upasaka that is it will not grant any fruit to the upasaka because punya also is a block for the upasaka to attain Moksha.
So when this punya karma being done after the commencement of Bhakthi yoga is not of any use to upasaka
the doubt naturally arises as to why this punya karma should be done.
This punya karma is in the form of Nitya naimittika karma (nitya means which is done daily and naimittika is
that done on special occassions like Ekadasi, Amavasya ceremonies of father and mother etc.).
The Agni hotra is to be done daily as prescribed in the kalpa sutra for overcoming the obstacle that arises every day for doing upasana.

The purva pakshi or opponent contended that when the punya karma does not grant any fruit to the upasaka
it need not be done at all.
So the Sutra “Agnihotradithu thath karyaya Eva thath darsanath” is in reply to the above.
This sutra that agnihotra etc are to be done daily to overcome the obstacles that may arise daily for doing upasana.
The term etc means varnadhrama dharma both nitya naimittika karma.

This Agnihothra is similar to upasana which has to be done daily (twice a day).
This Agnihothra is prerequisite for doing any yaga and other nitya naimittika karma.
So it is clear that Agnihotra have to be done daily to continue the upasana without interruption.

In this context a question arises, When punya karmas like Agnihothra etc give phala (fruits) in the form of
causing un interrupted upasana (meditation or Bhakthi yoga), then which punya of upasaka gets transferred
to the friends of upasaka. This question becomes relevant in this context because of an
upanishadic passage (Shatyana upanishath) in which it has been said that in the case of an upasaka
(Upasaka is also called as vidwan) at the time of his death his punya gets transferred to his friends
and his papa gets transferred to his foes (enemies).

In the second sutra of this adhikarana the Sutrakara himself clears the above doubt.
In this sutra it is said that in punya account of the upasaka there is a particular portion whose fruit
has not been enjoyed by the upasaka because of the fact that portion of punya has failed to grant fruits
to the upasaka on account of a block for the same. This block is caused by the will of Lord Paramatma
based on the severe sin committed by the upasaka. This unenjoyed and blocked punya gets transferred
to the friend of the upasaka at the time of the death of the upasaka.

The last adhikarana in this pada is called “Itara kshapanadhi karanam”.
The topic that is discussed here is as to when the upasaka attains moksha.
That is whether upasaka attains the moksha in the same birth (janma) in which he has commenced upasana
(meditation) or after taking several births (janmas) starting from the birth in which he commenced Bhakthi yoga or upasana.
There is a third doubt also in this context. That is whether one would attain moksha at the end of the birth
in which punya papa karma started giving fruits.

The upanishadic text that gives rise to the above doubts is a passage in the
6th chapter of Chandogyopanishad and 8th chapter of Chandogyopanishad.
In the 6th chapter it was said that the delay in the upasaka getting moksha is his not getting liberated
from the clutches of the prarabda karma which comprises both punya and papa.
In other words the upasaka attains moksha the moment his prarabda karma comes to an end or gets exhausted by
enjoying the fruits of punya and papa. It should be noted in this context that the fruit of punya is
the enjoyment of happiness and the fruit of papa is suffering. This suffering is of three types called Tapatraya.
The first is called Adhyatmika which pertains to the body and mind. The suffering of the body is by diseases.
The suffering of mind is by way of mental depression, agony or tension.
The second is Adhi bhauthika which is the physical and mental sufferings caused by his relatives, friends, enemies and surroundings.
The third one is called Adhidaivika which is the suffering of body and mind caused by the acts of providence
that is the will of the paramatma who causes torrential rains, floods, severe drought, cyclonic storms,
earth quakes, havocs of tidal waves and other natural disasters.

If the prarabdha of a person comes to an end or gets exhausted he or she cannot remain in this world even for a moment there after.

The second passage of the chandogyopanishad mentioned above refers to an upasaka saying that
I will attain paramatma in Sri Vai kunta pra loka which is also called Brahma loka after shedding
the papa like a horse sheds its hairs in the body, like the moon which comes out of the
clutches of Rahu during eclipse and after shedding this mortal body.

The poorva pakshi contends that the upasaka attains moksha at the end of the birth (Janma) in which
he commenced upasana there by meaning that the passage in the 6th chapter of chandogyopanishad
referred to above means the end of the birth in which he commenced upasana.

The Sutrakara refutes the above contention in the Sutra “Bhogena thu Itare Kshapayitva Atha Sampadyathe”.
The meaning of this sutra is that Upasaka attains moksha (Atha sampadyathe) after enjoying
the fruits of (Bhogena) prarabdha (Etare which means Arabda that is in other words the portion of the
accumulated punya papa karma which has started giving fruits) and then exhausting this Prarabdha (Kshapayitva).

According to this sutra the upasaka may exhaust his Prarabdha in one birth itself in which
he started doing upasana (meditation or Bhakthi yoga) or he may have to exhaust prarabdha by enjoying
the fruits of punya and papa by taking several births. There is no hard and fast rule regarding
the number of births he has to take before exhausting Prarabdha and then attaining moksha.

The conclusions arrived in the previous five adhikaranas can be summarised as below.
Manner of disposal of punya paka karma in the case of an upasaka or Bhakthi nishta.
1-First Classification:
The punya papa karma is classified in to the following four categories.
(a) Punya and papa karma the fruits of which are already enjoyed.
(b) Punya and papa karma the fruits of which are being enjoyed.
(c) Punya and papa karma whose fruits are going to be enjoyed.
(d) Punya and papa karma whose fruits cannot be enjoyed because of a block.
At the time of the death of the upasaka the punya in this category gets transferred to friends and papa to foes.

2-Second Classification:
Punya and papa done before the commencement of upasana is called poor vagha. This poor vagha is again classified as
(1) Datta phalam- fruits already granted and enjoyed.
(2) Adatta phalam – Punya and papa which have not yet commenced to give fruits.
Adatta phalam is further classified as
(1) That which has vanished by doing appropriate prayachchittam or atonement.
(2) That which is not vanished. This is called Avinashta phalam. This avinashta phalam is again classified as
(1) Prarabhda phalam – that which has commenced to give fruits.
(2) Apraarabdha phalam – That which has not yet commenced to give fruits.
When the upasaka commences upasana (Bhakthi yoga) this gets vanished which in other words gets freezed.
The real meaning of this is that Lord Sriman Narayana wills that the punya and papa in this category shall not give fruits to the upasaka.
The prarabdha phala is again classified as
(1)Vidyanukulam – That which is favourable to the upasana and promotes it.
(2) Ananukulam – That which is not favourable to the upasana.

This Ananukulam is further classified as
(1) Buddhi purvam – done knowingly.
(2) Abuddhi purvam – done not knowingly.
This papa portion of this particular category that is done in advertently does not touch the upasaka
which means that he need not enjoy the fruits of papa done unknowingly.
The punya done knowing or unknowingly after the commencement of upasana which is favoruable to upasaka
yield fruits to him by way of causing the rainfall, required for cultivation of crops.

As mentioned earlier the first quarter which dealt with the manner in which the Bhakthi yoga also called
upasana, Dyana or meditation has to be done for attaining moksha is called Avritti pada.

In the last of the eleven adhikaranas of this pada it was said
the upasaka who is also called meditator successfully completes upasana in one birth or taking several births
during which period he enjoys the fruits of the praarabda karma which comes to an end.
The moment the praarabda karma comes to an end, the upasana also gets concluded and the upasaka
the meditator becomes ready to leave the mortal body and reach Sri Vaikuntha para loka through the route called Archiradi marga.

——————————————

ஸ்ரீ கோயில் கந்தாடை அப்பன் ஸ்வாமிகள் திருவடிகளே சரணம் .
ஸ்ரீ உ. வே. ரங்கராமாநுஜ அய்யங்கார் ஸ்வாமிகள்- திருவடிகளே சரணம் .
ஸ்ரீ ஸ்ருதி பிரகாசர் ஸ்வாமிகள் திருவடிகளே சரணம் .
ஸ்ரீ போதாயனர் -வ்ருத்தி காரர் – ஸ்வாமிகள் திருவடிகளே சரணம்
ஸ்ரீ பாதராயணர் ஸ்வாமிகள் திருவடிகளே சரணம் .
ஸ்ரீ பெரிய பெருமாள் பெரிய பிராட்டியார் ஆண்டாள் ஆழ்வார் எம்பெருமானார் ஜீயர் திருவடிகளே சரணம்-

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