Sreemathey Ramanujaya Namaha
Sreemadh Varavara Munaye Namaha
Sree Venkata Gurave Namaha
Respected Bhagavtha Bandhus,
Sri Vaishnavam is a sanathana dharma, Sri Vaishnavam is not a caste, it is a group or association, with which one has to associate to reach HIM. Followers of Sri Vaishnavam are called Sri Vaishnavas, it is a broad based universal religion which is open to one and all independent of caste, creed, gender and scholarship of the individual. Our Sri Vaishnava siddhantam is as old as Veda itself, All the vedas, upanishads, ithihasa puraanas and the Pancharatra and Vaikanasa Vaishnava agamas undoubtedly establish the supremacy of Lord Sriman Narayana, who is worshipped through the Ashtakshari Mantra that is “Om Namo Narayanaya” In Mumukshupadi Swamy Pillai lokachariar, in 1st sutra, says mumUkshuvukku aRiya vENdiya rahasyam mUnRu. meaning: There are three Rahasyas that one who craves Moksha (liberation) has to know for sure 2nd sutra says athil prathama rahasyam thirumanthram meaning: Amongst the three rahasyas the first rahasyam that a mumukshu has to know is the Thiru ashtakshara mahamanthram, that is “Om Namo Narayanaya” Swamy gives 1st preference to this Thirumanthram because it contains many meanings, so therefore it has to be learnt first and is the refuge of all prapannas This mantra is so special because
1)This mantra grants us Paramapadham
2)It is the one which showers us with all benefits
3)It is the mantra which is always chanted by Mumukshus (One who aspire for Moksha)
4)It is the one which bears us the fruit of Moksha
5)It is the mantra which enhances the bakthi/devotion and knowledge of the person chanting it
6)It is the mantra which even nullifies the greatest sins
7)This is the mantra, which always adheres the lips of Sri Vaishnavas
8)This is the mantra, which cleanses and purifies the chanter
9)This mantra is most pleasing and dearer to the Lord Sriman Narayana
10)The meanings of the four Vedas (Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharvana) are contained within this manthra.
11)It is considered as the best amongst manthras, the best amongst rahasyas, and the best amongst the best things.
12)The three important vyApaka manthras are:
1. Om Namo Narayanaya
2. Om Namo Bagavade Vasudevaya
3. Om Namo Vishnave
Amongst these three, the Ashtakshara manthra which is also known as the Periya Thirumanthra is considered the highest. Just as there is no being superior to Sriman Narayana, so also there is no manthra superior to the Ashtakshari manthra. Also, one can see the greatness of this manthra by the fact that it is the first to be taken in the Vishnu Gayathri manthra. Thirumangai Alwar in his Periya Thiurmozhi clearly explains this
Kulam Tharum Selvam Thanthidum Adiyar Padu Thuyar Ayinavellam Nilam taram seyyum Neel Visumbhu arulum Arulodu Perunilam alikkum Valam Tharum Marrum Thanthidum Petra Thayinum Ayina Seyyum Nalam Tharum Sollai Naan Kandukondein NARAYANA ennum Namam.The meaning of this pasuram is The Narayana nama will give to those who recite it, a high class, wealth, it will destroy all that cause suffering to His devotees, it will give them moksha, it will provide them His grace and the strength to remain in His anubhava, and give all good things that are seeked by them. It does more than what a mother would do to a child. Thus, the Thirumanthra will provide all the good things that are seeked by those who keep reciting it.
The Do’s of Sri Vaishnava
First as a Sri Vaishnava we must know/learn the following:-
1)The bedha or the difference between the shareeram(body) & the athama (soul), that means shareera athma bhavam which is the most important concept in the Ramanuja siddhantham or Sri Vaishnava Siddantham. The two thatvams the chetanas (all living beings) and achetanas (all non living beings)are all the sareeram(body) of the lord, and the emperumaan is the athma for these chetanas and achetanas.
2)Knowing the difference between aathma and paramathma, Our Sri Vaishnavisim calls for sehsatvam, (that is every jeevatma is the slave to paramathma) and we should know that we don’t have the choice to act independently. In fact all jeevathmas(both male and females) are considered as females and the Lord only is the Purushotthaman.
3)To know the difference between the supreme lord Sriman Narayana and anya/other devathas & taking refuge only in emperumaan and subservience only to HIM and none else.
4)To know the difference between gurus who teach other sashtras and the guru who give us bramha gynam
5)To know the difference between other mantras and the “Ashatkshara Manthra”
6)To understand the difference between other upayas and “siddho upaya”
The Don’t s of Sri Vaishnava
1)A Sri Vaishnava firstly should refrain from doing Bhagavath apacharam and Bhaagavatha apacharam Bhagavath apacharam means
a)Visualizing any other devatas as equal or superior to Sriman Narayana
b)Treating Vibhava avatarams of Emperumaan like Rama or Krishna as mere humans
c)Treating the lord’s archa moorthies in temples (as made up of mud, metal, wood etc)
d)Having giving an ear to Naasthikas
e)Polluting the temples and mutts/ashrams
f)Thinking that our athma is independent, and not a slave to emperumaan
g) Just standing without paying obeisances to emperumaan, when he is in processions (during thiruveedi purappadu)
h)Eating the food without offering or doing aaradhanai to HIM
i)Reading, Srimadh Ramayanam, Mahabaratham and Srimad Bhagavatham as mere novels or story books
j)When listening to kalakshepam, or emperumaan gunas, wearing footwear is forbidded and Bhaagavatha apacharam means
a)Speaking ill of bhagavathas with respect to their caste
b)Treating difference between bhagavathas with respect to their financial status
c)Neglecting bhagavathas with respect to their shareera doshas/avaya doshas
d)Doubting the fact, that acharyan thiruvadi is the cause of our spiritual upliftment
e)Not treating all the kainkarya parargal as the same particularly in temples
f)teasing bhagavathas, and taking away their assets etc
By being slaves to emperumaan and doing kainkaryam is great, but being slaves to his thondars/adiyars is even greater. Bhaagavatha seshathvam is held with superiority even by alwars Lord’s creations can be classified in seven types namely Devas, Humans, Thriyak (animals which walk (across) with 4 legs and birds), Thavaras (plants), Kirumi (bacteria), Puzhu (worms), Poochi (insects)
Out of these, we are being blessed with Manushya Janama, which has six senses, which knows what is good or bad, questioning sense, and Intellectual quest. Even in this birth also we suffer, from hunger, age, disease, distress factors so thondaradipodi alwar prays emperumaan to not to give him birth again “Aadhalaal piravi veenden arangama nagarulanee” that means alwar asks for moksham.and sharangathi’s destination is nothing but MOKSHAM, this is also the goal of every SrI Vaishnava, to escape from the cycle of birth & death. Thus let us surrender and take refuge in Emperumaan and chant his nama to attain the eternal abode of the Lord.
Adiyen Ramanuja Dasan