Author Archives: saranayaki

Beginner’s guide – apachArams (offenses)

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

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parASara, vyAsa, vEdhavalli and aththuzhAy enter ANdAL pAtti’s house.

pAtti: Welcome children. Wash your hands and feet. I will give you fruits offered to perumAL. Do you know what is special this month?

parASara: I will tell pAtti. It is manavAla mAmunigaL’s birth month.  His birthday / thirunakshathram is on thamizh month “aippasi” & star “thirumUlam”.

vEdhavalli : Yes. This month is also the birth month of mudhal AzhwArgal, sEnai mudhaliAr and piLLai lOkAchAryar. Am I right pAtti ?

pAtti: Well said. We have seen about AzhwArs, AchAryAs, anushtAnams/best practices, kainkaryam/service so far. Next we will learn about apachArams.

vyAsa: pAtti, what is apachAram?

pAtti: apachAram is an offense committed towards emperumAn or his adiyArs (devotees). We should always be keen on pleasing emperumAn and his adiyArs. Any action which will displease emperumAn and bhAgavathAs is an apachAram. We can see what are the apachArams (offenses) that we should avoid.

aththuzhAy: pAtti, can you please explain in detail?

pAtti: Yes. For SrIvaishNavas, SAsthram is the base/foundation/guide. Our pUrvAchAryas were extremely respectful to SAsthram and followed their anushtAnams/best practices properly. They were very fearful to commit any offense to emperumAn and his devotees. So, we should also be cautious all the time to avoid apachArams. Now we can see one by one (types of apachAram) in detail. Firstly we will see about bhagavath apachAram.

vyAsa: committing apachArams to emperumAn is bhagavath apachAram, am I right pAtti?

pAtti: Yes, you are correct. The following are listed as bhagavath apachAram.

  • To consider emperumAn at par with other dhEvathAs including brahma, Siva, vAyu, varuNa, indhra is an offense.

  • After becoming a SrIvaishNava, worshipping other dhEvathAs is also a bhagavath apachAram. All are emperumAn’s creations.
  • Not performing nithya karmAnushtAnams comes under bhagavath apachAram. nithya karmAnushtAnams are emperumAn’s commands to us, so we must obey his words. If we do not act as per his orders, it means we are committing offense. Hope you all remember that we have discussed about this earlier.

parASAra: Yes pAtti. vyAsa and I are performing sandhyAvandhanam everyday without fail.

pAtti: Happy to hear that you are following nithya karmAnushtAnams.

  • Next important thing we should avoid is to consider avathArams such as rAma, krishNa as normal or even super power humans. emperumAn out of his love and mercy for his devotees took his avathArams, to help us all.

  • To consider us to be independent and take possession in this materialistic world. We should understand that all are subservient to emperumAn and act accordingly.
  • To steal things that belongs to emperumAn. This includes stealing emperumAn’s properties like his vasthram (clothes), thiruvAbaraNam (ornaments) and immovable properties like his land etc.

aththuzhAy: Very interesting to hear pAtti, can you explain us about bhAgavatha apachAram?

pAtti: Sure aththuzhAy. committing apachArams to emperumAn’s adiyArs comes under bhAgavatha apachArams. Among bhagavath apachAram and bhAgavatha apachAram, bhAgavatha apachAram is the most cruel one. emperumAn can’t tolerate the sufferings of his devotees. so we should be cautious to avoid bhAgavatha apachArams. The following are listed as bhAgavatha apachAram.

  • considering other SrIvaishNavas equal to us. we should always consider ourselves lower than other SrIvaishNavas .
  • we should not hurt anyone both physically and mentally.
  • disrespecting a SrIvaishNava based on his/her birth, knowledge, acts, wealth, place of living, colour etc must be avoided.

Our pUrvAchAryas have maintained strict standards while dealing with other SrIvaishNavas. They were very cautious all the time not to displease/upset other SrIvaishNavas. They treated everyone with dignity.

vEdhavalli: pAtti, We will surely avoid such apachArams and make emperumAn happy.

Remaining three kids (in chorus): yes pAtti.

pAtti: Very good dear children. So far I have taught you many things about our sampradhAyam. Next time when you visit here, will teach you more. Now it’s getting very dark outside. It is time for you all to leave.

Children : We have learnt so much pAtti. We will try to put these teachings in to practice as much as possible by the grace of emperumAn and AchAryas.

pAtti: Very happy to hear.

The children leave happily to their home thinking about the conversation they had with pAtti.

adiyen sAranAyaki rAmAnuja dAsi

Beginner’s guide – kainkaryam (Service)

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

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parASaran, vyAsan, vEdhavalli and aththuzhAy enter ANdAL PAtti’s house.

ANdAL pAtti: Welcome children. Wash your hands and feet, I will give you fruits offered to perumAL. Did you celebrate ALavandhAr’s thirunakshathram?

parASaran: Yes, We celebrated well. We had good dharSan at ALavandhAr’s sannidhi. There,
they celebrated thirunakshathram in a grand manner. Our father taught us ALavandhAr’s
vAzhi thirunAmam and we also recited the same in our home.

ANdAL pAtti: Very happy to hear.

vEdhavalli: Last time you told us that you will tell the importance of kainkaryam. Do you remember that pAtti?

ANdAL pAtti: Yes, I remember. I am very happy that you remember and you asked me this.
kainkaryam is doing service for emperumAn and his devotees. Our kainkaryam should make
emperumAn happy and please his heart.

vyAsan: If emperumAn will become happy then we are very eager to do kainkaryams to him. How can we do kainkaryams pAtti ?

ANdAL pAtti: We can do kainkaryam with our heart (mAnasIka kainkaryam), our words (vAchika
kainkaryam) and with our body (SarIra kainkaryam). ANdAL nAchchiyAr also said the same
in her thiruppAvai 5th pAsuram that we can sing his glories, think about him and offer
flowers to him. By this way we can please his heart. Thinking about emperumAn’s divine qualities falls under mAnasIka kainkaryam. Praising/singing his divine glories and speaking about emperumAn and his devotees’ greatness, very importantly, reciting AzhwAr’s hymns and pUrvAchAryas’ sthothrams make emperumAn very happy. These kainkaryams fall under vAchika Kainkaryam. Cleaning emperumAn’s temple premises/sannidhi, decorating his premises/sannidhi by drawing kOlams (beautiful shapes), by making garlands, grinding sandal paste for his thiruvArAdhanam etc fall under SarIra kainkaryam. First, we have do possible kainkaryams to emperumAn at our homes. emperumAn happily accepts kainkaryam performed by kids like you.

parASaran: You have explained this very well pAtti. We will happily participate in thiruvArAdhanam performed by our father at our home.

ANdAL pAtti: Good to hear.

aththuzhAy: vEdhavalli and I will participate in drawing kOlam, making garlands etc.

ANdAL pAtti: Very happy to hear aththuzhAy. Another important aspect is, doing kainkaryams to emperumAn’s adiyArs (devotees) is more important than doing kainkaryams to emperumAn. Example, lakshmaNa did all kainkaryams to emperumAn SrI rAma but Sathrugna did kainkaryams to SrI rAmA’s dear brother and devotee bharatha. Also, nammAzhwAr considered his dear krishNa as his food, water and betel leaves/nuts, but madhurakavi AzhwAr considered nammAzhwAr as his only Lord. This emphasises the greatness of emperumAn’s adiyArs. So, we should always be devotees of emperumAn’s adiyArs.

aththuzhAy: As you said, we will definitely give priority to do kainkaryams to emperumAn’s adiyArs. But how do we serve the devotees pAtti?

ANdAL pAtti: When devotees visit our homes, we should offer obeisances to them and make them feel comfortable. We should assist them as necessary. We should also enquire wonderful charithrams about emperumAn, AzhwArs and AchAryas from them and try to learn as much as possible from them. We should humbly ask them if they need any help in their kainkaryams and support them. There are many such ways one can engage in kainkaryams for devotees.

aththuzhAy: Sure pAtti. We get an idea about it now. We will certainly look out for such opportunities.

(Other three kids also say “Yes” in chorus)

ANdAL pAtti: Very happy to hear dear kids.

vEdhavalli: PAtti, It is very interesting to listen your words. Please tell us more.

ANdAL pAtti: I will be very happy to explain more it but now it’s getting very dark outside. Next time, we will discuss another topic. Now, you all should go to your homes.

The children leave happily to their homes thinking about the wonderful conversation they had with ANdAL pAtti.

adiyen sAranAyaki rAmAnuja dAsi