āṅgīrasaśreṣṭha

āṅgīrasaśreṣṭha

03-05-2020

03:06

@mlEchCha_slayer Since the incidents involving सीता in उत्तरकाण्ड has sparked fresh interest in this thread on अग्निपरीक्षा in युद्धकाण्ड, I will add a brief note on how those incidents have been interpreted in a particular tradition. Will untag since I don’t want to spam anyone’s notifications.

पिळ्ळै-लोकाचार्य, an आचार्य of श्री-वैष्णव सम्प्रदाय​ gives us his take on the two incidents of उत्तरकाण्ड. Before we see that, we need to understand how the श्री-वैष्णव-s have understood लक्ष्मी. There are two different schools within this tradition.+

Although this is not the thread to delve into the nuances of श्रीवैष्णव​ theology (& neither am I, a सिद्धान्ती-शैव​, the proper person to speak on them😀), I will just discuss one idea about श्री/लक्ष्मी in both schools of श्रीवैष्णव​म्--The idea of श्री being "पुरुषकार​".

In the context of श्रीवैष्णव theology, पुरुषकार​ is used to refer to श्री's intercessory nature--that is, her ability to stand between विष्णु (who is the परमात्मा for श्रीवैष्णव​-s) & the individual soul, the जीवात्मा).

In his श्री-वचन​-भूषणम् (SVB), पिळ्ळै-लोकाचार्य​ (PL) explains why श्री is indeed the best mediator/intercessor. He explains that she has 3 qualities which makes her specially suited for this role. +

1. कृपा (mercy for erring souls) 2. पारतन्त्र्य (Dependence on विष्णु) 3. अनन्य​-अर्हत्व (अनन्यार्हत्व​) (She is exclusively given to विष्णु) She is the model mediator because she fundamentally possesses compassion for the souls but she is also the model devotee because of 2 & 3.

So, what does this have to do with रामायण​ at all? So, PL explains that the three instances where सीता separates from राम​ in the रामायण​ are where these three qualities are displayed. What are the three instances of separation?+

1. The separation resulting from सीता's kidnapping by रावण​. 2. राम abandoning सीता due to rumors among subjects. 3. The final separation where सीता disappears into भूमि-देवी. How are the three qualities mapped? PL himself only states this in a short verse (वचन​).

The tamizh original of PL. He says here: The 1st separation (kidnapping) was to manifest her कृपा. The 2nd (exile due to rumors) was to manifest her पारतन्त्र्यम्. The 3rd (final disappearance into earth) was to manifest her अनन्यार्हत्वम्. (These terms have been defined above)

How does कृपा manifest during the 1st separation? PL's commentator मणवाळ​-मामुनिगळ् (MM) explains as follows: Tamil original with English translation in the next tweet:

Her separation was a source of mercy for both the souls already suffering under रावण​ as hostages (Her rescue will inevitably mean their freedom as well, given राम​'s goodness), as well as for those राक्षसी-s, who had tormented her throughout her stay.

We will continue this thread shortly.

Excerpts from the रामायण​, where the 2nd aspect of her कृपा is displayed--कृपा towards the राक्षसी-s.

Continuation of screenshots on her 1st quality: कृपा Her intercession saves the राक्षसी-s from certain death at the hands of हनुमन्.

MM's explanation of how 2nd separation manifests श्री's (सीता's) पारतन्त्र्यम् (Full dependence on विष्णु) tamizh original: Source: An english summary-translation in the next tweet:

English translation: The 2nd separation, when she is exiled, was, according to the commentarial tradition, designed to show her absolute subservience as the highest among जीवात्मा-s (in पिळ्ळै-लोकाचार्य's particular sub-school of श्री-वैष्णव​ thought) to राम (परमात्मा).

3rd Separation showing श्री's (सीता's) अनन्यार्हत्वम् (her being given to परमात्मा's exclusive ownership). In श्रीवैष्णव​ theology, all individual souls are owned by परमात्मा but they are not fully aware of this eternal ownership. But who embodies the full knowledge of this: श्री

MM's tamizh commentary on the 3rd separation (सीता's disappearance into earth): English summary-translation in next tweet:

Previously, सीता lived on during the 2nd separation only for राम​'s sake, symbolizing the जीवात्मा's dependence on the परमात्मा. In the 3rd separation, when no such purposes need to be served, she displays her being given exclusively to the ownership of राम​.

Both PL & MM understand these 3 separations as happening for the ultimate purpose of showing श्री's model qualities as the highest जीवात्मा. Thus, the sufferings, suspicion & tests to demonstrate purity are only covers for the lessons she imparts here, as per this tradition.



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