|Lord Hari, the paramAtmA|
Thus far, we have seen the glories of the great Lord Hari-Vishnu-Narayana thus: According to the Eternal Vedic Religion, He is the eternal Lord of the Universe, who is also very generous and accessible to His devotees, and He is the Supreme Lord of the eternal Vedic Scriptures.
One may now ask "What is the use of knowing all this? How am I going to be benefited? Let your Lord grace you folks as he pleases. Why should I care at all?" Acharya Sri Parasara Bhattar exactly addresses these questions in the introductory portion of the bhagavad-guNa-darpaNa commentary to the shrI viSNu sahasranAma stotra. In this post, I will simply transcribe the English translation of this portion written by the late Sri Uttamur Viraraghavacharya Swami. Before that, let us fill our eyes with the divine image of Sri Parasara Bhattar, and also fill our minds with the contemplation of the verse in praise of this Acharya, and then next to that Sri Bhattar's own answer, in English --
|Sri Parasara Bhattar|
shrI parAshara bhaTTAryaH shri ra"ngesha purohitaH |
shrIvatsA"nka sutaH shrImAn shreyase me-astu bhUyase ||[May Sri Parasara Bhattar, the son of shrI shrIvatsA"nka (a.k.a. kUresha or kUrattAlvAn), who has superior wealth of knowledge, and serving as the PurOhithar for Lord RanganAtha bless me with all auspiciousness!]
We see in this world that any intelligent person, after having gained some knowledge of the objects of human pursuit through the sources of knowledge (such as perception, inference etc.), desires to enjoy the good things of life like flowers, sandal, gold, etc., to eschew things like knife, thorns, etc., which are unpleasant, and is indifferent to neutral things like a log of wood or stone or mud. Of these, the two puruSArthas (objects desired by men) known as artha and kAma (wealth and pleasures) are experienced by means of actual direct perception and inference. They are to be given up, because they are associated with innumerable imperfections like the following: They (1) are petty, (2) lead to harmful consequences, (3) are disgusting, (4) are evanescent, (5) are mixed with distressful things, and (6) are not even easily obtainable. On the other hand, (the other two primary objects of human pursuit) dharma (virtue) and paratattva (salvation) can be learnt only from scriptures. They are opposed to the other two puruSArthas (i.e., artha and kAma) and are full of beneficent qualities. Therefore, the shAstras (scriptures and works of religious authority) and their teachings are to be preferred. As is proclaimed with one voice by those learned in the itihAsa-s (epic history) and the purANa-s:
satyaM satyaM punaH satyam-uddhRtya bhujamucyate | vedashAstrAt-paraM nAsti na daivaM keshavAt-param ||
[Truth, this is the Truth, and again this is the Truth. This is proclaimed with hands uplifted-- "No shAstra (authority) is higher than the Vedas, no God higher than keshava"]
- Sri Parasara Bhattar in the introductory portion of bhagavad-guNa-darpaNa
Sri Bhattar recounts here a famous statement of Bhagavan Veda Vyasa in the Mahabharata that Lord Narayana, who is known by the appellation keshava, is the Highest of all Lords, and is the greatest object of pursuit. All other material pursuits are to be given up, as they lead to results that are impermanent (ephemeral) and mixed with pain, and even the process of obtaining these material desires involve huge pain. Let us then bow down to the lotus feet of Sri Parasara Bhattar and other great Acharyas so that we may ever be involved in contemplating on the Lord alone, who is the only eternal object of enjoyment.