Applied Esoteric unwrapped
o show that the “Tamil Vedas”-
as the 'Prabandhas' of the Aalvars are called-
clarify what is only implied in their Sanskrit original by citing texts from both in support, calls for separate and lengthy treatment. For the purpose of a preface, suffice it to give two or t
all the fundamental topics of philosophy (Tatva, Hita and Purushartha) the T
ruth, the M
eans and the G
oal, what is suggested or implicitly stated in the Sanskrit texts is made explicit and clear in the Tamil verses. Referring to the Jiva, the individual soul, the view of the Vedas is given In the Vedanta Sutra II-3-19 which states: “A knower only”, meaning that, that is the distinguishing feature of the soul, that is neither mere knowledge nor it is Jada(non-intelligent).An equally innate character of the soul, namely its subservience to Him(daasya) is but faintly indicated in the Sanskrit texts of the verses, while it is made clear beyond doubt by Nammaalvaar, and in Ramanuja’s school, this characteristic of Jiva is given more prominence than knower-ship.
, reference may be made to the Vedanta Sutra III-3-56. On the question whether all the Brahma Vidays taught in the Upanishads are one or they are different, the Sutra gives the conclusion: “They are different, for the words and the rest(describing them) are different.” For holding one Vidya different from another, among the tests to be applied are the words actually used in the text. The terms used in the Upanishad are “veda”, “upaasitha” etc. The Taittiriya, text however uses the word “yunjitha” with reference to the Vidya known as “nyaasa”, thus distinguishing this Vidya as different from others. In holding that this Vidya is included within the scope of this Sutra, Ramanuja and his followers rely on the authority of Nammaalvaar, the foremost exponent of “Nyasa Vidya” or means of surrender.
the concluding Sutra IV-4-22, in which, basing on saastras, the text only asserts: “There is no return, there is no return, it is so stated in the Sabda(Vedas)”. The mere statement of the Vedas, according to Ramanuja, cannot bind the Supreme Being, a Svatantra. And so, turning to the saying of Nammaalvaar and quoting in support of the text of the Gita, Ramanuja asserts that it is His will not to send a devotee back to this world. For, to do so, will nullify all the efforts taken by Him in search of a Jnaani. Truly, one does not forsake what one has secured after a long quest. Thus it will be seen that but for the light and leading provided by Nammaalvaar, Ramanuja and his predecessors could not have explained the mystic texts of the Sanskrit Vedas in the way they have actually done.
he earliest exponents of Visishtadvaita have, therefore, freely called to their aid the works of the Aalvars in Tamil, particularly Nammaalvaar, the chief of them, in comprehending the Vedic texts which presented difficulty in exposition. Following the line of these predecessors, Ramanuja not only write his Bhashya , a commentary on the Vedanta sutras of Vyasa, but also studied, before expounding them, the works of Nammaalvaar, under an aacarya of accredited authority. Hence, it is that Ramanuja by right, and his followers down to the present day, by courtesy, are called “Veda-Maarga-Pratishtaapakas” and “Ubhaya Vedanta Pravartakaas” (the founder of the Vedic path and the propagators of both Vedas, Sanskrit and Tamil).