Who is a Srivaishnava?

Translation of an article by Sri PB Annangaracharyar Swami

In the divine work Sri Vacana Bhushanam by Swami Pillai Lokacharyar, there are many wonderful sutras. Amongst which is a beautiful one that goes "kuRRam seythavaragaL pakkal poRaiyum, krupaiyum, sirippum, ugappum, upakAra- Smruthiyum nadakka vENum".

As Manavala Mamunigal says in his work Upadesa Ratthinamalai "Ar vacanabUdaNaththin AzhporuL ellAm aRivAr? Ar athusol nEril anuttipAr?", there is not one in this world that can match their acts to this good word. However, even if we are not able to follow it, it would be good to at least understand it. Its meaning is as follows: If someone were to commit a sin or a crime against us, we should be patient with them; we should give them our grace; we should smile at them; we should appreciate them; and, we should be thankful to them.

  1. We should neither pay them back with a wrong act nor detest them in our mind for their act. This is being patient with them.
  2. When a person commits a crime against a devotee (bhAgavata apachAram), it is guaranteed that the Lord will punish them. Therefore, we should remain very concerned about them that even if we are patient the Lord is bound to punish them. This is giving them grace.
  3. What does it mean when someone commits a wrong against us? It is abusing us by stating that we have many poor qualities or that we have committed wrongful thingss. We should think about what bad things are likely to hapen to us due to this abuse. There are two kinds of bad things: one that happens in this world and one that happens in the other world. It is very clear that they cannot create a bad thing for us in the other world. But they can make a bad thing happen to us in this world. For example, they can prevent someone from giving us some wealth. Were that to happen, we should take delight that we lost something that was not worth keeping and not feel bad. Being that the case, we should feel that these people are silly thinking that we will be worried by the bad things created by their abuse, and smile at them.
  4. When someone does a bad thing to us, they can insult our body but not our soul. This body is actually an enemy to us. Therefore we should be pleased with them for insulting our enemy. Also, as these worldy things are not needed for us, we should appreciate them for preventing us from obtaining these things.
  5. We should always be aware of our wrongdoings, but we are not. Beign that the situation, we should thank them greatly for their help in reminding us of them.

If even one of these five qualities were to happen within us, it is equivalent to winning the three worlds.

Were that to happen, there is no higher qualification to being a Srivaishnava.