Sri Raghavendra Swamiji has many facets. One that is most popular is that he is a godman, mystic healer etc. This in fact, is not a significant quality that we need to find in him. It is true that he is like kaamadhenu and kalpavriksha fulfilling all the worldly desires of his devotees. What is more important of him is, he is a true guru, king of gurus – gurusaarvabhouma. He guides us in the right path, he stands with us in understanding the sacred books with his simple and clear explanations. Let us have a look at one such guidance he provides as just an example.
We have a sloka in Bhagavad Geeta where Duryodhana explains the strength of both the armies standing in kurukshetra ready to strike. He says “aparyaaptam tadasmaakam balam bheeshmaabhi-rakshitam, paryaaptam tvidameteshaam balam bheemaabhi-rakshitam”. Says, our army that is protected by Bheeshma is aparyaapta and the other one protected by Bheema, is paryaapta.
The word paryaapta has two meanings – “limited” and “adequate / capable”. Many have interpreted this shloka by adopting the meaning “limited” for the word paryaapta. It would thus mean that Duryodhana is considering his army as unlimited, vast and hence is far more powerful than the other one which is limited. However, Sri Raghavendra Swamiji chooses the later meaning and says “aparyaaptam – paandavajaye na samartham” – our army is not capable of winning the paandava army.
How is Sri Raghavendra Swamiji’s interpretation is correct and not of others? Let us look at the very next words of Duryodhana – he says “let everyone provide a cover to Bhishma”. In response Bhishma blows the conch to lift his moods (tasya sanjanayan harsham). These facts indicate the existence of a doubt in the mind of Duryodhana on the capabilities of his army. Should it not then be that the word “aparyaapta” means “incapability” or “inadequacy”?
We need Sri Raghavendra Swamiji as a guru, more than anything else, in guiding us to understand the complex philosophical nuances.