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Navaratna Malai – Book – Information – Content

Navaratna Malai is a work of Pillai-Lokacharya of Srirangam (14th century). It is one of the 18 rahasya (secret works) written for posterity, it says that a surrendered individual has to consider the following nine factors in order to lead a meaningful life.

Himself – He should know the distinction between being and body. His being is eternal and is the very manifestation of knowledge (jnana) and bliss (ananda). He has to remember that God alone is the bestower of the fruit of action and that he is not the cause of his works. This must be his constant attitude.

His Body – The body should be considered an enemy as it does not allow a person to know his true nature. It is anitya (mortal) and ever-changing. It is not the source of knowledge. It creates ignorance and sorrow and leads one towards sensual objects.

Relatives – They destroy self-knowledge and knowledge about God. They distract individuals form Godhead and delay the process of realization. They confuse being with body and aggravate pride and selfishness.

Samsarins (sentient beings) – They should be considered detrimental to God-intoxication and God’s works.

Other deities (other than Narayana) – Being ignorant and powerless, other deities obtain their status only from the Supreme God Narayana.

Srivaishnavas – They catalyze one’s devotion to God, increase knowledge about God, and help in detachment. They are our refuge, friends, philosophers and guides.

Acharya (preceptor) – He is the one who molds the aspirant and teaches him the secrets of life.

Consort of Vishnu (Goddess Lakshmi) – She is responsible for forgiving our wrong arts and reducing the wrath of God.

Ishwara (God) – He is the guiding and driving principle of beings as an antaryamin (indweller in our hearts). He develops in one all good qualities, like friendship and motivation, and shows the road to emancipation.