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Re: ref: prapatti

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani_at_Crissy.Stanford.EDU)
Date: Thu May 26 1994 - 15:39:35 PDT

I think in Ramanuja's time, the terms "bhakti" and "prapatti" were
not quite as distinct as they became two centuries later, i.e., in 
the time of Pillai Lokacarya and Vedanta Desika.  For example, 
Parasara Bhattar, who was a boy at the time of Ramanuja's death,
uses the terms "bhakti" and "bhaktiyoga" to mean simply chanting
the names of the Lord, singing his praises, and clasping ones
hands together in surrender. (Bhagavad-guNa DarpaNa, a commentary
on the Vishnu SahasranAmam -- the name of the work itself is quite 
wonderful -- "Mirror of the Lord's Qualities".) Tirukurukai Piraan
Pillaan, the first commentator on the Tiruvaymozhi, uses bhaktiyoga
in a similar manner. 

Regarding the term bhakti, in fact, Vedanta Desika is obliged to say
in his commentary on Sri Ramanuja's Vaikuntha Gadyam that Ramanuja's
statement that he wants "bhakti" means that he wants bhakti as an end,
not a means for moksha.  Similarly, I think one of our acharyas has
said that once one has dedicated oneself to PerumaaL, she or he
should pray only for bhakti and jnaanam; that is the sign of true
surrender.

Anyway, I don't think that anyone would deny that bhakti 
and prapatti go hand in hand; one really cannot have one without
the other, no matter how one defines "bhakti".

Mani