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Re: Response to some BHAKTI issues

From: Krishna Kalale (kkalale_at_qualcomm.com)
Date: Tue Apr 29 1997 - 18:11:38 PDT

  Kalale points out this text is not from the body of the arulic-
>cheyal (divya-prabandham) itself.   (Is Shri Kalale possibly a native 
>marAThi-speaker?    If so, it is gratifying evidence that discussions on
>AzhvAr theme are enlisting scholars outside of the Tamil heartland!) 

Hi  SHRI T.S. Sundara Rajan,  many folks mistake me that I am a marathi.  I
am not.  My mother tongue is tamil.
I am a srivaishnava by birth.  Please note that I am not a scholar by any
measure, particularly not in Alwar Literature.


>also possibly emerge from the text; 'padma-patram ivAmbhasA' (like the
>lotus
>leaf arising from water but remaining un-wetted), ~~  and 'dvA suparNAh'
>(like the bird that passively looks on while its companion pecks at the
>berries off the branch where they rest), ~~ both from the Bhagavad GeetA


Please note:  Dva suparna analogy is from the Upanisads and not from
Bhagawadgita

>
>Kalale makes an incidental remark, "if we strive towards spiritual
>progress,
>we may reach arciradi marga".    Good action has, no doubt, its built-in
>good effect, but in my humble opinion, a life of spiritual protocol is
>not
>to be regarded in terms of input-output situation.   We are to practise
>the
>religious observances merely because they are prescribed in the sAstra:
>sAsan trAyate iti sAstram (it protects by ordaining).    There is always
>the question whether we speak of the authentic sAstram, or get beguiled
>by
>false and cynical texts ('poi noolaiye mei noolenRu', in the words of
>Tirumangai mannan).   For the present, I will merely cite two texts: 
>"yameva esha vrNute tena hi labhyah" and, "aduvum avanadu innarule". 
>
>============================================================================
>

This is a serious controversy between "nirhetuka krpa" and "sa hetuka krpa"
- (grace without reason and grace with reason.  NOTE: I DONT WANT TO START
A CHAIN OF CRITICISMS ETC. ON THIS CONCEPT.  ALL I WANT TO DO IS TO POINT
OUT SOME ISSUES REGARDING THIS EFFORT Vs. NO EFFORT 

Incidentally, if one sees the sribhasya, -  tadvadseekaranam
tachharanagatireva.  (to attain or control the lord, one has to do
Sharanagati - is the statement made by Sri Ramanuja. 

If everything is God's grace, we need not even follow any religious
observance!! One need not do nityakarmas also!! "Oh what fun!! no
sandhyavandana no shraddha, no nothing!, not even thinking of Lord's
names".  CAn I make this conclusion?

NOT AT ALL.  

Even the injunctions such as : tasmad yogi bhavarjuna, "be a yogi, O ARjuna"

and even injuntions like " man mana bhava, madbhaktaha madyaji, maam
namaskuru" - " keep me in my mind, be devoted to me, offer sacrifices to
me, bow down to me" - bhagawadgita :  
State that one should strive or do something towards a goal.

if I flout these laws in the shastras, I will most probably not be chosen -
( note: yam eva esa vrunute ).  HE will choose who will be dear to him.
WHo will be dear to him ?
One who observes his ajnas (commandments) which are the commandments ? --
shruti smrithir mamaiva ajna - ie. srutis and smrithis.  

Even for one who observes religious commandments, Fruit is not gauranteed
since,

brahma sutras state : phalam ata upapatteh - the fruit is only from HIM.
Note, HE is the main giver of fruit and he is independent.  Nothing can
bind him.  An individual's action is a sahakari karana - ie. associate
cause not the prime cause.  If one does not have to do anything, why not
GOD grace everyone the paramapada right now?. God does have grace for all
beings - ie. this is known as sahaja karunya - or common grace, ie. giving
each of us a brain and say some normal functionality for us to lead this
life. But special karuna - or special grace is showered only to the
deserving based on karma.  one element of karma is the free-will which
should be excercised to evoke God's grace.

Even though the phalam is only because of HIM, one has to atleast staY
WITHIN  some norms.  

Note that bhaktiyoga in the shastras is a VIDHI - ie. a commandment stating
do this - upasitavyah - He should be meditated upon.  

If a particular ALWAR's experience of GOD - seems to be without any effort,
all it means is that such an effort was done in a prior JANMA.  In the case
of NAMMALWAR or Tiruppanalwar, neither is the  prior janma issue is valid,
since they are NITYA SURIS according to our tradition;  NOR can we compare
us to NITYASURIS!!

NOTE: if an ALWAR states : what did I do really? nothing! compared to the
GRACE of my LORD.  THis is OK as it just states that effort is only a VYAJA
or reason only not significant at all compared to the great gift graced by
LORD.

PLease note the parallel in karma yoga - karma yoga has to be done, with
(SATVIKA TYAGA) the feeling that he is not the karta (agent), the fruits
thereof is not for him but bhagawat preetyartham (to please the lord), the
karmayoga itself is not an upaya or act, just an observance of scriptural
injunction; but there is a goal - atmasaksatkara.  Similarly, prapatti is
also done this way.

BUT, Lord Krishna States: 'karmanyeva adhikaraste,  ma phalesu kadachana,
ma karma phala hetur bhooh, ma te sanghostu akarmani!!.  Ie. YOU (arjuna
and others) should not refrain from "WORK" or KARMA.

I just want to make a point that, ascribing all activities and achievements
to GOD, no doubt proves ultimate glorification of LORD, BUT could
potentially cause chaos in the minds of the aspirants, if they think that
they have no responsibility whatsoever.

While doing anything for instance, one could say, HE is behind this thing I
am doing. But cannot completely resign and state, let HIM do everything, I
am going to keep mum.


>   
>I have written the correct forms.  In Sanskrt, the phonetics is built
>into the spelling, hence you pronounce as it is written.   
>"brhat iti brahma" is the 'vyutpatti', (Brahm because it is large). 
>bram-ha has, as such, no sense.   

I somehow am still confused about this.

I did learn some vedic chanting ( though, I havent done much vedic chanting
at all:) and I believe my gurus were authentic. One of my gurus directly
got a MEDAL for CHANTING from the President of India. I believe, if he is
erroneous in pronunciation, so will be several thousand others.

I remember, BRAHMA - pronounced as BRAMHA

note the verse satyam jnanam anantam brahma - HAVE YOU EVER LISTENED TO
THIS FAMOUS TAITTIRYA UPANISAD VERSE with a BRAH-MA pronunciation???



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Krishna Kalale
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