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From: Krishna Kalale (kkalale1_at_san.rr.com)
Date: Sat Apr 10 1999 - 00:24:57 PDT
Sri: Srimathe Sri van Satagopa Sri Vedanta Desika yatindra maha desikaya namaha Sri Lakshminrusimha ParabrahmaNE namaha Sri Lakshminrusimha divya pAAdukA sEvaka SrivaNN- SatakOpa Sri nArAyaNa yateendra mahAdESikAya namaha namO nArAyaNA. Let me try to address some aspects of bhakti and prapatti. Sri Murlidhar Rajagopal initially started this series by asking a question : If Bhakti Yogi ends up performing surrender in the end, why have two upayas? Bhakti and prapatti? why don't we just agree that prapatti is the the only sadhyopaya and siddhopaya is Lord Srimannarayana. I checked with Dr. SMS Chari and Dr. N.S. Anantharangachar regarding this issue, so that I can write this email with some authoritative support. Let me explain it here : Bhaktiyoga and Prapatti yoga are two sadhyopayas, ie. accessory causes for one's attainment of moksha. These two paths are not sufficient to get moksha to an aspirant. Only Srimannaryana's grace is the final giver of moksha; the sadhyopayas namely bhakti or prapatti only helps to evoke that divine grace of our lord. Bhakti yoga CANNOT EVEN BE STARTED before achieving self realization or atma sakshatkara by performing karmayoga and / or jnana yoga. Samanya bhakti is essential for Bhaktiyoga and anyone can have Samanya bhakti or ordinary bhakti. The path of bhakti yoga is as follows : One has to do nitya naimittika karma to avoid sins, daily. One first realizes he is different from matter and God by studying scriptures. Note that even though one realizes self actually, when he attains atmasakshatkara, at the beginning of karmayoga one has to know that atma exists only by the authority of scriptures. Then for success of karmayoga, one needs God's grace and so he has to surrender to GOD. (yukta asita matparaha - chapter II, gita). Here the "surrender" is secondary in the sense that the goal of that surrender it to get indriya nigraha and the person's effort in karmayoga is primary. Without surrendering to GOD, one cannot even achieve indriya nigraha or control of senses - as suggested in chapter II of Bhagawadgita. further even for jnana yoga one has to surrender to GOD for its success. Again the primary goal is jnanayoga and prapatti here is secondary to attain the proper performance of jnanayoga. Only when one becomes self realized by these processes of karmayoga and jnanayoga, one can start bhakti yoga. For this He is has to surrender to srimannarayana - as indicated in "sarva dharman... parityajya......". Just successful commencement of a process of Bhaktiyoga is not sufficient to make that process error free when performed daily during several janmas. Bhakti is a gift of God. To commence, perfect and complete Bhaktiyoga, prapatti is necessary. Here, prapatti is an anga or subbordinate to the primary goal of fulfilling error free bhaktiyoga. Hence such a prapatti is known as anga prapatti or a factor which facilitates the main goal ie. bhaktiyoga. Why is prapatti needed to perfect and complete bhaktiyoga? The papavasanas are anadi or accumulated from beginningless time and can be annihilated only by the grace of the supreme lord. Initial prapatti only removes obstacles which stand in the way of the aspirant's commencement of bhaktiyoga. It does not mean that once the bhaktiyoga is successfully started due to the initial prapatti, it can be maintained and successfully completed by just the self effort of the bhakti yogi!. To maintain bhaktiyoga and to finish it to the satisfaction of the supreme lord and gaurantee the fruition of bhaktiyoga, God's grace is needed. This grace is evoked by prapatti. Here bhaktiyoga is the angi, and prapatti is the anga or subsidiary. Please note that there are two sayings : 1. bhaktyA paramayA vA-pi prapattyA vA mahAmathe prApyoham na anyathA prApyO mama kainkarya lipsubhihi" The Supreme Lord said that : "either through bhaktiyoga or through prapatti, I (The Supreme Lord) is attainable, and that I cannot be attained by any other means by those who love to serve me" 2. prapannad anyesham na dishati mukundo nijapadam Lord Mukunda does not confer the true state (moksha) to those who have not surrendered to HIM. These are not contradictory statements. By these two statements, it clear that there are two paths bhaktiyoga and prapatti. In the case of prapatti also there is need for bhakti! Without bhakti in Lord, one cannot decide to go surrender to Lord. In this case bhakti is subbordinate to prapatti. ie anga is bhakti and angi is prapatti. However, here the anga which is bhakti could be samanya bhakti of a high order. It is true that there are two paths bhakti yoga and prapatti. Then what is the difference between bhaktiyoga and prapatti? In bhakti yoga there is bhajana sukha - or experience of the bliss of service to God, though living verily on this earth. In prapatti such sukha is not so prominent. For bhaktiyoga, one feels confident that it is possible for him with help of God and that he does not mind the delay in attainment of God. Bhakti yogis is one who wants to first experience the self, check God out and slowly start process of bliss ful God-love which he wants to experience through several janmas. The important point here is that the very act of continuing bhaktiyoga without mistakes and making sure that the process succeeds requires divine grace which is evoked by a prapatti to that effect. There was one other view point expressed in malolan net regarding this subject by sri dileepan: "As explained by Srimad Azhagiya Singar, if anyone is capable of Bhakti Yogam (i.e. adhikAri) then "prapatti" as mOkshOupAyam is not available to him. He must perform only Bhakti yOgam. " adiyen thinks that this is not a complete explanation of of H.H 45th Jeer's lecture. The issue here depends on what are the requirements which qualifies one to become bhaktiyogadhikari?. If " tolerance to delay in attainment" is taken as a requirement for bhaktiyogadhikari, then what was said here is fine. As "tolerance to delay" itself will force the aspirant not to change course to prapatti. Further, What does it mean when one says " one is capable of bhaktiyoga?" No body is independently capable of doing any yoga. It is only because of the grace of the Lord one can do any yoga. A prapatti is needed for one to begin bhaktiyoga. Initially, a bhakti yogi may start bhakti yoga thinking that he will wait for any number of janmas or years to attain GOD. However, a bhakti yogadhikari, while doing bhaktiyoga, may come to a helpless state that he cannot wait to attain God any more and then revert back to "total prapatti" for quick attainment of God. The taittiriya Upanishad states "tatveva bhayam manvanasya" - even a second's disappearance of God from the vision of a bhaktiyogi causes immense grief to him. Adiyen does not think that Prapatti path is completely closed, the moment a qualified individual starts bhaktiyoga. I am sure we can bring this point out during the next lecture of H.H 45th Jeer for further clarification. I did check this with Dr. N.S Anantharangachar. We have to clearly understand that sadhyopaya is secondary and God's Grace is primary for the attainment of moksha. But without sadhyopaya, God's grace cannot selectively take effect, and if it does, God will be subject to partiality. This will go against "vaishamya nairgranya" principle. Since bhaktiyoga requires karmayoga and jnanayoga and on the other hand prapatti does not require these two steps, these two paths are different even though bhaktiyoga needs prapatti as an accessory for its beginning, proper performance and completion.