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rangapriyam mamagurum SaraNam prapadye-V

From: Srinath Chakravarty (xsrinath_at_ti.com)
Date: Thu Aug 23 2001 - 18:29:27 PDT

en uyir thandhaLiththavarai saraNam pukku
yaan adaiyavEn yavar gurukkaL nirai vaNangi
pinnaruLaal perumpudhoor vandha vaLLal
periya nambi aaLavandhaar maNakkaal nambi
nanneRiyai avarkku uRaiththa uyyakkondaar
naathamuni satakOpan sEnai naathan
innamudhath thirumagaL enRu ivarai munnittu
emberumaan thiruvadigaL adaiginREnE

SrI SrInivAsa varadArya krupAtta cinham
SrI SrInivAsa yativarya niviShta bhAram  |
SrI rangayogi varalabdha parAtma yogam
rangapriyam mamagurum SaraNam prapadye   ||

Dear bhaktas:

adiyEn is grateful to all readers who have patiently
read these postings, and for the positive responses
that I have received.  Above all adiyEn is extremely
grateful to asmadAchAryan Sri Rangapriya mahAdeSikan
for blessing us with samASrayaNam and bharaNyAsam in
this lifetime.  Who knows how many births have passed
and what kind of lives those were, prior to this one.
And who knows, where one would be henceforth, without
PerumAL and AchAryan to turn towards?  As samASrayaNam
enjoins a certain lifestyle for physical existence -
so does prapatti, as a state of mind.

As I conclude with this post, adiyEn cannot help but
mention the statements of Srimad AzhagiyaSingar in the
recent tele-upanyAsam on thirunedundhAndagam, about
"the conduct of a prapannan".  The manner in which
Srimad AzhagiyaSingar expounded this concept, succintly
contained in one single example - was spellbinding.

A prapannan, Srimad AzhagiyaSingar said - is akin to a
child bride given in marriage to a young groom.  In days
gone by, the bride after marriage did not immediately
join her husband (being just a child) - but only a few
years later, after coming of age.  It is the same way
with prapannas; despite having surrendered themselves
to PerumAL as the paramapurusha, their bharta, they must
spend the remainder of their pre-ordained life in this
bhoolokam, and it is only when they shed these mortal
coils - that they will come of age and join their eternal
master.  So what about the conduct of such a prapannan??

Well, just as the child bride (due to her immense joy in
having married a suitable groom) - cannot contain herself
and spends all her time in piRandha agaththu extolling 
the virtues of the person she has married, fondly dreaming
of her future with him, preparing for the day when she
will join his household, etc. - SO must prapannas indulge
in similar "prema-bhakti" towards perumAL.  This conduct
automatically precludes any possibility of offending our
master, just as the child bride wouldn't dream of doing
or saying anything that would offend her husband.

So why is this relationship of a prapannan with perumAL
this important, that it naturally produces an overwhelming
amount of prema bhakti, and causes the prapannan to follow
a certain lifestyle voluntarily, without coercion??  The
answer lies again, in our mental state.  Once we accept
perumAL as our maataa, pitaa, guru, bandhu, vidyaa and our
wealth, we will of our own accord, cease to go in the
direction that displeases such a supreme master.  Out of
sheer love for this relationship, that is - not by force.

Even the relationship of a mother with her child - thought
by many to be the *purest* form of love/altruism, is MERELY
a bond of the flesh.  Once we give up this mortal existence,
all such Sareera-sambandham ceases.  The only *true* bond
is that of the aathmaa with its supreme master, through the
aprthak-siddhi.  Once we realize this, we need to look no
further for answers about what is required after prapatti.
Thus spoke prakrtham Srimad AzhagiyaSingar, in one of the
*most* beautiful analogies that I have ever heard.  It is
a tribute to the vaatsalyam of such mahAchAryas, that they
employ such easily understandable analogies to drive home
great truths into unintelligent minds such as mine!!

adiyEn shall conclude this post with another striking
example of the vatsalyam of our AchAryas.  SriRangapriya
swAmi had commanded adiyEn to not just return to ASTanga
yoga vignyAna mandira once before leaving India, but as
often as possible during the remainder of my days in
Bangalore.  Accordingly, adiyoNgaL alongwith my parents,
went to listen to an upanyAsam by swAmi on the evening of
15th. July; the subject - "ethical/philosophical teachings
contained in mahAbhAratam".  When swAmi arrived and took
aasanam in the huge lecture hall, it was mentioned that
this very lecture (identical to the one broadcast earlier
that morning on tele-bridge to USA and elsewhere) would be
given in Kannada for the benefit of the large gathering.
However, soon as adiyOngaL were noticed seated among the
crowd, AchAryan suddenly stated that the discourse would
be in English.  Perhaps, swAmi felt that our insufficient
knowledge of Kannada would impede our understanding of the
lecture... adiyEn thinks it was highly optimistic of swAmi
to feel I would comprehend the lecture even in English!!

It was a memorable discourse.  Most captivating were the
statements by SriRangapriya swAmi, about how mahAbharatam
was the "ultimate" poetic work, one which was capable of
being a deiva samhita, mitra samhita, AND kOmala samhita
at the same time.  No other composition among the smriti,
be it itihaasa, puraaNa or SAstra - came close to this
masterpiece of bhagavaan veda vyaasar.  AdiyEn noticed all
the audio/video equipment in the huge lecture hall, which
were used to also broadcast swAmi's lectures overseas via
telephone.  It was a blessing to be one of the few people
to have listened to swAmi's lectures live, from both parts
of the planet.  Following the discourse, adiyOngaL went
downstairs for sEvippu to AchAryan - at which time I was
told to learn anushTAnam, nityAnusandhAnam, and perform
perumAL ArAdhanam from then onwards.  As adiyEn nodded in
response, my father mentioned to AchAryan that I did not
have a Saalagraamam.  Astonishingly, SriRangapriya swAmi
walked into the uLsannidhi and actually GAVE adiyEn one
lakshmi-nArAyaNa Saalagraamam!!

Such is the vaatsalyam of asmadAchAryan.  Feeling immense
dayai for adiyEn's sordid existence far away from bharata
varsha, devoid of anushTanam, SriRangapriya swAmi gave a
swayamvyakta perumAL to me - thereby leaving no further
excuse for my not adhering to Sri sampradAyam.  In a mix
of extreme elation and confusion, adiyEn blurted out one
question about whether it was alright to take perumAL
across the ocean.  Certainly, said SriRangapriya swAmi -
"may you always have this shaashvata perumAL with you,
 one for whom you will do daily thiruvAradhanai to the
 best of your ability".  In this endeavor, adiyEn was
advised to seek information from other shishyas of swAmi
living in the USA such as Sri M.G. Prasad and Sri Mani
Varadarajan.  So was it said, and so adiyEn hopes to do.
In reality it is likely that my parents will only send
over AchAryan's pAdukai and padam with my wife when she
returns September 15; for now the laksminArAyaNa perumAL
will continue to dwell in a samputam at my parents' home.

It is unlikely that adiyEn will spend the rest of my life
in this part of the world; it has already been 13 long
years and from a sampradayam point of view, never quite
feels right.  During these years in an alien land, adiyEn
has committed numerous misdeeds, ones that only perumAL
can reckon with.  Prior to leaving from Bangalore on 21st
July 2001, adiyEn prostrated before SriRangapriya swAmi
and confessed all his past sins.  It was something, adiyEn
tearfully said to swAmi - that ought to have been told to
AchAryan before samASrayanam and bharaNyAsam; rather, here
I was coming out with these afterwards.  swAmi's response
then, had only to do with post-prapatti CONDUCT.  You are
a SriVaishnava who has sought SaraNaagathi in perumAL and
thaayar, swAmi explained.  Past deeds would be rendered
insignificant by this refuge and by conduct befitting the
same.  Therefore have no fear, swAmi said, and focus on
perumAL and live such a focused life.  In doing so alone
lies one's liberation from the entrapments of samsaara.

[-- CONCLUDED --]

adiyEn is grateful to all the SriVaishnavas and Asthikas
who have influenced my recent life and thereby inspired
me to seek SaraNAgathi.

rAmAnujArya divyAgnyaa, vardhataam abhivardhataam
thooppul thiruvenkatam udayAn thiruvadigaLE SaraNam

SrIvAsa samyami vareNya niviShta bhAram
SrI rangayogi varadivya krupAtta yogam   |
SrI laXmaNAkhya yativarya krupAtta cinham
rangapriyam mamagurum SaraNam prapadye   ||

adiyEn SrIrangapriya mahAdeSikan thiruvadi,
-Srinath C.

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