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Prapatti and Vyaja
Date: Tue Aug 12 1997 - 10:30:30 PDT

Sri Sampath Rengarajan and Sri Varadhan had some public and private
discussions on Prapatti and moksham and the differences between the
Vadagalai and Tengalai schools on this issue.  I am responding to a
request by Sri Sampath Rengarajan to write on Vyaja.

The Tenkalai viewpoint was put forward very succinctly by Krishna
Premee Maharaj in a discourse on Bhasyakaarar, I happened to hear
over the weekend.  He said that one should not ask for moksham, but
merely avoid resisting the Lord's grace.  As to why some people get
moksham and some people do not, he explains that if people are
waiting outside a temple for neivedyam to complete and Prasadam to be
served.  Some people are on the verge of starvation, and cannot wait
for the doors to open, while others are sitting at a little distance
playing cards and are not too concerned about when Prasadam will be
served.  Krishna Premee Maharaj asks, "Will you feed the people who
cannot wait to be served first, or will you make them wait and invite
those who are busy playing cards and cannot care less whether they
are served or not?"

The Vadagalai viewpoint is this:

The ashtAkshara Mantram which has all the Vedas condensed within it
as well as the principal Upanishads make it clear that all Jivatmas
exist to serve Sriman Narayana alone and no one else.  The Bhagavad
Geeta explains that baddha jivatmas are those that have used their
free will to violate this injunction and have therefore ended up in
this material world.  As the Bhagavad Geeta is the Upanishad Saram,
and is meant for mumukshus, it explains in the final chapter: "Having
come into this world of suffering, give up all other means to escape
this suffering and look upto Me alone as the means to attain Moksha,
and I shall deliver you from all sins.  Do not fear."

Sriman Narayana is the Siddha Upaya or the ever existing means:
Prapatti is the Sadhya Upaya or the Vyaja or gesture that takes away
Sriman Narayana's anger.  Srimad Mukkur Azhagiya Singar explains: "We
should not think that He (Sriman Narayana) is someone far away and
unrelated to us.  He is our father and we are His children.  If we go
to Him with our problems, He will solve them for us."  I have this
experience with my own daughter.  She will do some mischief and I
will scold her.  She will be enraged and go and sulk in another
corner of the house.  I will ignore the initial crying.  Afterwards,
she will start calling for me and will want me to go to where she is
and pick her up.  Till today, I have not been able to resist and say:
"She did what was not right.  She should come to me and I will not go
and pick her up."  We can just imagine how Sriman Narayana who loves
us millions of times more than I love my daughter will respond when
we call out to Him.  The Tenkalais are right when they say that it is
not Prapatti but His grace that gets us moksha.  He has been
manipulating our karma in such a way that we finally get fed up with
material life and implore Him for help.  Swami Desikan says that only
one who has been glanced at by Sriman Narayana at the time of his
birth will make rapid progress toward moksha.  This glance which
results in moksha katAksham has happened long before most samskaras
are performed, long before the soul meets the Acharya that will guide
him towards moksha, long before any punya karmas are performed by the

As Krishna Premee Maharaj explains that only the one who is starving
and cannot wait for the temple doors to open and be fed will be fed
first.  This longing is Prapatti.  This Sadhya Upaya becomes complete
when 5 angas come together in a single moment.  They are Anukulasya
Sankalpah: or a promise to do only what is pleasing to Sriman
Narayana in future.  PrAtikulasya Varjanam or a promise to give up
what is displeasing to Sriman Narayana.  Rakshisyatiti Vishvaso or
the firm faith that Sriman Narayana alone can give us Moksha,
Goptritve Varanam or an understanding that I myself belong to Sriman
Narayana and that everything that has been rightfully allocated to me
by Him is to be used in His service alone.  Karpanye is the feeling
of helplessness to be able to do anything including surrender to Him,
unless He provides the support and blesses us with the ability to do

For one who attains moksham in this Kali Yugam, it should be
understood that he or she or it has done this Prapatti with its 5
angas and that this Prapatti happened at the prompting of Sriman
Narayana.  It is this Prapatti that lets His grace flow so powerfully
that we are unable to prevent it from flooding us and take us on an
irresistable path to moksha.

Srimate Srivan Satakopa Sri Vedanta Desika Yateendra Mahadesikaya
Srimate Sri Lakshmi Nrsimha Divya Paduka Sevaka Srivan Satakopa Sri
Narayana Yateendra Mahadesikaya Namah: