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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 individual. 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 something. 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 Namah: Srimate Sri Lakshmi Nrsimha Divya Paduka Sevaka Srivan Satakopa Sri Narayana Yateendra Mahadesikaya Namah: Adiyen Jaganath.