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RE: sarvadharmAn parityajya ...

From: Mohan Sagar (
Date: Wed Aug 13 1997 - 16:53:09 PDT

Sri Raja Krishnasamy writes:

>our Jeeyar of Sri Rangam tells us in his commentary on yethirAja
>sapthathi that 
>sarvaDharmAn parithyajya mAm Ekam sharaNam vraja ...
>actually does not mean relinquishing everything and surrendering to the
>Lord, but by actually performing your duties righteously and dutifully
>so that one can attain the feet of the Lord.  It is the duty of every
>one to perform their karmAs in this birth of ours, and by not performing
>them dutifully, one actually ends up inciting bhagavath apachAram.
>During a conference of NAMA in New Jersey a few months back, shrI
>vEnkatAchAri of University of Toronto very eloquently explained this in
>detail, where he goes to say that parityajya actually is a combination
>of pari + tyAgam, and means that one sacrifices attachments to the
>fruits of one's actions in performing his duties.  
>The Lord actually implies here that "Do not look at the fruit of your
>actions in performing your deeds, for if you perform them with true
>uncorrupted zeal and righteousness, you will attain the greates of
>rewards - that of becoming one with me..."

This is a very interesting interpretation of charama slokam that I have not
encountered in my readings on the subject.  So, I would like to request that
Sri Raja elaborate on this further.  It seems to be in line with what I
believe is called nishkAma karma yoga, doing one's duty without expectation
of any fruits, that is discussed in earlier chapters of the Bhagavad gItha.
I have read that Sri Ramanuja may have suggested this as one interpretation
of the sloka in his bhAshyam.  But, from my understanding, karma does not
"directly" play a part in the rahasya commentaries of the later Acharyans,
other than it serving as a form of kainkarya to the Lord. 

What is most perplexing about the interpretation offered by Sri Venkatachary
is its suggestion that dispassionate adherence to one duties is an upAyam,
which is contradistinctive to our recognition of the Lord being the sole
means to one's protection and salvation.