You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : August 1998

SrI deSika stotra-s - 11. SrI nyAsa tilakam - Part 3.

From: Krishnamachari, N (Krish) (nkrish_at_lucent.com)
Date: Fri Aug 14 1998 - 20:17:31 PDT

			SrI deSika stotra-s - 11. SrI nyAsa tilakam.

			SrI deSika stotra-s - 11. SrI nyAsa tilakam - Part
3.

9. The life of a prapanna:

The prapanna-s have entrusted the complete responsibility for themselves,
their AtmA, and the purpose of their existence to bhagavAn.  They are dear
to Him as His responsibility now.  Their sole purpose in life is His
kaimkaryam.  Their only real joy is His guNAnubhavam.  They don't even have
to think of Him as an upAya for moksha any more because their AcArya-s have
taken the role of the upAya for them (Recall that AcArya-s are to be treated
the same as bhagavAn by the prapanna - nYasa vimSatih).   Their natural
satisfaction is in being His sesha-s (servants) (Slokam 11).

Having performed prapatti, the prapanna is fully aware of his inability to
follow any means  (Aki~ncanya, kArpaNya) other than prapatti for moksha.
Thus he does not seek any other means (ananya gatitva), and trusts in
bhagavAn as his sole Protector (goptr*tva varaNam).  He is fully confident
about attaining moksha as a result of the prapatti that has already been
performed (mahA viSvAsa), is firmly determined to desist from any act that
will displease Him (prAtikUlya varjanam), and equally firm in performing
only acts that will please Him (AnukUlya samkalpa).  Even though the
prapanna may be really interested in hastening his union with bhagavAn in
SrIvaikunTham, he will not make any effort whatsoever in this direction
since it is not his responsibility any more to be concerned about his self -
Slokam 12.

As mentioned in nyAsa vimSatih, the prapanna does not indulge in any act
that is directed towards benefit for his own self, and scrupulously stays
away from anything that is a violation of SAstra-s.  If by chance, either of
these are violated and he has committed an act contrary to these, he feels
shame and sorrow for this and performs a prAyaScitta prapatti, and the sins
associated with these violations are forgiven by bhagavAn.  Since the
SAstra-s have been given to us by bhagavAn with the purpose of guiding us to
proper conduct in life that has prapatti as the central goal (nyAsa
antara~nga - Slokam 13), the prapanna follows the SAstra-s, performs his
varNASrama dharma-s as prescribed and without fail,  does not seek
protection other than from SrIman nArAyaNa, and if he then unknowingly
commit any sin, bhagavAn has the Infinite Mercy to forgive these offenses. 

While bhagavAn thus eliminates the effects of all karma-s of a cetana that
will result in a re-birth, if he commits any sins that are directed towards
pure self-satisfaction, he gets minor punishments such as sufferings in this
life.   These are purely for the purpose of keeping the cetana on track so
that he does not slip into a life of pleasures and forgets his purpose in
this life (Slokam 14).

10. bhagavAn's assurance on the results of prapatti:

svAmi deSikan makes reference to SaraNAgati gadyam by bhagavad rAmAnuja to
emphasize the certainty of the results from prapatti.   After SrI rAmAnuja
performed prapatti at Lord ra~nganAtha's Feet, bhagavAn gave the following
assurance to rAmAnuja (extract from SaraNAgati gadyam):

"mA te bhUt atra samSayah | anr*tam nokta pUrvam me na ca vkashye kadAcana |
rAmo dvir-nAbhibhAshate |

sakr*deva prapannAya tavAsmIti ca yAcate      |
abhayam sarva bhUtebhyo dadAmyetat vratam mama   ||
sarva dharmAn parityajya mAm ekam SaraNam vraja    |
aham tvA sarva pApebhyo mokshayishyAmi mA Sucah  |

iti mayaiva hi uktam|  atas-tvam tava tattvato  mad-j~nAna darSana prAptishu
nissmSayas-sukham Asva |"

"Entertain no doubt about it.  I have never uttered, nor shall I ever utter,
a falsehood;  rAma never speaks in two voices.  

For him who bows even once  to Me saying "I am Yours",  I grant him shelter
and protection from all evils.  This is my vow. 

Renounce all dharma-s and surrender unto Me only.  I shall save you from all
sins.  Don't' grieve.

Therefore you may rest free of doubt in the matter of obtaining true
knowledge about Me, True Realization and attainment of Me". 

11. The Need To Be on Guard Following Prapatti:

After illustrating the principles of prapatti in the first 22 Sloka-s, svAmi
deSikan reinforces these thoughts by pointing out that after prapatti there
is no reason to transgress the lifestyle that a prapanna is expected to
lead, even though there will be pressures from the frailty of human mind.
SrI rAmasvAmi aiye~ngAr points out that it is normal and natural that the
prapanna's mind goes through periods of depression and elation following
prapatti, and svAmi deSikan addresses these and gives his views on how to
overcome these.  He is addressing these thoughts and advice to his own mind
to illustrate the point for us. 

It is Natural To Have Periods of Depression Following prapatti (Slokam 23): 

bhagavAn has already assured through various ways that once a cetana has
done prapatti, it is His responsibility to give moksha to the prapanna at
the end of this life.  However, human mind is frail, and so a prapanna can
feel depressed because he can be drawn back to the dictates of his
indriya-s.  SrI rAmasvAmi aiye~ngAr points us to nammAzhvAr's SaraNAgati to
tiruvEnkatamudaiyAn in tiruvAi mozhi 6-10, which is immediately followed by
his crying out to bhagavAn to save him from the onslaught of his indriya-s.
He also refers to svAmi deSikan's ashTabhujAshtakam, where he describes how
he ascends aloft in the spiritual ladder and how he again falls to the
ground - all this notwithstanding the fact that the Merciful Lord, our
Refuge, waits nearby determined to help us. 

12. Reasons To Feel Reassured and Elated (Slokam 24):

svAmi deSikan reminds us again that when prapatti is done through an AcArya,
bhagavAn is bound to bestow moksha on the prapanna because He will never go
against the wish of the AcArya.  There is no other benefit higher than
moksham, and so there is no need for a prapanna to think back and look for
temporary pleasures like even svarga.  There is also no need for the
prapanna to be concerned about continued pains and pleasures that he
undergoes during the rest of the life in this world after prapatti.   This
is inevitable and needs to be gone through as part of the prArabdha karma
that is left to be enjoyed, and is thus inevitable.  So the bottom line is
that the prapanna should lead the life of kaimkaryam to bhagavAn and enjoy
it, while awaiting moksha at the end of this life. 

13. BhagavAn is Ever-Forgiving:

BhagavAn has undertaken the responsibility to give moksha to the prapanna,
and is infinitely Merciful in forgiving any apacAra-s, and there is no need
to fall at the feet of another man for any favor or reason whatsoever.  Once
the responsibility for the prapanna's protection has been placed under His
care, there is no need to praise or serve any one else in thought, word, or
deed.  The servitude to anyone else does not make sense when the pleasure of
kaimkaryam to bhagavAn is open to us.  This is not only true of praising
other humans, but even the likes of brahma and Siva, who can only confer
transient and temporary benefits. 
 
14. The Ultimate Truth, The Ultimate Wealth:

svAmi deSikan brings out some of the greatest gems of truth very elegantly
in Slokam 30.  These are:  a) The greatest of wealths is the bhAgyam to do
kaimkaryam to pirATTI and perumAL; b) The greatest of ignorances is the
feeling of independence from Him; c) The greatest knowledge is the
realization that the divya dampati-s are the abode of limitless guNa-s and
wealth of every kind in its perfection; d) all this - in other words, the
bhAgyam to do nitya kaimkaryam to Them in SrI vaikunTham eternally, is
obtained by one who has understood the significance of prapatti and
performed SaraNAgati at the divya-dampati's Lotus Feet.  

In Slokam 31, the sequence of events is a papanna's life is very briefly
captured.  First, the cetana gets the dvaya mantra upadeSa from the AcArya
(i.e., he does prapatti).  This eradicates all previous sins which have not
yet started to bear fruit.  All future sins that are done unknowingly are
forgiven by bhagavAn.  After the effects of the karma-s for which this birth
had been assumed are over, the prapanna can attain moksham any time he
desires.  When this life comes to an end, bhagavan leads the prapanna with
His own parivAra of nitya-sUri-s etc. through the arcirAdi mArga to SrI
vaikunTham.  Through the karuNA of bhagavAn the prapanna's Self Knowledge
becomes perfect, and He is blessed with the gift of eternal and permanent
pleasure of nitya kaimkaryam to the divya dampati-s.  

Conclusion:

svAmi deSikan concludes the stotra by pointing out that bhagavAn is in
SrIra~ngam in the form of Lord ra~nganAtha, ( and in other divya kshetra-s
as the different arcA-mUrti-s), only to give us the opportunity to do
kaimkaryam to Him in this world and derive the pleasure that a prapanna will
get when he is in SrIvaikunTham.  svAmi deSikan composed "nyAsa tilakam"
outlining the steps involved in prapatti as revealed to him by Lord
ra~nganAtha,  and those who surrender to Him and do prapatti are assured of
the ultimate wealth and pleasure of kaimkaryam to Him here and hereafter.

-dAsan kr*shNamAcAryan