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Re: Bharata SaraNAgathi & VibhIshaNa SaraNAgati
Date: Thu Dec 06 2001 - 18:42:10 PST

SrImathE Ramanujaya namah:
Dearest Srivaishnavas,

Sri Anand Karalapakkam has written the following summary and compilation on
Bharata's SaraNAgati.
As usual, quite lucid and well written. Please find forwarded his write up
for our enjoyment.
Thanks to Sri Hari and Sri Anand for their input and enriching us on this.
Namo Narayana
 aDiyEn would like to just summarize and add
 few points here :

 Whenever prapatti is performed in accordance
 with SAstras {ie.properly}, PerumAL will never violate
 in granting the needs of the prapanna. There
 needn't be any doubt on this. Otherwise, no one can develop
 mahAviSvAsa while performing Prapatti - that PerumAL
 shall bless one with eternal kai~nkaryam- and everybody will
 be in the lurch as to whether moksham will be granted or not.
 The SAstric injunction of mahA-viSvAsa {to the effect that
 Lord shall certainly grant moksham for He is with unbounded
 mercy - SaraNAgatha Vatsala} as an a~nga {infact
 most important} will then be useless. It is NOT a black mark in
 the Lord's Paratvam that Himself being independent is forced
 to give what a Prapanna requests, like a dependent who is bound to
 give - rather It is a superior added Glory to His kalyANa guNas
 that He is ever ready to grant the wishes of His bhaktas/prapannas
 and is always waiting for it.

 First of all, a person performs prapatti with something in his mind
 {needn't always be for moksha}. He/She will be happy to attain
 that goal Or in other words, if one is very happy by the reward
 given by PerumAL, it implies that he/she got fulfilled in their
 desire {due to which prapatti was performed}. In this case, PerumAL
 didn't come back to Ayodhya citing various reasons. After a very
 long to and fro dialogues, Bharata was made to realize the position
 of Lord RAma who can't act in the ways of adharma and has to
 discharge dharma at any cost. Instead, Lord offered His PAdukAs.
 VAlmIki, then says that Bharatan while getting into his chariot was
 "beaming with joy" (Ayodhya KANDa 113.1) - signifying that the
 purpose with which he came is fulfilled - RAma's pAdukas are equally
 great and he got the treasure. Bharata atlength had earlier
 described his earnest wish to bring back Lord RAma and asserted that
 he would accomplish it at any cost. If the same Bharata was unhappy
 while returning, then we could say that the prapatti of Bharatan
 for something in his mind didn't get realized. Since he became very
 happy, it only implies that the prapatti for which Bharatan wished
 in his mind has been granted. According to Bharatan, RAma's PAdukas
 are as sacred as RAma and he was satisfied => PerumAL didn't violate
 granting desired boon for the prapatti and rewarded the prapanna
 to his satisfaction for the prapatti he performed. PAdukA-Sahasram
 also has some hints on this issue - SwAmi DESikan explains that
 Bharatan got these precious PAdukAs, which are more glorifiable
 {in certain aspects ofcourse understood appropriately} than
 Lord RAma and which made Bharatan very happy etc.

 Its not that Lord RAma bluntly refused the original request of
 Bharata without any feelings - that He is the "Boss" and It is
 His own discretion to do what He wants and "Will Not" heed to
 the request of Bharatan as it will be an insult to His Lordship
 etc. The whole conversation should be read and re-read to
 understand the depth of emotional outpourings involved - One of
 the most important sections of RAmAyaNam.

 This special extrordinary case has occured since Lord RAma has
 already promised to devas and is set on a mission towards La~nka.
 The whole sketch of plans in meeting out the avatAra-rahasya, by
 revealing Himself to the yearning Sages and other great high
 order bhAgavatas like Hanuman are still to be carried out. These
 forthcoimg incidents for the benifit of innumerous other bhaktas
 can't be erased. Moreover, Lord RAma explains that, in accordance
 with dharma, He has to abide by the words of Dasaratha and has no
 rights to nullify it. Caught in between these things, Lord RAma
 had no other alternative than to turn down Bharata's original
 request. Instead, Lord made an excellent arrangement and immensly
 satisfied Bharata - It is to be noted that, this is the pretext
 under which Lord RAma established the Supreme Glory of His Holy

 All through the years, Lord RAma was fully aware that He couldn't
 fulfill the original intent of Bharata - NOT because He is NOT
 obliged to heed to the very humble requests of the prapannas -
 But, the circumstances were such that He could not return back
 to Ayodhya. In SaraNAgati Gadyam, EmperumAnAr while listing out
 the host of kalyANa guNas with PerumAL, ends with "kRtitva"
 and "kRtajn~atA". SrI SMS Chari, translates the bhAshyam as,
 "After fully complying with the request of the devotee, God
  feels relieved that He has fulfilled His obligation to the
  devotee and there is nothing more to do in this regard".
  SwAmi DESikan, cites the following text as an illustration of
  the manifestation of this kalyANa guNa : "SirasA yAchatastasya
  vachanam na kRtam mayA - Uddha KANDam" wherein PerumAL feels
  deeply in his heart that the words of *begging* by Bharatan with
  bowed heads couldn't unfortunately be fulfilled by Him - All
  those years, Lord RAma was ever thoughtful of this humble request
  by Bharatan and only after returning to Ayodhya felt greatly
  relieved !!

  Will such a Lord, shall ever forsake the wishes of a prapanna ?

 In another angle, SrI PerukkAraNai ChakravarthAchArya SwAmi
 suggests in his book on RAmAyaNam that Bharatan can be even
 considered to have had a very minor lapse in his mahA-viSvAsam,
 and hence a time-lag in the fulfilment of his Prapatti by Lord.
 While declaring to all in a very elaborate fashion, with deep
 remorse, that he would bring back Lord RAma at any cost, Bharatan
 also says the following in between (AyodhyA KANDam):

 "yadi tu aaryam na SakshyAmi vinivartayitum vanAt |
  vanE tatra Eva vatsyAmi yathA aaryaH laksmaNaH tathA ||" (82.18)

" If I find it impossible to persuade RAma to return his steps
  back to Ayodhya, I will abide in the woods with the noble
  LakshmaNa {whose heart never fails in respect and reverence
  towards his elders}" <Trans: SrI SrInivAsa Iyengar, LIFCO>.

  Since, there is a trace of thought in Bharata regarding the
  possibility that Lord would not come back to Ayodhya, this
  can be considered as a very minor lapse in mahA-viSvAsa.
  This interpretation is introduced to easily avoid the likes
  of following questions without detailed explanations :

  (i) Didn't Lord KRshNa forsake His own sa~nkalpa to make
      Bhishma's vow to make Lord take His chakra in the war ?
      Why not then Lord RAma forsake His other sa~nkalpas for
      the sake of Bharata ?

 (ii) Lord KRshNa demonstrated that He could simultaneously
      be present at multiple places. Why not Lord RAma then
      simultaneously be at Ayodhya to fulfill Bharata's desire
      and proceed towards La~nka as per the routines ?

 This can be held as a secondrary explanation alongwith the other
 primary reasonings.

 Interestingly, Bharata who was so determined that he would
 only be at the forest following the footsteps of LakshmaNa, if
 Lord RAma would turn down his request, came back very happily.
 Does this not imply that he has obtained back Lord RAma (though
 Not in factuality - as he has only the pAdukAs) as far as he is
 concerned ? This is the subtelity which is imparted and
 elaborated in PAdukA-Sahasram.

 In either way, the Prapatti SAstra is not at its stake and the
 siddhAnta that PerumAL will certainly grant moksham for a properly
 performed prapatti is unshakable. In the above case, there
 were conflicting requests in multiple prapattis from different
 people and PerumAL had to satisfy everyone => Made such decision
 for Bharata. For one performing Prapatti for moksha, there are no
 such obstructions. The SiddhopAyam SrIman NArAyaNa is highly eager
 to grant moksham and is ever looking for a jIvAtma to perform
 either bhakti Or prapatti.

 As the essence, one should deeply realize the fact that Its nothing
 but Lord's Grace that grants moksha and the act of Prapatti as
 SAdhyOpAyam is only a "pretext" for Lord and even considering
 it as a pretext is a great act of mercy from the Lord's side.
 Don't take the moksha granted as an automatic process as
 in a business transaction like "Pay the price in dollars and
 get the commodity" - realization of Lord's unbounded mercy as
 SiddhOpAyam - the primary upAyam - is the key. These are
 inbuilt in the "SAtvIka-TyAgam" with which the Prapatti is
 performed. Similarly, for any other Prapatti, the focal point
 to be realized is the Lord's Grace - This is what highlighted
 in the Bharatan's SaraNAgati as well.

Note: PerumAL implies the Divya-Dampati - To be understood as per
the context.

 aDiyEn rAmAnuja dAsan,

           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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