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Re: Nature of Prapatti - 1 ; Was: a small clarification

From: Anand Karalapakkam (
Date: Wed Dec 01 1999 - 11:00:46 PST

SrI Lakshminrusimha ParabrahmaNE namaha
SrI Lakshminrusimha divya pAdukA sEvaka SrIvaN-
SatakOpa SrI nArAyaNa yateendra mahAdESIkAya namaha

 Dear devotees,
 namO nArAyaNA.

SrI Mani wrote:
So, while according to doctrine, supreme liberation may
not be assured, as it is if one surrenders to Sriman Narayana
as conceived of by our scriptures, I cannot rule out the
merciful Lord from granting liberation to whomever *He*
sees fit.  After all, He is 'nirankusa-svatantran', isn't He?
In fact, I believe either a good birth or liberation itself
is assured for the first person.
SrI T.V.VenkatEsh wrote :
As Mani has aptly pointed out, EmberumAn is "Nirankusa Swathanthran". 
He is not tied up by any sAdhyOpAyam that we do to grant us mOksham. 
As is the case if He has to grant mOksham only for those who does 
either Bhakti or Prapatti, then the very title that He is "Nirankusa 
Swathanthran" fails.
   adiyEn's earlier posting was in particular dealing with 
   this issue. 
  Quoting the important pramAnam (referred to by SwAmi
  dESikan in His Rahasya traya sAram) again ...
PerumAL Himself categorically declares :

" bhaktyA paramayA vA-pi prapattyA vA mahAmathe
  prApyoham na anyathA prApyO mama kainkarya lipsubhihi"

  PerumAL declares that bhakti and prapatti are the
  only means (sAdhyOpAyam, to be adopted by a jIvAtma)
  for which He will grant moksham (kainkaryam at Sri
  vaikuNTham) and  for _no other means_ adopted by the
  jIvAtmA, will He grant moksham. 

  Thus, PerumAL will not grant moksham for someone
  who hasn't completed either bhakti Or Prapatti, since
  they are not fit enough to obtain moksham. His wish as 
  to who is fit enough for moksham has already been 
  indicated in the sAstrAs and asserted by His own divine 
  words. This also doesn't contradict His nirAnkusa 
  svAtantrayam (unfettered independence), because it is His
  own wish. It is to be noted that, no one can question such 
  a wish of His to grant moksham to only those who complete 
  either bhakti Or prapatti, since He is NirAnkusa swatantra. 
  He is independent and the master of everyone. 

  For instance, SrIman nArAyaNa is granting moksham 
  to even those aakinchanyAs, bereft of any qualification to 
  develop deep devotion towards Him and adopt bhakti yOgam 
  as the sAdhyOpAyam ie. PerumAL grants the same mOksham to 
  a Prapanna, who needn't wait for a very long time 
  performing the extremly difficult bhakti yOga with 
  ceaseless memory of PerumAL etc. No one can question 
  PerumAL, as to why He is doing like this. This is because 
  of His unfettered independence.

  It should be understood that, only out of the great
  magnanimity of SrIman nArAyaNa that He doesn't behave as
  a total dictator / someone who doesn't keep up His promise 
  to jIvAtmAs etc.  He has every right and power to even 
  destroy all the "jIvAtmAs" and make them extinct !! His
  merciful sankalpam (will) is the only reason for even
  the jIvAtmAs to exist.

SrI Mani wrote : 

This being the case, we cannot limit what Emberumaan interprets
as a pretext to give moksha.  What does He interpret to be
prapatti? Of course, He has systematized it in so many ways
to make it easy for us to follow a particular path, but for
those people who are completely ignorant of the shastras, He
may take some mental or physical act of self-surrender or
devotion on their part as being prapatti. We cannot limit
Him just because it doesn't suit our fancy.

 adiyEn doesn't understand quite well as to what SrI Mani
 means by "our fancy". 

 adiyEn would like to add few more words and it is not in 
 disagreement with what SrI Mani (as adiyEn understands).
 But, this will help in addressing the issue in hand.

 There is no fancy of ours with regard to the nature of 
 Prapatti. The modus operandi of Prapatti is well defined in 
 sAstrAs. Anything that violates these conditions will not be 
 taken as Prapatti by SrIman nArAyaNa. Otherwise, the sAstrAs 
 will become meaningless. Also, sAstrAs are not "our fancy" 
 and it is applicable universally to everyone. Infact, vEdAs 
 are not sectarian as everyone is aware of.

 Few verses from sAstrAs regarding the nature of Prapatti :
 ( all the following are quoted in SwAmi dESikan's
   utmost outstanding SrImad Rahasya Traya sAram)  
 1. Ahirbudhnya Samhita (37-18) :
    " Anukoolyasya saNkalpaha prAtikoolyasya varjanam 
      rakshishyatIti viSvAsO gOptrutva varaNam tathA
      aatma nikshEpa kArpaNyE ShadvidhA SaraNAgatihi "      

    This specifies the angi (prapatti) with its five
    angAs. Thus, any general act can't be considered
    as Prapatti.

 2. Lakshmi Tantra (17-74) :

    nikshEpAparapargrAyO nyAsaha pancAnga samyutaha |
    sanyAsaha tyAga ityuktaha SaraNAgatirityapi ||

  < nyAsa ie. self-surrender/prapatti has five angAs
    and is also called as sannyAsa, tyAga and SaraNAgati>.      
    NyAsa vidya in Upanishads are explained in the
    upabrahmanas like pAncarAtra. 

 3. Lakshmi Tantra (17-72) : "aprArthitO na gOpayEt"

    < No protection would be given, when it is not sought ie.
      a prayer is essential >. If one seeks moksham, a
      prayer regarding it towards SrIman nArAyaNa is essential.
      This is called as the "goptruta varaNam", an angA of
      prapatti. The very word "purushArtham" means, "that 
      which is prayered for/sought after by a Purusha (person)"
     ( purushanAl prArthikkap paduvadu). 

 4.   Lakshmi Tantra (17-78) : 
      " sarvaj~nOpi hi viSvESaha sadA kAruNikOpi san |
        samsAratantravAhitvAt rakshApEkshAm pratIkshatE || "

      < The Lord who controlls everything, though omniscient
        and always compassionate, expects a prayer for 
        protection, since He has to look after the process
        of samsAra >.

 note: The above pramAnams outrightly rejects the theory that 
      PerumAL on His own will grant moksham, without any prayer 
      from the side of a jIvAtma. In otherwords, PerumAL doesn't
      grant moksham due to His "nirhEtuka krupa" (Causeless
      mercy ie. without any pretext from the side of jIvAtma). 
      If it is so, then He is partial in picking up some 
      jIvAtma arbitrarily and is also cruel to others. Also,  
      it is PerumAL who makes a mumukshu perform such a prayer, 
      due to that jIvAtma's appropriate sukrudams.

      But, the prayer alone is not the sAdhyOpAyam ie.
      prapatti. Prayer is only an anga (accessory) called
      "goptrutva varaNam".

  5.  Lakshmi Tantra (17-91,92) :

      "apAyasamplavE sadyaha prAyaScittam samAcarEt
       prAyaScitiriyam sAtra yat punaha SaraNam vrajEt
       upAyAnAmupAyatvasvIkArEpyEtadEva hi ... "

    <  If there is an offence, the atonement is that is to 
       be done is only the performance of prapatti again
       (for the specific reason, which is other than moksham).
       If after performing prapatti for the sake of moksha,
       a man should perform karma yOga and the like (jn~Ana
       yOga, bhakti yOga), with the thought that these are upAyAs 
       ie. means to moksha, it would also constitute an offense. 
       In order that this offense might disappear, prapatti 
       alone should be performed again >.

       It is to be noted that, one who performs prapatti
       should never resort to any other upAya ie. means
       of attaining PerumAL. 
  6. Ahirbudhnya Samhita (37.36) : 
     " tEshAm tu tapasAm nyAsamatiriktam tapaha Srutam "
     < Of all the austerities (tapas) prescribed for the
       attainment of moksham, the austerity called nyAsa
       (prapatti) is the highest >.

  7. Lakshmi Tantra (17.62) :

     " satkarmaniratAhA SuddhAhA sAnkyayOgavidastathA |
       nArhanti SaraNasthasya kalAm kOtitamImapi "

     note : 
     satkarmaniratAhA : One  who is in Karma yOga nishta.    
     sAn~khyavidaha : One who is in jn~Ana yOga nishta.
     yOgavidaha : One who is a bhakti yOga nishta.

     < Those who with their thoughts fixed only on moksha,
       are absorbed in the performance of karma yOga,
       and those again, who follow jn~Ana yOga and bhakti
       yOga, do not deserve to be placed on a par with 
       even one-ten millionth of the man who has performed
       prapatti >.

   8. SrI Vishnutattvam (quoted by SwAmi dESIkan in the 
      CaramaslOkAdhikAram of SrImad Rahasya traya sAram) : 

      samtyajya vidhinA niyam ShadvidhAm SaraNAgatim |
      aachAryAnuj~nayA kuryAt SAstradrushtEna vartmanA ||

      < Giving up all object of desire and the karmAs by
        which they can be secured, SaraNAgati with its 
        five angAs should be performed with the permission
        of the aachArya, in accordance with the rules 
        prescribed in the sAstrAs and with renunciation of
        the fruits of all actions >.
        So, the sanction of aachArya is extremly important.
   Further, SwAmi dESIkan in SrImad Rahasyatraya sAram, 
   firmly establishes through sAstrAs and logic that, atleast
   the following are _not Prapatti_ ( from the above quoted 
   verses also one can get a good picture about Prapatti) :

   a. Knowledge of the relationship between the sEsha
      (jIvAtmas) and sEshi (SrIman nArAyaNa) is not by itself 
      the Prapatti.

   b. Mere knowledge that SrIman nArAyaNa is the siddhOpAya,
      the one who mercifully grants moksham, is not Prapatti.

   c. Non-resistance to PerumAL's grace is not Prapatti by 
   d. Prapatti is not an attribute of an adhikAri.

   e.  Prapatti is not mere faith in the saving grace of 
       SrIman nArAyaNa.

   f.  Prayer for moksham is not prapatti by itself.
   g.  Refraining from one's own activity (to attain moksham)
       is not prapatti by itself.

   It is the genius of SwAmi dESikan in assimilating all the
   pramAnams regarding Prapatti and systematizing this esoteric 
   doctrine with brilliant analysis and excellent logic.
   It has to be kept in mind that, an interpretation about 
   Prapatti should not violate any of the pramAnams.      

   SrI Mani is in agreement with the nature of Prapatti etc
   as desribed in sAstrAs. But his remark has been discussed 
   in the next posting, with the help of the pramAnams quoted 
   in this posting.

   SwAmi dESikan thiruvadigaLE SaraNam

   adiyEn rAmAnuja dAsan
   ananthapadmanAbha dAsan