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Re: New member
Date: Tue Feb 20 2001 - 11:09:09 PST

Dear Sri Venkataraman,

Welcome to the group

--- In bhakti-list@y..., "K.N.Venkataraman" <knv123@y...> wrote:
> :: Sri GuruBhyoh Namah ::
> 1. "Is the surrender at the feet of the Lord Naaraaayana
> more sublime, more important, more necessary than a
> surrender to one's ['Janma Hetu'] - parents, and one's
> SadGuru?

In one way, yes, surrender to the Lord is the most important and 
prefered way for moksham, but I believe one cannot get there before 
surrendering to one's Acharys. 

Sri Periyavaacaan Pillai, in his work Manikka Maalai, outlines the 
acharyas a mumukshu has in his life time (father is sort of an 
acharya), for example, the one who teaches variuos mantrams, starting 
from Gayatri Mantram. Of all the acharyas, the one who teaches the 
tirumantram (and performs the Samashrayanam) is considered THE 

The acharya then teaches the mumukshu the ways to surrender 
(Saranagati) or even in some cases acts as a mediator between the Lord 
and the mumukshu in getting salvation for the later. Sri Pillai 
Lokacharya call this Acharya abhimanam.

Sri A. Govindarachrya says in his translation of the section related 
to Acharya abhimanam (Arthapancakam of Sri Pillai Lokacarya).

" AcAryAbhimAna, is either resort to the Mediator by the aspirant for 
salvation, or resort to the saved by the Mediator Himself from His own 
free choice. 

This fifth Means of Salvation possesses the virtue of being within the 
nearest reach of mankind, as contra-distinguished from all the other 
Means aforesaid. These no doubt prescribe God as the object for 
resort, but He is so beyond the reach of mankind's senses, minds, and 
hearts as to forbid His being used in the manner of other objects more 
accessible. This want is supplied by the mediator, insomuch as he is 
tangibly present in the midst of mankind, as one of their own, and 
therefore so accessible and so within reach, that the work of 
salvation becomes for souls to say, a practical reality. This 
contriviance in the Scheme of Salvatoin has been devised by God 
Himself, in the manner of the mother feeling love for her child, and 
the mediator, patent to all mankind, is the result. The Mediator sees 
his children as weak and helpless, incapable of shifting for 
themselves. He stretches his hand down to them, on the one side, to 
lift them up, and he stretches his hand up, on the orther side, to 
present them to God as fit objects for His mercy and compasion. The 
function of the Mediator is therefor twofold. He is the mother who is 
ready to sacrifice her own comfort by voluntarily treating herself to 
medicine and regimen for the sake of saving the sick child, and he is 
the Servent who, by such act of self-sacrifice, performs a great deed 
that pleases the Master, god, who ofcourse, in the first insatance 
delegated him, or deputed him, for this loving task. He submits to 
personal suffering in order to redeem the fallen. The Mediator, then 
is the Ready Means, under the grace by which souls may take refuge and 
shape their conduct entirely at his sole bidding. 

The resort to a Mediator is both an independent Means and an auxiliary 
Means to the other Means aforesaid, just as God Himself, the eternal 
is both directly the Goal, and indirectly as the Spirit indwelling in 
all the lesser Gods of the Pantheon."

In the above the other means are Karma, JnAna, Bhakti and Prapati. The 
complete translation of this and other works can be found at (and follow the links for varioius 

In some sence, prapati (which is surrendering to the Lord) cannot 
happen without Acharya Abhimanam and vice-versa. They kind of go hand 
in hand.

I hope, other learned members would provide more insight into these 

> 2. Can surrender be of differing shades - i.e., the
> surrender to the Lord being the highest form of surrender
> and all other surrendering being of lower nature?
> 3. Can a surrender to the Lord without the blessings of
> one's parents and Sadguru result in Liberation?


Venkatesh Elayavilli

           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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