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The stairway to the Divine

From: Mohan Sagar (
Date: Mon Feb 03 1997 - 17:51:25 PST

My compliments to Mr. Sudarshan on his outstanding presentation of
Paramapada Sopanam. Swami Desikan's examination of the psychology of
spiritual progress was very well accentuated by Mr. Sudarshan's eloquent
writing style and his witty references to modern day analogies.

The Srirangam Acharyas also have similar concepts regarding the slow
progressive process towards prapatti. Patricia Mumme, in defining prapatti,
cites the example of Acharya Hrdayam 14 - 15.  In commenting on these
verses, Manavalamamunigal describes in some detail how the Lord, out of His
Boundless Compassion, guides an individual from the stage of agnosticism to
the level of a prapanna:

1.  An agnostic/atheist first becomes aware of some small aspect of Sastra,
such as a mantra or a pooja, that can be utilized to procure some material

2.  By securing such a material benefit, the once atheist now becomes a
believer in Sastra, as both a means for obtaining material benefits as well
as a means of enjoying Swarga at the end of his/her present life.

3.  The disciplined life associated with adhering to Sastra leads the now
aspirant to recognize the difference between the temporal material world and
the immortal self, leading he/she to pursue self-realization.

4.  Self-realization leads to the recognition of the Sriman Narayana as the
Antarayami, causing the aspirant to strive towards Him through Bhakti Yoga.

5.  The path of Bhakti Yoga leads the aspirant to recognize his/her
inability to reach the Lord through self effort, which results in the
realization that the Lord Himself is both the Way and the Goal.  The
aspirant then ceases his/her self-motivated activities through Prapatti and
realizes his/her true nature as a Sesa of the Lord.

Daasanu Daasan,