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Vedanta Desika & Manavalamaamuni

From: Krishna Kalale (kkalale_at_qualcomm.com)
Date: Wed Feb 05 1997 - 13:49:59 PST

I bought three cassettes all on the life and works of Manavalamaamuni by Sri
Krishna Premi Maharaj - one of the most entertaining and knowlegeable
speakers on srivaishnavism.  I will make this email short and to the point.
Obviously the cassettes themselves are excellent and has a bulk of
information.  I will just summarize some key points here.

Sri Krishna Premi Maharaj says:

Most people dwell on the differences (vettrumai) between the two great
srivaishnava stalwarts; but I will dwell on some major similarities!!  We
all know the major trends in prapatti doctrine: Marjala nyaya and Markata
nyaya ( the analogy of the kitten being carried by the cat and baby monkeys
hanging on to the mother monkey) each analogy supporting either prapatti by
self-effort (with saatvika tyaga) or prapatti mainly understanding that God
is the final resort.  Alwar's paadals support both views here and there.
There are occasions where alwars perform a prapatti and in some cases leave
everything to God and give up, realizing the ineffectiveness and triviality
of self effort. Sri Vedanta desika even though supports a prarthana purvaka
arthitva - ie. asking, God for moksha through a surrender using a prayer
(via an acharya), has taken the other side in some of his slokas -  "tvayi
rakshati rakshakaha kimanyaihi tvayicha rakshati rakshakaha kimanyaihi" - O
Lakshmi Nrisimha, if you have taken the stance to protect me what is the
need for other protectors; if you have decided not to protect me what is the
use of other protectors!.  Protectors could be dieties or even any other
means. Replace the term protectors by "means" such as prapatti or bhakti-
will yield a stance very close to Manavala maamuni's.  (There is another
quote from krishna premi - using a sloka which has a direct implication
close to Manavala maamuni's view- I will find that quote later)

Sri Manavala Maamuni doctrinally states that one should not "ask" for
surrender because it violates the very nature of jiva - ie. his complete
dependence on God;  Like a piece of wealth will not ask it's owner to
protect it, similarly, it is in God's hands and one need not ask for one's
deliverance. So the upaya is only to "know" that Srimannarayana is the
protector.

On the other hand, when Sri Manavala Maamuni was in his ripe old age, he
wrote a work called "Arthi Prabandam". In this prabandam, it seems Sri
Manavala Maamuni actually performed an "ARTHA" PRAPATTI ie. prapatti done
with prayer to Lord Srimannarayana to put an end to this life immediately
and take this aspirant to Vaikunta to begin an new eternal era of continous
kainkaryam.  Completing this work, it seems Sri Manavala Maamuni attained
the feet of the Lord!

My knowledge of historical events is very little. I dont even know how
historians relate  works to events in lives of saints. Other learned folks
here can probably throw more light on this.

Srimathe Srivan Satagopa Sri Vedanta Desika Yateendra Mahadesikaya Namaha
Srimathe Sri Lakshmi Nrisimha Divya Paaduka Sevaka Srivan Satagopa Sri
Narayana Yateendra Maha Desikaya Namaha.

Krishna
Krishna Kalale
619-658-5612 (phone)
619-658-2115 (fax)