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Re: 'AvanE tharuvAn'
Date: Sat Feb 27 1999 - 11:49:40 PST

Dear friend

I was deeply moved by your posting when you said-
" PerumAl’s inherent quality is to give. His natural attribute to give is
strained by our nature of asking. “umadhu adigal adaighinrEn enru orukAl
urathavarai thamadu anaithunm vazhanghium”
Perumal’ s attribute is to give but His quality of giving in abundance is
restricted by our inability to receive it – because we have already put a tag
on it saying “give me this, help me in this, save me from this.” It is said
“when God decides to punish people He does it by fulfilling their wishes.”
Such is the fallacy of our seeking"

When we ask Perumal to grant this or that, we assume that He does not know
what we want and needs to be told. Nothing can be more damaging to the
Mahaviswasam of a Prapanna who has surrendered everything to the Lord
including "Phala" and, therefore, is not expected to ask for even Moksham. 

One of my Advaithic colleague in office, by name Narayanaswamy used to echo
this sentiment saying that "If I ask the Lord for a promotion, it means that
He does not know what that Narayanaswamy needs a promotion. So, I will not
pray for promotion!. 

However, being heir to human frailties (in spite of performing Prapatti), we
are unable to resist the temptation to seek this or that relief in mundane
matters, for example when a child is seriously ill. To insist on not asking
for relief in such circumstances can result practically in a ' Dharma
Sankatam' if not self-deception. How to reconcile these contrary positions?

If peace of mind so necessary for the uninterrupted concentration in doing the
Nitya Karmanushtaana with the 'Satvika Thyaga' is what we seek and the child's
illness comes in the way, I believe, there is nothing wrong in praying to Lord
for the grant of appropriate circumstances conducive to the whole hearted
worship of the Lord. This may include the recovery of the ailing child or any
other disturbing circumstance. 

Only when anything is done for one's own pleasure, it is "Kaamya." When the
prayer is linked to the uninterrupted dhyanam of the Lord, it assumes the
character of "Nish Kaamya" and may be permitted by our Acharyas.

Learned Bhagavatas may perhaps throw better light on this.

Anbil Ramaswamy