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Re: Stotram and doubt

From: Krishna Kalale (kkalale_at_qualcomm.com)
Date: Tue Jan 20 1998 - 08:45:43 PST

  At 02:23 PM 1/19/98 -0600, Kalyani Krishnamachari wrote:
>Namaskarams!
>
>I understand that once you do prapatti to perumal, you do not have to 
>worry about praying to other gods for mundane reasons. 
>
>But, is it wrong if you say slokams for hanumAn or sani if you are 
>afflicted by sani (even though in your heart of hearts, you have pledged
>allegiance to perumal)? 


This question is a very valid one.  Particularly when a person gets
afflicted and a trustworthy friend says that this is due to "sani- dasha"
in the horoscope or some such thing, it is normal for anyone in such a
situation to start chanting a stotra to please any diety whoever that may
be to get rid of the calamity.  I have heard some cases where vaishnavas
belonging to very orthodox kulams have said that "my kid is so sick that I
dont care;  being a mother how can I just sit quiet without protecting my
kid with whatever means I have in front of me.  I will go to Karumari Amman
koil and do some vratam to ensure the safety of my kid who is sick with
smallpox or measles".  

All these issues though very trying have to be resolved in a sastraic way
as adviced by our acharyas if one trusts them whole heartedly.

traiyyantaih ekakantaih tadanugunamanu vyasa mukhyoktibhisca
srimannarayano nah patih akhila tanuh muktido muktibhogyah - paradevatha
paramarthyadhikara - Rahasya Traya Sara

All the vedantas and the words of Vyasa and Manu declare with one voice
that "Srimannarayana is our lord and the bearer of this universe as his
body and he is the only giver of Moksha and is the only one who is
experienced in the state of Moksha

One who has full faith in this aspect will have no doubt in just trusting
srimannarayana alone for everything in this life and hereafter.

It is very clear in the chapter on paradevata paramarthyadhikara of Rahasya
Traya Sara that there is no need to appease anyone else other than
Srimannarayana for any ailment.

I did hear of my friend's wife who became an atheist because it seems her
mother prayed to lord Srihari to spare the life of her aged mother
(grandma) and it seems that the prayers were of no avail and grandma passed
away.  In general, there is nothing wrong in praying to lord Srihari to
save a life except that a MUMUKSHU (one who seeks release from this
bondage) does not pray to God for anything however important that may be,
other than the lotus feet of srimannarayana. I am sure in this case that
person who prayed for her mother's life was not a mumukshu.  But Lord Sri
Hari, if he wishes, will help in whatever situation a person is in.  

Surely, Lord srimannarayana who is a giver of MOKSHA itself will give
health, wealth and whatever one desires:

sarirarogyam arthanshca bhogam schaivanusangikan dadati dyayinam nithyam
apavarga prado harih - vishnu dharma (74-43)

But,

if a person is marked for some punishment by the lord Srimannarayana whose
will is truth, no one including 4-faced Brahma or Rudra or Indra etc. can
protect that person as indicated in

brahma svayambhuh chaturanano va rudrastrinetrah tripurantako va indro
mahendrah sura nayako va tratum na shakyayudhi rama vadhyam -

Ramayana sundara kanda - 51-45

If Srimannarayana wishes a particular punishment will be given due to past
karmas no one can protect from that will of Lord.  This should not drive
anyone to become an atheist.  One should think that Srimannarayana knows
what is good for us. After all the bottomline is to attain mumukshatva ie.
release from this existence rather than attaining anything here. If we have
committed some sin that will definitely haunt us someday; a murderer even
here may ask protection by the very president of the country; and still his
plea may be rejected.

In essence, it amounts to saying : tvayi rakshati rakshakaih kim anyaih
tvayi cha arakshati rakshakaih kim anyaih - iti nischita dhih srayam
nrihare vegavati tatashrayam tvam 

- kamasikashtakam ( by Sri Vedanta Desika)

meaning : " if you are going to protect, then what is the need of other
protectors; if you are not going to protect, then what is the need for
other protectors!.  Having this determination, I try daily O'Nrihare
(Nrisimha) to attain the shores of your protection (from this samsara -
sagara)"

this should be our determination regarding faith in srimannarayana.

Our Narayana surely gives everything we need even here also, if one wants
other than moksha, Even the other dieties have powers to grant them to
their devotees; and even these powers were given to them by Lord
Srimannarayana: (labhate cha tatah kaman mayaiva vihitaan hi tan - other
diety worshippers attain their desires fulfilled by these dieties as they
were appointed by me to do so)

yuga koti sahasrani vishnum aradhya padmabhuh punastrailokya dhatrtvam
praptavan iti sushruma 

meaning " AFter worshipping Vishnu for a crore yugas it seems Brahma
(4-faced) attained the post of creator again in the next kalpa" -
mahabharata - kundadharopakhyana

When even the head of those other dieties had to come to Vishnu to get what
he wanted, why go not go to the root and ask Vishnu for everything we need.  

******

On the otherhand some feel that other dieties give fruits here faster as
said in the Bhagawadgita :

kankshantah karmanam siddhim yajante iha devataha 
kshipram hi maanushe loke siddhirbhavati karmaja : 

desiring quick results, some people pray to other dieties and attain those
results quickly; 

But, getting such quick results have some bad effects; these dieties are
like "nannies" who take care of babies; they give milk or other pacifiers
to just fulfil the needs of babies not realizing that it might be too much
food or ultimately bad to the kid eventhough the kid is crying for it; On
the otherhand just as a  mother gives what is ultimately good for the baby
eventhough that is "bitter" for the kid to taste, Lord Srimannarayana will
give anything we want or deny them if found to be not good, so that it will
ultimately not spoil us and finally lead us to the ultimate auspiscious
state of everlasting happiness.

The bottomline is everything (including dieties) in this universe is
controlled from within by Srimmannarayana this is the truth of the vedas.

>But, is it wrong if you say slokams for hanumAn or sani if you are 
>afflicted by sani (even though in your heart of hearts, you have pledged
>allegiance to perumal)? 

Referring to the last portion of this question, I feel that one can never
have allegiance to perumal truly and still think that someone else like
Sani will protect them and even for a moment choose to utter a stotra in
praise of Shani disregarding Lord Srimannarayana the real trusted LORD in
the heart of hearts!

Dasharatha might have prayed to Sani (I dont know whether this is in
Valmiki Ramayana : please clarify this).  This is definitely wrong for an
elevated soul to do. Arjuna though a great person did several things that
were wrong. Hence Dasharatha is no saint to be followed in this aspect.

However, in the Katyayani Vratha of Srimadbhagavatham and the similar
episode of Tiruppavai, it is fine to ask anyone to help us attain the lotus
feet of Srimannarayana.


>(One argument in favor of pleasing grahams that
>give bad effects was given by a priest (saivaite) here: when you see a
duSHTA, 
>why not put a "kumbidu" and stay out of way).

>adiyEn,
>
>Kalyani Krishnamachari

>
This is a nice way to put it. But our Srivaishnava Acharyas do not support
it.  Once the inner power of this universe is pleased automatically every
diety gets pleased just as watering the roots of a tree ensures food to the
branches,leaves and flowers. - Srimadbhagavatam

There is no need to water the branches separately.

One should understand that even this Dushta is ensouled by that same very
srimannarayana and completely controlled by HIM.  

One, to be a true Srivaishnava has to understand this concept seriously and
have firm conviction in this concept - 

bhuvi va divi va mamaastu vaso narake va narakantaka prakamam avadhirita
sharadaravindaou sharanam te maranepi chintayami - Sri Kulasekhara Alwar in
mukundamala

Let my residence be on the earth or heaven or even in Hell, I will think on
only Srimannarayana's lotus feet even though I am Dying.

Adiyen Krishna Kalale