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Re: saranAgati

From: Mani Varadarajan (
Date: Tue Jul 11 2000 - 23:53:10 PDT

Sri K. Mahesh wrote:
> 1. Can any body explain me the meaning of 
> Anukulasya sankalpa pratikUlsya varjanam
> raksisyati iti visvAso goprtve varanam tathA
> Atmaniksepa kArpanye Sadvidha saranAgati

Dear Mahesh,

Coincidentally, just yesterday I was studying Sri naDAdUr ammAL's
"prapanna pArijAta", which discusses this and other Sloka-s related
to SaraNAgati. The "pArijAta" is a beautiful work because it
presents ideas so simply, without excessive argumentation or

The Sloka you cite above is one of the two most common verses describing
the mode of SaraNAgati. ammAL quotes it in the very first chapter of
his work. The verse, again, with translation, is:
  Resolution to observe conformity (to His will),
  abandoning actions contrary (to it),
  faith that He will protect,
  a prayer for protection,
  the submission of one's self (to Him),
  along with a feeling of utter helplessness --
  this is the six-fold SaraNAgati. 

   ( AnukUlyasya sankalpa: prAtikUlyasya varjanam
     rakshiSyati-iti viSvAso gOptRtvE varaNam tathA
     Atmanikshepa-kArpaNye shaDvidhA SaraNAgati: )

What this means is that the self-surrender that is the core
of SaraNAgati is total and complete when combined with these
other five attributes.  In fact, as one seeks refuge in the
Lord, these other attributes should become natural in the

The other Sloka that is often cited is mentioned by ammAL in
the second chapter. This Sloka elaborates on the appropriate
mental attitude of this self-surrender:

  "I am the abode of all sins, utterly helpless and without
  any other recourse. O Lord! You alone must be my means!"
  Such a condition of the mind is called SaraNAgati. 

    ( "aham asmy aparAdhAnAm Alayo 'kincano 'gatiH |
       tvam evopAyabhUto me bhava" iti prArthanA matiH
       SaraNAgati: )

> 2. Can any body provide me with at least 3 Practical practice points for
> each of the above 6 parts of saranAgati. So that I can put them into
> practice. I don't want to guess them. 

Dear Mahesh, here is what ammAL has taught about these five angas:

1) resolution to conform to the Lord's will --> positive acts of service,
                                                kindness, and love to all

    Out of the certainty of feeling that the Lord abides in all beings,
    kindness to all beings is said to be 'conformity to His will'.

     ( AnukUlyam iti proktam sarvabhUtAnukUlatA |
       anta:sthitA'ham sarveshAm bhAvAnAm iti niScayAt || )

2) abandoning ways contrary to His will --> giving up cruelty and other
                                            forms of injury

   Furthermore, recognizing the universal pervasiveness of He who 
   is sought after in self-surrender, 'abandoning ways contrary'
   means refraining from cruelties and other injuries to all beings.

     ( etena vyAptivijnAnAt prapattavyaSya sarvaSa: |
       AnukUlyasya sankalpAt prAtikUlyasya varjanam |
       himsAdy apAyavirati: uktA sarveshu jantushu || )

3) feeling utterly helpless --> abandoning all pride and ego

   Because of one's incapacity to pursue other means to moksha, 
   and the inherent pitfalls theirein, relinquishing pride and being
   humble is known as 'kArpaNya'.

     ( angasAmagryasampatter aSakteS cApi karmaNAm |
       adhikArsya cAsiddhe: deSakAlaguNakshayAt |
       upAyA naiva siddhyanti hy apAyA: bahulAs tathA |
       iti yA garvahAnis tat dainyam kArpaNyam ucyate  || )

4) faith that He will protect --> abandoning further self-effort in this direction, 
                                  and not seeking the favor of others for
                                  this purpose

   By reason of His ability, His ease of accessibility,
   His eternal union with compassion, and because of
   the inherent relation of Him and that which He rules --
   which is not know but which is is ever-existent --
   the firm belief that He will protect us who conform
   to His will is 'viSvAsa'. 

5) a prayer for protection --> "O Lord! Be my protector!"

   This is explained in the second verse cited above.


6) self-surrender --> actually laying the burden at His feet. This is
   a one-time event and constitutes the heart of SaraNAgati.

aDiyEn rAmAnuja dAsan

P.S. ammAL's explanations are taken from the lakshmi tantra, the
     pAncarAtra source book for much of our understanding of

     It is also understood that in addition to the above, one 
     should do all of one's ordained religious duties as service
     and worship of God. 

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