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Surrender as means to liberation

From: T. R. Govindarajan (tgovindarajan_at_lucent.com)
Date: Mon Jul 17 2000 - 15:08:19 PDT

Dear bhAgavathAs:

AdiyEn came across this article appeared in the The Hindu dated. July 18, 2000.
In his discourse on the Raamaayanaa, Sengalipuram Sri B.Damodara Dikshitar said
that every canto of the epic, except the last one, highlighted the concept of
surrender. AdiyEn thought that this might be  of interest to all in the list
since a
discussion is currently going on about SaranAgati.

adiyEn

govindarajan


 CHENNAI, JULY 18. The main purpose of the Supreme Being's incarnations
 was to re-establish righteousness in the world and every manifestation has a
 unique message also to mankind. The significant import of Rama's incarnation is
 His promise that He would protect anyone who surrenders (Prapatti, Saranagati)
 to Him. In the Srivaishnava tradition the Ramayana is hailed as the
``Saranagati
 Sastra'' - a scriptural text outlining the concept of surrender to God as the
means
 to liberation. 

 The rationale behind depicting Rama's auspicious traits right at the outset by
 Valmiki is to instil hope in the heart of the penitent that the Lord would
condone
 his lapses if he submits to Him. This is crucial to the operation of the Lord's
 grace. His compassionate nature comes to the fore and makes Him overlook the
 devotee's sins. The Kamba Ramayanam focusses on surrender to God in the
 opening verse. 

 In his discourse on the Ramayana, Sengalipuram Sri B.Damodara Dikshitar said
 that every canto of the epic, except the last one, highlighted the concept of
 surrender. The first canto describes how the celestials surrendered to God for
 protection of the innocents who were being terrorised by the Rakshasas
 especially Ravana and He promised them that He would incarnate on the Earth
 for this purpose. The second canto highlights Bharata's surrender to Rama when
 he beseeched Him to return to Ayodhya. 

 The Aranya Kanda describes the surrender of the sages in the forest to protect
 them from the demons as they knew about Rama's divine nature and hence
 regarded Him as their Lord and refuge. The next canto describes Sugriva's
 submission to Rama to protect him from his brother Vali who had inflicted
untold
 suffering on him. The Sundara Kanda of the epic which focusses on the exploits
 of Hanuman also brings out his total surrender to Rama and his exemplary
 devotion to Him. 

 The next canto delineates one of the paradigmatic instances of Self-surrender
 cited by the preceptors - Vibhishana's surrender to Rama after Ravana failed to
 be convinced by his advice and persuasion to return Sita to Rama. It was in
this
 context that the Lord assured His protection to anyone who surrendered to Him. 

 While surrendering to God accepting Him as the means to liberation one must
 resolve to do only such actions that will please Him and also desist from those
 which displease Him. He must repose total faith in God's grace and must feel
 humble realising his helplessness. After surrendering to God he should not
worry
 about his eventual liberation and must accept everything in life as divine
will.

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