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Six-Religions etc (Was Re: addr: M.S.Hari)

From: Anand Karalapakkam (kgk_at_md2.vsnl.net.in)
Date: Sat Jul 29 2000 - 20:23:07 PDT

SrI:
SrI Lakshminrusimha ParabrahmaNE namaha
SrI Lakshminrusimha divya pAdukA sEvaka SrIvaN -
SaThakOpa SrI nArAyaNa Yateendra mahAdESikAya namaha

 namO nArAyaNa!

 Dear SrI Narasimhan,

 .. cont

> everytime we who believe
> in nAdOpasanA hear a kriti like 'entharO mahAnubhAvulu
> anthariki vandanamulu' or 'enna thavam seythanai
> yasodA' (both composed by advaitis, by the way!) or
> 'krishnA nee beganE bArO', tears fill up our eyes. (my
> eyes are moist as adiyEn types this). if this kind of
> nAdOpasanA is not Bhakti then what is?

 The bhakti as you have referred here is "sAmAnya bhakti".
 The "bhakti" ie.upAsana as prescribed in Upanishads
 does need such a great bent of mind of craving for
 SrIman nArAyaNa and it includes "sAmAnya bhakti" within
 it. The article in SrI Ahobila Mutt's page dwells more
 on this issue. Please refer to it. In short, those who
 are capable enough and are immersed in kalyANa guNas
 of SrIman nArAyaNa (with sAmAnya bhakti) will take up
 the course of karma-jn~yAna yOga, attain jIvAtma
 sAkshAtkAram and proceed further to attain ParamAtma
 sAkshAtkAram by adopting an upAsana as prescribed in
 Upanishads. Alternatively, one might adopt Prapatti. It
 depends upon the free-will of the jIvAtma to choose a
 path of its liking.

 By the way, in "entarO mahAnubhAvulu" krithi referred by 
 you, the charanam "....SivAdi ShaNmatamula goodamUla muppati .. 
 ..mahAnubhAvulu antariki vandanamu", SrI TyAgarAja
 salutes all the persons who worshiped dEvatas in accordance
 with the six religion viz. the supreme-god in each religion
 as being Siva,PArvati,Ganapati,Subramanya,VishNu and SUrya.
 SrI TyAgarAja says that these persons who followed either
 of these religions are mahAnu-bhAvAs who attained mukti due
 to such worship of their ishta-dEvata (saguNa-brahman).

 According to the present day advaitins, SrI Adi Sankara Bhagavad
 pAdAL was a great synthesizer of all these six religions and
 that it is well incorporated within the advatia vEdAnta. Anyone
 of these specific six dEvatas can thus be considered as
 saguNa-brahman for them and intense devotion unto them will make
 these persons fit to receive the teachings of mahAvAkyas from a
 Guru. But, unbiassed scholars are of the opinion that SrI Adi
 Sankara recognized only Lord NArAyana as the SaguNa-Brahman, since
 in all of his commentaries on SAstras like Upanishads-Brahma
 SUtras-Bhagavad GIta-VishNu SahasranAma, he has equated only Lord
 NArAyana to SaguNa-Brahman and all other dEvatas as being
 sub-ordinate to Him. According to these scholars, some stotras
 etc on other dEvatas as being SaguNa-Brahman, attributed to SrI
 Adi Sankara is a later fabrication. Anyway, SrI TyAgarAjar seems
 to have followed the most popular version of advaita as existed 
 in his period and which is so in current times as well, with Lord 
 RAma being his ishta-dEvata. In this system of advaita, one has to
 daily worship all these six-dEvatas. However, the sacred water
 (theertam) obtained after thirumanjanam to SAlagrAma MUrti
 (Lord VishNu) is only fit for consumption. It is in their current
 anushThAnam as well.

 SrI VaishNavas / SAstras donot accept that any of these six 
 dEvatas can be considered as Supreme-God (just for the sake of 
 meditation ie.SaguNa-Brahma upAsana and to be the stepping stone 
 for nirguNa-Brahman realization). SrIman nArAyaNa is the only 
 Supreme Lord who is the ultimate reality and attaining (serving) 
 Him <includes pirAtti ofcourse> is the ultimate end.

> adiyEn is not a scholar like sri hari. but adiyEn
> knows one thing certainly. Our Bhagavan has clearly
> stated in His Gita that those who have acquired
> theoretical knowledge of the shAstrAs and vedAs etc.
> are not necessarily dear to Me. That person is dear to
> Me who has placed his mind on Me. adiyEn is very clear
> that nAdOpAsanA within seconds places my mind, body
> and soul at His lotus feet. this to my immature mind
> is the most practical way of seeking refuge at His
> feet  , even if a thousand Haris were to tell me that
> it is not sanctioned by the scriptures.
> may the learned bhAgavathAs pardon adiyEn for any
> erroneous thought!

  Again, your statements are worded too strongly against
  a very good SrI VaishNava/Prapanna SrI Hari and that too
  completly mis-understanding what he wrote earlier.
  As aDiyEn understands, you equate SrI Hari to be of the
  category of "Theoritical Knowledged" people devoid of
  bhakti/anubhava who does not know about nAdOpAsana. If
  it is not intended by you, aDiyEn apologizes for
  mis-understanding your intention. If it was intended so
  by you, it is totally uncalled for. SrI Hari has been
  working very hard with pure intention to serve the
  SrI VaishNava community. He has already given many good
  lectures at Singapore, hearing upon which many have turned
  from different backgrounds to embrace SrI VaishNavam and
  follow its principles. I personally know about his good
  devotion towards Divya-Dampati, AchAryas and BhAgavatas.
  He has involved himself in lots of financial support to
  various SrI VaishNava causes. Given that he is only in his
  mid-twenties and having performed kAlakshEpam under an
  AchArya on sampradAya granthas, he deserves much more
  respect, in aDiyEn's humble opinion. His well intended
  postings to the list are well received by many. Again, if
  aDiyEn has mis-interpretted your words, kindly pardon me.

  A note on Knowledge / "Jn~yAna" : Bhakti is basically a
  form of jn~yAna ie.knowledge. Prapatti is also a specific
  form of knowledge though needed to be obtained only once.
  Technically, both bhakti and prapatti are  avasthas
  ie.states of dharmabhUta jn~yAna and thus both are "jn~yAna
  visEsha" only. Theoritical knowledge on SAstras is very
  essential to understand Tatva-Hita-PurushArthas properly.
  Without adequate knowledge on the most essential aspects
  (the topmost essence) of SAstras, one will certainly have
  many mis-conceived notions and by their own speculations,
  they would perform acts which would not be in accordance
  with SAstras (eg: Mis-conception of what exactly
  "Bhakti-YOga" is; Misconception on the Supreme Lord; etc).
  Thats why, AchAryas like SwAmi DESikan blessed us with
  invaluable works like "SrImad Rahasya Traya SAram" to know
  the most essential aspects of Tatva-Hita-PurushArtha. As you
  say, one who does not develop devotion towards SrIman nArAyaNa,
  though has read various SAstras is not as dear to Lord, as a
  person who has understood Him well. But, the defect here is
  not on the "Knowledge of SAstras" in general, but the
  comprehension/attitude of the person who has studied various
  SAstras without understanding its purport. Knowledge on
  SAstras is extremly important and when its properly obtained,
  it will automatically show its effect - Be it devotion to
  Divya Dampati, AchAryas, possesion of aatma-guNas etc. By the
  way, the two most celebrated features of an AchArya are their
  "jn~yAna" and "anushThAna". Our pUrvAchAryas often compare a
  bird to an AchArya with "jn~yAna" and "anushThAna" as their
  two wings. Though one may have good sAmAnya bhakti, unless
  backed up by proper knowledge on Tatva-Hita-PurushArthas,
  he/she will delay their attainment of SrI VaikuNTham. However,
  PerumAL will certainly guide those with sAmAnya-bhakti and
  will eventually guide them to adopt a sAdhyOpAya and thereby
  grant moksha for them.

 A Note on the verse ref. veena nAdam: The statements in SAstras
 like "Knower of Music alongwith appropriate tALam,rAga etc will
 certainly reach moksha easily", "Residents of Divya-DEsa will
 attain moksham", "Recital of bhagavan nAma will certainly
 make one attain moksham" etc are all fully valid statements.
 There is nothing wrong in those translations / verses ; Only
 the import has to be additionally understood ie. they aid one
 to the anushThAnam of a sAdhyOpAya and thereby attain
 moksham. The net result is that "By reciting bhagavan nAma, he
 attained moksham" is a valid statement, and intermediete
 details are to be understood through other pramAnas which
 clarify about the sAdhyOpAyas (eg: BhaktyA paramayA vApi
 prapattyA vA mahAmatE prApyOham na anyathA prApyO mama
 kainkarya lipsubhihi : Using this pramAna which ascertains that
 bhakti and prapatti are the one and only sAdhyOpAyas, one has
 to suitably understand the statements in SAstras like "Recital
 of bhagavan nAma will fetch moksham" etc). This is the way
 SwAmi DESikan explains in SrImad RTS. Thus, there is nothing
 wrong in the translation of the verse. But, one has to
 additionaly write "notes" on it to make the actual import
 clearer. Many arguments and explanations has already been
 given by SrI Hari which act as the "notes" in this case.

 Final note : There is no doubt that singing/hearing the 
 songs on SrIman nArAyaNa will *very easily* make one focus
 unto Lord. Thats why PArAyanam of Divya Prabandham and Stotras 
 are very regularly done by SrI VaishNavas. If one has the 
 capacity to mix music into it, it will be much better for 
 one's own anubhavam and the listeners. AzhwArs/SAstras have
 certainly recommended this and esp.for the kali yuga.

  aDiyEn rAmAnuja dAsan,
  anantapadmanAbhan.
  krishNArpaNam.

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