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Saadhanaa for a Sri VaishNavan

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Sun Jul 22 2001 - 14:45:51 PDT

Dear BhakthAs:

adiyEn prepared a small article few weeks ago 
on the Saadhanaa aspects for  a Sri VaishNavan at 
the request of the Editors of NaamA for the NaamA News 
letter for their Spring 2001 issue. Instructions to me were 
to keep it simple and easy to read .This article will be
released to the NaamA Mailing list shortly. adiyEn wants to
share these thoughts with you all inview of the importance
of this subject. 

Saadhana is a complex subject. The Entire fourth Chapter of 
Brahma Soothrams of Vedha VyAsar is devoted to the Fruits 
of attaining Complete and eternal enjoyment of the Supreme
Being ( ParipoorNa BrahmAnubhavam )through the Saadhanaa.

Here is the article outlining briefly the Saadhanaa as it
relates to a Sri VasihNavan:

1. Definition of Saadhanaa and its goals

Saadhanaaa means accomplishment , fulfilment , propitiation 
and worship. 

What does a Sri VaishNavan want to accomplish in his/her life 
as the most sought after goal ? He /She wants to get release
from the repeated cycles of births and deaths (samsAram ). He/she
wants to be liberated (gain Moksham ) from the sufferings of
this SamsAric world.His/Her goal is to gain Moksha (release) 
so that he/she can escape form the sorrows of repeated cycles
of birth and death in many forms ( Human, animal, plant and

2. Who is a Mumukshu?
An aspirant for Moksham is a Mumukshu. As a seeker of 
Moksham , he/she longs for Moksha Sukham ( Complete 
and eternal happiness of being with the Lord at His supreme
abode(Sri Vaikuntam ) and performing Kaimkaryams (Services)
for Him and His consorts there without interruption 
and enjoying the company other liberated souls 
( Muktha Jeevans) there.

3. Upaayam or Means for Moksham
How does he/she accomplish this goal of Moksha Sukham ?
What are the means of used by a Mumukshu to attain this
goal and get fulfilled ? The easy-to-practise Upaayam 
(SaadhyOpaayam ) used by Mimukshu is Prapatthi or SaraNAgathi
or aathma nivEdhanam or absolute and unqualified surrender at 
the sacred feet of Sriman NaarAyaNan (SiddhOpAyam ) through 
the irreplacable help of a great AchAryan ( preceptor).This is 
done in the spirit of total identification with the Lord alone 
as the Saviour and in a state of utter helplessness to save 
oneself by any other means. Practise of Bhakthi Yogam is another 
means for attaining Moksham . Bhakthi Yogam is however very 
difficult to practise and hence Prapatthi Yogam is most suitable
to us. 

4. Saadhana Chathushtayam ( The required Four steps )
The Four steps are required to pursue and attain the goal 
of Moksham and they are known as Saadhana Chathushtyam :

a).The development of discriminating knowledge (VivEkam )
about what are ephemeral (anithya ) and what are ever-lasting
(nithya)sukhams (happiness).  

b).The development of ennobling aathma guNams like Samam
(tranquility ), dhamam (self-restraint and curbing of 
the mind from evil propensities et al).

c). Total detatchment from enjoying the fruits of one's
action and total dedication of those fruits to the Lord 
Himself (Saathvika ThyAgam ).

d).Intense desire to gain the fruits of Moksham .

5. Pancha Samskaaram
The Achaaryan will iniitate the seeker into Sri VaishNavA
fold through the performance of the five rites (pancha-
SamskAram ) and bless the seeker with manthra upadEsam.

6. Artha Panchakam ( Knowledge about Five doctrines)
The AchAryan will instruct the Mumunkshu further about 
the five doctrines that he/she has to know. These are known 
as the pentad of doctrines ( Artha Panchakam ): 

a). The Nature of Isvaran , the Supreme Being 
b). The nature of Jeevan (Soul)
c). The UpaayA (Means) for Moksham
d). The Phalan (Fruit) of Moksham
e). Moksha VirOdhis( the obstacles to Moksham)

7. Performance of Prapatthi
The AchArya will place the Lord's property ( Jeevan/Soul)
at the Lord's sacred feet and request the burden of protecting 
that jeevan with the Lord (Sriman NaarAyaNan) .The Acharyan
will intrcede with the Lord to recieve that Jeevan at 
Srivaikuntam once the body (cage for the soul) falls
on ground at the end of the earthly life . 

The One that has performed such a Prapatthi is known as
a "Prapannan " and he/she follows a code of conduct in
his/her post-prapatthi life until their last days on
this earth. At the end of their earthly lives , they 
ascend to Srivaikuntam through the power of their 
Prapatthi based on AchArya anugraham.

8. The Fulfilment
Thus Saadhana to achieve the goal of Moksham is realized
through the act of Prapatthi performed by a merciful 
Sri VaishNava SadAchAryan. 

May we all be blessed to have the sambhandham (connection )
to a noble AchAryan to perform Prapatthi to the Lord on
behalf of us to be freed once and for all from the sufferings
of this samsaric world !

Srimath Azhagiya Singar ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam 
Daasan, Oppiliappan Koil Varadachari Sadagopan    

           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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