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Re: Bhakti

From: Mohan Sagar (msagar_at_worldnet.att.net)
Date: Tue Jul 28 1998 - 19:22:01 PDT

 ----------
> From: Parthasarati Dileepan <Dileepan@utc.edu>
> To: bhakti@lists.best.com
> Subject: Re: Bhakti
> Date: Tuesday, July 28, 1998 2:04 PM
> 
> 
> Sri Vaishnavas do consider Buddha an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, 
> but of a contrarian kind.  The Lord came to the world as Buddha to 
> spread lies among asuras in order to mislead them.
>

It is my understanding from hearing Sri Tridandi Jeear Swamy's discourses
on the same subject that while there was indeed a BuddhAvatharan who came
to mislead the asurans with false teachings, this Buddha was not the same
Buddha as Siddhartha.  So, the Buddha of Buddhism is not an avAtharan of
Vishnu.  Nonetheless - and with no personal comments against the ideas
presented by Smt Radhika - as Sri Dileepan has stated, SriVaishnavam is
strongly opposed to many of Buddhism's views, and its achAryans have very
clear and logical reasons for this opposition.

The reason for such a strong conviction on the parts of ourselves, and more
importantly, our AchAryans and AzhwArs on such religions as Buddhism can
perhaps be answered somewhat by attempting to address Smt Radhika's
question:

>I would like to know from the erudite minds of
>this forum what in their opinion is Unconditional love. What they think
>Saranagati truly means in an everyday mundane context...

While Smt Radhika intended to get answers from the erudite in this forum, I
hope she will not mind if a novice pitches in.

The details of what prapatti is and what one undergoes in the process
varies between the kalais, and is also the subject of much discussion in
the Bhakti Archives, so I will not address it here.  However, I presented a
similar question regarding the life of a prapanna to Sri Tridandi Jeear
Swamy during the recent Seminar on SriVaishnavam that took place here in
Denver.  The following is a very crude and rudimentary synopsis of what he
has taught me:

Irrespective of what approach one takes in performing prapatti, the end
result is a psychological transformation in the individual such that he/she
will recognize Sriman Narayana alone as the only source of protection and
salvation, and will recognize his/her true nature as the eternal loving
servant of the Lord.  This two-fold realization will invoke in the prapanna
a desire to serve the Lord and His devotees to the best of his/her
abilities.  Such a servitude can best be expressed through adherence to the
Sastras, complimented by the Prabhandam, as they are the best sources of
information regarding the Lord and the ways to worship Him correctly. 
Counterbalancing this emotional desire to serve is a deep sense of
humility, in which the individual knows that his/her human failings really
make him/her totally unqualified to serve Him, and that our simple rituals
and offerings of love are only accepted by Him because of His wondrous Love
for us.

What changes on mundane levels?  Sri Jeear Swamy said that really nothing
needs to change.  We still must maintain our responsibilities to our jobs,
our friends, and our family.  But, what does change is our attitude, our
mood, as we begin to see all aspects of our lives as sacred.

Since Buddhism does not recognize the validity of sAstram, and hence does
not recognize the supremacy of Sriman Narayana and our subservience to Him,
our AchAryans and AzhwArs firmly oppose it.

Please forgive me for any errors in the above, as they are due to my own
ignorance.

adiyEn rAmAnuja dAsan,

Mohan