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SrI deSika stotra-s - 17. SrI acyuta Satakam - Part 3.

From: Narasimhan Krishnamachari (
Date: Mon Jul 12 1999 - 17:21:51 PDT

		SrI deSika stotra-s - 17. SrI acyuta Satakam Part 3.

10. The Life of a prapanna:

The main purpose to which a prapanna should devote his life in this
world is to do two things:  a) to serve Him without any desire for
benefit; and b) to help other cetana-s by guiding them towards
realizing Him. In a sense, this second item is one way of serving Him,
and He keeps the prapanna in this world without taking him right away
to SrIvaikunTham just so the prapanna can devote his time to this
purpose in this world (61). This service of the prapanna serves as the
bridge which the cetana-s can use to cross the ocean of samsAra (62). 

The prapanna is assured of moksham at the end of his/her life.  In the
interim, the prapanna accepts the pains and pleasures in the rest of
this life as an expiation of the accumulated karma-s.  Because of this,
the prapanna does not have any fear of death, and looks at death as a
bosom-friend visiting his home and welcomes death when it arrives,
whole-heartedly (63).

Seeing the aj~nAna or darkness in this world, the prapanna does service
to the Lord and to this world by lighting the torch of brahmaj~nAna and
passing it on to deserving Sishya-s.  When this service is performed by
the prapanna, bhagavAn considers the prapanna's life's objective to
have been accomplished, and takes the prapanna to His abode of
SrIvaikunTham (64).  Here the prapanna joins the goshTi of garuDa,
AdiSesha, and vishvaksena, and has uninterrupted bhagavad-anubhavam
while having all the bhoga-s equivalent to bhagavAn Himself (65).

11. The Greatness of prapatti and prapanna-s:

Bhakti and prapatti are the two means to attain moksham.  Of these,
bhakti yoga requires the j~nAna and the Sakti to perform the j~nAna
yoga and the karma yoga, practicing which alone one will get the
maturity to undertake the bhakti yoga.  Knowing the uncertainty and the
delay associated with this means for attaining moksha, people who
probably had the required j~nAna and Sakti to undertake bhakti mArgam,
still discard this as their preferred means for seeking moksham, and
instead perform prapatti at bhagavAn's Feet and attain moksham without
delay and with certainty (66). 

The veda-s declare that human life-form is subservient to the deva-s,
and is meant to toil to please the deva-s.  But while the human being
who performs prapatti is assured of attaining moksham, the likes of
indra who are superior to the human life-form by their position are
still accumulating karma-phalam and are thus going to go through the
cycle of birth and re-birth.  These deva-s who had this human being as
their servant, all of a sudden come and prostrate in front of this
prapanna and worship him.  The prapanna thus becomes the object of
worship of the deva-s not only after they reach SrIvaikunTham but in
this world as well (67).

12. The a'nga-s of prapatti:

These have been covered a few times before (SaraNAgati dIpikA Slokam
27; nyAsa vimSati 18;  nyAsa daSakam 2, 10; etc.).   The prapanna in
svAmi deSikan finds expression in Sloka-s 74 to 84.  He submits to Lord
devanAyaka that he is realizing that all the yAga-s and other kAmya
karma-s that he has undertaken and continues to undertake are powerless
to yield the ultimate benefit, and that His Mercy alone can retrieve
him from the heaps of sins that he is committing all his life (74 to
80).   He submits to the Lord the complete responsibility for his
protection (81).     

13. The Importance of practices such as nAma samkIrtanam:

The most important first step for the darkness in our mind to disappear
and for us to turn to Him for surrender, is bhagavAn's kaTaksham and
anugraham itself (68).  Simple practices such as nAma samkIrtanam
(chanting bhagavAn's name sincerely) will lead to deep-rooted devotion
to Him over time.  These practices will remove the darkness in our
mind, will rejuvenate the soul so that we devote ourselves to His
service,  and with His kaTaksham we will attain moksham.  Thus the nAma
samkIrtanam will serve as the strong root on which the tree of moksham
will grow and rest.   The nectar of nAma samkIrtanam has untold other
benefits (69).

14. The Importance of karma (Actions) Done Without Desire For Fruits:

svAmi deSikan has emphasized the essence of karma yoga in Slokam 70, as
described in SrImad bhagavad gItA (2.40 and 6.40).  Any work that is
done with the ultimate benefit dedicated to Him and with no expectation
of benefit from this action, will always lead to ultimate release from
the bondage of samsAra.  It is immaterial how small this effort is, or
how incomplete it is.  There is no sin or other negative effect even if
this act is discontinued in the middle for any reason.   This is
conveyed to us by Lord kr*shNa through Sloka 2.40 in the gItA -
nehAbhikrama nASo'sti pratyavAyo na vidyate   |  svalpamapyasya
dharmasya trAyate mahato bhayAt  ||, and also in Slokam 6.40 - pArtha
naiveha nAmutra vinASastasya vidyate   |  na hi kalyANakRt kaScit
durgatim tAta gacchati  ||.   

15. svAmi deSikan on anya-devatA worship:

svAmi deSikan reiterates the simple reason why anya-devatA worship is
unnecessary for those who seek any benefit at all in life, and why it
does not make sense for one who is interested in moksha and nothing
else, in Sloka-s 71 and 72.  All the other gods get their power to
bestow their devotee's wishes only by the Grace of SrIman nArAyaNa,
through the power that He bestows on them.  They can smile on their
devotees only if He smiles on them.  Without His Will, they don't have
any power.  And then at best they can bestow some small benefits
compared to the ultimate benefit that He alone can give, viz. moksha. 
This being the case, one can worship bhagavAn directly and get anything
one desires, instead of worshiping all the itara-devatA-s who are in
between Him and us.  

There is an even more important reason why one who is interested in
moksha and nothing else should only worship SrIman nArAyaNa and no one
else.  This has to do with a prapanna not even desiring any of the
benefits that the anya-devatA-s can bestow on them.  So the
anya-devatA-s have nothing to give to the prapanna even if they are
extremely pleased (itara tridaSAh prasannAh kim hitam karishyanti? -
72).  Given that the only benefit that is sought by a prapanna is
moksha and no other benefit, the only logical conclusion is that there
is no other worship except that of SrIman nArAyaNa that makes any

There are two gems that we have come across before, where svAmi deSikan
has conveyed the same idea, viz. nothing moves without His Will, 
through beautiful rhyming poetry.  These are: 1.  in kAmAsikAshTakam
Slokam 8 - tvayi rakshati rakshakaih kimanyaih , tvayi cArakshati
rakshakaih kimanyaih; and 2. tvayi pravr*tte mama kim prayAsaih,
tvayyapravr*tte mam kim prayAsaih. Similar rhythmic poetry is what we
see in the current Slokam also - aprasAde aprasannAh, tava prasAde
dAsasatya prasannAh (71). 

To be continued...

-dAsan kRshNamAcAryan

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