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Bhakti,Anugraham and Dayaa...

From: Murali Karamchedu (karamche_at_scf.usc.edu)
Date: Sat Jun 10 1995 - 15:07:26 PDT

Namasthe.

The doubts and loss of faith that we experience many at times seems to take
on  another  form ; one begins to wonder whether one is deserving enough to 
receive Ishvara anugraham;our retrospection seems uncharitable ,many choose 
to ignore it;few have enough faith to sustain by Naama Japa alone,sure that 
they are a  part of God's leela; and a few saints seem to accept graciously 
this  objectivity  as  the prerogative of their human state and use them as 
remembrancers for our raise, the pain of such a remembrance then  serves as 
tapas,it seems to enhance our Bhakti and our faith  in  Ishvara's Dayaa.The 
abject faith by Naama Japam aloneis perhaps like that  of  Prahlaada's ,and 
raise by introspection and retrospection seems like that of Dhruvaa's,where 
he knows God but only slowly drowns in that bliss...  this  is probably the 
difference  between the   esoteric   bhakti  of Prahlaada  and the exoteric 
Dhyaana  and  recognition  and  reclamation  of  Vishnu  later  by  Dhruvaa. 
The former is the Bhakti of the Heart,the later that through  the heart and 
that of the mind;It is  probably like the relation to a circle's centre;God 
is the  centre,  and  an  abject bhakti from the heart is like the relation
of  the  radius  to  the  centre ( this  is  direct  knowledge );wheras our 
reclamation of faith by retrospection is like the involution to this centre 
in  concentric  circles ( this  is  knowledge  by  anology  and  study  and  
understanding).

Two  songs  of such  poignant retrospection comes to mind,both very similar 
even  in  the  thought  content. One is that of Bhadraachala Ramadas, where 
he says
"ye theeruga nannu ,daya chuuchedhevo ,ila vamshotthama rama;
 naatharama ,bhava saagara needanu,nalinadalekshana rama"....( he then goes
on to say..)
"kroora karmamulu neraka cheysithee, neramulenchaku rama.
 dhaaridyamu, parihaaramu seyave, dhaiva shikaamani rama."

In his song,Tyagaraja echoes this anguish, saying..

" Yetula brothuvo theliya-le; ekaantha ramayya.
  Kata kata naa charithramu,karna katoramayya.
  pattigoddu reethi,bhakshinchi thirigithi;
  puttu lobhulanu,pottakai pogadeethi....".

In these songs the saints wonder how Rama might show his Dayaa on them,
while they have the burden of their karma behind them( the kroora karma
which Ramadas mentions, and the harsh charithram that Tyagaraja says is 
his burden  due  to  his  praising  insignificant men for food and then 
wandering and eating aimlessly like a buffalo..).Tyagaraja's subsequent 
reply to these doubts in 'karunaa jaladhe,Daasharathe' is really moving.
One cannot help coming to tears while studying Tyagaraja's songs,we will 
all find instances where  we  see  echoes of our own pain and anguish.In 
this journey,it is really moving  to see the Bhakti of the Gopi's on one 
side expressing all the pains of separation  from Krishna and the Bhakti 
of Anjaneya to whom Rama Nama IS Rama.

Would the Bhaktas reading this consider posting stories and songs of saints 
,or from the puranaas ,which reflect such attitudes  in Bhakti?

With Pranaams.
Murali Manohar.