You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : June 1998

Are there progress indicators in the prapatti mArga?

From: Rajagopalan, Murli, NCSIO (murli_at_att.com)
Date: Tue Jun 09 1998 - 14:54:15 PDT

Hi,

In spite of the busy schedules of the bhakti group members, there will be (I
am sure) someone who can address the question I have at hand.

ARE THERE PROGRESS INDICATORS IN THE PRAPATTI MARGA?

Let me try to elaborate this question by drawing a parallel from the
corporate world.  In projects we are involved at work, we have deadlines,
milestones, progress indicators (which very well could be failure
indicators).  These metrics or check-points indicate the progress of the
project.  Decisions can be made for staffing (for instance), equipment
purchases, or even altering the course of the project depending on
user-acceptance reviews.

In this daunting project we have undertaken of leading the life of a
prapanna after at first performing prapatti at the Lotus feet of Lakshmi
NArAyaNa, do we have similar progress indicators?  Can we correct our ways,
if need be, or commend ourselves on our progress by reading these
indicators?

I am sure we all realize that the very act of our prapatti is not enough to
fetch us moksham, and neither is any effort from our side thereafter.
Rather, the whole and sole reason behind the consummate eradication of sins
committed by even an emperor among sinners (aparAdha chakravarthi) -- hmm,
that sums up my resume -- is Sriman NArAyaNa's will and immense compassion.

Granted.  However, although surrendering to the Lord is a one time event,
practicing it is a lifelong struggle.  The situation is paradoxical:  Our
personal effort can never be up-to-the-mark;  yet, we cannot relieve
ourselves of that effort.  In such a situation, I think it would help to
have some indicators that will help us analyze the "I was there; now I am
here; how am I doing?" kind of questions.  Srimad Bhagawad Geeta does an
excellent job of identifying the various stages of karma-, jnAna-, and
bhakti- yoga, providing excellent milestones in the progress towards the
paramAtma.  What about the prapatthi mArga?  Will that paramAtma indicate in
some way His acceptance (since He is the user-in-chief) of our efforts,
however insignificant they might be?  And what are those efforts in the
first place?  Is Sandhya Vandanam enough?  Is Bhagawad ArAdhanam enough?
Will inviting a few bhAgawatAs to sumptuous lunches and taking care of their
needs for the time they have blessed their presence complete the deal?  Will
one have to construct temples?  Or is it all of these and much more?  (Of
course, it goes without saying that all of these are to done after
renouncing the sense of doership.)  When and how will we see an assuring
"prapannas, stay in this lane" sign?  And then even if we take final success
for granted (for we know that that success is attributed to the Lord alone),
how will He let us know of his displeasure of our ways or otherwise during
our now-confirmed ephemeral stay here on earth?  Will He resort to subtler
forms of rewarding and reprimanding such as what we experience daily, or
will He be more expressive?

Any inputs are welcome.

> || Sarvam Sri KrishNArpaNamastu ||
> 
> -- Murali KaDAmbi
> 
> 
>