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Re: Progress indicators in the Prapatti marga

From: Bharadwaj, Jaganath (jbb0_at_nreca.org)
Date: Wed Jun 10 1998 - 07:19:19 PDT

>ARE THERE PROGRESS INDICATORS IN THE PRAPATTI MARGA?
>
>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, 
>[Bharadwaj, Jaganath]  
adiyen is not sure what Murli means by this, but going by the meaning of
the statement of the words themselves, this is denied in the concept of
Prapatti.  Bhakti Yoga is compared to a 5 year old child that comes
running to meet the mother when seeing her after an interval of time.
Prapatti is compared to a toddler, who wants to come to the mother, but
falls upon attempting to run.  The mother comes running to pick up the
child.  Worrying about our spiritual progress after Prapatti is like
wondering whether the mother is taking us in the right direction.

The 3 gunas control all our actions.  Understanding how these Gunas work
from Srimad Bhagavad Geeta will put these questions to rest.  Sriman
Narayana manipulates these Gunas to get His work done.  He tells Arjuna
to get up and fight, but also tells him "Even if you want to run away,
upon hearing the jeering remarks of your enemies, your gunas will force
you to do the very thing, which you say you will not do at this time."

Murli's question is more to do with understanding where one has the
freedom of choice and how to use it.  

Sri Srivatsarangachariar uses the following analogy.  A child (jivatma)
wishes to wear new clothes.  This desire is expressed to the father
(Bhagavan).  The father takes the child to a cloth store, tells the
merchant to display various varieties of cloth to the child.  The child
chooses which cloth he wants to wear.  Here alone he has the choice.
Next the father takes the cloth to a tailor, gets it stitched and the
child wears the new outfit.  Therefore out of 5 components that complete
one transaction of karma (action), the jivatma has choice in only one.
>The other 4 are controlled by Sriman Narayana.
>and neither is any effort from our side thereafter.
>
>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. Will that paramAtma indicate in
>some way His acceptance (since He is the user-in-chief) of our efforts,
>however insignificant they might be? 
>[Bharadwaj, Jaganath]  
Based on what was stated above, it is upto us to live in peace
understanding that whatever happened in our lives, could not have
happened unless Sriman Narayana allowed it to happen.  If He allowed it
to happen, there is some good in it for us.  For example, even if we
doubted His supremacy and later regretted it, we realize our
helplessness and give up pride.  (If we never doubted His supremacy at
all, that can lead to pride when we see someone else not having firm
faith).  Even if we committed Bhaagavatha apacharam and afterwards
regret it, it is good for us, because after that we will consider
ourselves the lowest of the low, following in the footsteps of
Nammazhwar, Parasara Bhattar and Swami Desikan and any Acharya worth
that name.

How does Sriman Narayana stop us from doing wrong after Prapatti?  A
group of us had gone to a temple one icy morning.  There was ice on the
streets, grass everywhere.  After coming out of the temple, the 5 year
old child ran to the car, in a situation where even walking was
dangerous.  The mother allowed him to run on the grass, where there was
enough friction in spite of the ice, though she kept telling him not to
run.  But when he ran onto the street, she caught hold of him.  His feet
continued the motions of running, but since she had caught hold of him,
he did not fall.  In the same way Sriman Narayana is protecting us every
moment, both this body and the soul.  Remember while He delegated the
tasks of creation and destruction to jivatmas, He kept the task of
protection to Himself.

Swami Desikan says that if Prapatti is completed one time with all its 5
angas, there is no way after that, that Moksham can be stopped.  If a
person does not get Moksham, then it means that Prapatti was never
completed with all its 5 angas.  Usually Mahavishwasam is the missing
element or a realization of our helplessness to attain moksham.  One
attains peace of mind after understanding the meaning of the 3 mantras,
or by doing a regular parayanam of the second chapter of Srimad Bhagavad
>Geeta after getting Upadesam from an Acharya.
> 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? 
>[Bharadwaj, Jaganath]  
If our mind is not peaceful, there is some unforgiven offence for which
Prayaschittam has to be done.  If we do not know how to do this, that
mental anguish itself is the Prayaschittam and the suffering will go
away if do not use our limited freedom of choice to further disobey
Sriman Narayana.

What kind of kainkaryam one does after Prapatti depends upon one's past
karma.  This has no relation to attaining moksham.  Just as moksham
means to do uninterrupted kainkaryam, that kainkaryam Sri Nammazhwar
>says, begins here itself.
> 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
>adiyen 
>jaganath.