You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : March 1997

Enlightened bhakthi

From: Parthasarati Dileepan (
Date: Wed Mar 12 1997 - 09:30:41 PST

Yesterday's NPR coverage of flood in the state of 
Kentucky/Indiana included an interview of an old woman
marooned in her own home.  She asked the listeners to 
offer a prayer for her well being.  Had she been an
enlightened soul she would have taken this adversity 
in stride and not cared to offer any prayer, let alone 
ask unknown others to intervene with God on her behalf!

I liked what Viji had to write on this subject.  The 
question of whether one should pray to the Lord for 
anything less than mOksha would be brought to uncomfortable 
focus only when one faces a crisis.  I was in one such 
crisis not long ago.  I had to debate this question within 
the confines of my own conscience.  My initial thought was 
NOT to pray to the Lord for a happy resolution for the 
extremely heart wrenching situation.  After all, the problem 
was His will and He will resolve it according to the karma 
of all involved.  But later, after some thought, I felt 
ashamed that I wanted something, but would not pray for 
it because it is "unenlightened" to pray for anything 
less than mOksham.

I feel there is nothing "unenlightened" in asking anything 
from the Lord.  Our Azhvaars have repeatedly stressed the 
worldly pleasures one is sure to enjoy by reciting their 
paasurams.  Consider Thirumangai Mannan's "kulam tharum 
selvam thanthidum ..."  What is important, I think, is 
how we view what come to pass after having offered, or 
not offered, the prayer.  I think those who pray to the 
Lord for whatever worldly gain will be ever ready to accept 
anything they get, good or bad, as His will.  Those who 
think it is beneath them to ask anything but mOksham from 
the Lord may indeed face the danger of deluding themselves 
that it is their intelligence and effort that have put them 
in whatever agreeable situations they find themselves in.

Finally, wanting good things in life and then insisting 
that I will not ask for anything but mOksham seems a little 
cocky and arrogant to me.  Who among us is free of wanting 
good things in life?

Thanks, Dileepan

Parthasarati Dileepan                              Phone: 423-755-4675
School of Business Administration                  Fax:   423-755-5255
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
615 McCallie Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37403