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RE: Prapatti and Nitya SamsAri

From: Rajagopalan, Murli (Murli)** CTR ** (murlir_at_lucent.com)
Date: Fri Mar 19 1999 - 15:25:30 PST

Mani,

Thank you very much for providing a very detailed analysis of the issues I
brought up.

IMHO, if anything, the word "nitya" should either mean "sarva-kAla" -
eternal, as in "the Atma is nitya" - or "ananta" - without an end but may be
with a beginning, as in "the mukta will perform nitya-kaimkaryam in
Vaikuntham," - but not "anAdi-kAla."  So, I find SathakOpa being referred to
as a nitya-samsAri in that sense a little strange.  I guess I have to
ruminate on that a little more to fully understand the choice of words.  But
that apart, I must confess that I am convinced with your analysis of why
SatakOpa is a "nitya-samsAri," if we use your definition for that term.

Regarding the prapatti vs bhakti issue:  Does the bhakti yogi never perform
prapatti before attaining paramapadam?  If the answer to that is yes, then,
yes, prapatti and bhakti are independent sAddhyOpAyas.  But doesn't the most
qualified of bhakti yOgis have to perform prapatti of some sort?  Consider
the other case:  Do we expect the bhakti of a person choosing to perform
prapatti at the lotus feet of the Lord to be perfect?  I would suppose the
answer to that is a NO -- testimony -- the thousands who seek the blessings
of an AcArya to perform saraNAgati.  So, what do we conclude:  prapatti does
not require perfect bhakti, whereas bhakti requires prapatti.  Since
prapatti is the common and required ingredient in both why not just say that
prapatti is the only sAddhyOpAya?  Now, I do understand that VedAnta Desika
in the rahasya-traya-sAra has said that there is prapatti in bhakti and
bhakti in prapatti.  But I believe (and I may be wrong) that the former
bhakti refers to the sAdhana, while the latter refers to the anubhava.  In
any case, even at the culmination of bhakti yOga, the aspirant will by
definition transform into an ego-less entity because of the realization that
his/her efforts were after all being treated by the all-mercifull Lord as a
mere vyAja and that no amount of personal effort could and would fetch the
sweetest of purushArthas.  This will directly lead the aspirant to perform
prapatti - surrendering everything including the self to the Almighty.  So,
I still feel that prapatti is not only an inevitable but also THE ONLY way
out for any aspirant, given (a) the sareera-sareeri sambandham of individual
souls and bhagawAn and (b) His infinite grace.  (Just on the side ... I do
not fully know the official tengalai and vadagalai positions on this issue,
but this view of mine ... I have to confess it matters little ... is not the
traditional "tengalai" view since I do not accept that prapatti is not an
act.)

Thank you again for your analysis.
Sarvam sree krsNArpaNamastu

-- muraLi kaDAmbi