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Re: Partha's Sarathy-Why??

From: Prabhu Srinivas (vtgpln_at_rediffmail.com)
Date: Mon May 07 2001 - 12:44:00 PDT

Mr. Chaithanya Balasubramaniam wrote -

>>>I had been wondering for quite sometime regarding our all benevolent Lord acting as a charioteer to Arjuna, his dear disciple and also giving him the Viswaroopa Darsan along with the Bagavad Gita upadesam. It has been
mentioned in many religious texts that our God is dearest to his best and most sincere devotees. Also it is a known fact Dharmaraja was the embodiment of all righteousness and good qualities outclassing everyone known till date. How is that he was not given this bagyam and Partha had the bliss to see the great form. This is a question of inquisitiveness and not to offend
anyone.<<<

The two tenets of the Vishishtadvaitha school are - God is egalitarian and merciful and the soul has the ability to act. Thus there are two forces acting in conjunction here - God's acceptance of the soul as an object of His grace and the soul's acceptance of God as its saviour. However for salvation to be attained the only criterion is the former. That is to say, the Lord can choose whom he wants to save and that the soul is powerless in this respect. Thus "paragatasvikara", the former force, renders "svagatasvikara", the latter force, useless.

Coming to the question, we can argue that Lord Krishna chose Arjuna simply because he chose him. A circular argument bordering on sophistry, I agree, but it is quite in consonance with Vaishnava philosophy. To simplistically argue that extra devotion equals extra grace is an affront to the soul's inherent dependence on God. Prayers are definitely not a complete "upaya" for salvation. This would destroy the utter slavish dependence of the soul on the Lord - I think it is called "paratantraya". Therefore it is immaterial whom the Lord chose as it was His wish.

I'm sorry for the crude reply. In fact if we regard the Mahabharatha as a parable, then going by the principle of diametrical opposition (according to John Dominic Crossan), what you expect is not what you get. These rather "paradoxical" incidents serve to improve one's understanding of the theology behind the parable.

Regards,
Prabhu.

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