You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : May 1995

Neeraj Narayanan's and ranga's questions

From: Krishna Kalale (krishna_at_nynexst.com)
Date: Thu May 25 1995 - 14:07:18 PDT

before answering neeraj narayanan's questions I would like to see an introduction
from him briefly stating - background in philosophy, etc. to assess the 
questions appropriately.  reading the questions I could not pin point
what exactly he wants to know!  looks dumb on my part, since he has
fairly well worded his questions. 

Let me try to answer his questions briefly and state why I could not get
a better feeling of what he wants to know:

Both faith and intellectual understanding are necessary. some may get away
with just faith but pure intellectual understanding cannot help by itself.
one needs faith in addition to understanding for one's spiritual progress.
intellectual understanding could be confusing even to the brightest indi
viduals. but it sure acts like a rudder, ie stabilizes one's bhakti to the
people who can figure it out appropriately.  

the second issue he deals with is how can one get faith opposing so many
obstacles?

there is no easy way to attain this. one needs god's grace, the company of
devotees (sadhus), the reduction of one's bad karmas, self effort (analytical
and devotional), the anugraha of acharyas, etc.  Rahasyatrasara goes into
details of nature of grace - sahaja kaarunya, vishesha kaarunya.  one other
factor is yaadrichchika sukrutam - ie. unintended punyas done by a person
for example - a person is chasing a cow for instance and the cow happens to
circle around a temple and this person unknowingly goes "pradakshina" or 
circum ambulates God, then he will unintentionally evoke the grace of God.
as stated so: there are many reasons that should concurr to bring faith in
a human being. no wonder Lord Krishna says :  bahoonam janmanaam ante
jnanavaan maam prapadyate - vaasudevaha sarvam iti sa mahatma su durlabhaha

after many births, one attains knowledge and surrenders to Lord Vasudeva
knowing that "he alone is my everything", and Lord Krishna himself states
that such a jnani is very very rare to be found.  THis means that even though
sruthis state that Lord Narayana is our everything, due to ignorance we 
never realize it enough so we drift away from our sole saviour - ie. God.

Note that the important point is that self effort is very important since
one cannot control other causes needed to bring faith in oneself! first 
self effort is to search for a guru and resort to that guru with trust, respect
and true openminded enquiry.

Coming to the question of ranga:

what is prapatti?  - 

many books deal with this question very well.it is tough to re write this
on the email. if anyone needs the answer - one can go through SMS chari's 
book on vaishnavism or dr. N.S anantha rangachar's thesis. if some one needs
a copy of just this chapter from both these books one of us - mani, sudarshan
or myself may be able to mail you a copy.

krishna