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From Sridhar Srinivasan...

From: Vijay Triplicane (
Date: Thu May 08 1997 - 14:07:46 PDT

> >Sri Mohan Sagar writes:
> >Dear Bhagavathas,
> >I spent part of my work day today exchanging some poignant E-mails
> >with a member of this forum who stated that I was overstepping my
> >bounds in discussing the issue of karma and prapatti with Mr.
> >Dileepan.  While I was somewhat pained at first with what this
> >individual had to say, I now realize that this person's views of me
> >are very correct.  Based on this, I present the following:
> let me make a few statuotory disclaimers at the outset, lest my mail
> box be inundated with poignant hate mail:  whatever follows are
> opinions (which I hope we all have the rights to express) and not
> designed to denigrate anybody.  All umbrage taken is the
> responsibility of the person doing so.  That said,
> The exchanges visavis karma and prapatti over the last few days, bring
> to fore, an unpleasant yet real aspect of the bhakti  digest that one
> has to come to grips with.  Often, view points expressed in terms
> contrary to a certain position taken by some of our learned (and often
> strident) friends (to name a couple in this case,  Sri Dileepan and
> Sri Kalale) engenders significant public (and even more, private)
> censure.  I believe such an attitude is counter productive to healthy
> dialog to foster learning more about our sampradayam.  The idea is, is
> it quite correct to assume ignorance on part of one person and
> correctness on part of another implicitly by identity or publicly
> expressed views?  Sometimes the ones who are silent are so because
> they are evolved enough to realize that these are not things one
> learns by "poignant" exchanges.
> Both Sri Kalale and Sri Dileepan clearly have little inkling (at least
> going by their publicly expressed views and in my opinion, not their
> fault)  about two fundamental aspects of Sri VaishNava siddhantham as
> laid down in Acharya hrudayam and Sri vachana bhushaNam:
> 1. Nirankusha swAnthryam of SrimannArAyaNA
> 2. Nirhethuka kripa of the lord
> the first states that our good lord is not bound by anything, 
> including our karmas, to do anything.  he is beyond all kArmic 
> and every other causal notion.  The second and an extremely 
> profound notion, (one that has to be learnt at the feet of a learned
> Acharya, not merely hobnobbing with them, to use a wodehousian phrase)
> is that of who is it that allows us to have things happen to us?  Can
> we take credit for our karmas?  if we do (given the uncountable doshAs
> that we possess) can we ever (and will we ever qualify) go the next
> step, that of going beyond karma, gnyAna and bhakti?  It is his
> infinite krupa that lets us go wherever; it is our infinite doshAs
> that allows us to wallow in our ignorance and ahankAra, taking credit
> for things that are not ours and not taking credit for the doshAs that
> we posess 
> This aspect is the first thing taught by your Acharya, 
> NaichyAnumsandhAnam, that one is inferior by nature and action, in
> comparison to the Anantha kalyANA guNangaL that the lord possess and
> the anantha doshAngaL that we do.  What is the pramANa for this?
>  Sri Azhagiya maNavaaLa perumaaL nAyanAr beautifully exposes the
> nature of things in his Acharya hrudayam as,
> samsaara mokshatthukku hethu gnyAthavya panchaka gnyana agnyaanangaL
> samsaaram - anantha klesham
> Moksham - nirathishaya Aanandam
> What are the artha panchaka gnyanam that form the basis for moksham?
> jeevathma paramAthma virOdhi upAya purushArtha swaroopangal
> sathvam comes from artha panchaka gnyAnam
> asathvam comes from artha panchaka agnyAnam
> sathvam asathvangaLukku nidhAnam janma jAyamAna kAla kaTAkshangaL
> from
> jAyamAnam cha purusham yam pashyeth madhusudhanaha
> sAthvikaha thad vigneyaha sa vai mOkshArtha chinthithaha
> vadanthe sakalAvedAha sEthihAsa puraNakAha
> munayaha cha mahAthmAnaha
> The important part here is yam pashyeth madhusudhanaha, one who is
> blessed by the lord - then he becomes a sAthvika - where does this
> blessing come from - nirhethuka krupa.  When seen by the lord, the
> purusha wakes up, becomes a sAthvika and becomes a gnyAni (artha
> panchakam is the context here) and becomes mOkshartha chinthithaha.
> Examining this further, Sri NAyanAr says
> sathvam asathvangaLukku nidhAnam janma jAyamAna kAla kaTAkshangaL
> kaTAkshathAle sathvaguNam piRakkum (jAyamAna kAla kaTakshangaL)
> ****idarku hethu karmamum krupaiyum****
> janmam is the source of agnyAnam (bondage of samsAra).  Source of
> janmam is karma.  It is our karma that keeps up bound in samsAra.  It
> is because of Lord's krupa that we become saathvikAs and wake up to
> reality, that he is the path and the goal.
> so, what is the basis or kAraNa for karma/krupa?
> for karma, it is avidyA, for krupa, it is the Lord's sauhArdam
> where does the avidyA come from - achit sambandham
> sauhArdam - ayana sambandham
> In sequence, Sri NAyanAr lays down the steps as
> Anantha klesha bhAjanam -- agnyAnam - asathvam (rAjasa/thAmasa 
> guNangal) - janmam - karmam - avidyA - achit sambandham
> In the other direction, the sequence is
> Nirathishaya Aanandam - artha panchaka gnyAnam - sathvam - jAyamAna 
> kAla kaTAksham - krupa - sauhardam - ayana sambandham
> Lord krishna in Bhagavadgeetha says he sarvabhootha suhruth.
> The important idea is that when sathva raises its head in us, it is
> foolhardy to think that it is US who are responsible for it.  It is
> his kripa, uninstigated (for he is the lord) and unbound (for he is
> nirankusha swathanthran), by saamsaarik notions of karma.  In fact,
> when krishNa says
> thraiguNya vishayO vedaaha nisthraiguNyo bhavArjuna
> he is exhorting Arjuna to seek the lord as the upAya and the upEya,
> the path and purushartha.  To think efforts laden with swAbhimAnam and
> ahankaram (the I in us) will lead to anything saathvik is contrary to
> both shastric wisdom and Sri VaishNava siddhAntha pramANangaL. 
> Since I am writing this from work, and reproducing statements from
> memory, there might be many errors.  I beg forgiveness of those
> whose sensibilities are offended by my incorrect reproductions of
> important concepts.
>  The notion of nirhethuka kripa is an important and profound idea, one
> not easily absorbed if ego is prevalent in one's conceptions. 
> However, if we think about how lowly we are by thought and deed, and
> realize the infinite kripA of the lord in giving opportunities to step
> out of this miasma to something as exalted as mOksham, it will become
> manifest that every aspect what we become (in a positive sense) is
> because of him.
> Now, coming to the recent tone of exchanges, I wish to make a couple
> of points.  Reproducing isolated stanzas from Bhagavadgita to make a
> point without the appropriate context (and a clear exposition of
> karma, gnyana, bhakthi) is irrelevant.  I can simply say that the lord
> has sanctioned devathAnthara aAradhanam by quoting
> yEpyanya devathA bhakthA bhajanthE shraddhayAnvitha
> thEpi mAmeva kaunthEya bhajanthi
> and saying that it does not matter whom you seek, it reaches our good
> lord any way.  Because this statement does not provide the supporting
> context.  Anyone familiar with Bharavadgita will know that our good
> lord talks about karma, gnyAna, bhakthi, karma phala thyAgam and then
> says
> SaRva dharmAn parithyajya........
> that he is the upAya and upeya.  that he is the path and he is the
> purushArtham.  that give up every other dharma and seek him as the
> ultimate dharma.  
> The other aspect, one that I have often seen, is the not too subtle
> bullying just because our preset notions allow us to think that we are
> knowledgeable.  As it is said in Sri vachana bhushaNam, 
> prapathikku desha kAla adhikkari niyamangaL kidaiyAdhu
> vishaya niyamame unDu
> Sri Dileepan writes:
> >Sri Mohan Sagar:
> >I am afraid your explanation is seriously flawed.  Please read the
> >RTS excerpt I had attached to my previous post and address the phrase
> >"stream of karma".  Why is Swami Sri Desikan stating doubt after
> >doubt about the need for our effort and then destroying these doubts
> >with logic and pramana, if he considers karma to be irrelevant for
> >prapatti?
> ......................................................
> >first understand this basic distinction.  Thus your task of showing
> >that Sri Krishna's statement was a misunderstanding of Swami Sri
> >Desikan still remains in tact.
> It would be equally foolhardy of me to demand of Mr. Kalale that he
> explain nirhethuka krupa as laid down in Acharya hridayam and
> mumukshuppadi.  Because, without this awareness, Sri Kalale should not
> be talking about nirhethuka (and sahethuka ) krupa.  As a matter of
> fact, Swami Desikan's dayA shatakam is an eloquent reinforcement of
> the lord's infinite, uninstigated kripa for us.  If this is not
> pramANa for nirhethuka krupa, i would not know what is.
> So, what is the role nithya karmas in this context?  I will, in my
> extensive ignorance, attempt to address this issue in later posts. 
> Again, please understand that I would like to promote harmonious
> exchanges of view points, and if I have erred in any manner in 
> presenting these thoughts, I beg the
> kind forgiveness of the learned prapannas in this forum.
> Aazhvaar Emberumaanaar Jeeyar thiruvadigaLe sharaNam
> sridhar