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Re: a small clarification

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani_at_be.com)
Date: Thu Nov 11 1999 - 16:26:58 PST

Anand Karalapakkam wrote:
> He neither suddenly decides that moksham should 
> not be granted for prapannAs, nor does He suddenly decide
> to grant moksham for someone who has not performed a 
> sAdhyOpAya viz. either bhakti Or Prapatti. The eternal 
> sAstrAs are always true and PerumAL will not violate 
> them. [... rest deleted ...]

Dear Anand,

I think you are not understanding my point. Of course
Sriman Narayana is neither partial nor cruel. And of course
He looks for a "vyAja" or pretext to save the jIva. In fact,
our acharyas and Alvars say that Emberumaan is constantly
doing "tapas", in temples, in our hearts, everywhere He
is, because He waits for a single jIvAtmA to turn to Him.

This being the case, we cannot limit what Emberumaan interprets
as a pretext to give moksha.  What does He interpret to be
prapatti? Of course, He has systematized it in so many ways
to make it easy for us to follow a particular path, but for
those people who are completely ignorant of the shastras, He
may take some mental or physical act of self-surrender or
devotion on their part as being prapatti. We cannot limit
Him just because it doesn't suit our fancy.

You object that this makes Him partial. Not at all. Even
the strict, codified bhakti-yoga and prapatti that you mention
are mere vyAjas -- pretexts. They are not by themselves the
reason you get moksha.  It is Emberumaan's karuNA and His
sankalpam to get *the jIva* that is the actual upAya. So,
there is no question of impartiality, since all these things,
whether they are commonly accepted notions of sAdhanas or
otherwise, are mere pretexts for His bestowing his grace.
Even the poor beggar in Indonesia who falls in all abandon
before his idea of God *may* be given moksha by Emberumaan,
because He takes this abandonment as the beggar's prapatti.
This in no way makes Emberumaan cruel or partial. 

You may wish to see some of Desika's anubhavas in his stotras 
to this effect (e.g., Saranagati Dipika), or the outstanding 
contributions of Sri Pillai Lokacharya in "Sri Vachana Bhushanam"
which present a similar idea.

On another topic, you write:

> But, during the rAma avatAram, everyone at AyOdhya
> were taken to the vibhava lOkam called 
> SaantAnika lOkam (rAma lOkam), from where those 
> jIvAtmAs performed either bhakti Or Prapatti to
> attain moksham (ie. This is what meant by statements
> like "everyone at ayOdhya attained moksham" ; Here,
> the time frame is not specified; It implies the "krama
> mukti" <stage by stage mukti ?> and not direct mukti to 
> Sri VaikunTHam). 

I am sure you say this because some scholar has told you
this, but frankly, such a conclusion strikes me as being
completely unwarranted and at variance with the texts
and early commentaries. Why posit an intervening "loka"
when none is mentioned? 

Nammalvar says, simply, "naRpaal ayOththiyil vaazum charaacharam 
muRRavum, naRpaalukku uyththanan naanmukan naaR peRRa naattuLE,"
which Kulasekshara Perumaal amplifies as "anRu caraacarangaLai 
vaikundhaththu ERRi..." Is your statement above supported by
the original commentaries on these paasurams?

Please do clarify

adiyEn rAmAnuja dAsan
Mani