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Re: a small clarification

From: T.V.Venkatesh (tvv_at_sanmargroup.com)
Date: Wed Nov 24 1999 - 10:17:51 PST

Srimathe Narayanaya Namaha.

Sri Mani wrote,

> The Vadagalai acharyas follow Vedanta Desika in offering a subtly 
> different idea.  Basing his arguments on scriptural texts and logic, 
> Desika forcefully argues that bhakti-yoga and prapatti are both sAdhya-upAyas,

Can you please guide me to any works or texts that emphasize this 
point, other than Sir Desikar's works. (Please do not consider this 
as an argument. Just I wanted to learn)

Sri Mani wrote :
> i.e., that which must be done by a jIva. God stands ready, ever-waiting
> for the bhakti-yogi to visualize Him or the prapanna to offer his
> burdens to Him.  Upon seeing a jIva do one of these, He completely
> overlooks the past transgressions of the jIva, is immensely pleased 
> at the jIva's change of course, and uses this opportunity to shower 
> His beatifying grace upon the jIva and grant him moksha.  

Yes this is also a view accepted by the Thennacharyas, if I am not 
mistaken. A clear example is the work by Sri AruLALa perumAL 
emberumAnAr, in his work, GnAnasAram, says that emberumAn accepts all 
the sins of the jIvAtma with pleasure when he surrenders before Him, 
just like the Cow licks the new calf off its body to remove all the 
undesirable dirts. Similar view is expressed by Swami Desikan also in 
his Daya Satakam in the sloka " autsukhya poorvam..", but the example 
is different.

Sri Mani wrote : 
> The difference between these two views is very subtle.  The Thengalai
> acharyas are trying at all costs to safeguard the psychological
> primacy of God in their idea of prapatti.  

While your intentions may not be what I am writing, the sentence 
"trying at all costs" seems to give a wrong picture about the total 
sampradAyam and that it is philosophically wrong.

Sri Mani wrote :- 
> Now, my usage of the term "nirankusa svaatantryam" (unfettered 
> independence) with reference to Emberumaan is not as you indicate 
> above. I am not claiming that prapatti is not an upAya. Rather,
> I am saying that we cannot envision what Emberumaan will *consider*
> as prapatti in an aspirant, especially one who shows all signs of
> sincerity but who fails because of lack of knowledge, lack of 
> adequate time or place, etc.  In this respect, I am arguing that
> Emberumaan may possibly use even "unconventional" prapattis as
> vyAjas or pretexts for showering His grace. We just cannot limit
> Him in this aspect.

Again, even the ThennAchArya sampradhAyam does not deny this. As is 
very clear from NammAzhwAr's Periya ThiruvandhAdhi, EmberumAn is 
always waiting for a prapanna to turn towards Him to shower His 
grace. This is evident from the pAsuram " ... un adiyArkku en seivan 
enRE irutthi nee...", meaning "You are always waiting to do some 
thing good for your adiyAr". Also Sri VeLukkudi Swamy use to say in 
his upanyAsams the following story. There was a man who used to let 
his cow free for grazing. One day when he wanted to bring the cow, 
home, he went to catch it but it ran away from him, thus doing a 
pradakshinam of the temple in that place. Please note that this man 
is an atheist, but what our emberumAn did is " Oh this atheist is 
doing pradakshiNam to me and hence I have to bless him " and so He 
does. 

So it is true that emberumAn is waiting to shower His grace on His 
devotees and takes every small pretexts as a gesture for 
conferring mOksham to that jIvAtmA..

Now the question is, that the pAsuram, "....vanathidarai EriyAm 
vaNNam...", to my understanding conveys whatever adiyEn wrote 
earlier. May be my understanding is wrong about the pAsuram. However 
I request, more eminent scholars in list to enlighten us in this 
issue 

One important request to all who read this is, please do not turn 
this into a fight between the Thenkalai and Vadakalai philosophies. 
We are here to learn. 

adiyEn rAmAnuja dAsan

Thirumalai Vinjamoor Venkatesh 
Regards

T.V.Venkatesh
E-mail : TVV@SANMARGROUP.COM
Phone: 91-44-4960455 extn. 5218
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