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prapatti: some clarifications

From: Krishna Kalale (krishna_at_nynexst.com)
Date: Wed Oct 18 1995 - 09:50:44 PDT

several people have written on some aspects of prapatti.

let me put in some clarifications as I understand from : rahasya traya
sara of vedanta desika which is sort of a major document on this subject.

is bhakti identical to ashtanga yoga?

NO !  ashtanga yoga is preparatory and necessary qualification to bhaktiyoga.
the real bhakti yoga starts after one has attained self realization.
as katopanishad states : adhyatma yogena devam matva harsha shokau jahati.
which states - (as per visistadvaita), one having attained self realization,
perceives GOD through bhakti yoga (upasana) . then he is free from pleasure
and pain.

bhaktiyoga is the practical observance of upasana : ie. incessant remembrance
of the grandeur of God as explained in "manmanaa  bhava madh bhaktaha
madyaajee maaam namaskuru" - "think about me, be subservient to me, 
offer all offerings to me, bow down and surrender to me" - 9th chapter and
18th chapter 65th sloka. of Bhagawadgita.  

it seems, in self realization, one gets to a state similar to sthitha prajna
as explained in II chapter and then experiences 4states as explained in 
6th chapter of Gita - in "yo maam pashyati sarvatra -sarvam cha mayi pashyati -
... (4 slokas including this - see ramanuja bhasya) explains 4 states of
atma sakshatkara or "jeevatma realization".  One has to go beyond this stage
to become a bhakti yogi and realize God in all splendour as explained in 
chapters 7-12..  I can hardly imagine, any individual reaching the stage of
"stitha prajna" - "explained by "prajahati yadaa kaaman sarvan partha
manogathaan, atmanyeva atmana santustaha - stitha prajnas tadochyate"
one is a stitha prajna when  he/she has completely renounced all desires of the mind, being content with only the self and by self - ie. not dependent on
any other thing other than self. 

that being the case, imagine a bhakti yogi who is intent on experiencing the
parabramhan which is the light which is supporting his self..... such people
are very rare probably almost non-existent to my knowledge.


***********************

coming to another comment  by krishna@astro.ge.com

	I UNDERSTAND PRAPATTI TO BE COMPLETE SURRENDER TO VISHNU, A GOAL
	FOR ONE TO ATTAIN SALVATION. BHAKTI IS A MARGA OR WAY. AN ACHARYA
	IS THE INTERMEDIATE WHO SHOWS THE WAY TO PRACTICE BHAKTI AND THUS
	ATTAIN THE STAUS OF PRAPATTI.
	MY MORE FUNDAMENTAL QUESTION IS WHY ALL THESE. AT LEAST IN THESE
	TIMES, LIFE AND WORK IS IN THE REALM OF A TECHNOLGICAL WORLD
	WHERERATIONAL PLAYS A SIGNIFICANT PART. MY WORK AS AN ENGINEER
	IS BASED ON SCIENTIFIC FACTS AND ONE STRIVES TO ACQUIRE THE
	VARIOUS SKILLS. MODERN KNOWLEDGE PROVIDES AN OPPORTUNITY TO 
	INCLUDE MORE AND MORE VARIABLES THANKS TO COMPUTER CAPABILITIES,
	TO DETERMINE THE EFFFECTS. THE RECENT STUDY OF THE EFFECT
	OF A PLANE 5 MILES AWAY ON THE CRASH OF ANOTHER IS A TYPICLA 
	EXAMPLE. WE DESIGN THE SHAPES OF REFLECTOR ANTENNAS TO AN 
	EXTENT NOT POSSIBLE A FEW DECADES AGO.
	IN SUCH A WORLD OF REASON, HOW DOES BHAKTI AND FAITH COME IN.
	IS IT BECAUSE OF OUR OWN INABILITY TO ASSOCIATE OUR FORTUNES
	AND MISFORTUNES TO ONE OF STATISTICAL PROBABILTY. IS OUR
	SEARCH FOR THE ULTIMATE CONTROLLER IS A WAY TO FIND WHY ALL OF
	US ARE NOT IDENTICAL AND SOMR SEEM TO BE MORE FORTUNATE.
	
	 
I found these questions interesting.

Obviously - with all these scientific discoveries, we cant avoid simple 
things like "head ache"!! nor can we create a blade of grass!! - by ourselves.

. For some, even the very existence inside the
body, is a misery. to some existence in this body and experience little
happiness even though mixed with tons of sorrow is delectable. (asuraha - asushu
ramante iti asuraha - asura means one who is happy in breathing ie. in a body) 
many of us (including myself) have this asura svabhava - ie. asuric tendencies.

mumukshatva - or yearning for moksha or release from cycle of births and deaths
- does not come easily to even vedic scholars or pundits.  the feeling of
agony of this life and need to find answers to "why are we here, what is all
these things.  wherefrom all these come from - what is the true goal
how should one strive for it?" - only to occur to some people
some ignore these issues as if they are bad day dreams!!
some people go to meditate
like "Buddha" and some consult scriptures.

ofcourse science is far advanced today but how much has science advanced in
knowing the "knower". No equation is complete   unless all unknowns
are known! if the knower or experiencer is not known what good is all this
science which rationalizes a small subset of our experiences? 
this is the very reason that people go towards God or religion or
contemplation of self.

there can be no need of prapatti or moksha - for a person who does not believe
in re-birth or one who does not need salvation from this bondage.

 this is the classic statement of the classical indian
materialist - " bhasmee bhootasya dehasya punaraagamanam kuthaha? -
athaha - runam kritva gritham pibaeth" - meaning - "when the body is gone
and burnt (hindus burn the dead), what comes back ? (nothing ... meaning
how can there be rebirth)
deha eva bhaveth atma! - meaning
 so there is no soul other than body!! just enjoy
and take care of your body even if it means one incurrs unrepayable loans, one
should beg borrow or steal to get good food with lots of ghee and feed this
body!!!. 
even though many of the people dont belong to this extreme materialism most
of them are somewhat near this materialism.

so - prapatti and bhaktiyoga or even deep faith in God is for one who sort
of perceives that we are souls bound in body and there should be some way out.
if one is not bound what is the need for release!!!  (a classic advaita idea!!
note advaita is not materialistic - but they use this logic in some places)
note, I once heard that life for some is like - as though they are forcibly
pushed under water and they are gasping for breath!! obviously they try hard
to find a way out.

--note the prose of vaikunta gadya - of sri Ramanuja

na me kalpa koti sahasrenaapi sadhanam asti iti manvanaha -

one should who has the idea that "he/she has no other go even in several
crore kalpas (billions of years) comes and surrenders to the feet of 
srimannarayana"
...

I think the realization and need for moksha does not come to every one.
for them faith and bhakti is not needed. for those who get this realization,
faith and bhakti becomes important.  one generally does not perform prapatti
without bhakti (lower form - not bhakti yoga).

so, Lord krishna states in his 15th chapter, YO maam evam asammoodaha
jaanati purushottamam sa sarva vith bhajati maam sarva bhavena bharatha -

one who knows me without delusion or confusion, (me) who is superior to
bound souls, to released souls and nitya muktas, and obviously to matter,
that person really knows everything!! obviously knowing me in this fashion
he will pray to me with total devotion - knowing me to be his friend, guide,
philosopher and everything auspiscous.

I just remembered katopanishad again -

ayam loko naasti para iti maani - punaha punaha vasam aaapadyate me!!

Yama says to nachiketa - these people   think they are pundits and 
experts ...  they think that there is no rebirth  or the other world.
these folk no wonder come under my sway again and again...


krishna