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Re: Giving up and the Bow Analogy

Date: Fri Oct 04 1996 - 19:20:36 PDT

------------------------------Begin Vijay's quote

	This is during the Rama-RavaNa yudhdham. Fierce fighting is going 
	and Sri Rama was giving a very tough time to RavaNa who was 
	with his bow in his hand. He thought that the bow in his hand is a
	saadhana (upaya?) to reach the objective which is protecting
	himself from Sri Rama.  But he obviously couldn't do that. The
	moment ravaNa dropped his bow (or rather it fell down) Sri Rama 
	his abundant grace let him go!! So this act of "Giving up" those 
	so called saadhanaas (his bow) actually fetched him the fruit. So
	the only upaya to get the fruit(mOksha) is to realise that the bow
	in his hand is not the route and then to relinquish it in order to
	achieve the intended objective. 

	One interesting observation is that the Lord with HIS abundant 
	is fighting the tough war to actually get the soul drop the other
	non-fruit-bearing saadhanaas and do paripoorNa saraNaagathi which
	alone fetches mOksham.

------------------------------end quote

This scene of Ravana dropping his bow is referred to in Sutram 203, 
which elaborates on "Sarvadharman parityaja" of Carama Sloka:

------------------------------begin Mumme's translation

Sutram 202:  The gerund form states that we first have to completely 
relinquish all other means and then surrender, as in the statement, 
"having bathed, one should take food."

Sutram 203:  It says that these (sadhanas and dharmas as elaborated 
in Varadhan's posting) are not only non-upayas, but impediments, as 
in the statement (from Sri Ramayana), "Shaking, Ravana dropped the 

Manavalamanunigal's commentary:  Ravana, overwhelmed by Rama's 
archery, became agitated and tried to escape.  But as long as he held 
the bow, Rama did not allow him to leave.  The bow which he 
eventually dropped was not an effective means (sadhana) for 
conquering his enemy while he was holding it.  Not only that, but the 
permission Rama gave him, saying "I will let you go," was not given 
during the time he was holding the bow.  Thus the bow can be said to 
be an impediment which kept him from leaving.  In the same way, if 
there remains even the slightest involvement in these other upayas, 
they will not only fail to be effective means to the Goal, they will 
actually turn out to be obstructions to the ultimate attainment.
----------------------------end quote

Vijay makes a rather poignant observations that the Lord is fighting 
with His Grace to remove the soul's dependence on other upayas and 
turn to Him Alone.  This would imply that our simple act of prapatti 
is insignificant compared to the Lord's labor of bringing about this 
acceptance in us. Which leads to a slight clarification. Pillai 
Lokacharya and Manavalamamunigal maintain that the act of "giving up,
" i.e. prapatti, is really NOT the Upaya at all.  Prapatti is merely 
the humble acceptance of what is the True Upaya, the Lord Himself. 
And in light of the Lord's efforts in bringing us to Him, our act of 
Prapatti becomes meaningless and all is the result of His Grace Alone.

Daasanu Daasan,