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prapathi and adhikaaris

From: Sridhar Srinivasan (
Date: Tue Oct 08 1996 - 21:26:45 PDT

The recent view points expressed by certain members of this list on the need
for ensuring the state of a mumukshu prior to even mentioning tirumantram,
dvayam or the charama slokam give rise to a valid question:  Have our
pooravaacharyas addressed this issue, and if so, what has been said?  They
HAVE addressed this issue eloquently, and have unequivocally said that the
only necessary qualifiers for prapathi are essential human qualities of
interest (ruchi) and devotion (bhakti).

Sri PiLLai lOkAchaaryar in Sri Vachana BhushaNam, I prakaraNam, sutram 23,
24 says

prapathikku desha niyamamum, kAla niyamamum, prakAra niyamamum
adhikaari niyamamum, phala niyamamum illai
vishaya niyamame uLLadu

meaning that to qualify to be in the true state of prapathi the only
requirement is that of a sincere interest to comprehend or acquire
knowledge, and nothing else.  To be a prapanna, one does not have to conform
to any requirements based on desha, kAla, prakAra or adhikaara.  Sri
MaNavaaLa maamunigaL's commentary for this sutram states thus:

na jaathi bhedham na kulam na lingam
na guNa kriyaahaa
na desha kAlau naavastham yOgO hi ayam apekshathe
brahma kshatra visha shUdraaha striyaschAntara jAthayaha
sarva Eva prapadyeran sarvathA tharamachutham

enru bhAradhwAja samhithaiyilum

prapathehe kwachidapi Evam parApekshA na vidyathe
saa hi sarvathra sarveshAm sarva kAma phala pradA

enru phala niyamaa bhAvam sanathkumara samhithaiyilum sollappattadire

prapathikku innaar adhikaarigaL enRoru niyathi illai
ruchiyudeyaarellaarum adhikaarigaL engai

The sole requirement for prapathi is vishayAsakthi or ruchi, there are no
other restrictions.  The vyakhyAnam explicitly cuts through all artificially
created criteria (varNA/caste, linga,  et al.) and qualifies everyone on the
basis of Aasakthi in acquiring true knowledge. This is a universally
applicable criterion and one that is known only to the prapanna and his/her
Achaarya.  Given this background, it is hardly relevant for any one person
or group of persons to state the need to preclude any other interested
person/s from exposure to fundamental aspects of our philosophy.  Such
exclusionary statements, I feel, reflect a lack of true comprehension of the
mind lifting principles that form the basis for our philosophy.

Aazhwaar Emberumaanaar Jeeyar ThiruvadigaLe SharaNam