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> Efficacy of the method of Self-surrender

From: Shree (
Date: Wed Oct 01 1997 - 09:07:19 PDT

> Efficacy of the method of Self-surrender 
>                 Date: 01-10-1997 :: Pg: 24 :: Col: c 
>                 Cl: Religion 
>                 CHENNAI, Oct. 1. 
>                 The path of Self-surrender (Prapatti, Saranagati) is unique
>                 to Srivaishnava religion in that it is given the same status, if
>                 not, the supreme one among the means to liberation. There
>                 are three paradigmatic instances oft-quoted by both the
>                 Alwars and the Acharyas of the tradition, of assurances
>                 given by the Lord in His various incarnations that He would
>                 give protection to anyone who surrenders to Him. 
>                 The first and perhaps the most well known among them is
>                 the Gita Caramasloka which is interpreted in the tradition
>                 as the last teaching of Lord Krishna to Arjuna after He had
>                 expounded all the other means to Moksha. ``Resigning all
>                 your duties to Me, the all-powerful and all supporting
>                 Lord, take refuge in Me alone, I shall absolve you of all
>                 sins,'' promised the Lord in the Bhagavad Gita. 
>                 But, does this mean that one can give up all duties after the
>                 performance of surrender? Certainly not. The Acharyas
>                 have in their commentaries clarified that the performance of
>                 dharma according to the scriptural injunctions must not be
>                 done with the intention of enjoying its fruit (as means to
>                 Moksha). Instead they should be performed as service to
>                 the Lord. The word ``ekam'' (alone) in the Caramasloka
>                 further shows that the Lord alone is the refuge, but while
>                 surrendering to Him even the thought that He is the means
>                 to liberation should not arise, though He alone is capable of
>                 liberating man from rebirths. 
>                 In his lecture Sri M. A. Venkatakrishnan said, the
>                 assurance given by Rama when Vibishana surrendered to
>                 Him was cited by the preceptors while elucidating the
>                 efficacy of Saranagati. In this instance His auspicious
>                 qualities, like compassion, came to the fore, because, even
>                 when Sugriva and the others pointed out that Vibishana's
>                 surrender must not be accepted by Him as he came from
>                 the enemy's side, Rama overruled it by pointing out that
>                 since he had come as a friend, He would accept him. 
>                 The assurance given by the Lord in His incarnation as a
>                 boar (Varaha) to Mother Earth that He would protect one
>                 who took refuge in Him even once and also bless him with
>                 the highest beautitude at the time of death, even if he failed
>                 to remember Him, was the most solemn promise given by
>                 the Almighty. 
>                 The repeated mention in the works of the Acharyas that
>                 Prapatti need be performed only once is to highlight the
>                 efficacy of surrender to the Lord. It should never be
>                 misinterpreted to mean that after the performance of
>                 Saranagati one need not perform one's duties according to
>                 the scriptural injunctions. Performance of one's dharma
>                 must be done as service to the Lord, which is the end in
>                 itself. 
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