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Re: "sarvadharmAn.." vs. "karmaNyeva.."

From: R. Skrintha (
Date: Tue Sep 09 1997 - 08:59:11 PDT

Dear Bhagawathas,

 A private mail to me in re my earlier posting under this subject
enlightened me considerably. As one who earlier contributed to this
thread i think it is my duty to pen these words....

 It struck me that i may have transmitted an ambiguous usage earlier, which 
i wd like to rectify now. Part of the earlier confusions in this thread may
have been terminological. For purpose of the present message, i request
that we distinguish bhakthi from bhakthi- maargam, prapatti from 
prapatti-maargam, jnaana from jnaana maargam, &c.

  Btw, in this usage, Bhakthi-maargam = bhakthi-yogam, &c.

 I have it on authoritative sources that bhakthi does not simply mean "love
for Sriman NarayaNa". Instead, it really means "*unconditional* Love for the
Sriman NarayaNa". The *purpose* of bhakthi maargam is to achieve such a
true bhakthi. Maybe Madhva philosophy is conflating these two meanings 
(Bhakthi yogam & bhakthi) into a single word "bhakthi". I am not sure.

 I understand that prapatti does not simply mean "surrender to the Supreme".
Instead, it really means "*unconditional & complete* surrender to the 
Supreme". Merely making an act of surrender for inability to follow other
maargams is *not* prapatti, tho it can be a part of *prapatti-maargam*.

Clearly prapatti-maargam *is* different from bhakthi-maargam. Sri
Ramakrishna & the Divine Mother of Pondicherry (Sri Aurobindo's disciple)
have, unless i am greatly mistaken, spoken to this effect. But i think 
that only in SriVaishNavism has prapatti-maargam been given a formal status 
as an alternative maargam. It is not in my capacity to dispute the profound 
& deep reasons of our Acharyas to recognize the validity of this maargam.

 Altho as margams they are different, the end-result of both prapatti-maargam
& bhakthi-maargam are arguably identical: unconditional love & unconditional
surrender to the Supreme. I believe such an unconditional Love is a
necessary & sufficient condition for unconditional surrender. In other words,
one implies the other & can be considered as equivalents.
 Sri Bhadri Seshadri wrote:-

#On Mon, 8 Sep 1997, Raja Krishnasamy wrote:
# Sri V. Sadagopan wrote in a personal mail to Raja Krishnasamy:
# >[...]. Prapatthi margam  
# >and bhakthi yogam are not the same . MadhvAs 
# >accept bhakthi as the means and the end . They 
# >do not accept Prapatthi . 

I fully agree with this most erudite opinion of Sri Sadagopan, which
conforms to the teachings of the Acharyas. 

#At the risk of sounding blasphemous.. I must say that
#I find the madhva line of argument more rational.

# >Sri Viashnavism is unique 
# >in developing Prapatthi as a MOkshOpAyam that  
# >can be followed  effectively by any one independent 
# >of caste , creed or sex . Prapatthi is KashaNa karthavyam , 
# >where as the Bhakthi margam is ardous to follow . 
# >Bhakthi margam may prepare one for  prapatthi . 

#In a way, Bhakthi margam is made out to be difficult to follow,
#and prapatti is shown to be some sort of an easy way out (not
#exactly, but in a simplistic viewpoint). Yet, bhakthi merely
#prepares one for prapatti!

 Dear Sri Bhadri: i believe bhakthi-*maargam* (a transition) prepares one for
prapatti (a state). I think u have used the "weak definition", which means
love of SrimanNArAyaNa, but without the *unconditionality* being implicit!
I may have commited a similar mix-up of terminology in my earlier messages.
Please forgive me.

#In fact, our tradition is the only one that talks about
#this "easy way out" (not withstanding the various supporting
#upanishadic quotes one finds in RTS).

 I believe, bhakthi-maargam is also adduced as an "easy way out", tho
wrt Jnaana maargam (or yogam) or karma yogam. Sri Bhadri, my personal opinion
is that even tho the maargam is called easy, it requires *considerable*
spiritual maturity before entering any of the maargams in a serious way.

#Can I request the scholars present in this forum to put
#together an easy-to-understand compilation of the points
#made in our parampara about the differences between
#bhakthi and prapatti, the criticisms on this by other
#schools and our defense. It would be most useful to those
#of us not fortunate enough to learn these points from an

 I am no scholar. A private mail to me made me think that i may have been part
of some terminological confusion, hence this mail! Needless to mention, there
may be other errors originated or perpetuated here, for which i crave all
yr pardon & yr correction.

  If any of u feel that i am loading our list with wasteful opinions, please
let me know!

  I eagerly await Sri Sadagopan's beautiful renditions of Sri Dehaleesa sthuti
and commentaries on His names!

 Hari Om