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The Glory of Prapatthi --Amudha MozhigaL of H.H. the 44th Jeeyar --Part 1

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_CompuServe.COM)
Date: Wed Sep 24 1997 - 19:01:25 PDT

Dear Memebers of the prapatthi group :

It is my bhagyam to share with you the Amudha 
MoazhigaL of Paramapadha Vaasee , SrivaNN
SatakOpa Sri VedAntha Desika Yatheendhrar ,
the Mahaan , who blessed the Achaarya peetam 
of the Ahobila Mutt . I hope you enjoyed his truly
insightful summary of the individual verses of 
ThiruppAvai . Today , I will translate his moving
essay on the glory of Prapatthi . 

Bhayam tyajatha bhadram vO dadhAthi karuNArNava : I
prapathyA tyaktha kOpassun pApinAmapi Madhava : II

( meaning ) : Please abandon your fear ; He , the ocean of 
mercy  blesses us with auspiciousness . Our Lord 
Maadhavan casts away His anger at those who have 
performed Prapatthi and chases away their sins and 
confers sarva mangaLam (on them with joy) . 

The adhikAris (qualified/eligible ones ) who can practise 
Bhakthi yOgam in the manner prescribed by the VedAs
are not too many ; indeed it is doubtful that there has been 
any since NammAzhwAr  attained Moksham through 
the practise of Bhakthi yOgam . Prapatthi maargam
taught by our Lord to ArjunA is the most prevalent 
maargam for our deliverance form the cycles of 
birth and death ( moksham ) .

The essence of Swami Desiakn's teaching is that 
Sriman NaarAyaNan gives the boon of equal moksham 
( sama moksham/no tAra tamyam ) to all , who performed 
Prapatthi in the manner prescribed by sAsthrAs 
independent of their caste , creed , gender or status in life . 

SaraNAgathi is of three kinds . One of them is the most
important . The other two come next in significance . The most
important one is called sva nishtai . Here , a mumukshu 
performs kalakshEpam with a sadhAchAryan and learns 
about the anantha kalyANa guNAs of Sriman NaarAyaNA , 
His svarUpam , subhAsrayam ( divya thirumEni ) ; next 
he learns from the AchAryA about the svarUpa , rUpa guNAs 
of his own jeevAthmA followed by an understanding
of the nature of SaraNAgathi , its limbs (angAs ) and 
gets a clear conception of what is an angi . Afterwards , 
he learns about the appropriate manthram used to perform 
one's saraNAgathi and the tight correlations between the different 
angAs of saraNAgathi and  the corresponding padhams of 
the praaptthi manthram . He learns about the particular padham
that is connected with the angi part of saraNAgathi . Driven then 
by his virakthi and desire to reach paramapadham , 
he gets clear instruction from his achAryan about 
the prescribed and ancient method of performing 
saraNAgathi . At a time of his own choice , 
he then places the burden of protection of his athmA 
( the Lord's own property ) at the sacred feet of 
Sriman NaarAyaNA , the owner of his athmA through 
the act of saraNAgathi  ( Bhara samarpaNam /Aathma 
nivedhanam ) . THIS IS SVA NISHTAI , THE HIGHEST 
MODE  OF SARANAAGATHI . 

There are not many , who have the needed qualifications 
to perform prapatthi through Svanishtai . It is doubtful ,
whether anyone has performed successfully svanishtai 
besides Swami Desikan some six hundred years ago .
There may be some one , somewhere , but it is very
doubtful . 

The other two modes of saraNAgathi are known as 
AchhArya Nishtai and Ukthi Nishtai . People of all
castes , creeds , gender or age are qualified to observe
one or the other of these two modes of saraNAgathi .

The first of the two methods is Ukthi Nishtai . One stands
in PrumAL sannnidhi along with the AchAryA and looks 
at the PerumAL and repeats after the AchAryA , the words 
related to saraNAathi given as upadEsam by the AchAryA 
in a saastraic manner . 

The second of the two methods outside svanishtai is 
known as AchArya Nishtai . One approaches the learned 
AchAryan , falls at his feet and begs him to intercede with
the Lord on his behalf . Then the AchAryan performs 
the saraNAgathi for his sishyan . AchArya Nishtai can 
be executed through a direct request or through an
appeal not made in person . Some times , when one is 
too ill to travel to the AchAryA's side , then they write a letter
or send a telegram , if it is an emergency  , and beg the AchArya
to intercede on his/her behalf through the performance 
of AchArya nishtai .

The compassionate AchAryAs themselves 
might elect to perform AchArya Nishtai
for the children , dumb , blind , dim witted , lame 
and others , who are unable to participate in 
saraNAgathi fully due to their limitations of body or mind . 
The fruits of Moksham however is guaranteed for all of 
them . All are adhikAris for AchArya Nishtai  and Ukthi Nishtai . 

Lord Maadhavan controls His anger over the limitless 
sins accumulated by us , the Jeevans , and forgives our
trespasses in the present and previous janmAs  , 
once we perform saraNAgathi in the prescribed manner 
and blesses us with Moksha Sukham . That we have many 
janmAs prior to saraNAgathi is clear from His own words ,
" tava cha bahUni janmAni vyathithAni " . The sins accumulated
over these span of many janmAs are beyond counting . Even 
the Lord has difficulty taking a measure of them . Even with 
all those limitless bundles of sins , the Lord out of His 
incomparable and infinite dayA quenches His anger 
and fulfills His promise made to ArjunA on the battle field :

sarva dharmAn parithyajya mAmEkam saraNm vraja I
Aham tvA sarva pApEpyO mokshaishyAmi maa sucha : II

You may still ask the question : Will the Lord give Moksham
to one , who commits so many atrocities in this life and is 
recognized as a MahA Paapi ? The Lord will bless that 
MahA paapi too , since he has already said , " saraNam vraja ,
sarva pApEpyO mokshayishyAmi " . After this categorical
statement in GithA , there is no reason to doubt Him . It is
foolish to intrepret the meaning of this charama slOkam 
aspromise to remove  the sins collected in previous janmams 
only . It includes all the sins accumulated in this janmam 
as well . KUrEsa has said in this context :

" Sri Ramachandran out of His infinite mercy forgave 
even the KaakAsuran , who committed the unpardonable 
offense of hurting Loka mAthA with his beak . Once that 
mahAparAdhi fell at Sri Rama"s feet and begged for protection , 
our Lord saved the asuran from the terrible damage of 
BrahmAsthram . Therefore  , I am hoping that the Lord 
will quench His anger at us , MahA paapis , when we 
perform SaraNAgathi and bless us with Moksham " .  

Therefore , there is no doubt that even a MahA paapi 
will be protected by the all merciful Lord , if he performs
saraNAgathi in this janmam . Do not be afraid . SaastrAs
state that even if one has committed the heinous crime of
killing one's mother and father , the Lord will forgive even that 
person by controlling His anger , if he repents and seeks
the Lord's protection as a saraNAgathA . 

Even if one has taken to stealing as a profession , even if 
one drinks alcohol inspite of his high birth as Brahmin , 
even if he acts like a friend and betrays one behind one's
back , even if he has committed brahmahatthi , even if he
has coveted the wife of his AchAryA , even if he has murdered
others , even if he has committed much worse sins , once he 
mutters the name of NaarAyaNA involuntarily or without
intent during his last moments like AjAmiLan , then he is 
released of all paapAs according to Sukha Brahmam . If
that is so , the effect of performing saraNAgathi recommended
by the Lord in Bhagavadh GithA is bound to chase away all
the paapams accumulated in this and previous janmAs . 
There need be no doubt about this . Therefore , we , the paapis
can cast aside our fears and feel hopeful . Do not be deluded 
by the thought that you have to acquire tattva jn~nam through
kalakshEpam and only thereafter qualify ourselves to perform 
saraNAgathi . What you have to do is to stand before your
AchAryA in PerumAL sannidhi and repeat after the AchAryA 
the saranAgathi vaakyams , which state , " I have given the 
object known as " I " to You ; please remove my paapams and
protect me " . You do not even need to know ,what that object
referred to as " I " is . 

AlavandhAr says in this context : 

VapurAdhishu yOpi kOpi vaa 
guNa dhOshAni yathAtathA vaa I
tadhayam tava paadha padmayO :
ahamathyaiva mayA saamrpitha: II

AlavandhAr says that Whatever may be the nature 
and attributes of this object known as aathmA ,
I have presented that object to You for protection .

Swami Desikan has pointed this tattvam in his
Rahasya Traya Saaram and has said : " The Lord
blesses even those , who do not have a full comprehension
of the TattvAs and gives them Moksham , when they 
surrender to Him " .

PurANAs state that even a long term enemy of our Lord
escapes damnation and is blessed with Moksham , when
he performs saraNAgathi even during his last moments 
in his life due to some fortunate development . The example
of KantAkarNan , an ancient enemy of the Lord is a testament
to Lord's dayA for one , who sought His refuge even after 
years of declared enimity .

( To be Continued )