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Bhakti and Prapatti - 4

From: Anand K Karalapakkam (anand_at_engr.uconn.edu)
Date: Sun Sep 27 1998 - 12:39:19 PDT

                                  Sri :
             Srimate  Sri Lakshmi Nrusimha Para Brahmane Namaha
                       Srimate  ShatakopAya Namaha
                  Srimate  Bhagavad   RAmAnujAya  Namaha      
                  Srimate NigamAntha MahAdesikAya Namaha 
         Srimate Sri Adhivan  ShatakOpa Yateendra MahAdesikAyA  Namaha
             Srimate Sri Lakshmi - Nrusimha Divya PAdukA Sevaka - 
         Srivan  Shatakopa  Sri NArAyana Yateendra MahAdesikAya Namaha      

     Dear  bhaktAs of Sriman NArAyaNA,
     namo nArAyaNA . pranAmams. 

     This is the last article on this Bhakti and Prapatti series. 
     adiyEn is thankful to Sriman Sadagopan for kindly correcting the
     typos and grammatical mistakes and more importantly for his
     encouraging words.
---------------------------------------------------------------
   The most important thing to understand while performing prapatti is
   that , "Prapatti" (SAdhyaupAyam) as an act by itself is not the reason
   for one's moksham. Rather , it is the mercy of Sriman NArAyaNA (Siddha
   upAyam) which is responsible for one's moksham . Prapatti is a SAdhya
   upAyA which needs to be done by a baddha jIvAtmA. This becomes a vyAjA
   for Sriman nArAyaNA , the Siddha upAyA, to grant moksham . In front of
   Siddha upAyA , SAdhya upAyA is "nothing" & can't even be compared.
   Neverthless , SAdhya upAyA needs to be performed since thats the way
   Sriman nArAyaNA has ordered ( in Sruti & Smruti) to have a vyAjA
   (excuse) for Him and thereby grant moksham by being impartial .
   Similarly ,Bhakti YogA is also a SAdhyaupAyam. Ofcourse , the
   performance of sAdhyaupAyam is also due to Sriman NArAyaNA's mercy.
   Since the mumukshu has proper karmA due to various pious deeds and 
   (most importantly ) divine blessings of bhAgavathA(s) and
   SadAchAryA(s), Sriman NArAyaNA out of His mercy makes him/her 
   perform the sAdhya upAyam prapatti and grants moksham using it as a
   vyAjA .

   So , if someone asks the reason for ones moksham , without any
   hesitation ,it is the siddha upAyam Sriman nArAyanA . The Divya 
   Dampati is both the upAyA (means) & the upEyA (end) . SwAmi Desikan
   beautifully portrays the state of a prapannA while performing
   prapatti in the best & unparalleled heart melting pAsuram "nin aruLAm
   gadhi inRi mattRonRu illEn ....."  (ie. There is No other refuge for a
   prapannA other than the aruL (mercy) of Sriman nArAyaNA ...).

   The actual performance (angI) of prapatti is composed of the
   following three acts :

   1. Atma samarpanam ie. svaroopa samarpanam : From time immemorial,
      a baddha jIvAtmA is of the thinking that it is independent 
      on its own . This is the greatest theft since all jIvAtmAs being
      chetanAs and made up of jn~Anam, are actually the most precious
      properties of Sriman NArAyaNA . Svaroopa samarpanam refers to the
      recognition of this fact and the anusandhAnam that one belongs
      only to Sriman NArAyaNA (not to any demigod) and is not an
      independent being. It also extends to the recognition and
      anusandhAnam that all chetanAs and achEtanAs like wife/husband ,
      children , house etc that are associated with one also belong only
      to Sriman NArAyaNA.

   2. Bhara Samarpanam : Recognition and anusandhAnam that the burden of 
      one's (and all chEtanAs & achEtanAs associated with him/her)
      protection belongs only to Sriman NArAyaNA, the sarva rakshakan &
      not to oneself. This surrendering of burden of protection is unique
      for prapatti . One performing Bhakti YOgam will perform only
      Svaroopa and phala samarpanam & not Bhara Samarpanam . 
       
   3. Phala Samarpanam : Recognition and anusandhAnam that the fruit of
      one's (and all chEtanAs & achEtanAs associated with him/her)
      protection also belongs only to Sriman NArAyaNA , the sarva phalI.
      
   The highly sacred Dvaya Mantram which is eulogized as Mantraratnam is
   the prapatti mantra and the actaul act of prapatti is performed using 
   this. Thus,  prapatti is actually an act which is performed with all
   its entirety in a moment. This is much like the action of an archer,
   who after performing preliminary acts like taking the arrow, fitting  
   it to the bow , perceiving and aiming the object etc discharges the
   arrow for hitting the target ,in a fraction of a second (jIvAtmA is the 
   arrow which hits its target viz. Sriman NArAyaNA ).Infact Upanishads
   describes this act very well. Such an act of Prapatti is celebrated as
   the marriage between a jIvAtmA and paramAtmA Sriman NArAyaNA, due to
   which the jIvAtmA would lead its life totally dedicated in serving
   Sriman NArAyaNA like a pati vratA. 

   There are various types of prapatti that is performed for obtaining 
   moksham viz. Svanishta , Ukti nishta, AchArya nishta and BhAgavatha
   nishta.

   "Svanishta Prapatti" is the culmination of the fully blossomed 
   Bhagavad PremA . For performing Svanishta prapatti (ie. on one's own, 
   without the aid of the AchAryA , though the prapatti sAstrA as such
   would be learnt from an AchAryA ) one needs to have Very high
   qualification - likes of Bhagavad RAmAnujA & SwAmi Desikan . The 
   most important ingredient for Svanishta prapatti is the IN & OUT 
   knowledge of the meanings of the three rahasya mantrAs apart from
   other scriptural knowledge which exactly aids in completing all the
   requirements for a  fruitful prapatti in a proper order/way . Even if
   one of the requirements gets unfulfilled , Prapatti is not complete &
   moksham won't be granted by Sriman nArAyaNA.  
               
   Thats why , Ukti nishta & AchArya nishta is followed even by
   AchAryAs for their prapatti. Infact , the exact modus operandi of
   prapatti won't be revealed to a sishyA & a sishyA can possibly know
   it only during his prapatti & that too if it is in Ukti nishta . In
   AchArya nishta , that also is not possible . AchAryA passes on the
   upadesam to his select disciple whom he likes to continue performing
   "prapatti" for others. In ukti nishta ,since the sishyA repeats
   whatever the AchAryA says and Sriman NArAyaNA knows its meaning, 
   he/she fulfills all the neccessary requirements of prapatti . In
   AchArya nishta , ofcourse all the neccessary requirements are taken
   care by AchAryA himself, while performing the prapatti for his 
   disciple. The fourth type of prapatti is the BhAgavatha Nishta wherein
   a learned Sri VaishnavA (bhAgavathA) performs prapatti on one's behalf. 
     
   Rarely does one develop very intense desire to reach Sri VaikuNTham
   immedietly to join nityasoorIs and muktAs to have uninterrepted
   bhagavad anubhavam and perform kainkaryam to the Divya Dampati. In
   such a case, one can perform "Artha prapatti", for which Sriman
   NArAyaNA mercifully grants mokshA without any delay as per the
   request. But, almost everyone performs "Dripta Prapatti", for which
   Sriman NArAyaNA grants mokshA at the end of one's lifetime as per the
   request. The basic reason for even parama bhAgavathAs to perform
   "Dripta Prapatti" is purely due to their boundless compassion to
   rescue all the jIvAtmAs suffering in this world by imparting them the
   infallible knowledge vouchsafed in the sAstrAs and thereby make
   everyone realize their svaroopam of being subservient to the Divya
   Dampati and aid them in performing prapatti . Ofcourse , it is due to
   the sankalpam of Sriman NArAyaNA that these parama bhAgavathAs exist
   in this world for the benifit of everyone. They also perform
   everything as a kainkaryam to the Divya Dampati with sAthvIka tyAgam.   
     
   Prapatti thus assures moksham for sure , if the requirements were met
   out in its entirety. If even after undergoing prapatti, one doesn't
   have full faith in NArAyaNA & resorts to something like demigod worship
   & this was the case till he/she died,then it is be understood that
   NArAyaNA hasn't accepted his/her prapatti at all , since the basic
   qualification of having ananyagatitvam was not met out by him/her
   during the time of prapatti. Also, even after prapatti ,if a person
   somehow due to prArabdha karmA resorts to demigod worship and the like,
   but somehow restores back anytime before his/her death and follows Sri
   Vaishnavam with reverence to Sriman NArAyaNA and AchAryA ,and develops
   mahA visvAsam , it is to be understood that the Lord has accepted
   his/her prapatti .

   A prapanna should certainly have devotion in the sense of reciting
   VedAs, Divya Prabandhams, StotrAs , performing Nama Sankeertanams, 
   etc, which are to be carried out as a kainkaryam (service) with
   sAthvIka thyAgam. Never should a prapanna perform some act as a means
   of attaining moksham, since he/she has already been assured of it
   through the prapatti and more importantly such an act exhibits his/her
   lack of mahA visvAsam and would thereby even negate the previous
   prapatti.

   While performing Prapatti, a mumukshu requests for Para Bhakti, 
   Para Jn~Anam and Parama Bhakti from Sriman NArAyaNA and thus it 
   is granted for him/her. Depending upon the mumukshu's karmA, the
   time at which they will blossom will differ. For instance, NammAzhwAr
   performed Prapatti unto Sriman NArAyaNA and did not perform Bhakti
   yOgA. But, AzhwAr went through all these three stages while being
   in this material world itself. Similarly, some prapannAs may go 
   through these stages and they will be highly immersed in bhagavad
   anubhavam. But, they are not carrying out these things as an upAyam 
   (ie. means) to attain moksham. Rather they perform it since it is
   their svaroopam (nature). This is ofcourse done with sAthvIka tyAgam
   and is known as "sAdhya bhakti". For many , these three stages 
   blossoms only after reaching Sri VaikuNTham.  
   
   It is however very important to understand that "prapatti" is 
   not some mechanical process that fulfills some conditions . It is 
   the fully blossomed stage of complete understanding of the tattva,
   hitam & purushArtam . sAstrAs are very merciful in enlisting various
   things that one would perform in that state of surrender thereby
   giving rise to its modus operandi . Ofcourse, for mumukshus
   performing through ukti & AchArya nishta , such thorough knowledge of
   sAstrAs & rahasya mantrAs is not neccessary. AchAryA takes care of
   all the requirements for pleasing Sriman nArAyaNA . This is also
   taken as a vyAjA for granting moksham by Sriman nArAyaNA .That is why,
   the adoration of AchAryA is even more important than the adoration of
   Sriman nArAyaNA for a baddha jIvAtmA. There is no possiblity for a
   baddha jIvAtmA who doesn't have the capacity to perform bhakti yogA 
   ( complete akinchanA ), to ascend to Sri VaikuNTham other than to
   fully depend on the mercy of his AchAryA who knows the way of
   performing Prapatti for him. Thus , even one who has transgressed
   sAstrAs for time immemorial can obtain moksham by the mercy of a
   sadAchAryA .To repay one's AchAryA for either blessing one with the
   true & divine knowledge OR initiating  him/her into rahasya mantrAs
   (pancha samskAram) OR performing prapatti for him/her, is an
   impossibility. To be in accordance with one's svaroopam (nature) ,
   one has to perform AchArya ,BhAgavatha & PerumAL kainkaryam in that
   order of decreasing priority & these things doesn't mean that one is
   repaying something to the debt one owes to his/her AchAryA .   

   To understand Prapatti properly , one needs to perform kAlakshebam
   under the lotus feet of a sadAchAryA & only by his blessings through
   the exposition of the grantham far supreme viz.Srimad Rahasya Traya
   SAram, the magnum opus of the Vishnu ghantA avatArA SwAmi Desikan, can 
   one appreciate its glories. It is an unparalleled granthA containing
   the ocean of insatiable nectar delineating all the things a mumukshu
   needs to know (tattvA,hitA & purushArthA ) ,presented in such a
   commanding authority through pramAnAs & logic,which once heard would
   vanish all the sufferings and turmoils  undergone by a jIvAtmA and make
   it have the unshakable faith on the saving  grace of the most merciful
   Lord Sriman NArAyanA, thereby perform prapatti & attain prapatti nishtA
   with the impeccable jnAnam obtained from this  granthA completely
   controlling all of its actions, thereby  engaging  completely  in
   AchArya, BhAgavatha and  Bhagavad kainkaryam for the pleasure of Divya
   Dampati, with no more burdens to be worried about.

         AzhwAr, EmperumAnAr, Desikan thiruvadigaLE saranam
        Sri Adhi vaNN shatakOpa yateendra mahAdesikAya namaha             
            Srimad Azhagiyasingar thiruvadigaLe saranam   
 
   namo nArAyaNA
   adiyEn rAmAnuja dAsan
   anantha PadmanAbha dAsan  
                      sarvam  sri KrishnArpanamastu