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ramkish42
15 June 2006, 03:15 PM
ADHIKARA 1. UPOTKARA ADHIKARA
(Introductory)

For the one who desires Moksha (Mumukshu), the very desire can arise only through a proper Guru and the attainment of this proper Guru itself is possible only if one or more of the following conditions are satisfied:
(i) God's love
(ii) Good deeds done even by chance
(iii) The gracious glance of God even at the time of birth (Jayamana Kadaksha) or in Tamil (Karuvile Thiru)
(iv) Absence of hatred towards fellow beings (another way of saying love towards fellow beings)
(v) Willingness to learn the truths
(vi) Association with the virtuous.
Our Vedas have time and again reiterated that essentially the individual souls are divine and have an inherent right to attain Moksha. But, due to the dirt of Karma Vasanas they had accumulated over several lives, they are oblivious of this divinity and stray into the cycle of births and deaths in a vicious circle of Karma and Punarjanma. Thus, they become confirmed 'Nitya Samsaris' without any hope of redemption. It is only a rare occurance that due to the factors stated above that an individual soul stumbles on a Guru who initiates him into the eternal truths and restores him to his rightful place in Moksha through Bhakti or Prapatti.
To illustrate the importance and the role of the Guru, and the deep debt of gratitude the emancipated soul owes to the Guru, Swami Desika gives an illustration thus:
The young crown prince of a king goes with his father on a hunting expedition to a forest where he gets lost. He is brought up by some huntsmen. He imbibes the qualities, customs, manners and habits of the tribes forgetting that he is actually the prince. After some time, he is spotted by a few courtiers of the king who reveal to him his identity and bring him back to the king. The king is mightily happy in getting back his dear son whom he had believed as lost forever. Thanks to the royal servants, the prince regained his regalia. In the same manner, the Jeevatma that had lost its identity is restored to its pristine glory through the chance encounter with the Gurus who are the true servitors of God.

ADHIKARA 2 : SARA NISHKARSHA ADHIKARA
(Determination of what is best)

It is these Gurus who instruct a Mumukshu what should be learnt and what should be ignored as not useful for attaining the goal of Moksha. Having fixed our objective as the attainment of Moksha, We should carefully avoid those that are either opposed to or are not conducive to the said goal. Indeed, there are innumerable things in this world to know, life is short and hinderences are many. Therefore, A WISE PERSON DESIRING MOKSHA SHOULD PREFER ONLY WHAT IS ALWAYS AND UNCONDITIONALLY MOST VALUABLE, without frittering away time and energy on lesser or even harmful objectives. The things to be scrupulously avoided are:
(i) the philosophies of those opposed to the Vedas ( like Charvakas, Buddhists, Jains etc.,) and the philosophies of heretics (like those who accept the Vedas but misinterpret its contents).These are worthless (Asaara).
(ii) the philosophies contained in Karma khanda of the Vedas because they are only of very little value (Alpasaara).
(iii) That part which deals with the attainment of Svarga (Heavens) after death though may appear valuable to some- does not lead to Moksha ( Saara)
(iv) that part which deals with the realization of one's own self (Kaivalya) and the means to attain thereof, though a little more valuable than (iii) above is really not conducive to the attainment of Moksha (Saaratara)
(v) What is most valuable is that which deals with the supreme Brahman, the attainment of this Brahman and the means thereof (Saaratama).

ADHIKARA 3 : PRADHANA PRATI TANTRA ADHIKARA
(The most important and distinctive doctrine)

A basic understanding of the Sarira bhava ( body aspect) of the Jeevatma in relation to the Sariri bhava (soul aspect) of the Paramatma is the springboard for our take off on the way to attain Moksha. We have dealt with this in greater detail in our Chapter "Who is God?" ( being posted in a separate serial )
We have discussed therein how Chetanas or sentient beingsconstitute the body of Iswara and are supported, controlled and directed by Isvara who is their soul. It naturally follows that they exist for the pleasure of Isvara. The Seshatva(Subordination) of the souls is only another way of saying that they have Dasatva (Service) or right and duty to serve Isvara,who is their master.

ADHIKARA 4: ARTHA PANCHAKA ADHIKARA
(The five things that should be known to the seeker of Salvation)

The Acharyas instruct us on the following five important things that should be known to every seeker of salvation -called Artha Panchaka:-
(i) Paramatma Svarupa: the characteristics of the Supreme soul
(ii) Jeevatma Svarupa: the characteristics of the individual soul
(iii) Upaya Svarupa: the means for the Jeevatma to reach the Paramatma (ie) Moksha through Bhakti or Prapatti (Note that rajayoga, karmayoga and gnanayoga are not the direct means to attain moksha.)
(iv) Phala Svarupa: the ultimate purpose of existence of the Jeevatmas is to serve (Dasatva) at the feet of Paramatma on attaining Moksha and
(v) Virodhi Svarupa: the nature of impediments on the path of the ultimate goal
The items (i) to (iv) have already been dealt with in our Chapter Who is God? mentioned above.We mention here the various forms of the impediments . The impediments arise from sins committed by the individual souls by transgressing the codes of conduct prescribed in the Sastras thus incurring the displeasure of the Lord. This in turn impedes the progress of the Jeeva towards Moksha. The sins are born out of Avidya (Ignorance),and Karmavasana (the latent impressions of the past and the present deeds)-the effects of which can be got rid of only by atoning and surrendering to the Lord (Vide the details in the chapter mentioned above and also in the chapter on Karma and Punarjanma, which will also be posted separately)
As for the impediments, they manifest in different ways:-
(i) Associating the Jeeva with Prakriti, thus blunting intellect
(ii) Making the Jeeva identify itself with the body and sense organs
(iii) The Jeeva being born as an animal or bird etc., which have no access to Sastras
(iv) Even if born as a human, the intellect of the Jeeva being maliciously influenced by atheism.
(v) Even if a Jeeva is a theist, becoming too much addicted to worldly pleasures
(vi) Committing sins deliberately to secure temporary and trivial mundane benefits
(vii) Continuing to commit sins more and more- one sin leading to another in an endless chain
(viii) Performing rites and rituals for securing trivial mundane benefits and from petty deities (devatantara) who are no better than the Jeeva himself.
To use Swami Desika's anology, they are LIKE COWS TETHERED TOGETHER IN THE SAME BARN, and imagining such trivial benefits as the 'be all and end all 'of life and becoming immersed In the worship of such petty divinities
(ix) Imperfect meditation and wrongful worship leading to further involvement in Samsara, and
(x) Other such hinderences to the progress towards liberation - IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE IF A PERSON JUMPING OVER A WELL FALLS WITHIN EITHER RIM OF THE WELL says Swami Desika.

ADHIKARA 5.: TATTVA TRAYA CHINTANA ADHIKARA
(The three reals)

The three 'reals' of Chetana (Sentient), Achetana ( Non-sentient) and Isvara (All-sentient),their Svarupa ( form) and Svabhava (nature) have already been dealt with extensively in Chapter Who is God? mentioned above.

ADHIKARA 6.: PARA DEVATA PARAMARTHYA ADHIKARA
(Truth as to who is the Paramatma - the Supreme deity)

We have seen that the ultimate aim and object of all Chetanas is the attainment of Moksha (i,e) integrating with Paramatma.It is,therefore,necessary to know who this Paramatma is. JUST AS A PERSON DESIRING TO REACH A SPECIFIC DESTINATION SHOULD KNOW WHERE EXACTLY IT IS LOCATED AND THE PRECISE AND SHORTEST ROUTE LEADING THERETO, THE PERSON DESIRING MOKSHA SHOULD KNOW WHO CAN GRANT THIS MOKSHA AND THE EASIEST MEANS TO SECURE THE SAME. WE NEED NOT KNOW ANYTHING ELSE THAT DOES NOT RELATE TO THIS SPECIFIC OBJECTIVE. The Paramatma referred to is none other than SRIMAN NARAYANA ( as explained in our Chapter '" O! My God !")

ADHIKARA 7: MUMUKSHUTVA ADHIKARA
(When one becomes desirous of Moksha)

Through the Sastras, the individual soul discerns the differentiation as between its self and the body on the one hand and as between its individual soul (Jeevatma ) and the Universal soul (Paramatma) on the other. He also comes to know that his deeds (Karma) are responsible for his repeated reincarnations (Punarjanmas). He therefore refrains from bad deeds (Papa) and resorts to spiritually meritorious deeds (Punya) as prescribed in the Sastras. He also becomes aware of the Supreme Lord Sri Narayana and that surrender (Prapatti) to him as the only means to reach Narayana and enjoy everlasting bliss. He thus becomes a mumukshu.
To put it differently, the desire for securing Moksha would arise in an individual only when the following categories of feelings of 'I' and 'Mine' are got over.(Aham kara and Mama kara):
(i) the feeling generated by the soul's attachment to the body
(ii) the feeling of possessiveness over the body and bodily experiences
(iii) the feeling of being subordinate to another deity or being equally subordinate to Bhagavan and the other deities.
(iv) the mistaken impression that individual soul is its own protector and lord.
(v) the mistaken belief of the self acting on its own, for its own benefit and enjoying the fruits thereof.

ADHIKARA 8 : ADHIKARI VIBHAGA ADHIKARA
(Classification of persons qualified for Moksha)

There are two kinds of persons qualified for Moksha viz., Bhaktas and Prapannas.We have discussed about Bhakti in the Chapter on Bhakti yoga. What remains is Prapatti.This Prapatti can be performed even by one who is not aware of the rules to be followed and the steps to be taken in performing Prapatti.(Surrender). This surrender can be done by simply surrendering to the Lord with absolute faith in him
( i ) By repeating the Mantra AS ADVISED BY THE GURU. THIS IS CALLED "UKTI NISHTA"-(performance done as told.)
( ii ) one may request his Acharya who acceding to his request performs Prapatti and prays to the Lord on behalf of the Sishya without the Sishya repeating the Mantra himself. THIS IS CALLED 'ACHARYA NISHTA.'
( iii ) In very rare cases, highly evolved souls can resort to Selfsurrender. THIS IS CALLED 'SWA NISHTA' and those who do this are called 'Swayam acharyas'
( iv ) Others who can do neither 'Swa nishta' nor find an appropriate Acharya for doing 'Ukti nishta' or 'Acharya nishta' as above ( e.g those who have migrated to foreign countries like the USA but who are nevertheless desirous of doing Prapatti) can find out another devotee of Bhagavan and perform Prapatti in WHAT IS KNOWN AS 'BHAGAVATA NISHTA'
Unless one resorts to Bhakti or Prapatti, it is impossible to attain Moksha. Between them, Prapatti can be adopted by all irrespective of caste, creed, sex, place or time and done without any elaborate rituals. Prapatti can destroy all Sanchita Karma. Bhakti and Prapatti are inculcated also by Bhagavata Abhimana (devotion towards the devotees of the Lord) and Divyadesa vasa (residing in places sacred to the Lord).

ADHIKARA 9: UPAYA VIBHAGA ADHIKARA
(Classification of the means for attaining Moksha)

It is well known -
(i) that Rajayoga or Hatayoga can at best serve as means to discipline the body and mind and cannot lead to Moksha.
(ii) that Karma yoga has to be of the Nishkamya variety and that while we cannot give up Nitya and Naimittika karmas under any circumstances Karma yoga by itself cannot lead to Moksha but at best serve to lead to Gnana yoga and then possibly to Bhakti yoga
(iii) that Gnana yoga cannot by itself lead to Moksha because mere 'knowledge' will be 'useless tinsel' unless it blossoms into ' action in .devotion.'(e.g) - Merely 'knowing' that a disease can be cured by appropriate medicine cannot cure the disease unless the specific medicine is actually consumed; - Merely 'knowing' that hunger will subside by taking food cannot solve the problem of hunger unless one actually eats food; - Merely "knowing" the way to reach a particular destination cannot help in taking one there unless one actually moves towards the destination.
(iv) that Bhakti yoga while being counted as one of the direct means to Moksha is difficult to practice as explained in the opening paragraph of this series..
ARJUNA was therefore confused and frustrated and asked SRI KRISHNA as to what he should do in these intriguing circumstances. As an answer to this question, Sri Krishna advised Arjuna to totally surrender to himself and that as God incarnate he would himself stand in the place of these yogas. Having left all dharma (i.e) these upayas, if he thus surrenders, the Lord would certainly wipe off all his sins, and protect him. Having pledged his promise, Sri Krishna advised him not to entertain any grief any more. WHAT WAS ADVISED TO ARJUNA IS APPLICABLE TO ALL OF US AND GOD WOULD CERTAINLY EXTEND THE SAME PROTECTION TO US IF WE UNCONDITIONALLY SURRENDER OURSELVES TO HIM.
Thus, over and above the four upayas listed above Bhagavan has provided in his Charamasloka, a fifth course , that of Prapatti - THE ONLY EASY BUT SURE MEANS TO ATTAIN MOKSHA.
The essential differences between Bhakti and Prapatti may be summarised as follows :
Point of difference is indicated by Roman Numerals Bhakti a.k.a. Upasana is indicated by letter (B) Prapatti a.k.a. Saranagathi is indicated by the letter (P)
I.BIRTH (B):One should be born within the first three Castes because Upasana can be commenced only in the Sarira secured at birth though it can be continued in any other Sarira in subsequent births. (P): Irrespective of Castes, the only qualifications are i) One should feel incapable of following Bhaktiyoga ii) Desire ONLY Moksha iii) Desire it ONLY from Bhagavan knowing that ONLY He can grant it
II.KNOWLEDGE OF SASTRAS. (B): One should know the Sastras properly (P) : Lack of knowledge of Sastras is not a disqualification
III. FOLLOWING THE DISCIPLINES (B): One should follow the disciplines prescribed in the Sastras scrupilously and without fail (P): Following the disciplines is RECOMMENDED as an ADJUNCT and not as the main condition of Prapatti
IV.DELAY IN SECURING MOKSHA (B) : One who does not mind delay in securing Moksha can adopt Bhakti (P) : One who is anxious in securing Moksha without delay should adopt only Prapatti
V. VARNASHRAMA DHARMA (B) : The observance of Varna and Ashrama Dharmas is sin-quanon and forms a necessary condition and includes several strenuous Nitya and Naimittika duties. (P) : The observance of Dharmas while cannot be dispensed with, is NOT considered to be PART OF PRAPATTI. It is done to please the Lord with angas detailed in Adhikara 11 below.
VI. ANTHIMA SMRITI (B): The remembrance of the Lord at the time of death is necessary. This can dawn ONLY in the LAST SARIRA when all the karmas get obliterated. (P) : This is not necessary. Once surrendered, the Lord remembers and so grants Moksha at the end of the CURRENT life itself or earlier as prayed for at the time of Prapatti.( Vide Varaha Charama sloka also)
VII. REMOVAL OF KARMA (B) : Bhakti yoga can not remove Prarabda Karma. (P) : Prapatti will remove both Sanchita Karma and even Prarabda Karma till the performance of Prapatti. If one desires Moksha HERE and NOW and prays for it AT THE TIME OF PRAPATTI, the Lord would grant it right away. This is called AARTHA PRAPATTI.
Any delay is only because the Prapanna had not prayed for an immediate release, being prepared to go through the unexpired portion of Prarabda Karma till the end of the CURRENT life. This is called TRIPTA PRAPATTI. In this case, the sins committed without knowledge are ignored and those committed knowingly get expatiated by atonement (Nirveda and Prayaschitta) or by suffering minor punishments in the CURRENT life itself.
VIII : DURATION AND INTENSITY OF SAADHANA (B) : Has to be practised incessantly for long periods; Is beset with numerous impediments; Is a difficult process for attaining Moksha because it involves the strict observance of one or more of the 32 Vidyas attached to Bhakti yoga. (P) : Prapatti guarantees Moksha INSTANTLY; Requires to be done ONLY ONCE; No impediments or hard conditions to be fulfilled; Can be resorted to even by one who does not have any clear knowledge provided one has the mind and inclination to adopt the means.
Mr.A.K.RAMANUJAM, observes- "Prapatti (unlike Bhakti) works for everyone, whatever be his state, status. caste or previous history. Not merit but demerit may qualify the soul for the grace. Not learning or high caste but their opposite may endear one to God...for Prapatti , there are no conditions of place, time, manner, fitness.The only condition is that the Lord and ONLY the Lord be the object. Draupadi, the heroine of Mahabharata, performed Prapatti when she was menstruating and unclean. Arjuna received the Lord's counsel and grace on the battlefield, surrounded by vile and unclean people"
When this Supreme Lord is so Supreme and the individual soul is so worthless on account of sins, how would God stoop down to the level of the soul and lift him up?
Sri Ramanuja answers that God can and will do this in exercise of his immense accessability, grace and compassion (Saulabhya ) in preference to his Paratva ( omnipotent power) And, JOHN.B.CARMAN quotes Sri Ramanuja asking and answering- "How can a lame man climb on an elephant, if you tell him to do so? Likewise, how can an insignificant soul in this imperfect world approach the Lord of all? The answer is surely that an elephant can accommodate itself lying down so that the lame man can mount"- All that is needed is the absolute confidence (Mahaviswasa) on the part of the lame man that the elephant would allow him to mount on by lowering itself down to his level.
Another question arises as to how Prapatti could destroy all the Sanchita karmas as also the Prarabda Karmas? These Karmas can be likened to a huge load of cotton bales stacked in a warehouse. And, if the entire stock has to be used up by taking out for purposes of spinning little by little, it would take an inordinately long time. But, by applying a single burning match STICK, the entire STOCK could be gutted. Likewise, the sparkling matchstick that the Acharya lights up at the time of Prapatti can and indeed does destroy all the accumulated sins.
Sri ANDAL puts it picturesquely: "The entire stock of accumulated sins and those that had started to yield results would be incinerated like dirt scorched by fire" "Poya Pizhaiyum Pugu Tharuvaan Ninranavum Theeyinaal Thoosagum"
"It is said that the enormous debit entries appearing on the balance sheet of the individual's Karma account can be more than offset by one mighty stroke of credit entry of simple faith in the saving grace of God. And, Prapatti which represents this credit transaction demands no effort; not even an act of will. Rather, the abandonment of the will, the abandonment of all effort. It merely requires Absolute surrender to his will"

ADHIKARA 10 : PRAPATTI YOGYATA ADHIKARA
(Fitness for Prapatti)

The following qualifications are required for both Bhakti and Prapatti viz., The desire to attain Moksha
Seeking the truth from the Sastras
Desire and capacity to perform the duties as prescribed in the Sastras The following further qualifications are special to those desiring to adopt Prapatti viz.,
Inability to adopt any other means (aakinchanyam)
Absence of interest in resorting to any other means being aware of the delay involved in attaining Moksha through them (Ananya Gathi tvam)
Unconditional and Absolute surrender to Sri Narayana with an unwavering and unflinching faith in him as the only Savior (Ananya saranatvam

ramkish42
15 June 2006, 03:24 PM
ADHIKARA 11: PARIKARA VIBHAGA ADHIKARA
(The Accessories or Angas of Prapatti)

This chapter deals with the accessories or Angas for performing Prapatti. They are:-
(1) Aanukulya Sankalpam: Resolve to act only in accordance with the directives of the Lord and which would , therefore, be pleasurable to him. This includes- Following the duties enunciated for the Varna and Ashrama (i.e) Nitya and Naimittika karmas
Respecting the devotees of the Lord (Bhagavatas and Acharyas) with the same ardor as while respecting the Lord himself.
Exceptional and Unconditional devotion to Sri Narayana only to the exclusion of all other deities.
(2) Praatikulya Varjanam: Resolve to scrupulously avoid all actions not pleasurable to the Lord (i.e) those opposed to the ones stated under (1) above.
(3) Maha Viwasam: Absolute faith and confidence that the Lord will surely protect the soul and certainly grant Moksha.
(4) Karpanyam : Realizing the utter inability of the soul to do anything except surrendering at the feet of the Lord. This 'Self effacing' confession eliminates the ego, pride, possessiveness and such other defects in the individual
(5) Goptrutva Varanam or Atma Nikshepam : A formal expression of one's total dependence on the Lord for salvation
One who observes these five Angas at the time of Prapatti will certainly be saved by the Lord and granted Moksha at the end of the present lifetime itself. This however does not mean that there can be a dilution in these Angas ( parts ) at the Post-Prapatti period. This only means that they are the accessories at the time of performing Prapatti . Of these, the most important is Mahaviswasam which can arise only as a result of the benign blessings of one's Acharya. Otherwise, it will be difficult to gear up adequate determination and concentration. It may be doubted how one could cultivate the five Angas mentioned above. Day in and day out, we are adopting and practicing these in our lives without our ever being aware of it.
Take the case of your visit to a departmental stores for buying some article that you need. The fact that you go to the particular stores is a favor done to that store. This is Anukulya sankalpa. That you avoid going to another competitor of his is Pratikulya varjana. Since you are not capable of manufacturing the product is an admission of your Akinchanya. The trust you place in the particular stores for delivering the goods in quality, quantity and a reasonable price is your Mahavisvasa that impels you to go to that stores. The fact of your picking up the product you need from the aisle, putting it in the store cart and pushing it to the cash counter for preparing the bill for payment in an implied request for the item constitutes your Goptrutva varana.
To cite another example, when you have necessarily to go out under unavoidable circumstances, you may have to entrust your kids to the care of a baby-sitter, of course for a consideration. The fact that you pay the baby sitter is your Anukulya Sankalpa towards that person. Not entrusting the job to some other person is an act of avoiding something unfavorable to that person .This is Pratikulya varjana. It is because of your inability to look after your wards or take them with you for whatever reason is a tacit acceptance of your helplessness. This is your Akinchanya. Your trust in the babysitter for taking good care of your wards constitutes your confidence or Mahavisvasa. What you request that person while entrusting the job is the expression of Goptrutva varana.
The same analogy can be extended to any situation in real life where one has to be dependent on another at whatever time or place or circumstances. If we recognize the fact of adoption of these measures even in our daily routine, it should not be difficult for us to consciously adopt the same while performing Prapatti- and no special training or orientation is needed to inculcate these requirements.
Mahaviswasam consists of having complete faith in the following:-
(i) The Lord is omniscient (Sarvjna) while the self is imperfect with full of blemishes due to Karma Vasanas. As the Lord is aware of the defects of the Chetana, in the normal course, the Chetana would deserve only punishment. But, on the recommendations of Mother Goddess Lakshmi, the Lord takes pity on the individual, accepts him, forgives his sins and grants Moksha
(ii) The Lord dispenses justice (rewards or punishments) strictly in accordance with one's Karma only. Since most of our deeds are misdeeds, we deserve punishments only. Still out of extreme compassion and love, God may forgive and grant Moksha.
(iii) Since the Lord is omnipotent, there is nothing he cannot grant and there is no higher authority to question his decisions (Sankalpa), he can in exercise of his compassion accept the acts of submission (Prapatti) and reward with Moksha.
(iv) The Supreme Lord may not grant other rewards of material benefits as quickly or as assuredly for various reasons in the interests of the Prapanna ( unlike other deities) but he never delays in granting Moksha to the Prapanna as requested by him
(v) The Lord has no prejudices, no favoritism. Whoever performs Prapatti is rewarded with Moksha irrespective of Caste, Creed, Sex etc. This is due to His Saulabhya (accessibility)

ADHIKARA 12 : SANGA PRAPANA ADHIKARA
( The preliminaries for performing Prapatti)

An archer might be able to fix the arrow to his bow and aim immediately at the target. Though the actual act of shooting might be done at an incredibly short split-second, he would have gone through a lot of preparation, practice and intense training before acquiring the expertise and precision in fixing and targeting. He would have developed over a period of probation adequate mental concentration, adequate physical agility, adequate dexterity and adequate confidence about his achieving the hallmark of marksmanship .
So also, there are a few preliminaries for one desirous of performing Prapatti. These are:-
Surrendering one's self unto the Lord (Svarupa Samarpana)
Entrusting the responsibility of one's protection to the Lord (Bhara Samarpana)
Dedicating the fruits of all deeds to the Lord himself (Phala Samarpana) The mental preparation consists of the following auto suggestions and conviction thereof:
"I" do not belong to me
I have nothing to call my own
I am not subject to anyone other than the Paramatma
Being my natural owner and master, Paramatma does every act of mine and for his own pleasure
I have no means to protect myself other than the Lord
Myself and all that is supposedly mine belong to the Lord and the responsibility for protecting them rests with the Lord only and none else
The results (fruits) entailing from such protection accrues to the Lord and none else. These are known as Kartrutva Tyaga, Mamata Tyaga, Phala Tyaga and Phalopaya Tyaga.
If a person prays at the time of Prapatti for a sinless future in the Post-Prapatti period for the rest of the present life itself, the Lord grants this prayer also. But, such a prayer could occur to a Prapanna only when his mind is so evolved by the kind of training in the disciplines and dedication mentioned above.

ADHIKARA 13 : KRITA KRITYA ADHIKARA
( The one who has done what ought to be done)

The marks of a person who has performed what he ought to perform viz., Prapatti are explained:
In the Post-Prapatti period till death the Prapanna should be free from all anxieties, worries, tensions or doubts regarding the fact of achieving the goal. He should look forward to the event of deliverance as anticipating the arrival of a honored guest since the release from Samsara ( cycle of births and deaths) is a matter for supreme rejoicing.
He should, nevertheless, be wary of his promises to do the Nitya and Naimittika karmas pleasurable to the Lord, avoid those that would displease the Lord and maintain the Mahaviswasa and remember his own Karpanya and Aakinchanya during the rest of his life. In short, he will conduct himself as a liberated soul even while living in this world .
The repentance on his having committed sins and the atonement therefor are proper before Prapatti; Otherwise, Prapatti would be ineffective. If on the other hand, he languishes over his past karma EVEN AFTER PRAPATTI, it will amount to disbelieving the Lord's assurance to forgive all that. SO, ATONEMENT BEFORE AND HOPE AFTER ARE THE HALLMARKS OF A PERSON WHO HAS DONE PRAPATTI.
A self conceited person might feel that his initiative has been lost, but the Prapanna would feel that the initiative was never with him; It was always with the Lord to whom he had surrendered. Neither our will nor our mind nor our intelligence work out things for us. Every action is His; The only actin that can ever be ours is to surrender our will to Him. This surrender, he does not do for us because it has to come out of our free will. All he does is to create the circumstances for us to surrender to Him. If we don't surrender in word, thought and deed, He mercifully lets us go free, but to be tossed about in Samsara and take our own time to come to Him. Once, having surrendered, the Prapanna can rest assured of His protection and has nothing else to do for saving himself. (To be continued)

ADHIKARA 14 : SVANISHTA ABHIGNANA ADHIKARA
(Characteristics of behaviour of a Prapanna which show that he has developed the proper state of mind required of a Prapanna)

The following traits of behaviour would reveal that a Prapanna has attained proper stage of evolution of mind and the following nishtas (Codes of conduct) Viz., (i) Svarupa Nishta ( self surrender), (ii) Upaya Nishta ( surrendering the means ) and (iii) Purusharta Nishta ( surrendering the fruits of surrender) would serve as a barometer to measure the stage of such evolution:
(1) SVARUPA NISHTA:
(a) He will not feel hurt when others hurl insults on him, being aware that the soul can never be insulted
(b) He will feel compassionate towards those insulting him for only they would incur sin by insulting a Prapanna.
(c) He will feel thankful towards those accusing him because they make him aware of a possible defect in him for rectifying which they had given him an opportunity.
(d) He will not harbor any ill will against those insulting him being convinced that it is divine will that is instrumental for such accusations in a process of testing his courage to face insults with equanimity.
(e) He will feel happy that his sins get removed by being exposed to insults (merited or otherwise) and by exposure of his defects. In practical termsIf someone insults, you say "I think you are perhaps correct" If someone calls you a fool, you say "I have that doubt myself" If someone besmears you, you think you have gained an experience If you think nothing is in your hands, you will have no grief or misery
SRI ANDAL has provided in her TIRUPPAVAI an excellent example of this attitude. When her mates accused her , she answered "Maybe, I am at fault"- "Nanethan Ayiduga"6 This is considered to be the essential index of a true Vaishnava ( Vaishnava lakshanam) NARSI MEHTA, a Gujarati poet composed a poem to answer the question "Who is a Vaishnava?" ( devotee of Vishnu) and this poem is said to have influenced Mahatma Gandhi in adopting his famous creed of ahimsa. He enlists the following as the traits of a Vaishnava:
(i) One who feels sympathetic on seeing the sufferings of others and rushes to alleviate their sufferings and does not feel proud for doing this.
(ii) One who respects all living beings alike, and does not engage himself in slandering through mind, word or deed
(iii) One who has no illwill towards others and regards all womenfolk (other than his wife) as Mother (i.e) without lust., one who does not indulge in falsehood, one who does not covet others' belongings
(iv) One who has banished with a determination Kama and Krodha (desire and anger) from his mind.
(v) One who has totally dedicated himself to the service of the Lord and humanity- because such service is the true hallmark of a Vaishnava.
(2) UPAYA NISHTA
(a) He is convinced that he is not subservient to any one other than Sri Narayana.
(b) He is prepared to welcome death as and when it comes-as an honored guest, knowing full well that on his death, he would reach up to the kingdom of God.
(c) He does not take recourse to any other means to achieve his goal in the firm faith that Lord Sri Narayana has already assured to respond to his prayers and will protect him under all circumstances.
(d) He is free from all worries knowing that Lord Sri Narayana would destroy all that is harmful and grant all that is beneficial to his spiritual upliftment ( not necessarily what he desires, which might turn out to be harmful ultimately)
(3) PURUSHARTHA NISHTA
(a) Being immersed in his dedication to the Lord, he no more seeks physical or material comforts or nourishment, in the conviction that everything happens as per the will of God.
(b) If any physical or material comforts come his way (through Dharmic ways, of course) he does not shun them, knowing that it is one of the ways to get rid of his Punya karmas because they also constitute impediments on his path to Moksha
(c) He views both joy and sorrow alike submitting himself to both with equanimity, knowing that both pleasure and pain visit him as ordained by the Lord.
(d) He feels intensity of devotion like that of 'Parama Bhakti" when he cannot brook any further delay in achieving communion with the Lord
When one acquires the mental caliber as aforesaid, there can be no fear other than Bhagavata Apachara and Acharya Apachara (disrespect to devotees and preceptor) which in any case, he would not indulge in.
In short, a true Vaishnava is a true gentleman and answers to the description of a 'TRUE GENTLEMAN' given by CARDINAL NEWMAN in these words: "The true gentleman carefully avoids whatever may cause a jar or a jolt in the minds of those with whom he is cast; all clashing of opinion , or collision of feeling, all restraint or suspicion; or gloom or resentment. His great concern being to make everyone at their ease and at home. He has his eyes on all his company. HE IS TENDER TOWARDS THE BASHFUL, GENTLE TOWARDS THE DISTANT, AND MERCIFUL TOWARDS THE ABSURD. He can recollect to whom he is speaking. He guards against unseasonable allusions, or topics which may irritate. He is seldom prominent in conversation and never wearisome. He makes light of favors and SEEMS TO BE RECEIVING WHEN HE IS CONFERRING. He never speaks of himself except when compelled, never defends himself by a mere retort. He has no ears for slander or gossip, is scrupulous in imputing motives to those who interfere with him. He is never mean or little in his disputes, never takes unfair advantage, never mistakes personalities or sharp sayings for arguments or insinuates evil which he dare not say out. From a long sighted prudence, he observes the maxim of the ancient sage that we should EVER CONDUCT OURSELVES TOWARDS OUR ENEMY AS IF HE WERE ONE DAY TO BE OUR FRIEND.
He has too much good sense to be affronted at insults; he is too well employed to remember injuries and too indolent to bear malice. He is patient, forbearing and resigned on philosophical principles HE SUBMITS TO PAIN BECAUSE IT IS INEVITABLE, TO BEREAVEMENT BECAUSE IT IS IRREPAIRABLE AND TO DEATH BECAUSE IT IS HIS DESTINY.
If he engages in controversy of any kind, his disciplined intellect preserves him from the blundering discourtesy to better though less educated minds. He may be right or wrong in his opinions but he is too clear headed to be unjust, he is as simple as he is forcible and as brief as he is decisive"

ADHIKARA 15 : UTHARA KRITYA ADHIKARA
(The manner in which one should conduct oneself after Prapatti)

This Chapter lays down the duties to be performed by a Prapanna from the time of his doing Prapatti till attaining Moksha on death.
(a) A Prapanna should not slacken his attentions to and performance of his Nitya Karmas.
(b) He should continue to widen his knowledge by associating with Acharyas and others qualified.
(c) Even if he has achieved a mental evolution befitting him to a direct communion with God., he should not feel proud about it since he should be ever aware of his own insignificance
(d) He should keep his sense organs under perfect control
(e) He should continue to do service to the archa form of the Lord as also Nishkamya Karmas.
(f) He should consciously avoid all desire for worldly pleasures and carry on his daily routine with wealth earned through Dharmic means.
(g) He should always feel grateful to the grace of the preceptor who initiated him into Prapatti
(h) He should always utter the Dvaya mantra as advised by his Guru
(i) He should never boast about his own greatness (j) He should scrupulously avoid insulting or disrespecting the Bhagavatas and Acharyas.
(j) He should always be eager to perform service to Bhagavan, the Bhagavatas and Acharyas.
(k) He should eat only pious foods conducive to augmenting Satva guna.
What a Prapanna should do and what he should not may be summarized as follows:
(i) Not to indulge in Worldly pleasures and desire therefor (ii) To remember The great help rendered by Acharyas (iii) Not to utter Words of Self-praise (iv) To utter Dvaya Mantra (v) To avoid in mind Disrespect to Bhaghavatas and word and deed Acharyas (v) To perform in mind Service to Bhaghavan, Bhaghavatas word and deed and Acharyas

ADHIKARA 16 : PURUSHARTHA KAASHTA ADHIKARA
(The farthest extent of our ultimate object)
If we probe into what is most pleasurable to the Lord, we will come to the conclusion that service to his devotees is the one that is so. Hence, service to Bhagavatas constitutes the farthest extent and most important aspect of our service to the Lord. As we saw, the ultimate object of a Prapanna is to do service to the Lord in Paramapada. But, one has to be trained in such service even while being in this world. Since Bhagavatas are ensouled by Bhagavan any service done to them constitute service to the Lord himself. As Bhagavatas are like God's favorite children, service done to them will please the Lord just like a parent being pleased with the one who pets his child. It is, therefore, that a Srivaishnava calls himself 'adiyen' which means "I who am at your feet". This concept also finds echoed in the expression "adiyar". This service which acts as a probationary period of service so that the Prapanna could taste the pleasure of service to God ' again for the first time' when he reaches Paramapada. This also saves the Prapanna from
(i) Propensity to commit sins
(ii) Entertaining doubts in the authority of the Sastras
(iii) Attachment to petty deities
(iv) Imagining pleasures as resulting out of one's own efforts and
(v) Misappropriating the fruits of efforts for one's self instead of dedicating them to the Lord.

ADHIKARA 17 :SASTRIYA NIYAMANA ADHIKARA
(The injunctions ordained by the Sastras)

We have been repeating time and again that one should act according to the injunctions ordained by the Sastras. Sri RAMANUJA, at the time of his death gave his disciples the following commandments that constitute the essence of these Sastric injunctions:
(1) The Prapanna should study the philosophy of SRI BASHYA and expound them to others.
(2) If he cannot do this, he should study the 4000 holy collects (Nalayira Divya Prabandham) authored by Alwars and expound them to others.
(3) If he cannot do this also, he can engage himself in such services in Divya Desas (shrines consecrated by the Alwars) like preparing offerings of prasada, preparing sandal paste, garlands etc to adorn the Archa forms of the Lord, lighting lamps in the sanctum sanctorum and around the temples etc
(4) If he cannot do even this, he must concentrate and unceasingly recite the Dvaya Mantra and meditate on its meaning constantly (5) If none of the above is possible, he must conduct himself in such a way as to become acceptable as a disciple to a qualified preceptor.
The Prapanna should bear in mind the following:-
(i) Srivaishnavas (Bhakthas Of Sri Vishnu) are like his kith and kin and he should yearn for association with them and feel glad in their company like enjoying the fragrance of sandal paste flowers, moonlight, cool southerly breeze or a dear darling wife.
(ii) Those opposed to Bhagavan should be shunned like poisonous snakes, fire etc.,
(iii) Others who are neither Bhaktas nor opposed to Bhagavan should be ignored as dirt. This category of people, if they show signs of being amenable to turning good, an attempt can be made to instruct them; if not , the Prapanna can only sympathize with them as being misled.
If out of desire for worldly pleasures one disregards a Bhakta or supports a non-believer, one is sure to incur the wrath of the Lord (which is another name for sin). If the neutral type of persons are supported for the same reasons, it is like not being able to differentiate between a gem and a clod of clay- and the Lord would ignore such supporters.
Hence, a Prapanna should be circumspect in offering his services only to the proper Bhaktas (To be continued)

ADHIKARA 18 : APARADHA PARIHARA ADHIKARA
(Atonement for offences)

After Prapatti, a Prapanna will not indulge in committing any sins
(1) Should he commit any without intention, such sins will not accrue to him
(2) Sins knowingly and deliberately committed can be neutralized by atonement -prayaschitta prapatti (not for the purpose of Moksha)
(3) Should one indulge in sins deliberately and does not atone, minor punishments will be imposed on him like becoming blind, lame etc., or disobedience by wife, children etc. In such an event also the Prapanna would not be denied Moksha because his papas will be negatived by atonement or suffering punishment as aforesaid.
(4) Even major sins except what is stated in (5) below will be excused by the Lord by inflicting a light punishment in exercise of his patience, love and compassion towards the Prapanna.
(5) The only heinous and unpardonable sins which will nullify the effects of Prapatti are: (a) Disrespect to Bhagavatas and Acharyas and (b) Adherence to deities other than Bhagavan.
(6) Though the means and Phala of Moksha are identical as between a Prapanna and the great Nityas and Muktas like PARASARA,VYASA,SRI NATHAMUNI and others, the Prapanna should not arrogate himself by equating himself with these extraordinary luminaries since they are far superior on account of their birth, character, knowledge, discipline etc which are not comparable to those of the Prapanna.
(7) THE PRAPANNA SHOULD NOT DISCRIMINATE ANY ONE AS INFERIOR ON ACCOUNT OF THE LATTER'S CASTE, CREED, SEX OR OTHER DIFFERENCES
(8) The Apacharas committed towards Bhagavatas can also be expiated but Only by seeking the forgiveness of the same Bhagavatas
(9) A SUBTLE POINT TO NOTE IN THIS CONNECTION IS THAT IF A PRAPANNA PRAYS AT THE TIME OF DOING PRAPATTI FORGIVENESS OF SINS HE MIGHT COMMIT KNOWINGLY OR UNKNOWINGLY IN THE POST-PRAPATTI PERIOD, THE LORD WOULD TAKE CARE TO GUARD HIM AGAINST HIS COMMITTING SUCH SINS ALSO.
(10) The Post-Prapatti sins get exculpated thus:- 1/4th by not repeating such sins; 1/4th by feeling repentant; th by efforts to perform atonement (Prayaschitta) and the balance 1/4th by actually performing the Prayaschitta. Thus, for the Prapanna, there is no consignment to hell or the danger of rebirth under any circumstances.

ADHIKARA 19 : STHANA VISESHA ADHIKARA
(The places suitable for the Prapanna's residence )

The question arises as to which places will be most suitable for a Prapanna to reside. This is answered as follows:
(1) A Prapanna should select a place suitable for carrying out his daily ritualistic chores relating to his Varna and Ashrama
(2) Any place sanctified by Bhagavatas would be suitable. Places glorified and consecrated by Alwars in their Mangala Sasanas ( statement of consecration) will be most suitable since they will be the usual places where other devotees would prefer to reside.
(3) However great a place may be, if it is not recognized by Bhagavatas, such a place is not fit for a Prapanna. (4) SHOULD, HOWEVER, A PRAPANNA IS FORCED BY CIRCUMSTANCES TO LIVE IN ANY SUCH PLACE (e.g.) IN THE USA OR ELSEWHERE, AND CONTINUES TO PERFORM SCRUPULOUSLY HIS DHARMIC DUTIES, SUCH A PLACE WOULD BECOME SANCTIFIED BY VIRTUE OF HIS HAVING RESIDED THEREIN.

ramkish42
15 June 2006, 03:29 PM
ADHIKARA 20 : Niryana Adhikara
( The Departure of the soul)

Long long ago, in fact, millions of years ago, our Sastras have explained graphically and with minute details not only what processes the soul undergoes 'At death' and what happens 'After death'.
Sri Ramanuja's SriBashya based on the Vedas and Upanishads clearly portrays these aspects and Swami Sri Vedanta Desika has incorporated these in Adhikaras 20.21 and 22 of his Rahasya Traya Sara in his own inimitable style. We discuss below the subject as told by these pioneers

SECTION 1 : The two faces of death Death?
The very thought would send a chill through the spine to any person especially one who is face to face with death. Those who are impervious to such a sensation would be those driven to suicidal proclivity by deep distress, untold miseries, jilted love, betrayal by trusted ones, financial breakdown or mental alteration caused by drug , dope and the like. Though the media blares forth day in and day out cases of murder, loot, arson and rape along with a good sprinkling of suicides - the suicide instances are comparatively few and far between.
On the other end of the continuum, there are of course, a few exceptional cases who 'liked to live and not die' for very different reasons. For example, when Sri Rama beckoned Anjaneya to ascend with him to Paramapada, the latter declined politely saying that the relationship he had acquired with Sri Rama on earth would be unavailable in Paramapada and therefore preferred to ' live' here on earth! Similarly, Thondar Adippodi Alwar also liked to stay back saying that he would not trade in the pleasant experience he had in this world serving Sri Ranganatha with any of the pleasures that Paramapada itself could offer !.
Swami Desikan also saysTvam Chet Praseedasi Tavaasmi Sameepatas Chet Tvayi Asti Bhaktir Anagha Kari Saila Naatha Samsrijyate Yadicha Daasajanaas Tvadheeyah Samsaara Yesha Bhagavaan Apavarga Eva
" O! Lord! If thou art gracious, if I am always by thy side, if there is in me pure devotion to thee, if I am in the company of those who are thy servants- Then, this Samsara itself is salvation"
Death and total non-existence are unbearable and unacceptable to the ordinary mortal in spite of the trauma attaching to the struggle for existence and the survival of the fittest. THE MAJORITY, HOWEVER, WOULD RATHER LIKE TO LIVE THAN 'JOIN THE MAJORITY'. This has been very vividly portrayed in the Puranic story of a man hounded by a wild animal and falling into a deep well surrounded by poisonous snakes clinging to a branch that was being gnawed by rats- still going in for the momentary pleasure of tasting the rare drop of honey dripping from the honeycomb nested on the branch of the tree just above his head.
Life of man on earth is likened to the flight of a sparrow through a banquet hall in winter, with a good fire in the midst, while storms of rain and snow batter abroad. The sparrow is flying in at one door and immediately exiting out at another. During the passage in the hall he is safe from the wintry storm but after a short sojourn of fair weather, he instantly vanishes into the dark winter from which he emerged. The only difference is that the sojourn here is really not that rosy while the Scriptures say that the beyond is beautiful to the one who has played by the rule while on earth. Says Dr. Radhakrishnan " The fleeting is enclosed on both sides by an eternity which is real"
Another reason for the dread is the prospect of one's having to contend with death 'all alone'. Even when one is involved in a collision dash on the road or, or a train smash or a plane crash or a ship wreck when hundreds die, each one has to go through the throes of death 'all by oneself'..
More than the inevitability of death itself, the fact of the pangs involved in the process is forbiddingly threatening.
It is here that our Vedas, Sastras, Itihasas, Puranas and in fact the entire gamut of our sacred scriptures step in to assure that one could actually look forward to death as a welcome guest, LIVE PEACEFULLY TILL IT ARRIVES AND DIE GRACEFULLY.
Lord Krishna , the Charioteer friend turned Acharya of Arjuna intended to convey this comforting formula to us under the pretext of advising Arjuna. He deliberately goaded Arjuna to ask a leading question by feigning to slip out an apparent indiscretion when he said to Arjuna " I taught this great truth to Vivaswan (the Sungod), he to Manu and Manu to his son Ikshvaku etc."
Arjuna promptly seized the slip to question Krishna that since they themselves were just contemporaries, how could Krishna have taught anything to Vivaswan. The launching pad thus set adroitly, Krishna proceeds to explain the secret of his Avatara, how the imperishable soul transmigrates to newer bodies and therefore he should not imagine he was killing the soul and how the perishable body is cast away by the soul in successive births so that he should not feel sorry for the destruction of the body which, in any case, was going to perish.
" Many births of mine have passed away, Arjuna! as well as many of yours. I know them all but you know them not, Slayer of foes"
He further explains how even though he has no birth he is born out of his own sheer will while others are born due to their karma.
This concept of transmigration of the soul , the central theme of Hinduism imparts the much needed solace to the troubled minds of those fearing death. It presents the prospect of death as a welcome experience not to feel sorry about, prepares us to cast off our mortal coils, 'IF THE TIME COMES, WHEN IT COMES' with absolute ease and equanimity.
"To understand man's life as important, but not all important, as good but with a chance to be still better, is to relax the grip of terror a bit, and to see things in perspective. When one does see things in perspective - 'freedom from existence' can become the goal which transcends and transforms the threat of death to a sweet promise."
How the soul escapes at the time of death has been engaging the attention of researchers all over the world. They experiment with persons with ' paranormal' and 'Near- death- experiences' (NDE). Even recently, in the USA, a person terminally ill with a prognosis of imminent death was enclosed in a glass domed cubicle. When he actually died, the scientists wondered how the breath could have escaped through the air tight, hermetically sealed cubicle. They noticed a minuscule - less than hairline fracture in the glass that was not there earlier when the dome was examined with sophisticated instruments before the experiment. The experiment conclusively proved that the soul must have pierced through the glass dome.

ADHIKARA 21 : GATHI VISESHA ADHIKARA
(THE DEPARTURE OF THE SOUL)
SECTION 2 : AT DEATH - THE PREPARATION FOR DEPARTURE
Swami Desika describes how the soul leaves the body through the various Nadis (veins) and how the soul of a Prapanna and that of a Non-Prapanna take different routes and different destinations. First, he emphasizes how in the case of a Prapanna the attainment of Moksha is certain even if he had committed any indiscretions after performing Prapatti.
A person who has performed Prapatti will not consciously commit any sins. But, due to 'Prarabda karma' that had begun to yield fruits while he is living in this world, some may swerve:
(i) He may display feelings of 'I' and 'My' and commit certain offences consequently. The Lord will make him realize his folly by making wisdom dawn on him.
(ii) He may display a taste or desire for an object other than the Lord. Even when a Prapanna desires and prays for it, Isvara will not grant what is not good for his spiritual upliftment. This is like a mother preventing her child from falling into fire. The Lord declares 'when I decide to bless someone with Moksha, I strip him of his possessions; inflict on him tragedies of death of his dear and near ones; if, in spite of all these, he clings to me ( as he surely will), I grant him the bliss which even the Gods cannot secure'5 Or, he might grant what he desires in such an abundant measure as to create a revulsion and aversion to what he had asked for ( as in the case of Kuchela) The idea is that in any case, the person chosen would emerge a fully evolved soul to deserve Moksha.
(iii) He may contact other deities. In such cases, the Lord would create a situation by associating him with Paramaikantins and make him feel ashamed of his deviate behavior.
(iv) Being weak minded, he may desire to adopt other Upayas. The Lord will in due course dispel his desire to adopt other Upayas. By all means, the Lord would rid the Prapanna of any failings or foibles he might have contracted due to the interaction of his 'Prarabda karma' and eventually make him fit and qualified for Moksha - all before the Prapanna actually arrives at the point of departure from this life.
For the Prapanna who has not swerved, the delay in securing Moksha is only so long as he desires it. The Lord is anxious to bring him into the company of Nityasuris ( Never born) and is actually sorry for the delay desired by the Prapanna. He, therefore, produces an eagerness in the mind of the Prapanna to attain the goal. He creates a suitable atmosphere for the Prapanna to leave his worldly life and decides on the appropriate time and pretext for the event.
At the appointed time, the Lord projects for the Prapanna to behold a remembrance of all his thoughts, desires and deeds during his lifetime in a sort of flashback. " A certain amount of experimental evidences has been gathered from those who have come very close to death through some accident and then been restored to life; the trend of this evidence is to support the idea that at the moment death was nearest, they passed in review the events of their whole life"6 There is a dictum that one who dies during daytime, Sukla paksha ( bright fortnight of the moon), and Uttarayana ( the six month period when the Sun moves northward) alone can reach Paramapada through what is known as Archiradi marga ( the shiny path) and the others go through the Dhumadi marga (the smoky path) only to be reborn. This view has been expressed in several contexts thus: Lord Krishna declares-"O! Arjuna! I shall declare to you the path following which the yogis attain the state of not returning and also those who attain the state of returning. Light in the form of fire, the day, the bright fortnight preceding the full moon, the six months of the Sun's northern progress- departing therein, men who know Brahman go to Brahman. Smoke, night, the dark fortnight of the waning moon and the six months of the Sun's southern journey- departing in these periods, souls attain the light of the moon and come back to be reborn. Indeed, these two paths, the bright and the dark, for the world of the departing souls are deemed to be eternal. By the one, one attains the state of nonreturning; by the other one comes back again"
The same idea has been expressed in Mahabharata But, this is not applicable in the case of a Prapanna who may die at any time- day or night, in the bright or dark fortnight, in Uttarayana or Dakshinayana etc., since in his case, Karma lasts only as long as the body lasts; and, the moment he sheds his mortal coil, he moves to Paramapada through Archiradi marga. Brahmasutram also makes this point very clear Chandokya Up also confirms this;
' Whether the funeral rites are performed or not by their heirs, these Brahmagnanis ( who have done Prapatti) reach only this bright and shiny path and are led by a superhuman force to Brahman through the Deva marga ( Shiny path) or Brahma marga ( Path leading to Brahman). Those who have gone through this path never, never return to this mundane world' In the case of a Prapanna , all his Sanchita karmas are destroyed on performing Prapatti, like the bales of cotton that are burnt by fire. 'Prarabda karma' alone remains ( that which the Prapanna had agreed to go through during his lifetime). At the time of his death, the balance , if any, of his Punya karmas are transferred to his friends who have done him good and Papa karmas to those who had remained inimical to him. This is done because, the Prapanna's karma account has to show a nil balance and also because, Punya is like golden fetters and Papa is like iron fetters - thus making no difference to the soul which yearns for freedom from all shackles.
At the appointed moment, the lord joins the Gnanendriyas ( Sense organs ) and the Karmendriyas (Motor organs) with the mind. When the sense of speech ceases to function, we see that the mind continues to work. This is true when someone is so ill as not to be able to talk; or one who is observing a vow of silence; also we have seen mute persons whose minds however keep working. Even so, when other senses cease to function, the mind is still found to be working. Then, the mind with the sense organs affiliated to it is joined with the Vital air (Prana). We see this when a person is in a state of coma or unconsciousness , he merely breathes and even the functioning of the mind appears stalled. The Prana (with which are joined the senses and mind) is then united with the Jeevatma or the soul. This, however, will not be perceptible to the onlooker. The jeeva is then churned out of the physical body and united with the subtle form of fire and other primary elements. It can be noticed that even though a person is pronounced dead, there is some heat still felt in some part of the body indicative of this union of Jeevatma with the subtle element of fire. Similarly, all other elements (Panchbhutas) ( the five natural elements) are also joined with the Jeevatma ready to depart. This has been stated in Chandokya Up.
Brihadaranyaka. up also states that" all the vital airs go with the Jeeva at the time of death even as the faithful followers of a king go with him in his victorious march even without his specific bidding"
Since the jeeva would have become emaciated due to the churning, the Lord embraces him to give him solace and rest. Upto this point, the preparation for departure of the soul is common to both the Prapanna, Bhakta and also others , sinners and saints alike.

SECTION 3 : THE MODE OF ACTUAL DEPARTURE
Three specific ways have been identified through which the souls escape:
1. There are 72,000 Nadis or ( invisible veins ) which branch off from the heart and end up with nine major openings ( Navadwara) as also innumerable pores on the skin ( through which one perspires). Some run horizontally and some downwards. These are either colorless or dim. Through them go those who had been so wicked during their sojourn in this life that they have to expiate the results of their sins only by suffering in the penitentiary ( Naraka ) after which they are born in the world as animate beings like animals, birds or even as trees. Those whose account shows a predominance of evil deeds have to remain condemned to being inanimate objects like stone, mud etc for specific periods during which time they will be incapacitated to indulge in any wrong doing.
2. One hundred Nadis of various colors, white, black, blue, golden yellow and red go upwards from the heart. Those who go through these Nadis that go upwards go to the higher worlds to experience the fruits of the extraordinary Punya they had accumulated and after exhausting such Punya return to the earth to experience the results of their other karma ( both good and bad).
This is called the Dhumadhi marga (smoky path) or Pitruyana (the path of the manes) A soul that had performed meritorious deeds has to enjoy the fruits thereof. So, such a soul accompanied by the senses and elements reaches the moon through the Dhumadhi marga and reach heaven or Svarga (which is different from Moksha). There the soul assumes a subtle body to enjoy the fruits. When the good deeds get almost exhausted, it is reborn in this world along with the balance of Karma13 :This has also been very extensively explained in Chand.up which deals with 'Panchagni vidya' ( a special treatise on the journey of the soul from death to rebirth) according to which such a soul passes through five fires after falling down from Moon (Apram) viz.
i. Heaven or Svarga where the soul enjoys the fruits of the extraordinary good deeds and falls into the sky.( Sradda)
ii. After enjoying, the soul enters the rain bearing clouds ( Soman).
iii. Then, along with the rains, ( Vrishti) it comes down to earth and is united with paddy, etc that grow on earth
iv. When the food ( Annam) made out of these is consumed by the male, the soul gets into his seminal fluid.
v. When the male and the female unite, this creative fluid ( Retas) enters the womb of the female and subsequently born into this world on delivery.
3. There is, however, one Nadi other than the 100 mentioned above which starting from the navel (Mooladhara) goes past the heart and ends up on the top of the crown. This is a special Nadi reserved only for a Prapanna (who attains Moksha at the end of the current life itself) or a Bhakta ( who attains Moksha at the end of the life in which he reaches a nil balance in his karma account- which may be at the end of the current life or after many lives). The Lord illuminates this Nadi at the point where it goes past the heart and the departing soul sensing the flickering radiance leaves the heart and escapes through an aperture like bursting through a push- door into this Nadi. This Nadi is called the Moordhanya Nadi or Sushumna Nadi or Brahmanadi or Brahma Randra since it opens at the top of the skull of the person leading him to Brahmam itself through the Shining path or the Archiradhi marga . The soul starts its journey with the help of the rays of the Sun. This has been explained in Kata Up also.15

SECTION 4 : THE LAST THOUGHT ( ANTHIMA SMRITI)
The Prapanna will attain Moksha even if he is unconscious and unable to remember the Lord or utter any Mantra ( especially Dvaya) at the time of his death.
In the famous VARAHA CHARAMA SLOKA , the Lord assures- " The man who, when his mind is in its normal condition, when the body is not shattered and when the Dhatus (elementary constituents of the body ) are in perfect equipoise meditates on me as the one who has the world as my body and as the one who is not subject to births due to karma-- when that man lies like a log of wood or a piece of stone in his dying moments, I think of him ( my devotee) and lead him to attain the highest state" 16 Thus, for the Prapanna, the Lord will himself appear in his last thoughts and save him and he need not strive to effect it as an Upaya.
It is said that in the case of others destined to be born again, they become in their next birth what they were thinking of at the time of their death. This is expressed by Lord Krishna in BG17 This happened in the case of JADABHARATA, a great sage who reared a deer and became so much attached to it that his last thoughts were hitched on to that dear deer. He was himself born as a deer in his next birth.
The last thought is that which arises when all sense organs have ceased to function and the person is in a state similar to a deep dreamless sleep (Sushupti). It will not be known to the onlookers who may be near the dying person. It can be cognized only by the dying person especially, if he is a Prapanna and the Lord who confers this remembrance to him purely as a matter of his Grace-' Kevalam Madeeya Dayaaya' in the words of Sri Ramanuja. As for the place of death and the omens or signs under which the death occurs, Swami Sri Vedanta Desika says that wherever and whenever and under whatever omens or signs a Prapanna dies that becomes auspicious. This is because like a father who descends into a well full of slushy mire to take out his beloved child that had fallen into it, the Lord himself who abides in the cave of the heart (dahara) condescends to help the Prapanna to enter the special 101st Nadi through which he reaches Paramapada.

SECTION 5 : EN ROUTE TO VAIKUNTA
As we saw, the Lord releases the soul from the gross body (Stula Sarira) and provides with a subtle body ( Sukshma Sarira) and takes it through the Brahma Nadi on the Devayana. Swami Desika compares this to a king carrying his infant prince for a stroll.
This jeeva is received with due honors by the deities presiding over the following :-

Archis ( Fire )
Ahas ( Day),
Suklapaksha ( Bright fortnight of the month before the full moon),
Uttarayana ( the six monthly period when the Sun is traversing towards the north),
Varusha or Samvatsara ( Year) and then by
Vayu ( Wind God),
Surya ( Sun God),
Chandra ( Moon God), and finally by
Vidyut Purusha a.k.a. Amaanava Purusha or Maanasa Purusha who is accompanied by
Varuna (Rain God) ,
Indra ( Lord of Devas) and
Prajapathi ( the Creator of lives).The Gods mentioned at 9 to 12 take him to the very boundaries of the manifest world ( Prakriti mandala). These deities are Called 'ADHI VAHIKAS' (Prime Guides).
A doubt may arise as to how names of divisions of time like day, bright fortnight, half- year and year could be clubbed with the names of deities. Sri Bashyam clarifies where the various divisions of time are mentioned they refer to the deities presiding over the respective time periods and therefore there is no incongruity in the listing.
Again, different Upanishads list the various Adhivahikas differently some omitting a few and some mentioning the names of certain lokas and some others jumbling the sequence. Sri Bashyam clarifies that where a more detailed listing is given it should be adopted and where only an oblique reference is made to certain deities , they should be fitted into the pattern and sequence given in the detailed listing. We have adopted the sequence and listing as consolidated in Sri Bashyam and as adopted by Swami Desika in his Rahasya Traya Sara.
WHAT HAS BEEN DECLARED IN OUR SASTRAS IN THIS REGARD IS NOT A FIGMENT OF IMAGINATION. SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH BASED ON CASES OF DEATHBED VISIONS (DBVS), NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCES ( NDE), OUT OF BODY EXPERIENCES (OBE) ETC IN THE USA AND ELSEWHERE CONDUCTED BY RENOWNED RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS CONFIRM THE FINDINGS OF OUR SCRIPTURES.(VIDE ANNEXURE 1)
Another point also requires clarification . We saw that both categories of souls that pass through the Archiradimarga and Dhoomadhimarga reach the moon on their itinerary at some stage Then, what difference does it make as between the two categories that one goes to Paramapada and the other to Svarga? Kaushitaki Up. says that all those who reach the Moon through whatever path are invariably interrogated by Moon God who permits only those that answer his questions correctly to proceed on the onward path to Vaikunta , and sends those that are unable to answer correctly to Svarga to be reborn as described in the Panchagni Vidya. Invariably, the Prapannas and Bhaktas would be able to give correct answers, having had their 'ORIENTATION DURING THEIR PROBATION' .
The question is simply "Who are you?". The answer is equally simple. The soul would reply " I have been born again and again due to beginning-less sins. Having taken refuge under the Lord who is 'Satya' and having performed Bhakti or Prapatti, I have realized the Lord to be my soul as well as the soul of all that is, including you, the moon god. I see Narayana in my own self and in everything else. Please therefore do not hurl me down to be born again and let me reach the supreme state of Paramapada". Pleased with the answer, such soul is allowed to proceed further on its onward march to Paramapada. Once it goes through this, it can no longer return.
SWAMI DESIKA SAYS THAT IT IS LIKE THE PROVISION OF A LADDER FOR A PERSON TO CLIMB UP AND ONCE ONE HAD REACHED THE TOP THE LADDER IS WITHDRAWN SO THAT THE PERSON COULD NO WAY COME DOWN AGAIN.
The soul is then made to cross the celestial Viraja river a.k.a Vijara meaning ( ageless).
The jeeva then sheds even the subtle body which had been kept on merely for the sake of journey and conversing with the Moon god ( as aforesaid).
SWAMI DESIKA COMPARES THIS TO A PERSON WHO USES A BOAT TO CROSS A RIVER. AFTER CROSSING, THE BOAT IS CAST OFF AND LEFT BEHIND ON THE BANK WHERE HE GOT OFF AND STEPPED OUT TO THE SHORE.
The jeeva acquires a super-sensuous divine form made of Suddha satva ( Aprakrita ). It is then taken to a divine tank ( as big as an ocean ) called Airammadeeyam and then to a huge Aswattha tree called Somasavana. There 500 Apsaras in batches of 100 each adorn the jeeva with garlands, collyrium, perfumes, garments and ornaments respectively and receive it with royal honors. Then divine fragrance ( Brahma Gandha), divine flavor ( Brahma Rasa) and divine splendor ( Brahma Tejas) enter into the jeeva.
The jeeva is then received by Nityasuris who take it to the portals of the city with high walls adorned with festive banners in the world called 'Aparajita'. Indra and Prajapati who are the guards there welcome the Jeeva like their master and offer honors befitting a crown prince with Purnakumbha, lamps and other Upacharas ( services).This is ' Salokya'
Then, the Jeeva is led to the enchanting assembly hall , a Gopura ( Tower) studded with precious gems called 'Prabuvimitam' or 'Vibupramitam'.
Then, the Jeeva acquires divine form and fame ( Divya yasas). This is called 'Saroopya'
Then, the Jeeva is led to the seat of the Lord called 'Vichakshana Peetam'. This is ' Sameepyam'
The Lord allows the Jeeva to climb up his divine couch called 'Amitoujas' and reveals his blissful form to the Mukta This is 'Sayujya'.
The Lord restores to the jeeva its essential nature with the 8 qualities viz., Being free from

Sin,
Old age,
Death,
Sorrow,
Hunger and
Thirst,
Being endowed with all desired objects and
an unhindered will.The Lord bestows Sayujya which means ( being united in equal enjoyment), places the Mukta in the galaxy of Nityas and other Muktas for enjoying infinite being, infinite knowledge and infinite bliss. The Lord mingles with them like friends of the same youthful age group as Nitya yuva as he himself.
This Archiradi is the shortest route to Moksha in the sense that even though the various stages have been described elaborately in Chandokya Up. , Kaushitaki Up. and other scriptures and in Sri Bashya , THE JEEVA IS SAID TO TRAVERSE THROUGH ALL OF THEM INSTANTANEOUSLY WITH A BEWILDERING SUPERSONIC SPEED IMMEDIATELY ON SHEDDING THE MORTAL COILS (STULA SARIRA). THIS IS BECAUSE OF THE UTMOST INTENSITY FOR ' THE GET-TOGETHER' SENSED AND SHARED EQUALLY BY THE PARAMATMA AND THE JEEVATMA.
Archiradi is not the only route to Moksha. There are other routes for those who had acquired an eligibility to enter Paramapada through various Upasanas and Vidyas prescribed in Bhaktiyoga.
1. Those who practice Madhuvidya obtain positions like those of Vasus
2. Those who meditate on the four faced Brahma as the body of Narayana reach his Satyaloka and stay with him till the end of Brahma's life called Para when dissolution takes place and having fulfilled themselves they enter the highest seat Paramapadam along with him. So says Kurma Purana
3. Certain others reach Anirudda and after staying with him for sometime they go to Pradyumna, then to Sankarshana and finally to Paravasudeva (Narayana)
4. Jayakya Samhita mentions another route for Bhaktas who practice some other Vidyas. " They go from here to Svetadweepa and reach Hari who has the Universe as his form. Then, they reach Hari in his form as Anirudda who is in the ocean of milk. From there, they go to Hari who is the Lord of Brahma and all others. Then, they proceed to Samkarshana and finally to the eternal Bhagavan, Vasudeva"
These are known as 'Krama Mukti" ( Release by gradation) and are applicable to those who practice Bhakti yoga and we need not be concerned about them.
FOR US PRAPANNAS , THE SIMPLEST, SHORTEST, SUREST AND SETTLED ROUTE IS THE ROYAL ROUTE OF ARCHIRADI MARGA.
In daily meditation, the Prapanna reminds himself of the Archiradimarga since such remembrance becomes an end in itself producing a keen delight in knowing that very soon he would be treading the same path to attain Moksha. SWAMI DESIKA LIKENS THIS TO THE ANXIOUS EXPECTATION OF A PROSPECTIVE BRIDEGROOM WHO COUNTS THE DAYS BEFORE THE ENSUING WEDDING DAY THAT HAD BEEN FIXED ALREADY.

ramkish42
15 June 2006, 03:44 PM
ADHIKARA 22 PARIPOORNA BRAHMA ANUBHAVA ADHIKARA
( On the full and perfect enjoyment of the bliss of brahman )
SECTION 6 : WHAT HAPPENS AT VAIKUNTA?
We saw that the prapanna on reaching Srivaikunta as aforesaid, will enjoy infinite being, infinite knowledge and infinite bliss ( Sat, Chit and Ananda ). During his stay on earth all these were in a contracted state due to to the interaction with the mundane world and his identification with his perishable body. Now, that he is associated with the eternal Paramatma with whom he has identified himself, his being, knowledge and bliss have become expanded without any limit.
Mahabharata describes what happens to the Mukta at this stage. "The Mukta attains the Supreme being and acquires the attributes of the Supreme being like having four arms, the crown, the regal insignia which the Supreme being himself wields. He too becomes free from imperfections. He too becomes Omniscient. He too becomes free from Karma., from suffering, from sorrow. He too becomes blissful, blemishless and independent in the sense that he is not subject to Karma but his own limitless free will."
As stated in Vishnu Suktam ," he will be constantly witnessing the radiance of the divine personality of Sri Narayana in Paramapada in the company of Nityas and Muktas Along with them he will also be singing his praise and enjoy the beatitude eternally. Having reached there, even the darkest night appears like eternal day, he obtains whatever he wants, he wins over everything, everything he ever desired he gets, he is ever victorious"
He will be in a position to offer his services to the Lord 'at all times, at all places and in all manners' unrestricted by time (kala), space (desa) or matter (prakriti).
A doubt might arise that if the Jeeva were to render all services at all times etc., would there not be a competition and conflict among the servitors (e.g) Adhisesha is Lord's couch; Garuda is his vehicle. Can a Mukta aspire to replace them and take over their duties? The answer is that a Mukta will not aspire for any service other than what is allotted to him and would never aspire to replace others in their respective duties. This is because, his will coincides with the will of the Lord. As the Lord has willed the respective duties to Adhisesha, Garuda and others the will of other Nityas, and Muktas would be in consonance with the Lord's will. Therefore, there can be no competition or conflict. Further, the pleasure derived from whatever service allotted will be the same for all of them.
There is a saying in Mahabharata that some Muktas live in the same loka as Paramatma ( Salokya); some live in the proximity of the Paramatma ( Sameepya); some others assume the form of Paramatma ( Saroopya) and yet others share bliss equally with Paramatma ( Sayujya).
SWAMI DESIKA SAYS THAT A JEEVATMA WHICH ATTAINS SAYUJYA HAS ALSO IPSO FACTO ATTAINED SALOKYA, SAMEEPYA AND SAROOPYA. JUST LIKE'HUNDRED' IS A PART OF 'THOUSAND', THESE ARE CONTAINED IN SAYUJYA .
To the Jeeva who has attained Moksha everything will be pleasant, agreeable and blissful. Even those that appeared painful or even less pleasurable while on earth because of the constraining effects of the material world, would now appear enjoyable due to the absence of the material binding and the presence of Bhagavan.
SWAMI DESIKA SAYS THAT THIS IS LIKE A PERSON WHO DISLIKED DELICIOUS MILK WHILE HE WAS AILING FROM BILIOUSNESS RELISHES IT WHEN CURED OF IT.
Therefore, the Jeeva would not have to go back to earth nor would he have any desire to do so.
1.. Since his wisdom has become fully blossomed, he has no illusions or ignorance that could impel him to return to earth.
2. Since the Lord is so much pleased with the Jeeva that he would never let him go back to earth.
3. In the Mukti stage, the Jeeva is not governed by the dictates of Sastras. Therefore, he will not be guilty of transgressing the Lord's will resulting in Karma and return to the material world.
4. Since what is pleasing to the Lord is also his own pleasure, he is not going against the wishes of God. So, there is no question of his incurring the displeasure of God that can hurl him down to the earth.. There are several passages to substantiate this.
Ahirbudnya Samhita confirms that the Jeeva reaches a ' point of no return' in Paramapada. Lord Krishna also confirms this Periyalwar in his Thirumozhi says that even if the jeeva vows and pledges security in the name of Mahalakshmi that he would certainly return after visiting the earth, the Lord would never allow him to go back to earth.
Sutrakara also concludes that one who has attained Moksha "NEVER RETURNS, NEVER RETURNS"-by repeating the statement twice.
But, if for carrying out any of the Lord's purposes on earth like protecting the virtuous, destroying evil and establishing Dharma as stated by Lord Krishna in BG, he may be permitted to come to earth, In this case, he returns not as a result of Karma but out of sheer free will.
Baudayana says that the assumption or non aaumption of forms is entirely left to the option of the Muktaatma (released soul). If it chooses, it can take MANY bodies out of its own free will like a flame that ignites several other flames.Brahma Sutra Iv.4.12 confirms-
Yadhaa Sa Sareerataam Sankhalpayati Tadhaa Sa Sareera Bhavan |
Yadhaa Tu Asareerataam Tadaa Asareerah Iti Bhavati ||
4.15 ibid- further states-
Yathaa Praddepah Ekah Aneka Pradeepa Bhaavam Apaadhyate |
Vikaara- Sakti - Yogaat Evam Ekah Api San Muktaatma Aiswarya Yogaat Aneka Bhaavam Aapaadhya Sarvaani Samkalpa- Srishtitaani Sareeraani Aavisathi ||
When he so incarnates he will retain his Sudda Satva quality. During such descents, his being, his knowledge and his bliss never get contracted because he is 'ON DEPUTATION' AS IT WERE by God's will. For this reason, results of deeds done during such sojourn in terrestrial life do not affect him at all. Great spiritual Acharyas who lead the lay folk on the right path are ,therefore, considered as such incarnations and should not be viewed as ordinary human beings. They are the ' alter ego' of the Lord himself and deserve respect and devotion as shown to the Lord.
THE GREAT ALWARS AND THE ACHARYAS LIKE THE JEEYAR OF AHOBILA MUTT, PAUNDARIKAPUAM SRIMAD ANDAVAN, SRIMAD ANDAVAN OF PERIYASHRAMAM AND SUCH OTHERS BELONG TO THIS CATEGORY.
It is held by some that the Jeevatma merges, gets absorbed, gets dissolved in Paramatma. This is not correct. According to Sri Bashya, what happens is that the Jeevatma joins, associates and integrates with the Paramatma.
IT STILL EXISTS AS AN ENTITY BUT UNITED WITH HIM INSEPARABLY AND INDISTINGIUISHABLY. BEING UNITED IS NOT THE SAME THING AS BEING IN UNION; RATHER IT IS IN CLOSE COMMUNION WITH GOD.
An instance is cited here from Srimad Ramayana to make the point clear. Sri Hanuman explains to Sri Sita how Sri Rama and Sugriva came together. He uses the word 'Aikyam' which means ' COMING TOGETHER' AND NOT ABSORPTION 26
Another example is given in Jayakya Samhita (4.83) is that WHEN IRON IS HEATED TO A RED HOT STATE, IT LOOKS LIKE FIRE ITSELF THOUGH THE TWO ARE TOTALLY DIFFERENT ENTITIES. So also, Iswara who is different from the Jeeva indwells in the Jeeva as Antaryami and both appear as one entity though they are actually different. Unless they are different, how could the scriptures speak of Jeevatma serving Paramatma?
The Upanishad statement that the Jeeva is one with Paramatma refers only to the equal enjoyment of the wisdom and bliss of the Brahman- 'Samyam"( Equality). There are quite a few areas of activity which are inalienable and exclusive preserves of the Lord viz., One who is the cause of the world
One who confers Moksha on the Jeevas
One who is the support of the world
One who is the controller of the world
One for whom all non-sentient things and sentient beings exist
One who has everything as his body
One who is denoted by all words
One who can be understood by the Vedas
One who is the refuge of all the worlds
One who should be adored by all those who desire Moksha
One who grants the fruits of all actions
One whose essential nature is Omnipresence, Omniscience and Omnipotence
One who is the spouse of Sri Mahalakshmi.
These are the features peculiar to him and are his distinctive characteristics. But, how come the equality spoken of? This is explained as follows WHEN A FARMER WHO TOILS AND RAISES A CROP SHARES THE FOOD PRODUCED AS A RESULT OF HIS LABOURS ALONG WITH HIS CHILDREN, THE ENJOYMENT IS COMMON TO BOTH THE FATHER AND THE CHILDREN. LIKEWISE, THE EQUALITY SPOKEN OF IN THE UPANISHADS REFERS TO THE EQUAL ENJOYMENT OF THE BLISS ARISING OUT OF THE ACTIVITIES OF THE LORD.
Chand. Up.also says that the Mukta sees everything and enjoys everything with the Lord
Brahma Sutra also confirms this fact" There is no difference in the enjoyment even though the Jeeva has no activity like creation of the world (Jagat vyaapaara)
Lord Krishna confirms " Having gained this knowledge, they attain a status equal to me; there is no more any birth or death for them"
Mundaka Up. " Shorn of all blemishes, he attains absolute equality with me"
When two persons eat a delicious dish, the sense of enjoyment can be said to be equal. This is "Sayujyam". There is however another term used in this connection viz.,"Sarshtita" which means the intensity of pleasure accruing from such sharing. If both of them enjoy the dish in the same location, it is called "'Samana lokata" The Jeeva thus enjoys, Salokya, Sameepya, Sayujya, Sarshtita and Samanaloka with the Lord ETERNALLY, EVER AND ANON.
ANNEXURE 1
RESULTS OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH ON THE SUBJECT CONFIRMING THE VARIOUS FINDINGS OF HINDU SCRIPTURES ON DEATH AND AFTER - DEATH. DEATH BED VISIONS (DBVs) - 1 " Between 1959 and 1973, KARLIS OSIS under the auspices of first Parapsychology foundation and then the American Society of Physical Research collected data on tens of thousands of DBV and NDE in the USA and in a joint effort with Erlandur Heraldson in India.
Deathbed Visions share common characteristics not influenced by racial, cultural, religious, educational, age and socio-economic lines such as radiant lights, scenes of great beauty, beings of light and feelings of great peace... These figures are called "Take away apparitions' because their apparent purpose is to summon or escort the dying to the after-world. Their appearance usually elicits a response of joy, peace, happiness and cessation of pain though a small number of individuals react with fear or denial.
Total visions in which the dying behold (or are transported out of body to see) a preview of the after- world, occur in about 1/3rd of DBVs. Such visions usually are of endless and exquisitely beautiful gardens. Other visions are of great architectural structures and symbols of transition such as gates, bridges, rivers and boats. These after-world scenes may be populated with angels or spirits of the dead and in a small number of cases, may be permeated with celestial music. Typically, colors are vivid and the dying one feels uplifted. Seldom do after-world visions conform to the religious expectations of the dying.
OSIS and HERALDSON found DBVs are most likely to occur to patients who are fully conscious. DBVs are significant to thanatology, the scientific study of death, for they show death not as extinction but as a wondrous transition, a rite of passage that should be undergone consciouly and with dignity".
NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCES (NDEs) - 2 "Term coined in the 1970s by the American physician RAYMOND MOODY to describe the mystical- like phenomena experienced by individuals who appear to die and then return to life or who come close to death.
In an NDE, people generally experience one or more of the following : a sense of being dead; or an OBE in which they feel themselves floating above their bodies, looking down; cessation of pain and a feeling of bliss or peacefulness; travelling down a dark tunnel toward a light at the end; meeting non-physical beings who glow, many of whom are dead friends and relatives; coming in contact with a guide or supreme being who takes them on a life review during which their entire lives are put into perspective without rendering any negative judgements about past acts and finally, a reluctant return to life.
The NDE is not limited to religious or 'good' people. Many who have NDEs become more spiritual or develop a belief in some type of God after their return from death. Most say they lose their fear of death and begin believing in after-life. Almost all discover a new and positive purpose for their lives, finding meaning it previously lacked. In some cases, the NDE leaves individuals with heightened intuitive or psychic abilities, including precognition, clairvoyance and telepathy.
" Coming back to life" (1988) author P.M.H.ATWATER found that NDE survivors identified these as the most common negative reactions : Anger, because they had to return to life; Gulit, for not being sorry about leaving; Disappointment, because once again they were back in their bodies; Dumbfoundedness and inability to talk about their experiences ( or fear of talking about it ); and Depression at the realization that they had to resume their lives.
On the positive side, survivors offered these reactions : Ecstasy at the wonder of their experience; Thrill, because of what they were able to experience; Gratitude, for what had happened to them; Awe and lack of words to describe what happened; Evangelism in wanting to tell others why they should'nt fear death; And. Humility at the overwhelming nature of their experience.
RING, philosopher, MICHAEL GROSSO and others have theorized that NDE may be a form of enlightenment or ' Gateway' to a higher consciousness and could have a transformative effect on the entire planet, if enough people have similar experiences.
Modern NDE stories, like their medieval counterparts, provide a way for individuals to incorporate a 'religious' sense to the cosmos into their scientific / secular understanding. ZALESKI holds that NDE is 'one way in which religious imagination mediates the search for the ultimate truth"
OUT OF BODY EXPERIENCES ( OBEs) - 3
"A phenomenon in which a person feels separated from his / her physical body and seems to travel to and perceive distant locations on earth or in non-worldly realms. OBEs are also called 'Astral Projection', 'Astral travel' and 'Exteriprization'
While accounts of OBEs vary, there are common characteristics. Most often reported is the existence of a second subtle body that becomes the vehicle for travel. The subtle body is described as a ghostly semi-transparent double of the physical body that is either naked, clothed in duplicate clothing or clothed in other apparel. They pass through walls and solid objects with the speed of thought,
The NDE usually involves some form of OBE. Some people who have 'clinically' died or come 'close to death' report the separation of their consciousness from their bodies.
The OBE is often preceded by a perception of strong and high frequency vibrations. Individuals report leaving through their head or solar plexus or simply rising up and flaoting away. Re- entry is accomplished by returning through the head or solar plexus or by melting back into the body.
It is believed that if the ' silver cord' is severed while one is out of body, physical death occurs, because the body has been cut off from its soul. The cord also is said to snap when the body dies and the consciousness or soul is released."
ANNXURE 2
THE ROUTE OF THE PRAPANNA ' FROM HERE TO ETERNITY' ( Read from 1 to 24)

24. Bhagavan Sri Vishnu Narayana in Paramapadam
23. Amitoujas- Paryanka ( Couch) - Saayujya
22. Brahma Yasas & Brahma Prajna - Divine fame, form cognition- Saaroopya
21. Vichakshana - Peetam ( Seat) - Sameepya
20. Vibhupramitham or Prabhuvimitham-Gopura ( Tower)
19. Aparaajita - Paramapada Loka ( City)- Saalokya
18. SomasaVana ( Forest of Aswatta trees) where 500 Apsaras adorn the Aprakrita Sareera of
the Soul with Brahma Gandha ( fragrance,) Brahma Ras ( Taste)
and Brahma Tejas ( splendour)
17. Airammadiyam ( A great lake) The soul takes
16. Aprakrita Sarira
15. After crossing the Viraja river, the river that bestows agelessness
14. Amanava Purusha a.k.a Vidyut Purusha a.k.a Maanasa Purusha accompanied by
13. Prajapathi (the creator) takes the Sukshma Sarira of the Jeeva on its upward march
after its being permitted by Chandra
12. Indra ( the master of Devas)
11. Varuna ( the master of the universe),
10. Chandra ( Moon God ) who questions the Soul on its eligibility to reach Paramapada
9. Surya ( Sun God )
8. Vayu ( Wind God )
7. Samvatsara ( Presiding deity of the Year )
6. Uttaraayana ( Presiding deity of the half year of the Sun's Northern movement )
5. Sukla Paksha (Presiding deity of the Bright fortnight of the Moon)
4. Ahas ( Presiding deity of the Day)
3. Archis ( Fire God )
2. Sukshma Sarira of Jeevatma with Prana, Manas,Gnanendriyas and Karmendriyas
escaping through Brahma Nadi (.Sushumna or Murdanya ) at the crown of
1. the Stula Sarira (Gross body)
NOTES on References to Scriptural and other texts cited in Adhikaras 20,21 and 22 of RTS.
1. TM, verse 2 Ichuvai tavira yaan poi indiralokam alum Achuvai perinum venden arangama nagar ulane
2. BG 4 / 1 "Imam viwaswate yogam proktavan Aham avyayam Viwaswan maanave praha manur ikshvakave abraveeth"
3. BG 4 / 5 "Bahuni me vyateetani janmani tava cha arjuna janyaham veda sarvani na tvam vedha! Paranthapa!"
4. Kirk,p.153
5. Bhagavata sloka ' yasya anugraham ichami dhanam tasya haraamyaham Baandhavais cha viyogena brunam bavathi duhkitah Tena duhkena santapto yadi maam na parityajeth Tam prasadam karishyami yat surairapi durlabah
6. 3 Ms, Vol.5, p.1416
7. BG 8 /23 to26
Yata kale tu anavrittim avrittim cha eva Yoginah
Prayata yaanti tam kalam vakshyami bharatarshaba
Agnir jyotir ahah suklah shanmasa uttarayanam
Tatra prayata gachanti brahma brahmavido janah
Dhoomo ratris tatha krisnah shanmasa dakshinayanam
Tatra chaandramasam jyotirr yogi prapya nivartate
Sukla krishna gathi hi yete jagatah saswatte mathe
ekaya yatianavrittim anyaya avartate punah
8. MB Anusasana Parva 220. Divaa cha sukla pakshascha uttarayanameva cha Mumurshatam prasastam viparitam tu garhitam
9. Brahma Sutra, 4.2.18 and 19' 'nisi nati chet na samsara bandasya yavat deha bhavitvath darsayat cha/
athas cha ayanepi dakshine/'
10. Chan. Up.4.15.5 ' atha yadu chaivasmin savyankurvanti yati cha narchishameva abisambavanti/
tat purusho manavah sa enan brahma gamayat yesha devapado brahmapada yetena pratipadyamanaa imam manavam avartamnaavartanta/naavartante/
11. Chan. Up., 6.8.6 "Asya somya, purushasya prayatah, Vak manasi sampadyate, manah prane, pranah tejasi...
12. Brih.Up.,6.4.2
13. Pras. Up.,1.1.9 'Tadye ha vai tadishta purte kritam ityupasate, te chandramasameva lokam abijayante, ta eva punar avartante."
14. Chan. Up.,5 / 3 to 10
15. Kata Up. 6.16
Satam cha ekaa hridayasya nadyas |
taasaam moordhanamabinihsrutaikaa ||
Tayo urdvam aayan amrutatvam eti |
Vishvanganya utkramena bhavanti ||
16. Varaha Charama Sloka
"Stite manasi susvaste sareere sati yo narah Dhatu samye stite smarta viswaroopam cha maam ajam Tatastham mriyamaanam tu kashta pashana sannibham Aham smaraami mad bhaktam nayaami paramaam gathim"
17. BG 8 / 6
"Yam yam vapi smaran bhavam tyajante kalebaram
Tam tameva kaunteya! Sada tad bhava bhavitah:
18. Kurm. P.1.12.269
Brahmana saha te sarve sampraapte prati sanchare |
Parasya ante krutam atmanah pravisanti param padam"
19. MB., Santi Parva., 313 ( 26 to 31)
20. V. S. , verse 12 20
"Tad vishnoh paramam padam |
sada pasyanti soorayah |
Diveeva chakshuratatham |
Tad vipraso vipanyavo jagruvam sassamindate |
Visnoryah Paramam padamparyaptyaAnantarayaya sarva stomo |
Ati ratram uttamam ahar bhavathi |
Sarvasyaptyai sarvasya jityai |
sarvameva Tena aapnoti sarvam jayathi | "
21. Bhagavata sloka
" lokeshu vishnor nivasanti kechit |
Sameepam richanti cha kechit anye
Anye tu roopam sadrusam bhajante
Sayujyam anye sa tu moksha uktah ||"
22. Ahir. S., 37 / 25 and 26
" prapyate paramam dhama yato na avartate yatih"
23. BG 8 / 15 and 16
" maam upetya punar janma duhkalayam asaswatam |
Na apnuvanti mahatmaanah samsiddim paramam gathah ||
Aabrahmabhuvanal lokah punaravartino Arjuna! |
Maam upetya tu kaunteya! Punar janma na vidyate ||
24. PATM.,4.5.2 poyinaal pinnai ith disaikku enrum pinai koduthalum poga vottare"
25. Brahma sutra., 4.4.22 - 24" ' Anavritti sabdath, Anavritti sabdath'
26. VR 5.35.51" Rama Sugrivayor Aikyam, Devi " evam Samajaayata"
27. Jay.S., 4..83
28. Taitt. Up. Ananda valli 1.2 "Sa asnute sarvan kaamaan saha brahmanaa vipaschiteth"
29. Chan. Up. 7.26.2 " sarvamha pasyati sarvam aapnoti sarvasah"
30. Brahma Sutra 4.4.21 " bhoga maatra saamya lingaas cha"
31. BG 14 / 2 " Idam Gnanam Upasritya Mama Saadharmyam Agata Sargepi Nopa jayante Pralaye Na Vyatanti Cha"
32. Mundaka Up. " " Niranjanah Paramam Saamyam Upaithi"
NOTES FOR ANNEXURE 1.
1. Harper's Encyclopedia of Mystical and Paranormal Experience -by Rosemary, Ellen Guiley Published by Harper, San Francisco- 1991 (p. 141- 143 )
2 ibid, ( p.399-400)
3. ibid ( p.419 - 423)
In the next 4 Adhikaras (23 to 26) called Streekarana part, Swami Desika deals with anticipated doubts and objections relating to the principles enunciated so far and answers them.

ADHIKARA 23: SIDDHA UPAYA SODHANA ADHIKARA
(On the One means already existing)

"Siddhopaya" means the one that is already existing. Since Bhagavan is already there, there is no need to 'create' him. Only the means (Sadhya upaya) has to be chosen. They are Bhakti and Prapatti as we have already seen. To secure the knowledge of this already existent Upaya, one has to- (i) appeal to Mother Goddess SRI LAKSHMI who grants the necessary Gnana (ii) approach a proper preceptor and perform Bhakti or Prapatti (iii) follow established traditions and observe the prescribed austerities. Those who do not have a clear mind should not get into the company of atheists who deny the very existence of God and those who deny God's omnipotence- because such association would destroy all chances of progress towards Godhead and consign their victims to eternal damnation.
Certain doubts relating to Siddhopaya are cleared as follows:
(1) Certain statements seem to suggest that Prapatti is not necessary. Why should God ignore a Chetana for so long and why again should he correct and bless him at a particular point of time,? If he does this in exercise of His Swatantriya (independence), why should Chetana adopt any Upaya at all?
Answer: It is true that the Lord is independent. Still he directs the Chetana to take an Upaya before granting him Moksha. If he were to grant Moksha to everyone indiscriminately without reference to the adoption of an Upaya, would it not amount to partiality by bracketing together both the deserving and the undeserving?
(2) If directing the Chetana to adopt an Upaya is also the handiwork of God, Why God should not do this to everyone in the first place itself and why different times are taken to different persons in bestowing his benevolence?
Answer: The Chetana has to acquire a certain stage of evolution to be fit enough to receive divine grace. As a result of different Karma, such an evolution arises in different individuals at different times and God is quick in directing one to take recourse to an Upaya as and when one is ready and ripe enough for it.
(3)Certain pramanas ( authorities) depict as if God feels sorry on seeing the suffering humanity. If this were so, does it not mean that he behaves the same way as any of us?
Answer : Really, God is beyond all joy and sorrow we experience but his exhibiting the same is to show a kind of sympathy with his devotees
(4)Since God is all powerful and all knowing, how can we who are fit to be punished will ever be granted Moksha?
Answer: God's principal qualities are indeed Gnana and Sakti. Since he knows everything he is aware of our fault and merits; since he is also powerful he can no doubt inflict punishments or award rewards., Thus Gnana and Sakti are useful in punishing as much as in rewarding good deeds. But, His Karunya (compassion) is exclusively useful for conferring his grace on the sinner who surrenders to him.
(5)Since it is said that a Prapanna has done what he ought to do, does it mean that he need not do any karmas after Prapatti?
Answer: What is meant is that he need not do anything for the purpose of securing Moksha .It does not mean that he can give up Nitya and Naimittika karmas which have to be done for the pleasure of the Lord.
(6) Does it mean that because one has done Prapatti, he is entitled for Moksha?
Answer: The answer is Yes and No. Without doing Prapatti or Bhakti, one cannot secure Moksha and one is definitely entitled to Moksha but this does not mean that Prapatti itself grants Moksha. It is the Lord's sankalpa that is really responsible for the Prapanna securing Moksha.
(7)As God is like mother, he has to nourish the child, the child has nothing to do at all. .Is this correct? Answer: TRUE. BUT EVEN IN THIS CASE, THE CHILD HAS TO PUT ITS MOUTH TO THE BREAST OF THE MOTHER BEFORE SHE COULD FEED IT. PRAPATTI IS LIKE THIS AND HAS TO BE GONE THROUGH.
(8) When it is the Lord who grants Moksha , how does Goddess Lakshmi come into the picture?
Answer: The Lord has vowed to protect his proteges and this he is doing as a Yagna. As a person without a wife is not fit to do any yagna, he is always accompanied by - Sri Lakshmi in performing this yagna. She is with him both in Upaya and Phala. This has been confirmed by great sages like Nammalwar, Hiranyagarbhar, Kasyapa, Sownaka, Sri Parasara, Emperumanar (Satvata Samhita), Sri Ramanuja, Kurattalwan, Bhattar, Nanjeeyar and a host of other great personalities. Just as in yagas the offerings are submitted to two or more deities together, as for example for Agni and Soma etc., the offering of our souls is submitted to the divine couple and both together protect the souls jointly.
(9) But the scriptures do not always refer to the divine couple but only to the Lord?
Answer : Wherever the scriptures refer to the Lord, it should be taken as referring to both. For the sake of convenience, they have divided among themselves the various qualities and responsibilities. The Lord has such masculine qualities like independence, power to quell the wicked, firmness etc., while Mother Goddess is the personification of patience, forbearance, tenderness and other feminine qualities chief of which is MERCY OR COMPASSION with which she prevails upon the Lord to spare the rod and accept the surrendered soul and admit him into the Moksha Samrajya.
(10)It is said that when the Goddess takes independent position in the Archa form we can not worship her in that form? Answer : The Archa form of mother Goddess has three manifestations in the temples viz., (i) Layaarcha : her form seated on the chest of the Lord (ii) Bhogarcha: Her form as seated or standing by the side of the Lord and (Iii) Adhikararcha : her manifestations in separate temples without the form of the Lord
While there is no doubt of worshipping her in the first two forms, it must be mentioned that in the third form she is believed to confer boons other than Moksha. In actual practice, however, even when she manifests in Adhikaraarcha form, it can be seen that the Lord always adorns her chest even as she adorns his chest in the Laya Archa form.

ADHIKARA 24 : SADHYOPAYA SODHANA ADHIKARA
(Clarification of certain doubts regarding the means of Bhakti and Prapatti)

(1) How Bhakti which is difficult to practice and Prapatti which is easier to practice could result in the same benefit of Moksha?
Answer: To the one who has the capacity to adopt Bhakti, that is the proper course. For the one who is incapable of doing Bhakti in the manner elaborated earlier the only course open is Prapatti. Just like a sick person is advised manasa snana (thinking of the lord) as he is not fit to take shower and it is said to confer the same purification as a regular bath, while doing prapatti, the lord is supposed to stand in the place of Bhakti and grant the desired reward of Moksha which is the common goal of both Bhakti and Prapatti.
A tiller toils and earns by the sweat of the brow and enjoys the fruits of his labor; But, a merchant sits in his shop, sells goods, earns and enjoys the fruits of his earnings. The pleasure of enjoying the earnings is the same for both the tiller and the merchant. Similarly, the fruits obtained by the difficult process of Bhakti and the easy means of Prapatti give the same kind of pleasure Viz., Moksha.
(2) It is said that Prapatti will secure not only Moksha but also other worldly benefits .In actual practice, however, we see several Prapannas not securing material benefits. Why is this so?
Answer: It may be that the Prapatti was not done with adequate intensity of confidence (Mahavisvasa) or that God grants material benefits or withholds them in accordance with the Karma that the Prapanna had agreed to go through while performing Tripta Prapatti.
(3) It is questioned why if Bhakti yoga is so difficult, it should be prescribed at all and especially when it has no relevance in the Kaliyuga?
Answer: Even in Kaliyuga saints like Nammalwar attained Moksha through Bhakti. Hence, there is no harm in prescribing it.
(4)What is the daily routine of a Prapanna?
Answer: The daily routine of a Prapanna is as follows: The daytime is divided into 5 periods of say 2 1/2 to 3 hours from sunrise.
1st period: Abhigamana : Praying to the Lord that the day's austerities should be carried on without any impediments.
2nd Period: Upadana: Gathering flowers ,leaves, preparing sandal paste etc for the purpose of doing the Thiru Aradhana (Ritual worship). This includes purification both physical and mental by uttering the appropriate Mantras.
3rd Period: Ijya: Thiru Aradhana proper according to Agama traditions
4th Period: Svadhyaya: augmenting knowledge of philosophical truths by deep study of the scriptures
5th period: Yoga: Meditating on the feet of the Lord both during the waking state and during the dream state.

ADHIKARA 25 : PRABHAVA VYAVASTHA ADHIKARA
(Limitations under which Bhakti and Prapatti operate)

Certain people exaggerate the efficacy of Prapatti to absurd extents. This chapter seeks to disabuse the views so expressed on certain aspects.
( 1 ) That even though one is born in a lower caste, he becomes one of a higher caste on performing Prapatti. The answer is that so long as the body exists, the caste does not change. EVEN A TEMPLE COW, HOWEVER HOLY IT MIGHT BE, REMAINS ONLY A COW.
Even though Sri Krishna eulogized VIDURA a person belonging to the fourth caste, he did not say that he changed his caste. Similarly, even Viswamitra never became a Brahmin. The story regarding his birth shows that since his mother partook of the potion meant for a Brahmin foetus, he was already a Brahmin indeed by birth but his brahminic traits remained eclipsed. This does not mean that one can afford to despise another on the basis of caste. EVEN A PERSON OF THE SO CALLED LOWER CASTE, IF THEY ARE DEVOTEES - DUE RESPECT HAS TO BE PAID TO THEM. FOR, DID NOT THE BRAHMIN MADHURAKAVI BECOME THE DISCIPLE OF THE SUDRA NAMMALWAR ?
( 2 ) That even the sins committed by a Prapanna knowingly will not affect him and some people go the extent of saying that God relishes the sins. This is not correct. Sins can be exculpated either by atonement by performing another Prayaschitta Prapatti or by suffering the consequences during the current life itself. There is no doubt, however, in the Prapanna attaining Moksha since his sins will get wiped out by one of these methods before his death.
( 3 ) That the spittle of a Prapanna is holy. This is a gross exaggeration .Spittle can never be considered holy.
( 4 ) That whatever a Prapanna utters becomes law. This is not correct. Only those utterances which are not repugnant to the Sastras can be held valid. Prapannas should attend to Bhagavatas whenever an occasion arises Bhagavatas are of three kinds:
(i) EKANTINS :Who have no attachment towards other deities and are totally dedicated to Sri Narayana.
(ii) PARAMAIKANTINS: who have no goal other than attaining the feet of the Lord.
(iii) SHODASA VAMA SVARNA PARAMAIKANTINS: who are so dedicated to the Lord that they do not aspire for any thing including Svarga or even Moksha They just do their duty and expect nothing in return leaving everything to God.

ADHIKARA 26 : PRABHAVA RAKSHA ADHIKARA
(Indication of the efficacy of Prapatti)

This Chapter shatters the attempts of some who denigrate the importance of Prapatti and establishes the efficacy of Prapatti.
( 1 ) Even if a Bhagavata has swerved a little from the Sastric injunctions unwittingly, HE SHOULD NOT BE DISRESPECTED. You should not, however, seek to get Samasrayanam or Bharanyasam from him.
( 2 ) Disrespect to a Bhagavata is more deadly than even sinning against God.
( 3 ) Chanting the names of God (Nama samkeerthana) and residing with Bhaghavatas will be useful in taking a person to the right path of Bhakti or Prapatti, only if he is not an atheist at heart.
( 4 ) PRAPATTI DESTROYS NOT ONLY SANCHITA KARMA BUT IS CAPABLE OF DESTROYING PRARABDA KARMA ALSO COMMITTED UPTO THE POINT OF PERFORMING PRAPATTI.
( 5 ) Why Prapannas also suffer during their lifetime? It may be that they had not prayed for a suffering-free Post-Prapatti life. But, more importantly, for such Prapannas God dispenses with their Prarabda karmas through ill health, death of near and dear ones to make them absolutely Karma-free. SUFFERING IS A CHASTENING AGENT FOR A PRAPANNA.
( 6 )SAMAASRAYANAM is the ceremony by which one gets administered the PANCHA SAMSKARA ( the five-fold purificatory ceremonies) by their Acharyas. They are:-
(i) TAAPA : getting embossed with the impressions of the conch (Panchajanya Sankha) and Wheel (Sudarsana Chakra) on the arms by the Acharya.
(ii) PUNDRA: Wearing the twelve Sri Vaishnava marks on the body reciting appropriate names of the Lord as taught by the Acharya
(iii) NAAMA : Adding a suffix like 'Dasa" to one's name in token of one's subordination to Sri Ramanuja
(iv) MANTRA: Learning from the Acharya the three great Mantras of Ashtakshara, Dvaya and Charamasloka with their invocatory Slokas (Dyana Slokas).
(v) AARAADHANA: Learning Aaraadhana or ( the formula for worship of God-) Both external (Baahya) and mental (Maanasika). The detailed procedure of such worship is given in Nitya Grantha of Sri Ramanuja.
BUT,FOR THOSE WHO ARE NOT ABLE TO DO THE WORSHIP AS PER THE FULL STANDARDS, THE SAME MAY BE DONE IN AN ABRIDGED FORM (LAGHU THIRUVARADHANA) WITHOUT THE LOSS OF THE SPIRIT., FOR AFTER ALL, WHAT IS IMPORTANT - IS SINCERITY AND QUALITY, NOT DURATION NOR QUANTITY. Aradhana is normally to be done in the mornings at the Ijya period, but on special occasions like Janmashtami, Sri Rama Navami and Nrisimha Jayanthi, the Bahya Aradhana should be done at midnight, noon and at sunset receptively.
( 7 ) IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT EVEN THOSE WHO HAVE NOT GONE THROUGH THE PANCHASAMSKARA OR ANY PART THEREOF, IF THEY DO PRAPATTI - SO LONG AS THEY ARE NOT ATTACHED TO PETTY DEITIES AND DO NOT DISRESPECT BHAGAVATAS AND ACHARYAS- THEY WILL SURELY ATTAIN MOKSHA AT THE END OF THE CURRENT LIFE ITSSELF.
EVEN AN ANIMAL ( GAJENDRA) AND A BIRD ( KAKASURA) WHICH HAD NOT GONE THROUGH THE PANCHA SAMSKARA HAD DONE PRAPATTI AND ATTAINED MOKSHA. THIS IS NOT TO SAY THAT THERE IS NO NEED FOR THE PANCHA SAMSKARA BUT THAT DUE TO UNAVOIDABLE CIRCUMSTANCES THOSE WHO COULD NOT OR HAD NOT GONE THROUGH THESE, NEED NOT FEEL DESPONDENT BUT CAN TALE RECOURSE TO PRAPATTI AND BE SAVED.
( 8 ) How to identify a REAL BHAGAVATA? Would it be correct to give respect to one who has just the external marks like Nama, Rupa, Taapa etc., only and who in reality is not a Vishnu Bhakta? So long as the duplicity of such a person does not get exposed, a Prapanna will have to show respect, But, once it gets revealed, the Prapanna can just ignore him.

ADHIKARA 30 : ACHARYA KRITYA ADHIKARA
(The duties of an Acharya)

The three great Mantras and their significance can be appreciated only by those initiated by tradition into their secrets. THE DELIGHTFUL TASTE OF THE BREAST MILK OF THE LIONESS CAN BE APPRECIATED ONLY BY HER OWN CUBS.
In the first place, the Acharya will himself master the hidden truths of the scriptures as taught by his Acharyas and by faithfully following the injunctions, acquire the quality of Sattva . He would then select the proper students by testing their sincerity and integrity and impart to them the traditional teachings. Students found wanting in these respects should not be admitted for instruction into these truths. Otherwise, it will be like saying 'Anything is fish that comes to the net'.
The preceptor should avoid liars, eunuchs, misers, mentally perverse, conceited., those who delight in tormenting others, those who indulge in vilifying others, those that engage in vain arguments (Vitandavada), atheists (Nastikas), those who heckle for the sake of embarrassing demanding reasons for everything (Hytukas), those whose views are distorted (Kudhrishti), prattlers (Jalpa), who misinterpret (Kuyukta), heretics (Pashandis), and hypocrites who pose to be virtuous but in reality are vile.
Lord Krishna, the Prathama Acharya " prohibits transmission of these secrets to those who do not perform their dharmic duties, those who do not have faith in God, those who are not sincere and eager to learn and most importantly those who bear ill will or jealousy towards God and therefore intolerant."
He proceeds to advise as to whom these secrets can be revealed and the benefits accruing from such revelation. "These secrets can be revealed only to those devoted to me. Anyone who reveals to such deserving persons would notice an unfoldment of his own devotion into the state of Parabhakti and finally secure myself as his reward"
"Even among those who possess positive qualities as discerned by the preceptor by means of appropriate tests, cannot be told unless the would be student formally petitions to him -in the manner of Arjuna pleading before the Lord
Some students who may not have the requisite caliber to assimilate but are nevertheless sincere in reforming themselves may be instructed the broad outlines of Tattva, Hita and Uttarakritya without going deeper into the esoteric meanings enshrined in the great truths.
Tattva: Jeevatma is a permanent sentient entity as different from the body that is perishable. Again, Jeevatma is different from Paramatma who is its SESHI and its ONLY protector. This is Tattva.
Hita: This Jeevatma remains submerged from beginning-less time in the ocean of Samsara. Only by a stroke of luck it could come across an Acharya who would instruct the Dvaya Mantra and initiate into Prapatti. This is Hita.
Uttara Kritya: The Jeevatma should have total and unconditional faith that having been recommended by the Acharya, the Lord would most certainly grant Moksha and will under no circumstances forsake the surrendered soul and it should in the post-prapatti period, till the end of the current life do service to Bhagavan, Bhagavatas and Acharyas. This is Uttara kritya.
These truths have been handed down to successive generations from Sri Ramanuja to Pranathartihara (a.k.a.Kidambi Achan, Madaippalli Achan) and then to his son, Kidambi Ramanujacharya and his son Kidambi Rangarajachariyar and to his son Kidambi Appullar (a.k.a. Vadihamsa Ambuvaha chariyar). This Appullar was the maternal uncle of Swami Sri Vedanta Desika from whom he learnt them. As directed by Lord Hayagriva himself, Swami Desika acted as his scribe in incorporating them in the Rahasya Traya Sara. Thus, the great Mantra has been invested with divine sanction besides having glorious Guru Sishya Parampara. As such, the truths should be cherished like a great treasure and handed down only to worthy recipients.

ADHIKARA 31 : SISHYA KRITYA ADHIKARA
( DUTIES OF THE DISCIPLE )

As the Acharya has shown him the way to Tattva, Hita and Uttarakritya like showing to a poverty stricken person a treasure lying hidden under his own home which he had not known before, and that without any expectation of any reward- the disciple should be ever grateful to the Acharya. This gratitude is no return for favor received. In fact, the Sishya on his own free volition should offer his entire wealth, or half of it, or a quarter of it or whatever he can- again not in the attitude of returning any favor to the Acharya. The Upanishad commands that the disciple should show the same Bhakti towards his Acharya as he shows to the Lord himself:
"Yasya deve para bhaktih yatha deve tatha gurou".
Otherwise, he would be *like a blind man even when he has his eyes in tact*. All Sastras proclaim that for the Acharya who has shown the way to Moksha. there is nothing that can be deemed adequate recompense. Any offer made to the Acharya can only be a token of gratitude and never be any return. The truths learnt from the Acharya should not be revealed to undeserving persons just for the sake of money or in an open assembly consisting of both deserving and undeserving persons. Otherwise, it would be LIKE WATER KEPT IN A SKULL OR MILK PLACED IN A WATERPOT MADE OF DOG'S LEATHER thus becoming worthless due to the impurities of the containers.
If one indulges in imparting sacred knowledge to undeserving for the sake of material gain, it would be - - LIKE EATING THE VOMIT, as it were or - LIKE A PROSTITUTE adorning herself for pleasing her clients or - LIKE SANDAL PASTE ( CHANDAN) PREPARED FOR SALE or - LIKE A BAG OF POPCORN SCATTERED ON THE ROAD or - LIKE ENTRUSTING A GARLAND OF FLOWERS TO THE HANDS OF A MONKEY.
If the Sastras learnt are not utilized for the performance of dharmic duties, self purification or self improvement, such Sastras , however beautiful in diction and style would be LIKE THE CAWING OF THE CROW. The disciple ( now turned preceptor) should-
1. Always remember and openly acknowledge his gratitude to the line of his preceptors through whom he had acquired the sacred knowledge.
2. Should not propagate the truths without first initiating the Sishya; otherwise, knowledge acquired through books or by eavesdropping expositions can only be in 'bits and pieces'. One who tries to learn stealthily would be - LIKE A THIEF ADORNING STOLEN ORNAMENTS ALWAYS APPREHENSIVE OF BEING APPREHENDED.
3. If one does not pay obeisance to his Guru before commencing his instructions, the meanings of the truths will be lost on his audience LIKE A CREEPER THAT IS MERELY WINDING AROUND A TREE WITHOUT HAVING ITS OWN ROOTS FIRMLY GROUNDED IN THE SOIL.
4. He should not twist the meanings conveyed to him by his teacher. Otherwise, he would be treated AS A TRAITOR.
5. It is equally wrong not to impart guidance to a deserving student.
6. Even if, by fortuitous circumstances, he stumbles upon new ways of expressing the truths, he should acknowledge that he is able to so express solely by the benign grace of his Acharya and never claim any originality for himself. Only if this is done, his rating in the minds of his own Sishyas will go up sensing the gratitude shown to the PRACHARYAS.(Guru's Gurus).
The Upanishads and the Parama Purusha hailed by the Upanishads would be pleased;. When the Praachaarya comes to know about such grateful expressions, he would feel mighty pleased that his efforts have not been in vain but have actually borne fruit.

ramkish42
15 June 2006, 03:45 PM
SECTION 4 : CONCLUSION:
In spite of going through the treatise, some lingering doubts may arise in the minds of genuine seekers.
Doubt 1 : What guarantee is there that a person performing Prapatti is sure to reach Moksha at the end of this life?
Answer : The Vedas, Sastras and the entire gamut of our scriptures proclaim this truth; The venerable Maharishis, Sages and Seers of ancient times have seconded this fact; The lineage of our Acharyas have confirmed in unambiguous terms the veracity of the claim. Nothing more will be needed to accept the proposition.
One is reminded of Bhattar's exposition of an imaginary conversation as between lord Ranganatha and a Jiva taking place at the time of the Lord emerging out of his ceremonial bath (Thirumanjana) Wearing a single wet yellow raiment and a solitary garland of Tulasi ( the holy basil) standing serenely before the shining lamp with wick soaked in pure ghee.
Lord </U>: You are mine.
Jeeva </U>: No. I am mine.
Lord </U>: How do you say that?
Jeeva </U>: Where is the record in support of your claim?
Lord </U>: My claim is based on Vedas.
Jeeva </U>: Vedas are your making.
Lord </U>: Then, on what basis you say that you are yours.
Jeeva </U>: I have been believing this from the beginning-less time and on the strength of life experiences (Anubhava Vibhava) and this is verily the law.
Lord </U>: But your claim has been objected.
Jeeva </U>: By whom and when?
Lord </U>: By Gita and other scriptures.
Jeeva</U>: Gita is your word; Scriptures are your making. Tell me, have you any other witnesses to support the objections? Lord </U>: Yes, the great Vyasa, Parasara and other great sires.
Jeeva </U>: Lo! They are all prejudiced in your favor (Pakshapadi). Bhattar imagines that since no judge or jury could be spotted to settle the dispute, the only course open to the Lord was to appear in the attire he wore, stand serenely before the lamp and swear.
MAY BE, EVEN SUCH SWEARING WILL NOT BE BELIEVED THESE DAYS BUT IN BHATTAR'S PERIOD PEOPLE HAD ABSOLUTE FAITH WHEN SOMEONE SWORE TO THE TRUTH IN THE MANNER DESCRIBED.
EVEN SO, SRI SWAMI DESIKA IS PREPARED TO DISCUSS BOTH THE ALTERNATIVES OF THE PROPOSITION BEING TRUE OR FALSE. HE SAYS THAT IF IT WERE TRUE AND IF YOU ARE DESIROUS OF SALVATION, YOU GET WHAT YOU WANT; IF NOT TRUE, YOU DO NOT LOSE ANYTHING BY PERFORMING PRAPATTI. SO, IT IS A CASE OF 'ALL WIN AND NO LOSS' AND INVITES US TO HAVE A TRY.
Doubt 2: It is said that after doing Prapatti no sins should be committed. If committed they would accrue to the Acharya. As frail humans subject to Karma, we cannot avoid committing sins knowingly or unknowingly. And, to make the Acharya suffer on account of our faults would be unfair to him. Therefore, it is better to postpone Prapatti as far as possible and perform it at the end of this life when very little time will be left in our hands to commit any sins - thus 'Sparing the Acharya' from our misdemeanor.
Answer : The argument is indeed very clever, seeks to help in evading performance of Prapatti and impart a justification for escapism. It is true that Manu Dharma Sastra very clearly stipulates that 'The sins committed by his subjects accrue to the king; the king's sins accrue to his Purohit; the wife's sins accrue to the husband and the disciple's sins accrue to his preceptor's.
The objection is obviously based on this. This is a general rule applicable to ordinary circumstances. The position of a Prapanna stands on a different footing. The Prapatti Sastra admits that as human beings exposed to the vagaries of life even a Prapanna might commit sins. But, in the first place a Prapanna will scrupulously avoid committing any sins whatsoever. Sins committed unknowingly WILL NOT have any effect. Sins committed knowingly can be expiated by repentance (Nirveda) or by atonement (Prayaschitta) or by undergoing minor sufferings by way of punishment ( if not atoned). Thus, such sins will not cling to the Prapanna himself and there is no question of their accruing to the Acharya as assumed. Therefore the Prapatti Sastras advise you to - 'SAVE YOUR OWN SOUL' AND ALSO 'SPARE THE ACHARYA' from being dragged into the net of your sins by a ' TRANSFER ENTRY' as imagined by you.
Doubt 3: Some advance another specious excuse that in the background of modern day hectic activity and struggle for survival, one cannot be too meticulous about observing the age old stipulations of Dharmic duties like SALIGRAMA ARADHANA etc ; one cannot be too fastidious about avoiding prohibited foods like onions, garlic etc, or too fussy about partaking in 'socializing' involving as it does imbibing intoxicants.
Some wanting to appear more puritanic than the puritans extend it to such innocuous pastimes like viewing movies or TV shows or using baser materials like stainless steel in the place of Silver Poona articles etc.
Answer : Again, this is an escapist argument betraying an unwillingness to face facts and a flagrant turning away from the goal of Moksha.
LET IT BE UNDERSTOOD THAT THERE IS - NO COMPULSION FROM ANY QUARTERS THAT YOU SHOULD SEEK SALVATION; NO CONDITION THAT YOU SHOULD STAY AWAY FROM SINS; NO RESTRICTION ON CONSUMING UNDESIRABLE FOODS; NO EMBARGO ON YOUR SOCIALIZING - IF THESE PLEASE YOU AND SUIT YOUR PREDILICTIONS. ALL THAT IS SOUGHT TO BE IMPRESSED IS THAT IF - AND THERE IS A BIG IF THERE - IF YOU DESIRE SALVATION (THE WHOLE TREATISE IS ONLY FOR SUCH A PERSON AND SUCH A PERSON ONLY) THERE ARE WAYS TO GO ABOUT IT.
As already explained, if in any unavoidable circumstances, the Prapanna is unable to fulfill his Dharmic duties in the prescribed manner or is compelled to resort to non- dharmic practices such as eating unholy or remnant foods or drink, such situations will fall under the category of sins committed knowingly. As explained earlier, one should feel really repentant (NIRVEDA) or perform atonement (PRAAYASCHITTA) and beseech the Lord to excuse the indiscretion due to circumstances beyond one's control (individually and socially).
Viewing movies or TV is neither Dharmic nor Adharmic so long as it does not interfere with the observance of other Swadharmic duties prescribed in the Sastras. No doubt the Prapanna should earnestly endeavor to avoid getting into such situations in future.
Doubt 4: There are many passages even in our Sandyavandana, Tarpana etc., worshipping Pitrus and other deities like Vayu, Agni, Gayatri, Savitri, Saraswati, Brahma Deivatyam, Rudra Deivatyam etc., If only Narayana is to be worshipped , why do we worship these minor divinities?
Answer : Firstly, these expressions have been drawn from the Vedas prescribing the daily recitations in which these deities are invoked as the embodiment of Sir Narayana who is their soul. When we mention their names, we are not worshipping them but their indwelling soul, the Paramatma, Sri Narayana. Secondly, since these names are only common names they are applicable to them as well as to Sri Narayana indwelling in them. We are not actually worshipping them but only Sri Narayana.(e.g.) the word 'Agni' means 'One who leads'- 'Agre Nayati iti Agni' .Though it names Agni, it denotes Narayana who is the real one who actually leads even the deity of Agni. Thus, the ultimate meaning of any attributes or divinities actually refer to Lord Narayana .
JUST LIKE WHEN WE GARLAND SOMEONE, WE DO NOT GARLAND THE SHIRT ON WHICH IT IS WORN, NOR THE BODY OF THE PERSON WEARING IT BUT THE PERSON WITHIN, WHEN THE NAMES OF THESE DIVINITIES ARE UTTERED , THEY ARE MEANT ACTUALLY TO REFER ULTIMATELY TO LORD NARAYANA ONLY. WHAT IS ESSENTIAL FOR A PRAPANNA ARE JUST THE FOLLOWING AND IT SAYS IT ALL.
1. SHOULD HAVE FIRM AND EXCLUSIVE FAITH IN SRI NARAYANA AS THE SOLE SAVIOUR AND BESTOWER OF MOKSHA AND IN PRAPATTI AS THE SOLE MEANS TO SECURE MOKSHA.
2. SHOULD SCRUPULOUSLY AVOID UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES ANY DISRESPECT IN MIND, WORD OR DEED TOWARDS BHAGAVAN, BHAGAVATAS AND ACHARYAS.
If the attitude is healthy, motivation ethical, intention honest and if the will is there to remain virtuous in the face of temptations, THERE ALWAYS IS A WAY TO REMAIN SO.
The constant effort towards evolution will come in naturally and one can palpably feel in one's own heart the progress of regeneration and a march to self improvement.
Nobody need be worried about not being able to achieve perfection to the level of their role-models because only 'practice makes for perfection'. Any attempts towards perfection will be a stepping stone to the success.
IF ONE DEVELOPS THIS FAITH AND THIS ATTITUDE, ALL ELSE WILL FALL IN PLACE AUTOMATICALLY. Nigamantha Maha Desikaya Namah

ramkish42
15 June 2006, 03:49 PM
I am making this thread to keep engaged.

I have not formatted the text here in which I will doing over a period of time, hence request the readers to bear with me till then.

This reading could be good substitute of following my Visishtadvaita thread and questions related to it

I think this will buy me some time

Jai shree krishna

sarabhanga
15 August 2006, 05:46 AM
I am making this thread to keep engaged.

Why not just post a link to original text of this commentary by Sri Anbil Ramaswamy? :rolleyes:

SRIMAD RAHASYA TRAYA SARA OF SWAMI VEDANTHA DESIKA (http://swamydesika.tripod.com/srts.html)