Saranagati – A Dialogue


Saranagati or the act of surrrender at the lotus feet of Sriman Narayana is an important aspect of Srivaishnava Sampradaya. Regardless of the place, time, etc. of Saranagati, the supreme Lord accepts the surrender, the act of surrender and the fruit of surrender, viz. liberation.

Here is an article based on a dialogue about Saranagati, written by Sri U.Ve. Purusai Nadathoor SriBashya Simhasanam Vaatsya Sri U.Ve. Krishnamacharya Swami (former editor of Sri Nrusimha Priya), and translated in English by Sri U.Ve. Kurchi Narayanan Swami. Kindly also visit Pancha Samskara / Samasrayanam – A Dialogue

Namo Namaha (Pranams), dasan Srikanthan informs his arrival and prostrates and does abhivadhanam.

Srivatsan (SV): Ayushman Bhava (Long live). How are you? When are you leaving for outstation?

Srikanthan (SK): In about a week, I may have to start. That’s why I have come here with a wish to learn good things from Swami.

SV: Very happy to hear. What do you wish to learn?

SK: I would like to learn in detail about Saranagati. Why should we perform Saranagati before Sriman Narayanan? I have heard that those who committed misdeeds and those in war fronts unable to hear the sufferings inflicted by the enemy do Saranagati as a last resort. What crime we have done? We all are comfortably living. Bhagawan has not given us any difficulties now. Then why all our elders and Acharyas insist us to perform Saranagati at the feet of Perumal? I don’t want to do Saranagati just as a routine, without knowing the facts.

SV: I am happy. Your questions are in with the presents times. It is essential for all to know the answers to your doubts. Let me reply. Listen carefully. We have committed a very serious wrong act. That’s why we all have three types of sufferings viz. Adyatmika, Adibaudika and Adideivika. Fever and other physical ailments, bites from snakes, scorpions and natural disasters like floods, drought, quakes, etc respectively. We have to do Saranagati to get permanent relief from sufferings.

I will explain the serious misdeeds we have committed. We are thieves and have stolen! What have we stolen? Property of Bhagawan. You ask what that is? We have stolen the great precious stone of Bhagawan. If the item stolen is ordinary and low in value, the punishment will be simple. But if the item belongs to the Head of the country (King) and also a very costly diamond, the punishment is accordingly very severe. This is the practice we see elsewhere. We have stolen from Devadhiraja, Sriman Narayana’s very very precious property, the Jivatma, which is similar to the Kaustubha stone the Lord wears on his chest. Angered by this, Bhagawan has put us in jail, i.e. the human body to undergo several types of pain and sadness. In order to get released from this jail-like (prison) body, we perform Saranagati at the lotus feet of Bhagawan.

Swami Desikan explains this in a sloka:

Jita Kaustubha ratnasya samraja sarva papmanam
Sishtam hi atmapaharasya nishkruti swabhararpanam

The act of stealing the jivatma is worse than stealing the Kautubha ratna and is considered the greatest sin. The remedy is surrendering the jivatma together with the responsibility of protection of jivatma at the feet of Bhagawan. This is ordained in the sashtras.

Thus stealing the jivatma is considered the worst act.

Jivatma is full of consciousness and happiness (jnanam and aanandam/). Hence it is very dear/sweet to Bhagawan. Jivan is capable of experiencing Paramatman (Bhagawan) as well as self. Stealing of gold is considered as very harmful and is one among the five great sins (panchama patakas/). Stealing diamond, i.e. Kautubha is more cruel than stealing gold. Stealing of jivatma is the top-most sin one can commit, and hence Swami Desikan termed it as ‘Samrat’ (Emperor). The repentance is Saranagati.

Thiruvekka Nammazhwar Thiruvadi Thozhal 2014  -03

SK: Swamy, I understood clearly the points. However, there are some doubts. I can understand about stealing of gold and diamond, but I am unable to relate stealing of jivatma with the objects, because jivan (soul) is atom-sized. The jivan cannot be seen. The jivan is not with Bhagawan. It resides in our bodies. To say that we all have stolen the jivatma is puzzling as jivan cannot be physically handled.

SV: This doubt came to your mind as you were listening attentively. I will reply to your question. Jivatma is not similar to gold, jewellery, clothes, cash and vessels. When somebody takes possession of and enjoys things that are not his but actually belonging to others, then it is termed as theft. It has been said so by Swami Srimad Ramanuja in his Gita Bhashyam.

When one assumes ownership of things which are meant for the use of others, it amounts to stealing. Assuming others belongings as one’s own, even in thought, amounts to stealing. Thus, it need not necessarily be a physical act. But merely thinking others belongings as his is defined as stealth. Therefore, stealing the belongings of others for satisfying one’s own desires is the benefit derived out of stealing. This is not only wrong, but also will result in landing up in hell. Importantly, such a person will become unfit for performing Aaradhanam (daily pooja to Saligramam or Vigraham).

I have answered your first question so far. Though the size of jivatma makes it impossible to physically steal it, denying in thought the exclusive ownership of Bhagawan over jivatma, is the very serious crime committed by all.

I remember a famous sloka in Mahabharata which explains the above point.

Yo anyata santham aatmanam anyataa pratipadyate
Kim tena na krutam paapam chorena aatmapahaarinaa

Jivatma is by nature dasan (servant) to Paramatma. To think of Jivatma as independent of Bhagawan amounts to stealing the jivatma. As such a person has committed the most heinous crime, what other sin he would not commit?

The natural state of jivatma is to give a special pleasure to Bhagawan. Bhagawan is the seshi (possessor) of jivan. When this is the actual relationship, to think of jivatma existing for its own pleasure has been defined as ‘stealing of jivatma’.

SK: Swamin, now only I understood clearly what is meant by ‘stealing of jivatma’. But why should one perform Saranagati for this?

SV: Have you forgotten what I said in the beginning? As a penitence (Prayaschittam) for stealing of jivatma, one has to give the responsibility of protecting the jivatma to Bhagawan. Sashtras (scriptures) order so, which I highlighted already.

SK: Please forgive me. I remember well Swamy’s initial teachings. I have a doubt regarding that. A thief has to first return the item which he stole to the owner. Observing penitence (prayaschittam) will be afterwards only. Vibhishana advised Ravana to first return Sita to Rama. But here surrendering the responsibility of jivatma has been ordained. I am not clear in this regard.

SV: The stolen property is to be returned first. That only has been advised by sashtras – Aatma aatmeeya bharanyaso hi aatma nikshepa uchyate. (surrendering the jivatma, the self, with all its belongings and taking refuge at the lotus feet of Bhagawan is called Saranagati.)

Aatma samarpanam (giving aatma), bharasamarpanam (seeking refuge), prapatti, saranagati, nyasam, nikshepam are all synonyms and have the same meaning.

SK: Oh! I see. I am happy. As I didn’t know, I raised the doubt. Swami, can everyone perform Saranagati?

Nammazhwar Moksham at Therazhundur Amaruviyappan  Temple 2014 -17SV: There is absolutely no restriction whatsoever. All those who have realised about the unending sufferings and keen to get rid of the same can do Saranagati. This has been extolled by Swami Vedanta Desikan very emphatically. The Devatas, Lakshmanan, Bharatan, Trishanku, Maharishis, Kakasuran, Sugrivan, Vibhishanan (the rakshasa), Trijadai, Draupadi, Gantakarnan, Dadhibhandan, Gajendra, all of them and many more did Saranagati at the feet of Bhagawan and got their desires fulfilled. Haven’t you heard about this? Further, Bhagawan has declared Himself as Sarvasya saranam suhrut (all are equally dear to me) and Abhayam sarva bhootebhyo dhadhami, yetat vratam mama. (I protect all who surrender to Me and this is my vow.) These are the reassuring words of unfailing Bhagawan.

SK: I have heard this during the Kalakshepam (classes on scriptures). One doubt. Saranagati is surrendering of jivatma with all its belongings (i.e. wife, children and assets). But how can one submit these? Some offer jewellery to Bhagawan. Others offer costly silk dress materials. Many offer flowers. But jivatma cannot be offered like ornaments, clothes and flowers. Jivatma is invisible. How can it be given to Bhagawan? ‘Aatmeya’ – wife, children, property – these also can not be submitted at the feet of Bhagawan. Thus, it appears impossible to submit jivatma with its belongings to Bhagawan.

SV: Yes, one cannot offer directly such things (viz. jivatma and its belongings). I told you earlier that we all have been considering our jivatmas as fully independent though in reality the jivans belong fully to Bhagawan. That is why we are greatest sinners having stolen the jivatmas.

The remedy for this is to think, understand and realise from the bottom of our heart, that the jivatma belongs only to Bhagawan and so it is not independent. This is called surrendering of jivatma.

We realise that we are subservient to Bhagawan only and no one else. As a consequence, all the belongings also in reality belong to Bhagawan and do not belong to us. This is called ‘aatmeya samarpanam’.

SK: Swamy, if it is so, will it not be enough if one thinks of jivatmas ‘seshatvam’ i.e. jivatma belonging only to Bhagawan? Do we have to do Saranagati as a separate procedure?

Swojjivanecha yadhi te swa sathaayaam spruha yadhi. Aatma dasyam hares swaamyam swabhaavam cha sadhaa smara. (if you desire moksha and the path for moksha, always think that Bhagawan is the Swamy and you are His servant.)

The meditation of this point is the way. If it is the reality and when one becomes fully aware of this, is there a separate order in the scriptures which stipulate Saranagati? That is, is there an order in the scriptures by which we get vidheya jnana – a knowledge ordained in sashtras to surrender jivatma with all its belongings as a separate procedure?

SV: How do you get such doubts when you have studies Sri Bhashya (of Srimad Ramanuja)? The advaitis say that mere knowledge from the vedic sentence ‘tatvamasi’ will give liberation. This is called ‘avidheya jnanam’ – a knowledge not arising out of an order. This opinion of the advaitis has been proved/termed as irrational by Srimad Ramanuja and hence should be discarded. Have you forgotten that? Similarly, the opinion that moksha can be attained by mere ‘seshatva anusandhanam’ is rejected by the scriptures, which specifically orders performance of Saranagati. (‘Aatman mayi nikshipet’, ‘Aatmaatmeeya bharanyaso hi aatma nikshepa uchyate.’ Are some of the statements in the scriptures ordering Saranagati.)

(Note: When there is specific statement ordering Saranagati that outweighs the other statements and hence the statement imploring a particular act has to be performed. If the order in scriptures is not obeyed or ignored by depending on other statements, then the order in the Vedas and other scriptures will become meaningless and will amount to belittling of the order. One should never resort to such opinion at all. This is the view advised by all our acharyas including Srimad Ramanuja. So, the opinion expressed in your question is not supported by our acharyas.)

SK: Swamy, some perform Saranagati for purposes other than moksha, that is those desirous of worldly pleasures and swargam, others perform Saranagati for getting moksham. Is there any difference in the Saranagati procedure amongst the two types? Or is it the same/common for both purposes.

SV: Those who do Saranagati for purposes other than Moksham, they should submit the burden of protecting themselves. This is called as swaraksha bharasamarpanam. Those aspiring for Moksham should submit swaraksha bharasamarpanam and also the aatma samarpanam or swaroopa samarpanam (surrendering of jivatma) and phala samarpanam (that is surrendering the benefit of Saranagati) to Bhagawan.Nammazhwar Moksham at Uthiramerur Sundara Varadar temple  2014 -12_640x853

Surrendering of swaroopa samarpanam, swaraksha-bhara samarpanam and phala samarpanam combined is the main form of Saranagati. (In the traditional language this main form is referred to as ‘agni’. The fire parts are called ‘angas’.

I will give the short meaning of each of the three:

a) Swaroopa (aatma) samarpanam: leaving the false notion of 1) thinking of the self as independent of Bhagawan 2) thinking of the self as subservient to all other Devas other than Sriman Narayana and 3) realising the fact that self and all that belongs to him actually belongs to Sriman Narayana only (i.e. Seshabhootam to Bhagawan)

b) Bhara samarpanam: This is the realisation that the burden/responsibility of protecting self and all its belongings is with Bhagawan only and not with us at all.

c) Phala samarpanam: This is the realisation that the first and main benefit of protecting us rests belongs to Bhagawan and not to us.

This is explained in Nyasa Dasakam by Swami Desikan:

Aham madrakshana bharaha, madrakshana phalam tatha
Na mama sripatereva ithi Aatmanam nikshipet Bhudha.

(I the self i.e. jivatma, the duty/burden of protecting me, and the benefit arising out of granting me moksham, all these three do not belong to me at all but solely belong to Sriman Narayana. Those who have learnt the scriptures from Aacharyas will perform Saranagati with this realisation.)

Please note that of these three samarpanams viz. swaroopa, bhara and phala samarpanams, the main one is bhara samarpanam for those who perform Saranagati for moksham. Those who do ashtanga Bhakti yoga, they will also do swaroopa and phala samarpanams. But a Bhakta need not do Bhara samarpanam, since he is willing and capable of bhakti yoga.

SK: When should one do Saranagati (prapatti)? Is there any age limit? Or whether any restrictions are there like following certain procedures?

SV: No restriction with regard to time and age. Apar from the five parts (i.e. angas) no other austerities are required.

SK: Swamy! Please advise about these five parts (angas).

SV: They are ­–

Aanukoolyasya sankalpa:, praatikoolyasya varjanam
Goptruptva varanam tatha! aatma nikshepa kaarpanye shadvidha saranagati

This is the slokam in scriptures defining the five parts. I will explain briefly about the five.

  1. Aanukoolyasya sankalpam – From now I will follow the scriptures which are the orders of Sriman Narayana. In other words, it is an oath (sankalpam) about obeying Him.
  2. Praatikoolyasya varjanam – This means not going in the wrong path (i.e.) keeping away from misdeeds.
  3. Kaarpanyam – This is an advanced state of mind constantly remembering Aakinchanya (i.e) the inability of oneself to do bhakti yoga.
  4. Mahavishwasam – Unshakable faith in Bhagawan. We, who have taken refuge at the lotus feet of Sriman Narayana, though are guilty of very serious papas (i.e wrong acts), He will grant us based on Saranagati Moksham and also give Himself to us.
  5. Goptrutva varanam – This is our sincere request to Him, expressing our inability to please Him by bhakti yoga (i.e. aakinchanyam), further requesting Him to bless us from the position of bhakti yoga (i.e. to grant moksham).

One has to to these five parts (angas) and do Saranagati. We have to forego the benefit of Saranagati also. This is the sixth part.

SK: Swamy! I have some doubts with regard to the parts. I need your upadesam to purify my confused mind. Please permit me to explain.

  1. If a strong/powerful person says that hereafter I will be favourable to you (i.e. I will follow you) and also states that I will not go against you. This will be useful for an ordinary person as he is weak. But Bhagawan is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. So when a person doing Saranagati says I will be following you, what loss will come to Bhagawan if the human is unfavourable to Him. So what is the real meaning of Aanukoolyasya sankalpam?
  2. Similarly, what harm a person causes to Bhagawan when a human says I will not go against Him (Pratikoolyasya varjanam)?
  3. What is the significance in saying Maha Viswasam (complete faith in Him).
  4. Bhagawan is full of compassion (i.e. daya/kaarunya). Will He not on His own protect us? Why should we pray/request Bhagawan to grant moksham? Moreover, does requesting Him to stay in the position of bhakti yoga for protecting us imply that Bhagawan will do Bhakti yoga on our behalf?
  5. Scriptures say Saranagati consists of six parts. Then, how is it said that Saranagati has five parts only.

Kesava Perumal_Mylapore_Namazhwar_Thiruvai thozhal_2013_11SV: I am happy that you asked these questions. I shall explain, please note carefully.

  1. When we say we will be favourable to you (Bhagawan), i.e. Aanukoolya sankalpam, it is not meant in the same sense as we tell commonly. The dos and donts for all of us are prescribed in the sashtras and they are the orders of Bhagawan. When we say ‘aanukoolya sankalpam’ it is meant to convey that hereafter we will follow what is contained in the scriptures (sashtras). Bhagawan will be pleased by this.
  2. We also at the same time say ‘praatikoolya varjanam’ that we will not do or say what has been barred in the sashtras. This is meant by the second part praatikoolya varjanam. So now you will appreciate what is implied by Aanukoolya sankalpam and praatikoolya varjanam.
  3. Complete faith that Bhagawan will protect us without even a small doubt, although we are the worst sinners. This firm belief is what is called Maha Viswasam.
  4. Goptrutva varanam: Though Bhagawan is extremely compassionate in nature, He practices the principle of being impartial towards all. Hence, He has prescribed the way for moksham by two methods viz. bhakti yoga or prapatti for those incapable of bhakti. So He grants moksham only to those who perform Saranagati. If Bhagawan gives moksham only to those whom He feels like, He will be accused of prejudice. Therefore, we have to plead to Him.

Another point is, He may have to grant moksham to all and therefore all will be going to moksham which is not accepted by all Acharyas.

We the handicapped, i.e. incapable of doing bhakti yoga, plead to Him and request not to expect bhakti yogam from us, but to be pleased with our Saranagati and grant moksham. This is the sankalpam of Bhagawan. He forgives, because He is compassionate, all our cruel sins accumulated from time immemorial based on this simple method of Saranagati.

BharaNyasam or bhara samarpanam means bharam i.e. burden, nyasam means placing or transferring to Bhagawan. Bhakti yogam is the burden to us – the ordinary mortals. A person to attain moksham has to primarily do bhakti yogam according to Upanishads. But due to various reasons, we are unable to practice Bhakti yogam. So we differently able people (akinchanar), place the burden at the feet of Bhagawan. In other words, we pray to Him, to get pleased with us as He would be please with bhakti yogam and request Him to grant moksham without bhakti yogam.

  1. ‘Nikshepa apaara parayaaha, nyaasa panchaanga samyutaaha’ – from this definition, we understand that aatma nikshepam or aatma samarpanam is the main form of Saranagati and the other five are parts (angas).

Thus, I have clarified in the same order of your doubts, so please read again and again so that you will be clear and also be able to advise others.

SK: Swamy! I get doubts based on some sayings in Sashtras. Please enlighten me. The doubts are:

  1. Bhagawan is all powerful and He knows everything. Will He be accessible to us since we have committed countless sins?
  2. Bhagawan gives pain or pleasure as per our deeds (karma) only. When we are burdened with loads of sins which are a block. Will He grant us moksham?
  3. Bhagawan has everything and He does not need anything from anyone. In such a case, will He grant moksham to the little effort we do i.e. Saranagati?
  4. It is said that only smaller Devas grant boons quickly and that Bhagawan takes time to test a devotee before blessing him. So, will He promise moksham immediately after we do Saranagati?
  5. He has no equal or above Him. Will such a Bhagawan grant moksham to lowly persons like us?

SV: The answer to the above five doubts have been explained by Swami Desikan. I shall elaborate the same.

  1. The irrefutable recommendation of Mahalakshmi Thayar will make Bhagawan though He is powerful and knows all accessible to the prapanna.
  2. Though in normal conditions Bhagawan gives benefits only according to our karma, He gets pleased with our little effort called Saranagati. Therefore, He grants moksham based on the Swamy–Dasa relationship (Bhagawan is Swamy and Jivatma is dasa) in the same manner as a father gives his wealth to the sons.
  3. Though He has everythings, out of sheer compassion for the devotee who has done Saranagati, treats the prapathi as a great rare offering. In gratitude, He grants moksham.
  4. It is accepted that Bhagawan normally takes time to bless under normal circumstances. Smaller Devas grant boons quickly with a view to enlarge their following.
  5. Though He has no one equal or higher than Him, out of His independent nature and other good qualities, He grants moksham thinking that He is doing Himself a favour. That is the daya (compassion) of Bhagawan to Saranagatas. In this world also, we see kings keeping pet parrots in equal level with his son and also giving royal food to the parrots. Though there is a lot of difference between the prince and parrot. In the same manner, Bhagawan will treat the Saranagata.

Thus, Swami Desikan has given detailed answers to the five doubts. It is therefore concluded that we should have utmost faith in Him.azhwar thiruvadi thozhal

SK: Swamy! In the first point, it is said Bhagawan will be accessible even to great sinners if Mahalakshmi Thayar recommends (called as ‘purushakaram’). Please explain what is purushakaram and how SriDevi helps as a recommending authority?

SV: Listen. To get fulfill our desired goal, we seek the help of an intermediary authority for recommending our case. The person we seek should not only be merciful towards us, but also have an absolute say over the final authority. Therefore, a person having compassion towards us and control over the sanctioning authority (i.e. whose recommendation will not go waste), only such a person’s recommendation will be fruitful. The person recommending is called as ‘purushakaram’.

Great sinners as we are, if we have to approach Bhagawan for moksham (liberation from births and deaths), first we have to prostrate before Mahalakshmi Thayar and do a Saranagati to Her for recommending us to Bhagawan. Thayar takes our request to Him. If Bhagawan refuses audience to us, keeping our sins in His mind, Thayar highlights that there is no one without shortcomings excepting Him. She further argues our case, telling Him that those who got liberated (moksham) so far, were also sinners. She then requests Bhagawan to admit us (i.e. those doing Saranagati) and accept our prapatti and give us moksham. Hence, Thayar is purushakaram to prapannas. She is also with Bhagawan as upayam (way) for moksham. That is to say pleased with our Saranagati, Bhagawan and Thayar decide together to grant us moksham. In this way She is called as upayam also. Finally, in Sri Vaikuntam, we do kainkaryam at the lotus feet of the Divine Couple–Mahalakshmi Thayar and Sriman Narayana. Here, She is standing as upeyam (goal) with Bhagawan. Hence, Thayar plays three roles towards Saranagathas and that is why our great Acharya Alavandar has called Her as having three roles (Aakaara traya sampannam) in his Chatusloki stotram.

SK: Swamy! I have one more doubt about the angas (parts) of Saranagati. Before Saranagati, we say we will hereafter do as per His command (i.e. Sashtras) and refrain from wrong acts. But after Saranagati also we are unable to keep up our word due to our sins. In such a case, will Bhagawan still give us moksham? Since we didn’t keep our promise, will He also not reverse his decision to grant moksham?

SV: Bhagawan never goes back on His word (sankalpam) to grant moksham, even if we don’t keep our promise. But we should make every effort to avoid any deliberate mistake. If we commit sins knowingly, then sashtras prescribe one more saranagati – ‘prayaschitta prapatti’ (saranagati seeking pardon for our deliberate misdeeds). The sloka prescribing it is – ‘Prayaschittir Eyam sa atra yat punaha saranam vrajedh’

One should not do Saranagati twice for the same purpose. Here, the purpose of the second Saranagati is to seek pardon for deliberate mistakes, post moksha Saranagati.

A person after having undergone prapatti for moksha treads on the wrong path knowingly, if he doesn’t perform the second prapatti for pardoning the sins committed. Bhagawan will punish him with minor sufferings. This suffering has to be experienced for getting rid of the sins. Some of the types of sufferings are given in Vedas viz. loss of sight/limbs, disobedient and uncooperative children and spouse. In any case, Bhagawan will grand ‘Paramapadam’.

Some important aspects for the Bhagavatas who have already done Saranagati and also for the information of those who are planning to do Saranagati –

a)    We should avoid contacts/worship of other Devas and
b)   Avoid hurting the devotees of Bhagawan (i.e. Bhagavata apacharam).

Sriperumbudur Swami Ramanujar Thiruavathara Uthsavam 8If these two occur once then the remedy is ‘prayaschitta prapatti’ (Saranagati for the offence committed). If, on the other hand, the two grave sins (both (a) and (b) above) are habitual, then it s to be construed that the first Saranagati he underwent was not done properly.

Another important aspect to be noted is whenever we do good deeds like donating cows, land or going on piligrimage or taking bath in holy waters, we should not think of these punyas as a support for the Saranagati. If we think so, then the first Saranagati done for moksham will go waste. Saranagati does not tolerate any other support. Therefore, we should do them only for the pleasure of Bhagawan.

The Brahmastra is the most powerful weapon. It will not tolerate if any deed is done for extra support. Remember, when Indrajit tied Hanuman with Brahmastra, the rakshasas tied Hanuman with chains and the Brahmastra left Hanuman immediately. So, we should perform all good things with the sankalpam ‘Sriman Narayana preetyartam’ only.

SK: Swamy! Are there different types of Saranagati (prapatti)?

SV: As per the status of the individual prapatti is of three types – (a) Swa-nishtai (b) Ukti-nishtai and (c) Acharya nishtai.

(a)   Swa-nishtai is a swamy doing prapatti on his own. This is for aacharya purushas who have elaborate and specific knowledge of sashtras.
(b)  Ukti-nishtai is for those who do not have detailed knowledge but has a basic knowledge only. He repeats what the acharya utters.
(c)   Acharya nishtai means requesting the acharya to do Saranagati on our behalf. Such a disciple will stand a little apart with folded hands.

SK: Swamy! Why we are not doing bhakti-yoga?

SV: Bhakti-yoga should be done only by the capable persons. Karma yoga and jnana yoga are to be performed as anga (part) before bhakti-yoga. Bhakti yoga is to be continued daily till our last breath. Even if it could be done, moksham comes only after exhausting ‘prarabhda karmas’ (karmas which have started giving effect is called as prarabhdam. It usually lasts over a very long time when we may have to take several hundred births.) Bhakti yogi has to put efforts to remember Bhagawan at his last breath.

As Bhakti yogam is very difficult and beyond our capacity, we do prapatti which takes only a short time and is easy to so. Moksham is granted by Bhagawan as per request which is at the natural end of this present birth. In view of the above, we all do prapatti.

SK: Has Sri Ramanujacharya said that we will get moksham if we do Saranagati? Or only Swami Desikan has stated so?

SV: Childish doubts are raised by you now! Will Swami Desikan say/write anything which Sri Ramanuja has not advised?

Sri Bhashyakara in SriBhashyam has highlighted ‘tasya cha vaseekaranam tat charanagati reva’ (we can please Bhagawan only through Saranagati.)

In the Gita Bashya, Sri Ramanuja has detailed Saranagati as anga prapatti. In his famous, ‘Saranagati Gadyam’, Udayavar propogated Saranagati for moksham and himself performed at the time of Panguni Uthira Serthi thirunal at the feet of Sri Ranganatha Perumal.

SK: Chanting of Bhagawan’s namas (i.e. nama sankirtanam) is easier than prapatti. Is it not enough? It is said in many puranas that in Kali yuga, nama sankirtanam will remove our sins.

SV: There is a sloka through which we are told that moksham can be directly obtained only by two methods viz. bhakti yogam or saranagati.

‘Bhaktya pramaya vapi prapatya va maha mathe.
Praapyoham na anyata prapyaha mama kainkarya lipsubhihi’

There is no other way apart from Bhakti or Sarnagati. We are diabled to do Bhakti yogam and hence we can get moksham only if we do prapatti. Swami Desikan keeping the sloka by Bhagawan in mind, has advised that Mukundan will not grant moksham to anyone other than those who have done prapatti. (‘Prapannad anyesham na disati Mukundo nija padam’.)

Therefore, all should do swaroopa, bhara and phala samarpanam at the lotus feet of Sriman Narayana for doing doing permanent service to Him at Sri Vaikuntam alongwith Nityasuris like Adisesha, Garuda, and Viswaksena. As I already explained, Bhagawan will bless us with moksham at the natural end of our present birth and take us to Paramapadam, where we will experience Sriman Narayana permanently and do all types services to Him with great joy!

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  1. Swamin, After sharanagathi , should we recite the slokas of SUDARSHANA, Danvanthari devathantaram is not allowed.


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