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Experiencing Swamy Desika -- #96

Shrimate Shri Lakshmi Nrusimha Parabrahmane Namaha:
Shrimate Shri Seetha Ramachandra Parabrahmane Namaha:
Shrimate Shri Ramanujaya Namaha:
Shrimate Nigamantha Maha Desikaya Namaha:
Shrimate Shrivan Satagopa Shri Narayana Yateendra Mahadesikaya Namaha:

"SrimAn VenaktanAthArya: kavithArkika kEsarI!
VedAnthAchArya varyO mE sannidhatthAM sadhA hrudhi"!!

The Vedas, Smritis etc have firmly established the nyAsa vidya.
Lord has Himself spoken about it. Our poorvAcharyas have also
preached nyAsa vidya (Prapatti).

When a person has completely surrendered to the Lord by performing
Prapatti, death becomes a welcome guest for him. He is not scared
of it, rather he looks forward for it! Only non-prapannas have to
be afraid of death!

But, in real life situations we see that so many people who perform
Prapatti request the Lord to reach Srivaikundam only at the end of
their life and not immediately. Therefore a question might arise,
that if Prapannas are not scared of death why can't they perform
Artha Prapatti and reach Srivaikundam immediately??

In the 61st Sloka of Achyuta satakam, "bhaktAstAvaka sEva rasa
bharitA:..." , Swami explains the reason as to why people prefer
to go to Srivaikundam at the end of the life time instead of
going immediately (by performing Artha Prapatti).

Swami says, though the true devotees, have been longing for several
years to be released from samsArA and go to Srivaikundam, they do
not seek Moksham immediately. They wait for DehAvasAnam. This is
because of their fascination for the Archa forms of the Lord here,
and to render kainkarya - loving and respectful service to them.
Another reason is that the Lord himself is desirous of keeping
those devotees here for some time so that they may serve as
examples for other people and also induce a taste in those others
for release from samsArA and attain Moksha, both by percept and

In many of his works Swami Desika has emphasised the importance of
Prapatti, the greatness of a Prapanna and the way a Prapanna has to
lead his life after performing Prapatti. Let us have a look at a
few Slokas:

"prAptAbhilAsham tvadranugrahAnmAm
padmAnishEvyE tava pAdapadmE !
aA dEhapAtAdaparAdadOram
aAtmAntakainkaryarasam vidhEyA: !!"

-- AstabhujAstakam (8)

In this Sloka Swami declares that a person who has performed
Prapatti will certainly attain Moksha. However, Swami reminds
us that there is a code of conduct for a Prapanna to be observed
for the rest of the life till dehAvasAnat. Swami leads us by
being an example and prays to the Divya Dampati that for the rest
of his life he must be blessed with the opportunity of performing
nithya kainkarya to the Lord's feet which are already glorious
from the assistance at the hands of Goddess Lakshmi.

"tyaktvOpAyAnapAyAnapi paramajahanmadyamAm swArhavruttim
prAyascittam ca yOgyam vigata runatatirdvandva vAtyAm titishu: !
bhakthigjnanAdi vruddim paricaraNAguNAn satsamruddhim ca yuktAm
nityam yAcedananyastadapi bhagavatastasya yadvA ptavargAt!!"

-- nyAsa Vimsati (19)

The Uttarkritya, or the conduct of behaviour of a Prapanna in
the post Prapatti period is the topic of this Sloka. The do's
and don'ts are very clearly mentioned.

Swami states that a Prapanna should give up all upAyAs for
obtaining anything other than Moksha (Moksha is also guaranteed
by performing Prapatti just once, so he should not try any other
means for obtaining Moksha). He should not also pursue anything
which is svaroopa virOdham. He must never give up the mode of
life suited to his status and state of mind but must strike a
middle course performing necessary atonement when necessary.
A Prapanna must feel that he is free from all debts and must
bravely put up with the changes in life in the shape of pleasure
and pain. He must not aspire for any other benefit. He must
sincerely pray for more gjnana, Bhakti etc, and also for the
objects needed for the worship of the Lord. He must also pray
for the appropriate prosperity of the righteous. He should pray
only to the Lord or to His true devotees.

In the very next Sloka Swami Desika elaborates on
UttarakrutyAdikAram => the service to God and his devotees.
Service or Kainkarya is of two kinds: AagnyA and anugnyA. The
former has to be rendered scrupulously without any break or
slip. Its rigour cannot be relaxed. These are our duties.
They will NOT give us specific results, but non-performance
leads to accumulation of sins. This can be equated to our
breath. By breathing there is no specific result but by
non-breathing we are dead!!!

Anugnya kainkarya is optional. Performing such kainkarya is
a pleasure by itself and one need not expect any results for
performing such kainkaryams.

How a Prapanna must desist from acting is indicated in the above
Sloka which can well be regarded as summary of the uttarakrutyAdikAram
of Srimad RahasyatrayasAram!

The above write up is based on the commentary of the following
author's Shri K.P.Rangaswami on Swami Desika's AstabhujAstakam,
Shri R.Ramaswamy Aiyangar's commentary on Swami Desika's
Nyasa Vimshati and Achyuta satakam.

"Kavi Taarkika Simhaaya Kalyaana guna SaalinE!
SrimatE VenkateshAya VedAnta Gurave nama !!"

...To be continued!

dEsikan tiruvaDigaLE SaraNam

Praveena nAmni Ramanuja dasi