Sri Ramanujacharya and the Concept of Prapatti | Differences between a Liberated Jiva and Bhagawan | Guru Paramparai Prabhavam-Sri Ramanuja-Part-1

In which circumstance you feel most negative?

Questions of Sri          Ramanujacharya

Sri Ramanujacharya had a question which was “What is the highest principle?” Some of the Vedic Scriptures in Sanatana Dharma state that Brahman and the Jiva are non-different. Some others opine that Brahman and Jiva are different. The astonishing thing is that both these statements are extracted from the Vedic Literature. Sri Ramanujacharya decided to post the same query to the Supreme Lord Himself as his second question. The next question (third) that Sri Ramanujacharya decided to ask the Lord is “Which is the most elevated and yet simple means to attain Liberation?”. Sri Ramanujacharya also wanted to get it cleared from the Lord whether it was compulsory for one to remember the Lord as one is leaving his body at the time of his death? (fourth question). Is it whether a person who does not remember the Lord at the last moment before his death can attain Him? Then there was a personal question where Sri Ramanujacharya wanted to know from the Lord as to which Guru he should surrender (fifth question).

Sri Kanchipurna Swamigal    consults Lord Varadaraja      Perumal     

Sri Ramanujacharya wanted to attain Diksha or spiritual initiation from the great Vaishnava Sage Yamunacharya but it was too late because Sage Yamunacharya had already departed to the Spiritual World. Sri Ramanujacharya took help from a fellow devotee Sri Kanchipurna Swamigal to know the answers to his questions. The Supreme Deity of the Dhama known as Kanchipuram, in modern day Tamil Nadu, used to converse with Sri Kanchipurna Swamigal. Thus Sri Ramanujacharya decided to use Sri Kanchipurna Swamigal as the mediator between him and the Lord. The Lord of Kanchipuram is known as Sriman Varadaraja Perumal. The Lord answered all these questions put by Sri Kanchipurna Swamigal on behalf of Sri Ramanujacharya. To the first question as to “What is the highest principle?” the Lord replied, “I am the highest principle.” The Lord said that other than me, the Supreme Principle, all others are living entities or Jivas which may even include the highest Devatas or celestial beings. The Lord reveals to Arjun in the Bhagavad Gita “Other than me there is no other principle. All other principles only emerge out of me, since I alone, am the cause of all causes” The Lord, Sriman Varadaraja revealed to Sri Kanchipurna Swamigal that there is a yawning gap between the Jiva and Brahman and they are distinct in all respects. Jiva cannot ascend to the platform of Brahman.

Differences between the Lord  and the Liberated Jivas  

When the Jiva gets liberated and ascends to the abode of the Lord in Vaikuntha, it is to be understood that the Lord gives His four handed form and his total appearance to the Jiva and yet the Jiva is never equal to the Lord for many reasons. Although all bodily features of the liberated Jiva is similar to that of the Lord, following are some of the major differences. Only the Lord shall have Lord Sheshanaga as the couch while the Jivas can never even come close to the couch known as Sri Sheshanaga. Mother Laxmi shall be always at the side of the Lord. How can the Jiva even come close to their Divine Mother, in the mood of the Lord? The Kaustubha gem only exists at the heart area of the Lord. The liberated Jiva does not have this gem. The Kaustubha gem does not have a loop through which a string could be strung. Yet the gem sticks directly to the chest of the Lord, without any support. Even if the Lord’s Pitambara (covering cloth) comes in the way, the gem appears on top of the cloth and remains ever visible.

What is the nature of            Kaustubha gem?

The Kaustubha gem had surfaced at the time when the Devatas and Asuras churned the ocean in order to extract Amrita or nectar that grants immortality. When the gem appeared, the Devatas and Asuras tried to lift the gem. Although all of them attempted to lift the gem, the gem would not move an inch. When the Lord appeared on the scene, the Kaustubha gem automatically rose and stuck itself onto the chest region of the Lord. There is a great secret to the Kaustubha gem. Sri Parashara Maharishi has divulged this secret in the Vishnu Purana.  The gem is in fact, the sum total of the original spiritual forms of all the living entities of the infinite multiverses spread far and wide. Thus only the Lord is capable of bearing the weight of the Jivas and no one else can bear their weight.

Other differences between the liberated Jiva and Bhagawan

The Lord bears the mark of the footprint of Sage Bhrigu on His chest. A Jiva does not have that. On the right chest of the Lord, there are some golden curls that represents the presence of Mother Mahalaxmi in the symbolic form. This is known as the sign of Srivatsa. A Jiva residing in Vaikuntha does not have that sign mark. After having attained the form of the Lord, the Jiva cannot carry out the work of Creation, Maintenance and Destruction of the universe. This is one of the major differences between the Jiva and the Lord.

The easiest way to attain the    Lord

The Lord says that the easiest way to attain the Lord is Prappati (प्रपत्ति complete surrender).  The Lord says that the Jiva has to finally surrender his all, at the feet of the Lord including all his works and desires. This is the highest kind of surrender. Although there are many forms of Yoga such as Upasana, Jnana Yoga or Bhakti Yoga, Prappati is considered the most superior form of attaining the Lord. Sharanagati is another name for Prappati.  Although the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna had explained the entire Bhagavad Gita describing the various forms of Yoga to get liberated, Arjun was still not satisfied. The Lord revealed that whatever He had revealed until now was secret knowledge but He said that now He would reveal the secret of all secrets which shall immediately liberate Arjun. The Lord said that Arjun should only focus his mind completely on the Lord and nothing else. He was ordered by the Lord to declutch his faith from everything else and repose his faith totally only on the Lord and only obey His commands. The Lord said “Arjun, you have performed so many sins that by yourself you are incapable of clearing them. I shall take care of them. You need not worry.” This is compared to a convict who finds no respite in the session’s court, the High Court or even in the Supreme Court. But with just one signature of the President of the country, the convict is absolved of his crime, if the President so wishes. Such is the power of the Lord with respect to the affairs of the world.

Power of Sharanagati or          Prappati

Once a person surrenders or performs Prappati to the Lord, the Lord never relinquishes the Jiva. All the other forms of Spiritual practices such as Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga or Bhakti Yoga has to be repeated many times but Prappati is done only once with a sincere and truthful heart. Bhakti Yoga is useful only if during the end of one’s lifetime one is able to remember the Lord, it shall liberate. However Sharanagati or Prappati does not mandate remembrance of the Lord at the time of leaving the body. Sharanagati means either to surrender fully to the Lord knowing the power of the Lord or even completely oblivious of the power of the Lord. This is the greatness of Sharanagati. Such is it’s potency. Thus Kanchipurna Swamigal was informed by the Lord about the greatness of Prappati or Sharanagati. The Lord never deserts the Sharanagat (शरणागत Surrendered soul).

Lord is Sharanagat Vatsal        (शरणागत वत्सल)

The calf is known as Vats (वत्स) in the Sanskrit language. The Cow’s love towards the calf is the purest and untainted form of love available on this material platform. The Lord takes the position of the Cow towards the surrendered soul who takes the position of an innocent calf and totally depends on the Mother Cow. The Cow licks and cleans all the muck from the body of the calf which is smeared with filth, dung and urine. Similarly the Supreme Lord attains the mood of the Cow towards His surrendered devotee and rids him of all types of sins accumulated by him during the course of millions of lifetimes. The Lord is hence Bhakta Vatsal, one who protects His devotee just as the Loving Cow feels for its calf. This, is the mercy of the Supreme Lord 

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