Saranaagati vs realization
sada at ANVIL.NRL.NAVY.MIL
Tue Jul 2 07:33:00 CDT 1996
I have been following the discussion about the Saranaagati or prapatti of
Vishitaadvaita and self realization. Let us not get bogged down in terms of
names and the personalities involved - Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi and Paramahamsa
Ramakrishna, where their statements were made addressing particular disciples.
We need to look at logically.
In any path, or sadhana involves, dwaita. The goal is a-dwaita. There is no
Who am I is only an inquiry -. Who does the inquiry? I, who think right now, I
am the body, mind and intellect has to do the inquiry. Without the mind or
thought process there is no inquiry. In deep sleep state when the mind is
folded there is no inquiry.
mana eva manushaanam bandha mokshayoH - So the bondage and the liberation is
with the mind and by the mind. Even to sit down and contemplate who I am, I
need to have certain frame of mind to be acquired through viveka, vairaagya and
shatsampatti and a mumukshutwam, a strong desire to discover the truth. When
I say I need, obviously an identified ego - is there who want to inquire and who
is inquiring " who am I" - even in the 'neti - neti - is a process of discarding
- but the discarding process itself is a path.
When J. Krishnamurthy describes that truth is a pathless land - he is obviously
referring to the advaitic state, yet although he discards at the outset all the
process, he also wants one to observe the mind, or saakshai bhaava, and the very
observation discriminates the sakshyam vs. saakshi. The mind that is
conditioned by identifying with the saakshyam gets unconditioned. Unfortunately
many who read or listened to J.K. get disillusioned that that is not a path.
Even to shift attention form saakshyam to saakshi one requires certain
chittasuddi to be able to detach oneself to observe their mind without getting
entangled with the mind. Mind observing the mind - I am an observer is another
thought too. Hence Bhagavan Romana, beautifully describes the inquiry as
analyze the analyst. This can be done only when all the analysis stops. But as
long as one is inquiring or analyzing the duality exists.
Prapatti or saranaagati, not as the vishitaadvaitins interpret, but as we
examine logically involves the same thing. It is the dissolution of ego or
notions that I am this body, mind and intellect, to the alter of my love. Any
surrenderence happens only when there is intense love or bhakti, or in advaitic
terminology, mumukshutwam, intense longing for liberation.
In the Vedanta Desikas Nyasamanjari, he describes the states of saranaagati-
In both Vishitaadvaita and Madhva tradition of dwaita, there is a ceremony as
Samaasrayanam where the imprints of Sankhu and Chakram are planted on the
shoulders of the disciples, representing the surrenderence of the physical body
to the service of the Lord Vishnu. As the mind gets purified there is a
subsequent ritual call Bharanyaasam, intended for the disciple to take up the
full time activities including body, mind and intellect for Lord Naaraayana
starting with nama japa. While the emphasis is on ritual, the process is
further purification of the mind.
Now, as we understand, the complete surrender of the ego involves the
dissolution of the ego at the alter of the love. For Bhakta, other than the
Lord nothing exists. There is no doer ship nor enjoyer ship since he is the
doer and enjoyer, and that can happen only once and that is knowledge. There is
only Him - If there is I and Him, there is still an identification as a jeeva
with the mind and body. There is only Him is not a thought at complete
realization or surrendernce. Just as there I is only I am. There is only Him
is again only a-dwaita - the bhakti that Bhagavan Sankara defines in the
Until then one can keep chanting - tanu manu subukuch tEraahai - but these are
only words - when they are really given up that is saranaagati.
>From the Vishitaadvaitic tradition, the liberation from the identifications with
matter lasts as long as one lives in the body. Hence they believe only videha
mukti. But even in mukti state there is the jeeva that is in the eternal
service of the Lord. A-dvaita cannot obviously appreciate the existence of more
than one sat-chit-ananda, one ananta and one anta.
Hence from the surrenderence point, once truly surrendered there is no little I
or little sat-chit-ananda. There is only one - ekameeva adviteeyam Brahman.
Hence all paths involve dvaita. Surrendence or realization ultimately the same
dissolution of the little I to the Big I or He.
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