This is part III and concluding part of saranagathi – the surrender. “Karmas are created by mind, speech and action. They are the impediments in realizing you. The actions done by me against the rules laid down by Vedas and the sins accrued there from, disrespect shown to your true devotees are all my sins. Please forgive me for these sinful acts. Forgive me for identifying my body and atma as the same (Atma is Brahman represented by Narayana. Identifying pure Narayana with impure body is a sin). Forgive me for the sins that I may commit in future (We have to learn from the thinking of Sri Ramanujar. Though he was without sins and would not commit sins in future, still he did not want to take any chance with the Lord Narayana. By any means he wanted to reach Vaikunta to be of service to the Lord, not to enjoy the comforts there. Devotee of Narayana is called ‘dasan’ meaning servant). Prakrthi is the root cause for creation. This prakrthi consists of the three gunas, satwa, rajas and tamas.

From these, five elements were created and further creations were made out of these elements in different proportions. I got entangled in this prakrthi. Please release me from this bondage”. He cites Krishna’s own words in Gita (Ch.VII. 17-19). “One who is full of knowledge and engaged in pure service to me is very dear to me and I am very dear to him. All these devotees are undoubtedly magnanimous souls, but he who has knowledge about me (knowing the Brahman) is just like my own self. He is sure to attain the highest goal. The one who surrenders to me knowing that I am the cause of all actions is very rare to find”. (The emphasis is on the knowledge, the knowledge of the Brahman). “I want to be such a rare soul” appeals Ramanujar. “Please bless me to have supreme devotion to you. Endow me with para bakthi, para jnanam and parama bhakthi. I want to be your eternal servant.” With this Ramanujar closed his prayers to the Lord. Now the Lord Narayana answers Ramanujar’s prayers. “You do not have devotion either through karmas or knowledge. You do not have knowledge about jivatma and paramatma. But you can have this knowledge subsequently. You have ego. You are considering your body as atman. Because of your ego you are suffering from maya. You are afflicted by adhyathmikam, adhi bowdhikam, adhi dhaivikam (we have already discussed about this three in our earlier postings). These are the blocks to your progress in attaining jnana.

Since you are reciting my mantras, you will be getting rid of all these impediments purely out of my compassion for you. After you get rid of these blockades, you shall have all the three viz. para bhakthi, para jnanam and parama bhakthi. After this, you shall become my eternal servant. You shall also enjoy the infinite and unimaginable joy of experiencing me. (We should make the Lord happy by serving Him. Deriving happiness by performing external rituals with pomp and vanity is of no use). You are blessed with everything. You shall serve me at Vaikunta after you leave your physical body.” Ramanujar though did not want to know when he would leave his physical body (death), but wanted to know how to spend the rest of his life with his physical body. Lord Narayana answered “You are a self-realized person. After understanding the meaning of my mantra, continue to chant it all the time. Chanting of my mantra always, will keep you away from any possible distractions. Till your death you continue to live in Srirangam (a place near Tiruchi in Tamilnadu, India, where the famous and ancient temple for Lord Vishnu is situated). At the time of your death, you shall have extensive knowledge about me. From your actions you gain knowledge, from knowledge you get devotion, from devotion you get para bhakthi or the supreme devotion. But without any of these, you shall have the supreme knowledge (knowledge about the Brahman or Narayanan), purely out of my compassion. Your earlier knowledge was the combination of your body and me. But the knowledge that you are going to have at the time of your death shall be knowledge of the Supreme Brahman that is me. It is difficult for the soul (jivan) at the time of death to depart from the physical body (There will be extreme pain for a few seconds when the soul leaves the physical at the time of death). But you will have a peaceful death. Those who surrender to me, pass on the results of their karmas to me.

Therefore it is my duty to liberate them. You need not have any doubts in what I have told you now. Doubts should never arise in the mind of a person of your stature. Believe in me.” Lord thus closed his sermons to Sri Ramanujar. There are certain important points in this saranagathi or surrender. In the first place Sri Ramanujar is sincere devotee of the Lord Mahavishnu. In spite of this closeness, he first approached the Lord’s consort to recommend his case to the Lord. This indicates, the supreme Brahman cannot be realized easily and He is approached with appropriate procedures. Secondly, Sri Ramanujar was a great sage and he talked about the sins that he could have committed knowingly or unknowingly. Thirdly, for making an application for surrender, certain basic criteria are to be fulfilled without which the Lord will reject our application. If the Lord decides to accept our surrender, irrespective of our karmic account, we get the final liberation. But now, the sanctity of saranagathi is lost and done in a mundane and routine fashion.