In 7 minute mark of this lecture, the Sri Vaishnava lecturer U. Ve. A.S. Rajagopalan Swami explains the importance of Sharanagati, or complete surrender to Vishnu as a means of getting Moksha, using the analogy of a father-son relationship.

So the connection that is already there, father-son relation, but the son is doing all the trespassing of the Vedas and everything, father is getting angry, and what can you do? You can go and tell the father, “Don’t worry about any of those things, excuse everything, and give Moksha for everybody?” Who are you to tell? And he’s not going to listen if you say. Even Parashara Rishi told “Give Moksha to everybody.” He didn’t give that. So what else can you can do? You can go to the [Jivatma] and say, “Why don’t you do something to attract your father, so that you can enjoy that?” So the most interesting concept in the Visistadvaitam, Swami Desika says, is [Sharanagati].

I’m interested in the part in bold. My question is, what scriptures describing the Rishi Parashara, father of Vyasa, asking Vishnu to give everyone Moksha?

Parashara is the author of the Vishnu Purana, so perhaps the Vishnu Purana contains this request.

  • I am confused here. In Vaishnava, what Vishnu do they worship? Is it eternal Narayana or the Vishnu among Tridev? Aug 24, 2018 at 3:17
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    @AkshayKumarS At least Sri Vaishnavas consider Vishnu to be the supreme Brahman and Brahma and Shiva to be Jivatmas. Vishnu has a bunch of different manifestations. There’s Para Vasudeva, the supreme Vishnu who dwells eternally in Paramapadam. There’s the four Vyuha forms, Vasudeva, Sankarshana, Pradyumna, and Aniruddha, who save the gods (Vasudeva) and do creation, preservation, and destruction. There’s the Vibhava forms, i.e. the Avataras. There’s the Antaryami form, which dwells as the inner self in the hearts of all beings. And there’s the Archa or divine statue forms, like in Tirupati. Aug 24, 2018 at 3:52
  • A little query just for clearing doubts - As you have said that Sri Vaishnavas believe that other two Trimurties are Jivatmas. Ok. But are they special kind of Jivatmas unlike us ? . Or are like us?. Because one of them either can create this world and have capability of destroying it also. But in case of us we Jivatmans neither can do both.I think i also came to know somewhere from here that jivatmas are not capable of creation so the enquiry. Aug 24, 2018 at 18:41
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    @SwiftPushkar, they're like us, but due to extreme tapas, they get the posts. just like CEO (brahma) is no different from accountant (us), but one has lot more intelligence and hardwork. the only types of atmas that are different from us are the mukta-atmas and nitya-atmas. We are bhadda-atmas. Bhagavan is different from all of these 3 (bhadda/mukta/nitya vilakshana), he is param-atma. once bhadda-atma gets moksha from samsara, he becomes mukta-atma. nitya-atma were never nor will be in samsara
    – ram
    Aug 25, 2018 at 1:52
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    @SwiftPushkar, btw, in ur profile, you put Gayatri mantra. That should not be advertised like that. Only between Guru & Shishya. Reason is, once you impart mantra, you are signing guarantee papers for whoever learns it from you. If that person commits any sin, Gayatri mantra will save him, but catch you. You might say 'But somebody else already advertised it'. So? You're repeating it. If A advertised it, and 10 people saw it, A has to answer for the sins of those 10. Now among those 10, if B advertised it again in a another place, and 10 more saw it, B has to answer for the sins of those 10.
    – ram
    Aug 25, 2018 at 23:23

1 Answer 1


In the Vishnu Purana. It turns out that this is the very last line of the entire Vishnu Purana:

I adore him, that first of gods, Purushottama, who is without end and without beginning, without growth, without decay, without death; who is substance that knows not change. I adore that ever inexhaustible spirit; who assumed sensible qualities; who, though one, became many; who, though pure, became as if impure, by appearing in many and various shapes; who is endowed with divine wisdom, and is the author of the preservation of all creatures. I adore him, who is the one conjoined essence and object of both meditative wisdom and active virtue; who is watchful in providing for human enjoyments; who is one with the three qualities; who, without undergoing change, is the cause of the evolution of the world; who exists of his own essence, ever exempt from decay. I constantly adore him, who is entitled heaven, air, fire, water, earth, and ether; who is the bestower of all the objects which give gratification to the senses; who benefits mankind with the instruments of fruition; who is perceptible, who is subtile, who is imperceptible. May that unborn, eternal Hari, whose form is manifold, and whose essence is composed of both nature and spirit, bestow upon all mankind that blessed state which knows neither birth nor decay!

On a side note, Vedanta Desikan cites this verse in this excerpt from his Rahasyaratnavali Hridayam as an example of someone performing Sharanagati on behalf of someone else. So that means that Parashara performed Sharanagati on behalf of all the Jivas in Samsara. Thanks Parashara!

  • Woah! Does that mean all Jivas are liberated?
    – user9969
    Feb 24, 2019 at 16:22
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    @SuryaKantaBoseChowdhury No, it doesn’t. A.S. Rajagopalan Swami says “You can go and tell the father, “Don’t worry about any of those things, excuse everything, and give Moksha for everybody.” Who are you to tell? And he’s not going to listen if you say. Even Parashara Rishi told “Give Moksha to everybody.” He didn’t give that.” Feb 24, 2019 at 16:23
  • So can't we ever perform Sharanagati on somebody's else's behalf? I mean would it be effective?
    – user9969
    Feb 24, 2019 at 16:26
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    @SuryaKantaBoseChowdhury Yes, you certainly can. There are four ways to do Sharanagati: Svanishtai, Uktinishtai, Acharya Nishtai, and Bhagavata Nishtai. Svanishtai is where you say the mantras for Sharanagati on your own, Uktinishtai is where the Acharya says the mantras and you repeat, Acharya Nishtai is where the Acharya says the Mantras on your behalf and you don’t even hear the mantras, Bhagavata Nishtai is like Acharya Nishtai except the Acharya is replaced by some other Bhagavata who has already done Sharanagati. Feb 24, 2019 at 16:29

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