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The Sri Vaishnava sect has two sub-sects, Thenkalai and Vadakalai. Vadakalais follow the teachings of Vedanta Desikan, whereas Thenkalais follow the teachings of Pillai Lokacharya. My question is about Vedanta Desikan. The Rahasyaratnavali is a short work by Vedanta Desikan on the subject of Sharanagati, complete surrender to Vishnu as a means of attaining Moksha. And Vedanta Desikan himself wrote a commentary on this work, known as the Rahasyaratnavali Hridayam. In this excerpt from the Rahasyaratnavali Hridayam, Vedanta Desikan discusses the fact that one person can perform Sharanagati on behalf of another person:

“This surrender of the burden may be effected either by oneself or by an Acharya and the like on one's behalf.”

This means: Just as the fruit of the Prapatti will be attained by a person if he adopts it himself the fruit will no doubt accrue to a person if it is performed on his behalf by the Acharya and the like:

  1. Since the performance of certain religious rites by the father and others on behalf of the son and the like is quite in accordance with the Sastras, even though there is a general rule that the fruit of an act enjoined by the Sastras will accrue only to the doer of the act.
  2. Since there are statements by the sages Parasara and Saunaka to the following effect: "May Lord Hari confer on all souls the prosperity of being free from birth, old age and so on." “When I have now meditated on Vasudeva, who is the ruler of all rulers and the creator of the Universe.”
  3. Since there are stories of many other Maharishis.
  4. Since it is seen that Prahlada, Vibhishana, Dasharatha, Draupadi and others have performed [Sharanagati] on behalf of some of those connected with them.

He presents many more reasons; I just included the first four. But I’m interested in the part in bold. That is a reference to the end of the Vishnu Purana, where the Rishi Parashara, father of Vyasa, says this:

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!

So Vedanta Desikan is saying that Parashara performed Sharanagati on behalf of all Jivas. My question is, do any Sri Vaishnavas discuss the nature of this Sharanagati by Parashara? For other scriptural examples of Sharanagati, like those Bharata, Vibhishana, and Draupadi, various Sri Vaishnava works like Vedanta Desikan’s Rahasyatraya Saram and Abhayapradhana Saram and Pillai Lokacharya’s Sri Vachanabhushanam analyze the nature of each Sharanagati. For instance whether the five Angas or Anukulya Sankalpam, Pratikulya Sankalpam, Karpanyam, Goptritca Varanam, and Mahavishwasam we’re fulfilled, and whether the two prerequisites of Akinchanyam and Ananyagatitvam were met.

So are there similar analyses for the Parashara case? Like analyses what was deficient in it that led to it not being granted?

  • One reason for why a Sharanagati for something isn't granted is when you, or in this the other Jivas, can do it yourself without needing Vishnu's help. So maybe in this case, since all Jivas can do Sharanagati (but don't because of ignorance or disinterest), Vishnu rejected his surrender. – Ikshvaku Feb 25 at 13:28
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    @Ikshvaku Yeah, that’s exactly what I think. Sharanagati has two Adhikarams or qualifications, Akinchanyam or helplessness and Ananyagatitvam or the lack of seeking other places of refuge. So I think it didn’t work because it didn’t meet those criteria. But I’d like some confirmation from some Sri Vaishnava work. – Keshav Srinivasan Feb 25 at 16:03
  • It is incorrect to say that the Saranagati was performed on behalf of all jivas. The actual text says "puMsAm" meaning "all men" or "all humans". Presumably that simply applies to all humans that lived at the time Parasara made the request. There is no reason to think that it was not granted. – hashable Feb 25 at 17:50
  • @hashable In the 7 minute mark here A.S. Rajagopalan Swami says it wasn’t granted: youtu.be/7iEk0-A5s6E – Keshav Srinivasan Feb 25 at 19:35

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