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Srivaishnavas, followers of Ramanuja, believe in the concept of prapatti or Saranagati, where, if I understand correctly, God himself becomes the savior after the devotee surrenders completely to God. People are welcome to correct me, if I misunderstood.

Now here is my question. Where is the concept of Prapatti mentioned in the mukhya upanishads, as per the Sri Vaishnava interpretation? Please cite commentaries or works of Sri Vaishnava acharyas to support your statements. The exact word "prapatti/saranagati" need not be there. It is sufficient if the concept is present. (Here, by mukhya upanishads, I mean the main upanishads (about 10-15) and not all the 108 upanishads).

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The commentary of the Svetasvatara-Upanishad explaining Bhagavat-saranagati by Sri Vaishnava Acharya is provided in image form. Please check page 121 of https://archive.org/details/SvetasvataraUpanishadPrakasikaRangaRamanujaAnandaBhasyaRamanandaMuniSanskritAcademyMelkote/page/n61

The main sloka contains the words 'mumukshur vai sharanam prapadye' meaning that 'I being desirous of liberation take rufuge in Him'. So all the words 'Sharanam' and 'prapadye' (comes from the same root from which the word 'prapanna' is created) are present in the Upanishad verse already.

In the commentary, 'He' of the sloka is referred to as Sri Rama, Who as Narayana created Brahmaa and enriched him by the knowledge of the Vedas. Two slokas-one from the Vasistha-samhita and another from the Valmiki-Ramayana(known in the Sri Vaishnava sect as the 'Charama Sloka') is quoted to support the view that Sri Rama as Narayana is the Supreme God referred to in the sloka.The concept of Surrender and liberation are already there in the main sloka of the Upanishad to fully support the concept of 'Sharanagati'.


Edited by hashable@

I am adding a translation of the above verse with a summarized commentary in English from the book "Principal Upanishads vol 1" by Vidvan NS Anantharangacharya Swamy

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  • Could you provide link to an English translation? – I will close your question Apr 17 at 8:31
  • @LazyLubber No I do not know.But the sanskrit is simple here and quoting the charama sloka from the Valmiki-Ramayana also. – user17294 Apr 17 at 8:34
  • @LazyLubber I have edited commonman@'s answer and provided an English translation of this verse as you requested. Also see my other answer. – hashable Apr 18 at 1:14
  • @hashable Thank you – I will close your question Apr 18 at 1:47
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According to two celebrated acharyas of the Srivaishnava Sampradaya: Sudarsana Suri, and Vedanta Desika, the path of Saranagati/Prapatti is none other than the Nyasa Vidya described in the last few passages of the of the Taittiriya-Upanisad-Narayanavalli section (aka Mahanarayanopanisad).

In the Srutaprakasika commentary on Ramanuja's Sribhashya, Sudarsana Suri says-

akṣaravidyādikā iti - ādi śabdena nyāso vivakṣitaḥ
In the phrase "Akshara Vidya etc." the word "etc." conveys Nyasa (Prapatti).


I will post quotations from Vedanta Desika's works as well in a couple of days


Here is the source text of the Nyasa Vidya portion and translation/commentary from the book "Principal Upanishads vol 1" by Vidvan NS Anantharangacharya Swamy. The commentary is based on the Upanishad Bhashya of Rangaramanuja muni.

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