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Inspired by a recent comment, I decided to ask this question:

First, prapatti or sharanAgati with srImannArAyaNA attains to Moksha – It is considered the most highly effective methodology towards Moksha (since it relys on complete self-surrender to Thirumaal) that one can pursue in their lifetime and is paramountly prominent in the Sri Vaishnava Sampradaya.

It is known that while still living on this earth, one can seek out any Acharyan of Sri Vaishnava Sampradaya to perform sharanAgati with srImannArAyaNA – this methodology comes without any restrictions of varna, etc,.

However, is it possible for someone, say an Acharyan, to perform sharanAgati for a departed soul? Kindly supply reasoning and verses where possible.

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    DV folks, your comments are valuable like your votes! Do express them. – DirghaChintayanti Apr 17 at 14:40
  • Wth. Why are people downvoting this excellent question? – Surya Kanta Bose Chowdhury Apr 17 at 15:33
  • Sharanagati is your self surrender to your Lord Narayana. Only you can do it for yourself. It is not possible someone else to do it for you or in your behalf. – brahma jijnasa Apr 17 at 22:19
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While I don't have a citable reference from scripture, I have heard Sri Natteri Rajagopalachariar - Asthana Vidvan of Srimad Andavan Ashramam in a lecture state clearly that it is not possible for an Acharya to perform Sharanagati for a departed soul.

I will try to find a link to the audio lecture and provide it here.


On a different occasion, he has said that in the past, Acharyas were more strict about accepting a request for Prapatti and they would ask the devotee requesting for Prapatti to do some act to indicate their seriousness. Some examples:

  1. Asking a devotee to come again a few days later and repeating this a few times.
  2. Asking a devotee to go to Thiruppullani Kshetram and do Sethu snaanam (ocean dip) before Prapatti.
  3. Asking a devotee to go and participate in the Vedanta Desika Malai Utsvam in Thiruvahindrapuram

Once, a devotee requested Therazhundhur Andavan (who lived in the first half of the 20th century) to perform Prapatti. Andavan asked him to come a few days later. That person went home and died later that day. When Andavan heard the news, he was deeply affected by it and remarked that he had erred by refusing to immediately perform Prapatti for a jivatma who had spent millions of lifetimes to reach the current life. He wondered when that jIvatma would get another chance. From this anecdote, we may infer that it is not possible to do Prapatti to someone after their death.

Source: Natteri Rajagopalachariar's lectures on GuruParampara found here. The story of Therazhundur Andavan would be found sometime after lecture 90.

  • Thank you for the answer. Why do Acharyas believe this is so? I would appreciate it if you can elaborate a bit more on this. – DirghaChintayanti Apr 18 at 7:42
  • Also, the link you've shared in the answer doesn't work. – DirghaChintayanti Apr 18 at 7:42
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    @DirghaChintayanti I think a justification should be provided for the converse statement (justifying prapatti for the dead) and not for the current statement. If prapatti could be performed for a dead person, then why not perform prapatti for the entire universe (because everyone has infinite past births and deaths). The choice of performing prapatti is an option available to a jIva in a janma in order to break away from the cycle of birth and death. The acharya is provided within this janma as a facilitator. Once the janma is over, the opportunity is lost. – hashable Apr 26 at 0:14

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