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The diverse approaches to Divinity

Saranagati or Prapatti or total, absolute, unconditional surrender to the Supreme God, means Mahavishnu and his consort Mahalakshmy, is the core principle of devotion as per the Sri SampradAya of RamAnjacharya.
‘Na Dharma Nishthosmi Na Cha Atmavedi
Na BhaktimansTvat Charanaravinde |
Akinchanonanyagati Sharanyam
Tvat Padamoolam Sharanam Prapadye ||’
I know neither Dharmam nor Dyanam, righteousness nor meditation.
In fact, I know nothing . I totally surrender at your lotus feet.
Adi Sankara too, does the same in his ShivamAnaspooja stotram.
After offering the Asana, snAna, vastraaadi upacharams, all in imagination, he does a total surrender of to God.
करचरणकृतं वाक्कायजं कर्मजं वा
श्रवणनयनजं वा मानसं वापराधम् ।
विहितमविहितं वा सर्वमेतत्क्षमस्व
जय जय करुणाब्धे श्रीमहादेव शम्भो ॥५॥
Kara-Caranna-Krtam Vaak-Kaaya-Jam Karma-Jam Vaa
Shravanna-Nayana-Jam Vaa Maanasam Va-Aparaadham |
Vihitam-Avihitam Vaa Sarvam-Etat-Kssamasva
Jaya Jaya Karunna-Abdhe Shrii-Mahaadeva Shambho ||5||
Pardon me for every wrong committed by me, by my body or mind, knowingly or unknowingly , you the ocean of compassion, Mahadeva, Sambho!
Before that, he submits:
आत्मा त्वं गिरिजा मतिः सहचराः प्राणाः शरीरं गृहं
पूजा ते विषयोपभोगरचना निद्रा समाधिस्थितिः ।
सञ्चारः पदयोः प्रदक्षिणविधिः स्तोत्राणि सर्वा गिरो
यद्यत्कर्म करोमि तत्तदखिलं शम्भो तवाराधनम् ॥४॥
Aatmaa Tvam Girijaa Matih Sahacaraah Praannaah Shariiram Grham
Puujaa Te Vissayo[a-U]pabhoga-Racanaa Nidraa Samaadhi-Sthitih |
San.caarah Padayoh Pradakssinna-Vidhih Stotraanni Sarvaa Giro
Yad-Yat-Karma Karomi Tat-Tad-Akhilam Shambho Tava-Araadhanam ||4||
You, my Lord, are my Atma, soul. My budhy, pure intellect, the Divine Mother. Your companions ,Shiva ganas are my Prana, breath. My body is your temple. My worldly living is your worship and my sleep, Samadhi absolute absorption in you. My walking about you is pradakshinam for you. All my words, my hymns to you.
In short, every action, every movement of mine , Shambho, is your Worship.
This is complete identification with the absolute Reality.
The Atmasadakam of Sankara amplifies Acharya’s conviction that he is not different from Shiva, the Ultimate Reality.
Mano Buddhi Ahankara Chitta Ninaham
Nacha Shrotra Jihve Na Cha Ghrana Netre
Nacha Vyoma Bhoomir Na Tejo Na Vayu
Chidananda Rupa Shivoham Shivoham
‘When a mere stripling he was asked by his teacher,
‘Whence do you come; who are you;whither bound!’
Sankara answered:
I am not in the senses, nor in the mind.
I’m not in touch, nor am I taste;
Breathing and beating of the heart
Even they can hold me not;
Ears that hear, hear not my silence!
For I’m not the earth, nor in the air;
The light that scorches, and the spaces of the ether,
Even they are tongue-tied when they seek to name me;
For I’m infinite Knowledge,
I’m life that is beyond the living,
I’m the absolute,
Existence infinite–
I’m bliss.’
From the book ‘Sri Ramakrishna, the face of silence’
So, there lies the difference between the two streams, the thoughts propagated by Sankara and those of Sri Rananuja.
I’m the Dasan of God and I’m the God- both are not the same. But, Adwaitham was not Sankara’s finding. He only propagated it.
Sankara’s commentary on VushnusahasranAmam, which is considered to be of a great value and his Baja Govindam’ and several other stotrams and also his PanchAyathana pooja paddathi shows that for hiim, all gods are manifestations of the Absolute Truth.
I quote from the book, ‘Sri Ramakrishna, the face if silence’:
Enter the garden, eat sweet mangoes, and depart. You didn’t enter the garden to count the leaves on the mango tree. Why waste time discussing whether worship of God should be through idols or without idols? ‘
Various streams of thoughts are, fortunately, available for us.
Choose one or don’t choose any. But the fact is that the Ultimate Truth is Single, solid, unbreakable.
To quote again from the same book:.
“The teacher propounded, “Thou knowest the story of Rama and Hanuman.
When the incarnation of God said to Hanuman, ‘How dost though perceive me, O,my dearest devote?’ – What did Hanuman answer?”
“Hanuman replied, said Ramakrishna, “‘ when I feel you, my Lord, I’m your son and servant. When I think you, I’m part of you. But when I realized you, I am you”
That is Adwaitham

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