Here is an outline detailing briefly Saadhanaa as it relates to a Sri VasihNavan:
Saadhanaaa means accomplishment , fulfilment , propitiation and worship.
What does a Sri VaishNavan want to accomplish in his/her life as the most sought after goal ? He /She wants to get release from the repeated cycles of births and deaths (samsAram ). He/she wants to be liberated (gain Moksham ) from the sufferings of this SamsAric world.His/Her goal is to gain Moksha (release) so that he/she can escape form the sorrows of repeated cycles of birth and death in many forms ( Human, animal, plant and insentient).
An aspirant for Moksham is a Mumukshu. As a seeker of Moksham , he/she longs for Moksha Sukham ( Complete and eternal happiness of being with the Lord at His supreme abode(Sri Vaikuntam ) and performing Kaimkaryams (Services) for Him and His consorts there without interruption and enjoying the company other liberated souls ( Muktha Jeevans) there.
How does he/she accomplish this goal of Moksha Sukham ? What are the means of used by a Mumukshu to attain this goal and get fulfilled ? The easy-to-practise Upaayam (SaadhyOpaayam ) used by Mimukshu is Prapatthi or SaraNAgathi or aathma nivEdhanam or absolute and unqualified surrender at the sacred feet of Sriman NaarAyaNan (SiddhOpAyam ) through the irreplacable help of a great AchAryan ( preceptor).This is done in the spirit of total identification with the Lord alone as the Saviour and in a state of utter helplessness to save oneself by any other means. Practise of Bhakthi Yogam is another means for attaining Moksham . Bhakthi Yogam is however very difficult to practise and hence Prapatthi Yogam is most suitable to us.
The Four steps are required to pursue and attain the goal of Moksham and they are known as Saadhana Chathushtyam :
a).The development of discriminating knowledge (VivEkam ) about what are ephemeral (anithya ) and what are ever-lasting (nithya)sukhams (happiness).
b).The development of ennobling aathma guNams like Samam (tranquility ), dhamam (self-restraint and curbing of the mind from evil propensities et al).
c). Total detatchment from enjoying the fruits of one's action and total dedication of those fruits to the Lord Himself (Saathvika ThyAgam ).
d).Intense desire to gain the fruits of Moksham .
The Achaaryan will iniitate the seeker into Sri VaishNavA fold through the performance of the five rites (pancha- SamskAram ) and bless the seeker with manthra upadEsam.
The AchAryan will instruct the Mumunkshu further about the five doctrines that he/she has to know. These are known as the pentad of doctrines ( Artha Panchakam ):
a). The Nature of Isvaran , the Supreme Being b). The nature of Jeevan (Soul) c). The UpaayA (Means) for Moksham d). The Phalan (Fruit) of Moksham e). Moksha VirOdhis( the obstacles to Moksham)
The AchArya will place the Lord's property ( Jeevan/Soul) at the Lord's sacred feet and request the burden of protecting that jeevan with the Lord (Sriman NaarAyaNan) .The Acharyan will intrcede with the Lord to recieve that Jeevan at Srivaikuntam once the body (cage for the soul) falls on ground at the end of the earthly life .
The One that has performed such a Prapatthi is known as a "Prapannan " and he/she follows a code of conduct in his/her post-prapatthi life until their last days on this earth. At the end of their earthly lives , they ascend to Srivaikuntam through the power of their Prapatthi based on AchArya anugraham.
Thus Saadhana to achieve the goal of Moksham is realized through the act of Prapatthi performed by a merciful Sri VaishNava SadAchAryan.
May we all be blessed to have the sambhandham (connection ) to a noble AchAryan to perform Prapatthi to the Lord on behalf of us to be freed once and for all from the sufferings of this samsaric world !
Srimath Azhagiya Singar ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam Daasan, Oppiliappan Koil Varadachari Sadagopan