Goodbye To Doubts, Fears, Responsibilities; Welcome To Pleasant Duties
Quite some time back in this column — in Note No. 7, to be precise — the imperativeness of performing Prapaththi was emphasised and it was so well received that it evoked instantaneous response from several readers. It was very heartening to have heard from people that they accomplished the mission of submitting their souls (Bhara Nyasam) at the feet of the Lord with the help of their respective Acharyas.
For the record and for those who are uninitiated, it is reiterated here that the terms Prapaththi, Saranaagathi, Bhara Nyasam, Bhara Samarpanam, Athma Samarpanam — they all mean the same and are used interchangeably.
The present article may be, in a way, deemed as a follow-up to the aforesaid one, as it deals with the status and duties of the disburdened soul. We shall see what it is to be a Prapanna (one who has performed Prapaththi) and what he ought to do or how he should spend the post-Prapaththi period. These are covered in the chapters Krutha-kruthya Adhikaaram and Uththara-kruthya Adhikaaram (13th & 15th) of Swami Desika’s masterpiece Srimath Rahasya-thraya Saaram.
The following sum up will give a fair idea as to a Prapanna’s status:
- ‘Krutha-kruthyan’ is one who has done all that he is expected to do. That is why a Prapanna is known as a Kruth-kruthyan.
- He has, with his act of surrender, passed on the responsibility for the protection of his soul and the reward for his Prapaththi to the Lord.
- Knowing full well that the Lord has taken over everything from him, he is vested with a free mind — he has no responsibility as regards his soul, no doubt whether his Prapaththi will be rewarded, no fear of the evil effects of his past sins. Hence, there is no anxiety at all for him.
- In essence, his condition is similar to that of a Muktha (one who has attained salvation) — except that his joy is expectant in nature, a kind of awaiting the bliss in store (Moksham) to be attained at the appointed time.
- He also becomes a ‘Kruthaarthan’, meaning one who has realised the rewards of surrender.
The post-Prapaththi conduct and deeds as prescribed by Saasthras are:
- A Prapanna should spend his time entirely devoted to the Lord — contemplating, worshipping, reading, writing, listening, praising, etc.
- His service to the Lord is basically two-fold. They are: Aajnaa Kainkaryam (those he has to mandatorily perform as laid down in the scriptures) and Anujnaa Kainkaryam (those which are optional but recommended).
- His failure to fulfil the first category of Kainkaryams will result in the displeasure of the Lord.
- He must render these Kainkaryams with utmost involvement and devotion to the Lord.
- He must try and adhere to the Saasthras in his deeds — as fit for his sect (Varnam) and state (Asrama), as far as possible.
- He must approach an Acharya and learn the tenets of our Sampradaya.
- He must make it a point to associate himself with pious, learned people and follow their footsteps.
- He must be conscious that he is always subservient to the Lord and remain humble at all times.
- That fact that he is helpless (Aakinchanyam) should be no reason for him to give up doing things that would please the Lord (Kaarpanyam).
- He should not get dispirited for having wasted infinite time before performing Prapaththi and instead get immersed and draw solace from Lord’s Avatharas.
- He must control and direct his senses in a suitable manner.
- He must be devoted to the Archa (idol) form of the Lord and visit temples as frequently as he can and do various Kainkaryams.
- He must undertake these Kainkaryams as his duty and do them with pleasure.
- He must feel indebted to the Acharya for his guidance.
- He must be thankful to the Lord for the compassion He has shown on him.
Thus, by performing Prapaththi, one becomes a Prapanna. At that point, the old doubts, fears, responsibilities, anxieties disappear and a new set of pleasant duties get attached to him. These duties will only make one more pious and devoted to the Lord.
On our part, we, at svdd.com, are striving to keep you in divine touch as much as possible.
Meet you in the next Note.
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