May We Make The Most Of The Remainder Of Our Lives!
No amount of emphasis will be too great in respect of the post-Prapaththi duties and responsibilities of a prototype Prapanna. This has been discussed in detail by Swami Desika in his Srimath Rahasya-thraya Saaram (Chapter 15 – Uththara Kruthya Adhikaaram). As per the refrain “ஏதத் தேஹாவஸாநே”, one ought to live in this world till the time he is destined to. How he should go about it is pertinent, indeed.
As an extension of Note 59, some points are covered below:
The Prapanna should not be lax in acquiring Sampradayic knowledge just because he has performed the duty of Saranaagathi. On the contrary, there is everything to gain by enriching or fine-tuning knowledge. It has no boundaries and enhancing it should be a constant exercise. Clarity and depth of knowledge will go a long way in embellishing our divine experience till we live.
Such knowledge, coupled with the first-hand experience with pious, Saasthra-adhering people, is the perfect recipe as he strives to emulate them in conducting himself as prescribed for his Varnam and Asramam. But he should take utmost care against feeling superior for it or looking down upon others. Humility at all times must be maintained. Even if he courts fame and fortune, courtesy divine grace, he should not get conceited and should remember his lowliness, instead.
He should not brood over his ineligibility and lack of divine experience previously. On the other hand, he should feel happy that he has realised the Lord’s grace at least now and be grateful to Him. He should repay for the Lord’s benevolence by fulfilling his duties — Ajnyaa (mandatory) and Anujnyaa (permitted and optional) Kainkaryams without fail.
He should strive and control the senses so that they are predominantly used for Kainkaryams. It must be noted that these should be happily performed without expecting anything in return and solely for the pleasure of the Lord. It should be akin to someone who is hale and hearty drinking milk for the love of it rather than like an acidity patient drinking it resentfully.
His thoughts should be immersed in the beauty and virtues of the Archa form of deities, the Lord’s grace which wipes out sins and ignorance, His great nature of submitting Himself at the disposal of devotees.
He should lead life with justly-earned material. Even that should be offered to the Lord first and then used for the rightful purposes. A parallel is drawn from Srimath Ramayana, where Bharatha took all decisions after submitting the issues on Sri Rama’s Paadhukas as also presenting the offerings got from the subjects to the Paadhukas before utilising them for administrative purposes. Doing so diligently and dutifully, as would a Pathivratha safeguard her Mangalasuthra, is very important.
Besides the Lord, a Prapanna should perform Kainkaryams to Bhagavathas also. All this is a result of acquaintance with pious Acharyas — this, in turn, owes it to God’s grace — should be remembered with gratitude.
A Prapanna should pursue noble things — by words, deeds and mind — as prescribed below:
- He should avoid interest in enjoying mundane worldly matters.
- Should permanently remember the Acharya’s great help in bestowing knowledge and subservience to the Lord.
- Should never be boastful of himself.
- Should chant the Dhvaya Manthram as much as possible.
- Should assiduously avoid causing unpleasantness to Bhagavathas.
- Should undertake Kainkaryams towards the Lord, His devotees and preceptors (Bhagavath, Bhagavatha and Acharya Kainkaryams) to the maximum extent possible.
The reasons why a Prapanna should essentially follow the above six things are:
- The interest in the ultimate goal (Purushaartham, that is Moksham) does not dwindle.
- To stay far from being ungrateful.
- In order to always remember his own helplessness.
- To keep in touch with the means to Purushaartham even though the latter is guaranteed.
- Not to displease the Lord.
- So that there is no dearth of Bhagavath Kainkaryam for the rest of his life.
So, may we make the most of the remainder of our life!
As mentioned before, the write-up is about post-Prapaththi conduct. For those who have yet to become a Prapanna, it is time to graduate first and then happily adhere to the code.
Meet you in the next Note.
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