Faith

Essence of prapatti

The Upanishads state in one voice that attainment of Brahma Jnana is the ultimate goal of all jivatmas. They also point out that one who fails to know the Brahma Swaroopa is to be pitied, for he continues to suffer in samsara through ignorance. In the Vaishnava tradition, this goal is attainable through the act of Prapatti that is based on the firm understanding and belief in the undying relationship between the jivatma and the Paramatma, pointed out Sri Asuri Madhavachariar in a discourse.

Prapatti is the ‘atma samarpana’ of the jivatma and the acharya plays an important role by intervening on his behalf and by entreating the Lord to accept his surrender. The acharya explains the true nature of his relationship to the Lord as that as a servant and Master. The entire creation of chit and achit is the sarira of the Lord who is the Paramatma. He is the ultimate end to be reached and He is also the means to attain this end.

Vedanta Desika has succinctly captured the essence of the spirit of prapatti in the hymn ‘Nyasa Dasaka.’ Prapatti entails that the prapanna has to do all ordained duties and avoid those that are against the sastras. He is well aware of his limitations and accepts his inability to protect himself. By offering one’s entire self to the Lord, including one’s sarira and atma, the jivatma is relieved of all kinds of pressures and fears that inhere in the daily grind of life. He believes implicitly that the entire responsibility for his life henceforth rests with the Lord. He relinquishes the sense of ‘I’ and ‘Mine’ in all his endeavours pertaining to his thought, word and deed. By offering himself and all what he owns to Him in all humility, he prays to God to bestow on him the greatest gift of being included in His ‘Eternal Service,’ Kainkarya.

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Printable version | Jul 10, 2020 12:11:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/essence-of-prapatti/article31940136.ece

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