Faith

Getting rid of sins

Suka tells Pareekshit about the many narakas that await sinners. Pareekshit wants to know how one can avoid going to any of these narakas. Suka explains that sins can be those of the mind, words or body, said P.T. Seshadri in a discourse. Before a man dies, he must take stock of his sins and atone for them. A doctor studies a patient’s condition and comes to a conclusion about what stage a disease is in and the treatment required. A similar analysis about our sins is needed.

Pareekshit says that a man who fears punishment by the king refrains from sinning. A man who knows that there are narakas, where life will be miserable, may also avoid sinning. But what if despite all this, a man sins? He may atone for his sins, but he goes back to committing the same sins again. That being the case, of what use is any atonement? It is like the act of an elephant which has just had its bath. After the bath, the elephant goes and rolls in the mud and gets its body dirty again.

Suka clarifies that atonement will never get rid of all of one’s sins. The only solution to the problem of sinning is to have jnana about the Supreme One. A person who knows that the Supreme One is the owner of the atma will never sin. This is true jnana, for it takes us out of the cycle of sinning.

Nammazhvar says in a verse that he has nothing to give to the Lord, for even the atma is His. How can Nammazhvar offer to the Lord what is already His? Suka says that he who thinks of his atma as his own is a thief. Such a thief will sin, atone for it and then again sin. To avoid disease, one sticks to a proper diet. Likewise, to get rid of the tendency to sin, one should do one’s duties properly. We will then get tattva jnana.

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Printable version | Apr 13, 2021 10:36:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/getting-rid-of-sins/article23263466.ece

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