Faith

Means for salvation

Sastras explain that unless one is rid of all karma, there is no salvation. So, one desirous of salvation has no short cut except to strive to bring about nil balance in his karma account. This appears to be a distant dream since none can refrain from actions and each action, physical or mental, is linked to consequences that have to be faced.

But there is the path of ‘saranagati’ also known as ‘prapatti’ in the Vaishnava tradition that is a sure means to salvation for the Mumukshu. Prapatti is devotion and self surrender to God and depends on the implicit and absolute faith one places in the Lord’s compassionate grace and His boundless protective power, pointed out Sri Asuri Madhavachariar in a discourse. The only merit on the part of the mumukshu is his Maha vishwasa. One may have committed even the most heinous crimes in the past; one may not have led a morally virtuous life. When no individual effort can erase the burden of karma that is always attached to every jivatma, there is hope to get absolved of all sins great or small when one seeks His feet in all humility. The long list of sanchita karma, along with the prarabdha and agami stands as a formidable hurdle.

But the act of prapatti not only makes him eligible for moksha by releasing him from the effects of sanchita karma but also takes care of the prarabdha karma that has to be exhausted. This gets cancelled in due course by His grace and His subtle ways of chastisement. As the prapanna continues to lead the rest of his life as ordained by the sastras, such as performance of Nitya and Naimittika karmas etc., he becomes aware of his own inadequacies against the enormity of God’s grace. He strives to become really deserving of the Lord’s grace that has shaped his spiritual life and awareness.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 9:03:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/means-for-salvation/article31892831.ece

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