Bhakti and prapatti

 thehindu.com  09/16/2020 19:05:25 

The Supreme Brahman is the final goal of all who practise Bhakti yoga. Meditation on the Lord with total love and devotion continuously without getting distracted by the pulls of the world is the main characteristic of this yoga. Krishna explains that those who worship Him thus are very dear to Him and He becomes their saviour to release them from samsara. In a discourse, Asuri Sri Madhavachariar drew attention to the fact that prapatti or surrender to the Lord, like bhakti yoga, is also a sure means to moksha.

Prapatti is the path for those who realise their inability to engage in the arduous demands of bhakti yoga. Prapatti is a complete, self-sufficient and direct sadana to moksha. The prapanna seeks the all powerful and compassionate Lord who alone can grant moksha. Prapatti is known as nyasa vidya and it is mentioned in the Vedas. Nyasa means entrusting someone or something to a reliable person. Prapatti is pledging oneself to God with the knowledge of ones undying relationship with the Lord. This is the Sesha-Seshi bhava, where He alone is the Master and all else in creation is His possession.

Prapatti has five angas or distinguishing features. The prapanna has to have the firm commitment that he will do only what is anukula, that is, abide by Gods wishes at all times and also refrain from pratikula, that is, not do anything that will cause Him displeasure. Being fully aware that there is no way for him owing to his inabilities, insufficiencies and the enormous burden of karma and sin, he places total faith, Maha vishwasa in the Lord to guide him out of samsara. This honest awareness of ones own helplessness absolves him of any sense of I and Mine. The Lord out of His divine grace leads him out of samsara.

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