Prapanna Pārijāta | Chapter 10
On The Dawn of Fruition
Overcome with intense love, Vishnu Himself pursues those that have taken refuge in His feet and are like His life-breath (Prāṇa).
In the Gītā the Lord declares: — “That the wise one is my very self — is my opinion.”
“The high-minded one who at the end of many deaths and births, by good fortune resorts to Vāsudeva knowing full-well that He is the All, is very difficult to be find!”
It has been said by Bhagavān Vishnu in the Pāñcharātra Śāstra that the satisfaction of a Prapanna in having achieved his objective is the unsurpassed love of God and the awareness of His distinction from all else.
4 – 5.
One, who accepting Vishnu as the means [to liberation], strives after other pursuits is said to be the lowest [of those that surrender].
One who resorting to other [prescribed] means aims at the attainment of Vishnu, is said to be mediocre.
One who resorts to Mādhava’s two feet as the means and attains those feet is the best qualified, and has here in this very birth achieved the goal of life.
God of his own accord, receives on His head, all the offerings which are made by those whose minds are singularly devoted to Him.1
“Even an atom of an offering given with love by the devotees is greatly estimated by Me and offerings made by a non-devotee however great it be does not give me satisfaction.” (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 10:81:3)
Here the word “devotee” primarily indicates a Prapanna. In his own Saṁhitā (Viṣvaksena Saṁhitā) the leader of the hosts (senesa) has said as follows:—
9 – 10.
By the word bhakti, copious devotional service is indicated by the sages; and “service” is entering into a state of humble servitude towards one’s Lord.
Therefore the act of taking pleasure solely in the service of the Supreme is called Bhakti.
11 – 12.
“Some [considered] as the best of people, have realised that they are destitute of any [efficient] means [for their Liberation], but yet are highly fortunate in that they have chosen Lakshmi as their mediatrix, and are desirous of attaining Me alone, who am inseparable from Śrī, having thus taken shelter with Me, they reach me alone.” (Lakshmi Tantra 17:60)
“One who has thus surrendered to Me, who is free from grief, fear and fatigue and who abandoned all [happiness] projects, free from all hopes, possessiveness and ego- sense, shall indeed cross the ocean of samsāra.
Those that are devoted to the performance of good works, which are pure and learned in Sānkhya-yoga (the path of knowledge), are not worth even a ten millionth part of one who seeks refuge.
And one who has thus taken refuge, is freed from the effect of subsequent and previous aghas2 [unwholesome acts causing bondage] which are of the nature of merit (punya) and demerit (papa).
16 – 17.
All the [karmic] effects of the previous aghas of a confident prapanna (dripta) are destroyed except those that have given rise to, and are meant to be experienced in this body (prārabdha karma);
and no other karmas continue to cling to one, except those major ones that are intentionally committed, persist till the decay of the body — if one does not repent for them.
18 – 19.
This purport has been specifically declared by Bhagavan Vishnu: — “Upāya Bhakti (devotion as the means of accomplishing one's desired purpose) is the destroyer of all karmic reactions (agha) excepting those that have already begun to operate (prārabdha); but Sādhya Bhakti (devotion as an end in itself) which is greater, is the destroyer even of the operational karmas.
“Bhakti yoga with all its auxiliary parts is here called upāya bhakti (bhakti as a means) It shall not destroy the aghas begun (prārabdha) which is verily the cause of many births
“Prapatti which is itself moksha is also called sādhya bhakti (devotion as an end in itself). This higher form of devotion shall destroy even the operative karmas of the afflicted Prapannas (artas), but it shall not destroy the karmas of a confidant Prapanna which are to be experienced in the body already possessed.
22 – 24.
This is gist of the teaching:— Through Bhakti-yoga one is freed from operative Karma which [usually] requires many births. “From Karma which is the cause of suffering — “I shall liberate you grieve not!” (Gītā 18:66) As it has been thus said by the Lord, also on account of feeling unhappiness with embodiment, the arta- prapanna (the desperate prapanna) is immediately Liberated, for Prapatti is higher [than Bhakti-yoga].
But a confident prapanna (dripta) — since he does not feel disenchanted with embodiment which arises due to prārabdha karma is liberated when the body dies. This is the determination of their time of Liberation.
26 – 30.
This [liberated] Prapanna therefore solely through the grace of the Lord of Śrī who resides within the lotus of the heart, with ease bursts open the 101th subtle channel of the body (Suṣumnā-nādi), and through it immediately rises [in the subtle body — sūkṣma-śarīra] reaching those employed to convey it to the other world (ativahikas). It is then conducted by those [beings] who show kindness at every step through the different stages of the path of light (archiradi), and then by the touch of the superhuman being (amanava) it abandons the subtle body (Sūkṣma-śarīra). Then by the mind it crosses the river Virajā (devoid of passion) and marked with holy sandal paste etc., it passes through the various states of beatitude — dwelling in the same realm (Sālokya) possessing the same form (Sārūpya), staying in proximity to the Divine (Sāmīpya) and finally complete union with Brahman (Sāyujya). Moving about from world to world and pursuing all desires, taking form at will, in the company of the eternals (Suris) one perpetually serves by the chanting of the Sāmavēda.
Or else, it is also taught by the Śruti that God, unable to suffer the delay caused by the regular path (archiradi mārga) [such is His longing to be reunited with the jiva] He speedily snatches the prapanna away.
The Lord Varaha, who is eminent among the mighty, spoke to His attentive consort Bhūmi, on this subject as follows:—
33 – 34.
“I think of My devotee who thinks of Me, the omnipresent and the unborn, when the mind is calm and the humours3 of the body in a state of harmony, when he is it the point of death like a stick or stone, and lead him to the final goal.”
35 – 39.
At any time whatever, when the humours of the body are in harmony due to the absence of disease, and when the mind is peaceful,
if anyone thinks of Me who am the ocean of sovereignty, easy accessibility, maternal affection and other good qualities inspired by Lakshmi,
if one thinks of Me, Nārāyaṇa, the Omnipresent, the unborn and the one who incarnates at will, even once, saying — “O Nārāyaṇa! O Lord, There is no other refuge than you! I have taken refuge at your feet!”
Then I instinctively think of him who is free from other means which cause obstruction, and who remains steady in that state [of mindfulness].
And who, when death approaches, is like a block of wood i.e. whose mind is perfectly steady, who [is so focussed upon Me that] he can only be aroused by others, or like a stone i.e. who cares not for his own good or that of others either.
While my dependents are deeply asleep, I am that Purusha (person) who, remaining mindful, steady and vigilant [within their hearts] brings to fruition all their desires.
And in order to manifest Liberating Grace (kripa), I Myself shall take this person who is worthy of enjoying the bliss, I have to offer to the highest region, without any need for travelling on the path of the light (archiradi), effortlessly mounting him on the shoulders of Garuda, as desired.
The terrified servants of Yama with their nooses in their hands, quickly fall away from the side of a Prapanna who is possessed of such glory.
Parāśara and Śūka have both declared that this person is the servant of none whatsoever: — “Seeing his own emissaries with nooses in their hands, Yama indeed whispers in their ears: shun those that have taken refuge with Madhusudana for I am the master only of others and not of the Vaishnavas!” (Vishnu Purāṇa 3:7:14)
“O King! One who has whole heartedly surrendered to Nārāyaṇa who is the world- teacher, the worthy of being resorted to, is neither a servant nor a debtor of the gods, the sages, the elementals, humans and the divine manes (Pitris).” (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 11:5:41)
A great bridge over the causal ocean of the practices of Prapannas has been built by bringing together the mountains of the Vedanta, Smriti, and other principal teachings of great sages and the Pāñcharātra Śāstra. Those that wish to quickly cross over to the other shore of the ocean of Samsara by this route, are very soon freed from the store of previous and subsequent (Purvottara) negative Karmas and are completely liberated.
The wise who are fearless quickly, therefore embark upon the boat of Nyāsa (self-surrender) which has no holes and is able to sail to the final goal, which has for its bottom the realisation arising from the feeling of helplessness, which is held together by the nails of belief, which is controlled by the pull of the rope (Bandana rajyu) of supplication, and which enables embodied beings to cross the ocean of Samsāra.
This composition known as Prapanna Parijāta, has been complied on earth, a work in which all the desires of the virtuous are completely fulfilled.
- 1. The oriental gesture of respect upon receiving a gift is to touch it to one’s head.
- 2. Agha is often mistranslated as “sin”. In a Hindu context an agha is an act which is unbeneficial in terms of one’s spiritual evolution and results in further bondage and entrenchment in samsara.
- 3. A reference to the Ayurvedic concept of the physical constitution which is made up of 3 humours — Vaṭa = Windy, Kapha = phlegmatic and Pitta = bilious.