Prapanna Pārijāta | Chapter 3
On the Right of Practice
The qualification of one who is entitled to this Prapatti is as follows:
All members of all castes who are unable to adopt any other means and have desires to fulfil are entitled to Prapatti if they possess Sāttvika qualities1.
As Prapatti yields the fruits of everyone’s desires at all places2 it is prescribed to all for the achievement of their goals.
3 – 4.
The Prapatti mantra (Dvaya) is found in Kaṭha Valli and other texts.
In the Padma Purāṇa it is mentioned repeatedly in the discourse between Parāśara and Vāsishṭha, along with all its accessory parts:
It is also stated therein that everyone is entitled to receive it and it need only be recited once. So also elsewhere in the Pāñcharātra Śāstra it is ordained by Bhagavān Vishnu.
Even members of all social groups other than the three initiated castes (Dvījas = twice-born) are entitled to receive the Dvaya mantra, this is also deducible from the Vedic authorities [as for example when a special rule is introduced into a Vedic Yajña] and on the authority of those that follow a practice [to indicate the practice].
For example, carpenters and others [who are non-Dvījas] have the right to set up consecrated fires (Agnyādhana) and participate in other Vedic rituals,
and the wife of the Yajamāna (host of a yajña) has the right to recite the mantra in the ceremony of consecrating the clarified butter (ajyavekṣaṇa), and many other such instances.
There may be some reservations on account of negative consequences arising from mispronunciation of the mantra by non-Dvījas [because of the lack of Sanskrit training], in that case the Dvaya mantra can be taken as a Tantric mantra [rather than a Vedic Mantra]5.
The ignorant (Karma yogin), the wise (Jñāna yogin) and the devotees (bhakta yogin)6, are all entitled to Prapatti. It is most suitable to the ignorant on account of their inability to follow any other of the three means.
The wise clearly realizing the futility of self-initiated means, turn away from the path of Yoga and seek refuge with Him instead.
Also the Bhakta, always meditating on God with focussed and unwavering intense love, finds it impossible to depend upon any other means or end.
Śauṇaka, in his commentary on the mantra “jitan te” (victory to you, O Lord!) has said that Hari shall be the means and the goal for the ignorant (ajñā), the wise (Sarvajñā) and the devotees (bhaktas).
“This Prapatti is the refuge of the ignorant, this alone is the refuge of the wise; this is for those that wish to cross the ocean of samsāra, and this is for them also that desire to attain immortality.”
Also in Lakshmi Tantra under Prapatti it is described that the Śāstras mention that the persons who have the qualities of faith etc., are entitled to Prapatti.
In the Pāñcharātra-Śāstra, Bhagavān says to the attentive Viṣvaksena that one who takes refuge in this way has accomplished the object of his pursuit.
This secret doctrine is in accordance with the teaching of the Vedas and the Purāṇas and in the Vedanta it is praised and declared as the most secret of esoteric doctrines.
It ought not to be divulged to the uninitiated and never to one who denies the Vedas (nāstika) and neither to one who has no faith in guru (guru-bhakti), and in the root syllable (bīja), the collection of the letters, (piṇḍa) and the words (pāda) and such other elements (of this mantra).
- 1. Prapatti requires that one practice kindness and compassion to all beings — this can only be achieved if one has some inherent underlying qualities of goodness, honesty, compassion etc.
- 2. Sanata Kumāra Saṁhitā — “sa hi sarvatra sarveṣāṃ sarva kāma-phala prada”. How is this to be understood? How does Prapatti assist in the achievement of worldly goals as well as spiritual salvation?
Prapatti as refuge connotes “acceptance”. The law of Karma dictates that all our material happiness & sorrow are due to our previous actions. There is only the play of action and reaction. Success & failure are due to many factors beyond our control. For example the success of any undertaking depends upon (a) personal effort, (b) the effort of others, (c) circumstances, (d) Karma, (e) the grace of the gods.
There all we can do to succeed in anything is to apply maximum personal effort and then resign ourselves and accept the outcome — this is a form of Prapatti. It may not grant actual ‘success’ but it does grant peace and contentment.
- 3. In order for a mantra to be effective the reciter needs to know the name of the seer who cognized the mantra (rishi), it’s meter (cchanda), it’s deity (devatā), it’s seed (bīja), it’s appropriate usage (viniyoga).
- 4. The Prāṇava is the syllable OM.
- 5. It is believed that some serious negative effects can occur through the wrong pronunciation of Vedic Mantras — hence they are forbidden to those who have not studied Sanskrit — such as non-Dvījas. Tantric mantras on the other hand are dependant for their effects upon the mental content of the practitioner.
- 6. Bhakti Yoga is the path of the love of God in which one becomes totally absorbed in divine love.