Prapatti is also called Saranagati, Bharanyasa, Bhara Samarpana and Nyasa. Here, we seek the Lord as the sole refuge, for salvation. We surrender ourselves unto Him; and pray for salvation.
Prapatti has to be performed only once, in the life time. Bhakti Yoga, on the other hand, has to be performed throughout one's life. May be in sub-sequent lives also.
There are five accessories. One, who does prapatti, must do the following:
1. He must decide to do hereafter, only what will be pleasing to the Lord, as laid down by the sastras.
2. He must avoid doing, whatever will be displeasing to the Lord; namely, what is prohibited by sastras.
3. Faith is most important. He must have absolute faith that the Lord will save him and grant him moksha.
4. He must be aware that he does not have the capacity or capability, to attain salvation, by his own efforts.
5. He must positively pray to the Lord, to save him and grant him salvation.
A. There are two types of karmas.
(1) The first type are those which have started yielding fruits. In other words, the person has to experience the pleasures and pains, for the past karmas, which have started yielding fruits (Prarabdha Karma).
(2) The second type of karmas are those which have been kept aside by the Lord. They have not yet begun to yield fruits, good or bad (Sanchita karma).
So, when a man does prapatti, the second type of karmas, namely, those which have not begun to yield fruits, are destroyed altogether.
The first type of karmas, namely, those which have begun to yield fruits, good or bad, will continue, only so long as the person's present life lasts.
At the time of death, the balance of karmas, are distributed to his friends and enemies (I have described this earlier). So, one, who has done prapatti, attains moksha, immediately at the end of this life itself.
There are two types of karmas:-
1) Those which have started yielding fruits;
2) Those which have not yet started yielding fruits. For a person, who has done prapatti,
1) those which have started yielding fruits - he will experience these only till the end of this present life.
2) Balance of karmas, out of (1) above, are distri-buted to his friends and enemies, at the time of his death.
3) Those, which have not started yielding fruits, are destroyed completely.
The person, after performing prapatti, may commit sins
1) either deliberately or 2) by oversight (without being aware that he is committing sins).
1) If a person commits sins, without being aware of the same, then these sins will be ignored by the Lord: since these sins were not committed purposely or deliberately.
2) If the person commits sins deliberately, due to the weakness of human nature, then he should do prayaschitta or atonement, for having committed them.
The prayaschitta or atonement for having committed the sin, is another prapatti, for this purpose. So, if the person atones for having committed the sin, by doing a prapatti for this purpose, then he is granted pardon by the Lord.
Then the Lord will punish him in this life itself, before his death, in some way or other..
The punishment can be that the person becomes lame or blind. Or, he may lose children or grandchildren or near relatives.
In fact, even inability to go to temples and worship the Lord there; or inability to bathe in holy rivers, are also punishments. In any case, one who has done prapatti, will definitely attain moksha, at the end of this life.
Incidentally, it may be said that once a person does prapatti, he becomes near and dear to the Lord. So, even for deliberate sins committed after prapatti, the punishment by the Lord will be comparatively minor.
Even in the world, if a mistake is committed by somebody close to the king, the king merely warns him; or gives him a lighter punishment. In the same way, God also gives comparatively lighter punishment, even for deliberate sins committed after prapatti.
There are two types:
1) Dripta Prapatti
2) Artha Prapatti
People, who want to live this life, as long as it lasts; and want to attain moksha, only at the end of this life: they do dripta prapatti.
People, who do not want to live even till the end of this life, but want to attain salvation immediately, at this very moment: they can resort to artha prapatti.
This. is a rite, which is performed, with the prescribed mantras and as per the procedure laid down in sastras.
There are four ways of performing prapatti:
1) Doing prapatti oneself (sva nishta).
2) Where a disciple repeats the prapatti mantras, as taught by the acharya (ukti nishta).
3) Where the disciple does not repeat the mantras, but the acharya performs prapatti, for the disciple (acharya Nishta).
4) Where a learned Sri Vaishnava does prapatti, on behalf of the person (bhagavata nishta).
So, one of these methods has to be adopted, for performing the prapatti.
It is true that these rites, as ordained in the sastras, are not required for the efficacy of prapatti. But these are ordained by the Lord, through sastras and so the Lord's commands have to be obeyed.
If these rites are not performed, this will be a violation of the Lord's command. So the person will be punished by. the Lord, for the sin of not doing his duties, laid down in the sastras.
Further, the person does these things for the pleasure of the Lord.
1) Being in this world, because of the association with a body, and with the three qualities of sattva, rajas and tamas; there are several temptations which try to distract the person's thoughts from performing good deeds.
2) The person is carried away by the senses. He gets distracted by the worldly pleasures and runs after them.
3) His knowledge becomes perverse. He thinks that Narayana is not the supreme Lord. He thinks
that all the deities are equal; or, he thinks there is no God at all.
4) Again, he does not realise the difference between the body and soul.
5) He does not study the sastras and perform the duties expected of him, as laid down in the sastras. As Krishna says in the Gita, sastras are only the divine command of the Lord.
6) Led away by the five senses, the person gets attached more and more to the worldly pleasures.
7) He spends his time in useless things. He does not recite the Vedas, or live an ideal life in detachment?
8) He does all forbidden things, for the sake of petty pleasures.
So, all the worldly things and the five senses of a man, are the hindrances in his realising the truth.
It is very necessary to completely
conquer the senses; and direct one's attention only towards the Lord.
Supposing you have to leap over a well. Whether you leap only half the
well or you leap three-fourths of the well, it does not make any
difference. You fall into the well, all the same. Similarly, unless you
conquer the senses completely, it does not make any difference.
Prapatti is also done, as a
subsidiary to bhakti yoga. That is, while doing bhakti yoga, for any
of the lapses or failures, prapatti is done as an atonement. As
mentioned earlier, practically nobody does bhakti yoga now. So doing
Prapatti, as subsidiary to bhakti yoga, does not also arise.
This is possible because, God accepts the prayers
of the Acharya, for and on behalf of his disciple. We have many examples of this, in this world also.
If a man is blind, another man helps him in crossing the road. Similarly, if a man is tame, he is
helped to cross the river, by the boatman, who places him in the boat and takes him across.
This is not directly true. Only Bhakti or Prapatti
can give moksha. What is meant is this: By residing in holy places, or bathing in holy rivers, or
serving the holy people, a man starts getting the mentality to do good things. He is purified by such
stay in holy places and bathing in holy rivers. So he starts learning the sastras and practising good things.
These things ultimately lead him to do Bhakti Yoga or Prapatti. Then finally he attains moksha. So, these things induce a man to attain Moksha, by
doing bhakti or prapatti. So, you can say that bathing in holy rivers, etc., indirectly leads to moksha. by inducing a man to perform bhakti or prapatti.
These are mainly two in number.
1) First, the person does not have the capacity to do
2) Secondly, he should not worship any other deity,
other than Sriman Narayana. He should also have
a hatred for all other worldly things or pleasures.
Actually, at the time of prapatti, a person
surrenders three things to the Lord.
1)The first is, surrendering himself to the Lord. He
gives up the thought that he is the doer. He gives
up the thought that anything belongs to him. In
effect, he and everything belonging to him,
actually belong to the Lord. This is the first type of
surrender. This is called Svarupa Samarpana.
2)The second one is, to surrender to the Lord, the
responsibility for protecting him, and granting
Moksha to him. This is called Bhara Samarpana.
3)The third is, surrender of the fruits. In other
words, the fruit or gain, arising from Prapatti, (i.e.,
of attaining Moksha), is also surrendered to the
Lord. The pleasure of enjoying the Lord in
Paramapada is also dedicated to the Lord. This is
called Phala Samarpana.
There are three types of Surrender as mentioned
1) Svarupa Samarpana
3) Phala Samarpana.
There are two explanations.
1)The first is that, as I have explained to you in sufficient detail,Narayana is the soul of everything else. He is the
soul also, of all the Devas. So, when we worship
the other Devas, during the compulsory duties like
Sandhyavandana, we actually worship the soul of
these Devas, who is Narayana.
3) There is another interpretation. The names of
the other Devas, also refer to Narayana directly; if
you analyse the meaning of their names. For
example, Agni, means "one who leads" in Sanskrit.
So, this word can also appropriately refer to
Narayana. Thus we take the ultimate meaning of
the names (of the Devas), which is actually
For example, When the boss or
the king arrives, the subordinates garland the king
or the boss. The king wears a shirt and so, the
garland is placed over the shirt. This does not
mean that garlanding is for the shirt.
The garlanding is to the person, who is inside the
shirt. Similarly, when we worship the devas, the
worship is actually for the person, who is inside
the Devas, namely, Narayana.
This is explained in detail, in one of the chapters
of Rahasya Traya Sara. In fact, this particular
chapter can be called the most sublime in the
A person who has done prapatti has nothing to
feel worried. He has nothing to grieve. He is sure
of Moksha at the end of his life. He should,
therefore, behave, after prapatti, in a completely
If anybody praises him, he should not become
proud. If anybody abuses him, he should not feel
angry. He should leave everything to the Lord.
He should spend his time in reciting Vedas, Divya
Prabandha and reading sastras. He can do good
things like going to temples and worshipping the
Lord. He should try to learn from holy people. He
should continue to do his compulsory duties like
Sandhyavandana, as prescribed in the sastras.
He should continue to do all good things, without
desiring for any fruit: but purely as service and
pleasure to Lord. He should continue to do
service, to the extent possible, to the acharyas and
all other holy men.
Service to the devotees is even more important
than service to the Lord. The Lord himself feels
happy, if His devotees are served and honoured by
others. Serving the devotees is like this. If we want to
please a person, we fondle his children. The
person becomes happier, if his children are
praised and fondled by others. Similarly, the Lord
becomes happier, when His children, namely His
devotees, are praised and served by others.
Ramanuja himself has prescribed the following
duties for a person:-
1) The first and most important duty is to study Sri
Bhashya and spread its contents to others.
2) If a person is not qualified to read and understand
Sri Bhashya, he should study the Divya Prabandha
and spread its contents to others.
3) If a person is not competent even to read and
understand Divya Prabandha, then he should
serve in holy temples. He may light lamps in the
temple; he may make garlands for adorning the
deity; he may make sandal paste and such other
works in the temple.
4) Even if this is not possible for a man, he should
continuously meditate on the meaning of Dvaya
5) Lastly, even if a man is not able to do this, then he
should attach himself to a learned, holy, Sri
Vaishnava; and serve him, to the best of his
A. A person can conveniently reside in a place which
is a divya desa, i.e. where the Lord has been sung
by Alwars. Or he can stay in a place, where the
Lord's devotees, Bhagavatas stay. To the extent
possible, he should stay in such places.