Frequently Asked Questions
- He must decide to do hereafter, only what will be pleasing to the Lord, as laid down by the sastras.
- He must avoid doing, whatever will be displeasing to the Lord; namely, what is prohibited by sastras.
- Faith is most important. He must have absolute faith that the Lord will save him and grant him moksha.
- He must be aware that he does not have the capacity or capability, to attain salvation, by his own efforts.
- He must positively pray to the Lord, to save him and grant him salvation.
- 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).
- 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:-
- Those which have started yielding fruits;
- Those which have not yet started yielding fruits.
For a person, who has done prapatti,
- those which have started yielding fruits - he will experience these only till the end of this present life.
- Balance of karmas, out of (1) above, are distri-buted to his friends and enemies, at the time of his death.
- Those, which have not started yielding fruits, are destroyed completely.
- Dripta Prapatti
- 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.
- Doing prapatti oneself (sva nishta).
- Where a disciple repeats the prapatti mantras, as taught by the acharya (ukti nishta).
- Where the disciple does not repeat the mantras, but the acharya performs prapatti, for the disciple (acharya Nishta).
- 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.
- 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.
- The person is carried away by the senses. He gets distracted by the worldly pleasures and runs after them.
- 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.
- Again, he does not realise the difference between the body and soul.
- 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.
- Led away by the five senses, the person gets attached more and more to the worldly pleasures.
- He spends his time in useless things. He does not recite the Vedas, or live an ideal life in detachment?
- 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.
- 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
- The second one is, to surrender to the Lord, the responsibility for protecting him, and granting Moksha to him. This is called Bhara Samarpana
- 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
It is said that we should not worship any other deity, other than Narayana. But there are many passages even in our Sandhyavandana and Tarpana, worshipping the pitrus, Vayu (air), Agni, and the other Devas. So, how do you reconcile our worshipping these minor devas, with the fact that we should worship only Narayana?
- The first and most important duty is to study Sri Bhashya and spread its contents to others.
- If a person is not qualified to read and understand Sri Bhashya, he should study the Divya Prabandha and spread its contents to others.
- 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.
- Even if this is not possible for a man, he should continuously meditate on the meaning of Dvaya mantra.
- 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 capacity.
Other frequently asked questions
- Vadakalai and Tenkalai
- The Three Secrets
- The Departure of the Soul
- Jivatma and Paramatma
- Karma, Janana and Bhakti Yogas
- Advaita, Visistadvaita and Dvaita
- Iswara – The Lord and Master
- Matter and Creation
- The Eternal Jivatma
- The “Doctrine Special” of Visishtadvaita
- Alwars and Acharyas
- Vedas and Sastras