What is the Prayascitta for fallen devotees who fall down from devotion?
No Prayascitta for fallen devotees.
He has to restart devotional service. That’s all.
(How many Qualities required to go back to Goloka for humans and gods? READ HERE!)
Let us now read what Srila Prabhupada said about Prayascitta for fallen devotees while explaining the words of Sri Rupa Gosvami:
“Sri Rupa Gosvami also says that if one is regularly discharging devotional service, there will be no question of a falldown.
But even if circumstantially there is some falldown, the Vaisnava need have nothing to do with the prayascitta, the ritualistic ceremony for purification.
If someone falls down from the principles of devotional service, he need not take to the prayascitta performances for reformation.
He simply has to execute the rules and regulations for discharging devotional service, and this is sufficient for his reinstatement.
No Prayascitta for fallen devotees. This is the mystery of the Vaisnava (devotional) cult.
Practically there are three processes for elevating one to the platform of spiritual consciousness. These processes are called karma, jnana and bhakti.
Ritualistic performances are in the field of karma. Speculative processes are in the field of jnana. One who has taken to bhakti, the devotional service of the Lord, need have nothing to do with karma or jnana.
It has been already explained that pure devotional service is without any tinge of karma or jnana. Bhakti should have no tinge of philosophical speculation or ritualistic performances.
NO NEED FOR PRAYASCHITTA FOR FALLEN DEVOTEES – EVIDENCES:
(1) In this connection Srila Rupa Gosvami gives evidence from Srimad-Bhagavatam, Eleventh Canto, Twenty-first Chapter, verse 2, in which Lord Krsna says to Uddhava:
(How can a devotee who knows the pains in material life like to fall from Goloka? READ HERE!)
“The distinction between qualification and disqualification may be made in this way: persons who are already elevated in discharging devotional service will never again take shelter of the processes of fruitive activity or philosophical speculation. If one sticks to devotional service and is conducted by regulative principles given by the authorities and acaryas, that is the best qualification.”
(2) This statement is supported in Srimad-Bhagavatam, First Canto, Fifth Chapter, verse 17, wherein Sri Narada Muni advises Vyasadeva thus:
“Even if one does not execute his specific occupational duty, but immediately takes direct shelter of the lotus feet of Hari [Krsna], there will be no fault on his part, and in all circumstances his position is secure. Even if, by some bad association, he falls down while executing devotional service, or if he doesn’t finish the complete course of devotional service and dies untimely, still he is not at a loss. A person who is simply discharging his occupational duty in varna and asrama, however, with no Krsna consciousness, practically does not gain the true benefit of human life.”
(3) In the Fifth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam it is clearly stated by Rsabhadeva to His sons, “Persons engaged in fruitive activities are repeatedly accepting birth and death, and until they develop a loving feeling for Vasudeva, there will be no question of getting out from these stringent laws of material nature.”
(4) This is confirmed also in the Eleventh Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, Eleventh Chapter, verse 32, in which. the Lord says to Uddhava, “My dear Uddhava, any person who takes shelter of Me in complete surrender and follows My instructions, giving up all occupational duties, is to be considered the firstclass man.”
(How One falls due to attachments as said by Krishna? READ HERE!)
(5) The same thing is still more emphatically confirmed in Srimad-Bhagavatam, Eleventh Canto, Fifth Chapter, verse 41, in which Karabhajana Muni addresses Maharaja Nimi as follows: “My dear King, if someone gives up his occupational duties as they are prescribed for the different varnas and asramas, but takes complete shelter, surrendering himself unto the lotus feet of the Lord, such a person is no more a debtor, nor has he any obligation to perform the different kinds of activities we render to the great sages, ancestors, living entities and family and society members. Nor has he any need to bother executing the five kinds of yajnas [sacrifices] for becoming free from sinful contamination. Simply by discharging devotional service, he is freed from all kinds of obligations.”
The purport is that as soon as a man takes his birth, he is immediately indebted to so many sources. He is indebted to the great sages because he profits by reading their authoritative scriptures and books. For example, we take advantage of the books written by Vyasadeva. Vyasadeva has left for us all the Vedas.
Before Vyasadeva’s writing, the Vedic literature was simply heard, and the disciples would learn the mantras quickly by hearing and not by reading. Later on, Vyasadeva thought it wise to write down the Vedas, because in this age people are short-memoried and unable to remember all the instructions given by the spiritual master. Therefore, he left all the Vedic knowledge in the form of books, such as the Puranas, Vedanta, Mahabharata and Srimad-Bhagavatam.
There are many other sages, like Sankaracarya, Gautama Muni and Narada Muni, to whom we are indebted because we take advantage of their knowledge. Similarly, we are obliged to our forefathers, because we take our birth in a particular family, where we take all advantages and inherit property. Therefore, we are indebted to the forefathers and have to offer them pinda (prasada) after they are dead.
Similarly, to the people in general we are also indebted, as well as to our relatives, friends and even animals such as cows and dogs who render us so much service.
(I fear for fall down from devotion and waste of life. What to do? READ HERE!)
In this way, we are indebted to the demigods, to the forefathers, to the sages, to the animals and to society in general. It is our duty to repay them all by proper discharge of service. But by the one stroke of devotional service, if someone gives up all obligations and simply surrenders unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he is no longer a debtor, nor obliged to any other source of benefit.
In Bhagavad-gita also, the Lord says, “Give up all your occupations and just become surrendered unto Me. I give you assurance that I shall give you protection from all sinful reactions.”
One may think that because he is surrendering unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead he will not be able to perform all of his other obligations. But the Lord says repeatedly, “Don’t hesitate. Don’t consider that because you are giving up all other engagements there will be some flaw in your life. Don’t think like that. I will give you all protection.” That is the assurance of Lord Krsna in Bhagavad-gita.
There is additional evidence in the Agastya-samhita: “As the regulative principles of scripture are not required by a liberated person, so the ritualistic principles indicated in the Vedic supplements are also not required for a person duly engaged in the service of Lord Ramacandra.”
(Why and How did we fall down from Goloka? How to avoid it? READ HERE!)
In other words, the devotees of Lord Ramacandra, or Krsna, are already liberated persons and are not required to follow all the regulative principles mentioned in the ritualistic portions of the Vedic literature.
Similarly, in the Eleventh Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, Fifth Chapter, verse 42, Karabhajana Muni addresses King Nimi and says, “My dear King, a person who has given up the worship of the demigods and has completely concentrated his energy in the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead has become very, very dear to the Lord. As such, if by chance or mistake he does something which is forbidden, there is no need for him to perform any purificatory ceremonies. Because the Lord is situated within his heart, He takes compassion for the devotee’s accidental mistake and corrects him from within.”
It is also confirmed in Bhagavad-gita in many places that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, takes a special interest in His devotees and declares emphatically that nothing can cause His devotees to fall down. He is always protecting them.
Hope you enjoyed these views on Prayascitta for fallen devotees.
(I fear for fall down from devotion and waste of life. What to do? READ HERE!)