What is prayaschita? How can one become free of sins?
‘Prayas’ means getting back to the original state; ‘chitta’ means consciousness.
We were all born innocent. How is the mind when you are a baby? Fresh, alive, innocent. Prayaschitta means, that act which takes you back to your innocence; makes your mind as pure as it was when you came into this planet.
Rejuvenating the chitta, or making it younger and getting it back to its original state is Prayaschitta. It is not exactly repenting. There is no appropriate word in English for it. It means getting back into one’s original state.
Krishna said this in the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna. Look, you can’t get rid of your sins. I will take care of it for you. I will rid you of all your sins. You just come to me, that’s all.
Jesus also said that, in more or less the same words. All prophets and Gurus say that, ‘You don’t worry about sins. If you take refuge, if you are devoted, then devotion removes all the sins’.
If you have any problem in life, don’t blame others. Basically, all problems that we face in life have something to do with us only. So a good saadhak (seeker) or student understands this and does not complain. If your experience is bad, who is responsible? You are responsible. Why? Because it is your karma that brings these bad experiences to you.
So a good sadhak (seeker) never complains. This was the ancient tradition, where you could not go to a teacher saying, ‘This is not okay and that is not okay. That person said this to me. This person treated me badly’.
If someone treated you badly, it is your karma. You must have treated someone badly sometime. You could not complain to the Guru and saints of the earlier generation because they would say that it is your karma. You could only go to them with good news of wonderful things that happened.
But I listen to everybody’s complaints just so that they find some relief. If they don’t download it with me, they will do it with somebody else. But these days, I am also following the olden tradition. If someone complains, I tell them to deal with it themselves.
Note – Its an excerpt of Sri Sri Ravishankar Guruji’s satsang at Art of Living.