VSN #20 – Apologies and Dedication

by Sahadev Komaragiri

It is usually very hard for us to apologize for our mistakes. But when the apology is built into the system we toe the line, fall in place and do apologize. It takes approximately 30 minutes to chant viShNu sahasra naamaM(VSN) along with Lakshmi Ashtotram. The process covers nearly 180 verses each consisting of 32 syllables. It is very likely that we end up making a few mistakes. It could be in pronunciation. It might be that we missed out on a visarga or a biMdu or even missed out a syllable altogether. This is true even for people who have been chanting the VSN for years.

This post is part of the series on viShNu sahasra naamaM

We do not find many of the VSN groups chanting what is called kShamaa praardhana or forgiveness prayer. It is optional and not many VSN books cover this part either. But in sanaatana dharma it is a tradition to seek forgiveness, for any mistakes, after completing the Vedic chants. This forgiveness is sought by reciting the kShamaa praardhana. There are two components to it. The first component goes like this:

yadhakShara padaBraShTaM maatraaheenaM tu yad bhavEt ||
tatsarvaM kShamyataaM dEva naarayaNa namOstutE ||

If any mistakes are made in pronouncing the letters(akShara), words(pada) or metre(maatra), Oh Narayana I bow to You, please forgive me for all my mistakes.

The second part is in continuation along the same lines, this time we are getting a little more technical. It goes like this:

visargabiMdumaatraNi padapaadakSharaani ca |
nyoonaani cha atiriktaani kShamasva paramEshvara ||

Oh Parameswara, if I made any grammatical mistakes while uttering aspirate(visarga), biMdu(words ending in ‘n’ or ‘m’), prosodic meter(maatra), letters, words or lines, please forgive me.

Not stopping with seeking forgiveness for grammatical errors, we continue to inform the Lord that we may be making other mistakes too:

aparaadha sahasraaNi kriyantE harnishaM mayaa |
dasO yamiti maam matvaa kShamasva paramEshvara ||

Oh paramEshvara, knowingly or unknowingly I may be committing 1000s(sahasra) of mistakes during the course of my entire life. I am like a servant of Yours(dasO yamiti maam), please forgive me.

Why should You forgive me? Because:

anyadhaa SaranaM naasti tvamEva SaraNaM mama |
tasmaat kaaruNya bhaavEna rakSha rakSha paramEshvara ||

I have nowhere else to go(anyadhaa Saranam naasti), You are my only refuge(tvamEva SaraNam mama). Therefore show mercy and please protect me. Please protect me.

If He were to protect us all the time, what should we offer Him?

kaayEna vaachaa manasEMdriyairvaa
buddhyaatmanaa va prakritE swabhaavat |
karOmi yadyat sakalaM parasmai
naaraayaNaa yEti samarpayaami ||

Our actions, our speech, our thoughts, our intellect, and our behavior, and everything that we do, we dedicate it to Lord Narayana. In other words we dedicate to Lord Narayana whatever we do, good or bad, small or big, and anything in between. We do not attach our egos to our actions.

If you have any additional dedications you may include them here. We add the following:
satya naarayaNaayEti samarpayaami
Sree saayi naarayaNaayEti samarpayaami

I dedicate this series of articles to Lord Narayana, the One who is omnipresent and present in each one of you.  I seek apologies from Lord Narayana and all of you for any mistakes, not just grammatical, but interpretation, choice of words, presentation and organization.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Hari August 15, 2012 at 2:50 am

The way in our parampara(also as taught by my father) is to chant a short stotra called Sri Apad uddharana stotram? immediately after concluding VSN. It starts with “Apadaam apahartaram daathaaram sarvasampadaam lokaabhiraamam Sreeraamam bhuyo bhuyo namaamyaham……“ includes the famous “Hare Rama Hare Rama…“ often extolled as the Kaliyuga Mahamantram and at its end it also covers the slokas you have mentioned above.


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