Atonement - an essential subject

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Atonement is defined as the making of amends for a wrong doing, injury or sin. It is related to the word reparation: to fix, mend or make ready again. With the goal of making amends, one important feature is that the wrongdoer has a repentant or apologetic attitude. Atonement is also seen as a way to remove the guilt of the offender, to clear one's conscience so to speak. Atonement is most often used as a translation of the Sanskrit word: prāyaścitta. Prāyaścitta, vyavahāra (legal procedure) and ācāra (customary law) make up the dharmaśāstra (scriptures of ethics, religious and legal duty). The most important forms of Prāyaścitta include admission, repentance (anutāpa), restraint of breath (Prāṇāyāma), austerity (Tapas), fire sacrifice (Homa), prayers (Japa), giving of gifts (Dāna), fasting (Upavāsa) and pilgrimages (Tīrthayavartra). Prāyaścittas are required both for the 'cleansing' of one's own soul, and also for the benefit of society, as social contact with a unrepentant sinner is forbidden. Although atonement is recommended, it is not considered a permanent remedy, for one who has not completely abandoned the desire to sin will likely do so again. Only pure atonement, the chanting of God's names for example, is presented as a true solution for the practice can eradicate the dormant, unexpressed desires for future offenses.

Srila Prabhupada's books, lectures, conversations and letters offer a comprehensive presentation of this essential subject as seen in the Vaniquotes Atonement category. An introduction from his books is given below in the following 8 quotes.


   
 

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Vanipedia has now over 903 introductory articles compiled from Srila Prabhupada's books under the series titled Essential Subjects. All these articles can be seen in the Table of Content on the right side of this article and also here in this Umbrella Category. Browse through them to relish the breadth and depth of Srila Prabhupada's teachings - There is a subject for everyone.