Does prayer remove bad deeds of past lives?
Prayer, PujA (worship) etc can remove sins committed in infinite number of our past lives.
Here is a proof that prayer in the form Mantra Japa can do it:
Lakshyadwayen pApAni saptajanmakritAnyapi |
NAsayet TripurA devi sAdhakasya na samsayaha ||
JaptvA lakshyatrayam mantri yantrito mantra vigraha |
PAtakam nAsayedAsu yadi janmasahasragam ||
[Lord Shiva said] If the devotee does japa [of the mantra] two lakh times, Goddess TripurA will destroy all his sins that was accumulated in his past seven lives. And one who does japa of the mantra three lakh times, becomes himself the personification of mantra and yantra and destroys thereby the sins that he has accumulated over his past thousand lives within no time.
NityAshodashikArnava Tantram 5-11,12
Here is a proof that prayer in the form of Stotram can do it:
Sourashtre Somanadham, cha Sri Shaile Mallikarjunam, Ujjayinyam Maha Kalam, Omkaram, amaleshwaram, Paralyam Vaidyanatham, cha Dakinyam Bhimasankaram, Sethubandhe thu Ramesam, Nagesam thu Darukavane, Varanasyam thu Viswesam, Trayambakam Gouthami thate, Himalaye thu Kedaram, Ghushmesam cha Shivalaye, Ethani Jyothirlingani sayam pratha paden nara, Saptha janma krutham papam smaranena vinasyathi.
The twelve Lingas of light are, Somanatha in Sourashtra, Mallikarjuna in Sri Shailam, Mahakala in Ujjain, Omkaram in Amaleshwara, Vaidhyanatha in Parali, Bhimasankara in South, Rameshwara near the bridge in Sethu, Nageswara in Daruka forest, Visweswara in Varnasi, Trayambakeshwara in the shores of Godavari, Kedareshwara in Himalayas, And Ghushmesha in Sivalaya. He who remembers them, Morning and evening, Would wash away sins, committed in his seven births.
The Dwadasa Jyotirlinga Stotram
And, here is a proof that prayer in the form of Puja (worship) can do it as well:
MahApAtakayuktAtmA yadi Devim prapujAyet |
MAsen hanti kalusham saptajanma kritam naraha ||
[Lord Shiva said] The devotee who (even if he is afflicted with mahApatakas or great sins) worships Devi with the leaves of Sami, DurvA, Aswattha or Arka plants destroys thus his sins accumulated over his past seven lives.
NityAshodasikArnava Tantram 2-66
And, in the commentary of this verse Acharya ShivAnanda interprets the word saptajanma as to mean infinite number of past lives. Usually in such verses the words such as sapta (7), sata (100) or sahasra (1000) are to be interpreted to mean numerous or infinite rather than just a specific number.
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