By Swami Harshananda
Paścātāpa literally means ‘feeling remorse afterwards’.
The topic of sins and their expiations is often discussed in the dharmaśāstras. They recognize that human beings are prone to the evil sanskāras or past impressions and tend to commit sins. The first and foremost step in the expiation of sins is to realize one’s mistake and repent for the same. This repentance, since it comes after the deed is committed, is called ‘paścātāpa’. If this paścātāpa is intense, than in some cases it is equal to prāyaścitta or expiation.
- After means paścāt.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore