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Sesha Seshi Bhava In Hinduism

In Hinduism, Sesha Seshi Bhava is a Vedic statement about the property of Brahman. Shantipatha (prayer of peace) of some Yajurvedic Upanishads says that Brahman is whole, this universe is whole, whole evolves from the whole and having taken whole from the whole, Sesha (that which is remaining) is whole (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad V.1).

In mathematical terminology, on deducting infinity from infinity, the remainder (Sehsa) is also infinite. That is why a synonym of the great serpent with a thousand hoods, known as Sheshanaga, is ananta (infinite) who stays on the surface of the Kshirasagara (sea of milk), keeping its body folded in a coiled shape to serve as a bed for the Supreme Bhagavan. Ishwara, who protects all and pervades everywhere being omnipresent, is therefore called Vishnu, lies in yoga nidra (yogic trance) on the bed of Shesha Naga and is called Sheshayi or Sheshi.

Shesha is the symbol of total devotion and total submission, with boundless faith in the infinite grace of the Supreme Being. Therefore, Sesha-Sheshi-Bhava is the spirit of boundless faith, complete submission, total devotion to the divine, reciprocated by the infinite grace of Ishwara, whose ananta karuna (infinite compassion) always looks after His devotees.

Not only is it that Ishwara is infinite in every respect, but this perfect devotee, Sesha, is also infinite, as mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita – I am ananta (the Serpent God) among the nagas (10/29).

In Visishtadvaita philosophy of Ramanujacharya, ananta is close to Ishwara like Garuda, Vishvaksena, etc. Visishtadvaita philosophy emphasizes that the relation between Ishwara identified with Narayana on the one hand, and the individual beings on the other, is one of the Shesha Seshi Bhava, where Ishwara is Sheshi and the beings are Sheshas.

To achieve the divine grace early, prapatti (complete surrender) to Bhagavan is necessary, along with bhakti (devotion). He who possesses nothing and claims nothing as his own and from whom any help could be expected, and who aspires for  nothing else than the vision of God, that person is a prapancha bhakta.

One who resigns all his duties to the all powerful Bhagavan himself (Bhagavad Gita XVIII/66) goes along the path of Shesha Bhava and enjoys the divine grace of Sheshi, the Supreme Bhagavan.