I want to know if there are any methods or any specific rituals prescribed for the nullification or reducing the effects of prarabdha karma?
Knowledge (Jnana) destroys Karma (High Level Summary)
Muktika Upanishad is Hanuman asking questions to Shri Ramachandra ji about moksha/mukti.
Lord Sri Rama says
…learn in the prescribed manner the one hundred and eight Upanishads; study them through listening, reflection and deep absorption continuously; the accumulated Karmas will be dissolved, the three kinds of bodies (gross, subtle and causal) are abandoned
Gita 4.37, says that all karma (sarva karmāni) are destroyed with the help of knowledge (jñana).
yathaidhāṃsi samiddho’gnir-bhasmāt kurute’rjuna | jñānāgniḥ sarva karmāṇi bhasmasāt kurute yathā || 37 ||
Just as blazing fire turns fuel to ashes, O Arjuna, so does the fire of knowledge turn all Karma to ashes.
What is that knowledge or jñana? Sri Ramanuja wrote in his commentary that knowledge about the true nature of ātman. Knowledge = Self-Realisation. Knowing your true self.
Let’s dive bit deeper
Okay, so we know from Muktika and Gita that Jñani (with jñana) can reduce or destroy the all karmas (including prarabdha karma)
Now, scriptures provides more clarity. If one reads “Tripura Rahasya” (Parsurama asking question to Lord Dattatreya), it provides more clarification. Sri Dattatreya mentions that there are 3 types of Jnanis 1) Highest 2) middle 3) low
(Chapter 18 :162-165) Lowest jnani —>
Also knows the self but are still influenced by their prarabdha karma due to nature of their mind.
Highest jnani —>
Even if millions more Prarabhdha karma brings happiness or miseries , they remain same.
[This is what Krishna also says in Gita too, “and to whom pain and pleasure are the same, that steadfast person alone is worthy of immortality. 2.15]
Tripura Rahasya,Chapter 19 95-96
Prarabdha (past karma) is totally powerless with the middle class, who have destroyed their minds by continued practice. The mind is the soil in which the seed, namely prarabdha, sprouts (into pleasures and pains of life). If the soil is barren, the seed loses its sprouting power by long storage, and becomes useless.
Both Highest and Middle class of Jnani have their mind in their control and thus are not influenced by Praabhdha Karma.
So what we learnt so far - Even the Highest Level of Jnani have to face the pleasure and pain due to Prarabhdha Karma but they are not influence by it. They remain neutral to it. Prarabhdha Karma CANNOT BE DESTROYED, just like that.
Chapter 22 of Tripura Rahsaya 22.27 (Lord Dattatreya telling Parsuram story of Vasuman asking question to Hemangada)
Does not jnana burn away all karma as fire does a heap of camphor?
28-29. Then Hemangada replied: Listen, Brahmin! The three kinds of karma, (1) mature (prarabdha), (2) pending (agami), and (3) in store (sanchita) are common to all — not excluding the Jnani. The first of these alone remains for the Jnani and the other two are burnt away.
- Karma already mature and now yielding results is called prarabdha: it is like an arrow already shot from a bow which must run its course until its momentum is lost. [Note: Prarabdha must bear fruits and cannot be checked by realisation of the Self. But there is no enjoyment of its fruits by the realised Sage.]
- Self-Realization is the key to destroy all karmas. -Prarabdha Karma cannot be destroyed and MUST bear fruits.
- Highest Jnani who remains neutral in pain and pleasure (because he knows his real nature) is not influenced by Prarabdha Karma).
- By training and controlling your mind to remain same in happiness and misery , you can overcome the power of prarabdha karma)
Spiritual practices can reduce the effect of prarabdha karma. Devotion to God will destroy bad Karma.
Nanda: "But how can we obtain God's grace? Has He really the power to bestow grace?"
Sri Ramakrishna (smiling): "I see. You think as the intellectuals do; one reaps the results of one's actions. Give up these ideas. The effect of Karma wears away if one takes refuge in God. I prayed to the Divine Mother with flowers in my hand: 'Here, Mother, take Thy sin; here take Thy virtue. I don't want either of these; give me only real bhakti. Here, Mother, take Thy good; here take Thy bad. I don't want any of Thy good or bad; give me only real bhakti. Here, Mother, take Thy dharma; here, take Thy adharma. I don't want any of Thy dharma and adharma; give me only real bhakti. Here, Mother, take Thy knowledge; here take Thy ignorance. I don't want any of Thy knowledge or ignorance; give me only real bhakti. Here, Mother, take Thy purity; here take Thy impurity. Give me only real bhakti [devotion].'"
The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, chapter 43, Visit to Nanda Bose's House
There is a Mahabharata passage that suggests that doing some kind of spiritual practice like repeating the Gayatri mantra would be helpful.
Markandeya answered, ‘There are three kinds of purity, viz., purity in speech, purity in deed, and purity achieved by use of water. He that has recourse to these three kinds of purity, attains, without doubt, to heaven. That Brahmana who adoreth the goddess Sandhya in the morning and the evening, and who recites meditatively the sacred goddess Gayatri who is the mother of the Vedas, sanctified by the latter, is freed from all his sins. Even if he accepts in gift the entire earth with her oceans, he doth not, on that account, suffer the least unhappiness. And those heavenly bodies in the sky including the sun that may be inauspicious and hostile towards him soon becomes auspicious and favourable towards him in consequence of these acts of his, while those stars that are auspicious and favourable become more auspicious and favourable in consequence of such conduct of his.’
Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Section CLXLIX