by Manmohan Ambardar
At first let me remark that it is
much more easy to deal with a
system of thought from a pure
philosophical point of view. So
many of our scholars indeed take delight
in viewing it in such a manner. But
mystical experience is a transcending conciousness.
In his Article 'Are we indulging in
self-deception?' published in Koshur Samachar, June 2005 issue, the learned
author's remarks against spirituality
has given rise to
masses and do a
lot of damage
before the truth
Karma (Prarabhdha) is not relentless
fate pushing man to a pre-ordained
destiny. It is what man has achieved in
the past and he is answerable to it. He
has acquired also certain tendencies
and dispositions which make him act
in one way rather than in another. But
he can change them in the present and
shape his future according to his will.
Mohd. Iqbal has rightly said: 'Khudi ko kar buland itna
ki har taqdeer se pehle
Khuda bande se khud poochhe
bata teri raza kya hai'
God in such a scheme would be the
general ground for the operation of the
law of Karma. God is not opposed to
human effort or Purusa-kara. Both are
necessary for making morality possible
and yield its result. 'Readers Digest' -
When the most potent of the
multifarious accumulated Karma
begins to bear the fruit in the next
birth, it is called 'Prarabhdha'.
September 1953 provides an interesting
illustration on the subject at issue.
If there is a thought that I am the
doer then I become responsible to enjoy
the fruits of this action, but when
doership is itself renounced, the
Karmaphala can in no way effect the
doer and so the doer remains free from Karmaphala.
Normally every person does Karma
in order to fulfill his desire. That is why
before starting any Karma like Havan, Puja, Japam etc.,
which, they say,
for achieving this Ishtakamvartham.
Even at the end of Havan, people
insist on reading the Phalasruti because
they want their desires to be fulfilled as
mentioned in Pahalasruti.
In the well known verse of Geeta (IV-
12), Shri Krishna proclaims that men
in this world desire fruitive activities and
therefore they worship demi-gods.
Quickly of course, men get results from
fruitive work in this world.
Bhagwan Sri Ramanna Maharshi
has also said, "The Karma carries the
seeds of their own destruction in
themselves." This means destiny
(Karma) can come to an end.
When the most potent of the
multifarious accumulated Karma begins
to bear the fruit in the next birth, it is
called 'Prarabhdha'. Now the question
arises if God is Self, then why he has
brought misery / evil? Christ said, "Evil
needs come with". Christ was God
incarnate and God is omnipotent.
Then why evil/misery come? Could not
God will it not to come? Christ did not
stop here. He added, "But Woe unto
him through whom it cometh". Again
why? If evil must come, why should
the person who is instrumental in
bringing it be condemned? Is it not
There is a deceptive simplicity in
these sayings. We must probe deeper.
In order to do so, we must also ask why
Adam and Eve were free from knowledge
in their Edenic state and why inacquisition
caused their exile from
paradise and fall into a state of toil and
It is dangerous to speak to people
about predestination. They take it to
mean that the law of cause and effect is
overruled, whereas actually it postulates
the working of the law of cause and
effect. Some people say, "If what is going
to happen is predestined anyway, why
should I trouble to pray? But perhaps it
is predestined to happen through
prayer. The end is not predestined
without the meaning but through it.
Right means become an end in
themselves and can be more important
than the end for which they are
instituted. That is the teaching of
Bhagwat Gita and Gandhi. Prayer is a
purifying activity. Its harmonising
influence may be more important than
its factual efficiency - though that does
not mean that the latter also can not be
real. To achieve this end, Atma Vichara
is the means par excellence. Many a
heroic soul has felt abiding happiness
of the spirit amidst intense suffering after practicing Atma Vichara.