The Karmas and our destiny

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vidya at CCO.CALTECH.EDU
Wed Jul 9 17:31:04 CDT 1997

> Firstly, I read about Kriyamana karma, which are potential karmas. Is Agamin
> same as kriyamana. I have also read that, Sancita karmas are ike arrows
> in quiver ready to be shot. But they will be shot IF the CONDITIONS are ripe.
>  Its
> just like a seed sprouting if the soils is good, properly fertilized etc.. ANd
> Kriyamana karmas are arrows yet to be made but all the requisite material is
>  there.

Yes, Agamin is kriyamAna karma.

> I also heard someone say "we SEEM to have free will", unlike animals or other
>  species
> who act spontaneously. What does this mean in the context of prarabhda karma.
>  fully
> understand the fact that both Sancita and Kriyamana (perhaps Agamin) karma can
>  be avoided,
> which become clear from the arrow and archery example Chandran pointed out.
> somehow this prarabhda karma is most troubling.

The prArabdha karma is like the arrow that has already been shot from the
bow. It is not in your quiver anymore. You might have shot it well, or you
might have made a complete mess of it. In either case, you have no more
control over it; it has already left your hands.

> Also I would be more interested fo find out how Karmas can be burnt. I do not
>  think
> finding out when the first Karma happenned is of much consequence. It might
> make us feel dejected because we will have to own them then:-)

Yes, seeking the first karma is of no use. One might as well ask, why does
all that exists exist? And the advaita tradition is unanimous in saying
that jnAna burns away karma.

>    :To talk about free will and destiny as if either is an absolute, is to
>    :grant more than is due to these two. Destiny and free will have no
>    :existence apart from each other.
> Lets say I do everything to give my child, the best education, best upbringing
>  etc. But
> he turns out to be not a useful citizen (read an idiot), then should I blame
> destiny or blame myself in not exercising better free will.

In such a situation, would you have exercised free will by denying
education and upbringing to a child? You could not have predicted the
future outcome at the birth itself. So, you do your duty, and hope for the
best outcome. Better still, cultivate the attitude of nishkAmya karma,
where success or failure does not affect you. "nishkAmya karmasya
rahasyam, ISvara SaraNAgati:" says SankarAcArya in the gItAbhAshya. Part
of nishkAmyatA is to give up the seeking of something to blame if
things go wrong. Finally, the best is to progress to a stage of
naishkarmya, where you only seek jnAna.

> Actually my problem is much more fundamental. My typing this mail. Is this
>  will
> or destiny?
> OR
> Should we say there is both destiny and free will and circumstances decide
>  is which.

Yes, there is both destiny and will, so long as action persists.

>    :Read the yoga vAsishTa - there are answers to many of your questions
>    :there.
> I will try. Can you suggest a simple translation.

Check the following:

Yoga-vasishtha-ramayana. English. Selections.
     The world within the mind (Yoga-Vasishtha) : extracts from the
discourses of the Sage Vasishtha to his pupil, Prince Rama, and the story
of Queen Chudala / tr. from the Sanskrit of Valmiki by Hari Prasad
Shastri.  4th ed. London : Shanti Sadan, 1969.

Yogavasistharamayana. English.
     The Yoga-vasishtha ramayana. Translated into English from the
original Sanskrit text. By D.N. Bose.  Calcutta, Oriental Pub. Co.

Yogavasistharamayana. English & Sanskrit. Selections.
     The essence of Yogavaasishtha / compiled by Jnanananda Bharati ;
translated by Samvid.  lst ed.  Madras : Samata Books, 1982.


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