The Karmas and our destiny

Srinivas Sista sista at ECN.PURDUE.EDU
Sat Jul 12 14:28:35 CDT 1997

Gummuluru Murthy wrote:
> From the paramArtha standpoint, concept of destiny does not exist.
> Everything is nishchala, unmoving, unchanging, permanent. From the
> vyavahaarika standpoint, destiny is the point where we will be at a
> future point in time. In the long term, our destiny (not only the
> goal) is moksha, the Realization. In the short term, we do not know
> what destiny has in store for us. But we will be where destiny will
> take us. Destiny is the change we see in ourselves with the march of
> time. Really, there is no change in us, but only what we perceive to
> be a change. Worse than seeing a change, we are also establishing a
> causal link between the perceived change and what we think is our
> contribution to it. We are calling our contribution free will. Yes,
> destiny takes its course independent of us. In the relentless march
> of time, we are nothing more than jaDavastus, getting to where destiny
> will take us. This is a vyavahaarik viewpoint only and when the full
> understanding dawns on us, we see what destiny is, just an illusory
> concept. In response to a latter point by Shri Vidyasankar, I think
> moksha is destined for all. Some may take a more arduous route than
> others, but everyone will have the veil of avidya removed and we
> recognize what we are. This is not only the goal we set for ourselves,
> but is also the destiny.

I was typing up a short passage on destiny and free-will and this post
from Sri Gummuluru Murthy flashed in. What I was saying essentially is
similar to the above. However, my reference to we is not in the same
sense as what he seems to refer. Also I do not postulate two stand
points(paramArtha and vyavahaarik). I will go ahead and post what I
typed in.

----------------------- Begin passage -----------------------------

I submit the following to the members of the list for scrutiny.

This is in relation to the on going discussion on destiny and
free-will. Looks like most of the questions may be resolved if
we can get a handle on the concept of causality. As I know it,
if we observe repeatedly two events(let us say A and B) occuring
in a particular order(first A and then B) we derive a causal
relationship from this set of observations.  For example, putting
water on a stove and obtaining hot water(I will for the moment
ignore all the lower level assumptions like 'touch', 'hot' etc).
So when we desire B, we try to create A (in the process all the
other events that we think will bring about A) and hope that B
will manifest.

Now I will denote   A -> desire to manifest B
                    B -> actual manifestation of B(event)

In this scheme of things as defined, there are four fundamental
observations (by observe I mean becoming aware):

        I       A occurs                B occurs
        II      A occurs                B does not occur
        III     A does not occur        B occurs
        IV      A does not occur        B does not occur

I)   This is what is popularly termed as free-will.
II)  This is the so called destiny (I would like to call this
     as the weak law of destiny).
III) This is the desireless activity.
IV)  Has no existence, since existence is defined only if it
     touches awareness.

One point to be clarified is whether `we desire' or do
`we become aware of the desire' after it occurs. I affirm the
later. The same is the case even with thought. We may discuss
this further.

So the question of effort is only in terms of trying to put
together A in the hope of manifesting B. In putting together
A we generate a sequence of putting together sub events
(A1->A2->....->A).  So the assumption is that one is able to
put together all the preceeding events in a chain. But then
either they occur or they dont, with the respective desires
to manifest them occuring or not.

This occurrence of events is what I would like to call the
strong law of destiny :-) the primal cause of all. So, whatever
remains is awareness(of events) since all the other constructions
are again events.  Hence the segmentation of event space into
destiny, free-will etc is part of the event process and hence an
object of awareness.

Srinivas Sista.

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