Bhagavad kr^pa (grace of God)

Vaidya N. Sundaram sundaram at ECN.PURDUE.EDU
Tue Jan 13 12:01:47 CST 1998

On Mon, 12 Jan 1998, Gummuluru Murthy wrote:

> 1. We all know bhagavad kr^pa (whatever that parameter) is the same toward
>    all jeevas. If not, that is not God (as Shri Sadananda said). Yet, the
>    karma concept says that depending on jeeva's past actions, the jeeva's
>    future lives and actions are determined. This, I would assume, in spite
>    of the bhagavad kr^pa toward all jeevas ? Does it mean that the jeeva's
>    past action has a stronger impact than bhagavad kr^pa ? Can it be
>    possible ? Isn't there a contradiction negating the sameness of
>    bhagavad kr^pa ? The explanation, that we are seeing different jeevas
>    at various stages of their spiritual evolution, and bhagavad kr^pa is
>    the same for all, does not hold either. Thus, the only explanation is
>    that the duality we see, and the whole (concepts of karma, and
>    bhagavad kr^pa) all belong in the realm of mAya. Anyone, care to
>    comment ?

 I think that analysing the different kinds of Karma is relevant. I have
heard that PrArabdha Karma is such that even Bhagavad Kr^pa cannot wipe out
it's effects. PrArabdha karma means karma that has started having effect.
So, karma limits us only as far as we have not surrendered. The moment we
surrender, karma performed by the Jiva is not the responsibility of the Jiva.
At this time of total surrender, all previous karma is also wiped out.
As to whether God's kr^pa exists even in the state when the Jiva has not
completely surrendered, it surely exists. But as Sri Ram Chandran has pointed
out, we should be in a frame of mind to receive it.
 The level of the Jiva in spritual evolution is relevant in the context of
complete surrender. Without sufficient faith in Bhagavad Kr^pa, the Jiva will
not completely surrender. The faith in His mercy is total only upon a clear
understanding that it is His will that Is. All the rest of Doer-ship is Maya.
I agree with Sri Vidya Shankar's point of view when he says that Karma has
its effects felt only as long as the feeling of Doer-shipp and Ego exists.

I think the following quote from the Bhavad Gita is relevant:

   Bg 8.3 The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: The indestructible,
   transcendental living entity is called Brahman, and his eternal nature
   is called adhyatma, the self. Action pertaining to the development of

   the material bodies of the living entities is called karma, or

   fruitive activities.

On the topic Sri Charles Wikner wrote:

> A thought that came to mind:  what if you change the point of view
> and consider that karma IS bhagavad kr^pa?   Bhagavad is then like
> an indulgent parent and we the spoilt children.  He will give you
> whatever you desire, but you have to take everything that goes with
> it.  As a simple illustration, if you want children, then you must
> accept twenty years of responsibility as a parent; similarly, if you
> want wisdom, then you must give up ignorance.
> What if you view karma as a gift, an opportunity, and not a punishment?

 Karma is always a fetter, a bondage, no matter whether it is Good karma
or Bad karma. To enjoy the fruits of karma, again good or bad, one has to
be born again. In the birth taken to enjoy the fruits of karma, one continues
to commit more deeds and so incur more karma. The cycle is thus repeated.
A point worth pondering here is whether Good karma makes you do ONLY good
deeds. If that is not true, then you are worse off than where you started.
So, one's attempt should always be towards the recognition that it is the
Ego that makes us feel we are the Doer.

Quote from the Bhagavad Gita:

   Bg 3.5 Everyone is forced to act helplessly according to the qualities
   he has acquired from the modes of material nature; therefore no one
   can refrain from doing something, not even for a moment.

   Bg 5.15 Nor does the Supreme Lord assume anyone's sinful or pious
   activities. Embodied beings, however, are bewildered because of the
   ignorance which covers their real knowledge.

I think the above clearly shows that Actions / Karma are brought on by the
Jiva on himself/herself and Divine intervention is not called for at all.


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