[Advaita-l] pUrvajas' karma / pApa & our burden

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Mon Sep 13 00:53:41 CDT 2010

On Wed, 1 Sep 2010, Bhaskar YR wrote:

> praNAms
> Hare Krishna
> In Sathyanarayana Puja Katha the Sadhu Vaisya did not do Puja even
> after daughter got married. This made Sathyanarayana angry.  He cursed
> Vaisya and his family. His family suffered very much. Afterwards he
> prays to Sathyanarayana he gets wealth and family is happy. But when
> king Angadhvaja rejected Sathyanarayana Prasada he destroyed all his
> sons and wealth. Again the king did Puja  got back sons and wealth.
>>  yes, you are right 'vrata kathe' in 5 adhyAya-s go like this!!  but
> dont you think this would show satyanArAyaNa in a bad light??  is this
> devata lacking proper discrimination power to take revenge irrationally on
> the whole family?? why he has to appear in front of those vaishya & his
> son-in-law despite knowing they are liars??  why at the end he has shown
> his 'real' form to those 'vartaka-s' without any meaningful sAdhana from
> them!!?? If you dig these type of stories further, you will end up in
> getting doubts like this. is it not??  Anyway, I always take these purANic
> stories with a pinch of salt and I think these episodes cannot be held as
> pramANa to prove karma by one & its anubhOga by another!!

On the contrary I think the Satyanarayana katha is an apt illustration of 
how karma works.

Sadhu Vanio's family suffered three times from Bhagavan Satyanarayanas 
wrath.  The first was when Sadhu Vanio kept postponing the samkalpa he had 
made to keep the vrata because he was too attached to doting on his 
daughter Kalavati.  As a result he and his son-in-law were imprisoned by 
Raja Chandraketu.  The second time was after Chandraketu had freed them 
they insulted the Yati (who was Bhagavan) by insultingly saying "why do 
you want to know what's in the boat, are you trying to steal it?" 
Because they were attached to material wealth, they lost it.  The third 
time was when Kalavati abandoned the puja on the news her husband had 
returned.  There also it is a worldly attachment which causes misfortune. 
The message of the katha is that bhakti which is attachment to the 
infinite wipes away the troubles caused by attachment to the finite.

Back to your original question, one's karma is mostly ones own but it is 
affected by ones attachment.  If their child were hurt, doesn't a parent 
feel the pain as keenly themselves?  Similarly if something good happened 
in their lives, doesn't a parent get just as happy themselves?  The pitrs 
are connected to their descendents like no one else.  My mother-in-law 
said after telling my wife to light a deep to the pitrs every day, "The 
Devas may overlook you as they are busy running the world but the Pitrs 
always care only for you."

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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