Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Q & A on Karma

Q&A based on Questions:
Q: “Is it possible to know when good and bad karma are exhausted? I am yet to find an exact answer through astrology.”

Astrology has its limitations and cannot answer this question. Astrology holds good for this world and present life. However the question belongs to “another world.” Your horoscope is a window into the prarabdha karma that you are born with in this life – NOT of the universal set, the Sanchita karma baggage.  The Jeevatma does not have a horoscope because it eternal – never born and will never die. It is timeless. So is the individual Jeevatma’s karma. So how can you describe that which is timeless in 12 squares?
Only Lord Sriman Narayana, the Supreme Brahman has the ability to know how much Sanchita is left.  No one else! Neither the individual Jeevatma, nor the 33 crore devatas starting from four-faced Brahma, followed by Shiva, Indira, the nava-grahas etc.! Sriman Narayana follows very strict privacy laws when it comes to karma – he will not reveal it even to you!

As far as the devatas are concerned, please be aware that that they are living their prarabdha very much like you and me!

On another note, What are you going to achieve by knowing how much sanchita karma is left? What is your goal?

Q: Present happiness is due to good deeds done by us in previous lives and so with present sufferings. It does seem logical. But is it?

A: Your understanding of karma theory is incorrect. Consider this example: In previous life you have performed a good deed that has resulted in a punya or positive karma being deposited in your bank account. Let us quantify this. Let us say each positive karma is equal to one gold coin. Now, you have done some bad deeds also in your past life. For these bad deeds you have been deposited in your account with thorns. Let us say you have 100 gold coins and 1000 thorns in your present prarabdha (karma at the beginning of life) that is your target to exhaust.

Now let us say you are going to do some activity in present life – let us say going to office in your car. Some environmental variables are at play here – you are using a car manufactured by Maruti Suzuki, known for using lower-than industry standard parts. As a result there is a mechanical failure and your car gets stranded in the middle of a busy-signal. You get delayed to go to work. Not only that, you hear all the other car-drivers/owners behind you shouting, scolding and swearing at you. It makes you unhappy and miserable as you try to get your car back on the road. The mechanical failure is not a result of 1000 thorns you have in your account (after all it is a bank account, how can the bank account cause mechanical failure?). The shouting, scolding, and swearing you had to hear from others is not a result of the 1000 thorns you have in your account. Suppose you had only 100 gold coins, does it mean the 50 car drivers stranded behind you are going to sing your praise? Never! The shouting, scolding, and swearing you heard are their karma they are committing in this life. Neither it is God’s will that they are shouting and scolding you! It is their conscious choice of free will that they are shouting at you! But you are feeling miserable! Who will you blame? The question is, do you need to blame anyone at all?

Uncertainty is one of the chief characteristics of life – of prakriti. Statistically, one in million maruti cars fail every day, and that day was your day! It is not fate. It is not pre-destined that your car should have failed on that day at that time. It is not Rahu or Ketu or Mercury or Mars that caused it! It is DEFINITELY NOT your past karma of having driven your car on the wrong side of the road causing an accident to a pedestrian in previous  life that is the cause of your car getting stranded in this life! Your car failed because of a manufacturing defect that Maruti will issue a recall for in the following month to fix. It is all a game of chance. That’s it!

So how does Karma Theory work? Your car got stranded because of Maruti’s manufacturing defect. This caused a traffic congestion. Because of the congestion other car drivers shouted, scolded, and sweared at you. They each collected a thorn in their account for their action. You felt miserable and unhappy. Therefore depending on how miserable you felt, you spent say, 10 thorns from your account. Therefore, after the incident you have only 990 thorns left in your account.

On the contrary let us say, all the signals were coordinated that you reached your office 5 minutes ahead of time. Your boss observed that you had already started your work for the day, and appreciated you for your commitment. You felt happy. Therefore you spent one gold coin from your bank.

So the equation is, when you are happy you are spending your good karma, and when you are sad, you are spending your negative karma. Happiness or sadness does not result from your balance of karma.

Q: So How a man will know that he is doing a good deed right now?

What is good and what is bad, which deed results in punya and which deed results in paap, and which deeds do not accrue neither punya nor paap is described in the shastras. When Krishna tells Arjuna to “Do your duty …” he expects everyone to understand what that duty is. That duty is enshrined, based on your varna-ashrama-dharma, in the shastras. It tells Brahmins to do something, Kshatriyas to do something, Vaishyas to do something, and Shudras to do something. Those are the “duties” per varna-ashrama-dharma. Performance of one’s duty will not lead to punya or paap. Non-performance of duty attracts penalty. Therefore if you do not do your varna-ashrama-dharma you accrue paap. Which is why when a brahmin performs sandhyavandan, he does not get any punya, but non-performance of sandhyavandan attracts paap. In all three former varnas are expected to perform sandyavandan everyday. Not many people know about this - and therefore on a day to day basis people belonging to the first three varnas who do not perform sandhyavandan every day are going on accruing paap potentially leading to a lower birth form in next life!

Performance of exemplary deeds other than what has been described in shastras as duty can give you punya. For example, dana (donation), performance of certain yagnas which are not described as duty, etc. can give you punya. Some acts can be done selfishly expecting the result – for example there is the yagna called “Jyotiyoma”. The shruti says ”Jyotishyomena Swargakamo Yajeta.” – i.e the one desirous of going to Swarga-loka should perform Jyotishyoma yagna. Now Jyotishyoma is not described as a duty for any of the four varnas. It is an optional yagna. All that you need in order to perform that yagna is the desire to go to Swarga-Loka, the land of Indira (what in other religions they call heaven).

So, to answer your question, you need knowledge of the shastras to know whether you are doing good or bad deed right now. Some of them we have inherited in India by “way of life” – Satyam Vada (speak the truth), Dharmam Chara (Do Dharma), etc. For that we should really thank our rishis who make the shastric teachings a way of life. Some teachings may have been lost – but most of it – more than 70%of it at least is still intact. You should have the hunger to learn the what is right and not right according to the shastras – in order to do that, you have contact elders, sadhus and others and try to learn from them. 

You may say you don’t have time because you are a very busy executive getting a 7 figure salary – but that is not the aim of life. The aim of life is to exhaust your karma so that you don’t take another birth – Imagine what all you have gone through in life since child hood – how hard you had to study in order to get a graduation and then struggle for job, and now struggling in job for promotion, salary increase, profits etc. Do you want to do all of that again and again and again, from the beginning everytime? All this knowledge is waste. Only true knowledge we can get is of shastras, what is karma, and how to exhaust our karma. Predictive astrology may have limited uses in present life – but that knowledge cannot give you moksha! It will make you think that life is pre-destined and that you have nothing in your control.  If everything is pre-destined, why is the Karma assigned to you and not to “destiny”? If the Lord is the doer of everything, why is the karma not assigned to him? Isn’t he the one that must get Moksha instead of us? So that premise is faulty and needs a more deeper understanding of how the Lord gets involved in our daily activities.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

More about Karma

What you are facing or enduring in this life is NOT the result of any past karma. Karma is a baggage. We live in the “prakriti-mandala”. Uncertainty is one of the primary characteristics of prakriti. Krishna calls prakriti as “maya” in BG while telling Arjuna that he cannot unravel the mystery of the prakriti mandala. While the body is part of prakriti mandala, the atma is not. What maya means in this context is “that which is capable is creating unique and surprising things”. That is why uncertainty is an essential attribute of prakriti. While we own our action having acted out of free-will, the outcome of the action is not governed by our karma. It is governed by the uncertainty in prakriti.

If the outcome of the action is as we expected, we experience happiness. If the outcome is not as we expected, we experience unhappiness. When we experience happiness, we are spending the good karma, and when we are experiencing unhappiness, we are spending our papa-karma. In this manner, we need to exhaust the entire prarabdha in this life, and entire sanchita in future lives.  This is the theory of karma!

Now imagine, while it takes one a life-time to exhaust the prarabdha which is but a spoonful of karma from our sanchita baggage, how long it would take for us to exhaust the sanchita! The only way to exhaust the prarabdha and sanchita in one shot is surrendering at the feet of Sriman Narayana, the supreme Brahman. 

Glory to the Azhwars! Glory to Swami Ramanuja! Glory to the Acharyas!

Karma - Again!

Srimathe Raamaanujaaya nama:
Let us try to get a handle on the larger perspective regarding Karma.

Firstly there is Sanchita Karma – the huge baggage of karma we are all carrying from the millions of previous births. This is the “Universal set” of the individual karma carried by each and every atma. The Sanchita karma is owned by the atma at all times into eternity, having acquired them over millions or billions or even trillions of births.

Even though all atmas equal in the eyes of the lord and there is no discrimination by caste, color, religion, sex etc. (which atmas do not have in any case), each atma is different in its sanchita karma. There are trillions, nay, countless such atmas that exist in existence.

The important thing to understand is that this bagful of karma is all mixed up – karma from previous birth, the one before, the one from millions of births ago etc.

Secondly, there is prarabdha karma. This is nothing more than tea-spoonful of karma drawn from the sanchita karma. This is the karma we are born with in this life. This tea-spoonful of karma is what the Supreme Brahman, the Lord of this universe, has determined we will spend in this life. With the objective and anticipation that you will succeed in exhausting this tea-spoonful of karma in this life, the Lord makes to take birth in a certain family at a certain place that, at the time of birth he has determined, will help you exhaust that spoonful of karma.  

The second important thing to understand is that this tea-spoonful of prarabdha karma is also all mixed up – some karma from previous birth, some from the one before, some from the one you took millions of births ago.

The Supreme Brahman’s target for you is – “exhaust this tea-spoonful of karma in this life!”.  It is in order for you to achieve this, It has given you intelligence! Having given you intelligence, and the vedas and shastras that it created before it started creation, it expects you to acquire knowledge of shastras and live your life in accordance to the what it says. If you do that (i.e live life as per what shastras say), you would have exhausted the tea-spoonful prarabdha karma by the end of this life. However, the vast majority of us choose to ignore the shastras and live whichever way we feel like! Instead of following the teachings of the shastras implicitly without questioning them, we go by the teachings of the Newtons, the Darwins, the Hawkings’, and the Dawkins’. Therefore, instead of exhausting that tea-spoonful of prarabdha karma, we end this life having acquired an additional table-spoonful of karma that gets added to the Sanchita.

Moksha is that state we achieve when we have exhausted the entire sanchita karma baggage.  However, if we go on acquiring table-spoons of karma in each life, our sanchita only keeps growing and not diminishing. Nevertheless, the Lord, the creator of this universe has immense patience!  He will give more births, some as animals and plants in which you can only exhaust karma and cannot gain more. Why is it so? Because shastras do not tell animals or plants how to live their life! They only instruct human beings! Because, only in the human-life you have the eligibility to be governed by the laws of the shastras. Isn’t it then clear that – if we live according to what shastras say, we can exhaust our prarabdha. If we do not live according to what shastras say, we acquire papa-karma!

In an astrology forum a friend of mine stated, “I had mentioned that leaving out people for whom this is the last janma (there may not be many I suppose), for others it is better that they find out their weaker planets and do some parihara …”

Well, well, well, it is not predestined that this is the last Janma for some! It is an individual’s choice that you can make in this life!  It is for the sake of this realization and for the sake of making that individual effort to make this your last Janma he has endowed each and every human being with intelligence and free-will.

Now, if this has motivated you enough to make the decision that you want this to be your last Janma, read on! However, If you are questioning this or negating this, remember that you are doing it out of your free-will (and not destiny) and making the individual decision that you want to enjoy more sansaric life either back on planet earth or one of the other universes where He has created lifes very similar to ours here! If you have made such a decision, please know that it could take several million birth cycles before you could get another human birth. Also please be ware that when you get the next human birth, I may not be here to write about it on a forum like this, and you may not be here to read it. 

Now, if you have decided out of your free-will (and not destiny) that you want this to be your last Janma (i.e you have reached the state of mind – I have had it enough. I do not want any more lives on earth!!), then you might want to know the next steps. Yes, there is a clearly defined procedure. If you would like to know about it, and if you are serious about wanting this to be your last Janma, Please email me at sudarshan.go at gmail dot com.

Yes, this life can you be your last Janma – and you have the free-will to choose this to be your last Janma! No need to trouble astrology or astrologers to guess who you are going to be in the next birth, or who you were and what you did in previous births. All that is for time-pass after ascertaining that this is your last Janma! Don’t’ delay! Do it today!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Who does not want to be happy? Is there any in the 7 billion that does not want to?
However, in practical experience we find limitations to this happiness we feel.  The most important limitation is the ‘time”. Human happiness is always short-lived – sometimes it lasts only minutes. Occasionally it may last a few hours. Rarely it might last a day or few days. Almost never can it last a life time!
Contrast this with the perpetual state of happiness that we can live in another world - “That world” to be precise!
In “that world” we achieve equanimity with the Creator of all these Universes, in several factors – The most outstanding of them being the quality of happiness we experience.
However much we try, as long as we live in this world, in this human body, we cannot know, or estimate even to the nearest billion the quality of the happiness we would experience in “that world”. The human body is precisely the limitation to happiness in this world!
Neither the richest man in this world, nor the poorest man, neither the happiest man, nor the saddest man, just nobody on earth can ever, at any time of their present or future lives, imagine what the happiness in “that world” is like!
All the happiness we experience in this world is nothing compared to “that happiness”!
Here is an approximate comparison of happiness of the various beings:
Human Happiness < Happiness of Demi-gods (E.g. Indira, Varuna, Shiva etc.) by a factor of over a million
Happiness of Demi-gods (Indira, Varuna, Shiva etc.) < Happiness of secondary creator (Four-faced Brahma) by a factor of over a million
Secondary Creator’s Happiness <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<… The Creator’s Happiness or the happiness we get to experience in “that world”!
The experience of happiness in “that world” is simply incomparable.
We have to reach “that world” in order to experience “that happiness”
There is only one path that can take us to “that world”. It is called “that path”.
The key that opens the doors to “that path” is meditating on the primary cause of the Universe. The Creator is the primary cause of all the universes.
In order to create the various universes obtained the material from His own Body!
The Creator is the doer of the creation – so He took material from him own body and from it made several universes, in one of which we live.
He created all the tools and equipment that He used to assist him in this creation from His own Body.
Therefore, everything we can see in this universe, and cannot see in this universe, and other universes, including matter, space, air, land, water, black matter, black energy, primordial matter from which the scientists say 14 billion years ago this universe was created out of a Big Bang, - all of them form nothing but a miniscule part of His Body – perhaps one hair and nothing more!
So Huge He Is!
“That World” is thrice as large as the size of the all the manifest universes put together! Therefore it is large enough to hold all the residents of the all the universes He has created!
The Lord, the creator of all these universes is the only source that can open the doors for us to walk “that path”
He opens the doors for us to walk “that path” when we meditate sufficiently on Him.
We must plead with Him and please Him with our effort before He will open the doors for us.
Vedas are the body of knowledge He has given us.  He created them before he started Creation. In that body of knowledge he has detailed how we should live, and what pleases Him.
If we go on ignoring this body of knowledge, how can we expect to walk “that path” to reach “that world” and experience “that happiness”. On the contrary, if we do not live by commandments enshrined in that body of knowledge, how could we expect him to become pleased!
To live our daily life in compliance with the commandments enshrined in that body of knowledge is called Karma Yoga.
Our ancient perceptors and forefathers have interpreted that body of knowledge and extracted what is relevant for our daily life and provided easy to follow instructions on how we should live our daily life in compliance with the commandments enshrined in the body of knowledge.
These instructions include, but not limited to, performing Sandhyavandan three times a day, performing Brahma Yagna once a day, performing Kandarishi Tarpanam once a day, performing Pitru Tarpanam on Amavasya and other days dedicated to pitrus, respecting and remembering our acharyas every day, refraining from telling lies at all times, refraining from doing anything the body of knowledge has forbidden us from doing at all times etc.
The body of knowledge is non-discriminatory in that it does not discriminate on nationality, caste, creed, color, race, etc. These instructions are applicable to all of human-kind irrespective of country  and religion one is born into!
This blog also does not discriminate its reader on nationality, religion, caste, creed, color, race etc. I share this for the benefit of all of human-kind.
Sarve Jana: Sukhino Bhavantu
May all living beings in all the universes created by the one and only Creator Lord Narayana, live happily and in peace ever after!