Thursday, February 2, 2012
Srimathe Raamaanujaaya nama:
Sanchita Karma and Moksha
The Jeevatma is as timeless as the Paramatma the Creator of all the universes in existence. The Jeevatma carries with it timeless karma called sanchita karma. That makes sanchita karma uncountable. Even though I have stated an example in my earlier post of a bank with 100 gold coins and 1000 thorns, it was only to illustrate a point of how it works, and should not be misconstrued that you can count your sanchita karma and prarabdha karma. Even though the prarabhda karma is a sub-set of the sanchita karma, it cannot be counted. It can be said, you may succeed in counting the stars in the sky but you cannot succeed in counting your karma.
When it is so huge, timeless and uncountable, how can an individual Jeevatma aspire to exhaust the seemingly inexhaustible karma to achieve Moksha? Doesn’t it sound as if all Jeevatmas are therefore predestined and/or precondemned to repeated cycles of lives in the samsara sagara?
Here is where an important caveat is needed.
The important caveat is “On its own”!
That means, the Jeevatma cannot count its karma on its own. That means, the Jeevatma CANNOT BY ITS OWN EFFORT exhaust the sanchita karma! The Jeevatma needs external help from somebody that is capable of effective interference to make the sanchita karma finite such that the Jeevatma can manage it and finally attain moksha. If there is somebody that can effectively interfere and make the sanchita finite, then that means that that somebody also possesses the capability to make the sanchita karma “zero”!
There is only one such being in this world that even has visibility into our karma – both sanchita and prarabhda – and that is the Creator, the Paramatma, Lord Sriman Narayana. Afterall the Jeevatma is nothing but an extension of his own body. Does He not know his own body?
Now that we know who can do it, let us see what we need to do in order for him cancel our karma and make way for our moksha.
First thing we need to do is karma. If we live according to what the shastra have said that pleases Him. The first steps we take in that direction, he starts revealing more about shastras. The more we learn about shastras, the more we get interested in living by it. If we reach that level, He cancels a part of the karma that has been obstructing us from performing Bhakti towards HIM. The moment that karma is removed, we reach the realization that Bhakti towards HIM is the way to Moksha. As we keep growing in that Bhakti, slowly, he starts cancelling our sanchita karma until we reach a stage when only prarabhda is left.
Please note that this growth of bhakti can go on for several more cycles of life. But it would be finite number of births – we cannot say how many. But the interesting thing is, with each birth, we re-start the bhakti from where we left in previous birth. This uniqueness of continuity from one life cycle to another is possible only with Bhakti Yoga. It is not possible with Jnana Yoga or Karma Yoga. With Bhakti, Jnana about the Supreme Brahman keeps growing side by side. So Bhakti is not blind – all the Bhakti Yoga practitioners – Swami Haridas, Sant Tukaram, Sant Tulsidas, Sant Surdas, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Srila Prabupada, the Tamil Azhwars etc. – all of them were equally Jnana yogis that have poured all that knowledge about the Supreme Brahmam in their literary works. To consider them as simple Bhakti Yoga practitioners is entirely wrong. We read in our history book that these people were primarily associated with Bhakti Movement in Indian history. They were great awakeners that passed on indispensable knowledge about the Supreme Brahmam.
Therefore it may be concluded that through Bhakti, Jnana about the Supreme Brahmam grows. As we grow in that Bhakti and Jnana together, we become like a ripe fruit ready for Him to pluck and take with Him to the Nithya Vibhuti – aka Sri Vaikuntham, “That World” where everything is glorious – where we spend time with HIM, ever in His Service.
None of this is pre-destined!! It is we, in this flesh and blood, endowed with intelligence and freewill, who have to become aware that our own effort is futile when it comes to exhausting our Karma, It is we who have to make the decision to plead to the Holiest Father of Holy Fathers for mercy to pardon our Sanchita karma, It is we who have make the effort learn the shastras and live by what it states so that we please HIM, It is we who have to walk the path of Bhakti when he responds with canceling the karma that has been obstructing us from doing Bhakti ….All these things we have to do with our free-will without questioning His Authority and without using futile rationality to judge the shastras. All of the shastras are absolutely valid in the same form as they exist in every yuga, yes, including in the present materialistic kaliyuga. No changes. Yes, it is possible to live according to the shastras in the materialistic Kaliyuga also.
Don’t forget, we are presently living in the 28th kaliyua of the present manvantara, the rule of the present Manu. That means, in the previous 27 chaturyugas also Manu Dharma Shastra has existed and people have lived by it. What makes the 28th kaliyuga unique? In the 27 kaliyugas in the past also billions of people existed and practiced what the vedas and shastras teach. There were many religions that coexisted even in those kaliyugas. Only they might have been known by another name. The same Britishers, Americans, Japanese, Christians, Muslims, Jews existed on earth in some form or other – some may have been plants, some insects, some human being out of which some may have been atheists, some may been theists, some may have been neutral…etc. Logic and rationality existed in the last 27 kaliyugas also. People made scientific progress then also. Therefore, to think that we have made some extraordinary progress in science and technology in the last 300 years is wrong. What we are able to see (or not see) through the Hubble, our rishis were able to see with naked eye or the mind’s eye or the intellegence-eye. Therefore, there is nothing unique about the 28th kaliyuga of the 8th Manvantara we are living in, in the 51st year of Brahma on a Brahma-day that we call as Shweta-varaha-kalpa. About 155 trillion years have passed since this Brahma took over as Brahma. There were Brahmas before him that lived full Brahma life of 311 trillion human years. There are going to be newer Brahmas and Shivas in future. Through all of this, the Primary Creator, The Brahmam, the Holiest of Holy Fathers, the Allah of all Allahs, Lord Sriman Narayana remains one and unique – “Ekameva Advitiyam” tell the vedas – He is indivisibly one, and all of us, including Hindus, Christians, Muslims, and all the 7 billion people living on earth form a miniscule part of His body! He does not discriminate. Everybody is a part of His body. All Jeevatmas are his children. Just because somebody refuses to tell His name proudly as Sriman Narayana, he does not get angry with them – instead, He has put business rules in place for the worlds to take care of themselves without His interference in its day to day affairs. That business rule is the theory of karma. He alone can help you exhaust your Sanchita karma – not your individual effort. It is far far far beyond individual effort to even understand how much sanchita karma is left in the baggage!