Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Karma and responsibility - article by Yildiz Sethi




Here is a very good article written by

Ms Yildiz Sethi, a Vedic Astrologer, professional counsellor and educator living and working in  Brisbane, Australia.



I concur with her views on Karma expressed in this article (posted below) but with an exception - on Freewill.

Free will is also destined.

To think that we have freewill is also Maya.

The occasions that appear in our lives where we think we exercise our freewill is also part of the Design with which we are born.


When we realise that Freewill also is as per destiny, our Ego or I-ness will get diluted paving way for the realisation that we are part of this cosmos and there is nothing called 'ours' or 'mine'. When we do this we wont claim ownership for our actions, nor develop attachment to results of actions. In this scenario, the karmic action- reaction gets slowed down and ultimately becomes null. That is how we conquer the cycle of rebirths.


I did a series on this issue long ago in a Yahoo group.

I hope to write again in this blog with additional inputs sometime sooner.


-         jayasree






Responsibility and Karma





Author :     Yildiz Sethi

Article Published : Sept 2002 Issue 44 Living Now


We came from the cosmos and ultimately we return to the cosmos.


We have evolved from the Big Bang. The elements making up our body cells are derived from the same elements that make up the stars and planets of our solar system and the universe. When we die our body elements return to the earth and our soul returns to the Oneness or Life force that is the ultimate Creator. According to Buddhism, Hinduism, Zen and other Eastern Philosophies and more recently Western spiritual awareness, we are in a cycle of reincarnation. We became separated from our creator to live life in a material world, in order to rediscover our ultimate spiritual nature and reconnect with our spiritual roots. The events and situations of our lives on earth are to provide the experiences necessary to aid our soul development towards realisation and enlightenment. Once reached, we can reconnect and become "at one" with the Creator in a state of Nirvana (bliss) and break free of the cycle of reincarnation on earth.




Once in the earthly state, we become enmeshed in an illusionary state called Maya. In this state we are initially aware only of our material and physical desires and emotions. However, as we gorge ourselves with material and sensual gratification of all kinds, we gradually begin to realise that this is not the path for true and lasting happiness. We start to look deeper into our souls. The Maya or illusion begins to unravel and dissipate, as we become aware of our soul state of Being and its connection. However, even though we are all on the same journey ultimately, we are travelling down different paths and at different rates. There is no need to fear for yourself or your loved ones, if you appear to be following totally different paths and also at a different rates. We are each here to fulfil a different purpose in this life, each as valid and as valuable as the next. Salvation will be there for each of us when we are ready for it. Beware of coercing or bullying friends and lovers into meetings, readings and teachings that they do not want at this time. They may have already learned the lessons that you seek now and may not need to learn them again, or they may get to them later, or in future lives. It is important to respect your own and others experiences equally. By pushing people into knowledge or situations that they do not want, even though we might justify it as "being for their own good", we are denying them the validity of their own experience. Don't be afraid of travelling your path alone. Your loved ones will seek the knowledge they need when they are ready.

Spiritual Contracts



At the end of each life the soul reconnects with the Oneness and looks at the collective past Karmas (actions) of the soul. It is each soul that judges itself, not an outside force or God that judges us. The soul assesses its own progress and decides which experiences it didn't understand fully last time, or which ones would further aid the development on the journey to enlightenment. At this point Spiritual contracts or understandings between souls takes place. You may need to re-run a situation with a parent or partner, because you didn't quite understand the dynamics or the experience last time. In this way we choose our parents or our partners and the events we need to experience in this life. Of course, many of these Spiritual contracts will be anything but easy or comfortable experiences. In fact they may be painful and traumatic. However the soul (while it is free of the earthly trappings of pain and sorrow) knows that these are the necessary experiences for our evolution out of the Maya state.

New Life



Between lives, the soul will wait in the Oneness until the time is ripe for their new incarnation. Once the planets around the earth are in the correct position to deliver the experiences it has contracted to have, the new soul manifests in their parents, as they make love. The position of the planets at birth forms the new soul's astrology chart from which the personality and events of the life can be predicted and analysed. The drama of this unique life will unfold from this point onwards. The new soul will see everything with new eyes. Maya is effective in allowing the soul to forget its Spiritual contracts and its ultimate soul connection with the Oneness. The illusion is complete. However, once an awakening has started to take place, it may continue to evolve in future incarnations until enlightenment is achieved.

Karma (Action)



Isaac Newton discovered a law in Physics involving action and reaction in the physical world. To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Cosmic spiritual law works in a similar manner. What we give out comes back to us. What goes around comes around. Each of us during many life cycles will have given out both positive and negative Karmas. The highs and lows of our life will often be our Karma coming back to us. The truth is that we cannot escape it. Understanding this idea about Karma can be so helpful to our earthly existence, if we can accept it fully. It can help us to take full responsibility for all aspects of our lives; emotions and relationships, career, and other life events and situations. If we are having, or have had, difficult relationships with a parent, a good understanding of Karma and spiritual contracts can help us to stop blaming the parent and look deeper into the situation to find out what had to be experienced or learned from the relationship. Each of us has unique truths to learn about ourselves, as part of our development through our life situations and experiences. If the experience has caused us to dig deeply into our personal resources (or seek help to this end) and has resulted in a deeper understanding of ourselves and others, then it has probably served its purpose. However, if we are still blaming others for our feelings and situation, then it is likely that we have missed the point. Remember, our thoughts and actions will come back to us at some point. So negative thinking, such as blame, or resentment will harm us much more than they will harm the person they are directed at.


Fate/ Free Will


Fate and free will can work in harmony in our lives. Fate, both good and bad, are as a result of our past actions or Karmas. For the most part, it cannot be avoided. However, once faced with a situation, we are presented with a choice. How to respond. In this we do have free will and we can use our creative power to create a better future for ourselves. We need to be mindful of our thoughts and actions now as these will return to us as Karma for our future. In this we can truly fulfil our Human creative potential, if we can only truly believe in it and act on it.




A true understanding of Karma and the sense of responsibility it brings are ultimately extremely optimistic. However, working out what areas of responsibility are legitimately yours and which are not, is a major challenge for most. Being blaming and resentful, or the opposite, trying to take the world on your shoulders, are both unbalanced conditions that many of us have experienced at some point in our lives and lead to emotional turmoil and confusion generally. For those of us who find it hard to change deeply ingrained negative thought patterns, it should be attempted as a gradual process that may become more accelerated over time. The secret is to deal with one thought or issue at a time and don't attempt to change everything in one go. Effective psychotherapy and counselling can help in the quest to come to terms with the self, drive out fear and allow the light of oneness and wholeness to filter through.



Wholeness dispels dis-ease.


Such awareness via psychology can work in unison with spiritual teachings to allow us to truly grow into adulthood and take our place as fully responsible spiritual beings.





Our lives are to be experienced in their entirety. Joy, exhilaration, pain and sorrow are to be felt as part of life and not diverted by repression or denial. Emotions are the language of the soul. They need to be acknowledged as an essential part of our physical, emotional and spiritual human existence. We are multi layered. Each of us ultimately needs to take responsibility for who we are. For some of us finding out "who we are" might be one of this life's challenges.


The issues in your life are your challenges and are there to be dealt with as best you can. Only through acceptance of yourself and your fallibilities, can you become Whole and at peace with yourself and hence truly non-judgemental towards others.




About the Author


Yildiz Sethi B.Ed. Grad. Dip. Couns. Dip Clinical Hypnptherapy NLP Pract. Family Constellations practitioner is a Vedic Astrologer, professional counsellor and educator living and working in  Brisbane, Australia. Yildiz is available for astrology readings and astrology counselling and teaches Vedic astrology in classes or by correspondence. Her insight into psychology through the Vedic astrology chart can be immensely helpful in giving her clients clarity with their issues. This usually leads to a much shorter period in sorting out issues and making people feel well within themselves. Yildiz may be contacted by email




Anonymous said...

I read your article on creation theory recently in Tamil Hindu. It's two years old, written in 2010.
In your comments you mentioned as below...

"அந்த அடிப்படை முதல் படைப்பு எப்படி வந்தது என்பதை வேத மதம் சொல்கிறது. அதேபோல முதல் செயல் (கர்மா) எப்படி ஆரம்பமானது என்பதும் பிரம்ம சூத்திரத்தில் ஆராயப்படுகிறது."

I would like to know how the first karma and creation happened. My understanding is that since the creation is in cycles we cannot know the cause of first karma or first creation. Thanks in advance.

Scout Pandit

Narayana said...

Namaskara Smt. Jayasree,

I have a question on free will and destiny. I also perused your postings on Bhakti-list archives before posting this question. There is still some confusion in my mind. Let us consider a scenario like this:

A person X does not take care of his parents in their old age. As a result, the parents are undergoing suffering. Now one can cite 2 reasons for their suffering:

a) It was in the parents' destiny to suffer. Perhaps they committed some paapa in their previous birth and are repaying for it. There is no scope for free will here

b) The parents may not have given good values to the child while bringing him up and as a result they are suffering for their own negligence.

If we consider option a) the parents were bound to suffer and son is just an instrument. But, the son is also sinning here because he is not practicing his putra dharma. How do we reconcile these two seemingly irreconcilable things? If it was destined for the parents to suffer and son is an instrument, why should the son pay for the sin? Is the son being made to sin because as part of his evolution towards Moksha, destiny decided that he has to go through this experience. When does this seemingly never ending cycle break? If I were to take liberty to express karma theory in equations, would this make sense?

Moksha means: sanchita + prarabdha + agami = 0

prarabdha is a non-linear function of satva, rajas and tamas

sanchita = f (prarabdha, agami)
agami = f(sanchita, prarabdha)

Please advise.


jayasree said...

@ Scout Pandit

We can not know the first Karma and the first Creation but there are philological explanations to establish these two.

In the sentences written in that article,

"அந்த அடிப்படை முதல் படைப்பு எப்படி வந்தது என்பதை வேத மதம் சொல்கிறது. அதேபோல முதல் செயல் (கர்மா) எப்படி ஆரம்பமானது என்பதும் பிரம்ம சூத்திரத்தில் ஆராயப்படுகிறது."

the reference is to 2 important issues of concern to us (the jivas)
(1) how did the jiva enter into the cycle of creation at the first instance? (In other words the first birth)
(2) how did the first trigger (of thought and action) happen so that the karmic cycle began? (In other words the first karma).

Before analyzing these two, we must give a thought on what the sruti texts say on creation and the first creation.

There are two types of Injunctions, one saying that there is no beginning and the other saying that there was a beginning like in the injunction, ""In the beginning It was only One without a second".

Reconciling these two we deduce that creation is cyclical because only then there is no way to pin point that Creation began here or here. Another deduction is that a certain point of reference is taken up by the sruti texts to refer to a specific sequence of events - like in the above injunction and then in "It willed May I become many". So some specific point is taken up as a beginning point.

In that beginning the jiva that enters into created world is already carrying a karmic baggage. It is in accordance with that karmic baggage, it takes up the body and discharges the karma.

Now the question is how long this was happening. Was there any point from where this cycle started? As far as Creation cycle is concerned, it is eternal. There was no beginning. But can we say the same thing for the Jivas going into these cycles?

No, we can't say. It is because the main purpose of sruti texts is to guide the jivas to come out of this cycle of births. If the cycle can be ended, then it is presumed that the cycle had a beginning!! That is we say that there was a first birth for the Jiva!

One will find this succinct explanation in "Acharya Hrudhayam" - and the commentary by PBA Swamy (Pratiwadhi Bhayankaram Annan Swamy).

In the 12th verse it is said that there are 2 two things that a Jiva is born entangled with. One is Bhagavad sambhandam (connection with Paramatman) and another is Karma. The former is ஒழிக்க ஒழியாது - பழவடியேன் - cannot be removed as the connection with Paramatman exists for ever even before or after It willed 'may I become many'.

But the Karmic bondage is removable, because it is a வந்தேறி (vandhERi) - having come to cling to the Jiva. It is vandhERi because it can manifest only when the Jiva gets connected with birth (or in other words Prakruthi or Prakruthi sambhandam).

Now a question comes , as anything connected with Prakruthi is destructible, why then do texts say that Karma is Anaadhi – beginning less?
Writing on this PBA Swamy says “ வந்தேறியான ப்ருக்ருதி சம்பந்தத்தை அநாதி என்று சொல்வானேன்? என்னில், வந்தேறின காலத்துக்கு அடி தெரியாமையாலே, அநாதி என்று ப்ரமாணங்கள் சொல்லுகையாலே சொல்லுகிறோம். அடி தெரியாத போது, வந்தேறி என்று எப்படி சொல்லலாமெனில், ஒரு நாள் வரையிலே எம்பெருமானால் அது அழியக் காண்கையாலே வந்தேறியே”
It is explained that even though Karma is said to be anAdhi (beginningless), it nevertheless must have had a beginning. The logic is that anything that has an end, must have had a beginning and therefore not anAdhi. If karmic journey can find an end when the jiva attains Liberation or Moksha, it pre-supposes that it must have had a beginning. However it is called anAdhi, due to the reason that its beginnings are difficult to ascertain.


jayasree said...

Having established that there was beginning for karma, in the beginning less beginning, it presupposes that the Jiva also had a beginning in its cycle of birth though it by itself is eternal.
Such a beginning of a (sequence of) creation is explained in Chandogya Upanishad.

In the beginning when Brahman was satyam, gyanam and anantham, it begins the creation. There takes place tri-partition by which Fire, water and prithvi are created. These are divided further. Each one dividing into half and one half is retained while the other half is sub-divided into two which combine with other parts of elements. Other Upanishads speak about such division of all the 5 elements which is known as panchIkaranam. In this each element is divided into half while the other half is divided into 1/8 of the whole. The one half is retained as it is while the other parts (1/8) go on to mix with other elements.

Similarly, division of the three gunas takes place. (BG deals with these gunas from 14th chapter onwards.)

Each one is divided into half with the other half sub-dividing into three, going to join the other gunas.

In this way, one half of each guna is retained in its purest form while the sub-divided parts combine with those of the other two. In this way there is formed pure sattwa, pure rajasa and pure tamasa. All the other combinations have the mix of three. Thus 1/6 of all gunas is sattwa in any combination.

At this stage, let me explain 2 scenarios, one at the assumed beginning where the jiva makes its first birth and two, when the already burdened jiva enters creation.

The 2nd scenario is easy to comprehend, because depending on the kind of accrued guna mix, the jiva enters the suitable form.

But in the first scenario, how did the birth take place? At this stage there are two types of injunctions which look contradictory. One is that ‘It became many’ implying that It was present in all things that sprang from It as Many. Another injunction(s) is that It created the worlds and then entered into them. This is contrary to the previous injunction. How can something which is already inseparably present in all thing enter the things?

But it is reconciled in the 2 scenarios we have taken up. The 2nd injunction goes with the 2nd scenario (once the worlds are created, It, embodied in the jivas enters the worlds). The 1st injunction goes with the 1st scenario. (It became many).
In the Trikarana division of Gunas, the pure saattwic, immediately after creation become Nithya sUris, who attain Brahmanhood instantaneously – so say the texts.


jayasree said...

We may ask why we didn’t become the Nithya Suri at creation in the beginning less beginning? The reply is that the Jivas embodied with the Self that ‘happen’ to come into contact with pure Sattwa (Shuddha sattwa) were born as Nithya Suris. Our Jivas though embodied with the Self did not come into contact with pure sattwa but with various other combinations – is the only answer.

This shows there is an element of randomness and uncertainty in the hypothetical first point of the beginning less beginning. Or else some jivas becoming Nithya Suris for no effort of theirs cannot happen. It is here the concept of effort or volition or self will or free will comes into picture. The embodied Prakruthi is all saatwic, and so the Nitya suris are all sattwic. The underlying Guna determines the action at the first instance too.

Before proceeding further I would suggest a reading of all my articles on Free will vs Pre-determination in the following site under my name “jasn sn” in the chronological order.

Before making any queries on Freewill, I request the readers to read all the 10 articles in this link, to check if I have answered them anywhere there. Those articles were written after taking into account many questions. That is why I say this.

The first trigger or first volition comes due to the effect of the Guna-mix in the body that the jiva has taken up. So that cannot be called as free-will. At my current level of understanding, free-will is possible for the Jiva only at Jiva state – i.e., in between births when it has a level of freedom to choose what it wants to learn in the next birth. But such a free-will cannot be exercised once inside a body because it will be then limited and controlled by Gunas.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Madam for such a detailed explanation. Appreciate it.

Scout Pandit

jayasree said...

Namaskara Mr Narayan,

There are several issues connected with your queries, that I was wondering whether I would write the reply as an article. May be for the time being, let me write my insights here.

First question.

//A person X does not take care of his parents in their old age. As a result, the parents are undergoing suffering. Now one can cite 2 reasons for their suffering:

a) It was in the parents' destiny to suffer. Perhaps they committed some paapa in their previous birth and are repaying for it. There is no scope for free will here

b) The parents may not have given good values to the child while bringing him up and as a result they are suffering for their own negligence.

If we consider option a) the parents were bound to suffer and son is just an instrument. But, the son is also sinning here because he is not practicing his putra dharma. How do we reconcile these two seemingly irreconcilable things?//

There are 3 ways by which not taking care of one’s parents happen.

(1) Not taking care of the parents deliberately. That is, the person will be in a position to take care of his parents in some way, but he ignores and does not care to help them in times of need and does not bother at all.

(2) Taking care of parents some times and not taking care at some other times, though it could have been possible to take care at those times too.

(3) Wishing to take care of the parents but not able to do due to circumstances for which he is not responsible. Like monetary help, physical help and just spending time with them to satisfy them are some of the happenings which a person would like to do, try his best to do but then could not do due to inability to get money, do physical service and spare time. The willingness and earnestness will be there, but prevented from doing by causes beyond his control.

In all these circumstances, the parents do continue to suffer. Any suffering is the result of past karma, there is no difference of opinion on that in Hindu Thought.

As per scenario (a) you have mentioned, they suffer due to some past karma , but there is no talk or scope for free will here.

In scenario (b) whether they have inculcated values in their children or not, the suffering is there and that is traced to a past karma, not necessarily connected with their upbringing. Whether they have inculcated values in their children or not, the child now grown into an adult must know by himself that he must rise to the occasion and be of help to them. If the son or daughter (child now grown up) thinks that the parents deserve the suffering for not having brought them up well or not having inculcated values in them, he is incurring a sin, for, he is deliberately avoiding to help them in their times of distress.

In this scenario, the son is the instrument causing the distress. In this situation the sin is all the more severe. May be the astrological combinations for people coming under the 3 categories might give an idea about the karmic effect of this behaviour.


jayasree said...

The person coming under category 1 will be born in Adhama yoga (with sun and Moon in mutual Kendra {1,4,7 or 10 places to each other} in his birth time chart in the next birth and be bereft of all material happiness, education and mental faculties and lead a life of distress in poverty.

If the person in this first category had at times indirectly helped his parents through some other persons, the severity of this karma would come down.

Speaking on this Lord Brahma recommends Amavasya vratha and Thila homa to be done by the person in the current birth.
The person coming under category 2 will be born in Sama yoga (with Moon in 2nd place to a Kendra to Sun) in his birth time chart in the next birth and will experience half of what is told for category 1. He must also undertake Amavasya vratha throughout his life to tide over this karma.

The person coming under category 3 will be born in Varishta yoga (with Moon in 3rd place to a Kendra to Sun) in his birth time chart in the next birth and would not experience any of the distress told for category 1.

The rationale is that come whatever be the position of parents – they may be horrible ones in behaviour, the son / daughter is not supposed to abandon them or refuses to take care of their need. In other words, they must not become an ‘instrument’ for their suffering.
I have already written something on this in an article in this link.

By not becoming an “instrument “ for the suffering of the parents they are not incurring any fresh karma. But then the parents might continue to suffer, which is because of their karma.


jayasree said...

2nd question:-
//If it was destined for the parents to suffer and son is an instrument, why should the son pay for the sin?//
From the above explanations, it will be seen that a person can become instrumental for the sufferings of the parents either deliberately or unintentionally. When he does deliberately – irrespective of the reason – he incurs counter karma. When he genuinely wants to help his parents, and he is not able to do so, due to circumstances or unavoidable reasons, he does not incur any karma. What is important is the genuine concern and attempt to help. What matters is the attitude. This is applicable to any situation where there is someone suffering and you are in a position to reduce that suffering but you are not rising to the occasion. In the case of parents, such a deliberate attitude would go as Prarabhdha karma. The result had to be experienced later.


jayasree said...

3rd question:-

//Is the son being made to sin because as part of his evolution towards Moksha, destiny decided that he has to go through this experience. When does this seemingly never ending cycle break?//

The son is made to sin due to the Guna –mix in him, but that is not a justification for doing the act of not taking care of parents or making them suffer. It is not philologically correct to say that this is part of his evolution to Moksha but correct to say if we consider this as a necessary process. But then one could skip this process (of sinning) in this particular example of causing sufferings to the parents, because the scriptural injunctions are such that ‘Matru devo bhava, pithru devo bhava’ and therefore cause no harm to them. How could one say that this sin (in the above case) is part of evolution to Moksha when the scriptures make it clear that one must not make the parents suffer?

Going against the do’s and don’ts of the scriptures is where the sages have discussed about Free will!

Sages have argued this part by saying that since the scriptures have laid down do’s and don’ts for people, it shows that a person is expected to follow do’s or don’ts. That means he has to exercise his ‘ will’ to follow the do’s and don’ts. Or else why should the scriptures make those injunctions?

This is countered by the reply that even though scriptures have laid down the do’s and don’ts and the person knows them very well, how many of them follow those injunctions? If we say that the person has the freewill he could have easily followed the injunctions and attained better level. But that he doesn’t do as per scriptures show that there is something else that is pulling him away from doing them. The pulling one is the Guna-mix.

So when doing or not doing as per injunctions, it is the Guna mix that controls. But then what use for those injunctions?


jayasree said...

The use of the injunctions is that by constantly hearing those do’s and don’ts, the Jiva attains a level of Guna mix that picks up the rationale of the injunctions. This happens by the Lord giving them the Buddhi! “To them ever steadfast and serving Me with affection, I give that ‘Buddhi-yoga’ by which they come unto Me”. This verse placed at 10-10 in Bhagawad Gita is of utmost importance that shows when the connect with the lord happens and how a person learns and then acts due to the Buddhi Yoga given by Him and not by his own efforts or capability.

Bhagavan says unmincingly in 10-10 that he will give buddhi yoga (dadaami buddhi yogam) to the one who meditates s on Him. This can further be elaborated from Daivasura sampath vibhaga yogam, whereby the Lord lists the auspicious qualities. The one steeped on these qualities at some time strikes the threshold limit, whereby the Lord steps in to give ‘dadaami yogam’. But what is this threshold limit is not known to us.

But He as the kshethragjyan in the kshethra called individual self, is the Ruler of the self giving it smrithi (remembrance ) and gyanam (15-15). The entire Purushotthama yogam clarifies the relationship between Him and him.

But when the self realizes Him as Yogeshwaran who as inner Ruler does everything and that he is discharging his orders as His instrument (nimitthani bhava), the last verse of BG gets into place (yathra yogeshwara krishno, yathra paartho dhanur dharah..). For this to happen the self has to do karma phala tyaagam. (verses 12-10, 12-11, 12-12 and the ever famous sarva dharmaan parithyajya) but still be in battle-preparedness, like Paartha as dhanur-dhari.

In other words, the self must be ever zealous in action, with awareness that it is Him who as inner Ruler, Yogeshwaran, is doing action through Him. When such realization comes, whatever be the karmic balance, whatever be the Guna balance all of them are waived by Him. Brahma sutras go farther to tell that the punya balance of the self in Release goes to his well-wishers and friends and the papa balance to his detractors. This is the process of evolution to Moksha.
In this process, the jiva becoming his instrument can happen only when the jiva follows the injunctions of Do’s and don’ts. By making the parents suffer and not attempting to do anything to mitigate that suffering, the jiva does not come in the line of Paramatman’s grant of Buddhi yogam. Such persons, as the Lord has told in BG would go in to degraded states. “Those malicious and cruel evil doers, most degraded of men, I hurl perpetually into the wombs of auras only in these worlds” (BG 16-19)


jayasree said...

Taking up what I said in the above comment let me explain further.

//The use of the injunctions is that by constantly hearing those do’s and don’ts, the Jiva attains a level of Guna mix that picks up the rationale of the injunctions. This happens by the Lord giving them the Buddhi!//

This can be understood from the example of following traffic rules. There are do's and don'ts of traffic rules. More often than not we don't follow traffic rules, unless a police man stands guard or if there is a mechanism to catch you if we err. When we know that we will be punished if we don't follow the rules, we will become habituated to following the rules - say applying the brakes even as we see the orange light. It becomes a kind of automatic and involuntary action to heed to the traffic rules. This is similar to following the scriptural injunctions which in course of time becomes a habit. Once you have that as a habit, you don't err, as you won't err to attract retribution from the traffic police. Adherence to do's and don'ts is not connected with free will but discharging the will of God (traffic rules).

But when you don't follow the traffic rules, you end up in accidents which are of your making. You are so sure that you wont be caught and therefore ignore the rules. If you find yourself in a mess, then you only are responsible. In the karmic cycle, this happens when you are propelled by your Guna mix that is manifest as your thought, word and action.

Taking cue from the traffic rule example, unless the fear of retribution is there the person can not behave well - or in other words can not have his guna-mix tamed.

This is explained in the Ramanuja's commentary to Brahma Sutra 2-4-41 as follows. Though it is said (in Kausheetaki upanishad 3-8) that "He makes those whom He will raise do good deeds", it does not mean that God Himself makes man to do good or evil deeds. It means that He rewards or favours those who are resolved to be virtuous by aiding them in their resolve and vice versa. This is the background idea of BG verse that He will hurl the evil doers into asuric wombs. (16-19)


jayasree said...

//If I were to take liberty to express karma theory in equations, would this make sense?

Moksha means: sanchita + prarabdha + agami = 0

prarabdha is a non-linear function of satva, rajas and tamas

sanchita = f (prarabdha, agami)
agami = f(sanchita, prarabdha)//

No one can cancel off Karma. Moksha does not mean cancelling out karma. As told above it means adjusting the Guna-mix in such a way that one is all sattwa.

Paramatman is All sattwa , therefore by becoming all-sattwa one attains Brahmanhood.
Looking at your equations, it is
Agami = sanchita + Prarabhdha
Yes, it can be said that Prarabhdha is a non linear function of Sattwa, rajas and tamas.

For that matter, even sanchita and Agami are also functions of Sattwa, rajas and tamas and not as you have written.

Agami is hypothetical, Sanchitha is unmanifest whereas Prarabhdha is manifest.

But what we have to be concerned is not these karmas but the Gunas. The Chapter, Daivasura sampath vibhaga yogam helps in knowing the auspicious qualities to rise in sattwa.

The gunas also do not cancel each other.
The guna-mix at the time of birth becomes the basis for our personality, for how we behave. At any one time one guna takes precedence over the others and deluded by stimulus, one ‘catches’ the appropriate emotion of that guna, at a time. Yes, one catches the emotion like magnet attracting iron fillings. For example, we say we ‘get’ angry, while one can not be anger personified all the time. It is a perplexing notion how and where these gunas have their adhishtaanam!! But that they are there as signature of a person and are crucial instruments in karmic bondage are what sruti and BG make out.


jayasree said...

Why buddhi yogam dadaami?

At my present level of understanding I can say that God has a role at 2 levels in this context. He as the in-dweller is with us always. He is also the 5 th cause in bringing out the results of action. (18-14){The first 4, namely the adhishtaanam (sharira here), kartha (self), the indriyas (influenced by the guna-mix) and the actions are about the self as Kshethragjyan and prakrithi as kshethra. The 5th cause is ‘daivam’, the Self, the Inner ruler. }

But hardly we realize His presence in us and keep doing karma thinking ourselves as the doers. Once the knowledge of the Brahman increases due to (10-4 &5) the seeker is engrossed in talks of Brahman (10 –9) It is at this moment, He gives Buddhi yogam (10-10)

This has several implications. Until then He is inside as the In-dweller. He is also the 5th cause for giving the results of karma. But when the seeker realizes Him in His greatness, a kind of attraction takes place.

It is like how I keep telling to keep our mind free of scripts. He can not enter the mind already scripted differently.

But if the mind is scripted only about Him, He is able to flow more into the mind – now that the mind is already receptive to Him. For this receptivity to happen, the mind must be having scripts of Him and not of nature different from Him.

This is where the IMPORTANCE of having RIGHT knowledge about Him comes.

This buddhi yogam dadaami also denotes that He indeed has His say in our devotion. It is not that I am devoted, I have bhakti etc. Bhagavan does have a say / does influence our thoughts is being made out by this line.

This is supported by sruti vachan that He is attained by one WHOM HE CHOOSES. (Mundaka).

The choice is not ours.

To think of Him is our ONLY choice.

To attain Him is not our choice too (renounce this phala too, says He)

It is here the Lila comes in place –which is something personal happening between the seeker and the sought, - a lila where the two players enjoy the game and not that, one is in karmic bond and the other as Lord overseeing - till the equation becomes knower = the known.


If any doubts, please ask.

jayasree said...

In the context of explanation as above, I wish to say that what we hear from so many people saying that Hinduism is very diverse and recommends many ways to spiritual growth etc etc, the fact is that whatever that could be, the final emancipation is only as explained in the above comment. For me what these people say are just words, hollow words said without understanding Vedantha.

Sri Rama said...

Thank you Mam.

Tears almost soaked my eyes with the explanation and details given in the above replies.

I am trying to observe what makes me choose what I choose and feel helplessness in changing my thinking habits and patterns. I cannot break free of it and feel very burdened by my thoughts. I try to do analysis after the fact and even then rarely can reach conclusions about why I did what I did.

The information you have provided about the guna-mix is immensely helpful and will remind me why I need to chant and meditate on Lord Krishna with more devotion.

Jai Sree Rama.

jayasree said...

Dear Sri Rama,

Introspection is a sign of progress towards knowledge of the Self. You would certainly overcome the obstacles and become the eligible candidate for 'dadaami buddhi yogam' of Bhagawan.

Reading your comment, I think I can post me entire comment to Mr Narayanan's questions as a separate post. Not many would be reading the comments. By posting them as an article, I think many readers would get to know them.

Sri Rama said...

Sure Mam. Posting such beautiful information as a separate post would be helpful for serious seekers and would give awareness how we are bound by the guna-mix. I am sure not many people are aware of this and even if aware are helpless how to approach it to break free of it. What helps me in your replies are the details and the logical steps to how to get the grace of Lord Krishna and the explanation from the Bhagavad Gita verses.

//To think of Him is our ONLY choice.

To attain Him is not our choice too (renounce this phala too, says He)//

This is very true Mam.

Hopefully our people realize how tightly they are bound by the guna-mix and follow Sanatana Dharma to elevate themselves and not be distracted with false or limited religions.

Jai Sree Ram.

jayasree said...

I have posted the article Mr Sri Ram.

Lakshumi praba said...

thank u so much mam..such a great article and its a beautiful discussion between u and sriram..At first i scrolled the comments thinking i will not understand and then saw sriram s comment and go back up and read..such a great service you r doing by writing this blog..thanks again mam...