Vaidya Sundaram vaidya_narayanan at YAHOO.COM
Wed Nov 28 23:53:58 CST 2001

 Let me try and give your my understanding ...
----- Original Message -----
From: "Prasad Balasubramanian" <besprasad at LYCOS.COM>

> IF A HUMAN BEING IS NOT DESTINED to get a fruit (at  present),because of
> exercising his free will in the other/wrong direction in the past(fate),
how can and why should repeated attempts
> of exercising the free will in the right direction at present with much
more vigor  bear him the fruit ?

I think you are missing the point ... let me give you an analogy to see if
it will clarify. Consider the act you commited in the past as burying a
treasure under the ground. It was quite deep, but since it is in the past
and we cannot remember the past lives, we do not know how deep. In the
present time, we are trying to dig the treasure up by exercising our free
will. We dig 10 feet and still cannot find it. We are finding the digging to
be very difficult work and so we begin to think
(a) there is no treasure to be found
(b) we are destined to not get the treasure.

 HH is saying both (a) and (b) are wrong. We buried the treasure quite deep
to begin with. We exercised free will in the past in the direction of
burying it out of sight. We must now, in the present, exercise at least as
much "effort" or free will now as we did in the past, to make the treasure
visible again. The treasure is there. And it is certainly within reach. The
repeated attempts refers to not giving up after the first attempt of digging
just 10 feet. If we have not found it in 10 feet, it only means that we
exerted effort in the past to make it deeper than 10 feet.
Also, if in the present life you did not get it, then bear in mind that the
10 feet you have dug in this life will still be there. In your next life you
don't start from scratch. That is what our shastras say. You will start in
your next life from where you left off ... whether you choose to dig further
in the gorund for the treasure ("positive" action) or to cover it up again
("negative" action) is a choice you make.

> Will it not contradict the karma theory - that if one did something wrong
in the past ,
> one has to face the reaction of it now ? If his past actions were in such
a way that he
> should not  get the fruit at present, then the number of attempts and how
vigorous each
> attempt is, shouldnt matter at all.

This does not contradict "karma theory" if you can call it that. This is the
point that HH is making - there is no "destiny" that prevents you from
getting to what you want. There is NO invisible noose around a person's neck
**other than what the person has put on himself**. If you pulled really hard
(in the past), it begins to suffocate you now. The suffereing and
breathlessness you feel now is because of that.

> If his exercising the freewill at present with repeated attempts bears the
fruit, then,
> can the possible failures in the first few attempts be considered as
> (that he might not even be aware of ) for that past karma ? So that
further attempts will
> be considered for bearing him the fruit ?

 It is an interesting point you bring up. In a discourse, Sri Anantarama
Dikshidhar says that the shastras instruct us to do prayaschittam as soon as
we are aware of any mistake we have made. If not, the amount of
prayaschittam needed later will be sort of "more" than what we would do if
it were now. As an analogy in this respect, he says money borrowed from a
bank, even though small, will have associated interests that have to be
paid - pay it soon and the amount we finally pay is small. Pay it over a
long period of time, and the interest payments will just keep growing more
and more. So also with good deeds done. The reason why even truely virtuous
people are born in this world and keeping enjoying good things is because
they did good deeds in the past, sort of a small investment which with time
grows into a huge return. It is like the banker who will seek out the
children of a dead man to give them the money deposited by the father. So
also here ... But Sri Anantharama Dikshidhar cautions that one must not out
of fear for rewards stop doing good things. There is a tendency in the
spritual aspirant to start thinking that when the "karmic bank balance" is
nullified, he will be "set free". That zero balance state cannot be acheived
by stopping the doing of good deeds now in the hope that when the bad debt
is wiped out we will be free. Man can never stop acting, and if he stops
action of a good kind, the only things he will do is to do actions of the
bad kind, and that will only make things worse. The solution is to do
actions, as best as we can, for the benefit of all, but train the mind to
think of it as action done as a service. For example, if  you the
representative of the bank, and you go to the house of a man and give him a
lot of money,  you (the bank representative) must know that the money you
are giving is never yours, but the man's always - it was never yours to
give. So also with us. All this world and the riches and treasures in it
belongs to God always. We must act with this sense (or frame) of mind. This
will absolve us of any karmic effects of givng the man any money.
 To come back to your original question of is the "extra" effort
"prayaschittam" - may be it is! Or may be it is just interest payed on a
delayed prayaschittam!! Let us not get caught up in semantics here. As HH
has said (in a separate article) - we are all in a burning house with the
fire all aorund us and consuming us. Let us try to get out of it and not
question where the fire started from or how much effort to make to put the
fire out. The fire cannot be put out. Surrender to Him, who will get you out
of it. Our only recourse to get out of this is our Guru.

bhava shankara desikame sharaNam

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