[Advaita-l] Advaita-l Digest, Vol 73, Issue 6 - Praayaschittha karma

Vidyashankar Krishnan shankarkv at gmail.com
Sat Aug 7 04:51:05 CDT 2010

Sri Ramesh has clarified that praayaschittha karma removes paapam as in Pareekshith's listening to the Bhagavatham. But certain karmas which are meant to cause harm to others for their evil deeds will result in reduction of paapam for them, but prarabdha of the performer will increase. These karmas, done out of anger, will yield negative results for one as do any acts of anger - especially for a sadhaka aiming for moksha.

These are directly antithetical to the qualities of titIksha and sama which are enjoined for a spiritual aspirant.

Sri Ramesh has also well outlined that one should give up the need to retaliate - on grounds that it is the body / mind that is affected. But if anyone who has a strong desire to retaliate does have the feeling of I in the body, etc in the first instance. Perhaps such a person could think of the negative events as "Iswara's will - in consonance with one's prarabdha". An even softer understanding would be to attempt, "The Lord has mitigated my prarabdha and given me the fruits thus. Were it not for His grace, I might have had to endure more suffering".

Perhaps the best statement on titIksha, in my opinion, comes from Sri Abhinava Vidyatheertha Mahaswamiji, the previous pontiff of the Sringeri Math:

Normally when one hears that which is unpleasant or encounters an unfavourable situation created by another,  one feels angry and seeks vengeance. Anger is like an ungrateful creature. It burns the very person who gives room to it. Instead of getting angry, the slighted or  censured person  could very well have analysed whether any actual shortcomings of his had been pointed out. If so, he could remedy that personal fault and be grateful to the person who brought it to his notice. On the other hand, the censure  might have been unfounded. If so, this man could think,  "it is said that making others happy is a form of worship of God. So, if this person is deriving some joy in condemning me then I'm lucky. After all, without taking any effort, I am able to worship God by giving him some happiness.


Om tat sat
Vidyashankar Krishnan

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