[Advaita-l] Prayer and prArabdha

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Thu Feb 16 11:08:49 CST 2012

> Dear Members,
> I was listening to the Bhagavat Gita discourse by Shri Paripoornananda Saraswati
> of Sripeetam, Kakinada.  While explaining the karma yoga, swamiji said that none can escape the bhoga of prArabdha karma phala.  
> Even if one does prarthana / mantra japa / navagraha japas etc., prarabdha karma phala has to be experienced.  There is no escape.  
> I would like to know, how far the above statement is true.  

Dear Sri Sriram,
I think one of the discourses by HH Sri Chandrasekhara Bharati on fate and free will has an
immediate bearing on the above question. You can find it online on our site itself.
In loose everyday usage, people use the word prArabdha as synonymous with destiny, and
think of it as being almost etched in stone. However, technically, prArabdha karmaphala
should not be thought of as something that determines every single event in one's life. Yes,
the effects of prArabdha are only exhausted through bhoga, but nothing about prArabdha
prevents a kartA from doing fresh karmA that then generates its own phala. The phala of
one kind of karmA balances out, to a smaller or larger extent, the phala due to another
kind of karmA and what happens in those cases is that the kartA now becomes the bhoktA
who experiences both kinds  of phala. Also, as the 18th chapter of the gItA tells us, there
are five factors that contribute towards things, one of which is daiva. A lot of the effects of
these factors remain unknown and unknowable, which is just part of how life goes. 

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