Karma and fate are inexplicably intertwined, says RAVI VALLURI.
He was to occupy a senior position in the government of India. Though not hedonistic in nature, he threw parties, which were attended by a large circle of friends, colleagues and batch mates.
His wife was known for her culinary skills and the preparations were consumed by the ravenous lot. Liquor flowed…And the choicest of non-vegetarian delicacies were grilled. Boisterous to sublime, musicwas played in the background. Occasionally their daughter used to make an appearance and sing in her mellifluous voice. She too made waves by writing a bookcalled ‘Spiritual Secrets’, which was to become a best seller. The son joined a law firm and was earning a decent salary.
Every Friday evening, his secretary made a customary call toall the eager-beavers. It was party time. Robbin Williams writes, ‘Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!”’ He was getting regular promotions, nothing could go amiss. Those were glorious times…Que Sara Sara.
All the celebrations and selfies were promptly posted on the socialmedia triggering an avalanche of likes on Facebook. A couple blessed with brilliant children. The couple so engrossed in self, that in their salad days they discounted covetous colleagues with baleful disposition.
Then tragedy struck. His wife met with a serious accident and lost her memory. Fortuitously it was a case of temporary amnesia. But the scars were ingrained in her personality.
The daughter, now a celebrated author declared independence;and decided to embellish her literary skills by joining a course in a prestigious university in the United States.The son was offered a lucrative assignment Down Under, which he grabbed gleefully. And both the children were to paste their travels on Facebook.
The children left the parents in the lurch in their moment of grief. Unfortunately, the father under stress and duress was to inadvertently sign a few papers which landed him in a legal tangle and soon faced disciplinary action.
Friends and colleagues deserted him and the parties dried up. He wasinconsolable and in desperation hetexted, “What is Fate, what is Karma?”
Fate or destiny is the development of events beyond the ambit of a person’s control, regarded as predetermined by a supernatural power. As per Greek and Roman mythology it is the three goddesses who preside over the birth and life of humans. Each person was thought of as a spindle, around which the three fates (Clotho, Lachchis and Atropos) would spin the thread of human destiny.
Oriental religions like Hinduism and Buddhism have extensively written and researched on Karma. It is the sum of an individual’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existence.
Karma and fate are inexplicably intertwined. As per our scriptures if we praise a person, we imbibe their positive Karmas and if we demonise an individual, we inherit their unfortunate Karmas. Thus abstain from critising a person. Learn to accept people and situations as they are, a Sutra of Art of Living. Inherently good Karma or deeds propel our fates to the stratosphere as by and large our destiny gets enveloped by positive events and development.
Generally it is believed that if our Karmas are good, the trajectory of our fate takes a positive traction. The civil servant in question was perhaps indirectly affected by the self centred Karma of the people surrounding him which led to tragic consequences.
Karma can be further divided into Prarabdha and Sanchita Karma. Prarabdha Karma is a collection of Karmas which the presenthuman form has to experience based on the actions of the previous birth. This Karma is inherited through the DNA so to say, and cannot be altered. Sanchita Karma, also a collection of Karmas can be mitigated through Sadhana, Seva, Satsang, Spiritual practices, breathing techniques like SudarshanKriya, Vipassana and deep meditation. The malefic effects of this Karma can be reduced to a great degree.
Primarilyall the Karmas,and fate (destiny) arise due to cravings which preventindividuals from realizing the eternal truth.
Cravings arealso called Aishanas in Sanskrit and they are subdivided into four kinds.
Putraushana- This is when we constantly think about our progeny and get unduly attached to them.And in the process commit certain unwarranted acts to protect the children. In reality the children, upon attaining adulthood forsake the parents like those of the civil servant. Similarly as per our mythology Dhritirashtra’sunalloyed love for Duryodhana led to catastrophic consequences in the Mahabharata war.
The next is Vittaishana – When humans getsubsumed by their desire to garner as much wealth as possible! What is the limit to earn wealth? Country, Companies, Families squabble over wealth with disastrous results. It leads to wars and destruction which are extremely cataclysmic.
Imagine billionaires shipwrecked and marooned on an island. All the billions they earned are of little consequence as on the island they fight for a loaf of bread, which may not beavailable.
This is followed by Lokaishana- A display of narcissistic tendencies among individuals. Humans wish to be famous, to be eulogized, complimented and applauded all the time. The mind is gripped by the feverish desire to be in the thick of action and berecognised.
Popularity can be achieved only through decent behavior and humility. In a highly competitive world humility is essential to stay ahead in the game.
CS Lewis writes,’ Humility is not thinking less of yourself, its thinking of yourself less.’
Finally, what is called as Jeevaishana- The desire of man to attain immortality, like Ravana as per Hindu mythology.
Everything perishes in the world. Matter is produced and is destroyed. Ironically both doctors and patients die………..
These four avarices among humansgive rise to our Karmas. One is truly liberated by not constantly hankering after the chimera. And this knowledge is imparted only by an enlightened soul or through spiritual practices. The essence of life is the ephemeral nature of the cravings. When this truth dawns, the mind attains tranquility and is in state of bliss.