Sanchita, Purushartha And Prarabdha Karmas
by Swami Sivananda
Tarkash (quiver), the case in which arrows are accumulated represents or Sanchita Karmas; the arrow that is ready for shooting represents our Agami Karma and the arrow which has left the bow, which cannot return and which must hit the target represents Prarabdha Karma.
The store-room is the Sanchita. The articles that are put in the shop for sale are Prarabdha. The daily sale proceeds are the Agami.
Sanchita Karmas are the accumulated works; Prarabdha Karmas are ripe of fructiferous actions; Kriyamana Agami Karmas are current works.
The big storehouse for paddy represents Sanchita Karma. The paddy that has been taken out separately for the use of the current year corresponds to the Prarabdha; and the paddy that is growing in the fields in the current year represents Agami Karma or Kriyamana.
Sanchita Karmas are destroyed by Brahma Jnana. One should enjoy the Prarabdha anyhow. (Vyavaharic Drishti only)
Kriyamana Karmas are no actions as the Jnani has Akarta and Sakshi Bhava. God and Purushartha are synonymous terms. They are two names for one thing.
In Mahabharata you will find that exertion (Purushartha) and Prarabdha combined bring about fruits. If you are ailing, you must do Purushartha. You must take medicine. You leave the results to Prarabdha.
Throughout Yoga Vasishtha, Vasishthaji recommends Purushartha only to Sri Rama. Markandeya through Purushartha alone conquered death. Man is, doubtless, the master of his own destiny.
Purushartha can do and undo things. Markandeya changed his destiny through his Tapas. Fatalism will produce abnormal inertia. God helps those who help themselves. Be up and doing. Man is the master of his destiny. Prarabdha is the result of your own thoughts and actions. Change your mode of thinking. Think: "I am the Immortal Self." The immortal Self you will become. As you think, you so become. This is the immutable law.
You have now the habit of thinking "I am body. I am mind. I am Prana. I am Indriya or sense."Change your present habit of thinking and think, "I am Brahman. I am the all-pervading intelligence."You will conquer your destiny. If you are in the habit of writing in a slanting manner, you can change your habit and can write in a vertical manner. Even so you can change your habit of thinking. Conquest of habit is conquest of destiny. Fate or destiny is your own creation through your own Karmas. You are the master of your destiny. Change your mode of thinking. Instead of foolishly thinking "I am body," think "I am Atman, all-pervading."
Prarabdha can elevate anybody to any high level, even to god-head. The life of James Ramsay Macdonald is worth mentioning. He was a man of great Purushartha. He rose from poverty to power, from a field labourer to the Prime Minister of Britain. His first job was addressing envelopes for 10 Sh. a week. He was too poor to buy tea; so he drank water instead. His main meal every day for months was a three-penny beef-steak-pudding. He was a pupil teacher. He took great interest in Politics and Science. He was a journalist. He gradually through right exertion (Purushartha) rose to the present position in life.
Take care of your thoughts. Then the actions will take care of themselves. Action follows thoughts. Acts create habits. Habit creates character. Character creates destiny. So your destiny is in your hands. Shut out all evil thoughts. Allow good thoughts. We are what our thoughts have made us and will be what they make us.
You are not bound. You have got free will. You cannot change the experiences, the results of Prarabdha but you can change your future by right thinking and right action and thus make your will pure and irresistible. You can attain Self-realisation with the help of a dynamic will.
The husk is natural to rice and the rust to the copper, yet they disappear through efforts made. Even so, Ajnana which clings to the Jiva or individual soul can be made to disappear through the ceaseless Atmic enquiry, Destroy the Avidya. May you rest incomparably firm in your own Self.
The man who advocates the theory of Purushartha says: "Am I a straw to be tossed about hither and thither? I can change my Prarabdha. I will undo it by Vedantic practice. I have got a Free Will of my own. I will make it pure strong and irresistible. I will work out my salvation. I will become free myself."
Another philosopher says: "Everything is pre-arranged in the Grand plan or Grand Scheme. God knows the whole details of evolution of a man from mineral life till he becomes a Jivanmukta or a liberated soul. In reality all is Prarabdha only. We will have to preach Purushartha just to give an impetus for the man to work in right earnest. Otherwise he will become slothful and dull."
If a man succeeds in his attempt, he calls it Purushartha. He says: "I really exerted much. I have succeeded." If he fails, the same man says: "What can I do, my friend? It is all Prarabdha. Without Him nothing can be done. Without God no atom can move, no leaf can wave in the air."
Prarabdha is only Purushartha of previous birth.
What is destiny after all? It is one's own make-up. You have created certain things. You can destroy them or undo things also. You are thinking in one way: "I am Mr. so and so. I am Brahmin. I am a doctor. I am fatty. I am a householder. "This is Prarabdha. You can change this particular mode of thinking. Think: "I am Brahman. I am Omnipotent. I am a witness or Sakshi. I am God. I am neither the body nor the mind. I am all-pervading Truth or pure Consciousness. "This is Purushartha. You have got a particular way of writing in a vertical manner. This is Prarabdha. You can change that writing into a slanting way. This is Purushartha.
You sow an action and reap a tendency. You sow a tendency and reap a habit. You sow a habit and reap your character. You sow your character and reap your destiny. Therefore destiny is of your own creation. If you change your habits, you can become master of your destiny.
God never punishes nor gives rewards. He is not sitting with a rod to chastise people. Life is governed by fundamental divine laws. The law operates and man reaps the fruits of his actions.
No one can remain quiet even for a second. No one can become a fatalist. There is an urge or stimulus from within to work. That is the reason why the Gita says "Nor can anyone, even for an instant remain really actionless; for helplessly is everyone driven to action by the qualities born of nature. The theory of Prarabdha cannot make any one a fatalist."
Lead a life outside your bodies. Stand aside and watch the activities of the mind and body. Be a Sakshi or Drishta like the umpire in a foot-ball match. This is Jnana. Train the physical body to obey you at all times. Keep it strong and healthy. Do not become a foolish Mayavadin. Understand Mayavada properly. Do not have Moha for the body. Be prepared to sacrifice it at any moment. When the Divine Call comes, sacrifice this body for a noble cause. This body is a boat or horse to take you to the goal or to cross the ocean of Samsara.
For a Bhakta it is all Prarabdha only. For, he is a man of self-surrender. He has to glorify the power of the Lord. For a Vedanti, it is all Purushartha only. For, he is a man of self-reliance. He has to glorify the power of his own strong will (Atma Bala). Both are correct from their own stand-point.
Each soul must fulfil the Divine Law (Karma) for gaining Divine Wisdom. Each soul must sit alone at the gate. No one can push him in. The Guru can lead him up to the gate. Everyone must fight his battle of self-purification, concentration and control of mind.
One philosopher says: "How does Purushartha bring results? How does Prarabdha operate?" It is very difficult to say.
People ask: "How is it that a good man is suffering in this world and a bad man is in an affluent state?" The answer is that in this life the good and bad deeds of a former life are expiated.
Just as there is Prarabdha for the individual, so also there is Prarabdha for the world also. This is collective Prarabdha. There will be perfect peace and prosperity after commotion and agitation in the land. You are not in a position to analyse the acts of Nature because you have no knowledge of the Laws of Nature.
When there is increase of population in the land, when the food products cannot meet with the requirements of the people, the Divine Sakti removes the extra population through famine, epidemics, pestilence, earthquake, volcanic eruptions and war.