At the moment of birth our prarabdha karma is determined; this is the portion of our accumulated karmas which must be worked through in this lifetime. But many people wonder, “Why should I do anything when my karmas for this life are predetermined? Everything is out of my control.” However, we have free will that we can use to affect our karma as well. How do you think free will and prarabdha karma fit together?
Here are some interesting comments already from our Facebook fans - please add your comments as well:
Ananya: easy.... its an account u need to settle harmoniously this lifetime...Your freewill is the tool that will help u judge, balance and act on clearing those karmic dues to clean that aspect of your past activities. The Universal laws are not designed to make you helpless in
front of your karma... ur Free Will is your tool of your choice of how to deal with it.
Harte: Lets us say prarabdha karma equals to minus 30 karma i.e. -30, karma is a unit, as kilo is a unit to measure so karma, I am using here as a unit...But if we do positive 50 karma, resultant =+20 karma.... Conclusively we have lived a good life...Please comment on my answer!!
Hem: + 20 karma... hmmm... which means we have to come back to redeem those bonus points too... start another cycle...one does not come back only for the bad karmas... :) we have to "bear" the fruits of good deeds too :-)
Hana: hmmm... technically speaking our lives are predetermined to some extend... the family one gets born into, country, financial status of the family, health or sickness of the body, outer circumstances i.e. war, poverty or wealth... during our childhood one does not use his will to determine the condition of his life... one just lives whatever happens... and yes later in life we have free will but still there are always accidents or incidents we
have over which we have no power... to think that me as a human being have complete control over my life is foolish as we never know what karma has reaped from our either good or bad deeds and when and how it will materialize... so tomorrow you might win 1 million dollars or get hit by a car..
Amanda: I don't believe in predetermined plans. I believe we make our own path through life through choices. That is how we learn and how we become the individuals we are.
Hana: Amanda... that's easy to say if your parents are "rich" enough to send you to school, if you have food to eat, if you live in the house... what you consider for granted it is not so for millions of people all over the world... they do not have much 'choices' do they, as their only choice is how to get food only, or find bridge or slum to sleep... Buddha once said that for a poor person god is in the form of bread... so when we start staying how much
life is about choices look at unprivileged people in this world to realize that word choices are very "relevant" and not everybody has that option...
Amanda: I respect what you say, Hana, but still think that we have choices. I truly believe that the only limit to what we do is how much we want to do it. I don't think it is arrogant of me to say that, as I am not from a "priveleged" background. Remember, doing nothing is also a choice. You really can do ANYTHING you want to. It just depends on how much you
Bangsat: PEOPLE BORN IN CONSENTRATION CAMPS DONT HAVE CHOICE....PEOPLE BORN IN IRAQ AFGHANISTAN IN THE MIDDLE OF A US LEAD SLAUGHTER DO NOT
HAVE CHOICE...THEY ARE IN HELL!!!!....PEOPLE BORN WITH DEFORMITY FROM
DEPLETED URANIUM MUNITIONS USED IN IRAQ DO NOT HAVE CHOICE....
Harte: @ Hem pandya.."True, when sum total of positive and negative karma is zero, soul is free no birth and death" Even Ramakrishna paramhansa guru of Swami Vivekananda, used to say just because of accumulated good Karma's Vivekananda has to carve this body, when all his good karma's will exhaust his soul will be free....
I just gave the logical example just to answer the query...
Harte: @Hana, no doubt we have to reap the benefits of Karma's, but self perfected soul does-not shake in life, example Lincoln, Abraham struggled a lot because of bad deeds in past birth but he persists in goal later the man and his creative genius profoundly... his
legacy... the man who changed his nations future... This karma's cycle is a complex mechanism...beware....But still lots depends upon will power...sage august-ya has said we can kill our karma by the combination of Bhakti(worship) Yoga and Gyan(Wisdom) Yoga....
Guru Bala: The good deeds of present life, sanjita karma will alleviate the sufferings of prarapdha karma. A death sentenced prisoner might get a life sentence !
Shailendra: It will be a good idea to be clear about the meaning of the word karma. It has been translated as 'activity' and 'deeds' above. In the English translation of Yoga Vasishtha, 'karma' has been translated as 'impressions carried in the mind'
Winia: I am a Moslem but I believe it.
Shailendra: @Winia.. ANd then it becomes clear why Swami Sivananda said every thought is a boomerang. Thoughts held in the mind become Sanchit Karma, which must appear as my life's reality. Regards