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Karma does not compel a man to do wrong actions. Samskara does, to a certain extent.
But God has bestowed free will on man, with which to make or mar his career. Man has no
Bhoga-Svatantrata or the freedom to enjoy or suffer, which factor is governed by Karma. But, he
has got Karma-Svatantrata or freedom to do good or evil. He can substitute good Samskaras in
place of the old vicious Samskaras by Vichara-sakti, will-power and continued practice of good
That evil seems to give immediate happiness is the greatest temptation and the greatest
obstacle to the cultivation of virtues; and it can be removed only by discrimination and
experience. Contemplation over the ultimate and permanent damage done to the very soul of
man by the evil actions, and the harm he is causing to the entire society itself by his evil, ought to
compel a man to desist from evil action¾however pleasant it might appear superficially. There
is no short-cut to this really serious problem; the wicked heart will not yield easily. And
therefore our ancients have exalted Satsang. Constant association with the wise and spiritually
evolved persons alone can remove these wrong notions from the mind of the wicked one.
From "May I answer that" by Swami Sivananda (1987-1963). More Informations on Swami Sivananda: on the Website of Divine Life Society, Photographs of Swami Sivananda, German Pages on Swami Sivananda