In the scheme of nature, there is a free will for an individual to do something or not to do something or do differently. This is the free space available to us.
Destiny, on the other hand, plays its trick starting with the birth of a child. Why one is born poor and another rich ? Why one is healthy and another has serious birth defects? One loses the mother the moment it is born? One is born dead? The questions are too many.
But what is the force which causes such disparities ? Whether God is to be blamed for this partiality?
The only logical answer could be the Karma Theory which explains that the human being takes birth to exhaust his PrArabdha Karma. This gets extinguished only by experiencing in the world, going through the vicious cycles of pleasures and pains. In the process there is always a little scope to do some action within a limited domain. Just like a Cow which is tied by a long rope has the freedom to move within the space determined based on the length of the rope, human beings have some free will to exercise. Beyond that limited area the tied cow cannot roam about. This represents the force of destiny. The reason why some selected people lose their precious life suddenly due to accidents, diseases, natural calamities like Tsunami , earthquake, floods, fire and so on cannot be otherwise explained.
Self- effort is absolutely essential for any one without taking shelter under the guise of destiny. Therefore one has to do his Svadharma in a given environment without any attachment to the fruits of action. If destiny decides otherwise, one should have the will power to take it in his stride in a positive manner without losing heart. For this meditation techniques help a lot to make one develop equanimity towards the dualities.
One should take caution not to abuse the little free will that is available to him.
Despite one's best intentions and efforts, the effect of PrArabdha Karma embedded as VAsanAs may suddenly manifest and impact one any time. But that is the embedded secret of life .
The role of God in the scheme of Karma is that he has created the process of cause and effect and ensures that it works out without any flaw whether it is an ordinary person or a mighty man. God’s worship mitigates the impact of the numerous problems of life caused by one’s bad karmas and gives him the moral strength to bear them and come out of them.
In order to get released from the vicious circle of birth and death caused by one’s accumulated Karmas over many births, BhagavAn offers a secret and secure route of grace which is available for one whose mind is focused on the Supreme and who has unconditionally surrendered unto him. For those great souls, BhagavAn neurtralises all their bad deeds and grants them his divine association for ever.
It is very difficult to understand properly the concept of Karma and Karma phala.
KarmaNohyapi boddhavyam boddhavyam ca vikarmaNah ।
akarmaNasca boddhavyam gahaNa karmaNo gatih ॥
--- Bhagavad GItA
As per Dharma SAstras, there are different types of Sins classified as mahApApa, PAtaka, anupAtaka, upapApa, atipAtaka, mahApAtaka, upapAtaka, jAtibhramsakara, SankarIkaraNa, apAtrIkaraNa, malAvaha, PrakIrNaka and so on.
Just like a drop of oil spreading over water, the sin gets transmitted from one person to another by association with a sinner.
sankrAmanti hi papAni taila bindurivAmbhasi ।
cAndrAyaNam Yavakam tulA purushairiva ca ॥
One who blesses the sinner gets infected by the sins of the latter.
Kurvantyanugraham ye tu tat pApam teshu Gacchati ।
SarIrasyAtyaye prApte vadanti niyamam tu ye ॥
--- ParASara smrti
Through DakshiNa the sins get transferred to the BrAhmaNa and through the recitation of the Vedas, the pApas of the BrAhmaNa get nullified.
DakshiNAnAm BrAhmaNena BrAhmaNasya chandobhi:chandaSam svAdhyAyenapahata pApmA......
---- TaittirIya AraNyaka
By doing prAyascitta as per dharma SAstras, one’s sins get destroyed.
prAyascitta Sabdah pApakshayArthe naimittike karma viSesha rUdah ।
Regarding distribution of Karma of a Self-realized person, Atma bodha explains that the critics share his sins and the followers share his puNyas.
Ye jnAninam nindanti, dvishanti, du:kha pradAnam kurvanti tAnprati jnAnikrtam sarvamAgAmi kriyamANam yadavAcyam karma tatpApAtmakam gacchati ।
BhagavAn KrshNa assures that He would deliver one from all sins if one unconditionally surrenders to Him. Hence there is no sin which the Supreme cannot nullify.
Sarva dharmAn parityajya mAmekam SaraNam vraja ।
Aham tvA sarva pApebhyo mokshayishyAmi Ma Sucah ॥
--- Bhagavad GIta
kalau kalmasha chittAnAm pApadravyopa jIvinAm ।
vidhikriyA vihInAnAm gatir govinda kIrtanam ॥
natAvat pApamedheta yannAmnA na hatam hare:।
atireka bhayAdahu: prAyascittAntaram vrthA ॥
--- Yoga YAjnavalkya:
sakṛdeva prapannAya tavAsmIti ca yAcate ।
abhayaṃ sarva bhUtebhyo dadAmi Etat vratam mama ॥
--- VAlmIkI RAmAyaNam
Impact of Bad deeds on the Doer and his Family
(1) Depending on the gravity and intensity of the sins, it can affect only the doer or along with him his wife or son or daughter or any one associated with him or some or all of them together at any point of time.
(2) The Sins can be destroyed by following Karma yoga, jnAna yoga or Bhakti yoga as aforesaid. Else it may affect the person and his family depending on the severity of the Sins committed.
(3) Unconditional surrender to the lotus feet of the Supreme by following Bhakti Yoga will definitely nullify all sins and one will get released. This is applicable to all.
(4) All the lineal descendants including sons , daughters, grand sons and grand daughters may get impacted depending upon the severity of the Sin.
It will be very difficult to draw a matrix of all the sins in the world and then say who are all will be affected, to what extent, when (whether in this birth or later), in what sequence, to what extent, why and how. The Prarabdha Karma has to be experienced by all.
Karma Phala (Fruit of Action)
(1) Like a young calf which recognizes the mother cow amidst thousand other cows, the karma done by a person follows him meticulously.
(2) Like the tree which yields flowers and fruits at the appointed seasons, the fruit of action also manifests at the proper time.
(3) If a person cuts trees with an axe, then the person who cuts incurs the sin and not the Axe nor the maker of the Axe.
(4) For one's action Supreme is not responsible.
(5) There is the Supreme who by his Laws dispenses the Karma Phalam.
(6) Good and bad deeds rotate like a wheel.
(7) When there is great natural calamity like famine etc, all the people including great Rishis by-pass the dharma and adopt what is known as the Apad dharma
(8)In the case of a realized person, whatever karma he does after realization gets distributed to those who praise and follow him and also to those who find fault with him. The former gets his puNya phala and the latter the PApa, if any. He experiences the prArabdha karma while his Sancita karma gets neutralized.
(9) Karma done without the sense of doership and offered at the feet of the Supreme does not bind one.
(10) The Supreme intervenes in the case of a very select few (who truly deserve) and neutralises their karma due to his divine grace.
prAyascittAnyaSeshANi tapah karmAtmakAni vai ।
yAni teshamaSeshANAm KrishNAnussmaraNam param ॥
जय जय श्रीराधे