मंगलवार, 17 सितंबर 2013

Karma ,Destiny ,and Astrology

The role of Destiny in our lives 

Question .We are born with a destiny ,and this cannot be changed ,which is the basic principle of the Law of Karma .Is this understanding correct ?

Answer :To think that we are bound by our destiny ,which cannot be changed ,is the doctrine of fatalism .This is how the :"fatalism "is defined :

(1)Doctrine of fate :The philosophical doctrine according to which all events are fated to happen ,so that human beings cannot change their destinies.

(2)Belief in all-powerful fate :The belief that people are powerless against fate .

(3)Feeling of powerlessness against fate :An attitude of resignation and passivity that results from the belief that people are helpless against fate .

Let us analyze whether this concept of fatalism is correct or not .First of all ,let us understand what destiny is :

पूर्वजन्मकृतं कर्म तद्दैवमिति कथ्यते (हितोपदेश )

purvajanamakritam karma taddaivamiti kathyate (Hitopadesha )

"The actions we performed in our past lives become our destiny in this life ."In other words ,destiny is not something that has come down from the heavens or a horoscope chart that is revealed to us by astrologers .We have created our destiny ourselves by actions in past births .This means that we performed actions with our free will in past lifetimes .

Now ,we shall use the technique of "Reductio ad absurdum "to disprove fatalism .This is a technique where the statement to be disproved is accepted in the premise .It is then shown to lead to a logical inconsistency .

Let us start with the premise that everything is predestined .

-If we are bound by destiny in this life ,and cannot perform actions by our own volition,this rule must apply to our past lives as well .It would mean that in past lives too we were bound by destiny ,for the rule must be the same in all lives .

-But if in each life we were bound by destiny ,then in which life did we perform independent actions that created that destiny .

-And if in no past life we performed actions with our free will ,then how  was destiny created .

-Again ,if we did actions with our free will in any past life , we can do them now as well .

Thus ,we see the premise that everything is predestined ,leads to a logical absurdity and is disproved .The scriptures say that it is lazy people who blame destiny for their substandard achievements :

दैव दैव आलसी पुकारा (रामायण )

"While working ,don't bring destiny into your mind ,or it will make you lazy ."If you do ,you will start running to astrologers to know what your destiny is ,rather than focusing on performing your work properly .

It is a fact that there is an element of destiny in our lives .However ,we also possess the freedom to act as we wish in the present .This is called purusharth ,or the work we do in the present ,by using our freedom of choice .The example is given of a game of cards .The hand that is dealt to a person gets fixed ;it cannot be changed .But how one plays with the cards is not fixed .If someone is a good player ,he or she may win even with bad cards ,while if someone is a bad player ,he or she may lose even with good cards .

Similarly ,if you were destined to win a jackpot of a million dollars ,  you will win it .But beyond that it is your self -effort.If you work hard ,you could multiply it into ten million dollars ,and if you develop profligate habits ,you could squander it away in drinking and gambling .That would not be decided by destiny ;that would be your own purusharth ,or self effort .

Formless vs Personal Form of God 

Question .God is formless and without limiting attributes of names shapes ,and qualities .So am I right in concluding that Krishna ,Ram ,Shiv ,etc cannot be God ,for they possess a form ?

Answer :There is one supreme God ,and He is All-powerful .He has created this world around us ,which is full of shapes and forms .If God can make a world with infinite forms ,does He not have the ability to take on a form Himself ?Definitely He does !If we say that He cannot have a form ,then we don not accept Him as the All -powerful God .And if we admit that He is All -powerful,then we must also accept that He possess the power to manifest a personal form for Himself .

At the same time ,God is also formless .He exists everywhere in the world .For Him to be all -pervading ,it is necessary that He should also be without a form .

God is perfect and complete ,and so he is both -formless and possessing forms .We individual souls too have both aspects to our personality .The soul is both -    formless, and yet ,it has taken on a body ;not once but innumerable times in countless past times .If we tiny souls have the ability to take on a form ,the All-powerful God can definitely take on a form whenever He wishes .

Hence ,the ,Vedas state that there are both aspects to God's personality :

dve vava brahmano rupe murtam chaivamurtam cha 

(Brihadaranyakopanishad 2.3.1)

द्वे वाव ब्रह्मणों रूपे मूर्तं चैवामूर्तं च (बृहदारण्यकोपनिषद २. ३.१.)

"God is formless and All-pervading ,but He also manifests in a personal form ."In the Vedic tradition ,we are fortunate that we have descriptions of the personal forms of God ,such as Shree Krishan ,Shree Ram ,Lord Shiv ,Lord Vishnu ,etc .

प्रश्न :परमात्मा  निराकार है नाम ,रूप ,गुण ,आकार की सीमाओं में नहीं बांधा जा सकता।नाम रूप गुणों से न्यारा है , तब क्या यह माना  जाय कि कृष्ण ,राम ,शिव आदि भगवान् नहीं हो सकतें हैं क्योंकि ये तो रूपाकार लिए हैं। 

उत्तर :एक ही परमसत्ता है जो सर्वशक्तिमान परमात्मा कहाता है। उसी ने यह नाम रूपात्मक अनेकरूपा  सृष्टि रची है। जब परमात्मा अनन्त रूपाकारों में इस संसार की रचना कर सकता है तब क्या अपनी स्वयं की  रूपाकृति नहीं गढ़ सकता ?और यदि हम कहें कि वह ऐसा नहीं कर सकता फिर हमें यह भी मानना पड़ेगा कि वह बाकी सब काम कर सकता है लेकिन अपनी रूपाकृति नहीं रच सकता यानी तब उसकी एक शक्ति कम हो जाएगी वह सर्वशक्तिमान नहीं रह जाएगा। लेकिन यदि हम ऐसा मानते ही हैं कि नहीं वह सर्वशक्तिमान तो है फिर यह भी मान लेना पड़ेगा वह स्वयं भी किसी रूप प्रगट हो सकता है। 

हरि अनन्त हरि कथा अनंता ,कहहिं सुनहिं बहुबिधि सब संता ,

यह भी देखें -

सगुनहिं अगुनहिं नहिं कछु भेदा ,गावहिं मुनि पुरान बुध बेदा ,

अगुन अरूप अलख अज जोई ,भगत प्रेम बस सगुण सो होई।

 सगुन और निर्गुण में कुछ भी भेद नहीं है। जो निर्गुण ,अरूप(निराकार ),अलख (अव्यक्त )और अजन्मा है ,वही भक्तों के प्रेमवश सगुण हो जाता है। 

लेकिन साथ ही साथ परमात्मा निराकार (अरूप )है। ब्रह्म है। वह सब जगह मौजूद है सारी सृष्टि में व्यापक है। उसके इस सर्वव्यापकत्व को बनाए रखने के लिए उसका निर्गुनिया निराकार होना भी ज़रूरी है। 

परमात्मा परम परिपूर्ण दोषरहित है। इसीलिए वह साकार (सगुण  )और निराकार (निर्गुण )दोनों रूपों में है। 

जीवात्मा भी इन दो स्वरूपों में प्रकट है। आत्मा निराकार है तथा गोचर शरीर भी धारण करता है एक नहीं अनेक बार। फिर परमात्मा तो सर्वआत्माओं  का स्वामी है वह क्यों नहीं ऐसा कर सकता। इसीलिए वेद परमात्मा के दोनों स्वरूपों की पुष्टि करते हैं।  

द्वे वाव ब्रह्मणों रूपे मूर्तं चैवामूर्तं च (बृहदारण्यकोपनिषद २. ३.१.)

"हरि ॐ" शब्द रूप दोनों स्वरूपों की स्मृति है "हरि" सगुन रूप विष्णु हैं तो "ॐ" निराकार ब्रह्म हैं। 

ॐ शान्ति 

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