Vasanas and Karma Phala

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Open Discussion Forum for general public to discuss and debate the fine nuances of Vedanta and its role in spirituality. Rules apply. Registration necessary.

Re: Vasanas and Karma Phala

Postby uma » Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:17 am

Padmajaji…
Although I am not qualified to answer these and am just a commoner, I felt that if I put forward my views/ impressions which I have formed through reading/studying, they may get corrected, improved in the discussion.

I personally do not think that if any action gives good karma phala, it would purify the mind.
There is nothing good or bad in this world. It is all our perception. Something may be good for us, it may not be good for others, in fact it may be bad according to them. When one says good karma phala, it is either as per our desire or favourable to us.
Doing some good act, helping others, if done with the desire, mind intent on the goal, even if the goal is socially termed as “good” or “commendable”, it would leave certain impressions on the mind.
Even if we are acting for commendable social cause, helping others all the time, doing good acts, it may induce a bit of ego in us..that we are continuously striving to help others.
Ultimately, we have transcend all the gunas..even the sattva one. A very very difficult thing to achieve.
Only, acts, which are without desire for karma phala, would purify the mind, without leaving any impressions on the mind.
And again, it is not necessary that such an action would guarantee good karmaphalas. Even if the intention is selfless, the action may not achieve anything. One may have to keep on repeating the action n number of times.

I feel, heaven and hell are concepts. Every being is supposed to evolve towards perfection. There is a certain order in nature. We have evolved from the vegetable, animal births to human births. We have come here to experience different things and learn lessons from the experiences. But forgetting that we are souls, we identify with our bodies and then have different kinds of desires and expect fruits of our actions. Such unfulfilled desires as well as result of our past karmas, determine the next birth. This next birth may not be immediate or instant. In the meantime, we enjoy /suffer certain experiences, without the physical body. But the soul is always there, with all the impressions from the previous births stored in it.
It is said that we all are, all animate beings as well inanimate too, have been born out of Him. Everyone is God in that sense. Then how can we be made to suffer in the hell ? Hell is the part of our mind ..experiencing something which is not as per our desire/liking. There cannot be any torture for any soul.

Such an in between stage is not considered as birth. When there is physical body, embodiment , then only it is a birth. Again birth doesn’t depend on the vasana or the karma phala. It depends on the unfulfilled desires. Emergence of desire, it self means we have not learnt our lessons. So long as all our actions are not self less, or so long as we do not surrender all the fruits of the actions to Him, we will keep on taking the birth. And yet, there are certain individuals, in spite of their selfless actions, who are born to teach/ guide others. Perhaps, it could be their own desire, to uplift, educate others.


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Re: Vasanas and Karma Phala

Postby Padmaja » Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:07 pm

Hari OM. Pranams.

Thank you Umaji. What you say makes sense. Any action that gives good karma phala wouldn't necessarily cleanse mind and any action that cleanses mind wouldn't necessarily give good karma phala.

What you say is very true - good and bad is a relative concept. If we look at lives of great Saints like Saint Tukaram it becomes amply clear. They did so much sadhana and underwent many hardships. Their family labelled them as 'losers' because there was poverty and no material gain. I think those Sanits had discovered that "purification of mind = good karma phala", because peace of mind gives the true lasting joy and ultimately what world views as "good karma phala" is nothing but momentary peace followed by different kind of agitations and more and more actions.

I think its better to make a mental note that "good karma phala as viewed by society is unrelated to purification of mind". (Otherwise as soon as we decide to start following karma yoga we might question and blame holy Gita.:P )

I wonder sometimes if karma phala is really related to karma ? or we are just viewing it as karma phala? What do you think?
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Re: Vasanas and Karma Phala

Postby murugans61 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:24 am

Hari Om

Thank you for the discussions on Vasanas and Karmaphalas. My understanding of vasanas is as follows:

In the chronology of an action, Vasana comes first, followed by thoughts, then desires and finally actions. Vasanas when not manifest remain dormant in us as our potential nature. Vasanas are unmanifest thoughts, Thoughts are unmanifest desires. Desires are unmanifest actions. Since Action is symbol of our life, we are a substantial form of our insubstantial vasanas. Our ritual of buring camphor is indicative of reaching the vasanaless state.
How do we eradicate vasanas :
Vasanalessness to Thoughtlessness to Desirelessness to Actionlessness is the right process. If we wrongly understand actionlessness as abstinence from action even while vasanas remain unmanifest in us, we will only put restrcitions or restraints on our actions even while vasanas are there in us and it will lead to suppression of action and not sublimation. The only way to eradicate vasanas is to have right knowledge, study and practice of our scriptures thereby chasten our vasanas, thoughts and desires, thereby perform right, selfless actions which leads to chitha suddhi and eradication of vasanas.
In the chronology of action, human beings alone, due to the faculty of subtle intellect, strengthened by knowledge, has the choice of not simply acting according to the vasana, thought, desire, action cycle. In other words, we need not be a slave of our vasanas.
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Re: Vasanas and Karma Phala

Postby murugans61 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:50 am

Hari OM
Regarding Karma phalam, my understanding is:
Every action produces phalam. No action goes with out a phalam. However, it can be immediately visible (dhrishta phalam) leading to sukkam/dhukkam or invisble ( adhrishta phalam) leading to punyam/papam.
How long does it take for today's adhrishtam to be converted into dhristam. The duration is not fixed and it varies from karma to karma, like the different lead times of fructification of different seeds.
Thus when a person dies there are many unfrutified punya - papas which remain potential in the sukshma/karana sariram. At death, we loose only the physical body. Our Suksma/Karana sariram moves to another body to exhaust our punya-papa, ie the karma phalams. Hence punar janma takes place to exhaust the punya papas and experinece the suka dhukkams. While experiencing these in the next body, we perform more karmas and hence acquire more karma phalams and the cycle goes on and on. God does not determine the type of birth and type of experiences. They are determined by our punya papas acquired during the cycle.

Are we slaves of this cycle, if not, how can we break this cycle. We can take care of this cycle, by taking charge of our future by right actions and right knowledge. My present situation is due to my past and hence my future situation will be governed by my present actions based on my free will. Therfore, by performing right actions with right attitude now, we can get right karmaphalams.

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Re: Vasanas and Karma Phala

Postby uma » Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:28 am

Padmajaji and Muruganji , Pranam.

I am indeed grateful to this forum and am learning a lot from these discussions. Thanks to all !

Padmajaji, please..."I think its better to make a mental note that "good karma phala as viewed by society is unrelated to purification of mind". (Otherwise as soon as we decide to start following karma yoga we might question and blame holy Gita.:P )

Please, if there is any flaw or misunderstanding, it is due to my misinterpretation. I would never ever blame Gita. Plase do not say so even in jest.

Here, what I meant tallies exactly with what Meeraji has stated under Geeta Forum. Rules of the society differ from society to society, from culture to culture, from time to time. Because they are man made rules. However, Ruta or Vishwaniyam, rules of the universe are constant and applicable to all, all the time. So our behaviour may contradict rules of the society at certain times, but should always be in conformity with natural laws. Example of this could be Mahatma Phule, who advocated for education of women against society customs that time. Such people were opposed by the society and were even stamped as wrong doers at one point of time but later their work was applauded.

If you consider marriage, in our country..India, bigamy is not favoured by law. But in other countries, it may be perfectly legal. In some other countries, it may be considered by everyone as moral too. Depends on cultural and traditional practices.

Muruganji's answers are very nice and his thoughts are very well defined.

About karma phala, I am not so sure. I feel, there may be some other factors involved, such as prarabdha ( destiny ) , actions of people around you etc.

To cite an example, even after studying hard, I may not get good marks. Could be due to my luck, destiny or it may be that others have studied much more than me.

Thank you very much Padmajaji...for initiating such thought provoking discussions. It does help to hear others' views and to get the doubts clarified.

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Re: Vasanas and Karma Phala

Postby Padmaja » Tue Apr 20, 2010 9:49 am

Hari OM Umaji. Pranams.

Sorry that my statement came across like that. You answered my question and I made a mental note of that to myself. You know, I had written earlier "we better make a mental note"..then I suddenly felt you might misunderstand that because 'we' means 'you and I' so after posting I went back and edited my post and removed the word 'we' from first part and changed it to 'its better to make a mental note' still you misunderstood it. Looks like Bhagvan answered my 'karma phala' question :-) ..my karma was in my control and I tried my best But karma phala that came out is not what I intended, so in essence, we can control only Karma, Karma Phala is not in our control !!! :-)
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Re: Vasanas and Karma Phala

Postby uma » Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:20 pm

Padmajaji..

Pranam

Rest assured there is no misunderstanding.

In fact, I always like all your practical examples and the discussions. Here too, I loved your remarks in the last post about karma an karma phalas :)

Let the discussion flow smoothly..it is quite interesting.

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Re: Vasanas and Karma Phala

Postby vanajaravinair » Sat May 01, 2010 10:35 am

Hari Om
My name is Vanaja, and I am a seeker of Truth. This discussion is really nice.
Pranams to all family members.

We are born to exhaust our previous vasanas, in conducive circumstances.
Vasanas are created by the positive and negative reactions of our karmas (Thought also is a karma). If we do our karmas without expecting the results from it (nishkama-karma), and just do the work for the joy of doing it, then more new vasanas would not be added on our vasanas.
Gurudev has said: "Do not work for getting happiness, work WITH happiness". If we have a mission, and we are inspired to do something, then the work itself gives us happiness. We need not have to expect the result or karma phala. For example, we take care of our babies. We look after them forgetting our own troubles while caring for them, and the process of upbringing itself is self-rewarding. We feel happy to have spend all the time with our babies. Then we have already feel fulfilled and there is no need of any expectation of getting anything from that.

According to me, heaven means our own tranquil mind and hell is agitated state of mind. When we do charity, for example, we feel satisfied and our mind feels peace, but suppose we harm someone deliberately or rob somebody, then our mind gets agitated. The action of charity is punya, and that of harming someone is sin or papa. The state of mind which was experienced when we were at peace, was heaven; and when we experiencing mental agitation, our state of mind was hell. Peace or Sin depends upon our own actions.
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Re: Vasanas and Karma Phala

Postby nachiketa » Sat Dec 11, 2010 1:00 pm

Hi evry1...I hav a doubt...

1. What is it wich is born?
2. What is that wich holds the vasanas and produces subsequent karma phalas?
3. What is it again which dies?

Is it the illusory ego?...evr changing and thus ephemeral body?...ego-ridden (transient) bodily notion?...OR...the saakshi...COSCIOUSNESS!!!
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Re: Vasanas and Karma Phala

Postby kugan » Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:37 pm

Hari Om,
It's been awhile since I've logged on. Was magnetically pulled back by the mass message sent by Padmajaji. Pranams. 

Just some thoughts. Im not really qualified to answer but just want to share.

I believe that any action will generate some vasanas. Even one that is noble or without desire. 

Vasanas could be put into two Categories; "Subha" or Beneficent and "Asubha" or Maleficent. Beneficent Vasanas help liberation. Japa, Dhyana, Good Works, Charity, Selfless Service, Compassion....these are all beneficent. The maleficent tendencies of Anger, Cruelty, Greed, Lust, Egoism have to be uprooted with the help of the beneficent; and finally, as the thorn with which the thorn in the foot is removed, is also thrown away, the Vasanas that were used to overcome the Vasanas that hurt are also to be discarded. The Subhavasanas are the products of attachment and produce further attachment which may persist through many births. The Jivamuktha too has to conquer the Subhavasanas. For him, they should be like a burnt rope that cannot bind. In fact the entire group, sensual craving, desire, greed, gets burnt, the moment the Atman is visualised.

Just like a room filled with darkness. Once you turn on the light, where did the darkness go? It was never there in the first place. 
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Re: Vasanas and Karma Phala

Postby Padmaja » Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:27 pm

Hari Om. Pranams.

Welcome back Kuganji... :-) and thanks for sharing your thoughts.

I don't know how I missed seeing this post earlier. Nachiketa ji - all your questions are really good for reflection. Thanks for giving this food for our thought.
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Re: Vasanas and Karma Phala

Postby Padmaja » Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:52 am

Hari Om. Pranams.

My thoughts on your questions -

From absolute standpoint - nothing is born, there are no vasanas, no karma phalas and no death.

From relative standpoint -

We have 3 bodies. Body which takes part in transaction is gross body (like a dice or a piece used in a board game), Body that plays those transactions is subtle body (player of the game) and Body that stores and records impressions of all transactions is causal body (reservoir of what player has collected and lost in all games. Player's mood and moves are result of this).

When a player takes up new dice and pieces to start a fresh game it is called as his birth. When that game is over it is called as his death. So, birth and death are 'relative to games'. Games are played one after the other this way. Player's ability of what he can and what he can't play and his joy and sorrow totally depends upon the results of those games. If he is angry about previous game then he makes further mistakes in the next game and loses even more. If he is calm then he does what needs to be done in next game and gains more.

When he gets tired of constant stress of winning and losing games then game does not entertain him any more. He puts aside dice and game pieces and starts thinking. Once he frees himself from games he becomes available to himself. Grace dawns and he discovers his own glory that does not depend upon outcome of any game. He realises games are 'made up things' just for the entertainment and what happens there really does not affect him. He figures out that 'taking games to be real' was the cause of all his sorrows. He may play after that or may not play, games don't control his life any more. He then goes on telling others compassionately 'play but don't take game to be real'....

nachiketa wrote:Hi evry1...I hav a doubt...
1. What is it wich is born?
2. What is that wich holds the vasanas and produces subsequent karma phalas?
3. What is it again which dies?
Is it the illusory ego?...evr changing and thus ephemeral body?...ego-ridden (transient) bodily notion?...OR...the saakshi...COSCIOUSNESS!!!
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