Fluctuating Strength Of Destiny


According to Hindu philosophy, Karma (Action) is of three kinds -Sanchita (past), Agami (present) and Prarabdha (destiny); Prarabdha is that portion which is taken out of Sanchita for the purpose of this life. In other words, we can say that Prarabdha is the physical body itself for practical purposes. In this life one need not bother oneself about Sanchita. Agami-karma is that which one does while living and whose results are added to Sanchita after death.

Man is given the Will Power to do actions as he pleases with this physical body, subject to Prarabdha. What is this Prarabdha then? It is the asset or sum total which one took from his hoarded treasure of Sanchita (consisting of good and bad actions) and it should be enjoyed, whether one likes it or not, till it is exhausted i.e., till death; so death is nothing but the end of physical existence.

Now, it becomes necessary to know how this Prarabdha works in actual life. It only creates desires, thoughts, or tendencies in a person; the task of accomplishing them or not is entirely the province of Will Power, which is fully competent to accept, modify or reject such desires or thoughts. The degree to which the Will Power can act depends on the strength of Prarabdha in creating desires. Prarabdha may be strong, middling or weak; if weak, it is an easy matter for Will Power to combat it. If strong, however much the Will Power may try, it will be of no use; if middling, success or failure entirely depends on the strength of Will Power.

This can be better explained by the oft-quoted illustration. A buffalo is tied by a rope to a pole fixed in the earth; it can be near the pole, or go to the full extent of the rope, or go only to some extent of the rope; and if it is very strong it can even break the rope and escape from bondage. In this illustration the buffalo being tied by the rope is Prarabdha; its going to the full extent of the rope or staying near the pole is entirely in its discretion or Will Power; the breaking of the rope by its superior effort and strength is the breaking of Prarabdha or obtaining salvation or liberation from Samsara-the cycle of births and death -Kalyana Kalpataru.

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