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Love and Light

Divine Interaction: Good Actions and Gods Grace

After an evening Interview in March 2001, in the Ganesh Portico in Prasanthi Nilayam, Prof Anil Kumar's conversation with Bhagawan. Excerpt from Students Compilation ‘Heart to heart’.

Prof.AK: Swami, in temples, they do Pooja, Annadana etc so that the evil effect of the sins done by them will be removed…

Swami: All that is of no use. It might give personal satisfaction. But it cannot remove the effect of all the wrong things done. Suppose you mix the seeds of a thorny plant and a fruit-bearing tree and you sow that mixture, the plants that grow will be of both varieties. You should use your viveka (discrimination) and remove the thorny plant. In the same way, you have to accept the fruits of both good and bad actions and avoid bad actions. If you have diabetes, you cannot get away from it. But to reduce its effect, you should have diet-control, exercise etc. Peaople ask, ‘Anyway I am going to face the result of bad actions. What is the use of doing good actions?” If you do a good action, it will reduce the effect of bad actions. Otherwise, you will suffer more problems. If you do not know that you are doing a mistake, then it is not a sin. But if you commit the mistake knowingly, then it is great papam (sin). You should be able to discriminate between right and wrong, and do the right thing.

Prof.AK: Does Dharma change with time?

Swami: Dharma does not change with time, it changes with karma. That which changes with time is just fashion. Dharmamutho karma chesthe marmamu thelusthundhi (If you act in accordance with Dharma, you will understand the secret).

Prof.AK: Swami, you tell us that we are bound by karma, but there are so many types of karma, like Sachita karma, Agami karma, and Prarabdha karma. Which one should we follow?

Swami: Those are like different classes. Like the first, second and third standard. You go from first to second and from second to third. Similarly, there are different stages of karma and man has to go from one stage to another.

Prof.AK: Swami, is it because of past bad deeds that individuals undergo suffering?

Swami: Don’t worry about previous birth. The effects of yesterday will be felt today.

Prof.AK: Swami, it appears as if those who indulge in wrong deeds are having a merry time. How do we reconcile with this?

Swami: It only appears that way. But the people who will ultimately be happy are the ones who do good deeds. (Swami quoted a Telugu poem which means that even a king like Dharmaraja had to go to the forest, Rama too tested Sita, and one should be prepared for any eventuality at any moment, while leading a dharmic life).

Prof:AK: If an individual has to face the consequences of his actions, how does God’s grace come into the picture? How does it become relevant?

Swami: If you really have faith in God, you will be liberated from the effects of wrong deeds. But three-fourths of the people undertake bad actions inspite of knowing that the results will be bad.

Prof.AK: Swami, when a person knows that he is going to face the consequences of bad actions, why does he continue to indulge in such deeds?

Swami: They feel that when the time comes, they will pay attention and thus they continue with their misdeeds.

Prof AK: Swami, is it only the one who indulges in wrong action who faces the consequences?

Swami: If you eat food, will your wife’s hunger be satiated? Whoever eats food, only his hunger will be satisfied.

Prof.AK: Swami, then how do we understand the fact that the whole kingdom (Lanka) had to suffer due to the actions of one person, Ravana, in Ramayana?

Swami: Who said that all of them did not do any wrong? The only one who did not do any wrong was Vibheeshana and he was saved. Whoever does a wrong action, he alone has to face consequences. If her son’s leg gets hurt, the mother cannot tie the bandage to her own leg. She can at most console the child.

Prof. AK: Now-a-days, people do so much japa and daana (charity) and give money to the pujaris to perform rites on their behalf.

Swami: All such actions are of no use. It is because you give money that they are ready to do all that. Whenever a bad thought arises in your mind, do not implement it immediately. On the other hand, if a good thought arises, put it into action immediately. Any thought, good or bad, is subject to change with time. When a bad thought arises, take time and discriminate. Judge the consequences of action and then only should you take to action. Suppose in a temple, a person promises to donate Rupees 5000. On hearing this, another promises to give Rupees 10000. There will not be a problem if they willingly give away the money then and there. But if they go home and start pondering about the donation, they will begin to feel that Rupees 2500 would be a good enough sum to donate. When he goes to the cash box, he will feel that Rupees 1000 would do. Finally, when he picks up the cash, he feels that there is no real necessity to make the donation now. All this is illusion. Bhrama Unte Shrama tappadhu ( If there is illusion, one cannot escape from toil and suffering). Bhrama pothe Brahma vasthundhi ( If illusion leaves, Divinity will spring forth).

Prof. AK: Swami, you said that only the person who indulges in action will reap the benefit. When Suka narrated the Bhagavatham to Parikshith, it is Suka who should have acquired the merit from the narration and not Parikshith. But actually, Parikshith acquired the benefit of the narration.

Swami: Suka was already an enlightened individual.

Prof. AK: May be, the eagerness and enthusiasm of Parikshith to hear to the story of Bhagawatham brought him the merit of the action.

Swami: Apart from that, Parikshith was a Sthithapragna (Swami explained this with the help of an example). Ahalya turned in to a stone owing to the curse of a sage. All who touched the stone could not turn the stone back into Ahalya.Nor did all the stones that Rama touched turn into Ahalyas. It was only that particular ‘Ahalya stone’ that turned into Ahalya on being touched by Rama. Similarly, because Parikshith was a Sthithapragna and sage Suka had the ability to give the benefit to Parikshith, that he got the benefit.

Some people ask me to bless them with a husband like Rama. I tell them, if you conduct yourself in the manner similar to Sita, you will surely get a husband like Rama. On the contrary, if you behave like Surpanaka, the very same Rama will chop your nose and ears. In real life, al such small things matter most. Now-a-days people try to search for easy methods for everything.