Human life is dependent; meaning it is in the grasp of prarabdha (Destiny). It cannot be changed and has no alternative other than facing the consequences; even the spiritually evolved have to face the consequences to exhaust it. ‘Then, how can one overcome the sufferings due to prarabdha ?’ is a question that is likely to play on the minds of readers. ‘Prarabdha cannot be altered and one has to face the consequences’; but because of sadhana (Spiritual practice) performed with intense yearning, blessings of the Guru, grace of God etc., prarabdha becomes tolerable and can easily be overcome. Mild or moderate prarabdha can be overcome through individual sadhana; but severe prarabdha can be overcome only by the grace of Guru or God.
1. Diseases and their remedy
A. Taking or not taking treatment on the ailment does not greatly alter the prarabdha
Even when we take treatment for our illness, the proportion of sorrow continues to remain the same. For example, even if there is immediate relief after treatment, the examination fees of the doctor, pain due to injections, surgery, bitter medicine, side-effects of the medicine, dietary do’s and don’t to be followed etc. amount to the sorrow of the patient. The sum total of all these sorrows equals that decided in the prarabdha-karma. Even if this be the case, medical treatment should not be avoided.
B. Spiritual remedies on the illness help in overcoming the prarabdha
When the illness is because of spiritual reasons, spiritual remedies should be carried out along with the medical treatment. Chanting a particular Deity’s Name is a remedy for a particular type of spiritual cause. For example, chanting the Name of Shri Ganapati helps in increasing vital energy.
The horoscope at the time of birth gives a fair idea of the consequences of the prarabdha to be exhausted during this birth. In a favourable planetary position, result of merits can be experienced in the form of money, happiness, honour and prestige, fame etc. and in a non-favourable planetary position, the results of demerits are experienced as unhappiness, insult, illness, monetary losses etc. When we get to know of the unfavourable prarabdha, we can take advice from astrologers. Similarly, advance knowledge of unfavourable prarabdha helps us prepare psychologically for it.
Every individual has his own kriyaman-karma (Willful actions), and hence predictions made as per the science of Astrology cannot be entirely correct.
3. Dharmacharan (Abiding by Dharma)
अधर्म एव मूलं सर्व रोगाणाम् ।
Meaning : Adharma (unrighteousness) is the root of all ills.
This proves that abiding by Dharma is of utmost importance for overcoming prarabdha. Following and understanding the underlying science in the daily achars (Code of righteous conduct as prescribed by the scriptures) mentioned in Dharma like Kulachar, Holy festivals, Religious festivals and Vowed religious observances is Dharmacharan.
Sadhana is the way to eliminate sanskars (Subconscious
impressions) and to overcome sanchit and prarabdha-karma
A sown seed germinates as soon as it gets water and manure. The tiny seedling becomes a tree in due course of time, and at an appropriate time, begins to yield fruits too. However, if the seed to be sown is roasted in fire before sowing, it will never germinate because even if it retains its form, its capacity to germinate is destroyed. Similarly, there are ways to destroy sanchit and sanskars on our chitta (subconscious mind). They are ritualistic worship, chanting the Name of Deity, following different Paths to God-realisation like Karma, Devotion, Meditation, Knowledge, detachment and renunciation. The heat generated from correct sadhana burns all types of sanskars on the chitta and their capacity to germinate is forever destroyed. In a nut shell, sadhana destroys all the sanskars that leads to overcoming of sanchit and prarabdha-karmas.
Principle behind overcoming the destined sufferings because of sadhana
Only sadhana can increase the Sattva component. Once the prarabdha-bhog starts, intellect is affected, and accordingly, thoughts come to the mind of the person. The thoughts can be pertaining to the Sat (Absolute Truth) or asat (non-truth), but to act accordingly or not is entirely dependent on the individual; and the fact is, unless the antahkaran becomes Sattva predominant, an individual cannot achieve it.
When Sattva component reaches the extremity, intellect is purified, after which there is self-realisation that leads to elimination of prarabdha.
Sadhana leads to spiritual progress, which further leads to overcoming prarabdha.
Prarabdha can be overcome by kriyaman-karma, meaning the efforts. Intense yearning is the key to spiritual practice. If there is yearning, God definitely helps in some form or the other. It eliminates the obstacles that obstruct spiritual progress.
5. Help from the spiritually evolved
The resolve of the person who advises to perform a certain ritual to accomplish a specific task is the true cause of the benefit. Hence, a spiritually evolved person’s advice of this type is more beneficial than that of an astrologer. As the person who advises to perform a specific ritual is an important component. Saints do not interfere in an individual’s prarabdha. They guide him and give him moral support to face the consequences of his prarabdha and become a nominal medium as the person reaches the end of his prarabdha. When something good is destined to happen because of the prarabdha, they definitely give their blessings. Saints do not do anything that contradicts with the person’s prarabdha.
6. Gurukrupa (Grace of the Guru)
For a disciple, the Guru is his world. At the time of initiation, the Guru takes complete responsibility of all the karmas of His disciple. The disciple’s prarabdha can certainly be changed if he gets the Guru’s grace. Guru spells out the remedial measures to save the devotee from the consequences of prarabdha. The root cause of all the karmas is ego. Guru destroys the ego, and therefore, all karmas of past births get destroyed.
7. God’s grace
A. Saint Janardan has said, ‘Janardan (Himself) is destined to face the consequences of the prarabdha and only Harikrupa (God’s grace) can destroy them.’
B. ‘God’s mercy can change the prarabdha’ – Maharshi Arvind