In the previous episode, we’ve witnessed Sage Maarkandeya entering into Yudishtra’s hamlet wherein Bhagawan Krishna and the others are sitting and chatting with each other. Bhagawan Krishna too is seeing the Paandavas after a long time, and He too has words of praise for Yudishtra, which we’ve witnessed earlier. As this is going on, Sage Maarkandeya comes in and as he settles down, he wants to render some important pieces of advice to Yudishtra and Co. However, he is not knowing from where he should start, and this is where Yudishtra is asking an important question to kick-start the conversation. Yudishtra asks Sage Maarkandeya about the “Karma Theory” and how people are induced into performing actions every passing day. As usual, Yudishtra puts the question in a beautiful form, which stimulates Sage Maarkandeya to give an even more beautiful answer. Yudishtra’s question is this – If people like us perform actions, is it because Bhagawan makes us perform them, or is it because we do them with only our own discretion? If we do it in our own discretion, why bring Bhagawan into the picture? If on the other hand we say that if Bhagawan is making us do whatever we’re doing, why blame us for whatever results come by?
Now this is a tricky question here – I’m sure many of us also might have this question in mind and in the present day, we would put it in a different way – What is “Fate” or “Destiny”? Is “Destiny” the reason why we do certain things in life? Or, if our own intelligence is responsible for them? For instance, if we study hard and become a doctor or a scientist, is it because destiny wanted us to become a doctor, or is it our intelligence and hard work that made us whatever we are? If we say that destiny makes us whatever we are, then we might immediately ask the counter question as to why at all should we do any work by using our effort and intelligence? At the same time, if we say that it is only our hard work and effort which made us achieve whatever we’ve achieved, where is Bhagawan here in the picture? In the literal sense, if this becomes true, we would conveniently perform all sins possible and put the blame on Bhagawan by saying that Bhagawan should take responsibility for all whatever we’ve done! On the other hand, if we do all good things (Punya Karma), we would immediately jump in and say that it is only because of our effort and hard work we achieved things! Bhagawan has no role to play in this! So what is the middle line here? Which one is true? This is exactly what Yudishtra is asking here.
Asking this question thus, Yudishtra doesn’t stop there. He continues to ask a series of other questions as well. He asks thus, “Oh Sage! Tell me one thing – If it is true that we’ve to experience the resultant of all our “Karma” that we perform, where will we experience them? Is it in this “Lokha” itself or will we go to various different other “Lokhas” to experience the fruits of what we’ve performed? If we’ve performed “Punya-Karma”, will we be able to reap the benefits of it in our “Manushya Lokha” or elsewhere? Moreover, will our “Karma” keep continuing along with us for subsequent births that we might have to take after this one? Or, will it come to an end with our death here itself? If it comes along, how will it come? Will we keep experiencing the “Karma-Phalam” birth after birth? Is there no end to it at all? Oh Sage Maarkandeya! You’ve to clear all these doubts that I have in my mind. With whatever you’re going to tell me, please make me understand the answers for all these questions and doubts that I have!”
As Yudishtra says thus, Sage Maarkandeya laughs out and replies, “Oh Yudishtra! You’ve asked an important set of questions in a very easy form, but actually, these are extremely tough questions to answer! You’ve just finished asking your questions within 2-3 minutes, but I guess I’ve to spend a lot of time answering them, because even great Maharishis are still struggling to find answers for these pertinent questions! But nevertheless, let me try answering your questions – To begin with, let me make one point very clear here – Definitely Bhagawan is supreme and all “Jeevatmas” have to come under Bhagawan’s control. All our Karma is being controlled by Bhagawan somewhere! Hence, there is no escape from that! However, there is a check here!”
As Sage Maarkandeya says thus, he gives a pause! So for today, let us understand up to this pause point and we shall ponder over Yudishtra’s questions and Sage Maarkandeya’s initial reactions to them! We shall continue this interesting conversation in the next episode as well! Stay tuned! 🙂