Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Some Clarifications-I: Of Karma and Predestination

Every time I think I have expressed myself clearly I find that I have only successfully muddied the waters. In my posts about Karma and Predestination, I have tried to explore the internal consistency of the theories without trying to bring in my own beliefs. It may be best to say that my own personal belief is in the Advaitic philosophy, though I cannot cite reasons why I repose my belief in it.

As for the areas where there is lack of clarity, the first is in the extent to which predestination operates. Theoretically predestination may be considered to operate in the following ways:

1. Predestination determines what you get in the world but not what you do or think.

2. Predestination determines what you do as well as what you get but not what you think.

3. Predestination determines everything.

I do not have any specific opinion between the first two, which is probably why my earlier post does not clearly clarify a position on this count. Equally as clearly, I do not believe in the third option. I believe that the realm of the mind is the realm of free choice.

The Karma philosophy does leave the realm of the mind to you. Firstly, you earn ‘Good Karma’ or ‘Bad Karma’ based on your life. If everything were to be predestined, you would be a mere puppet in the hands of destiny. To first make you a murderer and then assign ‘Bad Karma’ to you would be akin to sentencing the gun to death for having killed a person! Secondly, Hindu philosophy advocates ‘Nishkamya karma’ (doing your duty without desire). Tacitly then it says to desire or not desire is in your hands which, in effect, means that the realm of the mind is for you to control and not under the control of destiny.

It is easy to think of various options where I cannot give an answer to how my assumptions of predestination are suitable. I can think of some myself! But, then, my imagination is incapable of conceiving of ‘infinity’ or ‘eternity’ but that does not mean that my belief in either is misplaced!


  1. Beautifully said and points are valuable..
    We attribute everything as PREDESTINED.

    Like saying 2*2= 4.... 4 is predestined

  2. Thanks for coming by..Btw, it is your earlier comment that inspired my next post