Karma Creations relation to Gunas

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  • #14673

    Hello Ashish Sir,

    I just started reading your articles and watching your videos posted. Thanks for sharing your wisdom on vedic Philosophy. In one of the articles, you mentioned that soul choose desires (Gunas) and Karma controls opportunities (sat) and abilties (chit). I feel there is a cyclic connection among desires (Gunas), opportunities (sat) and abilities (chit) and Karma. I am having little difficulty understand the connections. Could you please elaborate little more on that with some concrete example? My understanding is that space is a hierarchical structure of possibilities (sit), and Matter is a set of qualities or abilities (chit) and Gunas (ananda) are set of desires (not sure the structure of gunas whether flat or hierarchal or tree of meaning). The soul chooses a set of desires (Gunas) and assuming some seed karma. Based on the seed karma soul gets a role (opportunity) and ability (Karma filters out the possibilities and abilities and soul do not have free will here) and performs an action and experience it, which is also creating karma. The cycle continues. In this cycle Gunas(desires), opportunities(roles), abilities and Karma keep changing based on cyclical time component.

    Thanks

    #14674
    Ashish Dalela
    Keymaster

    For most people, it is a cycle. For spiritually inclined people, it is an upward spiral. For spritually disinclined people, it is a downward spiral. And for one who is perfected spiritually, it is linear progress. There isn’t one example to illustrate the full issue. There are different examples for different situations. You can read the article Free Will—Self-Control vs. Other-Control to understand some of this. It has a reference to Sāñkhya Sūtra if you want to understand things in even more detail.

    The general principle is called Bhedābheda, which means distinct but inseparable. Karma is distinct from Guna, but we cannot totally separate Karma from Guna. Karma limits our opportunities, and when the opportunity is limited, sometimes Guna changes. Thus, a materially inclined person sometimes loses interest in material pursuits when he suffers a lot—the “grapes are sour” renunciation. It is temporary, but it can be uplifting. Likewise, a renounced person sometimes falls into the cesspit of material enjoyment when there is abundant availability of enjoyment due to Karma. This is why even renounced people fall prey to hedonistic and reprehensible behaviors. Hence, what you call “clarity”, which involves a neat box-like separation between different things, doesn’t exist. Don’t try to draw boxes and cycles in your mind (or on paper) to understand these things. That will certainly lead to confusion. Try to understand Bhedābheda, which is a more sophisticated principle of multiple distinct things that can also mutually affect each other.

    In general, everything can affect everything else. But everything doesn’t always affect everything else, due to choice. Some people may not develop renunciation despite suffering a lot, and some people will not be allured by enjoyment despite its availability. Many cyclical, progressive, regressive, helical, and linear paths are theoretically possible. But it is not deterministic. It is based on a person’s choice. Guna and Karma are potentials. A person with strong willpower can control all of their effects. The person with weak willpower mostly succumbs to all of them.

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