Darshan On Astikya, Faith In Karma
August 15, 1977 am
[Bapuji translated by Gurudev]
Beloved satsangis, lovers of God and Guru, today I will talk to you about one of the aspects of the niyamas, called astikya. That means to have faith in karma. The definition of astikya is that, to have faith in the desirable actions and to form, perform them properly and realize which are the actions to be disregarded and to avoid them.
Vihit karma means the desirable karma. Desirable karmas are all included in the yamas and niyamas. They can also be called good actions. The words, “satkarma” means, “good actions are worth understanding.” “Sat” means God and “karma” means actions. The actions performed in order to attain to the Lord is called “satkarma.” All such karmas are desirable karmas. The karmas that turn us away from God are undesirable actions.
Undesirable actions create impurities in the body and mind. While desirable actions or karmas purify the body and mind, the conditions under which we are raised, they continuously create impressions on our minds. And the actions performed by our parents, our family, our immediate society really create deeper impressions upon us.
When individuals perform the actions according to the surrounding he is raised in, then those actions are to be reexamined again and found out which are the good actions and which are not proper. Some of the impressions that we receive in the childhood are so deep that they are continuing throughout our whole life.
If those impressions are good, we receive benefit, and if they are not good, then we have to suffer the consequences. In childhood, any actions or thoughts we cannot appropriately evaluate, gradually we begin to grow in our faculty of evaluation, and then we are able to decide what we want to do and what we don’t.
As soon as our faculty to evaluate right from wrong begins to grow, our thinking in depth begins to take place and we can also take desirable direction in the life. As a result of this deep reflection, we accept these old karmas or thought, and we accept some new karmas and thought lines.
You already are told that Vihit Karma is good karma and worth practicing, and other karma, ‘nishuddha karma’ [?] is worth rejecting or dropping of. For example, in yamas, the first one is truth. So the truth is worth practicing and lie is worth dropping. Nonviolence, similarly, nonviolence is worth practicing, and violence is worth giving up.
Not to steal is acceptable and to steal must be dropped. Non-attachment is worth keeping and attachment is worth giving up. Brahmacharya is worth practicing and lust is worth giving up. Similarly, all aspects of yamas and niyamas can be understood.
All the karmas that are mentioned among yamas and niyamas, they are scientific and they bring peace and happiness. All the karmas that are undesirable, they are born out of selfishness and they must be dropped. And they are unscientific.
GURUDEV: (Laughing). Look at Bapuji’s hands, how high it is going.
BAPUJI: Bapuji says, this is my hand. We can go only this far.” [Laughing]. If we try to touch it here, it is undesirable action. And that will hurt our hand. Similarly, any action of the mind, if we do it within its limitation, it will be beneficial. But if we go beyond it, it will be harmful.
Sometimes it so happens that an individual may have any particular karma anywhere. Neither may he have heard anything about it, and yet he goes into that karma. Where does such thoughts and actions come from?
We will have to accept that they come from mind itself. When our thinking ability and our discriminating ability increase, the mind can think new thoughts. Then you must remember all good actions recommended in the scriptures are worth practicing, and all actions that are not acceptable, described in scriptures, must be dropped.
Whatever actions we perform is the result of the company. When such actions performed by the power of the company, and when it brings us happiness, it creates doubts in us. Through whichever actions and thoughts gets the benefits, our trust in it goes on increasing. From observing these results, we can say that it is the faith that helps us hold onto karma or perform the karma, and it is the lack of faith that helps us to give up the karma.
It is the lack of faith that helps us to give up karma. In other words, because we don’t have faith, we give up that karma. The faith elevates our life. And this is why great masters emphasize good karma. Just as our faith increases, we begin to get more and more light of spirituality. And this is what helps us to progress.
The actions that does not bring up the results immediately, we sometimes have a doubt in it, that “maybe we won’t get the results.” It is necessary which kind of actions bring results at what time or after what period. That means that with faith you also need the knowledge. This way the knowledge, the faith, the karma are interrelated, and only after the proper harmonious balance of these three, we get the results.
The individuals, those who have been successful in any specific field, they have the best experiences in that field. There have been many examples of the saints in this world. Those who were very cruel and dishonest in their earlier life. But when they came in the company of the great saints, their whole life was changed. Such evil people give up evil actions only when they are appropriately impressed by the opposite thoughts and actions.
As soon as the faith is generated in one’s thoughts, one’s mind, the progress becomes very simple. this faith is born out of the successful actions. And when one fails in whatever one is doing, the doubt begins to come up. There are individuals who pick up different fields of work, and they give up.
The reason is, they do not get the proper experiences in that field. As a result, they give that up and pick up something else. There could be two reasons. When that individual is conducting proper experiment but he does not get the desirable result, he has doubt. But when he gets the desired result, then he feels he is successful and he has faith.
Among the common masses, the faith that they have has its own results. Faith in the specific areas, which is not clarified. Suppose there is a family of five members. Among that, three individuals are sick. Now, two members of the family have to take care of and serve the three of them. They are very much worried. And they go through all the possible ways out of this difficult situation.
Somebody may advise them, “Do mantra japa,” and by the grace of God, then this, your family members will get well. One side, they have to serve these three members of the family. Another side serve God and then take care of the family needs. How difficult it is. and yet one begins japa. And suppose after one week an individual gets better, and after two or three days, second member gets better, and then after two, three days, third member gets better. Then there will be great faith in japa.
This is called faith. This way we perform all actions by observing the results. When we are disappointed in the result of our action, then we give up that action. The reason is because we did not get the desired results from those actions. This way we accept certain actions and we give up certain actions.
There are some karmas. They do not bring immediate results. For that you have to perform that action for a long period of time. If we cannot keep the patience for a long time, this is why we do not experience the true results of the actions.
If we observe the history and the lives of the scientists, we will be able to notice very clearly that despite innumerable failures, they sustain and maintain their work with patience. And as a result, they have been successful. There are some actions and there will be some such actions for which we cannot expect the results within one or two months or one or two years. We may have to continue them for a long period of time in order to see the results.
If an individual goes out of a travel of this world on foot, it will take many years. and if he takes support of an ordinary method of travel, it will take him little less time. If he goes on increasing the speed of the vehicle he is using, the kind of vehicle is using, the time of travel would be reduced gradually.
Now we have to think as to what kind of travel we have taken on. If we are travelling without any external help on the foot, it will take definitely long time. To have patience for such a long time, this is not possible. It is possible only with faith.
We must say that the faith is created in two ways. There is one faith that is God himself and that has the power to continuously sustain any given work, the one faith that is created form within as a grace of God. Another faith comes from the result of the action performed externally. The faith that is being born from within as grace of the God, is very few individuals have such a faith.
In one area, there was no rain from last two, three years. The whole public was very much restless about it. Many answers were searched for that. And yet nobody was successful in successfully solving those problems. When they had tried everything possible, only one thing that was left was prayer to God.
At the end of everything, eventually what is left is prayer to God. [Laughter]. God has made Man. Man is so egotistical, he does not accept the power of God. But when he gets tired and has nothing left for him to do, he looks at him.
Those who say, “God does not exist,” there is reason for that. The reason is they have been raised happily in a happy family from the very childhood. And whatever actions are taken on, they have been successful in it. They give more importance to their self-effort rather than to God. They say that, “Everything can be attained through self-effort.” There is another group of people in society, those who are very unhappy from the very birth. Whatever actions they perform, they find failure in it and disappointments in it. This is why they do not have faith in the self-effort. They keep feeling that there is some power over this entire world and everything is controlled by them and we can’t do anything on our own.
This way one way gives importance to the self-effort. Other ones give importance to the luck, or God’s grace. Among, in this two conditions are responsible for these two opinions or approaches. The person who believes in self effort, he believes in self effort as long as he believes in self effort. And other one has continuously failed. That is, his experience. Both of them believe in God in a different way. These both people have faith for different reasons in whatever they are believing.
This way, the faith and lack of faith has grown in this world. These people of this part of the country decided that, “We should pray to God for the rain.” Whatever work we do, because of the helpless condition, that work can not be properly done. There is no life in that work. All these people, that they decided to pray, was not a real prayer. It was the helplessness. “Let’s try this also.” (Laughter).
Here they are testing God. They say, “If we pray, and you don’t pour the rain, you are not capable.” But it is not so. The entire people of this area decided, “We will pray on such and such day in such and such place.” In every street, everyone was talking to each other. “Is it a prayer today?” “Yeah, yeah, it is there. We have to go there.” Everybody’s going. Let’s go too.”
Everybody gathered together to pray. From everywhere the large groups of people were pouring into the temple. At that time, one child, twelve years old, was going for darshan, for prayer with an umbrella. Everybody saw umbrella in this child’s hand and said, “Why are you carrying umbrella?” Then the child innocently said that, “While we pray to God, won’t he send us the rain right away? Wouldn’t we get wet if we didn’t take the umbrella?”
Everybody started laughing at him. What was the meaning of it? Nobody believed in it except the child. Everybody sat there for prayers. The child was also praying. And the child said, “Oh, merciful God, there is no rain and we are all unhappy because of it, so please grace us with rain.”
After a few minutes, the prayer was completed, and when everyone came out of the temple, the rain was coming down heavily. (Laughter). And the child had the umbrella. He was very happy. He was looking at everyone. “How foolish they are. They do give a great, good inspiration in a best possible way to his son. Gradually his son was growing in his art. Gradually the sculpting and the sculpturing of the son of this sculptor became very famous and known all over India.
When the son heard his own recognition of his art, he was greatly pleased. He used to go greatly excited with his appreciations of his art and was going to his father to show him how well he was respected. But father did not properly entertain his excitement, so the son was quite often disappointed. He said, “What a beautiful sculptor I have made and everyone is appreciating it but my father. ” He often used to ask his father, “Where is my mistake, father, would you please show me? I look at your sculpture and I cannot show you where the problem area is. You are a better artist than me even.”
BAPUJI: “Only thing I can tell you. There is some defect in this sculpture. I cannot show you or pinpoint where the difficulty is. ” So his son used to become very disappointed. One day he decided, “I must receive his praise somehow. ” Secretly he started sculpting a beautiful statue. When the entire sculpture was finished, he wrote his name at the bottom of it. Then he buried that statue about five hundred miles from his home town. And father was unaware of all these activities.
So according to plan of this sculptor’s son, it was declared, “There is a very old ancient statues here. Ancient place. Some of the statues have come out that have been excavated. There is one beautiful sculpture piece that has come out from the ground. ”
Some of the best sculptors from different parts of India were invited to see the beauty of this sculpture. Among them, this father and son, they were also invited. There, many people had arrived. everybody was appreciative of this sculpture. They said, “This is one of the most unusual piece of art. ” This father and son also arrived there. Father saw the sculpture that was appreciated by all other artists. The father was completely enchanted by that art work as soon as he saw it. And showed to his son and said, “See, this is called art. ”
The son was greatly pleased. He turned the sculpture over and showed his name on the bottom. Father got hold of the ear of the son. “You fool, you have played a trick with me? I did not appreciate you so that you would continue to grow. I believe that you would become too proud and egotistical by hearing my praise. This is why I wasn’t praising your art. ”
This is something worth remembering. When we hear our praise, it does give us one form of satisfaction but that is a great block in the progress. When we hear that praise we believe that this is truth. But that is one big illusion. Because quite often the well-wishers do praise but their appreciation is simply for an encouragement.
When other people praise, this is usually faulty. So determine firmly and clearly in your mind that flattery is not worth attending to. So what is worth attending to is your criticisms. That tastes very bitter. But by listening to that only, you can remove the crookedness of the mind.
Now I will talk about another sense. If the eyes see the things that are worth seeing, then it is going in a more natural path. But if the eyes see the thing that are not worth seeing, that is the crookedness of the sense of seeing. In India, these thoughts have been given a great importance. Even a little bit of fault or wrong experience do not enter into us through the body, mind, or senses if full precautions are taken. You would truly be amazed to hear this incident. And you would be able to guess that with what subtlety the thinking processes are attended to in India.
This the story of the old time. In that time, one Maharishi named, Jamadagni [?] was very famous. He was uncle of Maharishi Vishwamitra. His wife’s name was Satirenumadevi[?]. They had three sons. His youngest son’s name was Purusharam. There are ten incarnations considered of God and to them, Purusharam is one. He was Brahmin.
He has removed all the Kashatriyas, warrior class people from this earth, twenty one times. He was a great warrior.
He had so much anger towards Kahatriyas, warrior class so much that he didn’t want a single warrior class person on this earth. He was incomparable in his art of fight. One morning, Renukadevi went to the lake to get some water. Wife of this Rishi was very much rishi herself. She was very pious and self-controlled. when we arrived close from the lake, she saw a scene from the distance.
The musician of the devas, the devalup [?] he was playing with many women. At such place, the wife of a rishi will not go. She was going through the sadhana for many years and also providing the help to the husband in that manner also. The lustful life was thousands of miles away from her lifestyle. she was living pure, simple life of a Tapasvini. and this scene of playing of the opposite sexes was very sensual.
Her gaze fell upon a woman, her smile and her laughter and her gesture all filled her eyes and ears. She truly experienced the happiness. She felt that she had never had such an opportunity to have such experience of happiness. Her husband is always engrossed in his sadhana. He never had the time to play in the water like this. And he wouldn’t like this either. But in a very short time, she became very alert.
She said, “No,no, no, I am a Tapasvini and I should not have such thoughts. ” So soon she returned from there. She did not see that which is not worth seeing. But she, by mistake, she saw a little bit what was not worth seeing. So she returned without water. She could control those thoughts until she walked few steps. And soon in her imagination, that scene of women smiling and laughing, and the great joy that was around them, again appeared in front of her eyes. then she started thanking “If she laughs, how would it feel? How would she look?”
She started thinking those thoughts. she came with her slow foot and entered into the ashram. As soon as she entered into the ashram, Jamadagnirishi opened his eyes from his meditation. He looked at Renuka. He saw her thoughts very clearly. He was all knowing, omniscient, so he saw everything at once. That his wife had seen this lustful scene and she is going through these lustful thoughts.
So at once he called his older son and said, “Vussa[?],” he addressed him. So the older son heard that his father is calling him. So the older son quickly arrived. He said, “Father, may I know your wish?” He said, “Get that sword. ” He immediately picked up that sword. Until then, Renuka was standing very steady in one corner. She knew the powers of her husband very well so she was ashamed. So the older son said, “Whatever are your orders, father. ” He said, “Cut the head of this evil woman. ” The son was also fixed. He loved mother very much. And he could not ignore the command of the father either. He could not understand what to do.
The sword just fell away from his hand. He just walked away with his head down. He called another son. He came. He said, “Pick up that sword. Cut the head of your mother. ” He didn’t even pick up the sword. He stood for a short time and started crying and as he was crying, he left the room. At that time, Pususharam was very young and he was out and he returned at that time. From a distance, he saw Pususharam coming at a distance and he said. “Pususharam?”
He was loved very much by father and mother both. He quickly approached father and touched his feet and bowed down. “May I have your command?” “Take that sword. ” He took that sword immediately, “Cut the head of your mother. ” He just stopped for a second. The next second he raised his hand and approached mother. With one blow, he cut the head off his mother and threw away the sword.
Then he did “Shastang pranam”[?] to his father and started crying heavily. He said, “Father, make my mother alive. Go put her head over her shoulders. ” He immediately replaced the head in a proper place. Renuka was alive again. And her thoughts became pure again. Renuka came to her husband, bowed at his feet. “Now, with you, new Renuka has approached. All of the thoughts, they have completely disappeared. In my pure life of Tapasvini, such thoughts are not necessary. ”
Purusharam was greatly pleased. He loved mother very much and he also knew that father was a great Tapasvi, so he had obeyed command of the father. He knew that father could make his mother alive also. With that faith and trust, he had cut the head of his mother. From this you could imagine to what a unique life the Tapasvis of India lived.
The husband knew that his wife had one evil thought or a dirty thought. And he knew that just one thought could ruin her whole life as Tapasvinin. He loved his wife completely. So he did not desire that his wife, if this may hurt his wife and he could not bear with it either. And this is why he had ordered to chop her head off.
This particular kriya was done only to purify her. It was very simple for him to cut the head and replace it again. So in order to attain to the simplicity and straightforwardness like this, tapascharya is necessary. Similarly, if we make our body, mind and our thoughts simple and straightforward, our work will be simple. Now this concludes today’s talks.