Thursday, 22 October 2015

William Q Judge's Aphorisms on Karma and Hindu Scripture (Part 3)


Keep in mind that Mr. Desikacharya is arguing from the  Dvaita Vedanta school, a very theistic, dualistic and realistic philosophy. His critique seems to be that when the Aphorisms agree with his school, then they can’t be original esoteric ideas and when they don’t agree with Vedantic scripture, then they aren’t valid.  I think that his very erudite references can just as easily show that the aphorisms are compatible with Vedantic schools in general and the ones that do not have parallels in Hindu scriptures show that they are not dependent on same.

(22) Karma may be of three sorts (a) Presently operative in this life through the appropriate instruments; (b) that which is being made or stored up to be exhausted in the future; (c) Karma held over from past life or lives and not operating yet because inhibited by inappropriateness of the instrument in use by the Ego, or by the force of Karma now operating.

This is exactly what is called Sanchita Prarabdha, by our Vedantic writers, who group the second and third classes of Karma into one, and name it Sanchita, which simply means that which is stored np for operation in future. I may here add that no notice is taken of Agami (future) Karma in the above Aphorism. The reader is referred to the Vedanta Sutras IV, 1, 13 and 15, and any Commentary thereon.

(23) Three fields of operation are used in each being by Karma: (a) the body and the circumstances; (b) the mind and intellect; (c) the psychic and astral planes.

With a slight difference in detail, this is just the same as is given in our writings, e. g ., the Bhagavadgita.

 (24) Held-over Karma or present Karma may each, or both at once, operate in all of the three fields of Karmic operation at once, or in either of those fields a different class of Karma from that using the others may operate at the same time.

This is an inference from the two preceding Aphorisms.

 (25) Birth into any sort of body and to obtain the fruits of any sort of Karma is due to the preponderance of the line of Karmic tendency.

See Aphorism No. 16.

“ The important Karma, with its auxiliaries, determines the nature of enjoyment, (such as rank, age, &c.) in the next birth.” (Vyasadeva, Commentary on Patanjali, II, 13)

 (26) The sway of Karmic tendency will influence the incarnation of an Ego, or any family of Egos, for three lives at least, when measures of repression, elimination, or counteraction are not adopted.

 (27) Measures taken by an Ego to repress tendency, eliminate defects, and to counteract by setting up different causes, will alter the sway of Karmic tendency and shorten its influence in accordance with the strength or weakness of the efforts expended in carrying out the measures adopted.

(28) No man but a sage or true seer can judge another's Karma. Hence while each receives his deserts appearances may deceive, and birth into poverty or heavy trial may not be punishment for bad Karma, for Egos continually incarnate into poor surroundings where they experience difficulties and trials which are for the discipline of the Ego and result in strength, fortitude, and sympathy.

 “ He who knows Karma is a wise man.” (Bhagavadgita, V. 19)

In the Chhandogyopanishad, mention is made of a great Adept, Raikwa by name, who was suffering from leprosy, as the result of bad Karma in one of his previous births, and, notwithstanding that he was a knower of Brahman, he had to experience the effects of Karmas other than Prarabdha. (See also Brahmasutras, IV, 4—15).

(29) Race-Karma influences each unit in the race through the law of Distribution. National Karma operates on the members of the nation by the same law more concentrated. Family Karma governs only with a nation where families have been kept pure and distinct; for in any nation where there is a mixture of family -- as obtains in each Kaliyuga period -- family Karma is in general distributed over a nation. But even at such periods some families remain coherent for long periods, and then the members feel the sway of family Karma. The word "family" may include several smaller families.

(30) Karma operates to produce cataclysms of nature by concatenation through the mental and astral planes of being. A cataclysm may be traced to an immediate physical cause such as internal fire and atmospheric disturbance, but these have been brought on by the disturbance created through the dynamic power of human thought.

In the Mahabharata, Yanaparva, it is said that at the end of Kaliyuga, owing to the prevalence of Adharma and neglect of religious duties, famines, pestilence, and cataclysms will take place, and carry away men and women by thousands. The whole manifested nature, whether material or astral, is governed by Karmic law. Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra and other deities do their work, towards an individual, a nation, a race, or the whole world, according to the nature of the fruits of Karma they deserve. In Sanskrit writings, thought and the deity presiding over it are identical, and so both are involved when an action relating to either of them is mentioned.

(31) Egos who have no Karmic connection with a portion of the globe where a cataclysm is coming on are kept without the latter's operation in two ways: (a) by repulsion acting on their inner nature, and (b) by being called and warned by those who watch the progress of the world.