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The grace of God, forgiveness and karma

Discussion in 'Hinduism DIR' started by Jainarayan, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. Jainarayan

    Jainarayan ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
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    My understanding of all this may be wrong, but isn't karma subject to being overridden by God? It seems that many or most of us think of karma as the first and foremost arbiter of our futures, with God taking a hands-off approach. I can't presently find the verse in the Bhagavad Gita, but I seem to recall Sri Krishna saying that not a blade of grass grows without His knowledge. And then there are the other verses that indicate that He takes an active role in running the universe and assisting in our salvation by His grace and His forgiveness of transgressions. If this is so, then we have a much closer relationship with God, that supercedes the laws of karma.

    Having been raised Christian, I am used to the idea of God being personal and highly involved in our welfare and salvation (I was always a renegade :p), being very hard to offend and push away, much as we see Sri Krishna in Vaishnavism. I'm not sure I understand just when and where God steps in to ameliorate the effects of karma, based on popular belief that karma is the controlling factor. I prefer to think of God as constantly bestowing grace and forgiveness when the bhakta is sincere. I am thinking that God(dess) does as much as S/He can to give us grace and help to improve our station in life, thereby achieving a higher birth. Or if we reject that, then we fall down. Thoughts?

    But then, of what avail is this detailed understanding of my manifestations to you, O Arjuna! Supporting this mighty universe with but one single fragment of My self, I remain unchanged and transcendent. 10.42

    Though performing every kind of work always, he who has taken refuge in Me shall, by My grace, attain to the eternal and indestructible state of Moksha. 18.56

    O scion of Bharata's clan! Seek refuge in [Me], making a total surrender of your being - body, mind and soul. By [My] grace you shall attain to supreme peace and the everlasting abode. 18.62.
     
  2. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Why would God override karma when He created it as a law? I see Grace as the outcome of dharma, and karma is just the methodology of that process.
     
  3. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Sorry, no Christian heaven in Hinduism. 'Mercy' (sorry, not really clear on the term,) comes when karma is worked out by the individual, and its not mercy in the Christian sense, but as a natural evolution of the soul's progression back to God.
     
  4. Maya3

    Maya3 Well-Known Member

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    I don´t think that God forgives and give salvation. God IS indestructible and pure consciousnesses. What happens instead is that once we figure out that we are no different from God and that we are in fact THAT, then karma falls away. The reason karma affects us is because we identify with the body and matter instead of our real selves.

    It´s like a child fighting over toys, it is extremely important to that child at that time but as he/she grows older he realizes that it doesn´t matter at all that he/she had the green car instead of the red car. It means nothing, they were both cars and you move on.

    Maya
     
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  5. Jainarayan

    Jainarayan ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
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    I don't know, therein lies my confusion vis-a-vis the personal nature of the conversation in the Bhagavad Gita and general Vaishnava belief (at least in my understanding) that God is very close to us, and how karma is executed.

    It may be that. By our actions we are receiving or rejecting God's grace, the results being delivered by karma.

    This is also something that stuck in my mind:

    Vishishtadvaita - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

     
  6. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Excellent wisdom. I tried to give you points whatever they're called, but I guess I must have given you some recently. I must say though, that in certain Vaishnava schools., the concepts like these aren't that far from western ones. But I certainly think more along your lines.
     
  7. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    I don't believe the Lord's grace (for moksha) is spontaneous. There is only one short cut. It's called hard work.
     
  8. Jainarayan

    Jainarayan ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
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    I think I'm coming from the saguna Brahman p.o.v., Brahman as the personal Vishnu/Narayana/Krishna, wherein Arjuna asks Krishna: "Therefore greeting Thee with my body stretched in prostration, I beseech Thee, O worshipful Lord, to be gracious unto me. Bear with me as a father with a son, as a friend with a friend, and as a lover with his beloved." 11.44
     
  9. Jainarayan

    Jainarayan ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
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    That they are closer to western concepts is true. Gaudiya Vaishnavism is heavy on the idea of Goloka and Vaikuntha, with grass, flowers, and eternal bliss ala Heaven in the western sense. I don't know if Gaudiya Vaishnavism was influenced by western thought.

    That's closer to the Vadakalai View that says, albeit softened by "some positive gesture", that there's work involved.
     
  10. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    You're way beyond me. :) I have no idea what Goloka and Vaikuntha are. I'm too simple I guess.
     
  11. Jainarayan

    Jainarayan ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
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    Oh, sorry... they are the abodes of Krishna (Go=cow loka=world) and Vishnu, respectively. I don't know how Vaikuntha translates. If I'm right, Goloka is a Gaudiya concept, while Vaikuntha is a general Vaishnava concept.
     
  12. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    :) Oh sorry, did i say I cared enough that I wanted to actually know? Jist more words to confuse me further. ;)
     
  13. Jainarayan

    Jainarayan ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
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    Why should you be any different than the rest of us? :D

    Anyway, I knew I got the question in my o.p. from somewhere. I had read it before and it got conflated, buried, obfuscated, and confounded in the recesses of my mind (don't worry about those words... they just mean 'screwed up')...

    Karma in Hinduism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (The role of divine forces).

    My understand from this, now, is that as you said, God created the laws of karma. I see it a step further in that He does not step back and let them run amok. According to this, He has a hand in adjudicating karma.
     
  14. Maija

    Maija Active Member

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    I think that miracles occur because God is "breaking" the rules He has created, for every standard principle, God can create an exception to that rule in order to show Himself, reveal a point.

    Why should He be subject to ANY rules?

    So, I think that we should not rely on God rescuing us with grace from karma, but I think that it is definitely something God is CAPABLE of.
     
  15. Satyamavejayanti

    Satyamavejayanti Well-Known Member

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    Well i do think Ishwar created Karma, but he does not have to intervene because everything a prefect being does is done perfectly, He does govern Karma or the Laws that make up Karma to be more precise.

    I dont think he steps back, the Laws being eternal meaning she eternally governs the Laws, so in a indirect way Brahman does hand out our Karmas.
     
  16. Satyamavejayanti

    Satyamavejayanti Well-Known Member

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  17. Atman

    Atman Member

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    Namaste all.

    As has already been pointed out, an idea of Moksha similar to the Abrahamic notion of "heaven" is prevalent in almost all schools of Vaishnava Hinduism, but it is also worth noting this idea is also found in dualistic schools of Shaiva Hinduism (specifically the majority of schools in the Shaiva Siddhanta Sampradaya favor qualified non-dualism, and hold a notion of libertation in which the Jiva and Shiva still hold seperate identities from each other even after liberation is attained.)

    Back to the original point of the thread
    Depends on how you look at it. Open up and read virtually any Purana, Agama, or other devotional text and we will find that by chanting the names, or mantra of a specific deity one burns away all karma, and becomes free from the cycle of samsara. However, some may argue that an individual making the very discovery of being able to free oneself from the effects of karma, was in fact as result of some good karma they have accumulated. To me though, this view of karma almost seems to negate the notion of free will, in which I am a firm believer.
     
  18. Jainarayan

    Jainarayan ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
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    Those are good points. I've always said God can do anything He wants. It's only our human hubris that limits God.

    Yep, that's a good way to think of it. This goes back to the comment inthe excerpt that I posted, "God does not make one suffer for no reason nor does He make one happy for no reason. God is very fair and gives you exactly what you deserve." [14]

    We used to say that it is inconceivable to the human mind that God can be just, in order to mete out proper "rewards or punishments" (it's a western view, I admit), and yet show unbounding mercy and love.

    That's what I've been thinking; hence my original query.

    Thanks for the link. I peeked at it, but will read it further.

    I originally rebelled at the idea because I was distancing myself from everything Abrahamic. But it's not such a bad thing to look forward to. :)

    This sounds like Vishishtadvaita or Achintya bhedAbheda tattva.

    I keep forgetting where I've read it, and I was once called out on it, that Sri Krishna says He will grant instant moksha if His name is called out or He is remembered at the time of leaving the body. A little story sticks in my mind (I may have the story slightly mangled) is that an old shopkeeper on his deathbead was surrounded by his sons whom he named Gopala, Govinda and Narayana, to be sure to say at least one of the names of the Lord at time of death to achieve moksha.

    When the old man opened his eyes for the last time he saw all three sons there. Instead of happily calling out their names, he said "who's taking care of the store!?" Then he expired. The moral being that he would not attain moksha because at the time of death, his thoughts were not on the Lord.

    I wish I could remember where I found the info about instant moksha on remembering the Lord at death.

    Btw, I also believe we have complete free will, God knowing the future notwithstanding. There was a heated thread on this a long while back. the o.p. seems never to have returned after playing the role of Torquemada.
     
  19. Wannabe Yogi

    Wannabe Yogi Well-Known Member

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    Very hard question. This is my take on it. Most people I have talked to when they describe a deep spiritual experience It seems not to come from their body mind complex that we call ourself (our Egos) These experiences are not from our minds they come from a deeper place. The work we do (sadhana) makes us crave Gods grace thats always there anyway, we just don't really desire it or just want it in very limited ways. The Darshana of the personal God is a very powerful karmic experience that naturally burns up much of your personal karma. Sadhana is also very powerful and counters bad karma.
     
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  20. Jainarayan

    Jainarayan ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
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    These are excellent thoughts, thanks. :) One of my favorite verses from the Bhagavad Gita (well, can one not have any favorites? ;)) is 18.65, which I think is a foundation for an upward spiral of attaining God: Bhagavad-Gita: Chapter 18, Verse 65 It makes you want to do more in service to God, which yields benefits.
     
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