My friend S I going through some tough times. Husband is unemployed for some years now. She has a small job which doesn’t account to much. Son thankfully did his Engineering on his own merit. The other day she messaged me that though trying very hard he has not been able to get any seat for further studies. I know S quite well. Yes she is share, talented and a very strong woman. Her husband is equally good. So why is she facing tough times?
Simple reason everyone is bound by his or her own Karma. Now what is Karma? Karma can be simply defined as
The function and activity of the living entity within the framework of his free will and under the influence of the three modes if material nature over a span of time.
A soul as such is very pure but when it comes under the influence of three modes it becomes their puppet. What are the three modes? The modes of goodness (satvaguna), the mode of passion(rajoguna) and the mode of ignorance (tamoguna).
As soon as the soul accepts this body and comes into this material body, this gunas start acting on it. Now as every action has an equal reaction, the soul starts piling karmas. These karmas will then influence ones life as well as future births.
So even though you are a very good person in this birth, your past karma sometimes may not allow you any success or happiness.
I told S about this. She said fine, so what do I do now. The simple thing is to chant the holy name. As and when you chant all the dust from your heart will cleanse and slowly it will lead you to a better life. Eat prasadam only and read scriptures.( a detailed post is here).
Alright she said what about my son.
Well I said he has his own set of karmas.
I guess the only mistake that he did was to take birth in our family, she said. Why is he suffering so, he is brilliant, charismatic, why is he not getting a good break.
Our love for our children is such that we often forget that our children are individuals too and have their own set of karmas. And have to go through the entire grind, until they are able to return back to our original home. In the Bhagvad Gita eighth chapter seventh shloka Krishna says:
Tasmat sarvesu kalesu mam anusmara yudhya ca
Mayy arpita mano budhir mam evaisyasy asamsayah
‘Therefore Arjuna you should always think of me in the form of Krishna and at the same time carry out your prescribed duty of fighting. With your activities dedicated to Me and your mind and intelligence fixed on Me, you will attain Me without doubt.’
So if one has to return to Krishna’s abode, our true home, one has to think of Krishna and remember Krishna at the time of death. How can one do that? By always thinking of Krishna and serving Krishna through one’s life, one can remember Him at the time of Death. Because only practice makes a man perfect.
Adapted from the Science of Self Realization by His Divine Grace A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupad