Shri Amar Muni
AGNIBHUTI: THE DOUBT REGARDING KARMA (DESTINY)
Now we begin the discussion with the arguments of the
second Ganadhar. As soon as Agnibhuti heard the news that Indrabhuti had
accepted Jain Charita Deeksa (initiation to the ascetic group) at the
hands of Bhagavan Mahavir, he was shocked 'Ah! What has happened? My
brother, who has never in his life known defeat in arguments, has
surrendered himself for life to his opponent. Certainly, there should have
occurred some deceit. Therefore, I must go there with an absolute
intellectual awareness and vigilance, so that I may not fall prey to the
snares of the opponent, and by silincing him and making him void of
arguments through my incisive arguments I may release my brother from his
snares." Thinking thus he, accompanied by his 500 disciples, proceeded to
see Bhagavan Mahavir.
But alas! he should have known that not only his
brother Indrabhuti, but even the great Indra, the supreme of gods
possessing divine knowledge named Avadhigyan got enthralled and fascinated
by Bhagavan Mahavir who had ascended to the top most post named
Tirthankarpad and who was vitarag and omniscient: that he himself would be
thus fascinated by the Lord: and that the Lord had appeared here only to
destroy his internal enemy namely Moha or illusion. Agnibhuti arrived at
the staircase of the Samavasaran. The Bhagavan addressed him also as he
had addressed Indrabhuti and also disclosed the doubt of Agnibhuti thus:
"Dear Agnibhuti you have a doubt whether such a thing as karma (destiny,
fate) exists in the world or not? But you have not thoroughly and deeply
understood and contemplated over the meaning of the Vedic statement."
Like his brother, Angibhuti also stood stratified on
seeing and hearing the Bhagavan. On the disclosure of his inner doubt, he
rightly thought, "He is an omniscient one! So, now let me understand the
truth properly and fully from Him". He stood before the Bhagavan politely
with folded hands.
The Bhagavan began to explain the truth to Agnibhuti in
Why Doubt About the Existence of Karma
"Oh Agnibhuti . You are confused because you have found
two contradictory Vedic statements. One of them is,[indian writing pg 46
angie] " in other words, "whatever has happened (in the past), and is apt
to happen (in the future), is 'Purush (soul) only". The other
contradictory Vedic saying you found is, [indian writing pag46 angie].`In
other words, "one desiring heavenly birth should perform the sacrifice
You have understood the first one thus:"That which is
logically probable to happen is the Purusha or soul only. In other words
all the phenomenon of the world occur only on account of the prowess and
power of soul. There is no such thing as Karma If such a thing as Karma
existed in the world, then in the Vedic statement with the word 'Purush'
the word 'Eva' meaning 'only' would not have been joined. But here in
Vedas say 'only the soul' and that negates the other things, such as Karma
and time etc. That means soul is all in all."
But on the other hand, you have found the contrary
statement: like 'Svargakaamo agnihotram juhuyat'. [indian writing pg 46
(He who desires heavenly birth must perform the yajna,
sacrifice called the 'Agnihotra'. From this Vedic statement, you have
understood that "according to the Vedas, he who desires to go to heaven
must perform the Angihotra sacrifice. But even after the agnihorta}
sacrifice is performed soul continues in the same state of existence for a
long time: and then after a lapse of some time soul goes to heaven. In
that case, the cause Agnihotra is destroyed long before, the effect the
heavenly birth to be created comes later on. Then how can it be called
heavenly birth's cause. Without the medium of karma Agnihotra being
destroyed is not capable in the absence of inter-medium to create heaven.
So there must be karma as a link between cause and effect. If without this
link in the form of karma the soul itself accompanied with the endeavour
of Agnihotra would have been creating heaven, then just as the 'yajna' is
completed the soul should have immediately attained heaven! So there must
be a medium, a link, call it anything, but Karma is a link between the
'cause' like 'Agnihotra and the 'effect' like birth in heaven. The jiva
attains heaven only on account of the ripening of this Karma In this
manner you have to interpret and understand the Vedic text. From this, it
becomes proved and it is evident that Karma does exist.
"Oh Agnibhuti! You entertained the doubt whether in the
world such a thing as 'Karma' exists or not', because in Vedas you found
contradictory statements regarding Karma Moreover you are thinking of this
in yet another way, and so you might be feeling that:
(1) If karmas are not visible, how can they be
(2) Even if they are believed in, Karmas are
incongruent with existence. So how are Karmas (destiny, fate )
(3) Why can we not deny the existence of something
that is invisible?
But Oh, Agnibhuti! two questions arise on this:-
(a) One is, can you say that a certain thing, just
because it is invisible, does not exist at all?
(b)The second thing is, can you say that 01. because
a thing is invisible to you only, it is unbelievable or 02. because it
is not visible to anybody, it is unbelievable?
1. To answer the first question, you should mind well
that there are many hindrances on account of which even existent things
may not be visible. Yet we are compelled to believe in their existence. We
cannot see our eye lids because of their extreme proximity, yet on that
basis can we say that our eye- lids do not exist? There are many
hindrances on account of which a thing although existing is not visible;
(We shall consider them later: ) yet we have to believe in it.
Be afraid of the invisible Karmas: We have also to
ponder over these utterances of the Lord spoken to Agnibhuti. Just because
we cannot see an object, can we deny its existence! In the modern age, we
have such phenomena as electricity in wires, magnetic power in a magnet,
and the capacity in the atoms, although they are invisible, yet people
believe in their existence. But it is surprising that in the case of
truths relating to Shastras or the religion or the religious doctrines or
the philosophical principles, people say "Where is it seen? Is it visible?
Show us if it is visible". Saying thus they disbelieve the existence of
such things as religion and Tattvas and it is surprising that they do not
accept them! By speaking thus they show their distrust in the scriptures,
religion and philosophy. By neglecting or denying the existence of the
invisible Karmas, they waste, pollute and ruin the lofty human birth which
is of a very short period, a very short span of life that has been
attained. They ruin human birth on account of their ignorance, on account
of mean and irrelevant thoughts, and obstinate beliefs or fanaticism or
for the sake of sensual pleasures that are transient. They court spiritual
ruin, and in consequence, they create terrible agonies and anguish for
countless lives. But they should realise that just because a certain thing
is not visible or not understandable, it cannot be negated or disbelieved
as something unreal. It must be understood that there are very many
reasons due to which a thing may not be visible, or not known to us, but
that is no ground for entertaining distrust in its existence.
Those who have belief in karmas and their efficacy, at
least experience this:
1. Very many things happen against their wishes; and
2. though they entertain a strong wish for something
that thing is not accomplished according to their wish.
Why so? Say due to karmas being not favourable. 'I hen
why should they not believe in the existence of karmas? Even if they
disbelieve in Karmas' theory, they notice the gradual decrease in age and
frustrations because of unfulfilled desires. When there is no change in
such conditions in their lives then why not believe in karma-theory? Why
should they not make their life blessed in this invaluable state of
human-birth by believing in the writings of the scriptures written by the
sages who were entertaining the fear of Samsara, that means who were
afraid of the down-fall in the series of births and deaths in Samsara and
who were the men of outstanding spiritual attainments and knowledge,
living an extraordinary pious life of samyam (self restraint), and who
were veracious i.e. who always spoke truth, and who possessed intensely
unselfish and absolutely benevolent talent and behaviour?
Mind well this rarely obtainable and very precious
human birth has been attained by us, for keeping complete trust in them.
If the faith is preserved, further in future in accordance with this
faith, the life will be rewarded by carrying out such samyam (self
restraint) sacrifices, spiritual austerities, and keeping absolutely
benevolent attitude, abhorrance towards sensual pleasures, and
truthfulness and restraint over senses and mind. But if there is no faith
at all, the life will go waste in sensual pleasures and enjoyments, such
as eating, drinking, enjoying leisures, music, dance and so on. Here the
soul lives the life of a beastly attitude. In the births of animals, birds
and insects, these pleasures can be experienced by the flies, insects,
birds, elephants, cuckoos, peacocks, donkeys, etc. Therefore we should
value human birth and have faith in the words of the enlightened sages.
Things Though in front why Invisible ?
Now let us think over the reasons why certain things
though they exist are not known.
1. The things if very nearest to our eyes cannot be
seen though they are in front of our eyes, just as we cannot see the
collyrium applied to the eyes, and the movement of the eyelids.
2. At a very distance, just as the telegraph poles
along the railway track situated at a distance cannot be seen though
3. Very subtle: just as such subtle object as the
atoms or the radio-active particles (which are not visible if there is
no beam of light emanating from the sun).
4. In the same manner, if your mind does not
concentrate on the idol, at the time of seeing the idol, you have no
awareness whether the idol has a crown or not. Whether it had
symmetrical eyes? Whether the saffron used was red or yellow. There are
also many other reasons for our not being able to see the realities even
en though they exist.
What are the reasons that we do not see some objects
though they exist there?
The Reason Things not seen
1. Extreme proximity The eyelids and the collyrium in
2. Great distance The telegraph-poles on the sides of
the railway track.
3. Extremely minute The dust particles visible only in
a beam of light
cannot be seen without it.
4. The absence of One cannot say whether the idol had a
mental or not when he was seeing the idol,
concentration because he was absent- minded.
5. Impossible One's own ears and head.
6. The weakness Inability to see letters etc. with of
the senses out
7. Mental dullness Carats of gold: lustre of pearls.
8. Being covered A veiled (covered) object.
9. Defeat, overthrow Stars in sunlight.
1O. Nature The sky, ghost, etc.
11. Being mixed with A few grains mixed with a heap of
other similar green lentil and mustard.
12. Mind diverted to While concentrating on the taste,
another object the colour is not seen.
13. Forgetfulness Something seen say some ten years
14. Loss of eye-sight A blind man cannot see anything.
15. Wrong under- The gold ornaments (not of pure gold)
standing or perception worn by a wealthy villager or
enforced upon a person by his deceitful friend, a
16. False faith or The realities like the jiva (soul).
17. Old age or One cannot recognise things or ,
disease, three humours persons in sickness though one
being corrupted have seen them with familiarity many
18. Without action or The butter in milk and curds.
19. Mixed substance Water in milk.
20. Lack of training Unable to distinguish a jewel from
21. Devine illusion Gold transformed into a coal.
Therefore, we cannot say that karmas do not exist just
because they are not seen.