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All Things That Are Not In Our Control Are The Result Of Past Actions – Hindu Religion Teaching

In Hindu philosophy, the belief that all things that are not in our control are the result of past actions is deeply rooted in the concept of karma. Karma is a fundamental doctrine in Hinduism which states that every action has consequences that will manifest in the future. This belief is intertwined with the understanding of dharma (duty/righteousness) and the cyclical nature of life, death, and rebirth (samsara).

Karma and Its Implications

  1. Karma (Actions and Consequences):

    • Sanchita Karma: This is the accumulated karma of all past lives. It represents the total of past actions that have not yet borne fruit.
    • Prarabdha Karma: This is the portion of sanchita karma that is ripe and ready to be experienced in the present life. It determines the circumstances of one's current existence, including one's birth, family, physical body, and life span.
    • Kriyamana Karma (Agami): These are the actions currently being performed, which will affect the future. These are the new seeds sown in the present life, which will bear fruit in this life or future lives.
  2. Dharma (Duty and Righteousness):

    • Dharma refers to the ethical and moral principles that govern an individual's actions. It is considered one's duty to act in accordance with dharma, which is believed to lead to positive karma.
    • By following one's dharma, an individual aligns themselves with cosmic law and order, thus contributing to harmony and balance in the universe.

The Role of Free Will and Control

In Hindu philosophy, while individuals have free will to make choices and perform actions, they do not have control over the results of these actions. This is encapsulated in the Bhagavad Gita, where Lord Krishna advises Arjuna to focus on performing his duty without attachment to the outcomes:

"You have a right to perform your prescribed duties, but you are not entitled to the fruits of your actions." (Bhagavad Gita 2.47)

Samsara and Moksha

  1. Samsara (Cycle of Rebirth):

    • The cycle of birth, death, and rebirth is driven by karma. The quality and nature of one's actions in past lives determine the circumstances of future lives.
    • The ultimate goal in Hinduism is to break free from this cycle of samsara and attain moksha (liberation).
  2. Moksha (Liberation):

    • Moksha is the liberation from the cycle of samsara and the cessation of all karmic bondage. It is achieved through self-realization, understanding one's true nature, and union with the divine.
    • It represents the end of all suffering and the attainment of eternal peace and bliss.

Practical Implications in Daily Life

  1. Acceptance and Equanimity:

    • Understanding that many aspects of life are the result of past karma helps individuals accept circumstances with equanimity and patience.
    • This perspective encourages a sense of peace and reduces anxiety about the future.
  2. Focus on Righteous Actions:

    • Individuals are encouraged to focus on performing righteous actions (in accordance with dharma) and to cultivate positive karma.
    • This includes practicing virtues such as compassion, honesty, and selflessness.
  3. Spiritual Practices:

    • Engaging in spiritual practices such as meditation, prayer, and selfless service helps in purifying one's karma and moving closer to the goal of moksha.
    • Devotional practices and the guidance of a guru (spiritual teacher) are also emphasized.

The teaching that all things not in our control are the result of past actions is a profound aspect of Hindu philosophy. It underscores the importance of karma, the pursuit of dharma, and the ultimate aim of achieving moksha. By understanding and internalizing these principles, individuals can lead lives of greater harmony, purpose, and spiritual fulfillment.