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Principle Of Natural Occurrence In Hinduism – Svabhava Vada Philosophy

Principle of natural occurrence in Hinduism is known as Svabhava Vada philosophy. The concept declares that everything happens according to its own nature. All living beings exist in their nature. Everything acts and reacts according to its nature. This nature of everything and every being is predetermined. No amount of time and no distance of place can change the very nature of an object. Fire is given heat and light by nature. Atman is immortal, bodies of living beings are mortal. All these factors are because of their nature. An immortal cannot be mortal; a mortal cannot be immortal. (Mandukya Upanishad, Gaudapada Karika, Shankara Bhashya, Advaita Prakarana 21-22).

This nature (svabhava) is described as well accomplished, natural, and inborn (Gaudapada-Karika, Shankara Bhashya, Alata-Shanti-Prakarana 9). The nature of atma is pure knowledge and detached; one who knows this is capable of getting immortality. The nature of all beings is that they are eternal and any kind of plurality does not exist in them (Gaudapada-Karika, Shankara Bhashya, Alata-Shanti-Prakarana 91, 92, 93).

In Bhagavata, Sri Krishna says to Nanda – A man is bound to his nature (svabhava). He acts according to his nature, the whole world exists in its nature (Bhagavata 10.24.16).

In the Mahabharata, Svabhava Vada, as a school of thought, is described in a beautiful way. A person who knows this svabhava gets free from joy and sorrow. He finds not fault with anybody. Gain or loss has nothing to do with him. The question of likes and dislikes does not occur to him. Emotions of mind are not experienced by him. He enjoys quietness of mind. A believer of Svabhava Vada knows that past actions decide the present nature of a man and his bent of mind.

Separation will surely come after meeting. Wealth gets destroyed. A deluded person does not perceive these facts. He endeavors to get more joy, more pleasure and more riches.

On this point of striving for worldly objects and luxuries, Svabhavavada is related with ajagari vritti (living like a python, doing nothing).

One should not misunderstand this principle. It is not related to laziness or lethargy. One who practices this principle becomes a realized soul.

In the Mahabharata, all these details about Svabhavavada are described through two stories, both connected with Prahlada. One story is that Prahlada observes a Brahmin roaming about like a child, in a perfect mental state of tranquility. Prahlada asks him the secret of his perfect life. The Brahmin says that he is living with ajagari vritti. Whatever he gets, little or more, he eats. Whatever he gets, rags or silk, he wears. Wherever he finds a place, a comfortable bed or a rough floor, he sleeps. He does not strive for anything. He knows that everything comes to him according to its nature. It is useless to get annoyed when one does not get physical comforts (Mahabharata, Shani Parva; Moksha Dharma Parva 179).

In the second story, Indra comes to Prahlada and asks the secret of his mental tranquility. Prahlada tells Indra almost the same as what the Brahmin had told him – that gain and loss come and go according to their nature. If a person is the real doer of a work, he should get the desired results of his efforts. But actually so many of them lose them and get the unwanted. Prahlada tells Indra that whatever was seen in him were the gifts of nature. (Mahabharata, Shani Parva; Moksha Dharma Parva 222.3-37).

According to the Bhagavad Gita, nature is working behind every action, with the help of its attributes. A man who thinks of himself as the doer is a great fool (Gita, 3.27). Action and its consequence are not created for the people by Paramatma; only svabhava works (Gita 5.14).