Prostration at the Lotus feet of AMMA.
Sloka 89 :
aatmaanaa.n satata.n jaanankaala.n naya mahaadyute .
praarabdhamakhilaM bhuJNjannodvega.n kartumaha.rsi
Meaning: Contemplate on the atman or Brahman all the time and exhaust all the praradha karma , one neednt be anxious about it.
Explantion: Sankarabhagavatpada has said that the body cannot be the atman, till now. He said that its only due to ignorance that we consider ourselves to be the body.
In the next 5 slokas he enters into a different subject of praradham for a person who has realized himself. He puts forth logic and analysis to explain about the prarabdham of a jnaani after realization.
In this sloka he explains that to always abide in the state of Brahman , which gives us eternal bliss in contrast to the wordly objects which are temporary, a person should constantly contemplate on Brahman. In due course of time he naturally contemplates on Brahman and becomes self-realized. Such a person after realization , has to exhaust all his prarabdha karmas . He is in a state where he perceives oneness everywhere, hence there is nothing to be liked or disliked or be effected, so no matter what ever good or bad he has to face as a result of the prarabdham , he accepts everything with a smile. Nothing deters him , as he ever established in Brahman. This is the state of a jnaani. He remains unaffected by the activities performed. He offers all the fruits of action to the lord. Thus lord Krishna says thus in gita 4th chapter
tyaktva karma-phalasangam ,nitya-trpto nirasrayah karmany abhipravrtto 'pi ,naiva kincit karoti sa
Thus a jnaani does all actions but does not enjoy the fruits of actions.
There are 3 types of karmas sanchita, prarabdha and agami karmas. Sanchita karma is the fruits of the past deeds that we have accumulated from previous births. Part of this sanchita karma gets fruitified and becomes prarabdha karma, the fruits of which we enjoy in the current birth. Agaami karma is the results of our actions in this current birth.
When a person realizes all his sanchita and agami karmas are burnt like the wood in fire. He has just the prarabdha karma , that he has to face in the current birth. Prarabdha karma is said to be like a arrow that is released from the bow, which cannot be taken back. Thus it needs to be exhausted. Lord Krishna says thus in gita 4th chapter about karmas of the jnaani’s getting burnt.
yathaidhamsi samiddho 'gnir bhasmasat kurute 'rjuna jnanagnih sarva-karmani bhasmasat kurute tatha
Thus sankarabhagavatpada says that a jnaani would exhaust all his prarabdha karmas and leaves the body and become one with Brahman.
utpanne.apyatmaviGYaane praarabdha.n naiva muJNchati .
iti yachchhR^Iyate shaastre tanniraakriyate.adhunaa
Meaning: After getting the knowledge of the atman, prarabdham doesn’t vanish. This is what is said by the scriptures and I am going to refute this.
Explanation: Sanakarabhagavatpada has explained in the earlier sloka that prarabdham is exhausted by the jnaani ones he realizes. He just maintains the body in order to undergo all the prarabdha karmas. Now in this sloka sanakarabhagavatpada says that he refutes the opinion of the scriptures which say that prarabdham is present for jnaani.
Once a person attains the state of realization, his sanchita and agami karmas which we have seen in the earlier sloka vanish . But the prarabdham remains behind is what the scriptures proclaim. Here we have to understand that the author is not going against the scriptures, as he himself is an embodiment of the scriptures. He is trying to give the right perspective of what the scriptures have said and why is it mentioned so in the scriptures.
An ignorant person sees water in a desert and thinks it is real. Even though it is desert only and nothing else. Similarly the world is seen as real by an ajnaani. A jnaani knows that the water in the desert is unreal, he knows that it’s the desert that’s present and nothing else. Similarly the jnaani sees the world as pervaded by Brahman alone and nothing else. The ignorant person has wrong vision of the world. So the scriptures are for an ignorant person , to know the truth. A jnaani already knows the truth , hence he doesn’t need any scriptural study. So the scriptures talk from an ajnaani perspective to explain him the world and its nature. So as the ajnaani sees a jnaani working in the world , he questions about the prarabdha karma of a jnaani. So in order for him to grasp things ,scriptures says that prarabdham would exist for a jnaani too, but he isn’t effected by any, hence it doesn’t matter what he does or he suffers due to prarabdham. Only when the sadhaka realizes would he understand that there can be no prarabdham for jnanni who always sees nothing else here but Brahman alone.
As aitreya Upanishad says
Atma Idameka evagra asit naanyat kinchana mishat
So sanakarabhagavatpada in the next few slokas gives logical explanation for the same.
tattvaGYaanodayaaduurdhvaM praarabdha.n naiva vidyate .
dehaadiinaamasattvattu yathaa svapno vibodhataH
Meaning: After attaining the knowledge of the self, prarabdham is not there, as its dependent on body , like in a dream.
Explanation: Here the author though logic tries to prove how a jnaani has no prarabdham. To perform any action or enjoy fruits of action body is the medium.
Jnaani is ever established in the state of Brahman and hence there is not birth and death for him. He has gone beyond all dualities, but for an ajnaani who sees a jnaani or mahatmas like AMMA doing activities in the world, he may doubt about the prarabdha karma for them. Hence sankarabhagavatpada explains it.
As karmas need a body and a jnaani has no body , so it is said that he has no prarabdha karma. It is similar to a dream state. In dream state we have all experiences and we think its real, we do not know that we are dreaming until we come out of it. Once we comes out of , we understand that it’s a dream and we are not effected by it. In dream state all the experiences of the dreamer are on the body in the dream state. But once the dreamer wakes up, he doesn’t have dream body.
An ignorant person perceives the world as real and hence identifies himself with all activities. A jnaani knows that world is like a dream , hence there are no actions for him to perform.
We may see mahatmas appear in our dream and as doing activities, it is similar to seeing them doing activities in the world . As the dream is just an illusion so also the world. Until we are in the dream world , we cannot understand that state attains which no actions are performed anymore. Lord Krishna says thus in 4th chapter of gita that a jnaani doesn’t do any actions.
tyaktva karma-phalasangam ,nitya-trpto nirasrayah karmany abhipravrtto 'pi , naiva kincit karoti sah
Thus through logical analysis that without a body actions and after waking from a dream there is no dream body so also actions cannot be performed by jnaani thus its proved by the author that there is no prarabdham for a jnaani. He gives some more ways of explaining the same in the next 2 slokas.
karma janmaantariiya.n yatpraarabdhamiti kiirtitam.h .
tattu janmaantaraabhaavaatpu.nso naivaasti kahi.rchit.h
Meaning: Actions are due to previous births. This is called prarabdham. But there are no previous births , such things do not exist.
Explanation: Prarabdham is the fruits of past actions, which drive our current birth. The place we are born, to whom we are born and the life we live is all determined by the parabdham. Prarabdham is due to the previous birth vasanas we have accumulated. So through the medium of the body all this vasanas are exhausted. But a jnaani is a person who doesn’t consider himself to be the body as we have seen in the earlier slokas. He has no body. He is unborn. He is ever present as lord Krishna says in the 4th chapter
ajo 'pi sann avyayatma ,bhutanam isvaro 'pi san prakrtim svam adhisthaya ,sambhavamy atma-mayaya
I am unborn and all pervading and present in all being in the world and appear in the world through my own maya.
For a person who is unborn ever present how can there be previous and next births?, If all the previous births are not there , then how can he have karma. This is the argument sankarabhagavtpada puts forth in this sloka. One a person realizes and knows that he is the ever present all pervading Brahman ,who is unborn, all his karmas of sanchita and agami are burnt away as we have seen in the earlier slokas. He goes beyond all his births.
Hence he has not previous births and no karmas. So can we say that he is performing actions?.He doesn’t see any duality whatsoever.
So when archarya’s say in works like tattvabodha that prarabdham exists for a jnaani, then we need to understand that its from the perspective of an ignorant person.
svapnadeho yathaadhyasthastathaivaaya.n hi dehakaH .
adhyastasya kuto janma janmaabhaave hi tatkutaH
Meaning: As the dream body is superimposed in the dreamer , so also waking state body is just a superimposition and not real.
Explanation: Sankarabhagavatpada gives another logic here to prove that there is no prarabdham for a jnaani.
The dreamer experiences all dream through a dream body. The whole dream is in the dreamer. This is called superimposition. Dream body is superimposed on the dreamer. The dream body is not real it vanishes once he is out of dream. Dreamer is the cause of the dream ,the dream exists and vanishes in him. Hence it is just an illusion.
As the dream world vanishes once we are out of dream, so also once we realize that the world is just a dream, when we realize. As the dream body doesn’t exist in waking state, so also a jnaani is never associated with the body which was just a superimposition.
Until one has body, he has previous births and karmas. Then he would suffer due to the vasanas accumulated over the births.Once he is above the body, he has no karmas and is a liberated soul.
Until we know that the water seen in the desert is just an illusion, we will get deluded and suffer. But once we understand that the water is just an illusion and the desert is the only truth , we are not effected. So a jnaani knows that world is pervaded by Brahman alone and that world is illusion, hence for him there is no body, no pervious births and no prarabdha karma too.
They are just the witness of all the actions , they are not the doer or the enjoyer of action . As lord Krishna says in 15th chapter
yad aditya-gatam tejo , jagad bhasayate 'khilam yac candramasi yac cagnau ,tat tejo viddhi mamakam
He is the light behind all lights, he is the illuminator,but is just a witness to all activities and is not inlvolved in any activities.
So also a jnaani remains as a witness to all activities in the world, always remaining in blissful state. Everything he accepts as a blessing from eshwara and hence there are no actions performed by him.
Thus sankarabhagavatpada through three different reasonings proves that there is no prarabdham for a jnaani, even though the scriptures say so. It is explain thus in scriptures only from an ignorant persons perspective. Thus he concludes the subject of prarabdha for a jnaani.