Pramanas, Karma and the Pursue of Happiness


Question: There are three valid ways for receiving knowledge:  guru, sadhu and shastra. Are all three considered equal?

 Answer:  The real pramana is shastra and the other two have to conform to shastra. If they do not conform, then we cannot speak of a parampara. This is the difference between a parampara and a pantha like Kabira Pantha or Nanaka Pantha.


Question: How does past prarabdha affect the present purshartha?

Answer: By influencing our mind in making decisions, giving good or bad desires, and by creating situations which are favorable or unfavorable.

Question: Is bhagya different from prarabdha?

Answer: Bhagya is another word for prarabdha.

Question: Specifically I would like need to know its effects on acquiring a formal academic education and the ability to earn money. I have not been able to complete my graduation due to financial constraints at that point of time and now I am facing difficulties. So I need to understand if it was my lack of purshartha to somehow pursue my graduation or it was never destined to happen.

Answer: I do not know the details but my guess is that it was prarabdha.

Question: What role does the present purshartha have on negating the ill effects of prarabdha, if at all it can be done?

Answer: According to prarabdha, you are in a specific and desire happen accordingly, as I said above. With good discrimination and determination it may be possible to reduce or eliminate the effect of prarabdha. It depends how powerful prarabdha is. Life is a combination of prarabdha and purusartha.

Question: What should be one’s state of mind in such a situation?

Answer: It is always to be positive in every situation and see everything as grace of God.

Question: Is there any authentic reference material where I can understand more of above.

Answer: At the top of my head I cannot think of any book. But I discuss some of this in my commentary on Hitopadesha.

Question: My current situation is very discomforting. But nevertheless I am too lazy to do something about it. Help me if you can to let me know how to overcome this problem – it may solve many of my life’s problems.

Answer: Utsaha, niscaya and dhirya – enthusiasm, determination and perseverance are the key to success.