Don’t Blame Divine Will

By Rudra Shivananda

pexels-photo-1057107.jpegRecently I received an email from a spiritual seeker who had been initiated
into Kriya Yoga. She wrote that after
practicing for about two weeks she
developed a nasty flu that made it impossible for her to do her sadhana for
the last 6 weeks. Although she is now
recovered, she feels that she will abandon
her practice because it must be divine
will that she stop Kriya – that the
flu was a sign!

Although most people have not developed
sufficiently to intuit Divine Will when necessary, these same people will not hesitate to ascribe to the inscrutable workings of this divine will any odd happenings that might support
their own subconscious desires
or fears. This mysterious divine will is
used to support any decision to start or stop certain activities without regard to
common sense or spiritual insight.

The ego is ever on the alert for opportunities to defeat any threatening activities such as spiritual practice – it is necessary to persevere in the face of such fears. There are many reasons why seemingly negative events occur in one’s life – most often it is in some way the workings of the law of karma – there is a cause relationship between what is  happening now to something that one has done in the past. If Divine Will has anything to do with it, it would be at the level of the setting up of this universal law of karma and not at the specific level causing an event to occur. The spiritual seeker should understand that it is her own karma that is being worked out during the flu season and there is not really a sign to stop her spiritual practice.

However, this is not to say that the spiritual practice had nothing to do with the karmic flu surfacing. It is true that one’s practice can accelerate the working out of karmic issues – this is necessarily so since the karmic burden one has undertaken to work out in this
specific life-time cannot be removed without any outward effect. The karma one is working out in this life-time is called prarabdha karma and will be accelerated by spiritual practice. It is possible to lighten the effects through the practice but not to entirely eliminate them. One must realize that the practice is eliminating that larger portion of karma that is called sanchita karma or the unripened /stored karma that would take effect in some other life-time.

If one stops one’s practice because of karmic effects in this life-time, one will be doomed to suffer the karmic effects in future life-times. However, if one perseveres in this life-time, then there is the possibility to remove future suffering completely or at least to some degree.

It is also important to keep in mind if one were to embark on an enterprise to help others such as a clinic for the poor of a particular place, there may be many obstacles that can come due to the karmic blocks from the population to be helped. This is not an indication
to give up because one expects that if the divine wishes it to happen, it will come smoothly!

We do not know the will of the Divine, but we can be guided to do the right thing at the right time. However, even if we are acting according to the Divine Will, there may be many obstacles that need to be overcome – we still need to persevere and make our best effort and leave the result of success or failure up to the Divine.

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