T: Namaste swamiji.I have a question about karma and karmaphala. I understand the notion that if you do good things then you reap the benefits of these good deeds/actions. However what happens if one does bad things, such as think impure thoughts or lie or do any variety of what is considered sinful? In catholic faith, catholics can attend confession where a priest will tell them what they should do to atone their sins and in many ways “redeem” themselves in the eyes of God as still faithful catholics so that they don’t go to hell. The priest also gives them some kind of task to do, either reciting prays or rosemary, etc which will also atone their sin. My question to you is what can a hindu do in a similar situation? After doing something which is bad and realizing it, how can a hindu relieve that feeling of guilt and redeem themselves in the eyes of God so that bad karma doesn’t follow him/her throughout life? Are there verses that can be recited, or fasts that can be done, or simple pujas/mantras that can be done? Please give advice on this in mind that I am a female college student in the United States, so performing havan is not possible for me. This is something that has been on my mind for a long time. I hope that the solution you provide will help get rid of the negative energy that seems to be in my life. Thank you swamiji.
Swami Ram Swarup: My blessings to you, my daughter. In this connection, I paste my article as under-
Three types of Deeds
There are three types of deeds (karmas) – sanchit, prarabhadh and kriyamann. Suppose one soul has to take birth (body). It means he has to face total number of deeds of his all previous lives and these deeds are called sanchit karmas but sanchit deeds are huge/unlimited and cannot be faced in one life. So the karmas which can be faced in one life are called prarabhadh (luck-destiny). So God has not made our luck at His own but Almighty God has considered the deeds which we have already done.
Yajurveda mantra 7/48 clarifies that human being is free to do any deed good or bad but God only awards the result. Now the balance deeds from sanchit deeds will be counted in the next life. Now the deeds which we do in our day today present life are called kriyamann.
If we do pious deeds according to Vedas, shastras and holy books and based on pious preaches of Rishi, Muni/learned saints then our all sanchit deeds are burnt and we can get salvation. Human beings are free in the matter of doing deeds good or bad. But result will be awarded by God. So we must worship and do pious deeds under guidance of a learned Guru. One should go always ahead for hard working, pious deeds, worship to make future bright himself. One should always work hard towards a right path.
Worship does not mean that we are free to discharge only our family duties, education, etc., but rather it is a sin. We have to get progress in both way simultaneously i.e., spiritualism and worldly progress i.e., science, education, duties towards family etc. God creates the universe according to His eternal law framed in Vedas which are always unchangeable and unchallengeable. So we have to follow the law of God always to get long happy life.
After studying, you may put your query, if any. Confession and matter of priest is not mentioned in Vedas. Result of karmas is always awarded by Almighty God. The deeds once done , does not go in vain but gives result thereof based on good or bad deeds in the shape of happiness and sorrows respectively. As regards, Vedic philosophy, every Hindu or other person who have understood Vedas always prefer to follow Vedic philosophy only. You are advised to recite in heart, Gayatri mantra which is a Vedic mantra. It should be remembered with its meaning. It’s meaning is appended below-
The Gayatri mantra is as follows —
OM BHURBHUVAHA SWAHA TATA SAVITUR VARENYAM BHARGODEVASYA
DHIMAHI DHIYO YO NAHA PRACHODYAT
Meaning of Gayatri mantra stating each word is as follows. Its meaning is based on
Vedas and Sanskrit grammar. Grammatical hints are in short please.
Om has three Hindi words. Aa, Uu AND Ma. Aa is meant for Aakaar from which three
names of God are built, Viraat, Agni, and Vishwadi. From Uu = uukar from which
Hirannyagarbha, Vayu and Tejas names occur and Ma = makaar from which Ishwar,
Aditya and Praajyan aadi, holy names of God occur. Rigveda mantra 1/164/46 says
God is one but His names are several. But here OM the holy name of God is only
VIRAAT = Viraat word is made from dhatu ‘Rajrideeptau’ i.e., manifest. Therefore
Viraat means He who manifests the universe. As God manifests the universe, thus
Viraat is the name of God. Rigveda mandal 10, sukta 129 states that like potter
makes pot from clay, similarly God creates universe from non-alive matter prakriti.
Prakriti is unseen matter. From unseen matter, the whole universe is created in the
visible form. Science also says that matter is never destroyed but changes its form.
Suppose a paper is burnt, paper changes its form into ashes. Then ashes are crushed
and thrown in air. At this moment, the paper changed into ashes becomes invisible
but was never destroyed. Similarly the whole universe at the time of final destruction
is turned into prakriti i.e., into unseen form.
AGNI = From dhatu, “ANCHU GATI POOJANAYOHO” the word “AGNI is made. Its
meaning is: He who is a form of wisdom. “SARVAJAYEN” i.e., Omniscient. That is,
knows each and every atom of universe and even beyond universe. He who is to be
known, to be gained and is worshipful. So Agni is the name of God.
VISHWA = Vishwa word is made from dhatu, “VISHPRAVESHANE”. Its meaning is He
in whom the universe is entering or He who is entering the universe. So being
omnipresent, Vishwa is the name of God.
HIRANNYAGARBHA = i.e., ” JYOTIRVAYIHIRANYAM”. Its meaning is, who is the base
of all sun, etc., luminous lokas or He who is the living place of all luminous lokas.
VAYU = from dhatu, “VA GATIGANDHANYOHO”, vayu word is made. Its meaning is
He who holds, gives life and destroys and is the mightiest amongst all. So the name
of God is Vayu.
TEJ = from dhatu, “TIJA NISHANE”, the word Tej is made meaning He who is self
made and self-enlightened and gives light to sun, moon, stars etc. God does not take
light from anywhere but gives light to sun, moon, stars, etc. so the unbroken,
unobstructed/unproduced and eternal form of light is Almighty God and not sun,
moon etc. So the name of God is Tej.
ISHWAR = from dhatu, “ISH ASHWERIYE”, the word Ishwar is made. Its meaning is
whose knowledge is thoughtful and true and He who has unlimited wealth, fortune
and glory etc. Therefore the name of God is Ishwar. Here it is not out of place to
mention that soul (man/woman) has limited qualities and are dependent whereas
God is independent and has unlimited qualities that is why He is God.
ADITYA = from dhatu, “DO AVAKHANDANE”, Aditya word is made. Its meaning is the
one who cannot be broken into pieces and thus cannot be destroyed. So God’s name
PRAJAYEN (PRAGYA) = from dhatu, “JYEN AVABODHANE”, Prajayen word is made
meaning whose wisdom is totally without any misunderstanding and thus he who
knows every matter and behavior of whole universe without misunderstanding. So
God’s name is Prajayen. So here also it is not out of place to mention that illusion
can never attack on God and God is totally free from illusion.
BHUHU = “BHUHU ITI VAYEE PRANAHA” i.e., He who is the base of lives of universe,
is most beloved, even more than Prann i.e., breath. So Bhuhu is the name of God.
BHUVAHA= “BHUVAHA ITI APANAHA” i.e., He who is totally free from any sorrow,
and the soul removes his own all sorrows after coming in contact with Him. So the
name of God is Bhuvaha.
SWAHA = i.e., “SWAHA ITI VYANAHE” who is omnipresent in the universe and is
holding the same. So the name of God is Swaha.
SAVITUHU = He who creates the universe. So the name of God is Savituhu.
DEVSYA= who gives all pleasure/merriment, so the name of God is Dev.
VARENNYAM = He who is the most supreme and acceptable. God is most supreme
and acceptable for worship.
BHARGAHA = the purest entity (though God is formless, but finding no suitable
English word of Sanskrit word, “SHUDH SWARUPAM” the word entity has been used.)
TAT = i.e., the God i.e., of the purest entity.
DHIMAHI = i.e., we must hold (sort of meditation) because
YAHA = the God
NAHA = our,
DHIYAHA = mind(i.e., in our minds)
PRACHODYAT = by inspiration (fulfil the mind with wisdom)
“We meditate the God who is the base of lives’ of universe, totally free from any sorrow, omnipresent, creates the universe, gives all pleasure/merriment, most supreme and acceptable, purest entity; May the God enlighten our minds with wisdom by His inspiration”.
Here it is not out of place to mention that idea of a (one) Ved mantra is based on ideas of several Ved mantras. So in the above Gayatri mantra, there are three things —-
Bhuhu, Bhuvaha, Swaha, Savituhu, Bhargaha, Devsya are some qualities amongst unlimited qualities of God. These are called Stuti i.e., to say about God with His real qualities and not self made etc.
Secondly Dhimahi means meditation i.e., one should always sit in meditation and do hard and pious deeds for which he will have to study Vedas in full, while discharging moral duties towards family and nation.
Third and last is DHIYO YO NAHA PRACHODYAT. It is a prayer to God explanation of which is cited above.
Deepak: Pranam swamiji, swamiji mujhe apne low weight k baare mein puchna hai. swamiji mai apni proper diet leta hu daily fruits, green vegitables sabh kuch khata hu fir bhi mai bahut patla hu kuch bataiye.
Swami Ram Swarup: My blessings to you. Agar aap apne weight ke mutabik bhaar uthakar kabhi door tak bina thake aur bina saans chade lei jaa saktey ho aur seediyan aanein se chadkar aur aaram se uttarkar aapka saans nahin chadta, aur heart effect nahin hota toh aapkee sehat theek hai. han! Wazan badane ke liye daa-chawal zyada khao, subah pehley kele (banana) khakar doodh piya karo.