Saturday, June 21, 2014


Question on facebook: Did Swamiji talk about Destiny?
Jagadish: Yes. Swamiji did talk about destiny. Before we proceed, what do we mean by Destiny? Do we mean God’s will? Or do we mean ‘karma phala’ often just called ‘karma’ to mean the result of past actions?

 By ‘Destiny’, I am trying to address here the issue of whether the occurrence of events is predetermined. In the context of Swamiji’s life and teachings, the ‘nadis’ – ancient astrological scriptures that predicted Swamiji’s prior births and tapas definitely point to such destiny. It is surprising to note that even names of the numerous incarnations of Swamiji are correctly mentioned. In this life time, Swamiji’s name is mentioned as ‘Sathya Raat’ ‘Raat’ in Sanskrit is the same as ‘Raju’ in Telugu, meaning King. Don’t we all think that the parents of a child just think of a name to be given to the child? How could such minute details be predicted with such accuracy? Isn’t that destiny?

The prediction of ‘Kalki Avatar’ – the tenth incarnation of Lord Vishnu, which is estimated to be revealed any time now, is also another clear pointer to the legitimacy of ‘destiny’. Swamiji confirmed the veracity of Kalki Avatar many times.

Swamiji Himself often said “The (right) time has to come for it to happen (or occur)…” in contexts where devotees asked Him whether and when a certain event would happen. One example is about Sathyaraju being initiated into tapas. Swamiji used to tell us, “The time was ripe for Shankar Bhagwan to initiate Sathyaraju.” Such “right time” is beyond cause and effect. It is but destiny.

Asked when a disciple will find his/her Guru, Swamiji used to say, “The correct time has to come.” – irrespective of the effort or sincerity of the disciple. At the right time they will find each other “automatically”. That word automatically was used by Swamiji often to refer to destiny.

Having written all the above I need to stress that Swamiji gave a lot of importance to our own personal will and effort too. Tom writes in ‘Swamiji’s Treasure’: When Swamiji told stories of his childhood, Swamiji was making a point. In the subtle play between destiny and free will, there is a role for individual effort.

A devotee from Agra narrated his discussion with Swamiji to me and Tom in 1996. One evening when Swamiji was in Agra, this devotee was tired on returning from work and lied down on the bed. He would not miss even a single evening program during Swamiji’s visits to Agra. His wife made some tea for him. A while after having the tea, he dressed up, took a bus and reached the Badawar House where the program was being conducted. After the bhajan that evening, during the course of the usual discussion between Swamiji and devotees, the subject somehow turned to destiny. This devotee argued with Swamiji that everything was destined. He told Swamiji, “I was not in a mood to come here tonight. However, you willed that I be here. You called me, that is why I am here.” Swamiji argued, “It is true that Swamiji called you here today. However, you are here also because on your part, you got up from bed, dressed up, walked to the bus stand, took a bus, got off the bus and walked to this venue. Therefore, while destiny plays a part, the individual has to act. He has a role to play.”

There is a whole sub-section in Swamiji’s Treasure dedicated to the discussion between Swamiji and devotees on Destiny = Karma. Here is an extract to encourage you to read the whole chapter

Q       What is the role of free will and destiny in our lives? What if one’s astrology predicts something bad?

Swamiji: “You have the power to change your destiny. You can avoid the danger that astrology predicts by using your intelligence [buddhi]. Let us say an astrologer tells you that you might be involved in a car accident. While driving the car, if you are very cautious and if you use your intelligence then you can avoid the accident. If you think the accident is going to happen anyway and hence you close your eyes and drive, then you will definitely meet with an accident.”

Shiladitya, who interpreted for Swamiji in 1989, and who was well versed in Astrology told me, “Knowledge of Astrology is like being able to glow a torch on the path in the dark. It lets you see the pit so you may go around it.”

Friday, June 13, 2014

Parvatamma Function, Hyderabad

All are welcome to attend and participate in the function at the Hyderabad ashram in honor of Parvatamma Allaka garu, Sri Swamiji's mother.

As Swamiji himself designated, this function is observed each June 15.

This is the printed invitation from the Hyderabad ashram. (Click to enlarge the image.)