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The Past Initiated Act

Tuesday December 14 2004 08:49 IST

By Karmayogi

Satyavathi is a central character in the Mahabharatha. She was a fisherwoman soaked in a fishy odour, rather stench. Sage Parasara relieved her of her stench and gave her Vyasa as son.

Shantanus imagination was captured by her beauty and he courted her. Her father would not agree to her marrying the king unless her son could rule. To relieve the king of his depression, Devavrata, son of Ganga, took to brahmacharya and made his father marry Satyavathi.

Her two sons, Chitrangada and Vichitravirya, died childless. She wished Bhima, Devavrata, to break his ferocious vow and produce an heir to the throne. As it did not work, she asked Vyasa to officiate. Blind Dhritharashtra and livid Pandu were born. Also Vidura was born to the maid who was sent by her Queen. Later Pandu was cursed to be childless by the sage he had accidentally killed.

Satyavathi was stricken, lamented, and wondered why she should be punished for her fathers ambition, and why Dhritharashtra should be blind, etc. Ganga was a nymph whose acts of killing her children Shantanu was incapable of preventing, being bound by his own oath.

The story comes to a climax in the war of vast destruction. Krishna, who was an Avatar, guided Time and the destiny of mankind and presided over the entire course of the epic. Devaki, who gave birth to the Avatar, languished in the jail, lost her children and was buried in a sea of depression.

The epic is full of sages, kings divinely endowed, wise men, men of dharma whose vision penetrates into the future. Their powers call gods to earth to bless Kunti with children. An Avatar is the presiding Deity. Still, karma and curse rule the course of events. Sri Aurobindo calls karma the past initiated act and its momentum.

The characters obey dharma, do penance, honour codes of life and exhibit the highest sense of duty and character. Still karma proves to be an inexorable law. All bow to the power of karma, because those who believe in karma do not exhibit a docile behaviour.

As Satyavathi tries all her stratagems, her father fully indulges in his ambition, till they are frustrated. Then they accept karma, not before.

Instead of relying on personal greed and perversity and then bowing to karma, there is an alternative for MAN. He can rely on God rather than on his own capacity, resort to utter truthfulness instead of indulging in perverse tricky stratagems. Then karma will bow his head to MAN.

There is a higher Force than God emanating from the plane that gave birth to God. Man relying on that Force, indulging in utter truthfulness, will witness karma dissolving, giving place to Grace, Gods own unfailing action. Grace becomes supergrace when man withdraws his reliance from his own capacities.

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