(48) JAPA, TAPA AND THE LIKE
3rd June, 1946
Yesterday a gentleman came here -- a devout brahmin.
From his words and from the rosary of rudrakshas around his neck, it was clear that he was practising mantra japam. He said that he had darshan of Bhagavan once before in Virupaksha Cave. Today, going up to Bhagavan, he asked, “Swami, can a continuous japa of Panchakshari or Tarakam absolve one from sin such as drinking alcoholic liquor and the like?” “What exactly is your idea?” asked Bhagavan.
The brahmin again asked pointedly, “Even though people commit adultery and theft and take alcoholic drinks and so on, can their sins be wiped out by doing japam with the mantras mentioned above. Or will the sins stick to them?” “If the feeling ‘I am doing japa’ is not there, the sins committed by a man will not stick to him. If the feeling ‘I am doing the japa’ is there, why should not the sin arising from bad habits stick on?” said Bhagavan. “Will not this punya (result of virtuous acts) extinguish that papam (result of those sinful acts)?” asked the brahmin. “So long as the feeling, ‘I am doing’ is there, one must experience the result of one’s acts, whether they are good or bad. How is it possible to wipe out one act with another? When the feeling that ‘I am doing’ is lost, nothing affects a man. Unless one realises the Self, the feeling ‘I am doing’ will never vanish. For one who realises the Self where is the need for japam? Where is the need for tapas? Owing to the force of prarabdha life goes on, but he does not wish for anything. Prarabdha is of three categories, ichha, anichha, and parechha (personally desired, without desire and due to others’ desire).
For him who has realised his Self, there is no ichha-prarabdha. The two others, anichha and parechha remain. Whatever he does is for others only. If there are things to be done by him for others, he does them but the results do not affect him. Whatever be the actions that such people do, there is no punya and no papa attached to them. But they do only what is proper according to the accepted standard of the world -- nothing else,” said Bhagavan.
Though Bhagavan told the questioner that for him who realises his self there is no ichha-prarabdha but only anichha and parechha-prarabdha, his usual views about the prarabdhas may be found in his work “Unnathi Nalupadhi”: The Jnani does not have present, future and prarabdha karma; to say that prarabdha remains, is only a reply to a question. Just as one of the wives cannot remain unwidowed when the husband dies, so also the three karmas cannot remain when the karta is gone.
The Forty Verses, Supplement, verse 33