Explanations of ‘Karma’ on queries about Krishna Avatar

Concerning a number of queries raised by King Janamejaya in the context of Krishna Avatar, Maharshi Veda Vyas explained the role of ‘Karma’ or Fate playing vital significance. There are invisible links of one’s life to the previous births and the actions of present life to future consequences and the cycle of lives goes on, unless there is a possible break in the vicious circle in a highly unlikely situation of a zero account.The concepts of ‘Sanchita’ (accumulated), ‘Prarabdha’(accumulating) and Bhavishya (forthcoming) total up ‘Karma’. Viewed from this perspective, the very many questions raised by the King such as why Lord Krishna’s father Vasudeva and mother Devaki were kept in prison for no fault of theirs; why Krishna had to have two mothers Devaki and Yasoda; why Devaki had to deliver six infant boys in a succession just to be killed by Kamsa till the seventh and the eighth were spared; why did the righteous Pandavas struggle in life and faced several ugly situations especially when their share of Kingdom was given, moved on to Indraprastha and performed Rajasuya Yajna! Maharshi Veda Vyasa provided replies on several queries of King Janamejaya as linked with ‘Sanchita Karma’. As an illustration, he narrated the incident of the birth of seven infants before the eighth issue of Lord Krishna and why Aditi was born as Devaki in the next birth. Two daughters of Prajapati Daksha, Aditi and Diti, were wedded to Sage Kasyapa. Indra the King of Devas was born to Aditi; and Diti too desired to give birth to a son as powerful as Indra. Kasyapa advised Diti to perform a religious ritual with great piety and purity. As Diti too was conceived and the boy was nearing the delivery, Aditi got perturbed with envy. She asked her son Indra to somehow terminate the delivery. Indra pretended affection to Diti and when she fell fast asleep, entered by his mystic power the pregnant area and used his thunderbolt (Vajra Weapon) by splitting her womb into seven parts which were cut into seven further parts totalling forty nine parts. These forty nine parts were delivered and became Aswini Kumars, the powerful and virtuous Devas. The seven parts of the foetus were born as Devaki’s infant boys, six of them having been killed by Kamsa as soon as born and the seventh one flew away in the process of killing as ‘Yoga Maya’. Of course the eighth child was carried to Gokula as that of Nanda and Yasoda and thus emerged the Krishna Avatar. Diti learnt how the envy of Aditi was responsible for the miscarriage and cursed Aditi that she too be punished as Devaki in her next birth experiencing the pangs of losing seven infants in a row. Another illustration given by Veda Vyasa about the impact of ‘Karma’ was related to the several miseries faced by Pandavas, particularly after their conduct of Rajasuya Yajna; the explanation was that the Function was performed more out of arrogance and bravado rather than for religious reasons. Similarly, highly virtuous persons like Bhishma, Drona and Dharmaraja had undergone many embarrassing situations again as a clear example of Sanchita Karma.

Sri V.D.N.Rao and Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham

Kamakoti.org presents the Essence of Puranas in English, condensed by Sri. V.D.N.Rao, devotee of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam. Compiled, Composed and Interpreted by V.D.N.Rao, Former General Manager, India Trade Promotion Organisation, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi Ministry of Commerce, Govt. of India The author can be contacted at raovdn@yahoo.co.in