Theory of Karma - Chapter 37
  37. HOW FAR GOD HIMSELF HELPS IN FACING PRARABDHA

God is rightly said to be very kind. But people do not know that he is equally stern also in punishing the wrong doers and sinful persons albeit of course with a benevolent and merciful intention to improve them. God is very keen to help you in facing your Prarabdha provided you turn your face against the passionate desires (lust) for the worldly materialistic objects for your insatiable sense gratifications which compel you to commit sinful actions-deeds; and then confess all your sins committed up-till now open-heartedly with tearful eyes and start behaving properly hereafter in right earnest in obedience to his orders keeping your face towards Him only.

The sun is very keen to give you full light provided you face towards him keeping your windows open. But if you keep your windows closed and do not allow the sun rays knocking at your doors to peep in, you and you alone are responsible for dashing your head in the darkness for which you cannot blame the sun who is helpless in your case. The sun never wishes you to remain in darkness in his presence.

Absolute resignation, total submission and perfect devotion to God which is known as BHAKTI YOGA can invoke full courage and will-power in your inner self for cheerfully facing your Prarabdha. The most simple definition of BHAKTI (devotion to God) is to please God by your moral and ethical behaviour and pious actions strictly according to his orders and instructions which are vividly described and enumerated commonly in all the religious scriptures of the world. Simply having a long beard or a clean bald head, putting on white or saffron robes and wearing such other uniforms (garbs) or pasteing and smearing different religious trade marks on the forehead for recognition as to which school of thought you belong-all this apparent shows and signs only, without any inner transformation, do not amount to BHAKTI (devotion to God) in the real sense of the term. On the contrary such external transformation and window dressing may sometimes invoke ego and hypocrisy. The main qualifications of a Bhakta (devotee) are clearly described in the twelfth chapter of Bhagwad Geeta and if you possess these qualifications then and then only you are a real Bhakta (Devotee of God) and then in your case God is fully prepared to take all the responsibilities of your Prarabdha completely on his shoulders making you totally free from ail the worldly worries.

Lord Krishna has made a categorical and irrevocable promise in Bhagwad Geeta that-'Even if a man of most vile conduct worships me with undistracted devotion, he must be reckoned as righteous for he has rightly resolved. By abandoning evil ways in his external life and by the power of his internal right resolution if he repents after he commits the sin, he is freed from sin; if he resolves that he will never commit the sin again, he will be purified.'

The evil of the past deeds cannot be washed away except by his turning to God with undivided heart. 'Let one feel daily repentant in mind, reflecting over misdeeds committed and practicing austerity and vigilance. By this will he be free from sin.'

Karma never binds completely. The sinner in the lowest depths of degradation has the light in him which he cannot put out, though he may try to stifle it and turn away from it utterly. God helps us, fallen though we be, by the roots of our being and is ready to send His rays of light into our dark and rebellious hearts. The very consciousness of our imperfection and sin betrays the pressure of the Divine
on our hearts.

Tukaram asys, 'Fallen of fallen, thrice fallen am 1; but do Thou raise me by Thy power. I have neither purity of heart nor a faith firmly set at Thy feet. I am born of sin. How often shall I repeat it ? I am void of understanding, needy and worse than needy. I cannot steady my mind, I cannot control my wayward senses. I have exhausted effort; peace and rest are far from me. I have offered Thee perfect faith, I have laid my life at Thy feet. Do now as Thou wilt, I can only look to Thee. O God, I trust in Thee, I cling firmly to Thy feet. It is for Thee to deal with my efforts.
O God, be merciful to me, a sinner.' The publican, in the parable, prays from the depth of his heart.

This verse does not mean that there is an easy escape from the consequences of our deeds. We cannot prevent the cause from producing its effect. Any arbitrary interference with the order of the world is not permitted. When the sinner turns to God with undistracted devotion, a new cause is introduced. His redemption is conditional on his repentance. Repentance, as we have noticed, is a genuine change of heart and includes contrition or sorrow for the past sin and a decision to prevent
a repetition of it in the future. When once the resolution is adopted, the transformation of the lower into the higher is steadily effected. If we believe in human effort, the growth may be hard. Error, imperfection and self-will are difficult to overcome, but when the soul gives up its ego and opens itself to the Divine, the Divine takes up the burden and lifts the soul into the spiritual plane. Tulsidasji says, 'A piece of charcoal loses its blackness only when fire penetrates ft.' there are no unforgivable sins. Once we place ourselves in the hands of the divine, we cannot fall into utter darkness.

Shri Rama promises

To him who seeks my protection even once and requests help of ME saying 'I am yours' I shall give him fearlessness from all beings.

But your prayer and repentance must be sincere and spiritual.

God looks not at the oratory of our prayers,
How eloquent they are,
Nor at their arithmetic
How many they are,
Nor at their geometry
How long they are,
Nor at their logic
How methodical they are,
But he looks at their sincerity
How spiritual they are.