Symbols of the world's religions



Rustom B. Falahati

Discussions about karma invariably lead to questions about whether one can alter one's karma. Once, in response to such a discussion, Bal Natu told the following story.

"Suppose a man goes to the bank where he has an account and asks the banker for a sum of Rs. 1500/- because he wants to go on pilgrimage and needs the money. The banker asks the man to wait as he needs to check the man's account. After checking, the banker says, 'Sorry, but you can only withdraw Rs. 1000/- from your account because that is all that you have.'

"Karma is like that. You only get what is due to you, which is decided by your actions, whether good or bad, which get recorded in your account as your sanskaras. You can call it destiny.

"Now if the banker's son was to approach him with the same request, asking for Rs 1500/- to go on a pilgrimage, the banker's response would be different. He would ask his son to take at least Rs 2000/ and even then, would express concern that it might not be sufficient for the journey.

"Baba's grace is like the banker's love for his son. He would not insist on checking his son's account. Out of love for his son, he would want to help. Baba's grace is like that. You have your karma following you from the past, but His grace supersedes karma. In order to invite this grace, one has to remember Him constantly and call out to Him."

Bal chuckled and added, "We are like the foolish son who tells his banker father, 'Dad, I can't take Rs. 2000/ from you, because I have only saved Rs. 1500/ in my account.' The son could not understand his father's love and concern.

"In the same way, if we insist on going through our karma instead of accepting Baba's loving grace, Baba says, 'All right, if you want what's due to you by way of karma, it's okay. I wanted to give you more by way of grace, but since you want karma, it's okay.'"

This reminds me of how Bal would often laugh as he quoted the following:

"Agar na abhi, toe phir kabhi hum mast banege kabhi na kabhi."

"If not now, then later we will become God intoxicated some time or another."


THE REAL TREASURE, Vol 1, pp. 14-15
2006 © Rustom Falahati


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