Talks by Sringeri Acharyals - I

Man reaps the result of his action

This is a collected list of interviews and talks by the Sringeri Acharyals on various religious topics during the 1990’s. They were published in “The Hindu” newspaper.

What is the relevance of the ancient law of virtue when we are now achieving tremendous advancements in the scientific and material spheres? Such a question is being asked by some and their doubt arises about the lack of understanding regarding the nature of this law and its greatness and about the sublimity of the Vedic revelations which are the sources for this eternal moral law.

Millions of years ago, the Vedas declared that the stability of the entire universe, in fact its very survival, is dependent on righteous conduct. God has prescribed it for us in the form of the Vedas. Some raise the query, ``Does God appear before us and give these instructions. If not, what then is the meaning of Divine grace?'' The fallacious reply by a few is, ``All these appear to be concocted by some to deceive the common man.

But the ancient spiritual authority has provided the suitable explanation, ``God's grace does not mean that He will go about with a staff in His hand, as a shepherd does when he drives his animals to a meadow. On the other hand, He bestows on us the proper motive for action. Every move we undertake is stimulated by an urge to do, which arises out of a desire to perform that particular action. Without such a spur, we will not act at all.''

Where does this desire and urge for action stem from, is the next question. The only satisfactory answer is that it comes from God. If so, these skeptics say, such an urge should only be for the performance of pious deeds. Why then some have the tendency to indulge in wicked acts? Does God ask you to do evil acts? Will He, who is the object of our veneration, goad us to perpetrate bad deeds? Here too, the law provides the answer.

Sri Bharathi Theertha Mahaswamigal of Sringeri in a discourse said, since a person reaped the consequences of the evil acts he had perpetrated in his previous births, God gave him the appropriate desires to make him experience the fruits thereof. God does not therefore become responsible and He cannot be blamed. In the succession of births one experiences the fruits of actions done in previous lives in the subsequent ones. The process is continuous and hence the concept of reaping the results of past actions is neither improper nor un-scriptural.

If a sword is handed over to a young man for use in case of a war, and he chops off his own head with it, whose fault is this? Likewise, if a man who is asked to uphold the Divine commands (contained in the law) does not use the power of discrimination and does not understand the teachings contained in the sacred texts, the fault is man's. Man should hence decide on the correct course of action.