Questions by Sivashankara

ECH 386e1. These questions were asked by Sivashankara (Mr Tirso Mattai), in San Juan, Puerto Rico on August 17, 1968.

Question: Is there any way to overcome karma in one's lifetime?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, it is possible, Sivashankara. At the same time, it is not possible. If you ask if there is any way to overcome one's karma, I should answer, "Yes, there is one way." But if you ask if it is always possible for a human being to overcome his karma, then I would say that it is not always possible. Every human being on earth cannot overcome the law of karma just by mere desire or by wishful thinking or even by aspiration. Desire is out of the question. If something goes wrong in the family and I cry, "Oh, how I wish I could be the happiest person in the world and my dear ones would have no problems," then nothing will change. Even by praying, we cannot overcome karma. Just by aspiring, we cannot. The necessity of the Grace is required, and this Grace must come from God, from the Divine, from the Supreme. When God's Grace and the seeker's aspiration meet together, then we see that karma can be nullified and at the same time, future karma which the seeker will be creating, will all be done under the guidance and protection of the Divine. Your future karma will be made under His guidance, under His protection, under His knowledge, under His Grace. At that time, karma will not bind you. Karma does not bind you if it is the karma of devotion, dedication and surrender. Only that karma binds us which brings us results or the fruits of action.

We have to know what kind of karma we are creating. Real karma is that which is being done by the inner being within you. Otherwise there is no end of karma and responsibility, obligation and counter-obligation. I will say, "This is your responsibility." You will answer, "No, it is your responsibility." There is no end to human duty and obligation. But the real end we shall get only when we listen to our duty from deep within ourselves or from someone who can study our mind, who can study our heart, who can study our soul. Only he can advise us soulfully of our duty.

So to come back to your question, Sivashankara, it is possible to overcome karma when one has conquered desire and when the Divine Grace descends. Along with these are also required prayer and aspiration, but by themselves, they are not sufficient. When the infinite shower of Divine Grace descends upon us, when God's Compassion flows into us, then in one lifetime-it is not even a matter of one life — in a few days or in a few hours, it can be accomplished.

If you pray to a particular goddess, your own two thousand or four thousand years of karma can be nullified by her, by this Mother, by the Goddess Kali. And your name is Sivashankar. Siva is her consort. So you have already been blessed with this spiritual name, this Indian name. You are happy to have that name, Sivashankara. If you pray to the Goddess Kali, she will do miracles for you.