Can I change my destiny? It seems like everything is already programmed. Do not forget we are creating our future destiny right now. We are programmers. In the world today we have the whole computer movement. Many people want to be programmers. We are all programmers already: we are programming our future right now.
Is there any way to change this sequence that is ongoing? I act, I create karma and then I have to take another birth because of my karma. And then I act and I create more karma, and I take another birth even if it is all good karma.
In reality the most people are concerned about having too much good karma. This is the goal of so many so-called religions: be good, do good, create a lot of good karma. Then your life will be perfect, you will go to heaven. That is not true. Many people say, “I am a good guy. I have not hurt anybody. I am honest.” Even if you do create all good karma then you take another material birth to get the rewards. You still have to have another birth, you still experience disease and then come along old age and another death. You create more karma, etc.
That is not a solution. That is not a solution given in the Vedas. It is all explained. This is how it can be, but it is not recommended. A recommendation is: live a life that is karma free, no good karma, no bad karma. It is called akarma. So, one can ask, “How do I do that? I do not even see how it is possible. I do good things – I get good karma. I do bad things – I get bad karma. What else is there? Is there something else besides good and bad?” The answer is “yes”. But to actually achieve it, to live our life karma free I have to take a different approach. I have to start living according to the higher authority. I have to quit being the decision maker. I have to start listening and acting according to a higher voice. And, of course, that voice is the Supreme Lord. I cannot figure this all out. I have to admit: I do not know, I do not have a solution.
Like here is a guy and he hears about karma. I do not remember when I first heard about karma. Somehow or other, I knew that what I was hearing was true. I did not hear very much, the most basic explanations. But immediately I looked at my life as it was at that moment and thought, “Oh, my God, I have a problem. I have got a big problem. I have to change a lot in my life.” So, here is a guy who hears about karma and he starts thinking, “I have to solve this.” He is normally thinking about bad karma. So, as he thinks more and more he realizes that even his eating creates karma, “I have to eat to live, but this eating causes a lot of karma.” So, he is trying to solve this problem by thinking about it. He concludes, “I know. I will become a vegetarian. I am not going to eat those cows, pigs and chickens because when they are killed they suffer and I eat their meat and I am involved in all that. I do not want to be involved with karma. I will be a vegetarian.” And we say, “Very good! It is a very good idea. It will greatly reduce your karma. But it is not enough because though you eat only vegetables you will have to kill a carrot, you will have to cut the head of a cabbage. There is still karma.” The guy is very confused, “What do I do now?” So, he is thinking again, solving his own problem, “I know I will become a fruitarian. I am going to eat only fruit because you do not have to kill the trees and no karma.” So, about this time he feels, “I am very hungry.” So, he sees an apple hanging on an apple tree and he goes over to pick this apple but he stops, “I am not going to pick that apple, I might hurt the tree. I am going to wait for the apple to fall on the ground. And then I will eat it.” So, he waits and waits, he is very hungry. Finally, the apple falls. Immediately he rushes to get the apple, “Oh, good, no karma.” But what about all those people he stepped on while going to pick up the apple? What about all those people living on the apple? What about that long guy living in the apple? You cannot avoid karma. It is impossible. There is only one way.
In the material world, in our material consciousness we live for ourselves, “I live for me. My will be done.” And everyone and everything revolves around me, “I am the center of my universe.” I am acting completely independent from God’s will and God’s laws. Therefore, I am responsible for my actions. Karma.
But we learn from the Vedas that God is the Supreme Person. Just as we have our individual will God has His Supreme will. His will is always done. And our position is to serve the will of God, not our own will, do not live for ourself but to live for the pleasure of God. When I do this, whatever activity I perform in this loving relationship of service, it produces no karma. There is no karma. So, not only there is no karma for that activity but all previous karma from previous activities is removed. This is quite easy to understand this concept.
There is a military pilot who flies his plane over the enemy, drops his bombs and causes so much pain, sufferings and death to so many people. Yet when he comes back to the airbase, when he gets out of his plane there is nobody waiting for him with manacles. In fact, if he did a good job he is congratulated, “Thank you! Go and have some rest, and do it again tomorrow.” But if the same pilot goes to the town that night, gets into the fight and kills one man there is somebody waiting for him with manacles. He is immediately arrested, taken to jail and charged with murder. Now, what is the difference? Here he killed many people, here he killed the one. Here he is congratulated, here he is incarcerated. The difference is: here he was acting under the sanction of the higher authority, here he was acting independently. So, here he has no responsibility and here he is fully responsible.
So, if we are independent from God which is what the material world is based on, we want to be free, independent, do what we want then the law of karma is there. We are continuously controlled by that law. But when we dovetail our will with God’s will then everything is different. Now my life is lived under the guidance and sanction of the Supreme Lord. Absolutely no karma and all the previous karma is removed. So, when I come to the end of my life I do not have to take another birth. I can now truthfully say, “I have lived my life correctly.”
And, if I lived according to the philosophy of bhakti yoga not only I have removed karma, but I have also developed a loving relationship with the Supreme Lord. My desire is to go with the Lord, my attachment is to the Lord. I leave my body at death as we all do, but now I do not go into another material body. I am immediately transferred to the spiritual world. This is my original internal home. Now my journey in the material world from one lifetime to the next is finished. I have used the human form of life as it is intended to be used. My life was truly successful. And my reward is eternal happiness and love.
This is the philosophy of Bhakti yoga. Some people are attracted to this philosophy. Some people hear it and it is like a breath of fresh air, it is like water for a man in a desert. This is what they have been looking for. This happened last week. A girl came to where we were having our retreat and heard the teachings. It was like she won a lottery. And she had. Other people do not want to hear it at all but that is our freedom.
Remember, we have our freedom. We choose. We choose our destiny. Is my destiny gonna be returning to the spiritual world? Is it going to be ongoing rebirth in the material world? Is it gonna be on heavenly planets or hellish planets, human bodies or animal bodies, whatever? Our free will is our free will. But a free will used in ignorance is a big cause of trouble. A free will used in knowledge brings us the greatest reward. So, it is up to us.
So, these are the ideas. We can change our destiny completely. Whatever is set right now is already set. But once I come under jurisdiction of the Supreme Lord directly then everything is controlled directly by Him, not the law of karma.