Shri Amar Muni
`DO GOOD FORTUNES AND MISFORTUNES EXIST?'
The Bhagavan said to Achalbhrata, the ninth Brahmin
indian writing (pg 125 angie)
Whatever exists is purusa (soul). On account of this
statement you have entertained a doubt regarding the existence of punya
(good fortune) and papa (misfortune).
There are five alternative opinions regarding punya and
1. Only punya (good fortune) exists; not misfortune
2. Only papa exists, not punya
3. Punya and papa remain only mixed giving mixed joys
4. They remain independent and give separate fruits
like joys and sorrows.
5. There is nothing like punya or papa, it means
neither punya nor papa exists, and joys and sorrows arise naturally.
Of these in the first alternative the question arises;
"when only punya exists, how can the soul suffer sorrow?" The answer to
this question is: As in the case of an agreeing diet joys appear when
punya is ascendant, and sorrows appear when it declines; whereas in the
second alternative as in the case of eating unwholesome diet, when
misfortune increases, sorrow also increases; and when misfortune declines,
sorrow also decreases and joy takes its place. In both the alternatives,
after punya and papa being completely destroyed to extreme extent, moksa
salvation is attained. In the third alternative if the amount of punya
increases it is called only punya. In the same manner, on account of the
increase of the amount of only papa the opposite thing happens that it is
called papa In the fourth alternative, joy and sorrow are not experienced
at the same time. Here punya and papa are to be present as separate causes
for the emergence of independent effects namely joy or sorrow. In the
fifth alternative, "the air blows horizontally," `the fire flame go
upwards, "thorns are sharp and straight' just as all this is their nature,
similarly without punya and papa, joy and sorrow appear on account of the
nature of the strangeness of `Samsar'.
The first, the second, the third, and fifth
alternatives are wrong. Only the fourth one is logical, the others being
If the world is strange i.e. strange happenings are
only due to nature, what is the meaning of nature? Is it the substance? Is
it causelessness? Is it the quality of the substance? (This is according
to what is said in the section entitled "The Second Ganadar".) The summary
is this. We have to believe in punya and papa as the causative qualities
of the substance themselves with a form.
The proof of the existence of the independent punya
and papa by two kinds of inference
(a) The inference by the cause: Like the effects of the
seeds of grains of wheat and maize, the effects of the peculiar causes
namely benevolence (charity) and violence, ought to be peculiar and
(b) The inference by the effect: Two children possess
such peculiar qualities as beauty and ugliness, though their parents are
the same. Behind this there ought to be different causes namely punya and
From these two inferences the existence of punya and
papa is proved.
(c) Even the basic cause is in consonance with the
effect. The cause of a gold vessel is gold; and the cause of a copper
vessel is copper. In the same manner the cause of joys is punya karma
(good fortune); and the cause of sorrow is papa karma (bad fortune). You
have to believe that such different effects have differenct causes.
Why are not `Punya' and `Papa' formless?
Question: Since joy and sorrow are the moulds and
modifications of the formless soul, they are formless; similarly will not
the causes of these joys and sorrows namely punya and papa be proved
Answer: The cause is not always be all dharmas
(natures) completely consonant with the effect,nor is it completely
incongrous with the effect; the cause becomes only congruent with the
effect or the effect becomes congruent with the cause. If the cause and
effect becomes congruent by all the sharmas (natures) which possess
different natures how is it that `one is the cause and another is the
effect' and there is a difficulty in saying that they are absolutely
different in all aspects. If in one, there is vastutva-dharma, then in the
other, there would appear avastutva-dharma, which is always different from
it. In other words then only avastu will be proved to exist. Then how can
there be the relationship of cause and effect between vastu (real) and
Not only cause and effect, but all the substances in
this world are similar and different and congruent and incongruent with
its effect. Yet, specially the principal cause is said to be congruent
with its effect. This means that this effect is the (swaparyaya)
self-modification of the cause; and (parparyaya) non-self modification of
another cause and effect. These swaparyaya and parparyaya of cause become
similar and dissimilar to and congruent and incongruent with this cause.
In the current topic, the union of the jiva and punya is the cause. Its
effect `joy' is its "self-modification" and just as joy is called
auspicious and good, similarly punya also. This is congruence. There is no
rule that `if joy is formless its cause also should be formless', because
congruency is not total but it is only partial.
(a) Food etc. is the cause of pleasure, but where is it
formless. It has form. In the same manner karma also has a form.
Question: Then you should believe that only food,
flowers and sandal paste etc. are the cause of pleasures; where is the
need to believe in karma?
Answer: Very well, but the question is, "in some places
and times the external things like food etc. are the same, yet there is
differene in pleasure; why?" You shall have to say that this difference is
caused only by different karmas.
(b) And karma has a form, because karma is the cause of
the body which has a form, and cause of the accumulation of bodily
strength. Just as oil which has a form strengthens a pot which has a form.
(c) Karma has a form, because it is nourished by
flowers sandal paste etc. which have form.
Joy Is Formless: The body has a form. Karmas are the
1. What is the form of karma?
Question: The body etc. have form, and joy, sorrow,
anger, pride etc. are formless. When that is so, how can this rule be
deduced that cause is always formless or cause always has a form?
Answer The congruent cause for the effect, viz. joy
etc. is not karma, but the Jiva. This of course is formless. In other
words we have surely found here for a formless effect a formless cause.
Now to speak of karma, since karma being a non-congruent cause, there is
no difficulty in its being "with a form" like medicines increasing
intelligence. Thus "swabhavavad" the theory of nature has been refuted,
and the 'karmavad' the theory of karma has been proved.
2. Now, the refutation of the theory that either 'only
punya exists', or only papa exists.
3. By the increase of punya, let there be increase of
joy likewise, by the decrease of punya let there be decrease of joy but
how can there be excessive sorrow? This can only happen on account of the
excess of papa
The body gets strength on account of nourshing food. If
there is a decrease in the nourishing food, the strength in the body
decreases, this is resonable; but how does disease and agony occur? This
is the reasonable consequence of increase in the unwholesome and harmful
food which spoils health.