Who is responsible for our destiny? Yudhistira (Dharmaraja) worried that Kauravas were killed because of him. He brooded over the matter time and again. Hence, Bhisma told a story to pacify him and make him understand that he was not at all the cause behind the killing of Kauravas and it is in fact the “karma” that is responsible for their death.
Long ago, the son of a Brahmin lady, Gautami was bitten by a snake. He died immediately. Gautami cried terribly in front of her son’s dead body. Meanwhile, a hunter named Arjanaka came there holding a snake in his hand. He told Gautami hastily that the snake was responsible for his son’s death. He asked her permission to kill the snake into pieces. But, she rejected and instead questioned Arjanaka that the snake is no way concerned with his son’s death and that it happened because of his karma. So, she asked him to free the snake. However, the hunter in a severe fury did not agree with Gautami. He strongly determined to kill the snake. Suddenly, the snake started to talk. It listened to the entire conversation of the lady and the hunter. It gave explanation that nothing is in its hands and it acts as a tool in the hands of God of death. It also clarified that it had bitten the boy only with the permission of the God of Death. Then, the God of Death appeared and told about her role. She explained that it is wrong to blame her too because she has control over nothing and that she is governed by the God of Time. She further added that she merely followed the words of God of time. Then, the God of Time appeared there and told that it is wrong to blame him too for anything that happens to anyone. He said that he is just a tool and it is only one’s karma that drives everybody and is the cause behind everything. Gautami intervened and endorsed the words of the God of Time so as to make the hunter understand. She requested the hunter to free the snake because nobody is responsible for her son’s death and that it is only his karma. Feeling ashamed for his ignorance, the hunter freed the snake. Thus, Bhisma explained about the principles of karma to Yudhistara.
Hence, nobody is responsible for one’s sorrow or happiness. It is one’s own karma that causes everything. We unnecessarily worry that it is because of a person, thing, etc that we suffer. But it is not so. It is destined to happen, so it happened. It is the predestined karma that is decided by time. Sometimes, Swamiji tells that karma is computerized. Our future is prewritten. Our disappointment is pre-appointed. We face disappointment as a result of that destiny and no one else is responsible for it. The persons who seem to be the reasons behind our sorrow have just coincidently met us. That’s it. The sorrow might have taken a form because of them but no one is behind our sorrow. If we have a strong karma with us, God himself cannot help us avoid it. We must face it. We must pray God for his grace so that we get the energy to bravely fight against it and forget the sorrow.
Jai Guru Datta! Sri Guru Datta!