सति मूले तद्विपाको जात्यायुर्भोगाः॥१३॥
sati mUle=there being the root; tad=it (karmashaya); vipaa
=ripening; jaati=class; aayuH=span of life; bhogaaH=experiences
“As long as the root is there it must ripen and result in lives of
different class, length and experience.”
As long as kleshas exist, samskaras in the karmashaya will continue
to ripen and bring about fruit in the form of future births. These
births will be governed by three characteristics – jati (class), aayu (span of
life), and bhoga (experiences – pleasant or unpleasant). ‘Jati’ will
determine the type of life one will have . For example, one could be
born in a poor slum area or in a posh, affluent family. Span of life
will determine the total number of experiences during the life. Death
during childhood, for example, will obviously result in few life
experiences. Under ‘bhoga’ we consider the nature of experiences -
pleasant or painful. The ‘bhoga’ does not necessarily depend upon
‘jati’ or ‘ayuH’. A person born into a very poor family could still
attain happiness and satisfaction in life.
“As long as klesha remains at the root, karmashaya produces three
consequences in the form of birth, span of life and experience”
As long as klesha is there it is capable of producing consequences.
It does not produce result when klesha is removed or reduced to a burnt
state through knowledge.
After some discussion, Vyasa (and Aranya) conclude that:
- One karmashaya is not responsible for many births
- One karma cannot produce multiple births
- Many karmas do not produce many births
- Many karmas go to bring about one birth
- Karmashaya responsible for a birth also determines its span of
life and experiences of pleasure and pain
- Karmashaya is Eka-bhavika, i.e., accumulated in one life
- Karmashaya that is operative in the same life does not produce
another life but works in the same life as experience and/or life span
- The three results in every life have produced latencies called
Vasana, which are eternal
- Karmashayas are of two kinds – those that must mature (niyata
vipaka)and those that may not mature (aniyata vipaka)
- Aniyata Vipaka karmashayas may take one of these three courses:
- Karma may get nullified by a stronger karma of the opposite kind
- A dominant karma may subdue a minor karma and may not fructify
in the next life.
- The unfructified minor karma my bear fruit in a future
“As long as the root [of the kleshas] exists, it fructifies as type
of birth, span of life, and life experience [of an individual]“
Karma can bear fruit only when the kleshas exist. Grains of rice can
germinate only when they are not burnt and the husk is not removed. At
the time of death, the karmashaya will determine the three fruits: type
of birth, life span and life experience – pain or pleasure. Karmashaya
contains impressions of deeds – samskaras – from countless previous
lives. At the time of death, the subtle body, which contains the
karmashaya, is transferred to the new body. Only the gross body is
destroyed on death. Most of the karmas will fructify in the next life.
However, some of the karmas that do not get fructified can have three
possible outcomes: they can be destroyed, they can merge with a
dominant karma, or can remain dormant for a long time. Dormant bad
karma can be destroyed by good karma. However, bad karma cannot destroy
good karma waiting to be fructified.
Pleasure and pain have a direct connection with the kleshas of
attachment (raga) and aversion (dvesha). Raga and dvesha
come from the ego and ego is the result of avidya (ignorance), as given
in sutra 2.3.
When knowledge arises, ignorance is destroyed so the kleshas are
deprived of their base and can no longer survive. Moreover, existing
karmas in the store of Sanchita karma are burnt.
A jivanamukta, a person who is enlightened while still alive, must
go through the Prarabdha Karma which is the karma doled out at the time
of birth. However, since as a result o enlightenment, the Sanchita Karma
is destroyed and no future birth can take place.
In sutras 2.12-14, Patanjali has delineated one of the most
fundamental tenets of the Hindu philosophy – the theory of Karma and
Reincarnation. While growing up, our elders would always tell us that we should do
good deeds otherwise we might be born as animals or insects in the next
life. To me, this is one of those concepts which must be accepted on
“faith” only. I don’t believe that there is a way to establish its
veracity through ‘pratyaksha pramana’ (direct perception). It is only
through ‘agama’ (scriptural reference) or possibly through ‘anumana’
(inference) that one can explain these concepts.
Most commentators have explained the term “jati” as referring to a
future birth which could be any living being – human, animal, insect
etc. However, Taimni, in his commentary talks only about human birth
and about the type of life one could have – living in a slum
versus being born in a rich family, or being happy or unhappy etc. He
seems to have taken a limited view of the word “jati”.
It is interesting to note that in Chapter 1, the focus was on
removing the samskaras and their seeds through various stages of
meditation (sutras 17, 18, 42-51). There was no mention of kleshas in
the first chapter. In chapter 2, we are now introduced to the concept
of kleshas which are now being shown to be the root cause of the karmas
and the resulting samskaras.