Advaita Vision

Advaita for the 21st Century

Tattvabodha - Part 27

Notes on Tattvabodha
Dr. Vishnu Bapat

Dr. Bapat (72) was the co-founder of an Ayurvedic Pharmaceutical Industry and served as its Managing Director for 26 years until retirement. He is associated with several professional and spiritual bodies. He is now fully engaged in the study and practice of Vedanta.




Not available in printed form.


----- Unpublished -----

Where to Buy


Go to Part 26

53. Sanchita Karma

संचित कर्म किम्?

अनन्तकॊटिजन्मनां बीजभूतं सत् यत्कर्मजातं पूर्वार्जितं तिष्ठ्ति ।

तत्सञ्चितं ज्ञेयम् । ।

संचित – sanchita कर्म – karma किम् – what is it अनन्तकॊटिजन्मनाम् – of the infinite number of births बीजभूतम् – in the seed form सत् – being यत् – which कर्मजातम् – results of action पूर्व – in the past अर्जितम् – accumulated तिष्ठ्ति – remains तत् – that सञ्चितम् – sanchita accumulated ज्ञेयम् – should be understood

What is sanchita karma? The results of actions performed in past births which are in seed form causing endless crores (10 millions) of birth are called sanchita karma.

सञ्चित – It is the sum total of good and bad actions accumulated from our previous lives. It is the burden of our past which is maintained in our current account and which needs to be exhausted at some stage of our existence. Sanchita karma will not so much affect us in the present life because all the vasanas do not fructify at the same time but do so at staggered periods.


अनन्तकॊटि जन्मनाम् कर्मजातम् – result of the actions done in our innumerable births in the past. We may have taken birth in different species before we got the human form now. We can never say how long it would take for a Punya or papa action to fructify. It remains as sanchita karma. The karmaphala produced from the karmas of tens and thousands of past janmas is called sanchita.


बीजभूतम् यत् तिष्ठ्ति – The results of our actions are stored in seed form. The seeds of a mango, papaya or a coconut tree planted on the same day would germinate and grow into adult trees at different periods in future. Similarly our actions fructify at staggered periods. It remains as sanchita karma.


54. Prarabdha Karma and how it is undone

प्रारब्धं कर्म किमिति चेत् ।

इदं शरीरमुत्पाद्य इह लॊके एवं सुखदुःखादिप्रदं यत्कर्म तत्प्रारब्धं

भॊगेन नष्टं भवति प्रारब्धकर्मणां भॊगादेव क्षय इति ।।

प्रारब्धंम् – Prarabdha कर्म – karma, one which has already started maturing किम् – what इति चेत् – if asked इदम् – this शरीरम् - body उत्पाद्य – being the cause of this birth इह – this लॊके – world एव – only सुखदुःखादि – happiness, misery etc., यत् प्रदम् – which gives कर्म – actions तत् – that प्रारब्धम् – is called Prarabdha भॊगेन – by experiencing नष्टम् भवति – becomes destroyed प्रारब्धकर्मणाम् – of Prarabdha karmas भोगात् - एव – by experiencing only क्षय – exhaustion इति – thus

If it is asked what prarabdha karma is, the answer is; that which gives birth to the body in this world, and makes us experience happiness and misery is called prarabdha karma. Such fruits of action are eliminated only by experiencing them. This is because their wearing out is possible only by experiencing them.

इदम् शरीरम् उत्पाद्य – having produced this body. From the sanchita karma storehouse, some actions fructify and give rise to this body. Obviously good actions only would give us human body otherwise we would be in the body of some insects or beasts. Bad actions can also cause human body but with some defects so that the individual can suffer them out इह लॊके एवं सुख दुःख आदि प्रदं – in the form of happiness or misery in this world. Sukha means happiness and dukha means grief. Adi means etc, the meaning is that, it may produce mixed results.


The author having completed the subject of three types of karmas, now takes up a new subject as to how the karma phala could be extinguished.


भॊगेन नष्टम् भवति – A new subject of how the karmaphalas are worn out. A wise man’s prarabdha karma is attenuated only by suffering them out in his life. Prarabdha karma is destroyed only by experiencing them but cannot be destroyed with self knowledge. No amount of good work, gaining of knowledge, or non-identification with the body or working for the pleasure of God would destroy the fruits of actions that have already set into motion. It is like a bullet fired from the barrel of a gun that is impossible to stop. Similarly those actions which have started giving fruit cannot be destroyed. Even a jnyani has to bear with it and experience it. That is why we see many realized yogis suffered from deadly disease like cancer but they all experienced them till the body drops off. Swami Chinmayanada says,” What I get is His gift to me, what I do with what I get is my gift to Him” Since we have no choice but to suffer out the prarabdha karma the wise man undergoes trials and tribulations without whining. He says, O God thy will be done.


प्रारब्धकर्मणां भॊगादेव क्षयः - Prarabdha karma is exhausted only through experience of Sukha and Dukha.


Contact Dr. Bapat at if you have any comments or questions.

Existing comments may be seen here.

Go to Part 28


Page last updated: 16-Jul-2017