Is there Freewill? / 3 Karma's Molding Your Life / What is Compassion? (12)


Session 12 teaches us how 3 types of Karma (Sanchita, Prarabdha, Agami) cause you (Jiva) to be WHAT YOU ARE TODAY. Provoking question “Do we have free will?“.

Then we use Vedanta “Dreamer & Dream” analogy to explain “What is Ishvara/Creator” and it's relationship to Brahman/Consciousness.

Following important topic of “How to gain equal Compassion for both sinner and saint” (attribute of Unconditional Love).

Finally we reiterate the technique of destroying vāsanā's for Liberation/Freedom/moksha – being the attitude of Karma Yoga (offering VS. taking).


  1. 3 Types of Karma: Sanchita, Prārabdha, Agami


    All actions done (this life and all previous lifetimes) all generate Karma (in form of vāsanā’s OR tendencies which will likely be repeated again in future).

    Sanchita is “storehouse” of all ACTIONS done in past, which in present moment remain only as potential to fructify – when right situation/timing arises.

    For example, Arjuna has sweet tooth for white chocolate. But while Arjuna is working in office, he is NOT thinking about white chocolate. Even though this dormant tendency is alive in background.

    When right situation/timing arises, Arjuna will suddenly be compelled to find, buy and eat white chocolate. This is then called Prārabdha Karma.

    Conclusion: This dormant potential, not currently acted out, is Sanchita. Because all ACTIONS produce momentum. Every ACTION has an equal and opposite REACTION. Whether delayed (adṛṣta-phalam) or immediate (dṛṣta-phalam).

    EG: When marathon runner crosses finish-line, she continues running for a distance until momentum of running-ACTION has subsided.

    Sanchita karma also explains why children are born with pronounced traits. Some have immediate tendency for stealing, for singing, for learning, for playing guitar, for science. Why? Because of Sanchita carried over from previous lifetime.



    When right circumstance or environment which similarly represents one of vāsanā’s stored in Sanchita, then that vāsanā is trigged and expressed as physical ACTION.

    Meaning, Prārabdha is Sanchita fructified NOW, in PRESENT MOMENT.

    Because of this acting-out in present moment, it is obviously another ACTION. This ACTION played out as prārabdha, will now become Agami.


    Āgāmi: (also called kriyamāṇa-karma)

    This is new Karma generated for FIRST time, when any action is done in PRESENT MOMENT as form of either (1) prārabdha, OR (2) new action never done before.

    EG: Once you pull out your mobile phone to check messages/Facebook or news, this action immediately becomes Sanchita. (And what did we say about Sanchita? Sanchita is momentum… which is going to inevitably fructify again. )

    What happens next? You put phone away. Then what? You take out phone again in matter of seconds, minutes… only to REPEAT the same action you’ve done couple of moments ago.

    Then you put phone away. You take out phone AGAIN! As if unable to help it.

    EXERCISE: Next time you’re in gathering or airport, watch this phenomena. It’s as predicable as sun rising in East.

    EG 2: Teenager loses virginity. Suddenly he/she becomes intrigued by idea of repeating it. Sometimes it consumes their mind. Why? Because FIRST TIME sex (Agami) has created Sanchita. And since teenager is almost always exposed to attractive girls/boys, their Sanchita is constantly triggered.

    Āgāmi (coming) is most important for Vedāntin who’s vision is mokṣa (Liberation/Enlightenment). Because now one can ask:

    Is this (seemingly-pleasant) Action I am about to do, going to fructify in future as prārabdha – which cultivates a peaceful mind OR disturbed mind?

    EG of Inquiry: “If I start surfing, isn’t it logical to assume I’ll quickly get addicted to it – and would want to repeat it over and over again? Yes.

    In that case, is it fair to say surfing does NOT support my goal of mokṣa, because every time I sit down to read and contemplate statements in scriptures, my mind will entice me to go surfing (since it’s a more FUN then reading Śruti)?”

    Hence āgāmi is where Jīva has freewill or self-effort (puruṣārtha). Thus needs to be exercised by intercepting your actions and asking example inquiry. (Yes, we know puruṣārtha is associated with 4 stages of life: Dharma, Artha, Kāma, mokṣa. However it's also understood as self-effort/freewill, because it is they which causes person to progress through 4 stages of life).

    Until eventually most actions flooding from Sanchita to Prārabdha are of Sāttvic nature.

  2. Reason for rebirth. And reason why Enlightenment ends all 3 Karma's.

    Mokṣa immediately neutralizes all 3 Karma's becomes the “I” is no longer associated to that one whom Karma happens to, which is the B-M-I (Body-Mind-Intellect; Jīva).

    Meaning, Karma still occurs to the Jīva because prārabdha is still playing out whether there is Liberation or not.

    But to one who realized their eternal nature and completely re-identified with Consciousness (mokṣa), there is no concern what happens to their Jīva, because it is know that Jīva is not “I”, it’s just another body amongst billions.

  3. Do we have Freewill? Yes and no simultaneously. Explained.

    No because Jīva didn’t create anything. Nor does Jīva control the forces of nature. Nor does Jīva cause the world to happen. In fact, Jīva doesn’t even know how to control it’s own noisy Mind, let alone run the entire Universe. 🙂

    Yes because human being has advanced intellect: (1) sūkṣma-buddhi; gross intellect and (2) tīkṣma-buddhi; subtle intellect used to discriminate Satya-Mithyā.

    This intellect is capable of self-consciousness. Aware of itself. For that reason, it’s able to say “I am now doing X, which will lead to Y”.

    For this reason, Jīva is able to intercept the natural rythm of Universe. That’s why Jīva can inflict pain onto itself.

    You won’t find a dog who commits suicide. Only Jīva can go against inbuilt laws of nature, like ahṃisā (non-injury).

    Furthermore Jīva innocently does out of ignorance, owning to Māyā’s two powers (1) āvarana-śakti; veiling power, (2) vikṣepa-śakti; projecting power.

    For this reason, there is NO freewill from Īśvara(2) point of view. Yet simultaneously there is from Jīva’s point of view.

  4. What is Īśvara(2)/Mithyā and what is it's relationship to Īśvara(1)/Satyam?

    Inherent power in Brahman (Īśvara(1)) is called Māyā. Hence Māyā is unmanifest (1) Power to create (2) Power of all-knowledge.

    When Māyā manifests as Mithyā (matter), we then call that Īśvara(2). Or just Īśvara in Traditional/Original Teaching.

  5. What is Compassion really? And how to have compassion for a thief?

    Compassion is Love with Understanding.

    It is impossible to genuinely love (unless faking it or fooling ownself) without FIRST understanding what is it that you are loving.

    Since it’s impossible to understanding heterogeneous multitude of Objects, all you need to understand is Īśvara which pervades all creation. With that comes Unconditional Love or compassion for both the sinner and the saint, knowing now Īśvara(2) is the author of the Universe; not individual Jīva’s.

  6. Reason why ACTION can not remove Ignorance. Only Self-Knowledge (brahmavidyā) can.

    See FAQ analogy end of video of story of secretary who couldn’t find her pen, as it was on her ear. She applied all the ACTION of looking. No matter how much ACTION she applies, she will not find that pen on her ear.

    She needs someone to point out to her that what she is looking for, she already has (pen).

    Similarly, a committed spiritual aspirant needs a guru to point out that what aspirant is looking for, is ALREADY who the aspirant IS.

Download visual mind map | compassion of this session.

17 July 2018



    1. Isvara1 (Consciousness) is neither unmanifest, nor manifest. Why? Because Isvara1 is that which never changes. And attributing unmanifest to Isvara1, implies it can change to manifest.

      Only Isvara2 (or Maya) has manifest/unmanifest state.

      Please note, in later videos Isvara1 will no longer be used. It will eventually be replaced with: Brahman or Awareness or Consciousness

      But on beginning it’s good we used Isvara1/2 because in śāstra (scriptures), Īśvara can mean either 1 or 2 or both. Only context will reveal which. That’s why 1/2 is used to remove confusion right from the start. Because one will likely continue study of Advaita Vedanta texts on their own and encounter Ishvara/Ishwara/Īśvara word many times.

  1. I am referring back to the comments section from lesson 11 and your explanation of how ‘bad things happen.’ I understand what you are saying that if someone did something to harm another, then when they come back this past action will determine their next experience. I want to know if and how Vedanta applies this theory to animals and nature. To my eyes they are the innocent suffering at the hands of the jivas. Why must they suffer as they do? Is there a way to look at these sufferings without feeling their pain? This is something I really struggle with and would be grateful if you could offer some insight on this.

    1. Metaphor: Two lovers were addicts of sex. They only lived to procreate three times a day. So they agreed whichever dies first, he/she will come back as a spirit and report if there is procreation opportunity in heaven. Man dies first, and few days later appears. Widow is thrilled! She asks, “Are you in heaven, is there sex there?”. Spirit answers, “Absolutely! It can’t get any better. I’m a rabbit in a beautiful savanna!”.

      Why born as rabbit? Because rabbit body is much more efficient at exhausting procreation vāsanā, then a human being. We also know rabbit is going to be eaten alive by specie higher in food chain. All because of what? Unwillingness to rise beyond lower urges while privileged to human body.

      In otherwords, we (humans/plants/animals) get EXACTLY what we deserve according to sanchita-karma.

      How does Vedanta apply to animals/nature? They are only born to exhaust their karma owning to unseen past circumstances which are beyond our knowledge/perception.

      “But what did I do to deserve this!”. We can’t even remember what we did 2 days ago at 2:15pm. Let alone events in entire life and beginingless past lives. Everything in creation is in PERFECT cause-effect balance.

      Feeling pain for suffering of the world? That’s fine and totally normal. In fact no feeling it, one shouldn’t be in Vedanta. Also as understanding of WHOLE is slowly assimilated through this course, we begin to see more OBJECTIVELY. Mean, it is neither cheerful nor sorrowful. 2 brothers fight over marbles and suffer, because they give so much value to mere marbles. Later they grow up, and see marbles OBJECTIVELY (neither sorrow worthy, nor happy worthy).

  2. Hi Andre.
    You said that in Vedanta, Shiravana-listening for 5 years is practiced.
    Should I just listen to all the talks at least once before asking questions?
    This next question has bothered me for years.
    If I become self realised I cease the cycle of birth-death-rebirth and abide in my original state of being.
    What is the point of the whole exercise then?
    Is Ishwara evolving through this process?
    Are we?
    I have never been satisfied with the traditional explanation that it is Lila, God sporting in his cosmic play.
    It sounds so pointless, trivial and childish.
    Ultimately, for this life to have meaning it seems to me there must be some evolutionary growth in consciousness that follows the direction of the arrow of time.
    Otherwise we are left with endlessly repeated cycles.
    What is the point of this manifest expert then?

    1. ========
      You said that in Vedanta, Shiravana-listening for 5 years is practiced.
      Should I just listen to all the talks at least once before asking questions?

      Vedanta is a questions-answers tradition. So best to listen maybe 4-5 sessions, then ask questions. Because majority of questions are answered as the teaching progresses.

      Also many contradictions will come. This is why student needs faith, else they’ll say “Teacher said X, now they’re saying Y”. But all contraditions are resolved as teaching progresses.

      This next question has bothered me for years.
      If I become self realised I cease the cycle of birth-death-rebirth and abide in my original state of being.
      What is the point of the whole exercise then?

      Rephrase the question please. Point of what exercise?

      Is Ishwara evolving through this process?

      Must define word “evolve” before using it.

      I’ll assume “evolve” means: That which undergoes changes (quality, quantity, smell, taste, feeling, emotion, thought, sight, sound).

      Īśvara has two natures (covered in session 60+-): parā-prakṛti (unchanging consciousness) & aparā-prakṛti (matter).

      Aparā-prakṛti is constantly changing. It’s essence is parā-prakṛti.

      Parā-prakṛti is Consciousness (which never changes).

      Are we?

      If “we” refers to jīva (body-mind), then yes, our body-minds are constantly undergoing mental-physical changes, each second.

      I have never been satisfied with the traditional explanation that it is Lila, God sporting in his cosmic play.

      Empty statement. What does one even do with that in real life.

      Ultimately, for this life to have meaning it seems to me there must be some evolutionary growth in consciousness that follows the direction of the arrow of time.

      See definition of Īśvara above.

      If consciousness changes, then whose there to validate the ever-changing nature of reality?

      EG: The only way we can tell earth is moving (changing location), is in reference to non-changing (static) sun.

      The only way you can tell train is moving, is in reference to non-changing (static) ground.

  3. Do terrible thoughts/fantasies you would never put into action cause bad karma/bad things to happen?
    I sometimes have thoughts I’m disgusted by, EG when seeing a knife, I could hurt somebody with it – although I’m the last person who would actually do this action. The thoughts just come and I can’t avoid them.

    1. Mind’s nature is to present us a fireworks of thoughts (pleasant/unpleasant). It’s our job to manage these thoughts and not let them spill into words/actions. Only when they convert to words/actions, do they incur sin (papa).

  4. Hi Andre, you mentioned around 25 minute mark about end of rebirth. If I have self-knowledge about my true nature being the witness, not the BMI, how will that end rebirth if there are still sanchita karma/vasanas that still need to be expressed? I understand that as witness, the body is good as dead, or someone else’s, but if there is no rebirth then doesn’t that mean upon self-knowledge, all vasanas are burned for their to be no rebirth?

    Can you elaborate on this? Does self-knowledge need to be stable permanently for there to be only prarabdha karma expressed until it’s fully exhausted? If I am self-realized, at not attached to BMI intellect, does all karma get dissolved because there is no longer one who identifies with BMI for this karma to come into fruition? This comes back to how do we know fully if karma is dissolved for good, as someone may be realized but can be pulled back into the attachments of duality.


    1. A person is made up of 2 components:

      a) Formless (final reality; Existence-Awareness). Has no karma. The real “I”.

      b) Form/matter (thoughts, emotions). It does actions according to it’s samskaras (past habits), which generates punya/papa (merits/sins). This is called the kartā (doer). The results of doer’s actions ALWAYS come back to the original doer. However once body dies, it still hasn’t exhausted it’s punya/papa (that which expresses in form of enjoyment/suffering while living). For this reason ALONE, a new body is born (to continue enjoying/suffering from past life’s actions). If HIGH amount of papa in past life, then person may be born to less-privileged family (poor, nonreligious, abusive), or even with physical/mental disabilities. So our present life actions literally SELECT the type of body-mind we’ll have next life.

      In stage of ignorance (before moksha), the definition of “I am” = a + b.

      Therefore “I” have punya/papa. Consequently “I” get reborn.

      What is moksha? Firm conviction that “I” am only ‘a’. “I” am NOT ‘b’. (Yes, one can throw an objection to this with: But if “I” am only ‘a’, then how can “I” be born, since ‘a’ is eternal/omnipotent/unborn?) Ask this latter, as still early in course.

      However, even upon this recognition, ‘b’ still remains for a short while. That’s why liberated one (jñāni) will still carry a body-mind, with same strengths-weaknesses as before. Their body will still get cancer. Their mind will still go through Alzheimer’s.

      So even jñāni has to suffer/enjoy until last breath, owing to the body still being alive.

  5. Hi André,

    I am unable to understand the two points below:

    1. Let us say that there is a person who never ever dreamt in life while he was sleeping. But he has the dormant power to dream. Does he invoke the dormant power to dream? No. But one day he dreams. What causes the dream to happen? Do you mean to say that the dream is a causeless cause? Did the dreamer execute KARMA to invoke the dormant power to dream?

    2. Similarly MAYA is a dormant power in potential in ISHWARA 1. I would like to know what causes this dormant power to manifest. Like ISHWARA 1 is a causeless cause, similarly, is it the “causeless cause” responsible for the dormant power to manifest as ISHWARA 2? What makes the MAYA manifest? Did ISHWARA 1 or ISHWARA 2 (most likely ISHWARA 2) execute KARMA to invoke MAYA’s dormant power to Manifest?

    I would like your answer to these questions. Thank you in advance for your answers. By mistake, I asked you these questions today in session 1, not 12, so I repeated these questions in this session.

    1. Hi Nicholas.

      Oh good. If you’re asking Q from Session 12, then I know where we are in the program.

      1) You’re using the example for what is is NOT meant for. Don’t extend the example beyond it’s original context. It is meant to open up a possibility that “You have dormant power to dream”. Just like Consciousness has dormant power (maya) to manifest this entire universe. We will in course get back to this many more times.

      2) What causes this dormant power to manifest? The same force that wakes you up in the morning. What happens when you wake up? We get into action. Continue fulfilling desires. Continue receiving the pleasure/pain from what we have done yesterday. Similarly, the entire universe manifests due to this cause-effect relationship.

  6. Thank you, André, for your answer. I have another question for you. You often talk about gross, subtle, and causal bodies. We experience the gross body every day, and the presence of the subtle body can be confirmed by dreams.

    My question is, is there a way to confirm the presence of the causal body?

    1. Does meditation help to confirm that there is a causal body?
    2. Having short and long memories of the past, do these memories confirm the presence of the causal body? Is memory the causal body (hippocampus)? After all, Vasanas and samskaras are memories, I believe.

    When we wake up, we say we had a dream and in the dream I was shopping in London, which confirms the subtle bodily experience. Thus, existence is possible through a subtle body, when the gross body sleeps.

    3. Is existence possible in the causal body? How do we know that existence is possible in the causal body? When can we say that we had a Causal body experience? Do the scriptures speak of the causal body, without any proof? In one of your videos, you said that when the gross body dies, the subtle body is retrieved by the causal body, so I suppose existence is possible in the causal body. But how to confirm it’s presence?

    Thank you for your answer.

    1. Causal Body is experienced all the time as behaviours, habits, ways of thinking. Meaning, it can’t be directly experienced, as it’s stores behaviours/habits/inclinations in potential. This potential is ONLY activated when triggered by environment.

      For example, people stayed home for 2 years during Covid. After 2 years over, the extrovert continues to travel around the world. Thus the habit of traveling was in potential (in Causal Body), waiting to be triggered when environment is suitable.

      This is also why it’s important to be surrounded by physical environment that summons positive habits and contemplative thinking. As environment constantly triggers Causal Body’s potential habits/behaviors to come out as manifest.

      Also, Causal Body is experienced every night, in Deep sleep. As what? As nothing. Because that which is in potential isn’t manifest.

      Memory? There’s 2 types of memory:

      1) Unconscious mind: This is memory that started since birth in this life.

      2) Samskaras: Past life memories that manifest as attraction for certain things. That’s why two twins can be born. One is innocently attracted and brilliant at piano, while another in something else. This innocent attraction is samskara from past life.

      Physical brain (including hippocampus) is a physical instrument that lets subtle-body operate. Think of brain as satellite dish, and subtle-body as “invisible” signal. Satellite dish is needed to receive the signal. Brain is needed to let subtle-body perceive the world and go through experiences, by help of gross body.

      3. Is existence possible in the causal body? How do we know that existence is possible in the causal body? When can we say that we had a Causal body experience?

      Causal Body is a huge topic that I won’t discus in text. It’ll be covered in upcoming Tattva Bodha.

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