Nirguńa Brahma is the supreme rank of Brahma, and this status is attained when consciousness is not under the qualifying influence of Prakrti. Saguńa Brahma, the Qualified Supreme Entity, is under the qualifying influence of Prakrti. Saguńa Brahma is also called Bhagaván. Consciousness (puruśa), on attaining freedom from the bondage of the qualifying influence of Prakrti, acquires the supreme rank and has the status of Nirguńa – Non-Qualified Consciousness. Átman or unit consciousness, being a multiple of consciousness in the Qualified Supreme Entity, is also a multiple of Bhagaván. Hence unit consciousness is also Bhagaván, and on being released from the bondage of Prakrti it merges in Nirguńa to attain the supreme rank.
In the previous chapter it was explained that the human being’s feeling of “I” is not átman or unit consciousness. The knowledge of existence or the feeling of “I” is different from unit consciousness. It has also been explained that this feeling of “I” is only a metamorphosed projection of unit consciousness. Hence the human being’s “I” entity is not Bhagaván. It is a changed or assumed form of Bhagaván. For example, a person called Rama while acting as Shahjahan on the stage will be called Shahjahan and not Rama. Rama playing the role of Shahjahan will not be the real personality of Rama. It will be only a changed or assumed personality, and as long as he continues to act that role, he will be called Shahjahan and not Rama. Similarly, as long as the feeling of “I” is the person’s identity, the person will be different from his or her átman or Bhagaván, and the person with this feeling of “I” will remain only a changed or assumed form of unit consciousness (átman). It would thus be seen that it is a person’s feeling of “I” which keeps the person away from his or her unit consciousness. In fact, it is this feeling of “I” which makes a human being a different entity from Bhagaván. On the conclusion of the drama in which Rama played the role of Shahjahan, he reverts back to his original personality and is called Rama. In the same way, on release from this feeling of “I”, the changed or assumed form of unit consciousness ceases to exist and unit consciousness (átman) becomes nirguńa (non-qualified), as this assumed form comes about only as a result of the qualifying influence of Prakrti. The termination of this changed or assumed form of unit consciousness means freedom from the bondage of Prakrti. It is hence the feeling of “I” in human beings which creates the difference between people and their unit consciousnesses. In reality it is this feeling of “I” which keeps the unit consciousness or átman from attaining the supreme rank.
A human being’s feeling of “I” is only metamorphosed unit consciousness, yet this entity of “I” is different from unit consciousness or Bhagaván, and so it is not unit consciousness that can be held responsible for performance of actions or experiencing their consequences as long as the actions are performed by that “I”. For instance, the consequences of the actions performed by Rama on the stage in the changed role of Shahjahan do not affect Rama. It would be assumed that Shahjahan only will be affected, as the doer of the act is the assumed personality and not Rama in the capacity of his original personality. Rama in his original capacity would only witness all that the assumed form does or experiences. Similarly, it is the projected or changed form of “I” which acts and also experiences the results of all actions. The unit consciousness neither performs any actions, nor experiences any results. It only witnesses the actions and also the results thereof.
In the first chapter it was said that unit consciousness is the knowing entity. It can be appreciated as the knowing or witnessing entity only, and a human being’s feeling of “I” is the other entity which creates in humans the knowledge of existence and also establishes their existence. Unit consciousness always remains a witnessing entity, and any action performed by the “I” entity has no effect on it. A witnessing or knowing entity need not be the performer of any actions, and hence the status of unit consciousness remains unchanged as witnessing entity only. Only the one who sows shall reap; hence only the entity termed as the feeling of “I” will experience the results of all actions, as this feeling is the originator of all actions. The witnessing entity or the knowing entity remains only a spectator without experiencing any results, as it does not work. For example, Rama who witnesses a football match will never get any credit for winning the match. Only the player Shyama will be called the winner. It is the actual player, Shyama, who will win or lose the game, and he alone will feel fatigued as a result of his playing. Rama, who is only a spectator, will neither win nor lose, nor will he feel exhausted and tired. Rama the spectator will witness the play and also the result of the actions. He will only know the result of the match and see Shyama exhausted as a result of his playing the game. Similarly unit consciousness or átman is a spectator witnessing all the actions performed by human beings and the results experienced by them. It does not perform any action and hence does not experience any result. Unit consciousness or átman is only a witnessing force – the all-knowing entity.
The human being’s feeling of “I” is buddhitattva. This “I” gives the idea of the knowledge of existence. It does not give any idea of performing an action. Mere feeling of existence does not indicate that “I” performs any action, and so it is not buddhitattva which acts. It has been said in the first chapter that ahaḿtattva, which comes into being as a result of the qualifying influence of Prakrti on buddhitattva, is the part of mind that works. Ahaḿtattva (ego) is not buddhitattva, as the former is formed from the latter. It is a cruder manifestation of buddhitattva. It is ahaḿtattva (ego) which works, and it is this only which experiences the results of action. Buddhitattva, which is a distinctly separate entity from ahaḿtattva and is merely pure feeling of “I”, does not perform any action and hence should not experience the result of actions. On serious reflection, however, no action appears possible without the feeling of “I” or the knowledge of existence being there; or who else would make ahaḿtattva work? It is the feeling of “I” and the knowledge of existence which inspires ahaḿtattva to work. Thus it is seen that buddhitattva does not actually perform any action, yet it is because of the knowledge of existence and feeling of “I” provided by it that a person is able to work through his or her ahaḿtattva. The feeling of “I” is therefore related to the performance of actions and in this way related to the results of actions also. To illustrate this we can take an example of two landlords whose dispute results in the free fighting of their people. As a result of this fight the actual fighters, that is, the landlords’ men, will be injured or may even die, but the landlords will remain apparently unaffected. Yet the landlords are responsible for the fight as it was started through their instigating the people. Hence apparently the person who works is directly affected, but in fact the landlords are the persons who will indirectly experience the results of the fight among their men. They alone will be the winners or losers. Similarly buddhitattva is also indirectly related to the results of actions performed by ahaḿtattva, although the actual performer of actions is ahaḿtattva, which apparently bears the consequences of actions.
That citta comes into being as a result of the qualifying influence of the static principle of Prakrti on ahaḿtattva was explained in the first chapter. It is thus ahaḿtattva which manifests itself in a cruder form as citta. The results of actions performed by ahaḿtattva are formed in citta. It was explained in detail in the first chapter that citta assumes the form of the actions of buddhitattva and ahaḿtattva with the help of the ten organs (indriyas). For instance, citta itself has to become like a book in order to enable ahaḿtattva to see a book. The same applies in order to listen to a sound. Citta is a crude manifestation of ahaḿtattva, which itself is a manifestation of buddhitattva. Citta, hence, is the crudest portion of buddhitattva and is not capable of independent action. Any independent action by a conscious entity is not tolerated by Prakrti, which tries to go against each of a person’s independent actions. As the reflection of consciousness is complete in human beings, they are able to realize their bondage, and they try to defy the authority of Prakrti. In this effort to overcome the influence of Prakrti, human beings work against Her designs, and Prakrti, in Her turn, goes against human beings’ efforts in order to maintain Her domination over them. A person’s actions, therefore, are inspired by his or her consciousness in order to break away from the bondage of Prakrti, and the results that they experience are the reactions inflicted by Prakrti to keep them under bondage.
Let us now see how an action is executed and why one has to bear the consequence in the form of reaction. Every action originates in and is performed by the mind, that is, by its three components, buddhitattva, ahaḿtattva and citta. It was explained earlier that citta has to take the form, or become like the result, of any action performed by a human being. This would mean that citta leaves its normal form and is metamorphosed into the form of the result of an action. For instance, citta has to become a book to be able to see a book. A person’s mind has to leave its normal form and become deformed in order to complete the execution of an action. The creation and the existence of mind are due to the influence of Prakrti on consciousness, and when consciousness disrupts the normal status of mind by inspiring it to work, it is not tolerated by Prakrti. Prakrti, being the dominating factor, causes a reaction to every action and brings the mind back to its former status. This is called karmaphala. Thus karmaphala is a manifestation of buddhitattva. Buddhitattva and the feeling of “I” are the same entity. It is therefore a human being’s feeling of “I” only which, on becoming crude, is transformed into citta. We have seen that a book can only be seen when citta becomes like the book. As citta is a transformation of the feeling of “I”, it is in fact a human being’s feeling of “I” which becomes like a book, and it is not a book that one sees. It is one’s own transformed self that one sees as a book. It is that transformed feeling of “I” known as citta which, on grasping the ideatory vibration of the nerves creating form (rúpa tanmátra), becomes a book itself. To hear a sound, one has to become sound itself. Thus human beings themselves become the result of their actions, and whatever one sees, feels, hears, touches or smells is their own feeling of “I” or their own transformed self.
Buddhitattva gives the inspiration to work. Ahaḿtattva executes the act, and citta has to become the result of that execution. Buddhitattva, ahaḿtattva and citta constitute the mind, and so it is the mind that works. It is the mind which will bear the consequences. The one who sows shall reap. Unit consciousness (átman) is beyond the scope of mind, and hence it neither works nor bears the consequences. It only remains a spectator in the human body.
Consciousness (Puruśa) and Its qualifying principle (Prakrti) are independent of the influence of each other in the Non-Qualified Supreme Entity (Nirguńa) where Consciousness holds the supreme rank. While in the Qualified Supreme Entity (Saguńa Brahma), Consciousness (Puruśa) is under the bondage of Prakrti, which results in the creation of the universe according to the designs of Prakrti.
The process or reaction which restores mind to its original form, the deformity being due to the actions of mind, is experienced as karmaphala (result of actions). The intensity with which an action is performed and thus deforms the mind will be exhibited to the same extent in the reaction or karmaphala. The pressure employed against Prakrti in causing deformity in the mind will be met in order to restore mind to its normal form. For instance, a rubber ball pressed with a finger forms a depression, but on being released it returns to its original or normal form. The finger will experience an equal and opposite force at the time of reaction. Here the rubber ball is comparable to mind, and the finger to the human being’s “I” entity that makes the mind work and thereby creates depressions in it. Hence one would feel the reaction of mind returning to its original form with the same amount of intensity as was employed in creating the depression. The intentions of Prakrti to restore the original form of mind and also to punish the “I” that inspired the mind to work, are both achieved by this process of reaction. According to the rules of Prakrti, the nature of mind is to come back to its normal form by reacting to every action. Hence human beings have to bear the consequences of any type of work as reaction (karmaphala). According to the law of Prakrti, a person will experience the reaction to all their deeds, whether good or evil. For instance, if a person steals and causes suffering to the person whose things are stolen, the first person will create a distortion in his or her mind by using his or her faculty of inflicting pain. The mind will react to remove this distortion, and the person inflicting pain will experience an equal amount of pain (in mental measure) as a result of this reaction. Similarly, if people by their deeds give happiness to others, they will, as a result of the mind’s reaction attempting to come back to its normal form, experience an equal amount of happiness. This is because according to the laws of Prakrti one will experience an equal and opposite reaction in the process of mind regaining its normal form. Thus Prakrti makes a human being bear the consequences (karmaphala) of all his or her actions with the help of the instrument of mind created by Prakrti, and whatever a human being does, good or evil, they will have to experience a similar reaction (karmaphala).
No one can ever exist without doing some action or other. Even when sitting quietly, one is performing an action; the physical body may not be exerting itself, yet the ever-active mind is not still. The mind even without physical action engages itself in actions by thinking or imagining. A person may be thinking evil of someone, may even be planning to kill him; or may be thinking of ways and means of helping others in their distress. All this is action and does not need any physical exertion or movement. Even physical action is only a further projection of mental activity. It was explained earlier that all action is performed by mind and the ten organs (indriyas), which are only a further extension of citta that translate mental actions into physical activity. All actions can be classified as physical or mental. Actions performed by the mind with the help of the organs (indriyas) are physical, while those performed without their help by mind alone are mental actions. Both these actions will cause distortion in the mind, and as a result of the restoration of the mind to its normal state, they will cause a reaction which will have to be experienced. Hence any action, whether mental or physical, will make the doer experience the reaction (karmaphala).
Fully-reflected consciousness in human beings makes them realize their subjugation under the bondage of Prakrti. They do not want to continue in this position of slavery and hence work independently against Prakrti, who in turn keeps on inflicting punishment on them in the form of reactions to their actions. On this earth human beings alone have fully-reflected consciousness, and so no living beings except human beings can work independently. The laws of Prakrti punish only actions performed independently or against Her wishes. Those incapable of independent action will, hence, not receive any punishment at Her hands. It will thus be seen that except human beings no living beings experience karmaphala for their actions.
Karmaphala has to be experienced for every action, whether a good deed or an evil one. Human beings cannot exist without action even for a moment, and so they keep on working right up to the moment of their death. This spares no one from experiencing the reactions after death. Only those who work will experience the reactions (karmaphala); no one else can be substituted to experience them. How will a dead person whose physical body has been buried or burnt be able to experience the reactions (karmaphala)? This is what the following paragraphs explain.
Unit consciousness (átman) is immortal. It is always unchanged. In the course of its movement from crude to subtle, unit consciousness is reflected completely in the human body made of the five rudimental factors created by Cosmic Consciousness (Bhúmá Puruśa). Puruśa and Prakrti (Consciousness and Its principle) are inseparable, and hence with unit consciousness (puruśa) taking shelter in the human body, its principle (prakrti) is also there. The presence of Prakrti casts Her influence on unit consciousness and provides it with mind. Mind, which is an outcome of unit consciousness, and Prakrti will exist as long as these two (Puruśa and Prakrti) exist. Unit consciousness and its principle (unit puruśa and prakrti) are inseparable counterparts of each other. Hence mind will exist with unit consciousness only. It is in mind only that one gets the feeling of “I”, and as long as mind exists, the feeling of “I” will also be there. Since unit consciousness is immortal, the mind which is linked to it will not die either, and with mind the feeling of “I” will also be there. It will thus be seen that the feeling of “I” also permeates the physical body when unit consciousness (átman) takes shelter in a human body. At the time of unit consciousness leaving the body, Prakrti, which is an inseparable counterpart of unit consciousness, also leaves the body. Mind, which is a creation of Prakrti, will naturally leave the body with Her. This results in the death of the physical body. Thus death does not mean the death of unit consciousness and mind. It only means the death of the physical body. Unit consciousness (átman) and mind merely leave the physical body which they had earlier adopted as a shelter. This leads to the question of what makes unit consciousness give up the physical body. The unit consciousness could continue its march towards the subtle with the same physical body till it merged finally and completely in the subtlest Cosmic Consciousness (Bhúmácaetanya). Human beings’ bodies are made of the five rudimental factors which, as we have seen earlier, are metamorphosed crude forms of Cosmic Consciousness. The five rudimental factors are in the sphere of creation where Cosmic Consciousness marches from subtle to crude. The human physical body also gets formed in this stage according to the designs of Prakrti and obviously has a large number of factors at different stages in their march towards crudeness. There will be some in the stage representing the ethereal factor and some at the stages representing the other factors – aerial, luminous, liquid and solid. Those in ethereal factor have to move on to aerial factor and so on, till they become the crudest, which is solid. This is the will of Prakrti, and Cosmic Consciousness in this creation moves on in this pattern. If this pattern, which is the law of Prakrti, has to be followed, change in the human body is inevitable, and to bring about this change, death is necessary. Assuming that unit consciousness could continue in one body as its shelter till it gets merged in Cosmic Consciousness, we are faced with the possibility of one body continuing for millions of years, as the chain of actions and reactions may not free the unit consciousness earlier than that. This would result in a total stoppage of the evolution of factors in a body for millions of years, as the chain of actions and reactions may not follow the pattern of creation and laws of Prakrti. According to the nature of Prakrti, the creation has to pass on from subtle to crude, and with the passage of time, in due course a human being will also have to give up his or her body inevitably. This also shows that the human body is made of innumerable units of the five fundamental factors in different stages of creation which, according to the pattern of creation and laws of Prakrti, will evolve into innumerable fully-reflected unit consciousnesses with innumerable human bodies as their shelters.
Hence death is inevitable. Everyone will have to give up this physical body. Death only means disassociation of unit consciousness and mind from body; as Prakrti’s creation, the mind will always remain with unit consciousness. The individuality of human beings or the idea of existence is in their feeling of “I”, which is a part of mind and always remains with it. We have seen earlier that death is only disassociation of mind from body and not the death of mind. Hence a human being’s individuality and his or her feeling of “I” will not die. This “I” will continue to exist with unit consciousness as long as the influence of Prakrti keeps on maintaining the mind. The moment Prakrti ceases to have Her influence on unit consciousness and is unable to maintain the existence of mind, this “I” will also cease to exist. Human beings’ individuality and their “I” will no longer exist, and that will be emancipation (mukti) for them.
One works with one’s mind and experiences the reactions (karmaphala) also with the mind. It is mind which converts mental action into physical activity with the help of the ten organs (indriyas), and it is mind alone which experiences the reactions (karmaphalas) as pleasure or pain. Death signifies death of the physical body, while the mind merely quits the body. The mind, which performs all actions and bears their consequences, survives to experience the reactions of the actions performed up to the very moment of death. The question about the entity that should experience the consequences of actions thus does not arise. Mind is the entity which acts and that does not die, hence it alone will have to experience the reactions (karmaphala).
Mind is subtle, and it has to take the help of some crude base (ádhára) to be able to perform actions. The crude base (ádhára) is the brain of the human body, and it is with the help of this base (ádhára) that our mind is able to work. Mind and brain are so closely connected that one cannot work without the other. The brain without the mind ceases to function, and similarly if the mind’s base, the brain, is not in proper order, the mind will not be able to work. A dead person’s body has a brain, but it does not function because it is dead and there is no mind in it. Similarly when a person becomes unconscious or is made so with the help of anaesthesia, his or her brain becomes non-functional for some time with the result that the mind also does not work, as its physical base, the brain, is not fit to function. The unconscious state is not the state of death, and so neither unit consciousness nor mind leaves the body. Although in this state mind remains within the body, it does not work due to the brain not being in proper order, and one finds oneself unable to make out anything. It is, therefore, necessary for mind to take shelter in the brain as its physical base to be able to function and even to experience the reactions (karmaphala) of its actions. After death mind quits the body, and also gives up its physical base, the brain. It had however been performing some action or other right up to the moment of death and will have to experience the reactions (karmaphala) of those actions. In fact, it is in order to experience these reactions and because of its inability to experience these reactions without the brain that the mind has to take shelter in a new body in a subsequent birth. Mind comes into being as a result of the qualifying influence of Prakrti over unit consciousness, and since unit consciousness and its principle (prakrti) are inseparable, the unit consciousness also takes shelter in a new body along with the mind. In other words, mind and unit consciousness are both reborn. They have to take another birth to complete the experience of reactions to the actions of a previous life. Thus it is seen that once one is born one has to face death, and that rebirth after death is also inescapable. This will continue to alternate as long as the journey of unit consciousness from crude to subtle (up to the final merger with Cosmic Consciousness) does not end. Unit consciousness may have to continue this journey for an infinite period, and it will have to keep on taking shelter in new bodies after discarding the old ones.
After death the mind is incapable of any action due to the lack of its physical base, the brain, and has to be reborn for experiencing reactions of its previous actions. Hence the concept of hell or heaven where human beings are supposed to proceed after death is entirely incorrect. It is believed that one experiences all the pleasures in heaven as a result of one’s good deeds and pain in hell for one’s evil deeds. But pleasure and pain cannot be experienced by the mind which in the state after death is a non-functional unit, until it acquires a new brain at the time of rebirth. Conception of a world of heaven or hell after death is a greatly mistaken fantasy. There is no other world where heaven and hell exist. It is in this mortal world only that one has to be reborn to experience the pleasures of heaven and the sufferings of hell.
Rebirth also shows that there are no such things as spirits or souls that become ghosts (pretátman). If rebirth has been rationally accepted, the question of the existence of ghosts does not arise. It is due to mind’s incapacity to work and experience reaction that it has to be reborn along with unit consciousness. This shows that mind cannot experience any reaction till it is reborn after death and hence cannot feel pleasure and pain without its physical base, the brain. Either rebirth or the existence of ghosts can be accepted, not both together, as the two are contradictory. Rationally, rebirth is bound to occur, as the mind is not able to perform any function or experience results or reaction without a brain, which it can only acquire with a new body on rebirth. If mind could function without a brain, it could carry on intuitional practice for the onward march towards the merger with Cosmic Consciousness in its existence after death, but that is not so. Mind can never function without a brain. It is because of this characteristic (dharma) of mind that rebirth has to be accepted and the existence of ghosts denied and considered only imaginary.
Since at death unit consciousness and mind leave their physical shelter, mind, due to absence of a brain, becomes non-functional. While still alive, a human being’s mind becomes non-functional in the state of unconsciousness when the brain, the physical base of the mind, ceases to function for some time. The state of unconsciousness and that of death are similar except that the former is momentary, and the mind loses awareness of the environment but does not quit the body. The latter state, that is, after death, is of a very much longer duration, and the non-functional mind quits the body for good.
Consciousness and its principle, prakrti, are inseparable counterparts. When unit consciousness leaves the physical body which is Prakrti’s creation, mind also leaves the body and takes the shelter of unit consciousness. Mind even at this stage is deformed due to the actions performed before death. In order to return to its normal form, mind will have to experience the reactions which human beings feel as pleasure and pain as a result of their deeds. Mind becomes non-functional after death due to the absence of the brain, and hence has to stay in the deformed state with all the potentiality of reactions in it. It is in this state of reactions in their potentiality that the mind quits the body and takes the shelter of unit consciousness. These potential reactions are called saḿskáras. The deformity of mind acquired due to its actions right up to the moment of death is to be found with unit consciousness as reactions in their potentiality (saḿskára) after death. These reactions due to the mind becoming non-functional cannot express themselves as the results of previous actions (karmaphala), and hence remain with unit consciousness, till it takes shelter in a new body and acquires a brain to make the mind function again. Thus it is seen that rebirth is only for finding an expression of these potential reactions and for experiencing them as the result of actions. This expression and experiencing of reactions starts from the very moment of birth, just as the mind gets compressed or changed into potential reactions (saḿskára) at the time of death. The example of a rubber ball representing the mind will explain this process clearly. An inch-deep depression may be caused in the rubber ball. This depression creates a deformity in the rubber ball. The rubber ball should, according to the laws of Prakrti, try to regain its normal form. The case with the mind, in its expansions and contractions, is similar, but due to death, regaining the normal state is not possible, as no actions can be performed after death. The mind will only be able to fulfil its desire to regain its normal form on rebirth, when a new brain is acquired. The reaction should have made the mind regain its normal form, but due to death it remains incomplete and takes the shelter of unit consciousness at the time of death as a potential force or energy (saḿskára). It is to complete this reaction that the unit consciousness takes the shelter of a new body at the time of rebirth, and the potential reaction (saḿskára), or force, gets expressed and makes the mind reappear with the depression effected in the previous life.
Action, whether good or bad, causes deformity in the mind, and in the process of regaining its normal form one experiences as reactions good results for good deeds and bad results for bad ones. After death mind takes the shelter of unit consciousness as reaction in its potentiality (saḿskára). The unit consciousness, in order to have those potential reactions expressed, will have to seek a body suitable for the expression of these reactions. For instance, Rama dies, and his mind takes the shelter of his unit consciousness (átman) as reactions in their potentiality (saḿskára). Rama according to his actions in this life should experience as reaction (karmaphala) the pain equivalent in mental measure to a fracture of an arm at the age of eight, the happiness of getting a fortune at the age of ten, and the suffering of becoming fatherless at the age of eleven. He will have to experience all this as his deformed mind regains its normal form. It is important to clarify here that the actual form of suffering is not predetermined. It cannot be said what might be the actual reaction of a particular action. For example, it is not preordained that if one commits theft his things of the same value will be stolen as a reaction. The suffering is measured in terms of mental suffering to the extent which was inflicted on others by stealing their property. Thus the measure of experiencing the result of an action is mental and is in terms of pleasure and pain, and the actual form of experience has relatively no importance. Rama has to experience the pain and pleasure of all these happenings, and so his unit consciousness will have to seek a body on rebirth, where an opportunity to experience all this will be available. In order to suffer the mental agony of loss of his father at the age of eleven years, Rama has to be born of parents where the father, according to his own actions, has also to die when Rama attains that age. If it is not so, Rama will not be able to experience his reaction (karmaphala) of the suffering of the loss of his father. Thus it is seen that unit consciousness and the potential reaction (saḿskára) cannot take shelter in any body for rebirth indiscriminately. A suitable body where the opportunity and field for experiencing their reactions (karmaphala) is available will have to be sought out. It is only in such a body that unit consciousness, along with total reactions in their potentiality, will seek shelter and be reborn.
Unit consciousness and the potential reaction (saḿskára) have to seek a body for their shelter which provides them with a suitable field for experiencing the results of their actions. What is the agency that selects this suitable field for them? Unit consciousness cannot perform any action. It is only a spectator, and mind has taken shelter in it as potential energy or force, as reactions in their potentiality (saḿskára), and so mind is also non-functional. It has been seen earlier that one has to experience reactions according to the law of Prakrti, and so it is also the responsibility of Prakrti to make us experience the remaining reactions. It is, therefore, Prakrti under whose law one has to be reborn, and Prakrti that has to find the required field and shelter for the potential reactions (saḿskára) and the unit consciousness. That is why it is said that after death Prakrti selects the proper field to suit the potential reaction. Such a field may be available in a day, or it may even take millions of years to discover it, for the mind cannot take shelter in a body till a field which suits the requirements of potential reactions is obtained. Hence it is never possible to say where and when one is to be reborn after death. There may be innumerable worlds where life exists. Unit consciousness and potential reactions may get a suitable field in any of them. Thus it is not even necessary that one be reborn only on this earth. It is thus clear that those reborn on this earth have a suitable field here alone and that they have adopted a body only for the purpose of experiencing the reactions of their previous actions. Human beings keep on performing new actions also, while experiencing the reactions of previous actions. This experiencing of the result of previous actions is called the unknown future or fate (adrśt́a). One experiences the result of one’s actions in a subsequent life and cannot then recollect the actions whose results bring happiness and grief, because a person’s memory is not large enough to remember or know the deeds of their past lives. Reactions which humans experience were collected in previous lives, and in present life they cannot make out the cause of such experiences, and hence term these experiences as fate or the unknown future. People often hold Parama Puruśa responsible for calamities that befall them, but in fact they alone are responsible, as the suffering of fate is only reaction of their own previous actions. How can Parama Puruśa be responsible?
Human beings themselves are answerable for their fate as it is their actions alone which create it. They alone will have to bear the consequences of all their actions. No one else can substitute for them. Their good deeds beget good results, while bad ones beget bad results, and they will have to experience both without any exception. This is the law of Prakrti and no one can change this law.