We have a very beautiful description of the principles of karma in `Bharathari Shatak’. The Great Acharya Bharathari has given a good analysis of karma and its varied results in the book. `The importance of Fate or Destiny’.
भाग्नाशस्य करण्डपीड़िततनोम्र्लानेन्द्रियस्य क्षुधा
कृत्वाऽऽखुबिबर स्वयं निपतितो नत्तं मुखे भोगिन:।
तृप्तस्तत्पिशितेन सत्वरमसौ तेनैव यात: पथा
लोका: पश्यत दैवमेव हि नृणां वृद्धौक्षये कारणम्।।८५।।
One snake, starving due to hunger, was shut in a small basket. The mouse came in it and was swallowed by the snake. Now, being satisfied, the snake flew away out of the small hole. This shows that it is only fate that is responsible for all the good and bad happenings in life.
नेता यस्य वृहस्पति: प्रहरणं वङ्कां सुरा: सैनिका:
स्वर्गो दुर्गमनुग्रह: किल हरेरैरावणो वारण:।
इत्येश्वर्यवलान्वितोऽपि बलभिद्भग्न: परै: संगरे
तद्व्यक्तंवर मेवदैवशरणेधिग्धिवृथा पौरुषम् ।।८९।।
Even the Great indra, gifted with all kind of jewels and siddhies, having Brahaspati as his teacher and commanding the endless army of angels (Devas) and the Great Aerawat Elephant, was defeated by his enemies even in the fort of Swarag (heaven). His defeat denotes the fact that fate is supreme and man’s efforts are useless (i.e., bearing no fruits).
खल्वाटो दिसेश्वरस्य किरणै: सन्तापिते मस्तके।
घाञ्छन्देशमनातपं विधिवशात्तालस्य मूलं गत:।
तत्राप्यस्य महाफलेन पतता भग्न सशब्दं शिर:
प्रायोगच्छति यत्र भाग्यरहितस्तत्रैव यान्त्यापद:।।९१।।
When time is not good, everything brings misery and misery for the man. One bald (hairless) man came under the shade of tree in search of shelter to escape from the light of Sun. Even there his head was torn into pieces as a great fruit of coconut fell down on his head. It is just to say that the great obstacles always follow the unlucky persons.
शशिदिवाकरयोग्र्रहपीडनं गजभुजंगमयोरपि बन्धनम् ।
Surya-graha, Chandragraha, the bondage of such poweful animals as snake and elephant and the poverty of wise persons show that it is fate that wins.
सृजति तावदशेष गुणाकरं पुरुषरत्नमलङकरणं भुव:।
तदापि तत्क्षणभंगि करोति चेदहह कष्टमपण्डितता विधे:।।९३।।
The Great Brahma, the creater of this Universe, gives forth to a man blessed with all virtues and destroys him after some time or few years. Oh ! this is nothing but the foolishness of Brahma.
पत्रं नैव यदा करीर विटपे दोषो वसन्तस्य कि
नोलूकोऽप्यवलोकते यदि दिवा सूर्यस्य िंक दूषणम् ।।
धारा नैव पतन्ति चातकमुखे मेघस्य िंक दूषणं
यत्पूर्वं विधिना ललाटलिखितं तन्र्मािजतुं क: क्षम:।।९४।।
There is no fault of the spring season if the tree ever remain barren (devoid of leaves and flowers), the Sun should not be blamed if the owl is unable to see in the day light, while these things show that what God has written on one’s forhead i.e. luck, nobody can change it or challenge it.
नमस्यामो देवान्ननु हतविधेस्तेऽपि वशगा
विधिर्वन्द्य सोऽपि प्रतिनियतकर्मैकफलद:।
फलं कर्मायत्तं कितमरगणै: किञ्च विधिना
नमस्तत्कर्मभ्यो विधिरपि न येभ्य: प्रभवति।।९५।।
We bow to angels, but they are themselves the servants of cruel destiny. If we bow to God, he is himself bound to give us good or bad results according to karma. So it is karma that is supreme. We should have no concern to angels and God but bow to the Great Karma which reigns as the king and rules over the whole Universe.
नैवाकृति: फलति नैव कुलं न शीलं
विद्याऽपि नैव न च यत्कताति सेवा।
भाग्यानि पूर्वतपसा खलु सिंचतानि
काले फलन्ति पुरुषस्य यथैव वृक्षा:।।९७।।
It is not man’s good personality, or his noble birth that brings fruits (happy results) for him. It is not his wisdom or his hard service to master that is beneficial but it is only the good karmas, earned in previous life that shower the blessings of fruits on him at good time. It shows that all things happen to be good and favourable when good karmas come in operation.
वने रणे शत्रु जलाग्निमध्ये महार्णवे पर्वतमस्तके वा।
सुप्तं प्रमत्तं विषमस्थिते वा रक्षन्ति पुण्यानि पुराकृतानि।।९८।।
It is only the merit (good deeds) of previous life that protects man in all misries and problems, in the forest, in war surrounded by the enemies, in deep ocean, at the peak of the mountain in sleeping stage and in all critical moments.
या साधूंश्च खलान्करोति विदुषो मूर्खन्हितान्द्वेषिण:
प्रत्यक्षकुरुते परोक्षममृतं हालाहलं तत्क्षणात्।
तामाराधय सत्क्रियां भगवर्ती भोक्तुं फलं वांञ्छितम्
हे साधो व्यसनैर्गुणेषुविपुलेष्वास्थां वृथामाकृथा:।।९९।।
Good fellow ! you should worship the Goddes of good activity (Sata-Kriya) who can concern the wicked fellows into nobles, the foolish persons into wise persons, the invisible into visible, the poison into nector.
भीमं बनं भवति तस्य पुरं प्रधानं
सर्वो जन: सुजनतामुपयाति तस्य।
कृत्स्ना च भूर्भवति सन्निधिरत्नपूर्णा
यस्यासिपूर्वसुकुतं विपुलं नरस्य।।१०३।।
The man who has done good and noble deeds in previous life is gifted with immense pleasures, for such a man, the great jungle becomes a kingdom, all people are good to him, the whole earth is full of jewells and treasures.
कर्भांयत्तं फलं पुम्स्रां बुद्धि: कर्मानुसारिणी
तथापि सुधिया कार्य कत्र्तव्यं सुविचारत:।।९०।।
Though it is a fact that man’s all sufferings (dukhas) and pleasures (sukhas) depend on his pre-earned karmas. Even man’s wisdom (Budhi) works according to karma. Yet everybody should work with proper thinking and reasoning.
ाुणवदगुजवद्वा कुर्वता कार्यमादौ
परिणतिरवधार्या यत्नत: पण्डितेन।
हृदयदाही शल्युतुल्यो विपाक:।।१००।।
It is the duty of wise fellow that he should think of the results before doing any work. The result of the work that is done hastily without properly thinking is always terrible and ever pains like thorns. So we should always perform noble acts and think about its result before doing.