Guru Vashisht, in his discourse to Rama, talks about Purusharth.
This means self-effort, freezing on intent and chasing the mind to work towards it. In simpler words, if we were to create a desire to attain something and continue to sustain that desire on a long term basis that would qualify as intent.
In the words of Don Juan, a yaqui Indian sorcerer, the best way to do something is by the ‘not doing’ of it.
Sustaining of desire and not making physical efforts to achieve the desire, making it an ambition of the Citta and not of the mind alone, ensures the use of a lot more power for its attainment. This is a method far more effective than the normal effort made actively by the body inspired by the motivation of the mind.
Efforts of the past fructify in the present and are called fate. Even in the past, our lives have been lived, influenced by the tendencies of destiny. In those lives, we have used our minds, referred to our intellect and formulated a certain intent towards our self-evolution. This intent has been sustained through prayers, penance and constant sustenance of our will-power. Most of this never happened in that life and remained an intent. It was a desire backed by emotion, so it became a seed called Samskara, which was stored in our long term memory, and will fructify or has fructified as a Karma in this life. A sequence of these fructifications, follow the tendencies that arise within us and lead to actions, called Karma.
If you take ownership of this act, it is like taking the seeds out of the fruit and replanting them. They will again wait to fructify into actions or Karma. In a future life, you will call it destiny. A good astrologer will be able to predict the trend of your life because it is programmed with the movement of the planets. It is also correlated with the destiny of others. Synchronisation – hard to fathom, yet there to experience.
The Samskaras stored in your hard disk are in millions. Depending on your destiny trend, the Samskaras will fructify. For example, if ill health is the trend, negative Samskaras will fructify to give you ill health and make you suffer physically. If Venus is shining brightly, you may experience love, luxury, comfort and correspondingly, several thousands of positive Samskaras will fructify to match this trend of your destiny. A kind of ethereal Mathematics! (I recommend you read the paragraph one more time).
This life’s movie is already made. The sequel can be more interesting thanks to Purusharth. In this movie, some shots can be reshot. Some shots can get exhausted in a dream-state and therefore never happen in a physical state (the grace of the Guru can provide this manipulation).
Guru Vashisht’s explanation, and my understanding and experience of it, is that he who makes the effort of intent today, shall enjoy the fruit another day!
It is not a hard and fast rule that Purusharth will have to fructify only in another life. It could happen in this one. Often the Grace of the Guru, or a boon by any other power, can make the fructification happen in this life. Tapasya (or self-discipline and effort to achieve self-realisation), intense meditation, some Tantrik Kriyas, a lot of Sewa or Service, Mantra Vidya are some of the ways where exceptions to the rule can happen.
A Siddha Guru, can, if he chooses in extreme cases, give the benefits of the next life, partially in this one.
I have seen Gurudev do that in many instances. He said that by making people wait in queues for hours together, he could count that as their Tapasya and reward them for that. In very few cases he would give an extension of life by a couple of years or five at the most. This was often based on a person’s need to live either for Sewa or for some other extreme requirement.
After Death Purusharth
Spirits in the interim period between one birth and another, go through a phase of reflection and desired correction of their negative qualities and shortcomings. I am assuming this is the story of at least some spirits on their way to evolution, if not all. They need to reverse the pitfalls, that brought them down in their last life, as corrective measures in the next one. Gurudev had a pet phrase “tapo raj, rajo narak”, which means Tapasya in one life, leads to another life of good luck, which includes wealth of all kinds. However, misuse of that good luck leads to a future life of correction and suffering.
An excellent example is the story of a dear friend. He had a reading done by one of the very famous Nadis in the South. The reading said, ‘he was a greedy man in his last life who acquired a lot of property by hook or crook, including using unfair means to do so’. Today, in this life, he does not own any property and lives in the house provided to him by the government. He is a senior government official. His entire mission in this life is to work honestly and sincerely and to do as much good as he can for the public. I have no way of authenticating this besides the fact that I know him well and the reading seems to be pretty accurate. It is therefore, deductive logic that those of us who live with good luck should ensure that we do a lot of good in this life so that we can continue to sustain that luck over future lifetimes. Before I was cured by Gurudev, I used to take homeopathic therapy from a healer called Mr. Marshal, a retired railway officer from Malkaunsbagh, Andheri . He had a planchet with a pendulum that would guide him on the kind of medication needed. He later disclosed that his late Guru was the one who guided him and asked him not to charge patients. For both Mr. Marshal and his Guru, this was Purusharth, for the Guru it was after death Purusharth.
Reverse Purusharth is the intent to do negative things – to take revenge against someone, to have power and control over others can be called negative intent.
These too become Samskaras and fructify into Karma which will be a result of our intense unfulfilled desires, but in negative areas. These can be the Samskaras that form the roots of villainous and negative personalities. A weak and docile person, if troubled and bullied starts to desire an aggressive nature, physical strength and ability to defeat others in a physical contest.
This intent of his could be classified as negative Purusharth (or reverse Purusharth). His intent to be vengeful, take it out on his enemies, pray for punishment for those whom he hates, or those who trouble him can become negative Samskaras that manifest in the future. A victim of today can become an oppressor of tomorrow.
The way to deal with the reverse Purusharth is to pick a page out of Maharishi Patanjali’s verse where he talks about Pratipakshabhavana or reversal of intent. If the trend of your thinking and feelings is negative, you need to think of the opposite intent or visualise the positive of the negative feelings that flow through you.
Like two minuses make a plus. If you are getting vengeful thoughts against say person X, you need to allow your Buddhi or intellect to use its discrimination to show you the various reasons that taking revenge is not a good idea. That maybe it was circumstances that led to the actions of X. That it is in your interest to forgive and overcome the anger – that maybe time may rectify the damage and balance things. That it was your destiny and X was the instrument. That X will pay for his negative deeds through his Karma. (That X has already punished himself in the future by recording the Samskara in his Karmashaya or long term memory hard disk, and so will suffer the result in the future – near or distant.
In this life or the next. The judge within has already pronounced the sentence! That acceptance for you is a path to evolution. Such positives will make your intent that is forming into negative, turn positive or get neutralised. It will, if nothing else, take away the emotion from your reaction. (The judge within you will also pronounce the sentence. The sentence will be a positive appraisal – that you have the evolved status to forgive. That you have reached a higher level of consciousness. That your Gunas have now achieved a higher content of Sattvik Qualities).
It may not always work, but a 60% result in the positive direction is a fair result. Over time, this kind of intellectual discrimination will become a habit. You will find it easier to deal with your negative thoughts and feelings. Generating the opposite thoughts and intent to negative thoughts and intent is a known yogic technique. Almost all know it. Most don’t use it. Why not try?
These are all steps in the process of going forward from accepting yourself to loving yourself and at a later date dealing with the idea of even worshipping yourself. I have included a few sidesteps, which may not seem directly relevant to the subject at hand, but in the final analysis you do need to see yourself making that self-effort or Purusharth towards self-love and self-worship.