• In our scriptures it is said that destiny is given only according to Karma and is Not Predetermined
  • As in mahabharatha Arjuna Lost his Archery skills and is said that arjuna's power's were Given by Lord Krishna.
  • After his purpose is fulfilled the Powers were Taken by Lord Krishna as it is Lord krishna's will.
  • Weakness or Trouble comes to a soul only by its Bad Karma
  • The Women of Dwarka were cursed by a Muni so they were caught by theives

It is in consequence, then, of the curse of the Muni Asht́ávakra that these females, who were at first the wives of Keśava, have now fallen into the hands of the barbarians; and there is no occasion, Arjuna, for you to regret it in the least. All this destruction has been effected by the lord of all.

  • Veda Vyasa said it was due to the Womens curse in previous birth and didn't tell it was due to Arjuna's Bad Karma that caused him to loss his power .
  • A soul's Karma is experienced fully himself(WOMEN) and Not by others(ARJUNA)


  • How can Arjuna became Powerless due to Other souls Bad Karma ?

  • Was his Destiny Predetermined as he experienced Karma's of other soul

  • If it was not Pre - Determined by Lord Krishna's will then why did he Forgot the Astras ?

  • Arjuna is not experiencing karma of others soul, it is surely related to his own Karma (we may not find exact reason in Human versions of Mahabharata, maybe Deva versions mentions it)... we have freewill doesn't mean that we can change everything... many things are predestined due to our Prarabdha Karmas ... for instance Vyasa already in Sabha Parva tells that the destruction of Kshatriyas (in Mahabharata) was destined....
    – Tezz
    Commented Mar 12, 2017 at 6:29
  • @Tezz friend Lord Krishna's will means what meaning does it makes Predetermined or Not ?
    – Sakthi
    Commented Mar 12, 2017 at 6:55
  • Much of these curses don't really make a lot of sense. Like Gandhari's curse on Krishna, Parashurama's curse on Karna, Shravankumara's parents cursing Dasharatha etc. I think these curses are invented to satisfy the weak human mind. Explain random acts using the logic of karma. But unfortunately karma theory cannot explain everything. Then people jump on to the next concept called 'leela' or God's will and "things the human mind cannot understand" etc. Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 17:08
  • @sv - all those curses make sense. there is pramaan in smritis for all. if you want people to believe you, you cannot say they're invented without giving some other bigger pramaan.
    – ram
    Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 17:23
  • @Sakthi, It is very easy to understand what predetermined means, by adding just 2 words. "Your future is predetermined. BY YOU". If you throw a ball up in the air, it is 'pre-determined' to come down. But you caused it. Same way, whatever actions you commit, will have consequences, they might happen immediately, or after long time, or in your next births. Just like Rishis can see the consequences of your actions with their jnana-dristi, similarly scientists can see when and where the ball you threw up will fall down.
    – ram
    Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 17:27

4 Answers 4


Your actions and Arjuna's are determined by your own karma and not any others. All of our destinies, including Arjuna's, are predetermined. Sri Krishna says in the Gita XVIII.60-61 (Swami Nikhilananda translator):

  1. Bound by your own karma, O son of Kunti, which is born of your very nature, what through delusion you seek not to do, you shall do even against your will.

  2. The Lord dwells in the hearts of all beings, O Arjuna, and by His maya causes them to revolve as though mounted on a machine.

So yes, everything is predetermined by your own past karma, and yes, everything at a karmic level is predetermined. There is only one thing that is not predetermined. Your body will act out it's karma according to the will of the Lord, but what you do with your mind is up to you. If your mind dwells on the Lord and not upon the karmic actions which you are experiencing then you have surrendered yourself to the Lord. Be unattached to the actions that the body goes through. By being attached to the Lord and unattached to your body's actions you can achieve Liberation - which is the one thing not determined by karma. Again Lord Krishna says in Gita XVIII.62:

Take refuge in Him alone with all your soul, O Bharata. By His grace will you gain Supreme Peace and the Everlasting Abode.

So we see in these three verses that you cannot escape your karma, that everything is predetermined by the Lord, and that the way to 'escape' is by taking refuge in the Lord with all your soul.

  • friend thanks for answering but i asked what was the karma behind it that arjuna forgot his astra and also even in my question i linked about destiny not predeetermined but what was the reason for asking was in the scripture itself it is told that it was Lord Krishna's will that took away his powers and Didn't mention about karma. So you missed the core problem of my question
    – Sakthi
    Commented Mar 26, 2017 at 12:36
  • @Sakthi Look at the three questions you asked at the end of your question. My answer addresses all three questions. Commented Mar 26, 2017 at 12:52
  • the problem of my question is why he forgot his astras and the reasons that(predetermined) are provided are not to be ok so i provided them and asked and even in my bounty i asked why he forgot the astras . So i will edit my question
    – Sakthi
    Commented Mar 27, 2017 at 13:19

Bhagavan is common cause, not specific. e.g. earth. Plants cannot grow without earth. But whatever seed of the plant, only that specific plant will grow.

Similarly, Bhagavan provides entire infrastructure - body, mind, food, water earth, sun, universe etc. but whatever seed you plant (good or bad karma), you will get those fruits (good or bad results). And only you will get those fruits, no one else. But there is one specialty/difference - you can surrender to lord asking him to stop the results of the actions. He can stop any sanchita karma (that which has not yet resulted in fruits), but won't stop prarabdha karma (that which has already started yielding fruits).

This is given in Brahma sutras (bhagavan has no vaishamyam or nairgrunyam)

So to answer your question - it was arjuna's own karma only.

But sometimes, Lord has great mercy on some souls that is without reason (actually with reason but more like an excuse for a reason e.g. Ajamila charitram). Other times, Lord and his Bhaktas have freedom to play with each other - Lord can affect your destiny, or you can affect Lord's destiny. That relationship cannot be judged by us. Only the two of them know the secrets to that.

There is also a concept called avesha avatara - where Lord enters a Jivatma's body or gives him some of his powers, and achieves great things through him. e.g. Parashurama, KartiviryaArjuna. But that is also only because those Jivatma's are fit for such avataras through devotion/dharma/tapas.

  • I believe , all karmas for the present life is prarabdha karma. Sanchita karma is total storehouse of karma. Some part of sanchita karma gets converted to prarabdha karma before incarnation.
    – tekkk
    Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 23:15
  • If someone prays the god sincerely he can even mask or change the prarabdha karma. There is nothing impossible for god.
    – tekkk
    Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 23:16
  • @ram i agree with you friend but what was the bad karma that caused arjuna to forget everything. In mahabharata we all know that karna's bad karma or curse was the cause for karna to forgot his astras, so there must be a reason for arjuna to forgot
    – Sakthi
    Commented Mar 25, 2017 at 4:56
  1. How can Arjuna became Powerless due to Other souls Bad Karma ?

The karma of Krishna's wives had to be worked out, and Arjuna doesn't have the power to change the law of Karma. So, he wasn't really influenced by their karma, but rather could do nothing to change it.

"As a man himself sows, so he himself reaps; no man inherits the good or evil act of another man. The fruit is of the same quality as the action." — Mahabharata, xii.291.22

  1. Was his Destiny Predetermined as he experienced Karma's of other soul?

He did not experience karma of other souls. He might have his own karma that put him into the situation, though Vyasa doesn't tell him so. Maybe he didn't have any past karma, but still had to face the situation.

In the sense you use the word "pre-determined" - i.e. determined irrespective of individual's actions - No, his destiny was not predetermined.

"If one's action bore no fruit, then everything would be of no avail, if the world worked from fate alone, it would be neutralized." — Mahabharata, xiii.6.19

  1. If it was not Pre - Determined by Lord Krishna's will then why did he Forgot the Astras ?

Here is the main point of confusion. Lord Krishna is a special case, and everything is pre-determined by His will. So just because the destiny was pre-determined by Krishna, doesn't mean it was "pre-determined" in the general sense. So, destiny cannot be predetermined in general, but it is always predetermined by Krishna.


Yes it was because when Arjuna was born after Pandu prays to Indra for an invincible and worldwide-fame son for an year and when Kunti chants the mantra, Indra said he would give an invincible son and gives them a son who is Arjuna and a divine voice said what Arjuna would do in his life.

"After the birth of Vrikodara, Pandu again began to think, 'How am I to obtain a very superior son who shall achieve world-wide fame? Every, thing in the world dependeth on destiny and exertion. But destiny can never be successful except by timely exertion. We have heard it said that Indra is the chief of the gods. Indeed, he is endued with immeasurable might and energy and prowess and glory. Gratifying him with my asceticism, I shall obtain from him a son of great strength. Indeed, the son he giveth me must be superior to all and capable of vanquishing in battle all men and creatures other than men. I shall, therefore, practise the severest austerities, with heart, deed and speech.'

"After this, the Kuru king Pandu, taking counsel with the great Rishis commanded Kunti to observe an auspicious vow for one full year, while he himself commenced, O Bharata, to stand upon one leg from morning to evening, and practise other severe austerities with mind rapt in meditation, for gratifying the lord of the celestials.

So Pandu did rigorous penance and later Indra was gratified.

"It was after a long time that Indra (gratified with such devotion) approached Pandu and, addressing him, said, 'I shall give thee, O king, a son who will be celebrated all over the three worlds and who will promote the welfare of Brahmanas, kine and all honest men. The son I shall give thee will be the smiter of the wicked and the delight of friends and relatives. Foremost of all men, he will be an irresistible slayer of all foes.' Thus addressed by Vasava (the king of the celestials), the virtuous king of the Kuru race, well-recollecting those words, said unto Kunti, 'O fortunate one, thy vow hath become successful. The lord of the celestials hath been gratified, and is willing to give thee a son such as thou desirest, of superhuman achievements and great fame. He will be the oppressor of all enemies and possessed of great wisdom. Endued with a great soul, in splendour equal unto the Sun, invincible in battles, and of great achievements, he will also be extremely handsome. O thou of fair hips and sweet smiles, the lord of the celestials hath become gracious to thee. Invoking him, bring thou forth a child who will be the very home of all Kshatriya virtues.'

Having said that, Kunti later invoked Indra by the mantra given to her by Durvasa and begat Arjuna and the divine voice already tells the destiny and the famous achievements that Arjuna will do in his life.

"Vaisampayana continued, 'The celebrated Kunti, thus addressed by her lord, invoked Sakra (the king of the gods) who thereupon came unto her and begat him that was afterwards called Arjuna. And as soon as this child was born, an incorporeal voice, loud and deep as that of the clouds and filling the whole welkin, distinctly said, addressing Kunti in the hearing of every creature dwelling in that asylum, 'This child of thine, O Kunti, will be equal unto Kartavirya in energy and Siva in prowess. Invincible like Sakra himself he will spread thy fame far and wide. As Vishnu (the youngest of Aditi's sons) had enhanced Aditi's joy, so shall this child enhance thy joy. Subjugating the Madras, the Kurus along with the Somakas, and the people of Chedi, Kasi and Karusha, he will maintain the prosperity of the Kurus. (Surfeited with libations at the sacrifice of king Swetaketu), Agni will derive great gratification from the fat of all creatures dwelling in the Khandava woods (to be burnt down) by the might of this one's arms. This mighty hero, vanquishing all the effeminate monarchs of the earth, will, with his brothers perform three great sacrifices. In prowess, O Kunti, he will be even as Jamadagnya or Vishnu. The foremost of all men endued with prowess, he will achieve great fame. He will gratify in battle (by his heroism) Sankara, the god of gods (Mahadeva), and will receive from him the great weapon named Pasupata. This thy son of mighty arms will also slay, at the command of Indra, those Daityas called the Nivatakavachas who are the enemies of the gods. He will also acquire all kinds of celestial weapons, and this bull among men will also retrieve the fortunes of his race.'


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