Many references here on HSE of karma “fructifying” or the “fructification” of karma. So like the karma will “ripen” and yield results and such.

What exactly does it mean for karma to “fructify” as you guys say.

There is no free will at all whatsoever, fate makes us do all kinds of stuff and chooses to give good/bad karma to each jiva, while moving the jivas through Vivekanand’s ferris wheel in the constantly repeating chaturyugs and kalps and universes. Everything predestined and in exact repeating pattern.

So good or bad result can come five minutes after the action, or five hundred years after or two hundred lifetimes later. It will be totally different in each case, and is all neatly organized and repeating forever.

So yeah I don’t understand this “ripening” and “fructifying” business cause it happens all planned out and at different times for each jiva exactly how it’s supposed to, according to predestination and such.

  • 1
    The Lord alone decides when and how karma 'fructifies'. That the Lord alone decides is in Brahma Sutras - and the exact verse is given in a previous answer in a question similar to yours. If you're not sure as to the meaning of ripening or fructify, look them up in a dictionary. Commented Dec 5, 2022 at 5:59
  • @SwamiVishwananda Whipping out the dictionary asap ! :P Gone through past questions on this w/ a fine tooth comb, they weren’t asked in the context of the jiva (deva included !) fully having no free will, at all. Which is what seems peculiar to me. However, I respect your stance, and no worries, plz close this as a duplicate if that’s appropriate, it’s all good 😬 Commented Dec 5, 2022 at 8:48

1 Answer 1


What is Free will ?, Despite it's called freewill it isn't something that is uninfluenced . Say, in the case of a Mirage, (where the critical angle of refraction , is inevitably surpassed by the construct of the eye, thereupon turns it out to be a reflection , failing the validity of perception). It is, by the influence of the vaasanas/ samskaaras, one is impelled to presume the presence of water where the image is seen , So any will for that matter, is constrained ( by the locus of that jiva) meaning influenced , by samskaaras , conditioning (desire , fear, moral injunctions, subliminal impressions, ego(ahamkara) et al) ., despite being a thought process in a conscious mind. For a dog that lacks rods and cones in its retina , the grass does not look green ,though it's ears are receptive to supersonic frequencies, thus can hear sounds, a human cannot. By extending that any will is a phenomenon of subject tivity ,(and thus called ignorance or ajnana,as it is both real and unreal)ensues tht any experiential reality is nothing but a kalpita . although its validity and its reality in its own context is not denied at all . kalpita is one that undergoes bhava , abhava , (Gita 2.16) , hence cannot be satyam .. Also any will , consequently freewill varies according to the quality of the consciousness of a jiva as well. Free will, though may be said , notwithstanding ,it influenced by vasanas / samskaaras created by karmic imprints.

There may not be a concrete answer as to when and how karma may fructify ?etc. , but with some references abt it, on the scriptures it is known to that extent

In the light of Swami Vivekanandas commentary for Patanjali Yoga Sutras,

tatastadvipakanugunanam evabhivyaktirvasananam
From these threefold works are manifested in each state only those desires (which are) fitting to that state alone. (The others are held in abeyance for the time being.)
Suppose I have made the three kinds of Karma, good, bad, and mixed; and suppose I die and become a god in heaven; the desires in a god body are not the same as the desires in a human body. The god body neither eats nor drinks; what becomes of my past unworked Karmas, which produce as their effect the desire to eat and drink? Where would these Karmas go when I became a god? The answer is that desires can only manifest themselves in proper environments. Only those desires will come out for which the environment is fitted; the rest will remain stored up. In this life we have many godly desires, many human desires, many animal desires. If I take a god body, only the god desires will come up, because for them the environments are suitable. And if I take an animal body, only the animal desires will come up, and the god desires will wait. What does that show? That by means of environment we can check these desires. Only that Karma which is suited to and fitted for the environments will come out. These proves that the power of environment is the great check to control even Karma itself.
Swami Vivekanandas commentary on Patanjali Yoga Sutras

sopakraman nirupakraman cha karma tatsanyamad aparantajnanam,arishtebhyo va Karma is of two kinds, soon to be fructified, and late to be fructified.
By making Samyama on that, or by the signs called Aristha, portents, the Yogis know the exact time of separation from their bodies.
When the Yogi makes a Samyama on his own Karma, upon those impressions in his mind which are now working, and those which are just waiting to work, he knows exactly by those that are waiting when his body will fall. He knows when he will die, at what hour, even at what minute. The Hindus think very much of that knowledge or consciousness of the nearness of death, because it is taught in the Gita that the thoughts at the moment of departure are great powers in determining the next life.
Swami Vivekanandas commentary on Patanjali Yoga Sutras

heyan duhkham anagatam
The misery which is not yet come is to be avoided.
Some Karma we have worked out already, some we are working out now in the present, and some is waiting to bear fruit in the future. That which we have worked out already is past and gone. That which we are experiencing now we will have to work out, and it is only that which is waiting to bear fruit in the future that we can conquer and control, so all our forces should be directed towards the control of that Karma which has not yet borne fruit. That is meant in the previous aphorism, when Patanjali says that these various Samskaras are to be controlled by counteracting waves.
Swami Vivekanandas commentary on Patanjali Yoga Sutras

  • 1
    Ok. Thank you. First paragraph underscoring the non-existence of free will, which I understand is the case without a shadow of a doubt. So “fructify” in the sense of waiting for proper environment and conditions to be in place as fate rolls out according to predestination (exactly and precisely according to it.) I see. That sounds about right, thx :D Commented Dec 5, 2022 at 9:01
  • 1
    I think this is good answer @Athrey I only didn’t accept it yet in case any others might want to contribute their ideas on the topic. But I think I get it now after reading this. Is almost the environment and conditions that “fructify” and go through “fructification” in the predestination rules of life, sort of, so that the jiva could show up there and get their stuff. I was thinking bout it other way round and getting cornfuzed hahaha:D This clarifies thx ! :) 🕉 Commented Dec 5, 2022 at 15:15

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .