How to determine that a person acts as directed by Krishna or Karma?

How to determine that a person acts as directed by Krishna or Karma?

A male devotee asked like this:

“Prabhuji pls explain me this lecture by Srila Prabhupada….. He says in a lecture in Mayapur on 22.3.1976:

“We can ask a favour from anyone, but we must know that nobody can favour us unless sanctioned by the supreme person. Suppose we approach a rich person to favour us with some contribution. Krishna is there within and if He says “You give him the money”, the man will give us. If he is not so fortunate now, therefore Krishna does not dictate him. So, there is nothing to be sorry. This should be our principle”

His words indicate Krishna as paramatma directs aatma for any activities/actions…. But u said Krishna acts as only witness & do not direct atma.”


This question has been asked based on my earlier post here.

While analyzing whether a person acts as directed by Krishna or Karma, it is to be understood that Krishna does not decide what we should do.  Krishna does not interfere in WHAT WE SHOULD DO.  He leaves it to our free will. So, the choice is ours.  He just directs further as we wish.


If we like to do bad things, the paramathma allows that.  If we like to do good things, the same paramathma encourages that.

Thus, Krishna directs what we wanted to do, but, He does not initiate the directive from His side.  If we wish something, He directs and even helps accordingly.  This reply explains this with further examples.

He is the person who shows (through karma network), the house to a thief to steal if he desires to steal the property of others.

He is the same person who shows the source of  money to a person if he likes to help others.

Thus, Krishna does not decide what we should WISH.  He is just implementing or directing what we wish to do.

The desire is ours.  Help is done by Krishna.

He did not instruct that thief to steal.  That thief misused his free will and wished to steal the properties of others. So, he was shown the house by the Lord through His external potency Maya.


Krishna does not create desires in the hearts of the people to do something.  These desires are fixed by the person’s free will that in turn is directed by the three gunas of that person himself.

Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita 14.19 that Only the gunas act, not the person. This statement directly answers your question whether a person acts as directed by Krishna or Karma.

Krishna has given the free will to every person to decide what to do.  This free will is decided according to our three gunas.

What Krishna is doing is just helping to fulfill our desires.

Suppose, I like to remain a miser who is not helping anyone. What will happen? We will get money if our past karma permits that, ie, if we had helped many in our past births. We will get money only upto the level sanctioned by our karma.

(Age of starting Karma! Do our violations or sins in the childhood add to karma? READ HERE!)

But, we are poor now.  We might not have helped others in our previous births.  Hence we are not given money now.

However, we develop a desire to help others selflessly. But, we are poor now.  What will happen? Since Krishna is seeing our desire of helping others, He directs us towards the affluent persons who can give money to us with which we can help others.

Krishna was approached by both the Pandavas and Duryodhana. Arjuna wanted Krishna and hence Krishna made His presence in the battle field.  Duryodhana wanted Krishna’s army and hence Krishna gave the army to Duryodhana.

Krishna was waiting to be called by Draupati when she was stripped by Duryodhana camp. Only when Draupati called Him, He interfered and saved the dignity of Draupati.

Thus, Krishna is always ready to fulfill our desires.  But, He does not decide what we should desire.

(Why should we do prayers to cure diseases if karma is unchangeable? READ HERE!)

In the quote given by Srila Prabhupada above, Krishna directs a person if he was willing to help the devotees.  We may approach a devotee for donations.  If that person is a miser or if he does not know the greatness of donating for a good cause, he refuses.  That means, he does not wish to give his money to the devotees.  So, Krishna does not direct him to donate.  We go to another person.  He is a generous person. He is expecting the opportunity to help the devotees.  When we ask, Krishna, understanding his wish to help the devotees, direct him to donate money to us.

‘DIRECTION’ means not saying directly.  He kindles the already hidden desire of helping, in the mind of that person and makes him to donate to us.

But, that person should be a generous person.

In the same quote, Srila Prabhupada mentions about another person who does not donate.  Why Krishna did not induce that person to donate? Because he did not wish to help the devotees.

That is why, when the devotees go and ask for donation from hundred people, only a few people donate.  If Krishna is directing everyone to donate, all the hundred people should donate.

Since it is not happening, it shows that Krishna makes a person to donate only if that person already has a desire to donate.

(Is it good idea to stop working to avoid new karma? READ HERE!)

He leaves the ‘decision making’ with our ‘free will’.  Whatever we wish, He helps to implement it.

Thus, Krishna directs us only after we wish to do something.  He does not induce us to do anything.

Krishna does not direct us to commit a sin.  If we like to commit a sin, He shows the person to commit that sin through His Karma network.  That’s all.  The desire is ours.

If we like to do some good to others, Krishna shows the persons who need our help.  The karma network is supervising both our good and bad deeds because both our good and bad deeds give rebirth that satisfies the karma network.

Only when we wish to undertake devotion to Krishna seriously, it is the step for purification and hence Krishna directly enters into action and helps us to get the advancement in devotion.

(How karma decides our gender in the next birth as male or female? READ HERE!)

Here comes whether a person acts as directed by Krishna or Karma.  Except our desire for devotional advancement, if we desire for other things, either good or bad, Krishna does not ‘directly’ interfere.  He just leaves us under the control of our karma network who shows opportunities for committing good or bad deeds.

He will be just watching what we do as a witness. If we desire for anything, He makes arrangements for that.

Thus, Krishna is not inactive.  He is like a father who satisfies the requests of His sons and daughters.

What we are going to desire in life?  Desire for service to Krishna? Or, Desire to rule the world?  That desides how we are directed and by whom – whether directly by Krishna or by His karma network.

It is in your hands.

Hope you are clear how to determine that a person acts as directed by Krishna or Karma.

(Daughter or Son – who is responsible to protect the parents to avoid karma? READ HERE!)

Author: RAJAN

RAJAN from Tamil Nadu, India, a Life Patron and an Initiated Devotee being in ISKCON for nearly three decades, serves anonymously to avoid Prominence and crowd as an insignificant, Humble and Neutral Servant for all the devotees of Krishna! He promotes Social media forums and this blog-website as e-satsangha (e-forums) blessed with Lakhs of followers, to give Spiritual Solutions for all the Material Problems of the devotees since 2011! He writes friendly and practical tips to practice devotion (i) without hurting the followers of other paths, (ii) without affecting the personal and career life, and (iii) without the blind, superstitious and ritualistic approach! He dedicates all the glories and credits to his Guru and Krishna.

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