Prarabdha karmas are a part of the sanchita karma allotted to us which influences our life in the present incarnation. It cannot be avoided. It is exhausted only by being experienced. And most important is that even Providence has no powers to change what has been allotted, just as a shooter has no control over the arrow that has left his bow.
There is a small story which emphasises that prarabdha karma is inevitable: Once Lord Yama visits Sriman Narayana in Vaikuntha. At the entrance to his right he finds Garuda, the vehicle of the Lord who acknowledges him and to the left he sees a small sparrow. Looking at the sparrow Yama makes a surprised gesture and walks inside. The sparrow who sees Yama making a surprised gesture thinks that its time is up and Yama is going to take him away to Yamaloka and so it starts trembling in anticipation. Seeing this Garuda tells the sparrow not to worry and that he would help it. Garuda, who could fly at the speed of wind, asks the sparrow to sit on his back and he takes it to the far-off Gandhamadana Mountain near Rameshwaram. He then tells the sparrow not to worry as he would be safe there and gets back to the entrance of Vaikuntha.
After some time Yama comes out and finds the sparrow missing. Garuda, who was proud of what he had done, asks Yama what he was searching for. Yama enquires about the sparrow. Garuda tells him that the sparrow is now far away and safe. Then Yama asks Garuda to tell where he had taken the sparrow to. Garuda tells him he has left the sparrow on the Gandhamadana Mountain. Listening to this Yama is amazed at the intricate design Sriman Narayana has made and tells Garuda that when he came to Vaikuntha he was surprised and wondered how the small sparrow which was supposed to be killed by an eagle on Gandhamadana in a few minutes would reach there!
Such are the mysterious ways of karma finding ways to make one realise the fruit of action, past or present. Others might say it's sheer coincidence!
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