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Is karma transferrable?

From: padmini ranganathan (
Date: Sat Jul 24 1999 - 04:59:39 PDT

Dear Res. members,

Sri Krishna Kalale had put a question to Dr.NSA & that was clarified by
him.I thought of posting that here, since it is interesting.

Question :

" I thought no one can get the punya of others,ie.father's punya cannot
transferred to son or daughter.  Each one is a separate jivatma.  If
that is so,  how does when prahlada asks " O laksmi narasimha, let let
my father be protected even though he does not deserve it..  [Krishna
Kalale]  " 
 then Lord Nrisimha says " by your good karmas,  your father and 10 
generations of ancestors and ten future generations are protected. do
not worry."

Please check with Dr. NS Anantharangachar, how this works.  I thought
punya or papa cannot be transferred between jivatmas.

The answer told by Dr.NSA is as follows:

It is metaphysically right to say that one should experience the
results of One's karma. Normally ,it cannot be transferred to others.
But in the case of 
A BrahmOpAsaka or a prapanna, the sAstrAs say that , the karmas, good &
bad,are distributed among the friends & foes of that upAsaka at the end
of his final 

After all, what are punya & pApa? They are only the will of the Lord to
reward or punish according to  the good or bad deeds of a person. i.e.
Iswara anugraha or
Iswara nigraha. The transferring of karma to another, means, the Lord
wills to reward or punish the suhrt or dushkrt of that prapanna or
upAsaka. This is not Without justification. The love or hatred that a
person extends towards the devoteeof the Lord, is the cause of such
transfer of karma. This is the general rule.

Now in the case of Prahlada praying to the Lord & the Lord giving an
assurance is mainly on account of the grace of the lord who is pleased
with the devotee. The
Lord is supreme in granting  His grace not only to His devotees but
also to those related to those devotees.

Hiranyakashipu was originally a devotee of the Lord & had come under a
So, this kind of grace is nothing unusual. Whoever may be, becomes
purified, when he is touched by the Lord, the example of pUtani, may be

As regards the seven generations earlier & later, it is to be
understood as to the affirmation of the greatness of a Brahmavit. If
those people, either ancient or later, are not BrahmOpAsakAs, they will
be blessed with suitable oppurtunities for upward evolution. There will
be something favourable for their upliftment, if they are already
liberated. This should be taken as a "mahimAvAda",but it is to be noted
that every Atma should make his own individual efforts for his
salvation. One has to work out for one's own spiritual perfection.


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