Destiny and Repentance
There exists an opinion that people go to hell or paradise due to their decisions or deeds. This is true but with another hell and paradise — hell and paradise in a figurative sense: as what will happen in one’s next incarnation. That is, this concerns the destiny which everyone builds for themselves by their ethically significant decisions and deeds. Depending on this, the Supervisor of our destinies — the Holy Spirit (Brahman) Who controls all spirits — chooses for every person a corresponding place of the next birth and corresponding parents, chooses a body and illnesses for the next incarnation, will make this person meet certain people — either good or evil, clever or foolish, etc.
And if at present we have vices which allow us, for example, to cause pain and suffering to other beings — then in the future we will find ourselves in conditions where we will experience the same suffering — in order to learn through our own pain to be compassionate to the pain of others.
Thus by causing physical pain to others, we program it to our own destinies; by stealing now, we build our destinies so that we will be robbed in the future. And the only way to avoid such consequences is sincere repentance — to the extent when we rid ourselves forever of the ability to perform such deeds!
And those who have learned not to cause suffering to other beings — their destinies become much more auspicious.
There are also such vices as laziness in spiritual efforts, egocentrism, attachments to that which is worldly. They, too, compel God to cause pain to us in order to force us to develop faster.
In particular, getting rid of the worldly attachments, including the attachment to one’s own body, can be very painful if we ourselves do not begin to struggle with them.
In addition to this, there must be a process of developing a higher attachment — the attachment-love for the Creator. And this can become possible only thanks to psychoenergetical work on oneself: only a consciousness developed both in qualitative and quantitative criteria can approach the Beloved and cognize Him.
Intensive work on struggling with worldly attachments is suitable only for those who have come to the top of the stairway of the spiritual ascent. For others such work is not advisable. On the contrary, good worldly attachments of love contribute to one’s development by fostering, for example, the ability to sacrifice oneself for the sake of helping others.
… One of the powerful methods of getting rid of vices is repentance.
But the form of repentance suggested to believers in Russia is not effective and does not lead to success. This form is the following:
In general it is bad to sin, of course. Yet we are all sinners; we all commit sins, and we cannot avoid sinning anyway. Moreover: those who do not sin become proud! And pride is the most terrible sin! God is merciful; He forgives us our sins. All you need to do to receive His forgiveness is to come to confession to a church and to report to God through a priest all of your sinful deeds. After that you can commit sins again — why not? God is merciful; He will forgive you again if you do not forget to come to confession of course…
In the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages this tendency was developed to absurdity: one could pay beforehand for the sin he or she wanted to commit and even get a receipt of payment called indulgence.
It is then that in Western Europe the Protestant movement arose, which protested against such a practice of defiling religion and deceiving believers. Thus the Protestant Churches were formed, which called people to establish personal relationships with living God without incarnate and or non-incarnate intermediates. 
The truth about repentance consist in the following: the main essence of repentance is an intellectual analysis followed by remorse, the emotions of remorse rather than a “formal” report or formal “apology”. The essence of remorse must be compassion — not towards oneself on the grounds that God will punish me — but towards the victims of my misdeeds. In general, the meaning of repentance is to get rid of concrete vices (traits of the character, features of the soul) which result in concrete manifestations called vices.
Correctly performed repentance yields good fruits even if we do not address God but address the victims of our vices with the purpose of making amends for our misdeeds. If one cannot do this, for example because of the death of the victims, even in this situation one can repent before them: spirits of people and animals can perceive very well all addresses from incarnate people to them!
By developing or destroying vices in us, we ourselves build our destinies — both for the current and for the future earthly lives.
* * *
Once, a student of mine with very poor eyesight asked me to lead him to a forest lake. It was about five kilometers away from his country house.
We walked trails in the spruce forest. Around us there were huge anthills, and all the trails were full of ants. I walked carefully trying not to step on them. But he could not see the ants, and despite all my warnings about places with many ants and attempts to lead him around them, after his steps many ants remained maimed, writhing in pain on the ground…
We swam in the lake and came back home. He was very grateful to me and asked:
“When will we go to the lake again?”
“Listen: this walk took the lives of many thousands of ants and many others suffer of mutilation now!”
“So what: can I not go to the lake because of them?”
“What do you think?”
He felt so offended that he discarded from his life all the good that he learned from me. He even began to eat pork…
… Soon a car struck him. The driver brought him to the hospital, apologized, worried about him. He survived, but for a long time suffered from the broken bones of the pelvis.
Though this accident was his fault, he decided to sue the driver to take revenge on him.
… I could imagine how his ego writhed when he learned that I had refused to punish my murderers…
… He did all this despite what he knew about God. I had read many wise books to him…
… Let us recall the parable of Jesus about the Sower who went out to sow…
So few people prepare themselves as the good soil for receiving the Seed of Truth!…
* * *
A hard-working spider for a long time builds its net — an architectural masterpiece!
And it is so easy for us to destroy it with a single movement and thus to deprive this (useful for us) animal of the means for living!
We build our bad karma in this way as well. And if some day God deprives us of our property, let us then recall about the nets broken by us (intentionally or unintentionally) and repent!
But it is better to repent beforehand and never offend anyone undeservedly!