Prarabdha Karma are the part of sanchita karma, a collection of past karmas, which are ready to be experienced through the present body (incarnation).
According to Sri Swami Sivananda:
“Prarabdha is that portion of the past karma which is responsible for the present body. That portion of the sanchita karma which influences human life in the present incarnation is called prarabdha. It is ripe for reaping. It cannot be avoided or changed. It is only exhausted by being experienced. You pay your past debts. Prarabdha karma is that which has begun and is actually bearing fruit. It is selected out of the mass of the sanchita karma.”
(All About Hinduism by Sri Swami Sivananda)
There are three kinds of Prarabdha karma:
Ichha (personally desired),
Anichha (without desire) and
Parechha (due to others’ desire).
For a self-realized person, a jivan mukta, there is no Ichha-Prarabdha but the two others, Anichha and Parechha, remain, which even a jivan mukta has to undergo.
Because of the interdependency of life there is no way of escaping Parechha Karma. It provides a background, a backdrop, a circumstance in which we live. It is the journey of other beings which I mentioned earlier. People are wherever they are and experiencing whatever it is they need to experience. One must respect those journeys and even if we may wish it, there is not a lot that we can do to change things. It takes as long as it takes. This can help us generate forbearance, a quality not overly developed in our current times.
Wishing people different from they are, is a fruitless task. Accepting that they too are learning, has more bounty. This is a root of compassion. Karma is very inter-related, all we can do is take responsibility for our own part of the jigsaw puzzle, nothing more and nothing less. In this we might have a responsibility for how our desires create Parechha Karma for others. What we do impacts other people and shapes their lives, a fact often neglected. Whether we like it or not, we are all inter-connected.
We cannot dictate terms to life as a whole, it is much bigger than us.