Can we Change our Karma / Fate?
Think of it like this:
If there is a ball in your hand, you can choose where to throw it. If you throw it through your window, you will come to regret it. Once you have thrown the ball, you’ve thrown it. There is nothing else you can do about it once you have thrown it. You cannot change the fact that you’ve broken your window – but you can change your karma in the future by taking care not to throw another ball through a window again. That is how you change your fate.
You cannot erase the fate you have already created, but you must learn from that fate to make a brighter one for your future.
Can God / Krsna Change our Karma / Fate?
Yes, but why would he?
You can destroy a complicated machine that you have created, but why would you? Fate / karma is not a mistake and is not evil. It is a carefully, meticulously planed machine that teaches us in an extremely deep and real way all the lessons we need to learn to gradually become more and more selfless and eventually become enlightened.
Does Devotion/ Bhakti “Burn” Fate/ Karma?
Yes, but not all at once. Sri Rupa describes how bhakti destroys karma (BRS 1.1):
Karma has several stages. First are all the things and situations tangibly manifest right now in your current life. That’s called “prarabdha-karma.” It’s like the broken window you’ve thrown a ball through.
Then there is also a long line of karmic reactions / fates waiting in line for the right opportunity to manifest. You’ve already caused these fates to happen, they just have not yet gotten the correct moment to do so. This is called “aprarabdha-karma.” It’s like you’ve thrown the ball at the window, but the impact hasn’t happened yet.
Then there are three more subtle states of Karma: First is “bijam” the seed of karma, the desire in your heart to, for example, throw a ball through a window.
More subtle is “kutam” which is the “point of origin” for desires; the soil in which the seed of various desires take root. In the example of throwing a ball through a window, kutam might be a sense of mischievous curiosity.
Finally, the ultimate root of karma is “avidya” – “unknowing.” Because we don’t know our true self, we develop inclinations towards desires for self-centered decisions and actions – which then start the wheel of karma moving.
Bhakti will burn the avidya completely to the root, and this will cut off the power to the spinning wheel of fate / karma. The first thing to blackout without power will be the general curiosity “kutam” and inclination towards self-centered acts.You will feel this right away as you take up a spiritual practice like bhakti. You will notice that your genuine curiosity for selfish desires is rather quickly sapped of energy and replace with curiosity of a spiritual nature.
Next, all the specific desires (bijam) for specific self-centered acts will be burned. After some time of serious practice you will start to tangibly perceive this karma disappearing: your desires for various specific self-centered activities will receed, disappear and be replaced by spiritual desires for love of Godhead.
After this, bhakti can burn aprarabdha-karma. God sees that you have already learned through your spiritual path the lessons you needed to learn through karma, the machine of destiny deletes those karmas, which your sincere spiritual endeavors have now rendered redundant. It is difficult to directly perceive this because the effect is on an intangible thing. The result is that the long line of future births you are scheduled to have gradually becomes shorter and shorter until it finally evaporates completely and you require no further births.
At this elevated point you are left only with prarabdha-karma – the tangible destiny of your current life and body. You cannot keep a physical body in the material world without this karma. It burns very slowly and is not completely eradicated until one obtains prema-bhakti: full realization of divine love, at which point one no longer is kept within a material body in the material world, but enters directly into the divine play (lila) of Krsna. You may feel the very initial effects of the burning of prarabdha-karma as a gradual lack of bodily fixation, eventually a lack of bodily awareness, and finally a lack of a physical body entirely – when you enter into the spiritual realm.