karma

 

 

WHAT IS KARMA ?



Karma is a Sanskrit term. It means action or deed. Any physical or mental
action is Karma. Karma is the sum total of our acts, both in the present life
and in the preceding births.
Karma means not only action, but also the result of an action. There is a
hidden power in Karma or action termed ' Adrishta' which brings in fruits
of Karmas for the individual. The consequence of  an action is really not a
separate thing. It is a part of the action and cannot be divided from it.
Lord Krishna says: "Work incessantly. Your duty is to work but not to
expect the fruits thereof."  The central teaching of the Gita is non-attachment
to work. Breathing, eating, seeing, hearing, thinking etc., are all Karmas.
Thinking is the real Karma. Raga-dvesha (likes and dislikes) constitute
real Karma.


How Karma is Fashioned


Man is threefold in his nature. He consists of Iccha, Jnana and Kriya.
Iccha is desire or feeling. Jnana is knowing. Kriya is willing.
These three fashion his Karma. He knows objects like chair, tree.
He feels joy and sorrow. He wills - to do this, or not to do that.
Behind the action, there are desire and thought. A desire for an object
arises in the mind. Then you think how to get it. Then you exert to possess it.
Desire, thought and action always go together. They are the three threads,
as it were, that are twisted into the cord of Karma.
Desire produces Karma. You work and exert to acquire the objects of your
desire. Karma produces its fruits as pain or pleasure.
You will have to take births after births to reap the fruits of your Karma.
This is the Law of Karma.


Kinds of Karma


Karma is of three kinds, viz. Sanchita or the accumulated works,
Prarabdha or the fructifying works, and Kriyamana or the current works
Sanchita is all the accumulated Karmas of the past. Part of it is seen in the
character of man, in his tendencies and aptitudes,capacities,
inclinations and desires.Prarabdha is that portion of the part of Karma
which is responsible for the present body.
It is ripe for reaping. It cannot be avoided or changed.It is only exhausted
by being experienced. You pay your past debts.
Kriyamana is that Karma which is now being made or the future
It is also called Agami or Vartamana.

Actions are of three kinds, viz., good, bad and mixed.
Good Karmas make you a god or angel in heaven.
Bad Karmas throw you in lower wombs.
Mixed actions give you a human birth.
Every work is a mixture of good and evil. There can be neither absolute good
work nor absolute bad work in this world. This physical universe  is a relative
plane. If you do some action, it will do some good in one corner,  and some evil
in another corner. You must try to do such actions that can  bring the
maximum of good and the minimum of evil.


The Law of Karma

Actions The Doctrine of Karma forms an integral part of Vedanta.
The Law of Karma is one of the fundamental doctrines not only in Hinduism,
but also in Buddhism and in Jainism.
As a man sows, so he shall reap. This is the Law of Karma.
It expounds the riddle of life and the riddle of the universe. It brings solace,
satisfaction and comfort to one and all. It is a self-evident truth.
Fortunately, the Westerners have also begun now to acknowledge its
importance and veracity. The Americans have now full belief in this doctrine.
Every sensible man will have to accept it. There is no other go.
A close study of this law gives encouragement to the hopeless man,
to the desperate and ailing. Destiny is created by man's thoughts,
habits and character. There is every chance for his correction
and improvement by changing his thoughts and habits. The scoundrel can
become a saint; the prostitute can become a chaste lady; a beggar can become a
king. This mighty law provides for all this.
The Doctrine of Karma only can explain the mysterious problem of good and
evil in this world. The Doctrine of Karma only can bring solace, contentment,
peace and strength to the afflicted and the desperate. It solves our difficulties
and problems of life. It gives encouragement to the hopeless and the forlorn.
It pushes a man to right thinking, right speech and right action.
It brings a brilliant future for that man who lives according to this universal
law. If all people understand this law correctly and discharge their daily
duties carefully, they would rise to sublime heights in the ladder
of spirituality.  They will be moral and virtuous and have a happy, peaceful,
contented life. They can bear the burden of Samsara with patience, endurance
and strength of mind. There will not be any room for complaint when they see
the inequalities in birth, fortune, intelligence, capacities, etc.
There will be heaven on earth. All will rejoice even in suffering. Greed, jealousy,
hatred, anger, passion will vanish. Virtue will reign everywhere.
We will have a glorious Satya Yuga now with peace and plenty everywhere.
Blessed is the man who understands and lives in the Law,
for he will soon attain God-consciousness and become one with the Law-giver!
Then the Law will no longer operate on him


Past Karma

Then  what about the issue of past karma.and how it is influencing you now!.
There are three ways of dealing with past karma...

One is to pay your karmic debts. Most people choose to do this...unconsciously
of course. Sometimes there is a lot of suffering involved in the payment
of those debts....But the Law of Karma says that NO debt in the universe
ever goes unpaid. There is a perfect accounting system in this universe...
and everything is a constant to and fro exchange of energy.

The second thing you can do is to transform your karma to a more desirable
experience.This is a very interesting process in which you ask yourself...
as you are paying your karmic debt...What can I learn from this experience?"
Why is this happening and what is the message that the universe is giving to me?
How can I make this experience useful to my fellow human beings?".
This allows you to transmute the karma to a new expression.
. This is the transmutation of your karma into a positive experience.
You have not really gotten rid of your karma..but you are able to take a
karmic episode and create a new and positive karma out of it.
And the third way to deal with karma ...is to transcend it...!!!..
To transcend karma is to become independent of it. The way to transcend karma
is to keep experiencing the gap...the Self...the Spirit. This of course is done
through the practice of prayer and meditation....It is like washing a dirty piece
of cloth. Every time that you wash it...you take away a few stains.
You keep washing it.and each time it gets a little cleaner.you wash...or
transcend the seeds of your karma by going into the gap and coming out again
...as was said ...this is done through prayer and meditation....!!!!
Whether you like it or not...everything that is happening at this moment is
a result of the choices you have made in the past. Unfortunately...a lot of us
make choices unconsciously...and therefore we don't think they are choices..
.and yet they are! Most of us as a result of conditioning...have repeated
responses to the stimuli in our environment. Our reactions seem to be
automatically  triggered by people and circumstances...and we forget that these
are still choices that we are making in every moment of our existence.
We are simply making these choices unconsciously.
If you step back for a moment and witness the choices you are making
as you make those choices...then in just this act of witnessing...you take
the whole process from the unconscious realm into the conscious realm.
This procedure of conscious choice-making and witnessing is very empowering..!
When you make a choice...any choice at all....you can ask yourself two things...
.....First..."What are the consequences of this choice that I'm making ?...
.In your heart you will immediately know what these are.........
and second...Will this choice that I'm making now bring happiness to me
and to those around me?"...If the answer is no..Then don't make that choice..!!!!
Remember Karma will  be dealt with~~
What you give you shall recieve~~ ~~~~~~It is The Law of Karma~~~


In writing this page for others to learn from,  I feel that I am in a small
way re-paying some of my Karmic debt.


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Artist Tom Whelan


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