Laws of Karma
Life is a mystery. People taking birth in a same family have different Destiny.
No two brothers enjoy same pleasures in life. Every person in a same family has different intellect, physical capability, different sorrows and happiness. They have different fears, strength and nature.
Who creates this difference? Why lives of all humans are not same.
Why one is born in a poor family, what is the fault of a baby being born as physically handicap, who forces people to live in a poverty drives areas or in war zones. Whereas other is born in a rich family, in a best part of world and is totally healthy.
Why someone faces an accident and spends rest of the life on wheelchair or even worse.
Why best students in school / university does not have good life.
Why someone is born with cancer and does not see even fifth birthday.
Why someone faces bad luck while other has only success in life. What governs all this?
Why is one born at all and why does he suffer? Why is so much inequality between one person and other?
Does everything end with death? If everything ends with death, then what is the meaning of life?
Why we talk of morals and good deeds. We know that all are not born equal.
Some are born with good tendencies, other with bad, some strong other weak, some lucky and fortunate while many unfortunate. Should we blame GOD for all this inequality?
The big question is what is Destiny?
Let us see and find out why there is so much difference.
HINDUS have given answer to this. According to Hindu scriptures, Karma play the role in everyone life.
Here we will discuss life and the role of Karma in shaping life according to Hindu Scriptures.
According to Hindu religion, the body, which is perishable, has a unique soul in it. This soul cannot be created or destroyed. Death occurs to body only not to soul.
Soul discards the body as humans discard old clothes just to wear new one. The soul carries the effect of good deeds and bad deeds from one birth to other. These good or bad deeds are the KARMAS (Actions) one performs.
Why we take Birth
The main purpose of each birth is to settle give-take account (Settle Karmas) and to move towards spirituality. In every birth soul moves towards spirituality as it was in previous birth.
In other words humans become better in every birth towards humanity and evolution.
According to Laws of Karma, every good deed, gesture, positive attitude generates a merit whereas a bad deed automatically generates Demerit (or sin). Every one reaps the results of one’s action.
Whenever a good deed is done to other (human, animal, nature or any living soul), it gets stored as a merit and gives a doer a positive return (in form if happiness in any form) and this is apart from a simple “Thank You” from the recipient.
Similarly if one inflicts harm, he gets negative in return (In form of some sorrow or loss). This cannot be undone by simple saying “Sorry”
The laws of Karma are infallible. There is no escape from this. For every action there is a similar reaction. No thought, action or deed goes waste. We have to bear results of our deeds, whether good or bad.
Throughout our lives we are either settling our old deeds or creating new ones. If the account cannot be settled in this birth it is carried over to next birth.
As karma is carried to next birth, the status of relationship and sex of the individual may also change. Enemy can be born as husband–wife in next birth, father of a person can be born as daughter of the same person, and enemies may become relatives to settle some accounts. Similarly friends may be born as brothers or husband wife may be lovers in next birth.
[We forget all about previous birth karma in present one as it will be difficult to nourish a son if he was an enemy in previous birth, so the accounts may not be settled]
Now let us understand Laws of Karma
Let it be clear that Laws of karma are not to punish anyone but for the sake of education and learning. A person never escapes the consequences of his actions. In every birth a soul earns much Karma. Soul may or may not settle all those karma in one life.
Let us try to understand how it works. If the above bar symbolizes Karma to be settled by a soul, then the “Blue” part is the amount of the total Karma to settle in one life time.
Now Nakshatras (constellation or Zodiac Signs) decide where the soul will take rebirth.
According to his Karma they decide what all the soul has to suffer and what to enjoy.
Will the soul take birth in drought hit area, in a war zone, or in a peaceful area of Earth?
Accordingly the soul will descend to the womb and will be surrounded with all the circumstances and people with whom his Karma has to be settled. Who all will be the relatives, friends, and associates?
This birth and the time of birth becomes what Hindus call “Prabdh”. The study of Prabdh is “Jyotish” hence Hindu “Jyotish” is the study of what all the soul will suffer, what he will do for earning, what will he look like, his strengths and weakness, his good or bad time etc. Study of Zodiac signs at the time of birth foretells the future.
As the life is pre-decided, so most of the events happen in ones birth as unexpected. This is called ones Destiny. Every sorrow he faces or every joy he enjoys, every success, every failure, accidents, diseases, success in love or in business, losses, riches, cheatings, humiliations, career ….. Everything is a part of destiny.
Hindu believe that (In this era of dark age-kaliyuga) two third (2/3) of the life is destiny. Man has no control in it. One third (1/3) of the life is free will. It is this one third part that man earns more karma to be settled in other lives. For other two third, he is just settling his previous give-take accounts.
Hence according to Hinduism, a man is the architect of his fate and maker of his own destiny. Karma signifies the way of life, to force one to be a more responsible soul towards universe. The rebirth is the backbone of Hindu religion and laws of Karma support this. GOD does not interfere in this. Man gets what he deserves.
Let us try to understand this with an example.
This planet Earth is a big classroom where soul learns to avoid greed, anger, selfishness and pride. Laws of Karma teach soul these lessons and soul gets better in every birth. Sometimes soul is again thrown to learning as a birth of some animal, insect, bird and starts its learning all over.
Hundreds of thousands of incarnations are done only to make soul perfect for reunion with GOD (Salvation). As Karma our guiding laws, we are totally responsible for all our actions. That means that we have to suffer the consequences of our thought, speech and action.
Types in Karma
Karma experienced during present life time.
The karmas that design the destiny of a person are the accumulated karmas in previous life times which are to be settled in the present life time. They are the Prarabdha karma. Person performs these karmas to settle previous give-take account.
The store of Karma that has not yet reached fruition.
Sanchita Karma is the heap of karmas still waiting the chance to get settled.
Soul may take birth in human form or some lower animal form as per his Sanchita karmas. Even in animal form it may be decided its birth in good conditions or worse. In humans, may born in a poor family, as a handicapped person, or as a person with everything. These accumulated karmas are responsible for Human birth and these become Prarbdh to tune his Destiny.
Agami or Sanciyama Karma
Karma sown in the present life that will come to fruition in a future life.
Agami karma are the karma person is performing, which will result immediately, after some days, months or years, in the present life span or some of may be carried to next life. These karmas are apart from sanchita karma. Person performs these karmas under the influence of his Samskaara or free will.
The process by which karma is understood to work through various rebirths is as follows:
1. Good or bad actions create impressions (samskaras) or tendencies (vasanas) in the mind, which in time will come to fruition in further action (more karma).
2. The seeds of karma are carried in the subtle body (linga), in which the soul transmigrates.
3. The physical body (sthula sharira) is the field in which the fruit of karma is experienced and more karma is created.
Person performs Karma throughout his life. Some karma are performed in accordance to destiny, others are performed in accordance to his samsankars. Still some are under his free will.
For all karmas other than performed under destiny, a person is responsible for it. The fruits of these karmas may be immediate, after few months or years or in next birth.
Person’s destiny depends upon his Karmas. His luck, health, beauty, everything depends on his karmas. His parents are pious or is born in a wicked family also depends on his karmas. His joys, sorrows, failures, success, diseases, accidents every action totally depends on Karmas. Man himself designs his destiny. GOD does not interfere in this.
The fundamental and basic principal is simple –
Whatever we do to benefit ourselves and to benefit others generates good karma.
This action gets stored as a merit and brings happiness in return
Whatever we do to benefit ourselves and hurt others produces bad karma.
This action gets stored as sin and will bring unhappiness in return.
Any thought that is inimical to others should be avoided. Any speech that is detrimental should not be uttered.
Any action that hurts should be avoided. This does not implement only to humans, but to nature, natural resources, animals, vegetation, insect etc.
If this is done, it will generate a demerit, and then be prepared to experience its result in this life time or in other.
Now what about desires and attachments
According to Saint Ashtavakra dialogue with King Janaka, then Shree Krishna Dialouge with Arjuna and still Later, Gautam Buddha
Craving is the cause of suffering. This craving leads to desires and later to attachments. These induce karma and to settle karma leads to re birth. Craving is the seed to karma and sufferings.
Performing sex settles a lot of karma if done with life partner.
If done in illicit relationships generates huge amount of karma. This needs more than one birth to settle.
Sometime destiny also forces to have illicit or incest relationships.
More often ones illegal desire forces one to have such relationship.
Consuming food also generates karma.
“One should eat to live and not live to eat.”
According to the rules of mortal earth,
“Every living being will eat other living being for survival”.
Eating other living being generates huge amount of karma.
Vegetarian food generates lowest amount of karma and humans should consume vegetarian food only.
Hindus have suggested many ways to moderate the effects of Karma.
1. Forgiveness: -
Forgiveness is the major action that can be done. Forgive those who have done wrong to you. Forgive yourself for wrong deeds. Surrender your action to GOD.
2. Service –
Selfless service to nature and living souls softens the karma. Be kind to animals, plants and all people who are weaker in any sense. Do service like clearing common roads, washing dishes in religious places, cleaning places, distributing food, protecting and serving animals and plants. Serving a dog and a cow is most beneficial. Do not waste natural resources (Water, minerals, vegetables etc).
3. Praying, meditation and japa.
Follow this according to own religion. Especially meditation and Japa is most effective. They burn up good and bad karmas alike.
4. Doing pious activities, visiting holy places, and doing religious activities without expecting material gains.
5. Understanding that bad time or bad luck is only a result of some bad karma and similarly good time is again a result of some good deed. At these times one should remain calm best trying to watch further karma.
6. Avoiding sensual life, a life full of drugs, sex, meaningless and aimless decisions. Watching karmas in every step of life. Trying to settle previous karmas and avoiding generating new ones.
7. Sacrifice is the important practice in avoiding the effect of bad karma. Sacrifice may be of food for one day (Vrata), maybe a job done for someone sacrificing your time or in a bigger way. Sacrifice when done in a severe way becomes penance (tapasya).
8. Performing social and family duties with devotion.
One should not try to be great in other eyes but should work to be great in his own eyes.
Everyone should understand the laws of karma implement in life and live accordingly. This understanding will avoid crimes, killings, destroying nature, destroying natural resources and make earth a beautiful planet. Person who destroys natural resources will face scarcity of that resource in next life time. (For example
People who waste water may born in a desert area). People will automatically be saved from many troubles. Let the law of karmas be the guidelines to everyone’s life. Great Hindu saints have given this to humans to lead a disciplined life.
ADESH ADESH … ALAKH NIRANJAN